I have been doing some initial contemplation over what a prospective expansion of the Republic may look like. Given that Aurelia is rather devoid of nations, it may be prudent to become the 'big' nation. None of this is set in stone but it would occur in two parts over the next year. The map below is for discussion purposes only.
Part 1: The area between the current red border and everything within the expanded yellow line would occur during the course of the next six months. It is within this area that involves 'Enolia,' a people the Republic attempted to conquer, only be to defeated horribly in what ultimately became a war of attrition. Tensions will rise with Enolia along the eastern borders and this only one element of the political game that will be occurring. As many of you have seen, there is a hidden war between ambitious senators over replacing Terix, the current Praetor. Whoever succeeds him may use the tensions with Enolia to bolster their political fortunes, and secure more support by promising the wealth of the land in exchange for funding the war which they, the Republic would win. As you can see, this land would also look to be heavily fertile, making the Republic perhaps one of the most extensive food exporters. This yellow-area expansion would also unlock new mineral resources to further accelerate industrialization and additional ore exports to more industrial-heavy states. I would be kinda be treating this expansion in the same way as the Roman Republic expanded into Spain or Asia. I am also contemplating a situation where the Praetor who led this war may inevitably be removed by a more 'consensus' individual in due time because they are discovered doing some less than 'honorable' things. This could also be an opportunity to provide the region with a Tiberius/Gaius Gracchus moment of very, very influential commoner magistrates demanding more from the far more powerful Senate.
Part 2: The area between the current red border on the north and all the land within the teal line (including an unseen section at the top of the forked rivers) this would happen at towards the end of next year. It is my current inclination for a different individual or perhaps even a yet-to-be-created Senate faction will convince enough members in the chamber to emancipate all the remaining Zelvorians [who make up the largest contingent of remaining slaves], and give them an opportunity to resettle, abet far from the center of the Republic, to the more less agricultural nice and far more mountainous north. They would be given some level of political autonomy as a client state, though they would still be dominated by the Rihannsu. Again, this would allow the Republic to triple, if not quadruple mining potential, giving the state a massive cash cow.
Some of you are probably asking why I am not looking instead to the west of the Republic? There are two reasons: firstly, based on what I've read of Kipan's factbook, I have the inclination to believe that his former Imperial colonies are probably over there and I foresee him as a long-term trading partner and would prefer to have a friendly relationship rather than a potential rival. Secondly, Asgeirria and the Republic have a mutual understanding concerning the Aurelian continent that seems to have an interest in the western coastline.
This is just the beginning of the conversation and I welcome everyone to help me develop/refine/suggest - or even participate to some extent. I firmly believe that this two-part expansion (which would be dubbed the 'Second Expansionst Age') will have profound impacts on Aurelia and the wider global community.