DaveDaDude said:As a avid Rhodok fan, who has studied the architecture and dialogue history of this faction... i would say that they are based on Northern Italian countries
So they clearly are. The crossbowmen have taken direct influence from the famous Genoese crossbowmen. "Namely republic, in truth a kingdom" -scheme can be derived from the transition of Roman Republic to Roman Empire, or any power struggle in which nobility took over in the Italian merchant republics. Then again, as said, their technology doesn't seem very advanced, and they've only recently become independent, so it's not a complete copy+paste of the region.