Before the exodus of Tyrius and his followers, Tyrium was occupied by various peoples. Scattered tribes of Igrun dwelt in the interior, while Icarian colonies and trading posts dotted the coastline. The first Norican settlement in the region was established along the shores of Lake Piridum after the neighboring Igrun were either driven away or enslaved. This event marked the beginning of the Tyrian Calendar. In the lifetime of Tyrius, the settlement was known as Tarcona, but after his death, it came to be known as Tyrium. Tyrius reigned as king of Tyrium for forty years. Upon his death, the kingship passed to his son Magrave.
The First Servile War Edit
The First Servile War was one of two great slave revolts. For centuries after the death of Tyrius, the Igrun formed the slave labor force that spurred the economy of the early Tyrian state. Due to harsh treatment by their overlords, the Igrun rose up in rebellion, inciting widespread revolt in both the cities and the countryside. The leaders of the rebellion were two slaves, Tryphon and Versillias. After three years of fighting, the rebellion was put down at great cost. At the end of the conflict, slavery was officially abolished, and a system of indentured servitude established in its place.
Tyrium is ruled by a council of five Magisters. In theory, no Magister has more power than any other. These positions are not hereditary. Magisters are elected directly by the people. There are very loose laws on political bribery.
Although it can be difficult to reach a consensus with five Magisters presiding, overall, it is a very stable system in which hastily made decisions are seldom made.
Exarchs are the rich landowners who form the next level of officials under the Magisters. There are five Exarchs in each of the five provinces of Tyrium. They are responsible for the administration of their their respective province. No Magister may take office without having served as an Exarch first. Exarchs are responsible for organizing the defense of their province if it should come under attack. They rarely take the field however, preferring the mercenary generals to lead instead.
Other Positions Edit
There are a host of other minor official positions which involve the collection of taxes and the day to day administration of the nation. I will not go into detail on these positions, as such a task would fill an entire tome. Needless to say, the mechanisms of Tryian government are complex and multifaceted.
Tyrian culture is a mercantile based culture. The acquisition of capital is the driving force behind Tyrian society. This competition is healthy. It inspires innovation and enterprise and keeps the national character of Tyrium healthy.
Both Tyrian and Norican cultures are based on competition. While the Norican ethos of competition is based on the acquisition of glory through feats of arms, the Tyrian ethos of competition hinges on the acquisition of wealth.
Tyrians do not concern themselves with linage as do other nations. The Tryian conception of family is very fluid. Adoption is quite common, and parents do not generally distinguish between adopted children and blood relatives.
Divorce is also common. Tyrians do not take such matters personally, however, since divorce is first and foremost a matter of business.
Tyrians worship a female personification of the Market.
Tyrium possesses an advanced and flexible military system based on citizen levies and a standing army comprised of professional mercenaries. The citizen levees are raised only in times of crises, while the mercenary units maintain garrisons in all of the major cities.
Citizens are responsible for maintaining their own arms and armor. While this disqualifies many from service, it saves the state a considerable amount of money.
Tyrians believe that the maintenance of border fortifications, and the garrisons who man them, are cost prohibitive in most cases. They believe that it is much cheaper to place the responsibility of border protection upon the local population, who have a vested interest in protecting their own land, and will maintain their own arms and armor at no cost to the state. This system has proven most efficient in the past century.
If one of Tyrium’s borders are breached by a foreign power, the local Exarch will raise the levies, which will hold the enemy long enough for the elite field armies to take the field and eliminate the threat. It would be wrong to say that the levies are merely fodder, whose only purpose is to slow the enemy. Rather, they are a part of an integral system of Tyrian strategy. They are the anvil, while the elite field armies are the hammer.
The elite field armies contain a number of different specialized troop types hailing from a plethora of different nations. Whether they are shock troops wielding great axes, or support troops with bows and javelins, all have a place within the field armies. In this manner, the field armies are equipped to deal with any battlefield situation.
While mercenaries often have the reputation for being unreliable cutthroats, who switch sides at the mere scent of money, Tyrian officials have little to worry, as Tyrium always has more money than its enemies.
Civil wars in Tyrium are uncommon. In most cases, they are very costly affairs for all participants involved. The devastation of land and other property which inevitably occurs is viewed as counterproductive. It is generally avoided at all costs therefore. If two factions are at odds with one another there are more subtle, and far less destructive, ways of settling matters. (This is perhaps why Tyrium is the leading manufacturer of poisons)
The main fleet is moored at Rylos, with smaller detachments further south at Drepanum. While the Tyrian fleet may be lacking in numbers, Tyrian warships are the largest and most advanced in the world. They carry all manner of siege engines on their top decks. Their sailors are also the most professional, as they are paid, rather than impressed like some nations.
Tyrium is the wealthiest nation in the known world. Wealth flows into Tyrium from all corners of the earth.
As the Tyrians expanded and unified their realm the cost of trading went down as trading became less dangerous and a common framework emerged. The canal system is perhaps the most important piece in this unified framework. These canals facilitate the movement of goods from city to city at a fraction of the cost of ground transportation and allow for a degree of trade that other nations envy.
The high demand for luxury goods by the Tyrian upper class ensures that Tyrium has a highly specialized economy.
Slavery is outlawed in Tyrium. Many have pointed out, however, that Tyrium's many indentured servants are practically slaves, as they are frequently as animals or objects. Many Tyrian, however, claim that is not true. In their eyes, an indentured servant is first and foremost a contracted worker, who voluntarily submits to his employers demands for labor in order to repay a debt. The primary distinction here is that the indentured servant has a choice, whereas the slave does not. Indentured servants are also given a fair degree of autonomy. It is not uncommon for an employer to have a number of servants who operate businesses of their own. Such privileges are powerful incentives for the servant to contribute to the Tyrian economy and pay down their debt. A servant is also allowed to take a spouse and bear children, whereas slaves are not.
From a purely financial point of view, indentured servants are the most effective workers. Social relationship between employer and servant are more conducive to production, as free labor is costly, and the employer is not able to exert the same degree of control over servants as he is free workers.
Long ago, the wealthy Tyrian merchants muscled out small landholders. This phenomenon coincided with a strong break from what until then had been a feudal system, more akin to the Norican form of land use. As more and more small farms were bought out, Tyrium saw the rise of large estate farms. Such estates predominate the rural landscape today. The aristocrats who own these estates want little to do with farming, however. While country estates are frequently the place of residence during the summer months for the nobility, they are merely a means for generating enough revenue to meet their social obligations and expectations in the cities. For this reason, aristocrats do not care so much about what happens on the estate, so long as it is able to extract a predictable amount of revenue with minimal effort. Estates are popular in this sense, as they serve as very low-risk investments for the wealthy. While ventures like long distance trade can be lucrative, they are high risk.
Estate owners generally prefer to exploit their land via a fixed rent system in which parcels of land are rented out to tenants who are responsible for providing a fixed amount of produce each season. In practice, the tenant is the one who bears the risk. If the harvest fails, the tenant bears the burden of the failure. For this reason, estate owners are typically interested in tenants who have capital assets of their own, such as servants, that they can seize if things go sour. In general, however, this is an effective system, as it gives tenants the incentive to keep the estate functioning. This cultivates long term relationships between tenant and estate owner that encourage good business practices.