Troas is a city state and a member of the Athosian league. Troas is a cosmopolitan city of traders, merchants and engineers. The island home of the Trojans sits atop an ancient volcano whose pressure and fury was long ago contained by the workings of the Athosians. The heat of the volcano, as well as its flows of molten rock are put to good use in industry on the island, heating homes, and driving great furnaces for the smelting of metals. The volcano also brings great mineral wealth for the Trojans who are known greatly far and wide for their abundance of gemstones. Most importantly, the volcano is the only known source of Orichalk – a stone so hardy that it is scarcely able to be worked.
Troas is a very cosmopolitan society with a substantial migrant population. The largest minority living in Troas are of Phoenecian descent. Migrants have similar rights and protections by law as native Trojans, but they are not freemen and may not join guilds. Instead they are known as outlanders. Any child born in Troas, whether to a Trojan mother or not, becomes a freeman by right. Sometimes outlanders may become freemen as a special honour given due to services to the nation.
Men and women in Troas have similar rights, though women are not freemen and may not join guilds. Instead, the wives of guild members are honorary members and are entitled to protections and support upon the death of their husbands or their fathers. Many women do, however, practice a trade and own businesses.
Many different gods are worshipped in Troas, with people from different guilds and communities holding different gods more highly. Hephaestus does however have a special place in Trojan life as the volcano on the island is known to be his home, as well as people from all walks of life venerating his industriousness. Like everybody else, the priests of Hephaestus have a guild, though they trade their influence for care of their temples, rather than political gain.
Guilds and Politics
Troas is a city state ruled by merchant guilds. Whilst there are many merchant guilds, the six most prominent are as follows:
The Masons – the Masons are one of the oldest guilds in Troas. The secret to the cutting of Orichalchum is their jealously guarded secret. The various stages of Orichalchum crafting are guarded behind layers of ritual and seniority within their organisation.
The Mercers – the Mercers are a guild of merchants who made their name brokering deals between the other guilds and foreign nations. They often lead trade missions to faraway lands.
The Inebriati – the Inebriati are the oldest guild on Troas. The secret to brewing alcohol before public sanitation was of a sufficient quality so that water was safe led their guild members to become very wealthy indeed. They are still a guild of brewers, but they have since used their money to fund other profitable ventures. Their philosophy is to do nothing in life sober and as a result their influence has led to the creation of many strange things. It was the Inebriati who funded the invention of grenades.
The Jewelcutters – the esteemed guild of Jewelcutters owes their wealth to the exploitation of Troas’ considerable mineral wealth. In ancient times, it was traditional for Trojans to get married in simple ceremonies surrounded by the beauty of nature. The Jewelcutters started a fashion where women began to demand ever bigger gems of their husbands-to-be to prove their devotion. A toast is drunk to the memory of that guildmaster at every meeting.
The Tinkerers – the Tinkerers are the largest engineers’ guild on Troas. It is due to their forward thinking, or madness, that many of the great contraptions of Troas were created. Far from being a guild solely interested in their craft, like the other guilds they are intensely political. Many of the inventions of the Tinkerers were made to win their influence over other guilds – the crossbow was invented to quickly give the Tinkerers armed guards (or thugs), and the well was in part designed to resolve a problem of public sanitation, and half to wrest control of the nation from the Inebriati.
The Illuminati – The Illuminati put the layers of secrecy surrounding the Masons to shame. Truly, very few people know what they really do or what their trade is. What is known is that they spend a great deal of time consulting Pythian seers, and that if the Illuminati begin to move their money, it is best to follow suit.
Citizens of Troas are called freemen. Freemen are entitled to join a guild relating to their trade or craft. Freemen in guilds are entitled to cast a vote in the election of the Primus, who is the leader of Troas. The Primus may theoretically be any freeman in a guild, but is ordinarily a high ranking member of a guild. A Primus serves a term of eight years, after which they may seek re-election once. In addition to this, not only can a Primus only serve two terms in office, but nobody from their guild may run for election if their guild had been in power for two terms. This ensures a regular handover of power, and causes a great deal of politicking between guilds.
The current Primus of Troas is Obediah Jarrek of the Masons, who has just recently taken over from Phineas Saren of the Illuminati. Phineas was widely expected to have taken over as guildmaster, but instead, with the blessing of the present Primus, has taken up a post as permanent ambassador to Pythia.
Military & Defences
Given its mineral wealth, Troas is a tempting prize for many a jealous eye, and therefore the Orichalchum Isle is fortified with a dozen layers of Orichalk walls, each more impregnable than the last. Only once were the walls of Troas broken when in times of antiquity Troas and Myrmidos fought against one another. In addition to its walls, Troas is fortified by an array of seemingly arcane defences; in the great war against Myrmidos, the Trojans were able to direct the power of the volcano itself to create moats of lava to destroy their enemies, and atop their Orichalk towers, great polished gemstones harness the power of the sun in great sunbeams which can burn sail, ship and sailor alike.
The Trojan army consists of four main parts:
The Citizen Levy – those who are called upon in desperate times, and who in smaller numbers serve as a police force in peacetime.
The Engineering Corps – a group of engineers whose talents are put to military use. They are accomplished at besieging and defending fortifications, as well as the maintenance and deployment of an array of field artillery. Formally part of the Engineering Corps are also the Grenadiers – a maverick group of soldiers who throw clay jars full of burning pitch.
The Infantry – Troas is a small island, and there is therefore little space for the rearing of horses. Whilst the Trojans use horses as beasts of burden, and for messengers, they have no regular cavalry force. Instead, the Trojans have a well-disciplined infantry force who fight in a distinctive style mixing shield wall and crossbow.
The Orichalchum Guard – an elite infantry regiment trained in Myrmidos that variously serve as bodyguard to the Primus, or as crack troops for when the heat of battle is fiercest. Established a hundred years after the great war against Myrmidos as a result of the fifth league council, where Troas agreed to build an Orichalk wall around Myrmidos, the Orichalchum Guard have a permanent training ground in Myrmidos. These resolutions were designed to prevent the risk that either nation would ever go to war against one another. Unlike the Pythian Silent Sentinels, the Orichalchum guard do not fight in the same style as the Myrmidans, but instead they adopt a style which is their own. The Orichalchum Guard and the Myrmidans are in a state of mostly friendly rivalry, and it is not unheard of for the Guard to accompany the Myrmidans into battle when their heavy armour is of use. Clad in heavy scale armour, the Orichalchum guard variably fight in shieldwall or with heavy two handed battleaxe.
Troas also has a professional navy whose main purpose is to defend their merchant assets, this consists of:
The Merchant Navy: these are typically private merchant vessels which are nonetheless usually well-armed. These vessels commonly have oars and sails, but a rare few vessels are propelled by stranger means.
The Warfleet: Troas has a small, but powerful, warfleet. The vessels of Troas are heavily armoured and are covered in similar metal scales as those that are worn by the Orichalchum Guard. The largest of Trojan ships are very slow and take the form of floating fortresses with multiple towers containing powerful warmachines.