Aspasia

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Colonia Aspasiana
Flag of Aspasia 
Flag: Colonial Flag of Aspasia
State Motto Fidelitas Firmitas est
 • Hallish Loyalty is Strength
State Anthem None
 • Anglis {{{colony_anthem_ingliz}}}
Aspasia
Parent Nation Anisora
Official languages Pastanan, Anisoran and Lazeh
Colony Founding Date 7244
Religion Peratolian Orkanan
Government
 • Type
 • Emperor
 • Viceroy

 
Imperial Colony
Marius III
T. Julianus Gianetta

Capital Julikannat (Julicannia)
Administrative Divisions States
Largest City Taumakan
Area
 • Total
 • % water

 
535,062 km²
9.9%

Population
 • Total
 • Growth Rate
 • Density

 
5,592,567
9.9
12.25/km²

GDP
 • Total
 • GDP/capita
 • Growth Rate

 
9,999,999
2.83
9.9%

Currency

Grana (𝓰)

Time Zones EAST
(AMT +0)
Trigraph ACA

Aspasia (Pastanan: Colonia Aspasiana; Anisoran: Colonia di Aspasia; Lazeh: Nelyasyat) is a dependent colony under the administration of Anisora. The colony occupies land on the north and east of Radhrian Island in Altaia and borders the Amberian Principality of Ayatawantin to the south and the Häverist Commonhold of New Südentor to the north. The colony is one of the oldest in the Anisoran Empire and remains an important centre of trade and is famed for producing luxury products such as cocoa, coffee, fragrances, spices and sugar.

Contents

Etymology

The name Aspasia is derived from the Anisoran word aspro/aspra, meaning "harsh" or "rough", creating the basic meaning of "harsh land", said to have been used by early Casellan sailors in the region to describe the rocky and dangerous western coast of Radhrian Island. The earliest recorded use of the word Aspasia was in 7239 in a Casellan merchant's correspondence, establishing early Casellan trading monopolies in cocoa and spices.

The first use of the name Aspasia in an official capacity was in 7261 in a letter from General T. Mario Tamaro, the second governor of Taumakan, to Lord G. Dario Ventura enclosed along with the newest naval charts of "the entire island of Aspasia" (Anisoran: l'intera isola di Aspasia). On 5th November 7265 General Tamaro, upon his return to mainland Anisora, advised the new 'colonial council' to name the entire colony Aspasia, after the island (commonly known as Radhrian Island or Yunko Ma). In 7268 the Admiralty decided to name the collective colonies on the island after the Anisoran name for the island - Aspasia.

History

Pre-colonisation

Radhrian Island was first settled by humans around 15,000 years ago by peoples migrating south from Southern Altaia. The indigenous Hueiwei people belong to the West Austro-Raian ethnic group who are spread across the Southern Altaian islands of Radhrian and the Cutland Islands.

Favourable agricultural conditions as a result of the rich volcanic soil on the island, as well as mastering wet-field rice cultivation around the early third millenium RH, allowed towns and small kingdoms to flourish and develop on the island by the fourth millenium. Due to its strategic location between the continents of Altaia to the north and D'Runia to the west as well as being the gateway to the Southern Shangti Ocean to the south, Radhrian Island was and continues to be an important centre of trade and cultural exchange and extensive evidence remains of international trade between the Hueiwei of Radhrian Island and the expansive Altaian empires and D'Runian kingdoms to the west. Trade has remained the most important factor in shaping Radhrian history.

The Temple of Huanuco is the largest and most famous of the Lizehanist temples on Radhrian Island.

From the 68th century the powerful naval kingdom of Tepaananan, centred across the modern day states of Taumakanu and Miamoru, flourished as a result of the extensive trade networks which existed in the region. The kingdom incorporated Lizehanist religious practises of the empires of the South Altaian Plains, a religion focused on the veneration of spirit ancestors in elaborate stone temples. The early 7th millennium saw an expansive religious building project across the island, the ruins and remains of which can still be seen today, most famously the Temple of Huanuco. In the 75th century the D'Runian kingdom of Quanchua expanded its influence and control over the White Kaartu Sea including much of Western and Northern Radhrian. The Quanchuan domination lasted over a century and eventually declined after numerous invasions by the Azix peoples.

By the early 8th millenium Anarian explorers were discovering lands across Altaia. The first regular Anarian contact with the local Radhrian peoples began in 7167, when Amberian traders, led by Sibylle äv Korsvegn, became embroiled in fighting between the remnants of the Quanchuan kingdom and the local Radhrian kingdoms. Casellan and Hellish traders followed with the three Anarian power blocks fighting over influence and land in the region.

Establishment of Colonial Rule

By the late 72nd century Casella had established regular trade relations with the local populations of Radhrian Island. Exotic products from the area such as cocoa, coffee and spices became extremely sought after by the Casellan elite. Due to the extremely competitive Casellan aristocracy, more and more private ventures were sent to the area to secure lucrative trade with the local population.

After a number of decades of relatively successful trade, the local king Pazet, ruler of the territories of modern day Kaarinpakanu State on the North-west of the island (the biggest trading area for Casella), refused to continue trading with Casella due to a dispute with an Casellan merchant. The merchant in question, G. Giovanni Monerelli, worked for the extremely wealthy and influential peer T. Martino Corcella, Duke of Lacromissa, who took the floor of the Senate and demanded Pazet be made an example of. The Casellans knew the economic and strategic importance of the region, particularly given the recent establishment of the Amberian Principality of Ayatawantin on the south of the island in 7240. The senators voted overwhelmingly to send an expedition to pacify Pazet and establish a Casellan military presence on the island.

A large naval force with accompanying land forces landed in December 7243 and quickly pacified the coastal regions and established bases on the north-west coast. The commander of the operation, F. Stephano Lerra, while only been given orders to pacify Pazet, had instead continued the operation long after the king's defeat. The Casellan armies marched further in land, with the navy supporting from the coast, following little imperial intervention. (A loop hole in the Senatorial Decree had meant that any and all lands become the personal property of the king while under the command of Lerra). Over the next few years an intricate network of alliances, protectorate client-states and outright pacification of the local communities enabled the Casellans to establish considerable control over the entire northern portion of the island.

In 7244 the first official Casellan colony on the island was established along the north-west coast, the Colony of Kaarinpakanu. The colony operated primarily out of the colonial capital, Julicannia (Lanzeh: Julikannat), the first Casellan urban centre on the island. With Lerra's forces pushing further along the coast and into the interior, the colony was the first in a number established over the next ten years. The newly established northern borders at the far north of the island along the Chalim Strait became the greatest security risk, with Hellish colonists and soldiers establishing settlements in close proximity to the Casellans. A number of border incidents sparked considerable diplomatic tension between the newly established Casellan and Hellish colonial governments in the area. In 7356 the colonial government was overhauled, with the six semi-autonomous colonies that made up Casellan Radhrian unifying under the single 'Aspasian Colonial Government' (Anisoran: Aspasiane Governo Coloniale), headquartered at Julicannia in Kaarinpakanu. The current state system was then established, which divided Aspasia proper into nine mainland states and one special administrative island (Salakan), ruled by the Admiralty.

Prince Marinatao surrendering to Viceroy Q. Felicano Selvaggio in 7444, formally ending the Matillanu War. Painting by T. Adriano Uccello, 7463.

The Matillanu War

For much of the early phase of Casellan colonisation, Casellan control of the island was tenuous outside the coastal strongholds. To maintain control over the island Casella was reliant on existing aristocratic networks of local rulers who co-operated with the Casellan colonial government and ruled their local territories under the protection and leave of the King of Casella, and after 7367, the Emperor of the Anisorans. However, in 7439 Rallan2 (Prince) Marinatao, a leading member of the Radhrian aristocracy and ruler of the Principality of Tikitallan in Matillanu State,1 rebelled against the Anisoran colonial government and stormed the state capital at Matillan, starting the Matillanu War.3 His rebellion spread and other local rulers joined his cause. Much of the East coast was under the Prince's control until Anisora sent reinforcements from the Anisoran mainland in 7441, including the renowned Errean XX mercenary company. The fresh troops pushed Marinatao back and after a further three years of fighting Prince Marinatao surrendered to Q. Felicano Selvaggio, Viceroy of Aspasia, on 31st October 7444.

Although Prince Marinatao was defeated a number of similar uprisings occurred over the next thirty years, although rarely from Matillanu State, where the local population had suffered the most under the Anisoran suppression of Marinatao. Outbreaks of violence and full blown rebellions were normally restricted to the southern states as well as the mountainous region of Pakalanu, where prolonged guerilla insurgences raged for decades. The Errean "Roaders" mercenary company was employed by the Aspasian colonial government to deal with these guerilla groups and the last major resistance on the island petered out by 7493.

Pan-Anarian War

See: Pan-Anarian War

Nytalayan Rebellion

Running from February 7545 to September 7546, the Nytalayan Rebellion, also known as the 'Southern Aspasian Mutiny' in Anisora (Pastanan: Australis Aspasiana Seditio; Anisoran: Ammutinamento Aspasiana del sud), was an armed conflict between the Anisoran Colonial Government of Aspasia and a coalition of local Aspasian leaders led by Prince Rulakanea, Rallan of Pakatayu. The conflict was primarily fought in the southern states of Aspasia, where the largest associated principalities are located. The rebellion was named after the first settlement attacked by Prince Rulakanea, Fort Nytalayan.

Causes

After the rebellion, the Anisorans were keen to understand the reasons for the rebellion. Sir Ahla Brytainao, the founder and Chancellor of the Pastanan-Aspasian College of Taumakan, wrote a deeply influential critique of the causes of the rebellion, his The Causes of the Southern Aspasian Mutiny (7548). The work recognised three major reasons for the rebellion which deeply influenced Anisoran policy in Julicannia as well as Pena.a The first was the administrative reforms of L. Julius Balena-Ralaffi, Viceroy of Aspasia (7539-47), who had sought to establish imperial regions along the coasts of Siepalanu, Bellanu and Pakataya States.b Anisoran control had always been weakest in these southern states, and the Viceroy had sought to slowly encroach on Imperial Associated Territories (namely the large principalities of the area) by seizing land for the building of new settlements and forts for the colonial militia. Armed disputes erupted frequently between the local populations, who were often forcibly evicted from their homes, and in the period just before the outbreak of the rebellion, forced protesters to work on the construction sites.4

The second reason was seen to be the lack of local representation within the Colonial Government of Aspasia. This was used, according to Brytainao, by Rallan Rulakanea to persuade local populations to support his rebellion against the Anisorans. The third was the use of force by the Anisorans, particularly under Viceroy Balena-Ralaffi, to exact taxes from rural populations in the southern states as well as using military violence when industrial workers did not reach quotas set by the Viceroy's Office. This in combination sparked the Rallan of Pakatayu, Prince Rulakanea, one of the most powerful princes in Aspasia, to take up arms against the Anisorans.

Events

The Battle of Killay Valley was the worst defeat the Anisorans had suffered in Aspasia for over one hundred years.

Prince Rulakanea, Rallan of the large Principality of Pakatayu, took up arms on 22nd February 7545 and attacked the Anisoran militia settlements in Pakatayu State, particularity along the coast, many of which were still under construction. He then proceeded west up the coast into Bellanu State, where he persuaded his cousin, Tilamani, Rallan of Horapanya, to join his cause. Together they assembled a large host of anti-Anisoran rebels, numbering some 40,000 by mid April. Viceroy Balena-Ralaffi led 10,000 men south from Pah in Taumakanu State to meet with Prince Rulakanea. On 1st May 7545 his forces were ambushed passing through the Killay Valley in northern Siepalanu State. With his army surrounded and his lines in disarray the Viceroy, commander of the expedition, sounded the retreat and fled. The Battle of Killay Valley saw a catastrophic Anisoran defeat, with over 6,000 casualties, the likes of which had not been seen since the Matillanu War a century before.

Viceroy Balena-Ralaffi consolidated his forces at Taumakan while Prince Rulakanea moved through Matillanu State and his cousin Prince Tilamani seized the mines of southern Pakalanu. Rulakanea eventually laid siege to the city Matillan in July, which fell by early August and was then sacked. Many other important towns in the eastern states of Matillanu and Miamoru were stormed and sacked during this period of Anisoran retreat. Excluding other skirmishes in local towns and militia strongholds, the two sides did not give battle in large enough numbers to exact any sort of victory. Smaller skirmishes and battles were fought over the next year, with Viceroy Balena-Ralaffi only managing to retake Matillan by January 7546. In April 7546 Prince Matarru, Rallan of Micannaru, who had supported the Anisorans from the outset, joined forces with Viceroy Balena-Ralaffi's forces and dealt the decisive blow against Prince Rulakanea's forces at the Battle of Fillewa. With the Prince's main force defeated, he retreated south into the Massinuza Mountains where he was finally killed on 19th September 7546.

Aftermath

A contemporary image of the Kirallayan Massacre.

After Anisoran forces retook control of the southern states the forces under the command of Viceroy Balena-Ralaffi and General De Stella exacted horrific revenge on the local populations for their support, perceived or real, of the rebellion, with many thousand civilians killed, known as the Kirallayan Massacre. Many hundred soldiers who had defected over to Prince Rulakanea at the beginning of the rebellion, mostly recruited natives in the colonial militia, were also executed for mutiny.

Viceroy Balena-Ralaffi returned to Anisora only three months after the rebellion was put down after being summoned by Emperor Titus II. Although he officially retired, at the age of 58, it was no secret that he had been recalled in disgrace and barred from future political office by the Emperor for "political negligence" and his "unwarranted use of force in the years preceding the Aspasian Mutiny and his subsequent incompetent and inefficient management of said mutiny."c The Viceroy's failings were considered by the Tribunate for Colonial Affairs in Pena particularly thanks to Sir Ahla Brytainao's 7548 critique of the causes of the rebellion. Balena-Ralaffi was replaced by G. Darius De Campo who was tasked with the establishment of the Colonial Senate of Aspasia (est. 7549), which hoped to prevent a similar uprising from occurring in the future. The Southern Principalities which took part in the rebellion were preserved, primarily through fear of undoing the peace agreements, with the vitally important Principality of Pakatayu given to Prince Rulakanea's niece Sakayana, who had been at school in Taumakan for the entire duration of the rebellion. She was to rule with an Anisoran and local Pakatayan advisor, but the territory, along with many other principalities in south and east, was given considerable autonomy as well as seats in the newly created Senate and in the case of Princess Sakayana, a permanent seat on the Dependent Council.

Geography

The colony of Aspasia is located in the northern half of Radhrian Island, also known as Yunko Ma, on the southern tip of Altaia. The Anisoran dependency shares the main island with the Amberian Dominion of Ayatawantin located along its southern border as well as the Häverist Commonhold of New Südentor to the north, with whom Aspasia shares the maritime border across the Chalim Strait. Aspasia also shares a maritime border with the Istanian colony of X directly east of the main island on Klein-Radhrian (Small-Radhrian). To the west of Aspasia expands the Sea of Marumasa, which flows into the White Kaartu Sea to the south and Connack's Passage to the north (the narrow pass between the continents of Altaia and D'Runia); to the north Chalim Strait; to the east Julian's Sea; and further south the Kaartu Sea. The Bay of Maru lies at the centre of the island.

The colony's total area is 535,062 km² (332,472 sq mi), of which 531,768 km² is land and the remaining 3,294 km² is water. The largest body of water in Aspasia is Lake Painan in Pakalanu while the longest river is the River Daanura (659km/409mi) which flows from the Massinuza Mountains at the centre of the island through Taumakanu State and into Julian's Sea. The Massinuza Mountains are the largest mountain range on Radhrian Island and Munkak Mountain is the highest point on the island, standing at 3,874m (12,710ft) above sea level.

Radhrian Island is located along the edge of the Altaian and D'Runian tectonic plates and as such makes the region the site of numerous volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. Aspasia has at least 27 active volcanoes, including Mount Taxumana, made famous by its devastating eruption on 30th September 7538 which laid waste to much of the island and surrounding region. Volcanic ash, however, has proved responsible for making the island very agriculturally fertile although the island does suffer from frequent tsunamis as well as earthquakes.

Climate

Aspasia has a tropical climate, with two distinct monsoonal wet and dry seasons. Average annual rainfall in the lowlands varies from 1,690–3,120 millimetres (66.5–122.8 inches), and up to 6,100 millimetres (240 inches) in mountainous regions. The mountainous region of Pakalanu receives the highest rainfall. Humidity is generally high, averaging about 80%. Temperatures vary little throughout the year, with the average daily temperature range in the city of Taumakan at 23–28 °C (71–82 °F).

Government

The Colonial Senate of Aspasia and the Viceroy's Palace in Julicannia.

Aspasia is a dependent imperial colony of the Anisoran Empire and as such falls under the control of the Anisoran emperor directly. However, the governing of the colony is delegated to the Aspasian Colonial Government (Anisoran: Aspasiane Governo Coloniale), which was established 7th February 7356. The colonial government is semi-autonomous although the Anisoran Senate and Tribunate for Colonial Affairs controls Anisoran government appointments to the territory and ultimately controls imperial policy.

The colonial government is ruled by the Viceroy of Aspasia (Pastanan: Prorex Aspasiae; Anisoran: Vicere di Aspasia), currently T. Julianus Gianetta, who is appointed by the emperor to represent him/her personally and govern in his/her name.5 While in office, the Viceroy wields imperial power as the official extension of the emperor's power. The Viceroy also chairs the so-called 'Dependent Council' (Pastanan: Imperialis Assecla; Anisoran: Il Consiglio dipendente), which acts as the foremost governing council of the colony as well as the upper chamber in the Colonial Senate. The Council is made up of twelve members including prominent Anisoran officials and nobility as well as merchants and local Radhrian nobility, including the Prince of Sandawan and the Princess of Pakatayu.

The local aristocracy play an important role in the colony's government, with many semi-autonomous territories existing within the colonial borders. These territories, called 'Imperial Associated Territories' (Pastanan: Imperialia Territoria Consociantia; Anisoran: Imperiali Territori Associati), are normally governed by the traditional, or at least Anisoran backed, local nobility. The majority take the form of principalities, ruled by local 'princes' or 'princesses' (the Lazeh term Rallani is used) under the leave of the Anisoran emperor. They govern their respective principalities under the name of the Anisoran emperor in exchange for considerable autonomy. Many of them sit on the Dependent Council and have seats in the Colonial Senate in Julicannia.

The Colonial Senate of Aspasia (Pastanan: Colonianus Senatus Aspasiae; Anisoran: Senato Coloniale di Aspasia) makes up the official governing body of the colony of Aspasia. It was established on 23rd July 7549 as a direct result of the Nytalayan Rebellion of 7545-46, which had primarily arisen due to lack of local representation. The Senate is made up of a body of 47 members, of which 27 are elected from the States of Aspasia as local representatives, 7 are appointed by the Dependent Council from the military, excluding the permanent seat for the Special Administrative Island of Salakan, and the remainder by the Dependent Councillors.

Administrative Divisions

The colony of Aspasia is divided into nine constituent States (Pastanan: Civitates; Anisoran: Stati) and one special administrative territory. Each state is governed by an Anisoran governor although there is considerable local autonomy in rural areas. States are then divided into smaller territories and distinguishes two main types of administrative forms: Imperial Regions (Pastanan: Imperiales regiones; Anisoran: Regioni Imperiali), governed by Anisoran officials; and Imperial Associated Territories (Pastanan: Imperialia Territoria Consociantia; Anisoran: Imperiali Territori Associati), also sometimes called Associated Principalities, governed by the local Rallan (prince) and are somewhat autonomous. Imperial regions make up most of the coastal regions, with many other important urban centres in the interior, while the Associated Territories are normally more rural and occupy much of the interior. The Special Administrative Territory of Salakan is a unique administrative region, technically outside of the Aspasian Colonial Government's control, but within the colony's territory. The small island in the Sea of Marumasa is ruled by the Anisoran Admiralty and is completely under military control. The Constituent States of Aspasia are as follows:

States of Aspasia
Image:Kaarinpakanu.jpg Kaarinpakanu
Capital: Julicannia
Image:Pakalanu.jpg Pakalanu
Capital: Pailwan
Image:Relatanu.jpg Relatanu
Capital: Renkan
Image:Taumakanu.jpg Taumakanu
Capital: Taumakan
Image:Miamoru.jpg Miamoru
Capital: Malan
Image:Matillanu.jpg Matillanu
Capital: Matillan
Image:Siepalanu.jpg Siepalanu
Capital: Toakalan
Image:Bellanu.jpg Bellanu
Capital: Hoanyan
Image:Pakatayu.jpg Pakatayu
Capital: Siraya

Military

Members of the Nelyasyatan Guard photographed in Taumakanu State, 7559.

Aspasia's primary military force is the colonial militia, called the 'Nelyasyatan Guard' (Anisoran: Guardia Nelayasayatana; Pastanan: Praesidium Nelausauatum), and is named after the native Lazeh word for Radhrian Island, Nelyasyat. The force is primarily made up of local recruits from the island, with a sizeable minority of ethnic Anisorans also serving within its ranks. The majority of officers are Anisoran, although there are some local officers. This force is headed by the Viceroy of Aspasia, as by being the emperor's representative, he/she inherits the emperor's control over the land forces in the colony. The militia operates in conjunction with two other main land military forces. The first being the overseas legions of the Imperial Land Force, which operate out of Pah Fortress in Taumakanu State. Currently two legions are stationed on the island, Legio III and XXVI, which also fall under the command of the Viceroy when on Radhrian Island. The second is made up of the many independent armies maintained by the Rallani (princes) of the Associated Principalities of Aspasia. These armies are entirely locally maintained, headed by their respective prince and often act as the police force in the more rural areas where Anisoran control is less entrenched.

Aspasia is also home to the largest Anisoran naval base outside of Anaria, on the island of Salakan. The Special Administrative Territory is controlled by the Anisoran Admiralty and as such the Colonial Government of Aspasia maintains no official control or command over any naval force. The coastal fortress of Taokulun on the island's south-west coast provides Anisora with considerable strategic and military presence in the Sea of Marumasa as well as the Chalim Strait. The Imperial Air Force maintain a presence throughout Aspasia, with significant concentrations of forces at Taokulun Fortress and the city of Malan in Miamoru State.

Economy

Coffee production in Pakalanu State, 7568.

The Aspasian economy is rather diverse, reflecting the large variety of natural resources on Radhrian Island. The largest export of Aspasia is coffee, with extensive plantations in the foothills of the Massinuza Mountains in Pakalanu State which feeds the vast demand for coffee in Anisora. The bean coffea marinatea (also known as 'marinatea coffee' and 'mountain coffee'), native to Radhrian Island, is one of the most popular coffee beans on Gotha. The second largest export is made up by the large variety of spices produced on the island. Aspasia is particularly well known for its black pepper production, as well as lemongrass, curry leaf, tumeric and ginger. Cocoa is also produced in large quantities, Miamoru State being the largest producer of cocoa on the mainland.

Aspasia has a large agricultural sector, due to the islands rich volcanic soil, with the most fertile land being found in the eastern states of Taumakanu and Miamoru. Although much of the island is covered in thick jungle, large swathes of the coastal regions have been converted to fertile arable land which produce many different agricultural products, the largest of which is rice production. Other agricultural products include palm oil, rubber, banana and mango fruits.

Aspasia doesn't have much of a manufacturing sector, as the vast majority of raw resources are shipped to Anarian markets, particularly Anisora. However, the island does possess some modest coal mines in the Massinuza Mountains as well as stone and marble quarries. These quarries produce popular marbles which have become fashionable for architectural adornment in Northern Anaria and make up an important, if small, part of Aspasian luxury exports.

Culture

It is estimated that more than two hundred cultural groups exist in Aspasia. Because of this diversity, many styles of cultural expression have emerged. Each group has created its own expressive forms in art, dance, weaponry, costumes, singing, music, cuisine, architecture and much more and interact to varying degrees with Anarian cultural influences. The Anisoran anthropologist T. Vinicio Scarsi6, in his 7531 book 'The Native Societies of Aspasia', said:

It is easy to categorise the natives of Aspasia into two distinct and simplistic groupings: that of the urban and rural peoples. However, the Island of Aspasia [Radhrian Island] exhibits dozens of distinct, individual and fiercely proud cultural groups, each with their own way of life and sense of history, as well as many as yet undiscovered. The variation in cultural practices is vast, from the Akalanu people of the northern Massinuza Mountains, to the Quataloran societies of Taumakanu State, who, it must be noted, were dwelling in sophisticated urban settlements well before the Anarians arrived, to the isolationist tribes of the southern states.d

The distinction drawn by Scarsi between the "urban and rural peoples" is normally used by Anarians to distinguish between people that have been influenced by or assimilated with Anarian cultures, especially Anisoran and the less assimilated populations that maintain a rural lifestyle, often with very little Anarian influence. The highly populated eastern states of Taumakanu, Relatanu and Miamoru are dominated by the Aspasian-Anisoran composite culture, commonly known in Anisora as "Taumakanian" (Anisoran: Taumakaniano). These people tend to live in towns and are educated by conventional Anarian methods and have steadily adopted many Anarian customs including religion, clothing, hairstyles (many Taumakanian men now wear Anisoran-style moustaches) and sport, with tennis and cricket the most popular.

The more rural societies with less or no Anarian influence adhere to traditional ways of life which are dominated by agriculture, and in some tribal groups hunting and gathering. Traditional woodcarving and shadow puppetry are very popular among the local population across Aspasia. Story-telling and oral poetry are perhaps the most important cultural practices to the people of Aspasia, who assimilate it greatly to their sense of cultural identity. The travelling oral poets, known in Lazeh as the Tapawai, are highly respected in Aspasian society and are normally showered with gifts by the local community upon their arrival. They travel from village to village and sing of traditional tales and epic cycles8, and play the accompanying gaba string instrument.

However, much of Aspasia remains unexplored and many cultural groups have made little, if any, contact with Anarian society. In 7539 the Second Central Aspasia Expedition was launched by Viceroy Balena-Ralaffi, under the command of the famous Anisoran anthropologist T. Vinicio Scarsi, who along with his team explored the interior of Radhrian Island, including much of Amberian Yunko Ma.7 Scarsi made contact with many tribal groups which had up until that point not been known to Anarians, as well as many of the local Aspasian population. These groups included the Pari, Kelawai, Doratanu and Nayak, the latter proving the most famous (after initial friendly contact, the expedition was attacked after they left the Nayak village where 11 Anarians were killed).

Demographics

According to the 7569 census conducted by the Anisoran Colonial Government, the population of Aspasia stands at an estimated 5,592,567, although many populations could not be reached and as yet many tribal groups are not included in these figures.e The majority ethnic group on the island is Hueiwei, making up 82% of the population. The largest minority group is made up of ethnic Anisorans, primarily Karsk, with 7%, followed by Azix, making up 6%, and Iztomal at 4% and Ir'ust at just under 1%.

The eastern states of Taumakanu and Miamoru are the most densely populated with an estimated total population of 1,767,221, with Miamoru the state with the single largest population. The largest settlements are almost exclusively found on the coastal regions of the island, especially the east, while the interior tends to be more sparsely populated and rural. The least populated area is the island of Salakan in the Sea of Marumasa, with just over 14,000 inhabitants, most of them ethnic Anisorans and other Anarian ethnic groups.

Languages

There are over 70 recorded regional languages in Anisoran Radhrian, with many more spoken in other parts of the mainland as well as the smaller islands. Most languages belong to the Bawanesi language family, although there are some Panotacani-Tlaxc languages spoken, particularity on the west coast, a remnant of historic Quanchuan domination of the area. The largest majority language is Lazeh, spoken by almost 69% of the local population, primarily in the eastern states. The official language of Aspasia is Pastanan, although speakers are limited to the Anisoran noble and educated populations as well as native academics and some nobles. Anisoran is the second most spoken language in Aspasia, with 37% of the population speaking it as primarily a second or even third language. While Pastanan is the official language, the vast majority of government and commerce is done in Anisoran.

There are a large number of regional languages which are often contained within the local area and are often accompanied with either Lazeh or Anisoran as their second language. Much of the rural population, however, retain their regional language as their sole language, making communication between rural societies often difficult. Dayatan is also spoken by some in the southern states of Aspasia, although the language is mostly spoken in Amberian Yunko Ma to the south.

Religion

The religions of Aspasia are very diverse and reflect the multiple influences upon the island's history. According to the 7569 census, 58% of the population practised Tamahuna, an offshoot of Altaian Lizehanism, a religion focused on the veneration of spirit ancestors and reincarnation. The second most practised religion is Orkanan, with 27% Peratolian Orkanan, 2% Stellist-Orkanan and less than 1% X Orkanan. Approximately 3% are Faithful, particularly in the southern states. The remainder of the population practise native religions, often unique on a village-level, and exhibit significant variety in theology and religious practice.

Tamahuna has been the most popular religion in Aspasia for the last half a millennium as a result of Lizehanist influences over the region beginning in the 67th-68th centuries through the influence of traders. The powerful Tepaananan leaders of northern Aspasia then embraced the religion from the Altaian continent and it quickly became the dominant religion of much of northern Radhrian Island. Tamahuna, however, has been the biggest loser in terms of Anarian religious influence, with the vast majority of converts to Orkanan and The Faith converting from Tamahuna, while native indigenous religions survive in large numbers and have proven harder to convert. Beginning in the 73rd century Orkanan missionaries travelled from Anaria and converted small pockets of the coastal populations to their various denominations. This increased significantly under Anisoran rule, when the Orkanan Church of Pastana sent hundreds of missionaries with the trading fleets and military missions and established Peratolian Orkanan as the predominant Orkanan faith in Aspasia.

Aspasia's Peratolian population belong to one of three filliones (Orkanan Stift), administrative divisions of the Orkanan Church of Pastana: Teramata Fills (made up of Kaarinpakanu and Pakalanu States), Atayana Fills (Relatanu, Taumakanu and Miamoru States), and Sirayana Fills (Siepalanu, Bellanu and Pakatayu States), although the latter fills maintains only a very small congregation of peratolian worshippers.

Education

Education is non-compulsory in Aspasia, although the colonial government encourages education with tax breaks and often free schooling. Consequently, the majority of children in the urbanised areas, especially on the east and west coasts, attend school until at least the age of 10. There is a wide variety of schooling institutions available to the Aspasian population, although a great many of them are exclusive. There are many Anisoran-style primary and secondary schools in the towns and cities of Aspasia, where children are taught Anisoran as well as a typical Anisoran syllabus. The Orkanan Church of Pastana also funds over 100 schools across Aspasia, which provide free education for children between the ages of 6 and 15, and teaches them in the tradition of the Peratolian Church. Other religious institutions include Tamahuna Schools, which likewise often provide free schooling in the Lizehanist religious tradition.

Higher education is almost exclusively in the Anisoran tradition. There are 5 universities in Aspasia, the largest being the Pastanan-Aspasian College in Taumakan, established in 7531 by the famous Aspasian scholar Sir Ahla Brytainao. The College received significant funding from Peradotto University in Anisora and was established as a sister-university, and the two institutions maintain many links. The Anisoran Institute in Julicannia is another important university and is famous for its biological science department and attracts many Anarian scientists and scholars to study first hand the range of wildlife on Radhrian Island.

Notes

1 And as such had previously worked with the Anisorans and owed his position as Prince of Tikitallan to the Anisoran crown.

2 The Lazeh term Rallan (pl. Rallani), meaning 'Prince', is used as the official title for the princes of the Imperial Associated Territories of Aspasia.

3 The War was named after the area of the most intense fighting, Matillanu State, although the war engulfed most of the eastern coast of Aspasia.

4 Brytainao maintains that this was the spark that inspired the Rallan of Pakatayu to begin his rebellion.

5 All Viceroys are officially elected by the Senate, although this is mainly convention and Viceroys are personally selected by the emperor/empress.

6 Scarsi helped establish a new-found interest by Anisorans and other Anarians in the culture and history of Radhrian Island and large amounts of scholarship and popular interest have emerged in relation to Aspasian culture in the decades since his major publications on the topic in the 7530's.

7 Which at the time caused significant tension between the Anisoran and Amberian colonial governments, as the expedition had not sought Amberian permission to enter their territory.

8 The Tapawai have long fascinated Anisoran scholars, who have recorded thousands of tales in Lazeh as well as translated into both Pastanan and Anisoran. The function of oral poetry has led many scholars to study the tapawai as a means to understanding similar practices in ancient Pastana. Translated Aspasian epic poetry has proved very popular in Anisora, with many editions of traditional tales published for an Anisoran and Anarian readership.

References

a Brytainao, Sir A. (7548) Causae Australis Aspasianae Seditionis, Taumakan. 13 (Hallish: The Causes of the Southern Aspasian Mutiny).

b Brytainao, Sir A. (7548) Causae Australis Aspasianae Seditionis, Taumakan. 45-52.

c Riveretti, F. T. (7547) 'Viceroy of Aspasia retires from political life', Imperialia Tempora (The Imperial Times), 18th January, p. 7 - reportedly the words of Senator G. Octavius Valmarri.

d Scarsi, T. V. (7531) Nativae Societates Aspasiae, Peradotto. 24 (Hallish: The Native Societies of Aspasia).

e 7569 Census: Colonia Aspasiana, Tribunicial Department of National Statistics.

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