|Isles of Maria|
|Motto||"From the sea's we rise"|
|Cities||Westwood, Dartmouth, Queensteignton|
|Governor||Lord Antonio Mormontis|
The Isle of Maria is an island district of St. Samuel, located in the Dark Sea, 5 miles off the west coast of the Saint Sembus province, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Strait of Stags. The Island has many resorts which are popular holiday destinations.
The administrative capital is Islaburg and the current Governor is Lord Antonio Mormontis. The Island of Maria is known as the Iron Island, for it's huge Iron Ore resources. The island is easily accessible from Leonards Bay, Saint Sembus province, by ferry. The 5 mile route between Leonards Bay and Islaburg is operated by Sea Stag Lines.
The earliest recorded inhabitants of the island was the Agon tribes of around 3800BP when the island was known as Marnga. Around 3600BP the island was invaded by Axmyth of the Gyr tribe, who conquered the island. The Gyr tribe at the time were explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided wide areas around the Black Sea. Margna was to become the Gyr's first established land, as prior to conquering the island, the tribe never stayed anywhere for long.
The island became known as the Kingdom of Gyr, ruled by King Axmyth. With few forests on the island, the Gyrish villages consisted mainly of mud huts. The Gyrish peoples lived by fishing and raiding and Gyrish raiders became feared all around the Black Sea. King Axmyth founded the village of Axmyth (Exmouth) as his seat of power.
Around 2100BP the Gyrish main source of income came from their lucrative slave trade. Gyrish pirates would raid coastal villages around the Black Sea and the inhabitants bought back to Marnga, where they would be sold on. Wealthy merchants would travel thousands of miles to visit the well stocked Gyrish slave markets.
The Kingdom lasted until 1901BP, when King Bradus I, sent an army to conquer the island, in a bid to stop Gyr pirates from raiding the Black Sea coastal cities and villages. Lord Wolfmere Di Maria was given 15,000 men and 2,000 cavalry to take the island by force and the Gyrish were caught off guard by Di Maria's quick attack.
Upon victory, the island was gifted to Lord Wolfmere Di Maria by King Bradus I of Samuelonia and renamed the Isle of Maria. Wolfmere established the city of Islaburg, named after his wife, Isla. Castle Islaburg was built in 1895BP and became the home of the Di Maria family for some 500 years.
Van Arguard PeriodEdit
In 426BP, Edmund Van Arguard, an Angliyaan mercenary, loyal to King Francisco VI, was recruited to lead an attack on the island at the start of the Longerathian War. A small garrison of around 2000 Anglodascunyan troops were stationed on the island and Van Arguard's force of around 5000 troops easily overcame the Anglodascunyan forces on the island. The island became an important strategic location for Samuelonian forces launching attacks on mainland Samuelonia.
At the end of the Longerathian War, Edmund Van Arguard was made Lord Protector of Maria. House Van Arguard remained Lords of Maria until 79 AP, with the death of Henry Van Arguard, who had no male heir and the Lordship was passed to House Mormontis.
Upon the outbreak of the Great Plague, which ravaged most of Longerath, the Senator Marco Van Arguard, declared all travel and trade to cease. Thank's to Senator Van Arguard, the island remained relatively unharmed by the plague.
In 108AP, Samuelonian Iron Ore (SIO), started large scale mining operations near Saltmouth. The North Saltmouth Facility owned by SIO is one of the largest iron ore production facilities in St. Samuel.
In the early 300AP's, Islaburg saw huge investment projects. Around 35,000 eco-friendly affordable homes were built, along with new transport projects, retail park and industrial port. The government opened the South Islaburg Tax Free Industrial Port as an incentive for new business to the area.
- Islaburg, (Pop. 167,000) located on the east coast of the island, is the administrative capital of the Isle of Maria and is the island's largest city. Recent developments include a new bus station and a new retail park on the outskirts.
- Westwood (Pop. 39,000) located on the north coast, is the fashionable seaside resort initially frequented by members of the Royal Navy during the Longerathian Wars while the Royal Navy anchored in the bay and later by the crème de la crème of Samuelonian society as the town's fame spread. Renowned for its healthful climate, the town earned the nickname of the Samuelonian Riviera. The city is home to RSS Naval Base Westwood.
- Dartmouth (Pop. 44,000) located on the south west coast, is a tourist destination set on the banks of the estuary of the River Dart, which is a long narrow tidal ria. It lies within the Isle of Maria Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- Queensteignton (Pop. 31,000) located on the west coast, the city is home to the National Naval Police Academy and the Port of Queensteignton is an important Industrial port.
- Saltmouth (Pop. 14,000) located on the south coast, is the main industrial city of the island. Saltmouth has large Iron Ore facilities on the outskirts.
- Exmouth (Pop. 41,000) located on the south coast, originally a small port and fishing village and capital of the Gyr Kingdom. The city flourished in the post-plague era, when it first became a significant quarrying port and later a seaside resort for the rich of the day. Today the town remains a popular tourist resort, this being the town's primary industry, with many thousands of visitors coming to the town during the peak summer season, drawn by the bay's sandy beaches and other attractions.
- Axhaven (Pop. 8,000) located centrally on the Isle of Maria, the town was founded as the Gyr Kingdoms secret safe haven, located away from the coast as a place of safety. Axhaven today is a small market town.
The Isle of Maria has a total of 787 km of roadway. Major roads run between the main island towns, with smaller roads connecting villages. A comprehensive bus network operated by Island Coaches links most island settlements, with Islaburg as the central hub.
The island's location 5 miles off the mainland means that longer-distance transport is by boat. Car ferry and passenger services are run by Sea Stag Lines. The island has one railway which follows the islands coast line and is operated by Samuelonian Rail.
|Provinces: High Samuelonia • Elvyndein • Beaumont • Clarincourt • Lysden • Neves • Westerland • Kleos • Francisca • Montfort • Donaldein • Samoria • Lynchester • Semberdenburg • Tyburn • Redlands • Drakon • Rosencourt • Saint Rudolph • Elysium • Issanna • Correana • New South Dascunya • Devonburg • Larynia • Lamanerda • Eastmont|
|Island Districts: Apollinarius Isles • Barnibus Islands • Isles of Maria • Kyriakos Islands • Lavender Isles • Lysander Isles • Montague Island • Vispania Island|
|Crown Dependency: Eshwarya|