The Last Watch of Summer
Marian Empire Notes
The Empire is a powerful trading nation founded aprox 2000 years ago by the Emperor Marius I.
There are 15 provinces in the Empire, the newest of which has recently been conquered and is referred to as Province 15.
There are Five Armies in the Empire each made up of ten legions of 1000 men.
Each Legion is divided into two banners one of 500 and one of 480
Each banner is divided into 6 companies of 80 each company is either infantry or crossbowmen or cavalry or specialists. The third army has been trying mixed companies of infantry and crossbowmen.
The Emperor (currently Marius XVI) commands the entirety of the nation with the aid of the Central Ministries who oversee the basic functioning of the vast bureaucracy that is required to run a legalist state. The Emperor and the Ministries in theory collect taxes and spend these taxes on public works, the military, welfare, etc. However this is usually done at a lower level (for ease) with the Ministries over seeing all.
Below the Emperor are the Dukes who rule the Provinces in his name and in theory lead the corps of their province (though in practice this is more usually delegated to a senior military commander) and ensure that those under them are collecting taxes. Dukes are responsible for all the towns and main roads in a province and the maintenance of good order within each province.
Wardens rule Wards and are responsible for the collection of taxes and (under the direction of the Central Ministries) the expenditure of income on local roads, recruitment, and welfare.
These posts are usually hereditary.
Below Wardens are Knights of which there are two types. Landed Knights are hereditary and are tied with great land charters, these can only usually be gained when a new province is conquered or the Emperor wishes to show great favour. The eldest children of Wardens and higher are usually Landed Knights. The second type of Knight is much more common, these are Landless Knights, a position that is not hereditary, a landless knighthood is most often given as a reward for service to the state (either military or civil) and it is very rare to find people in senior positions who are not at the very least a landless knight. The younger children of Wardens and higher usually are given landless knighthoods.
The vast majority of people in the Marian Empire do not fall into any of the above categories instead being deemed Citizens. The lot of a citizen is usually better than that of a serf in neighbouring nations. Citizens are required to work, but as long as they do they will not go hungry (even if all they eat is government rations), will not be homeless (even if they sleep in little more than a communal barracks), and will have at least limited access to healthcare (a lay healer once a year and at least some non-magical emergency provision).
Welfare is given dependant on the perceived utility of a position, bureaucrats and other state servants generally receive better accommodation than artisans who most certainly receive better housing than unskilled labourers. Food is generally similar although families with children get more food, and higher skilled roles generally get better quality food. All positions have opportunities to earn money (which is taxed) which can be used to purchase luxuries, generally meats or entertainments, but can include healthcare and education. Clothing is provided for all Citizens, this is usually a work uniform of some type, unadorned grey tops and leggings for state labourers, and more decorative uniforms for those who are of higher status. It is possible to see what role a person performs in society simply by looking at their work clothes. For this reason it is common for people to purchase as a luxury brightly coloured (almost garish) clothes for when they are not at work. Soldiers wear dark crimson and black – with a tabard showing the colours of their Corps and Army. Members of the Central Ministries wear long robes coloured according to their Ministry: War – Red, Interior – Grey, Commerce – Blue, Magic – Purple, Agriculture – Green, Religion – White, Health – Yellow, Special Affairs – Black.
At 16 each Citizen is required to report for testing at the Central Ministries office in their local Ward. The only way to avoid this is to provide the Central Ministries with notice of continuing education (usually restricted to the wealthier Citizens such as merchants, military officers and bureaucrats) or more commonly a notice of employment (used for artisanal apprenticeships or family businesses.) If neither is provided and the Citizen still does not report for testing, a warrant is issued for their punishment, and they are no longer eligible for welfare until such a time as their punishment (usually flogging) is administered and they are tested.
Testing is rigorous, using both magical and mundane means, Citizens are assigned work from what is available in the town or ward (although it is not unusual to be assigned to another town or ward if skills are required there.) The majority are assigned to work on state farms providing food for the citizenry, these labourers are paid mainly in welfare earning a scant few coppers a month with which to buy luxuries, or save for future purchases. Others are assigned to local job providers (the provider may even be rewarded for taking on someone from testing.) Where their wage and welfare provisions depend on the job (once trained many former apprentices apply at a testing centre again for a better position.) The prize jobs are those that involve the central ministries in some way, this could be as exotic as arcane potential or as mundane as high numerical literacy (though this is more likely from richer households.) Being conscripted for military service is seen as a preferable option to state labour service as it provides a higher quality of life (although at greater risk) and entitles soldiers after ten years of service to better quality accommodation and a bonus militia pay (in return for reservist duties) in almost any Ward in the Empire (although this is actually quite limited.) At any time if a Citizen is dissatisfied with their employment they can reapply for testing (although excessive use of this generally ends up with worse and worse duties.)
For those who are lucky enough to have gained higher education this consists of two years in an academy. There are four types of academy although only three of these are available in every province to (in theory) every citizen.
Firstly there are the Military Academies, these train the officers of the future with heavy emphasis on tactics, philosophy, history and warfighting skills. Secondly there are the Scholarly Academies, these train the Central Ministries management role holders of the future, generally there is a wide variety of subjects that can be learned at a Scholarly Academy but the majority of attendees only learn three (and rarely master one) mainly one social science, one hard science and one humanity. Thirdly there are the Clerical Academies that train the lay and magical members of the state religion, here the focus is on prayer contemplation and religious learning. Finally and only in the Central Province is the Arcane Academy, this is only open to those who have arcane potential and trains the State Wizards.
The Empire is coastal and maintains strong trading links (required for the treasury to fund welfare through taxation) although its main military might remains land based rather than sea based.