Province of Nicea

Exarchate of Nicea

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Area: 12,980 sq. mi. (33,620 sq. km.).

Population: 300,000 including the city of Nicea (pop. 30,000) and the towns of Port Nico (pop. 10,000), Vinton (pop. 5,000), Pilion (pop. 10,000), and Grey Bay (pop. 7,500) and Fort Southpoint (pop. 1,250).

Languages: Thracian (Niceian dialect).

Taxes: 25% income tax collected quarterly on the aristocracy, nobility, and wealthy; 20% income tax collected quarterly on everyone else (Va. 1, Ya. 1, Fy. 3, and Ei. 1). Thracians abroad must still pay their taxes. Expensive and magical items are also taxed 25% of their worth. 10% imperial commercial sales tax on all goods except food, clothing, and fixed assets; levied on imports, rebated on exports. Tax on slave owning equal to 50% of the slave’s value annually. Property tax levied based on quality of land, roughly 6% of its value annually.

Industries: Agriculture, ale & beer, animals (especially sheep & goats), crafts, fishing, oil, privateering, trade, wine, wool.

Important Figures: Pericles of Nicea(Exarch_), Eugenos (_Imperial High Mage).

Flora and Fauna: Mulberry trees (for agriculture), grape vines, olive trees, cedar, peach, pear, orange, and cherry fruit trees in cultivated orchards. Herds of cattle, sheep, horses, goats, swine, and mules. Bees kept for honey. Bears, boars, centaurs, lycanthropes, mountain lions, foxes, dryads, wolves, unicorns and goblinoids can be found in the wilds of the empire.

This exarchate is known for its racial intolerance. The Sons of the Gorgon make their home here, and they preach about racial purity and how women should stay at home to raise families and not try to learn to fight or obtain power. Nicea has rebelled several times against the empire, most recently supported the losers in the last civil war.

The Lands

The largest dominion of the Thracian heartland, Nicea has long been known as a somewhat infertile island. The northern areas along Vanya’s Girdle are perhaps the most productive, acre for acre, and are host to fields and vineyards that primarily serve the needs of the City of Tauresium. The hills here are verdant and rolling, and a lot of sheep herding takes place in the areas that aren’t given over to vineyards and orchards. There are small pockets of fertile lowlands on the eastern coasts, but most of this area is hilly. In the past, these hills were full of iron mines, producing much metal for export. Many of these mines have played out over the years, though some finds are still discovered, and iron production is sufficient for local use. But they no longer export in quantity as before, and the centre of mining in Thrace has shifted to the Altan Tepes.

For the longest time, though, most of Niceas’ useful lands were along the western shores, and in the Stegger and Pilion river valleys, near Nicea City. This is where most Niceans live and work. Barley is grown here in preference to grapes, as the Niceans themselves tend to prefer beer and ale over wine. The interior is gradually given over to forests, which then fade into forested hills, and finally into rugged hills. The forests are home to boars and deer, while the hills are used as pasturage for goats and sheep. The southern portion of Niceahas many small coves and anchorages that are home to privateers and corsairs who prey upon non-Thracian shipping.

Nicea’s numerous towns and communities, though only the capital (Nicea City) can be considered large. Port Nico lies directly across Vanya’s Girdle from Tauresium, and is used to ship the goods of Nicea to The City’s markets. Vinton lies near the eastern end of the girdle, and its economy is centred on exporting the wines of Hattias. Portus Pilium is the eastern counterpart of the Tower of Aes-a lighthouse and village at the mouth of the girdle, to guide ships.

Pilion, the town at the mouth of the Pilion River, serves as Nicea City’s main port. Nicea itself is an unwalled town at the confluence of the Stegger and Pilion rivers. About half way down the coast is the town of Grey Bay, a fishing and mining community, producing iron from ore in the nearby hills. At the southern tip of Niceais the imaginatively named Fort Southpoint, a garrison and way station for imperial fleets patrolling the Sea of Dread. A dozen or so miles to the south is a small island, no more than a few square miles in area, that forms the Hold of Eugenos. The mage who lives here has long maintained his tower as a lighthouse, and is a helpful friend to sailors in need of aid. Eugenos retired here from Tauresium many years ago, but entered imperial service against the Sea Elves and has more recently helped the resistance to the Exarch of Nicea during the last civil war.

Province of Nicea

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