Introduction to this Age

Set some 1000 years before the Mediaeval period, this Age is dominated by the Edwinan empire known as Senatus Populusque Edwinus (SPQE). The time period is like that of Earth's Roman Republic, when the Republic encompassed much of the known world, and conquered against the Barbarians of the surrounding countries. All natives are furry (Skin Avian are present here too). No native humans.
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JamesG
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Introduction to this Age

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SENATVS POPVLVSQVE EDVINVS

The Senate and People of Edwinus



In Ancient times, the channel between Edwin and Domus is land, a connection between the two continents. It is in this divide that the city of Edwinus, as it is known, lies, and from which the name of the continent is derived. This city has grown from a small tribal town to a great city, once ruled by kings, but now possibly the world's first republic system. It is also the capital city of what is a vast Empire, stretching from the frontiers of Gawainia to the mountains of Domusia. It is mainly populated by Cives Edvinvs, Citizens of Edwinus. They are, by a major demographic, red deer. Although canine and feline Citizens are appearing over the Empire, it is controlled firmly by the deer of the Senate and the Consuls. The mustelids of Gawainia are savage barbarians that can only be subjugated.

Demonym: Edwinan

Geography

Image

Main Features:

Edvinvs - The City of Edwinus, the most prolific and powerful capital city of the known world. The seat of the government, culture, trade and military is in this capital. No regiment of the Army may enter it but one - The Praetorian Guard, the elite unit of the Edwinan Army that serves to protect the city itself, and the government. The city is characterised by large, important buildings such as the Senate, the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Edwinus Forum, and other such buildings. It is also one of the few cities in the world with working sewers. Felines, canines and red deer are a common sight, mustelids, reptiles, avians and rodents a rarity.

Provincia Gavainia - The Province of Gawain, the furthest reach of the Edwinan Empire into the mustelid continent. It has four main capital city-fortresses, and is one of the more dangerous outposts of the Empire. Mustelids that form part of the Empire, and have been civilised are a common sight. Barbarian mustelids are a frequent danger, but are usually fended off by Army outposts.

Gavainia, Fortri, Domvsia Barbarorvm - The three remaining realms of the Barbarians, the primitive peoples of each continent, mustelid, feline and canine respectively. There have been intermittent wars between these many tribes, each with their own King, against the Empire, usually ending with the Empire having more land than with which they began. For now, the canine tribes are held in the cold South past the Mountains of Domvsia, the feline Fortri tribes kept to the Northern Highlands, and the mustelid tribes dissuaded by the largest and most powerful legions of the Edwinan Army.

Politics:

The Senatus Populusque Edwinus, or S.P.Q.E as it is known, has two heads of state and government, the Consuls. The Consuls serve for one year only, and are voted in from the aristocracy by 'The people of Edwinus'. By people, this means the Patrician and Plebeian classes, the aristocrats and wealthy that have a vote, and the ordinary Citizens. Slaves, and those disallowed Citizen status by the Censors are not permitted a vote. The two Consuls have the power to veto each other's decisions. Only Patricians can be voted in as Consuls. The Plebeian class, those that are not wealthy nor influential, can not be Consuls, though they can vote for them in the Army Assembly. Servi, slaves, do not have any power in politics. The Senate itself is able to make and enforce laws by a decree known as a 'Senatus Consultatum', meaning the Senate's Advice. Of course, the Senate's advice must be obeyed by Magistrates and Governors of the Empire.

Below the Senate and the Consuls are the Assemblies. The following assemblies are Edwinus' most direct form of democracy, which deal with legislative, electoral and judicial matters.

Comitia Centuriata - The Army Assembly. This Assembly is for Edwinan soldiers, but all Edwinan Citizens could vote in this assembly, regardless of class. Only the highest Magistrates can be voted in by this Assembly, such as the Consuls, Censors and Praetors, lower ranks. The Army Assembly also has the power to act as a High Court in judicial matters.

Comitia Tributa - The Tribal Assembly. This assembly votes on the election of less important officials, such as Military Tribunes and Quaestors. Plebeians and Patricians may both vote in this Assembly. They may also serve as a court of law for judicial matters. The Tribal Assembly is named such because it is made up of the provinces, or 'Tribes' of the city and area surrounding Edwinus.

Concilium Plebis - The Plebeian Council. This is where the Plebeians, or commoners could vote on court matters. This Council may ONLY pass laws that apply to Plebeians, the Patrician class is above this council.

The main government officials to know in the poltical system are these:

Consuls - The two heads of state and government of S.P.Q.E. This official must be a Patrician.

Senators - A council of Patricians that pass laws to be enforced by officials. This official must be a Patrician.

Praetors - A commander of an army, or Governor of a province. These officials exercise Imperial power in the provinces of the Empire at the top level. This official must be a Patrician.

Censors - Officials that regulate 'public morality'. This is a rank that allows the official to uphold moral codes by force amongst the populace. The Censors are also responsible for maintaining a register of all the people and property across the Empire. This official must be a Patrician.

Military Tribunes - Officials that both serve as higher ranking officers in the Edwinan Army, and officials working for the Senate. These Tribunes would likely become Senators themselves. This official must be a Patrician.

Quaestors - Officials that deal in financial matters. This official must be a Patrician.

Class Structure of S.P.Q.E

Patrician - The aristocratic and wealthy class of the Empire. The Patricians are Citizens with money, voting rights and the chance of being elected as a public official. Far from the image of an aristocracy born into power, a Patrician must be clever, cunning and a good orator to obtain a position of power. The Consulship is the most powerful position a Patrician can reach, and even ex-Consuls whom have served their term can expect a good deal of political clout in the Senate, as well as wealth and respect. Higher ranking military officers are Patricians who will, in their late twenties, look to become a Military Tribune, the Army's backdoor into Senate politics. This class may own slaves.

Equestrian - The lower aristocratic class, the equivalent of knights. This class is made up of lesser nobility with not as much wealth and influence, whom are primarily military families. This class is used to war, and being heavy cavalry, as only aristocracy may be cavalry in the Edwinan Army. An Equestrian does not usually ascend to be a Patrician, as it is strictly hereditary. However, a rich and influential Plebeian, one whom has a large amount of property, and can satisfy the Censors as to their character, may be admitted to the Equestrian class, which will then pass as a hereditary class. This class may own slaves.

Plebeian - Whilst still Cives Edwinus, Edwinan Citizens, Plebeians are still considered the common folk. They have voting rights in every Assembly save the Senate, which makes the most important decisions. Plebeians may own slaves. They are usually found in mercantile, or industry, or as soldiers of the army. Plebeians are not permitted to become high ranking officers, unless by the Patronage, that is, support of a Patrician, which is exceptionally rare.

Servus - The great marble pillars of Edwinus are built by slaves. Her food production is planted and reaped by slaves. Slaves, or Servi, are an exceptionally important part of the working force of the Empire. Every respectable Citizen will own a slave. There is only one way a slave can become a Citizen - to be freed by their owners. The freed slave is known as a Freedman, and receives money from their Patron, that is, their former owner. Needless to say, these newly inducted Citizen Freedmen will be expected to still help their Patron, by voting for them, or the Patron's money might stop supporting them. Freeing slaves is more common than thought, but for the majority, they remain slaves for life. Slaves may not serve in the Army, due to fears of what might happen should a legion of Slaves revolt.

Military:

The military of the S.P.Q.E is divided into the Army, Navy and Auxiliaries. The Edwinan Army is the oldest and longest surviving institution in history, surviving over a thousand years, from a small militia force defending the village of Edwinus, to becoming the world's most powerful armed force, able to crush any opposition and conquer vast swathes of barbarian territory for the glory of the Empire. The Navy is a more recent development, representing technological prowess beyond any other seafaring barbarian. The great Triremes and Quinqueremes of the Navy are able to smash apart any opposition on the high seas.

Army:

The Army is a flexible, disciplined and powerful force. It ignores barbarian concepts such as heroism and 'warrior' ethic, and trains its soldiers to simply be the best, and act as a unit.

Recruits are trained extremely rigorously. They must run with full battle gear over miles a day. They must learn to swim with their armour on. They jump hurdles with their armour on. They daily train with weapons to perfect their skills. The Legionary is not a clumsy piece of cannon-fodder that cannot move effectively with armour on. Edwinan soldiers are able to do acrobatics in their armour, and are thus unlikely to be impeded in killing an enemy by wearing it. A Legionary is also well versed in fortification. EVERY NIGHT, without fail, an Edwinan army on campaign will fortify their camp with trenches, spikes and watch posts. Falling asleep at a watch post is punishable by summary execution. That is, no trial. If the guard that is relieving a sleeping sentry finds that sentry asleep, he is at liberty to kill the sleeper on the spot. The Edwinan Army is also strong in its use of light infantry for preliminary attacks, and archers. The Army is well known for its complicated formation systems, which are varying in their purpose. During sieges, catapults and ballista are of special importance. A Legionary of the Army is required to serve twenty years.

The main weapons of the Edwinan Legionary are below:

Gladius - A short, thick sword with a triangular point . Used for stabbing best.
Scutum - A big, square shaped shield. Whilst this shield is famous for being the main instrument of the 'Testudo' or 'Tortoise' formation, which protects a unit from arrows flying from above and in front, it is mainly used to smash into an enemy's body as he charges. An Edwinan Legionary uses his shield as a weapon as much as the Gladius. Knocking over an enemy with the shield, then stabbing him on the ground is a favoured tactic.
Pila - Specially designed spears used by the Legionaries. These spears are designs to bend and twist once they have struck an enemy. This is to ensure the enemy can not use the spear against the legionnaires. Pila are thrown before going into melee combat. Pila are NOT used in melee combat.

The ranks of the Edwinan army are thus:

Praetors - A commander of an army, though more for administrative reasons. A praetor may command an army to move within the province the Praetor governs, but the Praetor leaves the tactical manoeuvres to the Imperators.

Imperator - Literally, a General. The most authoritative figure in the officer structure in military matters. An experienced war veteran, whom has been promoted by recommendation due to his victories. He may be a Patrician whom has served in war, or an experienced Equestrian

Equites - Literally, horsemen. This is the Equestrian class in combat, the lower aristocracy that act as cavalry, although an Equitus commands a legion of infantry or cavalry.

Military Tribunes - Officers in their late twenties, working for State and Army. They may carry out tasks required by the legion commanders and command smaller divisions of men. These will usually be Patricians or younger Equestrians.

Centuriones - Centurions, as they are known, command in pairs. They command units known as centuria, about 80 men. These Centurions would then appoint Optio, or deputies to carry out tasks.

Optio - A deputy of a Centurion. An Optio does not command any unit of men, but acts as assistant to Centurions, whom in turn serve officers.

Signiferi - Standard-bearers. These men have the honour of carrying the unit's standards into combat. This is especially important, as the standard has a paw on its top, which commands the unit whether to advance, to halt, retreat or turn. It also carries their battle honours.

Tubicen - A trumpeter. Used for signalling an advance or other such relevant commands.

Legionary - The infantry unit of the Army.

Army Formations:

The Triple Line:

The Army forms three main lines, the most inexperienced legions at the front, the most experienced at the back. The skirmishers go forward in a fourth line in front, and hurl their pila at the enemy before retiring through gaps in the lines. The lines of infantry then close. The first line advances to attack. If they are forced to retire, they run through the second line, which then closes up and advances. If this line is forced to retreat, then the third line closes up to advance.

The Wedge

The army will form triangular wedges in the line. As the enemy advances, whoever an enemy warrior attacks, he will be stabbed by the man standing behind the man he attacked.

Command: Cuneum Formate! - Form Wedge!

The Weak Centre

The line will be strong on the flanks, but weak in the centre. When the enemy attacks the centre, tempted by how weak it is, the Edwinan flanks will crush the enemy between them.

Rolling Up the Right

The army will put strength in the right flank. When the right flank breaks the enemy line, they will 'roll up' the enemy line from the right, attacking them from the rear.

Testudo

This formation is used to protect legions from arrow fire. The legionaries will lock their shields in front and on top, so arrows fired from the enemy will be ineffective. This formation is very poor for mobility, and as such should only be used defensively, not whilst advancing.

Image of Testudo

Command: Testudinem Formate! - Form Tortoise!

The Orb

A formation used when a relatively small number of legionaires are surrounded by enemy forces. The legionaries will form a circle, with the archers behind and amongst them, to shoot out at the enemy, whilst the legionaries prevented the enemy from breaking in to attack the archers and officers.

Image of a small Orb

Command: Orbem Formate! - Form Orb!

Square Formation

This formation is used to repel cavalry. The soldiers would point their pila outwards with thier shields locked to dissuade any horse from charging the square, as horses are naturally averse to running into a thicket of sharp points.

Command: Repelli equites! - Repel Horses!

Navy

The Navy is a more recent service of the Edwinan military. Whilst does not wield the power to affect politics as the Army can, it is certainly a formidable force on the seas, where trade and seafaring attacks may be borne. Piracy is always a problem, and the Navy is often occupied with dealing with such peacetime threats. The structure of the Navy is much the same for the Army, indeed legionaries serve on board ships to act as marines. There are a few main classes of warship available to the Navy, listed below:

Trireme - A standard Edwinan warship, so named for having three rows of oars to propel itself, as well as its sails. Contrary to popular belief, oarsmen are not treated like slaves, and are paid well, being important crew members. Triremes are armed with a ramming bow, soldiers, archers and ballistae.

Quadreme - A larger warship with four rows of oars. These may act as flagships for smaller fleets of Triremes, used for pirate-hunting or guarding convoys. Armed with rams, soldiers, archers, and ballistae.

Quinquereme - The biggest warship to serve in the Navy, these are the flagships of great war fleets, with five rows of oars. They are armed not only with many soldiers, archers, a large ramming bow and ballistae, but also with catapults able to hurl flaming pots of pitch at the enemy.

Auxiliaries

The Auxiliaries are literally to help the main army. They are not citizens of Edwinus, and do not get paid as highly as legionaries are. They are a volunteer service, like the Army, and they usually form the light cavalry and archer units that fight with the main legions. However, the Auxiliaries are able to operate independantly, and take on tasks such as fortifying Edwinan forts and walls, and acting as a border defence force. They can also be used for scouting missions. As Edwinan citizens volunteer for the main Army, Auxiliaries are usually people integrated into the Empire, so a larger demographic of canines and felines exists within them. Their officer structure is the same, as is their discipline. Edwinan Citizens are usually placed in command of Auxiliaries, as opposed to promoting Auxiliaries to officer positions.

Military Divisions

Legion - A unit of 4, 800 Legionaries composed of ten cohorts
Cohort - A unit of 480 Legionaries, composed of six Centuria
Centuria - A unit of 80 Legionaries, commanded by two centurions, composed of ten Contubemia.
Contubemia - A unit of 8 Legionaries who share a tent.


Edwinan Entertainment

The most popular form of entertainment in the city of Edwinus is the Amphitheatrum Flavium, or Flavian Amphitheatre. This huge building, in the shape of an oval, is a multi-purpose spectator stadium, with spectacles occuring in the arena. The most famous of these are the gladiatorial fights, in which fighters of similar build classes fight each other to the death. These gladiators are commonly used also for product endorsement, if they become famous enough, and may eventually be granted freedom, as they are slaves. The usual fights are interspersed with recreations of historical battles. Though it occurs very rarely, the Amphitheatre can be flooded to recreate naval battles. Gladiators may also fight with animals such as lions.

Apart from the Amphitheatres distributed about the Empire, there is the Forum. Fora are places in which political discussion may take places. Authors and poets may recite excerpts of their works. Political statements may be made. The Forum has many purposes, such as being a meeting place. Perhaps most importantly, it is also a venue for marketplaces, and the selling of various goods, from slaves to food to jewelry.

Another activity common in the cities of the Edwinan Empire are the public baths. The baths are usually split between a 'Frigidarium', which is a cold bath, a 'Tepidarium', which is a bath of warm water, heated by a furnace beneath the bath floor, and a 'Caldarium', which is water even warmer than the Tepidarium. No splashing, running or diving permitted.

For physical activity, the Citizens of S.P.Q.E may attend a Palaestra, which is a Gymnasium. Whilst this can be taken to mean any variant on physical activity, it is common for schools of wrestling to be formed and set to train in a Palaestra.

Edwinan Religion

The Edwinan religion is more a political entity in this Empire than a true system of beliefs. Religion is used to keep the lower orders happy, whilst aristocracy and wealthier Citizens may not be so easily influenced by religious teachings. The Edwinan have many gods, from the main Pantheon that are responsible for much of Creation, and smaller 'house-gods', such as family ancestors, which look over and protect households and families. The main Pantheon is characterised as capable of cruelty, anger and jealousy, as much as any mortal. However, there is an agreed system, known as Religio, that the Gods adhere to, and from where the word Religion comes. Religio, literally meaning 'binding', is a contract between a mortal and a God. It is an agreement that if the mortal does something, the God will give something in return. For example, if a Citizen builds a shrine to the God in question, he may do so in an agreement with the God, for the God to bring him rain, or children, or wealth, or whatever it is he desires. Gods may also be used to deliver curses upon people. It is a custom to write a curse, and place it in a shrine, in order to make the God curse the person that the curser wants to be harmed. A sacrifice or agreement between the curser and the God may accompany this, to make sure the curse works.

S.P.Q.E Language

The official language of S.P.Q.E is Linguam Edvinum, or Language of Edwinus. It is broken down into two registers, Formal Edwinan and Vulgar Edwinan. Formal Edwinan is used in formal speech and writing, usually by Patricians and Equestrians. Plebeians and slaves more commonly use Vulgar Edwinan, which is the informal register, and is spoken only. Most slaves can not write or read, and Plebeians usually write in formal Edwinan, particularly if they wish to impress a Patrician. Across the Empire, though Edwinan must be learnt by all subjects in the provinces, canine, feline and mustelid languages are spoken amongst the people whom were conquered by S.P.Q.E, though of course they are all compelled to learn the Edwinan language. As Formal Edwinan is exceptionally and notoriously difficult to learn, they are usually taught Vulgar Edwinan, which is only slightly less difficult, with many rules concerning declensions, verb endings and tenses with which to contend. It is considered insulting to speak to any official or Senator in anything but Edwinan. As this is the case, any foreigners speaking their foreign language in the presence of an official, Senator or Officer may be severely punished.

Examples of Edwinan Clothing

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From left to right: citizen, matron, magistrate, consul, general, workman, slave

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From left to right: slave, woman, Patrician

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Soldier with armour, pila and scutum

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From left to right: Centurion and Soldier

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Roman officer

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From left to right: soldiers, signiferi, tubicen, signiferi, centurion

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The Edwinan Senate in the lunch queue

Examples of Edwinan Technology and Building

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The Aqueducts

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The Roads

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The Sewers

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Heated Baths

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The Flavian Amphitheatre

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The Edwinan Senate

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Interior of an Edwinan house

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A Gladius

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Thee variants of pila, from left to right; Thin, thick and weighted

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Two variants of the Scutum.

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Triremes

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Quinqueremes

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Rowing plan of a Quinquereme

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Wooden Fort

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Fort Plan

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A Chariot. It is perfectly safe.

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Fashion of the Domusian barbarians.

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Fashion of the Gawainian barbarians.

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Fashion of the Gawainian barbarians.

Magic

Magic is not in common use in this Age. It is taught to those of religious study, in order to perform certain ceremonies, but is generally untouched by the public. This is because the knowledge of magic is suppressed by religious officials of S.P.Q.E, whom are backed by the government. Magic users, therefore, are rare, and so Magic is not widely used in warfare, as there are a limited amount of magic users to go round. Magic users that volunteer for army service are usually deployed to forts, to assist with siege warfare. Magic use is strictly prohibited in the presence of officials unless in a ceremony by a priest, due to fears of magicians bewitching the government.
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