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MIVOSIA (City-State of)

Location: Continent of Davania, central Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Area: Approx. 1,400 sq. mi. (3,625 sq. km.).

Population: 40,700 (21,500 in Mivosia, 19,200 living in scattered villages and towns).

Languages: Milenian (Mivosian dialect).

Coinage: Crown (gp), half-crown (ep), tenth (sp), hundredth (cp).

Taxation: All citizens are taxed at 25% of their assessed worth once per year (Eirmont 15).

Government Type: Military dictatorship.

Industries: Agriculture (primarily fruits and grains), mining, sheep, war.

Important Figures: Diamanes Thesakkrus (General of the Mivosian Army, human male, F14), Diocletian Merasthasius (Head of the Interior Ministry, normal human male), Petrassia Amonduria (Captain of the Mivosian Cavalry Brigade, human female, F12)-these three people lead the ruling triumvirate.

Flora and Fauna: The area upon which Mivosia was built sports plant and animal life typical for the region. Among the more common vegetative life that can be found here are all sorts of water plants, ranging from cattails to lily pads along the various waterways. On land, it is possible to find many species of grasses, as well as various shrubs and bushes. Nestled among the hilltops of this region are the few trees that exist in this part of the continent, most of these being cypress, mahogany, and oak trees.

Thanks to intensive farming, and relatively dense settlement patterns by local standards, there are very few wild animals to be found around Mivosia. Most of what people will see consists of chickens, the occasional cow, and a large number of sheep. Despite this, people in outlying regions have encountered giant insects, gnolls, griffons, harpies, hippogriffs, orcs, and on rare occasions purple worms.

Further reading: None.

Description by Marina Takanitas.

It was with some trepidation that I set out southeastwards from my home in Kastelios to explore this far-off city-state of the Meghala Kimata Plains. We on the coast do little trade with this place, as there is nothing that the Mivosians produce that we need, or that we cannot more easily obtain from our immediate neighbours. On top of this, news had reached us during the previous years of the depredations of the Mivosian army, as the city-state's forces steadily encroached upon its neighbours. Whether or not these tales are true, few people wish to head inland to this place by the Meghalo Fithi River. For many, it is fine to venture as far inland as Ilioloosti, but no further.

The Land

Mivosia is situated on fertile hilly terrain bordering the great Meghalo Fithi River as it flows northwestwards towards the Sea of Dread. The land is well-watered, with many streams and brooks cutting across one's field of vision, and all emptying themselves into the Meghalo as it surges by. Unlike Kastelios, Mivosia is not built over its waterways; rather, it looms along the northern shore of the great river, its high walls running along its length. Do not be deceived that this in any way compromises Mivosia's defences, or its overall efficiency as a city. On the opposite side of the river looms a great fortress, its walls easily measuring 1,000 feet on a side, and its main tower at least 200 feet in height. It is connected to the city by a great bridge, which can be raised in times of need. Although I could not approach the fortress to get a better look, I saw what could very well be sharpened stakes propped just beneath the river's surface-some large enough that I am sure they could easily skewer small ocean-going vessels. Add to this the impressive battlements atop Mivosia's walls, and it is clear that this city-state is prepared to defend itself. How many of these defences are magical I dare not speculate.

As for the land itself, Mivosia is indeed fortunate. Not only is it blessed with what appears to be a defensive position with all of its hills and waterways; it is also a fertile land. Even this far south, rain falls abundantly, brought by the northern winds, and the soil is rich and black. Many irrigation canals have been dug back from the river and its tributaries, and almost every inch of land outside the city that is not covered by buildings or roads has been given over for farming or for pasture.

The People

Seldom have I seen people so dour as the Mivosians! It is indeed difficult to believe that these people, and my own, belonged to the same empire at one time, and that they were indeed of one folk. In may ways the Mivosians resemble the people of Kastelios: they tend to be relatively fair of complexion, with slight olive skin tones appearing here and there. What sets the Mivosians apart is the fact that there are very few among them who are not physically fit, or marred with deformities of any sort. Perhaps what strikes the visitor most about this place is the prevalence of the military-soldiers stand on virtually every street corner, and patrol every street on a regular basis. Military banners hang from all public buildings, and, it comes as no surprise, the vast majority of the statuary in this city is in honour of the various generals who died in the service of Mivosia.

It was very difficult obtaining information for this portion of my submission on Mivosia for Joshuan, owing to the strict regulations governing contact between citizens and foreigners. No citizen of Mivosia may hold any sort of conversation with a foreigner without military supervision, under pain of forced labour. All foreigners, when entering the city's main gates along its western outer wall, are assigned a soldier to act as both a guide and as protection. This soldier will accompany the visitor throughout his or her stay in Mivosia, and will never be more than ten feet away at any time. These soldiers must also be present for any contacts with citizens, to ensure that no vital information is given away to foreigners, and that no subversive influences are allowed to take root among Mivosia's populace. When entering the city itself, I was forced to hide my true reason for coming here, as I had learned earlier that the Mystaran Almanac, which has just begun to see print in Davania, is considered by the Mivosian triumvirate to be subversive propaganda. Just last week I heard a man was sentenced to forty years of hard labour for trying to sell a copy of this book within the city. But enough of my troubles in getting this information to you, the reader, let me begin by telling you something of the people.

As I mentioned before, the Mivosians are a dour people. I think this is in part because of their militaristic environment, and their harsh regime. It is clear that in their society, the military occupies the highest social stratum-all young men with ambition in Mivosia dream of becoming great military leaders. The sheer amount of pride the city feels towards its soldiers can almost be felt; there are numerous monuments dedicated to heroic soldiers, and public orators preach daily to the people on how Mivosia can only be strong if its people support it by serving in its armies, and by obeying the triumvirate. Mixed with this patriotic fervour are discourses railing against the inherent corruption of the other major city-states, and how the lands around Mivosia seethe with infidels waiting to destroy all that remains of the mighty Milenian Empire. Of late, I am told, the recent invasion of Polakatsikes by the Heldannic Knights has also been a topic of discussion.

As the Mivosians idolise their soldiers and strong figures, they also denigrate those who are not so blessed. It seems to be an unspoken rule in Mivosia that only the strong may survive. Malformed babies are left to die of exposure, by order of the triumvirate, and those who cannot, or will not, remain physically fit are treated as second-class citizens-a prospective burden on the state. Begging is forbidden within Mivosia's walls, and those caught doing so by soldiers are escorted away-never to be seen again, so I am told. They also look down upon those from other city-states, especially those whose Milenian heritage has been somewhat diluted in their eyes. To the average Mivosian, no other city-state was so successful in repelling the invasions and chaos following the collapse of the Milenian Empire, nor was any other city-state so successful in maintaining Milenian art and culture. They feel they accomplished this through strict military discipline, and as such the military occupies a position of power.

How does the average Mivosian react to all this? While I encountered some who, through subtle visual cues my soldier escort did not seem to pick up, told me that they disagreed with the government's policies, most of those I tried to talk to refused to converse with me, their reasons ranging from my being a lowly foreigner to gazing fearfully at my escort, and telling me that they had an urgent errand to attend to. The average Mivosian is truly a tortured soul, forced to bend to the wishes of a cruel regime, though some clearly support what is happening. What frightened me the most about the Mivosians was the seemingly mindless devotion to what many here see as Mivosia's manifest destiny-rulership over a resurrected Milenian Empire. For the sake of peace, I pray that this does not come to pass.

Recent History

Mivosia was founded in BC 512 to be an administrative centre for the Milenian province of Lychaea. At its height around BC 350, it had a population of approximately 55,000 people. During this early period of its history Mivosia was well-known for the competence of its administrators, as well as the talents of its bards. Indeed, recently rediscovered manuscripts praise "the Lychaean jewel of Mivosia, fairest of the fair." Fragmentary records from this time describe Mivosia as a city of colossal statues of great statesmen, breathtakingly beautiful public buildings, and roads and aqueducts that were nothing less than tremendous feats of engineering.

This golden period ended circa BC 60, when the troubles that had been plaguing the Milenian Empire came to Mivosia. Heroic tales of defeating barbarian and humanoid hordes from this time still survive to this day, in no small part because they serve the interests of the ruling triumvirate. During this time, Mivosia had the distinction of being the only Milenian city to successfully repel every attack against it; not one enemy soldier made it past the city's defences. In BC 41, a general by the name of Solarus defeated a great horde of barbarians outside the walls of Mivosia, and in response to his heroism, the public at the time demanded the imperial governor step down, and hand over control to him. Solarus crowned himself king, and started a line of rulers that lasted for centuries. During that time, Mivosia became a regional hegemonic power, dominating the surrounding towns and villages.

The line of kings that Solarus had started came to an abrupt end in AC 472, when a coalition of military leaders overthrew the monarchy and installed itself as the government. The military had grown increasingly dissatisfied with the government's defence strategies, and felt that it would do a much better job at running the city. This new leadership soon dissolved into a petty dictatorship, as internal squabbles steadily whittled the rulership down to one man, a former general by the name of Naxos. He then started a new royal succession, which was overthrown in AC 611.

For more than 350 years following this second revolution, there was a period of almost constant turmoil. New ruling military coalitions displaced each other in rapid succession, and as continuity in government vanished within the city proper, Mivosia's hold on its satellite villages and towns began to slacken. This gradual decline continued until AC 981, when the current triumvirate, composed of Diamanes Thesakkrus, Diocletian Merasthasius, and Petrassia Amonduria, took power. Since then, Mivosia has undergone a program of rapid remilitarisation, expansion, and centralisation. Those towns and villages which strayed from the Mivosian orbit have since been re-incorporated into this growing city-state, and areas that have never known Mivosian rulership are now finding themselves under its control.

More recently, Mivosian territorial ambitions have collided with those of the Heldannic Knights, a fanatical collection of soldiers and crusading priests serving the Immortal Vanya, Patroness of Conquest. Since the fall of Polakatsikes to the knights in AC 1015, the Mivosian war machine appears to have sprung to a new life, something that only bodes ill for the people of the Meghala Kimata Plains.

Don't Miss

Although Mivosia has many examples of well-preserved Milenian architecture, there is not much here that recommends itself to the visitor. The various colossal statues of long-dead Mivosian generals are impressive, though. Perhaps the one thing that is definitely worth seeing if you are here is the Citadel, the great fortress that sits across the Meghalo Fithi River from Mivosia. Although foreigners are not allowed to enter this great complex, it is still impressive to see even from across the river. Its great walls and towers, and the massive central tower I mentioned earlier, are all fine examples of solid craftsmanship. The sheer bulk of the fortress is what I think would impress the average person, comparable, I hear, to even the great forts and castles of the southeastern nations of Brun.

Do Miss

Ideally, there is no reason why anyone should want to come this far inland to see Mivosia. As I have already explained, Mivosia takes a dim view to foreigners in general within its walls. Should you find yourself in Mivosia, you would be well advised to stay clear of all military patrols after dark, as they do not take kindly to curfew violations of any sort. In addition, stay away from all military buildings, no matter what time it is. Mivosia has strict penalties in place for those found guilty of spying.