Dynasty Name: Epirotes
Traditional Title(s): Kingdom of Epirus, Frontier League
Current Patriarch/Matriarch: Bircenna, Queen of Epirus
Major City/Polis: Apollonia
City Assets: Very little in terms of economic value. Several stable treaties with lesser dynasties around the frontiers to the north brings in some agricultural boons, but not much more.
Surrounding landscape: The small city is surrounded by wineyards that produce Apollonian wine, a sweet wine popular among the Epirotes and the Illyrian tribes to the north. East of the city, in the mountain range, is the ancient and revered Oracle of Dodona and its nearby village, which is just about the only source of prestige left in Epirus.
+ Friend of lesser men: Ever since the catastrophic campaign against the upstart Romans on the Italian Penninsula, the Epirotes have fought tooth and nail to remain strong in the face of the other city-states, lest they come to feast on the carrion. As such they began a serious campaign to improve their relations with the Illyrian, Dacian and Gallic tribes to the north. Indeed, the current matriarch of the Epirotes is of Illyrian decent, wife of Pyrrhus and after his death the Queen of Epirus. With the promises and apparent familiar ties, the armies of the Frontier League are filled to the rim with fierce barbarian warriors and are large source of the fear and respect that remain for Pyrrhus' legacy.
+ United we are strong: While the other city states merely turned their backs on the villages and towns of the northern frontiers, the Epirotes have always seen to their best interest and taken note of the potential riches in the region. There is a loyalty between these border regions that other states find tough to rival and they stand united against barbarian raiders from the north and potential usurpers to the south. While the Frontier League lack any major polis, their lands stretch from Apollonia across the Paeonian and Thracian mountains to the Black Sea, making it the largest of the current Greek states with influences both in the Adriatic, Ionian and Black Seas.
+ Defenders of Dodona: The Oracle of Zeus at Dodona is the oldest and one of the most prestigeous of all the Greek Oracles. It has been under the protection of the Epirotes as long as anyone can remember and it is considered a great honor among the people of Epirus and even their allies along the Frontier are proud to be part of its defence. While their barbarian warriors surely respect such an obviously wise and divine connection to the gods and nature, the greeks in the Frontier armies fight with a fervor that, while not as skillful, rivals that of even Sparta.
- Barbarian ilk: Even though only a few generations have passed since the entwining of the Epirotes and barbarians of the north, it is already showing on their bloodline through the cultural and personal wedlock between the two. Most men and women of Epirus have come to favor martial skill and brutal cunning over the diplomacy and scholastic pursuit of their southern cousins. Indeed, some have even cast off their togas for pants and tied their unnaturally long hair into braids. To say the least, many "proper" Greeks see them as having gone barbarian and mock them openly for it, at least when their backs are turned.
- Heritage of Pyrrhus: Pyrrhus catastrophic victory on the Italia Penninsula makes itself constantly reminded in and without the courts of the City States. Even now that the man himself is dead, his name weighs heavily on the prestige of the dynasty of the Epirotes and the Frontier League itself. Even worse, the Romans have yet to forget the slight that Pyrrhus caused them, and Apollonia is the closest port from the Roman city of Brundisium...
- Thinly spread: While the Frontier League enjoys vast space and a reputation to match, they are just not strong enough to cover all the ground that they have. Their armies spread thinly and while they have used barbarian warriors to fill out the holes, it begs the question; is a state really civilized at all when the majority of their population and soldiers are not even Greeks at all?
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