By Tagmatium Rules
It's been an hell of a long time since I RPed an expansion of Tagmatium's borders. Over a decade, in fact. I am going to claim two areas, although I cannot promise that these will be completed any time soon. The first part, the six islands between my nation and Deltannia, will run roughly concurrently with my Spots thread, and will be directly affected by the developments within it. Some of it was initially planned over a year ago, but I never got around to actually doing it.
It will also help me sketch out my personal retcon of the old Long War. As it was, it was became unworkable for me. That conflict defined the middle of the 1900s for Tagmatium and made the country what it is today. As it stood, it was a war against Communism in Ide Jima and involved a half dozen other nations, including Adaptus. But over the years, every other participant has become inactive besides me and it's left me in a bit of a spot – I cannot really flesh out things that involve other nations, due to our recent... unpleasantness with people taking issue with intellectual property. It's much more convenient for me to re-work it as a conflict between Tagmatium and Volsci (and a delightful irony that I'm using that nation as a work around for IP issues). Plus it helps ground the idea that the nations have been rivals for over two thousand years.
The Hexanesa – The Six Islands
These six islands mark the separation of the Ranke and Kosscow Seas from the Sea of Storms, the Occident and Burania, the glorious Aroman Empire and the benighted, uncivilised wastes to the east. Although they were not part of the Aroman Empire in its heyday, the loss of the southern lands of the Occident to the Aroman Empire in the 4th and 5th Centuries, and the fact that it was often a route taken by Buranian raiders and invasions from the Volsci, meant that the Eastern Aroman Empire (the nascent Tagmatium) ended up turning its attention to the islands.
5. Agios Methodianos
The black dots with yellow centres are the administrative capitals and the black dots are major towns. The largest, the capital of the Hexanesa itself, is Gournaion and it is also the capital of Efmoseia.
The islands have a sub-artic climate, although the southern-most island of Skhronos is the warmest. Life on them is marginal at best, as the harsh climate and short growing season means that only the hardiest of crops tend to flourish. They are low and swept by winds blowing from the Argic Circle. The main resources are the pine forests and the herds of caribou that live in them, as well as fish and animals hunted for their fur. There is very little agriculture in this part of the wurld. Hunter-gatherer groups flourished on the islands, before they were caught up in the internecine Aroman-Volsci wars of the last two thousand years. They still do cling on, but their plight has only really been recognised in the latter half of the 20th Century. The settlements that do exist are on the coasts, around natural harbours or clustered around the walls of the numerous fortifications that have sprung up over the years.
The islands are quite geologically active, which does mean that geothermal heating has begun to be exploited, but the fact that they are poor and relatively marginal means that they have not had the level of investment needed to truly profit from it.
Until the 4th Century, the Hexanesa were very rarely touched upon by either of the two largest civilisations that dominate northern Europa – that is Arome and the Volsci. They were at periphery of the conflict and, at best, were merely way stations for raiders going one way or the other. The Buranic Invasions of the 4th Century came that way, and the Volsci encouraged it. At some point, prior to the 5th Century, the people who would become the Akwisians would detach from Deltannia and leap frog down the islands, conquering as they went, until they settled in what is now Akwisia. There, they raided Aroman lands and occasionally meddled in the politics of the Empire.
In order to finally remove the threat of continued invasions from the Six Islands, Aroman forces during the reigns of Demetrios III and Arkadios I (between 630 and 669) conquered the islands, bringing with them the light of Christ and civilisation. They put down the patchwork of chiefdoms and kinglets who ruled the islands and crushed the local polytheistic religions, deriding them as animal-worshippers. The local Christian enclaves were regarded with suspicion, as they had lived in harmony with the pagans. These were uprooted and sent south, to live on the borders at the other end of the empire.
The success of the conquest led to the general Konstantinos Bonakis toppled Arkadios and set himself upon the Leopard Throne in 669.
There the six islands remained as Aroman garrisons on the edge of the empire, holding the barbarians at bay. At times, the Volsci were able to wrest the islands from the control of Arome and at others, they were taken back. Sometimes, they were even ruled as a condominium – the islands were jointly administered with what little tax income from them being split evenly between the otherwise opposed empires.
It wasn't until the dynasty of the Kekaoumenoi (1793-1956) that the islands were finally, permanently in Aroman hands.
In the reign of Khristoforos X (1924-1939) things started to unravel. The Six Islands had been something of a cultural melting pot, despite their marginal nature. They were at the edge of two great nations and the rules of the centre did not hold as much sway. At times, one nation did provoke the other, but usually it was ignored.
But in 1931, Khristoforos allowed himself to be caught out. He was not only provoked by the usual Volsci actions, but escalated and drove the Volsci locals out. This wasn't using the garrison but by whipping up nationalistic and religious hatred of the local population and it ended in a bloody pogrom. This was met by outrage from the Volsci and the situation deteriorated further, until the summer of 1932 when an Aroman minesweeper was sunk by a Volsci destroyer.
The Long War started and did not finish for a generation.
A long story short, the general Leon Theonikos overthrew Konstantinos VIII, Khristoforos' brother and murderer, during a military parade. Tanks opened up with their coaxial and hull machine guns on the imperial grandstand. Although on paper Tagmatium had won, the garrison was withdrawn from the Six Islands. Elements who had made their home there and shed their blood there during the Long War revolted and the withdrawal became a rout.
Since then, they had remained a sore point between the Tagmatines and the Volsci, as an independent realm between them but not under the control of either. The Navarkhokrateia was much more friendly to them than the regimes before and after, and they even cooperated to crush a Communist uprising in Akwisia. The main sticking point, however, was the fate of the garrison who had remained. Even Theodosios VI refused any talks of reunification unless the erstwhile garrison was tried for desertion and murder.
Now, between the Great Europan Collapse, a resurgent Tagmatium, a predatory Machina @Haruspex and a brooding Volsci, the Six Islands are unsure where their future lies.
Government and Politics
The islands are one nation and as a republic, governed by a Great Judge (Megas Krites) elected every six years to act as the head of state for the islands, and as chairperson for the council that rules them. Each of the island forms a Judgedom (Kritakrateia) headed by a Judge (Krites), who sit on the council headed by the Megas Krites. These combine both the executive and judiciary for each island, and are a form of emergency rule that has solidified into the permanent government.
These are the remains of island's civil government before the Aroman armed forces pulled out in the aftermath of the the Long War against the Volsci Republic. They were ruled as military governorships with a civilian administration, and it is the latter that survived the pull out and brief conflict in 1956. They are still organised along the old Aroman lines, although they have seen some localised changes since then.
Most of these changes came from the islanders having to pick up the pieces of a broken government with little support from a parent nation that was indifferent or even hostile to them. The judiciary was forced to take up the role of both the executive and legislative to enable the islands to function as an independent nation when that status was forced on them.
The main sticking point in relations between Tagmatium and the Hexanesa the past has been the fate of the soldiers who stayed behind after the Long War. Due to the chaotic manner in which the Aroman forces pulled out and the fact that roughly a quarter of them wanted to remain, they have often been charged as deserters and even murderers, as there were some brief gun battles as the Vigla, the military police, as they attempted to arrest those who stayed. These charges remain on the books of Tagmatium and are against people considered by the Hexanesanoi as heroes and founders of their nation.
They are majority Aroman Christian, and some holding polytheistic beliefs from before the southerners started to meddle. Due to the pogroms under Khristoforos mean that there are very few adherents to the Volsci ways left in the Hexanesa left and they are mainly recent immigrants or foreigners resident in the islands.
To further muddy the waters, the hierarchy of the church should be appointed by Aroman emperor but due to the rift, this has not happened. They have been making their own appointments, and the Aroman Church has been making parallel appointments to those positions. They are grouped as a diocese of the Patriarchate of Trapizon and, oddly, still consider themselves as such. There have been moves to break away but this is currently considered a step too far. These will be major issues that need to be resolved, both for Tagmatium and the Hexanesa before relations are healed.
At the last census taken by the government of the Hexanesa in 2018, there were 216,510 people living on this islands. They are mainly on the islands of Efmoseia and Polyagios, the two largest. These have 80,000 and 65,000 respectively. Skhronos has a population of 30,000 and Kouttasios 22,000. The islands of Arhos has about 13,000 and the smallest island, Agios Methodianos, has just 5000 on it.
The military of the Hexanesa is small and rather underfunded. It consists of two parts, a combined green-water navy and coast guard called the Stolos (literally "Fleet") and a small ground defence force that runs a treble duty of a gendarmerie and civil police, the Taxiotai. Much of their equipment is locally-produced copies of what their grandparents used during the Long War. The air force is non-existent as a separate arm but both branches maintain aircraft as support elements - mainly in recce and observation roles.
This represents an almost complete pull out of the Aroman military and the police merging with the deserters and being forced to fulfil the roles of a border guard, defence force and civil police.
However, it's unlikely there will be any conflict. If nothing else, the islanders understand that there would be little to stop the Tagmatine armed forces rolling over them, as modern equipment and huge numbers would brush any resistance aside.
But, on the other hand, Tagmatium doesn't want to have a military conflict, as that would look bad internationally and ruin any chances for a peaceful re-integration of the Hexanesa into the Greater Holy Empire.
The islands are not rich.
In the past, they had been used as whaling stations, although that was destroyed by over-exploitation long before the industry itself was made redundant by technological developments.
Now, they mainly rely on a combination of fishing, logging and sheep rearing, with some exploitation of the mineral wealth of the island but this is purely for local needs. There is a tourism industry, with visitors coming to see the scenic landscape of the islands but it is hampered by the generally poor state of northern Europa.
The reason Tagmatium wants these islands is twofold. The first is simple revanchism - the islands are a breakaway province and the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion wants to return them to the fold. They still regard the inhabitants as Arhomaiki citizens and it it is felt that the Hexanesa would do better under Tagmatine rule.
The second is their strategic location. The islands command the entrance into the Ranke and Kosscow Seas. With them once again part of Arome, Tagmatika would virtually control all the sea access into central Europa.
There are other schemes, too. Setting up geothermal and wave power stations to take advantage of the conditions of the islands would also help to continue to wean Tagmatium off of fossil fuels. These would also help investment into the islands and hopefully increase the standard of living, showing the benefits of staying as part of the Aroman Empire.
Comments and queries welcome!
Obviously, this will be RPed.
Used to be my application for expansion. Now I mostly just use this post to record important details about Giokto that I might need to recall later on.
Ancient History and Formation
The earliest ancestors of the Giokton people are known to have lived along the southern coast of the Ketek (Cashari) Peninsula, eventually migrating south to a mountainous, resource-rich island now known as Giokto. Despite being located far from the center of the ancient Huang civilization, the Giokton people have always maintained close contact with the far-western reaches of Huang territory.
As opposed to the many Huang states in Alharu that had organized governments and went to war against each other, the Giokton people slowly developed peaceful city-states that were mostly focused on self-sufficiency and developing the economy. Initially inhabited by only a small group of people, the Giokton city-states made little contact even with each other.
Rise of Giokto (c. 500 BCE – c. 400 CE)
Between 500 and 300 BCE, during the rule of the Geng 庚 Dynasty, waves of people migrated to the emerging island. To this day, historians continue to debate on the exact cause of this migration; however, the general consensus is that it was simply brought about as trade between the Giokton-city states and the Geng Dynasty prospered, promising new economic opportunities for those living on the island. Giokto's unique geography as a small, mountainous island allowed for a diverse climate and fertile land that could support both lowland and highland agricultural/livestock products, as well as vast mineral deposits and rivers flowing from the mountains.
Feuding Kingdoms Period (c. 400 CE – 1590's)
Over time, the Giokton city-states expanded rapidly, forming alliances, merging and breaking off. As city-states grew in size, they became monarchies, adopting government systems similar to those of the Huang states especially during the Yue 月 Dynasty. Alas, Giokto was left with 12 kingdoms covering nearly the entire island; no sizable portion of land left unclaimed. Eventually, two de-facto alliances were formed out of the 12 kingdoms—the Northern (北 Pak) and Southern (南 Lâm) alliances, with 5 and 7 kingdoms, respectively. Relations between the two sides quickly soured, leading to frequent battles and skirmishes between the "Bordering Kingdoms" in the interior of the island and supported by their coastal allies. Later on, the South was able to establish friendly relations with the then-kingdom of Andalla, which would also send military support in battles. The two sides were mostly balanced in power, resulting in a bloody stalemate that lasted over a thousand years.
Giokton Peace (1590's – 1872)
At the turn of the 16th century, hostilities began to subside; both sides reluctant to continue losing men and resources in a centuries-long conflict that yielded no positive outcomes. During this time, trade and communication opened between the North and South. This era was known as the "Giokton Peace", an unprecedented 280-year period of relatively little military conflict. However, political rivalry continued to run through the kingdoms; several attempts were made by both sides to unite the island, both peacefully and through force. The Giokton Peace also saw multiple changes in government, with several kingdoms on both sides adopting a constitutional monarchy system where the monarch held little to no power.
Though the two alliances were de facto at peace at this time, the Bordering Kingdoms adopted an aggressive defense policy characterized by two main principles: (a) attack if attacked, and (b) mirror the enemy's military strength as closely as possible. As the Andallan economy prospered during the mid-1700's, so did trade between Andalla and the South. Furthermore, a notable event during this period was when insular @Selayar fell to the North's sphere of influence after a series of economic agreements and the establishing of trading ports on the island. This resulted in a fierce arms race during the early 1800's, as the Northern kingdoms channeled more resources into their armies in their attempt to mirror the South's economic prosperity. Tensions between the two sides rose dramatically during this period, bringing people to realize that there was no official document or treaty protecting the cherished peace that had been in effect for nearly three centuries.
The Giokton Revival (early 1800's – 1872)
Rising tensions between the North and South during this time became the primary driving force behind the Revival—a period of great cultural development in all fields, spurred by scholars in arts, sciences and literature who called for the unification of the Giokton people. During this period, the island enjoyed a massive growth in public appreciation for ancient Giokton arts, as well as the desire for cultural development in the present age. Similar to the Europan Renaissance, the Revival was characterized by the rapid growth of education and knowledge, made accessible to even the lower classes of society.
Though the Revival created a huge impact on Giokton society, it backfired on its initial goal to unite the kingdoms. Instead, the rise of education and a newfound public knowledge became a medium for governments to indoctrinate citizens with their political theories and beliefs. This, combined with the ever-growing power of the military and augmented by the increase of intelligence during the Revival, once again resumed the arms race that had seemingly went silent for several decades.
The Great Giokton War (1872 – 1880)
A series of events and territorial disputes during the late 1860's and early 1870's finally escalated into what would become the new "Revival"—the revival of the Feuding Kingdoms period. Armies of all 12 kingdoms, plus the South supported by Andalla, were rallied once more to fight against each other in 1872. The North, assuming a strong offensive stance, quickly overpowered the borderlands and began a brutal advance against the South. At the same time, a detachment of naval forces from the South successfully cut off trade between the North and its Selayari ports, eventually gaining control over the ports as well after a months-long campaign against the surrounded Giokton garrisons there.
On the mainland, however, Southern soldiers—demoralized by the failure of the Revival—were unable to defend effectively against the lightning-speed advances of the North. Over the course of several months, public belief shifted to "when", not "if" the North would win the war. After 6 long years of desperate on-and-off fighting, the remaining four Southern kingdoms announced surrender on the condition that (a) Andalla—not the North—would assume control over the Selayari trading ports, (b) all Southern soldiers would be granted amnesty, (c) the new government would agree to preserve the collective cultural identity of Giokto, and (d) the current Southern governments would be permanently exiled to Andalla. The treaty, signed on December 2, 1880 in Bogd Gioro, @Fulgistan, effectively ended 8 years of the Great Giokton War.
A Unified Giokto (1880 – 1922)
Of the 12 initial Giokton kingdoms, only five from the North were left after the defeat of the seven-kingdom Southern Alliance. The North, thus doubling its territory, divided the South into seven autonomous provinces equivalent to the seven kingdoms, all under a provisional government that was to be ruled by a council of the five Northern kingdoms. As peace returned to the land, Giokton society slowly experienced a second Revival. The second Revival, known as the Intellectual Revolution, was marked by extensive development in political and social sciences, and the revival of ancient Huang philosophy. In a political sense, the primary objective of the Intellectual Revolution was to provide a way for the North to exercise effective government of the island, as well as to prepare the way for an eventual reunification of the entire Giokto as one single nation in what would become the first documented full unification in Giokton history.
Giokto enjoyed a relatively peaceful unification on August 8, 1896; the signing of the new constitution having been attended by the reigning King of Andalla, Christian IV.
(Wholesome side-note: Andalla would peacefully switch from a constitutional monarchy to a presidential republic two years later in 1898, the transition being led by none other than Christian IV himself who, in his 1928 autobiography, said the Giokton unification was a "great encouragement" during that time. Though willing to abdicate and step down in favor of the first Andallan president, growing calls from the supportive public prompted the now-commoner Christian Haraldsen to run for the Presidency—he was elected by popular vote that same year as the first President of Andalla, serving one term from 1898 to 1904.)
For a few years, Giokto continued to experience social development and mild economic growth. Soon, however, the many disastrous effects of governing the war-torn island were realized. Aside from a general shortage of food and resources in many rural areas, the new government was highly flawed and plagued by a plethora of issues relating to public support and administration.
During this time, the government styled itself as the Union of Giokton States. At the operational level, the Union functioned as confederation of the five Northern kingdoms—all under their own respective governments—as well as the Provisional Government (臨時政府), which encompassed the seven Southern kingdoms that were now provinces.
During this time, the parliamentary government styled itself as the Union of the States of Giokto. Executive power was vested in the Prime Minister, both the Head of State and the Head of Government, who was elected to five-year terms by a bicameral Parliament—the members of which were in turn either appointed, elected by the people or both, depending on the administration. The “rules” of government were changed often, owing to the flawed nature of the Giokton parliamentary system. The parliament was split into numerous factions, all advocating different goals and styles of government. Most notable during this time was the Royalist Movement, a large coalition of parties led by some former monarchs and their allies who had lost power due to the change in government. Other groups were also popular during this time, ranging all across the political spectrum and supporting certain specific actions—land reform, tax reform, closed-door policy, foreign investment, restoring the constitutional monarchy, Republicanism, Nationalism and Ultra-Nationalism, among others.
The intense political divide led to a gradual decay of the Giokton government, which was slowly overrun by far-right groups during the 1910’s.
A second war broke out in November 1941 when the Giokton submarine C-23 sunk the SS Teuvo Anttonen, an Andallan troop transport ferrying soldiers to Giokto. The ship sunk with the loss of 1,452 lives, and the beginning of a war that would last 6 long years, span 3 continents and cost millions of lives. The war saw three major alliances: the Andallans and their allies, Giokto and Selayar, and the Sunset Sea Islands and allied separatist groups. Meanwhile, the main battleground was the island of Giokto itself. The Andallan military, secretly assisted by underground Giokton rebels, led the assault on Giokton and Selayari forces on the island. Battles raged on, on land, sea and air. Both sides fought to the teeth with all their might; the far larger Andallan military equally-matched with the Giokton's advanced technology and knowledge of the topograhy.
And now, as other countries get involved, I no longer know what happens. The Sunset Sea Islands looks on as Andallan and Giokton forces slowly deteriorate from battle, then takes its chance. Suddenly, both Andallans and Gioktons see lightning-speed assaults on their shores and, being unable to defend as their troops were on the front lines, had large parts of their territories taken away by the Sunset Sea Islandian empire. The war between Andalla and Giokto turns into a three-way war, with the Sunset Sea Islands (Err, everyone's enemy) and Andalla's allies entering the scene.
The Giokton military was forced to surrender in 1947, granting Andalla the control over Giokto. Throughout the 1950s, the new government began extensive projects to rebuild and modernize the island, and by the 1970s, Giokto became an important financial center. Today, Giokto is highly-developed; it is evident in the bustling skyscrapers of Giokto's cities.
I'd like to expand into the former territory of Beautancus. He left around the same time as I did, and to my knowledge is not active within the region or even a nation on NS any longer. I have considerable history however with that area from previous role-plays in the archive and so forth.
I will begin a role-play concerning it as well leading up to it, from the current diplomatic thread here: