(thanks to Triggerhappy and Undeadfrog from spacebattles/sufficient velocity.com for the inspiration)
Greece:Greece is in turmoil. There are multiple factions vying for dominance in the new era, while other independent city-states and factions try to play off the powers that be.
Macedon:The former homeland of Alexander the Great, they are fighting tooth and nail to retain control of the Greek Peninsula. They are having problems adapting to the new era, most notably because it seems like every two-bit commander claims to be the successor to Alexander the Great, creating rivalries that will not give up in the phalanx as a base unit.
However, while limited by treaties, they have turned to sponsor privateers to weaken their foes at sea.
What is particularly of note is they have created a massive fortification around Mount Olympia and claim to be the protectors of the gods, even if the gods often dispute this claim.
There is also a rumor that the ruling family is a snake cult that comes from a time long before the time of humanity. So far, this is unfounded, but the rumors persist.
Epirus:The young Pyrrhus II has claimed the throne of the region, this land of small villages is essentially the Greek frontier and broken by Pyrrhus’ ancestor, who reached the outskirts of Rome at great cost. Believed to be possessed by his ancestor who wants a do-over. It is a place of strong religious belief and 2nd chances and is often a place where outcasts and outsiders go when they aren’t sure where else to be.
At Dodona, the oracle of Zeus has expressed their favor by clouding the location in a massive thunderstorm, only allowing knowledge to those that are worthy.
Aetolian League:The Aetolian League was the first to form and while considered semi-barbaric by their neighbors, they are the dominant state of Central Greece. They are driven to a position to upset Macedon and are currently weighing their options to ally with either Carthage or Rome. They have abandoned the Phalanx for a more wave style of warfare, where they prefer cheap automation with interchangeable parts over using citizen armies.
They have the mighty oracle of Delphi under their heel, but the Oracle keeps warning of a war that "all will lose."
(For the purposes of this post, the Role of the Oracle of Delphi will be played by Bea Arthur, a more age-appropriate Oracle).
Sparta:While nominally associated with the Aetolian League, they are their own city-state and often do things in the name of the state and “the gods”. Just about their entire soldier caste is merged with the shades of the gods (most commonly Hercules and Leonidas) to become a society of demigods.
Achaean League:The Achaean League, similarly, had existed for centuries as a loose religious association before it reformed itself in 280 on the same lines as the Aetolian League. This is a strange unification of such ancient and legendary cities of Argos. It dominates the Peloponnese through the use of mercenaries. They rely on their mobility of their citizen soldiers to repel invaders, using both rails and small automation.
Argos:The ancient city of the Hydra has regenerated. The beast itself is now a mixture of the serpent and the mechanical thanks to the power of interchangeable parts. The animation of beast and machine has made it a perpetual guardian, but it demands regular sacrifices for its services. Its minions are known as it's heads and is sent out on its behalf. These forces are difficult to route out as they are always working behind the scenes.
Thebes:Is one of the prominent members of this league and considers it’s automation that of the new Spartoi or "Sown Men." While destroyed by Alexander the Great, it has been restored using a blueprint and is one of the most orderly cities in Greece. It is also a place where it’s police force is completely automated in the name of public order. They were traditionally Cavalry, but have adapted this tradition to small steam chariots. They still have that contrary and bullheaded nature that made them famous, and often looks over old innovations in the hopes of finding something new "just to show them."
The Athneo-Knossos Alliance:At one point two powers were going to go to blows, but instead of getting into a fight, they got into a debate that lasted days. Once exhausted from the discussion, they ended up making an alliance that dominates the Aegean Sea and a lot of those city-states that are dependent on it, not unlike a federation.
Athens:The birthplace of innovation, naval power, and Automation and has regained long lost power and dominance. It is the Greekpunk city of wonder and conformity. They are also essentially the town you go to make it big in the theater and more then one vigilante organization has used these skills and technology developed to fight or commit crime throughout the ancient world.
Knossos:The land of Philosopher Minotaurs whom species is the fusion of the spirits of Daedalus and the Minotaur who conquered Crete through brains and brawn. They consider themselves the Platonic ideal and have a bad temper to those that point out their inconsistencies.
Rhodes:The Island kingdom is known for having the greatest Colossus in the ancient world. It wades into the depths of the water driven by heroes to keep the Aegean safe from sea monsters. But there is a nasty rumor that there are organic sea serpent components in the mighty Colossus.
Other powerful allies in this federation are Pergamum and Byzantium.
The Trojan Necropolis:This town was found by a couple of freebooting adventures, that the shades of this dead city immediately possessed them. They then began to offer themselves as a waystation but continued to possess travelers until the population of Troy has arisen again as their personalities were rewritten by beings of legend, abet with a slight green tint. It is a step back in time, with huge ancient walls, and a dedication to getting revenge on the Greeks and the Romans (whom they consider an insult they claim their ancestry). Poseidon is their patron god now, after the horse fiasco, and it prepares it's deadly hippocampus forces that merge the dead and machine. Troy never forgets.
Ephesus:This fabled city of the Amazons are one of the staunchest allies of the Trojans and are often responsible for kidnapping new hosts for them. Their city contains the legendary Temple of Artemis and it influences the actions of the entire city: namely that of the hunt and moon. They have been rumored to have strange, secret technology that allows them to track when others would give up and are one with the night.
Scythia:(special thanks to Incognito from SB.com for this one).
Horseman tribes and confederacies are bound to these grasslands as they are dominated by the bloodline that merged a dragoness and the mighty Heracles that mated during one of his many adventures. Purity has been key by the rules to preserve this bloodline which allows the draconic features to manifest. Their lack of unity is the only thing stopping the rise of the dragon, but for how long?
The Seleucid Empire:The dominant power of the Middle East, it is on the decline. Its feudal structure allowed political vibrancy, but it also has affected the stability as local rulers become rebellious vassals. It has lost territory to its neighbors but is currently going through a revival through Antiochus III the Great. He plans to raise an army like the world has ever known and just simply march east and drown them in sheer numbers and teamwork. This includes supernatural creatures such as ogres, manticores and even stranger creatures of power.
Antioch:The center of the Seleucid Empire, this is a young city of opulence. Built as the choke point for the middle east, this is where the forces are amassing to move out east. It is the city of the Jinn which influence the city using their knowledge of the legal code to wield their supernatural power.
Babylon:This city was ancient even by these eras standards, it is currently abandoned. Plant life has taken over this city and it's rumored that some of the plant life is sentient enough to be amassing forces within.
Bactra:The Graveyard of empires is a little too literal. It teams with shades that are unsure of their heritage (due to the surprisingly high Greek population in this neck of the woods), who have deteriorated into ghouls. They would be a danger to all if Antiochus hadn't come to a "working agreement" which is rumored to be his ace in the hole for his own schemes.
Egypt/The Ptolemaic Kingdom:This ancient land was conquered by Ptolemy I, the childhood friend of Alexander the Great and he still rules. While he died over 80 years ago, he arose from the dead and repossessed his original body. The mummification process gave him eternal life and he has been cannibalizing mummies, temples, and artifacts to only increase his power as Pharaoh.
Alexandria:While many cities claim this name, the one in Egypt is the one people refer to. It is a place of writing and is the place of cosmopolitan, 2nd only to Rome in sheer size.
It is probably best known for its library. While there is some modern skepticism whether it existed in history, it exists in this world and is a place where all knowledge ends up: you just need to know where to look. Whether you survive is another matter entirely as the library is a very dangerous place for the ignorant.
Isthmus of Suez:One of Ptolemy's many projects. He has hired some Roman contractors to dig a canal to allow access from the Mediterranean to the Red sea using Steam Technology. If completed, it will allow an unprecedented amount of prosperity and control over trade. But there are many that are trying to sabotage this endeavor.
MemphisThis ancient city of the Egyptians is the religious center and has undergone a renaissance of sorts. This is the city that Alexander the Great has been entombed, at least for now, and is the city of a thousand gods. A side effect of this city is the sheer number of ancient shades, and not all are happy with the new regime. The people of the nearby Set maat (the place of truth), the town of artisans, is home to what can be described as "shade stoppers" that are sent throughout the Kingdom and beyond.
TutankhamunWhile not a location, there is this persistent urban legend of note. A minor Pharoah was missed during the magical cannibalism of Ptolemy. He was resurrected by his shade and now wanders Egypt and beyond, looking for resources and force of arms to reclaim his kingdom.
Ankhar the DefiantClaiming to be the son of Ra, this mighty hero runs around the world looking to right justice with a large toothy grin. The Greeks compare him to a Hecatoncheires for his giant size, mighty strength and ferocity in combat, but he isn't the brightest and often gets into trouble because of it.
Hyperborea:This land far to the north beyond the Northwind. While often depicted as a utopia, it is closer to a land of fire, kept warm by the magma flows from the volcanoes that isolate this region. The circular temple to Apollo is occupied by a multi-headed dragon that sleeps, forever guarding the golden apples that grow in the rich volcanic soil. These apples are rumored to be an ever-burning fuel source.
It is rumored that it's mainly the twisting currents that make people think it's that far north, and in fact, it might be Iceland.