|My first attempt in poetry|
Sentry The wind howls along the frosted mountaintops. Locals believe those who died trying to cross the mountain pass remain there, wailing as a reminder to those foolish enough to repeat their mistakes. The sacred valley within could thank those storytellers for its centuries of tranquility amid the stormy crags. Though the tales of the previous generations linger in the hearts of the young, children do not often listen to their elders. What was once fact melts into superstition and myth, and when the truth is obscured, there are those who wish to seek it out themselves.
It is the same within the mountain as it is in the homelands of those who come to trespass. They are no different than the arrogant cubs seeking to travel beyond the mountain’s cradle and die in the heat of the lands beyond. They seek to travel beyond what they know in search of things they do not. Their quest for knowledge, and their curiosity, shall be their downfall for sure.
History: Byllais was founded fifty years prior to the Breaking by a contingent of the Crimson Cloak sent General Thelamakus as an outpost in the mountains to watch the country's southern holdings as well as a training ground for its new warriors. The leader of this fortress, General Xenophon proved to be an equally skilled administrator as he soon turned his small bastion into a thriving town. Hundreds of people flocked to the city for protection from the tribesmen who roam the lands and pirates who prey in the sea. In exchange for this protection, the people agreed to work the land and provide for its army.
After the Breaking, rather than return to their mother city and search for survivors in the ruins of Thebopolis, the crafty Xenophon declared the land lost and crowned himself king. To placate the people from rebellion he chose another to serve as co-ruler to their lands, a young ambitious warrior named Diomedes. For years afterward these traditions continued with the Crimson Cloaks continuing the tradition of training new warriors to fill their ranks.
Religion: The people of Byllais share the pagan worship similar to their predecessors. Though while those in Thebopolis worshipped an entire pantheon of gods, they Bylliana have taken only one god, Ajax the god of war. He was once a minor part of the Thebepolis pantheon and won favor amongst the soldiers and declared the only true god allowed to be worshipped in their lands.
In order to honor their deity, the men of Bylais strive to give only the most perfect soldiers. In their quest for this, a baby born with any defect mentally or physically are executed while those found in acceptable shape are trained to be warriors.
Military: Bylais is centered solely on its army to the point where a full quarter of its population are soldiers. Once accepted into the ranks, a soldier is no longer allowed to take up any other profession and must leave their wives and family in order to live only in the barracks. Instead, the land is worked by the peasants who have sworn to work under their banner.
From the young age of 7 each child is taken in order to train until adulthood in the arts of being a soldier. When they reach the age of 15, each child is considered an adult and is now sent to serve in the army. Such rigorous training has made them the greatest soldiers in Hellanes.
Their armies are divided into three groups.
The Conquering army: A division of about 3,000 men whose role is to retake former lands controlled by Thebopolis and claim it as their own. Their holdings are a string of outposts along the northern Hellanes coast.
The Shields of Byllais: The main garrison force of the city. They number around some 15,000 soldiers whose main job is to protect Byllais as well as being the main field army of the city-state.
The King’s Companions: These men act as the personal guards of the king and are the final line of defense in Byllais. Their numbers are at about 3,000 soldiers which are divided into battalions of 300. They join the king in battle and are tasked with protecting him at all costs.
Although they maintain a navy of about 85 ships, it is often been said to be the weakest of the three cities with its main purpose for transportation and protecting cargo. Even being an Admiral is considered a lesser honor than being a General.
Government: Byllais is ruled by two kings, one man typically in his 50s and another in his 20s. These two do not necessarily need to be related and are chosen by the soldiers among their officers. The young man represents the energy and aggressiveness while the older man represents the wisdom of the army. They share equal power and cannot make any decision unless they can agree. As a result, few changes are made and the society remains stagnant.
Aside from the kings, there are also other officials who run the empire in the form of governors and lesser leaders. Citizens of Byllais may run as position though only a officials imported or older warriors who are past retirement may take these positions. Their duties are simply to maintain garrisons, collect taxes and ensure quotas are met.
Society: Due to few changes among the government the society of Byllias had remained largely stagnant and unchanged since its founding. Its society is based entirely on its army and its maintenance. It is only them and their families who are considered true citizens of Byllais, the thousands of peasants who work the land are treated as serfs and nothing more. They have fewer rights and are unable to hold any form of a government official.
Laws are strictly enforced by the Shields of Byllais and punishments are meted out with swiftness and brutality.
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