News and Whispers

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Huojin
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News and Whispers

Post by Huojin » 03:45:46 Sunday, 14 June, 2015

MAP

Turn 0 - Spring 1190

News

  • The streets of Tewen fill the the cacophony of sound and colour that signifies the beginning of the Spring Parade. As the snows melt in the north and the River Mainn threatens to burst its banks in many places, people rejoice along the Grand Parade running parallel to Palace Island with great displays of flowers and ribbons. Bands play cheerful tunes on horns and squeezeboxes, while assorted groups make their way towards Victory Column, commemorating Arroa’s triumph over the barbarian invaders of old. Just in time for those favourite groups, the Children Marchers and the Mounted Household Guard, to make their passage past Victory Column and the Royal Box, the public is blessed by a rare appearance by King Hellier. Ushered to the forefront of proceedings by ever-present Lord Bishops Myrn and Giar, the young man smiles meekly and waves for all to see. Behind the scenes, though, few in the courts are under any illusions. Happy and smiling though the King may appear for his subjects, most know he spends a great many of his days on Palace Island, rarely venturing beyond its well-tended confines.
  • In the care of the Lord Bishoprics, swinging to and fro as each successive clergyman wrests control from the other, the Kingdom of Arroa has (perhaps understandably) lurched from failing to failing. With the Red Islands and Lantern Island lost to Calorean occupation some 30 years ago after a failed attempt to seize back control of nearby seas, and the Irrgen barbarians threatening the western border ever more forcefully in recent years, events like the Spring Festival become ever more common to keep the people in high spirits.
  • Speculation as to the rise of a new power amongst the Irrgen barbarians appears to fall apart, after their latest attempts to organise a new war party to raid their neighbours fall apart in dramatic fashion - but what’s a Irrgen war meeting without a few beheadings and castrations?
  • A new Calorean war galley, put to sea and arriving at Lantern Island late last year before the winter set in, once again returns to the waves, making its way westwards to moor at the forts near the Red Islands. Supposedly named Calor’s Triumph, many take it to be a slight directed at the still-restless Arroans.
  • That time of year comes yet again when a handful of raiders aboard their ships departs from the sea of Ures - this time from the port of Espo. Heading eastwards and bound for the famous “Commune” - having heard tell of its supposed “utopian” way of life and therefore its total lack of defences - their captain declare’s he’ll be back within the month with riches aplenty. Yet raids upon those reclusive folk are less and less common these days, with many brigands returning empty handed, and a few not returning at all.
  • Warring amongst the Princely States continues to rage as it always has, with Prince Jein of Cainere leading an astounding all-out assault on the city of Ilavile, capturing it from the Princely State of Nampur and forcing Lord Kapil, Prince Nurrar’s cousin and leading general, to flee the field. Cainere purportedly had sought to capture this town, lying as it does on the way north to Kared and south to Sapira, after it and its titular Princely State fell in the Campaign of the Spears two years previously.
  • A new Temple is dedicated in Sigala, sponsored by local lord and patron of the Pantheon of Eight, Tay Mahat. While of course the Temple hosts representative icons of all of the gods, Lord Tay has been known to regard Lady Night as her personal patron - perhaps out of some preference for prayer dedicated to her, given that they often ask protection from the beasts of the night, and sightings of those larger-than-normal creatures from the north have been reported in many a village of late.
  • Lord Tay’s wife, Lady Lin, on the otherhand, has oft been seen praying in the Temple before the shrine of Lord Life who, amongst other things, is noted as being the fertility deity - and with the Lord and Lady of Sigala childless, they need all the help they can get.
  • Prince Mila II of Mahar by contrast is under no such illusions, believing only hard work gets you anywhere in life - and with his wife and 7 concubines has fathered countless whelps. Though the sheer number of his offspring has often proved an attractive game for the common folk, guessing which will survive to adulthood and so on, questions over his succession do crop up occasionally. Normally concubine-born children, though not bastards, cannot inherit, but much to his wife’s dismay, the aged Prince Mila has often been fond of two or three of his.
  • With the thaw setting in more quickly to the south, Prince Sheam II Mueir of Seunan orders the reoccupation of the Ruins of Jirn. Already a ruined city for many an age, its blackened timber and stone has commanded the surrounding lands even after it fell and was sacked in the War with the Giants. Recently having been taken over by the Irrgen barbarians and become a den of debauchery and depravity, Prince Sheam’s cavalry clear the few who remained, given the barbarian’s inclination to shelter the winter in their familiar forests.
  • After extensive cooperation with the present Duke of Ures, Prince Usalar of Gatira (much more an engineer than a general like his fellow princes) proudly opens the wagon-way, connecting the eastern town of Lamsone to the cities of Corsalu, Han, and down towards the Mahan River. Normally among the first things destroyed in a campaign, the iron and wood trackways upon which horses and other draught animals pull carriages of trade goods have returned to Gatira after a prolonged period of peace, ushered in by the defeat of the old Princely State of Sapira and the repulsion of Senuan raiding parties.
  • Inventors and pioneers of the wagon-ways, the wealthy explorers of the court in Corsalu delight in the wealth they continue to reap from the projects, which have begun to spread as far south as the Kingdom of Daellen. Far more efficient than merely a single wagon on a dirt or even paved roadway, the wagon-ways, they claim, allow even a single horse to more than two-score times as much as normal.
  • Disdainful of the growing presence of the slave trade in the city of Han, Lord Ahlin, presently elected Consul of the City, bans the flesh markets from the within the city walls - much to the outcry of local merchants and traders. With the River Mahan serving not only as the lifeblood of trade in the area, but also the means by which all surrounding nations, including the barbarians of the Hills or the insane soldiers of Daibas the Blackened, deliver their slaves to market, his reaction is unsurprising to some.
  • A slave revolt stirs in the fields of New Ihmurren, though it it rapidly put down by Imperial forces. The longstanding colony, born some hundred years prior out of a desperate need for agricultural goods when storms from the Great Desert coupled with famine to leave much of the Empire starving, has proved a source of both wealth and trouble for the homeland. A great part of its issues continues to stem from friction between the local population - part of whom trace their origins to Ures, while others claim heritage with the long-extinct Kingdom of Anber. To this day, the two factions clamour for independence for the region, while others still argue they are unable to sustain or defend the region yet and should seek independence gradually - an unlikely prospect under the Empire as it stands, but a continuing hope for peace nonetheless.
  • Commander of the Broken Bow, Sele Turno, is found dead in the kitchen of his modest apartment within the fort there, apparently the victim of an assassination if the silk strangling cord tightly wound around his neck is any indication. The classic calling card and preferred weapon of the Cult of the Cord, quite who Turno pissed off enough to warrant spending such an unseemly amount on the most professional of killers provokes gossip on the island for weeks while they wait for a replacement commander to be appointed and sent by the Council of Captains back in Calor City.
  • Hill Tribe pilgrims are turned away as they approach Mount Aebus by guards posted by the tribes of Herest. Though descended from a more settled grouping of the same peoples, the tribesmen remain fearful of the barbaric practices of their barbarian kin when it comes to holy sites, especially the most holy, where Aebus first communed with the Sky Father. Most of the pilgrims turn back, carrying word of what went on back home, but a few dying elderly and those carrying the bodies of pilgrims who died on the way are permitted to climb the Mountain to receive a sky-burial after much beseeching.
  • Having grown rapidly over the past three decades, uniting smaller counties and cities in the area, the Kingdom of Daellen has continued its expansionism by looking further afield. Having been successful in their autumn campaigning to capture Bailbridge, a town that long languished under warlord rule, and consolidated those gains over the winter, their armies make a series of strikes along the Lesser Mahan, driving back local warlords gaining almost total control of the river, nearly reaching the crucial fork where it joins its larger brother.
  • Seeing the weakness of the local warlords (and knowing his King is in no position to act), Lord Lus Uthen of Ninas marshals his armies and takes the opportunity to seize a little land. He runs into a little trouble when he meets the rapidly eastward marching forces of General Sander Arro, fresh from beating back brigand forces and pushing the eastern edge of Daellen as far as he can, and swiftly sidesteps those forces after making it positively clear as can be that “t-t-this is the beginning of Cherad, so b-b-be clear you don’t go beyond here”. He makes up for his s-s-st-stuttering performance by handily outmanoeuvring General Arro’s forces though, carving into warlord territory handily.
  • Somewhere south of the Lesser Mahan River, encamped around the edge of the sands, lies Daibas the Blackened - only the most infamous and powerful warlord in recent years to emerge from those lands and stamp his name and mark upon the land. This season marks the latest failure of his attempts to capture the renowned citadel-fort at Lakewatch, protecting the rocky source of the Mahan Rivers, as his fierce but fragmented force shatters against the oft-unseen strength of the Faran. Yet this latest campaign has driven him closer to the lake than any previous attempt, marking growing concern further down river.
  • As King Eowin lies on his deathbed, grey and sickly, the Kingdom clamours about Oethen to guess at who will succeed him, given his lack of clear heir. Consideration has primarily been given to two groupings: the King’s bastard brother Cado FarWain (predominantly backed by the commons and the merchants), and his daughter’s husband Lord Larkin NerKeen of Aenra (backed in large part by the clergy and some of his fellow nobles). However notable mention is given to the King’s as-yet-unborn child by his wife, the Queen Regent, but given the King’s recent bed-ridden state and Queen Arissa’s supposed… freeness, shall we say… the heritage of the child has been called into question - a claim not assisted by the fact most of her backers number amongst nobles well-known for frequenting the Royal Court.
  • Storms batter many a ship against the Phalanx in the springtime, and this year is no exception - though peculiar wreckage aplenty is found amidst the rocky shoals and coastlines this year. Being ever the hobby of young boys and the like, diving and scavenging for junk turns up coins bearing kings no one has ever heard of, and other peculiar treasures.
  • Through the Western Flank, as the left-most of the Phalanx Islands is known, the teachings of reformist “the Endless Mind” have begun supplanting those of the traditionalist “Universal Mind” amongst many of the common folk, causing growing consternation. Priests there begin blaming Calorean contamination spreading from the Riverward Fort settlement, and beg Royal intervention.
  • Yet another lonely traveller stumbles out of the Great Desert and into the town of Sandsant, claiming to have visited the great Oasis after being rescued by the desert-dwellers while lost in a sandstorm. Marked on no maps and told of almost exclusively by lost souls and madmen, “The Oasis” continues to be written off as merely a Faran tale.
  • A trade caravan of slizzards, freshly departed from Final Rest, returns after a week, deeming a newly kicked-up storm far too intense to make the crossing. With the path past Whitefort still a treacherous path to take through the valleys, crossing the desert towards Sandsant or beyond, to Lakewatch, remains one of the safest ways to cart important goods across the vast distances. The caravan also returns, as is customary, with the sand-blasted skeletons of a few misfortunates found on their return route, to be lain to rest in the ever growing ossuary.
  • With the caravans failing to gain safe passage through the storms, the price of mica plummets in the Ihmurren Empire, as merchants offload the drug at whatever price they can manage. Here in the south, the Spring begins in a hedonistic blaze of intoxication and hallucinations, though primarily amongst the nobility. Ever a favourite amongst the Imperial court in particular, the sensations give extra delightful flavour to the vogue thing of the moment: forcing slaves to kill each other for sport in purpose-built arenas.
  • The mood is decidedly less cheerful to the south of the Empire in its infamous prison-city, The Pit. Reserved for those who have infuriated or defied the Emperor to a particularly serious degree, the screams from within are said to echo in the surrounding hills for miles.
  • Lacking a daughter to succeed her, Matriarch Cail-re of Fara Mak expels her four sons, each of a different father, from the safety of society to earn the right to succeed her and become Heir Designate. An usual state of affairs to be sure, but the same can be said for the Matriarch’s failure to produce a female heir.
  • A feast called by King Maichel of Remen is neglected by a great many of his vassal lords, from Cinne in the north to Bachten in the south. Though ostensibly for perfectly valid reasons, everyone knows the true reason - “King” Maichel is, the eyes of the nobility, little more than a glorified brigand and pirate. Though well known for being from an extremely minor noble house, the King’s rise to power came almost solely as a result of his past as a backer of (and, some claim, participant in) the piracy which had long plagued the Kingdom of Remen. Of course, the argument goes, now one of their own is on the throne and they are free to do as they wish, they leave the merchant classes much to their own devices - but the sour taste remains for most.
  • Yet more than the piracy comes the freedom from the very freest - safety from the terrorising Free Islesmen. In the eyes of most, to call such as these “pirates” does a disservice to those valiant and honourable men of the sea - these being far more like chaotic, and bloodied madmen who inflict their presence and viciousness on any who sail too close. A weaponised people, they have however proved vital in Remen’s wars with the Republic of Calore to the north - long standing dominating presence on the seas, acting much like shock troopers in an army and helping the island kingdom fend off the oft-crippling blockades of Calor City.
—————
SpoilerShow
James of Abingdon (Smyg)

Titles: Count of Abingdon
Status: At sea, unknown location.

Ships:
— 9 English Cogs

Troops:
— 500 Mounted English Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 200 Mounted Squires (Light cavalry, spears and swords, some combat training)
— 300 English Longbowmen (Light ranged infantry, longbows, well-trained)
— 700 English Spearmen (Light infantry, spears, little combat training)
— 270 English Sailors (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Odo Longbeard (Langben)

Titles: Master of the Order of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem
Status: At sea, unknown location.

Ships:
None, aboard English ships

Troops:
— 100 Hospitaller Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, elite)
— 100 Hospitaller Brothers (Heavy infantry, assorted heavy weapons, well-trained)
— 250 Brother Infirmarians (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
— 150 Brother Chaplains (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Roger de Verny (Gesar)

Titles: Master of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon
Status: At sea, unknown location.

Ships:
None, aboard English ships

Troops:
— 100 Templar Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, elite)
— 300 Templar Brothers (Heavy infantry, assorted heavy weapons, well-trained)
— 100 Brother Priests (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Rudolf von Selenhofen (Coin)

Titles: Count of Selenhofen
Status: At sea, unknown location.

Ships:
None, aboard Byzantine ships

Troops:
— 600 Germanic Knights (Heavy infantry with horses, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 300 Germanic Squires (Light cavalry, spears and swords, some combat training)
— 200 German Archers (Light ranged infantry, bows, some combat training)
— 250 German Spearmen (Light infantry, spears, some combat training)
Álmos of Nitra (BgKnight)

Titles: Gyula of Nitra
Status: At sea, unknown location.

Ships:
None, aboard Byzantine ships

Troops:
— 200 Mounted Hungarian Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 250 Hungarian Light Cavalry (Light cavalry, assorted light weapons and bows, well-trained)
— 300 Hungarian Skirmishers (Light infantry, assorted light weapons and bows, some combat training)
Alexios Doukatos (RinKou)

Titles: Commander of the Byzantine Crusading Fleet, noble lord of the House of Doukatos
Status: At sea, unknown location.

Ships:
— 6 Dromon Galleys
— 5 Chelandion Ousiakon Warship-transports
— 2 Skeuophora Supply Ships

Troops:
— 200 Byzantine Mounted Archers (Light ranged cavalry, recurved bows, well-trained)
— 100 Peltastes (Light infantry, spears, some combat training)
— 100 Byzantine Marines (Light infantry, swords and spears, well-trained)
— 900 Byzantine Sailors (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Gui de Pons (Serenissima)

Titles: Count of Pons
Status: At sea, unknown location.

Ships:
— 4 French Cogs
(Partially in Genoese fleet)

Troops:
— 330 Mounted Chevaliers (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 400 Mounted Squires (Light cavalry, spears and swords, some combat training)
— 500 French Archers (Light ranged infantry, bows, well-trained)
— 500 French Spearmen (Light infantry, spears, little combat training)
— 100 French Sailors (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
— 50 Camp Followers (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Agostino Canella (Snacks)

Titles: Head of the House of Canella, Captain of the Bella Morte
Status: At sea, unknown location.

Ships:
— The Bella Morte (Genoese war galley)
— 2 Genoese War Galleys
— 3 Genoese Merchant Galleys
— 5 Transport Galleys

Troops:
— 200 Genoese Sergeants-At-Arms (Heavy infantry, assorted polearms, well-trained)
— 200 Pavise Crossbowmen (Heavy crossbowmen, crossbows and light close combat weaponry, well-trained)
— 1000 Genoese Sailors (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
SpoilerShow
Kingdom of Arroa

Government: Constitutional monarchy with strong religious hierarchy
Ruler: King Hellier of House Narran(de jure), Lord Bishops Myrn and Giar (de facto)
Capital: Tewen
Conflicts: Irrgen barbarian incursions, giantslaying, infighting amongst the Lord Bishoprics, Republic of Calore occupation of the Red Islands and Lantern Island
Irrgen Barbarians

Government: Barbarism
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: … barbarians?
The Commune

Government: Communalism
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: Sporadic pirate and brigand raids
Princely State of Mahar

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Mila II Tarsu
Capital: Kared
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Irrgen barbarian incursions
Princely State of Nampur

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Nurrar IV Khai
Capital: Neam
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Irrgen barbarian incursions
Princely State of Cainere

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Jein Huil
Capital: Neive
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Irrgen barbarian incursions, Hill Tribe barbarian incursions
Princely State of Seunan

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Sheam II Mueir
Capital: Lauhan
Conflicts: Princely Wars
Princely State of Gatira

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Usalar X Setar
Capital: Gatira
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Hill Tribe barbarian incursions
Duchy of Ures

Government: Noble republic
Ruler: Duke Gaena Lancar
Capital: Corsalu
Conflicts: Princely Wars, skirmishes with Ihmurren Empire
Hill Tribe Barbarians

Government: Barbarism
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: … barbarians?
Chieftaincy of Herest

Government: Tribal chiefdom
Ruler: High Chief Esher Jent
Capital: Mount Aebus
Conflicts: Hill Tribe barbarian incursions, skirmishes with Ihmurren Empire, Mahan River War, Daellen expansionism
Kingdom of Daellen

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: King Athad Illum
Capital: Suennen
Conflicts: Mahan River War, expansionism, tensions with Kingdom of Cherad, tensions with Ihmurren Empire, incursions by State of Daibas
State of Daibas

Government: Warlordism
Ruler: Daibas the Blackened
Capital: None
Conflicts: Incursions into neighbouring countries, warlord infighting, trade wagon raiding
Kingdom of Cherad

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: King Eowin NerWain(de jure), Queen Arissa (de facto, as regent)
Capital: Oethen
Conflicts: Succession crisis, Republic of Calore occupation of the Riverward Fort, slave escapees from Ihmurren Empire, trade wagon raiding
Fara Mak

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Matriarch Cail-re
Capital: The Oasis
Conflicts: Incursions by State of Daibas, Hill Tribe barbarian incursions, slave escapees from Ihmurren Empire, trade wagon raiding
Ihmurren Empire

Government: Imperial monarchy
Ruler: Emperor Ihm XII
Capital: Ebur
Conflicts: Slave escapees, tensions with Kingdom of Daellen, skirmishes with Chieftaincy of Herest, skirmishes with Duchy of Ures, trade wagon raiding, separatism in New Ihmurren
Kingdom of Remen

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: King Maichel (“the Bloody”)
Capital: Taure
Conflicts: Sporadic piracy, civil unrest, war with Republic of Calore
The Free Isles

Government: Chaotic (vassal of the Kingdom of Remen)
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: Terrorising everyone
Republic of Calore

Government: Property ownership-based republic
Ruler: First Captain Allard Wick
Capital: Calor City
Conflicts: War with Kingdom of Remen, overseas island occupations

Huojin
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 3218
Joined: 07:30:29 Thursday, 02 August, 2012

Re: News and Whispers

Post by Huojin » 18:22:06 Saturday, 27 June, 2015

MAP

Turn 1 - Summer 1190

News

  • Far later than normal - the beginning of the Summer rather than the middle of the Spring - the horns sound out in the northern villages along the River Mainn, announcing the return of many of the hunters and trappers from the thick forests of the north and west. It soon becomes apparent why as parties trickle in, looking beleaguered and bloodied. Most come not with great bounties won, but tales of limbs and lives lost this year. The greatest commotion, however, surrounds the return of the party of Sir Lerren of House Marn - younger of the two sons of that house, and infamous adventurer. Towing a heavy wagon train, Sir Lerren unveils the hides, bones and skulls of four of the Great Wolves that stalk those forests. Setting them out to gloat a little, some of the children of the town delight in running in and out of the skulls.
  • With fortunes ever changing, the Lord Bishopric of Westmainn loses temporarily its firm grip over the Arroan Royal coffers, as Lord Bishop Giar of Eastmainn successfully appropriates funds to add new works of art and sculpture to the Eastmainn Holy Cathedral, earning him, if possible, even more of Lord Bishop Myrn’s enmity.
  • As the Remen-Calorean War deepens ever more, loosening the tight grip of the Republic’s navy over the seas, Lord Tork of Portrye hires shipbuilders and draughtsmen to begin work on new ships which, he hopes, will be able to sail the seas unmolested. If the recall of Calor’s Triumph back east is any indication, his hopes may not be unfounded. Nevertheless, this move chafes against Surrin, Lord of Mainnmuth proper, despite Portrye’s separate stature as an enclave.
  • More news escapes Portrye that incenses neighbouring lords, as a mysterious fleet of ships bearing banners of gold on red sails past the Red Islands and into the harbour. After one ship is allowed to dock, strange looking men are witnessed walking through the streets of Portrye and meeting with his lordship’s court. After a brief meeting, they returned to their ships, which were guided by harbourmasters to the disused warehouse district. Though cordoned off from the rest of the port, tales emerge telling of men with hair like gold and strange beasts with them.
  • As these tales escape Portrye and reach Lords Surrin of Mainnmuth and Vern of Dunich (and, more importantly, their attendant Lord Bishops), the response is near immediate, with cordons being rapidly set up at the walls dividing Portrye from both the city of Mainnmuth and from the surrounding countryside, wary at what some bystanders say the the followers of Midon have called “queer heresies”.
  • Talk of heresy abounds in the Kingdom this year, apparently, as converts to the Faith of the Endless Mind are pelted with rotten fruits and vegetables as they celebrate the Fast of Saman. Curses and insults follow them from their shrines of worship, including in particular calls directed at the women, calling them Calorean whores. The priests of the area are often found blaming the misguided ways of these few on the spreading influence of heresies from Lantern Island.
  • Irrgen barbarians launch a raid towards the city of Aerta, taking advantage of the summer thaw to make significant gains before the hastily assembled forces of several nearby lords presented a barrier to their advance. A brief battle ensued, before Arroan cavalry struck the lightly barbarian camps at the rear, forcing their withdrawal from the field.
  • News of the death of one of the most infamous Irrgen chiefs, Anda, spreads beyond even their borders, and leaves his tribe under questionable leadership. All that is known is that shortly afterwards, their vicious warring with another tribe was concluded apparently peacefully.
  • A similar attack to the one against the city of Aerta is mounted by a considerably less organised band against the Princely State of Mahar, where instead of suffering losses, local lords take advantage of the occasion to neaten up a few borders.
  • In the city of Sigala a ship bearing curious men arrives. Preaching a new faith, they gathered some intrigued attention but significant shunning by priests of the Pantheon of Eight makes sure most respectable folk steer clear of these weird looking people.
  • After losing ground to Cainere in the Spring, and his cousin Lord Kapil having left the field in disgrace, Lord Nurrar of Nampur spends the season mustering forces in his capital of Neam, reputedly for a counter offensive. With his manpower depleted but his coffers less so, he even goes so far as to take on two small companies of mercenaries from the Duchy of Ures - one Urescan, the other apparently some more enterprising Irrgen.
  • Mercenary captains are not the only Urescans spotted in the streets of Neam though, as rumours trickle out of Edar Blos, nobleman and representative of the the Most Reputable Blos Banking House, visiting the court of Prince Nurran. Prince Jein of Cainere derides this as just more Urescan meddling in affairs of the Princely States, but parties to the discussion insist the talks merely concerned construction of a new wagon-way.
  • The quiet of the Princely State of Gatira is interrupted briefly as news of a raiding party of Hill Tribe barbarians makes its way to the ears of Prince Usalar X. His reputation for peacefulness proves, at least in part, to be not entirely accurate, as a force of lancers and tribesmen skirmishers dispatched from his capital links up with, surprisingly, a Senuan border patrol force to make a brief incursion into the lowest foothills in order to repulse the raiders. An unprecedented development, some question the potential rise of an alliance between Gatira and Senuan.
  • A small vessel from out of the Commune pays a rare visit to the Espo, returning some captured persons gathered over the past year. Deposited slightly up the coast from the city at a fishing village and left to make their way back, the returnees seem in good health physically, but throughout the drinking establishments of the city it is noted how most of them are really pretty odd now.
  • The city of Espo is visited by another group of ships, though these far grander and larger. Outfitted for war, they fly flags bearing a red cross and a golden flame. Granted cautious entry to the unusually accepting city, they meet with Lord Alan Flota, Consul of the City of Espo. Having decidedly different approaches, some of the visitors remain quiet and formal while others make their presence known with a grand procession on horse-back with musical accompaniment through the city streets to the Consul’s Quarters. Their actions after being given freedom of the city differ also, with the quiet ones remaining near the port while their boisterous fellows disperse slightly and make camp just outside the city walls. The city itself is somewhat bewildered, but the celebratory demeanour of their guests leaves most in a positive mood.
  • After lengthy complaining, Lord Ahlin, Consul of the City of Han, levies a one-off tax to pay for the construction of a site for the slave markets just outside of the city bounds, as well as a short wagon-way connecting the city, slave markets, and the river port. Near the new site and along the route, shops and shacks begin to pop up to supply those travelling the route.
  • More queer news emerges from Han, as ships and men bearing many strange banners appear in the fortified harbour - lions and crosses of white and red. They are ushered hurriedly through the city to a meeting with the Consul, and leave just as quickly on their ships.
  • Religious head of the City of Han, Higher Priest Neo Baian, is found dead behind a local brothel, bearing bruises and scratches from a struggle, and crucially wounds from a small knife like most prostitutes are known to carry. The Faith of the Endless Mind retroactively dismisses Higher Priest Baian from its services, stating that by defiling his holy position he forfeited his ties to That Which Is Endless. A replacement, far less distinguished or notable, is raised up in his place.
  • As summer draws to a close in Han and the air begins to take on a cooler demeanour, the fleet of lions and crosses returns to the city.
  • Black smog spread through the skies over the mouth of the River Mahan as fires are set in Harvest Port. Raging through the mooring stations in the dry summer heat, the flames damage several river barges and their produce shipped from inland. Responsibility is claimed by one of many underground societies pushing for the people of New Ihmurren to claim independence.
  • In response to some slave revolts, a group of Ihmurren settlers - mostly overseers or merchants, those lower in station - retaliates against the slave riots, conducting a minor one of their own. They seize control of some slaves quarters and behead twenty or so on the road outside, before growing tired and torching the building. An unknown number of slaves is expected to have died.
  • An appointment as new Commander of the Broken Bow is delayed by what many eye-rollingly deride as “bureaucratic nonsense” in Calor City. The truth may have more to do with the fact that the silk cord’s usage has left most candidates unwilling to step forward, but the result is the same - the island remains in a kind of limbo.
  • Though suspicious and reserved, the fortress of Broken Bow accepts a fleet bearing white flags of peace, allowing them to moor and gather supplies. They remain but briefly, and perhaps due to their brusque treatment soon depart - though rumours and whisperings of these “men of Christ” surround them after their departure.
  • Furious at the blockage of his peoples passage to Mount Aebus, one of many of the Hill Tribe chieftains sends a delegation to demand entry. Their armed nature gave them clear enough passage, before coming up against the Guards of the Mount, who refuse “the pilgrims of Chieftain Fauns Mers” permission to continue further. Having not anticipated being blocked by the holy guards and thinking this merely the doing of Herest’s chieftains, they slink back to the hills in disgrace - apparently to meet the anger of the ones who sent them.
  • Occupying new lands across the Lesser Mahan proves troublesome for the Kingdom of Daellen. Raids from Daibas’ forces aside, the costs of occupying and taming this restless land remain high. In an attempt to placate the burdened nobility, large land grants are made, allowing the most important families to expand their domains sufficiently to avoid major issues. However the taxes are nonetheless passed down to farmers, who in many cases pay 50% of their crops as rent, as well as borrowing money at absurd rates from their landlords.
  • Lord Aind NerSew of Sandsant makes a bold move, likely engendered by the weakening of the crown’s control over Cherad. In order to stave off and even strike back against the forces of Daibas the Blackened, he hires Ret Ie and his Dunewalkers - perhaps the only Faran mercenary band known. Infamous for his brutal tactics as well as his charisma, Ret Ie’s troops set up their tents in the sands to the south of the city.
  • Meanwhile to the north in Oethen, King Eowin’s health continues to decline, with few expecting him to have survived this long, and most believing he will not outlast the coming winter. Holy Higher Lor of Oethen leads a grand procession from the Faith of the Universal Mind from the centre of the city to the Royal Keep to minister to the ailing King, and though he claims the King’s faith is all that has sustained him thus far, he also emphasises that the ultimate end of joining with the Universal awaits us all.
  • Crown Prince Edan of the Ihmurren Empire shocks and astounds the courts by declaring his intentions to marry a commoner. Barely taking the suggestion seriously, the Emperor forbids the marriage. Rather than risk incurring the wrath of his notoriously unpredictable father, the Crown Prince vanishes from the Imperial Capital of Ebur, taking only his intended wife and a horse, and leaving the kingdom without its official heir. The task falls to his younger brother, Prince Sufan.
  • Eager to avoid the horrors that surely lie in wait, some three hundred slaves spread between Ebur and the Emperor’s private estates in Ihmur commit mass suicide. Their decision may be viewed as a wise one, with the Emperor’s anger at his son’s decision leading him to carry out brutal acts and executions too numerous and terrible to mention.
  • Terror ships from the Free Isles strike land near The Bastion. They rain terror down on the streets of the towns in the surrounding area, burning seven small castles. But against the huge mountain-like fortress of the Bastion they find no purchase, and from within Imperial soldiers begin marching. Cut down like wheat before the scythe, the Islesmen retreat to their ships and flee, their mischief done for now.
  • An armada from the Kingdom of Remen descends on one of the Calorean islands in the Great Chain, and after a steady siege for two months successfully starves the under-supplied defenders into submission. Terms are agreed upon and the defenders permitted to withdraw. Admiral Merrick Dund, commander of the attack, is lambasted by the King and the court in Taure for his mercy in direct defiance of Royal orders, but few can deny his effectivity.
  • In the city of Cinne a group of prominent holy men belonging to the Faith of the Universal Mind defects to found a new monastery on Reflection Isle, a small island in the Great Chain to the east of the city. Devoted to a particularly introspective branch of the faith, they claim its excesses are growing too great. Some in the city call them Calorean sympathisers or converts, but most others are left thoughtful.

—————
SpoilerShow
James of Abingdon (Smyg)

Titles: Earl of Abingdon
Status: In Han.

Ships:
— 9 English Cogs

Troops:
— 500 Mounted English Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 200 Mounted Squires (Light cavalry, spears and swords, some combat training)
— 300 English Longbowmen (Light ranged infantry, longbows, well-trained)
— 700 English Spearmen (Light infantry, spears, little combat training)
— 270 English Sailors (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Odo Longbeard (Langben)

Titles: Master of the Order of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem
Status: In Han.

Ships:
None, aboard English ships

Troops:
— 100 Hospitaller Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, elite)
— 100 Hospitaller Brothers (Heavy infantry, assorted heavy weapons, well-trained)
— 250 Brother Infirmarians (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
— 150 Brother Chaplains (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Roger de Verny (Gesar)

Titles: Master of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon
Status: In Han.

Ships:
None, aboard English ships

Troops:
— 100 Templar Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, elite)
— 300 Templar Brothers (Heavy infantry, assorted heavy weapons, well-trained)
— 100 Brother Priests (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Rudolf von Selenhofen (Coin)

Titles: Count of Selenhofen
Status: In Mainnmuth (Portrye).

Ships:
None, aboard Byzantine ships

Troops:
— 600 Germanic Knights (Heavy infantry with horses, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 300 Germanic Squires (Light cavalry, spears and swords, some combat training)
— 200 German Archers (Light ranged infantry, bows, some combat training)
— 250 German Spearmen (Light infantry, spears, some combat training)
Álmos of Nitra (BgKnight)

Titles: Gyula of Nitra
Status: In Mainnmuth (Portrye).

Ships:
None, aboard Byzantine ships

Troops:
— 200 Mounted Hungarian Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 250 Hungarian Light Cavalry (Light cavalry, assorted light weapons and bows, well-trained)
— 300 Hungarian Skirmishers (Light infantry, assorted light weapons and bows, some combat training)
Alexios Doukatos (RinKou)

Titles: Commander of the Byzantine Crusading Fleet, noble lord of the House of Doukatos
Status: In Mainnmuth (Portrye).

Ships:
— 6 Dromon Galleys
— 5 Chelandion Ousiakon Warship-transports
— 2 Skeuophora Supply Ships

Troops:
— 200 Byzantine Mounted Archers (Light ranged cavalry, recurved bows, well-trained)
— 100 Peltastes (Light infantry, spears, some combat training)
— 100 Byzantine Marines (Light infantry, swords and spears, well-trained)
— 900 Byzantine Sailors (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Gui de Pons (Serenissima)

Titles: Count of Pons
Status: In Espo.

Ships:
— 4 French Cogs
(Partially in Genoese fleet)

Troops:
— 330 Mounted Chevaliers (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 400 Mounted Squires (Light cavalry, spears and swords, some combat training)
— 500 French Archers (Light ranged infantry, bows, well-trained)
— 500 French Spearmen (Light infantry, spears, little combat training)
— 100 French Sailors (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
— 50 Camp Followers (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Agostino Canella (Snacks)

Titles: Head of the House of Canella, Captain of the Bella Morte
Status: In Espo.

Ships:
— The Bella Morte (Genoese war galley)
— 2 Genoese War Galleys
— 3 Genoese Merchant Galleys
— 5 Transport Galleys

Troops:
— 200 Genoese Sergeants-At-Arms (Heavy infantry, assorted polearms, well-trained)
— 200 Pavise Crossbowmen (Heavy crossbowmen, crossbows and light close combat weaponry, well-trained)
— 1000 Genoese Sailors (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
SpoilerShow
Kingdom of Arroa

Government: Constitutional monarchy with strong religious hierarchy
Ruler: King Hellier of House Narran(de jure), Lord Bishops Myrn and Giar (de facto)
Capital: Tewen
Conflicts: Irrgen barbarian incursions, giantslaying, infighting amongst the Lord Bishoprics, Republic of Calore occupation of the Red Islands and Lantern Island
Irrgen Barbarians

Government: Barbarism
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: … barbarians?
The Commune

Government: Communalism
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: Sporadic pirate and brigand raids
Princely State of Mahar

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Mila II Tarsu
Capital: Kared
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Irrgen barbarian incursions
Princely State of Nampur

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Nurrar IV Khai
Capital: Neam
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Irrgen barbarian incursions
Princely State of Cainere

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Jein Huil
Capital: Neive
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Irrgen barbarian incursions, Hill Tribe barbarian incursions
Princely State of Seunan

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Sheam II Mueir
Capital: Lauhan
Conflicts: Princely Wars
Princely State of Gatira

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Usalar X Setar
Capital: Gatira
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Hill Tribe barbarian incursions
Duchy of Ures

Government: Noble republic
Ruler: Duke Gaena Lancar
Capital: Corsalu
Conflicts: Princely Wars, skirmishes with Ihmurren Empire
Hill Tribe Barbarians

Government: Barbarism
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: … barbarians?
Chieftaincy of Herest

Government: Tribal chiefdom
Ruler: High Chief Esher Jent
Capital: Mount Aebus
Conflicts: Hill Tribe barbarian incursions, skirmishes with Ihmurren Empire, Mahan River War, Daellen expansionism
Kingdom of Daellen

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: King Athad Illum
Capital: Suennen
Conflicts: Mahan River War, expansionism, tensions with Kingdom of Cherad, tensions with Ihmurren Empire, incursions by State of Daibas
State of Daibas

Government: Warlordism
Ruler: Daibas the Blackened
Capital: None
Conflicts: Incursions into neighbouring countries, warlord infighting, trade wagon raiding
Kingdom of Cherad

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: King Eowin NerWain(de jure), Queen Arissa (de facto, as regent)
Capital: Oethen
Conflicts: Succession crisis, Republic of Calore occupation of the Riverward Fort, slave escapees from Ihmurren Empire, trade wagon raiding
Fara Mak

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Matriarch Cail-re
Capital: The Oasis
Conflicts: Incursions by State of Daibas, Hill Tribe barbarian incursions, slave escapees from Ihmurren Empire, trade wagon raiding
Ihmurren Empire

Government: Imperial monarchy
Ruler: Emperor Ihm XII
Capital: Ebur
Conflicts: Slave escapees, tensions with Kingdom of Daellen, skirmishes with Chieftaincy of Herest, skirmishes with Duchy of Ures, trade wagon raiding, separatism in New Ihmurren
Kingdom of Remen

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: King Maichel (“the Bloody”)
Capital: Taure
Conflicts: Sporadic piracy, civil unrest, war with Republic of Calore
The Free Isles

Government: Chaotic (vassal of the Kingdom of Remen)
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: Terrorising everyone
Republic of Calore

Government: Property ownership-based republic
Ruler: First Captain Allard Wick
Capital: Calor City
Conflicts: War with Kingdom of Remen, overseas island occupations

Huojin
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 3218
Joined: 07:30:29 Thursday, 02 August, 2012

Re: News and Whispers

Post by Huojin » 04:29:23 Saturday, 25 July, 2015

MAP

Turn 2 - Autumn 1190

News

  • At the urging of much of the realm, the Lord Bishops wheel out King Hellier, and jointly announce with the King the raising of armies to drive back the Irrgen invaders in the west. The King ceremonially cuts his hands with his sword and spreads blood along the blades of others to be sent around the country to noble houses - an ancient and formal gesture to levy an army. Whether it’s an attempt to invoke the past and continuity of customs, or just a show of the Lord Bishop’s control is unclear.
  • With troops flowing in rapidly in answer to the King, they assemble in a large force numbering some 11,000 men to the west of the capital. From there they march west, towards Aerta, where they relieve the city when outriders clash with Irrgen forces and overrun their lines. With their baggage train and wagons containing their families and supplies vulnerable to Arroan retribution, they withdraw back towards the forests to lick their wounds.
  • As they approach the same forests, the Arroan advance slows to a halt. Typically the most thickly forested areas have been the borders of their territory, but poor maintenance of the forest edges has led it to creep closer, offering cover that the Arroan army ill-appreciates. At the urging of General Derwen Hardhelm, the army marches within nonetheless. Drawn several leagues within, they constantly come up against and sweep aside Irrgen rear guard elements, but each night they stop find themselves assaulted on all sides. The attacks only stop when after the fifth night of advancing, General Derwen orders the surrounding forest to be put to torch and palisade defences erected around their position. Hastily raised, the location is named Fort Heim.
  • The earliest trappers begin to leave for the cold north, eager to reap the benefits of starting early. Though most of the largest beasts will not emerge until deeper into the winter, the highly prized great white elks are normally far more common in the autumn.
  • A claimed giant spotting by a group of children and teenagers east of Tewen is widely discounted until a local priest breaks his neck falling into a footprint pressed deep in the mud while walking his normal route to more isolated villages.
  • Having expressed some interest in ongoings in the Princely States, the Christians residing in Portrye depart on their foreign ships, making southwest as reported by Calorean and Arroan watchers alike.
  • Tensions between the Lord of Portrye and the surrounding lords of Mainnmuth and Dunich come to a head during a skirmish between Portrye’s city militia and Lord Surrin of Mainnmuth’s guard as he came to examine the all-but-declared siege. Though the only victims are some bruised egos, the Lord Bishops of the surrounding territories decry the “violence and excess” of Lord Tork of Portrye and demand an end to his unorthodoxy, lest it descend into outright heresy.
  • Siege of the Red Islands

    Descending on the eastern island of Riel at night, the fortress responsible for overwatch of the river Mainn awakens to the sounds of warning bells, with a large fleet of warships surrounding the harbour to hem in the Calorean ships, and armoured men within the fortress itself! Pouring in through an opened gate, thousands of armoured men bearing emblems of crosses assault the fewer than 500 men of the garrison. Though they fight valiantly and make use of many chokepoints, the fortress falls before dawn. However the victory is not total, as unwilling to allow their capture the Caloreans mount an attempt to break the blockade of the harbour. With warships of their own, they attempt to break the battle line and succeed in ramming the attacking fleet, badly damaging three ships and marking some others. The blockading fleet quickly restores its control, but not before four ships have escaped eastwards.

    In the light of morning, unawares of ongoings at Riel, the larger fortress of Roth on the western island welcomes a small number of Calorean ships into the harbour. Upon docking, yet more troops pour from the ships and make an attempt against the rapidly closing gates. The gates slam shut just in time, though the attackers - revealed by the light of day to be the Christians - quickly overrun the shore and land the rest of their army. Making an attempt on the walls with ladders and grappling irons, the going on Roth is much slower than on Riel, and the casualties much more. However with time the Christians gain some span of the outer walls, and allow their increasingly tired army within. The fighting is brutal, and the Caloreans soon realise the futility of their struggle and withdraw within the refuge at the centre of the fortress to offer continued resistance. Fighting eventually dies down, and while keeping the position surrounded, Christian control spreads across the entire island.
  • With the islands captured (more or less), the Christians proceed to establish their control, rooting out resistance and taking over “heathen temples” for their own purposes, establishing churches.
  • The Calorean response to the attack comes quickly when ships escaping the Red Islands arrive at Lantern Island. With a response force being planned, the battleship Calor’s Triumph, whose recall even further east has now been postponed, is expected to play a central role.
  • Rumours spread that the daughter of Anda survived him spread in the months after his death, prompting renewed albeit smaller fighting, as well as an effort by two or three war chiefs in the area to hunt her down over fears she may become a focal point for retribution or may seek revenge herself. Many view the involvement of several war chiefs as evidence of a wider conspiracy being behind the death of Anda in the first place.
  • Prince Mila II of Mahar begins making moves to legitimise one of his favoured offspring by a concubine, visiting leading priests at temples to each of the Eight to seek advance and holy sanction. Few anticipate a refusal for the Prince, no matter his religious pliability over his lifetime.
  • Having resided in Sigala near six months now, the strange men of Christ dwelling there begin to settle in more permanently. Moving from the main port to a lesser mooring point where they tie up their ship more permanently, they also secure housing nearby. Spending their days much like others in the city, plenty of time is spent preaching from the bow of their ship. Accepting a few intrigued acolytes, their leader (or spiritual one, at any rate) Father Niphon gathers quite the little following.
  • After much waiting Prince Nurrar of Nampur launches his attack to recapture Ilavile. Utilising primarily his two mercenaries companies as outriders he wins the first two engagements approaching the city with relative ease. Approaching the city itself, his army of some 6,000 men settles in for a siege. However as autumn drags on and the city shows little signs of yielding, his besieging force comes under attack by a Cainere relief force. Sustaining heavy losses, his army breaks the siege and withdraws while closely pursued.
  • Meanwhile back in Neam, yet another Urescan mercenary company arrives, mustering some troops from the Nampur countryside as they march towards the fighting. Rumours and whispers suggest they are financed by a favourable loan from the Blos Banking House, but nothing concrete emerges.
  • Extensive work gets under way at the Ruins of Jirn as efforts to rebuild them are made in light of renewed Irrgen activity. Huge stone blocks are rolled on wood and otherwise dragged from quarries in the hills to the south. The Urescans delight in whispering that it would all be so much easier with a wagon-way, but no one pays them much mind so far west.
  • Prince Usalar X of Gatira exchanges gifts with the High Chieftain of the Herest, making and receiving a gift of some intricately designed and decorated musical instruments. As well as his gift though, the Prince sends a musician to serenade and entertain the tribal leaders.
  • Settling in slowly in the area in and around Espo, the host of golden flames and red crosses on white that reside there find themselves plenty to do in the city. Some warriors on horseback who call themselves “knights” endeavour to investigate social life in the upper strata of society, and many find themselves with invitations to autumnal balls and to attend court on occasion. Meanwhile the veritable army of troubadours and singers also newly residing in the city begin to gather quite a following, particularly amongst said upper social strata, for their unusual and never-before-heard songs.
  • Onlookers marvel as the entire fleet of ships bearing the banner of a red cross on white departs from the harbour of Espo on an unknown errand to the north. Some speculate and joke “now the foreigners fancy trying their luck against the Commune”, despite knowing it to be much later in the season than normal for such an attempt. They return some weeks later, looking bruised and battered, with one of their number listing badly.
  • As the first leaves of autumn begin to fall, Duke Gaena of Ures holds a special prayer marking the death of many parts of nature before their rebirth in the spring. An event usually observed by the most pious adherents of the Endless Mind, he somehow convinces the bickering families of Corsalu to all be in attendance.
  • After spending the summer season in Han, the Christians there begin making preparations to leave those shores, greatly assisted by the nobility of the city. Rumours spread that they are heading northwards for the Princely States, others that they have heard of others like them having landed there and seek to make war against them. Strength is lent to this rumour when they employ the Black Company, a small mercenary band originating in the area, as well as some 300 other mercenaries. Peculiarly, they also engage in the purchase of some slaves at market, including pit fighters bound for the Empire and even women and children.
  • With the heavily loaded Christian fleet departing, the more religiously strict in Han are more than glad to be rid of them. Some go so far as to hold special prayers to the Endless Mind to thank for their departure and purify the land, though for the most part it is a small group of fanatics.
  • Siege of Harvest Port

    Night falls quickly over Harvest Port as autumn’s chill rolls in. The dull clanging of bells on ships and barges at dock can be heard over and through the sounds of the sea crashing against the seaward defences. Watchlights illuminate the darkness with small circles of warmth, occasionally glinting off those same bells, and other metal fixtures. It was these watchlights which first saw the spear tips, the iron helms, and the naked steel of swords - not seaward but approaching from the land. Warning horns sounded out, and within seconds the fields outside the city walls were a sea of swaying light, illuminating the banners of the Knight’s of St John, the golden lion of Abingdon, a red ox on a green field, and the Crusader Cross - as well as the more than two and a half thousand men waiting without. Clearly the Christians had other intentions than an excursion north.

    The warning horn of the city is answered two-fold; with a hunting horn out of the pages of local history, and with a barrage of rocks from quickly assembled onagers. Ladders are rushed forwards, and a small battering ram as well, pushing armoured men and freed slaves into the breach. The garrison of Harvest Port responds quickly, and the first waves to reach the tops of the walls are met with ruthless spear points and boiling water, but after a bloody struggle the battering ram succeeds in smashing through a smaller gate. With the way open, some of the finest armoured knights in all of Christendom charge through the gate at full gallop.

    What follows after is a virtual rout, as resistance at the walls and gates disintegrates, and slaves within are set free to join the battle. As morning breaks over the city, smoke curls into the sky above it.
  • In Harvest Port, Earl James of Abingdon issues a declaration proclaiming “the end of the Empire on this soil”, as well as the end of slavery and the promise of liberation. He also orders the repair of damaged fortifications, the confiscation of Imperial government and slaveowner goods.
  • Notably absent from the victory at Harvest Port are the banners of the Knights Templar. While the city is being secured, the location of the Templars quickly becomes apparent by following a trail of burned manses and slave plantations deep in the New Ihmurren heartland. Deposited aboard English ships down the Mahan River, their scouts and small army have carved a swathe through the countryside, liberating slaves all the way and creating disturbances. This quickly draws the attention of Imperial authorities in Sato, the colonial capital, as well as slave-owning lords across the land. Moving to crush these forces and pave the way to recapture Harvest Port, an Imperial army confronts Templar forces as they come up against resistance offered by local lord and slaveowner, Bel Gallo.
  • Battle of Gallo’s Manse

    With scouting forces regrouping with the main force on its advance southwards, news quickly reaches the ears of Sir Roger de Verny of a great obstacle ahead. A small secondary residence utilised by an important local lord has become the focal point for a gathering of his forces - now reinforced with Imperial troops, the complete host numbering some two thousand men. With a force a little less than one thousand under his own command, a sizeable part made up of freed slaves, the outcome of this battle seems far less than certain.

    Forced into assault this substantial road block on their march southwards, Sir Roger’s mixed force of Templars, some English troops, and freedmen join battle with determination. In the centre, secured on his flanks by his own estate and a small lake, Bel Gallo’s forces hold up well, and in the west a weak Crusader flank leaves the army perilously exposed to a charge led by the Bel himself. However the crucial blows are two-fold - the Templar cavalry’s defeat of Imperial cavalry on the eastern flank, and a volley of arrows halting a charge by Bel Gallo, toppling him from horseback and sending his army into disarray. A close victory, the slaveowner’s forces largely melt away whilst largely in tact Imperial infantry withdraw to regain a favourable position.
  • The liberation of this span of the New Ihmurren countryside gives rise to a string of smaller slave revolts in areas nearby. Plenty are suppressed, but more than usual thrive - some with whispered words of new-found religiosity on their lips.
  • With every delegate sent by the Herest to the Hill Tribes refused, some less fingers and tongues, anger seems to be brewing amongst the Hill Tribes. Chieftain Fauns Mers, one of the most prominent and the most slighted, in his eyes at least, soon rallies some other lesser chieftains around him, vowing to raise an army and confront the settled chieftains “who think themselves better than us”. A supposed secondary aim appears to be winning back the old holy sites, as well as possibly Mount Aebus itself.
  • Matters are not helped in Herest when just ahead of the first harvests of the autumn a pestilence strikes, resulting in a mild famine and the smoke of thousands of fires curling into the skies in an attempt to contain the sickness. Suspicious eyes are cast towards the Faran, but none have said anything accusatory outright… yet.
  • Chancellor Autun Orum of Daellen, a notable political power and close advisor to the King himself, is overthrown and ousted in some of the most bewildering courtly intrigue yet seen. Quite how it occurred seems unclear, but his replacement is apparently a close colleague of his erstwhile rival, the King’s Steward Calis Udes. Sick of the intrigue of the capital, the Chancellor retires to his country estate to be bitter.
  • Surging out of his wasteland realm, the troops of Daibas the Blackened strike deep into Daellen territory, reaching the Lesser Mahan itself. Razing all the land before them and disposing of desecrated corpses and burned crops and buildings into the river to leave them to wash up in Riverwatch and all around the mouth of the Lesser Mahan, they are reported to have executed hundreds including the garrisons of some 16 small towns along the way. Some of the few survivors report having seen the Blackened One himself, his dark skin glistening like crackling yet at the same time, matte like charcoal.
  • Lord Lus Uthen of Ninas, responsible for attacking the forces of Daibas as the armies of Daellen did likewise, is reprimanded by the court for his actions. Primarily brought about by the faction gathered around the King’s bastard brother, it is suspected the true reason for the reaction is due to his support for the King’s daughter’s husband, Lord Larkin NerKeen of Aenra.
  • After a long-suffering sickness, the power of prayers and medicine reaches its end in sustaining the King of Cherad. After a lengthy night of suffering and crying out, Eowin NerWain finally gains the peace of death. His body is quickly taken by the Faith of the Universal Mind, who begin conducting rituals ahead of the burning off of the flesh and internment of the bones in the Hall of Kings.
  • Only a few days after the death of the King, Queen Arissa gives birth to a child - a baby boy named Eowin in his father’s memory. A few adherents of the Endless Mind say this is reincarnation of the clearest kind, but they remain a small minority in the court and barely paid attention to. The boy is not crowned, nor is anyone else, prompting questions of who will succeed the King. Few expect the Queen to hold the country together for much longer, at any rate.
  • In Calore City a meeting of the Committee of the Masts, one of the major political groupings involved in government, comes under attack when the Tower of the family of Bolwich is pelted with rocks and other detritus, injuring some guards and breaking glass windows. Some of the rocks are painted with crude anchors - indicating either that the Committee of the Anchors or their supporters are behind the disturbance, or that someone wishes them to be blamed.
  • The Anchors, of course, deny everything, citing that they are far too busy handling the massive influx of trading goods that flows in on the autumnal trade winds. Whispered suggestions say perhaps the Masts ought to consider the growing number of outsiders their expansionist exploring is bringing back to the islands.
  • This bickering back home paves the way for the appointment of a new Commander of the Broken Bow, though, one Arran Stret. A notable figure amongst the Committee of the Prows, it is thought they used infighting between the two largest blocs to get a more militarily-minded fellow pushed through - though quite how remains a mystery, given the blame the Prows have been receiving for every failure in the war with Remen.
  • A new mage is appointed to the Imperial Court in Ebur. He succeeds in amazing gathered crowds by conjuring huge torrents of fire. Unfortunately for him, they singe some decorative hanging silks. After commenting that his grandfather had claimed those silks in an infamous raid across the eastern seas, many expected that the Emperor would quickly be needing yet another new mage. But much to the surprise of all he merely burst out laughing and ordered the mage to “finish what he started” and complete the burning of the piece. As it burned, onlookers said red-gold stars fluttered from within its confines like dying fireflies.
  • Much less cheerful is the Emperor’s response to news freshly arrived from New Ihmurren - of an invasion and war. Sputtering and cursing as to who would dare attack his empire, Ihm XII quickly sequesters himself in his council rooms with generals and admirals and lords of Empire. All throughout the Empire, the wheels of war slowly begin to turn as levies are summoned.
  • Prince Sufan is awarded the title “Keeper of the Outer Chamber”, an honour usually reserved for the Crown Prince but now revoked by the Emperor in light of his first-born son’s disappearance. In spite of the newly bestowed honours and treatment, Prince Sufan has reportedly been chafing under new restrictions that have also bound him, and feels his new-found role ill-suits him.
  • Word finally emerges of the activities of some of the sons of Matriarch Cail-re. Her youngest son Terme has apparently been spotted roaming the wastes and assisting passers-by and lost folk, if the dune-crossing traders are to be believed. Rumours have emerged that Mir put to ship at Lakewatch and has been sailing down the Mahan. And Bana, it is claimed, is heading for Cherad. No one, however, has even attempted to claim knowledge of the whereabouts of Anage, the eldest son.
  • A new play opens in Taure by a renowned theatrical troupe, entitled The Guildman’s Dream. The tale of a Calorean guild member trading in goods, it at first appears to be a kind of morality play mocking Calorean sensibilities and sternness, as well as building propaganda for the war, but as its popularity reaches its height it becomes increasingly common to note that many of the allusions and comparisons made are not, in fact, to Calore’s convoluted government, but to the rule of King Maichel; of particular note is the scene wherein the titular “guildsman” discovers his wife’s infidelity with a serving boy, which align strangely well with rumours that surround the King’s own infamously beautiful and supposedly adulterous wife, Queen Sera.
  • After their victories in seizing an island in the Great Chain earlier in the year, the Remen Navy grows complacent. Taking advantage of their unreadiness the Caloreans launch a bold raid deep into their territory, striking at an island north of the city of Cinne. They inflict three small but crucial defeats on Remen patrol forces, sinking several ships, before being confronted by the fleet of Admiral Merrick Dund. While conducting retaliatory attacks on the island’s inhabitants, the Calorean Fleet comes under attack from the prow-rams of the Remen Navy, who sink the Calorean flagship and drive them away.
  • In the city of Cinne and on the island to its north, parades and celebrations are held for Admiral Dund, praising him as a great saviour of the north of the country. Though he does not attend, his fleet passes by the harbour slowly, much to the adoration of the crowds.
  • Things continue to go poorly for Calore, when Free Islesmen capture a fleet of cargo ships and make off with them. A single ship is returned, with the crews of some twenty ships crammed into the small vessel. Surprisingly every man, woman, and child is alive - but less surprisingly, each has had a limb or some part of their body “removed”, and in some cases where their captors thought it amusing, “exchanged” with those of their fellows.
  • A number of pilgrims and curious believers journey to meet the recluses in the Monastery of Reflection, as it has become known. Some leave the retreat convinced of its rightness, while others remain to join the brothers in prayer. The numbers of visitors ferried over by ships becomes so great that Lord Leon Bunim of Cinne announces a new token issued to boats wishing to travel there for which a tax must be paid, thereby driving up the prices of the ferry journey. Profits rise and numbers of pilgrims drop, so in some ways everyone wins.

—————
SpoilerShow
James of Abingdon (Smyg)

Titles: Earl of Abingdon
Status: In Harvest Port.

Ships:
— 9 English Cogs

Troops:
— 441 Mounted English Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 145 Mounted Squires (Light cavalry, spears and swords, some combat training)
— 250 English Longbowmen (Light ranged infantry, longbows, well-trained)
— 597 English Spearmen (Light infantry, spears, little combat training)
— 270 English Sailors (Rabble, assorted light weapons, no combat training)
— 112 Freedmen Spears (Light infantry, spears, little combat training)
— 33 Pit Fighters (Special infantry, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 89 Black Company Mercenaries (Light cavalry/infantry, assorted weapons, some combat training)
— 212 Urescan Mercenaries (Light infantry, assorted weapons, some combat training)
— 250 Freedmen Militia (Light infantry, assorted light weapons, little combat training)
Odo Longbeard (Langben)

Titles: Master of the Order of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem
Status: In Harvest Port.

Ships:
None, aboard English ships

Troops:
— 98 Hospitaller Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, elite)
— 91 Hospitaller Brothers (Heavy infantry, assorted heavy weapons, well-trained)
— 250 Brother Infirmarians (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
— 150 Brother Chaplains (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
— 146 Freedmen Spears (Light infantry, spears, little combat training)
— 77 Song of the Spear Mercenaries (Light infantry, spears and pikes, some combat training)
Roger de Verny (Gesar)

Titles: Master of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon
Status: In New Ihmurren.

Ships:
None, aboard English ships

Troops:
— 80 Templar Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, elite)
— 220 Templar Brothers (Heavy infantry, assorted heavy weapons, well-trained)
— 76 Brother Priests (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
— 30 English Longbowmen (loaned) (Light ranged infantry, longbows, well-trained)
— 60 English Spearmen (loaned) (Light infantry, spears, little combat training)
— 30 Freedmen Spears (Light infantry, spears, little combat training)
— 44 Freedmen Javelin-throwers (Light infantry, javelins, little combat training)
— 300 Freed Ihmurren Slaves (Light infantry, assorted light weapons, no combat training)
Rudolf von Selenhofen (Coin)

Titles: Count of Selenhofen
Status: On Red Islands (Roth Island, west).

Ships:
None, aboard Byzantine ships

Troops:
— 590 Germanic Knights (Heavy infantry with horses, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 250 Germanic Squires (Light cavalry, spears and swords, some combat training)
— 179 German Archers (Light ranged infantry, bows, some combat training)
— 232 German Spearmen (Light infantry, spears, some combat training)
— 403 Arroan Warrior Caste (Heavy infantry, swords and spears, well-trained)
Álmos of Nitra (BgKnight)

Titles: Gyula of Nitra
Status: On Red Islands (Roth Island, west).

Ships:
None, aboard Byzantine ships

Troops:
— 189 Mounted Hungarian Knights (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 222 Hungarian Light Cavalry (Light cavalry, assorted light weapons and bows, well-trained)
— 275 Hungarian Skirmishers (Light infantry, assorted light weapons and bows, some combat training)
Alexios Doukatos (RinKou)

Titles: Commander of the Byzantine Crusading Fleet, noble lord of the House of Doukatos
Status: On Red Islands (Roth Island, west).

Ships:
— 6 Dromon Galleys
— 5 Chelandion Ousiakon Warship-transports
— 2 Skeuophora Supply Ships

Troops:
— 200 Byzantine Mounted Archers (Light ranged cavalry, recurved bows, well-trained)
— 90 Peltastes (Light infantry, spears, some combat training)
— 100 Byzantine Marines (Light infantry, swords and spears, well-trained)
— 900 Byzantine Sailors (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Gui de Pons (Serenissima)

Titles: Count of Pons
Status: In Espo.

Ships:
— 4 French Cogs
(Partially in Genoese fleet)

Troops:
— 330 Mounted Chevaliers (Heavy cavalry, assorted weapons, well-trained)
— 400 Mounted Squires (Light cavalry, spears and swords, some combat training)
— 500 French Archers (Light ranged infantry, bows, well-trained)
— 500 French Spearmen (Light infantry, spears, little combat training)
— 100 French Sailors (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
— 50 Camp Followers (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
Agostino Canella (Snacks)

Titles: Head of the House of Canella, Captain of the Bella Morte
Status: In Espo.

Ships:
— The Bella Morte (Genoese war galley)
— 2 Genoese War Galleys
— 3 Genoese Merchant Galleys
— 5 Transport Galleys

Troops:
— 200 Genoese Sergeants-At-Arms (Heavy infantry, assorted polearms, well-trained)
— 200 Pavise Crossbowmen (Heavy crossbowmen, crossbows and light close combat weaponry, well-trained)
— 1000 Genoese Sailors (Rabble, unarmed, no combat training)
SpoilerShow
Kingdom of Arroa

Government: Constitutional monarchy with strong religious hierarchy
Ruler: King Hellier of House Narran(de jure), Lord Bishops Myrn and Giar (de facto)
Capital: Tewen
Conflicts: Irrgen barbarian incursions, giantslaying, infighting amongst the Lord Bishoprics, Republic of Calore occupation of the Red Islands and Lantern Island
Irrgen Barbarians

Government: Barbarism
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: … barbarians?
The Commune

Government: Communalism
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: Sporadic pirate and brigand raids
Princely State of Mahar

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Mila II Tarsu
Capital: Kared
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Irrgen barbarian incursions
Princely State of Nampur

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Nurrar IV Khai
Capital: Neam
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Irrgen barbarian incursions
Princely State of Cainere

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Jein Huil
Capital: Neive
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Irrgen barbarian incursions, Hill Tribe barbarian incursions
Princely State of Seunan

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Sheam II Mueir
Capital: Lauhan
Conflicts: Princely Wars
Princely State of Gatira

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Prince Usalar X Setar
Capital: Gatira
Conflicts: Princely Wars, Hill Tribe barbarian incursions
Duchy of Ures

Government: Noble republic
Ruler: Duke Gaena Lancar
Capital: Corsalu
Conflicts: Princely Wars, skirmishes with Ihmurren Empire
Hill Tribe Barbarians

Government: Barbarism
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: … barbarians?
Chieftaincy of Herest

Government: Tribal chiefdom
Ruler: High Chief Esher Jent
Capital: Mount Aebus
Conflicts: Hill Tribe barbarian incursions, skirmishes with Ihmurren Empire, Mahan River War, Daellen expansionism
Kingdom of Daellen

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: King Athad Illum
Capital: Suennen
Conflicts: Mahan River War, expansionism, tensions with Kingdom of Cherad, tensions with Ihmurren Empire, incursions by State of Daibas
State of Daibas

Government: Warlordism
Ruler: Daibas the Blackened
Capital: None
Conflicts: Incursions into neighbouring countries, warlord infighting, trade wagon raiding
Kingdom of Cherad

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: No King (de jure), Queen Arissa (de facto, as regent)
Capital: Oethen
Conflicts: Succession crisis, Republic of Calore occupation of the Riverward Fort, slave escapees from Ihmurren Empire, trade wagon raiding
Fara Mak

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: Matriarch Cail-re
Capital: The Oasis
Conflicts: Incursions by State of Daibas, Hill Tribe barbarian incursions, slave escapees from Ihmurren Empire, trade wagon raiding
Ihmurren Empire

Government: Imperial monarchy
Ruler: Emperor Ihm XII
Capital: Ebur
Conflicts: Slave escapees, tensions with Kingdom of Daellen, skirmishes with Chieftaincy of Herest, skirmishes with Duchy of Ures, trade wagon raiding, separatism in New Ihmurren, Crusader Invasion of New Ihmurren
Kingdom of Remen

Government: Feudal monarchy
Ruler: King Maichel (“the Bloody”)
Capital: Taure
Conflicts: Sporadic piracy, civil unrest, war with Republic of Calore
The Free Isles

Government: Chaotic (vassal of the Kingdom of Remen)
Ruler: None
Capital: None
Conflicts: Terrorising everyone
Republic of Calore

Government: Property ownership-based republic
Ruler: First Captain Allard Wick
Capital: Calor City
Conflicts: War with Kingdom of Remen, overseas island occupations, Crusader Invasion of the Red Islands

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