Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa
The Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa is a trade organization consisting of a handful of of independent city-states which lie along the shores of the Strait of Haifa, the expansive rift valley which defines the border between Central and Eastern Keltia.
|Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa|
|Motto: "Strength in Commerce"|
|Anthem: The Ballad of Old Lake Morovia|
|15.8.1 - Present|
|Largest city||Blore Heath|
|Official language(s)||English, Pallisican, Hammish, Haifan|
|- Head of State||Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime Markets|
|- Head of Government||President of the Congress|
|- Legislature||Congress of Regional Investors|
|Establishment||33.73 PSSC (6/29/16)|
|Population||817,739 (35.94 PSSC)|
- See also: News of the Maritime Markets
Formally established in 34.05 PSSC as part of an effort to organize and improve trade between the Haifan tribes who settled the region during the period of peak commerce between the Haifan and Pallisican peoples, the Maritime Markets enjoy a history which can be divided into four distinct periods: the Period of Settlement, The Period of Dormancy, the Period of Trade Renewal, and the Period of Expansion.
The regions which constitute the Maritime Markets were originally settled in the 28.50s PSSC, by Haifan migrants who sought to discover and establish industries which could improve trade between Haifa in Eastern Keltia, Passas in Western Keltia, and New Zimia in Northern Corum. During this period, Haifan settlers, working with similarly eager Pallisican adventurers and entrepreneurs, established new towns and industries along the length of the Strait of Haifa. These ventures, however, failed to attract significant attention from major investors, as they were largely overshadowed by the growth of Pallisican and Haifan settlements in Corum and Eastern Eura The growth of these ventures, furthermore, was heavily stifled by the political instability which would ultimately result in the collapse of the Haifan government. Following the collapse of that government, most of the entrepreneurial Haifan and Pallisican settlers along the Strait of Haifa would abandon their efforts at earning an honest living, and would turn to piracy to acquire their wealth.
Piracy was a lucrative business for Haifans in eastern Keltia following the collapse of the Free State of Haifa. By raiding settlements along the shores of the vast Strait of Haifa, Haifan pirates seized tremendous sums of wealth, far more than they could ever earn through honest work in most other places. Attracted by the allure of great prospective wealth during this period, many people traveled south, from places such as Abeis, the capital of Haifa, to the cities of the Strait, where they encountered the Haifans and Pallisicans who had settled the region years earlier. In contrast to the earlier settlers, who in the years since their arrival and the subsequent collapse of their economic ventures in the region, had adopted many of the cultural customs of rural Pontans, and who were content to subsist merely through piracy and other similar activities, the settlers who arrived following the collapse of the Free State brought with them ambitions regarding the establishment of a new, independent market. Under the guidance of these new settlers to the Strait of Haifa, the earlier settlers, led by the elders of a number of pirate councils, were gradually compelled to draft and approve the treaties allowing for the establishment of the Maritime Markets.
The primary function of the Maritime Markets in its earliest incarnation was strictly to maintain the Port of Blore Heath. To that extent, the government of the Maritime Markets, which was explicitly based on the model established by the government of Passio-Corum, served to facilitate the commerce which transpired between the city-states of Blore Heath, Mylecia, and Jogi. In this respect the government proved very effective. In the months and years following the establishment of the Markets, economic activity along the Strait of Haifa would reach an all-time high as the brokerages which represented the city-states of the Markets expanded in scale. Before long, the Haifans who had settled the city-states prior to the collapse of the Free State of Haifa, who had been forced to turn to piracy for wealth, began to acquire new, legitimate types of work. Some became brewers, while others became farmers, or miners in the coal mines which lie to the west of Mylecia. Those who continued to engage in sanctioned piracy, however, would rapidly find themselves radicalized by an emerging belief system which centered around the worship of the god of ritual madness, intoxication, and violence. The religious radicalization of these pirates, as best exemplified by the creation of the pirate cult known as the Bacchian Vine Fleet would in turn inspire the creation of multiple commercial cults, such as the Guild of the Cult of Maskmakers, the Maenads of Mylecia, and eventually the Israati-Haifan Nationalist Movement, among others.
The emergence of these commercial cults would leave a lasting impression on the history of the Maritime Markets. As such cults gained investment through their respective representative brokerages on the Port of Blore Heath, and in economic power, they would also gain in political and social influence. In time they - in particular their notable leaders such as the Priestess of Agripinilla - would come to assume a position of considerable power in the political and social strata of the Strait. Using this regional influence, such religious leaders would work to expand their influence, and that of their religion, around Keltia, and around the globe. Such efforts would ultimately prove effective: by mid-35 PSSC the influence of the leaders of the Haifan religion would extend into the upper echelons of the government of Passio-Corum. Having penetrated the governmemnt of the Pallisican nation, the leaders of the Stripping Path - working in coordination with the leaders of the Maritime Markets - were able expand the interests of the new Haifan nation around the world. To this end, through the global expansion of the religion which was founded within its borders, the Maritime Markets were able to acquire a global sphere of influence. Today, this global sphere of influence is reflected by the participation of the Maritime Markets on the USSO Common Market, and by treaties with nations such as Shireroth.
|Blore Heath||Port of Blore Heath||Strait of Haifa|
|Jogi||Port of Jogi||Strait of Haifa|
|Mylecia||Port of Mylecia||Strait of Haifa|
|Rouge||Port of Rouge||North Island|
|Vaeringheim||Port of Jogi||Lake Morovia|
The government of the Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa consists of two formal bodies: the Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime Markets, and the Congress of Regional Investors. Appointed from within the Congress of the Regional Investors, the Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime Markets (CEO) serves to oversee and maintain the relationships between the various segments of the nation's government. The CEO of the Maritime Markets is responsible for managing the Congress of Regional Investors and ensuring the functions of government, conducting foreign affairs, and overseeing the national bank. In terms of its power, this office may unilaterally authorize the establishment of new Regional Investors, and it may unilaterally act to alter the nation's money supply. The CEO may also establish new cabinet positions within the nation's government. In terms of limitations on its powers, the CEO of the Maritime Markets lacks the authority to propose or restrict legislation. This office, furthermore is limited in its capacity to direct national policy in general. It may not, for instance, determine the composition of the Congress of Regional Investors, nor may it attempt to influence local politics. The holder of the office of CEO of the Maritime Markets may be deposed at any time by a majority vote within the Congress of Regional Investors.
The Congress of Regional Investors is a legislative and judicial body consisting of appointed representatives from each of the Maritime Market's individual Regional Investors, who themselves are responsible for overseeing policy and investments on behalf of their respective regions. The Congress is responsible for approving and denying proposals from Regional Investors regarding individual and collective investments, authorizing the establishment of new companies and industries, and appointing or deposing the Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime Markets. The Congress, furthermore, is responsible for appointing judges to the nation's courts, and for determining the nation's budgets. To that extent, the Congress of Regional Investors serves to define the official national policy of the Maritime Markets. In regards to limitations, this branch of the government of the Maritime Markets may not conduct is own foreign affairs, nor may it attempt to manage the nation's bank. The Congress also lacks the power to establish new cabinet positions, as well as the power to impose restrictions on the appointments of cabinet members.
With no formal military of its own, the Maritime Markets relies on various pirate fleets for the nation's defense, such as the Fleet of Blore Heath, and the Bacchian Vine Fleet, and other religious orders such as the Knights of Mt.Nysa. The Maritime Markets, as a result of the nation's trade with Shireroth, is also defended by the Jogi Regiment, which is the most formal and structured of the nation's defense forces.
In contrast to the types of government employed by other nations who base their economy on the ideas proposed by Opyeme Time, the government of the Maritime Markets is especially non-complex, and non-democratic.
|GDP by Sector:||
|Major Industry (% of Production):||Silk (57.93%)|
|Largest Company (Value):||Port of Mylecia (23,560 Li)|
|Labor Force (% of Total Population):||570,704 (70%)|
|Labor Force by Sector:||
|Nonemployment (% of Total Population):||51,657 (6.36%)|
|Budget Surplus or Deficit:||808,979 Li|
|Reserves of Foreign Currency:|
Like the other Haifan and Pallisican nations of recent history, the economy of the Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa is based upon the principles outlined by Opyeme Time, in his essay entitled "A Sustainable Economy".
The ideas expressed by Time in his essay first reached the Strait of Haifa in the 720's, when Pallisican entrepreneurs were commissioned by the government of the the Free state of Haifa, to establish settlements in the Protectorate of the Wallis Islands, in the region which would later become New Zimia. Despite their initial appeal, and despite their overwhelming success in northern Corum, the ideas of Time failed to gain widespread appeal amongst the rulers of mainland Haifa, and so they furthermore did little to contribute to the overall long-term success of the Haifan economy. Only after the collapse of the government of the Free State would the ideas expressed in "A Sustainable Economy" finally gain support in central Keltia this time amongst the nation's now independent businessmen, who sought to rebuild the Haifan economy by establishing industries along the region's waterways, in the era now known in the history of the Maritime Markets as the Period of Settlement.
The value of the currency of the Maritime Markets, the Liev, which takes its name from that of the currency of the Free State of Haifa, is backed by levels of investment in the Port of Blore Heath, the official marketplace of the Maritime Markets.
The economy of the Maritime Markets is managed by the Bank of Blore Heath.
One of the rare regions of Micras' eastern hemisphere which has not yet been rid of piracy, the vast Strait of Haifa is a region governed by organized crime syndicates who have capitalized on centuries of instability in central Keltia. These crime syndicates, most notable among them the pirate Fleet of Blore Heath, play a central role in the administration of the regions representing the Maritime Markets. For this reason, the Markets remain heavily isolated from other Haifan and Pallisican nations, as well as from the other nations of central and eastern Keltia..
In addition to their central role in the governance of the cities of the Strait of Haifa, the pirates of the Maritime Markets are notorious for their drunken nighttime raids against unsuspecting ships, and coastal cities and villages. The cities of the Green are generally the most susceptible such raids, though more ambitious pirates have been known to target the cities of Haifa and Pontus. In terms of ships, vessels representing New Zimia and Hamland are most vulnerable to attack by pirates. Such vessels, which often carry wealth and goods to and from Haifa, offer lucrative targets for the pirates of the Maritime Markets. The most feared and respected of the pirate communities of the Strait of Haifa is the Bacchian Vine Fleet, which is believed to be endowed with divine magical abilities.
The religion of the Maritime Markets, or the Stripping Path as it is known to practitioners, derives considerable influence from the Pallisican Religion, though it differs from the religion of the Pallisican people in one notable way. Though both religions recognize the universal relationship between the forces of chaos, order, and mystery, the Haifan religion, unlike the religion of Passas and New Zimia which attempts to restore and establish order in place of chaos, recognizes chaos as an end in and of itself. The Stripping Path in other words, rejects the Pallisican view that chaos should be vanquished in favor of order, and instead upholds the notion that chaos is the supreme governing force of the universe. Practitioners of the Haifan religion, as a consequence of this belief, are much more naturalistic and mystical than their Pallisican counterparts, and are also generally more resistant to law and order.
In addition to this difference in overall philosophy, the Stripping Path and the Pallisican Religion also differ theologically. In contrast to the practitioners of the Pallisican Religion, who recognize an incomprehensible god represented by the so-called Host Spirit (otherwise known as the Author of the Pallisican Peoples), practitioners of the Haifan religion worship Bacchus, an ancient and extramicrasian god who is believed to have been first worshiped by fringe elements within the Republic of Pontus, perhaps as early as the the year 699 WG. While practitioners of the Pallisican Religion do not necessarily worship the Host Spirit, but rather recognize it as a significant, higher spiritual power, practitioners of the Stripping Path worship Bacchus as their god. The worship of Bacchus, in fact, is a significant part of the overall culture of the Maritime Markets.
Notable practitioners, or groups of practitioners of the Stripping Path include the Bacchian Vine Fleet, the Maenads of Mylecia, and the Knights of Mt.Nysa. The worship of Bacchus also plays a significant role in the overall success of companies such as the Grand Cave Bee Meadery.
The practice of the religion of the Maritime Markets is common and widespread throughout the Strait of Haifa and across portions of the eastern hemisphere such as areas of Passio-Corum and the Greater Corprian Archipelago.
In large part a result of local customs which place a great emphasis on the worship of Dionysus, as noted earlier, the culture of the Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa has over several decades come to place a considerable emphasis on the development of its musical arts. Notable musical acts who make their home in the Maritime Markets include Creatures of Corum, a band based in the city of Blore Heath, whose world famous music is well known to induce a type of trance.