Serenìsima Repùblega Fenèze
Name: The Most Serene Republic of Fenice, Fenice, Serenissima
Government Type: Maritime Republic
Leader: Doxe Andrea Alberghetti
Dominant Species: Elf (27%)
Notable Species: Human (38%), Dwarven (8%), Other (27%)
Fenice is an old maritime republic with thousands of years of history. The city was once part of an elvish empire which dominated the world. Even before their collapse various city states grew into power across the Diorno Peninsula. They adopted the idea of republic in an era dominated by monarchic rulers. Thanks to their strategic position and maritime power these republics soon became rich. Their freedom and wealth thus made the Diorno Peninsula a popular nexus for the arts and culture. Eventually the peninsula came under the influence of a single city, Fenice. Using their newfound power they began establishing a colonial empire of their own. Fenice is well-known for their maritime prowess and unique technology they guard jealously. Their influence is widespread and they are well-renown in most parts of the world. Yet this is all on the surface. In truth the once progressive and enlightened Fenice is stuck with ancient traditions, stubborn leadership and a "democratic" system that serves the rich. Yet the once great republic of Fenice has yet to stumble hard enough to realize their hubris.
Demographics & Territories:
Fenice territorially has 4 different categories. First being the metropolis of Fenice, a system of port cities with the total population of over 2 million people. This is the most affluent and overall important region of the Serenissima. The city's population is predominantly elvish, albeit more than half the population are from other races. While technically there is no discrimination for being from other race in practice there is a strong system supporting already rich families and basically the government is compromised almost entirely of elves.
Next territorial unit is the Terrafirma, which covers the Diorno Peninsula. These regions are culturally very similar with rich mercantile cities, budding industrial regions albeit a more mixed population. Migration into Fenice is much more regulated than to the rest of Diorno, afterall. There's also the Zwölfberg mountain chain which is predominantly inhabited by dwarves. This region used to have a larger degree of autonomy yet by the 19th century they are just part of the Terrafirma.
Following territorial unit are the various seaside holdings. With one exception these are strictly for lands in Fenizian possession before the era of colonizations. They can have very diverse populations, albeit some of them could be very similar to mainland Diorno. The exception is the Halagiz Principalty, originally a protectorate of Fenice. When their autonomy ended they became acknowledged as part of the maritime holdings rather than a lowly colonial status.
Colonies, as expected, are mostly the natives. They are not viewed as part of Fenice's population (barring citizens from the mainland settling there). The regions tend to be undeveloped and mostly held for exploitation purposes. Albeit for Fenice such possessions also have importance as ports for their busy trade empire.
Governance & Culture:Fenice is an old republic built on values older than most civilizations. They believe in liberty, equality and justice. Yet thrse values only strictly apply to those living in the city-complex of Fenice. In broad strokes the system can be considered an Elective Constitutional Monarchy rather than a proper republic. The Doxe (spelled "Doke") is the head of the state who rules for life or at least until they abdicate. The govetnment is a bicameral system where the Couincil of Forty is thr upper house and the Council of Representatives is the lower house. Except that the lower house has very limited power so it's mostly down to the decision of the upper house. Said forty councilors are chosen from wealthy citizens of Fenice, and only from the city of Fenice. The selection itself is random from a relatively narrow list of eligible choices. Said people are being recorded in the Golden Book. This is a plutocracy in all but name. And they aren't even hiding it that much anymore. That being said the power of the central government is relatively weak and there is significant autonomy for the individual states under Fenizian rule.Said autonomous local governments can vary wildly and it's usually down to ancient traditions more than decisions from higher up.
Fenice may be irreparrably corrupt yet their core values are noble. Their governance system is based upon the pillars of democracy and to prevent the rule of tyrants. They consider voting systems easy to manipulate hence they prefer random choice from the candidates over something which can be influenced. They abhor personal cults and they prohibit posters with the image of governors or the Doxe. Same for coins, postage stamps or anything in public circulation. These are gross violations against Fenizian beliefs. Their government is also under supervision and once an official quit/ended their service they are thoroughly investigated. If they are found guilty of corruption they can even make posthumous fines towards the family. Of course one has to question the efficiency of internal investigations within a flawed and corrupt system but in theory they have all the tools they need.
The Fenizians separated the religion and state for many millennia. This does not mean they are generally atheist, though. Dionism is by far the most popular within the Diorno Peninsula. They revere the Phoenix God who rules over the Sun and all that is light. It teaches enlightenment through personal improvement and generally has an optimist message. That being said Fenice accepts nearly all religions and often accomodates to allow the citizens to freely practice their faith.
Magic & Technology:Fenizian culture is dominated by sorcerously gifted elves. The practice of magic is natural as breathing to them. Fenice embraced Manarite and its derivatives from the early times. What once was perceived as a dangerous rock viewed with caution gradually transformed into something part of a Fenizian's everyday life. Manarite is refined and mixed with various agents to make it safer to handle. Thr material forms the core of many Fenizian technologies. Separating magic from their technology is almost impossible. Elemental-powered steam engines, golems mechanics, magical arclamps, etc.
The Republic of Fenice may not be the most industrially developed country but they have the world's most impressive shipbuilding complex, the Fenizian Arsenal. Filled with assembly lines that predate the shipbuilding industry of most countries the Arsenal mixes modern with the traditional, technology with magic, to produce some of the most beautiful vessels ever known. It has more artisans and experts of the field than multiple countries combined. Yet thr existence of the Arsenal highlights the prevailing issues of their civilization. In spite of all these advantages Fenice is still outmatched by the younger pioneers of this field. The Arsenal is grand, yet outdated and frivolous practices undermine its supposed greatness. If you'd give the same resources (human, infrastructural and material) to for example Mooliand they would produce 2-3 times as many ships than the Arsenal.
Military Overview:The State Army of thr Serenissima is thr main standing force of the republc. Unlike other standing armies it doesn't use conscription, not in the strict sense. Yet those who acquire debt and unable to repay it may be forced to enlist in the army, term dependent on the amount owed. This can even result in generations serving in the military to pay back the debt of their ancestors'. Yet even like this Fenice has a hard time to recruit a large enough force. The State Army usually fulfills a defensive role and may be mobilized to protect state interests. For other purposes they rely on dedicated elites and mercenaries. Fenice spares no gold to pay their fluctuating force of mercenaries. In return they tend to be loyal yet very greedy. There are countless tales about Fenizian mercenaries breaking ranks or act out of line when they attempted to grab more loot. While formal code on warfare made these occurences less common the mercenaries find other ways to be scummy and fill their money purses.
On the sea the Fenizian Armada is well-known and not many nations dare to face them in a naval conflict. Fenizian seamen are reputed to be one of the best in the world and their beautiful warships can be awe-inspiring. Fenice is the sole producer of the so-called "steam galleys" these mechanized vessels are driven by trilobite-like mechanical legs and possesses a strong golem spirit. Galley warfare never died for Fenice, only transformed. The Armada of Fenice is quite impressive yet in practice they are significantly less powerful than given credit for. Steam galleys are more maneuverable but the legs are occupying a lot of space and can be targeted by enemy guns. Armoring them is unwise and generally the presence of legs makes side armor weaker on the ships. Yet since the Fenizians have yet to experience a major defeat they maintain an inflated reputation which they often capitalize on. The Republic of Fenice is a middling nation in size so they wouldn't have the means to outproduce the rest of the world. Yet with their reputation they can maintain relatively unstrained logistics and naval presence around their territories.