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Expansion: Tagmatium


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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 Hexanisa – 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.

They are:

Map.png

1. Skhronos

2. Efmoseia

3. Kouttasios

4. Polyagios

5. Agios Methodianos

6. Arhos

The black dots with yellow centres are the administrative capitals and the black dots are major towns. The largest, the capital of the Hexanisa 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.

History

Until the 4th Century, the Hexanisa 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 Bonakes 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 attempt 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 Hexanisa 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, attempted to arrest those who stayed. These charges remain on the books of Tagmatium and are against people considered by the Hexanisanoi as heroes and founders of their nation.

Religion

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 Hexanisa 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 Hexanisa before relations are healed.

Population

At the last census taken by the government of the Hexanisa 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.

Military

The military of the Hexanisa 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, border force 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 Hexanisa into the Greater Holy Empire.

Economy

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 Hexanisa 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.

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