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Expansion: Tagmatium - Part Two


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Part Two

Part One

In light of the recent occupation of Corinium by both @Seylos and @Haruspex, the northern entrance of the Adlantic is now in the hands of foreign powers. Certainly, one of those foreign powers is an ally and the other one is friendly towards Tagmatium, but they are still other nations whose interests cannot always be expected to align with those of the Greater Holy Empire.

Especially those damned savages.

The Seylosians.

Making a permanent military presence on the islands and enlarging the civilian population will make the Tagmatine hold on the islands secure. The plan will be to eventually make a port that is capable of acting as the Europan end of @Iverica's polar trade route, as well as the inevitable naval base to try to counteract Corinium. It will also help put the potential polar resources under Tagmatine control, although these are likely to remain unexploited, due to the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion's environmental policies.

 


 

The Nisa Herimiton

Also known as the Herimitireia, the Herimitika Nisa (the Hermitage Islands) are at the edge of the wurld. The eight islands are at the edge of Europa and within the Argic Circle. The only modern settlement of any size is the port and administrative centre of Basilikolimanion, or Imperial Port.

The islands are:

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1. Nisos tou Iadridou (Eadred's Island)

2. Kyrios Khristos (Lord Christ)

3. Agioi Apostoloi (Holy Apostles)

4. Nisos tou Anastasiou (Anastasios' Island)

5. Nisos Arkoudon (Bear Island)

6. Megali Adelfi (Big Sister)

7. Mikri Adelfi (Little Sister)

8. Kyro Nisos (Cold Island)

The dot marks the location of Basilikolimanion.

Within the Argic Circle, the islands are bare rock and glacier, in the main. There is little vegetation and they are a haven for Argic wildlife, from seabirds to walruses and polar bears.

There are small monastic cells dotted about the islands, but these are isolated. There are also several watch posts for the border guard and financial guard, but these are not independent settlements. In several places, especially on the main island of Nisos tou Iadridou, there are abandoned whaling stations and mining settlements, in various states of decay. Basilikolimanion is also mainly derelict, with only the cathedral, attached monastery, headquarters for the guards and one of the wharfs in decent condition. The C19th fortifications are degrading but still in good condition and the Palace, previously a jewel of the island, is decaying and the lair of polar bears.

History

The islands were first discovered in 1593 by an Akwisian, Eadred Sunnason, also known Eadred the Mapmaker. The first landings weren't until several years later and were concerned with using the islands as bases for whale hunting. This became the main reason for landings on the islands, as they slowly became one of the centres for the whaling industry in northern Europa. Most of the nations around the Sea of Storms had small settlements at one time or another, but the islands came under the control of Arome by the end of the 1700s. This was primarily because of the seclusion the islands offered from the point of view particularly ascetic monks, although the hard environment meant that they often did not last long.

A permanent base was established at the site of what is now Basilikolimanion, which became the main processing and shipping point. The islands were placed under the control of Arome and an Exarch appointed to govern them. It was also used as a dumping ground for exiles, away from where they might be able to affect Aroman politics and society. As whale oil and products became ever more lucrative as the industrial revolution bore on across the wurld. This, in turn, meant that Basilikolimanion acquired state-of-the-art defences and a cathedral, signifying its prosperity.

Ultimately, by the mid 1800s, overhunting meant that the local whale populations had been played out and the whaling fleets were forced to go further and further, rendering the facilities at Basilikolimanion redundant. Despite attempts diversifying the economy with mining, the population dwindled until it was little more than an isolated prison away from mainland Tagmatium. Mining was a wasted effort, as coal and ore could be more readily sourced in Tagmatium itself. Or, failing that, another Europan nation.

By the early 1900s, the Hermitage Islands were little more than that – a hermitage for religious introspection, nothing else, along with a small group from the border guards and the financial guards. In order to make the outpost attractive postings, there had to be a level of rank inflation for those posted there. Even then, it was never a popular one. Before the Long War, another attempt was made to make the islands financially viable, but it was derailed by that conflict, which saw the islands almost completely isolated.

Now, Tagmatium hopes that it can properly re-establish control of the islands.

Government and Politics

There is no government to speak of – other than the main monastery at Basilikolimanion and associated monastic cells across the island, there is no administration for the island. The monastery is more or less self-contained, bar the fact that it needs a resupply vessel every few months.

The main authorities on the islands are Archishop Dorothios Maliasenos, Tribounos Pankratoukaina Tzamplakonissa of the Foussatores and Komes Theognostos Maroules of the Vestiaritai. The archbishop tends to keep himself busy with the affairs of the Church whilst the other two are more concerned with the roles of their organisations as well as the petty bickering typical of two Tagmatine organisations that have overlapping jurisdictions.

Religion

The only people on the islands are members of the Aroman Church.

Population

There are roughly two hundred monks and a similar number of the Foussatores and Vestiaritai, although split between them. The monks are permanent but the members of the other two are rotated every so often. The Ministry of the Environment has several groups of semi-permanent researchers who monitor the animal and bird populations on the islands. Most of the population is focused around the “capital” of Basilikolimanion.

Military

The Foussatores and the Vestiaritai are the only armed presence on the island and they are not military. The former is a border agency with only small arms and a few fixed emplacements around the capital/main port, which are drilled with but hopelessly obsolete. The latter is more of a coastguard and customs agency than a military, keeping an eye on ships that come near the islands and to make sure that no one else lands there without permission of the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion.

They would fold under any pressure and a landing in any force would brush them aside.

Economy

There is no economy to speak of, other than a low level black market in the two border agencies which is concerned with making or exchanging alcohol.

The islands themselves have significant mineral deposits, mainly coal and iron ore. It is currently not considered to be economically viable to bother with and all mines and mining installations are in a state of degradation. Surveys for oil and gas were carried out several decades ago and were not considered to be viable at the time.

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