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Dromosker Island

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See also: Imarru-Lugal

The Dromosker Island Territory is an island colony belonging to The Hexarchy that is situated in the Skerry Isles between the Captive Sea and the Sea of Storms. The island is known to be the home of tribes practicing anthropophagy, who are known as the Askerr of Dromosker Island. This practice, however, was greatly diminished following the natives' defeat at the hands of their new overlords in the Askerr War of 1690 AN. In times past, the island played host to Walter Poldark, renowned pirate and alleged captain of the Ergonian navy until the island went to Jingdao as a gift by the same man in 1629 AN. It remained in Jing hands until 1686 AN, and was then briefly held by Barbary until it collapsed in 1688 AN. After that, it was occupied by colonists from The Hexarchy, who fought the brutal, two-year long Askerr War in 1690 AN with the natives over control over the island before establishing a now-heavily populated city at Imarru-Lugal.

In the 1720's AN, the island began to exercise its home rule more freely under the continued leadership of the Tepesh family (being the island's conquerers in the 1690's war). The family was recognized in its dual status as the island's recognized government over the colonies centered around Imarru-Lugal and as the recognized tribal overlord within the island proper. Being semi-independent of a home country reluctant at playing the role of an overseas colonial power, The Hexarchy granted the colonial government a limited ability for the collective Dromosker government negotiate its own specific treaties with so-called "friendly" states. One of the most notable examples of the Dromosker government exercising these new privileges was their signing of the Treaty of Portpur, which established a customs union between the island and neighboring territories in the Skerry Isles ruled by Çakaristan.


Early History

Occupation by Jingdao

The Maritime Free Republic, also known as Hexiehaizei (Jingdaoese for: harmonious pirate), or Dromosker Island is a formerly independent island nation that has been part of the Jingdaoese Empire from 1629 until the 1680's AN. There was also very little imperial oversight during the Jingdao occupation era. It was previously the home of Walter Poldark, renowned pirate and alleged captain of the Ergonian navy until the island's subjugation by The Hexarchy in 1690 AN as a result of the Askerr War. Captain Poldark was also the person who gifted the nation to Jingdao in 1629, after having received support from the Jingdaoese Empire for some time.

In 1635 Emperor Heinrich of Jingdao, the Kattei Emperor ordered the Maritime Free Republic to build an educational institute for the troubled youth on the island. In turn Captain-General Walter Poldark promised to build the Emperor Heinrich Naval School for the Disadvantaged Youth. Reports on what happened to the children, and their suspected encounters with the Askerr have always been suppressed by Jingdaoese censors and to this day nothing is known for certain about what happened to them.

In 1688 the Maritime Free Republic was transferred into the hand of the Barbarian Republic as part of a land trade between Jingdao and Barbary, where it became known as the island of the Gezellige Piraten (cosy pirates'). By the first month of 1690 the last of the Barbary traders had disappeared into the cooking pots of the Askerr and the natives were most recently observed to have assembled on the northern shore of the island, making beckoning gestures to the crew of a barque from the Hexarchy, inviting them to come ashore - which they, somewhat incautiously, some settlers of duly did. This incident in turn led to the Askerr War, in which the Hexarchy conquered the island by way of soldiers of fortune led by one Eru Tepesh, contrary to much of the central government's wishes.

Despite the considerable cultural changes on the island since the 1690's AN during the Hexarchy's takeover, Jing influences remain among subsets of natives to this day. For instance, the worship of the Heavenly Light in the form of a cargo cult has been largely ignored by the island's new rulers, and many of these cultural aspects have been subverted by the island's rulers to cement their control over the island's large population.

Settlement by The Hexarchy

Main article: Askerr War

Modern History

The modern history of the island is characterized by the occupation of The Hexarchy, and the course of the island's modern politics is mostly based on the new government based out of Imarru-Lugal, the city which also bears the name of the territory. Most trade between the new Imperial Federation and Hexarchian merchants passes through the island, which is used as a stopover during the long voyage from the eastern territories of Keltia to the Hexarchy proper.

Since the end of the Askerr War, events on the island are usually confined to a strictly local nature, with the status quo remaining mostly unchanged since 1691. For the first three decades of Hexarchian rule, the natives kept almost entirely to themselves. However, the occasional dragon attack was staged during the early years of the occupation against those who had clearly forgotten what their rulers' wrath feels like in the midst of localized rebellions or, more commonly, organized attacks on shipping deep in the island's interior. The scale of rebellions decreased over time, thanks to intelligently designed arrangements to turn the mana system into a source of extensive profit and long-lasting legal control by the central government.

Due to the more quiet experience people now have within the environs of Imarru-Lugal, the well-provisioned and strongly defended island was then used for at least the following two decades as a proxy location for negotiations between the Hexarchy and faraway nations that aren't enamored with the mainland's unique fauna and the traditions associated with them. Due to its far-off location from the mainland and the central government's long-lasting lack of enthusiasm for a colonial empire, the island is usually left to its own devices, and as such local rule is extremely independent when it comes to internal affairs.


Foreign Trade

Military Services

Thanks to the very high amount of political and military autonomy enjoyed by the island, House Tepesh has been able to raise mercenaries of its own among its military ranks to gain experience abroad. While the policy under Eru Tepesh I was to merely contain the natives, his eldest son and successor in Eru Tepesh II saw fit to harness the considerable fighting spirit of the island's large native population for more constructive purposes. Since Eru II's ascension as ruler of Dromosker in 1702 AN, he instituted a military policy that employed a corps of Hexarchian officers and Dromosker natives from trusted tribes (including Askerr) as a forward-deployed force, constantly employing its forces to retain a cadre of highly experienced officers while reinforcing their dominance over the island and its native peoples (which still outnumber the so-called Outlanders by several times).

The most-honored natives are usually rewarded with mana gained from the wholesale destruction of regional pirates, and placement on such expeditions is the source of great honor by individual warriors and the tribes which send them. This partly engineered cultural facet, combined with the extent of the island's autonomy since 1720 AN, allowed Eru Tepesh II to send a fully armed regiment of Dromosker merceneries to work for the Benacian Union in a bid to bring in additional income to the island, on condition the regiment see consistent (if light) action and access to proper rewards for both its Hexarchian officer corps and their Dromosker subordinates. (Rumor also held that the central government accepted this arrangement when the offer was sweetened by the addition of certain exotic animals to the menagerie of death at Ereshkigal Forest.)

Interior Trade

Trade does happen between House Tepesh and the local rulers, who have come to respect the lord of House Tepesh, now Eru Tepesh II, as the true master of Dromosker island with a quasi-religious status as undisputed lord of the island and all who live on it. In recent years, the growing peace in the island's interior has allowed industry to develop outside of the capital, and the resulting infrastructure and mass-produced items have encouraged a more sedentary lifestyle among the less warlike of the native tribes. With the firmer establishment of local rule and tighter control of the island, an industrial economy has come to complement the agrarian economy the natives employ (outside of cannibalistic purposes).

Mana Rights

On special occasions, the most loyal of the local cannibal chiefs are given mana by their magnanimous masters in the form of some hapless prisoner convicted of an especially severe crime, as the central government of the Hexarchy cannot directly pass the death penalty on prisoners. As this prohibition extends to a great degree to the Dromosker Island government, House Tepesh must also follow this law while still exercising its own brutish brand of justice on the island. The loophole with the Askerr is much the same as the one used with the mainland's practice of passing capital punishment by sending prisoners into exile directly to Ereshkigal Forest, on the mainland.

As such, an aspect of the island's economy now involves the purchasing of mana by more wealthy tribes. Since the Askerr War, natives are no longer allowed to "steal mana" with impunity (aka murdering people without the permission of House Tepesh) lest the offender be subject to being cannibalized, or worse, thrown to the dragons. However, there is a workaround for the many native tribes that still participate in cannibalistic rituals. The natives bid for rights to mana replenishments by offering part of their industrial produce and precious items over a set period of time. When it comes time for condemned criminals to be sent to the tribes, tribute is delivered to the Lord of Dromosker and the natives gain access to the condemned. In those cases where victims are lacking, the natives are instead granted more lenient rights during recruiting efforts for pirate-hunting expeditions sanctioned by the Tepesh government, with some being granted guaranteed places in the outgoing regiments for their finest, most experienced warriors.

This arrangement has resulted in law and order being upheld throughout the island, mostly through self-enforcement. Native policy eventually changed to favoring the bidding system to keep the peace, and tribes engaged in stealing mana were harshly punished by their peers, before they went on to be punished again by the central government as part of punitive expeditions, in which the stolen mana was recovered and distributed several-fold to well-behaved factions that aided in law enforcement. It was thanks in great part to this arrangement that by 1718 AN that the islands were declared completely pacified by the Tepesh government in a report to the central government.

When the mana thefts came to a gradual end, the natives instead focused on aggressively cooperating with the government in its desire to venture into conflict zones, especially for pirate hunting expeditions. In these, the government would (ironically) be the one who was paid by the island's denizens for the honor of joining these expeditions, to the degree that bidding wars eventually took place over these as well, due to limited capacity for recruiting and controlling over-eager warriors. By 1723 AN, these expeditions were extremely profitable, forming a lynchpin of the island's now-booming interior economy.