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MILENIA (Empire of)
Location: Southwestern coast of the continent of Iciria, east of the Southern Atlass Ocean, north of Lake Agrisa, south of the River Silvius, west of the Jennite lands. HW
Area: 400,450 sq. mi. (1,037,165 sq. km.).
Population: 3,000,000 including Corisa (pop. 250,000), Demtor (pop. 75,000), Dophius (pop. 50,000), Emperor's Walk (pop. 30,000), Laroun (pop. 100,000), Tyrnus (pop. 150,000) and numerous towns and villages.
Languages: Milenian (distantly related to Traldar).
Coinage: Platinum emperor (50 gp), gold emperor (10 gp), silver emperor (1 gp), copper emperor (1 sp), platinum medallion (5 gp), gold medallion (gp), silver medallion (sp), copper medallion (cp).
Taxes: 20% income tax, 10% tariff on all goods except food and clothing.
Government Type: Imperial republic; elected senators select emperors for life but no hereditary rule.
Industries: Agriculture, crafts, mining, herding (cattle, sheep, goats), horse-breeding, textiles (wool and linen), fishing, shipbuilding.
Important Figures: Adronius (Emperor), Amnethon of Corisa (High Magus), Dagos of Xarda (Lord High Priest), Helentia (Lady High Priest), Myrina (Empress), Pythion of Dophius ("King" of Milenia), Krameos of Tyrnus (Senator), Strabos (Slave and Leader of the Kleonites), Tythus (Lord High General).
Flora and Fauna: Aerial servants, Amorian hounds, Agrisian jellyfish, shaggy aurochs, Zargosian bats, Zargosian changelings, goats, ponies, sheep, basilisks, brown bears, giant beetles, boars, centaurs, chimeras, cockatrices, dragons, dryads, ghouls, cloud giants, storm giants, mountain giants, cyclopskin, griffons, hags, harpies, hell hounds, hippogriffs, hobgoblins, hydras, lions, manticores, medusae, minotaurs, ogres, owlbears, pegasi, skeletons, snakes, sphinxes, giant spiders, stirges, treants, trolls, unicorns, wolves, wyverns, and zombies.
Further Reading: Hollow World boxed set, HWR3 The Milenian Empire, previous almanacs.
Description by Theukidikies the Historian of Corisa.
The people of Milenia have created a vast and powerful empire holding the lands between the Atlas Ocean and the Sea of Yr. Milenia is a centre of civilisation, art, scholarship, and learning, a land revering the Immortals but not in thrall to Them.
The area inhabited by the Milenians ranges along the coastal areas of the Southern Atlass Ocean, from jungles in the north along the Silvius River to the hills and mountains in the south along Lake Agrisa. Almost any type of terrain can be found within this region, save for deserts, but most of the land are plains tilled as agricultural lands by Milenian farmers and slaves. The Milenian Empire is bordered on the north by the southern spurs of the Twa Mountains, in the south by the Emperor's Rampart and to the east by the Bahl Masiv, though the empire is making a strong push to conquer all the way to the rich lands around the Dagol River. The dinosaurs that are found elsewhere throughout the Hollow World are almost entirely absent from Milenia, due to the diligent efforts of the imperial forces to keep them from rampaging through these lands.
Instead, the countryside is dotted with cities, towns, monuments, and estates. All Milenian communities are protected against barbarian raids with strong stone walls. The common dwellings are of whitewashed mud brick or wood, with tiled or shingled roofs. The more impressive villas and palaces are of marble-dressed stone, with glorious columns and statuary. Paved plazas and agoras serve as markets and meeting places, where political and philosophical matters are discussed.
Most of these communities are built along the shores of the Atlass Ocean, or in the Gulf of Corisa, and on the banks of the rivers that run through Milenia, especially the Dophius River. To the north of this river are the broad Plains of Argos, some of the richest growing lands in Milenia. The river runs out of the large, fog-bound Lake Agrisa. The waters of Lake Agrisa are unusually warm, which causes the fog when the water touches the cold air of the region. Aquatic dinosaurs do swim in the lake, which has also been known to have many unusual disappearances.
Around the northern shores of the lake, the area that is controlled by Milenia, are many forests and hills, including the Great Woods of Drosonai and the Hills of Bachaea. These are given over to pastoralists, herding sheep and cattle, and to hunters. Downstream along the Dophius River, where it empties into the Gulf of Corisa, lies Milenia's greatest city and imperial capital. In the lands around this metropolis there are many temples, shrines, monuments, and estates. The Pelaian Road runs south to Pelai, bracketed on both sides by rich farms, gradually giving way to the Forest of Pyos to the west and the Forest of Isopydos to the east. The city of Pelai sits on a plain between the Emperor's Rampart Mountains and the Strait of Agoras. Just across the straits is the Island of Amora, which has likewise been conquered and settled by the Milenian people.
The inhabitants of Milenia are a cultured, civilised folk, with olive complexions and usually brown hair and eyes, though some are blond or redheaded, and some few have blue eyes. Milenians keep fit and trim through regular exercise, which is popular throughout the empire. This keeps not only their bodies but their minds fit and healthy as well. As a result, athletic competitions are very popular in Milenia, held regularly in most cities. Milenian men wear their hair short, and prefer beards over being shaven like Nithian barbarians, while Milenian women wear their hair long, but up in curls and coils atop their heads rather than unkempt down their backs. The men prefer crisp tunics decorated with dyed motifs, as best as they can afford, while women wear gowns of fine linen, the finer the better if their husbands or fathers are able to afford it.
In Milenia, the men rule while the women are demure and circumspect, keeping to the house and hearth. Women may not own land and do not practice the arts of war or politics, though some become respected clerics and midwives. They do not fight as the over-bold women of other nations sometimes do, though there are some impertinent women who try to break these well-founded customs.
Milenians, alone of all peoples, have given much thought to philosophical matters, and as a result have created a highly evolved civilisation, where scholarship is respected and the arts (from statuary and painting to theatre) have reached their highest peak of achievement. As a result of our philosophers and the wisdom they have produced, we have created a singular civilisation with a highly evolved political process. At the bottom are the slaves, including enslaved Milenians but also Jennites, Tanagoro, Traldar, and Nithians captured in war. But these are not slain like the Jennites do with their captives, or sacrificed as the Azcans do. Though they are expected to serve their masters loyally, they are accorded protection in the law, to prevent abuse. The Milenians do not permit them to be maimed or slain without cause, and are allowed to have some belongings of their own. Some slaves are quite learned, and are used to tutor children or even adults. Others are entrusted with important tasks. But most, including almost all the outlander slaves, are menial workers, on farm estates or, worst of all, in mines.
Above the slaves are the common Milenians, those who do not own land but who might aspire to. These are free men, the backbone of the empire. They do not vote as they are not citizens, but they serve the empire in its armies and as taxpayers. They hire themselves out as labourers or craftsmen on farms and in businesses, and are the majority of Milenians, and are not bound to any master as such, and can become citizens simply by purchasing property. Some suggest that they should be given citizenship as a body, making even non-property holders citizens, but I do not think this is either necessary or wise.
This is because all those Milenians who own or buy land become citizens, thus giving them a distinction and, even more importantly, a direct stake in the empire as they own part of it. This is a class unlike that of any other nation within the Hollow World, for here the enlightenment of Milenian philosophy shines forth. Citizens participate in political affairs, standing for office and voting for candidates. This means that we do not have an aristocracy based on blood or birth, but rather are able to select the most capable people to run the empire. By this means the leaders of the cities are selected, and the senators of the empire are elected. Those senators in turn elect the emperor and pass laws. The emperor decides the policies of the Milenian people, under the advice of the senate. Thus we have a nation where the people (demos) rule, though the portion who are directly involved in these political matters are only a segment of the Milenian people, we see how different this is from how the Nithians or Azcans decide things. The empire of the Milenians is not ant-like, as the Azcans are, or bound by mystical superstition as the Nithians are.
The Acropolis in the city of Corisa, an elevated mound surmounted by glorious temples and statuary depicting the Immortals.