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MINAEA (Confederated Kingdom of)
Location: West of the Jennite Lands, southeast of the Esterhold Peninsula. SK
Area: Roughly 750,000 sq. mi. (1,942,500 sq. km.).
Population: An estimated 480,000 humans living here consider themselves Minaeans. 412,000 of them live in the sixteen city-states and kingdoms that are members of the confederacy; nearly 70,000 more live in the so-called national territories. In addition, there are an unknown number of tribal humans of Tangor stock (primarily in the southeastern forests of the Minaean Coast). The humanoid population levels are likewise unknown.
Languages: Minaean, Alphatian, Jennite, Tangor.
Coinage: Kalit (gp), kalos (sp), kalen (cp); foreign coins accepted in cities and large towns.
Taxes: 10% income tax collected on Nu. 1 by the confederate government. Individual city-states also collect an income tax that generally ranges between 5 and 10%, collected on Fy. 1.
Government Type: The Minaean government combines a national monarchy with autonomous local governments. The Minaean king has the power to decree and enforce laws affecting national territories (primarily the unclaimed areas between Minaean communities, and along the roads that connect them), collect taxes from member communities, raise an army composed of member communities' militias, and pass judgment on any legal matters brought before him. Each Minaean community passes and enforces its own laws within its borders. Most of them are small democracies, with a governing body consisting of citizens (often adult male land owners). In the larger communities, voting citizens elect representatives and officials to govern for them. Although Minaea claims a large expanse of land, it effectively controls only the areas that are directly occupied by its sixteen ruling cities.
Industries: Agriculture, crafts (especially jewellery, pottery, weaving), piracy.
Important Figures: Korudon (King).
Flora and Fauna: Minaea is assumed to be home to many plants and animals common to temperate and subtropical forests. Gnolls, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs, minotaurs, hill giants and firbolgs are known to live in the forests, hills and mountains of the area. Some explorers have observed giant crabs on Minaean beaches. The coastal waters are known to harbour giant lamprey, giant octopi, sahuagin, sea lions, sharks, giant sea snakes, giant squid, tritons, whales, and, of course, pirates.
Further Reading: Previous almanacs.
Description by Erakliton of Traun.
The Minaean Coast is a vast region stretching along the southwestern bulge of the Skothar continent. Rolling hills rise up from the Steppes of Jen, peak in a hilly range almost tall enough to qualify as mountains, and gradually subside into the coastal lowlands. The entire region is blanketed in forest, and is dotted with open terrain. The climate is surprisingly temperate; in the lowlands, the climate tends to verge on subtropical.
Minaea, the nation's capital city, rests five miles back from the coast, across the Strait of Minaea from Seahaven in Meriander. The coastal town of Piraeus serves as Minaea's port.
Other Minaean cities and towns are scattered throughout the region, connected by a vast network of roads and trails. Each city is semiautonomous, and satellite towns and villages are granted access to community services (libraries, universities, marketplaces, and the like). Minaean cities share a common language, culture, and currency. Trade goods and cultural achievements (literature, plays, music, and so on) flow freely between the cities.
The Minaeans are the principal inhabitants of this forested land. A people of dark complexion with dark brown or black hair, Minaeans are descendants of a mix of Tarystians and Milenians. Although Minaeans are primarily known for piracy, due to the depredations of an infamous band of pirates, Yodar's Sea Wolves, that preyed on Alphatian and Bellissarian shipping 70 years ago, this piratical reputation is largely exaggerated [However, in the Alphatian Sea, Minaean pirates have harassed so many ships that most people immediately think of pirates whenever they think of Minaeans. Ed.]. Other races present are civilised minotaurs in the cities of Erech and Sinbay, and black-skinned Tangor. All of them have contributed to the creation of the Minaean culture, and are a full part of it, sharing it totally.
The main Immortal of the region is Athinai, a manifestation of Tarastia. Other worshipped Immortals are Poseidon (Protius) and Zeùs (Odin). Collectively they are known as the Olympians, from the name of Mount Olympus, a sacred mountain of Minaea.
The history of Minaea goes as far back as BC 100, when colonists fleeing the falling Milenian Empire reached the western shores of Skothar. The land was known as Tarystia, from the name of an ancient city that was once the region's centre of power. The Milenians founded the city of Minaea after an agreement with the Tarystians, and during three centuries of peaceful coexistence, the two cultures gradually blended; the Milenians, who had taken with them the technology, magics and architecture of their homelands, were gradually absorbed into the piratical, warlike Tarystian way of life, abandoning their old patriarchal ways for the egalitarian Tarystian attitude; intermarriage was encouraged by the Tarystians, and over a short period the two races had become one, the Minaeans, from the name of that city who had become the main settlement of the new culture. In AC 335, several Tarystian-Minaean cities decided to create a league in order to resist the aggressive attitude of the neighbouring Tangor humans to the east. Several wars took place between Tangor and Minaea, notably that of AC 335-336, that saw Minaea's victory, and that of AC 439-446, with Tangor conquering the city of Akuba. Soon after, a disastrous war with the northern Kingdom of Hastwr occurred over the control of the cities of Dool and Durke (AC 536-539).
In AC 721-722, the cities of Erech and Sinbay, founded by a civilised minotaur culture, suffered an invasion of green orcs and savage ones (the name by which civilised minotaurs call their northerly, barbarous counterparts). After the destruction brought by the invaders, they entered the league, which was re-formed as a confederacy in AC 738, with thirteen cities and kingdoms joining. The new confederated kingdoms entered the Third Tangor War in AC 814, which ended in AC 816 with their victory, resulting in the liberation of Akuba. However, the city refused to enter the confederacy, and was able to prevent a Minaean coup d'état to take control of it.
In AC 917, a new green orc swarming attack was crushed at the Battle of Adunapolis, and the date of the victory (Flaurmont 4) is a day of great celebration all over the land. In AC 934 the city of Dool revolted and left the Kingdom of Hastwr, joining the confederacy.
Though the Alphatians generally consider the Minaeans as little more than barbaric pirates, the Thyatians were able to establish a first trading contact with them in AC 1017.
The confederated kingdoms are:
Population: 49,700 (27,000 in the city), 90% Minaeans, 5% Tangor, 5% minotaurs.
Minaea, the capital city, is a prosperous community of some 27,000 people. The city boasts a sophisticated sewer system and is kept relatively clean. Many of Minaea's public buildings are made of stone and have graceful fluted columns. (The buildings are, in fact, reminiscent of those built by the defunct Milenian Empire on the Davanian continent.) The king's palace is a magnificent sprawling complex of stone and brick buildings that practically qualifies as a miniature city in itself.
The political status of Minaea is that of capital city of the confederacy. Minaea is ruled directly by the king of the confederated kingdoms. The ruling family of Arkalion has been in charge of the royal seat since AC 730, when the Minaean pirate Arkali threw down the democratic government. Minaea controls the towns of Tresa (pop. 3,400) and Markos (pop. 1,800).
Population: 32,400 (16,700 in the city), 95% Minaeans.
Adunapolis is an ancient city, and is considered the architectural and artistic centre of Minaea. The main Immortals of the city are the Twelve Watchers. The marvellous Temple of Art, decorated with statues of the Twelve Watchers, all in white and pink marble, dominates the city. The government of Adunapolis is made of representatives chosen among the twelve art corporations. The city has always been at odds with Serenia. Adunapolis's racial stock is mainly Minaean. Adunapolis was the site to a great battle in AC 917, and every year, the first ten days of Flaurmont are the occasion of the fair of Adunapolis, during which the city's population nearly doubles.
Population: 24,100 (8,900 in the city), 65% Tangor, 35% Minaeans.
The city of Batu-Fomba was founded by refugees from the Kingdom of Mawuru, conquered more than 750 years ago by the Tangor Empire. Batu-Fombans are mostly of Tangor stock; they are closely related to the population of Akuba, which was also founded by refugees. However, Akuba and Batu-Fomba have been enemies for centuries.
Batu-Fomba is ruled by a tyrant. The tyrant is in many regards like any king, except that the title is not hereditary. A small group of persons, known as the people's tribunal, is elected by all male and female residents over the age of 21 when the old tyrant dies. Those persons must then elect a tyrant, who will act as a monarch for life. The current tyrant is Kwangu M'boma.
Population: 23,800 (city-state), 75% Jennites, 15% Minaeans, 5% minotaurs.
The city-state of Dool is a powerful fortified military city in northern Minaea. It borders the Jennite lands, and most of its population is of Jennite origin. The city was once part of the Kingdom of Hastwr (now a small nation surrounded by Jennite tribesmen), but has been a member of Minaea since AC 934. In the past century, Dool has always had a democratic government. All males over the age of 19 vote every year to select the 100 representatives at the boulè (senate). Then they elect two war leaders who are known as bouleforoi. The city is in a strategic position against Jennite and green orc invasions. The city-state is currently ruled by Seastian Viniska.
Population: 31,700 (city-state), 95% dwarves.
Dwarves coming from the Kingdom of Thorin arrived in Dain-Karak about three hundred years ago, and soon entered the confederation, though with the status of ally of the confederacy. This means that, in fact, Dain-Karak is not subject to confederated laws, even if it has the right to be represented at the council. The dwarven city is located in the northwestern mountains. Although most of its population is composed of dwarves, several adventurers, bounty-hunters and orc-hunters live in the city. Dain-Karak's structure is typical of dwarven cities: part of it is above ground, whereas the most important buildings are in caverns inside the mountains. The current king is Duriel II.
Population: 11,700 (city-state), 85% Tarystians, 10% Minaeans.
One of the original Tarystian cities, founded in BC 1135, this city is one of the few where there is a consistent majority of well-recognisable Tarystians, and not an undistinguishable mix of Milenians and Tarystians (i.e. Minaeans). Tarystians of Ekimmu are close to Jennites in skin tone, and in culture, being great pirates and aggressive toward strangers. Minaeans are respected, but minotaurs, dwarves and Tangor are watched with suspicion. The pirate Yodar was born in Ekimmu, and is a national hero. The most revered divinities are Poseidon (Protius) and Korotiku.
Population: 19,000 (7,600 in the city), 85% minotaurs, 10% Minaeans.
Ruled by the minotaur Overlord Ogzar, the city is a hereditary monarchy mostly settled by minotaurs. The architecture is clearly Minaean, but there are several alien elements that I think can be considered similar to those that I have read about regarding the enduk kingdom of the Arm of the Immortals. The minotaurs are often found as pirate mercenaries; Ogzar often leads goblin hunts in the north. The city hosts a monastery and a temple dedicated to Minoides, Father of Minotaurs.
Population: 21,000 (4,000 in the city), 95% Minaeans.
Erineos is a colony of Minaea, founded around AC 500, but has early in its history been granted independence by its founder. There is nothing in Erineos that distinguishes it from other cities in the region. It is a city of merchants and peaceful seamen and fishermen, and as such it has sometimes been sacked by Ekimmu pirates. There is a lot of enmity between Erineos and Ekimmu as a result.
Population: 23,400 (11,000 in the city), 95% Minaeans.
Another typical Minaean city, Thanasis is quite ancient, having been founded just before Minaea. It is famous for its horse-breeding, and has a powerful cavalry. Thanasis is one of the few important settlements with no access to the sea (the others are Dool, Dain-Karak and Tesla). It is ruled by a plutocracy; its ruling body is known as gheruśa, and its government structure is identical to that of Ire.
Population: 22,300 (14,000 in the city), 90% Minaeans.
Ire is a Minaean city of the southeast. A colony of Thanasis, founded in AC 811, it immediately joined the confederacy. It is ruled by a form of plutocracy that is erroneously believed to be the traditional form of government of Minaean cities. This plutocracy allows all male landowners to vote for the election of the gheruśa (senate), a body composed of 80 members of the population who are at least 40 years old. The members of the gheruśa are called gerontes (sing. geron). Ire is home to explorers and pirates; it is second in piracy only to Ekimmu, but its vessels are seldom seen on the Alphatian Sea, as they prefer to raid the shores of Tangor.
Population: 19,000 (city-state), 95% Minaeans.
Leontion was conquered by the four wizard-kings in AC 353, and they rule it still. Leontion was called Lendar at the time of its Tarystian foundation in BC 986, but the wizard-kings renamed it Leontion, and forcefully changed the Tarystian ways (which were being preserved, as the city is quite isolated from the others, and had experienced less Milenian influence) into pseudo-Milenian ones, because they had developed a knack for the Milenian culture. Leontion holds good relationships with Bellissarian nations. It is a safe port for Alphatian ships directed eastwards. The wizard-kings are Alphatians, but their names are unknown.
Population: 28,500 (9,400 in the city), 50% Tangor, 40% Minaeans.
This city was founded in AC 649 by Zambul colonists, fleeing their homeland, which had been conquered by the Tangor Empire. The Zambulans, of Tangor ethnicity, faced a hard time fighting against the city of Adunapolis, who claimed the region and wanted them to pay tribute. The two cities are still enemies, and only the fact that they are both part of the confederacy prevents them from fighting each other. A number of competitions are held among the two cities: the most famous is called trio, and is a fight to death of three Serenians against three from Adunapolis. This bloody event takes place each New Year's Day, and it is considered a good omen for a city to win it.
Population: 17,200 (7,900 in the city), 55% minotaurs, 40% Minaeans.
Sinbay is the other minotaur-founded city of Minaea. There are fewer minotaurs here than in Erech, but the city is ruled by minotaurs nonetheless. Lord of the city is Andian, a minotaur bearing the title of tyrant. A new tyrant is chosen by popular acclamation when the old one dies, and rules the city until his own death. In fact, the most important families have a great influence on the popular vote. Sinbay has rich agricultural lands, and is famous for its cows.
Population: 39,600 (24,600 in the city), 60% Minaeans, 35% Tarystians.
Tesla is one of the oldest and most important cities of Minaea. Its origins are lost in the past, and it could be considered one of the oldest surviving cities of Mystara. Tesla has had a strong Tarystian presence since its founding, and bears significant traces of ancient pseudo-Jennite civilisation. In Tesla, there are two temples dedicated to Tarastia, where She is not venerated in the form of Athinai, and there are a significant number of followers of Rathanos (known, in Minaea, as Apollon). Tesla is an important military centre, which is home to the Academy of Military Tactics. Generals from all over Minaea are trained at the academy. A lot of Tesla's activities deal with military matters. The city is ruled by two kings, whose titles are hereditary, but they are controlled by ten ephoroi, who serve for life, selected by the gheruśa, a body formed by 28 citizens who are older than 50 years of age. All the political debates, however, must be discussed in the Assembly's Plaza, which can host 10,000 citizens, in order to allow all male citizens over 21 to participate. The current kings are Ian Aronal and Theodozon IV.
Population: 26,300 (19,200 in the city), 80% Minaeans, 10% Tarystians.
Another important city is Traun, centre of philosophical studies and the most enlightened city of the region. Unfortunately, this has often resulted in a softening of the city's customs, and in the decadence of the citizens' lives. Traun does not have an army, and relies completely on a mercenary force of Teslans for its defence, so the general of the mercenaries plays a big role in the city's political life. The city is an ancient Tarystian one, founded as far back as BC 1054. However the city has lost a lot of its grandeur. The city is ruled by a council, known as boulè, made of 30 elected Tarystians and 30 elected Minaeans of the city, plus 5 members of the minorities. The elections take place every two years.
Population: 22,200 (12,000 in the city), 90% Minaeans.
Another of the Minaean cities, Vidruntos is one of the original members of the confederacy. Founded in the 6th century AC, Vidruntos is a small city and an agricultural centre of Minaea, with rich farmlands and a great production of wheat and corn. It is a city with few attractions, however, distant from any significant form of cultural life and adventure possibilities.