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Free City of Asteklion
Ελεύθερη Πόλη του Αστακλείου
Motto: Διατήρηση και προστασία
English: ("Preserve and Protect")
Anthem: Ύμνος στην Ευημερία
and largest city
|Asteklian, archaic Asteician
|Unitary dominant-party parliamentary republic
|c. 3000 BC
|7 June 1823
|16 August 1955
|353,792 km2 (136,600 sq mi) (20th)
|$438.691 billion (2026)
• Per capita
Asteklion, officially the Free City of Asteklion (Istroyan: Αστέκλιον), is a sovereign city-state in eastern Sarpedon. It borders other similarly Istroyan nations and shares maritime borders with Caphiria, Urcea, Battganuur and Burgundie. The country's territory is mainly composed of mountains, rivers and hills, making up approximately 80% of it's territory. Reclamation efforts of land damaged by the Asteklian Collapse are being made by the government and currently contribute to 23% of the current area. The population is approximately 22 million, 91% of which lives within capital territory and has one of the greatest population densities in the world, however, birth rates in recent years have entered a decline. Due to the multicultural population and wanting to respect cultural identities, it has four official languages; Istroyan, Latin, Aciriano and Ænglish. Considered to be a crucible of the Istroyan civilisation, Asteklion is renowned for being one of the most ancient cities in the world, dating back at least 5,000 years and is one of the warmest cities on Sarpedon; large factors of it's success with tourism.
Asteklion is a unitary parliamentary republic, and a developed country, with a high-income economy. While elections are considered relatively free, the government exercises a large amount of control over society and politics, and the Asteklion People's Party (APP) has ruled ever since the city's independence after the Collapse. Asteklion is also the founder of the Sarpedonic-Levantine Trade Cooperation (SLTC). Asteklion's culture heritage and significance place it within several international institutions. The Burgoignesc Revenue Guard International Waters Fast Action Team (IWFAT) has accepted Asteklion into the organisation, which allows other nations within to exercise operation control of Asteklion's elite maritime counter-terrorism unit, the Harpies, during times of need.
Once a ritual site during the Aegoskopeion Era, Asteklion was originally settled for fishing but later became an important polis established by Istroyans during 1160 BC and named Asteia, which later reigned over several poleis and successfully formed into a kingdom for a substantial period of history. The people were described as culturally diverse and accepting but however had a contradictory martial history, fighting many wars of conquest. Many battles have been recorded with their Istroyan neighbours during this time period, most notably the Battle of Myndomenus, which was one of the bloodiest battles in antiquity.
After a century from recovering from the collapse and despite having access to many former sources of natural resources, the nation steadily developed into becoming a staple of external trade once again and became a highly developed country and now serves as a major shipping and financial hub. Though the economy pales in comparison to it's neighbours on Sarpedon, the GDP is increasing at a steady rate of 4.5% per year. Income inequality is on the rise because of government budgeting changes but is planned to be resolved within the next few years, according to President Siskos. Asteklion is placed in high regard among issues such as healthcare, crime and housing, with a home-ownership rate of 87 percent. Asteklians enjoy life expectancies above average in Sarpedon, fast internet speeds and some of the lowest levels of corruption in the world.
The name originates from the Istroyan goddess of the stars, Asteia, a derivative from the Aegoskopeion pantheon of the goddess Astreya. The settlement name later changed to Astecleum during the Latinisation of Istroyan civilisation after the decline, with the polis being used as an ancient port. Astecleum was once again Istroyanised and the name Asteklion remains intact throughout history to the present day.
Prehistory and early history
Earliest known evidence of the presence of human ancestors in Asteklian territory dates back to 3rd millennium BC, where archaeologists discovered ruins that may elude to a ritual site used for sacrifice by the ancient Aegoskopeion civilisation that predates the Istroyans by thousands of years and is theorised to have served as the socioeconomic foundation for the Istroyan civilisation. Asteklion has been continuously inhabited for at least 5,000 years. By 1300 BC, the site had become a prosperous fishing site and was soon settled by the Istroyans and developed into a polis a century later, named Asteia.
Istroyan period and the decline
Asteklion, archaically known as Asteia, rose to power during 743 BC under Queen Arethusa I. She established Asteia as one of the primary military land-powers on Istroya after conquering three neighbouring poleis; Hademos, Pagaieus and Misthia. She spent many of her years consolidating that power until her passing and the succession of her son, King Heirax, in 703 BC. She famously adopted polygamy as a means to create more alliances with poleis across Istroya, kick-starting one of the significant dynasties of the era. Arethusa I was known to have had at least three consorts, two of which were the sons of other growing powers within the known Istroyan world; the polis the third son belonged to has been lost to time and historians assume it was abandoned or razed during the decline and subsequently scavenged for resources.
In 736 BC, Arethusa's half sister was executed by Pagaiean hoplites under orders of their King, serving as a casus belli to orchestrate the Pagaiean Conquest (736 BC - 729 BC) and annex it into Asteician territory. Sources suggest the execution was planned by Arethusa herself but historians believe them to be propaganda produced by the Pagaieans to invalidate the legitimacy of the war. The war was decisive according to accounts by the Asteician general, Nikolaos, with as little as 1,100 casualties and an estimated 12,600 casualties among the Pagaieans after a seven year campaign; there is no indication whether these are solely military numbers or perhaps include civilians.
Subsequent wars with Hademos and Misthia ensued two years later in 727 BC. The Misthian Conquest (727 BC - 726 BC) was short-lived as the mercenary army hired by the city was immediately routed in the Battle of Misthia after a devastating flank by cavalry, on the farmland plains outside the city. The Hadrite Conquest (726 BC - 704 BC) was a much more extensive campaign, lasting for most of Arethusa's reign. Hademos had an equally powerful military attributed to the rigorous training and startling quality of equipment at the time. The King of Hademos issued standardised equipment to his army, resulting in equally capable phalanxes utilised in battle. Other armies in the period had their soldiers rely on equipping themselves, resulting in varying degrees of capabilities across each unit. Hademos rests upon a hill and, naturally, the siege took the Asteician army an extended period of time. Though victorious, casualties on both sides were extreme with a total of 79,000 casualties throughout the conquest, 43,000 of which were caused in the Battle of Myndomenus.
Asteia entered a period of prosperity when acceded by King Heirax who opted for investing into the poleis with newly-formed technologies within the Istroyan realm, such as advanced methods of irrigation and techniques of construction, as well as acquisition of more modern materials of the era through mercantile endeavours. The Port of Chryses was established in 699 BC on the coast of the Sea of Istroya as direct result of the King's desire of expansion by trade. With immediate access to the ocean, Heirax commissioned for a navy to be built after funding education of shipwrights across Asteician towns and poleis, resulting in the Asteician Fleet being constructed by 671 BC with designs, such as the Trireme, largely borrowed and reverse-engineered from neighbouring powers in the realm. Merchant ships were also manufactured at a great amount to export goods such as olives and wine across both domestic and external trade routes. The recorded figure from this period states a total of 31 ships were under Asteician command by 660 BC, 16 of which were warships.
Other notable rulers of the period include but are not limited to; King Eukles III, Queen Arethusa II, King Telemachos and King Timonax. By 550 BC, Asteia was officially recognised as a kingdom by all other powers in the realm and the dynasty remained in power until 350 AD with the last ruler being Queen Calypso II, as she bore no children and the line could no longer continue. Historians theorise she was afflicted by a disease that caused infertility, though no evidence can be provided. An epic was written during the 5th century AD celebrating her rule and dramatises scenarios that occurred during her reign. Another royal dynasty was never established until many centuries later as the Asteician people of the period believed the dynasty to be a celestial gift bestowed by the gods to their disciples and thus nobody else was worthy.
The decline saw both resource shortages and reoccurring incidents of famine kingdom-wide caused by the increasingly isolationist views of the people caused by the rapid rise of greater powers both on Sarpedon and former Istroyan colonies in Levantia. A distinct lack of history is recorded during this time period with the stagnation of both culture and technology and is known to historians under other names such as the Istroyan Gap and the Istroyan Dark Age, officially ending by c. 1000 AD with the account of an Istroyan nation purchasing numerous secrets of technological advancements from across the sea in Audonia to inspire a growth in prosperity once more. The Kingdom of Asteia during this period also similarly reached a period of stagnation for many centuries after the death of their final ruler. Little is known about the method of governance used at the time, though evidence suggests the Asteicians no longer referred to themselves as a kingdom. Subsequently, Asteia began to be Latinised by influence exerted from Caphiria to establish a foothold in Istroyan territory in exchange for famine resolutions, political guidance and stability. The city of Asteia was renamed to Astecleum during this period.
Area leading out of the territory of Asteklion, still noticeably damaged from war a century ago.
View from near the summit of Mt. Samala.
An Aciriani port built in Asteklion on the coast of the Istroyan Sea after a trade agreement established in the 1600s.
Modern city centre of Asteklion on the bank of the Kostos river.
Located in Eastern Sarpedon, Asteklion and the territory it encompasses consists of mountainous mainland with small, fractal islands scattering the coastline. The city centre crests upon a hill adjacent to the Kostos river and stretches downstream and along the mainland. Eighty percent of Asteklion consists of mountains or hills, making it one of the most mountainous in Sarpedon, as well as being a military and infrastructural nightmare. The country acts a gateway and barrier for north-south travel of the Kostos river and historically served as a strategic objective. The Istrian mountain range within the territory reaches a maximum elevation of 2,398m at Mt. Samala.
Asteklion has a hot-summer-Istroyan climate, summers are generally warm to hot and dry with clear skies, seldom relieved by the cool breeze from the Sea of Istroya. Because Asteklion is further south than a majority of the inhabitants on Sarpedon, tourism flourishes during the summer months, with the maximum temperature reaching up to 30-33°C on average. The minimum temperature has been recorded to have reached lows of -0.6 °C during the winter months on 19 November 2024; meanwhile the maximum temperature record has been measured at around 36.2 °C during the summer months on 3 July 2025.
Government and politics
Asteklion's armed forces — the Asteklian Defence Force (ADF) — consists of the Asteklian Navy (AN), the Asteklian Army and the Asteklian Air Force (AAF), with a personnel number of 414,571 regulars and 501,873 reservists as of January 2026. The role of Commander-in-Chief is appointed by the President who in turn has supreme command over all branches of the Asteklian Defence Force. In the 2025-2026 budget, defence spending totalled 11.3% of GDP, a figure owed to the necessity of protecting itself from it's much larger neighbours and to prevent events of recent history from reoccurring. Women make up 43% of the total personnel within the armed forces, much to international acclaim among activists.
The specialist regiment within the Asteklian Army, the Silver Shields, are a highly advanced elite special forces unit that specialise in roles such as counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, direct action and covert reconnaissance. Information is highly classified and as such, not much is known about them due to the sensitivity of their operations. It's sister unit is the Harpies, a specialised wing of the air force solely consisting of highly skilled female pilots utilised in direct action and to assist maritime counter-terrorism. Both special forces units are under direct operational command of the President.
Training exercises and drills within the military exclusively take place on the smaller coastal islands within the territory that are barred to citizens or externally in other countries, alongside their associated military forces, due to the dangerous nature of such activities.