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  1. THE GREAT HORDE OF KHONOLL RACE: Gnolls MAGIC / SORCERY: tbd, requires consultation with Sup BRIEF DESCRIPTION / HISTORY: "Between the time when St. Ralek broke the White Tree, and the fall of the Sons of Sedorva, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Khonoll, destined to wear the jewelled crown of Aquignollia, upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of High Adventure!" - Roland the Reluctant, Royal Chronicler of Khonoll, King of Gnolls Gnolls, it has often been said, are a simple, brutish people. Indeed, their definition as "people" has oft been debated and frequently refuted by Anduvian scholarship. They are canine in appearance and temperament. Their lives generally revolve around food, its acquisition, and their primitive social hierarchy in which might, more often than not, makes right. They themselves describe themselves, proudly, as savage and war-like. They breed prodigously and migrate swiftly between regions, when their ravenous numbers have exhausted available hunting grounds. They have little to no understanding or love of settled societies, and often see them as no different from the herds of animals they generally follow. They are roving packs of predators, united often as familially related tribes and occasionally in larger hordes under a charismatic and brutal leader. And in this current age, there is none more charismatic, no more brutal, and no more destined for greatness than Khonoll: he who would claim the mantle of King of Gnolls! Khonoll's rise to power began as most great gnolls does, as the whelp of tribal chieftain. Born from one of many litters of a favoured warrior she-gnoll of his noble sire, whose names are both lost to history in the shadow of their magnificent son, Khonoll survived to adulthood from the tribulations of his youth. As was the case in his tribe, whose name has again been lost to history in Khonoll's mighty shadow, the future Gnoll King's litter was sent into combat in their youth as a pack: the males forming the vanguard, using naught but claws and teeth, and the females taking up the rear with whatever stones and projectiles they could scavenge. Those who survived in the crucible of raiding between settled folk, and other roving gnoll bands, would graduate into the main war-packs upon maturity. Khonoll thrived in this environment, going from leading his litter to leading a throng of dozens in his first two years of life. Again, as is oft the case, upon his father's years catching up to him, he challenged his sire to single combat, bested and devoured him before the whole tribe. Securing victory by mounting his father's latest "matrimonial" conquest, as was tradition, the rule of Khonoll was undisputed. From this, came many conquests. Possessed of fury, a self-belief, and a sheer audacity, did Khonoll defeat and assimilate a multitude of tribes to his cause. His skill and wisdom in rule were unsurpassed in gnoll-kind, and neither was his wrath nor strength at arms. Many tribes became one under him, and thus were all of thus subsumed into His Horde. The sons of his defeated and devoured enemies were now his Under-Chieftains, providing their greatest she-gnoll offspring to him in tribute, as with the appropriate tithe of loot and meat, as was custom and their great overlord's due. They came before the King of Gnolls, a title that was unfamiliar to them and had never before been claimed by a dogman. They cowered before him in submission, baring their underbellies and begged the knowledge of how Khonoll had the strength of will to conquer them, and to what purpose he had laid aside a sizeable portion of seized wealth. To them he answered, in the fashion of: "I am King of Gnolls, but submit myself to He who has proven Himself master of All Races, the Emperor of Men Ralek, who is as the Alpha of All Hordes, and thus our Liege." Inspired by the example of the greatest of conquerors, and thus the most deserving of masters, who not even Khonoll, King of Gnolls, could hope to best, the great Khonoll declared his intention to cleave to the Master of Mankind, that his horde would know peace and kinship with the mighty realm of Anduvia and prosperity as its loyal vassals. Thus was a great tribute amassed by Khonoll and presented to the servants of St. Ralek, that all would know of his horde's allegiance. The gnollish horde of Khonoll would fight and devour the enemies of the Greatest Conqueror, that both gnoll and man would know glory, loot and meat! Scholar's Note: The majority of the above is suspect in the extreme and relies entirely on the account of Roland Telenger, "the Reluctant", scribe and propagandist of the self-described King of Gnolls. From Roland's epithet, again self-described, and conveyed to us likely because the gnolls have no idea what the word "reluctant" means, we can surmise that much of his writings are not entirely truthful, if not outright fabrications dictated to him by the dogmen. In truth, we have not even a remote idea of the true origin or history of Khonoll, or why on Earth such a creature would profess himself such a devoted servant of Emperor Ralek, blessed be his name. Nevertheless, what cannot be disputed is that this brutal, inhuman warlord inexplicably considered himself one of the Empire's greatest champions and rampaged across the world beyond Anduvia's borders with abandon in the name of St. Ralek, sending back vast tributes and declaring all his victories in the name of our blessed state. Exactly why this is remains a matter of heated scholarly debate, and, despite their ludicrous nature, Roland the Reluctant's writings, periodically delivered to our border by dogman courier and bizarrely written as if from some point in the future, remain our only source on this perplexing and continuing period in Imperial history. LEADER / NOTABLE CHARACTERS: Khonoll Jo Grazak Vrrthaz Kurl Rathnak, Son-In-Spirit to Ralek, Tribe Alpha, Thousand-fold Impregnator, Claimer of Metal-things, Paterphagus, He-Whose-Like-Shall-Rare-Be-Seen-Again, King of Gnolls. Roland Telenger, the Reluctant - Human scholar and chronicler of the exploits of the mighty King of Gnolls. MAP LOCATION (ONLY WITHIN OR NEAR TO ANDUVIA): Somewhere north UNIQUE UNIT: Gnollish Warg Riders - There is perhaps a joke to be had about dogmen riding giant monstrous dogs, but the bloody carnage dealt by both in battle is enough to silence the most jovial commentator. (Monstrous Medium Cavalry) POINT OF INTEREST: The Crown of Khonoll - A masterstroke of imperial diplomats was the idea to bestow the gnollish king with a crown, showing him that the Empire favoured his endeavours in its name and also raising his credo among his bestial followers. In truth, the crown is but a simply produced gold affair designed to impress the easily impressed. Nevertheless, that Khonoll can physically show to his followers such a shiny example of Ralek's favour is a major boon to his reputation - and a sign to other forces within the empire that these gnolls are on the Empire's side.
  2. Delathin Principality RACE: Moon Elf MAGIC / SORCERY: Luron BRIEF DESCRIPTION / HISTORY: Born from the immediate aftermath of the fall of Prince Vudin and the Whitewood, the region now known as the Treemurk was once a verdant paradise but is now largely a decaying and treacherous swamp. Lady Haelia Delathin, last scion of a house largely wiped out in the fighting between Whitewood and Anduvia, came to lead a large band of refugees seeking shelter within the quickly dying woods and hinterlands. Adding political weight to a band of surviving Whitewood rangers and guardsmen who defended the isolated survivors from roving bandits and mercenaries, Lady Haelia negotiated the surrender of her group to the Empire. In line with St. Ralek's decree to spare those who bent the knee, in honour of their ferocity in battle, Haelia became Princess of her own rump state - in exchange for her only child at the time, a daughter, being sent to St. Ralek's new elven harem. Where other survivors of Whitewood preferred to leave the past behind them and settle far from their dying forest, the Delathin Principality's lands mostly cover what is now known as the Treemurk. Most of its people live in settlements at the forest's edge, but Princess Haelia and her consort Aerondar see it as their duty to watch over the dying weald in its entirety. Few still live within, but Aerondar's Bloodmoon Rangers see to it that their lives are as free from molestation by malevolent forces as possible. Haelia holds court at the city of Shael'hanar, built upon the ruins of a Whitewood border fortress, from which the elves of the Principality content themselves to their isolation. In accordance with their subjugation to the empire, Delathin warriors often leave to fight in the empire's wars and serve with distinction. This is one of the few times those not of the Princess's court leave their borders. Many elves of other domains are often shocked at their grim nature and pale complexion - which is easily attributed by many to the effects of living in or in close proximity to the now accursed Treemurk. They lack the piety of many of their cousins, seeing the fall of Whitewood as the result of the blessed moon abandoning them. Nevertheless, Princess Haelia holds at least a nominal position as an Oracle of Luron, and priestly figures often depart from Shael'hanar to minister to the populace. LEADER / NOTABLE CHARACTERS: Princess Haelia Delathin Prince-Consort Aerondar MAP LOCATION (ONLY WITHIN OR NEAR TO ANDUVIA): TREEMURK. NOT CLOUDMURK. UNIQUE UNIT: Bloodmoon Rangers The original name of Aerondar's band of surviving Whitewood soldiers, the Bloodmoon Rangers act as both a household guard and secret police for the Principality. They maintain watch-posts throughout the settlements of Delathin as well as within the haunted Treemurk itself. POINT OF INTEREST: tbd
  3. 10,430 STELLARCHY OF MATENE OOP! Post MP statpost! Actions: The Glorious Armada continues its campaign. 5 x Light Cruisers constructed. (150,000 C, 100 NP, 30 M). 10,000 x Artillery constructed and crewed to Imperial Standard. (30,000 C, 10 AP, 8 M, 3 A). Tanalar buys a new rug. (200,000 C, 50 M).
  4. 10,429 STELLARCHY OF MATENE Tanalar's realm is made whole again with the wholesale surrender of the Eastern Rebellion. The strict feudal hierarchy of Matene is swiftly and brutally re-established on the communist worlds, with rebel commissars, civil officials and military officers executed en masse and their families automatically identured. Collaborators are well rewarded, and the noble houses of the Stellarchy swiftly move in to establish profitable fiefdoms supported by their own private armies. The victorious Admiral Karahu's Second Fleet and the troops of the First Legion are given no rest, however, as they are re-assigned to garrison the critical border fortress world of Lochos. Lochos had, until now, been host to the massing forces of the Glorious Prince's fleet as he prepared to set sail to the aid of the Throne of a Thousand Stars. Over a hundred ships begin their voyage to the beleagured Fourth Empire's rescue. Actions: Flagship Eminence repairs the minor damage sustained at the Battle of Emeria. (4500 C, 6 NP) The 1st Fleet jumps to the aid of the Fourth Empire's capital world, continuing through Tahiwai-taken systems until they meet any sort of naval resistance or until they've completed 7 jumps. Scrambler active. The 2nd Fleet repositions to the border world of Lochos. 2,000,000 Infantry trained to Imperial Standard. (100,000 C, 24 AP, 24 M). 2,500,000 Infantry trained to Regular Standard. (75,000 C, 15 AP, 20 M). 10,000 Artillery constructed and crewed to Imperial Standard. (30,000 C, 10 AP, 8 M, 3 A). Tanalar's menagerie enjoys another year of funding. (200,000 C, 50 M)
  5. 10,428 STELLARCHY OF MATENE War comes on two fronts! Answering the plight of the Fourth Empire's core territory, the bulk of the grand invasion fleet reclaiming the rebel territories changes course and begins the journey to the Throne of a Thousand Stars. Tanalar will personally ride to the defense of the true empire, and see off the upstart Tahiwai. The offensive against the rebellion does not cease, however. Admiral Karahu remains with a slimmed down fleet and the 1st Legion to continue his campaign. Actions: The 1st Fleet repositions to the military world of Lochos, on the border between Matene, the 4E Core and Tahiwai. Scrambler active. The 2nd Fleet, being the skeleton fleet left under Karahu, jumps to the next rebel system. 10 x Freighters constructed. (25,000 C, 20 NP, 10 M). 5 x Heavy Cruisers constructed. (250,000 C, 125 NP, 45 M, 10 A, 10 T). 10 x Stealth Ships constructed. (150,000 C, 30 NP, 40 M, 10 A, 10 T). 20 x Destroyers constructed. (200,000 C, 80 NP, 40 M.) 1,000,000 Infantry retrained to Imperial Standard. (40,000 C, 10 AP, 8 M).
  6. 10,427 STELLARCHY OF MATENE WAR! A grand invasion of the Mateni Rebel territories is launched at the end of the year. But rumour has it that Prince Tanalar called off his own personal involvement in the campaign for personal business. What business could possibly draw the Glorious away from a chance to prove his martial prowess is any man's guess. "... Surely my most prized possession. If ever I had an equal..." Actions: 4 x Fighter Squadrons constructed. (20,000 C, 8 NP, 8 M). 1 x Bomber Squadron constructed. (5000 C, 2 NP, 2 M). 12 x Destroyers constructed. (120,000 C, 48 NP, 24 M). 1,000,000 Infantry retrained to Imperial Standard. (40,000 C, 10 AP, 8 M).
  7. 10,426 STELLARCHY OF MATENE Life continues as it has done in Matene for the past three years - a feeling of a disquieted calm before the storm. Soldiers drill, ships are built; the Prince celebrates life, art, and himself. All the while, gears turn in the darkness, wheels are put into motion. Actions: 6 x Stealth Ships constructed. (90,000 C, 18 NP, 24 M, 6 A, 6 T). 10 x Freighters constructed. (2500 C, 2 NP, 1 M). 5 x Bomber Squadrons constructed. (25,000 C, 10 NP, 10 M). 1 x Light Cruiser constructed. (30,000 C, 20 NP, 6 M). 100,000 Heavy Infantry retrained and equipped to Imperial Standard. (20,000 C, 5 AP, 4 M) Tanalar "requests" that the Fourth Empire's Anti-Piracy Taskforce II be dispatched to Matene for a short duration. Perhaps there is a piracy issue to be dealt with...?
  8. 10,425 STELLARCHY OF MATENE "My dearest subjects. Across our realm, I see you gathered in your masses, in jubilant throngs of well-wishes on this - the 50th anniversary of my ascension to the throne of August Stellarch of Matene. I, of course, accept your accolades, your triumphs, your praises, and your devotion to me on this most auspicious day in our calendar. I ask only that you share your genuflection with our liege - my master, my beloved nephew, lord of a thousand stars - Emperor Tuakeo II. May his reign be as long, and as bountiful, as my own has been - as my own shall continue to be. Matene is a beacon of light and civilisation in an ever decaying galaxy, but I shall not pretend that a similar decay has not been seen in our own domain. As has been the case throughout history, and indeed throughout life: prosperity breeds complacency. We see that all is well and assume it shall always be thus. But, sadly, whilst we dine in gilded halls, weeds have taken root in our garden. Roots dig at our foundations. Rats gnaw at the beams. As many of you will know, no matter your role in it, maintaining a great estate is a taxing affair that requires constant vigilance, attention to detail, and decisive action. It requires work - to burn back the weeds, to cut out the roots, to exterminate the rats. Such work will soon be required in our Empire. Work that I am relishing the chance to undertake. Alas! Let not the sombre business of tomorrow dull the festivities of today. I await your tributes, gifts and well wishes, and look forward to another year as your overlord. Long may I reign." - Tanalar the Glorious, broadcast across Matene Actions: 1 x Support Carrier constructed (40,000 C, 6 M, 1 A, 1 T, 20 NP) 3 x Assault Ship Squadrons constructed (15,000 C, 6 M, 3 NP) 9 x Destroyers constructed (90,000 C, 18 M, 36 NP)
  9. STELLARCHY OF MATENE Leviathan wakes. Actions: 15 x Destroyers constructed (150,000 C, 30 M, 60 NP) The young emperor is encouraged to acquiesce to Matareka's request for military aid against the vile Irik. Uniting the realm in terms of controlled space can only be a boon for the Fourth Empire, after all. Tanalar sweetens the deal with the appropriate tributes. (20 Influence)
  10. STELLARCHY OF MATENE Tanalar the Glorious Many are the honours and titles of Tanalar, both earned and self-bestowed. He is the great cosmic Narcissus, perfect in physical form through luck of birth and aeons of advancements in cosmetic enhancement. A physical specimen almost unparalleled in modern humanity, born into wealth and power, and trained from birth to rule. It is no wonder, then, that he is possessed of a pathological arrogance and delusions of apotheosis. But his grandeur is certainly not a delusion. Though the foundations were certainly laid during the reign of his late father Darius, the circumstances of whose death are lost to history, it is Tanalar who presides over Matene at its greatest influence in galactic politics. He is the power behind the throne of Tuakeo II, a nephew whom he regards as little more than a puppet - the Fourth Empire, a protective apendage of his demesne. That is not to say that the August Prince does not care for the successor state his father was coerced into supporting. Even a god amongst men must have a project. Something to work towards, something to improve. Tanalar has spent decades building his reputation as "the Glorious" by enriching that great extension of himself - Matene. As much effort spent violently restructuring the high social structure of the Stellarchy has been spent building artistic mega-works and institutions that parallel or exceed Kaumai. But this has been to the neglect of the wider empire. Warlords have seceded from his nephew's realm with little effort and little punishment. They, and the wider galactic powers, are an inevitable threat to the grand, celestial estate that Tanalar continues to build. How safe can one's home be with barbarians over the hill? How must their subjects languish without a suitable overlord! The Third Empire is dead, irrelevant in the main to the jewel of power, culture and prosperity that the Fourth Empire could be. Tanalar desires that future. He has never felt a sense of duty to anything - but for what he desires he would burn all in his path to ash, with a smile. Unique Military Units: TBD with mod consultation National Idea: TBD with mod consultation A letter: J
  11. THE MIRAABI CONFEDERATION Turn 2 (RP and diplomatic actions later) ACTIONS: The Khan's demand for fealty is rejected. Aid from the Sky Nomads and Bounty Hunters requested in defending Miraabi airspace. 5 x Naval Production (NP) bought from Market. 1 x Military Industry (AP) built. (7500 C + 1 M) 1 x Trade Depot built. (12,500 C + 2 M) 1 x Material Industry (M) built. (10,000 C) 12 x Destroyers built. (30,000 C + 4 NP) Research continues into activating the Wardens of the Miraab, this time with the aid of adepts from the Jenites' Spiritus Sanctus Machina. TP 10
  12. THE MIRAABI CONFEDERATION The Great Miraab. Known to its people as the Jewel of the Wastes, this massive plateau jutting kilometres above the Great Expanse has ever been a light in the darkness of the central continent. It is the only source of abundant fresh water for near a thousand kilometres, and is home to vast lakes of it - spilling off the cliff face into a great basin below. In their generosity the Miraabi clans permit all to drink from the lower lake, for it represents their cup running over from the gifts of heaven, sky and earth. The Miraabi are thus encapsulated: welcoming, generous, but possessive of what they see as theirs. And the Miraab is most certainly theirs. For generations uncounted, the Miraab has represented a perfect union of two great peoples. Those of the Earth, descended from the Tannic Rovers who abandoned raiding and cannibalism for a sedentary life on the unforgiving, desolate wastes; and those of the Sky, the Sky Nomads, Drakers and international traders who visit to trade and on occasion settle among the Miraabi. It was these children of the Sky who brought to the children of the Earth the philosophy and religion of the Ways. It was the Miraab itself that demonstrated their truth. The Miraab has resources, land and wealth for all, but no patience for those who would take more than their share. Thus have the peoples of the Miraab and their allies ever been opposed to invaders from near or far. Often this Adversary has come in the form of distant kin - the Tannic Khans. Now the Khanate rears its envious head once again, with the prospect of a new war on the horizon with the death of its previous leader. The Khanate respects strength, a strength the Miraabi have shown time and time again as a rock against their wind. But, given time, wind can erode rock to scattered sand. This the Miraabi know. Simply standing, immovable, is death. Thus the peoples of the Miraab must steel themselves for a great Storm of War, as their shamans and seers call it, and prepare for conflict on a scale unseen in generations. The Miraab is open to all, but belongs to no man, no king, and certainly no Khan. ACTIONS: 5 Materials (M) bought from Market. 1 Naval Industry built. 1 Material Industry built. Research begun into the ancient gun emplacement known as the Wardens of Miraab (POI), to see how much effort would be needed to unlock their secrets. Diplomat dispatched to the Kurultai, carrying a gift to assure good will. (5000 C)
  13. Flag of Heaven, Sky and Earth The Miraabi Confederation Culture & History: The Great Expanse was born of the Conflagration, the wrath of heaven upon the earth and its children. Bands of survivors of those eeked out meagre existences in the shattered ruin of what had been, but found little respite. Scant few of these lived long enough to become the tribes of what are now known as the Tannic peoples. Who their ancestors had been before the fire and desolation was wiped away by the overwhelming need to survive in a harsh, uncaring world by any means necessary. Tribes moved first by foot and then in what mobile contraptions they could fashion together from generations of salvage efforts. Nomadism, scavenging what they could and preying on those who could not defend their own finds. This was an age of sorrow, of pain, bloodshed and guilt for paying the savage price of living. Long did this age last, longer than for those whose land the Conflagration did not scour so harshly. Technology and progress were foreign to these Old Rovers, and thus the sight of the first sky vessels were seen as omens of great change. Guided by predatory hunger, curiousity, or prophetic visions, tribes who had not entirely given themselves to isolation and eternal despair each, on their own, began a great exodus to follow these vessels. Many were led astray, into lands that did not welcome them and lost their faith, and often their lives. A precious few were led to the promised land. To the Great Miraab. The Miraab was an alien thing to the Rovers, a great table of stone jutting up from the wastes. On most approaches, its cliff faces are impassably high - save for a sloping plain leading up on its north-east. Those who arrived from the south, however, would not be deterred for they bore witness to the Miraab's greatest gift. Water. A massive lake of abundant, fresh water, fed by a great waterfall spilling from the summit. Those who arrived in the north soon found this gift as well, finding the source water of the lower lake - and at its banks the Great Caravanserai. There, at this great gathering point of the formerly magical and distant sky vessels, did the Rovers find that their pilots were not angels or spirits, but men as they were. Both these children of the sky and children of the earth were wary of one another. The Rovers lived a zero-sum life - what little there was in the world must be taken, lest your kin starve. But the Miraab was a place unlike any other in the Great Expanse. Green things, animals, water, abundance was here. For the first time since the Conflagration, there was enough to share. Thus did the Rovers settle on the Miraab, and from their settlement, and their communion with the Miraab's constant visitors (the Sky Nomads, and others from further lands), was the Miraabi Confederation founded. The water of aquifers deep beneath the plateau enable the most intensive agriculture possible in the Great Expanse, allowing the once desperate scavengers to live more moral and peaceful lives. The adoption of the Ways of Heavens, Skies and Earth was natural to them, for the Miraab embodies this triad. Children of Earth and Sky mix freely, with many intermarriages and firm bands of alliance and kinship between land and sky based clans within their first few generations. To many, this distinction has become meaningless - those who live atop the great plateau are all Miraabi. Unusual for a nation that many in the more habitable lands would consider "backward", the Miraabi have only benefitted from the Age of Imperialism. Increased trade and connection between the powers of the world has in turn increased traffic across the sky lanes, and only heightened the profile of the Miraab and the Great Caravanserai as a vital hub of transcontinental trade. Naturally, this explosion of wealth and status as a strategic sky port has drawn the eye of foreign powers. In the early years of the Resource Wars, attempts were made by some Empires to establish military garrisons on the plateau in order to steer trade and prevent their rivals from accessing this vital harbour. This was met with far more resistance than they had anticipated, little knowing the resolve and unity of the Miraab's many tribes and their powerful allies in the nomadic sky fleets. Slaughter of the invaders and harrying of trade ships flying the offending flags was enough to convince these fleeting attempts to sign armistice agreements and allow the Great Caravanserai to remain and open port. These attacks were hardly the full strength of their patron nations, however, and many on the Miraab fear for their future if they do not establish a more regulated standing military. Unique Military Units (Max 3): Clan Carrier - A peculiar hovercraft-like behemoth capable of skimming over the arid wastelands of the central Continent at speeds that are breakneck in comparison to similarly massive land vehicles. Originally the mobile settlements of extended kin-groups of wasteland scavengers, once the Clans settled upon the Miraab Plateau these massive vehicles began to serve as the "motherships" of long-range Miraabi expeditions into the unknown and mobile defensive installations for the plateau. A Clan Carrier boasts not only docking capability for a small complement of granships, but also carries defensive batteries to ward off aerial foes, as well as functioning as a troop transport. (Land-based capital ship). Blockade Runner - The Sky Nomads and other Tannic peoples are well aware of the dangers of their sky lanes. Pirates, privateers and even the new Tann Khanate present great dangers to the usual altitudes of trade ships. As a result, the Miraabi have developed a high speed, high altitude trading vessel to evade pursuers by climbing higher than their enemy can see or reach them. This makes them ideal blockade runners, but some would prefer the dangers of men to the dangerous beasts lurking on the border between Sky and Heaven that these craft could face... (High-altitude "topmarine" trade ship). Will discuss third unique later. National Idea: Will discuss later. Point of Interest: The Great Caravanserai of Miraab An eclectic mix of landing field, bazaar and holy city for the Sky Nomads and Tannic peoples of the central wastelands. A place to rest, refuel, trade and converse with friends and families not seen in months or years in the sky. There are few permanent structures here, save for a great and nameless monastery to the Ways and the bones of sky-beasts of myth left as monuments to hunters of legend. Others include enclaves of the Bounty Guild and Sky Couriers. National Traits: Military: Naval Focus Economic Focus: Trade Hub Society: Globalist Resource Deficiency: Steel Army Doctrine: Air Power Naval Doctrine: Convoy Raiding Map Location:
  14. COUNTY OF ZADNESTI Nation History: The County of Zadnesti is often forgotten and discounted in comparison to its larger, richer and more influential neighbour, the Kingdom of Valcea. Whereas Valcea is a developed beacon of the wider culture of the Valceans, many consider Zadnesti backward, rural and stuck in its ways as a people and a county. In the days prior to the Empire's unification, the two realms quarelled often, with Valcea having a distinct upper hand for most of its conflicts. It was Zadnesti's early capitulation to Kiralska, shortly followed by Valcea, that set its independence from its cultural brother into the framework of the nascent empire, with the two lands defined by law as separate and equal vassals of the throne. This equality would not last, and any additional political gains aside from a guarantee of independence from the Emperor that Zadnesti hoped to gain did not materialise. Being richer in resources and in political guile in the new Sejm, Valcea once more eclipsed its neighbour. Zadnesti had peace with its neighbours and security in land and title, but that was all. The county's ruling dynasty, the House of Vardelescu, has reigned since the days of the Empire's birth, and ever willing and able to give its sons and its steel for Kiralska's foreign wars and the defence of its borders against raiders from Wold and sea. It is somewhat of a land between geographical features. It stretches from western mountains across a vast expanse of plains and grasslands to the swamps on the shores of Vazyrow's lake. The land is rich and fertile, making for bumper crop yields that feed both its populace and campaigning armies far away. Zadnesti was somewhat late to its conversion to Jozsefism, compared to its larger and more influential cousin to the north. It was brought into the mechanist faith by the late Count Nicolae's divine revelation upon meeting the Great Ascetic - though a more likely story is that he was swayed by an undercurrent of sectarian discontent in the peasantry, powerful jozsefite neighbours, and an excuse to confiscate the estates of wealthy local Vasseric malcontents. Nevertheless, his court took to the new creed with dutiful reverence, and thirty years later the Zadnesti nobility is decidedly Jozsefite, in line with the majority of the people and with their neighbours to the north and west. Such a conversion, inevitably, brought conflict with their most rambunctious neighbour, the Patriarch in Vazyrow. An all out war of religion for the soul of the newly converted county was only avoided by the unspoken threat of intervention from Valcea and Krysta, and the possibility of civil war in the Empire when war with Trazmir was yet again on the horizon. Instead, the conversion of Zadnesti was loudly decried and bellicose words were flung about in the halls of the Patriarch, but nothing came of it. Count Nicolae sealed his pact with the growing Jozsefite power bloc by a marriage between his two sons and the daughters of lesser houses of Valcean nobility. The offering from the House of Antonescu, merchant princes from the Valcean capital, was the fifteen year old Ana-Maria Antonescu, wed to Count Nicolae's second son Adrian. The greater honour went to the Zadnesti heir, Ioan, who was wed to the Lady Sofia, a niece (albeit from the maternal line) of King Mikhail. Before either wife spent much time with their husbands, however, the Fourth War with Trazmir broke out, and so did the men of the House of Vardelescu ride to battle with their retainers and a son from every family of the County. Sofia was newly with child as her husband departed, and Ana-Maria discovered the same shortly after. These parting gifts would prove to be the only hope for the Vardelescu lineage as disaster after disaster struck the Imperial army on the frontline. In their first battle, Ioan was slain by Trazmiri cannon, as well as a full third of the Zadnesti contingent in the Kiralskan force. Perhaps driven to it by grief, the heavily pregnant Sofia went into labour and died giving birth to a stillborn girl. Worse was to come, as the week after Ana-Maria was successfully delivered of a baby boy, news was received of the death of Adrian. With a newborn now the sole heir to the House of Vardelescu, and God often calling children so young to his side, fervent prayers were said throughout the court for the safe return of Count Nicolae, that he might father more sons from his aging wife and bolster the tenuous lineage. Alas, Nicolae was among the dozens of noble lords slain at Kwarwy Pass, leaving Ana-Maria's now five year old son, named Adrian for his father, as the Count of Zadnesti. The realm is now barely held together by those loyal to the House of Vardelescu. Retainers of Count Nicolae and childhood friends of the dead heirs rally around the figurehead of the Count's young mother, declaring her Countess-Regent Ana-Maria Vardelescu of Zadnesti. It will be a decade before the young Count is of majority to take command of his birthright, and the wolves will surely be at the door. The Countess-Regent must guard from threats within and without, else her son will doubtless be slain in the name of political expedience or the wider battle of faith within the Empire. Will her Valcean family seek to command their widowed daughter and rule the Zadnesti from the shadows, or will her son's supposed sworn brother in the true faith on the northern throne seek to take advantage of Zadnesti at its weakest in centuries? Nation Culture: Much the same as Valcea, though perhaps more "provincial" in sensibility and refinement. The Zadnesti are clearly kin of the Valceans in form, manners and tradition, but have a hard gaze and distrusting temperament ingrained from centuries of toil and service for minimal recognition from the wider Empire. Despite it all, they are proud people, and take their pride in hard work rewarded. These folk took easily to the no-nonsense, ascetic faith of Jozsefism. Religion: Jozsefite Special Characters: Countess-Regent Ana-Maria Vardelescu (nee Antonescu) (WILL ADD MORE LATER)
  15. CAESAR’S LEGION 2278 "All that follows is the testament of Cato Augustus, Legatus of the Legion, servant of Mars, slave of Caesar. This record shall be left for my successor, so that he may understand the choices that I have made in the campaign against the profligates of this benighted land. Eight years have passed since this cohort, battered and depleted, claimed a foothold from the weak of the Mud City from which to impose the will of Caesar upon it. From the outset, it was evident that the conventional doctrine would not apply here. The Legion's exponential expansion relies on the resources and manpower of that which it has conquered before. That is why the Legion has ever expanded from tribe to tribe, from the bloody land of Arizona, to New Mexico, and to Colorado, a campaign built upon the spoils in flesh and in material that came before. Such a flow of spoils relies on unbroken supply lines and constant reinforcement - things that were lost to us as we marched here, to the far east. Here, we are all that is of the Legion. I carry the flag of the Bull, and the iron will that cannot be shaken from any true man of the Legion, but lack its physical might in the tide of blood that the Malpais Legate and the Monster of the East may call upon to drown their adversaries. I arrived with but a thousand men. Ultimately, that will be all that will be required." - Legatus Cato Augustus, Commentarii de Bello Chicago 34,250 C, 4 M, 5 B, 5 S, 6 R, 3 Dev ACTIONS & EXPENDITURE: A group of Legion emissaries, including Centurion Marcus Lucullus, head for the Kingdom to finally negotiate the assault on the Road Dogs. [MOD + CZAR] Additional forces carry out altogether different missions... [Secret]. 2 x Construction Yard in South Marquette. (15,000 C) 2 x Markets in South Marquette. (10,000 C + 2 B) 1 x Fuel Refinery in South Marquette. (5000 C + 1 B) 2 x Fortification levels in North Ashburn. (1000 C + 2 B) 88 x T2 Armour. (4 M) Finishing T2 Explosives. (10/10) (6 R) "Simple Minded" rank 3. (3 Dev) Supplies spent on 2% pop growth for 2 stacks. (4 S) 3,250 C, 1 S saved.
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