"The way the Melitine Empire fights is one of exceptional patience. The battle lines will smash into each other, but the Melitine soldiers will stand their position against all odds." - Amorion I
The Melitine Empire is an old offshoot of the Baccus Empire. Hundreds of years ago, the rich and decadent Baccus Empire was overrun by an alliance of barbarian tribes - the Melitines were largely spared and used the opportunity to secede and proclaim themselves the true heir of the once proud Empire under Amorion I the Defender, who stopped the barbarian invasion at the Melitine borders.
Eventually the Baccus Empire was restored, although with diminished size and prosperity, competing with its Melitine siblings for trade routes and military prestige. This resulted in minor border skirmishes and full-scale proxy wars in overseas colonies, largely by client kingdoms. The Melitine and Baccus Empires largely avoided coming to serious blows by vigorous diplomacy and the unwillingness of the military and the populace to fight their former brothers. Especially the Melitines were adept at avoiding wars and their devastation, frequently relying on bribes from their coffers filled with taxes and custom duties on trade, this income largely due to the well situated capital, placed as it is on a prominent trade route. The city of Melitine is the largest and most prosperous in Amala, dominating the southern coastline and the twin rivers in the fork of which it is built. It is from this position that it can control the trade flowing up the rivers, along the coast and the major road which runs from east to west and passes through Melitine lands.
The national character of the Melitines was developed over the centuries by external threats. The old Empire was a fertile ground for new sects and cults, and trying to protect the cohesion of their Empire, the Melitines became fairly dogmatic and uncompromising about their true gods, treating any other beliefs as heretical - burning alleged heretics at the stake on public holidays is a common sight in the Melitine lands.
The periodic invasions from various Northern tribes with their excellent archers and heavy cavalry forced the Melitine military to develop similar skills in their armies, moving away from the traditional heavy infantry army. Compounding this a brilliant led to the Melitine Empire managing to conquer a number of their neighbors and turn them into tributary states, many of them formerly numbering themselves with the restless Jatu who consider the vast plains stretching out to the north as home. The size of this land to defend has forced the Melitines to develop their own defensive network based on the principle of defense in depth. Frontier garrisons are made of solid infantry who have to hold the line until the large standing cavalry forces can be alerted and deployed. These small units hold the enemy up allowing the main Melitine army to position itself and deliver the killing blow.
Other Jatu influences also slowly crept in the mainstream of the Melitine society. There was increased tolerance to cruel punishments like cutting off various limbs and appendages for fairly minor crimes. Some sections of the clergy have denounced the portrayal of Gods in paintings and statues as blasphemous, which may lead to serious internal strife in the future.
Watching the onslaught of the Snake Cult on the Baccus Empire from a relatively safe distance, the Melitine rulers are of two minds. The Melitine magnates are pleased their old trade rival is on the ropes and they say that the Cult may be reasoned with, and even cultivated into a junior trading partner. The clergy and the populace are horrified of the Cult and apprehensive - they fear that their land will be the next victim, and many in the military want to strike first.
The Melitine Empire is phenomenally wealthy and enjoys a good standard of organisation thanks to a dedicated officer corps, and many years relative peace. On the flip side however, their army lacks battle experience other than tracking down the odd Flayed outcast or chasing down a Jatu raid. Able bodied men are conscripted for the army, and thus they are untested and untrained, fresh in from the fields. To compensate, the Melitine Empire equips their militia armies far more generously than other factions. Melitine Infantry and Imperial Guards are good when combined - the infantry excel at repelling cavalry but can't hold up against enemy heavy infantry, though if paired with the hard-hitting (but shieldless) guardsmen this gives the Melitine army a fairly tough infantry line. Melitine Archers are solid, and surprisingly effective in melee despite their lack of shields.
Melitine cavalry is the real strength of the army, however. Melitine Lancers and Horse Archers are good, fast medium cavalry, with the Griwbanar excellent shock cavalry. They rely on mobility to be effective which is why even the infantry expect to ride to battle, and they only dismount when the two armies face off against each other.
|1st tier||Melitine Free Brother|
|2st tier||Melitine Archer||Melitine Infantry|
|3rd tier||Melitine Heavy Horse Archer||Melitine Lancer||Melitine Imperial Guard|
|4th tier||Melitine Griwbanar|
It's unique spawn heroic spawn is Sebastokrator Kaspax, who holds the most melitine troops. The player can also hire a Melitine Mercenary Company when having 0 or higher relations with the Melitine, called The Sarno Expedition. Rarely, a smaller Melitine force comes to Pendor, called Melitine Scouting Force, which is made of:
- 5-10 Melitine Griwbanar
- 20-40 Melitine Lancer
- 20-40 Melitine Heavy Horse Archer
- 20-40 Melitine Imperial Guard
- 30-60 Melitine Archer
- 40-80 Melitine Infantry
Melitine doesn't have any alliance with anyone and they are a lesser Hateful faction. They are neutral to all Knighthood Orders except for Order of the Lion and Order of Eventide, both being at odds with Melitine. They have wary (-10) relations with the 5 major kingdoms and the player.