Eskanadra (formerly a groups of eight Fiefdoms conquered by the House of Eskandar)
Estimated at 1,000,000 in total, give or take 10,000. 2,500,000 before plague
Population in Capital: 200,000
Population in Major Cities: 250,000
Peasants in Rural Areas and Towns around Eskanadra: 50,000
Amount of Urban population able to join army: 50,000
Amount of Urban population in the army: 36,961
Form of Government:
Monarchy. The royal House of Eskandar rules over Eskanadra with an emphasis on Justice and Peace. The current monarch or Basileus as their Kings are known, is Basileus Oppius II, seen as a benign ruler who does what's best for the people, though unlike his father, he seems to lack the authoritativeness needed to impose the will of the ruler on the ruled. Indeed, none dare disobey him as he sits upon the Throne of Words, but he does not have the natural charisma, and many see him as a 'soft' ruler. His wisdom cannot be denied however, and he is well loved, after all, his policies and works are felt everywhere. Seeing as Eskanadra has only formed by splitting off from an old kingdom two hundred and thirteen years ago, it does not have a very large aristocracy compared to others, in fact there are generally no aristocrats other than the royals. None hold more power than the Basileus's direct family, and no one has more authority than the Basileus himself. He does, however, have many advisors and wise men around him who are generally academics or men who have done great research outside of the Institutions of Higher Education and Learning. These tend to have huge influence on the Basileus, not only because what they advise is generally correct, but because it is them who teach the heir everything he knows, and thus being brought up in their care, his respect for them is great. This same education by the best does also mean that the monarch is generally very difficult to manipulate, even by those who taught him or her.
House of Eskandar:
This is the royal house of Eskanadra and is in fact the only existing house at the moment due to the fact that there were no pre-existing houses other than them when the War of Dissension ended and Eskanadra was declared a nation. Since then, any royal ladies generally married rich people who were not granted nobility or aristocracy. This has meant that the royal line has only traveled through the males, which the royal house seems quite adept at birthing in plenty over their female counterparts. Members of the royal family are given the highest quality education and training, ensuring that the great leaders and generals of the future would always come from the royal family rather than from anywhere else. This has not stopped the truly talented of the Eskanadran people from rising to the public eye in various ways, but it has made it slightly more difficult, most notably in the army where rising to the rank of anything higher than a Polemarchos is not impossible but extremely difficult and rare. In other fields, such as writing, teaching, the arts, sciences and cultural, social and economic life in general, non-royals are easily able to infiltrate and compete with the royals. The current head of the House is the Basileus Oppius II who is forty eight years of age. He has six brothers with their own respective families and four sisters who have long been married off to rich merchants or dedicated veterans in the army. The full family tree is here (please don't change or edit anything.)
Unlike other nations, the first born is not always the one to become Basileus after their father dies. The heir to the throne is usually selected by the Basileus, anyone within the royal family can be the heir, in fact, it is possible for a monarch to select an heir who is not his son. So far, however, this has not happened, though it has often been that the youngest son, rather than the eldest, would be selected as heir. Never in the history of Eskanadra has the eldest son ascended to the throne, but then again, there have only been three monarchs in the past, Oppius II being the fourth, so it is not yet truly a, 'tradition'.
The Guardians are the largest organisation in all of Eskanadra, and arguably every citizen belongs to it in one way or another. This organisation acts as a police force to insure that the law is upheld and crime is kept low. It also has a wing which deals with A-Class criminal organisations, especially the prostitute trafficking crime organisation which has used Eskanadra to get prostitutes to other nations. The spies and agents trained by the Guardians to infiltrate and destroy such groups have been largely successful, but these crime groups are not so easily rooted-out, and the battle continues. The Guardians have also set-up a system of training loyal citizens in how to spot criminals or how to report suspicious proceedings. It is a very influential, efficient and effective organisation and corruption within it is unheard of, though recently there have been some very suspicious activities by certain members of the Guardians. Reports have been made on these individuals and steps have been taken to investigate their activities. The Basileus himself has appointed five of the staunchest Guardians to investigate, they are to go out and, as the Basileus himself has said, "purge Eskanadra of the filth who plague it."
Religion is an integral part of Eskanadran society and has been long before the Kingdom itself was created. However, unlike other nations, religion in Eskanadra is not quite so institutionalised, there isn't in existence an advanced, hierarchical system of priests or preachers who have control over religion and are the highest authority on it. While it cannot be denied that there are preachers, these are not part of a greater institution or part of a hierarchical religious organisation. Rather, they are independent individuals who call to the one God as they travel, living the lives of hermits. These men are greatly respected and admired, though by no means are they seen as superior, only as pious, wise individuals who are best treated well, lest the wrath of God strike those who mistreat His dedicated servants. Other than religious charms and medallions passed down for generations, nothing much is believed to give you good luck. It is well known however that if your parents are happy with you then you will be given good fortune by the God, while if they are not you will be extremely unfortunate and the anger of the God will be upon you. While religious, people in Eskanadra tend to be more pragmatic and logical about their understanding of religion, a recent phenomena caused by the increased spending on schooling by both Oppius II and his father, Aulus II, before him.
There are some very strict guidelines in Eskanadran society about how a man or woman should go about getting together. Sex out of wedlock is a horrific idea, and things so casual as having a boyfriend or a girlfriend are not to be thought of, such things are utterly unacceptable. Though there are some marriages which are due to love, most are arranged by parents, and children tend to accept them. It is not unusual for two people who have never met to be married to each other, though the richer you are the more likely it is that you would stick with the rules of courtship, which demand that a woman is courted by a man for a minimum of two years prior to marriage. This issue of romance and marriage is not even seen as an issue, it is a perfectly sensible and acceptable way to go about things, and most people are completely fine with it.
The House of Eskandar, as it has been blessed by the One and is the only House capable of bearing those who can sit upon the Throne of Words, has the exclusive right for their males to take up what are called Puella's. These are girls brought to the Palace from a young age and raised there. At the age of eighteen they can be 'taken' by any male member of the House of Eskandar and she becomes in many ways a second wife, though any children she bears are attributed to the official wife unless otherwise decided. There is no limit on how many Puella's can be 'taken' by any one man, but it is etiquette not to take more than three throughout your life without good reason.
Though there has been an increase in social mobility over the decades, there remains a vague divide between the four social classes. At the top are members of the House of Eskandar. Then come the rich, such as merchants, farmers or any who have earned enough to live a luxurious life, usually as good if not better than the lives lived by Eskanadran royals. Next come workers who are not quite so rich but are not struggling to make a living. They manage somehow. And finally, at the bottom of the heap are those who just manage to scrape a living, though their numbers are slowly beginning to dwindle. Nevertheless, their will always be a small percentage who are impoverished, no matter how great life becomes in Eskanadra.
People you are close to tend to call you by your first name while those you know slightly call you by your second name, usually preceded by an honorific such as Master, Lord, Sir, Mistress, Lady and so on depending on your rank and the preferences of the local population.
Magic is extremely rare and foreign to Eskanadrans, and while not difficult when one learns it, Eskanadra generally lacks those who practice magic and are willing to teach it meaning that any magical traditions Eskanadra may have had were never preserved and never had the chance to grow. Magic is seen as an amazing and miraculous thing however, feared and respected by all.
While monarchs have never had a great interest in the arts beyond languages and history, the Eskanadran people seem to have a natural affinity for them, and when given even the smallest chances and resources, they are able to create many wondrous things. Under Oppius II - and with his wife's encouragement - art has continued to flourish greatly across Eskanadra, in the capital as well as many of the larger cities and towns. It is rare to walk down one of the main roads without seeing a few street performers, either dancing, singing, playing an instrument, in the middle of a theatrical performance, or even - and this is a new form of art - in the middle of a puppet show. While many of these artists have integrated into Eskanadran society and become part of their culture, those with new art forms and are vulnerable and not yet popular receive great encouragement from Oppius and his advisors, and some are even given financial aid if their projects seem worthwhile. If things keep going like this, the Kingdom may enter a time of great artworks and performances, a cultural revolution of sorts. Painters and sculptors are the most integrated artists/artisans, a man who can paint or sculpt is hugely respected and usually becomes quite rich. It is fairly common to find that a painter or a sculptor is in fact managing a theatre company or a musical band.
There are a good few festivals in Eskanadra. Being a very agricultural land, there is usually a festival around the time of harvest, known as the Wheat Days, lasting fourteen days. Performers fill the streets everywhere, from the smallest village to the capital itself. It is a time of great celebration, where children enjoy themselves and adults have a good bit to eat. It is fairly common for the Basileus Oppius II and his family to tour Eskanadra during the harvest time, visiting almost every city or town of note. There is also another festival on the longest day of the year, though this one is more family oriented. It is a time for the family to get together and enjoy each others company, a time dedicated solely for each other and nothing else. Many shops and workplaces tend to be closed on this day, known as the Aaltag. These are the two main festivals in the Kingdom, though there may be others depending on the region.
While crafts dependent on crops and animals flourish, others which require metals are not so successful, mainly due to the fact that metal, gold and any other such things need to be bought from neighbouring metal-rich lands due to the fact the Montasaar Mountains are inaccessible as tensions between Walderia and Eskanadra are far too high. Eskanadrans are not too keen on alcoholic drinks, to the extent that should Oppius II put a ban on the vile stuff he would meet with little resistance, however the barley which is exported to be made into beer prevents him from doing so, as the barley farmers are very prosperous. Other crafts which flourish in Eskanadra are cloth making, from silk to linen to cotton, and the leather industry is also prosperous. It is all readily available due to the fact that the needed materials are all found in plants and animals. Farmers - all types - also prosper here, with everything from mango and banana farmers to the more modest wheat farmers. There are also dedicated hunters who rear hunting hounds and bring back wild deer and boars to the market. Rearing hunting dogs is also encouraged greatly as lords like to buy them for hunting - though there are more hunters, especially in the capital, turning to rearing warhounds as a worthy division in the Eskanadran army has now been converted to rearing animals for war. Bulls are also being tried out, giving rise to the number of farmers rearing bulls for war rather than meat. This has not had too much of an effect on the prosperous meat market however. Papyrus and paper and the production of books made from them is also growing, though the greater business of writing on animal hides remains more popular, and most books are still made of that more 'organic' parchment. Food and cooking are also extremely successful here as any ingredient can be found and people relish new and interesting tastes. The first restaurants in Eskanadran history have recently opened in the capital and the larger cities. One of the things which has aided the growth of restaurants is the rise in the number of fishermen, fishers who had once worked on their own have in recent years begun to work together, reaping the benefits being bordered to the ocean brought, however, pirates who are suspected to be from Stormbreach have recently been raiding the coastal regions.
While the metal side of craftsmanship is not as developed, there remain in the capital a few blacksmiths and metalworkers who import metal from foreign lands. There are also a fair number of jewelers, though their items leave something to be desired, that is not to say, however, that when given fine gems and precious metals the truly talented cannot make something amazing, indeed, Eskanadran jewelry is amongst the finest when made by skilled artisans, though its rarity and lack of investment in the industry means that such goods cannot be exported yet.
Armour and horse shoe production remains stable, although not a great profit can be made from such enterprises. Smiths tend to live on the bare minimum, despite the aid they receive from the state, as monarchs realise that if left alone, metal smiths could disappear in Eskanadra, migrating to other lands where more opportunities lie. This is a very broad overview, there are, of course, many other crafts, such as the sculpting and painting industries, the production of cosmetics, perfumes and toiletries in general, production of spices such as basil, catnip, cinnamon and others and of course, the wealthy salt and sugar industries. These among other things are just to get the general gist of things across.
There are no dietary restrictions as such, though if you can't eat it in Eskanadra, you can't eat it anywhere, and it's probably not worth eating in the first place. People are not too fond of alcohol, and it is seen as damaging to ones reputation if they are seen drinking such a thing. Other than that, most things are acceptable.
Apprenticeships have always been common in Eskanadra, with any craftsman of note seeking out capable young people to pass their knowledge down to, and apprenticeships continue to be a common and respected way of learning. However, in the last years of Aulus I's life, he concentrated greatly on building schools and training teachers, so as to enlighten the younger children and give rise to an educated generation which could read and write and had understanding of history and the geography of Eskanadra and neighbouring nations. Oppius I expanded on his fathers work, investing heavily in schools to be built in even the most remote areas. What's more is that in his last years an Institution of Higher Education and Learning (IHEL) was opened in the capital. It was the only one of its kind in the capital and in all of Eskanadra, matching in grandeur to the nearby Barracks and School of Strategy and Tactics. Here, sixteen year olds finishing school could come and partake in an examination, and the one thousand five hundred who scored best were taken in, educated in the finer arts and sciences, and given opportunities unlike any seen before in Eskanadra. Although this was free, it took quite a lot of money, but Oppius I was certain that this money would return in the future, and which is more, what was the great revenue he received from taxes and exports worth if he did not invest it in the people. By the time of his death, another IHEL was being built in Tarsusin, the then largest city after the capital, which would be able to house up to eight hundred willing students who pass the examination.
This Institution drew quite a few learned men from all over the world, and their thoughts were given to young, intelligent minds to think over. It seemed that within this single Institution, and the one being built, was a generation of young people who would bring about great change to Eskanadra, and the Basileus could not have been more right in thinking thus.
Spending on education dropped dramatically during Aulus II's reign as graduates from the first IHEL's began to personally invest in them as well as the construction of new IHEL's and schools across Eskanadra with better quality and a broader scale of education. Over the decades, the Grand IHEL grew dramatically and so did the Exalted IHEL in Tarsusin and the August IHEL in Irenor, these three being the top in Eskanadra with more than fifty others attempting to compete with them across the Kingdom.
The current education system in Eskanadra is highly advanced, and many people from within and without Eskanadra come to teach and study there. With the inflow of knowledge, technological advancement is accelerating rapidly, and Eskanadra is slowly beginning to move from an age of feudal stagnation to a great restorative enlightenment.
Like alcohol, gambling is greatly shunned in Eskanadra, except that unlike alcohol, it is a highly illegal act, with anyone found squandering their money on gambling being heavily punished. However, there are many festivals throughout the year, the aforementioned Wheat Days and Aaltag being two examples. Sports are also highly encouraged, with schools dedicating many hours a week to exercise and such sports as boxing, wrestling, javelin throwing, discus, shot put and other things, and both males and females are included. Dance and theatre are also highly encouraged, as well as singing. In fact, it is common for people to pop down to a local theatre and watch a play being held, or just stopping in the street to see a travelling circus or puppet show. Entertainment is certainly not lacking, though rarer in very rural areas away from towns and village centres.
It is ill-advised to mention things such as gambling, alcohol, sex, prostitution and any other such unsavory subjects. The thought of bringing these up, let alone mentioning them around children is hugely horrifying. It is a deeply rooted tradition that a family eats together if they live together, and the oldest people - usually parents or grandparents - must begin eating first before anyone younger may begin. It is of greatest rudeness to not wait for your elders. Elders will also not begin eating until everyone is gathered, and it is also rude to not go quickly to the table or wherever the meal is once it is ready. Children are taught to respect their elders, especially their mother and father, and to be obedient and kind to them at all times. If a parent is happy with you, you are considered blessed, and if they are unhappy or angry with you, you are considered cursed until such a time that their anger subsides. One cannot leave their home ill-dressed, a man must ensure that he is well-dressed and that nothing above the middle of his calf appears. The chest up to the beginning of the neck must be covered, while the arm must be covered from the elbow and up. Hair is usually grown, reaching as far down as the bottom of the neck, though any longer is considered unmanly, and slightly feminine. Women must keep themselves well covered, not revealing their beauty to any but their husbands. This usually means that the entire body but the hands and face should be covered, and some prefer to wear a head covering or a see-through veil, though this is not mandatory. A woman's hair is her beauty and pride and must be well looked after and grown long. Average hair length for a woman would be to the middle of the back. Short hair on a woman is unheard of, the idea so foreign that none even contemplate it. It would be greatly shocking if a woman were to have short hair, reason for anger even. This, as are other things, is the general gist of things.
Common medieval clothing, though quality tends to be higher overall due to the availability of clothes and materials. Cosmetics such as kohl and lip colouring are fairly common, though other things which are equally available are not encouraged. Things such as powders for tinting the colour of skin and overly-indulgent cosmetics are usually exported rather than sold in Eskanadra as demand for such things is virtually non-existent.
With the flourishing of the arts and the dramatic advancement in education, all kinds of literature, ranging from poetry, to novels, to plays have also flourished and grown. The IHEL's have given rise to many great poets, novelists and theorists and the academic scene in the capital city is the heaven of all academics. Epic poems such as, 'And who did give the sun reason to rise' and 'When Gilgador did come with thunder and the roar' have caused a sensation, and so too have great novels such as Valerius Publius's 'The Journey's of Polowa' and theoretical works such as Horatius Maxima's 'Warring Theory' and 'On the Cycle of Nations' all of which have given rise to heated debates and intense discussions as well as reviews and criticisms. The literary output in the capital alone is so great that authors have been forced to use paper, papyrus and parchment as the demand would be too much for any single one to meet, let alone satisfy.
Extract from And who did give the sun reason to rise by Horath Antonious;
And who did give the sun reason to rise?
Who gave it purpose, its red hot zeal
And who did know all grief and hear our cries
When we sank down beneath its heel?
When smoke rose up against our skies
And men with iron hearts rode out
But all had fallen 'neath those lies
Where faith once stood there sprouted doubt
Men who once had fought as one
Strayed their swords from foes to friends
This the evil we should shun!
Felled they were...on the winding road of crags and bends.
Farming methods are very advanced in Eskanadra, following a strange enclosure farming system rather than the strip farming which was prevalent in the old Kingdom, as well as a separation of the land amongst many farmers into great farming estates. This means that rather than peasants farming one strip of land, farmers are now given land to farm, employing and paying other farmers or peasants. This has caused output to greatly increase, especially with the advanced drainage-systems which get water to all parts of a field while removing the excess. This means that many crops, such as wheat and barley, vegetables such as tomatoes and even fruits like apples and - in the sunnier parts - bananas and mangoes. Anything which grows can usually be found somewhere in Eskanadra.
Animals are extremely important for farming, with many farmers owning stables usually filled with horses, as well as dedicating parts of their enclosures to sheep, cows, goats and other farm animals whose meat is demanded by the higher ups. Lately though, more people have been able to afford the price of meat, mainly due to the fruition of the many new policies introduced by past monarchs aimed at improving life and education. Hunting is also looked upon very favourably, with hounds being reared by a special part of the farming society who take on the name of Loveks. With their arrows and their loyal hounds or wolves, they can catch wild deer, boars and many more, which usually catch quite a high price in the markets. The higher echelons of society also enjoy hunting from horseback, buying their hounds or hunting wolves from hunters who have reared more than they need. War stallions are kept separate from farming horses, and are trained early on for speed and fearlessness; after all, the sounds of battle can scare any horse. When it comes to pets, other than dogs and horses, it is not normal for people to have pets, in fact, it is slightly looked down upon and considered strange, even wolves are considered as unsavoury unless you are using them for hunting purposes.
The current year in Eskanadra is 242 PA - standing for Post Auli, or After Aulus. The calender begins the year Aulus I was born and each year is split into four months, according to the seasons, beginning with Winter and ending with Autumn before the annual cycle begins again. Each month is approximately ninety days give or take a day. The first month is Frigus, during Winter, the second is Vernu, during Spring, the third is Aestas, during Summer, and the fourth is Esen, during Autumn. The Wheat Days are usually celebrated during the month of Esen while the Aaltag is celebrated during the month of Aestas.
The climate varies greatly in Eskanadra. Whereas to the far South, near the sea, the climate is quite tropical, closer to the North the climate is more temperate. This allows for two of the best climates for growing both crops and exotic fruits. Most farms which grow wheat would be found in the Northern lands, while tomatoes and other crops, along with maize, corn, bananas, mangoes etc would be found in the Southern lands where the climate is tropical and therefore better suited for those plants. Rainfall tends to be the same all over Eskanadra, though the fact that the Kingdom borders with the sea is the main factor contributing to the tropical environment near the sea, along with the very fertile soil all over Eskanadra and the advanced agricultural and cultivation methods, it is difficult to imagine a place more suited to farming.
As is the case everywhere, there is crime in Eskanadra, though the most common tends to be thievery of precious items or metals due to their scarcity. Food is rarely ever stolen due to its abundance and availability to anyone who asks - even if they can't necessarily pay. Of course, the point of a criminal underground is that the authorities do not know of its existence, and there have been several cases of prostitutes being trafficked into the capital, traffickers who have been caught have been punished with death, though there certainly does appear to be quite a large prostitute trafficking underground business. Prostitution is illegal, it has been so in Eskanadra since the times of Aulus I, the first Basileus of Eskanadra and patriarch of the Eskandar house, but it remains a problem. There have been several cases of murder over the decades, though these are few and far between, and there do not seem to be any organisations bent on murdering, or offering assassins and killers. On the whole, it can be said that Eskanadra is a relatively safe place, especially the capital.
Crime is not just low due to a strange, natural phenomenon. No, it is low due to the extremely efficient law enforcement system. In the capital there are always guards standing in the main streets as well as at the gates and walls of the Great Palace of Eskanadra in the middle. There are also guards stationed at the four walls and gate towers of the city. This in itself makes criminals think twice before daring to commit a crime. The Guardians are what one would see as a police force which work all over Eskanadra, their headquarters are located in the capital and they have a building in most settlements across Eskanadra. They enforce law and order and look into crimes. They also have a special spying branch dedicated to infiltrating any criminal organisations. This spying branch does not only consist of trained spies, but also of a very complex system of informers; loyal citizens - farmers, peasants, workers, anyone - who keep the Guardians informed if there is anything suspicious going on. This allows for order to be enforced in an extremely efficient manner, no criminal or criminal group can hope to stay hidden for long when anybody and everybody is a Guardian.
The laws of Eskanadra are a carefully constructed set of rules which have grown over the many years. They are codified in the the Three Books. The first book deals with Criminal Law, the second with Religious Law and the third with Civil Law. There are the Twin Civil Courts which deal with civil problems and the Twin Criminal Courts which deal with crimes, and the second book on Religious Law plays a part in both courts. These laws are very strictly applied, and justice is seen as extremely important. Judges are amongst the most just, pious, wise and insightful people, handpicked by the monarch himself. There are no lawyers or an equivalent, instead a defendant defends themselves while whoever brought them to court brings their evidence. The Twin Criminal and Twin Civil Courts are the only courts currently present in Eskanadra and both are in the capital.
Update #1: After a Judge stood in court and represented a man during the reign of Basileus Oppius II, huge controversy arose as to whether it was fair for people to represent themselves. After meeting with the Basileus himself, the Judge managed to persuade the monarch that having a representative with understanding of the law was better, fairer and more beneficial. Those who wish to become a 'Lawman' are now able to pursue a degree in Law at the top IHEL's and enter this new and much sought-after profession.
It is quite difficult to get yourself killed by wild beasts in Eskanadra, mainly due to their not being many. Any animals you come across are likely either tame or herbivores, though if you get in the way of a pack of hunting hounds, it is likely they will attack. There are a few other dangers, such as wolves and bears, but bears generally keep away, deep in the forests nearer the North-Western parts of Eskanadra. Wolves are more dangerous, and are well spread out across the temperate Northern lands, though some wolves which have been brought up by hunters since they were cubs can be mistaken for wild wolves, so one must be careful. Off in the South, one must be careful of diseases carried by the relatively warm climate, even though hygiene is relatively good, it is likely to fall prey to a malicious disease if you go a-wandering in places you should not.
Eskanadra has four coins; gold Eskars, silver Auls, bronze Basilii's and the copper Marks. An Eskar is worth ten Auls, which is worth ten Basilii's, which is worth ten Marks. These are usually referred to as Golds (Eskars) Silvers (Auls) Bronze's (Basilii's) and Coppers (Marks) by people, and their official names are only used in formal situations such as courts, signing of documents, trade agreements and any other such things.
Employment is not a major problem. Employment rates have risen steadily since Basileus Aulus I and are continuing to rise as more job opportunities arise due to the economic boom being experienced - what with all the surplus harvest being exported and all these new jobs, crafts and arts rising, the economy can only grow, though the abundance has given rise to the problem of the value of items dropping. Oppius II has dealt with this by setting a minimum price on most things, though whether this will work in the long run remains to be seen.
As aforementioned, unless one goes wandering in unexplored areas in the wilds of the far South where many malicious diseases lie, they should be fine. This is greatly due to the information available to natives of Eskanadra on medical herbs and general, organic remedies for common sicknesses. However, due to the expansion in lands dedicated to growing crops, vegetables and fruits, the amount of herbs and medicinal plants once so common in Eskanadra have dwindled, making them very difficult to find. This has pushed for a general increase in hygiene as people collectively push to ensure that diseases will be less rife. Waste disposal in towns and the capital has become more complicated than simply chucking a bucket full of the stuff out of a window. In the capital, a drainage system has been built which takes waste to different holes in the ground, which have to be emptied regularly, usually the job of the unlucky criminal who'd been caught by the guards or Guardians. No respectable free man would ever do such a disgusting job. As always, the brilliant Eskanadran farmers have realised that this waste is 100% organic and can therefore be used as fertiliser. Shipments of wagons carrying huge barrels of waste from towns and the capital arrive at farms over Eskanadra on a monthly basis. In the more rural areas, waste is collected in buckets and given to farmers directly. It is a very efficient way to remove waste, though gives rise to the issue of fields smelling of faeces.
Eskanadra trades all kinds of agricultural goods such as wheat, flour, barley, rice, nuts, asparagus, onions, garlic, cabbages, lettuces, maize, lemons, oats, rye, chickpeas, lentils, beans, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, bananas, mangoes, pumpkins, potatoes, carrots, plums, oranges, clementines, figs, apples, watermelons, berries, limes, olives, olive oils, peaches, pineapples, pears, sugar, coffee, vanilla and anything else you can plant or produce from plants or dream of producing from plants.
Herbs and spices are also exported, things such as basil, catnip, cinnamon, coriander, chives, lavender, mustard, parsley, black and other peppers, rosemary, thyme and much more are the dream of any spice merchant and they are usually much more available in larger quantities in Eskanadra, and buying in bulk is always cheaper than doing otherwise.
These fertile lands are also home to many forests, in the East, South and West lie huge expanses of land covered in trees. Being a people who understand plants, Eskanadran lumberjacks are not just expected to cut down trees, but they are legally bound to plant them too. This ensures that there will always be beautiful forests in Eskanadra which give and keep giving. Timber is naturally a major export.
With such advanced agricultural methods yielding so many types of crops, fruits and vegetables, Eskanadra naturally excels at the rearing of domesticated animals for both domestic purposes such as farming and transport as well as more specialist purposes, like war. Examples include dogs, wolves, sheep, goats, cattle, horses, chickens, donkey's, mules, ducks, rabbits, turkeys, pheasants and a few others, though these are the main animals reared. Horses, wolves, dogs and bulls are trained for both domestic purposes and war, usually farmers specialise in rearing one type or the other.
Being bordered with a huge sea in the South and with a thriving fishing community which has recently united, the Eskanadran fishing community is going from strength to strength. With the sea also comes salt which can be used for preservation as well as in food.
Toiletries, including cosmetics and perfumes are also produced in large quantities, while things like perfume, lip colourings and kohl are demanded within Eskanadra other things like overly-indulgent cosmetics are not demanded at all and can therefore be exported.
Textiles - or cloth - is also a major source of income and things such as silk, cotton, velvet, satin, linen, wool, lambswool, jute, muslin, leather, damask and other textiles are traded with other nations. While barley is exported in large amounts, Eskanadra tends not to import any alcohol produced thereof or produce alcohol at all.
Things such as metals are imported and Eskanadra is heavily dependent on other nations when it comes to these. Things such as iron, silver, gold, bronze, copper, cobalt, lead, nickel, tin and zinc are not currently available within Eskanadta, putting it at an immediate disadvantage against other nations, not only because metals are vital for weapon-making, but also because metals are needed for much more, things like lead pipes for the advanced sewage systems, or brass for certain pots and iron or bronze for horse shoes, gold and silver for precious items like rings, necklaces and others all have to be imported. As an advancing nation so dependent on metals, not being able to access its reserves of metal is a great disadvantage which must be dealt with in a more permanent and reliable manner than trade.
Along with metals, things like gems and stone are also currently inaccessible in Eskanadra, and while not as vital as metal, the fact that Eskanadra cannot extract such resources for itself and make use of the highly skilled artisans and craftsmen to create the amazing high quality finished products it is capable of in bulk is a real shame and a real dampener on potential trade revenue.
Eskanadra does not only produce goods, but it's services are also of great advantage to it, especially the education services. Higher Education in particular is open to citizens of nations Eskanadra has good trading relations with, though in exchange a similar service would have to be offered to Eskanadran citizens. Eskanadran scribes are also amongst the best with the highest quality materials available to them and anyone who wishes to write anything from a letter to a pamphlet to a book would find no better service than with the scribes of Eskanadra - who are usually scholars in their own right and able to give advice and insight of their own into any topic. Painting, sculpting and (wood) carving services are also of extremely high quality, should a person want a painting done or a sculpture erected or wooden furniture - or any wooden items in general - decorate most beautifully then what that person needs is an Eskanadran.
The history of Eskanadra stretches back to the days of Darethia, more commonly known as the old Kingdom in Eskanadra. Back then, Eskanadra was nothing more than a group of eight fiefdoms ruled over by their respective lords. The Kingdom of Darethia had been composed of a good nineteen such fiefdoms, and towards the end, the king was no longer able to pay his lords and many rebelled. Aulus I of Eskanadra was no such lord, he was an aristocrat who had spent most of his life amongst the peasants, escaping from his tutors and spending his days chasing after the village girls. When Darethia was consumed by war as the king was dethroned and lords rushed to take his place, he found himself pushed onto a horse and sent off to battle - all at the age of twenty. Being young and well trained, he did well in the war, though he saw 'the horrors' as many veterans of that long, grueling and terrible war came to call it, and he never really recovered from the trauma of the War of Dissension. By the time he was twenty three he was a commander in the army of the lord he served, leading a group of five hundred men. His charisma and talent for strategy and tactics earned him the title of 'Harbinger of Victory' or defeat in the case of his enemies.
At twenty four, the lord he was serving was slain in battle, and after a period of chaos, Aulus and another commander known as Iagos surfaced as the two potential heirs. Once the meeting between the two ended with Aulus submitting to Iagos and accepting the position of his right hand commander, the two returned to the issue of defending the fief of the deceased lord - now owned by Iagos. The two proved to be a mighty team and not only managed to push back the forces of multiple lords, but also increase the size of their lands. Within a few years, when Aulus was twenty six, he and Iagos proved to be one of the strongest factions in the terrible civil war, having conquered a total of five fiefs excluding their own. After another year, they had under their command a total of eight fiefs. The remaining two factions saw the threat and quickly formed an alliance against Iagos and Aulus, and even though they managed to push back the forces of the two commanders, it wasn't long before Aulus and Iagos recovered the upper hand and reconquered the lands they had lost. It was at this point that a peace treaty was negotiated. The other two factions did not last long before they fell apart.
After the terrible, eight year war, Iagos and Aulus turned back to securing their lands and beginning the rebuilding process, after all, the eight fiefs which they had conquered were in a complete mess, having exchanged hands many times throughout the eight years.
It was not long, however, before the two men, who'd formed a deep friendship over the course of the war, began to see the differences in their ideas. The fact that there could not be two lords for one land was clear. Iagos requested that his friend retire to some far off place where he would be away from the day to day running of the nation, now called Iagoland. This request was refused by the twenty nine year old Aulus, and over a period of three months tensions between the two rose until they got to a boiling point. It was concluded that their problem could only be solved through a duel to the death, something which Aulus accepted without hesitation.
The day of the duel came, and with it came many people who had heard of the great event. Aulus brought with him his wife, Lucia, but he had not yet had any children at the time. Iagos too had brought his family. The duel was long and intense, neither warrior accepting defeat, but it was not honourable. Both used every trick the war had taught them, every technique they had mastered, even playing psychological games and tormenting each other with memories of 'the horrors' and all they brought with them. Yet in the end, it was Aulus who was the victor, not because he was more skilled, but because he was the more intelligent and the more resistant. At twenty nine, Aulus Eskandar was declared monarch over all the land, he called himself the Basileus, and he called his land Eskanadra.
No time was wasted however, Aulus gave Iagos a great burial and honoured his family, but beyond that and some financial aid, he put the past behind him and set his eyes on the future, concentrating on the land and creating the more efficient system of enclosure farming in great estates owned by farmers. Over his long years as Basileus, he improved life greatly and constructed the great capital city of Eskanadra from scratch, the city of Crimsomara, and within it, he built the Great Palace of Eskanadra as well as many schools for the basic education of the young - which he built all over Eskanadra. By the time of his death at the fine old age of seventy nine, Eskanadra had changed completely, never again would it be torn by war or borders, and never again would their dwell in it an ignorant, superstitious and starving people. Among his many works was the construction of the 'Four Courts' as they were known back then, which would later be transformed into the modern Twin Criminal and Civil courts of Crimsamara. The Four Courts were situated in one building, nowhere near as grand as the current two, but it did a very similar job. Aulus also laid down the constitution of the nation in the Three Books. The first book was 'The Book Criminals and Criminality' and was the skeleton for future laws regarding crime, within it were the ways in which crime should be dealt with in court as well as what kind of evidence should be accepted and which not, and of course, the punishments for certain crimes, such as execution for murder and prostitute trafficking, whipping or six months in jail for the thief, longer depending on the items stolen and so on. The second book was 'The Book of Religion in Law' which clarified the fact that religion encompassed both the civil and criminal spheres of the law and much more on the religious stance on certain things. This too was a skeleton for future study in the relation between the law and religion. The third and final book was 'The Book of Civil Justice and the Predicaments of the People' which dealt with the day to day issues and problems likely to arise as well as the way in which civil law should be carried out to ensure the that the course of justice is not perverted and is carried out in all cases. This, like the second book, also speaks about the personal attributes and traits required in a judge as well as the academic and intellectual background which would give their judgments weight and wisdom. Aulus I also commissioned the construction of The School of Tactics and Strategy, the first true teaching institute in Eskanadran history which was initially meant as a place for the military leaders of the future to be trained, but was soon set upon by the richer people in society who sent their children there for the improved level of education. This, rather than creating great military leaders, caused there to be a great number of philosophers in the theories of tactics and philosophy and the art of war who were willing to discuss ideas but less willing to try them in practice.
The Barrack of the Great and Mighty of Eskanadra was also constructed in Aulus I's reign, though it was nothing like the modern fortress it is now, and even that small structure was largely incomplete by the time of Aulus's death. Aulus I expended much time and effort in securing the general security and safety of Eskanadrans, setting up many groups in different cities and towns all over Eskanadra to act as a policing force in their respective areas. These were separate and largely inefficient compared with the modern Guardians, but they are in fact the foundations of what was to become the largest single organisation in Eskanadra, arguably encompassing the entire population.
Oppius I ascended to the throne after his father, in a time of relative prosperity in which employment was rising and the nation was undergoing many positive changes.
He expanded on education, the military and more, building the Grand IHEL of Crimsomara in the last decade of his life. It was such a great success that he ordered the construction of another one in Tarsusin, the then second largest settlement in Eskanadra after the capital. The Exalted IHEL of Tarsusin was not completed until six months after his death at eighty three. Oppius I also addressed the growing issue of crime by adding to the Three Books and solidifying certain laws which had been left vague by Aulus I. He also formed the Guardians into a concrete organisation rather than the many groups of disunited people in each large town or city as his father had done. The Guardians enjoyed a great increase in resources under him, with many buildings for them being set up in most settlements, and before long they were recognised as a national police force, though their duties did not encompass investigating gangs and organised crime, merely dealing with the odd independent crime or so. Oppius I also expanded on many of the things his father had constructed, organising the construction of many new wings for the Great Palace of Eskanadra. During his reign, the palace almost doubled in size and its beauty increased tremendously. This was to create the long-lasting tradition of monarchs expanding and adding to the Great Palace during their reign. He also expended a phenomenal amount of money and resources into the reconstruction of The Barrack of the Great and Mighty, creating the modern fortress currently standing, as well as restructuring the army and introducing the ranks in existence today. He also ordered the expansion of pre-existing forts or barracks into Barrack-Forts which would become the ten integral Barrack-Forts which form a part of the Eskanadran military. The Four Courts were also torn down and reconstructed as two separate Twin Courts, The Twin Civil Courts and The Twin Criminal Courts, even though these were later refurbished and improved by Aulus II, the modern building was in fact constructed in Oppius I's time. Throughout the reign of Oppius I who died at eighty three, Eskanadra improved bit by bit, and the reign of Aulus II who died at eighty nine was no different.
Aulus II, keeping with the spirit of progress and enlightenment of the past monarchs, began his reign by pumping an astounding amount of money into the education system, introducing sweeping reforms such as the equality of education for people of all genders, greater scope of education, such as sciences, geography, history, the arts, sports and more, the compulsory education system for all children from the age of five to seventeen, the introduction of many new and higher quality sports training equipment and facilities as well as easier access to higher education once the school years were complete. This huge amount of spending dropped dramatically in Aulus II's later years as the graduates who benefited from his many reforms began giving back by investing in the construction of new schools, IHEL's, equipment and study material amongst many other things. This meant that a lot of the money spent on education began to pile up in the coffers, until it got to a point where there was too much money coming into the treasury. Aulus II decided that what was needed was a majestic new project, a great building which would deal with the problem of the surplus money. After consulting his advisers, they came to the conclusion that due to the enormous academic output all over the nation, there was a realistic fear that a lot of the literary publications may be lost if copies of them were not kept safe. Thus it was decided that a great library should be built, to which copies of books, poems, plays and any kind of document from all over Eskanadra must be sent upon publication, and this came to be known as The Magnificent Library of the Fertile Earth, a place of wisdom and knowledge beyond comprehension. Even with that, Aulus II still had more than enough to restructure The Guardians, building great HQ's for them all over Eskanadra, the largest one being The Crimsamarian Guardian Head Quarters in the capital. The Guardians, with this increased spending and improvement, underwent a series of changes which would transform it into the all encompassing super policing organisation it is now, spending money on the development of a whole new wing to the organisation which would deal in training spies to infiltrate organised criminal organisations and investigate A-Class criminal offences. What's more is that they began running training courses for normal civilians, teaching them how to spot suspicious activity, the most efficient ways to report such activity, as well as certain secret signs one could do using their face, hands or general body language to convey a message to a Guardian in a case where speech is not the best option. With this, the great criminal underground was brought to its knees, thief guilds were uprooted, assassins destroyed and all other such vile groups. To this day however, the prostitute trafficking crime organisation thrives, mainly due to the fact that clients of such people are not actually within the borders of Eskanadra, rather, Eskanadra is a passing point which they use to get the women they kidnap, blackmail or those who willingly submit out of their being no other choice, through to other nations.
Now Basileus Oppius II sits on the throne, and he has done so for a good many years. Like his forefathers, he does not look far beyond his own borders, content in growing and fighting off the odd bandits, rogues, pirates, criminals and raiding the 'wildlands' to keep their inhabitants from posing a threat. He has done much, such as raising the spending on education once more despite the great investment and adding more to the Great Palace, like his father and grandfather before him. However, he was faced with the problem of the booming economy in Eskanadra due to excess surpluses which could not all be exported. This caused the prices of many foodstuff and other items to fall. To combat this, Oppius introduced the minimum price, but whether it was to be a successful policy was never discovered as the Weeping Death was soon upon them. Oppius II's children are utterly different, and it would seem like Oppius II of Eskanadra may well be the last of the anti-expansionist line of rulers who have reigned since Aulus I more than two centuries ago. Despite this, Eskanadra's military is still very active, many skirmishes with the unstable Caliphate have taken place over the years, both by land and sea and this has only made the Eskanadran military more experienced and powerful. Raids on the 'wildlands' between the borders of Eskanadra, Stormbreach and The Confederacy have ensured that the bandits, rebels and other miscreants living there have not gained too much power.
The great plague, known more commonly as the Weeping Death, swept through Eskanadra with a mighty wrath a few years into Oppius II's reign, like the recrudescence of some mighty spirit of that ancient yet terrible War of Dissension, come to bring the death it wrought back then to the peaceful and prosperous people of Eskanadra. The population which was at two million five hundred thousand before the plague and rising, took a mighty beating with more than half the population of Eskanadra falling victim to the strange disease. It did not seem to be caused by excess sewage or unhygienic conditions as Eskanadra is a relatively clean and hygienic nation. The royal family and most urban areas survived the worst of the plague, but the rural areas, especially the great farming estates, lost many lives. The dead were not given time to pile up however, with the Guardians organising a system of cleaning out any houses with dead people, as well as the streets of cities and towns or any roads between them. These dead bodies were buried deep beneath the ground in far off places away from human life, to ensure that no diseases will find themselves through the very earth and to the people who still lived.
With the plague now long over, life has returned to normal, but the consequences were great, the agricultural output and productivity of the nation dropped dramatically, with many estates now largely empty. Oppius II has taken steps to repopulate larger estates with people from smaller ones, leaving the smaller estates largely unfarmed. However, the earth continues to be plowed by soldiers, a new drilling technique which both strengthens and toughens the men while benefiting the nation. Many livestock were also lost in the plague and many fine Eskanadran horses, bulls, dogs, sheep, goats, wolves amongst others were lost. However, the people soldier on, not crippled by this blow to their great nation, sure in the knowledge that no such disaster, no such twist of fate, would bring them to their knees.
Standing army:The largest army Eskanadra can muster at the moment is 86,961 strong, a dramatic fall from their potential before the plague. Due to war losses, the army is at the 36,961 mark. Eskanadra has a wide array of soldiers, special units, siege weapons and an impressive navy, they are bordered with the great ocean after all, having a competent navy is vital. Though it has recently been proven to be far out-dated and work on new ship designs are in progress.
Total of 36,961 [10,386 killed in battle]
Land Soldiers: 30,000
Marines: 1,430 [3,330 killed in battle]
Rowers: 4,766 [6,736 killed in battle]
Sailors: 420 [565 killed in battle]
Relatively normal soldiers which Eskanadra can raise are things such as Knight Infantry, heavily armed men in armour. These can wield anything from a mace to a great sword to a poleaxe. The preferred combination of most of these men tends to be poleaxe and either a mace or a morning star. These are the back-bone of any Eskanadran army.
Another relatively common soldier raised in Eskanadra is the medium infantry, while light infantry tend to be longbow men. Medium infantry, unlike the well-armoured heavy infantry, usually wear padded leather armour supported by a layer or two of metal for protection. It is very light and allows them to move relatively fast, not that the heavy infantry have too much difficulty moving. These are usually armed with pikes and then swords for combat.
Heavy Knights, light cavalry as well as scouts and horseback archers are also units available to Eskanadra. The heavy knights are usually armed with great lances to charge enemies with, before getting out swords, maces, axes, flails, horseman's picks and other such weapons for close combat. Light cavalry, like the medium infantry, are armoured with heavily padded leather jackets with a few layers of metal, though better reinforced than that of the medium infantry. They wield lances for charging and the vast majority of them use swords for the melee. Horseback archers are extremely skilled riders who can use a bow while on horseback. A good general can use these riders to devastating effect. They are generally armoured with a leather jacket, and while they can hold their own in a melee, fighting with their swords, they are best kept out of heavy fighting for extended periods of time. Scouts usually wear nothing but their gambeson and and are designed for speed. Not suitable for fighting. Note that all the aforementioned soldiers have gambesons and chainmail under their respective pieces of armour, and they all have helmets and shields where applicable.
Warhounds and wolves are a special unit of Eskanadra, though other forest-based or icy nations are likely to have these two. These dogs are reared by hunters from an early age, brought up to attack those they are commanded to. They are walls of muscle who can bring down horses and men, and even if armoured, the force of impact alone can bring heavy infantry crashing to the ground. The bite power of both warhounds and wolves is terrifying, though wolf bites are by far the more powerful and dangerous, easily able to crunch through bones and even lighter armour.
Over the years, monarchs have introduced the bull as a steed for war due to the great number of the lumbering, muscled behemoths all over the Eskanadra. Many bulls can be as big if not bigger than stallions, and with their horns and power, they are more adapted for combat. Armoured Bull Cataphracts have become the elite cavalry unit of Eskanadra, bulls in scale mail armour ridden by heavily armoured knights. These are tremendously powerful things, able to charge in and do great damage. They should rightfully be feared. The weapons these men wield tend to be things like axes, maces, morning stars, flails, war-hammers, horseman's picks and other such heavy weapons. They, unlike heavy and light cavalry, do not charge in with lances, instead, the bulls horns do the damage while the rider cleaves right in.
Eskanadra does have particularly good understanding of siege weaponry, able to make use of good old fashioned battering rams and catapults, as well as things like trebuchets, heavy onagers and siege towers, however, it's not like Eskanadra will be marching on other nations anytime soon, so such things are not necessary and their construction has been discontinued until such a time when they are needed. That is not to say, of course, that there is not a substantial number of siege weapons at the ready. While education is extremely advanced, Eskanadra has yet to begin making use of gun powder, and things such as canons, howitzers, arquebus's, muskets and hand guns are foreign to the Eskanadran military. The Eskanadran navy is rather large, and the quality and size of the ships is excellent, composed of many types of ships like Bireme's, Hemiola's, Trireme's, Quinqueremes, Hexeres, Hepteres, Octeres and Deceres. While these range from fantastic scouting ships to formidable dreadnoughts of the sea, Eskanadra is very lacking in oar-less ships as well as ones which uses canons and gunpowder such as caravels, carracks, galleons, frigates and ships of the line/man-o-wars. Marines are trained in the barracks alongside normal soldiers while sailors and rowers are trained separately on real ships in the rivers and later in the sea.
32 Ships in total (26 sunk in battle)
Ship size reference
24 metre length x 2.7 metre beam. Incorporated into Eskanadran navy both as scout and for light hit-and-run tactics. 108 rowers, 11 sailors, 30 marines. Speed of 20 kph (knots per hour) with oars or 18 kph sail. Max cargo of 4 tons.
- 9 Biremes [6 sunk in battle] (aka Liburnian):
33 metre length x 3.6 metre beam. Has a broad bottom with a shallow draft. Biremes are propelled by two banks of oars and virtually skim over the seas. The bow has a portion that protrudes out at water level. This configuration is intended for ramming and piercing the enemy ships hull. A bireme is outclassed in combat by a trireme's speed and weight but its combat power should not be underestimated. 144 rowers, 15 sailors, 40 marines. Speed of 20 kph oars or 18 kph sail. Max cargo of 5 tons.
-5 Triremes [5 sunk in battle]:
38 metres length x 3 metre beam. A powerful warship propelled by three banks of oars and a sail. It can ram opposing ships and launch boarding actions. Skilled oarsmen are needed but then this gives the ship tremendous power in a 'sprint' at ramming speed. The trireme is its own main weapon, as it carries an iron-tipped ram on the bow at the waterline. Once an enemy ship has been rammed or has its oars smashed, the crew withdraws to seek another target. The Trireme is the work horse of the Eskanadran navy. 150 rowers, 16 sailors and 60 marines. Speed of 20 kph with either oars or sail. Max cargo of 6 tons.
-0 Quinqueremes [5 sunk in battle]:
37 metre length x 5 metre beam. A powerful but lumbering warship intended for fleet actions. Its mass makes it hard to sink. Quinqueremes also carry a detachment of marines and some shipboard artillery as means of attack. Some Quinqueremes have corvus's on them as a means of turning sea battles into land battles, and allowing the infantry to become decisive in sea battles. A corvus is an iron 'beak' on a hinged walkway which is designed to smash down into enemy decking, thus doing two jobs in one: making a bridge for the marines to cross, and locking the two ships together so that the battle has to be fought on the Quinquereme captain's terms. 280 rowers, 30 sailors, 160 marines. Speed of 22 kph oars or 20 kph sail. Max cargo of 7 tons.
-1 Hexere [4 sunk in battle]:
41 metre length x 8.5 metre beam. Hexere are large enough to carry towers with artillary. Huge, heavy warships which also have rams. 300 rowers, 20 sailors, 120 marines. Speed of 24 kph oars or 20 kph sail. Max cargo of 7 tons.
-1 Hepteres [3 sunk in battle]:
42 metre length x 8.5 metre beam. Huge warships which carry ballistae and can also ram. 350 rowers, 20 sailors, 200 marines. Speed of 25 kph oars or 22 kph sail. Max cargo of 8 tons.
-1 Octere [2 lost in battle]:
43 metre length x 8.5 metre beam. Huge warships which carry more towers with artillery and can also ram. 450 rowers, 25 sailors, 220 marines. Speed of 25 kph oars or 22 kph sail. Max cargo of 8 tons.
-0 Deceres [1 lost in battle]:
46 metre length x 8.5 metre beam. A terrifying dreadnought of a ship. In size, number of men and fighting potential this monster dwarfs all other Eskanadran vessels. Deceres are among the largest ships afloat with their combat power being formidable. Apart from a couple of fighting towers with artillery, a Decere also carries onagers and ballistae to bombard enemies, plus a large contingent of marines for boarding and defence. At least one ballista is also set up to fire a harpoon-like grappling hook - called a harpago - at enemy vessels so that they can be dragged alongside and destroyed. As a tactic the harpago has much to recommend it over the grappling 'corvus' of smaller ships because it allows enemies to be snagged at greater range. Eskanadra has only one of these mighty ships, and it is the flag ship, commandeered by none other than the Grand Admiral - or Strategos - of Eskanadra. 572 rowers, 30 sailors, 250 marines. Speed of 26 kph oars or 24 kph sail. Max cargo of 8 tons.
- Transport Ships:
50 metre length x 12 metre beam. Deep draft. Gigantic ships, even bigger than deceres which are largely used as transports and merchant vessels. They are generally not used by the military and are hired out instead. 1000 rowers, 400 soldiers, 60 sailors. Speed 22 kph oars or sail. Max cargo of 70 tons.
Marines are trained on land along with other elite Eskanadran soldiers for the first half of their time in training, the other half is spent adapting the land combat tactics to combat on ships. Drills are done on ships as well as sparring amongst other things. Swimming is also something they focus on a great deal and marines would usually be found to be outstanding swimmers, though the weight of their armour does mean that if they do fall overboard, the chances of them surviving are very slim, especially in a battle. They have shorter swords than those of their Knight Infantry counterparts for the crowded combat conditions on ships. They, like the Knights, are armoured from head to foot, though the helmets can vary from those with a visor to those without. Those without tend to be the more popular. Under their plate armour they wear chainmail, under that comes a gambeson and there is a tunic below that. They also wield shields and have an array of throwing knives at their belts.
Sailors tend to spend their training aboard a ship, from the moment they board a ship, they don't get off until their training is complete, spending years. This means that walking around and going about their duties on a ship become second nature to them. They are also trained in the use of bows and the artillery on ships. during battle most sailors would be firing off flaming arrows, others would be manning the artillery while the rest would be looking out for the sails and putting out any fires.
Rowers are the most numerous members of the crew, outnumbering both the sailors and marines. Like the sailors, they spend the entirety of their training aboard a ship. They are trained on how to row, how to respond to commands to turn, to stop, to pull the oars in, how to prepare for ramming amongst other things. Most of the training comprises them improving their rowing ability, and by the end of it most rowers have upper bodies which would shame the greatest of marines. Anyone hoping to take an Eskanadran vessel would have these hulking muscle clad men to deal with. A punch from a rower in the right place can cause immediate death. Pirates who have succeeded in capturing an Eskanadran ship in the fast have either sunk it with the rowers or have been completely overwhelmed by the angry men who stormed out from below deck.
Eskanadran Land Army:
Total Land Army: 30,000
Usually wear nothing but their gambeson and and are designed for speed. Not suitable for battlefield fighting but are armed with throwing knives and axes as well as a cavalry sword to cut down any enemies who happen to block the road.
-3000 Light Infantry/Longbowmen:
Generally armoured with a leather jacket-like gambeson and have short swords for melee, though they cannot hold against more well armoured infantry or cavalry charges.
-3000 Horseback Archers:
Extremely skilled riders who can use a bow while on horseback. A good general can use these riders to devastating effect. Are generally armoured with a leather jacket-like gambeson reinforced with a thin layer of metal, and while they can hold their own in a melee, fighting with their swords; they are best kept out of heavy fighting for extended periods of time. They also wear simple cone helmets.
-6000 Medium Infantry:
Usually wear spectacle or nasal helmets and padded leather armour supported by a layer or two of metal for protection with chainmail and a gambeson beneath. It is very light and allows them to move relatively fast. Usually armed with pikes and swords for close combat as well as large shields.
-3000 Light Cavalry:
Like the medium infantry, are armoured with heavily padded leather jackets with a few layers of metal, though better reinforced than that of the medium infantry as well as their chainmail and gambesons. They wield lances for charging and the vast majority of them use swords for the melee and have spectacle or nasal helmets as well as round shields.
-4000 Warhounds and Wolves:
Are reared by hunters from an early age, brought up to attack those they are commanded to. They are terrifying walls of muscle, able to bring down horses and men, and even if armoured, the force of impact alone can bring heavy infantry crashing to the ground. The bite power of both warhounds and wolves is terrifying, though wolf bites are by far the more powerful and dangerous, easily able to crunch through bones and even lighter armour. Men and horses usually flee in the face of these beasts rather than face them, which is another of their strengths. To ensure that they are more of a threat and survive battles many are now armoured with light scale-mail and helmets.
-5000 Knight Infantry:
Heavily armed men in plate armour. Can wield anything from a mace to a great sword to a poleaxe. Preferred combination tends to be poleaxe and either a mace or a morning star. The back-bone of any Eskanadran army.
-2500 Heavy Knights:
Usually armed with great lances to charge into enemies, before getting out swords, maces, axes and other such weapons for close combat.
-3000 Armoured Bull Cataphracts:
Elite cavalry unit of Eskanadra, bulls in scale mail armour ridden by heavily armoured knights. Tremendously powerful, able to charge in and do great damage. Weapons the bull riders wield tend to be things like axes, maces, morning stars, flails, war-hammers, horseman's picks and other such heavy weapons. Unlike heavy and light cavalry, do not charge in with lances, instead, the bulls horns do the damage while the rider cleaves right in.
The army of Eskanadra is split into 5 Legions, each Legion is made up of four Companies, and each Company can be made up of anything from 1,500 soldiers and up. At the moment, as there is a standing army of 30,000, each Company is made of up of 1,500 soldiers, divided as follows:
-25 Scouts (100 in a Legion)
-150 Light Infantry (600 in a Legion)
-150 Horse Archers (600 in a Legion)
-300 Medium Infantry (1200 in a Legion)
-150 Light Cavalry (600 in a Legion)
-200 Warhounds/wolves (800 in a Legion)
-250 Knight Infantry (1000 in a Legion)
-125 Heavy Knights (500 in a Legion)
-150 Armoured Bull Cataphracts (600 in a Legion)
Each Legion is under the command of an Imbratorus of the Legion and each Imbratorus is under direct command of the Imperator, who can assign an Imbratorus to a Legion and dismiss them. He can also nullify any orders given by an Imbratorus, promote whoever he wants to whatever position he sees fit and so on. He has complete control over the land army.
Along with being split into four Companies, each Legion is split in to two groups, and each of these groups is made up of two Companies. Every group is assigned to one of the ten Barrack-Forts of Eskanadra, which are the ten largest and most well-fortified Barracks in the land, the largest one being The Iron Fort. Each Barrack-Fort is governed by a Polemarchos Maxima, who has power over the two Companies in his Fort and relays commands to them as well as personally giving them commands when needed.
Each Company is under the command of a Polemarchos, who has to report to the Polemarchos Maxima of his Barrack-Fort.
Each Company can also be split into Squads of varying numbers, with a Tagmatarches leading them, the Tagmatarches reports to the Centurio, who reports to the Polemarchos. Tagmatarches are not always in a Company, as it all depends on whether the Polemarchos of the Company has assigned any or not.
Imperator - Has control over all the Five Legions of Eskanadra, and all Imbratorus’ must report to him and obey his commands.
Taxiarchos - This is the Imperators advisor and vice, who can help relieve him of the pressure, and take his place should he be injured or die (until the Basileus assigns a new Imperator.) The Taxiarchos is assigned by the Imperator, with no interference from the Basileus.
Imbratorus of the Legion - A man who has made it up through the ranks and now commands his own Legion. He has the power to promote anyone in his Legion, dismiss anyone, punish them and so on. He is the supreme commander of his Legion and obeys only the Imperator and any other more senior officials. The only power in the military above the Imbratorus is the Imperator, while the Taxiarchos is only above the Imbratorus when he is acting as Imperator.
Centurio of the Legion - This Is the Imbratorus’ vice, and can take the place of the Imbratorus should he die or become injured. He also acts as advisor to the Imbratorus, helping relieve him of the pressure of leadership.
Polemarchos Maxima – A man assigned to govern one of the ten Barrack-Forts of Eskanadra, which is seen as a great honour and a heavy burden. The Polemarchos Maxima has power over everyone in his Barrack-Fort, such as the Fort Guard – the people from the local area who work at the Barrack-Fort and protect it if it should ever come under attack when a Company is not present - and the two Companies assigned to the Barrack-Fort. He can send relay commands to both Companies and even personally given them commands when necessary.
Centurio Maxima- The equivalent of the Centurio but for the Polemarchos Maxima, he does most of the paperwork such as reports for the small assignments or minor incidents in the fort etc.
Polemarchos - An individual who has control over one Company in a Legion, usually promoted to the rank of Polemarchos for showing acts of valour in the field, and good leadership when given the opportunity. The Polemarchos must report to the Polemarchos Maxima of his Barrack-Fort or face dismissal from his position, imprisonment or death.
Centurio - Has the power to take the Polemarchos’ place should he die or get injured, he is a second Polemarchos in a way, answering only to the Polemarchos of his Company.
Tagmatarches - Commands over a Squad in a Company.
First Legion of Eskanadra - Led by Imbratorus Gratius Eskandar
Companies Stationed at Barrack of the Great and Mighty of Eskandar:
First Company of the First Legion - Led by Polemarchos Gridel Altimus
Second Company of the First Legion - Led by Polemarchos Jesder Cleolii
Companies Stationed at the August Barrack-Fort of Irenor:
Third Company of the First Legion - Led by Polemarchos Deruz Braxus
Fourth Company of the First Legion – Led by Polemarchos Sazuk Phosuz
Second Legion of Eskanadra - Led by Imbratorus Hermanus Eskandar
Companies Stationed at Exalted Barrack-Fort of Tarsusin:
First Company of the Second Legion - Led by Polemarchos Octavius Eskandar
Second Company of the Second Legion - Led by Polemarchos Dahud Decius
Companies Stationed at The Iron Fort (Located at the Eskanadro-Caliphate border):
Third Company of the Second Legion - Led by Polemarchos Annius Eskandar
Fourth Company of the Second Legion – Led by Polemarchos Gerul Defines
Third Legion of Eskanadra - Led by Imbratorus Sentius Eskandar
Companies Stationed at Long Leaf Fort (Located at the South Western coast of Eskanadra):
First Company of the Third Legion - Led by Polemarchos Zeusra Neorades
Second Company of the Third Legion - Led by Polemarchos Rinnius Felovus
Companies Stationed at The Montasaar Barrack-Fort (Located at the Eskanadra-Imryk Border):
Third Company of the Third Legion - Led by Polemarchos Bezarus Eskaster
Fourth Company of the Third Legion – Led by Polemarchos Regus Qayzar
Fourth Legion of Eskanadra - Led by Imbratorus Galerius Eskandar
Companies Stationed at One Rock Fort (Located on a cliff on the South Eastern Coast of Eskanadra):
First Company of the Fourth Legion - Led by Polemarchos Arrius Eskandar
Second Company of the Fourth Legion - Led by Polemarchos Tubullus Veranday
Companies Stationed at Deepwood Fort (Located in the Eastern Forest in the North East of Eskanadra):
Third Company of the Fourth Legion - Led by Polemarchos Salvius Eskandar
Fourth Company of the Fourth Legion – Led by Polemarchos Vibius Eskandar
Fifth Legion of Eskanadra - Led by Imbratorus Herodotus Eskandar
Companies Stationed at Mount-Gate Fort (Located at the river on the Northern Eskanadro-Confederacy Border):
First Company of the Fifth Legion - Led by Polemarchos Hortensius Eskandar
Second Company of the Fifth Legion - Led by Polemarchos Theodosius Lasillus
Companies Stationed at River Fort (Located North East of the centre of Eskanadra):
Third Company of the Fifth Legion - Led by Polemarchos Leonidas Spartacus
Fourth Company of the Fifth Legion – Led by Polemarchos Constantis Emperero
Strengths and Weaknesses:
-Agriculturally self sufficient
-Uses a system of enclosure and estate farming
-Professional military and navy
-Efficient policing and legal system
-Heavily loyal population due to the feeling that the monarch cares and attempts to improve life
-Advanced education system
-High quality livestock production and rearing of war animals
-Small but growing pirate presence - kept at bay by the navy
-Does not use gun powder and thus is extremely vulnerable against more advanced nations
-Does not use magic and thus is extremely vulnerable against magical nations and beings
-Is not technologically advanced
-Cannot access reliable supply of metal within Eskanadra
-Very expensive army and navy upkeep
-Relatively small military
-Suffers from the presence of a malicious and cunning criminal underground, mainly in the business of prostitute trafficking
-Navy is rather backward
-Army and navy are led by Royals, making it very difficult for talented non-Royals to rise in the military
-Population is nearly 100% human, meaning that contact with other intelligent species is limited
-Being a monarchy, the nation is not run as efficiently as it could be and corruption in the royal house is more apparent, though not enough for the Basileus to notice
-Relatively small expansionist ambitions, meaning that Eskanadra will continue to suffer from weaknesses such as the metal, technology, magic and other problems