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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

ThunderHawk3

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"Five hundred years have passed since Namid, the Greatest, Master of All Things, laid down the Eternal Law on humanity - but despite the wisdom of our Creator, the blood corruption of men has brought the world to the brink of chaos. In Dalmira, at the heart of the Kingdoms, the assassination of the Black King Conrad after his murder of no less than eight Dukes has shaken the Eternal Law to its very foundation. Though the prompt ascension of Conrad's little known cousin to the throne has adverted civil war, no one can say for how long. In the east, the Marcher's War has ended in a humiliating defeat for Meddeland, not just affording the upstart Ardans independence, but also ending the three hundred year reign of the Brier monarchs. Ardans itself, newly independent, is beset on two sides - by the smarting Meddish to the east, who have already vowed revenge and reconquest on the rebel territory, and the warmongering Dalmirans to the west. Meanwhile, the northern outposts of Hendal have reported something never seen before - heathens in the Wastes, a strange ferocious-looking people from a distant land, nomads and riders of horses - who call themselves the Tavan Morin."

All For the Empire​


Welcome to All For the Empire, a highly experimental forum game that takes place in a low fantasy world entirely of my own devising. All for the Empire is low fantasy - which basically means that there are fantastical and magical elements, but they are not everyday occurances. There are five nations in All for the Empire: Hendal, Dalmira, Ardans, Meddeland, and the Tavan Morin. All have unique strengths and weaknesses. I have written a short guide to each nation (below) and an extremely detailed summary (further below). The game starts in the year 500.

It is never too late to join. Nations and factions will always need more players in this game.

IRC: Go to http://www.coldfront.net/tiramisu/ and use "/join #AftE_Main" (no quotes) to join us on IRC.

Basically the way All for the Empire works is that all five nations have an autocratic leader played by a player-character. However, he cannot govern his nation alone (or if tries, he will probably fail). Other player characters will join their courts, and can and should be appointed to subordinate roles that will allow them to submit orders.

Here's basically how orders work in All for the Empire:
1) You submit orders for YOURSELF, not for your nation. Orders represent what your character personally is working on.
2) Your character can only be in one place at once.
3) You can submit as many or as few orders as you like in one turn, but the more you submit, the more divided your attention is, and the less likely every order is to succeed. So if you try to do twenty things in one turn, they'll probably all fail.
4) Unless otherwise stated, NPCs in All for the Empire possess the bare minimum of competence necessary to keep things running and maintain the status quo, if that.
5) Therefore, if you want to execute lots of orders, or initiate a project in a far-flung corner of your nation, or whatever, you need to empower another player-character such that he can submit his own orders.
6) And if you want something done right, send a player-character.

More on Orders:

Example: Armies in All for the Empire basically can't do anything without a general except garrison or camp. If you want to deploy an army as a national leader, you need to either send a player-character to lead the army or lead it yourself. If you choose to lead it yourself, you probably better appoint a steward or a regent or something in your place to make national policy - you won't be able to out in the field.

Example2: Suppose you want to submit a lot of orders - you have lots of policies after all. You may need to appoint a council or a cabinet, a marshal, a treasurer, and a chancellor and whatnot, to oversee policy areas.

This means that players who have joined your court are valuable resources and are necessary to making sure your nation functions. In some nations - like Dalmira - if you don't appoint player-characters, your nation will dissolve or explode into civil war; in others, like Ardans, PCs are necessary to run the country.

Note that players don't have to join a court. They can become random wandering hobos, er independent adventurers. I wouldn't expect much though. They can also fill special character roles (like the Namidist Superius) that I have open. I may restrict/rebalance the courts if too many players end up in one single court.

All for the Empire is turn-based. Every turn represents 1 season (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter). I will issue major updates each season, with mini-updates as necessary. Battles will probably be mini-updates, for example (I will probably track down people for mini-orders before mini-updates if something of significance happens). I have also compiled massive tables of random events, which will be rolled every turn.

In real time, updates will be irregular. I'll set order deadlines. My Interactive AAR, Power to the People, has priority. I'll generally make them 3-5 days apart or something though. Look in the thread for more instructions on this subject.

A note on orders: I understand that you've gotten accustomed to sending orders by PM. I'm going to say that you shouldn't send me orders by PM unless you're doing something that's actually secret. Matters of simple national policy, construction, recruitment, etc. don't qualify. Military orders can be secret, as are covert espionage actions (ordering an assassination, for instance). If you PM me an order that isn't secret, you'll probably get a penalty.

You can order pretty much anything you can dream up. I'll resolve them through a combination of judgment and dicerolls.

Character Creation:

The game doesn't have any preset characters in it, unless someone drops out and I need someone to play their character. However, you're not entirely free to make up your character either. I want to establish traits for every character.

You can opt out of the trait system, but if you choose to do this I will basically completely ignore your biography for the purpose of rolls and orders and anything you claim to be (Duke, Superius, title claimant, dragon in human form, whatever), will be nonsense for the purposes of the game.

I use a trait system, where every character has at least two traits: a background and a personality. I have constructed a massive list of both backgrounds and personalities (more than 300 all told), which are ranked --- (disastrous),--,-,0,+,++, or +++ (awesome). The exact contents of both lists are secret.

To get traits, come track me down (via IRC or PM or even just ask in thread). I will then roll a trait pool for your character, which will probably five possible backgrounds and five possible personalities. You get one mulligan (ie: you can ask for a new pool once). I will also assign you a maximum grade, probably ranging from 0 to +6 (++++++), but possibly lower. This determines how good your character is. The sum of the +++s and ---s of your traits has to be equal to or less than your maximum grade.

After you've chosen your traits, I'll note them down on a spreadsheet. Unless they're something that's obviously public knowledge, I'll keep them secret, which means no one else knows what your traits are unless you choose to reveal them. You're also free to lie about them. However, your true traits may become known over time...

Some characters will have automatic traits. Kings, for example, will almost certainly automatically get the Royal Blood (+++) background.

I basically composed this system to prevent godmoding (stop people from declaring themselves title claimants and whatnot) and give people interesting traits. It was not really intended to limit RPing, so I'm pretty flexible about it. If you have a character you really want to play but the trait system won't allow it, come find me and we'll talk about it. We can probably work something out, assuming you don't want to play some kind of epic God-King.

After you get your traits you can make up whatever character you like. If you get killed or die, the performance of your last character may affect the max grade of your new character.

Example:

Character Name: John "Example" Doe
Born: 476 ((the game starts in the year 500))

Background: John "Example" Doe was born in Example City in the proud Kingdom of Examplia. He has a long and proud history of serving as an example, like his father before him, and was first called into service as an example by the King at the age of 16.

Remember, you don't have to share your traits if you don't want to. They're secret. You can also lie about them.

All for the Empire has five nations, summarized below.

National Unique Characteristic Summaries:

Hendal - Absolute Monarchy - medium population, small excess

Sound Toll: The Hendal capital, Burnhem, sits on the critical Stenian Straits, controlling the entrance into the Kitrine Sea. The lucrative trade along the straits gives Hendal a unique source of income - it charges a toll on all the traffic, the proceeds of which are tremendous. Of course, this is somewhat offset by the necessity of having a navy to protect the trade.

River Watch: An ancient quasi-knightly order in Hendal, called the River Watch, protects the sealane and guards against criminal extortion of the traffic - the power to levy on toll on this traffic is rightly the King's alone, of course. The River Watch is a large military force which has its own revenue sources - it's essentially free.

Trading Center: Goods of all kinds, including extremely exotic wares, are available on the markets of Hendal. This presents some very interesting and unique opportunities, while the merchant marine mounts daring expeditions to distant lands...

Dalmira - Feudal Monarchy - huge population, tiny excess

Eternal Law: Dalmira has always been governed strictly according to the Eternal Law, the holy law code that Namid laid down on mankind. The concord between state and church means the peasants understand that everything is as The Creator of All Things intends them to be. So long as the Eternal Law is not broken (or as long as the church says it is not broken), the peasantry is very unlikely to revolt. No such guarantee can be made for nobles, however...

Feudalism: The Eternal Law mandates feudalism as the system of governance for the faithful, and no nation is more faithful than Dalmira. Dalmira uses vassal territories, Margraves and Dukes, instead of governors and generals. These vassals are highly autonomous, with their own armies, finances, and - on occasion - foreign policy. The King generally must rely on troop contributions from his vassals to go to war. On the plus side, most people are serfs, and serfdom has various benefits.

Religious Center: Dalmira is the home of the Namidist High Priesthood, the Superiacy, and is the spiritual home of Namidism. This gives Dalmira vast influence over the church... and the church vast influence over Dalmira.


Meddeland - Limited Monarchy - medium population, medium excess

Great Council: The King's power to levy taxes in Meddeland is limited - most taxes, like property and city taxes, can only be levied by the Great Council. When the King wants to embark on an expensive campaign, he can request funds from the Council, who have tremendous power to provide it to him... but they may attach strings, conditions which are binding on the King if he accepts the money.

Council Code: In the not-so-distant past, the Brier Monarchs accepted the Council Code, a code of laws that cannot be breached, even by the King. In addition to abolishing serfdom, they guarantee certain "rights" to all people - or respectable people, at least - including the right to trial. That means the King can't dispense justice as he pleases, executing and imprisoning people willy-nilly, nor can he demand labor and property from free men without compensation.

Banking Center: Hendal might have had a powerful banking sector if it weren't for their Kings' unfortunate tendency to raid banks for gold when they run short of cash. Instead, the banking sector is based in Meddeland, where the Council Code gives some more concrete guarantees on the subject of private property. It gives the King the latitude to borrow money when he's not on good terms with the Great Council, and also means that every other foolhardy monarch running a deficit has to look for Meddeland for funds.


Ardans - Oligarchy - small population, medium excess

Nationalism: The Ardans engineered their own Liberation after eighty years of occupation, defeating the Meddish army decisively and throwing off the yoke of those who would claim to be their "King." The Ardan people are proud and strongly believe in their own state. This has a variety of benefits - people are more likely to work hard and shed blood for their sacred soil, but be wary. Nationalism can be a double-edged sword.

Oligarchy: Ardans has no sovereign - "Death to Kings" was a rallying cry of the Liberation. Instead, the nation is governed by a council of five oligarchs, headed by a "Marcher." A new Marcher is elected by the oligarchs when the old one dies. Though this is realistically little more than a military dictatorship, it is a deeply engrained part of the Ardans culture.

So Far From God: The primary religion of Ardans is Old Statism, a heresy of Namidism that diverged from the mother church hundreds of years ago. It rejects the incorporation of feudalism into the Eternal Law. However, during the occupation, Old Statism became decentralized (and somewhat disorganized); if the Superiacy is to be believed, Ardans is breeding ground for new and even more egregious heresy. It certainly is true that the secretive Cult of the Skyseeker is much more active in Ardans. Though hated and feared by the public, perhaps they could even help an ambitious Ardan on his road to power...


Tavan Morin - Tribal Despotism - enough people, excess not applicable

Nomads: The Tavan Morin migrate freely and have an entirely nomadic culture, living off the land and whatever they find along the way. Concepts like "cities," "administration," "economy," and even "government" have little meaning to them. They do not have a budget or territory to constrain them, and that makes them dangerous.

Horse Masters: The Tavan Morin spend their whole lives in the saddle. Horses are not just their mainstay; horses are part of the Tavan Morin religion and are practically their currency. Their leader, the Dagch Morin, is literally the "horse master." Everyone owns a horse and is an expert rider - which could prove an unexpected challenge for the Namidist Kings, who have not been fielding much cavalry of late...

Strangers in a Strange Land: Fleeing their enemies, the Tavan Morin have migrated thousands of miles from parts of unknown. Their language, culture, and religion are all deeply strange to the Namidist princes and kings. Concepts, social mores, and conventions that have kept the order for centuries do not apply to them.
 
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ThunderHawk3

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((This is general information, the table of contents, tidbits, tips, etc., updated as they occur to me.))

Thread Essential Links:
[post=18840710]Player List[/post]
[post=18840203]Starting Maps[/post]
[post=18856858]Starting Configurations of Minors[/post]
[post=18858926]The Big List of Everyone's Orders[/post]

Table of Contents: ((major updates shown in bold, mini updates not bolded))
Reorganization of Dalmira
500 - Spring
The Sacking of North Hendal
Dalmiran Law
Ambush in North Hendal
500 - Summer
Die Wacht Am Bar
Meddish Front, Fall Campaign
500 - Fall
500 - Winter
501 - Spring

Sevala
501 - Summer
Ambush Warfare
501 - Fall
501 - Winter
502 - Spring


Highly General Purpose Information:
The name of the continent is Makria.

Most of the nations worship Namid. This religion is called Namidism. It follows a religious code of laws called the Eternal Law.

Makria has four nations, Hendal, Dalmira, Ardans, and Meddeland. A fifth faction, the Tavan Morin, has appeared recently.

The unit of currency of Makria is the ducat, which is a large coin made of gold. A ducat is 100 argens (pieces of silver) or 10,000 centimes (pieces of copper). An average annual income for an unskilled laborer would be something like 3-4 argens or less.

Namidism and other Religion:
Namidism is the principle religion of the Makrian continent. The story of Namidism starts around the year zero, when dozens of pagan priests near modern-day Victorsburg began having dreams that instructed them to build a vast church. They built this church (the High Church). Namidism holds that Namid then spoke to them, dictating a code of laws - the Eternal Law - down to them.

Namidism is an organized, monotheistic religion. It worships Namid as the Creator, the Greatest, and Master of All Things. The Namidist High Priesthood is called the Superiacy. The Superius is the head of the Namidist church. He is said to speak to Namid and is the only individual allowed to change the Eternal Law.

In Namidism, humanity is held to have started from one dragon. Humanity started with one dragon, Caex, who broke the Eternal Law by turning his back on Namid and refusing to acknowledge his creator. Namid slew Caex and made all of the creatures of the world, including humanity, from the dragon's blood. However, all creation inherited Caex's corruption and knew nothing of Namid. Thus all of humanity is one family, of the same blood. Namid, who is almighty and eternal as the eternal law, created the world and humanity to live and flourish upon it. But then humanity became more corrupt still, committing misdeeds, and Namid laid down the Eternal Law on man to bring an end to corruption and purify the human bloodline.

A central tenant of Namidism and the Namidist worldview is corruption of the blood. Namidism holds that by committing acts against the Eternal Law, an individual corrupts his own blood and that of his whole family, thereby passing his misdeeds onto his relatives and children. Since Namidism also holds that everyone is related, this means that everyone's blood is corrupted - to some extent - by the actions of a single individual. The more closely related people are, the more their blood corruption is interrelated. Namid punishes people with corrupt blood in this life, so in Namidism if something bad happens to you, it may not necessarily be for something that you have done - it could be for the misdeeds of your brother or your parents or another relative. Similarly, if you do something against the Eternal Law, it corrupts everyone and brings Namid's wrath down upon them.

The Eternal Law states that if the collective blood of humanity becomes too corrupt, Namid will unleash his boundless wrath on humanity and destroy the world. However, if humanity's blood is totally cleansed, Namid will usher forth paradise on earth, with all those of clean blood being reborn into the new world and living in perfect happiness.

Conveniently, the church holds that you can protect yourself from blood corruption due to the misdeeds of relatives by telling a priest about those misdeeds. The church also allows you to pay for a cleansing ceremony, whereby they purify your blood. Lastly, the overall blood of humanity is purified by the execution of people of corrupt blood.

In the 2nd century, the Superiacy incorporated feudalism into the Eternal Law, declaring that nobles were of pure bloodlines and thusly could rule by divine right, as having rulers from corrupt bloodlines would bring misfortune down on the country. Ardans rejected this idea.

Here's a list of known principles of the Eternal Law:
-Feudalism. Feudalism was incorporated into the Eternal Law in the 2nd century and the feudal system is formally part of the Eternal Law.
-The church monopoly on alcohol. It is against the Eternal Law to drink alcohol that has not been blessed by a Priest before sundown. (Some Namidist priests claim that it is against the Eternal Law to drink alcohol that has not been blessed by a priest at any time.) This practically means that there is a church monopoly on alcohol sales, where alcohol is often sold by the local church directly.
-Church attendance. Adherents have to attend church once a week (with a long list of exceptions).

Namidism has one major heresy: Old Statism. Old Statism is the majority religion in Ardans and rejects the incorporation of the feudalism into the eternal law. Old Statists therefore do not believe that Kings have a divine right to rule and reject nobility in all its forms.

Namidist scriptures are written in an ancient dialect of Dalmiran that is generally known only to the clergy.

The Tavan Morin have their own disorganized religion which worships Ikhem, who created the world and horses.

Timeline:
Years in Makria are measured in Eternal Years (EY), years since the start of the Eternal Law. Before this, years are measured in Before Law (BL).

Circa 200 BL - Gregor István unifies Ardans.
0 EY - The High Church is built near modern Victorsburg, and Namidism is born
0-100 EY - The first wave of Namidist missionaries convert Dalmira and Ardans.
52 EY - Victor the Great establishes the Kingdom of Dalmira
150-180 EY - Second wave of Namidist missionaries convert Hendal and Meddeland.
159 EY - The Namidist Superiacy removes itself to Hendal
177 EY - The Superiacy incorporates feudalism into the Eternal Law. Ardans refusal to accept this change creates a schism with the church and gives birth to the Old Statism heresy.
180 EY - Burnhem renames itself Hendal to signify rebirth as a Namidist nation
186 EY - The Superiacy returns to the High Church near Victorsburg
190 EY - Meddeland, finding feudalism cumbersome, begins to centralize. The Superiacy, wary of another schism, does not move aggressively to stop them.
250-300 EY - Meddeland and Hendal centralize.
218 EY - Gold is discovered near Dalmiran Erdheim. Subsequent coinage establishes the Ducat as the unit of currency in Makria.
226 EY - The Church monopoly on alcohol is established.
279 EY - Hendal abolishes feudalism and concentrates all power in the crown, leading to a brief civil war.
304 EY - The informal "Merry Alliance" between Hendal and Meddeland against Dalmira is formed.
323 EY - The structure and powers of the Meddish Great Council are formalized.
355 EY - The Henric Law is instituted in Hendal, establishing absolute cognatic succession.
390 EY - Meddeland begins the invasion of Ardans at the insistence of the Namidist Superiacy.
403 EY - Meddeland abolishes serfdom at the behest of the Great Council in exchange for continuing to fund the King's wars.
418 EY - Meddeland begins the practice of keeping identities of the Royal Family secret.
422 EY - Cirtirus, the last and most remote of Ardans' Great Cities, falls to the Meddish.
422 EY - The King of Meddeland crowns himself King of Ardans.
443 EY - The West Marches War begins between Dalmira and Hendal
460 EY - The West Marches Treaty is signed, formally ending the West Marches War and codifying the Dalmiran-Hendal border at the Treaty Line.
461 EY - The Dalmiran Margravates of Weldheim and Arevmarch are promoted to duchies.
490 EY - Victor X of Dalmira dies, leaving Conrad the Black on the Dalmiran throne.
494 EY - The Ardans Independence War (called the Liberation by the Ardans) begins, with Ardans militias seizing the ancestral national capital of Moraille.
498 EY - Dalmiran King Conrad the Black is rebuffed by his Dukes when he seeks support for war with his neighbors.
499 EY, Summer - Meddeland is decisively defeated by Ardans at the battle of Bar River. At approximately the same time, the last Brier King, Maximilian II, dies of apparently natural causes.
499 EY, Fall - Meddeland crowns a new King. The Great Council refuses to fund additional fighting in Ardans.
499 EY, Early Winter - Conrad the Black murders eight Dukes, and is assassinated shortly thereafter

Taxes and Revenue:
Every nation has different taxes and revenues. Here's some basic information about some of them.

You can order whatever tax you come up with, but these are examples of taxes and explanation of those that already exist. It is not necessarily a complete list. It's long but not exhaustive.

Tithe: Nations that have serfs generally charge a tithe, a traditional payment in kind to the government (or in a feudal monarchy, the local noble). As serfs don't necessarily have much to tithe, this is not a lot of money. Though serfs can be required to tithe at any time - and do year round to support the royal estate - tithes only generate revenue after the harvest, which is in fall. This means you generally won't have tithe money in your treasury until winter. However, serfs can also be required to pay their dues in labor, which can be used to build and maintain castles and fortifications. The tithe is basically the only kind of tax that can be paid by serfs because serfs don't really have any hard money. The tithe can be severely compromised if the harvest is bad.

Rent: Rent is a tax in coin paid by tenant farmers (farmers who are not serfs). It is a fixed amount and charged year round.

City Tax: A variety of taxes can be levied on the denizens of cities. City taxes are generally much more lucrative than farm taxes, like rent or tithe. It is principally paid by burghers.

Socage/Aid: A socage or aid is a wartax that the government orders the nobility to pay in wartime. It can either be to excuse lack of military service or in lieu of military service, depending on how it is worded. Traditionally it was paid by nobles who didn't want to fight - but nobles who DO want to fight are unhappy if they're asked to pay this tax instead of fighting. Obviously, this requires nobles in the country to pay the tax.

Ransom: A ransom is money paid to release prisoners. Requires prisoners to release. For some reason, kidnapping subjects and then demanding their families pay ransom as a standard source of revenue is frowned upon.

Loot/Plunder: Money stolen from the enemy in the course of a raid or looting of a city. This is generally not a very reliable source of revenue, particularly because soldiers have a funny practice of keeping loot for themselves, on the theory that they were ones who won the battle so they should get the plunder.

Property Tax: Administratively sophisticated nations can charge a tax on property. This is usually a one-off tax that generates a lot of money (often in preparation for a war or some other great project, or to ransom a King) but this tends people very mad. Obviously, it only generates meaningful sums if you have people who own property.

Tax per Head: This is a tax where the government orders every person to pay a certain amount of coin. This tends to make the poor unhappy for some reason. (Hint: it's because they have less money.)

Sound Toll: This is a tax paid on shipping across a waterway controlled by a government. ((named for the historical tax levied on the Sound.)) Sound Tolls were historically very lucrative but suffered if shipping could circumvent the waterway or (in the case of rivers) if bandits moved up-river and began charging their own taxes.

Road/Bridge Tolls: Tolls demanded to cross a road or bridge. Generally generates little revenue, discourages trade, and doesn't work if traffic can find a way around.

Landing/Port Fees: A tax on ships (usually taken to mean fishermen), when they reach port. Doesn't work if the ships can land elsewhere.

Monopolies: In some countries, all of a certain good produced formally belongs to the crown (or the government if there is no crown).

Tribute/Diplomatic Revenue: Sometimes you'll strike a deal to pay or be paid by a foreign power. It can be at the point of a sword. The Church sometimes donates money for pious causes.

Treasure/Exploration: Occasionally treasure fleets come back with something good. This is basically loot/plunder, and has the same problems, further coupled with uncertainty, since the expedition might not find anything.

Sales: Literally selling stuff. Generates money.

Donations: Sometimes people will give you money out of the kindness of their hearts. Don't expect much on this though, unless something really incredible happens.

Inheritance: Have any rich relatives? They are surprisingly mortal.

This list is not complete. Any way you can think of you can use to generate revenue... or you can try, at least. In most nations, something - be it popular anger, legal restrictions, or nobles, will stop you from generating unlimited revenue to fund your expeditions.

The Military:
This section is on the military - not so much tactics and whatnot as what kinds of soldiers there are.

Levies: Feudal levies are the most traditional source of troops imaginable. In a feudal system, the King (or other lord) can order the peasants under his jurisdiction to provide him with military service. This has many advantages, notably that it is practically free (unless you want to arm them) and can produce large numbers of soldiers. It also has significant disadvantages, notably that peasant levies are terrible soldiers and may have to be "excused" from the army at the harvest and at other times of year, or otherwise risk decreasing the nation's food production. Traditionally a feudal levy demands one person per family for military service - this may in practice be one in ten working serfs or less.

Nobles: In feudal nations, nobles are required to provide military service when the King (or some other liege) calls. Though this often amounts to sending the King troops, many - baronets, knights, and so on - will arrive on the battlefield themselves, often with companions and retinues in tow. Nobles are considerably better soldiers than levies and often are on horseback, providing a source of heavy cavalry. Depending on their rank, their appearance may also be a morale-booster. On the down side, there can be consequences if they die.

Soldiers: Soldiers are professional soldiers in the service of the nation or some other employer (many rich people keep household guards). Soldiers are extremely expensive because they continuously draw a salary. Exactly how much varies by army. Their wages can be cut or raised at the leisure of the government, with corresponding implications for the soldiery. It also costs money to recruit soldiers and provide them with arms; their weapons and armor then require upkeep. It takes time to train soldiers and develop good military traditions. Soldiers are motivated by more than money of course, which distinguishes them from mercenaries.

Mercenaries: Mercenaries are professional soldiers motivated by coin. They are even more expensive than regular soldiers. The good news is that they tend to be very good at fighting and appear pretty quickly if they are offered good coin; there's no time necessary to train or equip them. The downside is that if you don't pay them they may get uppity, and if they think the battle is hopeless they'll probably slink off somewhere.

Militias: Militias is a catch-all term for units that are not professional soldiers, usually formed from locals. Their quality varies greatly; often what they lack in training they make up for in patriotism. Militias may pop up when the nation is being invaded, or for other reasons. The good news is that you often don't have to pay them (though it may help if you do). The bad news is that they often don't answer to the government and may sow lawlessness or even rebellion if you do something they disagree with. Militias will really only appear from a population excess.

The Navy: If you have a navy, you have to pay for that too, in much the same way as if you had an army. It depends on the ships, not just the sailors.

Merchant Marine: Many nations have a system that allows them to press civilian ships into service in time of war. This is contingent on having civilian ships of course.

Notes on Expenses:
Expenses are mostly self-explanatory. Your special inventory costs upkeep; your system of government, like whether or not you have serfdom, affects how much many things cost. Military expenses are usually dominant, mainly because the government doesn't do much else (other than basic administration, if that).

Corruption can affect your balance sheet without you being expressly aware of it.

Hints, Tricks, and Tooltips:
If you go through a lot of rulers in short order, it may impact the stability of your nation.

Hint: If you anger them enough your population may actually rebel on their own without player intervention (and indeed probably will do so at least once or twice over the course of the game), but the people are much more likely to cause other problems for you, like starving to death, succumbing to diseases, failing to breed quickly enough, or selfishly and inexplicably refusing to die in sufficient numbers to secure your victory over your enemies.

Your total population and your population excess are both very important. Your population excess provides you with revenue, soldiers, bureaucrats, workers, and more, while your non-excess provides you with food. Strangely, medieval irrigation techniques aren't very good so the excess may not be very large as compared to the total population.

Serfs are considerably less likely to rebel than the rest of the population because they are feudal farmers. Even they can be pushed too far, however.

The crossbow and the trebuchet are basically the pinnacle of human military achievement. There is no gunpowder.

Usually, just trying to assassinate someone on your own won't work. You need a conspiracy.

If you're a national ruler you can usually order courtiers and officials imprisoned or executed arbitrarily.

The Cult of the Skyseeker may be able to help you on your path to power in unexpected ways. Just make sure no one knows you're a skyseeker.

Just because you killed the King doesn't mean you get to be King. Succession will occur. This may or may not change which player is King.

The church has a functional monopoly on alcohol because alcohol cannot be drunk during daylight hours without the explicit permission of the church under the Eternal Law.

Skilled labor is more expensive. Unskilled labor is cheaper or even free if you have serfs.

Most nations generally can obtain all the resources they need. However, whether or not they have to buy resources from abroad is a matter of circumstance. Most nations produce iron and therefore can make weapons.

The Eternal Law is taken seriously by the people - how seriously depends on the nation and the culture.

In a Kingdom, the King does not in practice own all the land. At least some of it has been deeded or distributed to vassals. In Dalmira, about 10% of the Kingdom is controlled by the King. In Hendal, most of the land is still theoretically owned by the King.

You can give whatever orders you want but it doesn't mean they'll succeed.

Unless they're plotting against you, more players for your faction is a good thing. You can appoint them to national or regional roles (like chancellor, treasurer, governor, or mayor) and submit additional orders.

If you meet a sticky end, your traits won't be as good for your next character as they would have been otherwise. If you accomplish a lot, your next character will have better traits.

You can't install just anyone on the throne if you have control over such things; royalty and title claimaints are best.

Players' traits are secret, but I reveal them I won't lie. They, however, are free to lie to you, so maybe be a little credulous about what someone claims to be.

Troop quality depends on a lot of factors.

Dalmiran dukes are functionally autonomous from the King and may even have their own foreign policy.

The church may give you money for holy missions. That's up to the Superius.

I'll probably let you name unnamed geographical features, like seas and rivers.

If you're a national leader, you can order people you don't like executed. They may escape, though.

Dragons are real.

To avoid confusion, Dalmiran marquesses or margraves should not be called marchers.

Broadly speaking, there are four kinds of traits: military, economic, diplomatic, and general-purpose. There are also traits for espionage and cloak-and-dagger purposes and religious traits.
 
Last edited:

ThunderHawk3

Field Marshal
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Aug 4, 2011
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((This post contains information about each of the nations/factions in the game.))

Glossary:
((Important note: This is information is as far as anyone in your administration knows. It is not necessarily 100% accurate, particularly with respect to population figures.))
Population: Counts only people who are in the workforce. (ie: children, elderly, and sometimes women are not counted - it probably represents about 2/3rds of the actual population)
Population Excess: People in the workforce who are not farmers (or more accurately, people who are not engaged in subsistence activities)
Special Inventory: Your special inventory are special items, possessions, prisoners, and the like that your nation possesses
Ducat: The standard unit of currency. It's a lot of money. It's 100 argens (silver) or 10,000 centimes (copper).
Burgher: One who lives in a city. Includes tradesmen, etc.
Serf: Feudal peasant legally bound to his Lord and the land he works on. Generally can be ordered around. Often most of the population.

Hendal

Kingdom of Hendal
((Maxwell500))
Absolute Monarchy - Burnhem (the seat of government)
Population: 2.46M (population excess 436k)
Size: 380,423 km^2

Dashboard:
Treasury: 2000 ducats (-480)
Currently at peace
Notable institions: The River Watch
No Current known threats to power
Most territory currently unadministered
Special inventory -
Statuette of a dragon with ruby eyes
Wand with feathers hanging from the tip
1 Massive Turtle
Captured assassin
Your Peeps: ((list of players on your side... as far as you know...))
Prince Henry ((Andre Massena))
Anders Wyngarden, Governor of South Hendal ((Dish of fish))
Laurens Jansigh ((KhanXLT))
Baldiwn Montague ((LatinKaiser))
Gregory "The Crow" Riddlemen ((Terraferma))
Rhett ((Qwerty7))

In Detail:

History: Hendal prides itself as the oldest "civilized" nation; its own monarchy far pre-dates the Eternal Law and its history stretches back into antiquity. The Hendal monarchy is descended from the Burnhem Monarchy formed around the powerful city of Burnhem. Burnhem, built on the Stenian Straits, controls access to the Kitrine Sea - the largest sea on the continent. By charging a sound toll on the lucrative trade through the straits, the Burhem Kings grew rich and powerful and subjugated surrounding peoples, then divided up its territory among vassals to be ruled by nobles and worked by serfs, essentially forming the continent's first feudal monarchy.

Though now viewed as shockingly backwards, feudalism was a considerable advance from the disorganized tribes and city-states who dominated to the east. For a long time, Burnhem was the dominant regional power, with the Burnhem Kings commanding vast wealth and influence. After its neighbor, Dalmira, converted to Namidism in the 1st century, Dalmira continued to struggle in sporadic military confrontations with the Hendal, as its disorganized tribal structure proved unable to reliably muster an army.

In the 2nd century, the Namidist High Priesthood would attempt to convert Hendal with new and unprecedented zeal. The Superiacy showed aggression it has never done before or since, removing itself from the High Church in Dalmira and relocating to Burnhem. The then-Superius, Michael I, converted the Burnhem King Godfried to Namidism and proceeded to convert the rest of the nation. In order to facilitate the conversion, the Superiacy declared that feudal monarchy would be incorporated into the Eternal Law. Every Namidist nation would have a hereditary ruler, a King, who was blessed by Namid with the wisdom and superiority to rule.

This declaration would not go well over in Ardans, which would break with the church, becoming Old Statist heretics. The decision would shock the Superiacy, who had assumed that the Ardans oligarchs would settle into the roles of hereditary nobles easily. Nevertheless, they pressed forward with the changes to the Eternal Law, adopting Hendal customs and laws into the religion and aggressively reforming the Dalmiran and Meddish government as feudal monarchies. The structure would make the nations considerably better organized - and ensure that the Kings did not become overpowerful relative to the church, which conveniently gained large estates in the parceling-out of land.

Burnhem would be renamed Hendal in the 2nd century to signify its rebirth as a Namidist nation, and its own feudal monarchy reorganized with the incorporation of ecclesiastical courts and clerical landholders. However, though Hendal might have invented feudalism, it did not retain it. The King, ruling over the city of Burnhem, was always rich and powerful as compared to his vassals. With the bureaucracy developing and growing and mercenaries increasingly available, the Hendal sovereigns decided they no longer needed vassals for either administrative or military purposes. Feudalism was abolished in Hendal in the early third century. A brief, bloody, civil war followed which the Hendal Kings easily won. Tensions with the church escalated, as this change in government violated the Eternal Law and subjected the church in Hendal to the will of the King. However, wary of a repeat of the Ardans break with the church, the Superiacy did not press the issue too hard outside of Dalmira. Meddeland would follow Hendal's example and centralize soon afterwards, leaving Dalmira as the last feudal monarchy.

Aside from a few spats with Dalmiran upstarts, Hendal has been at relative peace since the 3rd century, often allying with Meddeland to counter Dalmira (something termed "the Merry Alliance" by the Hendal). However, Hendal declined to involve itself in the Ardans wars, owing to souring relations with the church. Trade continued to flow through the Stenian Straits and into the Kitrine Sea, and the King and the nation grew wealthy. Domestic traders raised their own fleets and sailed out into the ocean, occasionally returning with curiosities and exotic goods.

Recently, however, a new development has stirred the curiosity of the nation. Hendal's furthest outposts have reported a new, strange people, wild-looking and riding horses, approaching from the north in great numbers. They call themselves the Tavan Morin.

Geography:

Partially owing to its irregular shape, Hendal is actually fairly mountainous, with small mountains separating wide valleys in much of the north. Canyons and caves are common in the national north. The southern terrain is more akin to the Dalmiran lowlands, with wide plains and forests punctuated by foothills and occasional mountains. Wetlands and internal waters are common in the south.

Hendal is actually the smallest Namidist country in terms of area. Much of Hendal's territory is actually inland lakes in the Pladenrode belt of internal bodies of water west and south of Hendal. Hendal, owing to its position and shape, has a huge coastline, both with the Kitrine Sea and with the ocean.

The city of Burnhem is situated on the Stenian Straits, which controls traffic between the Kitrine Sea and the ocean.

Hendal is bounded by the ocean to the south and west, by Dalmira to the east, and by the Wastes to the north. The Destus Gorges - a particularly harsh mountain range - bound Hendal in the northeast. The South Hendal border with Weldheim is a militarized border, with a long wall - "the treaty line" - running from the Kitrine Sea to the ocean. This border is meticulously defined by the West Marches Treaty, which ended the last major war between Hendal and Dalmira in 460.

Rulership and Succession:

Hendal is quite simply an absolute monarchy, with the King wielding (theoretically) unlimited power and authority.

Though Hendal previously used male-preference primogeniture, the succession law was changed in the 4th century. Then-King Henry had three daughters and one son, who was the youngest child. Unfortunately his son proved to a babbling idiot. Henry, fearing what would happen on his death, declared a change in the succession law - the throne would go to men and women equally. The change officially made his eldest daughter the Queen when he died, and Hendal has had a mix of kings and queens since. This is called the Henric Law in Hendal.

Politics and Administration:

As Hendal is an absolutely monarchy, most of its politics is limited to court intrigue. Burnhem is home to a number of merchants, grown rich on trade, who seek to bribe or otherwise wheedle their way into the King's court in an effort to gain political power, while the residual noble elite often tries to reserve the King's ear for themselves. Hendal does not often mount military expeditions and therefore does not typically have a problem with upstart generals.

Territories that were once administered by nobles in Hendal is now overseen by governors. The nation generally has appointed two governors, one for territories north of Burnhem (called Sanapiro) and one for the territories south of Burnhem (called Etela).

Foreign Relations:

Hendal has historically allied itself with Meddeland against Dalmira, a relationship called "the Merry Alliance" in Hendal. (The term is not used in Meddeland.) However, with the loss of Ardans, Meddeland has been considerably weakened, and it remains to be seen if the alliance will continue. Hendal has not made any official statement on the independence of Ardans. Dalmira and Hendal have historically had very sour relations, with Hendal often going so far as to conspire with rebellious dukes against the Dalmiran crown.

The Tavan Morin are as much an unknown to Hendal as they are to everyone else.

Demographics:

Hendal is thought to have the smallest population excess of any of the civilized nations. Though it is larger as a percentage of the total population than Dalmira, the small excess reflects continued use of serfdom and difficulty of food production in Hendal's less favorable terrain and arable soil. This factor, along with Hendal's long coast, has made fishing a common subsistence practice.

Population: 2.90M (population excess 436k)

Non-excess: ((the non-excess is primarily engaged in subsistence activities, generally food production))
1.86M Serf Farmers
477,000 Fisherman
82,000 Freehold Farmers
41,000 Tenant Farmers (freemen who rent land)

Excess: ((the population excess is portion of the population not engaged in food production))
122,000 Laborers (typically miners or builders, not serfs)
115,000 Burghers (regardless of trade or function, essentially medieval bourgeoisie, includes misc)
59,000 Mariners (professional sailors who are not fishermen)
44,000 Soldiers (professionals, including unlanded knights and hedge knights)
41,000 Mercenaries (not mercenaries currently in the service of the crown, rather mercenaries originating from this country - see military section for mercenaries in current service)
26,000 Servants
17,000 Bureaucrats (includes bailiffs, tax collectors, judges, etc., not servants)
10,000 Clergy (including associated monastic orders, etc.)
2,000 Nobles (all remaining nobles in Hendal are minor nobles)

Hendal has three major cities, with the rest of the population excess being distributed among feudal villages. Burnhem is by far the largest.

Economy:

Owing to the relatively poor quality of its soil, Hendal is essentially dependent on fishing, both inland and oceanic, for its food supply. It does not have large reserves of minerals, metal, or stone, but plentiful forests can be found in the nation's south. Shipbuilding is a huge industry in Hendal. Ships are built largely in support of trade missions, but Hendal also has the continent's only active navy.

Burnhem is home to a wealthy elite of so-called "trading princes" who have largely supplanted the old nobility. They organize vast expeditions into the west, returning with ships laden down with treasures of far-off lands. Trade through the Stenian Straits, heavily their own,

Despite Hendal's wealth, a banking sector never emerged in the country owing to past Kings' unsettling tendency to confiscate bank reserves for themselves whenever needed. Hendal trading princes, therefore, have taken to banking in distant Meddeland - far from the grabbing reach of the King.

Religion:

Hendal is officially Namidist, and piously so, but the nation has a history of conflict with the church. The end of feudalism saw the confiscation of church lands and the diminishing authority of ecclesiastical courts and bishoprics within Hendal. The Superiacy took a rather dim view of this, and though it was centuries ago, the high priesthood has a long memory. Recently, the church has taken to alleging that Hendal - with its great wealth - has become a hotbed for moral decadence. Perhaps this is even true.

Culture:

Burnhem is culturally homogenous in the south but a certain amount of heterogeniety has elsewhere. In the north, settlements incorporate decendants of local cultures. These minorities are almost entirely serfs. Hendal has its own language, though some populations in the south speak only Dalmiran, and minority communities in the north also have their own language.

Hendal is a wine-drinking country, with the powerful Burnhem elite preferring a more refined drink to the crass grain alcohols favored in neighboring Dalmira. These are largely imported from Meddeland, all the way across the country.

Within Burnhem itself, the elite have developed a peculiar culture of finesse and ostentation - essentially trying to spend lots of money to show off. They have developed a liking for fine, colorful clothes and fancy things, and often spend lavishly during public events.

Military:

Hendal maintains a professional army of about 40,000 soldiers (including the river watch), supplemented by a further 10,000 mercenaries (most of whom are of Hendal origin, with some Meddish). After the Meddish defeat at Bar River, this technically gives Hendal the largest standing army on the continent. Hendal has depended on the ability to rapidly hire mercenaries to supplement its forces in past wars.

Approximately 10,000 soldiers are garrisoned in Burnhem, 5,000 in each of the two other major cities, and another 5,000 spread throughout the Kingdom as its police force. 10,000 mercenaries garrison the Dalmiran border. Another 10,000 soldiers are deployed to the northern provinces to keep the peace there.

The remaining 10,000 soldiers comprise the River Watch. The River Watch is an ancient military organization, essentially now a modernized knightly order. It polices the river west of Burnhem against "Robber Barons" - criminals who attempt to block the river and unlawfully exort fees from traffic. The heavy trade along the river on the way to Burnhem and the Stenian Straits has made the river an attractive target for these robber barons since ancient times. The River Watch polices the river and maintains lines of fortifications along the river passage to protect it.

The River Watch is autonomous from the rest of the military but still theoretically under the command of the crown. The King appoints its leader. The River Watch has some lands and funds itself (and has its own budget, also drawing funds from lawful toll bridges across the river) while at the same time keeping the river safe from banditry and reserving the sound toll for the King alone - an arrangement that the King has found most beneficial over the years.

The River Watch is generally not pressed into service against foreign powers but has in the past been ordered to assume police functions for the greater Kingdom while the rest of the army is away.

Hendal fields no cavalry beyond a few reconaissance light horsemen and has not invested heavily in siege weaponry. It prefers the crossbow as an archery weapon and has proliferated the expensive devices more heavily than any other army. It relies on mercenary cavalry for its heavy horse (the River Watch also fields some). The average Hendal soldier carries a polearm, pike, or crossbow, with a shortsword as a sidearm, heavy helmet, and plate armor.

Some soldiers and mercenaries are employed domestically as household guards for very wealthy burghers.

Hendal is the only nation in all of Namidism to have a navy - or indeed a meaningful population of mariners. The Hendal navy enlists some 10,000 sailors across more than 300 vessels, the majority of which are small ships. Hendalese ships vary in size from small fireships and galleys inland to larger ships of sail on the ocean.

The Hendal navy heavily uses galley tactics, focused on ramming and boarding and line-abreast tactics, with ships firing heavy weapons - such as deck-mounted crossbows - at enemy ships, the primary aim being to deplete enemy ranks rather than sink the ship. The average Hendal marine carries no weapons but carries a sabre or perhaps a bow or a sling. Fireships have been invented in Hendal - a ship is coated in tar and pitch, set alight - and driven towards the enemy. ((no Greek fire))

The merchant marine can theoretically be pressed into service in the event of war, but this has never been done, as there are no other major powers on the continent to oppose Hendal. The navy primarily fights piracy and, in time of war, blockades enemy ports, with occasional minor action.

Budget:
The crown theoretically owns all land in the Kingdom, though in practice much is deeded to freeholders, the church, and the River Watch.

Hendal has a larger balance sheet than any other country, including all the duchies of Dalmira added together.

(serf tithe not in season)
+300 ducats (city tax)
+500 ducats (sound toll)
+100 ducats (landing fee - essentially a tithe from fishermen)
~0 ducats (rents - there theoretically are some but they're basically negligible)
900 income

-600 ducats (army salaries, note the river watch pays for itself)
-400 ducats (mercenary salaries)
-200 ducats (naval salaries)
-100 ducats (naval upkeep - dramatically reduced by serfdom)
-50 ducats (administration)
-5 ducats (special inventory upkeep)
-25 ducats (court expenses - the crown and court sure do have ostentatious tastes...)
1380 expenses

Special Inventory:

The Hendal Kings have a great fondness for curiositise and interesting items from afar. There are two strange items held in the royal vaults. The first is a statuette of a dragon with ruby eyes. It looks strangely alive, somehow... The second item is a birch stick, supposedly a wand, with feathers hanging from the tip. The Kingdom's scholars believe both items are magical, but have no idea what they might do.

On a more practical note, your predecessor bought a massive turtle from a trader of exotic animals. The turtle is about the size of large sailing ship. It mainly rests in the harbor and doesn't do anything except occasionally eat. Supposedly, it could come in handy in the event of a naval battle, diving underwater and surfacing to capsize enemy ships. It hasn't been trained for that however...

The dungeons hold an assassin who was caught trying to murder you by poisoning your food in the royal kitchens. He so far hasn't said a word.

Dalmira

Kingdom of Dalmira
((Canadian_95_RTS))
Feudal Monarchy - Halbstadht (the seat of government)
Population: 5.32M (population excess 672k)
Size: 1,050,445 km^2

Dashboard:
Treasury: 500 ducats (-50)
Currently at peace
Notable institions: The Superiacy
No Current known threats to power
Most territory currently unadministered
Special inventory -
Tavan Morin spy
Domestic counterfeiter
Hendal trading prince
6 Dire Wolves
Your Peeps:
Ethan of Riosh ((BlackBishop))
Vytautas Krasnickas, Prince of Dalmira ((iisbroke))
Maximillian Wiegraf ((KaiserBeer))
Dal'Athgar an Odal'in Uthbar ((Otto of england))
Armand Vasa ((Plutonium95))
Henry Stolgen, Duke of Stolgen ((Sneakyflaps))
Unnamed Prince of Dalmira ((jeeshadow))

In Detail:

History: Dalmira is the oldest and forms both the geographical and spiritual core of the Namidist Kingdoms. Originally inhabited by the ancient pagan tribes, the Kingdom was formed by the efforts of the initial wave of the disciples of Namid in the early years of the Eternal Law. After receiving knowledge of the Eternal Law at the High Church, the first priests of Namid poured into the lowlands and began converting the local tribes. One tribal leader, Victor the Great, adopted the Eternal Law with particular zeal and began to militarily unite the tribes. Victor the Great ultimately established a vast Empire in the Dalmir lowlands and coastlands and then marched north into the more hilly highlands, thereby becoming the first King of Dalmira.

Established in a fit of religious fervor, Dalmira would remain decentralized and almost lawless for the better part of a century, with neither the King nor the Church exercising much authority over the peasantry and tribal remnants retaining clan leadership structures. This remained the status quo until the second century, when the Namidist high priesthood removed itself to modern day Hendal, converting the region in the process. Namidism's subsequent adoption of feudal monarchy - including a more rigid class structure and hierarchy of nobility - led to a social reformation in Dalmira. Older clan structures were abolished in favor of the manorial system, with previously unadministered regions now ruled by highly autonomous vassals swearing loyalty to the King in the name of Namid. So it remains.

In the following centuries, Dalmira remained a feudal state even as its neighbors underwent further centralization. The return of the Namidist Superiacy to its more traditional seat in the Dalmiran plains would ensure the continuity of religious influence over Dalmira (and reciprocally, Dalmiran influence over the church). As the largest and most populous state of the Namidist Kingdoms, and by far the most powerful militarily, Dalmira has historically been unable to bring the full might of its arms to bear against neighboring Meddeland and Hendal in their infrequent wars. The King has remained weak in comparison even to his upstart and often defiant vassals. On those few occasions when the Dalmiran Kings have been able to bear the full might of the Kingdom's myriad dukes and palatine counts to bear against an enemy, the powerful Kingdom of Meddeland to the east has acted as an effective check on Dalmiran expansion, with the Meddish and the Hendals often allying to deal the Dalmirans bloody defeats.

Perhaps that is what drove the Black King Conrad half-mad with frustration two years ago, in 498, when he saw an opportunity to break the power of the Meddish in the Kingdoms once and for all. With the Ardans rebellions against the Hendal government entering full swing, many in the court believed that Conrad intended to raise an army to invade Ardans, dealing a crushing defeat to both the Ardans and the Meddish as they fought among each other. However, Dalmira's most influential dukes, long alienated by Conrad's heavy-handed and often tyrannical ways, refused to provide troops. The deadlock continued for over a year, until Conrad devised the plan that would ultimately his reign.

Conrad summoned the eight dukes to his court, intending to "discuss" the matter with them, then brutally murdered all eight, declared them traitors, and announced he was confiscating their lands and wealth for himself. This confiscation never occured in actual fact, as the dukes' outraged subordinates and families immediately began to organize themselves, intending to rise in rebellion against Conrad. Conrad planned to use what lands and wealth he had managed to seize to raise an army of his own, but before civil war could break out, Conrad was found dead in his bed with his throat cut and a bloody iron dagger beside him. Officially, the murder was conducted by a Skyseeker cultist who was caught and executed; only the dumbest of peasants actually believe this story, with everyone else understanding that it was a reprisal attack by the Kingdom's incensed nobles.

Now Conrad's cousin has been crowned King, but with many still fuming about the murders of the eight dukes and their lands yet to be formally restored to their families, Dalmira faces an uncertain future.

Geography:

Dalmira had a tremendously diverse geography, being the largest of the Kingdoms, but it is broadly split into highly arable and fertile lowland plains to the south, running all the way to the coast, and populous foothill regions and highlands in the north. It borders Meddeland to the west and the breakaway Ardans oligarchy (which it does not recognize) to the east. The south and southwest are forested areas, particularly near the coast, while the extreme north is impassable mountains. Much of Dalmira, even the lowlands, was once forested and sporadic forests remain, though many have been long since cut down.

The South Hendal border with the Dalmiran Duchy of Weldheim is a militarized border, with a long wall - "the treaty line" - running from the Kitrine Sea to the ocean. This border is meticulously defined by the West Marches Treaty, which ended the last major war between Hendal and Dalmira in 460.

Rulership and Succession:

Dalmira is ruled by a single monarch who holds oaths of loyalty from a large number of vassals who directly or indirectly (through their own vassals) administer their alloted territory. Dalmira follows strict agnatic succession (meaning that the crown passes through male line claimaints only), and has thus (supposedly) remained in the House of Landau for its entire history, and its kings can trace their male-line ancestry back to Victor the Great.

The last King of Dalmira was Conrad the Black, himself the sole son and heir of the aging King Victor X. While no one doubted his legimitacy, his rein was deeply troubled, with Conrad developing a habit of imprisoning and executing people arbitrarily. Those who survived serving in his court described Conrad as paranoid, so much so that he feared marriage offers were the starts of conspiracies against him. Naturally, he never married, and Conrad had no children at the time of his death.

Conrad's cousin has ascended to the throne. The Dalmirans are the only one of the three remaining Namidist Kingdoms that has their King crowned by the Superius personally. Dalmiran kings typically change their names on their ascension to the throne (often but not universally to Victor). A large minority of Dalmiran kings are named Victor. The Crown Prince is crowned Prince of Dalmira by the Superius when he comes of age, but only if he is the son (or grandson, or in one irregular case, great-grandson) of the reigning King.

Politics and Administration:

The Dalmirans adopted feudal administration, as mandated by the Eternal Law, in the second century. While the other Namidist Kingdoms have steadily centralized, the Dalmirans have resisted these sacriligeous impulses, retaining feudalism. Governors and mere "generals" directly answerable to the King do not exist in Dalmira as elsewhere; everything outside the King's demesne is granted as land to a vassal. The vassal in exchange pledges loyalty and promises military service to the King. These vassals have a nasty habit of warring with each other, foreign states, and on occasion, the King. The King's direct vassals are generally dukes, marquesses, and palantine counts, though these vassals generally have their own vassals.

The King's vassals retain a high degree of autonomy and treat their oathes with varying degrees of flippancy. They generally do pay them at least nominal heed, and it is very unusual to hear them speak out directly against the King - though the rule of Conrad the Black may have finally changed that. They do not technically owe the King any taxes, which has often proven troublesome for the Dalmiran monarchs, who have historically been frequently strapped for cash. The church has frequently stepped in to fill this need for particularly pious Kings.

Exactly how many troops the nobles owe the King has historically also been quite vague and lack of troops has killed the ambitions of many an upstart Dalmiran King. The King theoretically has the legal right to revoke a vassal's title, but this has been exercised with caution in the past as it can easily cause a revocation war (rebellion).

A lot of Dalmiran land has also been granted to the Namidist church, for the glory of god. The Church is theoretically not under any obligation to provide either troops or money to any secular noble (though in practice local bishops often do provide at least money to nobles that they approve of). Ecclesiastical courts, which have been reigned in substantially in the other Kingdoms, also remain very powerful and enforce religious law alongside the secular manorial courts. Dalmiran cities generally have mayors but these are universally answerable to some noble.

Administration has, therefore, generally remained difficult for Dalmira. It is believed to be what drove Conrad the Black to his eventual "madness" and murder of eight dukes, and subsequent attempt to confiscate their lands and wealth for a campaign against the Ardans and Meddeland. Naturally, the power grab was not well received by the nobility.

Foreign Relations:

Dalmira has generally had cool relations with its neighbors, frequently warring (including wars prosecuted by subnational dukes) against both Meddeland and Hendal, respectively. The two Namidist Kingdoms have often formed ad hoc alliances against Dalmira, much to the annoyance of the Dalmirans. Dalmira has refused to recognize the breakaway Ardans State, and does not even consider the Tavan Morin a state worthy of diplomatic relations so much as a roving band of barbarians.

Since the Namidist high priesthood is based in Dalmira, the church and the kingdom have generally had good relations.

Demographics:

Population: 5.32M (population excess 672k)

Non-excess: ((the non-excess is primarily engaged in subsistence activities, generally food production))
4.06M Serf Farmers
50,000 Freehold Farmers
8,000 Fishermen

Excess: ((the population excess is portion of the population not engaged in food production))
297,000 Burghers (regardless of trade or function, essentially medieval bourgeoisie, includes misc)
50,000 Laborers (typically miners or builders, not serfs)
150,000 Servants
50,000 Nobles (including minor nobles, like baronets, their families and landed knights)
50,000 Clergy (including associated monastic orders, etc.)
44,000 Soldiers (professionals, including unlanded knights and hedge knights)
31,000 Bureaucrats (includes bailiffs, tax collectors, judges, etc., not servants)

Though Dalmira has a number of cities, they are hardly sprawling metropolises. The largest have under 20,000 residents, and these are considered overwhelmingly large. Most burghers are distributed into small cities of just a few thousands, or even smaller townships.

Economy:

Manorialism is Dalmira's dominant economic system, meaning that land is (theoretically) rented out to peasant farmers who are legally bound to a single powerful landowner. The vast majority of people who live in Dalmira are feudal peasants, engaged in subsistence farming (this is mainly farming of wheat). They provide an annual and traditional tithe to their direct feudal lieges. Many of them are also required to provide additional service in the northern mines.

Serfs are occasionally pressed into service the mines because Dalmira has considerable mineral wealth, notably gold and iron in the northern highlands, and the Kingdom is consequently a large producer of both. Dalmira also produces considerable quantities of stone and lumber, though much of the lumber is found in the lowland plains, almost all of which was once forest.

With a small population excess and smaller cities, Dalmira has little in the way of tradesmen. While blacksmiths - as might be expected - are in constant demand for weapons manufacture, Dalmira does not have any other notable industries. While large quantities of grain alcohol are produced, this is largely consumed domestically. Most other artisanal crafts are relatively small by comparison.

The rising use of professional soldiers throughout the Kingdom has led to the development of a more robust secondary economy beyond the old noble-dominated system, though not all of the industries developing around it are necessarily desirable ones...

Feudal vassalage often interrupts the collection of taxes and tithes in Dalmira, with the overwhelming majority of these amounts being paid into the coffers of lesser nobles, and not that of the king. The large number of nobles within Dalmira (nearly 1% of the national population including their often expansive families), makes the economy extremely topheavy.

Religion:

Dalmira is officially 100% Namidist. Though some heretics, heathens, and pagans doubtless exist within the Kingdom, they worship quietly and in secret...

The Namidist high priesthood, the Superiacy, is based at the High Church within Dalmira, and the Church holds a considerable fraction of Dalmira's land, as well as a considerable fraction of Dalmira's tithes. Ecclesiastical courts also continue to function across much of the Kingdom.

Culture:

The Kingdom of Dalmira orginally contained a large number of culturally distinct but related tribes with their own (but again related) languages. The idea of "Dalmiran" as a unified culture came about in the late 2nd and 3rd century, when successive administrations began to aggressively promote the use of a single Dalmiran language. While Dalmira is not culturally homogenous, virtually all Dalmirans now speak the Dalmiran language (or one dialect or another) and are accustomed to similar religious and governmental traditions under the Eternal Law. Nevertheless, this cultural identity is not strong. There is a major difference in dialects between the northern highlands and southern lowlands (with the southern dialect considered most correct), but speakers of the northern and southern dialect are completely comprehensible to one another.

In a break from its normal strict standards of piety, Dalmira is known for exorbitant imbibement of grain alcohol during its major festivals. The church has generally turned a blind eye to this because the church monopoly on alcohol means that church turns a tidy profit on such activity.

Both the feudal system and the eternal law (and pursuant religious influence) are deeply, deeply ingrained in Dalmiran culture, resisting all attempts to deviate from the strict prescribed course. After all, this is how the Greatest wills it, is it not?

The overwhelming majority of the Dalmiran population is serfs, so Dalmiran culture is largely based around agrarian and small-village traditions. Most serfs have little contact with the nation's myriad and growing cities. Dalmira's huge nobility has given rise to an even larger dedicated servant class. An informal peasant hierarchy exists in Dalmira, with servants held in higher esteem than peasants and serfs who do part-time service in the house held above others.

Military:

Traditionally, the Dalmiran military has relied on mass peasant levies to fight its wars, supplemented by small numbers of professional soldiers and nobles answering the call-to-arms directly. However, mass peasant levies have become less and less effective of late, both with the march of progress in terms of weapons and tactics and due to the rise of professional armies. As a result, professional armies have been on the rise in Dalmira, with some powerful counts and dukes forming standing armies. Mercenaries have been quite popular in Dalmira, though they are not always affordable.

At the national level, the King has a standing army of about 4,000 soldiers, all of whom are garrisoned in Halbstadht. The average Dalmiran soldier is a footsoldier armed with a sword, pike, or crossbow. He wears little armor apart from a helmet, but proudly displays the Dalmiran crest on his chestplate. Dalmira fields noble cavarly, take the field as heavily armed and armored knights, accompanied by personal warbands (themselves from noble families).

Dalmiran peasant levies are not armed from the armories and carry whatever weapons they keep themselves, often converted farmtools, sometimes bows or swords.

Budget:
Royal revenue is primarily generated from the King's demesne, which is about a tenth of the Kingdom and centered around the capital.

(serf tithe not in season)
+30 ducats (city tax)
30 income

-40 ducats (army salaries)
-30 ducats (administration; hint: this cost will fall when you appoint new nobles)
-10 ducats (court expenses)
80 expenses

Special Inventory:

The old King Conrad the Black had a tremendous fondness for throwing people in the dungeon, whether they be innocent or guilty. For all the executions, the dungeons are still packed with prisoners. They notably include a Tavan Morin tribesman caught in the capital, arrested as a "spy," an accused counterfeiter who had confessed to his crimes under torture, and an extremely wealthy Hendal trading prince, who Conrad had detains in the hopes of obtaining a ransom to fund his black designs. The Royal Beastmaster also has six Dire Wolves - massive wolves the size of small horses - to which Conrad regularly fed captives and his condemned enemies. Conrad may be dead but his prisoners (and wolves) remain, and it is up to the new King to decide what to do with them.

Notes on Particular Administrative Subdivisions:

Virtually of all Dalmira's duchies have a single large castle-city as its capital and no other meaningful population centers. The sole possible exception is the Duchy of Weldheim, which has two additional castles as part of its territory - hardly surprising, given that it tasked with defending the South Hendal border.

The Duchy of Weldheim:

The Duchy of Weldheim is Dalmira's southeastern most duchy. It was formally the March of Weldheim, promoted to a duchy in 461. Weldheim is tasked with securing the south Hendal border - not an easy task, given that Hendal fields the largest professional army on the continent. The militarized border between Dalmira and Weldheim is called the Treaty Line, which is meticulous defined in the West Marches Treaty of 460. Weldheim and Dalmira have constructed parallel walls, about a mile apart, running the length of this line. Though most of these walls are actually unmanned and scantily patrolled (as they face mountains in the west along most of the length), they are guarded by standing armies in the south.

Weldheim controls both the Castle Wreath and the Castle Haster, which sits on the internal border with Stolgen.

The Duchy of Arevmarch:

Arevmarch is considered frontier territory. Founded by settlers in the fourth century, its population has exploded in the last fifty years. It covers the northernwestern border between Hendal and Dalmira, but this border is not militarized - mainly because the Destus Gorges, the most unforgiving mountain range in the west, separates the two countries, and the only viable path from Hendal to Arevmarch is along the coast. Additionally, since much of the coast is littered with potential landing sites, the idea of a vast border wall, as in Weldheim, has not been replicated in Arevmarch.

The Duchy of Stolgen:

Stolgen is nestled on the edge of the western Dalmiran highlands, and is a major producer of iron. It is a highly populous city with access to considerable lowland farmland. Stolgen is the primary conduit for trade between Hendal and Dalmira, as trading ships pass through Burnhem and dock in Stolgen.

The Duchy of Igskada:

Igskada controls Dalmira's only major trading port and a large timber supply. It also has good access to a huge amount of fertile farmland - it is one of the lowland "breadbaskets."

The Duchy of Victorsland (Victorsburg):

Victorsburg supposedly the birthplace of the first Dalmiran King, Victor the Great - though some say the city and duchy were merely named for him. It controls the heart of the Dalmiran lowlands, and some call it the breadbasket of Dalmira, as it exports foodstuffs to the northern cities. Victorsburg is the current home of the Namidist Superiacy - a source of prestige, perhaps, but a liability for would-be sinners.

The Duchy of Gottor:

Gottor is a southern highland territory that has suddenly found itself worryingly close to the Ardans. It is neither particularly populous nor well-armed, which has caused a considerable panic among the local government - the Ardans territorial lines are worryingly close to the castle-city of Gottor itself.

The Duchy of Foldgart:

Foldgart, formerly a march, is primarily tasked with guarding the southeastern border. Primarily sparse forest and farmland, it now finds itself bordering both the Meddish and the Ardan heretics. Foldgart is home to the Rutherine Wall along the southeastern border, supposed built by the historical Duke Ruther of Foldgart in the 3rd century. Legend has it that no enemy has ever crossed the wall, though you wouldn't know it to look at it: the wall is a stone construct not much more than three feet tall. The Foldgart army garrisons it.

The Duchy of Tydreach:

Tydreach fills the Tyder Basin which, like so much of Dalmira, is principally farmland. It borders Ardans, but only the Ardan city of Leganus is particularly close to it. Like its southern neighbor, Gottor, Tydreach is neither particularly well armed nor populous.

The Duchy of Rortzen:

Rortzen is one of the two great highland duchies and is the Kingdom's largest producer of iron - as well as weapons.

The Duchy of Erdheim:

Erdheim is the wealthiest Duchy in Dalmira, as it houses most of the Kingdom's gold mines. The promise of gold has drawn many to the city, but also unwanted attention from the crown - Conrad the Black murdered Erdheim's Duke in a bid to confiscate his wealth.

Meddeland

Kingdom of Meddeland
((Marschalk))
Limited Monarchy - Kandon (the seat of government)
Population: 2.97M (population excess 751k)
Size: 571,178 km^2

Dashboard:
Treasury: 0 ducats (-35) [you're broke]
Currently at peace. De facto ceasefire with Ardans.
Notable institions: The Great Council
No Current known threats to power
Most territory currently unadministered
Special inventory -
Jar of 5 pixies
A secret (inquire with GM, tell him it's #3 to jog his memory)
Ancient crown of the Meddish Kings
One Giant armored lizard
Your Peeps: ((list of players on your side... as far as you know...))
Ishwari Yohae Kishburne ((Dadarian))
Leopold Zweigler ((Fingon888))

In Detail:

History: Dark times have fallen on the Kingdom of Meddeland. After a bitter six years of open war against the rebels (which some say was just an extension of a hundred years of turmoil), Meddeland has lost control of Ardans. Worse still, the war has seen the end of the reign of the Brier monarchs, who have ruled in Meddeland since the Eternal Law enlightened the Meddish pagans in the depths of the second century. Now an untested and family sits on the throne - and worse still, the new King's brother is rotting in the Ardans dungeons, with no indication of whether the rebels intend to hold him for ransom, free him, or put him to death.

Meddeland - literally the "Middle Land" - was formed out of the ancient pagan Kingdom that once sat on the border of the eastern ocean. The ancient pagans called themselves the Meddish, the middle people, believing that half the world was land and half ocean, and that they sat on the dividing line between it. That all changed with the coming of the second wave of Namidist missionaries in the 2nd century and the conversion of the Meddish kingdom, which - under the Eternal Law - was converted from a lose consortium of tribal interests into a feudal monarchy.

The second wave of Namidist missionaries that converted Meddeland brought religious unity with Ardans, the ancient despotic oligarchy that separated Meddeland from Namidism's spiritual heartland, Dalmira. After a brief peace, Ardans and Meddeland would fall to fighting again - as they had in the pagan years - with relations between the two states rapidly deteriorating. Ardans' fall to heresy would only accelerate the fighting.

Despite turmoil on the border, Meddeland would change - many said for the better - domestically. With the population growing rapidly and money increasingly flowing into the Kingdom through the sale of cash crops (rather than traditional grains), cities - particularly the capital, Kandon, would explode in size. Meddeland would rapidly centralize during the late 2nd and 3rd century, with political power shifting rapidly to the new burgher class and the growing number of freehold farmers. With the lesser aristocracy weakening rapidly, most power was consolidated in the King, who relied heavily on property and city taxes, rather than traditional tithes, for revenue.

In the late 4th century, growing emnity between the Ardans heretics and the Namidist High Priesthood would finally lead the Superias to call for the invasion of Ardans by the faithful. The Brier Kings of Meddeland would take up this call (with considerable goading from the church) and make war against Ardans. The war would last almost thirty years (depending on the reckoning), and despite considerable monetary support from the church, drive the Brier Kings deep into debt, and force them to turn to the Great Council for funds, greatly increasing the power and prestige of the body and spelling the start of the Limited Monarchy.

Despite financial troubles, Meddeland would ultimately defeat Ardans in the early 5th century - the cost would be far greater than merely coin. Ferocious resistance by the Ardans would spill much Meddish blood, both red and blue. Ardans assassins would claim the lives of much of the Meddish royal family, the House of Brier, leading to the lasting convention of keeping the identities of the Meddish King's heirs secret. Despite the best efforts of the Meddish army, Ardans militias would never be entirely suppressed - and assassinations, like those that spilled royal blood in Meddeland - sabotaged several church attempts at an inquisition in Ardans.

Whatever the cost, Meddeland had seized Ardans. William I of Brier styled himself King of Meddeland and Ardans, Duke of Brier, which was retained by all the Brier kings since. Nearly a hundred years of Meddish rule in Ardans followed, until the Ardans rebellion of 494.

In 494, the Meddish viceroy of Ardans was murdered in his bed and a large rebel militia - appearing seemingly from nowhere - seized Moraille, the former capital or Ardans. Many across the kingdom took this as a sign that the revolution had come. Meddeland, caught off-guard by the suddenness and ferocity of the attacks, was driven out of Ardans and after six grueling years, lost the war. Worse still, the last Brier King - Maximilian II - died in 499, passing the crown to a distant relative, out of his house. Now, in 500, Meddeland is still reeling from the defeat and the end of the Brier line, with a new and untested family on the throne.

Geography:

Meddeland is almost entirely plains and forests, generally boasting highly fertile (and often profitable) soil. Its arable land is criss-crossed with minor rivers, which are used for generous irrigation. It borders the hilly Ardans region to the west, the sea to the east and south, and the mountains to the north.

Meddeland is technically the second-largest nation, after the titanic Dalmira, but much of its area is outlying islands in the Beute Archipeligo, which are sparsely populated and produce very little. Meddeland does not even maintain a navy to police them - they are considered frontier territory at best, useless at worst.

Rulership and Succession:

Meddeland uses male-preference primogeniture. However, due the wave of assassinations that shook the House of Brier in the late 4th century (now almost a hundred years ago), a practice has emerged in Meddeland of keeping the identities of the entire royal family, except for the King, secret, with their identities known only to the Great Council and a few trusted high officers of state. While this practice did not save the Brier Kings from extinction, it continues to this day, with the identities of the King's heirs - his children and grandchildren, brothers and uncles, daughters and nieces - being kept as secret as possible.

This makes diplomatic marriages rather difficult, though the rule can be waived by agreement of the King and the Great Council.

The identity of one of the King's family is currently known, though - his brother, who was led the army into Ardans and was subsequently captured by the wretched traitors. This unfortunate reality has yet to sink in for a lot of the population...

Politics and Administration:

Administration in Meddeland is exceedingly simple: the King appoints high officials, governors, generals, and so forth as he sees fit, and similarly makes policy almost as if he were an absolute ruler...

With one important caveat. The Great Council, a hodge-podge body of common landowners, influential nobles, rich burghers, and other representatives of the people, has gained great power in the Kingdom of Meddeland. It does not create policy and in fact only convenes and dissolves at the King's behest. However, it has one very important power - that of taxation. The King has limited ability raise revenue in Meddeland, with that power now generally reserved - beyond a few small sources - for the Great Council. The lion's share of taxation power, including the ability to place taxes on property and commerce, is restricted to the Council which must grant the King money. He cannot raise these taxes on his own.

While the Great Council, as a body that simply granted the King money, might be benign enough, a new and more curious convention developed during the original invasion of Ardans, whereby the Council attached "conditions" to its money, and the King, if he agreed to accept the money, had to obey these conditions as if it were a law above him! That is now the established tradition and law of the land, however.

One past "condition" put forward by the council was the abolition of serfdom. Consequentally, there is no longer serfdom in Meddeland and all men are free men, who are not obliged to give the King service or labor as serfdom might demand it.

Many representatives of the Great Council are holders of hereditary positions or owners of particularly important farms, but in some cities, the representative is elected. It contains both commoners and nobility, though they usually sit on opposite sides of the council chambers. It makes decisions by majority vote.

The King has traditionally appointed a Viceroy of Ardans - but of course, we no longer control Ardans.

Foreign Relations:

Meddeland has frosty relations with Dalmira, which is an ancient enemy, and is technically still at war with Ardans. The war is longer a matter of fact, though, as there has been no fighting in more than half a year, and most have given up Ardans for lost. With Ardans showing no sign of pursuing us into our own lands, it seems we have reached a de facto ceasefire.

Meddeland enjoys relatively good relations with Hendal though, from whom our diplomats have heard tell of a curious new people in the north... the Tavan Morin.

Demographics:

Population: 3.61M (population excess 751k)

Non-excess: ((the non-excess is primarily engaged in subsistence activities, generally food production))
1.44M Tenant Farmers (freemen who rent land)
1.00M Farmhands (freemen who work on a farm but are not renters)
410,000 Freehold Farmers (freemen who own their own land)
12,000 Fishermen

Excess: ((the population excess is portion of the population not engaged in food production))
460,000 Burghers (regardless of trade or function, essentially medieval bourgeoisie, includes misc)
141,000 Laborers (typically miners or builders, unskilled workers, not serfs)
60,000 Mercenaries (not mercenaries currently in the service of the crown, rather mercenaries originating from this country - see military section for mercenaries in current service)
30,000 Servants
22,000 Soldiers (professionals, including unlanded knights and hedge knights)
14,000 Clergy (including associated monastic orders, etc.)
16,000 Bureaucrats (includes bailiffs, tax collectors, judges, etc., not servants)
8,000 Nobles (including minor nobles, like baronets, their families and landed knights)

Meddeland is much more urbanized than virtually any other country, with large townships - often of a thousand people - littering the countryside, and large cities of tens of thousands, and growing rapidly. The capital, Kandon, is said to have 50,000 people or more and be the largest city east of Hendal, though no one knows for certain whether this is true.

Economy:

Meddeland's economy is built on agriculture, with many farmers planting cash crops, such as grapes and flax, alongside cereal and food crops. "Luxury" foods, such apples, cherries, and strawberries, also becoming increasingly common, as they are harder to grow but fetch a higher price for the grower.

Some farmers have experimented with the cultivation of new tropical cash crops, like cotton and sugar, with limited success and considerable difficulty.

Industries, notably large wine production and textile industries, have formed on top of the national agricultural base. The workers in these industries are generally organized into guilds, which have representation in the Great Council. Meddeland is a wine-drinking country and does not generally drink the grain alcohol that is favored in Dalmira. Tanning is fairly prominent as industry in Meddeland as well.

Meddeland does not generally produce gold, but it does produce fair amounts of bronze and iron. However, the nation's largest "mining" industry is the royal salt monopoly, which employs large numbers of workers. Foresting and lumber production are a minor industry in Meddeland, enough to satisfy domestic needs for construction.

Serfdom was abolished in Meddeland roughly a hundred years ago. The Kingdom has a respectable number of freehold farmers, though many remain tenants on the lands of richer landowners (often the King). Others work as farmhands on larger farm estates.

The Great Council was formed in the late 3rd century as a mechanism to facilitate and legitimize the crown's collection of taxes; its prestige and power has grown greatly since then, essentially destroying the power of the minor aristocracy as an independent class. Economic interests are heavily represented in the Great Council.

The King still owns as demesne(ie: land that is not deeded to any other person) about a quarter of the Kingdom's farmland, as well as parts of the capital. Much of the land is rented out to tenants and the crown collects rents on the territory.

Religion:

Meddeland is a predominantly Namidist country. However, an unknown number of Old Statist heretics (probably brought to the nation by Ardans immigrants), exist and practice in secret in the country.

The church is still a large landholder in Meddeland, employing farmhands to work its lands and estates. The church's alcohol monopoly is particularly profitable in the country. Some of the Superius' appointed bishops are influential enough to sit in the Great Council. The head of the Namidist church in Meddeland is the Archbishop of Kandon.

There are some holy sites in Meddeland but none of exceptional importance, as there are in Dalmira and Kandon.

Culture:

Meddeland's culture is very different from the other Namidist kingdoms, owing heavily to the abolition of serfdom and freeholding tradition. Most of Meddeland's population are still farmers. A social hierarchy has developed among Meddeland farmers, where people born to farming families may progress from farmhands to tenant farmers after accumulating enough wealth to purchase his own tools and livestock, then potentially progress to a freeholder. Meddeland is known for large and raucus harvest festivals.

City life in Meddeland is still a relatively new concept, with most of the nation's cities only springing up from small villages in the last fifty years or so. The richest people in cities (who are not major aristocrats) tend to be merchants, bankers, and burgher traders - all of whom keep large households with servants, as the nobility did before them. Guilds of tradesmen, however, comprise the numerical majority of burghers.

Meddeland is the only country in all of Namidism to have developed a banking sector. Foreign Kings, when they wish to borrow money, generally find domestic sources inadequate and have to borrow from the Meddish banks.

Meddish cities have experienced some problems with crime in the past few decades.

The Kings of Meddeland live in the Brier Palace in Kandon, the capital, which also houses all their many courtiers.

Meddeland uses the Meddish language, though there are many Dalmiran speakers among the bourgeoisie. It used to have a sizeable Ardans minority - until Ardans became independent. Some remain.

Military:

With serfdom abolished, the Meddish military generally relies on a standing, professional army (though the King could still theoretically enact a draft, no Meddish King has attempted such a thing.) With the Meddeland population growing greatly in the last century or so, large numbers of unemployed young men have left Meddeland to seek their fortunes as mercenaries. The chronically cash-strapped Meddish kings are generally unable to employ them domestically, though they may be sometimes be hired as household guards or as temporary forces for local councils of burghers.

Meddeland has a standing army of about 20,000 soldiers. 1,000 are garrisoned in Kandon, while another 6,000 are stationed throughout the Kingdom. A 13,000 man army is on the Ardans border, bitter and demoralized after a grinding defeat in that country. It left as a host more than three times the size, and its general - the current King's brother - was captured by the rebels.

2,000 soldiers are household guards or otherwise not in the service of the state.

The average Meddish soldier is a footsoldier armed with a sword, pike, or crossbow, armored with a helmet and chestplate or light mail. Much of the Meddish military has seen action in the recent war with the Ardans rebels. Meddeland fields a small amount of light cavalry, who generally carry spears, and virtually no heavy horse. The nation does have a few dozen large catapults that were constructed for an anticipated siege of Moraille. They were never used.

Budget:
Royal revenue is primarily generated from the King's demesne, which is about a tenth of the Kingdom and centered around the capital.

(serf tithe not in season)
+70 ducats (Royal salt monopoly - all salt mined in the Kingdom belongs to the King)
+150 rents (literally rents from the King's demesne - is smaller than a tithe, but paid all year round)
220 income

-200 ducats (army salaries)
-25 ducats (military upkeep - non-salary expenses, upkeep of forts, siege weapons, etc.)
-5 ducats (special inventory upkeep)
-15 ducats (administration)
-10 ducats (court expenses)
255 expenses

Special Inventory:

The Brier Kings were an odd bunch - your predecessor stored a jar of five pixies in the Royal treasury. Pixies are supposedly magical, humanoid, winged creatures about six inches tall that jibber constantly in an unintelligible language. You have no idea what you're supposed to do with them.

Considerably more useful in the Ancient crown of the Meddish Kings you've inherited. It's not necessarily an attractive affair, a rough circlet made out of gold with rubies. Modern crowns are more appeasing to the eye, but this one has history behind it - it has been worn by every Meddish King stretching back to the second century.

Even more useful than the crown is the giant armored lizard that is being held in the royal bestiary. It's roughly the size of an elephant, a huge green iguana-like creature with shiny black armor plates running along the top of its head, back, and the tops of its limbs. Maximilian II bought it from a Hendal beast merchant for a terrific sum, thinking it might be useful as a weapon. It's been trained for combat but it doesn't seem much interested in fighting - most of the time it just sits on the wall of the beastiary and sleeps in the warm sun. The trainers suspect it can climb walls, though they've never actually seen it do so.

Ardans

State of Ardans
Marcher Jerrik Vant ((oxfordroyale))
Oligarchy - Moraille (the seat of government)
Population: 2.02M (population excess 551k)
Size: 417,144 km^2

Dashboard:
Treasury: 500 ducats (-105)
Currently at peace. De facto ceasefire with Meddeland.
Notable institions: The Oligarchy, the Cult of the Skyseeker
No Current known threats to power
Most territory currently unadministered
Special inventory -
A vial of deadly poison, appears just to be water
Mysterious Ring
King of Meddeland's brother in prison
A secret (inquire with GM, tell him it's #5 to jog his memory)
Your Peeps: ((list of players on your side... as far as you know...))
Michel Szabolcsi, Oligarch of Sevala, Steward of Ardans ((aedan777))
Javert Dupont, Oligarch of Leganum, Chancellor of Ardans ((alexander23))
Haakon the Vandal, Oligarch of Desrois ((Gen. Marshall))
Argent Grancour, Inquisitor of Ardans ((Nodscouterr))


In Detail:

History: In ancient times, Ardans was one of the great powers of the continent, primarily because of its greater population density, technology, and overall level of development as compared to the surrounding kingdoms. While the Dalmirans to the east were divided into a hundred different clans and warred among themselves and the Meddish, motivated by pagan superstition, kowtowed to a petty, despotic King, the Ardans were building great cities in the eastern hills - while much of the rest of the world was still frightened of fire.

Ardans remained divided for many years as wars came and went, setting the Ardan people against each other. No King of Ardans ever emerged - and as the years passed, it came to be that the Ardan people recognized no King, who would claim the right for him and his progeny to rule them for all time to come. As the Dalmirans and the Meddish attacked again and again, those who had the ability to lead the armies at war became respected above the rest - with the necessity of protecting the cities held above loyalty to any particular bloodline.

The State of Ardans was first united by Gregor István, the military governor of Moraille, the largest and most powerful of the Ardan great cities. István, after years of bloody infighting, convened a council of the other independent Ardan generals to address the foreigner threats to their land. Realizing the gravity of the situation, the council declared István to be István no longer, but rather Marcher Gregor, High General, Grandmaster, and Supreme Commander of all the armies of the Ardans. Placing all their armies under his command, the generals put their faith in Gregor - and he delivered a series of stunning victories against the attacking Dalmiran tribes and the Meddish King.

Gregor became the ruler of the Ardans state, with the title of Marcher. He died of sudden illness some years later with no heirs or family to speak of. Rather than let the state break apart, the generals reconvened and appointed a new Marcher - and another after he died, and a next, and a next. It became a custom, then a tradition, then a government, then an unquestionable law. The oligarchy had been born. The oligarchs, consisting of the military governors of each of the great cities, would meet at the death of the last leader to appoint a new Marcher. While no codes of laws theoretically restricted the power of the Marcher, he practically ruled in consultation and with the consensus of the oligarchs, who remained governors and masters of their own cities directly.

Ardans was converted by the initial wave of Namidist missionaries in the first century of the Eternal Law, making it one of the oldest Namidist territories. However, harmony with the church would not last long. In the second century, after the brief removal of the Superiacy to Hendal, the Namidist church would officially incorporate feudal monarchy into the Eternal Law. The church was shocked when Ardans chafed at the move. To Ardans, this mandate was unacceptable - the state had a Marcher, not a King, and the oligarchs - who might have so easily become dukes - and the Marcher - who might have been King - officially rejected the change to the Eternal Law.

Faced with rebellion, the Church doubled down, threatening to excommunicate the oligarchy. In response, the Marcher declared a break with the church. Ardans would become a state of heretics, known to the rest of Namidists as Old Statists, for their refusal to accept monarchy into the eternal law. Over time, their liturgy and ritualism would diverge from the rest of Namidism.

In the fourth century, with the schism long solidified, tensions between the Ardans Old Statists and the Namidist church would begin to increase. At the urging of the Namidist Superiacy (and with considerable help from the church), Meddeland declared war on and invaded Ardans. After decades of fierce of fighting, the Meddish - backed by their infernal Great Council and the black villains of the Namidist church, and with no small amount of assistance from the Dalmirans - would eventually succeed in defeat Ardans. The great cities fell and the Meddish King declared himself King of the Ardans, a great affront to our people, and began to rule in earnest.

The occupation would cost Meddeland - including their false king - dearly. Ardans patriots traveled to the enemy's capital, Kandon, and assassinated much of their royal family during the war. Even after the cities fell, resistance would continue to be ferocious, with the Meddish army never successfully pacifying the country. Assassinations would continue, with Meddish governors and officers appearing their the throats cut - the reprisals against Ardans would be fierce, but the attacks continued. A wave of assassinations halted Namidist attempts to mount inquisitions, to covert us to their false religion. Beaten but not broken, the Ardans would continue to fight on.

In 494, roughly eighty years of occupation, the Ardans militias retook Moraille, the other great cities expelling their occupiers soon afterwards, and forcing the Meddish out. For the first time in almost a century, the oligarchs met in Moraille and declared national liberation, naming a new Marcher. The news was celebrated in the streets by the people, with "Death to Kings" - a new rallying cry for the Ardans - on many lips.

Six years of fighting followed. The Meddish army was forced back into its own lands, and though it returned with a vengeance, we beat it back again and again, until Ardans won a final, decisive victory at Bar River, trapping the Meddish against the rushing water. Most of their force was lost; the rest fled back to their own lands and did not return. The Oligarchs, after much deliberation, decided to to pursue them into their own lands. Peace settled back over the land. There has been no fighting for the better part of a year, and the Meddish show no appetite for another campaign. Now we are left with the problem of the peace, and administering a nation in disarray.

Geography:

Ardans is generally hilly, with a large collection of rivers running through the foothills. All large cities in Ardans (which are generally very old), are centered on the tops of hills for defensive purposes, with nearby accessible water sources. In many cases, the sprawling cities have expanded into the valleys beyond the cities. Despite the hillier terrain, Ardans land is very fertile owing to easily accessible water from the rivers and rich soil.

Rulership and Succession:

Ardans is the only of the Namidist nations that is not some flavor of Kingdom (and in fact "Death to Kings" was a popular rallying cry during the Liberation). The nation instead styles itself a "State," ruled by a "Marcher." The Marcher's full title is "Marcher of all the Ardans," which refers to the disunited times of the different past, when Ardans was divided against itself.

The Marcher is the supreme commander of Ardans' armies and the titular ruler of the nation. His power to rule is practically exercised in consultation with the oligarchy, the council of the nation's other military commanders. There are traditionally five oligarchs, including the Marcher (who is himself an oligarch). Each oligarch has traditionally been responsible for rule over one of the five great cities. They collectively functionally form a military junta.

When the Marcher dies, the oligarchy chooses a new Marcher from amongst themselves. The same is true when another oligarch dies - a new oligarch is chosen by the remainder. Oligarchs are chosen by majority vote, the Marcher by 3 out of the 4 remaining oligarchs (since the Marcher is an oligarch himself, he creates a vacancy on the council when he dies). If the oligarchs deadlock 2/2, it triggers an unusual condition called "accession," where the fifth oligarch is chosen by lot among the senior officers, who then comes in to break the tie. Unanimity, however, is generally preferred.

((GM's note: In practice, when an Oligarch dies sometimes you'll get to choose another oligarch, sometimes accession will trigger to replace the dead oligarch. It's not only in the event of a deadlock. I'll tell you if you get to choose.))

Oligarchs who are not the Marcher are styled as generals. (Oligarchs and the Marcher serve for life.) The Marcher is theoretically chosen on the basis that he is most capable of defending the nation from outside attack and leading its forces in battle.

Politics and Administration:

Ardans is ruled by an oligarchy (essentially a military junta), of five national generals. They traditionally each took responsibility for one of the great cities, though they redeployed around the nation as was necessary. Their power structure, therefore, is not as rigid as a feudal monarchy - an oligarch may be deployed with an army to one border or another and stationed there rather than simply garrisoning a city. The oligarchs theoretically must obey the Marcher, who rules the country with unlimited power, though they are realistically less answerable than that. In practice, the Marcher must have the general consent of and cooperation with the other oligarchs - who control sizeable armies - to create national policy.

Ardans politics under the oligarchy is built around the premise that the oligarchs are responsible for defending the nation, and the Marcher, as the Supreme Commander, is most capable of leading Ardan troops in battle.

The state is essentially under a perpetual state of martial law (not that civilian police have been invented), and any national army is led by an oligarch. In time of war, the Marcher is tradition-bound to take control of the main national army himself. The military directly administers and controls all functions of government - such as they are.

Of course, not many functions of government remain intact after the Meddish occupation. The national army has been re-established, along with the Oligarchy, but essentially no other governmental functions remain.

Foreign Relations:

Ardans has exceedingly poor relations with all its neighbors. It is technically at a state of war with Meddeland, though a de facto ceasefire has been reached. Meddeland continues to view Ardans as separatist rebels. Dalmira, on the other hand, views it as a hive of heresy - though there is always the chance that some upstart Dalmiran noble might view the emergence of Ardans as an opportunity.

Hendal has largely remained silent through the occupation.

Vague reports have reached Ardans of a new power in the north - a strange, horse-riding people called the Tavin Morin.

Demographics:

Long years of Meddish rule have left us without a clear understanding of our population. We know that we have pretty big farming and mining industries, though, with a huge portion of the population living in or around cities. We also seem have quite a lot of soldiers.

Population: 2.02M (population excess 551k)

Non-excess: ((the non-excess is primarily engaged in subsistence activities, generally food production))
???

Excess: ((the population excess is portion of the population not engaged in food production))
???


The population of Ardans is heavily concentrated in and around cities and has been since ancient times, when people flooded into cities for both commerce and defense. Most Ardans cities have high, thick walls for this reason, which have remained in relatively good repair despite everything.

Ardans is probably the most urbanized country in all of Namidism, but no one has really checked to make sure.

Economy:

As everywhere else, much of Ardans is committed to farming. Cereals are typically grown in the valleys between the foothills, where ample irrigation and fertile soil allow for high crop yields. However, given the necessary food production to support the population, there is not much cash crop farming in Ardans.

The nation has a large mining sector, mainly mining coal and bronze from large deposits in the foothills. Quarrying of stone is also a fairly major industry.

With the withdrawal of the Meddish, it's not exactly clear who owns what in many cases. Though much of the land is privately owned, the Meddish attempted to seize properties and install governors (who were often murdered by the Ardans inhabitants). Private ownership is generally assumed to the norm. In the days of the old Ardans State, the military often appropriated private goods for its own purposes - though this naturally bred resentment.

Ardans has no particularly major artisanal industries beyond domestic weapon-making, which became popular during the Liberation.

Religion:

The vast majority of the population of are Old Statists, the Namidist heresy that diverged from the mother church in the 2nd century, when the Superiacy tried to incorporate Feudal Monarchy into the Eternal Law as the religion's codified system of government. Ardans split with the church and became a nation of Old Statists. Old Statism's liturgy has significantly diverged from Namidism's.

Old Statism previously had an organized structure. Though it was not exactly forced underground during the Meddish occupation, it was definitely forced out of the city. It no longer has an organized high priesthood, with local priests and churchs without centralized command now being the norm. There is a Namidist minority, but they (understandably) tend to practice in secret.

Ardans' opposition to inquisition and the church in general has made it a hotbed for heresy and paganism - or so the Namidist church would have us believe.

The Cult of the Skyseeker, a mysterious and shadowy religion that believes in a paradise in the sky, is thought to be particularly powerful in Ardans. It is reviled by the public, and hysteria occasionally breaks out regarding the Skyseekers... they are supposed to have infiltrated the highest levels of Ardans society and government. Who knows what they are capable of? Though, perhaps an ambitious Ardan could go far by aligning himself with this strange secret society.

Culture:

Ardans is not culturally homogenous, with each of Ardans' five great cities having their own distinct cultures, after a fashion. However, in Ardans the sense of national unity trascends cultural differences. Ardans has its own language and religion, which serve as points of unity for the state, as well as its ferocious opposition to monarchism and hereditary rulership.

There are sizeable Meddish and Dalmiran minorities in Ardans, though they may be more Ardan minorities in neighboring nations - no one really knows.

As in Dalmira, grain alcohol is popular in Ardans.

Ardan culture is extremely militarist and fighting-focused, a militant aspect that has only been amplified by the 80-year occupation and subsequent national liberation. The nation does not have a nobility, and the military is the ruling class, in a sense. Festivals are often coupled with military parades.

Military:

Ardans classically had a large professional army. A highly nationalistic populace led local militias to form on their own during the Liberation, in some tens of thousands, and fight alongside the army. The exact scope and size of these militias is unknown now that the war seems to be over.

At the national level, the Ardans have a standing army of about 40,000 soldiers, many of whom eagerly signed up to fight in the battle for national liberation. The main force, an army of 30,000, has returned to Moraille to winter in the city, while the remaining 10,000 are divided into garrisons of 2,500 in the other four cities.

The average Ardans soldier is a footsoldier armed with a pike, sword, spear or polearm, perhaps wearing a helmet. The army has few archers - archery having never been a popular Ardans pasttime - and virtually no cavalry. Our infantry, however, have developed for a reputation for ferocity after the battle of Bar River.

Militias saw considerable action during the Liberation. Ardans militias are generally footsoldiers without cavalry or archers, armed with simple weapons, but are nevertheless ferocious fighters. They harassed the Meddish endlessly during the occupation. The army is itself a consolidation of major militias.

Budget:
Ardans captured the Viceroy's treasury when Moraille was taken, and with it considerable wealth that was used to fund the army for much of the six year's war. Since then, we have survived on commandeered wealth and wages. Ardans has no real tax base.

No sources of income
0 income

-100 ducats (army salaries - armies are currently on a quarter salary... they were previously militias, essentially drawing no salary at all... but after the Liberation, they may expect a proper wage if they are to continue serving the nation)
-0 ducats (administration - we don't really seem to have an administration right now)
-5 ducats (court expenses - the oligarchy is not a royal court, but it still has expenses)
105 expenses

Special Inventory:

Ardans is renowned for its audacious assassinations of the Meddish royal family (for which Meddeland will probably never forgive us). We have in our possession a vial of powerful poison which appears only to be water. Tasteless and undetectable, it kills anyone who drinks just a spoonful about a day after they injest it. There is no antidote. It's certainly a powerful tool for an assassin.

A mysterious ring was found in the Viceroyal treasury. Though it looks to be an ordinary band of gold, it glows a faint blue-green in the dark and our scholars insist it must be magic. Its function is unknown. No one has yet dared to put it on.

The brother of the current King of Meddeland is being held in our dungeons in Moraille. He was leading the Meddish army at the battle of Bar River and was captured. At the time, his brother wasn't king - but times change, Maximilian II died not long after, and our prisoner's brother now sits on the throne. Our victories have given us a powerful bargaining chip.

The Tavan Morin

The Tavan Morin
Dagch Morin Octar Dengizich ((baboushreturns))
Tribal Despotism - No Government Seat
Population: ???
Size: N/A

Dashboard:
Treasury: 0 ducats (N/A)
Currently at peace
Notable institions:
No Current known threats to power
Does not hold territory for administration
Special inventory -
1 Roc
A jade horse
The Horse Banner
Unexplained glowing silver sphere
Your Peeps: ((list of players on your side... as far as you know...))
Rizzo "Agsaldai", Banner ((Firehound15))
Ja'hani Chisan, Banner ((Korona))
Doba Morin Kh'azaro Octarz, Banner ((Mikkel Glahder))
Jo'chi Hasar ((mrlifeless))
Songiny Mergen ((Noco))
Ariq Boke Toluid, Banner ((Tufto))

In Detail:

History:

The Tavan Morin originated in a distant land, far to the east. They went from place to place in the plains until, after years of migration, the Khashaa came. The Khashaa, the people from the coast, began to build across the lands that the Tavan Morin had wandered since time immemorial, laying down fences and stone walls - both in vast numbers that began to blanket the plains. The Tavan Morin chose to strike back, looting their towns and killing their people. Many Khashaa were killed, but the coast people were numberless. After years of fighting, with many dead, the Tavan Morin had been pushed away by the Khashaa, into distant and unfamiliar lands.

The Dagch Morin made a decision - the Tavan Morin would fight the Khashaa no longer and move west in search for new plains to live on, new pastures to graze their horses, and new game for the people. It proved to be a difficult trek. The path west was winding, through barren highlands, mountains, and fruitless landscape. More than once the Tavan Morin went hungry. Once, in the life of the last Dagch Morin, the Tavan Morin reached a small valley, full of life, and full of people in a small village. The Tavan Morin sacked the valley, taking all they could find.

While the spoils were good when they lasted, a dispute broke out between the Tavan Morin - between those who wished to stay in the valley, those who wished to continue the Trek to the west, and those who wished to go back to fight the Khashaa. The Dagch Morin inconvenient died when the dispute was at its height. The Tavan Morin splintered and the War of Three Banners began, with the two separatist factions raising their banners in rebellion.

After seasons of fighting, the two rebellious banners were brought down and those who have deserted the Tavan Morin killed. The new Dagch Morin determined that the Tavan Morin would continue their trek west. Nevertheless, the fighting had splintered the great clan; many were scattered by the war, others escaped to return east, where they will find the Khashaa waiting for them...

With the rebels who wished to stay reigned in, the Tavan Morin continued east, the Three Banners united as one once again. Eventually, they reached an end to the mountains and the highlands, breaking out into a gloomy steppe, with a sparse flatland stretching out before them. However, in the distance, there were specks of green... and with the green, signs of fertile pastures, food, game - and civilization...

Geography:

The Tavin Morin do not have lands, and are constantly on the move. The unfamiliar lands they now find themselves in are mountainous and desolate, breaking into narrow flatlands in the distance. There are pastures to graze the horses and game to eat, water to drink, and wood to work, berries to gather, and so on...

Rulership and Succession:

The Ruler of the Tavan Morin is the Dagch Morin (literally "Horsemaster"). He rules by respect and force - the Tavan Morin have no constitutional traditions.

The society is literally led by the Dagch Morin - meaning that everyone follows him. If he chooses to take up his own banner (see below) and lead a warband, then he usually appoints someone to rule in his absence. The clan will follow this person until the Dagch Morin returns - or word of his death reaches the Tavan Morin.

There is no succession plan in the Tavan Morin. When the Dagch Morin dies, the next one is chosen by informal processes - which usually means some fighting.

Politics and Administration:

The Tavan Morin have no politics, since they do not really have a concept of governance or, for that matter, government. Neither do they have administration. People either do what is asked of them or they don't, and since the Tavan Morin do not stay in one place for long, there is no concept of "land ownership" in their society.

What the Tavan Morin do have is an idea of who is and is not a general. When the Dagch Morin wishes to authorize someone to make war or lead an expedition of the Tavan Morin, the Dagch Morin gives that person a banner and he becomes a general (the Tavan Morin word for general is literally the same as "Banner"). The banner is the literal, palpable sign of authority that entitles the bearer to legitimately lead the Tavan Morin in battle.

Because the Tavan Morin do not have an army, it is then up to the banner to convince other Tavan Morin to follow him. Usually the Dagch Morin's support and instruction alone is enough to convince some hundreds of Tavan Morin to follow the Banner - but if the Banner achieves victory and glory, or develops a reputation for bringing wealth and good fortune to those who follow the Banner, then more will flock to the Banner.

A Banner (General) may sometimes appoint a sergeant to carry the physical banner for him as a deputy. This is considered an extremely high honor in Tavan Morin society and the color sergeant is understood to be second-in-command to the Banner himself. He is literally referred to as "Second Banner," in the Tavan Morin language. If the Banner himself dies or is killed, the Second Banner takes over. The integrity of the army that has gathered around the physical banner is usually thusly preserved.

If the physical banner is lost, the Banner Army must retrieve it or die trying. They cannot return to the Tavan Morin without the banner unless the Banner kills himself to repent for the loss of the physical banner.

Foreign Relations:

The Tavan Morin are not familiar with any of the Namidist Kingdoms. Indeed, the Tavan Morin do not speak their language. They are strangers in a strange land.

Demographics:

The Tavan Morin have some tens of thousands of people at least. No one is quite sure how many - and indeed, even within the Tavan Morin, no one has ever counted.

Economy:

The Tavan Morin are nomads and have no real conception of an "economy." People graze their horses and collect food in accordance to their needs. They have only temporary and primitive agricultural developments if any, with most of the Tavan Morin being hunter-gatherers. Transactions are made under the barter system. If they could be said to have a currency, it is horses. Horses are used to represent the power and wealth of an individual, and horses outnumber adults among the Tavan Morin.

That's not to say they don't like gold, of course.

Religion:

The Tavan Morin have their own pagan religion, centered around the god Ikhem, who is the master of the pantheon and is supposed to have created horses. The Tavan Morin creation myth goes that Ikhem created vast horses of jade to plough the world and give shape to the formless earth, and then created flesh and blood horses from soil and mountain stone to the Tavan Morin. The Tavan Morin pantheon is vast, with gods of strength, combat, peace, weather, water, commerce, and so on.

The Dagch Morin occasionally claims to have received visions from Ikhem or other gods telling him what to do.

Culture:

The Tavan Morin culture is built around horses; Tavan Morin itself means "Horse People," in its own language. Horses are the lifeblood of the nomadic tribes and the mainstay of their people. Most of the Tavan Morin spend most of their time in the saddle. Dishonorable theft of horses (from other Tavan Morin) is punishable by death.

The Tavan Morin are nomadic people, migrating from place to place, finding a new home whenever useful resources have been depleted in the previous one. They live in animal skin, leather, and cloth tents with wooden frames that are easily packed and hauled. Temporarily agricultural cultivations are sometimes used for food, but hunting and gathering are the main source of sustenance for the Tavan Morin.

By ancient tradition, the leader of the Tavan Morin is the Dagch Morin, the horsemaster, who directs where the Tavan Morin and when - but the people mostly do whatever they please, whenever they please. Disputes between individuals are often solved violently.

Banners and flags are of great importance to the Tavan Morin. They allow the Tavan Morin to communicate and establish each other's identites over vast distances. The Tavan Morin can generally communicate to one another with flags, which are raised on long sticks in particular patterns and orders to convey words and meanings.

The Tavan Morin prefer plains, where they often spread out over vast distances, retaining line of sight with one another as they camp.

Though they are nomads, the Tavan Morin have understand of rudimentary construction techniques, which they use to build temporary camps from local resources.

Military:

The Tavan Morin don't have a military, exactly - pretty much everyone has their own horse, shortbow and/or spear and can fight if necessary. Tavan Morin armies are not so much armies as they are warbands that form around individual charismatic generals. See Politics and Administration for how the Tavan Morin gather armies.

Budget:

A what now?

Special Inventory:

The Tavan Morin have two artifacts in the possession of their Dagch Morin critically important to their people: a jade horse sculpture and the Horse Banner. The Horse Banner is the symbol of the Dagch Morin's authority - it is the Great Banner, the Banner that is above all the other banners. It demonstrates that the Dagch Morin is in fact the true Dagch Morin and can legitimately lead the Tavan Morin. The Jade Horse was (according to the Tavan Morin religion) once one of jade horses that Ikhem used to give shape to the world. Ikhem gifted it to the Tavan Morin to signify that they were the horse people, the favored of Ikhem's people.

A third curiosity, but of no religious significance, is a strange object that was taken from the Khashaa many seasons ago. It is a glowing silver sphere with strange markings across the surface. Our wise men insist that it must be magical, but have no idea what it might do.

Last, in the valley that the Tavan Morin looted, scouts found a gigantic bird of immense size, its wingspan being at least five horses long. The bird - a "Roc" - was kept in a cage; the scouts freed it, and it unexpectedly started to follow the Tavan Morin. It chases away wolves and jackals that would kill the people's horses in the night; in exchange, the Tavan Morin sometimes give it food to eat.
 
Last edited:

ThunderHawk3

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((Reasonable-sized map. The others are huge. You can right-click -> view image to see them full size.))



((Big Maps, "fixed color" renderings))




((Topographic/Political overlay))


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Dadarian

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''The world spins and the world burns.''
Name: Ishwari Yohae Kishburne
Age: Between 19 and 54
Born: Unknown
Nationality: Meddish
Traits: Wizard, Anarchist
Background: There are some people who want the world to burn. Yohae is one of these men. Born with the rather unfortunate ability to set things on fire with his fingertips, Yohae always enjoyed burning things to floor. Like his home, his farm, his village. Yohae is wandering the subcontinent, being a criminal and in general an anarchist. Leave it be he was rather unpopular with both people and the governments.



Year: seasonal damage / yearly damage / region

500 - Spring: 90 ducats / 90 ducats / Meddeland
500 - Summer: 50 ducats / 140 ducats / Meddeland
500 - Fall: 90 ducats / 230 ducats / Meddeland
500 - Winter: 0 ducats / 230 ducats / Meddeland

501 - Spring: 50 ducats / 50 ducats / Meddeland
501 - Summer: 90 ducats / 140 ducats / Meddeland

501 - Fall: 70 ducats / 210 ducats / Meddeland
501 - Winter: 0 ducats / 210 ducats / Meddeland

502 - Spring: 50 ducats / 50 ducats / Ardans
502 - Summer: 90 / 140 ducats / Dalmaria
502 - Fall: 25 ducats / 165 ducats / Dalmaria


Total: 605 ducats
 
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Nodscouterr

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''He'll be laughing still, at the end''
Name: Argent Grancour
Age: 23
Born: 477
Nationality: Ardans
Background: Argent Grancour was born the third son and fifth child to an unremarkable family of farmers outside the Ardans capital. He would spend his early years on the family farm, only rarely venturing to the great capital or other trading hubs along with father and brothers to sell their produce. His summers were spent toiling in the fields, his winters spent huddled around a fire that could only barely keep away the hypothermia. Life was difficult, perhaps, but even so one could find peace in the routines of survival. They would never be rich or decadent, Argent understood such from an early age. They would always have to fight for their survival come winter. Such facts were perhaps difficult to accept for many other farmers, who wished for more, yet Argent only wished for peace.
Then came the summer where nothing grew in the fields. Argent's father and brothers would desperately attempt to hunt, forage, gather any sort of food they could find. Yet as autumn came, it seemed there was little they could do to avoid death. The soil would not yield fruit or wheat, and the animals retreated from their lands. One night, Argent's father would stand, gaze across the fields with bloodshot eyes, and would bow his head down in prayer. A prayer for some kind of salvation, Argent though. As the next morning came, a heavy wooden cart, complete with a large cage, arrived at the farm. A few men cloaked in green and carrying daggers in their sheaths arrived. Argent's father would take his hand, whisper ''I'm sorry.'', and slowly beckon the twelve-year-old boy to go towards the cart. Enslaved, given to bandits, he would watch from the wooden cage as his home disappeared out of view, his father carrying a sack of gold. They would survive, Argent thought. Perhaps he'd return one day.
For one year he would be a slave to the bandits. For one year he would work, work and work under the fear of their whips and daggers. A few hours of sleep, followed by menial and backbreaking labour. Slowly, it would seem that the young boys began collapsing, breaking down. Where he once cried out in pain, he would remain silent. Where he once was silent, he would grit his teeth in pain and feel the taste of blood in his mouth. It felt… good.
The bandits would tire of him. He would be sold to a circus. A slave still, perhaps, yet one that did not break his back daily or get whipped until there was no blood left for the leeches. He would play their games. Throwing daggers. Playing with sickles and swords. Shedding blood in acts for the amusement of slovenly bakers and fat craftsmen alike. For 10 years, the circus would be his world. He remained silent, gleeful during the shows of dagger and sword that quickly became a main attraction of the circus. His old name, whatever it was, seemed irrelevant now. The crowds cheered for the Silver Sickle. The farmer boy was long gone. In his place, a silent madman of lost lives and sharp blades remained. In madness, clarity. In insanity, knowledge. There would be blood, he knew. As the winds across the world changed paths, so too would he. It was time for the greatest show of all.
 
Last edited:

ThunderHawk3

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Leader Signups

((Signups - so to proceed, I need people to sign up for the following roles, the five faction leaders and one more:

1) King of Dalmira
2) King of Hendal
3) King of Meddeland
4) Marcher of Ardans
5) Dagch Morin of the Tavan Morin

+
6) Superius of Namidism (the religious leader)

To sign up for one of these factions, post in thread and tell me you want it. You can list up to three preferences if you want to be in the running for more than one. At the end, I'll roll to see who gets the faction.

Note that these are not all equal starts.

If you get the faction leadership, you'll get a chance to make a new character that makes sense for the roll.

Signups will be open for 4 days, until 2/12, unless we get overwhelmed before that.))
 
Last edited:

Maxwell500

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1. King of Hendal
2. Marcher of Ardans
3. King of Meddeland
 
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TJDS

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Character Name: Dwaler
Born: Unkown

Dwaler is a man as old as time and wise as the thickness of the the heart tree of Dalmaria. When you see him he immedialty captures you as nice and wise, but he never seems to be at home, always traviling from a village to a town or sometimes even a tree and once he has arrived he talks with the Village Elders and then leave like he did not have a purpose in that village. He is a mystery to people who do not know him well, but you can understand him when you see him in nature, between the forrests and rivers, the birds and the wolfs, in his real home. Dwaler will spread the words of Namid to every corner of the Empire, not the words of High Priesthood, but the true words of Namid and he will learn all knowledges that can be learned, for Namid has created everything, thus Dwaler must know everything.

Dwaler may offer his services to Lords from time to time, but he may dissapear the next instant, for the heart of the Lord is not as pure as the songs of the birds. Dwaler knows everything there is to know about plants, animals and trees and has an expert opinion about everything, from business to warfare, although he likes to prevent the latter one.
 

oxfordroyale

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1. Marcher of Ardans
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Mikkel Glahder

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((I would sign up for Dagch Morin))
 

jeeshadow

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1. Marcher of Ardans
2. Superius of Namidism
3. King of Dalmira
 

Fingon888

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Name: Leopold Zweigler
Date of Birth: 469
Place of Birth: Vantage, Meddeland
Nationality: Meddish
Occupation: Duelist and Soldier of the Crown.

Bio: Leopold was born the bastard son of some nameless hedge knight and as such grew up with not much to eat but plenty of swords. As such he learned how to fight from a very young age and became an incredibly skilled and accomplished duelist. He won tournaments and performed duels for the King as well as fighting in the King's Army. He is currently residing with the Meddish Army where he follows his orders and duels for amusement in the local dueling ring at the army which is used for illegal gambling. Leopold is not a rich man, but he gets by.
 
Last edited:

KhanXLT

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1) King of Hendal




Name: Laurens Jansingh
Date of Birth: 472
Place of Birth: Etela, Hendal
Nationality: Hendalish
Occupation: Merchant Prince in the Imperial Court

Bio: Laurens was born as the first of three sons of one of the most prestigious Merchant Families in South Hendal. Raised to be heir of his fathers company, he was given quite possibly the best education money could buy. He would regularly spend afternoons with his fathers employees at the docks, learning about the ships and the people who ran them, his thirst for knowledge unquenchable.

His Father would regularly send out ships to far off and distant countries to look for profit. Laurens led one of these Expeditions for the first time at the age of 21. The destination? To the far off Country of Ah'Hyuck. The actual Voyage was uneventful, but upon returning, he entered The Capital Burnhem for the First time. The City seemed alive to him in a way nothing ever had. He knew that his future will be made there.

He returned home and immediately petitioned his father to move the majority of Jansingh Operations to the Capital. His father would hear nothing of it. A year later, A mysterious Fire burned down the Family manor, killing his brothers. Laurens would barely survive. His Father would be found guilty of the arson and was executed. With sole control of Jansingh Corproation, he moved the majority of Operations to Burnhem and began to aggressively "Secure Market Share"

at the dawn of the year 500, Jansingh Corporation has grown large enough for Laurens to be able to weasel his way into the Imperial Council and the opportunities that are sure to lie within
 
Last edited:

mrlifeless

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Name: Jo'chi Hasar
Born: 485
Nationality: The Tavan Morin
Though little more than a child Jo’chi has showen immense talent in archery and rideing. He has earned the name Hasar (the brave) for being the first to feed the great bird that has joined the Tavan Morin.
 
Last edited:

Dish of fish

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Name: Anders Wyngarden

Culture: Hendal

Resides in: Etela

Born: 465

Background: The Wyngarden family has been influential in Hendalan politics for generations. Anders was the second son of Martin Wyngarden, who was famed for both his cunning and his poor judgement. A badly thought-out scheme to assassinate a rival in court ended in the execution of Martin and his eldest son, and Anders inherited the family's assets.

Anders quickly worked to downplay his connection to his father. He made amends with family enemies and smoothed over the scandal of his father's death. Though many years of meddling and bribery had failed to amass power, an unexpected opportunity fell into Anders' lap.

The former governor of South Hendal was weak, in body and in mind. Corruption flourished under his command. He was unpopular, and his death by "food poisoning" was perhaps more literal than at first glance. His death left a power vacuum in the Royal Court. A hailstorm of bribes and grandstanding unfolded, and Anders ended in victory.

The newly appointed Governor Wyngarden is a pious, temperate man. His appointment was met with some confusion among his peers, as he is not obviously ambitious. Rumors of a secret sponsor were discussed. Whatever the truth, he has acquired one of the most powerful positions in Hendal. It is unknown what he will do with it.
 
Last edited:

Maxwell500

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His Majesty, Hugh Bordelon, By the Grace of Namid, King of Hendal, Lord of Burnhem and Protector of the Realm

Born: 444 (56)
Culture: Hendal
Background: Royal Blood
Personality: Psychopath
Biography: TBA
Children:
Marie Clotilde, Crown Princess of Hendal (30)
Joseph, Prince of Hendal (26)
Charles, Prince of Hendal (24)
Henry, Prince of Hendal (22)
 
Last edited:

happycats517

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((I'd like to apply to be the Superius of Namidism

otherwise I'll be some minor character of the Tavan Morin))
 

Mikkel Glahder

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A picture of Kh'azaro at his 14 year of life​

Name: Doba Morin Kh'azaro Octarz
Born: 486
Bio: Born as the oldest son Octar Dengizich, the now Dagch Morin, and a Khashaa woman. Since he got his first horse at the age of 5, he had a close realationship with all animals. At age 7 he mastered the bow and arrow and rode with great skills across plains and mountain range alike. When they reached the fertile plains of the south, when he was 13, he formed a good realationship to the Roc, after it saved him and his horse from a pack of wolfs. He is very strong and is said to have the look of an eagle.

Traits:
Royal Blood
Vengeful
 
Last edited:

ThunderHawk3

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((Point of clarification: You don't have to make characters now, but you can if you want to.

On the other hand, if you want to wait for leader selection, that's fine too.))