Though divided politically, the city-states possess a common culture, each consisting of a dominant metropolis surrounded by a score of towns scattered across the attendant countryside. The founding cities constructed during the Golden Age, are the pillars of the Halodyne civilization supporting the entire culture built up around it; each forming the capital of a state.
While some states are ruled by kings or even demigods, and others form republics, all Halodynes prize their universal system of citizenship. Theater, poetry, athletics, sculpture, painting, and learning are important parts of a citizen’s life, and even slaves enjoy limited rights and basic comforts. Life is not all comforts, for the city-states are beset by enemies.
City-state society is founded upon the hardy citizen farmer-hoplite – free land-owning men bound to bear arms for the state, who make up two-thirds of all citizens, while another 15% are urban craftsmen. A small upper class of the wealthy make up the lawyers, politicians and administrators, while the other 10% belong to the class called the Symachoi – professional warriors who follow the strict code known as the Thesmos. Halodyne states have no entrenched noble class, but do have a large population of landless serfs and slaves.
Only citizens may be Hoplites, and so each is accompanied to battle by several Peltasts drawn from the family’s hereditary slaves. In addition to the Hoplite militias, each city-state employs a permanent force of elite hoplites know as the Sacred Band. Bow-armed Sylphs patrol the skies, and lightly armored troops called Myrmidon Marines roam the seas. Local Hill Ogres provide units armed with the powerful 2-handed Falx, and some cities also maintain cavalry and chariots, but the backbone of the army has always been the hoplite-phalanx.