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- 1 History
- 1.1 Ancient History
- 1.2 Pontic War of Independence
- 1.3 Modern History
- 1.4 IRP Membership
- 1.5 War and Peace
- 1.6 Economic Progress and the 2968 Refugee Crisis
- 1.7 Cappadocian Conquest
- 1.8 Diplomacy and the UKO
- 1.9 Galatian Campaign
- 1.10 A New Emperor
- 1.11 "La Grande Catastrofe"
- 1.12 The 2980s, Economic Turmoil, and Asiri Progress
- 1.13 The Roaring 2990s
- 1.14 Bepori Raids
- 1.15 Colonial War in West Bavaria
- 1.16 Decade of Decline, Galatian Uprising, and Coup Attempt
- 1.17 Return to Fiscal Solvency and The Third Great War
- 1.18 Hope Gulf Pocket
- 1.19 Static Defense, Realignment, and Operation Ptah
- 1.20 Final Operations and Aftermath
- 1.21 Treaty of Lockenhess
- 2 Economy
- 3 Government
- 4 Politics
- 5 Military
- 6 Culture
- 7 Infrastructure & Technology
- 8 Religion
- 9 Society
- 10 Slave Provinces
The land that is presently called Pontus has a long, and very storied history. The Pontic people are very proud of their heritage and the history of their ethnic group. They have defied many occupations by neighboring powers, and have also suffered through long periods of economic stagnation and mass human suffering because of it. This created a deep resentment and outright hostility towards neighboring states and other minorities in their own lands since recorded history.
Pontic War of Independence
Finally, in the year 2900, the Pontic people rose in arms against their neighbor, Bepor. The Bepori and their allies had at several points partially controlled the various areas of Pontus, but never succeeding in complete conquest. The insurgency was brutal, with both sides committing mass executions and numerous human rights violations. However, after many costly setbacks for both sides, a final battle was waged by a desperate Bepori High Command. They believed that if they took the ancient Pontic capital of Trapezus, that they could crush the resistance and snuff out the revolution. Attalus Decimus Metellos, a nobleman and commander of the Pontic rebels, had been expecting this and had secretly divided his forces. When the Bepori laid siege, General Metellos ordered his counterattack, catching their enemies in flank and routing them badly. After the Siege of Trapezus, all Bepori forces completely withdrew from Pontic lands for the first time in at least 300 years. Following this, the few Pontic noblemen that were still alive pledged allegiance to their wartime leader to build a post-war government. The modern state of Pontus was declared on March 1, 2943 by the commander in the capital to a mass of cheering onlookers. Attalus' family lineage traced directly back to the ancient line of kings that had ruled over the lands of Pontus back in pre-recorded history. With that knowledge well known to all citizens of Pontus, he was named Emperor Attalus I of Pontus by popular acclaim. Thus, the Attalid dynasty was born. He achieved this by having garnered much respect from the Pontic people for his wartime exploits against their hated enemy.
Attalus set about trying to rebuild his nation from the devastation and human suffering that accompanied their decades-long military struggle for independence. He first set about getting the farmland productive again, and rebuilding the shattered manufacturing and heavy industrial sectors of the economy. Quickly he found the country's finances drained and debt rising at an alarming rate. During the 2950s, Pontus raided and plundered all of its immediate neighbors, which happened to still be under the sway of Bepor's hegemony. The Pontic Army only faced token opposition, and easily swept their adversaries aside including Bepor itself. Pontus claimed many slave provinces including: Bithynia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Galatia.
On the diplomatic front, the emperor joined the IRP federation to gain international standing in the early days of his reign. He had been invited by Josef Vgeny of Persia, the Chairman of the IRP at the time. At the same time, Pontus was actively seeking entry into a common market to help create more economic opportunities for his people. This dream was realized when the Pontic nation was allowed into the NATO FTA Common Market, one of the largest on White Giant. Diplomatically, many measures and initiatives put forward by the IRP in further democratizing the federation have been supported by Emperor Attalus, and Pontus still remains active in the IRP to this day.
War and Peace
Attalus' strategy hinged on draining all of the workers, wealth, and raw materials from these slave nations. This was accomplished, and by the start of the 2960s, Pontus was very wealthy in both currency and materials. Attalus decreed that all of the slave provinces were to be released from the Pontic Empire, except for the breadbasket of Bithynia to the south that would supply Pontus with all the foodstuffs that it would ever need. Using slave labor, large plantations in Bithynia were very profitable for the Pontic nobles and officials that were awarded them. He ensured their loyalty by lavishing them with lands, titles, and wealth. By the 2970s, Pontus had risen to a level of prominence within the IRP as peace settled on Pontus, something that none of it's people had ever been used to. After a diplomatic flare up in the Pergesus region, Pontus and UCM signed mutual defense agreements in line with IRP policy. The two nations have agreed to set up remote military depots in each other's countries in case one or the other would face invasion by a common enemy.
Economic Progress and the 2968 Refugee Crisis
As the Pontic economy was roaring ahead, an unforeseen diplomatic issue came abruptly to the political forefront in 2968. The Pontic Empire's neighboring countries deported en masse all their Pontic residents. Relations between Pontus and all of its neighbors had always been tense, but these countries felt confident enough in their own militaries to act brashly. The Republic of Sinoga had been leading the deportation efforts compared to other countries, and drew the ire of many ordinary Pontics. In all, roughly 6 million refugees were displaced by these directives, and Pontus suffered brief economic disruptions from this calamitous event. Fortunately the Pontic economy was rising at such a level that almost 94% of the newly settled refugees found permanent homes and employment within a year and a half of the crisis. Emperor Attalus I declared that he would seek resolution to the issue, whether militarily or financially.
After several failed diplomatic attempts, Attalus decided that military action would be needed to answer for the refugee crisis that had been heaped upon his nation. Therefore, military planning went underway to conquer the Sinogan homeland for the Pontic Empire. On December 7, 2972 military operations began against Sinogan military units and installations. Surprisingly the Sinogan military was far weaker than anyone on the Imperial Staff ever thought. In quick succession, all of Sinoga was captured and by December 9th, the country was completely conquered. Attalus led a military parade through the vanquished capital personally on December 11th, and renamed the country Cappadocia and proclaimed it a province of the Pontic Empire with the city of Caesarea as its capital. The native Sinogans were placed in the same servitude that the Bith were subjected to immediately following the conquest, with Pontic nobles being awarded land grants, ownership of all corporations, and the remaining plundered wealth of the former country.
Diplomacy and the UKO
After several years of intermittent contact with fellow members of the NATO FTA, the Pontic Empire was invited to join the UKO organization. This was done to help promote exchanges of goods and ideas within the planet's nations. In 2972, Pontus was named an observer nation of the UKO, and formally integrated by April 16th, 2973. With this entry into an exclusive membership, the Pontic Empire was ready to claim more lands and colonies to expand further. The lands known as the Caucasia Territory have been settled by Pontic pilgrims and was proclaimed an imperial province by Emperor Attalus I on January 1, 2974. 2975 saw the last of the Pontic refugees relocate to Pontus itself. In all, there were 2.5 million Pontic migrants that emigrated. This cause only minor economic problems arose, but with the empire's economy roaring along, it was quickly solved.
On December 1, 2979 Emperor Attalus ordered the 1st and 2nd Field Armies into the province of Galatia. The province had always been a disorganized grouping of ethnic Dacian tribes. These tribes were becoming unruly, and had murdered several Pontic envoys sent to negotiate trade agreements. In response, Attalus declared war on these tribes and set about with the conquest of the whole province of Galatia. The Dacian resistance was so wracked by their lack of defensive weapons and fortifications that it only took 4 days for Pontic forces to overrun the whole province. After proclaiming Galatia a province of the Pontic Empire while in the provincial capital of Ancyra, Attalus banished the Dacian tribes to slavery and allowed their homeland to be divided up by Pontic nobles.
A New Emperor
On February 2nd, 2980, Attalus I passed away from natural causes. He was 65 years old, but his body had withered and aged considerably due to his long days spent at court governing the Empire. He passed away in his sleep, and a royal funeral was held ten days later. On February 13th, his 28 year old son, Zeno Flavius Metellos was crowned Emperor in his own right. The young Emperor immediately sought to smooth over the imperial transition period, which passed without incident. Zeno I was quick to continue his father's policies on both the internal and international facets of the Pontic Empire.
"La Grande Catastrofe"
On September 1, 2980 a terrible economic fallout occured in Pontus itself. Asiri Wahabbi terrorists, aided by the Green Tide terrorist organization, bombed nearly every factory in Pontus in one of the largest terrorist strikes in the planetary history of White Giant. Roughly 50,000 people died in these attacks, and that evening Emperor Zeno issued a proclamation of martial law until security was restored. Raids were common thereafter for the rest of the year. Almost 500 suspects were rounded up by October, and martial law was rescinded. By that time however, the economic and fiscal damage was immense. Production was brought to a standstill for almost half a year, and the Pontic Empire lost almost 2 trillion dollars in lost revenue. As of December 2981, the Pontic economy was still recovering. Zeno ordered military crackdowns in Asir, which produced large amounts of casualties. The Emperor ordered the offensives to continue until all known Wahabbi bases and redobts were destroyed. He also formally designated the Green Tide as a terrorist organization, and an enemy of the Pontic Empire. Hundreds of leftists, socialists, and communists were rounded up and imprisoned on suspicion of being Green Tide sympathizers. The day of September 1 is now a day of national rememberance and mourning in Pontus, commonly known as "La Grande Catastrofe", which means "The Great Catastrophe" in english.
The 2980s, Economic Turmoil, and Asiri Progress
The 2980s were a period of economic turmoil and stagnation for the Pontic Empire, specifically Pontus itself. While the many corporations were proving very profitable, prices for common goods and products had skyrocketed on the international market. This caused the Empire's treasury great distress, resulting in the loss of almost $2 trillion dollars and a stagnation of the Pontus's economy throughout the decade. Meanwhile, various factories in Pontus were peridoically attacked in a Wahabbi bombing campaign aimed at wreaking economic havoc on the Pontic Empire. The attacks had their desired effect unfortunately, prompting a response from the young emperor. Zeno I announced what he called a "Final Campaign" to end the Wahabbi threat to the Pontic Empire and the UKO mainland in general. A massive offensive in both of the desert regions commenced by February 2981 and resulted in terrible bloodletting on both sides and the unexpected side effect of an intensified terrorism campaign by the resurgent Green Tide movement.
The Roaring 2990s
The Pontic economy came back to vitality in the next decade, and the Empire was once again stable financially. The decade started with a very positive note: the signing of an article of surrender with almost all of the Bedouin tribes in Asir, thus rendering the insurgency there largely impotent. Attacks against imperial forces plunged by a rate of almost 90%, leaving only a couple of the most remote and conservative Wahabbi tribes in open defiance of imperial authority. With this surrender, much of Pontus's military expenditures were lowered and more focus was emphasized on the Imperial Air Force instead of ground forces. This coupled with expanded tourism in Asir and rising production, led to a new decade of prosperity for the Empire itself. Zeno's "White Initiative", the roundup of all suspected Green Tide terrorists, was meant to combat what he termed, "The Red Terror". The White Initiative largely crushed almost all labor unions, leftist or socialist organizations, various communist or marxist political parties. This left the political spectrum of the Empire stable, but only made that way with violence and subversion. The Emperor proclaimed victory in his political crusade by 2993, but caused much international uproar from crushing suppressions of leftists in his realm.
Emperor Zeno, seeking to brandish his own reign with military conquests like his father, ordered sweeping raids into the land of Bepor to the southeast of Pontus in 297 and 2998. Even the nation's capital of Pergamum was ransacked, and loot and slaves were taken back to the Empire itself with the returning forces. Bepor, being the historical foe of the Pontic people, resisted fiercely as best it could while marshalling only token resistance.
Colonial War in West Bavaria
In the year 3002, disturbances and tensions began to arise between Pontus and the United Kingdom of Persia along their provincial border between their respective possessions in the Centura Donna region. The few Wahabbi tribes in the western extremes of the Kingdom of West Bavaria had been engaging in hit and run attacks along the border with the Pontic province of Asir. After several skirmishes, it was discovered that the Bedouin guerillas were armed with modern Persian weaponry.
This caused a great outrage among the populace of Asir, as well as that of the Pontic Empire as a whole. So, on November 1, 3002, Emperor Zeno ordered General Markos Samaras, the Imperial Administrator of Asir, to engage the enemy and take the fight across the border into the Persian posssession of the Kingdom of West Bavaria. Once the border was secured, IAFA forces back by heavy artillery and tank columns entered Persian territory.
Throughout early 3003, Persian defenses were doggedly manned and heavy losses were inflicted on both sides due to the Persian military having superior weaponry for its land forces, but inferior numbers once Pontic airlifts became regularly scheduled. By March of the same year, the Pontic Air Force has undisputed supremacy of the skies over West Bavaria and were causing havoc in the rear areas of the various Persian defenses. After two months of constant night and day aerial bombardment, Pontic forces rapidly entered the capital city of Caspian Sea and engaged in ten days of savage house to house fighting before being able to claim victory.
After the military victory, ties with Persia were restored with great haste, as the Empire's economy had suffered greatly from the lack of Persian goods and raw materials in trade. It was a remarkable diplomatic coup for Emperor Zeno, considering just months before Pontus and Persia had been engaged in their colonial proxy war in Centura Donna. Due to the renewed peace, the Pontic economy expanded nearly 5% through the remainder of the year.
Decade of Decline, Galatian Uprising, and Coup Attempt
The 3010s were a tough decade for the Empire as a whole, including economically, fiscally, and militarily. As the planetary economy of White Giant receded into a great recession that had been surfacing for several decades, the Empire suffered greatly. As corporations and enterprises around the world folded into bankruptcy, contracts for goods and raw materials produced by Pontus or its slave provinces vanished. As a result, Emperor Zeno at first was unconcerned, as the Imperial Treasury was bloated with immense gold reserves from many years of being buffeted by the slave provinces' wealth. As government spending rates continued to remain the same as usual, it was noticed after several years of no appreciable economic improvement that the government would have to change its fiscal path.
On January 19th, 3010 Emperor Zeno's Minister of Economics, Cicero Tullius, announced a reduction in social security payments from 120% of a low level worker's yearly salary to 80%. This may have shocked many other countries' citizenry, but because Pontus had been on the very cusp of economic supremacy over the whole continent of Eridana its elder citizens were more than comfortable to live with a more reasonable stipend. This was the only good news for the Empire in the rest of the decade. Fiscally, the Empire's woes continued even with more international entrepeneurial investment in various corporations in Pontus itself. Deficits continued to rise, now instead of from social security payments it was from burgeoning defense expenses. These defense expenses were being incurred from rising hostilities and bubbling discontent in the slave province of Galatia.
Galatia's native population of ethnic Dacians had grown resentful towards their Pontic overlords since the conquest of their homeland. Finally, a guerrilla warfare erupted when a large group of Dacians conducted a massive nighttime raid on a Pontic military base near the provincial capital Ancyra. Pontic officials, ever mindful of court martial should they fail to stamp out this resistance and the vast wealth the Empire was collecting from the province, moved quickly to put down the attacks that began to erupt all across the province. Casualties mounted rapidly as both sides neglected to take prisoners and the fighting conditions grew even more desperate and savage as the winter of 3011-12 arrived. As temperatures plummeted, deaths from the climate took almost three times as many lives as the fighting. By spring, 26,000 PAF personnel had died and an estimated 67,000 Dacians had as well. However, by this time the Empire's financial situation had become so tenuous that Emperor Zeno had to withdraw his military from Galatia entirely or face complete economic exhaustion and collapse. By summer, all ethnic Pontics had been evacuated and military personnel left by July 1st. This was the first military defeat for the Pontic Empire, and it was a bitter feeling for all of its citizens.
This defeat was the incubus for an attempted coup d'etat against Emperor Zeno and his family by senior generals of the PAF's Supreme Command. This was attempted on April 9th during the evening hours. Many of the upper echelon of the Supreme Command had vainly tried to persuade Zeno to keep the military in Galatia and retain the province within the Empire's control. They viewed his withdrawal as an anathema to the Pontic nation. He was now viewed as a weak leader by these conspirators, and after he dowsized the military, they decided to move against him. On that fateful evening, PIA agents acted to defend the dynasty and rounded up all of the conspirators before they could put their plan into action. All of them were summararily executed under the Emperor's direct supervision. The news of this plot further eroded the confidence of the people, and further hampered the attempted recovery of the Empire's economy and finances.
Return to Fiscal Solvency and The Third Great War
After Minister Tullius' reforms, the Pontic economy recovered. At first there was a backlash from private investors and corporations when social security was lowered, as this affected their respective corporations as well as the Empire's own. Supply contracts were restructured after it was discovered that the Empire's government was overpaying for contracted goods meant to be used in state-owned corporations. When these discrepancies were remedied, Pontus itself was back to being profitable on a monthly basis. In fact, its monthly surpluses were nearly 50% greater than before the economic downturn. This economic upswing was dubbed "The Tullius Miracle" by the general population.
In response to the international outcry at Tullius' reforms, including the lowering of Social Security rates, more state corporations were built to replace privately owned ones that left the country rather than continue doing business under the new terms. Almost all of the products that were being produced by the vacant companies are now being made by Pontic ones, with the exception of the utility sector. Electricity shortages, which have only appeared in the Empire since the downturn and exodus of private companies, are still common however they are becoming less frequent and their duration has dropped from 6 hours a day down to 2.
Meanwhile on the international front, a great conflict was beginning. On the Centurra Donna Peninsula, hostilities between the Kingdom of Aryana and Pontic provincial government in Asir.
As Colonel D'Alessio made many provocations against Aryana, unknown to all of the UKO community nations was that the Calzadorian Empire had mobilized their massive armed forces in the meantime. In late 3017, Aryanian forces crossed the border into northern Asir in conjuction with several Calzadorian armies. D'Alessio's initial order was a tactical withdrawal from the frontier to a prepared trench system in the province's interior. The front stalemated as planned along this line from the Lockenhess Sea all the way to the southeast along the Hope Gulf. This was the situation as the rest of the Peninsula erupted into all out warfare. The rest of the UKO nations joined in an alliance of survival against the oppressive Calzadorian Empire. Norte support arrived in the form of several divisions of shock troops to help stabilize the trench lines in case of breach.
Hope Gulf Pocket
As 3017 came to a close, the Supreme Command of the PAF (Pontic Armed Forces) was making dilligent plans for the southeasternly portion of their front. It was here that the most southernly Aryanan troops were stationed, disproportionately almost half their forces, with the other half in the north along the Lockenhess Sea and Calzadorian troops in between. Due to a combined effort with Norte troops after three months' logistical planning. On June 1st, 3018 Pontic forces began a saturation bombardment that lasted three days. In the aftermath, both nations' troops broke through above the southern mass of Aryanan troops and circled behind them. This operation was completed within 5 days and encircled almost 100,000 Aryanan troops which comprised half of the Kingdom of Aryana's mobilized manpower. After several attempts to arrange a surrender failed the Pontic Air Force carpet bombed the newly dubbed "Hope Gulf Pocket", resulting in the complete destruction of the enemy's trapped military forces. The total human cost from this was 90,000 Aryanan troops killed and the rest wounded or surrendering to Asiri forces. Asiri and Norte forces combined lost just short of 20,000 men in this operation.
Static Defense, Realignment, and Operation Ptah
The rest of 3018 involved IAFA forces realigning correctly to switch most of their manpower heavily to face what remained of Aryana's fighting forces. The IAFA commanders also correctly deduced that their Calzadorian counterparts were only interested in making half hearted, sporadic forays against Asiri lines. Pontic spy planes had informed the UKO nations at this time that the Calzadorians were placing most of their forces into their fronts against their Norte foes in Comancheria/Yugobania and Lusitanian forces in the Ardglass Colony.
The beginning of 3019 saw all Norte forces in Asir being airlifted back home to their respective provinces because of several Calzadorian offensives in those regions. With this, a top secret maneuver was underway to almost completely strip their eastern front facing the Calzadorians of men and shifting them to the Lockenhess Sea coastline in preparation for a new, decisive offensive. Calzadorian intelligence never noticed this, which would prove to be an immense tactical error to their overall strategic position in the west.
On May 13, 3019 Operation Ptah began. It involved three Asiri Field Armies to strike the remaining Aryanans and force the Calzadorian armies to retreat to the north in conjunction with an ongoing series of Lusitanian attacks intended on liberating the Ardglass Colony. Another massive aerial and artillery bombardment resulted in a complete demoralization of the Aryanan defenders, and after 48 hours a uncontested advance began. The IAFA forces pounced quickly, forcing the Aryanans to retreat rapidly and taking immense casualties in the meantime. While this was all going on, the Calzadorian armies in the south were forced to withdraw in the face of Asiri and Lusitanian assaults back across the borders into the interior of the Kingdom of Aryana.
The northern push along the coastline was very successful, with the IAFA forces only halting when their supplies ran out. By this time they had taken almost 75,000 prisoners and killed around 12,000 men of which almost all were Aryanan soldiers. With this swift operation, all of Asir was once again under Pontic control and IAFA forces were just inside the southwestern frontiers of Aryana and the Kingdom's military capacity to resist armed forces had dwindled to almost nothing at all. Even token resistance couldn't be found as Asiri forces gradually geared up for a march north again, only to stop when facing Calzadorian troops who were now in charge politically and militarily in Aryana.
Final Operations and Aftermath
With the Calzadorian military broken and in full retreat from Lusitanian and Norte armies across the front, Asiri forces went on a final push to clear all of Aryana of enemy combatants. In November 3020, Asiri forces entered central Aryana and faced token resistance. Most Calzadorian forces withdrew in the face of the new Asiri attacks, retreating northwards towards the unorganized territories between the Calzadorian Empire and Aryana. After this, in January 3022 the Treaty of Thrassen was announced between Lusitanian representatives and Calzadorian plenipotentiaries. This virtually ended the war itself, however it technically left the Norte, East Heaven, and Asiri allies still in a state of war with the Empire.
Treaty of Lockenhess
On February 16, 3022 onboard a Pontic warship off the far northeastern coastal tip of the Lockenhess Sea, Colonel D'Alessio signed a peace treaty with an ambassador from the Calzadorian Empire. The terms were rather much in the Asiris, with the Empire agreeing to pay $100 million Asiri dinars worth of reparations and renouncing all claims to the lands around the Lockenhess Sea. The Calzadorians also recognized Asir's addition of the Aryanan coastline to Asir proper. With this the Kingdom of Aryana was proclaimed a province of the Pontic Empire, renamed Jizan.
The modern economy of Pontus is very diversified. Many industries are thriving, ranging from agricultural to manufacturing and mining. The capitalistic economy was bound by laws requiring it to stay within a laissez-faire framework, with only minimal tarrifs placed on exports and imports. Currently the government is trying to open up much of the mountain ranges and plateaus for extensive mining by the country's few state corporations to tap into Pontus' vast mineral wealth. Using the "deep earth" mining technique, mineral wealth can be extracted from the ground without any environmental impact at all. Until this method of extraction was enacted, only small scale operations were allowed and thereby limiting potential profits. A good example of this is the city of Drogon in Pontus' northeast, which grew from 10,000 to almost 250,000 residents in less than 15 years. The provinces of Bithynia and Cappadocia are agriculturally based, and the economies of both rest upon farming for their sustinance. The province of Galatia is a mountainous, forested land that bases its livelihood lumber and mining. Continuous volcanic eruptions have produced a great, and nearly inexhaustable amount of mineral wealth. Rich veins of gold, silver, and copper were found to be easily mined with slave labor and Pontic nobles were able to access other natural resources as well, such as oil, natural gas, and coal.
The government of Pontus is a hereditary monarchy with absolute power. The Senate is a advisory council of elected nobles that advises the monarch. All the executive, legislative, and judicial power resides with the head of state, and the monarch. The politics of Pontus are rigidly conservative with very slight progressive tendencies. The slave provinces of Bithynia and Cappadocia are governed by Imperial Administrators, who only answer to the Emperor of the Pontic Empire.
The government is divided into three sections:
The Ministry of Economics (MOE) is the governmental department that oversees the Pontic Empire's economic well-being by providing limited assistance to industries or individual sectors of the economy.
The Ministry of Defense (MOD) presides over the armed forces, national police units, and local police departments. It has jurisdiction to supercede all other governmental divisions during wartime when the Emperor gives his consent.
The Pontic Intelligence Agency (PIA) supplies the Empire's government with information from surveillance and espionage both internally and internationally. The PIA is renown around the whole planet of White Giant, and has been exclusively employed by the IRP Minister of Internal Affairs both in the past and currently.
The politics of the Pontic Empire is very simple. Few political parties exist because of the Emperor being given absolute powers by popular acclaim. The Pontic Senate is comprised of two political parties: the People's Socialist Party and the Conservative Party. The Conservatives have held large majorities since the country's founding. The few minorities in the country live in an environment of abject poverty, which was created through centuries of neighboring countries using them as proxies and mercenaries to subject the Pontic people during foreign occupations.
The Pontic Armed Forces (PAF) consists of the Air Force, Navy, and the Army. Military training is compulsory for all men between the ages of 18-22. The military is roughly 200,000 men strong. The Air Force consists of two Attack/Bombing Wings and the Army is made up of three active field armies during full mobilization or wartime. The Navy is rather small, only consisting of one squadron of large destroyers based out of the port of Karachi in Asir. Since the Pontic Empire itself is landlocked, all military supplies have to be airlifted into Asir. Asir's security is maintained by the IAFA (Imperial Armed Forces of Asir). The Pontic Navy was completely built and is solely maintained in Karachi, as it is the Empire's sole port. During peacetime, most units are deactivated, except for all Asiri military units and the Navy. Recently, the PAF has been allowed by President Derek of UCM to set up a remote military depot at the Phoenix Military Airport in Jacksonville, UCM.
The culture of Pontus is vibrant and energetic, yet steeped in tradition and religion. Hunting and fishing are very important past times, along with competing in team sports such as baseball, soccer, and various individual sports. Pontus has sent athletes to the Galactic Olympic Games, which are held every ten years on various planets and Pontic athletes have always placed well. Music is also a large part of Pontic culture, along with poetry, writing, and the arts. The most popular sports and public outings are taking part in martial arts such as judo, sambo, jiu jitsu, and boxing. Religion is also an important facet of Pontic daily life. Ethnic Pontics practice a polytheistic religion, with many gods and godesses that are prayed to several times daily by most of the Pontic people. Hundreds of temples to various deities are looked after by a priesthood that helps organize the many religious festivals that occur throughout the year.
Infrastructure & Technology
Pontus is more agrarian than urban. It's infrastructure has reflected as much. Pontic architecture is simple, with no extravagances required because of it's natural beauty. In recent years, Attalus I made several concerted efforts to improve the country's infrastructure. This largely succeeded with the construction of large numbers of schools, universities, and hospitals.
Road and rail networks were modernized for ease of transportation and commerce once the Emperor Attalus I took power. This enabled the Pontic economy to immediately jump start and thrive out of its deep rooted war devastation. As of 2975 there were 63,000 miles of roads, and 24,000 miles of railroads.
Pontus has vast reserves of oil and natural gas, which are being exploited by several mining corporations. Pontic renewable energy plans in 2960 called for half of the country to be powered by solar energy within a decade. This was achieved, and in 2970 another energy initiative was enacted. Once again Emperor Attalus called for an increase in renewable energy sources for his nation. Geothermal and wind turbine energy are tentatively planned to provide the other half of Pontus' energy needs by 2980. These energy sources would take longer to develop, which is why the emperor gave a twenty year deadline for it's completion instead of the ten year plan enacted for the solar projects.
Infrastructure of the Slave Provinces
While Pontus itself has emerged as a modestly modern state within the community of the Eridana continent, it's outlying slave provinces have suffered from neglect. This has been done on purpose to centralize all of the material wealth in Pontic stewardship in Pontus itself. The provinces are left with a heavy military presence to keep order, and most of the infrastructure is built to accomodate the PAF.
Bithynia's infrastructure has intentionally been left extrememly limited due to it's economy being focused almost entirely on agriculture. Bithynia has also been starved for investments because of the racial, religious, and ethnic tensions between the local Biths and their Pontic overlords, to whom almost all of the province's wealth has been concentrated. Major crops in Bithynia include corn, wheat, barley, and various fruits and vegetables. Plantations dominate the landscape as almost all of the local population is forced to live in straw huts near the vast fields they tend to.
The province of Cappadocia was given the same treatment as Bithynia, with its infrastructure being miniscule and its sole purpose being for foodstuff production for the capital province of Pontus itself and the Pontic military. Once again, Pontic overlords have a deep seated resentment of their chattel, being the the Sinogan people readily volunteered to fight for Bepor when Pontus rose up in the Pontic War of Independence. Social divisions are clearly visible in this province as well, which is why the provincial population's needs have not been in the slightest way. The province's agricultural lands were largely divided into large plantations where rice, tea, fruits, and vegetables are the staple crops. Paved roads and railroads are virtually nonexistent in Cappadocia.
Galatia is a very rich province, at least in what is produced for the Pontic Empire's treasury. The mining and lumber industries are proving to be very lucrative for the Potnic officials and overlords that oversee their operations. Unlike Bithynia and Cappadocia, this region is mountainous and heavily forested. Agriculture here is limited to the needs of the local Pontic military and the populace's immediate food supply. Log cabins in the heavily forested region provide shelter for the local Dacians, and large defensive fortifications have been constructed for the PAF. This area is rural as well, simply due to a much smaller population than the more agriculturally driven provinces.
Pontic citizens almost universally follow the faith of Azzam. Azzam is a polytheistic religion, based around ten deities of varying morality. Praying is considered mandatory to keep a divine connection with the gods. Religious festivals occur throughout the year, with roughly two per month. The economic and govermental affairs generally come to a halt during these celebrations. It is common belief that this strict devotion to the gods is what provides the Pontic people with their freedom and prosperity. The ten gods are recognized nationally, followed by innumberable demigods which are worshipped in various local areas. Many of them are based on animistic images, from the local wildlife of the Pontic Empire. The gods of the Azzami pantheon are listed below:
Ptah- Supreme God of the Azzami pantheon and ruler of heaven.
Thoth- God of wisdom and learning
Nekhbet- God of trade, the lands, and agriculture
Khepri- Goddess of nature, fertility, and life
Indra- God of war, bravery, and the day
Bhakti- Goddess of deception and guardian of the dead
Aram- God of the rivers, lakes, and seas
Quetzacoatl- God of fear, death, and the night
Toltec- God of laws and justice
Sobek- God of the Underworld
The Azzami faith is presided over by a priesthood with a structured hierarchy. The priests and priestesses oversee all of the temples, shrines, and religious celebrations within the country. The supreme leader of the faith, referred to as the "Effendi", is chosen for life by a council of the most senior religious elders, regardless of age or gender. The Effendi then oversees the faith's overall structure and organization, as well as giving personal advice and testimony to the emperor of the Pontic Empire at the time. The Pontic people have followed this religion since their recorded history, and it is unique to their region of Eridana and the planet of White Giant as a whole. Slaves are allowed to follow their own beliefs in private, but cannot display their devotion in public.
The social pyramid of the Pontic Empire are very simple and clearly defined. All ethnic Pontics are legal citizens of the Pontic Empire.
The First Estate consists of the Emperor and the Royal Family. This group sits atop all else.
The Second Estate includes all of the Pontic nobles and professionals. These individuals can range from bankers, politicians, business owners, doctors, military commanders and officers, government officials, the Azzami clergy, engineers, and large landowners amongst many others. The Pontic Senate draws its members from this group of citizens. The clergy are not allowed to hold political office however, but they also serve as judges in the judicial system as a counter-balance.
The Third Estate consists of the rest of the ethnic Pontics and may consist of soldiers, farmers, miners, factory workers, and all other commoners. In a move of equality, the Third Estate votes to elect the members of the Pontic Senate, which come exclusively from the Second Estate.
The Fourth Estate is comprised of slaves and indentured servants. The whole of this class is comprised of current or former inhabitants of Pontic slave provinces, or other foreigners that have been purchased in the slave trade. All residents of the Pontic Empire that are not ethnic Pontics are permanently placed in this estate. They have no rights of ownership or citizenship, and are considered nothing more than property.
Citizens are allowed to own land, personal property, and vote in all elections. A select few non-citizens are granted special priveleges to carry out their daily lives and livelihoods, such as foreign merchants, specialized immigrant workers, and diplomats. Any other residents are slaves, who have no rights or priveleges.
The Pontic Empire consists of one capital province, two slave provinces, and one imperial province:
Pontus itself is the core of the Empire, and also the capital province. Trapezus, a city with 4.3 million residents serve as the provincial and imperial capital. It is the original homeland of the Pontic ethnic group.
Bithynia is a slave province located directly south of Pontus and is populated by ethnic Biths. This province is dominated by numerous Pontic plantations that produce massive amounts of grain and foodstuffs for Pontus itself and its citizens. The capital city is Nicomedia, a small city of 5,000 inhabitants, is the only significant settlement in the whole province, is dotted with massive granaries and food processing plants.
Cappadocia is a slave province located directly north-by-northeast of Pontus and is populated by the Sinogan people. It is another major foodstuff supplier for the Empire. Its major crop is rice, but many other grains, fruits, and vegetables are grown on plantations run by Pontic nobles. The province's capital is Caesarea, a small city of 7,500 inhabitants that is serves as a supply depot for the province. Caesarea, much like Nicomedia in Bithynia, is also the only city in the whole province.
Galatia was a slave province directly west of Pontus and is home to the ethnic Dacian peoples, which are subdivided into tribes. Its major industries are timber and mining, with oil, copper, and natural gas being plentiful natural resources that are exploited by Pontic overlords. The Galatian capital is Ancyra, a settlement of a mere 3000 people that is the nexus of all supply routes and roads throughout the province. After the Galatian Uprising, the province freed itself from Pontic suzerainity. The province's independence was followed by restoring economic ties with Pontus, although politically relations remain frayed at best.
Asir is an Imperial Province. It is located on the very distant continet of Centura Donna. It is mostly desert, and the native Bedouins have continued a bloody uprising against their Pontic overlords since the first contact between the two peoples. Pontic settlers have very modestly modernized the land, and the capital city of Karachi is a thriving economic center. It is sparsely populated and will remain so, due to its inhospitable climate for most of the year.