- "It is said that on the eve of the Maddened Fields, the Tyrant Theodosius consulted with the many Delosi soothsayers among his host. He asked them if he would find victory or defeat, should he give battle at dawn as he intended. The Delosi squabbled among themselves for hours, until the eldest among them looked the Tyrant in the eyes and spoke his answer: Yes."
- ―Extract from ‘The Banquet of Follies, or, A Comprehensive History of the First League War’ by Prince Alexandre of Lyonis
Delos is a Good poilty belonging to the League of Free Cities, situated on the eastern bank of the Wasaliti River. It’s most well known for its scribes and bureaucracy, which is treated like the will of the Heavens.
The city is organized in tiers reflecting its government. It’s smaller than Smyrna, the capital of the Thalassocracy, however it’s strictly regimented so that its people live according to their position in the Secretariat. Its districts are built on clockwise platforms that spiral higher and thinner until they reached the House of Ink and Parchment. The city itself is encompassed by the most impressive curtain walls of the Free Cities, nearly sixty feet high and almost half as deep.
Not much is known about how the city was founded nor its position in most historical conflicts. The competition for the trade to Mercantis has resulted in conflict with Atalante before, though it did ally with Stygia and Atalante against a Helikean Tyrant before the southern Proceran princes had intervened and put her down.
After Atalante, Delos was the second Free City to be attacked. Due to its impressive walls and help from a heroic band led by the White Knight Hanno it managed to last for a significant amount of time. One of the assaults involved seven floating towers, each powered by the ritual sacrifice of six hundred and sixty-six of Atalante’s citizens, and another employed a machine to try digging underneath the walls.
The city fell after an intervention from the Calamities. Black Knight, Warlock and Captain engaged the heroes whilst Assassin killed every high-ranked member of the Secretariat who’d at any point spoken in favour of Delos continuing to intervene in the war past the siege.
Ruled by askretis - the higher-placed members of the Secretariat - the city’s roots are deeply bureaucratic. Its chief members of government are located in the House of Ink and Parchment in the middle of the city, and are distinguished from the rest of the populace by tattooed lines of blue and black on their faces. The highest ranking askretis seen so far, Secretary Nestor Ikaroi, who "had climbed the ranks of their bureaucracy until there was nothing left to climb," only had two thin stripes on each cheek, one of each colour. This is said to be "traditionally the highest rank one could rise to within the Secretariat" – perhaps hinting at the possibility that tradition might be broken.
Despite their hierarchy, the system is more fluid than the one employed in Ashur, where one born to a citizen tier rarely moves up or down. A mistaken report could drastically lower a person’s standing and Cordelia Hasenbach has modelled the examinations to enter civil service in Salia on those required to rise higher in the Secretariat, for the purposes of weeding out inadequate aristocracy. In that sense, the system seems relatively fair and meritocratic.
With its stringent bureaucracy at the core of the government, Delos relies heavily on forms, permits and obedience of regulation. Even when under a siege, the city relied on paperwork - White Knight was denied permission to launch an offensive sortie. It can sometimes take “at least a fortnight to get the form to request the request form.”
People & Culture
In Delos, the will of the Heavens and the will of the askretis are considered to be the same thing. As such, any decrees passed down from the Secretariat are believed with full certainty by the people of Delos. White Knight remarks that it’s not unusual for half a battalion to be wiped out in the first deployment but the same people did not hesitate going back the following day.
- It's speculated that Scribe is likely from Delos due to her appearance