The Chronicle

"Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." -John Milton

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Gesar
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The Chronicle

Postby Gesar » 00:13:45 Saturday, 28 March, 2015

Chapter 0: As Fair as Morning



"...the fault lies not with the Folk and Gentry of Saenwyn, but with myself. For I saw the stars of the Beyond, and sought to bring them to those I cherished. I will not repent, sweet family, but for the fate I brought on to those who stood with me." -Fergus Louarn in his last letter to his family and the Prince Regent, 819 AE

Image

Map key- C: Crownlands, 1: Lathair, 2: Moryd, 3: Cambaern, 4: Southmarch, 5: Nolvagne, 6: Massalia, 7: Tailledun


News:

A Royal Wedding
*In the extravagant fashion that's becoming nearly stereotypical of the post-civil war gentry, young King Corentin is married to the second daughter of King Tirso IV, Monarch-Divine of Ividal. Though a devout believer in her kingdom's interpretation of the Nine-from-Three, Princess (and soon to be Queen) Marcia is well-remarked upon for her courtly education, intelligence, and beauty. Now in the third year of his independent reign, Corentin finally fulfills the duties of his contract, negotiated by Lord Jace Kern and Ividal's Crown Prince Luciano, and formally courts Marcia in a manner fitting of a chivalric monarch. Mere months after she accepts, with last minute marriage proposals bombarding the King, the pair get married in two ceremonies: one in the simple Ividalan traditions, one in front of Corentin's lords, ladies, and close friends.
*Then, and only then, the festivities begin. With casks of wine, ale, and the strong liquor of the Senevni provided in abundance and the year's harvest brought to the table at the Royal Castle, the party promises to be one for their ages. Raised among lords and ladies as known for their fine tastes as they are for their worldly demeanor, King Corentin seems to spare no expense, and by the time the dancing properly begins, a fair number of the guests are drunk or retired for the evening. Guests who draw particular interest include the King's Chancellor, the young son of a merchant prince (and the court's biggest dandy) by the name of Cillian Odile, seemingly stealing a dance with the Duchess of Massalia, and the seemingly-inexplicable partnership of Lady Guefet's seneschal, the exotic former slave from Alsheraa, and the Duke of Moryd's sister, Ofelie Louard. Other events of note include the toast King Corentin makes to his uncle and former regent, only to be greeted by a polite nod and a dry remark, and the Duke of Nolvagne nearly challenging the Baron Bremard, a vassal of Southmarch, to a duel over a joke about his wife.
*Before any hostilities get out of hand, of course, King Corentin calls a halt to the preliminaries of the ball and takes to the floor with his new wife, a surprisingly agile dancer. The royal wedding thus goes off without a hitch, insofar as nobody died and the royal tournament the following day goes surprisingly well, with the Lord Regent of Cambaern unhorsing Sir Rory of Dryndin, a knight-errant in the service of Lord Kern the elder in the final joust.
*Also of honorable mention is the mercenary Sir Tomas Breakshield, Captain of the Ashen Lords, who finishes first in the melee after besting two of House Tremayne's best knights and nearly breaking the leg of Lord Agustin with his mace before accepting the Marcher's cries of 'yield'. What, precisely, the sellsword is doing in the seaside town beside Gerand's Keep is anybody's guess, but given his track record and the opportunity to ingratiate himself with a court full of the realm's biggest names, nobody is entirely surprised.
*Elsewhere in Brevard's Keep, even the commoners raise a glass (conveniently provided by the King and his Chancellor) to the “Young Stallion”, as those royalists among the smallfolk call the monarch. Those who vocally supported the Confederation are quickly found unwelcome in the pubs and winesinks of the capital, though a few still manage to voice their qualms about a king who drinks while their people starve, and more than a few mention “that Ividalan whore” as the crux of their discontent.
*The news of the wedding is particularly well received in Southmarch, where the native population is largely Ividalan and proud of both that and their allegiance to House Tremayne.

*A strange incident occurs not long after the wedding. A small, unnamed vessel of the Senevni design docks at the harbor in Gerand's Keep, bringing with it a small group of elves claiming to seek asylum from the conflicts in the north. Those few traders who have had dealings with the knife-ears whisper that the refugees have little in common with the Alsheraadi of the South - several of their number are hairless, their skin is as fair as milk, rather than bronze, and their features are even more angular than their southern counterparts. Nonetheless, the local Mu'amin invokes the rights given to his people in the Treaty of Sulahn'salin, and grants them sanctuary at his embassy-manse before the locals get their barbaric hands on them.

*High in the mountains of the Southern Marches, the Lair of the Whispering Skulls is well-known as one of only a few places left where the remnants of mage-craft lingers. Yet curiously the goatherd boys of the mountains have whisperings of their own to tell - that the skulls that in a time now lost spoke softly of their defeats, are almost silent these days.

*Stories of sorcery remain curiously common in the Abyssal Mire of Cambaern, however, where the local swamp-folk are said to have rooted out and hung another witch from the limbs of the nearest whisper-tree. The local deacons deride this as superstition behind closed doors, but publicly remain supportive of any attempt at purging heretics.

*Guyon, eldest son of Lord Jace of Tailledun, is found strangled to death in his bedchambers after a night of festivities by a serving girl bringing him breakfast. Speculation abounds at the death of the heir to the Duchy and by all accounts a fairly popular young man (as well as a childhood friend of the King), with many at court declaring that a widespread plot is at hand. This is no doubt fueled by the knowledge that the death of Guyon leaves his brother Tylar, Lord Commander of the Royal Army and Count-Appointed of Southmarch, as the heir to Tailledun. A known confidant of King Corentin, it is hard to see how far this plot, if indeed there is one, stretches.

*For his part, the Lord Commander seems not to have let the news of his brother's death affect him overly much. Construction on a double wall around Castle Southmarch and the outlying town proceeds apace, and what the King's Banners lack in popularity elsewhere, their commander continues to work on disciplining the Southmarch garrison.

*Maryaenae raiders are spotted sailing eastwards and southwards, passing by the clansmen dwelling on the Claw. Of late attacks on shipping have increased, although it has been some moons since a major raid by them. To the southeast, several of Lord Jace's vassals once again request that he press his claim on Epos Island, better known to the locals as Cadoc's Isle, taken by Kharkhedon in one of Carlon Surefoot's many failed military endeavors.

*The Diocese continues to see an upturn in tithing as religious fervor spreads throughout Tailledun. Even poor crofters and the embattled coastal folk seem to be taking an interest in the doctrines of the Nine-from-Three. Rumors of a hermit calling himself simply Solas being a leader of these newfound devout are yet unsubstantiated.

*A priest known as Coerwulf returns to the capital from a pilgrimage to the Holy Throne far to the west, bringing back new copies of sacred texts and teachings by Patriarch Biel.

*Though his uncle the Lord Regent insists that all is well, the eight-year old Duke of Cambaern, young Lord Arrick Dain, seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Tales from squires and washerwomen say that the son of war hero Carlon Dain is largely bed-ridden, with a sickly cough and scabs over his fragile body. Everyone in Cambaern, from tavern wenches to the lords of the great keeps that watch over the plains, seems to have one question on their mind: what will become of their liege?

*To this end, multiple factions of the nobility have proposed a suitable heir, as Arrick has no brothers. The most prominent of the claimants are his sister Alyssa, currently affianced to the powerful Count Guedoc, and Carlon's bastard brother Verin, who holds no claim but commands the respect of much of the gentry and newer nobility, to say nothing of his fief overlooking the Miller's Path. Left unsaid is that the second-in-line to Carlon's title was the Lord Regent himself, who though a tourney champion and decorated soldier, commands little in the way of popularity for his abstention from the crisis.

*As all this goes on, Cambaern's serfs and freeholders seem to be of the mind that this autumn's harvest will be one of the largest in recent memories. Most in the formerly war-torn Duchy are also of the opinion that “at least something can happen right around here”.

*Following the news of the harvest, Dainhall takes a break from its regular intriguing and petty feuds, calling for a grand hunt after word of the white stag reaches Lord Gidion's ears. The pursuit takes them deep into the Elfsbane Hills, and although the stag is lost, the party happens upon the lair of an elusive great bear. In the end, three dogs are lost to the beast and several footmen sustain injuries, but renowned archer Hareld of Hornbow claims the prize...only for Rislyn Havre, Baron Wynvirke, to dispute the commoner's kill, citing that his spear did much of the work. The two come to blows with half of Gidion's court looking on, and only the timely intervention of the Lord Regent's retainer, Sytos the Black, calls the affair off before it escalates. Whether this speaks more to the bastard knight's rakish, affable charm or his skill with his Kharkedonian blade is anybody's guess.

*The Circle of the Forsaken, the last remaining Republican brigands, continue to harass the countryside of the Duchy of Lathair. Fast moving, they evade attempts to capture them, and continue to execute those they deem “Royalist collaborators”. Accordingly, two members of the Circle are later captured by Prince Gustave's men and are swiftly hanged, while the miller who hid them is sentenced to hard labor.

*Labor, of course, being something that isn't exactly in short supply in Lathair due to the current crisis in the State of Voslavjn. As quarrels between the Marcher Lords flair up, many peasants turn to banditry, and Prince Caspar struggles to maintain control of anything beyond his own lands and the main trade routes. Many begin to flee into Oscella, but finding themselves repelled, Saenwyne lands and Gustave's reputation for firm, if harsh, justice seem more and more attractive.

*Rumors continue to spread through Lathair of a wyvern nest in the foothills of the Ingthorp Mountains. The beasts are believed by reasonable types to be extinct in Saenwyn, and to be found only in the Great South.

*Troops of the King quartered in the Royal Keep in Moryd remain unpopular with the locals. Having sat there and conducted regular marches around the Duchy of Moryd to look for “seditious behaviour”, they’ve stirred up plenty of ill-will over the past three years.

*Elsewhere in Moryd, while his sister represents House Louarn at the royal wedding, Lord Tristan seems to busy himself with other things, most notably meeting with several prominent Oscellans and reviewing the mercenary force the Duchy has kept since the civil war decimated much of their supporters.

*Of course, this does not stop the more curious whispers circulating about one of the Duke of Moryd's advisors, a Senevni mystic known as Stoymen. Said to have a scholarly interest in the Art, many in the priesthood wish him expelled from the city, but numerous visitors seem intrigued by his presence- and more than one sickly commoner seeking His Lordship's blessing has walked away claiming the scholar's powers healed them.

*In absence of a declaration from the Holy Throne, Patriarch Patric rules to uphold the line on the self-proclaimed Elvhen race as established by the seventh First Patriarch Julien, namely that they are children of the Magician and are offered a place in the after-world only with their repentance. The conservative declaration angers both zealots, who claim the elves are beyond the mercy of the Nine-from-Three, and the Pantheon's quasi-heretical reformists, who believe that any children of the gods are offered salvation in death.

*As part of their on-going trade war, the League of the City of Glass buys up and otherwise sabotages caravans in Gerand’s Keep to keep their advantage in caravanning goods throughout the country. The Saenwyne Guildhall responds by further suppressing what little trade the League was carrying out of Massalia.

*Things get more violent in Gerand's Keep, however, when a Guildhall merchant, his son, and a hired guard get lynched and strung up from a tree in the Golden Square of the capital. While nobody's around or willing to confirm it, all signs point to the culprits being thugs hired by the League.

*As of yet untouched by the trade war is 'House' Sauveterre, who continue to acquire land in the royal fiefdom thanks to their recent windfall. While most scorn the banking family as up-jumped burghers who would sell themselves for a chance to join the nobility, others continue to quietly point at exactly who their debtors are: the Crown, several Saenwyne noble houses, the League, and formerly several prominent Kharkhedonians.

*Construction begins in Redtower of a new oratory as a gift from House Redlance to the gods - a move for which the Diocese is accordingly thankful. Whispers that the local deacons of the Pantheon have been relaying tales of streams with hidden silver found by crofters are quickly hushed.

*On the Claw, Clan Lowfife's blood feud with the Feachans continues when two Feachan coracles are sent inland due to a storm and find themselves on Lowfife land. Two weeks later, Chief Duncadh wakes up to find the head of his sister's beloved son on a spear outside his great hall. While normally this sort of affair would be routine for the clans of the Claw, the Feachans claim House Redlance as distant kin, and file a complaint.

*A party of adventurers led by the Ividalan knight Sir Beneto di Razza have not been heard from in months. They were last seen on Littleclaw, claiming to have found the lost Dwarfhold of Virhiem.

*Bread riots continue in Massalia after a poor harvest leaves thousands of the poor without enough to go around. They continue to gather routinely in the various squares of the city each day, often turning to violence that has to be kept in check and dispelled by the City Watch.

*In more benign news related to Saenwyn's largest port, the King's Ransom sails into Massalia with a hull full of exotic goods and a few Alsheraadi slaves who are quickly freed in an act of “benevolence” by Lady Jehan-Prospere, no doubt influenced by the views of her court. More strangely, one of the sailors claims to have been shipwrecked and rescued by the Ransom on an island far to the south. He speaks of the mythical children of Matak and their strange sorcerous progeny, the snake-blooded men, and promptly gets laughed out of most of the city's taverns.

*Belanna Adair, pretender Duchess of Lathair, is rumored to have addressed the Assembly of Kharkhedon, having sent a series of letters to the Saenwyne Chancery with the goal of reclaiming her ancestral seat. While seemingly repentant over her uncle's crimes, the former meets her with polite refusal, while Master Cillian is said to have simply tossed the letter into the nearest fireplace.

*More amusingly in Saenwyne-Kharkhedonian relations, Ambassador Ben-Pyros lodges a complaint with the Duchess of Massalia, whose domain his people hold almost equal relations with. Apparently the diplomat's finery was ruined when, upon returning to his chambers with a crate of expensive Goldblooded red, young Maelle Guefet gave him quite a startle, causing his manservant (the slaves of dignitaries no longer being allowed within Massalia) to drop the wine after colliding with the girl. The Duchess' daughter, he claims, ran away after he began sputtering in rage - but not before claiming she was busy practicing a form of defensive knife-fighting known to the Alsheraadi. Quite an unsuitable diversion for an unmarried, eligible lady!

*Far to the north, Domarr raiders strike a town controlled by one of the tribes of Kkahm-Eallu, killing scores and making off with loot and women, as is typical for such distant barbarians.

*Later on in the season, bizarre story captures the fascination of many when a Kharkhedonian ship sails into Gerand's Keep from one of their northern colonies. In the ongoing war with the Senevni, it seems that the balance of power has once more shifted in favor of the northern barbarians under Sabin the Black. The reasons for this are unknown, but the sailors on the ship insist in their mongrel tongue that their armies and mercenaries found themselves ambushed by “demons”, or more plausibly, "mad berserkers", on their campaign against one of the northern holdfasts.

*To the south, as the campaigning season enters autumn and therefore the end of major actions for the year, the Alsheraadi begin one last offensive against the Ividalans in an attempt to oust them from the military-occupied coastal cities that once provided the bulk of the Sharifate's trading wealth. The elves' slave corps seem on the brink of victory when the Captain's Company, a band of Kharkhedonian exiles, breaks through the Sharifate's lines and kills several of their leaders. Only the timely intervention of the famed Alsheraadi 'head-hunter' cavalry prevents the battle at Ili-Qarim from being a total failure for the elves, and the stalemate of the war continues.

Statistics wrote:Kingdom of Saenwyn
Date: Autumn 835 AE
Population: 6.65 million

Popularity: Moderate
System: Feudal Monarchy
State Religion: Pantheon of Extribus

King: Corentin of House Tremayne (Huojin)
Queen: Marcia of Ividal (NPC)
Marshal: Tylar of House Kern, Count of Southmarch (AVAILABLE)
Chancellor: Cillian Odile (NPC)

Provinces and their Noble Houses

-The Royal Crownlands-
Ruler: House Tremayne (Huojin)
Seat: Gerand's Keep

=King Corentin of House Tremayne=
Titles: King of Saenwyn, Lord Protector of the Crownlands, Count of Gerand's Keep, Defender of the Realm, etc.
Popularity: 5 (Nobility +2; Merchants -1; Commoners +2; Priests +2)
Revenue: +3c (Trade 5, Industry 4, Agriculture 4, taxation 2, decentralization -4, corruption -2, expenses -6)
Conflicts: Bandits, Merchant guild wars

Military Assets:
-In the Crownlands-
160 Royal Guards (heavy infantry)
400 City Watch (light infantry)
200 City Watch Archers (ranged infantry)
50 Sworn Knights of House Tremayne (heavy cavalry)
250 Crownlands Sergeants (light cavalry)

-At the Royal Keep in Moryn-
500 King's Banner (heavy infantry)
60 King's Banner Cavalry (heavy cavalry)
200 King's Rangers (elite ranged and light infantry)

Royal Fleet: 2 quadremes, 2 fireships, 4 triremes

Raisable Levies:
~30,000
~20 ships

-Duchy of Lathair-
Ruler: House Tremayne of Wynriver (Maddox)
Seat: Wynriver

=Prince Gustave of House Tremayne=
Titles: Duke of Lathair, Margrave in the West, Count of Wynriver, Blood Royal
Popularity: 4 (Nobility +2; Merchants +1; Commoners 0; Priests +1)
Revenue: +3c (Trade 4, Industry 5, Agriculture 2, taxation 1, decentralization -3, corruption -3, expenses -1, -2 banditry)
Conflicts: Refugee crisis, Republican brigands

Military Assets:
20 Sworn Knights of House Tremayne (Heavy cavalry)
50 Men-at-Arms of House Tremayne (Heavy infantry)
120 Prince's Outriders (Elite ranged cavalry)
90 House Tremayne Guards (Light infantry)
60 House Tremayne Archers (Ranged infantry)

20 Levied Knights of Lathair (Heavy cavalry)
80 Lathair Light Cavalry (Light cavalry)
300 Lathair Levy Infantry (Light infantry)
200 Lathair Archers (Ranged infantry)

Raisable Levies:
~19,900

-Duchy of Moryd-
Ruler: House Louarn (OYID)
Seat: Melrose

=Lord Tristan of House Louarn=
Titles: Duke of Moryd, Baron Melrose, Lord Protector of the City of Glass
Popularity: 5 (Nobility +2; Merchants +3; Commoners +1; Priests -1)
Revenue: +5c (Trade 6, Industry 3, Agriculture 4, taxation 2, decentralization -3, corruption -3, expenses -4)
Conflicts: Merchant guild wars, mercenary banditry

Military Assets:
60 House Louarn Guards (Heavy infantry)
40 House Louarn Archers (Ranged infantry)
15 Sworn Knights of House Louarn (Heavy cavalry)
300 Moridian Officers (Light cavalry)
250 Spears of Oscella (Mercenary heavy infantry)

Moridian Fleet: 1 quadreme, 3 triremes

Raisable Levies:
~15,000
~12 ships

-Duchy of Cambaern-
Ruler: House Dain (Smyg)
Seat: Dainhall

=Lord Regent Gidion of House Dain=
Titles: Lord Regent of the Duchy of Cambaern, Count of Edinnclif
Popularity: 0 (Nobility -2; Merchants 0; Commoners +1; Priests +1)
Revenue: +5c (Trade 5, Industry 3, Agriculture 6, taxation 0, decentralization -3, corruption -3, expenses -2)
Conflicts: Succession crisis, unhappy nobility, tax revolts

Military Assets
50 Sworn Knights of House Dain
100 Men-at-Arms of House Dain
150 House Dain Retainers
300 Edinclif Infantry
100 Edincliff Archers

Raisable Levies
~40,000

-County Southmarch-
Ruler: House Kern of Southmarch Castle (AVAILABLE)
Seat: Southmarch Castle

=Lord Tylar of House Kern=
Titles: Count of Southmarch, Lord Commander of the Royal Army
Popularity: 5 (Nobility +1; Merchants 0; Commoners +3; Priests +1)
Revenue: +0c (Trade 2, Industry 3, Agriculture 1, taxation 1, royal subsidies 1, decentralization -1, corruption -1, expenses -6)
Conflicts: Occasional ethnic tensions, lack of funding

Military Assets:
3,000 King's Banner (heavy infantry)
900 King's Rangers (elite ranged and light infantry)
350 King's Banner Cavalry (heavy cavalry)
10 Sworn Knights of House Kern
50 House Kern Guards (heavy infantry)

Raisable Levies:
~3,000

-Duchy of Nolvagne-
Ruler: House Redlance (Coinneach)
Seat: Redtower

=Lord Douglass of House Redlance=
Titles: Duke of Nolvagne, Laird of the Redtower, High Chief of the Claw
Popularity: 3 (Nobility +1; Merchants 0; Commoners 0; Priests +2)
Revenue: +4c (Trade 3, Industry 4, Agriculture 3, taxation 2, decentralization -4, corruption -1, expenses -2)
Conflicts: Clan feuds

Military Assets:
90 Sworn Swords of House Redlance (Heavy infantry)
60 Sworn Bows of House Redlance (Ranged infantry)
50 House Redlance Cavalry (Light cavalry)
60 Redtower Guards (Light infantry)

Raisable Levies:
~12,000
~10 ships+clansmen pinnaces

-Duchy of Massalia-
Ruler: House Guefet (Snacks)
Seat: Massalia

=Lady Jehan-Prospere of House Guefet=
Titles: Duchess of Massalia, Warden of Elephant's Bay, Dame Regent of the Barony of Emporion
Popularity: 2 (Nobility +2; Merchants +3; Commoners -1; Priests -2)
Revenue: +8c (Trade 7, Industry 5, Agriculture 3, taxation 3, decentralization -2, corruption -4, expenses -3, -1 piracy)
Conflicts: Piracy, bread riots

Military Assets:
150 Massalian City Watch (Light infantry)
100 City Watch Archers (Ranged infantry)
50 House Guefet Retainers (Heavy infantry)
100 House Guefet Guards (light infantry)
240 Stradiots (Mercenary light cavalry)

Fleet of Massalia:
1 deceres, 3 fire-ships, 5 quadremes, 10 triremes, 2 galleass

Raisable Levies:
~25,000
~50 ships

-Duchy of Tailledun-
Ruler: House Kern of Tailledun (Serenissima)
Seat: Dunnisban

=Lord Jace of House Kern=
Titles: Duke of Tailledun
Popularity: 7 (Nobility +2; Merchants +2; Commoners +1; Priests +2)
Revenue: +6c (Trade 4, Industry 7, Agriculture 3, taxation 2, decentralization -4, corruption -1, expenses -3, -3 piracy)
Conflicts: Piracy, religious zealotism

Military Assets:
250 House Kern Guards (Heavy infantry)
250 House Kern Archers (Elite ranged infantry)
40 Sworn Knights of House Kern (Heavy cavalry)
400 Coastal Militia (Ranged and light infantry)
40 Militia Sergeants (Heavy infantry)

Fleet of Tailledun (at Solange's Folly):
1 galleass, 5 triremes, 10 longships

Raisable Levies:
~28,000
~25 ships

Smaller factions:

-Diocese of Saenwyn-
Patriarch: Patric of Cydial's Point (NPC)
Headquarters: Gerand's Keep
Influence: Somewhat high everywhere but Southmarch and Massalia, moderate in Massalia, somewhat low in Southmarch
Revenue: 0 (+4 tithes, -2 expenses, -2 corruption)
Conflicts: Extremists in Tailledun, opposition to royal marriage

Military Assets: N/A

-Saenwyne Guildhall-
Representative: Sir Esteve Leon (NPC)
Headquarters: Massalia
Influence: High in Massalia, somewhat high in Gerand's Keep, somewhat low in the City of Glass, moderate elsewhere in the realm and Kharkhedon
Revenue: +2c (+3 shipping, +1 caravans, +1 crafting, -2 expenses, -1 piracy)
Conflicts: Tension with the League, bread riots

Military Assets:
50 Guildhall Guards (Mercenary heavy infantry)
150 Mariners (Mercenary light infantry)

Guildhall Fleet:
1 galleass
4 triremes (accompanying the merchant fleet)

-League of the City of Glass-
Representative: Kinnet Deleir (NPC)
Headquarters: City of Glass
Influence: Somewhat high in the City of Glass, Melrose, and Gerand's Keep, moderate in the Marcher Kingdoms, somewhat low in Massalia, low elsewhere in the realm
Revenue: +3c (+2 shipping, +2 caravans, +2 crafting, -2 expenses, -1 debt)
Conflicts: Tension with the Guildhall, in debt

Military Assets:
200 League Caravan Guards (Mercenary light cavalry)
40 League Regulars (Mercenary light infantry)

League Fleet:
3 triremes (accompanying the merchant fleet)

-Odile Family-
Head: Conall Odile (NPC)
Headquarters: Gerand's Keep
Influence: Somewhat high in Gerand's Keep and the Crownlands, low in Massalia and Tailledun, very low elsewhere
Revenue: +0c (+2 land, +1 shipping, -2 expenses, -1 payment to the Guildhall)
Conflicts: Fear of rising influence

Military Assets:

30 Odile Guards (Mercenary light infantry)
20 Mariners (Mercenary heavy infantry)

Odile Family Fleet:
1 bireme

-House Sauveterre-
Leader: Janett Sauveterre (NPC)
Headquarters: City of Gerand's Keep
Influence: Somewhat high in the Crownlands, moderate in Massalia and the City of Glass, somewhat low elsewhere in the country, low in Kharkhedon
Revenue: +4c (+4 banking, +1 land, -1 expenses)
Conflicts: Neutral in the guild wars, unpopular with Kharkhedon

Military Assets:
90 House Sauveterre Guards (Mercenary heavy infantry)

House Sauveterre Fleet:
2 holks (privately owned, 1 in Massalia, 1 in the City of Glass)
1 trireme (privately owned, in Massalia)

-Circle of the Forsaken-
Leader: Red Saloman (NPC)
Headquarters: None, centered around the Duchy of Lathair
Influence: Moderate in the Duchy of Lathair, very low in the Crownlands and the Duchy of Moryd, non-existent elsewhere
Revenue: 0 (+1 plunder, -1 expenses)
Conflicts: Last remaining Confederation opposition to the throne, largely republican instead of Pact supporters

Military Assets:
30 Forsaken Cavalry (Elite light cavalry)
50 Forsaken Rangers (Elite ranged infantry)
120 Forsaken Infantry (Elite light infantry)

-Ashen Lords-
Captain: Sir Tomas Breakshield (NPC)
Headquarters: None, leadership currently in Gerand's Keep
Influence: Very low in Saenwyne, Kharkhedon, and the Marches
Revenue: -3 (-2 expenses, -1 corruption)
Conflicts: Seeking employment

Military Assets:
120 Ashen Lord Heavy Cavalry (Elite heavy cavalry)
250 Ashen Lord Light Cavalry (Elite light cavalry)
150 Sellsword Archers (Ranged infantry)
250 Sellsword Infantry (Mix of heavy and light infantry)
5 War Elephants (Elephants!)


Foreign Relations wrote:Kharkhedon Republic (White): Noble republic with elected chief magistrate (Shofet), position currently held by Barca of Hafet.
Relations: Very Strained, though friendlier with the Duchess of Massalia. Expansionist nature is of great concern, Tailledun holds claims to Epos Island. Guild pressure to exclude Kharkhedonian merchants opposed by independent merchants, Massalia, and House Sauveterre. Suspected support of Republican factions. At war with the Senevni, often skirmishing with the Maryaenae.

League of Oscella (Bright orange): Confederation of freeholds and cantons, elects High Marshal in times of crisis, position currently vacant.
Relations: Friendly, particularly with the Duchy of Moryd, less so with Lathair. Historically a former province of Saenwyn, some protection still extended. Mercenaries and volunteers provided support to the Royalists during the civil war despite their friendship with Moryd.

Holy Kingdom of Ividal (Orange): Feudal monarchy with theocratic elements, ruled since independence by the Line of Vidal, currently represented by King Tirso IV.
Relations: Somewhat friendly, popular opinion unfriendly while warmer with the Royalists. Religious differences account for much of the unpopularity, as well as a notable population of ethnic Ividalans in County Southmarch. King Tirso's second daughter recently married the King.

State of Voslavja (Dark green): Elective monarchy in which every noble theoretically gets a vote, led at present by Caspar Mirow. The Marcher Lords, as a whole, act as various independent lordships, the majority of which favor Saenwyn's policies as of late.
Relations: Somewhat friendly. Both King Corention and Prince Gustave are friendly with Prince Caspar, while various Marcher Lords retain their own opinions and favorites. Tensions between commoners over logging and mining rights exist, but were relatively peaceful up until the refugee crisis. Rumors of Dwarven treasure and ruins abound.

Senevni Confederation (Teal): Confederation of sometimes-conflicting nobles and tribes often bound under charismatic warlords. United once more by the grandfather of the current Great Hetman Sabin the Black. Currently at war with Kharkhedon.
Relations: Somewhat strained. Affairs for the most part dictated by commerce, though occasionally piracy with origins in either nation occurs.

Holy Throne (Pale red): Theocracy led by the First Patriarch of the Pantheon of Extribus, directs the priesthood and deacons of the Nine-from-Three.
Relations: Neutral. The monarchy de facto recognizes the authority of the Holy Throne and popular opinion favors the authority of the First Patriarch, as do most minor nobility. Higher-ranking nobility and the merchant class hold less respect for the Holy Throne, and King Corentin's marriage to a devoted Ividalan does little to benefit relations.

Maryaenae People (Dark Grey): Loose confederation of largely sea-faring people who typically resort to piracy to exert their influence.
Relations: Terrible, de facto[ at war. Maryaenae raiders have stepped up their attacks on Saenwyne shipping as of late, and no recognized realm has stepped in to defend the various captains and petty lords that have attacked the realm.

Dağanian Khanate and Guran Commonwealth (Pink and Light Green): Personal union under control of the Dagan Khan Tamas VI and II, whose dynasty has been appointed to the Guran elected kingship for the past seven generations.
Relations: Strained. Raids from both kingdoms against the Marcher Lords and Prince Caspar are conducted often, and have threatened Saenwyne caravan routes to the tribal lands of the west. Several Saenwyne merchant-led expeditions to Dwarven ruins have ended in tragedy.

Sharifate of Alsherdaa (Yellow): Elven theocratic dictatorship led by the Sharif and Commander of the Faithful, traditionally appointed by a military council. Well-known for their slave trade, purges against “witches”, and monotheistic religion revolving around a spiteful deity.
Relations: Very strained. Alsherdaa does not maintain official relations with any nation proclaiming allegiance to either the Pantheon of Extribus or the Ividalans, instead using careful diplomatic language to avoid de jure recognition. Both the Holy Throne and the Ividalans are encouraging slave revolts in the Sharifate, and border skirmishes between the three have persisted for nearly a century.

Kingdom of Segadora (Red): Kingdom that proclaims loyalty to the Pantheon of Extribus but recently separated from the Holy Throne after the Reign of Sorrow of First Patriarch Olivara.
Relations: Somewhat friendly. Tensions with the Holy Throne have led the Free State to seek alliances with Ividal and Saenwyn, though the latter has not yet accepted it due to the recent famine and financial contribution required as per the proposed terms.

County of Domarr (Brown): Monarchy currently under the leadership of Count Ver Klatka, recently going reforms in the Count's attempt to appear “civilized”.
Relations: Neutral. Ver Klatka has sent several overtures to House Tremayne congratulating their victory over the Confederation and pleding support and alliance as “defenders of the gods-given right to rule”. None of them have been taken seriously.

Great Tigranes (Purple): Confederation of the settled Kkham people (calling themselves the Kkham-Bara) united under a series of petty kings that retain a variety of beliefs (largely the Faith of the Alsherdaa, the Pantheon, and animist religions), who are in turn led by a King of Kings.
Relations: Somewhat friendly. While no official relations exist, the King of Kings of Great Tigranes has historically defended the only trade route through the wastes.

Tribes of Kkham-Eallu (Burgundy): The nomadic cousins of the Kkham-Bara, held together only by their constant wars against the Senevni and their strange religion revolving around human sacrifice.
Relations: None.
Saenwyn: A Song of Ashes: Storyteller

Louisiana 1792: Fils de la Révolution: Monsieur le Commissaire de l'Intérieur Thomas Francois Jérôme Cossard, Mayor of Saint-Louis and editor of L'Ami de la République
Liberty in Dark Waters: Leopold Karl von Stenhielm, Baron af Rödesund, Knight and Commander of the Orders of His Majesty the King, convicted traitor
Balance of Power 1968: Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, President and Baba wa Taifa of the United Republic of Tanzania

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Gesar
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Re: The Chronicle

Postby Gesar » 21:27:36 Wednesday, 15 March, 2017

Chapter 1: Opening Moves



“A vassal is to his lord as a horse is his rider. No spur will convince he who does not wish to move.” -Burgone proverb

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Map key- C: Crownlands, 1: Lathair, 2: Moryd, 3: Cambaern, 4: Southmarch, 5: Nolvagne, 6: Massalia, 7: Tailledun



News:

The Inner Heartland

*As the autumn leaves fall throughout the realm and snow returns to the Thrennish Ranges and the foothills of Tailledun's Bastier Mountains, the scholars of the Pantheon's Observatory declare that this winter will be a mild one. This is considered excellent news by most of the realm, but those on the Bay of Moryn brace themselves, as a warm winter typically means a longer period of autumn and spring storms alike.

*Meanwhile, the new marriage between King Corentin and Marcia of Ividal -confirmed to having been consummated at the wedding, and thus legal in the eyes of the faiths of both- seems to be a happy, or at least well-matched, pairing. The two busy themselves with distributing alms to the poor of Gerand's Keep, with the Young Stallion himself arriving on the destitute Cobbled Lane to distribute bread and coin. Not to be outdone, the new Queen uses her royal stipend to buy out the wares of several toy-makers. Many children, including street urchins, can be heard to praise the beautiful young lady who provided them their new doll or toy soldier.

*Some, mostly the devout, still mutter about the Ividalan queen's presence, with a few would-be firebrands from the Dusty Quarter urging their fellows not to accept “the heretic's bribes”. A few Deacons seem inclined to agree, saying that the love of the Nine is worth more than trinkets...although until the Patriarch weighs in, the clerics involved strive to do so out of the earshot of their betters.

*King's Chancellor and fellow “reformed” rakehell Cillian Odile holds court whilst the young monarchs go about their business, unveiling several projects of His Majesty's device. The first and most curious is the raising of the Lord Justice, Sir Quendel Dwyn, to the new office of 'Keeper of the King's Conscience', tasked with implementing a new system of justice for the realm. In short, the reforms promise a reduction in the number of itinerant justices roaming the realm, for their circuits to be expanded accordingly, and for changes to both the application and prosecution of the King's justice: those in need may now purchase a royal writ, while those prosecuted now face conviction at the hands of twelve of their peers, selected by the royal bailiffs. The program is largely implemented by Sir Quendel's new Bailiff of Gerand's Keep and the surrounding Crownlands, to some success, although only time will tell.

*Once Corentin returns to court, having amused the ladies and lords of his party alike with the rumors of his new-found marital bliss, he and the Chancellor continue the program of reform, issuing several new decrees as well as a charter of (mostly) pre-existing rights for his vassals. Furthermore, the Massalian hero of the Pretender's Strife and present Lord Admiral Bryce Ghislaine is tasked with overseeing the development of a new dockyards for the King's Navy, and an academy to train young men of good breeding for the command of such.

*Lastly, as the season's session of court comes to a close, the Chancellor treats with young Alyssa Dain, oldest child of the late Carlon Dain and potential claimant to his title, conveying His Majesty's deepest sympathies for the illness of her brother Arrick, whose ducal title is tactfully emphasized by the Chancery's office.

*But a public presence is not all that bolsters the fortunes of the so-called House Odile. Although it is not officially announced as such, word has it that Conall Odile has bought up a vast sum of the Crown's debts, further tying his family to the future of the monarchy. Some weeks later, at one of Master Shornhal's many masquerades, it is also announced that his second son, Jowan, has taken a commission in the King's fleet as captain of Dainhall's Loyalty.

*The flurry of appointments that follows in the wake of His Majesty's decrees spark a rather predictable bout of minor intrigues, with prominent courtiers from the great merchant families and minor Crownlander nobility alike vie for the favor of the Lord Justice and Master Ghislaine. While the majority of appointments come from unaligned, educated young men, gossip has it that the Odiles and their rivals in House Sauveterre (who win an appointment to the office of Bailiff of Gerand's Keep) are engaging in a great deal of political horse-trading to put their favorites into office, drawing on their connections with the rival trading associations even as the King orders an end to the violence of the guild wars.

*Of course, what a monarch orders and what transpires are often entirely different. The new bailiff of Gerand's Keep launches an investigation into the instigators on part of both the League of the City of Glass and the Saenwyne Guildhall. And while it must be said that violence does see a marked decrease within Gerand's Keep, rumors persist that the rival factions simply take it outside of the city, pointing out the band of hired thugs caught harassing a League caravan near the village of Kincally by the local lord.

*As the adage has it, court never sleeps, and gossip is as valuable as coin. Amid the jockeying for status and the implementation of the King's new laws, a minor scandal breaks out, first among the servants but eventually reaching the ears of their masters. To hear tell, Ofelie Louarn is being seen less and less outside her chambers, and has complained often of fatigue and vomiting, on top of her increasingly erratic moods...symptoms of pregnancy all, some say, itself quite a feat for a widowed, childless woman!

*Not to be left behind in the busyness of the season is the City Watch of Gerand's Keep, who find their hands full near the seaside manse of the Alsheraadi Mu'amin, the ambassador continuing to claim custody of the northron elves seeking refuge in the city. Anti-elven sentiment being what it is, and with suspicions abounding as to il-Jabrin's purpose, the Watch's commander orders a doubling of patrols in the area. When accused of coddling the “knife-ears”, the aging veteran simply scoffs, stating he has no love for their kind but knows better than to encourage a riot among the smallfolk.

*Roderic Inneal, heir to the Count of Rosloch, is said by his family to have gone missing. Famed for his brooding temperament as much as his scholastic leanings, the young lordling was last seen buying passage north, although whatever ship he took has long since departed Gerand's Keep.

*The Heartlanders mourn for the loss of Guyon Kern, friend to King Corentin and heir to Tailledun. In Gerand's Keep, the Patriarch holds a memorial service for the people of the capital, with the King and Chancellor in attendance. To the east, town criers speak of the young man's life, now wasted, and many villagers petition their lords to offer the condolences of the people to Jace Kern and his family. In accordance with traditional, a grand vigil is held for the late Guyon, his body preserved by the local Sisters in anticipation of the arrival of his brother, Lord Tylar. The latter is received with a rather mixed reception, although nobody is foolhardy enough to challenge the combative young marshal's claim to be seeking justice for his brother, and some concerns are alleviated when Lord Jace requests the presence of his new heir as Guyon's body is sent out to sea, the Hero of the Realm firing the shot that sets the boat alight.

*Never one to rest when there's work to be done, the Duke of Tailledun proceeds, immediately after the funeral, to pay off some of the old debts of the duchy, most of which were the responsibility of his father.

*The show of solidarity between the nobility and commons does little to ease the atmosphere of paranoia that has settled in over Dunnisban, however. Before she can be tried, the serving girl responsible for the death of the King's close confidant hangs herself with the outer layer of her smock, preventing further interrogation. Nonetheless, investigations continue, with support pledged by not just by the Kerns, but by the King and several other Heartlander vassals.

*Strange rumors are not limited to Guyon's assassination, however. Stories reach the ears of Duke Jace's court of a skirmish between outlaws in the Bastier Mountains and the followers of the ascetic Solas, whose teachings of asceticism and the sanctity of poverty have developed a growing following among the orphans, infirm, and destitute of the highland villages. The local Diocese has done little to discourage this, as even the poor continue to give to the local Deacons.

*Lest it be mistaken for greed, however, the Pantheon has found itself in dire straits of late. The Abbess Duchane of Athael is said to be offering a bounty after one of the sister's reports that the original Scrolls of Sanctified Diarmid have gone missing from the archives. The priceless tome contains the writings of the first Duke of Saene to convert to the Pantheon of Extribus, and is one of the last relics of mage-craft, for the delicate parchment has never showed so much as an inch of wear throughout the centuries.

*Local fisher-folk report the arrival of two new Kharkhedonian fire-galleys off Cadoc's Isle, suspected to be the Shofet's way of enforcing both order and the republic's claim to the suspected pirate haven. The excitable locals claim that many supposed Maryaenae vessels can be seen sailing southwards or back towards their native lands. How the local governor feels about this, and whether the raiders will stay away for good, is unknown.

The Moryn's Coast

*Unsurprisingly (at least to royalists), Moryd is -alongside Cambaern and Massalia- a source of whispers of discontent with King Corentin's new laws, which are viewed as an overstepping of royal authority regardless of intent. The rumors are confined largely to shady taverns, private meetings, and the like, of course, but what is more worrisome to representatives of the Crown is that discontent in the former Marcher province is often synonymous with republicanism, so deep do the wounds of the Pretender's Strife run.

*Scandal grips the Oscellan border as Lord Antony Trahan, Baron Strasfort and Warden of Watcher's Pass, is killed in a duel by Kinnet Deleir, the youthful League Representative. It is said that the baron was challenged by the normally-hospitable merchant prince after allegations that Lord Emeric was having an affair with his sister became common gossip among the winesinks of the City of Glass and Melrose. He is succeeded by his 17 year old daughter Emmeline, said to be a mousy, timid sort whose main marriageable quality is her title. Whether Deleir will be penalized or not by his liege lord remains to be seen.

*Their unhappiness at the presence of the Senevni mystic Stoymen already made very clear, Lord Tristan Louarn nonetheless begins an attempt at assuaging their suspicions with a substantial donation to the local deacons, both for their own uses and the construction of a new oratory, suspected to be completed by next summer. While the clergy accepts this very charitable donation, the fact remains that the Khazarian faith is a close second to the Unnists of the Alsheraadi South in terms of how heretical they are viewed, and a number of local lords -particularly those favoring the King's camp- petition the Archdeacon to reject the funds.

*The Duke of Moryd's campaign to re-establish his family name doesn't end with the clergy, for he soon sets about feasting several prominent nobles and meeting with representatives of the League of the City of Glass, whose function in the eponymous port makes them in practice as good as his vassals. Among the former, he calls for loyalty to the Crown and an end to the tension with the forces under command of Sir Robart Caille at Pennsbridge Keep, while the latter enter into long negotiations with Lord Tristan's representatives. Curiously, the nobility -save for a small faction of those who suffered during the regency of Prince Gustave- seem more amenable than the traditional allies of the Louarns, who walk away with little but promises to contain the fighting with the Guildhall.

*A party of explorers funded by Sir Esteve Leon, Master of the Saenwyne Guildhall, and the widowed Dame of Dwarfson's Rock return to Moryd with a cart full of dwarven artifacts (primarily artwork) and dire tales of the woes befalling the State of Voslavja. These are mostly unheeded, as several young men thirsting for adventure soon join their ranks and bidding begins on those pieces not reserved for potential royal or noble patrons.

*To the east, young Cinaed Redlance has his first opportunity to try his hand at statecraft, with Lord Douglass opting to travel to the ever-chaotic Claws whilst his brother Malcan travels south. Fortunately for Cinaed, it is relatively quiet autumn, with most of the smallfolk busy with salting their catches and slaughtering their livestock in preparation for the upcoming stormy winter.

*Before he departs, however, the Duke of Nolvagne issues a curious call to arms, apparently far less inclined to violate the King's peace than the Morydian nobility. Bards across the duchy are invited by the representatives of Redtower to compose a satirical verse about the Baron Bremard, who has become rather infamous for his crude remarks about Lord Redlance's wife and others. While a winner -who will be awarded with a position at the ducal seat- has yet to be declared, the songs are already becoming commonplace in Nolvagne, with a few of the bawdier ones reaching the City of Glass and Gerand's Keep.

*It is then that Lord Douglass departs, making his winding way towards the coast of Glenrua, to examine an abandoned dwarven outpost at the fore of a natural harbor. Finding it a suitable location for the future port of Calatuath, for which he has attained a royal charter, he orders the preliminary work of developing the harbor to be done, a small temporary settlement cropping up in the process.

*He then proceeds north, his finest Nolvhen wolfhounds in tow, visiting the fractious clans of the Clawborne and renewing their fealty. The main objective of the mission appears to be easing tensions between the Feachans and Lowfifes, both sides half-heartedly pledging to send mediators to Redtower. Deciding that any venture that doesn't have the involved clans threatening to accost the other's wives and burn their crofts is a success, Lord Douglass sets off for a hunting party on the lands of the Iosamh, quietly returning to Redtower weeks later – without several of the men who set off with him.

The Southern Plains

*Contacts and whisperers in the characteristically-independent Massalia and the ever-tumultuous Cambaern report to their masters of discontent with the Crown's new laws. As of yet, the stirrings are minor and quiet, with details few and far between, with most simply suggesting that more oversight given to the nobility is called for.

*Popular court persona Emmerick Guedoc is summoned to Dainhall to renegotiate his betrothal to Alyssa Dain, a pact made shortly before the death of her father Carlon. Servants say that the impoverished count arrives with his chief vassal and an entourage of knights, clearly expecting the worst from the taciturn Lord Regent. After a few barbs are traded (largely at the expense of the Baron Wynvirke), the involved parties curiously elect to speak privately, and upon the Lady Alyssa's later arrival announce the new terms. The marriage is to be a modified matrilineal union, with the first son and daughter being raised as Dains and the rest as Guedocs, with a dispensation made in case the union produces no more than two children.

*In a surely coincidental occurrence, Lord Guedoc is expected to add Lord Paramount of the Thrennish Ranges to his present title, Count of Nanntede and Custodian of the Southmarch Way. As most of the mineral-rich Ranges lie within the domain of the Dains, this is considered quite the advancement for a young lord from the rather barren valleys of the Southmarch Way – least of all as Guedoc's fief will soon cover the border with both Southmarch and Lathair.

*While this seemingly solves one half of the succession crisis, many of Verin the Bastard's supporters call upon the renowned knight to press his own claim, such as it is. While he himself has yet to make a comment one way or the other, some suggest that he would be a more able Lord Regent, if not a more suitable Duke of Cambaern than a sickly boy or a woman wedded to an up-jumped lordling with more political aptitude than martial talent.

*Or perhaps the Thrennish hill-folk simply require a strong lord to restore peace to their alpine paradise, for tales of the famous outlaw Jacq the Smiler have surfaced near the village of Pennyglen. While unconfirmed, the stories tell that the highwayman has returned to his mountain home, seeking justice for the occupation of his village by King's men near the end of the civil war.

-Dainhall Harvest Fair-

*To celebrate the rare occasion of a non-disastrous occurrence in his nephew's duchy, Lord Regent Gidion Dain calls for a grand festival on the grounds of Thure the Ore-Mad's ancient citadel. Originally envisioned as a small affair, the scale grows immensely as lords and ladies from around the realm express interest in attending. Soon, Lord Gidion commences the preparation for a large event spanning three days, with nine events -each dedicated to one of the gods- planned for the entertainment of all, a symbolism that pleases the clergy. Notable guests of honor include both Prince Ettien, both Guefet siblings, Malcan Redlance, and Lord Commander Tylar Kern, returning from his brother's funeral.
*The first day is full of ring dances, traditional storytelling, and a poetry competition, the last of which is won by Dainhall's resident Sister of the Pantheon, Serra, who has composed a retelling of 'the Highwayman's Wife', a Thrennish folk tune. Finally, there is an archery competition, where Hareld of Hornbow just barely loses out to Malcan Redlance – although his many friends point to the amount of cider the war hero had consumed before the last contest.
*On the second, the Matriarch is honored with a miracle play, telling of the conversion of the An Saennan to the Pantheon, and performers take to the market, singing songs from "City of Ashes" to the bawdy Massalian tune "The Sailor and the Shallot" and the perennial favorite "Run, My Love". By all means lovely, the smallfolk in attendance soon gravitate to the melee, where first a theatrical mock battle is performed, in tribute to the semi-mythical Moryn kings who once ruled the western lands of Saenwyn. Then, the real melee begins, a contest of arms welcoming any and all volunteers. Soon, nearly sixty men take the field, many of which fall to a curious alliance between a freeholder's son by the name Gaston Machaire and Massalia's Bertran Lewyn. In what is described as a gallant turn of events, the Seaborn Knight then yields to his partner, believing him more in need of the Lord Regent's reward.
*The most anticipated event is on the third day, when lords, freeriders, and a mystery knight identified only by the tragic mask on his shield take to the jousting lists, the competition viewed by the sickly Lord Arrick from his bedside window. Strong showings come from many contenders, including an upset unhorsing of Tylar Kern by the Knight of Masks and a near-incident as the Baron Bremard's lance barely misses the horse of Sir Viktor, a hero of Pilgrim's Pass in service to the Redlances. Tensions grow even higher as Lord Gidion comes up against his bastard brother, the pair disappearing briefly to converse as Prince Ettien, the favorite to win, goes up against the mystery knight only to fall in turn.

Perhaps distracted by the numerous intrigues that surround his family, Verin's lance falters, gasps sweeping the crowd as Gidion unhorses his half-brother. But it is the final match destined for the songs, as the silent Knight of Masks refuses to remove his helmet and trades two rounds of broken lances with the Lord Regent, Dain's horse growing skittish on the third, only for the Count of Edinncliff to barely hold on at the third. As the afternoon sun begins its descent into the horizon, half of Cambaern's nobility is said to be watching the fourth tilt, and for once, the old knight is the one cheered, his lance unseating the mystery knight even as his foe's clatters into his shield, his second tourney win in a year. The bachelor lord then declares he will crown no Queen of Love and Beauty, instead giving the day's honors to the Matriarch Herself, thanking Her for the harvest, a curious declaration nonetheless accepted by the local Sisters serving the goddess. He then moves to congratulate his erstwhile rival, only to find that the Knight of Masks -whoever he was- has disappeared.

*All in all, the event is declared a success, with many claiming surprise that the somber Gidion Dain could throw such a festive gathering. Soon, though, it is back to business: the ducal household pays off half their debts and begins a program of investment, setting up a series of ducally-owned brickworks along the Wynriver, which expects dividends soon, as well as a brewery. With an invitation extended to Marcher refugees for the settlement of Cambaern's wilderness, some of these projects already find themselves with willing laborers among those who do not wish to wait until spring to feed their families.

*From a mix of those refugees, mercenaries, and the occasional adventurous peasant, Lord Gidion's master-at-arms raises a small company of crossbowmen. Undergoing rather intensive training and acquiring decent arms, approximately sixty souls join the ranks of the arbalists, although interest in a larger company remains...and worries some of the more contentious nobility in Cambaern.

*Nursemaids, servants, and even a gossiping charge of the local Sister are heard spreading stories that Arrick Dain has become troubled by nightmares, as if the young lord hasn't had enough to deal with. Fortunately, Dainhall's recent guests include a number of scholars from the University at Massalia, a pair of royal physicians from the Pantheon's Observatory, and a student of the Art dragged out of a tavern in the Dusty Quarter of Gerand's Keep. A number of suggestions as to the nature of Arrick's illness are provided, although the extensive funding involved ensures that all involved keep their theories quiet.

*The tax revolt begins to die down in Cambaern after the Regent implements a carrot-and-stick approach with the refusing peasants. Promises of ducal investments and pardons win over many, while the combined approach of tax collectors, armed guards, and the itinerant justices of the Crown deters others from not paying. The chaos of the region has made it impossible to tell how many continue to evade, however, nor account for a handful who turn to banditry as a means of venting their discontent.

*Slightly before the harvest fair, Sir Sytos the Black arrives in the heathlands of the Outer Mire, bringing with him fifty men and a ducal writ to restore order. As he sets up shop in a watchtower none too far from his childhood home, he orders patrols to the inner reaches, sees two rapists hanged and calls for the lash for a hedge knight found guilty of instigating violence against a woman accused of witchcraft. Minor outcry from the nobles is soon hushed with promises of the Lord Regent's aid, and as news of the Crown's new laws reaches the Abyssal Mire, the bastard knight pledges to hold further criminals for the itinerant justices, prompting several audible sighs of relief.

*Joint investment (and a reduction of taxes) by Lady Jehan-Prospere and Lord Gidion see an end to the bread riots in the city of Massalia, with a royal writ freeing up room for less-affluent traders to bring foodstuffs into the realm's wealthiest province. The people are suitably grateful to both, and with Maelle Guefet said to be staying at Dainhall for the time being, gossips suggest an alliance may be on the horizon.

*As in Tailledun, pirate attacks on Massalian shipping drop somewhat, although the woods-folk of Dracian's Forest still find themselves harassed. By and large, however, the duchy breathes a momentary sigh of relief, with the pirate's stolen share of the market returning to more honest folk, such as the burghers and the local thieves' guild...who have, as point of fact, gained a number of new allies (willing or not) among the formerly starving masses.

*Despite the decrease in the Maryaenae threat, sentiment against them -and slavers as a whole- continues to grow in Massalia, as is the present fashion among the court of the Guefets. Indeed, Miha'el of the Tar-sands can be seen at a number of meetings with groups opposed to the slave trade, undoubtedly supportive and perhaps slightly fond of the attention his stories bring. This rising tide of opposition to the Maryaenae is best seen when the former slave-ship of the King's Ransom becomes host to an impromptu party near the Tusk, before being set alight.

*This autumn takes a truly Massalian turn when the harbormaster's son is kidnapped by those claiming to work for the League of the City of Glass, in retaliation for the man's alleged support of the local Guildhall. Mysteriously, he soon receives justice when a League caravaneer is found strung up near a road sign on the Ingthorp highway. The Guildhall is quick to take credit, despite the harbormaster's denial of any affiliation with them, only for the representative making such claims to wake with his house marked in red paint and a warning message from a figure identified only as “the Dove of the Bay” pinned to his door with an arrow. Both factions of the war issue an appeal to Lady Jehan-Prospere, and are assured by her Ividalan seneschal that he will bring the matter to her attention.

*Outside the city, the Crown's new system of trial by peers is set to be tested after the heir of a local freeholder and noted horsemaster attempts to sell his father's lands to a cadet branch of House Angwin, coming into conflict with representatives of the Sauveterres, who allege that the debts incurred by the young man's father to the family entitle them to the land itself by right of replevin.

The Old Marches

*The King's Marshal leaves a set of orders before his journey across the realm, calling for the reform of the King's Army in Southmarch. Effective immediately, patrols around the border region are to involve both the local Ividalan recruits and those soldiers raised within the Pantheon of Extribus. A number of grumblings can be heard on both sides, but altogether, only one major altercation breaks out. The involved pair -a knight from a minor Crownlands family and an Ividalan archer accused of cheating at cards- are detained by Vance, castellan of Castle Southmarch, until Lord Tylar returns.

*Noted merchant Nicolae of Tanzi seems to be one of the Ividalans benefiting from Lord Tylar's tolerant sentiments, undoubtedly influenced by the royal marriage, for he is soon appointed overseer of a new tax project by the Count-Appoint, instead of traveling north. Ividalan merchants are invited to travel the Southmarch Way and set up stalls for their wares, the taxes for which are collected by new tax farmers. The new system seems some revenue, but not any vast changes in the fortunes of the county, although with the new developments in western Cambaern, only time will tell.

*Southmarch's castellan also reports a curious development from the Lair of Whispering Skulls, namely the arrest of three armed interlopers in the cave, who refused to give their identities to the local patrol. While he himself had been given leave and means to study the once-magical ruins, no other had been given the right, and so the three men are quickly driven from the county.

*A minor altercation breaks out on the Lathain side of the Thrennish Ranges between Marcher refugees seeking sanctuary in Cambaern and local prospectors, when one of the Voslavjan immigrants happens upon a vein of silver while seeking sanctuary from one of the region's many highwaymen. As harsh words become a violent scuffle, both parties appeal to the local baron for assistance, who claims the rights for himself. Prince Gustave is expected to issue a ruling soon, presuming the King's new justices don't arrive first.

*While much of the royal court heads towards Dainhall for the Lord Regent's fair, one member of their party continues on towards Lathair, after a brief stop at the Royal Keep in Pennsbridge: Lord Valamir Getic, the exiled Voslavjan magnate and renowned horseman. Taking with him a hundred men and a small wagon train of food, the pretender lord avoids Forsaken ambushes and relieves some of Prince Gustave's forces at the border passes – and with royal coin easing his way, recruits a handful of his countrymen to aid in his mission. They, in turn, lead him to a supposed cache of dragonbone found just inside the Saenwyne side of the border, which he promptly ships off to King Corentin as a belated wedding present.

*Despite this, the border with Voslavja still remains rather porous, as refugees soon prove themselves willing to brave old dwarf-roads and livestock trails through the Ingthorp. Refugees of Saenwyne descent are increasingly accused of receiving favoritism as they seek work and shelter, and word of thievery on part of the refugees spurs several villages to arm themselves against what they view as bandits. With winter upon the mountainous duchy and only the Crown proving itself willing to help, it is growing difficult to believe that relations between the refugees and locals will improve.

*The Circle of the Forsaken sees minor growth throughout this chaos, the rebels growing bolder in the outlying regions whilst the Blood Royal secures the main roads and border. Attempts to pursue the scattered republicans end largely in failure, with the bandits believed to be spreading into western Moryd, or if nothing else, learning to hide better among the many forests, caves, and forgotten mountain-keeps of the Lathain.

*More livestock are found dead in the eastern reaches of the Ingthorp, prompting more spurious rumors that a wyvern -or worse- has taken up roost in the area.

Elsewhere

*While the reindeer herders of the northern Kkham typically move south this time of year, the few traders that brave the northwest report that they do so in greater numbers this year. Their “civilized” compatriots to the south step up their patrols along the borders, for all know an Ealu-man can be trusted only as far as an arrow's flight from your valuables.

*House Tzerenzy hosts a large conclave of the Voslavjan szlachta along the Rush of Whispers, their patriarch claiming to seek the restoration of their ancestral rights in opposition to “the tyrant Mirow”. They gain some supporters, and launch a few more raids down the Ingthorp Highway, but the Prince's forces continue to hold fast even as their forces in the rear continue to crumble away.

*Prince Caspar, for his part, sends another letter requesting aid to the Saenwyne Chancery, claiming that the Guran-Daganian union continues to conspire with his enemies. No reply has been issued as of yet, but the Count of Domarr has sent word that he might be induced to help – should the warlord's fief and claim to independence be recognized.

*The Ashen Lords depart Saenwyn for the season, seeking warmer climes and actual employment. They are believed to be entering negotiations with the office of the Shofet, as rumors of an attempted assassination spark fears that Kharkhedon may soon be at war with more just the Senevni.

*With the Pavonian people of the Throne preparing for the upcoming snowfall and the Alsheraadi slaver-empire bracing itself for the sandstorms that come with the winter winds, the Ividalans make a bold advance across the Shedim's Isle, one last strike before the campaign season ends. Led by King Tirso's bastard son, Captain Ferran di Rausell, a small detachment of Ividalans burns the Alsheraadi fleet in port before withdrawing. Deprived of the support of their powerful fire-ships and caught unawares, the slaves among their army panic when the land forces of the Holy Kingdom advance sweep across the island and lay siege to their citadel, only to find the gates opened by those preferring freedom to death in defense of their masters. The Unnist Firehall burns, the heads of its priests now adorning the citadel's walls.

Statistics wrote:Kingdom of Saenwyn
Date: Winter 835 AE
Population: 6.65 million

Popularity: Moderate
System: Feudal Monarchy

King: Corentin I of House Tremayne (Huojin)
Queen: Marcia of Ividal

Marshal: Tylar of House Kern, Count of Southmarch (Master of Oblivion)
Chancellor: Cillian Odile
Spymaster: Desmon Clarel
Lord Admiral: Bryce Ghislaine
Lord Justice: Sir Quendel Dwyn

Life

Finance: Several minor banking houses contest the dominance of House Sauveterre and House Odile, alongside religious creditors. Currency takes the form of gold, silver, and copper coins based off historical dwarven standards, ensuring a relatively even exchange rate with most human nations. Taxation is feudal-based, with most lords being able to tax only indirect vassals and inter-region trade.
Administration: De facto relegated to the lesser council of the King and his great lords. Based predominantly on the right of dominion. Feudal vassals have hereditary control and jurisdiction over their lands on behalf of their overlord.
Transport: Dirt roads common, with the largest of these being the Martyr's Road between Gerand's Keep and Massalia, and the Redlance Road between Redtower and Gerand's Keep. The partially-ruined (and paved) Ingthorp Highway stretches from Segadora in the southwest and Ingsbruck in Voslavja to Moryd, Redtower, and Massalia. Much travel occurs along the riverways, with barges being common.
Judiciary: Justice is predominantly enforced by said lords, with the monarch retaining rights in implementing itinerant justices and trial by peers. The seven great lords claim the right to bring forth any criminal to a court and of jurisdiction in general, albeit with the right of appeal and interference belonging to the King.
Rights: Predominantly formed via the nature of liege-vassal relations, with technical obligations towards taxation and levies being a matter less of legality and more of pragmatism. The king, his dukes, and the Archdeacons theoretically possess the right to call a Council of the Realm – an emergency practice which has not been in use since before the reign of the last King Carlon. Some rights protecting burghers and the commons, particularly against gratuitous abuses of feudal privilege and relative freedom of movement and trade, although only the former typically has the means to contest such.
Religion: Pantheon of Extribus is the state (and dominant) religion, with the vast majority Saenwyne paying at least lip service to the Nine-from-Three . Oratories and abbeys retain a degree of autonomy and lessened tax burden, to say nothing of the rights of the Patriarch and six archdeacons, and most education -ordained Sisters for private tutors, and Deacons for the two academies- falls under their domain. Significant Ividalan population in Southmarch claims a lesser, but protected status, while other Ividalans (mostly in Massalia and Gerand's Keep) are often persecuted, unofficially if not legally.

Provinces and their Noble Houses

-The Royal Crownlands-
Ruler: House Tremayne (Huojin)
Seat: Gerand's Keep
Geography: Located primarily around the Bay of Dubhcarr. Hills leading towards the Nolvhen Plateau in the west and the Sommere Mountains of Tailledun in the east shield the region from climate extremes, although Heartland summers are drier than Massalia or Cambaern. Landscape dotted with glacial lakes and valleys. Many coastal woodlands have begun to be deforested as Gerand's Keep grows in prominence.
Economy: Fishing and livestock (sheep and beef) remain the primary supplements to subsistence agriculture. The increasing importance of Gerand's Keep as the center of courtly life has led to a rise in trade, dominated by the skilled craftsmen of the Guildhall, and several merchant families. Banking center of Saenwyn.

=King Corentin of House Tremayne=
Titles: King of Saenwyn, Lord Protector of the Crownlands, Count of Gerand's Keep, Defender of the Realm, etc.
Popularity: 5 (Nobility +2; Merchants -1; Commoners +2; Priests +2)
Crownlands Revenue: +5c (Trade 5, Industry 4, Agriculture 4, taxation 2, decentralization -4, corruption -3, expenses -3)
Realm Revenue: -1 (taxation 17, decentralization -6, corruption -2, standing army -3, justice -2, Southmarch subsidies -2, Cambaernian tax revolt -1, miscellaneous expenses -2)
Realm Taxation: 1/4
Conflicts: Bandits, Merchant guild wars

Military Assets:
-In the Crownlands-
160 Royal Guards (heavy infantry)
400 City Watch (light infantry)
200 City Watch Archers (ranged infantry)
50 Sworn Knights of House Tremayne (heavy cavalry)
250 Crownlands Sergeants (light cavalry)

-At Pennsbridge Keep, under Sir Robart-
450 King's Banner (heavy infantry)
60 King's Banner Cavalry (heavy cavalry)
150 King's Rangers (elite ranged and light infantry)

-In Lathair, under Lord Valamir-
50 King's Banner (heavy infantry)
50 King's Rangers (elite ranged and light infantry)
40 Marcher Recruits (light infantry)
15 Marcher Freeriders (light cavalry)

Royal Fleet: 2 quadremes, 2 fireships, 4 triremes

Raisable Levies:
~30,000
~20 ships

-Duchy of Lathair-
Ruler: House Tremayne of Wynriver (Maddox)
Seat: Wynriver
Geography: Lathair's rugged landscape is littered with ruined dwarfholds, abandoned slave-pens, and the fortresses of a half-dozen realms who tried to claim its mineral wealth (to say nothing of the numerous wolves and stranger things still that stalk its lands). The Ingthorp Mountains of the western border are at their highest here, with Mount Grinnsvall being the highest point west of the Kkham lands and north of Alsheraa. Lathair shares jurisdiction of the Thrennish Ranges with Cambaern, and the Valley of Lathair below it is home to most of its populace. The Wynriver -and the castle which takes its name- has its origins here, supposedly bubbling up from a subterranean spring.
Economy: Herding is the primary agricultural activity of Lathair, alongside small vegetable terraces. Adventuring is fairly common in the region, as is prospecting: thirty years ago, massive silver deposits were discovered, and since then, both ore and smelted silver have become the primary trade of the region. A sizable amount of trade passes through Lathair despite its forbidding terrain, mostly because of the convenience of its few trade routs.

=Prince Gustave of House Tremayne=
Titles: Duke of Lathair, Margrave in the West, Count of Wynriver, Blood Royal
Popularity: 4 (Nobility +2; Merchants +1; Commoners 0; Priests +1)
Revenue: +3c (Trade 4, Industry 5, Agriculture 2, taxation 2, decentralization -3, corruption -4, expenses -1, -2 banditry, -2 realm taxes)
Conflicts: Refugee crisis, Republican brigands

Military Assets:
20 Sworn Knights of House Tremayne (Heavy cavalry)
50 Men-at-Arms of House Tremayne (Heavy infantry)
120 Prince's Outriders (Elite ranged cavalry)
90 House Tremayne Guards (Light infantry)
60 House Tremayne Archers (Ranged infantry)

20 Levied Knights of Lathair (Heavy cavalry)
80 Lathair Light Cavalry (Light cavalry)
300 Lathair Levy Infantry (Light infantry)
200 Lathair Archers (Ranged infantry)

Raisable Levies:
~19,900

-Duchy of Moryd-
Ruler: House Louarn (OYID)
Seat: Melrose
Geography: Situated on the Moryn Bay to the north, where the City of Glass meets a small branch of the Ingthorp Highway. Sub-alpine ranges and hills extend along the northern border and envelop the eastern-most extent of the Ingthorp Mountains, where the River Lirenne claims its headwaters. Significant forests, both deciduous and coniferous, line the many trade routes that stem from the City of Glass.
Economy: The free port of the City of Glass serves as a major caravanning center for land trade across Tir Bhaile. Farming settlements, predominantly along rivers, are increasing in number and production, growing a variety of crops but particularly famous for their hardy breed of work-horses, the Melrosian Forester.

=Lord Tristan of House Louarn=
Titles: Duke of Moryd, Baron Melrose, Lord Protector of the City of Glass
Popularity: 5 (Nobility +2; Merchants +3; Commoners +1; Priests -1)
Revenue: +5c (Trade 6, Industry 3, Agriculture 4, taxation 3, decentralization -2, corruption -2, expenses -4, -3 realm taxes)
Conflicts: Merchant guild wars, mercenary banditry

Military Assets:
60 House Louarn Guards (Heavy infantry)
40 House Louarn Archers (Ranged infantry)
15 Sworn Knights of House Louarn (Heavy cavalry)
300 Moridian Officers (Light cavalry)
250 Spears of Oscella (Mercenary heavy infantry)

Morydian Fleet: 1 quadreme, 3 triremes

Raisable Levies:
~15,000
~12 ships

-Duchy of Cambaern-
Ruler: House Dain (Smyg)
Seat: Dainhall
Geography: Bounded by the alpine forests of the Thrennish Ranges on the west and the semi-arid Elfsbane to the south, with the Kharkhedonian border ending at the mouth of the Wynriver (the Outer Mire heaths and the Abyssal Mire swamp). Rolling plains throughout the center and north-east with light woodland, heavily settled along the Wynriver.
Economy: Agricultural heartland of Saenwyn, exports a great deal of grain and hogs, as well as famed for their apples and cider. Minor cottage crafting and mining in the Thrennish Ranges, with trade along the Wynriver and Ingthorp Highway being particularly important.

=Lord Regent Gidion of House Dain=
Titles: Lord Regent of the Duchy of Cambaern, Count of Edinnclif
Popularity: 2 (Nobility -2; Merchants +1; Commoners +2; Priests +1)
Revenue: +5c (Trade 5, Industry 4, Agriculture 7, taxation 1, decentralization -3, corruption -2, expenses -3, -4 realm taxation)
Conflicts: Succession crisis, unhappy nobility, tax revolt aftermath

Military Assets
45 Sworn Knights of House Dain (Heavy cavalry)
90 Men-at-Arms of House Dain (Heavy infantry)
120 House Dain Retainers (Light infantry)
300 Edincliff Infantry (Light infantry)
100 Edincliff Archers (Ranged infantry)
60 Arbalists (Elite ranged infantry)

-In the Abyssal Mire, under Sytos the Black-
5 Sworn Knights of House Dain (Heavy cavalry)
10 Men-at-Arms of House Dain (Heavy infantry)
30 House Dain Retainers (Light infantry)

Raisable Levies
~40,000

-County Southmarch-
Ruler: House Kern of Southmarch Castle (Master of Oblivion)
Seat: Southmarch Castle
Geography: Mountainous, with hot summers and cold, snowy winters. The peaks of the Cantalian Mountains (which extend into Ividal) shield the Elfsbane Hills from Ividalan rainfall and heat waves alike.
Economy: Subsistence herding is the norm for most peasants. Some iron mining and smelting to be found in most settlements, with a minor degree of trade coming through the passes from Ividal. As of late, much economic activity -the logistics of feeding and entertaining a large force- is military-based.

=Lord Tylar of House Kern=
Titles: Count of Southmarch, Lord Commander of the Royal Army
Popularity: 5 (Nobility +1; Merchants 0; Commoners +3; Priests +1)
Revenue: +1c (Trade 2, Industry 3, Agriculture 1, taxation 2, royal subsidies 2, decentralization -1, corruption -1, expenses -6, realm taxation -1)
Conflicts: Occasional ethnic tensions, lack of funding

Military Assets:
3,000 King's Banner (heavy infantry)
900 King's Rangers (elite ranged and light infantry)
350 King's Banner Cavalry (heavy cavalry)
10 Sworn Knights of House Kern
50 House Kern Guards (heavy infantry)

Raisable Levies:
~3,000

-Duchy of Nolvagne-
Ruler: House Redlance (Coinneach)
Seat: Redtower
Geography: The Nolvhen Plateau is host to Redtower, where the Ingthorp Highway and Redlance Road meet, built off a series of rocky crags and hills that jut out of the ground. Dwarven ruins jot the landscape, which is otherwise renowned for its ancient pine forests, some of which remain unnavigable to all but the most dedicated woodsman. Winters in Nolvagne are infamously snowy, and their summers mild and rainy. The Claw in particular is known for its stark beauty, comparatively rocky and infertile in comparison to the rest of Nolvagne, with its landmarks coming as much from its numerous would-be conquerers as they are dormant volcanic activity.
Economics: Forestry, fishing, and sealing are the primary sources of wealth for Nolvhen lords, with small-scale crofting being the livelihood of most of its smallfolk. Nolvhen ironworks are renowned for the strength of their blade, dating back to the years before supplies of serpentstone and dwarfsblood were mined to depletion. Adventuring is also a fairly common source of wealth for the region, due to its dangerous wildlife -including cave bears and giant spiders- and inordinate amount of untouched ruins and Wolf Children cairns.

=Lord Douglass of House Redlance=
Titles: Duke of Nolvagne, Laird of the Redtower, High Chief of the Claw
Popularity: 3 (Nobility +1; Merchants 0; Commoners 0; Priests +2)
Revenue: +4c (Trade 3, Industry 5, Agriculture 3, taxation 2, decentralization -3, corruption -1, expenses -2, -2 taxation)
Conflicts: Clan feuds

Military Assets:
90 Sworn Swords of House Redlance (Heavy infantry)
60 Sworn Bows of House Redlance (Ranged infantry)
50 House Redlance Cavalry (Light cavalry)
60 Redtower Guards (Light infantry)

Raisable Levies:
~12,000
~10 ships+clansmen pinnaces

-Duchy of Massalia-
Ruler: House Guefet (Snacks)
Seat: Massalia
Geography: The Cambaernian Plains extend throughout much of western Massalia. Hills in the northeast prevent major rainfall and give way to a central valley, host to the Martyr's Road (also known as the Vinter's Way, named so for the vineyards along its path), which is in turn bordered by the rainy temperate forests in the southeast. The city of Massalia proper sits on the eastern edge of the Ingthorp Highway and its convergence with the Martyr's Road.
Economy: Some subsistence agriculture, with most food imported from Cambaern. Goldblooded wine, particularly sweet reds, is renowned throughout Western Tir Bhaile. Like Tailledun, whalers are commonly known to use Massalia as a port of call on journeys to the south (with dispensation from Kharkhedon), but the Elephant's Bay is more renowned as a center for trade with the south, due to lower tariffs on Kharkhedonian imports. Industry is primarily ship-building, although most lumber needs to be imported due to the protected status of Dracian's Forest.

=Lady Jehan-Prospere of House Guefet=
Titles: Duchess of Massalia, Warden of Elephant's Bay, Dame Regent of the Barony of Emporion
Popularity: 3 (Nobility +2; Merchants +3; Commoners 0; Priests -2)
Revenue: +8c (Trade 8, Industry 5, Agriculture 3, taxation 5, decentralization -2, corruption -3, expenses -3, -1 piracy, -4 realm taxation)
Conflicts: Piracy

Military Assets:
150 Massalian City Watch (Light infantry)
100 City Watch Archers (Ranged infantry)
50 House Guefet Retainers (Heavy infantry)
100 House Guefet Guards (light infantry)
240 Stradiots (Mercenary light cavalry)

Fleet of Massalia:
1 deceres, 3 fire-ships, 5 quadremes, 10 triremes, 2 galleass

Raisable Levies:
~25,000
~50 ships

-Duchy of Tailledun-
Ruler: House Kern (Serenissima)
Seat: Dunnisban
Geography: Much of Tailledun remains forested, hence its twin traditions of ship-building and archery. The Saene Road spans the upper half of the province, traveling along the Crownlands coast into Tailledun, towards Dunnisban and then north to Solange's Folly. The coasts are rugged, albeit with several decent natural harbors, and much of the region is given to the iron-rich foothills of the Bastier Mountains, low-rising peaks dividing Tailledun into a rainy east and drier west.
Economy: Most of the soil in Tailledun is poor, and agriculture takes the forms of herding in the west and fisheries in the east, including whaling. Traditionally, Tailledun is the center of ship-building for the realm, particularly in Solange's Folly and the now-Kharkhedonian Cadoc's Isle, although as of late Massalia has overtaken the duchy in that regards. Wool and cloth now make up the bulk of Tailledun's trade goods, alongside iron ore and timber.

=Lord Jace of House Kern=
Titles: Duke of Tailledun
Popularity: 8 (Nobility +2; Merchants +2; Commoners +2; Priests +2)
Revenue: +6c (Trade 4, Industry 7, Agriculture 3, taxation 3, decentralization -3, corruption -1, expenses -2, -2 piracy, -3 realm taxation)
Conflicts: Piracy, religious zealotism

Military Assets:
250 House Kern Guards (Heavy infantry)
250 House Kern Archers (Elite ranged infantry)
40 Sworn Knights of House Kern (Heavy cavalry)
400 Coastal Militia (Ranged and light infantry)
40 Militia Sergeants (Heavy infantry)

Fleet of Tailledun (at Solange's Folly):
1 galleass, 5 triremes, 10 longships

Raisable Levies:
~28,000
~25 ships

Smaller factions:

-Diocese of Saenwyn-
Patriarch: Patric of Cydial
Headquarters: Gerand's Keep
Influence: Somewhat high everywhere but Southmarch and Massalia, moderate in Massalia, somewhat low in Southmarch
Revenue: 0 (+4 tithes, -2 expenses, -2 corruption)
Conflicts: Extremists in Tailledun, opposition to royal marriage

Military Assets: N/A

-Saenwyne Guildhall-
Representative: Sir Esteve Leon
Headquarters: Massalia
Influence: High in Massalia, somewhat high in Gerand's Keep, somewhat low in the City of Glass, moderate elsewhere in the realm and Kharkhedon
Revenue: +2c (+3 shipping, +1 caravans, +1 crafting, -2 expenses, -1 piracy)
Conflicts: Tension with the League, bread riots

Military Assets:
50 Guildhall Guards (Mercenary heavy infantry)
150 Mariners (Mercenary light infantry)

Guildhall Fleet:
1 galleass
4 triremes (accompanying the merchant fleet)

-League of the City of Glass-
Representative: Kinnet Deleir
Headquarters: City of Glass
Influence: Somewhat high in the City of Glass, Melrose, and Gerand's Keep, moderate in the Marcher Kingdoms, somewhat low in Massalia, low elsewhere in the realm
Revenue: +3c (+2 shipping, +2 caravans, +2 crafting, -2 expenses, -1 debt)
Conflicts: Tension with the Guildhall, in debt

Military Assets:
200 League Caravan Guards (Mercenary light cavalry)
40 League Regulars (Mercenary light infantry)

League Fleet:
3 triremes (accompanying the merchant fleet)

-Odile Family-
Head: Conall Odile
Headquarters: Gerand's Keep
Influence: Somewhat high in Gerand's Keep and the Crownlands, low in Massalia and Tailledun, very low elsewhere
Revenue: +0c (+2 land, +1 shipping, -2 expenses, -1 payment to the Guildhall)
Conflicts: Fear of rising influence

Military Assets:

30 Odile Guards (Mercenary light infantry)
20 Mariners (Mercenary heavy infantry)

Odile Family Fleet:
1 bireme

-House Sauveterre-
Leader: Janett Sauveterre
Headquarters: City of Gerand's Keep
Influence: Somewhat high in the Crownlands, moderate in Massalia and the City of Glass, somewhat low elsewhere in the country, low in Kharkhedon
Revenue: +4c (+4 banking, +1 land, -1 expenses)
Conflicts: Neutral in the guild wars, unpopular with Kharkhedon

Military Assets:
90 House Sauveterre Guards (Mercenary heavy infantry)

House Sauveterre Fleet:
2 holks (privately owned, 1 in Massalia, 1 in the City of Glass)
1 trireme (privately owned, in Massalia)

-Circle of the Forsaken-
Leader: Red Saloman (Red John)
Headquarters: None, centered around the Duchy of Lathair, suspected presence in Moryd
Influence: Moderate in the Duchy of Lathair, low in the Duchy of Moryd, very low in the Crownlands
Revenue: 0 (+1 plunder, -1 expenses)
Conflicts: Last remaining Confederation opposition to the throne, largely republican instead of Pact supporters

Military Assets:
30 Forsaken Cavalry (Elite light cavalry)
50 Forsaken Rangers (Elite ranged infantry)
120 Forsaken Infantry (Elite light infantry)


Foreign Relations wrote:Kharkhedon Republic (White): Noble republic with elected chief magistrate (Shofet), position currently held by Barca of Hafet.
Relations: Very Strained, though friendlier with the Duchess of Massalia. Expansionist nature is of great concern, Tailledun holds claims to Epos Island. Guild pressure to exclude Kharkhedonian merchants opposed by independent merchants, Massalia, and House Sauveterre. Suspected support of Republican factions. At war with the Senevni, often skirmishing with the Maryaenae.

League of Oscella (Bright orange): Confederation of freeholds and cantons, elects High Marshal in times of crisis, position currently vacant.
Relations: Friendly, particularly with the Duchy of Moryd, less so with Lathair. Historically a former province of Saenwyn, some protection still extended. Mercenaries and volunteers provided support to the Royalists during the civil war despite their friendship with Moryd.

Holy Kingdom of Ividal (Orange): Feudal monarchy with theocratic elements, ruled since independence by the Line of Vidal, currently represented by King Tirso IV.
Relations: Somewhat friendly, popular opinion unfriendly while warmer with the Royalists. Religious differences account for much of the unpopularity, as well as a notable population of ethnic Ividalans in County Southmarch. King Tirso's second daughter recently married the King.

State of Voslavja (Dark green): Elective monarchy in which every noble theoretically gets a vote, led at present by Caspar Mirow. The Marcher Lords, as a whole, act as various independent lordships, the majority of which favor Saenwyn's policies as of late.
Relations: Somewhat friendly. Both King Corention and Prince Gustave are friendly with Prince Caspar, while various Marcher Lords retain their own opinions and favorites. Tensions between commoners over logging and mining rights exist, but were relatively peaceful up until the refugee crisis. Rumors of Dwarven treasure and ruins abound.

Senevni Confederation (Teal): Confederation of sometimes-conflicting nobles and tribes often bound under charismatic warlords. United once more by the grandfather of the current Great Hetman Sabin the Black. Currently at war with Kharkhedon.
Relations: Somewhat strained. Affairs for the most part dictated by commerce, though occasionally piracy with origins in either nation occurs.

Holy Throne (Pale red): Theocracy led by the First Patriarch of the Pantheon of Extribus, directs the priesthood and deacons of the Nine-from-Three.
Relations: Neutral. The monarchy de facto recognizes the authority of the Holy Throne and popular opinion favors the authority of the First Patriarch, as do most minor nobility. Higher-ranking nobility and the merchant class hold less respect for the Holy Throne, and King Corentin's marriage to a devoted Ividalan does little to benefit relations.

Maryaenae People (Dark Grey): Loose confederation of largely sea-faring people who typically resort to piracy to exert their influence.
Relations: Terrible, de facto[ at war. Maryaenae raiders have stepped up their attacks on Saenwyne shipping as of late, and no recognized realm has stepped in to defend the various captains and petty lords that have attacked the realm.

Dağanian Khanate and Guran Commonwealth (Pink and Light Green): Personal union under control of the Dagan Khan Tamas VI and II, whose dynasty has been appointed to the Guran elected kingship for the past seven generations.
Relations: Strained. Raids from both kingdoms against the Marcher Lords and Prince Caspar are conducted often, and have threatened Saenwyne caravan routes to the tribal lands of the west. Several Saenwyne merchant-led expeditions to Dwarven ruins have ended in tragedy.

Sharifate of Alsheraa (Yellow): Elven theocratic dictatorship led by the Sharif and Commander of the Faithful, traditionally appointed by a military council. Well-known for their slave trade, purges against “witches”, and monotheistic religion revolving around a spiteful deity.
Relations: Very strained. Alsheraa does not maintain official relations with any nation proclaiming allegiance to either the Pantheon of Extribus or the Ividalans, instead using careful diplomatic language to avoid de jure recognition. Both the Holy Throne and the Ividalans are encouraging slave revolts in the Sharifate, and border skirmishes between the three have persisted for nearly a century.

Kingdom of Segadora (Red): Kingdom that proclaims loyalty to the Pantheon of Extribus but recently separated from the Holy Throne after the Reign of Sorrow of First Patriarch Olivara.
Relations: Somewhat friendly. Tensions with the Holy Throne have led the Free State to seek alliances with Ividal and Saenwyn, though the latter has not yet accepted it due to the recent famine and financial contribution required as per the proposed terms.

County of Domarr (Brown): Monarchy currently under the leadership of Count Ver Klatka, recently going reforms in the Count's attempt to appear “civilized”.
Relations: Neutral. Ver Klatka has sent several overtures to House Tremayne congratulating their victory over the Confederation and pleding support and alliance as “defenders of the gods-given right to rule”. None of them have been taken seriously.

Great Tigranes (Purple): Confederation of the settled Kkham people (calling themselves the Kkham-Bara) united under a series of petty kings that retain a variety of beliefs (largely the Faith of the Alsherdaa, the Pantheon, and animist religions), who are in turn led by a King of Kings.
Relations: Somewhat friendly. While no official relations exist, the King of Kings of Great Tigranes has historically defended the only trade route through the wastes.

Tribes of Kkham-Eallu (Burgundy): The nomadic cousins of the Kkham-Bara, held together only by their constant wars against the Senevni and their strange religion revolving around human sacrifice.
Relations: None.
Saenwyn: A Song of Ashes: Storyteller

Louisiana 1792: Fils de la Révolution: Monsieur le Commissaire de l'Intérieur Thomas Francois Jérôme Cossard, Mayor of Saint-Louis and editor of L'Ami de la République
Liberty in Dark Waters: Leopold Karl von Stenhielm, Baron af Rödesund, Knight and Commander of the Orders of His Majesty the King, convicted traitor
Balance of Power 1968: Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, President and Baba wa Taifa of the United Republic of Tanzania

Smyg wrote:The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of Gesar coping with being a total fucking a-grade revolutionary thinker


Spoiler:
#DraftGesar


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