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Inactive Forums => The Riddle of Steel => Topic started by: Brian Leybourne on May 22, 2003, 03:15:20 PM



Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on May 22, 2003, 03:15:20 PM
The whole thread on Stahl got me thinking more about my favourite country - Taveruun.

Moreso than almost any other country in Weyrth, Taveruun is stragetic. It is both the gateway to Maraiah (you cannot get to any of the south-western countries without passing through it) as well as almost totally controlling the southern route to Mainlund (time to annex that small chunk of Ixliaph perhaps)

It's biggest neighbour is Otarmarluk, with whom it has a longstanding feud and an almost complete fortified wall separates the two countries. Of it's other neighbours, there's Dardanet (who used to be powerful but have fallen to the level of isolated savages), Numeria (who are regigious zealots and Tez-Hamun wannabe's but have great wine and - more importantly - iron), and of course Helena and Cyrinthmeir, with whom they are friendly.

So I'm thinking Gelure be damned - Taveruun stands ripe and poised, ready to sweep southwest and expand. Certainly Dardanet for starters; this should be a fairly easy conquest given the spread-out and disorganised state of Dardanet's "military" these days. This nicely expands the Numeria border and only creates one new neighbour - Ehld who are into the whole tree-hugging hippie crap and not much of a threat. More importantly, they could then take Ehld and merely expand Numeria's border again without creating any new borders, since Ehld is not actually connected to Yone - the ocean incurs along their entire "border". By this time, Numeria will be understandably nervous, but they're also without friends - nobody likes Ahr, Taz'Hamun are still pissed that Numeria separated from them, and Taveruun's western fleet can hold off any support from Fauth or Yone. Plus, by now Numeria has a massive border to try and protect and I figure they wont last long.

And so on. If Taveruun is militaristic enough, and they guard their Eastern borders well enough while this is going on (to head off any opportunistic attacks from the Marmaluks), we're looking at a country in a far stronger position than Gelure for domination and conquest.

Thoughts?

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on May 22, 2003, 07:21:47 PM
huh.  Gotta love it: I looked at Taveruun in a different light.

I saw Taveruun as strong but under seige.  In essence, a Byzantium that was a few centuries away from falling still.  I admit to not giving Taveruun much thought until now.

The way I see it, a campaign centered around Taveruun (and adheres strictly to the book) has a defining military element: the Counter-Crusade of Otamarluk.  

This can be played out a ton of different ways, and the consequences are at least as big as the party Gelure is throwing up north.  Who will win?  Is the victory meaningful in teh sense of territory and other forms of resources?  Will either side be so weakened by the war that other enemies try to take advantage of them?  Will the war encourage or discourage trade between different regions?

Aside from the war question though, I think Taveruun as a setting is probably the most cosmopolitan place imagineable.  A powerful country that is located between several different places, a lot of things would flow through here.  If a group of players insist on having a bizarre mix of characters ("I wanna play a guy from Stahl!"  "I want to be from Fahal!"), then this is the place it would happen.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on May 22, 2003, 07:51:40 PM
Good call. And of course with so much force being thrown against the border, Taveruun may not be able to get enough of a force together to take the other countries. Hitler's mistake (well, one of his many) was battling a war on two fronts.

Of course, there's always "diplomacy". Make the other Maraiah countries see that the Marmaluks are going to crush Taveruun and then sweep southeast, use that to get their trust, merge your army with theirs (for mutual protection), take their nobles and rulers into your nice, big safe castles, and then sit back and watch as they realise just too late that you have taken over without a drop of blood being shed :-)

Yes, there's certainly a Byzantium feel to Taveruun (right down to them still existing while the empire that they were fashioned from when distances became too great has long since collapsed, and the fact that the Turks..sorry..Marmaluks are poised to crush them) but I don't see that Weyrth has to follow Earth, and I don't think Taveruun is going to suffer that fate (well, IMC I know it wont).

What they really need to do is send dissidents into Krym-Khanan and Ixliaph and stir up trouble. If the Marmaluks have to worry about losing the ground they already "have", they wont be focusing as much on ground they just want to have.

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on May 23, 2003, 04:22:49 AM
I'm afraid in the campaign I am preparing to run Taveruun is in for some very bad times. A Jyhad (okay okay Counter-Crusade) has been called by the Sultan P'Peyr in Otamarluk to cleanse the world of the foul Crusaders. Unfortunately for the Taveruunese the road to Xanarium lies straight through Taverrun to the Sea of the Fallen Gods beyond. Given the threat of Gelure to the North, Xanarium and Cyrinthmeir will be unwilling to commit the bulk their armies to protect Taveruun and so the nation will have to protect itself with the help of thousands of mercenaries and the aid of Helena, whose own survival will depend on holding the line.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on May 24, 2003, 01:58:30 PM
Nooooo... you can't sack my favourite country! :-)

Of course, in this instance it would be in Numeria and Dardanet's best interests to aid Taveruun in the campaign, since if Taveruun and Helena fall, there's nothing stopping the Marmaluks from sweeping southwards into Maraiah once they have secured the land route to Mainlund. The enemy of my enemy and all that.

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: A.J. on May 26, 2003, 06:16:11 AM
I agree with Nick about the "Byzantium" feel of Taverrun.  Has anyone put thought into what their military forces are composed of?  Do they have Roman style Legions of infantry figthing in tight ranks using short swords and lg. shields supported by archers and cavalry, or do you see it along more of a medieval context with heavy cav. (knights) playing the most prominent role with the support of infantry?

I think if I were to run a campaign there, it would focus on the Counter-crusade as well.

What do you think, any Holy Military Orders in Taverrun (like the Templars, Hosptillars and Teutonic Knights)?


Title: Re: Taveruun
Post by: Sneaky Git on May 26, 2003, 06:20:17 AM
Cool ideas, Brian.

Quote from: Brian Leybourne
So I'm thinking Gelure be damned - Taveruun stands ripe and poised, ready to sweep southwest and expand. Certainly Dardanet for starters; this should be a fairly easy conquest given the spread-out and disorganised state of Dardanet's "military" these days.

This strikes me as a dangerous presumption.  Sure, they're disorganized...but I can't help thinking that a war to take Dardanet would be very costly.  "The Dardanri are a divided people -- it is said that if they are not fighting outsiders, they are fighting each other." [TRoS, 150]

This tells me that sure, they're disorganized, so long as you leave them alone.  Cobble together an organized threat and the concept of "them vs. us" could become a factor.

Or, on a more individual (and tactical) basis, the Dardanri excel at small unit/ambush style tactics.  And they live in pretty unforgiving terrain.  That they are intimately familiar with.  And you are not (the universal 'you').

Now, I'm not saying that it couldn't be done.  Far from that.  I'm just of the mind that it would not be easy.  Thoughts of Russia's Winter War against the Finns leap to mind, as do the attempts of the British in Afghanistan during the 19th century.

Chris


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on May 26, 2003, 12:34:06 PM
Chris,

Very valid point. I guess as Taveruun's military I would be relying on the fact much of the forces I would be facing are isolated. Sweep in with a large force, totally dominate, then contain. With careful management and a lot of luck, you could take a lot of ground without alerting forces further in that anything was amiss.

Of course, there's probably a very good reason why I personally am NOT a great military commander... :-)

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on May 26, 2003, 02:10:34 PM
Brian you may be right about Numeria and Dardanet, but again i think i am going to make life difficult for Taveruun.

The Numerians are no match for the Marmaluks alone. Is anyone? So they have a difficult choice between siding with Taveruun and participate in a desparate defense potentialy leaving them with enemy  Followers of the Prophets on all northern borders. The Eastern Dardani are Followers of the Prophet remember. This together with a general animosity with Taveruun will drive the Numerians to neutrality. Hopefully both sides will severily weaken each other in the conflict improving the relative strength of Numeria.

The Dardani are a mixed people and will rise to the threat in a number of ways. The coastal Dardani are mostly Imperial Church and will commit forces to protect Taveruun, not only will they have a religous duty to defend the holy churches thoughout Taveruun they see keeping the Marmaluks in check as a historic national role. The Eastern Dardani will sway to the Counter-crusade and many will flock to it's banner. Others will see that the West of Dardani is weak and will attempt a coup to bring the whole of the country into a unity under the Prophets. None of the factions will be particularly effective due to their fragmented nature.

Taveruun is left looking to the north for aid.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Jake Norwood on May 26, 2003, 08:52:43 PM
For those of you interested in the Dardanet card, check out Skanderberg or Skanderbeu on the net. He was a rockin' Albanian "High King" of sorts...like Arthur, but real. His whole history just reeks of SA's and other great stuff. You'll be dying to run a campaign down there in no time.

Jake


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on May 27, 2003, 07:53:53 AM
Very cool.  Thanks!


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on May 27, 2003, 05:46:00 PM
I have to side with Gary's view. Taveruun seems to be the, as yet, untaken Balkan states already late to be taken by the Turk. That is, in the RW, the Turk would already own all of this, and be beating on the doors of Vienna. Or to translate, this would put all Taveruun as client states of the Marmeluk Sultan, with their armies constantly threatening to invade Mainlund in terms of the Counter-Crusade.

Also, they'd recieve no help from the south. These nations are in no position culturally to aid. And even if they were, they'd stay out of it as they know that the Sultan has larger fish to fry than them, his eye set on the Imperial Capital as an ultimate goal. So why tempt his Ire?

In any case, with the Marmeluks even threatening, I don't see Taveruun as able to launch any attacks of their own.

But that's just my view of it (which may have been informed by Jake, BTW, at a con; I can't remember for sure). That all said, I think it sounds like an awesome place to adventure. Many fractured feudal states just waiting to be consumed by a titanic neighbor. Lot's of politics, intrigue and adventure to say the least. I'd play there.

Do you want to develop some of the canonical ideas further? Like the 8 compass point polities?

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on May 27, 2003, 08:16:55 PM
Hell yeah, lets do it.

There would be marked differences between all of them. The Eastern lords would be busy with day to day worrying about the Marmaluks, of course, North and South have relations to maintain, West has his boats to play with, etc :-)

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on May 28, 2003, 09:47:13 AM
Here's a map of Taveruun  (http://a4.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/EOvUPvrtUKd1bEkxSBERzlwXfpedWsuZY4rP_tUMfLdLOxEXn2XiSCCLPc6-iGxSIvZGdfjuCrTprZ3zjnOEZSspaj0/Taveruun.jpg)that I divided up into provinces for fun. It's at the Indie Netgaming site, so if you're not a member you'll have to sign up (yes this is a ploy to get you all to take a look).


The Imperial South County of Taveruun is considered a barbaric place in polite society. The people of the region have a tendency to have old Numerian religious practices, or some bastardizations of Imperial and Numerian, becoming more pronounced the closer to Numeria one gets. Away form the few cities life can be quite crude.

The only mitigating factor to this is the civilizing effect of the Imperial Road which terminates at the County Capitol. The great city of Ilitzi lies at the mouth of the Urdza river where it empties into Saphire Bay. An ancient trading port, it is the last Imperial controled stop on the trade rout to the east. From here ships travel around the dark lands of the Svarastran subcontinent, and to the rich ports of Tengoku and Vedij. Being such a prominent crossroads, and having been established by a far older culture than the Imperials, the city is composed of a smorgasboard of peoples from far places practicing all manner of religion and customs. Still, the Imperial presence keeps the city organized, and hence quite a cosmopolitan place. As much as any city of the age. Impressive architecture is built upon the engineering of previous rulers, and the whole city has an eclectic aesthetic all it's own.

The road itself comes down from the north following the great river. River traffic parallels the movement of travellers. This is all very well patrolled, but control is tenous. Clans from the mountains in the western parts of the County are known for both their poverty, and their willingness to rectify that by raiding caravans on the road. And trade is occasionally interdicted by tribal chieftains (an out of place race seemingly related to the Vedij peoples somehow) from the eastern plains of the County coming across the river simply to extort more lands for their people from the ruling powers. This is not seen as an desireable post from the point of view of Imperial Officers who are posted in some parts. They see the local rulers as corrupt, and their militia as ineffectual, which leaves them in a tough spot guarding Imperial trade.

The region does have some wealth producing industries having recently begun to make it's own silk (not the quality of that from the east, but an acceptable substitute to most Westerners), and being the source of certain rare forms of incense. Trade in the form of short runs to Tez'Hamun for drugs are also commonplace, though dangerous.

Also a trade in stolen Numerian religious artifacts flows across the border in the mountains near the great Numerian cliff city of Jamar. Relations with Numeria are always tense, with the rulers on both sides having an intense animopsity for each other, and this theft only makes things worse. The Numerians realize the importance of the province to the Imperials, however, and have not attacked not wanting to wake that enemy. And the Count does not attack for fear that his own poulace would rise against him in portions of the County. So an uneasy truce exists for now.

The Count owes fealty only to the High Baron in the Imperial East Barony. And relations are fairly good as the South Count sends much wealth to help the High Baron with building his defnse works against possible Marluk agression. Also, a few years back, the South Count bestowed Ardanast an important city on the Imperial road at the far north end of the road in the province to the High Baron in an attempt to gain favor (which resulted in a diplomatic marriage).

Relations with the Southeast County are strained, however, relating to problems with the tribal chieftians that occupy both provinces, and their continual pressure for space.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on May 28, 2003, 12:53:50 PM
That's some nice stuff, Mike. Give me some time to absorb it and I'll be back :-) I have some thoughts on West and especially SouthWest.

By the way, that link is dead.

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on May 29, 2003, 07:39:40 AM
Hmm. I think the link is somehow dynamic or something. Here's the link to the files page from which you can get to the Taveruun map.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/indie-netgaming/files/

Look forward to the Southwest and what Dardanet's neighbors are like. BTW, people should feel free to grab one and add, right? It's not just you and me, is it? We can have the whole country worked up in some detail in no time if people pitch in. I'd only ask that you try to respect what's already been written and work those details in (as opposed to contradicting them).

I tried to stick with the book (though I did it from memory, so correct me where I've goofed), and to take a neutral approach to both Brian and my views on the region. So it can be taken either way, or in a totally different one.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 03, 2003, 10:42:31 AM
Nobody's helping out, but I still want to keep the other areas open for others to contribute to if they like. So I thought I'd zoom in on a small region of the South Imperial County, and see who we find there. I hope this will inspire people to add on more ideas.

------
Maruzin Clans
This clan has held portions of the mountains of Taveruun since they invaded from the north time in a time unremembered. They removed an aboriginal peoples related to the Numerians, and settled down to farm the scant valleys of the region. For a time they were somewhat prosperous, and one can still see huge ancient carvings of the gods of their past. They've long since abandoned that religion however, and mostly had adopted Numerian customs by the time of the Imperial dominance. Now they are supposed to adopt the Imperial ways, but in practice few do, and none entirely have abandoned other beliefs.

Since the ancient times of their prosperity, however, their lands have become taxed by over cultivation of the thin soil, and now little grows anymore. They'd have to abandon the area entirely if it were not for their sheep that can eke an existence from the scant grass that pops up between the rocks, cave-cultivated mushrooms, and other alternate food sources. This provides only a meager sustenance, however, and the tribesmen have developed a culture over the centuries that, while not really bloody per se, does encourage taking what it needs from it's neighbors through force. Raiding is an important activity for Maruzin clansmen, and attempts to stop it by authorities invariably result in pursuit into parts of the mountains where they can seemingly disappear.

Despite this the culture maintains an interesting oral history dating back a long long time.

Taveru Monasticism
Founded by a monk named Geriun, who was one of the first to Imperials to settle in the region, Taveru Monasticism started as a small movement. At first it was limited to a burst of monastery building that began shortly after the arrival of Imperial force in the realm. This stayed mostly limited to the Imperial South County, but later monasteries did pop up in other parts of Taveruun, and in other countries as well.

Outwardly the order would appear similar to any other Imperial order of monks. But internally there are some distinct heresies that are the result of Geriun's adoption of some of the ways of the people of the south of Taveruun. The order is also highly politicized, and meddles highly with secular affairs wherever it is encountered. Essentially it's a tenet of the order that their work requires money to accomplish, and as such they tend to favor land management. Their subtly heretical nature, and their political activism tend to make the nobility dislike them, though usually not openly.

Numercasti
Numercasti is a small region in the mountains of the Imperial South County of Taveruun, mostly populated by Maruzin. It's known for containing the Azeun Plateau in its borders, home of Taveru Monasticism. The area is booming economically in part due to the fertility of the plateau, attracting a large populace. The region stands in stark contrast to all the lands that surround it in which the barbaric Maruzin clansmen barely maintain a living.

Oranparas
Because Oranparas was built on monastic land it has always been closely connected with Mount Azeun. It was a tiny village only a generation ago, but has become a small town with the influx of immigrants. It is a gateway to the region located near the Imperial Road at its closest approach to the area.

The Monastery of Zurasan
The Monastery of Zurasan was established during the earliest times of Imperial control, right on the slopes of the Azeun Plateau. It's only four miles away from Oranparas and guards the access to the Plateau. The road from Zurasan leads up to the plateau through a narrow pass, and down gentle valleys to connect to Oranparas, and thence on to the Imperial road. Historically, Geriun lived in the monastery for much of his life. After his death it went into a period of decline and was taken over as farmland by clansmen. For a short while it became the seat of a Numerian noble named Araptah who used it to conduct raids in the area. This is how the region got its name (Numercasti means Numerian castle). When Araptah was eventually removed the land returned to the ownership of the monks. Given its importance in defending the now prosperous area, it has since been fortified with twelve mighty towers. Also impressive is the church at the monastery.

Monastery of Chlatophi
One of the more important monasteries, certainly the one from which most of the administration of monastic lands occurs, the Monastery of Chlatophi is at the opposite end of the rout from Zurasan up to the top of the plateau. It is not nearly as heavily fortified, but could still withstand an attack if it needed to do so. Contained in its lands is the bustling village of Isfuraza.
 
The Tower of Isfuraza
The Tower of Isfuraza was built during the same time that the Monastery of Zurasan was being fortified. It is the principal building of the farming village for which it is named. A short time after it's construction the Imperial Count spent some time in the tower and issued various concessions in favor of the monasteries of Azeun Plateau. He removed the obligation for the farmers of the region to pay any tax and the original document is still kept at the Monastery of Chlatophi. Since then the region has prospered and expanded tremendously. The tower is used as the living quarters of the monks who manage the village.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on June 03, 2003, 12:20:31 PM
Yeah, sorry Mike. Time got on top of me very quickly and I haven't had much time to think about Taveruun or even roleplaying in general (I leave New Zealand for 6 weeks on Friday).

Nice stuff so far, and of course when I get back I'll be keen to jump in with you if you're still keen, maybe we can produce a web Taveruun sourcebook.

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 04, 2003, 06:14:47 AM
Life is intervening in my affairs.
I'll get to this tonight, I hope.  It is my kind of thread, though.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on June 04, 2003, 08:16:29 AM
Mike I would love to help out, unfortunately I have been on holiday without net access for a week.
But I am back now and ready to get stuck in :)


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 04, 2003, 12:26:05 PM
Wow, my powers of guilt are much more potent than I thought. :-)

Skip the excuses, however, and let's just get on with the additions!

:-)

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 05, 2003, 11:00:18 AM
Hmmm. I am against bumps. Which means I have to post something again. So I shall zoom in yet again. This time to play level.


PC Hooks, mentioned below, are things that the NPCs would want from PCs. These are intended to get the PCs involved by making the NPCs latch on to them.


The Monastery of Zurasan - Important inhabitants

Hadrique - the master of the monastery is a well-educated man of Cyrinthian descent. He studied in the Imperial Colleges before traveling as an attaché of a noble to Taveruun. He never left. Taking the Oaths of Geriun, he became a member of the order, and his connections with the Imperial hierarchy have served to see him rapidly promoted over the years. He became the master of the Monastery of Zurasan when the last master passed away. He is, however, somewhat reclusive and very personal, and not a particularly good leader. He leaves the day-to-day operations to Sabosizar, who he sees as a necessary evil to be able to pursue his academic pastimes.

PC Hook - if any of the PCs are academics, Hadrique will no doubt engage them in all manner of debate and discussion, and may also send them on tasks to acquire tomes and artifacts for him. In fact, he has a collection of Numerian artifacts that he obtains via smugglers, and has a real fascination with their culture and religion. He has some fairly heretical beliefs, and may try them out on the right person.


Brother Sabosizar - the man who really runs the monastery is Sabosizar, who holds the position of Chancellery Administrator. Every monastery in the order (or at least all of them in the South of Taveruun), has an administrator assigned to them from the high chancellery office at the Monastery of Chlatophi. This individual is supposed to oversee activities at the site that they are assigned in order that they remain coherent with the order's economic policies. In the case of Zurasan, however, the administrator has become the de facto head of the site, as the master does not care particularly to assume these duties. This suits Sabosizar, who is somewhat ambitious, and sees Hadrique as effete.

Sabosizar is a Maruzin who has forsaken his upbringing to adopt Imperial ways. He is a small but tough example of his kind, and has an active plotting mind.

PC Hook - Sabosizar may use the PCs to further his ambitions. He wants to be master of the monastery, and may employ the PCs to some end to remove Hadrique. Or, if the PCs can offer other routs to power, Sabosizar will no doubt pursue those avenues.


Brother Prounent - Prounent doesn't stand out from most of the other monks in most cases. But in conclave, he leads some of the more mysterious rituals of the order. This includes some rather serious heresy, a fact that the monks keep heavily under wraps. He's a bright-eyed Taveru, who takes his time and gets things right. He's also very protective of his order, and their beliefs. As it happens he's also a very talented swordsman having learned from one of the noble schools as a young man before joining the order. Overall, he's a tough customer.

PC Hook - Prounent has an inkling that there's someone at the monastery who's looking into the order's business. He may approach the PCs to use them as agents in trying to find out who this person is. He may also suspect that the PCs are spies themselves, and may approach them with tasks just to keep them busy and guessing.


Merisek Carandula - Merisek is the commander of the forces that defend the monastery, and a knight. The monks have always seen the need for a noble to command the defenses of this important strategic position, and Merisek is the descendant of what has become an inherited position. He competently leads his small contingent of five shaldar (feudal, but non-noble horsemen in Taveruun). He also oversees the garrison, but leaves direct control of them to Andotahk, his captain of the guard.

PC Hook - Merisek is concerned about rumors that he's heard about Numerian incursions. He'll entreat the PCs to check these out for him. Further, he doesn't entirely trust Andotahk, and may have the PCs follow him or look into what he does when he's outside the monastery.


Brisen - one of Merisek's shaldar, Brisen is haughty for his position. The Taveru son of an unlanded knight, Brisen's father was unable to get him a sponsorship, and so he was never able to attain his own knighthood. Which has haunted him since. Instead he has to settle for the position of being a professional soldier, chattel to be traded between real nobles. Brisen would make a good knight being of considerable size, and very burly. Strangely, he is blonde, a fact that his family has never been able to explain.

Unusually, Brisen owns his own horse, having been a gift from his father.

PC Hook - Brisen will examine the PCs for whatever they can do in terms of helping him achieve his knighthood. He's driven, and any change in the status quo like the arrival of PCs will trigger his response to action on this issue.


Andotahk - the captain of the fortress defenses is a Hotar, a tribe related racially to the Numerians, but who've lived in a small corner of Taveruun since before Taveruun was a country, they long ago adopted some Taveruun culture, and have been ethnically distinct from the Numerians for eons. Andotahk is a hugely built and imposing figure (ST 7), capable of inspiring fear in both friend and foe. He is terse, and unsociable, but highly effective as a leader due to the confidence he tends to imbue in his troops. The large compliment of 100 men do not like him, but would willingly follow him in battle.

PC Hook - Andotahk is very concerned for his family, a fact that few are aware of. His wife and two children still reside in the Hotar village that he came from originally. He wants to move them but he sees them infrequently, and his wife doesn't want to leave their home. He may try to convince one of the PCs to help him out somehow. This may include some rather drastic measures; Andotahk isn't daunted by convention when it comes to achieving his aims.


Grusio - one of the guard, Grusio is the son of a wealthy merchant of Oranparas. His father got him the position as guard, to teach him some humility, and it has worked very well, in fact. Grusio has taken to learning the arts of war diligently, and constantly pesters the shaldar or anyone with real skill to train him. He's a bright young man and charming in a roguish way with a lot of potential.

PC Hook - Grusio is interested in moving on from his current position if the time is right. His father would not object, Grusio having become much more the man he wanted. So, Grusio may see all sorts of opportunities in terms of the PCs, including the possibility of becoming a vagabond warrior.


Chalek - the smith of the monastery also serves as unofficial quartermaster. As such it's his duty to see that provisions of all sorts are kept in good supply. He's a heavyset and boisterous Taveru who likes to make a game of goings on at the monastery. He's a source of frequently incorrect gossip that he tends to make up, for instance. In part because of the unofficial nature of his position, he doesn't attend to it well. This annoys Sabosizar no end who Chalek avoids like the plague.

PC Hook - Chalek needs PCs to look into the disappearances of lots of goods that he's responsible for about the monastery. If the situation continues, no doubt Sabosizar will take away his authority and give it to someone else. Which would be more embarrassing than disappointing. The gossiper would become the source of the gossip. He's also just very social, and will attach himself to some of the PCs if he can just to gab.


Izlija - the head of the kitchens, Izlija is a fat, ugly aging Maruzin woman, who ensures that everyone is fed every day. She runs the kitchens by instinct, rather that organization, however, which results in somewhat spotty performance. Hence she isn't allowed much in the way of logistic control (the thought makes Sabosizar's head spin; Chalek is a paragon of efficiency in comparison). She tends to be somewhat curmudgeonly, but a lot of that attitude is to hide her own confusion at times, and her feelings for the monks. Deep inside she feels like they're her sons (having lost her own long ago), and dotes on them as well as she can while not allowing her feelings to show. This is important, because it's very much her non-feminine manner that makes the monks accept her at the monastery despite their general prohibition against women in the monastery.

PC Hook - as it turns out Sabosizar is her son. He grew up near here, and left home to become a brother at an early age. When his brothers died, Sabosizar arranged for his mother to be brought in as a servant, still having some feelings for her. But he made her swear never to reveal the fact, not wanting a reminder of his heritage to bother him on a day-to-day basis. This is why she's a bit befuddled. Several years of this has warped her mind a little. What she needs from PCs is someone to understand her predicament. With a faint hope that they might be able to rectify the rift between her and her only remaining real son.


Pelis - a Taveru of low birth, Pelis is a young man who serves as a gopher for some of the important commoners at the monastery like Chalek and Izlija. He has access to many parts of the monastery as such, and uses this to great effect in pilfering all manner of goods. He is, in fact, the source of most of Chalek's problems with maintaining supply, though Chalek is unaware of this. Pelis works in cahoots with two of the gate guards, and holds court over three younger boys (two stable boys, and one of the kitchen hands). He is cocky, however, and sure to be caught or turned in by one of the boys at some point.

PC Hook - Pelis will look to shady PC sorts as possible allies in smuggling goods to his contacts in Oranparas. He will also attach himself to any roughish but dashing hero type that will allow him with delusions of becoming a wandering swordslinger himself. He may also try to get money off the PCs by brokering information. He has gossip, too, and it tends to be more accurate than Chalek's.


Brother Asroban - another Maruzin (his family converted long ago), Brother Asroban is technically not of the Taveru Monastic Order. He is a member of the Cheilian Order instead, which has the peculiar distinction of making him both a monk and a priest. He is posted here, in fact, because the Taveru cannot perform most ceremonies themselves, and need a priest. The Cheilians, being a traveling order, often get posted to such positions. He is, therefore, in charge of the rather magnificent cathedral at Zurasan.

Asroban is, as most of his order are, from Cyrinthmeir. As such, he has a connection with Hadrique that makes them close confidants. He is aging and a quite emaciated figure.

PC Hook - Asroban is, in fact, a plant from the Imperial Hierarchy. He is there to determine what level of heresy the order maintains in its actual doctrine. As such, he'll ask the PCs to try and infiltrate meetings of the monks, or to obtain documents from the monks that might tend to incriminate them. He is biased in Hadrique's favor, however, and will try to protect him from persecution if at all possible by slanting outcomes.


Ignaruza of Orandia - originally the lord and master of a small but exceptionally profitable little fiefdom (Orandia) in the Imperial East Barony of Taveruun, Ignaruza retired some years ago after his wife died, leaving the lands split between his sons. This was a situation that was equitable, but suited none of them. Thrown out by his own family, he left with his daughter, and has decided to become a member of the community at this scenic monastery. The monks were more than pleased to take his money, and put him up in his own tower. They also appreciate his influence, which he uses on occasion to benefit the monastery. He is an aging but yet hale man seeking only to enjoy his remaining years.

PC Hook - Ignaruza may see PCs as a solution to his problem with his daughter, especially if somebody noble appears. Even if not, he may ask PCs to act as agents for him to seek out suitors, or deliver messages. He also just likes to chat with travelers, and will talk the ear off anyone (who isn't too low class) that will let him. He likes the monastery but the monks are too ascetic for him in this way.
 

Orlelian - the daughter of Ignaruza is not a great beauty, but well built. Which is enough that, since she is one of the only women allowed at the monastery (due to her father's influence), she turns the heads of the men constantly. She's also bright and adventurous, which leads to her being even more attractive to those who do get an opportunity to actually speak to her. And never mind that she stands to inherit a fortune, or at least have a massive dowry; for those who see her as a potential wife, she's the only show in town. This is problematic, however, due to the fact of her high birth, and the lack of suitable suitors present. She occasionally receives outside visitors, but the lack of noble holdings in close proximity means that they are few and far between.

Orlelian is already 19, and there is some fear of her becoming a spinster. Her father is unwilling to actively pursue a suitor for her because of his lacksidasical attitude. She has therefore been considering returning to Orandia to live with her brothers. But she's grown fond of the monastery and would rather not leave.  

PC Hook - Orly (as her friends call her) is secretly having a thing with Brisen. She's not in love with him, and in fact sees him as boorish. Besides which, as he's not a knight, there's no way that it could ever become anything. So it's really just a dalliance that she intends to cut off shortly. On the other hand, there's Grusio. Grusio is also not of high enough birth for her, but she finds herself attracted to him constantly. Almost obsessively. It's this attraction that has her thinking that perhaps it's time to go; and also this attraction which keeps her at the monastery. What Orly needs from PCs is manifold. First, she'll need someone to break it off with Brisen at some point (she's not bold enough to face him). She may also find that she decides to go after Grusio, in which case she may need a go-between. Lastly there's every chance that the right adventurer could win her over. Which would probably only conflict here further about her feelings for Grusio (who for his part, tries to ignore the girl as out of his league socially).



Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 08, 2003, 02:06:30 PM
Bumping again by means of adding info. Still waiting for people to help.


From The Journal of Brazhim ir Makhilef:

May the prophet have mercy on my soul, I make this entry in the name of wisdom, and not as a work itself. Highest rejoicings in the word of Ha'shalosh whose name is holy.

It is now three months that I have traveled in the lands of the infidels. It cannot cease to amaze me that the people of this land earnestly call it Taveruun, when clearly it is the sixth estate of the Sul'taan, and held against him in all violation of logic. It is the misguided religion of this country that makes them so resistant to join in the bounty that flows from the lord of Ottamarluk and the Emir.

I would fear to write this openly, but I find that in the regions I now enter, there are none who speak the holy language. If this journal is discovered, it will yield no secrets to the infidels. In fact, they seem to speak several tongues, and as we move south I find that Kharilin can only converse with them in the Taveru language of which they all seem to know at least a little.

Long after leaving the precincts of Longstone where the hated enemy, the Highlord of the Eastern Barony holds reign over the other infidel Highlords, the old Imperial Road meets with the Cathedral River. There are many, many rivers in this land, but this is one of the more mighty. It is large enough that there is a substantial traffic on the river. The road follows the river south on its western side, crossing it at the city of Ardanast. This city, as well as the others we've encountered on the road are all possesed of cathedrals that I would call magnificent if not for their dedication to a religion that does not recognize properly the prophet. The naming of the river becomes, therefore, obvious.

The further we travel to the south, however, the more I not a change. The cities have become sparse, and more and more crude villages have replaced them. I note that in these places, that the infidel religion is replaced amongst the peasantry with another religion. Kharilin says that it is something like the Numerian beliefs, with the occasional abomination of beast with man's head fals god portrayed. These images disturb me. I am unsure what is more unsettling, the misled Xanarites, or these heathens.

Given that we are meeting with some of these barbaric peoples as the goal of our mission, I hold great trepidation. Is it not unwholesome to deal with such even as allies against the infidels? And what if they choose to betray our mission to the infidels? Our deception of being merchants will not long hold I fear. Already we are looked upon with fear and suspicion everywhere we go. I fear this will not be something that will be easily accomplished.

Still, if we are able to rile the Numerians to invade the South County of Taveruun, then the Baron will be sure to have to send aid, leaving him open to attack. I become more sure of this as I see how relatively undefended and unpopulated this wide open territory is. They do not use the mountains for homes. In fact, the mountains are said to be inhabited by a ghost like people who are not allied with the Highlord of this dirty realm.

So while we have yet to observe the full military forces of this land, I'm sure that we'll be able to assess this better at Illitzi. Already we cut across the river and land to that fabled city. The desert grows untennable any further south to all accounts, and the road does not go that way. At the ancient port that is capitol of the County, we should be able to assess the troops that the Count has available. I have made such assessments before, and praise Ha'shalosh that he has given me the talents to be so useful to my Sul'taan. If the troops are of the same sorts as seen along the road, I have no fear that the Numerians should be able to wreak havok in this land. Their Knights seem few, and their shaldar are not an equal in any way to Marmeluks or even Janisaries.

As we now move eastward, however, we are warned that there are tribes  of yet another race of men to the north of the road and to the east. Apparently these peoples roam these territories and attack caravans on occasion. So we travel with all haste to our destination. I hope dearly that once at Illitzi, that we will have no troubles finding our pre-arranged ship. If that is not available, Kharilin tells me that we can travel into the Numerian dester overland. But this is not a prospect to which I look forward. I have seen the deserts of T'zaul, but compared to the black waste which we can see to the south, the realm of T'zaul is a garden.

In fact, the vista to the south is haunting. One can see many miles to where the cathedral river meets the Anazum to form the Urdza. The valley should be fertile, but the strange black desert almost overwhelms even these rivers in their attempt to give life to the land. Beyond the valley there is only death. How can the peoples of such a place be of a strength to be warriors? Worse, Kharilin assures me that their worship of their beast-men gods is led by a cult of women. Will we need to deal wth these? Prophet help us.

In his most holy name.



Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 09, 2003, 11:09:30 AM
I didn't want to make this a daily thing, but, when inspired...

Feel free to join in any time, now. :-)

BTW, does anyone disagree with me that of the two rivers that empty into the Sapphire Sea, that the one to the West is the Cathedral River? Can anyone verify it for me? In any case, what's the name of the other river?

The Cathedral River Lake Monster
In it's slow meander south, the Cathedral River widens into several chains of lakes, all connected by very large waterways, with only gentle falls separating them if at all. These lakes have good fishing, and have a lot of traffic upon them in part due to the relative ease of travel up upstream in such a sluggish area. These are quiet, idyllic little lakes with towns and villages in abundance.

The only thing that threatens the security of these habitations (other than the threat of war), is a creature called the Tuluradzi, or Lake Monster. Rarely seen, there are many who say that it's a myth. But disappearances occur a little too frequently along the lakes for folks to totally dismiss it.

The Legend
When questioned, the Taveru who inhabit the villages where sightings most often occur (probably once a year or so), will tell you that the creature looks like some flattened dragon with claws like a crayfish, but of momentous size. Apparently it's said to be able to lurch out of the water, grab livestock and people, and drag them to a watery death. Deep in the lakes it's assumed that the creature eats them. Lot's of capsized boats found with their passengers missing are attributed to the beast.

Some few may be able to remember a legend about a dragon and an ancient hero that supposedly occured around these parts. But the dragon was slain, so it can't be related...

The Facts
In fact, most of the villagers who tell these stories are faking them. It's a long tradition that began before anyone can remember. They send travelers passing through out looking for the "creature" and laugh behind their backs. The villagers prosper from housing travelers who come off the Imperial Road looking for these nice lakes, so the villagers use whatever tactics they can to get people to come. The Lake Monster is quite an attraction.

As it happens, however, the disappearances are real. The villagers just assume that it's all due to happenstance, drownings, thievery of livestock blamed on the creature, etc. But as truth would have it there are things in the lake.

The legend of the Lake Monster comes from a form of oceanic dragon that made it's way up the river aeons ago. When it arrived, it was a terror, and ate whole villages. Eventually a bold hero named Bricortz defeated the dragon with an enchanted club that had been wielded by a particularly nasty ogre (which he got from some fae who were also threatened by the dragon's rampage). The creature sank beneath the waves, and was forgotten other than as part of Bricortz's legend.

But the dragon did not die. It was, however, badly brained, and was unconscious for centuries at the bottom of the lake. It awoke a couple of centuries ago, and is now only capable of acting with animal intelligence if that. It is in fact generally harmless, and stays well away from humans when it can. It is responsible for some of the livestock disappearances, however, and it's sighted every couple of generations, either in the river, or actually coming on land. So it is the legend. But it's not this creature that's responsible for the unusually high number of "accidents".

A group of the Fae that inhabit the many swamps that surround these lakes know of the lair of the dragon. It ranges all over the lakes, but eventually comes to rest in a cave that can only be reached underwater. These faeries, renegade unseelie from a court of High Fae deep in the largest of the swamps, can manifest as glowing lights. They lure people into the swamps where they change into their other form, scaled toad-men typically as large as the largest man, and capture them. Other times they swim out and capsize boats, half-drown their victims, and then take them back.

All people captured are taken to the dragon's cave, where the toad-faeries use them in bizarre rites. The objective of these alien minds is to change the dragon. It is a great spell that has taken nearly a century to accomplish; but the time of the change draws near. In the end, the creature they produce will be much more fierce than the dragon that originally rampaged across the lakes. Their goal is the death of their immortal masters, and the assumption of the local throne of the fae court. Though the humans of the lakes will no doubt suffer greatly as well.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 10, 2003, 06:02:53 AM
Well, Mike.... you've gone from making me guilty to completely intimidated.  I just got to read this board for the first time in days (internet connection died), and quite frankly I don't want to touch Taveruun.  It is your's, bud.  I can't really add much.

But I'll try.


The book mentions there are large statues of Xanar travelling with an 'unknown' female companion.  The official Church claim is that this was Miredel, and she was to be one of the many brides Xanar took throughout his conquered lands.  The time they spent together made Xanar happy, for Miradel was beautiful and caring and wise beyond her years.  Tragically, she sacrficed herself to aid Xanar and his army.  A dowerful demon was sent to disrupt Xanar's army.  Knowing that such a demon would create problems for Xanar's cause, she threw herself at the demon, knowing it could never resist eating virginal human flesh.  By the time the demon had finished devouring her, Xanar's forces were alerted.  Xanar himself slew the beast for what it had done.  In Miradel's honor, the statues were built, and her younger sister became Xanar's new bride.

That is the official Church version, of course.  Not all the tales of these status neatly fit with the Church's story.  

One common tale points to the fact that Xanar consulted his Gods and their law to determine the perfect queen for him in a particular land.  In this legend, Xanar fell in love with a women who was not fit by the law to be his queen.  In some stories she vanished, was executed by Xanar, or became a demoness & turned against Xanar.  In either case, he married another, erecting the statue in honor of lost love.

Some scholars in the Cyrinthmeir have suggested that the statue actually is of the wife Xanar took in the area, Saira, but due to unknown reasons her face and hair were carved in a different way than those iconic picture of her made throughout Taveruun.  These scholars are generally ignored.

Many of the cabals of Esauln claim she is Rakel.  A relatively minor character in their Kova, Rakel is a priestess who leaves the lands of Ixliaph out of shame for the sins committed by her twin brother.  Rakel was noted for being sagely and as having a great love for Esauln.  According to Taveruunish Esaulnism, Rakel brought the wisdom of Esauln out of Ixliaph and into the land of winding rivers.  There she was a teacher of any who would listen.  One of her students was a great general, named Xanar.  So impressed by her wisdom, he commanded a statue be erected in her honor.  The statues represent her showing Xanar the world anew after hearing her lessons.  

Their reverence of Rakel is one of the main reasons why the cabals of Esauln in Taveruun are looked at as heretics by both the Church and the Steel Clerics of Ixpliaph.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 10, 2003, 08:39:40 AM
Nick, don't punish me for being overactive. Keep posting. This is good stuff.  :-)

Those statues are at the beginning of the road, IIRC. And according to my little map (have you checked it out?), only the Northern province connects to either Ixilaph or Cyrinthmeir. So I think you just laid claim to the very interesting North Imperial province.

Here are some quesitons to answer about that land.

What is it called both as an official fiefdom, and as a place that existed since before the Imperials came and left? What is the title of the feudal lord? He's a Highlord, according to the book, and that's probably traditional, but I think that they'd all also be duchies, baronies, etc. I made an unorthodox decision intentionally by making the most important lord a Baron. This happened historically, however, as in the case of the Barony of Saxony.

Who does the Highlord owe fealty to? What are relations like with it's bordering provinces of NW Taveruun, and NE Taveruun? What about with the other countries it borders, Cyrinthmier, Ixaliph, and Ottamarluk (with which it's border extends south to the river)? Do the rulers of the region have any political objectives of their own? Any traditional territorial rivalries that threaten to break out again?

Geography? What of that river? I believe that this region is supposed to be mountainous, with a range and pass mentioned in the book (the map certainly looks it).

Who are the local people, all Taveru (you'll note that's what I've named the major indiginous culture; sound right to you?)? Or are there other ethnicities and/or cultural groups in the area? What are local customs like for these groups? Religions (you've already touched on that which is very cool)?

What's the economy like here? What local commodities are produced, and what's imported and exported? How brisk is trade, and what forms does it most often take in terms of transportation? Has preparations against the Marluks made the people poor? How prosperous are they when they're not under threat of invasion? What is their military like? Well developed, or lacking?

Major cities? Other cultural geography? What sort of subsistence patters do the people have, and what effects does this have on what habitation patterns are like? Technological variances? Subcultural structures?


Just some ideas. If others want to pick up other territories, there's still 5 left totally unclaimed. East, of course is the biggie, and probably has the most threat from Ottamarluk (I'd think that they'd want to take Longstone as a site to stage from). Southeast has the border with the mysterious land of Savastra. The Northeast borders Helena. The Southwest has the border with the warring state of Dardanet. (Brian indicated an interest in the naval affairs of the West province).

That last one is interesting. Under the listing for Ottamarluk, IIRC, it says that they've invaded Dardanet in the past. It's possible that they do this by seaborne invasion, but what makes most sense to me is that they just march across Taveruun to get there. This would not be without historical prescident as I've discussed before.

I've only detailed one-eighth of Taveruun. Still a lot of work to be done.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 10, 2003, 11:22:37 AM
I just want to chime in and say "keep it up." My next game is gonna be in Taveruun.

Jake


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 10, 2003, 12:05:16 PM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
I just want to chime in and say "keep it up." My next game is gonna be in Taveruun.

While we've got your attention, Jake, anything you've read so far that breaks with canon? I'd like to keep it as compatible as possible.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 10, 2003, 12:11:58 PM
Lemme give it a good second look-through, but for now I'd say all looks kosher...and I dont' really beleive in "canon."

Jake


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 10, 2003, 03:11:21 PM
i'm 90% sure we haven't contradicted anything published yet.

Anyways... Damn you Mike.  I was planning on doing work today.


Quote from: Mike Holmes
Nick, don't punish me for being overactive. Keep posting. This is good stuff.  :-)


Wasn't intended as a punishment.  It's just you seemed like you were on a rool.  Take it as a compliment ;)

The north, hmm?
And yes, I double-checked the book before writing :)
Also, a warning: I'll be beating my favorite dead horses again.

Geographically, Northern Taveruun, called Koma (or the Koma Valleys) is almost a delta in reverse: countless small valleys cut into mountains, creating places for agriculture and cities.  The majority of humanity in this region lives in these valleys, forming a network of towns, cities, and farming communities connected by river valleys and passes between the river valleys.  It is a cold but fertile enough place.  All the cities and towns are built in strategic places as trading outposts, giving any town worth existing in northern Taveruun a hint of cosmopolitan feel.


POLITICS
I expect that one of the few constants in Taveruun is tumult.  While Taveruun is many things, peaceful is not one of them.  It isn't a crossroads, it's much worse: it's nation of cross-roads.  Centrally located, tons of rivers, lots of neighbors with strong ideals (at the very least).  The only question is what forms the conflict takes.  In different regions of this sprawling country, I imagine that the daily uproar has different components.  The northern province is not a province of military strife, but it rather byzantine intrigue.

Komas is blessed with relative peace and security in the military perspective.  Because of the mountains and the fact that it is North of Dardanet, Komas does not live with the threat of Otamarluk invasion as much as other regions.  A profitable and well-regulated trade is maintained with Cyrinthmeir.  

Through the mountain passes of Komas lay the only land route for the riches of Maraiah to Mainlund.  The Dukes of Komas are not a native Taveruu bloodline.  Their ancenstry comes in part from Cyrinthmeir.  During one of the later crusades for The Shard, the polity of Komas collapsed.  A peasant rebellion took place, blaming the local nobility for allowing roving knights (current history claims they were Stahlnish) to pillage as they passed through.  A Cyrinthian knightly house, Sursatay, squashed the rebellion and restored order.  Promising to support the other highlords (and keeping that promise) gave house Sursatay tenuous support as the rulers of the Komas Valleys.  

As one could expect, the ethnicity of House Sursatay caused tensions.  Since taking the reigns of power, each Duke of Komas has been of Sursatay lineage, and each has attempted to strike a balance between cultures, with varying success.  At first, they were puppets of Cyrinthmeir.  Then they became puppets of the other Taveruu highlords.  As the problems with Otamarluk worsened, their relative political position improved.  The Sursatay Dukes have become wealthy, safe, and envied.  However, the prosperity of Komas is upheld by a delicate web of commercial and political ties.  This web has no claim to stability.

After a disasterous attempt to secure a port on the Inland Sea by invading Ixliaph in 1394 WEYR, The Dukes of Komas have focused their military development on defense.  The hold court in the city of Samerhab, a citadel built near the head of the Galadonian River (city marked on the map w/ no name).

There are routes that go to both Cyrinthmeir and to Helena from here, as well as the river which winds down into central Taveruun.  One of the Dukes a century and a half ago move the court here from Kramace, a city much closer to Cyrinthmeir specifically because of the need to appear 'more Taveruu.'  

Games of power played with trade and political loyalties have one disturbing deature that games played with war do not: it is often much harder to tell who is winning until it is too late.  The Sursatays have weaved a web around themselves.  They have contacts with nobles in both Helena and Cyrinthmeir.  They have attempted to open communication with smugglers in Otamarluk, and even Fahal.  However, no one knows if these actions are folly, masterful machinations, or risky gambles.

Like the rest of Taveruun, Komas has a feudal hierarchy.  Generally, each valley has a petty noble of some form.  These 'Valley Lords' then answer to other, more important Valley Lords, who in turn answer to Counts who live in the trade-cities.  These Counts in turn are the vassals of the Duke.

The Northwestern Province and Komas have long standing agreements on how the taxes between their goods, as well as the goods coming to & from Helena, are divied up.  If one of theese two highlords was to alter these arrangements, the conflict would be severe.  At the moment, however, the two highlords work together on matters of trade.  As long as Otamarluk remains focused on southern Taveruun and Dardanet, and not Helena, their discourse will remain on issues of trade.

The Highlord of the Northeastern Province is one of the greatest critics of the Sursatays.  Living in constant fear of the coming counter-crusade, he sees Komas as protecting itself at the expense of his province.  Duke Alzanar of Komas holds the opinion that nothing will be enough to make this man satisfied.  Though Duke Alzanar would send some help to him, he would send more help to the Highlords farther south that he has better relationships with.


ECONOMICS & Agriculture
The people of Komas produce some cattle in the larger valleys, sheep, and root vegetables.  Its only major export is timber, though some wool also is exported.  Komasian Taveruu are also known for their leatherworking.

However, the true center of the economy in Komas is trade.  It is the safest over-land trade route between mainlund on one side, and Maraiah and south-western Tegaarn on the other.  The only other options would be to go through the Sea of Fallen Gods (impractical for Stahl or Sarmotov), or to go through lands like Fahal, T'zaul, Krym-Khanan, and Zaporazhya (less than civilized lands).

The Dukes of Komas have always known this was their greatest strength, and have managed to regulate the trade very carefully.  The uphold the safety of the passes, maintain the imperial roads (within reason), provide ferries on the navigatable portions of the rivers, and collect taxes on anything that moves through their borders.  The passes that connect the Valleys together it a grand highway going from Cyrinthmeir to Helena, southern Taveruun, and beyond.  Any city worth noting in Komas lies in a valley that is on the way to one of the three destinations.  Everything else is purely agricultural.

Winter is something to be feared in Komas.  The trade route shuts down, and a few valleys every year become blocked off in the dead of winter.  Every winter someone in Sumerhab holds their breath, fearful something will happen that is terrible, but unreachable.  


MILITARY
The entire military has been built over the idea of protecting trade.  Very little calvary exists due to the mountainous terrain.  Infantry, scouts, and engineers are the primary units, along with archers (who would be skoffed at in Farrenshire as amateurs) and irregulars (trained for stealth in the mountains).  The occasional bandit party can survive for a short time if they only target Komasian settlements.  To attack a caravan is to sign one's own death warrant.  

Some of the more far-thinking generals have heard of the counter-crusade coming Otamarluk, and are deeply concerned.  They know they can handle border skirmishes with Ixpliaph, bandits, or even an outlying valley that goes into rebellion after a poor harvest.  However, none of that matters in the face of a horde of religious fanatics.  Plans for dealing with this range from total denial to building up the military to politically pushing the other highlords in front of Komas as buffers.


THE PEOPLE
The current Duke, Alzenar Sursatay, believes in actions, not spectacle.  The portion of his court which is public is short, and he spends much of his days in private consultation with his advisors.  He proudly points to the recently completed Cathedral he funded, as well as finding mercenaries from Mainlund to aid the more pressed Highlords.  A widower whose wife died during the birth of their second son and third child, he is a man who attempts to show himself as a defender of Taveruun through actions.  However, for all his apparent good deeds, neither the Church nor the other Highlords of Taveruun truly trust the Duke of Komas.  

Duke Alzenar believes that it is possible for House Sursatay to become the dominant house among the highlords within three generations, but they are not there yet.  The current mission must be to keep Taveruun strong, keep the Sursatay strong, and keep those who oppose either weak.  He believes that The Three have blessed Komas with wealth and trade, and that this will be the foundation to move on.  As much of Taveruun is or will be devastated by war, it is natural that his province help support Taveruun as a whole, and that his family be rewarded appropriately for that.  He has married nationalism, commerce, and enlightened self-interest into a grand ideology that drives him and his inner circle through all their plans.

His three children are infinitely more visible -and substantially less visionary- than the father.  The eldest, Arsen, has taken charge of his father's military.  He maintains the peace, catches the smugglers, and makes sure the towns are safe.  He is the most popular member of the Sursatay family among the common people, seeing him as a heroic protector.  He worries that Sursatay's military has become weak through its defensive posture.  His driving goal is to make another attack into Ixlpiah to obtain a port.

His father has forbidden it however, afraid that such a move would be too costly and be seen as the Sursatays looking out for themselves and Komas more than helping defend the rest of Taveruun.  In truth, Arsen does not feel much loyalty to Taveruun as a whole.  If the opportunity ever presented itself for Komas to be an independent nation with himself as its ruler, he would seize it.  As their have been no major military actions since Arsen's childhood, he is not truly tested.

The middle child, the daughter Vesna, plays the hostess to whatever Dignitaries are visiting Samerhab, be they from other provinces or foriegn.  A very proper elegant women who dutifully follows the instructions of her father and the advisors.  For the past two years, she has secretly been carrying on a romance with a diplomat from Helena.  She loves him dearly, but knows it is an inappropriate romance.  It will no doubt break her heart if she ever discovers the diplomat is actually a Janissary spy attempting to disrupt the trade through Komas.

The youngest, Tomas, is the subject of many uncomfortable rumors.  An enthusiastic child, he returned last year from 6 years of studying in Stahl
and Cyrinthmeir.  He has come back to Komas a quiet, introspective man interested in philosphy and swordplay.  Rumors have swarmed around him, suggesting that he is at least a Riddleseeker, at worst a heretic or a Thayrist.  Tomas appears to ignore the rumors, as he generally appears to ignore people.  His father has taken to having irregular but long private meetings with his.  Alzenar appears troubled at times before or after these meetings, but his advisors have learned that one does not enquire
about 'The quiet Sursatay.'

Beyond these four individuals, there are a whole host of other characters.  Many of the feudal lords can trace their lineage back to the Sursatays as well, some even share the surname.  Commoners can rise to prominence, as the Sursatay have instituted an unusual custom that trusted advisors may be given as a part of the annual tribute to one's lord.  More than one commoner has been known to be handed to higher nobles through this fashion.  It is not incredibly common, however, as rather unfortunate consequences occur if the new advisor is disliked by
the new noble (for both the vassal and the commoner).

 Nonetheless, this odd form of patronage adds to the belief in some parts of Taveruun that the Dukes of Komas have always been a tad eccentric.


RELIGION
Monks
The religion promoted by the Sursatays in Komas is a very direct Church of the Three Become One.  Traditionally the nobility has disliked monasteries, fearing church institutions that removed from the noble-controlled cities and valleys of Komas.  Nevertheless, two notable monasteries exist within Komas.  The first is the Monastery of the Divine March, which was built on a mountain that overlooks the great statue of Xanar and Miradel.  Though it can be easily seen from the Imperial road, one actually needs to travel two days on winding roads to move around the cliffs in order to travel there.  The night before every holy day on Xanar's calendar, a traveler can hear haunting music flow down from the monastery.  The pipes and drums made by these monks are hard to come by (they are not sold on the open market), but are of a elegantly simple quality.

The second monastery is the Abbey of the Good Well.  According to local legend, Saint Sarpedon, a surviving member of Xanar's army, found a town in a valley that was set upon by three curses: It was ruled by the ghost of a dead king, it was in permanent drought, and every ten years, a landslide came and destroyed one out of every five homes.  After praying intensely to the God of Justice for a year, Saint Sarpedon was able to strike down the Ghost-king.  By praying earnestly to the God of Mercy for another year, the landslides never came again.  And by praying with conviction to the God of Knowledge, Saint Sarpedon learned where the townspeaker could dig wells that would yield enough water for them to prosper.  The town, now called Sarpedium is at the base of the mountain and a shrine up the mountain slope holds the remains of Saint Sarpedon.

The city church
The Church of the Three who Became One is, as mentioned above, very standard in its practices within the cities maintained by House Sursatay and the Counts.  The Church is conflicted in its opinion of Komas: on one side you have a friendly & dutiful ruler with an earnest population.  It is well taken care of, with its working relationship with Duke Alezar and its domed, Taveruu-style cathedrals.  On the other, these good men are constantly under temptations by heretical and heathen forces of the Great Betrayer (see below).  This problem however, is secondary to the looming threat of the Seven Vows.  Between heretics, the threat of religious war, and the constant sin promoted by trade, the Church here is busy and powerful, but not in a position of control.

The valley church
The congregations in the valleys are another situation entirely.  Much more humble, the only concern of the churches in the valleys is to tend to the souls of people.  Most of priests in these communities are taught in an apprenticeship in the nearest trade-city, lasting a few years.  The priests are members of the village, not just a representative of Xanar's Church.  Many more folk customs and uniquely Komasian idiosyncracies find their way into the festivals and ceremonies of valley churches.  Sometimes these are cleaned up when a superior from the city visits, sometimes not.  More than one village priest has required 'additional contemplation on Xanar's law,' but forcing the valley churches to adhere perfectly to protocol is not a high priority for the Church at this moment.

Heretics
While the Sursatays promote strict Three Become One doctrine, that is not by any means the only religion present.  A variant on the religion of Ixpliaph hides in some of the more remote valleys in eastern Komas.  There, people revere Esauln, the God of Ixliaph, with ceremonies that borrow heavily from Xanar's law.  They also hold sacred the name of a high Priestess, Rakel, who brought the wisdom of Esauln to the valleys.  They are left alone generally unless they reject the rule of the Sursatays, or the Church demands action, both of which happen periodically.  The Sursatays are hesitant to do anything too harsh to them, however, because no one knows the eastern mountains of Komas like these heretics.  Whether it is smuggling routes into Otamarluk, or secret passes into Ixpliaph, the Taveruu Esaulnists know this land.  Always afraid to destroy something of potential value, the Sursatays have always been hesitant to act against them.  This hesitation has been fueled by the occasional agreement Duke Alzanar has been able to make with the clan elders of the Esaulnists.

If the Esaulnists are an alien religion among the lowest peasants in the hills, Helenian Paganism is the fad of high culture in Komas.  The court culture the main cities (Sumerhab, Meshib, and Kramace) have a certain segment that appreciates the aesthetics (and hedonism) of the pantheon of Helena.  It has become a widespread fashion to have a coin with 2 faces on it as a good-luck charm, for example.  Many of the works of art patroned by the nobles has an allusion here or there to various gods from Helena.  The merchants from Helena have promoted this, seeing it as helpful to them in this province of passes.  The Church, needless to say, is less than happy with this.  They fear it goes far beyond the fashions of art.  On several occasions the Chuch has requested Duke Alzanar pass edicts controlling the worship of the false gods of Helena more.  The Duke so far as held them at bay, pointing to pre-existing law, as well as the fact that no hard evidence has been found of worship (outside of foreigners from Helena).

The true specter of heresy that hovers over Komas, however, is Thayrism.  Today, Thayrism is seen by many nobles, commoners, and holy men as the unseen enemy within Komas.  Every few years an abandoned temple to a Thayrist god is found in the mountains.  Sixteen years ago, a temple was found hidden in the city of Meshib.  The Duke used all his powers of persuasion and coercion to keep the Inquisition out of his province that day.  Since the return of his son Tomas, Duke Alzanar has been dreading the day that Church begins investigating the rumors that he is a Thayrist.  Regardless of whether they are true or not, such a scandal could be all too dangerous to the Sursatays.

For every fact about Taveruu Thayrists, there are a legion of whispered rumors.  They are said to have hidden valleys where communities thrive, underground catacombs beneath the cities, strange alliances with the Esaulnists (and even the Fahalim).  They are the whispered conspiracy that no one admits to truly believing to exist... but that everyone knows for a fact does.  The plans of the Thayrists are unknown, but assumed to be unholy.  Some even fear their hatred of the Church is so deep they would hand Taveruun to Otamarluk out of spite.  

Fey
These concerns do not extend out of the cities.  The valleyfolk who tend the farms and herd the livestock care only that Xanar is their Great Lawbringer, that the Church is good, and that the heathens to the east are all evil.  Demons and ghosts may live in the mountains, but Xanar's conquering hand cleansed the valleys and made it possible for the Tavaruu to make their cities and farms.  But always beware what is between the mountains, for Xanar did not step on every peak.  The concerns of Valleyfolk have less to do with heretics and more to do with the Fey of the mountains.  Upon each peak, they say, a spirit dances unless its attention is pulled away.  Stories usually have foolish humans doing this, though they also stop to converse with eachother.  These spirits have a dizzying cosmology, including Summit Monks, Ridge Knights, Kings of the Peak, etc.  The spiritworld on the high mountains has an order all its own, and it is not the order of man or Xanar.  Komas folklore revolves around height, or more precisely, moving up or down.  Humanity naturally wishes to move down, putting its feet squarely on the ground.  The nature of The Three and their divine servants is to move higher and higher into heaven.  The High Folk, on the other hand, are the wind that moves across, touching heaven and earth for but a moment as the move between them.

The Church does little about these legends since the Sursatay took over. Before that, there were many more unusual stories and tales coming from the more remote, upper valleys.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 10, 2003, 03:21:13 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
Just some ideas. If others want to pick up other territories, there's still 5 left totally unclaimed. East, of course is the biggie, and probably has the most threat from Ottamarluk (I'd think that they'd want to take Longstone as a site to stage from). Southeast has the border with the mysterious land of Savastra. The Northeast borders Helena. The Southwest has the border with the warring state of Dardanet. (Brian indicated an interest in the naval affairs of the West province).

That last one is interesting. Under the listing for Ottamarluk, IIRC, it says that they've invaded Dardanet in the past. It's possible that they do this by seaborne invasion, but what makes most sense to me is that they just march across Taveruun to get there. This would not be without historical prescident as I've discussed before.

I've only detailed one-eighth of Taveruun. Still a lot of work to be done.

Mike


When I get around to it, I may as well do one of the other northern provinces, be it northeast or northwest.  (Maybe even both...but if that happens, detail will suffer)  My guess is that all the mountainous provinces are survived war better than the flatter provinces.  Also, Duke Alzenar's plans aside, I doubt Komas is far and away the dominant province.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 11, 2003, 08:24:44 AM
Nick, that's really good stuff. I mean, exceptional. Lots of depth there.

If we keep this up, it'll be an awesome netbook. With some editing it might even make a good supplement (assuming Jake is interested).

Hmm.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 11, 2003, 10:32:24 AM
Color me interested.

Jake


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 11, 2003, 07:03:27 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
Nick, that's really good stuff. I mean, exceptional. Lots of depth there.


Thanks.  I tried.  Your stuff was cool as well, as I already said.

Quote from: Mike Holmes

If we keep this up, it'll be an awesome netbook. With some editing it might even make a good supplement (assuming Jake is interested).

Hmm.



At this rate, you're right: with some editing we could make a very good netbook.  I suspect that when we get done with Taveruun, we'll move on to other countries.  

Jake, if you want to throw some guidance on what you'd want, then guide away fearless leader.  Otherwise, I suspect Mike, Brian and I are just going to start detailing everything in sight.   Hmm... actually, if it is ok with people, I think the idea of netbooks and how supplements should work is worth its own thread.



Anyways, back to Taveruun, so far we have 2 of the provinces done (North and south), and two more reserved (Brian wants the west, and I want the northwest).  That leaves southwest, southeast, east, and northeast.  With the exception of maybe the southeast, those provinces are guaranteed to be having all types of fun with Otamarluk.

We're getting to a point where there is some structure to build off of.  I highly encourage everyone to throw in ideas, be it for the other provinces or for the ones already written about a bit.  However, we also have to start thinking in terms of connecting the dots, making some kind of cohesive whole that is Taveruun.

We already know some themes.  First, Taveruun is too big to be culturally unified.  We have a native people (the Taveruu), the Maruzin, and the Komasian hybrid of Cyrinthian and Taveru.

So, for example, I know I want to write up the Northwestern province.  I should to incorporate something about the Maruzin clans into that, as the mountains around here may be where the Maruzin came from.  

I think my main question is does anyone else want to come out & play with Mike & I?  We're happy to have the company, and the rules for the Taveruun game are pretty simple.


*sigh* This thread is also making me want to go buy Campaign cartographer.  It is also making want to make a 'rule nation' mechanic, like Birthright.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 11, 2003, 08:26:28 PM
Here is a quick sketch of what I have planned for the Northeast Province:

1) Close ties with Helena.  Church missionaries and iron traders going in, wine and pagans coming out.

2) Weak ruling family, strong but fragmented nobility.  Current Highlord is rumored to be mad.  He isn't, though; he's only an idiot.

3) Disregards Otomarluk.  Believes on the whole that Otamarluk's success has been caused by other Highlord's either being corrupt or poor leaders.

4) Racism between the Taveruu who live in the lower elevations and the Maruzin in the mountains.  The Taveruu are generally in charge.

The Northern province is a thriving place.  The northwest, while not under siege like some parts of Taveruun, is not a thriving place.  It has stumbled over its diversity, become unbalanced by the different people & cultures in and around it.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 12, 2003, 01:20:24 AM
I may have missed all this (it's a big thread), but don't forget about Imperial settlers and their descendants from previous centuries.

Jake


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 12, 2003, 07:28:38 AM
This is a REALLY long thread.... I'll have to go back and read through it carefully. I have some things I might try and add in....


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on June 12, 2003, 07:47:12 AM
Sword Captain Nathan Kalorgai braced himself against the buffeting wind that came in powerful waves of pure force and looked out over the killing fields. His position on the highest wall of the easternmost Citadel of the fortress commanded a most impressive view. However the knight was not impressed. And he would not be impressed until the sweeping semi-desert in front of him was filled with Marmaluk banners and men.

"They will come, my son. They will come", a voice called from behind him, fighting to be heard above the wind, "But your watchfulness will not hasten their arrival".

Kalorgai did not turn to face the newcomer, "No Father. It appears not".

"Are you so impatient to meet your fate?"

"I have waited patiently for ten years for the hordes to come, Father. Ten long years. And those who served before me have waited much longer", then he did turn to face the priest,

"Is my death so certain?”

"I said fate, Sword Captain, not death, though many of my flock are fated to die when the heathen's come", the priest was dressed in voluminous black robes which were whipping to and fro violently and was holding a hand up to ward off the sand being driven at him on the wind, "Perhaps, if it is his will, we will all die".

"Bettlerskrone will not fall, Greifer", turned to face the east, "No Marmaluk will ever stand here in my place. The walls are too high and too strong.”

Father Antonial Griefer smiled. "Stone is only as strong as the men who hold it. And pride is a capricious ally", he warned.

"We will hold Father. You can be sure of that."

"But for how long, Sword Captain, how long".

+++
Imperial East County of Taveruun
The Imperial East County of Taveruun is a proud frontier against the Heretic Horde, a tense place where the citizens enjoy peace but a drawn sword is but a moment away.  The county is large and wealthy stretching from the iron-rich central mountains to the fertile farmlands of the mighty Cathedral river valley. A number of military orders are established in the county and the inquisition has a strong base. The Imperial Church of the Three Gods Become One is highly active and visible in the county with many extravagant churches, monasteries and cathedrals. Also a number of military orders are established in the county and the Inquisition has a strong base.

Notable Locations

Longstone.
The capital of not only the Imperial East County but the entire country of Taveruun, Longstone is a sprawling city of stone. The castle of Duke Pallori is a dramatic sight perched along a long spur of rock at the heart of the city. The bulk of the city is split into distinctly diverse quarters both in population and architecture, they themselves telling the story of the city's checkered past. The city hosts many famous buildings,  the magnificent Cathedral of the Three Gods become One is central to the Imperial quarter, and the sprawling Chapter House of the Sons of the Righteous War dominates the Old Quarter.

The Eastern Wall
The wall is the largest man made structure in the world and forms Taveruun's first line of defense against the Marmaluk threat. The wall is in effect a fortified and elevated road running the entire length of the border with Otarmaluk. On average the wall is 15 feet high faced with stone and castellated along the ridge with a 10-foot ditch on the eastern face for a total embankment of up to 30 feet (10 metres). The wall though impressive is more of a psychological barrier than a physical one as there are not enough warriors in all of Taveruun to man it effectively. The wall requires a large portion of the countries national product to maintain and in recent years a toll has been imposed on travel along the wall and through the wall collected at the League Forts along the wall's length.

Bettlerskrone
The most secure fortress in all Taveruun is located near the Eastern Wall in the south of the county. Built on a commanding rock outcrop in the shape of bear's claw by the Holy Knights of the Shard order of knighthood shortly after the First Crusade against Otarmarluk. The Founder of the order, Lord Arlyman the Begger, joined the crusade in Xanarium where legend has it he lived as a beggar but returned from the east one the Empire's richest men. The order made it's home in the land they help to conquer and built a mighty castle to defend it. Some of the fortifications pre-date the Eastern wall while others have been rebuilt over the years to include a 30 foot deep trench dug into the very bedrock of the hill baring entry to the main fortress, and four imposing citadels on the fingers of the bear claw dividing the approach to the main fortress into 3 walled gullies. Though the fortress has been besieged many times in it's long history it has never been taken.

Peoples

Mainlunders
The elite of Taveruun are predominantly in the group known as the Mainlunders by the native Taveru. Whilst most are generations removed from the Imperial settlers who swept into Taveruun in search of land and glory during the Imperial crusades, the term is used as a derogatively in some quarters to indicate unwanted interlopers. The majority of this group reside in the cities of the Imperial East County, though a smaller portion form the landed nobility residing in the countryside in fortified farmsteads.

Taveruu
The bulk of the population is made up of a mixed bag of native Taveruu, with both aboriginal and nomadic blood, who form the working classes of the county. Whilst adherence to the doctrines of the Imperial Church is expected, many covertly follow the religions of their ancestors. Unrest is uncommon in this group given that the standard of living is noticeably higher in Taveruun than it's eastern and northern neighbors and crime is kept to a minimum though the establishment of a highly structured and well-equipped Town Watch system.

Maruzin Clansmen
A small population of Maruzin exists in the Imperial East county, mostly in the mountainous west, though their ability to raid their neighbors in curtailed somewhat by the large number of military units in the county. This has led to a great deal of resentment amongst the clans and mercantile passage through the mountains must by necessity be heavily escorted.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 12, 2003, 08:09:19 AM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
I may have missed all this (it's a big thread), but don't forget about Imperial settlers and their descendants from previous centuries.

Jake


GAH!  How the Hell did I forget them?!?  Thanks Jake.

ok.... lessee...  time for a hack-job cultural history of Taveruun.  

Before Recorded Time: Xanar conquers Taveruun.  Due to the existence of things like the Statue of Xanar and his unknown companion, the archeologist is willing to say there is historical evidence Xanar did actually come here.

1 WEYR: Xanar dies, the Sea of Fallen Gods is created, and time begins.  At this point, the cultural traditions of Taveruun begin to take shape.

550-608 WEYR:  The early expansion under the fourth moon is primarily towards Maraia.  As Taveruun is not specifically mentioned in the timeline, I will suggest that this is about when the Empire absorbs Taveruun, primarily through missionary work (that part is in the book).  Let's say Imperial authority was established by... 590 WEYR?

608-957: Increased trade with Xanarium, settlers come and help found or develop the cities of Taveruun.

Pre-957:  Taveruun has most likely always had tensions Otamarluk and the followers of the Seven Vows.

957 WEYR: The first official aid by Xanarium to aid its vassal Taveruun in its Otamarluk dealings.  Taveruun sends lobbyists far and wide telling Mainlund how evil the Seven Vows is, and how savage the people to the east can be.

1000 WEYR:  Using the millenium, Taveruun gets its wish and the Crusades begin.  

1000-1200 WEYR:  The Crusades start off as a mixed blessing and get worse from there.  At its best, the Crusades were a vast amount of military aid by a horde of roving knights.  Their behavior often caused problems, the most glaring of which was the peasant rebellion in Komas, leading to the establishment of foriegn nobles as its rulers.  At its worst, the Crusades were a time when self righteous fanatics stampeded across the landscape, trampling everything on their way to glory.  "Glory" was occasionally defined as attacking Taveruun highlords, not only the Otamarluks.

1200-1275 WEYR: Increased problems throughout the Empire leaves Taveruun increasingly independent.  

1360 WEYR: My arbitrary date for the independence of Taveruun.  It stayed loyal longer than Helena or Dardanet, but not by much.  The shift was relatively quiet because Taveruun's ties to Xanarium were always based in faith first.

1400-1467: Otamarluk launches several raids into Taveruun.  thanks to the open spaces within Taveruun & its road system, the raiders consistently move deep within the country, often getting to Dardanet.

1467 Weyr: The Sul'taan of Otamarluk finally believes he is strong enough and declares a counter-crusade against Taveruun and beyond.  Taveruun, while confident in its military power, is preparing for this ultimate test.


Now, as for settlers from Xanarium and other parts of Mainlund...
The Taveruu are the dominant group currently in Taveruun.  This may not have always been the case, but iit certainly became that way soon after Xanarium started poking around (Hence the name, Taveruun).  This tells me that the Taveruu were among the first and biggest Church supporters, and they were then supported by Xanarium to unify their country.  

Over the next 870 years, the Taveruu had the ability to create an ethnic identity which they are still running on.  I am sure that what is currently called the Taveruu include bloodlines from the first wave of Xanarian settlers.  I suspect that most settling groups that came before the Crusades have been partially assimilated into Taveruu culture.  So, then, the spectrum would be on one end, Very traditional Taveruu (probably called a different name by now) who have had minimal dealings with Mainlunders.  In the middle, you would have the 'normal' Taveruu, whose heritage is actually a blend of Xanarian tradition and Taveruu culture.  And on the other end, you have relatively new settlers that came during the Crusades or after (such as the Sursatays), or Mainlund groups that for whatever reason did not mix with the native population.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 12, 2003, 08:17:28 AM
Quote from: Gary_Bingham
Imperial East County of Taveruun
The Imperial East County of Taveruun is a proud frontier against the Heretic Horde, a tense place where the citizens enjoy peace but a drawn sword is but a moment away.  The county is large and wealthy stretching from the iron-rich central mountains to the fertile farmlands of the mighty Cathedral river valley. A number of military orders are established in the county and the inquisition has a strong base. The Imperial Church of the Three Gods Become One is highly active and visible in the county with many extravagant churches, monasteries and cathedrals. Also a number of military orders are established in the county and the Inquisition has a strong base.


Hiya.
I guess I have two questions to yank some more setting out of you :)

First, How well do you see the East faring against Otamarluk?  You described the East as a very militaristic place, something I think most of us would have done as well.  However, I could see the East as being the most prepared for Otamarluk, or the most strained.  Which one do you think it is?

And second, what is the Highlord of the East like?  Good, evil?  Effective, incompetent?  How ambitious is he?  Is he young or old?


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 12, 2003, 10:00:03 AM
Nick, you're description of the Taveru is perfect. I agree that in all that time that most of the Imperial bloodlines are going to get lost in the gene pool.

What's cool, however, is that noble houses tend to intermarry as a rule. If we follow that, then it's likely that the nobility is Taveru-like, but has more hints of the Imperial in them. Often this will set standards of beauty in fact where this phenopmenon occurs (meaning that the noble's appearance is seen as more beautiful than the common folk). This would be reinforced over the long haul (and it'll need reinforcing over the course of more than a millenium), by intermariage with the nobility of Cyrinthmeir, which I assume has the same phenomenon, and the Imperial Seat itself.

Here's a better question. Is there a "Hapsburg-esque" family in this world? If so, then we're talking even more similarities in rulers from country to country in Mainlund and places like Taveruun.


Gary, welcome aboard. Great stuff.

You give me an opportunity to broach a subject. In my description of the relationship between South and East, I described East as a Barony, not a County. There are other little "continuity" problems as well, but I'm not particularly interested in discussing them in particular, so much as discussing how to handle them.

Nick and I have given this some thought in PM, before you posted. I think we see four options:

  • Ignore it. Folks can adjust things as they come across discrepancies.
  • Make changes by committee. Basically just discuss things out in the open, and adjust when there are problems. Vote if neccessary.
  • Appoint a continutity editor, and have them propose changes that are dicussed.  
  • Appoint a continuity editor who will discuss options, but will have final authority.[/list:u]
    What are the pros and cons? Keep it short, and let's decide quickly. Here's what I see:
    I like a single person to be in charge. It ensures a single vision. I can't stand the idea of just allowing in contiuity problems, no matter how much easier it is. I also like that person to have final authority, beacause it's simpler, and means that the vision is tighter, and I don't mind being over-ruled. But I understand that some won't like giving up that kind of control, and for those, perhaps the editor who discusses option is more palatable.

    Thoughts?

    Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 12, 2003, 12:01:37 PM
I'm personally against committees.  I'm in academia.  Committees do a lot of interesting things.  A unified vision in a timely fashion... isn't quite one of them.

I am in favor of some kind of editor.  My ideal would be someone who is in charge of 'the big picture' of Taveruun, the vast country with a lot of cultural influences, big cities, huge tracts of wilderness, and a constant threat of religious war.  He'd be the whistle-blower if somone does something really against the general feel of Taveruun.  He & the individual contributor would talk it through.  There should be an effort to get consensus, but if push comes to shove, the editor wins.

The guy also would be in charge of saying, "the write-ups for these two provinces don't match.  The guys who wrote them need to work it out."


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 12, 2003, 12:08:00 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
What's cool, however, is that noble houses tend to intermarry as a rule. If we follow that, then it's likely that the nobility is Taveru-like, but has more hints of the Imperial in them. Often this will set standards of beauty in fact where this phenopmenon occurs (meaning that the noble's appearance is seen as more beautiful than the common folk). This would be reinforced over the long haul (and it'll need reinforcing over the course of more than a millenium), by intermariage with the nobility of Cyrinthmeir, which I assume has the same phenomenon, and the Imperial Seat itself.

Here's a better question. Is there a "Hapsburg-esque" family in this world? If so, then we're talking even more similarities in rulers from country to country in Mainlund and places like Taveruun.


Let's have some fun and say 'no, but it's coming.'  What I mean by this is that the rulers of some countries are becoming more networked at this moment in time.  It would make sense that it would start happening now, about a century after Xanarium's polity shrank.

Taveruun is an interesting case because I can see the nobility of it going in opposite directions.  Some will marry into the nobility of Mainlund.  Stahl, Cyrinthmeir, Xanarium and Sarmatov.  Other Taveruu nobles, however, would marry south into Dardenet, Yone, and Fauth.  After the current war with Otamarluk, assuming Taveruun still exists, that is going to be a cute little civil war.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on June 12, 2003, 12:42:58 PM
I am also in favor of an editor, with final authority over content. To start with we may treat the counties as little islands or sandpits of our own, but when we start join the dots , as Nick called it, we will need someone to stop us standing on each others toes.

BTW I think in hindsight I have gotten the rivers wrong when I named the Cathedral river. I meant the long river which forms the border with Otamarluk and Svarastra which after consulting the rulebook I consider to be the Galadonian River. I do you concur?

I think we need to decide on the Political structure for Taveruun as a whole. Maybe we need a whole new thread to discuss it. I am particular interested in the relationships between the individual Highlords and how they decide on National policy. Is there a single ruler of Taveruun or a Council of Highlords?


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 12, 2003, 01:59:53 PM
Quote from: Gary_Bingham
I am also in favor of an editor, with final authority over content. To start with we may treat the counties as little islands or sandpits of our own, but when we start join the dots , as Nick called it, we will need someone to stop us standing on each others toes.
Cool.

I think we need to consult with Brian, too, BTW, who's interested in the project before making any decision.

Quote
BTW I think in hindsight I have gotten the rivers wrong when I named the Cathedral river. I meant the long river which forms the border with Otamarluk and Svarastra which after consulting the rulebook I consider to be the Galadonian River. I do you concur?
I do concur indeed. Have you checked out my little map? I suggest that we vote on accepting or rejecting it at some point (there's a continuity error with Nick's North and how my border looks). We need an agreed to map of where the provinces lie as we start. And major Geographical features would be good, too.

Quote
I think we need to decide on the Political structure for Taveruun as a whole. Maybe we need a whole new thread to discuss it. I am particular interested in the relationships between the individual Highlords and how they decide on National policy. Is there a single ruler of Taveruun or a Council of Highlords?
Good point. On a more general note, do we want to do several more threads? If we do, will that be disruptive to the forum? Is there another venue that we should consider?

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 12, 2003, 02:17:00 PM
You'll have to move forward w/o Brian, who's gone for another 6 weeks.

Jake


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Darren Hill on June 12, 2003, 02:46:35 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
On a more general note, do we want to do several more threads? If we do, will that be disruptive to the forum? Is there another venue that we should consider?


Well, I for one don't mind multiple threads of this sort springing up. If you wander off somewhere else to chat about it, it might appear that nothing's happening, and the chance of people dropping in, seeing something that catches their interest and deciding to contribute, is of course greatly diminished.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 12, 2003, 06:10:36 PM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
You'll have to move forward w/o Brian, who's gone for another 6 weeks.


Six weeks? I thought it was just one, somehow. Oops. Well, I'm calling him out of the debate at this point, then. He still has West reserved, but otherwise, yes, that's too long to wait.

So, it seems that we have a consensus that there should be an editor, and I think that we're all on the same sheet of music as far as what he'd do. Tiebreaker, I like that. Anyhow, the big question is who.

I nominate Nick. He's a sociologist, and I think that counts for a lot, personally. What do you think?

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 12, 2003, 08:57:55 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
I nominate Nick. He's a sociologist, and I think that counts for a lot, personally. What do you think?


I think you haven't met many sociologists ;)
(seriously, I make some jokes about my chosen profession, sometimes claiming expert knowledge, other times making fun of it... in all honesty its tangential at best.)

I was going to nominate Mike, actually.  Do anyone else have any opinions?  I refuse to believe it is in anyone's best interest for Mike and I to get into a humility competition.

In either case, I completely forgot to look at your map, Mike, while making my write up on the North.  However, the problems shouldn't be too hard to fix.  I just need to change the location of 1 city and the name of 1 river.

As far as my opinions on threads, I think that the discussion still belongs in this forum.  If things get more complex, or they get more blessed by Jake, then maybe it should go elsewhere.  But at the moment, we're just some fans talking about the setting in the forum.

If we stay here, though, we should start some other threads with specific ideas.  The first thread should be a 'big vision' thread, trying to get the biggest, most general picture of the state of Taveruun, being respectful of the core book, as well as Brian's input before he left.  We then get smaller and smaller in scale, bouncing back up when edits are necessary.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on June 13, 2003, 02:35:42 AM
Quote from: Nick Pagnucco

First, How well do you see the East faring against Otamarluk?  You described the East as a very militaristic place, something I think most of us would have done as well.  However, I could see the East as being the most prepared for Otamarluk, or the most strained.  Which one do you think it is?]


I do see the East county as being a strong bulwark against the Seven Vows crusade. but without the combined armies of Mainlund I don't see any single nation standing against them. The pride of the Galadon people (I have decided to name the county after the river) prevents them from seeing this though.

I feel that we are building a beautiful sandcastle that the tide is going to wash away. I have my own ideas on how I want the counter-crusade to go, and whilst it is disasterous for Taveruun I don't want to see the country completely destroyed.  

Quote from: Nick Pagnucco

And second, what is the Highlord of the East like?  Good, evil?  Effective, incompetent?  How ambitious is he?  Is he young or old?


Nick what do you make of the following?

The House of Pallori

Alfrex Pallori
The current Highlord of the Imperial East County is Alfrex Pallori. Like a true Galadon he exhibits all the key characteristics of the region he rules. He holds himself proud and exudes an air of calm, but it said that he has a fierce temper when riled to anger. He is thought of as a fair and just ruler by his subjects and is a devout follower of the Word of Xanar. The people of the county feel secure under his rule, and many dismiss the rumors of a counter-crusade with contempt saying Lord Pallori would sweep the Marmaluks aside should they threaten the Eastern Wall.

Inside the House of Pallori things are not as secure as his public image would imply. Though late into his fourth decade Alfrex Pallori still has not produced an heir and though he is repeatedly advised to take concubines to his bed he remain true to his wife and dismisses any claims that she is barren. His younger brother, Malcum, has four sons and many within the house have called for Alfrex to select one as his heir. Lord Pallori refuses to comply to this as he views his nephews as weaklings. It is said that he favours his only niece who is serving as a captain in the Eastguard Legion on the Eastern Wall.

Pallori’s choice of advisors is a cause for dissention within the court. His most trusted advisor is Rashid bin Shallah Al-Naguul, an exile from the court of the Suul’tahan in Marstanbuul. Rashid is a convert to the Word of Xanar though many see this as a convenience born of necessity rather than true devotion. Rashid interest in Astrology and Alchemy has set light to the rumours that he practises darker arts in the tower that Pallori has assigned for him in castle Longstone.

Malcum Pallori
Alfrex’s younger brother has been in his shadow since birth. He was not physically impressive or charismatic like Alfrex, but his talents lie with his intellect. He has served his brother as advisor and chancellor since he took his title and there was a time when the brother’s were close. Those days came to an end when Alfrex welcomed Rashid Al-Naguul into his consul. Malcum’s hatred of Rashid stems partly from jealousy, both political and intellectual, and also from a natural contempt for Marluks.

Malcum spent his formative years as a student at the Imperial College in Xanarium, and there he was recruited by a clandestine society known as the Most Honorable and Nebulous Guild of Diplomancy. This group of gifted individuals seeks to maintain order throughout the old empire through application of political power and sorcery. Malcum uses the skills granted to him by the Diplomancers Guild to help protect Taveruun, however he is at odds with the guilds modus operandi of remaining in the background as his ambitions grow. Malcum is being to covet his brother’s title and has begun to use his powers to build a power base amongst his supporters. His is sufficiently skilled in the art of diplomancy so that Alfrex is completely unaware of his actions.

Arthuran Pellori
The studious Arthuran is Malcum’s youngest son and has followed in his father’s footstep’s and traveled to The seat of the Xanarian Empire to learn statecraft at the Imperial College. Unknown to his father he has also become a Diplomancer, but unlike his father his intellect and natural charisma has found a outlet in the particular brand of sorcery taught by the guild.

Arthuran has been enrolled as a Holy Knight of the Shard in the Xanarium chapter of the order, at he behest of the Guild, and has risen swiftly through the ranks. Now as the Otamarluk threat grows he and many of his sword brothers have been recalled to Taveruun to aid in it’s defence should the Marmaluks attack. The Guild has directed him to keep a watchful eye on his father, and ensure that Malcum does not abuse his power or draw unwanted attention to the Guild.  

Rashid bin Shallah Al-Naguul
Rashid is exactly what he claims to be a exile from Otamarluk, though his devotion to the Word of Xanar is certainly not true. No one but Alfrex knows why Rashid has abandoned his homeland and religon. The truth is that Rashid worships no one but himself and his abilities as an assassin and spy. The story that Alfrex heard was that he became too ambitious in Marstanbuul and the Suul’tahan sent a nest of assassins to dispose of him. But Rashid was too clever and evaded all attempts to kill him. When the Suul’tahan dined the next morning he found a plate of full of thumbs in the place of his breakfast. Rashid has become Alfrex’s spymaster and counter assassin, and the Highlord has come to view Rashid as a true friend, much to the consternation of the court in Longstone.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 13, 2003, 11:10:21 AM
Quote from: Nick Pagnucco

I think you haven't met many sociologists ;)
(seriously, I make some jokes about my chosen profession, sometimes claiming expert knowledge, other times making fun of it... in all honesty its tangential at best.)
Well, I assumed from the quality of the data that you've produced that it was your sociology background that gave you the sorts of insights that made the entries realistic. Doesn't really matter where it comes from, you've got what it takes for the job, IMO.

Quote
I was going to nominate Mike, actually.  Do anyone else have any opinions?  I refuse to believe it is in anyone's best interest for Mike and I to get into a humility competition.
I"m not being humble, I thought you'd do a good job. I'd be a good choice as well, I think (hey, I'm here constantly). Heck, Gary's no slouch either. We're all probably well qualified for the job. We just need to pick somehow.

Gary, you want to call it?

Quote
In either case, I completely forgot to look at your map, Mike, while making my write up on the North.  However, the problems shouldn't be too hard to fix.  I just need to change the location of 1 city and the name of 1 river.
So, you're saying that we should go with it? It was just scribbled up on the spur of the moment. I was thinking that maybe we should blow it up so that we can see better where things are. OTOH, maybe not. My little map probably would serve our purposes in the short run.

The biggest problem with it in terms of your material, Nick, is that you talk about all sorts of influences from Helena. And on my map, they don't even border. In fact, given that the North is mountainous, I don't see them sending all that muuch trade through it, unless to get to Ix or the inland sea. OTOH, they are close, and it could just be a matter of interperetation.

Quote
As far as my opinions on threads, I think that the discussion still belongs in this forum.  If things get more complex, or they get more blessed by Jake, then maybe it should go elsewhere.  But at the moment, we're just some fans talking about the setting in the forum.
Cool. Sounds good to me.

Quote
If we stay here, though, we should start some other threads with specific ideas.  The first thread should be a 'big vision' thread, trying to get the biggest, most general picture of the state of Taveruun, being respectful of the core book, as well as Brian's input before he left.  We then get smaller and smaller in scale, bouncing back up when edits are necessary.
Sounds like a plan. Wanna start that 'big view' one up with some observations?


Gary, more cool stuff. Question. How did the East Wall get built? It seems to be on par with the great wall of china. Probably not nearly as long, but on the same scale of magnitude. And it's amazing what it took to build that thing. How did a feudal society accomplish it? Was there any magic involved? Where does it stand in relation to the river, and the river valley.

Speaking of which, what's the political control of the river look like? Interestingly, while small rivers often form borders, big ones do not in RL. This is because they, and the land on both sides are too valuable to share. Here we have a case where a big river is the border. What's travel on it like, and control of the banks like?

Is Diplomancy something you just made up, or does it reference something I'm forgetting? You also mention that Rashid is potentially a Sorcerer. This is fine if it's about all the Sorcerers you intend to add. Rarity seems to be the normal assumption in TROS, and I don't think we want to add too many. It's especially important to leave room for GMs to add their own when neccessary. It is cool, however, to list any that would be well-known, and/or suspected by the populace of Sorcery.

I think that we ought to keep out of doing future timelining. I mean, sure, you can talk about plans of leaders, and their planning times. But let's not get into "In the fifth month of the following year, Ottamarluk comes crashing across the border starting the war." These sorts of events have to reside in each GM's hands solidly. Otherwise, you risk things becomming railroady metaplot.

On another note, how much should we mess with nations outside of Taveruun. That is, it's important to note relations, but one can just embelish on book facts about that. I did, however, create one monastic order that's based in Cyrinthmier. And we all have touched a bit over the border. Thoughts about limiting this, or where to draw a line on it? We could just be expansive, and not worry about it, creating anything so long as it has some relationship to Taveruun.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 13, 2003, 12:17:40 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
So, you're saying that we should go with it? It was just scribbled up on the spur of the moment. I was thinking that maybe we should blow it up so that we can see better where things are. OTOH, maybe not. My little map probably would serve our purposes in the short run.

The biggest problem with it in terms of your material, Nick, is that you talk about all sorts of influences from Helena. And on my map, they don't even border. In fact, given that the North is mountainous, I don't see them sending all that muuch trade through it, unless to get to Ix or the inland sea. OTOH, they are close, and it could just be a matter of interperetation.


On the issue of your little map, I think it is worthwhile to keep it little at the moment.  We get general information, but there's no hope for getting tiny detail.  That's ideal at the moment.

As for the Helena stuff... point taken.  The Helena influences can easily be toned down a bit (and shifted into the northwest province).

...Also, looking at the map again, I may have made an error: why would there be important trade passes through the mountains, when next door, Helena has a wide coastal plane?  Not a horrible problem, but some more fine-tuning (more explanation, shifted emphasis) is in order.


Quote from: Mike Holmes

Quote
If we stay here, though, we should start some other threads with specific ideas.  The first thread should be a 'big vision' thread, trying to get the biggest, most general picture of the state of Taveruun, being respectful of the core book, as well as Brian's input before he left.  We then get smaller and smaller in scale, bouncing back up when edits are necessary.
Sounds like a plan. Wanna start that 'big view' one up with some observations?


oh, sure, twist my arm, why don't you?
*grin*


Quote from: Mike Holmes
I think that we ought to keep out of doing future timelining. I mean, sure, you can talk about plans of leaders, and their planning times. But let's not get into "In the fifth month of the following year, Ottamarluk comes crashing across the border starting the war." These sorts of events have to reside in each GM's hands solidly. Otherwise, you risk things becomming railroady metaplot.


I agree.  Regardless of whether metaplots are good or bad, the Weyrth setting doesn't have one right now.  My position is that we offer people a web of meanings and influences and let the reader decide what gets woven next.  If we leave it as 'It Is Coming,' then we can have a lot of fun with the uncertainty of everything.


Quote from: Mike Holmes

On another note, how much should we mess with nations outside of Taveruun. That is, it's important to note relations, but one can just embelish on book facts about that. I did, however, create one monastic order that's based in Cyrinthmier. And we all have touched a bit over the border. Thoughts about limiting this, or where to draw a line on it? We could just be expansive, and not worry about it, creating anything so long as it has some relationship to Taveruun.


Eh... at this point in time, I think it is something to be mindful of, but with no hard rules.  It is a tricky one, I agree, but I'm not sure how much of a good answer can get written up right now.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 13, 2003, 12:44:53 PM
Quote from: Nick Pagnucco

On the issue of your little map, I think it is worthwhile to keep it little at the moment.  We get general information, but there's no hope for getting tiny detail.  That's ideal at the moment.
I buy that.

Quote
As for the Helena stuff... point taken.  The Helena influences can easily be toned down a bit (and shifted into the northwest province).
Neat. OTOH, again it can be done by slanting the NW provinces description. You know, "Wheras Helena has some influences in North, NW is totally Helenic..." That sort of rhetoric.

Quote
...Also, looking at the map again, I may have made an error: why would there be important trade passes through the mountains, when next door, Helena has a wide coastal plane?  Not a horrible problem, but some more fine-tuning (more explanation, shifted emphasis) is in order.
Because the mountains have to be crossed at some point. The book says the Imperial road goes through some pass up there, IIRC. Sounds good to me.

Quote
Eh... at this point in time, I think it is something to be mindful of, but with no hard rules.  It is a tricky one, I agree, but I'm not sure how much of a good answer can get written up right now.
Play by ear it is.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on June 13, 2003, 01:30:04 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
I"m not being humble, I thought you'd do a good job. I'd be a good choice as well, I think (hey, I'm here constantly). Heck, Gary's no slouch either. We're all probably well qualified for the job. We just need to pick somehow.

Gary, you want to call it?

Not really :) but for the sake of progress, Mike you are by far the more prolific member of our little group in terms of posts. I say that you get the editors spot. No offense Nick.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
My little map probably would serve our purposes in the short run.

Agreed

Quote from: Mike Holmes
The biggest problem with it in terms of your material, Nick, is that you talk about all sorts of influences from Helena. And on my map, they don't even border. In fact, given that the North is mountainous, I don't see them sending all that muuch trade through it, unless to get to Ix or the inland sea. OTOH, they are close, and it could just be a matter of interperetation.

Most trade would come into the Imperial West County via ship or along a coastal trade route. Of course there may be smuggler's who would use secret routes through the mountains to avoid paying taxes

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Gary, more cool stuff. Question. How did the East Wall get built? It seems to be on par with the great wall of china. Probably not nearly as long, but on the same scale of magnitude. And it's amazing what it took to build that thing. How did a feudal society accomplish it? Was there any magic involved? Where does it stand in relation to the river, and the river valley.

Thanks Mike. I based the wall on Hadrian's Wall in Northern England rather than the Great Wall of China. The Roman's built the wall in AD 122 and I tend to associate the Old Xanarian Empire with the Roman Empire. The East Wall would be longer than Hadrian's Wall by a factor of 10 or slightly more (I calculate the border with Otamarluk to be approx.750 miles long) But given the size of the Old Xanarian Empire I do not feel that the scale of the wall stretches the imagination too much.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Speaking of which, what's the political control of the river look like? Interestingly, while small rivers often form borders, big ones do not in RL. This is because they, and the land on both sides are too valuable to share. Here we have a case where a big river is the border. What's travel on it like, and control of the banks like?

I picture the wall being some way back from the flood plain of the river for practical reasons. This leaves narrow strip of Galadon land populated perhaps by a native Taveruu people I have yet to detail. Note like Hadrian's wall the actual border may, at certain times, extend beyond the wall and river into the fertile lands on the eastern bank and when Otamarluk is in the ascendancy the wall may itself define the border. The river in terms of communication is for the Galadon province even more important than the Imperial road. Trade along the river to the Saphire Bay would be vitally important to the financial well being of the county.

Quote
Is Diplomancy something you just made up, or does it reference something I'm forgetting? You also mention that Rashid is potentially a Sorcerer. This is fine if it's about all the Sorcerers you intend to add. Rarity seems to be the normal assumption in TROS, and I don't think we want to add too many. It's especially important to leave room for GMs to add their own when neccessary. It is cool, however, to list any that would be well-known, and/or suspected by the populace of Sorcery.

No Diplomancy is purely my own play on words. I utterly agree that magic and magician's are rare. I see the Diplomancers as a small group of Gifted nobles, no more than one or two per country. They will form part of my own campaign and i wanted to introduce nothing more than a few story hooks. BTW I don't see Rashid as a sorcerer at all, merely that he is suspected of it. I will leave his exact methods up to each GM's interpretation


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on June 13, 2003, 04:50:07 PM
Guys... I´m blown away. This is all excellent stuff, and for my favourite country too! I have not had a chance to read right through it (I´m in a dingy Bolivian internet cafe right now and it´s not cheap) but I look forward to jumping all over it when I get back home in 5 weeks.

Most certainly go on without me, that´s too long to wait - I agree. If someone wants to take East as well, then go ahead, but save it for me if possible, I guess.

Really stoked. This is fantastic stuff.

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 13, 2003, 07:16:22 PM
Quote from: Brian Leybourne

Really stoked. This is fantastic stuff.


Glad you like it. :)
Have fun down yonder, BTW.



As for everybody else...

I should have a rewrite of Komas as well as a write-up for the Northwest by Tuesday.  I'll incorporate all relevant comments since my initial posting.

Absolutely no offense is taken by Mike being our fearless leader.

I'd comment about the wall stuff, but I'm sore & tired, so I'll wait till I'm a bit more with it.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 05:28:15 AM
Ok, noe i'm getting jealous and i'm going to have to build something too, hehe!


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 14, 2003, 08:32:33 AM
Quote from: Morfedel
Ok, noe i'm getting jealous and i'm going to have to build something too, hehe!


Nobody has made any claims to the south-east at all.  It'd be an interesting place, I think: The province looks to be one big delta, and it borders Svastara in all its quasi-India goodness. :)


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 03:42:47 PM
Let me scratch me noggin and think about it. That also means I am gonna have to read the rest of this thread more carefully.

Bah!

Bah, I say!

Bah!

----

Dont mind me. i'm just strange, and this is a stranger day than most. :)


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 03:51:34 PM
Ok, i'm reading it, i'm reading it....

I'll claim that area and give it some thought.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 04:59:56 PM
This is from the first page of the thread, but after reading thoroughly about Taveruun and Otamarluk, I have to agree with the below, that Taveruun won't be performing any MILITARY conquests at this time. To quote from the book:

Quote

Due to current altercation (war) with Otamarluk, any surplus [food] is being used to feed the army, and nothing is being sold at this time. Economically, it is beginning to destabilize the country, though they are not considered poor. Being outnumbered 2 to one in population density by the Marmaluks is also a strain on their ability to produce enough food, weapons and manpower to hold their opponent at bay.


From the above, its beginning to look grim. Its also looking odd seeing "2 to one" instead of "2 to 1" or "two to one"  *grin*

Quote from: Mike Holmes
I have to side with Gary's view. Taveruun seems to be the, as yet, untaken Balkan states already late to be taken by the Turk. That is, in the RW, the Turk would already own all of this, and be beating on the doors of Vienna. Or to translate, this would put all Taveruun as client states of the Marmeluk Sultan, with their armies constantly threatening to invade Mainlund in terms of the Counter-Crusade.

Also, they'd recieve no help from the south. These nations are in no position culturally to aid. And even if they were, they'd stay out of it as they know that the Sultan has larger fish to fry than them, his eye set on the Imperial Capital as an ultimate goal. So why tempt his Ire?

In any case, with the Marmeluks even threatening, I don't see Taveruun as able to launch any attacks of their own.

But that's just my view of it (which may have been informed by Jake, BTW, at a con; I can't remember for sure). That all said, I think it sounds like an awesome place to adventure. Many fractured feudal states just waiting to be consumed by a titanic neighbor. Lot's of politics, intrigue and adventure to say the least. I'd play there.

Do you want to develop some of the canonical ideas further? Like the 8 compass point polities?

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 05:03:36 PM
Add to that the paranoid and distrustful nature of Taveruun people, I'd say that Taveruuni society better go through a period of learning to trust others, or else they will never get the kind of help they need, and they will not last - unless, perhaps, they get their walls finished. Giving them enough fortification to foce the Marmaluks to lay siege instead of raiding may be a great boon, although that is a LONG stretch of wall to defend.

Jake, how closly does the Taveruun wall match the great wall of china? How much more or less large in scale would it be, and how successful do you see it in comparison to that wall?


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 05:08:34 PM
I just saw something strange in the book:

Quote

...pay heavy tribute to Otamarluk, which funds add to an ancient war waged primarily on the borders of Helena and Dardanet.


From what I can tell on the map, Dardanet and Helena dont share any borders with Otamarluk?


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 05:19:32 PM
Hm, now this is interesting.

Apparently, Taveruun IS being militaristic:

Quote

Currently engaged in skirmishes on their northern borders as both Taveruun and Dardanet encroach, Numeria strugges to maintain control of the river Anazum.


(sorry for all the micrposts here; i'm reading each of the prevalent countries in the region orbiting Taveruun to get a firm grasp of the situation)


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 05:41:28 PM
Ok, I have been reading, and here are my thoughts of the region orbitting Taveruun, and her status therein:

Taveruun is in serious trouble from the military pressure from Otamarluk, as they are outnumbered 2 to 1, and their economy is beginning to destabilize: destabilizating of economy can cause social unrest if things don't, well, stabilize.

On the other hand... their wall is almost complete. Depending on how effective and powerful the wall is, it might, just might, create a bulwark that will allow Taveruun to bring the situation back under control, albeit meaning that they will have to act in a defensive manner concerning their eastern neighbor.

As such, I can't imagine Taveruun can mount a serious assault on anyone else in quest for Empire... but, as noted in one of my posts just above, they are already apparently attempting to annex parts of Numeria. So, they aren't being entirely peaceful.

Dardanet is also moving on Numeria, which means that, sooner or later, Taveruun and Dardanet would come into conflict - but then, Dardanet doesn't act in concert, but piecemeal, as they are a mess of internal conflicts. It occurs to me that playing a Game of Diplomats, playing off some Dardanet forces against another while positioning their forces to annex the river of Anazum; as rivers were the lifeblood of society in medieval history, this would be an economic boon, something Taveruun could benefit from.

And if the Taveruun diplomats can trigger a full scale civil war in Dardanet, allying with some sides, they can play the game and annex a piece of Dardanet as well, which might help them mightily in their resoure department, especially food when merged with the river's bounty.

Although this all depends on my above question, about how Otamarluk is waging war with Dardanet, with Taveruun in the way. :)

There is another interesting item to note, however.... Cast your eyes a bit south of Otamarluk, on the Eastern border.

There is a country there, known as Svarastra, and according to my map, it has a border in common with Taveruun. It is very rich, almost seeping in opulence. And their military is mainly for show. While a full scale invasion would be unrealistic, again because of the defense against Otamarluk, they could not begin a full scale invasion, but there would be an opportunity to take resources from Svarastra - or, perhaps, try a risky bit of diplomacy and demand tribute, much as Otamarluk has.

It may not work; Svarastra may protest and appeal to Otamarluk, whom they are already bribing... but they are also used to living in lazy oppulence, and paying for their privilege without much concern. They just may meet some demands as long as they aren't too massive.

There is a region of land just north of Taveruun, a narrow strip bordering Cyrinthmeir that is unlabeled - does that actually belong to Cyrinthmeir, or what?


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 06:17:16 PM
Hey Mike, not wanting to refute your great ideas here, but their military I do not think would be ineffectual... they are, after all, on the border of Numeria, and as quoted above, they are in the process of pushing Numeria hard in attempting to claim the bordering river, and Numeria is having a hard time of it....

further, you said that relationships with Numeria are tense, but they arent attacking as they need imperial support, but since Taveruun is in the process of attempting to annex parts of Numeria, I think the point is a bit moot, eh? :)

just a thought....

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Here's a map of Taveruun  (http://a4.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/EOvUPvrtUKd1bEkxSBERzlwXfpedWsuZY4rP_tUMfLdLOxEXn2XiSCCLPc6-iGxSIvZGdfjuCrTprZ3zjnOEZSspaj0/Taveruun.jpg)that I divided up into provinces for fun. It's at the Indie Netgaming site, so if you're not a member you'll have to sign up (yes this is a ploy to get you all to take a look).


The Imperial South County of Taveruun is considered a barbaric place in polite society. The people of the region have a tendency to have old Numerian religious practices, or some bastardizations of Imperial and Numerian, becoming more pronounced the closer to Numeria one gets. Away form the few cities life can be quite crude.

The only mitigating factor to this is the civilizing effect of the Imperial Road which terminates at the County Capitol. The great city of Ilitzi lies at the mouth of the Urdza river where it empties into Saphire Bay. An ancient trading port, it is the last Imperial controled stop on the trade rout to the east. From here ships travel around the dark lands of the Svarastran subcontinent, and to the rich ports of Tengoku and Vedij. Being such a prominent crossroads, and having been established by a far older culture than the Imperials, the city is composed of a smorgasboard of peoples from far places practicing all manner of religion and customs. Still, the Imperial presence keeps the city organized, and hence quite a cosmopolitan place. As much as any city of the age. Impressive architecture is built upon the engineering of previous rulers, and the whole city has an eclectic aesthetic all it's own.

The road itself comes down from the north following the great river. River traffic parallels the movement of travellers. This is all very well patrolled, but control is tenous. Clans from the mountains in the western parts of the County are known for both their poverty, and their willingness to rectify that by raiding caravans on the road. And trade is occasionally interdicted by tribal chieftains (an out of place race seemingly related to the Vedij peoples somehow) from the eastern plains of the County coming across the river simply to extort more lands for their people from the ruling powers. This is not seen as an desireable post from the point of view of Imperial Officers who are posted in some parts. They see the local rulers as corrupt, and their militia as ineffectual, which leaves them in a tough spot guarding Imperial trade.

The region does have some wealth producing industries having recently begun to make it's own silk (not the quality of that from the east, but an acceptable substitute to most Westerners), and being the source of certain rare forms of incense. Trade in the form of short runs to Tez'Hamun for drugs are also commonplace, though dangerous.

Also a trade in stolen Numerian religious artifacts flows across the border in the mountains near the great Numerian cliff city of Jamar. Relations with Numeria are always tense, with the rulers on both sides having an intense animopsity for each other, and this theft only makes things worse. The Numerians realize the importance of the province to the Imperials, however, and have not attacked not wanting to wake that enemy. And the Count does not attack for fear that his own poulace would rise against him in portions of the County. So an uneasy truce exists for now.

The Count owes fealty only to the High Baron in the Imperial East Barony. And relations are fairly good as the South Count sends much wealth to help the High Baron with building his defnse works against possible Marluk agression. Also, a few years back, the South Count bestowed Ardanast an important city on the Imperial road at the far north end of the road in the province to the High Baron in an attempt to gain favor (which resulted in a diplomatic marriage).

Relations with the Southeast County are strained, however, relating to problems with the tribal chieftians that occupy both provinces, and their continual pressure for space.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 06:32:16 PM
Just a thought I wanted to ask, after having read about Taveruun from the MRB.

You this guy travelling through Infidel lands, and blends of customs, etc. But remember, Taveruun was also described as heavily influenced / allied to the Imperial Church; it was also described as heavily superstitious, even paranoid.

So I'm curious about your thoughts on the blending of customs, these semi=heretical monastaries, and this travelling member of Otamarluk; do you feel this might be in conflict with the overall theme of Taveruun as stands, or more like its kind of like Neopolitan Icecream, where although most of the country is that way, but various regions might not be quite so hardcore?


And if it sounds like I'm picking on you with these and other thoughts, i'm not; I'm just presenting alternate viewpoints and asking for clarifications.

James

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Bumping again by means of adding info. Still waiting for people to help.


From The Journal of Brazhim ir Makhilef:

..... [various stuff deleted] ....

In his most holy name.



Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 06:47:57 PM
Speaking of questions:

Since you claimed South Taveruun, you have some really interesting things to consider.

First, there is Numeria: As I noted earlier, Numeria is desperately fighting off Dardanet AND Taveruun in holding their bordering river; this means that there is definite military potential there.

and not just with Numeria, but possible clashes with Dardanet forces.

But there's more; along with the more direct province to Dardanet, this could form a rather interesting possibility for international politics and intrigue. How does Dardanet react to Taveruun also annexing bordering Numeria territory? Do they each just stick to their piece of the pie? Stand away from each other? Ally with each other? Clash?

And how does that effect other elements of the constantly-conflicting Dardanet society and its nearest Taveruun province? Could end up becoming a real diplomatic tangle with a lot of possibilities!

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Nick, don't punish me for being overactive. Keep posting. This is good stuff.  :-)

Those statues are at the beginning of the road, IIRC. And according to my little map (have you checked it out?), only the Northern province connects to either Ixilaph or Cyrinthmeir. So I think you just laid claim to the very interesting North Imperial province.

Here are some quesitons to answer about that land.

What is it called both as an official fiefdom, and as a place that existed since before the Imperials came and left? What is the title of the feudal lord? He's a Highlord, according to the book, and that's probably traditional, but I think that they'd all also be duchies, baronies, etc. I made an unorthodox decision intentionally by making the most important lord a Baron. This happened historically, however, as in the case of the Barony of Saxony.

Who does the Highlord owe fealty to? What are relations like with it's bordering provinces of NW Taveruun, and NE Taveruun? What about with the other countries it borders, Cyrinthmier, Ixaliph, and Ottamarluk (with which it's border extends south to the river)? Do the rulers of the region have any political objectives of their own? Any traditional territorial rivalries that threaten to break out again?

Geography? What of that river? I believe that this region is supposed to be mountainous, with a range and pass mentioned in the book (the map certainly looks it).

Who are the local people, all Taveru (you'll note that's what I've named the major indiginous culture; sound right to you?)? Or are there other ethnicities and/or cultural groups in the area? What are local customs like for these groups? Religions (you've already touched on that which is very cool)?

What's the economy like here? What local commodities are produced, and what's imported and exported? How brisk is trade, and what forms does it most often take in terms of transportation? Has preparations against the Marluks made the people poor? How prosperous are they when they're not under threat of invasion? What is their military like? Well developed, or lacking?

Major cities? Other cultural geography? What sort of subsistence patters do the people have, and what effects does this have on what habitation patterns are like? Technological variances? Subcultural structures?


Just some ideas. If others want to pick up other territories, there's still 5 left totally unclaimed. East, of course is the biggie, and probably has the most threat from Ottamarluk (I'd think that they'd want to take Longstone as a site to stage from). Southeast has the border with the mysterious land of Savastra. The Northeast borders Helena. The Southwest has the border with the warring state of Dardanet. (Brian indicated an interest in the naval affairs of the West province).

That last one is interesting. Under the listing for Ottamarluk, IIRC, it says that they've invaded Dardanet in the past. It's possible that they do this by seaborne invasion, but what makes most sense to me is that they just march across Taveruun to get there. This would not be without historical prescident as I've discussed before.

I've only detailed one-eighth of Taveruun. Still a lot of work to be done.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 07:47:53 PM
Diplomancers. Great stuff, heh.

I wanted to bring a discussion about Sorcerers up and front. Do you think that it would be natural for them to form any kind of Guild, per se? Or even organize at all?

After all, there is only one Sorcerer per 10,000 people, and that does not necessarily mean that they will even be Nobles - I get the distinct impression Magery is by birth, not training, in terms of potential (hence the name gifted), and therefore their being nobles and gifted, with one oer 10k people, exceptionally unlikely.

Also note, that with such rarity, I would also think their banding together like that may be unlikely. Here we are, with men and women of incredible rarity and earthshaking power. Each with goals of their own, and as rare as a 7th moon. Perhaps they might form some form of, oh, light contact, alliance kind of thing - I am thinking somewhat like the Order of Hermes from Ars Magica, where they were loose bands with rules, but often in great conflict - but I'd tend to think that their rarity would end up making them a bunch of loners, in effect, with the exception of the lightest, cautious, and most tenuous of contacts - since every sorcerer never knows what to expect from another sorcerer, whose powers might easily meet, or exceed, your own.

Just some thoughts for your consideration.

Quote from: Gary_Bingham
Quote from: Mike Holmes
I"m not being humble, I thought you'd do a good job. I'd be a good choice as well, I think (hey, I'm here constantly). Heck, Gary's no slouch either. We're all probably well qualified for the job. We just need to pick somehow.

Gary, you want to call it?

Not really :) but for the sake of progress, Mike you are by far the more prolific member of our little group in terms of posts. I say that you get the editors spot. No offense Nick.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
My little map probably would serve our purposes in the short run.

Agreed

Quote from: Mike Holmes
The biggest problem with it in terms of your material, Nick, is that you talk about all sorts of influences from Helena. And on my map, they don't even border. In fact, given that the North is mountainous, I don't see them sending all that muuch trade through it, unless to get to Ix or the inland sea. OTOH, they are close, and it could just be a matter of interperetation.

Most trade would come into the Imperial West County via ship or along a coastal trade route. Of course there may be smuggler's who would use secret routes through the mountains to avoid paying taxes

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Gary, more cool stuff. Question. How did the East Wall get built? It seems to be on par with the great wall of china. Probably not nearly as long, but on the same scale of magnitude. And it's amazing what it took to build that thing. How did a feudal society accomplish it? Was there any magic involved? Where does it stand in relation to the river, and the river valley.

Thanks Mike. I based the wall on Hadrian's Wall in Northern England rather than the Great Wall of China. The Roman's built the wall in AD 122 and I tend to associate the Old Xanarian Empire with the Roman Empire. The East Wall would be longer than Hadrian's Wall by a factor of 10 or slightly more (I calculate the border with Otamarluk to be approx.750 miles long) But given the size of the Old Xanarian Empire I do not feel that the scale of the wall stretches the imagination too much.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Speaking of which, what's the political control of the river look like? Interestingly, while small rivers often form borders, big ones do not in RL. This is because they, and the land on both sides are too valuable to share. Here we have a case where a big river is the border. What's travel on it like, and control of the banks like?

I picture the wall being some way back from the flood plain of the river for practical reasons. This leaves narrow strip of Galadon land populated perhaps by a native Taveruu people I have yet to detail. Note like Hadrian's wall the actual border may, at certain times, extend beyond the wall and river into the fertile lands on the eastern bank and when Otamarluk is in the ascendancy the wall may itself define the border. The river in terms of communication is for the Galadon province even more important than the Imperial road. Trade along the river to the Saphire Bay would be vitally important to the financial well being of the county.

Quote
Is Diplomancy something you just made up, or does it reference something I'm forgetting? You also mention that Rashid is potentially a Sorcerer. This is fine if it's about all the Sorcerers you intend to add. Rarity seems to be the normal assumption in TROS, and I don't think we want to add too many. It's especially important to leave room for GMs to add their own when neccessary. It is cool, however, to list any that would be well-known, and/or suspected by the populace of Sorcery.

No Diplomancy is purely my own play on words. I utterly agree that magic and magician's are rare. I see the Diplomancers as a small group of Gifted nobles, no more than one or two per country. They will form part of my own campaign and i wanted to introduce nothing more than a few story hooks. BTW I don't see Rashid as a sorcerer at all, merely that he is suspected of it. I will leave his exact methods up to each GM's interpretation


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 14, 2003, 07:52:41 PM
This is the Night of a Thousand Posts, apparently. :)

Last question to our Holder of the Eastern Barrier: are you sure you want to make it the Wall of Hadrian and not The Great Wall of China? I think the latter would be cooler, and far more effective, in warding off Otamarluks, whom I get the impression might not be quite up to speed on sieging massive fortifications (although perhaps thats just me).

It would make for an interesting setting. Here Taveruun is building this great wall, which could create a nigh-unassailable barrier, and forcing the Otamarluks to act before it is complete (remember, the MRB says its ALMOST complete, not done yet, heh).

Thats about it. I hope you all don't mind my comments and questions and such above. I think I have a clear view of what I want to do with the SouthEast province bordering Svarastra, but I'll wait to hear your responses so I can get a some clear responses, as I want to make sure my own province fits in nicely....


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on June 15, 2003, 02:15:35 AM
Quote from: Morfedel
This is the Night of a Thousand Posts, apparently. :)

Welcome to the party Morfedel. I don't know where to start with all your questions. Is there anything you don't dispute ;)

Quote from: Morfedel
Last question to our Holder of the Eastern Barrier: are you sure you want to make it the Wall of Hadrian and not The Great Wall of China? I think the latter would be cooler, and far more effective, in warding off Otamarluks, whom I get the impression might not be quite up to speed on sieging massive fortifications (although perhaps thats just me).

It's a question of scale I suppose. The Great Wall of China is 6000 miles long and took a 1000 years to construct, Hadrian's wall on the other hand is 75 miles long and took 6 years to complete. Since the country of Taveruun is a relatively young country (this is where Nick and I may differ in opinion) having been formed around the time of the first crusade to retake the Shard (C. 1000 weyr) that leave only 3 centuries up until the Fall of the Old Xanarian Empire. Not enough time to build a wall to the scale of the Great wall of China. But certainly long enough to build a wall effectively 10 times the length to Hadrian's wall.

Quote from: Morfedel
It would make for an interesting setting. Here Taveruun is building this great wall, which could create a nigh-unassailable barrier, and forcing the Otamarluks to act before it is complete (remember, the MRB says its ALMOST complete, not done yet, heh).

Ask yourself why build a wall in the first place. Even the great Wall was not unassailable barrier. Even a castle wall can be defeat with ladder if no-one is around to push the ladder off. It would take thousands of men to man the Wall(The Roman's garisoned the wall with a minimum of 8 men per milecastle) With only 8 men per mile that is 6000 men. That's 1 man to hold 220 yards of wall. Seen in this light, a defensive wall of this magnitude is an effective way to spread out your forces so thin that a sizeable army could punch through at will.

The purpose of these walls is to 1) mark the extent of territory(to say "this far and no further"), 2) to impress (to say "if we can build a wall like this with our bare hands, think what are swords can do to your internal organs") 3) to monitor traffic , goods and animals, crossing the frontier, and 4) most importantly I my opinion, as a line of communication allowing many troops to travel along the border swiftly to counter any incursion. For this reason I have described the wall as a fortified road

Quote from: Morfedel

Thats about it. I hope you all don't mind my comments and questions and such above. I think I have a clear view of what I want to do with the SouthEast province bordering Svarastra, but I'll wait to hear your responses so I can get a some clear responses, as I want to make sure my own province fits in nicely....

and
Quote from: Morfedel
There is a country there, known as Svarastra, and according to my map, it has a border in common with Taveruun. It is very rich, almost seeping in opulence. And their military is mainly for show. While a full scale invasion would be unrealistic, again because of the defense against Otamarluk, they could not begin a full scale invasion, but there would be an opportunity to take resources from Svarastra

Note when you are thinking about Svarastra don't automatically consider all that wealth as an opportunity to expand or dominate. Remember that Taveruun has more resources than it can realistically exploit within it's borders. I suggest that what taveruun would be seeking from Svarastra is not another enemy, another border to defend, another wall to build, but instead a friend, an ally and crucially a trading partner. Only a thought
Gary


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 15, 2003, 03:33:02 AM
Quote from: Gary_Bingham
Quote from: Morfedel
This is the Night of a Thousand Posts, apparently. :)

Welcome to the party Morfedel. I don't know where to start with all your questions. Is there anything you don't dispute ;)


There is a lot I don't dispute. And even those things I mention I don't necesarrily dispute either. In those cases, I'm presenting alternate ways of looking at things.

Quote

Quote from: Morfedel
It would make for an interesting setting. Here Taveruun is building this great wall, which could create a nigh-unassailable barrier, and forcing the Otamarluks to act before it is complete (remember, the MRB says its ALMOST complete, not done yet, heh).

Ask yourself why build a wall in the first place. Even the great Wall was not unassailable barrier. Even a castle wall can be defeat with ladder if no-one is around to push the ladder off. It would take thousands of men to man the Wall(The Roman's garisoned the wall with a minimum of 8 men per milecastle) With only 8 men per mile that is 6000 men. That's 1 man to hold 220 yards of wall. Seen in this light, a defensive wall of this magnitude is an effective way to spread out your forces so thin that a sizeable army could punch through at will.

The purpose of these walls is to 1) mark the extent of territory(to say "this far and no further"), 2) to impress (to say "if we can build a wall like this with our bare hands, think what are swords can do to your internal organs") 3) to monitor traffic , goods and animals, crossing the frontier, and 4) most importantly I my opinion, as a line of communication allowing many troops to travel along the border swiftly to counter any incursion. For this reason I have described the wall as a fortified road



Are you sure? I have no idea how the Hadrian wall or the Great Wall was used in terms of actual operation, but seeing as how they are in desperate defense against Otamarluk, I find it a bit hard to believe that the wall is serving little more than impressive decoration - but let's address that last point.

Imagine if you had a few men along each mile of the road, armed with signal fires; and what if the wall was topped on the outter side with pikes and spikes, spears and sharp pointy things to make getting over a bit difficult and slow things down.

And recall that the entire border has to be defended ANYWAY, so Taveruun is going to have their military across the entire border, one way or the other. That is the general reality of things: They have no idea where an assault from Otamarluk would hit, so they have to be prepared everywhere; in reality, a massed assault from Otamarluk would most likely punch deep into Taveruun in one area, while the "flanking" fortresses learn about it and, in turn swing around to try and take Otamarluk's army in their own flanks as they punch deeper into Taveruun territory.

A wall, especially one mounted with sharp pointy things to make that intial scale-over more difficult, would at least slow the army down, while signal fires and such were lit all along the wall, allowing the rest of the Taveruun's army to react much more quickly, even using the road-wall, as you say, to hurry to the point of incursion.

The point I'm making is, I find it difficult to believe its merely a tool for intimidation, although using it as a road to rush an army to an incursion point works for me.

Also, there is the point that if you have a fortress nearby, you only need to hold the wall long enough for the rest of a garrison to get there. When you are defending a 30-foot tall wall, you can afford to be outnumberd - thats what makes sieges so difficult.


Quote
Note when you are thinking about Svarastra don't automatically consider all that wealth as an opportunity to expand or dominate. Remember that Taveruun has more resources than it can realistically exploit within it's borders. I suggest that what taveruun would be seeking from Svarastra is not another enemy, another border to defend, another wall to build, but instead a friend, an ally and crucially a trading partner. Only a thought
Gary


But does it work that way?

I'm not so convinced. I've read the Taveruun section many times and, frankly, I do not get the impression that they have more resources than they can realistically exploit by a far cry whatsoever. The big thing is they are having massive trouble keeping their army supplied with food and weapons... and their people are hard working folk; they arent selling much of anything to other countries, in their fight to keep things going.

I'd suggest reading the Taveruun section again. Maybe I missed something, so after making this post, I will too; but I did not get the impression they simply had untapped resources.

However, as for making enemies with Svarastra... there are several reasons I think you can get away with it just fine.

The first is a machiavellian approach which I won't tell you just now :)  I'll keep it secret for the time being.

The second is... well, frankly, as I said, Svarastra has this habit of buying themselves out of trouble! Heck, if you put just a small amount of pressure on them, you might be able to eck a bit of tribute out of them.

The third is... what Taveruun needs right now is food, weapons, and other items to keep their army going, and perhaps an influx of gold and other items to help with their economy. They don't need massive territories that they can't hold when Otamarluk is pressing them; what would probably be better is quiet, nighttime raids against, say, granaries and farms, taking wagonloads of foodstuffs from bordertowns.

(ok, reading that last paragraph, that now looks a bit silly; i'm not so sure stealing and carting back foodstuffs is a realistic thing to do; it seems reasonable when I first thought it up, but now... :)  )

Anyway. Just some thoughts.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 15, 2003, 03:37:29 AM
sorry, I had another thing to add concerning Diplomancers (neat name btw):

Remember this region is very suspicious, superstitious, and paranoid. And, they are firmly entrenched in the Imperial Church.

And remember THEIR attitude on sorcerers? Would a guild of sorcerers be realistic in society described as being paranoid and distrustful? And would it be realistic to have one entrenched in a society so dedicatd to the Imperial Church?

If so, it would have to be a secret society of the highest order; an Inquisition could find them out, and have serious personal consequences, to be sure.

Just wanted to add this to my other thoughts below. In my opinion, you would find it difficult to find societies of Sorcerers anywhere, because they are so rare; a bit more possible in societies that accept them, which is rare, with Gelure being the glaring exception, and perhaps a couple of countries with "pagan" beliefs....

Quote from: Morfedel
Diplomancers. Great stuff, heh.

I wanted to bring a discussion about Sorcerers up and front. Do you think that it would be natural for them to form any kind of Guild, per se? Or even organize at all?

After all, there is only one Sorcerer per 10,000 people, and that does not necessarily mean that they will even be Nobles - I get the distinct impression Magery is by birth, not training, in terms of potential (hence the name gifted), and therefore their being nobles and gifted, with one oer 10k people, exceptionally unlikely.

Also note, that with such rarity, I would also think their banding together like that may be unlikely. Here we are, with men and women of incredible rarity and earthshaking power. Each with goals of their own, and as rare as a 7th moon. Perhaps they might form some form of, oh, light contact, alliance kind of thing - I am thinking somewhat like the Order of Hermes from Ars Magica, where they were loose bands with rules, but often in great conflict - but I'd tend to think that their rarity would end up making them a bunch of loners, in effect, with the exception of the lightest, cautious, and most tenuous of contacts - since every sorcerer never knows what to expect from another sorcerer, whose powers might easily meet, or exceed, your own.

Just some thoughts for your consideration.

Quote from: Gary_Bingham
Quote from: Mike Holmes
I"m not being humble, I thought you'd do a good job. I'd be a good choice as well, I think (hey, I'm here constantly). Heck, Gary's no slouch either. We're all probably well qualified for the job. We just need to pick somehow.

Gary, you want to call it?

Not really :) but for the sake of progress, Mike you are by far the more prolific member of our little group in terms of posts. I say that you get the editors spot. No offense Nick.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
My little map probably would serve our purposes in the short run.

Agreed

Quote from: Mike Holmes
The biggest problem with it in terms of your material, Nick, is that you talk about all sorts of influences from Helena. And on my map, they don't even border. In fact, given that the North is mountainous, I don't see them sending all that muuch trade through it, unless to get to Ix or the inland sea. OTOH, they are close, and it could just be a matter of interperetation.

Most trade would come into the Imperial West County via ship or along a coastal trade route. Of course there may be smuggler's who would use secret routes through the mountains to avoid paying taxes

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Gary, more cool stuff. Question. How did the East Wall get built? It seems to be on par with the great wall of china. Probably not nearly as long, but on the same scale of magnitude. And it's amazing what it took to build that thing. How did a feudal society accomplish it? Was there any magic involved? Where does it stand in relation to the river, and the river valley.

Thanks Mike. I based the wall on Hadrian's Wall in Northern England rather than the Great Wall of China. The Roman's built the wall in AD 122 and I tend to associate the Old Xanarian Empire with the Roman Empire. The East Wall would be longer than Hadrian's Wall by a factor of 10 or slightly more (I calculate the border with Otamarluk to be approx.750 miles long) But given the size of the Old Xanarian Empire I do not feel that the scale of the wall stretches the imagination too much.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Speaking of which, what's the political control of the river look like? Interestingly, while small rivers often form borders, big ones do not in RL. This is because they, and the land on both sides are too valuable to share. Here we have a case where a big river is the border. What's travel on it like, and control of the banks like?

I picture the wall being some way back from the flood plain of the river for practical reasons. This leaves narrow strip of Galadon land populated perhaps by a native Taveruu people I have yet to detail. Note like Hadrian's wall the actual border may, at certain times, extend beyond the wall and river into the fertile lands on the eastern bank and when Otamarluk is in the ascendancy the wall may itself define the border. The river in terms of communication is for the Galadon province even more important than the Imperial road. Trade along the river to the Saphire Bay would be vitally important to the financial well being of the county.

Quote
Is Diplomancy something you just made up, or does it reference something I'm forgetting? You also mention that Rashid is potentially a Sorcerer. This is fine if it's about all the Sorcerers you intend to add. Rarity seems to be the normal assumption in TROS, and I don't think we want to add too many. It's especially important to leave room for GMs to add their own when neccessary. It is cool, however, to list any that would be well-known, and/or suspected by the populace of Sorcery.

No Diplomancy is purely my own play on words. I utterly agree that magic and magician's are rare. I see the Diplomancers as a small group of Gifted nobles, no more than one or two per country. They will form part of my own campaign and i wanted to introduce nothing more than a few story hooks. BTW I don't see Rashid as a sorcerer at all, merely that he is suspected of it. I will leave his exact methods up to each GM's interpretation


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 15, 2003, 04:58:26 AM
A few days ago, Mike & I were talking about making a 'big picture thread' so this one could stay focused on the provinces.  My compter crashed yesterday as I was sending it.  frustrated, I needed to sleep before trying to write it again.  I mention this because Morfedel, you seem to be making the observation that such a topic is necessary.  Just wanted to let you know you're not the only one noticing this. :)


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 15, 2003, 04:59:14 AM
Ok, thanks! :)


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Darren Hill on June 15, 2003, 10:31:00 AM
Quote from: Gary_Bingham
It's a question of scale I suppose. The Great Wall of China is 6000 miles long and took a 1000 years to construct, Hadrian's wall on the other hand is 75 miles long and took 6 years to complete.


Actually, there were three Great Walls of China. The first one was mostly built within the lifetime of ruler who ordered it's construction (and was left to rot afterwards), and was 'only' about 3000 miles long.
It was very simple compared to current wall - less impressive, for much of its length, han Hadrian's Wall IIRC. So such a wall is feasible for a young country. (If it has the massive manpower necessary.)


Title: Taveruun - born in righteous fire
Post by: Gary_Bingham on June 16, 2003, 03:10:14 AM
Quote from: Nick Pagnucco

550-608 WEYR:  The early expansion under the fourth moon is primarily towards Maraia.  As Taveruun is not specifically mentioned in the timeline, I will suggest that this is about when the Empire absorbs Taveruun, primarily through missionary work (that part is in the book).  Let's say Imperial authority was established by... 590 WEYR?

608-957: Increased trade with Xanarium, settlers come and help found or develop the cities of Taveruun.

Pre-957:  Taveruun has most likely always had tensions Otamarluk and the followers of the Seven Vows.

957 WEYR: The first official aid by Xanarium to aid its vassal Taveruun in its Otamarluk dealings.  Taveruun sends lobbyists far and wide telling Mainlund how evil the Seven Vows is, and how savage the people to the east can be.

1000 WEYR:  Using the millenium, Taveruun gets its wish and the Crusades begin.  

1000-1200 WEYR:  The Crusades start off as a mixed blessing and get worse from there.  At its best, the Crusades were a vast amount of military aid by a horde of roving knights.  Their behavior often caused problems, the most glaring of which was the peasant rebellion in Komas, leading to the establishment of foriegn nobles as its rulers.  At its worst, the Crusades were a time when self righteous fanatics stampeded across the landscape, trampling everything on their way to glory.  "Glory" was occasionally defined as attacking Taveruun highlords, not only the Otamarluks.

I do not believe that Taveruun existed in the form that it does in W1467 prior to the to the crusades of W1000 to W1200. And it was during these crusade that the border on the Galadonian River was formed. In essense after the Crusades ravaged Otarmaluk Taveruun was the territory that could effective be held.

Prior to the Crusades I see the land of the Taveruu as an integral part of Sultanate of Otarmaluk. Also Dardanet may have held some of the territory which would be later claimed by the Xanarian Empire and renamed Taveruun.

Perhaps spurred by a request for aid from struggling Dardanet, the First Crusades would have set up a Xanarian State or States on the coast of the land of the Taveruu, similar to the real world The Principality of Antioch, Counties of Tripoli and Edessa and the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Later crusades would have pushed back the Marmaluks to the Galadonian River. Here the Crusades failed, but Taveruun remained.

This matches with some references in the rulebook. Otarmaluk does not acknowledge Taveruun and sees it as occupied territory. Dardanet must have bordered with Otarmarluk at some point in it's history as the rulebook states that it once held back the Marmaluks from invading Mainlund. I believe there is another reference to Helena and Dardanet bordering with Otamarluk.

Guys give this some consideration, I think that this approach makes a lot of sense and creates a real foundation of conflict between the peoples of Taveruun and Otamarluk. I don't go with Taveruun are good guys, Otamarluk bad. Just two peoples with a intense hatred of each for crimes commited by their fathers.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 16, 2003, 05:22:52 AM
Damn.
I'm about to go on a trip for the day, but I'll get to this tonight or in the morning.  My first thought is that you've convinced me (can only speak for myself).


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Jake Norwood on June 16, 2003, 08:30:13 AM
Quote from: Gary
Guys give this some consideration, I think that this approach makes a lot of sense and creates a real foundation of conflict between the peoples of Taveruun and Otamarluk. I don't go with Taveruun are good guys, Otamarluk bad. Just two peoples with a intense hatred of each for crimes commited by their fathers.


Indeed, this aproach is neccessary for all of TROS's politics and religious bonds.

Jake


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 16, 2003, 11:05:21 AM
OK, responding to various issues.

As I said in the other thread, I think Gary's timeline makes more sense for all his reasons. Looks like we have consensus on that one.

I also said my part about the wall. Can't be as big as the Great Wall, but impressve nonetheless. Better than nothing. In any case, I assume that this also means that the cities of the East are heavily fortified. But these are European style fortifications I'd suppose; meaning cruddy engineering compared to the Chinese, or even the Romans.

As I pointed out in the other thread, you only defend where the enemy army is advancing. Often that's only in one place. This remains true until the late 18th century. Even in the American Civil War it was just a case of many points of attack, and "lines" were loose to say the least. Travel is slow (no trains, even), so army movement is easy to track in general. Yo don't have to defend the entire border. Just respond to the attack.

On the subject of the Southeast, as long as you don't add too much to the book description, James, I think a bit of trouble between Svarastra is probably OK. Maybe pressuring the local lord there just over the border. OTOH, I wouldn't think that the ruler of the SE province would want the Svarastrans to go to the Marluks with a complaint about that territory. Machiavellian, sure. Lot's of overt stuff is less likely, it seems to me.

James, you have what seem to me to be rather extreme readings of a some points from the book. Where the book says that the economy is taken up by the war effort, you see it as, "Massive Trouble" keeping the army supplied. That's just as unsupported in the text. I'd agree that Taveruun isn't probably overflowing with resources, but neither do I get any sense that it's struggling. Just working hard to defend against a monster foe. They do have enough resources to build that wall, however, which is impressive given it's length, even if it's a garden fence.

On the subject of Numeria, I didn't read the troubles between Taveruun and Numeria as being as extreme as you did. More importantly, I read them as being general. That is, there are usually problems, back and forth, and the Numerians typically get the worst of it because of disorganization, and some of what Taverunn currntly holding being theirs. But at the moment, I'd just had it that there were no current hostilities for several reasons. On the Taveruun side, they have to worry about the invasion from Ottamarluk, and are halting fighting until that passes. On the Numerian side, they are waiting to see how things shake out, and focusing on the Dardanet forces. In fact, I get the sense that the Numerians are waiting like vultures to leap on the province as soon as the Marluks have damaged it at all. But in case that doesn't happen, they're waiting. Because they have this idea that the imperials will be showing up to help in Taveruun.

That last part I made a bit of a shambles of, actually. I had this half thought out idea that there would be forces from Xanarium or something coming to help out Taveruun (defense in depth; not totally implausible). But now I'm not so sure. Anyhow, yes, the river territory will be the Numerians' again just as soon as they have a good opportunity to effectively counterattack. They just aren't fighting at the moment.

Dardanet doesn't border the South, only Southwest. Things are probably different there. That Numerian city just over the border is an interesting point of contention. The way I see it, that's possibly something that Southwest might hold right now, and be the focus of the three way problems.

I do think that the military of the South is probably underdeveloped in some ways. I don't really get the sense that the Numerians are all that organized as an opponent. Did I say their military was ineffectual? I think that was a biased Marluk who said that... :-)

While there's a general mistrust of Marluks in general in Taveruun, it's not maniacal. IRL, Christian merchants traveled in the east (ever hear of Marco Polo?), and vice versa. Business is an international religion that breaks all boundaries. If you can offer someone riches, they won't care what you believe: just ask the Inquisition. This isn't probably common, but I thought it made for a neat story to have a Marluk's POV on a country neighboring his. Sure, he'll have to be careful. And as it happens he is a spy, so he's in great danger. And it's the height of arrogance for him to actually write down his account (in my mental continuation, he gets caught at the capitol). But given the potential reward of the Suul'taan, somebody would try it. Our man's just the guy who volunteered.

Also, James, you seem to believe in a level of cultural homogenaity that just could not exist. In general, it's my belief that the book only mentions the most prevalent cultures. The countries presented are way too large to realistically have only one culture. Even in small countries, there are subcultures, and minorities. This is especially true of border areas where you tend to see entire cultures develop in the form of "captured" members of the bordering culture. That is, if I take over an area, and move in, the original inhabitants will remain. Over time, they'll drift some from the original culture, picking up some of the conqueror's traditions, and creating some of their own. This is tremendously common.

Further, I see Taveruun as akin to the RW Balkan states. So it's actually probably going to end up being less culturally diverse than that area, despite my attempts at realism in the one corner. What's consistent in this culture, from the description is the religion, which I've made universal in the local area. There are just some local variations. Not unlike, that paganism that's displayed in the Robin Hood legend, juxtaposed with the Christianity.

Also, the heretics are trying to hide their heresy, knowing what might happen if they are found out. They are as remote from the seat as possible, however. If not a heresy there, then where? Heresies in orders are actually a rather common event historically as well (check out the Albigensian heresy). Heck, the Franciscans were considered heretical in some ways. Basically the church doesn't brook any thought that doesn't support it's supremacy. So I gave an example.

It's a large province, and I wanted to present the interesting parts. There's no doubt all sorts of uninteresting details that I could generate about the region, but who wants to read that? Keep in mind that, again, it's often more powerful to present the exceptions to the rules rather than examples of the rules.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 16, 2003, 12:53:56 PM
Just wanted to mention my revision of Komas will be getting posted here tomorrow, my new proposal for timeline / cultural history will be going in the overview thread later tonight


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 16, 2003, 01:01:13 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
OK, responding to various issues.
On the subject of the Southeast, as long as you don't add too much to the book description, James, I think a bit of trouble between Svarastra is probably OK. Maybe pressuring the local lord there just over the border. OTOH, I wouldn't think that the ruler of the SE province would want the Svarastrans to go to the Marluks with a complaint about that territory. Machiavellian, sure. Lot's of overt stuff is less likely, it seems to me.


Rather my intentions anyway, to avoid overt stuff; at least, in the beginning

Quote

James, you have what seem to me to be rather extreme readings of a some points from the book. Where the book says that the economy is taken up by the war effort, you see it as, "Massive Trouble" keeping the army supplied. That's just as unsupported in the text. I'd agree that Taveruun isn't probably overflowing with resources, but neither do I get any sense that it's struggling. Just working hard to defend against a monster foe. They do have enough resources to build that wall, however, which is impressive given it's length, even if it's a garden fence.


Let me put it another way. It says their economy is beginning to destabilize; by hearing the word "Beginning" I'm hearing the start of what could be an avalanche. Hence, my reasoning. Perhaps it sounds extreme to some, but it isn't entirely without merit: all economic collapses start somewhere.

So, perhaps saying they are in massive trouble NOW is too extreme; but their potential to be in massive trouble in the future, based on how their economy is running now, I think is a very reasonable assumption.

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On the subject of Numeria, I didn't read the troubles between Taveruun and Numeria as being as extreme as you did. More importantly, I read them as being general. That is, there are usually problems, back and forth, and the Numerians typically get the worst of it because of disorganization, and some of what Taverunn currntly holding being theirs. But at the moment, I'd just had it that there were no current hostilities for several reasons. On the Taveruun side, they have to worry about the invasion from Ottamarluk, and are halting fighting until that passes. On the Numerian side, they are waiting to see how things shake out, and focusing on the Dardanet forces. In fact, I get the sense that the Numerians are waiting like vultures to leap on the province as soon as the Marluks have damaged it at all. But in case that doesn't happen, they're waiting. Because they have this idea that the imperials will be showing up to help in Taveruun.


And I get an opposing view. Again, I may have gone to an extreme here, but it does state in the book that there are currently border skirmishes as Numeria struggles to maintain control of the rivern Anazum (sp??). So, that isn't total war, I agree, but knowing how important rivers can be, and seeing how DESPITE the fact that Taveruun is facing down Otamarluk, they are STILL the aggressor (and make no bones about it, in this case the Taveruun ARE the aggressor), this speaks something to me.

Granted, this isn't an invasion, but border skirmishes for control of valuable territory; nonetheless, when the Taveru are working towards control of an area during an upcoming face-off with the Otamarluk, there must be a reason for it.

I surmize that the land is valuable; rivers, in general, were often the lifeblood of some civilizations, but regardless.

Anyway, you may be right, I may have blown it a bit out of proportions, but I feel that treatment of it during initial discussions of the Southern provinces ignored this fact completely, as I saw not a single mention of it, and to me these skirmishes are of more importance than has been granted them thus far.

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That last part I made a bit of a shambles of, actually. I had this half thought out idea that there would be forces from Xanarium or something coming to help out Taveruun (defense in depth; not totally implausible). But now I'm not so sure. Anyhow, yes, the river territory will be the Numerians' again just as soon as they have a good opportunity to effectively counterattack. They just aren't fighting at the moment.


Actually, according to the text, the river is theirs NOW, and they are trying to keep from losing control. But that's arguing semantics. Either way, the border skirmishes currently going on may not be serious to the Taveruun, but reading the text about it in Numeria, the wording implies to me that to the Numerians, its a big deal, and they intend on fighting tooth and nail for it.

I may be wrong, but go read the text on numeria. Notice, under politics and military it says that current border skirmishes are going on, and that N Numeria is "struggling to maintain control of the river..."  This tells me that there is a lot going on now, in small scale, and about to pick up.

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Dardanet doesn't border the South, only Southwest. Things are probably different there. That Numerian city just over the border is an interesting point of contention. The way I see it, that's possibly something that Southwest might hold right now, and be the focus of the three way problems.


Now, that is an interesting idea....

Quote

While there's a general mistrust of Marluks in general in Taveruun, it's not maniacal. IRL, Christian merchants traveled in the east (ever hear of Marco Polo?), and vice versa. Business is an international religion that breaks all boundaries. If you can offer someone riches, they won't care what you believe: just ask the Inquisition. This isn't probably common, but I thought it made for a neat story to have a Marluk's POV on a country neighboring his. Sure, he'll have to be careful. And as it happens he is a spy, so he's in great danger. And it's the height of arrogance for him to actually write down his account (in my mental continuation, he gets caught at the capitol). But given the potential reward of the Suul'taan, somebody would try it. Our man's just the guy who volunteered.


Here I must disagree vehemently. I'll go into it in detail a bit below, as I have to reply to something else that links in; but the culture is described as paranoid, and they are at war with Otamarluk. Think of how people in our modern USA treated Japanese during World War 2; and we are a more "advanced", cosmopolitan culture. Somehow, I really doubt that a Marluk is going to be travelling through Taveru unless its incognito, hiding himself at all times.

Quote

Also, James, you seem to believe in a level of cultural homogenaity that just could not exist.


How's that? I will be the first one to grant that I am no expert in history and sociology, but I have studied a tiny bit, and I do know a few things: some cultures are extremely intolerant of non-core ways, and of outsiders. I get the impression that Taveru follows that.

But, and here I'm going to make a point of it: When you describe a culture overall in a particular way, it seems to me that should be the norm; and frankly, from what I read of the ideas henceforth, I saw very little of that in any of them.

I may be risking sounding like an ass, and I do not want to do that, but it seemed the visions of the provinces being written were steering moderately clear and away from some of the precepts presented in the text. I understand deviations, but there were almost no mention of certain textual elements referred to in the book, and that was beginning to leave me with some concern, that the vision and the work here were heading in two seperate directions.

Quote

In general, it's my belief that the book only mentions the most prevalent cultures. The countries presented are way too large to realistically have only one culture. Even in small countries, there are subcultures, and minorities. This is especially true of border areas where you tend to see entire cultures develop in the form of "captured" members of the bordering culture. That is, if I take over an area, and move in, the original inhabitants will remain. Over time, they'll drift some from the original culture, picking up some of the conqueror's traditions, and creating some of their own. This is tremendously common.


Granted, and this I can understand. I guess what I'm saying is I was seeing too much of the exceptions, and not enough of the norms. I saw no mention of any concerns, paranoias, etc, as mentioned in the book, in any of the provincial descriptions we were getting; if the country in general is described as being paranoid, enough so that PCs from there get social penalties, then the provinces should be having elements of that, and frankly, there were only the rarest mentions of these in all of the provinces, to my failing memory.

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Further, I see Taveruun as akin to the RW Balkan states. So it's actually probably going to end up being less culturally diverse than that area, despite my attempts at realism in the one corner. What's consistent in this culture, from the description is the religion, which I've made universal in the local area. There are just some local variations. Not unlike, that paganism that's displayed in the Robin Hood legend, juxtaposed with the Christianity.


And here I show my ignorance, in not knowing much about the balkan states.

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Also, the heretics are trying to hide their heresy, knowing what might happen if they are found out. They are as remote from the seat as possible, however. If not a heresy there, then where? Heresies in orders are actually a rather common event historically as well (check out the Albigensian heresy). Heck, the Franciscans were considered heretical in some ways. Basically the church doesn't brook any thought that doesn't support it's supremacy. So I gave an example.


Point conceded.

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It's a large province, and I wanted to present the interesting parts. There's no doubt all sorts of uninteresting details that I could generate about the region, but who wants to read that? Keep in mind that, again, it's often more powerful to present the exceptions to the rules rather than examples of the rules.


Oh, I see; those were the exceptions, not the rules. That makes a bit of a difference....

I think I'd have liked to have seen the entire pot mixed in, for my view.

Allow me to apologize. I'm not here to challenge the rest of you. You all have some great ideas. My views were a little different - and I tend towards a bit of rules lawyerishness at times. If I read it in the book, I darned well expect to see it !!!!

My views are apparently different from the rest of yours. As I do not want to be a thorn in your sides, and  as my vision is different from yours, I will withdraw and let you find someone else a bit more harmonious in finishing this work.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 16, 2003, 02:02:52 PM
First, interperetations of the text will vary. For example, when you read "currently" you interpereted "right as the game starts", wheras I read "within the last year" as opposed to "historically" or something that would indicate longer ago. That is, millitary actions do not usually have well defined starts and stops, even today, much less in these sorts of cultures. I mean, by your interperetation, does that mean that if the characters go to the border, that the first thing they'll see is people fighting because there are "currently" border skirmishes? That's a relative term, and subject to considerable interperetation.

I didn't ignore it. I, in fact, pointed out how just at the moment that play starts, there's a ceasefire in these activities that's caused by the potential problems caused by the Marluk invasion. You seem to think that I've put much less thought into this than I have. I did read each bordering nation closely. You'll note that it was this reading of the Numerians, for example that allowed my to make my guesses as to where the river in question lies. You'll note that by my assessment the river ceases to exist where it meets the Cathedral forming another (just made that part up on the spot). So please don't ask me to read it again. I have read it again, actually, and I come to the same conclusions.

You seem, in these cases, to think that you have the "right" interperetation. I'm sorry, but this is a collaborative effort, and you are going to have to accept people's interperetations. Even I, as the continutity editor, am not going to question a person on something that nebulous. I'll ask Gary how the wall got built if it's like the Great Wall because it seems to have scale issues that extend beyond the borders of his country. But if you want to have a little conflict with Svarastra in your territory, I'm not going to question it; that's at the level where it's your call.

Basically, each of us has to have room to do what we want to do within reason. You have presented your arguments, and I've presented mine. I don't think that I've used any great illogic (if I have, then please correct me). So if it's just a matter of interpretation, then I think you'll have to allow my ideas to stand.

On another note, I think we've decided (and if I'm wrong here, guys, tell me), that we're not going to do any Metaplot. That is, it's fine to suggest to the GM that if he wants to do so, that he can have an economic collapse. But for the most part, I think the idea is to describe things more or less at a point in time, and let individual GMs go from there. In fact, I'd say that it ought to be a principle that we make nothing absolutely sure in terms of future events. If the GM has a need for the Marlukes to delay their attack, or even to change their minds and not come at all, that should be as plausible as the GM can work it form current details.

Do you see the angle I'm talking about? The supplement ought to be a tool to add material to the GMs game, not direct play in action in any way.  

On the subject of norms, Nick put out that thing on Taveruu culture, which I expect represents the norms of perhaps half or more of the people of the country. I was expecting that more overarching essays on the country as a whole would cover the commonalities. Stuff like we're working out in the other thread.

The Balkans are the countries that formerly made up Yugoslavia, and some of the surrounding states. There are quite a few, and their borders have changed more times in the last 3000 years than anyone can count. In today's country of Croatia, just one of these countries, for instance, there are the following ethnicities:
Croat 78.1%, Serb 12.2%, Bosniak 0.9%, Hungarian 0.5%, Slovene 0.5%, Czech 0.4%, Albanian 0.3%, Montenegrin 0.3%, Roma 0.2%, others 6.6%
Think of the Serbs as the Maruzin in this context, and the Hotars as the Bosniaks. I'm still short a few cultures by this comparison. It would imply that each of the provinces should have it's own culture. Even if the Taveru are intolerant (and I think again that you're reading in), that doesn't mean these cultures won't exist together. None of the above RL cultures can stand the other. But people don't want to leave their homes just because they aren't liked by the village down the road. Most days it doesn't matter.

During the war of Spanish Succession in which the Dutch broke from Spain, do you know who provided Spain with most of it's arms? The Dutch. Money is a hard master, and will cause people to do things that they otherwise wouldn't do. Merchants always have had a special immunity from prejudices. Not to say that people won't look down on such a person, but they'll tolerate them despite it. Yes, even during war (not that the Marluks have invaded, yet, anyhow: from the story, the character intends to be long gone into Numeria before then).

Now, might my traveling character be subject to some random "'hate crime"? Sure, but they're traveling in a group and watching each other's backs. So I think it's perfectly plausible. I can think of a literary example. Othello was a moor. A North African Muslim merchant living in Italy around the times of the Crusades. Was Shakespeare crazy?

Again, I'm not presenting it as common, but rather as uncommon. Yes it's dangerous. But people will do anything for money.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 16, 2003, 03:08:07 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
So please don't ask me to read it again. I have read it again, actually, and I come to the same conclusions.

You seem, in these cases, to think that you have the "right" interperetation.


If you have a particular perception of something, then you will believe you are correct; just as I will for mine. I'm not, however, trying to run around saying *I* am right and you are not, though, and my regrets if its coming off that way.

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I'm sorry, but this is a collaborative effort, and you are going to have to accept people's interperetations.


Meaning I'd get one as well, correct?

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Even I, as the continutity editor, am not going to question a person on something that nebulous. I'll ask Gary how the wall got built if it's like the Great Wall because it seems to have scale issues that extend beyond the borders of his country. But if you want to have a little conflict with Svarastra in your territory, I'm not going to question it; that's at the level where it's your call.


True, but when I made the suggestion, others chimed in questioning the veracity of that consideration. I'm merely doing the same, and I felt it was fine for them to chime in.

I had not thought that merely presenting my view on things would have become tantamount to my claiming I am right and everyone else is wrong. Perhaps it was in my presentation, not that it matters. I rescind my comments.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on June 17, 2003, 07:18:12 AM
Military of Galadon
Galadon Baronial Guard
Like all the feudal highlords Baron Pellori maintains a personal guard for the defense of Castle Longstone and surroundings. The Baronial Guard is a elite regiment made of mostly un-landed nobles and freemen, highly trained in the use of polearm and crossbow. Each guard is expected to purchase his own armour and weaponry and maintain such to a very high standard. Whilst the majority of the regiment is based in Castle Longstone, a number of small units are rotated around the fortress of Galadon to serve as an example to the rest of the military.

Eastguard Legions
The legions are a remnant of the Imperial legions that once protected Taveruun. Funded by the Baron of Galadon and the levy imposed on the other highlords, the Eastguard legion are based on the Eastern Wall. The legions are made up professional solders trained in the use of longsword and bow, and are well versed in defensive tactics. Though not as disciplined as the Baronial Guard the Eastguard Legions are veterans of Marmaluk raids, and are fiercely proud of the wall and what it represents to Taveruun.

Orders of Knighthood
The two largest orders of knighthood are the Sons of the Righteous War and the Holy Knights of the Shard. The Sons are closely aligned with the Church of the Three-In-One and as such are an extension of the Churches power within Taveruun. The Shard Knights are a smaller but still numerous order with looser ties to the Church. Both orders consider it their duty to protect the many Cathedrals and monasteries in the Region and are not bound to any one county. The Church places both nominally under the control of the Baron, and they form an important element in the defenses of the county.

The Sons and the Shard Knights maintain a large contingent of mounted knights though the Sons favor heavy armor whilst the Shard Knights field mobile troop with lighter protection. The mounted knights are trained in the use lance and saber, and are supported by men-at-arms with crossbows.  

Town Watch and Militia
Baron Pellori is unable to support a large standing army and so to supplement the regular forces under his command each local landowner is responsible for the mobilization of town watches and formation of militia units within his land. Though the by-laws vary from land hold to land hold, the norm is that each man over the age of 14 and each unwed-woman over the age of 16 must train one day a week in the use of pole-arm or sword and bow up to the age of 30. On the whole the discipline in the Militia’s is very poor, the Town watches slightly more so, and training and leadership is often wanting.

Mercenaries
In lieu of direct support many nations have sent mercenaries to aid in Taveruun’s defense. The Baron views this a mixed blessing as the mercenaries require significant resources to police and control. Given the massed armies of the Sultanate across the Galadonian River Alfrex tolerates them knowing that he will need every sword available when the counter-crusade comes.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on June 17, 2003, 09:20:44 AM
I think I over-reacted. Apollogies if you were offended.

Here's the problem. The way I see it, each of us basically has a free reign to do what we want in our own parts of the country. That said, it all has to gel, so there is a responsibility to do it well, and ensure that nothing contradicts from one are to the next, or with the overall notes. So the freedom isn't complete b any means.

Now, in the name of working together, there's no reason that you can't help the other people by making suggestions or helping with constructive criticism. That's fine. But we aren't making each of these areas by committee. You are certainly entitled to your opinions, and to the extent that entries affect the overall consistency, you are entitled to point out errors so that they can be worked out.

But where it's a matter of judgement, where it's not pretty clear that there's an error, we have to come down in support of the person doing the writing. Or this will never get done. That will be my policy.

The way I see my job as editor is to try to work so that each contributor's section works as close to it's original format as possible. Not to realign it at all to my vision or anyone else's, but simply to ensure that what's written doesn't conflict with anything else that's written.

Now, you and I, James, seem to have a difference of opinion on how much lattitude each word in the TROS book seems to give in terms of consistency. And that's a fine subject to debate I suppose. But it's specifically my job to decide when a conflict needs to be resolved, and when it's not a conflict.

Now, in terms of my own area, I have a conflict of interest. I can't arbitarily rule that my stuff is OK in terms of overall consistency, because then I'd be placing my own interests before those of the project as a whole. So what needs to happen is for you guys to decide if what I've got violates overall consistency. The easiest way is for someone to support James's claims. That is, if any two of you agree that something of mine is improper, I'll edit it into compliance. (The issues at hand are the militarism of the province, and the plausiblity of a Marluk merchant traveling in the East and South provinces, if I have it correctly).

Is that fair?

So here's the process I envision for commenting:
1. Make all the suggestions you like to other players, and help them improve their stuff, it you like.
2. Feel free to accept or ignore any suggestions from others as regards your area. This can all be quite informal as it has been so far.
3. If you feel that there's a real continuity/logic problem that's not being addressed, bring it to me. I'll see what I can do about fixing it. That doesn't mean I'll side with any particular party, just that I'll try to work with all parties to see how we can co-operate to ensure that the product makes sense. We should take these as opportunities to better the product (And where it applies to my writing, as above, two people bringing a problem to me will trigger off the same sort of arbitration on the subject.)
 
Is that all sensible?

Now, the matter of the economy is a general one, and needs to be considered in a different light. As it applies to all areas, a more stringent requirement has to apply in looking at details created. Basically I'll have to consider most every claim brought up fairly seriously. James has brought up the claim that there's textual evidence that the economy is in less than perfect shape, and that this implies certain things. I've argued against making too much of this comment.

The best way to look at this is to see if we can come up with some sort of description that satisfies all parties. In fact, what one person considers a bad economy might satisfy the player who thinks it's not so bad. Anyhow, James, could you further describe what effects you think are happening to the economy in specific terms? We can work from there to find a place where we can agree.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 19, 2003, 09:55:11 AM
I've got stuff coming
I promise.


Title: Pendus Fain
Post by: Morfedel on June 25, 2003, 06:23:31 PM
Ugh.

Well, the first draft of my province is done. I'm not 100% pleased with it, though, so be gentle! :)

Also note that I understand you may not like the names of people and places; I dont know the cultures you guys refer to well enough to do anything "legitimate" with them, so I did my best.

Forgive the sloppiness of this, its a first draft:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pendus Fain - The Land of Sea and Stone

The Southeastern holding of Taveruun is one of great diversity, both of its land and its people. Whether walking among the edges of the river-hewn, unforgiving canyons of Athul-Dul, weaving through the mazelike and treacherous marsh coasts along the Sapphire Bay, or patrolling the northerneastern borders watching the rolling plains leading into Otamarluk, the land's diversity leaves much for the traveller to see.

Hidden within its culture, however, is a landscape far more treacherous than any that can be found on the back of a horse or the sole's of one's feet.



Geography:

Pendus Fain shares most of its border either with Svarastra or its other Taveru holdings, with only a slim strip of land bordering Otamarluk.

Svarastra is divided from Otamarluk by a vast plateau of mountains and valleys breaking the entire middle and eastern segments with a barrier of titanic rock.

Following this line west towards Pendus Fain, the mountains begin to dwindle and fall, losing their majesty as they approach the setting sun. Valleys and passes cut through much of the western reaches, falling into foothills by the time it reaches Taveruun, where its eastern river digs through the rock and stone in its course to the sea. Here, the canyons of Athul-Dul are riddled with passes, earth bridges, caverns, and pockets dug out of the rock by the rushing waters. Winds raised with the sun howl through the mazes within, creating a haunting chorus of whistles and howls to great the morning. The canyons dwindle as the river continues to the sea, ending in marshes and bogs.

As the land continues west, it slopes downward, fading from rocky and treacherous terrain to a more even and level field.


Internal Politics:

Politics of Church and State play a large role in most societies on Weryth, and nowhere is this more true than in Pendus Fain. Here, the High Lord plays a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the ArchBishop of the Imperial Church, and his neighbors, concerning power and glory.

The Highlord of Pendus Fain is a man known as Corathus, a recent inductee into the position. Until 5 years ago, another man ruled, and his family. A tragedy, a weakening of the blood, took the Highlord's wife and second child during labor 3 years before, one year before his firstborn son died in battle, and the year of Corathus' induction the previous Highlord was slain in a hunting accident.

Thus, that royal line was extinguished. Corathus, one of the previous Highlord's generals, and a high ranking noble, assumed command. Without wife or issue, he has leaped into his position with vigor.

In the last five years, Corathus has granted the church unprecedented power even in Taveruun. With the aid of the Highlord, an inquisition is rooting out enemies of the church, and the state.

Despite this, there are rumors of a serpent in the midst of the court. The new Highlord leaves often, with only his most trusted advisors at the dawn preceding every full moon. There are rumors that abound that he goes in meeting of a creature known as MorrowWight. It is said the thing is a Sorcerer, or fairy, or devil. Yet, investigations from the church have uprooted nothing, and they dare not confront their staunchist ally directly. But whispers of a cadaverous, white-skinned and white-haired creature with pupiless eyes and dirty claws race the courts, a thing that acts as a supernatural advisor to this new High Lord.

Nevertheless, the Archbishop Maridus is patient, and his own spies work hard at sifting truth from falsehood. In the meantime, Maridus enthusastically pursues his own agendas, and that of the church. Thus far, all goes well.

The church is also uphappy with one of the High Lord's Military advisor. A Riddle Seeker, Dungar often leaves Taveruun to travel the world, learn new techniques, and bring them back to teach the military... and to improve his own skills. Dungar is quiet, but confident, and holds the Mailed Fist of the Imperial Church in poor regard, and keeps his thoughts no secret.


Society:

Communities in Pendus Fain are very tight-lipped and distrustful of strangers. Inquisitors and military march the land, looking to uproot thayists, nature-worshippers, and others that seem to flourish within the borders. Nevertheless, there are some who follow the "Old Ways," although only in secret, and never do they share their faith with others.

The fear has increased of late. Across much of the land, a rash of murders have begun. Investigators from the church have said it appears to be the work of cultists, as the murders appear in a ritualistic fashion; a secret of the church, however, is that the rituals are of an unknown origins. Whether they are dealing with a new cult, or a madman, they are uncertain - but the fear allows them to draw the reigns ever tighter.

This strengthening and centralization of power has benefitted Carathus as well. Questions were raised on the mysterious rash of deaths that took the Royal family that once ruled Pendus Fain, but since the union of church and state, they have since stopped their questioning of their new High Lord.

Recently, a few of the villages at the shores of the Sapphire Bay have been scooped up and removed by the military, to where no one seems to know....


External Politics:

Otamarluk has been a bit less of a direct threat to Pendus Fain than to the other provinces, as they generally head more directly less; some times, however, they steal their way more south, and combat is not unknown.

There is great concern over Otamarluk, and Corathus has instigated the construction of border fortresses to match his northern neighbor, in the hopes of stopping the incursions. He has not had as much to fear, but he knows how an avalanche can begin with just one stone.

Borders with Svarastra are far better, however. Trade is lucrative, as the almost too wealthy nobles living there pay premium prices and make favorable trade with the Taveruun merchants - simply, Svarastra can afford it.

The Canyons forming the borders between Svastra and Pendus Fain have a large number of places to cross, but most are much like following a maze; instead, the trade between the two has caused several manmade bridges, and a few rare land bridges, to be used as places of crossing. Merchants cross to the sound of the roaring river deep below them, to continue on their way.

With looming war before him, the High Lord contemplating raids on Svarastra... they are fat with wealth, was the original reasoning. But, trade being good, he came up with a better plan.

Looking at the Sapphire bay, Numeria alone holds a substantial port, and little navy. Svarastra is even worse, having no real navy to speak of to defend itself against pirates, and no other country has a naval presence.

Deep in the marsh, a number of villages were taken by the military, emptied. The people were moved to a quiet and secret place, hidden by marsh on all sides, and Pendus Fain's first naval shipyard is constructed at the command of the commander there, working the villagers who had been taken.

It is a dangerous thing, but once the port is complete, Privateer vessels shall be built, followed by true naval vessels. The Sapphire Bay shall belong to Taveruun, if the High Lord has his way. Final decisions have not been made; the shipyard itself still needs to be complete.


Economy:

Pendus Fain's major production is in: stone, having a number of functioning quarries; mushrooms; goat and sheep; wool and cotton. They trade most of this to Svarastra, in exchange for spices, tea, metals and finished weapons and armors. Craftsmen of Taveruun study Svarastran tastes, and make finished products to trade to Svarastra nobles at a very high price, in exchange for raw and unfinished goods.


Religion:

While the Imperial Church was the most represented religion, it is only in recent years that things have become so tightly controlled. thayrists, nature worshippers, and others dwelt in this land, and with a quiet peace, until the current High Lord assumed command. Since then, the church has gained in power, and seeks out heretics with a mailed fist. Nevertheless, some small temples hidden in deep and underpopulated reaches of Pendus Fain, most particularly in the bogs and marshes to the southeast, persist and gather pockets of followers, while villagers, suspicious of outsiders, draw in and protect their neighbors with a great fervor, becoming tight-lipped or ignorant when Inquisitors come visiting.

This has produced a kind of problem: the church has its devout followers, but the Archbishop, an overly aggressive man given much freedom by the High Lord, seeks to alienate some of the less devout followers; while they would not raise up in protest, the church holding the power, things grow tense. Combined with the mas murders and the disappearing villages, and raids from Otamarluk, one can cut the tension of this province like a knife.



Places of Note:

In one wall of the Canyon is cut an ornate and beautiful cathedral to the Imperial Church, straight out of the living stone. Around it, the canyon walls were worked to create an almost symphonic melody when the winds blow just right.

Somewhere along one of the major roads is a long-abandoned shrine to Xanar and the Three. It is along a major thoroughfare, but anyone going inside feels decidedly uneasy, and without fail anyone sleeping there overnight are plagued with nightmares.

Towards the western border, in a small wooded area, stands a monastary that was recently struck down with a terrible plague. The remaining monks are no no longer able to handle all the work of caring for the place.

Along the mountain ranges that protrude into the Taveruun edge, that run along the Svarastran-Otamarluk border, large armies of Gols march. At times, some tribes come down the foothills, cross the canyon, and raid Taveruun.

There are also rumored to be fairy caverns deep in the canyon walls, though no one has ever proven they exist.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 26, 2003, 06:51:15 AM
*listens to the chirping of crickets in the night....*

That bad, eh? :/

Heh


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on June 27, 2003, 01:37:09 AM
Quote from: Morfedel

That bad, eh? :/

Heh

Not at all Morfedel actually I think it's great. There are a few rough edges that I want to help you round off, but you will have to give me a few days.

I believe the contributors to this thread are absent atm. Mike is at Origins and Brian is in Bolivia. I am at QCon in Belfast this weekend and have been preparing for it over the last few days.

Back soon :)


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on June 27, 2003, 04:26:01 AM
Yeah, I knew there were rough edges; I'm working hard at, well, work, and it doesn't give me a lot of time to think creatively.

Also, when it comes to nonfiction, I don't write things so well; I'm working on a novel (I'm on its second draft) and my critique groups are very impressed with it, enough so that they think its easily better than a lot of crap on the shelves.

But writing non-fiction is not as easy for me. I have to sit down and think about it very carefully. And I didn't do so with either my AM 2 TRoS post, nor this one - I just didn't have the time, when I promised it in a matter of days, hehe


Title: North-East
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on June 30, 2003, 08:03:51 AM
Hiya.  I have a draft for the North-east.  It's not by best, but it has somethings that are OK

The Duchy of the North-East: K’Dreni

K’Dreni is a province of strife: the nobility struggles with itself and a powerful system of guilds, left over from a Crusader-Lord’s dreams of prosperity.  Overlooking this is the Sultan of Otamarluk, calmly fanning the flames consuming the province from within.  Meanwhile a boy Duke and his ruthless foreign advisor try to steady things, and through their actions may make the fire explosive.

Geography & economy
K’Dreni is a hilly place that becomes increasingly mountainous as one moves to the North and west.  A handful of tributaries poor into the Galadonian River, causing breaks in the hills.  Imperial roads in this province go south and one, the Spiral River, follows a windy path down across the province, eventually connecting with the Cathedral River in the Western province.  The current capital of K’Dreni, Kar’dami, lies on the Spiral River.  The other four cities of note all lie on Imperial roads primarily, rather than being built centrally on key rivers.  These cities are K’ravi in the west, Pel’esin in the east, and Hunnaged near the center of K’Dreni.
   
The economy of the cities is based on trade through the province as well as high quality metalworking made within its cities.  The guilds of K’Dreni’s cities are wealthy and a force to be reckoned with.  There is no single leader of the guilds, but the most influential guild master in the capital city is Iosif Grezhunvili of the Jewelers Guild.

Outside the cities, several semi-nomadic groups of herders can be found.  The herders are a persecuted group, as many are followers of the Prophet and his Seven Vows.

The dominant ethnicity of K’Dreni is a particular variant of Taveru.  Their distinctive dialect is quicker than most Taveru, making them appear agitated and hyperactive in the eyes of many neighbors.  The nobles of the cities have toned this down a bit, becoming more ‘mainstream Taveru.’


Politics

The nobility of K’dreni are hopelessly fragmented.  The current feudal system and traditions can be directly traced back to Duke Jurgen the Most Bold, a Stahlnish crusader who was given K’Dreni as a reward for his impressive campaigns against the heathens.  A capable leader, Duke Jurgen promoted trade and established a system of guilds within his burgeoning cities.  Protected by his law, the guilds grew and helped make K’Dreni be one of the most industrious provinces of Taveruun in the post-Crusade era.  

Things changed dramatically, however, with Duke Jurgen’s death.  With no heir, the nobility, still adapting to Jurgen’s reforms, fell into a dizzyingly fragmented conflict.  The guilds generally proclaimed themselves neutral, removing themselves from the political conflicts between the nobles, focusing on maintaining the status they enjoyed with Jurgen’s rule.

The nobility never found their way out of the internal strife.  In the 246 years since Duke Jurgen’s death, there have been 9 different dukes from five different families.  Causes for the change of power include abdication, assassination, plague (twice), and a poorly thought out battle against Otamarluk forces. The guilds, in turn, have become at odds with the nobles, constantly groping for more power and freedom.  K’dreni is slowly coasting from the imposed order of Duke Jurgen towards complete collapse.  The Sultan of Otamarluk has taken advantage of this, saturating K’Dreni’s courts and councils with spies and informants.  Some of these are janissaries, others are from K’Dreni and paid or otherwise persuaded, and some are from the rural herders who live in the province.

Oppressed since the time of Duke Jurgen, the herders of K’Dreni are, like the city-dwellers, Taveru in their ethnicity.  However, before the Crusades, the herders were one of the first (and last) groups in Taveruun to be converted.  After the crusades, Duke Jurgen established Xanar as the one and only Church in the areas near him.  The semi-nomadic tribes in the hills were allowed to have their faith, barely, and were the target of a great deal of scape-goating and hard oppression by the nobility.  Many of the herders have begun to believe that the Sultan of Otamarluk may be a better ruler, and as a result the Sultan has had a source of spies and raiders within this province.

The political landscape of K’Dreni has begun to change, however.  The young Duke Giorgi Amvrosiyevich died two years ago from Rat’s Plague in its latest outbreak.  This left his young thirteen year old brother, Zviad as the new Duke.  The rival nobles, guilds, and spies could all smell blood in the water.

But something rather unexpected occurred.  Visiting the K’Drenu court for the past several months was an exiled Gelurois nobleman, the Comte Hugue Leon Ines Etienne de Oeil.  A noble who escaped (with his family’s fortune) from Gelure just before Uglub triumphed, he spent the past several years traveling about the courts of eastern Mainlund.  Winding through Stahl, Sarmatov, Cyrinthmeir, and eventually Taveruun, The Comte de Oeil is a middle-aged man who radiates intimidation like a methodical predator.  He is Well-spoken, articulate, refined, ruthless, and arrogant to the point of legend.

Very quickly after Zviad’s rise to Duke, the Comte de Oeil became one of his closest advisors, and by far his most active.  He is universally hated, but some of the nobility grudgingly give him an ounce of respect.  Though no one (except perhaps young Duke Zviad) trusts him, no one has been able to uncover a plot or plan to take power.  Stories about his life in Gelure have slowly made their way down to Taveruun.  He was apparently a member of the old Gelurois King’s court, where he was known as an absolutely Machiavellian defender of the crown.

In K’Dreni, he has asked and received the position of Tax Collector.  This has set him in direct engagement with the Guilds.  While it is too early to determine the final winner, his careful manipulation of people and the law has given the Guild’s the first real threat to their autonomy in over a century.  Though this is his official title, and he appears to get an unusual amount of satisfaction from dealing with the Guilds, his other prime area of influence is in matters of diplomacy and espionage.

The final conclusion of the Comte’s effects is mixed at best. Though he is without equal in the Province for political skill, the fact that he is seen so untrustworthy have made actions in the name of the Duke much more difficult.  Both the highlord of the North and the highlord of the Northwest have no interest in aiding a villain like the Comte de Oeil, even at the expense of Northeastern Province of Taveruun.  In their view, he must be removed, but to date, he has done nothing that warrants overt hostility.


Military

K’Dreni is not a military power.  Most of the noble’s military forces are used either policing the roads or fruitlessly hunting down bands of herders who are suspected to be working for Otamarluk.  The forces of K’Dreni are generally a mix of infantry and cavalry.

Partially because of the condition of the military and partially because of the Guild’s interests in keeping commerce flowing, the nobility of K’Dreni have taken to paying tribute to the Sultan of Otamarluk.  They hope this will help satiate Otamarluk, and make it less desirable to invade.  So far, the Comte de Oeil has remained silent on this issue.


Religion
The cities of K’Dreni are staunch supporters of the Church of Xanar.  A long tradition of key religious positions going to local nobles, however, have ensured that Church is not even a player in the political wars of the province, but rather a mere tool toward the petty ambitions of various families.  The cardinals and Archbishops frown upon this practice, and if anything truly horrendous from the Church’s position takes place, they may move in to do something.

The wilds of K’Dreni are home to the Herders and their devotion to the Prophet of the Seven Vows.  Their form of the religion does not necessarily call for holy wars of conversion, but centuries of oppression have led them farther and farther in that direction.  The majority of them still hold by a rather non-aggressive form, but there are some tribes and the occasional religious leader who demand more, be it the disruption of trade or aiding the Sultan of Otamarluk, or anything else.

Within the wilds you also have a small handful of monasteries.  These brave souls believe in taking the spiritual fight to the Great Betrayer by going to the wilds.  They have a tense relationship with the herders, who they alternatively attempt to convert and condemn. Rarely do these tensions lead to violence, but more than one monastery has difficulties having contact with the cities.  The longest lasting monastery in K’Dreni is the Holy Shrine of St. Soman, a local cleric who rode with Duke Jurgen as his chaplain.

The fey are not as numerous here as they are in Komas, but they exist.  As man affects the land, so too does the land affect the fey, and the reflection causes the Fey to be increasingly territorial and what Mainlund occultists would call ‘Unseelie.’  There are several valleys and hills the Herders have marked off as haunted and will not go near.  The most famous place of the fey is probably Man’s End.  Roughly two day’s journey out of Hunnaged, there is a small section of Imperial road, perhaps a quarter of a mile long.  No one knows where it comes from, and no one who goes to it at dusk or night come back alive.  Those who come just after dawn see the entire length of road bathed in blood that boils off in the morning sun, leaving the bone-colored stone road.  No records exist of the Empire building road there, and no one knows what it means.  The herders believe it is best not to find out, however.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on July 01, 2003, 06:40:14 AM
Things I need to work on:
1) it isn't tied into the other provinces very well.  This is especially important IMHO with the Eastern province Gary has been working on, seeing how both share borders with Otmarluk.  I wanted the threat of the Sultan in K'Dreni to be more conspiracy-oriented than that in the Eastern Province, which is more directly defined by the military.  Do you guys think that's a valid play?

2) Did I overplay the Comte?  The book says the nobles of Taveruun bring in foreign advisors, and The Comte is intentionally in the 'be careful what you wish for' category.  I also believe it is best to leave his personal motivations out of the text.

3) *smirk* Part of me wants to pull Universalis off the shelf for some reason... (sorry, had to say it)


Title: Re: Pendus Fain
Post by: Mike Holmes on July 01, 2003, 06:52:07 AM
Quote from: Morfedel
Forgive the sloppiness of this, its a first draft:
The apollogies are unneccessary. All looks just fine to me, in general.

Quote
Pendus Fain - The Land of Sea and Stone
Cool name. It's a little detail but an important one.

Quote
The Southeastern holding of Taveruun is one of great diversity, both of its land and its people...
I liked this part. Actually it sounded like a travel brochure, which made me laugh. But somehow that's not a problem.

Quote
Hidden within its culture, however, is a landscape far more treacherous than any that can be found on the back of a horse or the sole's of one's feet.
The plot thickens. Which is cool. In terms of RPGs places have to be grabby in some way.

Quote
Following this line west towards Pendus Fain, the mountains begin to dwindle and fall, losing their majesty as they approach the setting sun. Valleys and passes cut through much of the western reaches, falling into foothills by the time it reaches Taveruun, where its eastern river digs through the rock and stone in its course to the sea.
Good stuff on the geography. The river is the Galadorn from which the East province takes it's name.

Quote
Here, the canyons of Athul-Dul are riddled with passes, earth bridges, caverns, and pockets dug out of the rock by the rushing waters.
I'm getting a very "Temple of Doom" feel here.

Quote
Politics of Church and State play a large role in most societies on Weryth, and nowhere is this more true than in Pendus Fain.
This is intriguing. It's the farthest reach of the Imperial faith, and yet it's a place where church influence is most strong. As I said, I like exceptions, and this is an opportunity to exploit one. Maybe there's a particular reason why the adherence to the church here? Threatening enemies? Some pogrom against other faiths in the past? Lot's of room for expansion on this point. Why is Corathus so devoted to the church? Is it so that they don't look into his occult activities?

Quote
and the year of Corathus' induction the previous Highlord was slain in a hunting accident.
Ah, the old "hunting accident". Did they find the body? These always smack of foul play. OTOH, maybe you can introduce some nifty creature resonsible for the death.

Quote
Whether they are dealing with a new cult, or a madman, they are uncertain - but the fear allows them to draw the reigns ever tighter.
Hmm. A mystery. This could be followed up with an adventure idea that builds on it.

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There is great concern over Otamarluk, and Corathus has instigated the construction of border fortresses to match his northern neighbor, in the hopes of stopping the incursions. He has not had as much to fear, but he knows how an avalanche can begin with just one stone.
I have this vision of forts along the border with East. So that if they do take East, they have to hit another fortline if they turn south. Sorta like they've given up on East, and are only hoping to divert the Marluks elsewhere should they invade. :-)

Looking at the Sapphire bay, Numeria alone holds a substantial port, and little navy. Svarastra is even worse, having no real navy to speak of to defend itself against pirates, and no other country has a naval presence.

Quote
It is a dangerous thing, but once the port is complete, Privateer vessels shall be built, followed by true naval vessels. The Sapphire Bay shall belong to Taveruun, if the High Lord has his way. Final decisions have not been made; the shipyard itself still needs to be complete.
Cool. I envision all sorts of "Seven Voyages of Sinbad" sorts of adventures emerging from the new port if it becomes a reality. And a new naval escallation would be cool. I see the Svarastrans responding with impractically large gilded ships of the line, commanded by Pashas with no naval experience. Leading to easy plunder for the Pendus Fain navy. Neat.

Illitzi, in South is a major port already. Is Pendus Fain working with the lord of Illitzi in this? Because if he starts a naval war, Illitzi will certainly be threatened. Or is Coranthus so ambitious that he doesn't care what happens to South?

Quote
Pendus Fain's major production is in: stone, having a number of functioning quarries; mushrooms; goat and sheep; wool and cotton. They trade most of this to Svarastra, in exchange for spices, tea, metals and finished weapons and armors.
Stone is only traded on small scales for obvious reasons. So it tends to be the very valuable stuff that's traded like Marble. I can see a big Svarastran demand for that to build palaces. Is that what you were thinking in terms of trade?

Quote
thayrists, nature worshippers, and others dwelt in this land, and with a quiet peace, until the current High Lord assumed command.

The Thayrism here seems secluded (I made no mention of it for South, nor did Gary for East). That makes it a likely candidate for an expanded explanation. Like perhaps some group of mercenaries brought it to the area, and it exists only in the region where they settled.

Quote
In one wall of the Canyon is cut an ornate and beautiful cathedral to the Imperial Church, straight out of the living stone. Around it, the canyon walls were worked to create an almost symphonic melody when the winds blow just right.
Needs a name. Cathedral of the Winds?

Quote
Along the mountain ranges that protrude into the Taveruun edge, that run along the Svarastran-Otamarluk border, large armies of Gols march.
Is that canonical? That is, I thought I remembered that Gols were only in certain regions. That all said, I could be totally mis-remembering, or this could be a cool exception.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on July 01, 2003, 07:09:14 AM
Hiya, Morfedel

I just re-read your write-up.

The province, in my reading of it, seems to be defined by its military character.  Corathus is centralizing power under him.  That's pretty tried-and-true (read: not bad at all) kind of leader.  As with everything, though, a points.  These are mainly questions, not actcual complaints or criticisms.

First, the situation with the Church is a bit confusing.  Rumors of Corathus being downright infernal, but at the same time pumping up the power of the Church.  I got the sense that the Archbishop, while rather smart, and while he doesn't seem particularly evil, he is at the moment a passive actor.  He has his spies, his influence, and his authority, but he isn't doing much.  He's waiting for... something.  But what?  If he's allied with Corathus, for good or for ill, he could help clear his name.  If he's against him, he could be organizing a large amount of resistance to him.

Second, people disappearing as a regular ocurrence gets a lot of attention.  Both the highlord and his military advisor disappear regularly.  Beyond rumors, what kind of fall-out is this having?

Third, the military interest in building a navy.  To me, this sounds like poor judgement on the part of Corathus, but that by itself is not necessarily a bad thing.  Leaders can make bad choices, and he certainly wouldn't be the first one who got fixated on getting a port (heck, I did a similar thing up in the North).  

My primary concern after reading this is that you have described a rather confusing ruler.  That isn't necessarily bad, but a confusing ruler creates interesting sites of resistance and capable enemies to his rule.  I think that is something you could develop more.

Now, if you didn't want your ruler to be confusing, then that's another issue.  Then we get into my reading versus your intent, and who is 'right' and where.  If you weren't looking for a leader that was a tad confusing due to rumors of heresy, happily giving power to the Church, common disappearances, and secret naval bases, then the question is what were you aiming for?


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on July 01, 2003, 09:55:14 AM
More things I need to work on:

3) I didn't make the military threat of Otamarluk either real enough or immediate enough.  I need to put more about raids and the coming counter-crusade into the province.

I'm just going to keep posting these until I have a few hours free to work it over again


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on July 01, 2003, 11:42:47 AM
Nick:

Thanks for the comments, observations, and questions.

Frankly, I streamlined that first draft without bothering to even go back and edit it. So that's a big part of the reason you are getting a bit of mixed signals with Corathus, the archbishop, etc.

The idea here is that Corathus is playing a dangerous game of "playing all sides against the middle." He is strengthening the power of the church, along as he receives certain "concessions" in return. The church was glad to oblige at first, but now they are beginning to become suspicious of their ally - but not enough so to actively move against him, but to watch him.

Meanwhile, Corathus is gathering more power to his reigns. If he can establish a strong-enough power base... he is intended to be part machiavellian, park risk-taker, part wire-walker. He has a far range to plummet, but he is gambling it all for greater power.

I'll work on a second draft to tighten it up and clarify things.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on July 01, 2003, 12:06:35 PM
Quote from: Nick Pagnucco

First, the situation with the Church is a bit confusing.
Seems to me that it could just be a backscratching situation. The church, liking its new hold, doesn't want to stir the pot. OTOH, maybe it is about to explode. James?

Quote
Third, the military interest in building a navy.  To me, this sounds like poor judgement on the part of Corathus, but that by itself is not necessarily a bad thing.  Leaders can make bad choices, and he certainly wouldn't be the first one who got fixated on getting a port (heck, I did a similar thing up in the North).
What makes it a bad idea? If they can make a ton of money in the short run (seems to be the goal), they can bolster their other military afterwards.

Quote
My primary concern after reading this is that you have described a rather confusing ruler.  
Hmm. I'd say mysterious. But what makes him confusing?

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on July 01, 2003, 01:11:23 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: Nick Pagnucco

First, the situation with the Church is a bit confusing.
Seems to me that it could just be a backscratching situation. The church, liking its new hold, doesn't want to stir the pot. OTOH, maybe it is about to explode. James?


Correct. Although I am not sure I made it clear enough. As I said, I was rambling. The church definitely dont want to threathen their new hold... Corathus is keeping them very close.

On the other hand, they are growing concerned over these rumors of MorrowWight. They have learned nothing, but if Corathus is, in fact, dealing with a Sorcerer or other monstrous creature, they will not be happy.

So, in this case, they are investigating, quietly, and Corathus, of course, all smiles and charm, is just as quietly parrying their spying attempts.

Quote
Quote
Third, the military interest in building a navy.  To me, this sounds like poor judgement on the part of Corathus, but that by itself is not necessarily a bad thing.  Leaders can make bad choices, and he certainly wouldn't be the first one who got fixated on getting a port (heck, I did a similar thing up in the North).
What makes it a bad idea? If they can make a ton of money in the short run (seems to be the goal), they can bolster their other military afterwards.


I didn't think it was entirely a bad idea either, but for different reasons. I'm going to go back and read it more carefully during my revised draft.
Quote

Quote
My primary concern after reading this is that you have described a rather confusing ruler.  
Hmm. I'd say mysterious. But what makes him confusing?


I think he is right, but for different reasons. It isnt a confused ruler, but confused text! :)

I mean, I think its not utterly incompetent getting my message across, but I felt it could have been delivered a bit clearer.

But I'm glad you think he is mysterious, too... that was the entire point. I want a lot of questions about him, rumors and shadows flittering about him in a storm of doubt... but one in which nothing solid ever lands.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on July 02, 2003, 01:01:55 AM
Quote from: Morfedel
Pendus Fain - The Land of Sea and Stone

Is Pendus a lordship, earldom, county etc. I only ask as we have defined the order of peerage for the other regions and I am interested.

Quote from: Morfedel
Hidden within its culture, however, is a landscape far more treacherous than any that can be found on the back of a horse or the sole's of one's feet.

That just what I like to hear ... treachery :) Pendus Fain is starting to sound like an interesting place to stage an adventure.

Quote from: Morfedel
Pendus Fain shares most of its border either with Svarastra or its other Taveru holdings, with only a slim strip of land bordering Otamarluk.

I reckon that only the east and northeast should have the dubious honor of hosting a border with Otarmarluk. We should alter the map to have the border between East and Southeast meet at the border between Otarmarluk and Svarastra. The Baron of Galadon would not want to leave a gap in his defenses under another lord. Especially one that he views as militarily weak.

Quote from: Morfedel
Svarastra is divided from Otamarluk by a vast plateau of mountains and valleys breaking the entire middle and eastern segments with a barrier of titanic rock.

Following this line west towards Pendus Fain, the mountains begin to dwindle and fall, losing their majesty as they approach the setting sun. Valleys and passes cut through much of the western reaches, falling into foothills by the time it reaches Taveruun, where its eastern river digs through the rock and stone in its course to the sea. Here, the canyons of Athul-Dul are riddled with passes, earth bridges, caverns, and pockets dug out of the rock by the rushing waters. Winds raised with the sun howl through the mazes within, creating a haunting chorus of whistles and howls to great the morning. The canyons dwindle as the river continues to the sea, ending in marshes and bogs.

As the land continues west, it slopes downward, fading from rocky and treacherous terrain to a more even and level field.

I have commented on the geography in your other thread Mordefel. I like the feel of Pendus Fain. Though I still feel that canyons may well fit with Northeastern Svarastra falling down from the plateau, they do not really fit with Pendus Fain which is essentially a big river delta. ie mostly damp and flat. Still canyons will look really good so ... whatever

Quote from: Morfedel
Borders with Svarastra are far better, however. Trade is lucrative, as the almost too wealthy nobles living there pay premium prices and make favorable trade with the Taveruun merchants - simply, Svarastra can afford it.
and
Quote
Pendus Fain's major production is in: stone, having a number of functioning quarries; mushrooms; goat and sheep; wool and cotton. They trade most of this to Svarastra, in exchange for spices, tea, metals and finished weapons and armors. Craftsmen of Taveruun study Svarastran tastes, and make finished products to trade to Svarastra nobles at a very high price, in exchange for raw and unfinished goods.

Trade with Svarastra is the lifeblood of Pendus Fain. There are vast riches across the border, but the resources of the county are not as valuable as other Taveruun counties. Where Galadon has iron and gold Pendus Fain has sheep and goats. What has Pendus to trade with Svarastra? Also the Port of Illitzi is at the end of the Imperial road and much of the trade with Svarastra and Numeria will pass through there. These disadvantages may give you more powerful reasons why Coranthus is desperate to risk conflict with Numeria and Svarastra with privateer vessels.

You are setting Coranthus up in direct opposition to Count Illitzi. Mike how do think that the Count will react to privateer vessels working in the Saphire sea. Damaging trade and maybe even attacking his ships. Umm, there is some potential for tasty conflict here.

Quote from: Morfedel
Politics of Church and State play a large role in most societies on Weryth, and nowhere is this more true than in Pendus Fain. Here, the High Lord plays a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the ArchBishop of the Imperial Church, and his neighbors, concerning power and glory.

The Church will see Svarastra as an untapped resevior of potential converts to the Word of Xanar. They also will not take kindly to Coranthus muddying the water by attacking Svarastra or it's trade ships. There are many missionaries over the border who would be in danger if the border were closed. Again more opportunities for intrigue and treachery.

Good stuff keep it up


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on July 02, 2003, 03:33:22 AM
Before I respond to anything else, I want to ask a clarifying question here:

this is twice that Illitzi has been mentioned, and somehow I missed this in the previous documents. i'm going to look for it, but... are you referring to that port town that is next to the river that is between Numeria and Taveruun?

If so, while we can do anything we want, I believe there may be a conceptual error, for two reasons.

The first is, recall the MRB specifically says that Taveruun has only one single major port, and that is of the high lord to the west, I think, or north west or something; because of this is why I didn't actually put down an already-existing port in my region, BECAUSE of that. If West Taveruun has the only major taveruun port, the rest of the regions shouldn't have one.

The second is that it also mentions in Numeria that Numeria is A) struggling to hold onto the river that lies at their edge from conquest by taveruun and dardanet. Which means, they are struggling, but they still hold the river.

Also, I recall it mentioning something about Numeria having a single major port city, along a river, and far away from their capital. Looking at the map, Numeria has only two cities shown on it; the first being in the heart of their country, and the second being just north of that river that is at the taveruun-numeria reaches.

As such, it has been of my opinion that that city at the taveruun edge is, in fact, Numerian. I had this perception because of all the text quoted above; taveruun has only one major port, period, according to the mrb, and numeria has the only real port in the sapphire bay, albeit with a pathetic navy, but one that is home to many delegates and merchants, which lies along a river.

Now, I'm working from memory here, as my book isn't with me, but that SOUNDS correct. Perhaps you guys could skim the relevant text and see whether you concur or not, and I will have to wait until I am in the same building as my book to do likewise.

Meanwhile, I'll go back and look for this South port city and see what it says.... any idea what page? This is a lot of text to look through!!! :)

But you can see why I haven't been of the opinion that Pendus Fain is not in conflict with any other high lords, right?


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on July 02, 2003, 07:13:55 AM
Just want to mention that what I said were the best comments I could think up; the last thing I wanted to do was just shrug and give a thumbs up.  With that in mind, I think I probably should have used a different word than 'confusing' and a few others.

I think things are going pretty well, all things considered.  After we have all 8 provinces done, that's when we should make a review to unify things a bit more.  Checking consistency while writing the provinces is good, but they'll inevitably feel separate.  Partially though, this is a good thing, as we are talking about a decentralized feudal state.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Thorsten on July 05, 2003, 12:05:12 PM
Quote from: Gary_Bingham

The purpose of these walls is to 1) mark the extent of territory(to say "this far and no further"), 2) to impress (to say "if we can build a wall like this with our bare hands, think what are swords can do to your internal organs") 3) to monitor traffic , goods and animals, crossing the frontier, and 4) most importantly I my opinion, as a line of communication allowing many troops to travel along the border swiftly to counter any incursion. For this reason I have described the wall as a fortified road


One of the reasons for the limes, Geraman roman border was to reduce raiding, infiltration  and control passage.

Quote from: Gary_Bingham
]
Quote
The Baronial Guard is a elite regiment made of mostly un-landed nobles and freemen, highly trained in the use of polearm and crossbow. Each guard is expected to purchase his own armour and weaponry and maintain such to a very high standard
Is the noble freeman Guard infantry?
Quote
Eastguard Legions
The legions are a remnant of the Imperial legions that once protected Taveruun. Funded by the Baron of Galadon and the levy imposed on the other highlords, the Eastguard legion are based on the Eastern Wall. The legions are made up professional solders trained in the use of longsword and bow, and are well versed in defensive tactics

I get the impression Taveruun is a feudalsitic society, i see problems the LEgions coukld have survived the times as standing armed forces.
Mybe a thegmata system works better, when these troops living from their own farms" and enrolled in the duty of wall defence are exempted from taxes and such. I would also add at least spears to their arsenal.[
Quote
b]Town Watch and Militia[/b]
of pole-arm or sword and bow up to the age of 30

I would change the side arm to a mace or an falchion, swords are relative expensive, maybe two much expensive for miltia.

I didn`t want to crticize but i hope it helps a bit.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on July 07, 2003, 04:20:10 AM
Hello Thorsten,
thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.

Quote from: Thorsten
Quote from: I
The purpose of these walls is to 1) mark the extent of territory(to say "this far and no further"), 2) to impress (to say "if we can build a wall like this with our bare hands, think what are swords can do to your internal organs") 3) to monitor traffic , goods and animals, crossing the frontier, and 4) most importantly I my opinion, as a line of communication allowing many troops to travel along the border swiftly to counter any incursion. For this reason I have described the wall as a fortified road
One of the reasons for the limes, Geraman roman border was to reduce raiding, infiltration  and control passage.
agreed see point 3

Quote from: Thorsten
Is the noble freeman Guard infantry?
I would say yes on the whole. There would be a small dedicated mounted unit within the Guard, but the majority would be infantry. The mounted knights in the Holy Orders would make up the mobile forces under the Baron's command. The main purpose of the Baronial guard is to hold the City and Castle at Longstone. Not much requirement for cavalry in siegework.

Quote from: Thorsten
Quote from: I
Eastguard Legions
The legions are a remnant of the Imperial legions that once protected Taveruun. Funded by the Baron of Galadon and the levy imposed on the other highlords, the Eastguard legion are based on the Eastern Wall. The legions are made up professional solders trained in the use of longsword and bow, and are well versed in defensive tactics

I get the impression Taveruun is a feudalsitic society, i see problems the LEgions coukld have survived the times as standing armed forces.
Mybe a thegmata system works better, when these troops living from their own farms" and enrolled in the duty of wall defence are exempted from taxes and such. I would also add at least spears to their arsenal
I do picture the legions very much like the roman legions. My vision of the Old Xanarian empire is very much romanisque. The Eastguard legions would have been formed and financed by the empire, but when they withdrew from Taveruun, control over the legions would have ceded to the Baron of Galadon. The prohibitive cost of maintaining these elite troops has led the Baron to demand a defence levy on the other highlords(note this may be a bone of contention between the highlords)

Quote from: Thorsten
Quote from: I
Town Watch and Militia
of pole-arm or sword and bow up to the age of 30

I would change the side arm to a mace or an falchion, swords are relative expensive, maybe two much expensive for miltia.
I don't disagree here. perhaps swords would be too expensive for serf militia. I was thinking of the type of weapons that the Galadon military would require to defend against the Otarmarluks. As a Marluk military is predominantly made up of cavalry I felt that pole-arms or pike would be the popular choice of defensive weaponry, sword being the choice of the richer militiaman. Maces would be inefficent against lightly armoured and highly mobile troops.  

Quote from: Thorsten
I didn`t want to crticize but i hope it helps a bit.
Constructive criticism is always welcome. :)
Gary


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Thorsten on July 07, 2003, 11:03:40 AM
Quote from: Gary_Bingham
.
Constructive criticism is always welcome. :)
Gary[/quote]

Quote
agreed see point 3
Now I see it.

Quote
I do picture the legions very much like the roman legions. . ..., control over the legions would have ceded to the Baron of Galadon. The prohibitive cost of maintaining these elite troops has led the Baron to demand a defence levy on the other highlords(note this may be a bone of contention between the highlords)

Why should the other highlords have agreed to finance the legions over suchh a long time, and give a rival such a potent threat?
How get a feudalistic society the ressources to finance and support the legions?
Out of this reasons I think a thegmata system of farmer soldiers, who see themselves as the heirs of the old legions, who see themselves as the Legions, could fit better.

 
Quote
As a Marluk military is predominantly made up of cavalry I felt that pole-arms or pike would be the popular choice of defensive weaponry, sword being the choice of the richer militiaman. Maces would be inefficent against lightly armoured and highly mobile troops.  

I mean the sidearm, not the main weapon.
Main weapons should be polearms(preferred pike) and missile Weapons(preferred bow) , i mean`t as an sidearm, for personal defense, when the lines shatter or get mixed up, or when it comes to close combat, e.g. on the walls, in houses or such.
And maces would be effective against light armored troops, but i wouldn`t say they would be better than swords, but maces fit the culture i believe better than axes.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on July 15, 2003, 08:23:34 AM
Quote from: Morfedel
this is twice that Illitzi has been mentioned, and somehow I missed this in the previous documents. i'm going to look for it, but... are you referring to that port town that is next to the river that is between Numeria and Taveruun?


I've taken some time off to think about this, and to read up.

Yes, the "town" sized dot just north of where the river meets the sea is what I was calling Illitzi. I think that my reasoning for it being owned by Taveruun is fairly straightforward. For example, the border is by the river. making it plainly on the Taveruun side. But for every point of evidence that I can come up with that it's a Taveruun city, there's another point that says it's not.

I'm not interested in hashing out the point by point, however. I don't think that would be profitable. Instead, I'm going to try to use my own principle, and make something advantageous out of the conflicting information.

So, Illitzi is no longer a port, and not the city on the map, but instead another (must be smaller) town a bit north of it. That clears up several problems itself. Instead, we can consider the town in question to be the one mentioned in the  section on Numeria (starts with a Z). This also makes the river the Anazum (sp) along it's entire length, including what I assume is the non-navigable part to the west that I figure forms the border on the map (the river feeding into it being the Cathedral, as previously determined). The sliver of land along the river, and the city itself then are held by Numeria.

What I'd say then is that this city has been contested back and forth for ages. Likely at some point it was the capital of the province, but is not now. As such, the Count probably eyes the city frequently, hoping to regain it one day, but can't play today as he has to devote financial resources to the impending war. But the Numerians are aware that their tenuous hold probably won't last if the forces of the South can ever be brought to bear against it. This also follows the text, as it indicates that the Numerians are worried about losing such border holdings to Taveruun. The way I see it, Numeria could defend it easily if they could organize to do so. But the Priestesses haven't taken effective steps (perhaps due to internecine problems of thier own), and the figurehead "descendants" are do-nothings. In fact, how about the city was taken several years ago by a warlord sent by the priestesses, who still awaits directives from them? Or something like that?

Anyhow, don't want to get too much into other country's business, just trying to account for the South's political position towards Numeria. But does the above satisfy everyone? Any new problems?

This all will require some substantial rewriting on my part. I'll save the edits for when we compile everything, however.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on July 15, 2003, 08:28:12 AM
Quote from: Gary_Bingham
The Church will see Svarastra as an untapped resevior of potential converts to the Word of Xanar. They also will not take kindly to Coranthus muddying the water by attacking Svarastra or it's trade ships. There are many missionaries over the border who would be in danger if the border were closed. Again more opportunities for intrigue and treachery.


I dunno. Is the Church missionary? I mean this world doesn't seem to have the colonialism that might exist if it were Earth. As such, I'm not sure that there would be a missionary ferver. Can anyone remember the book saying anything about this? Crusades aren't missionary, their political and based on conquest.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on July 15, 2003, 08:38:05 AM
Quote from: Thorsten
Quote
I do picture the legions very much like the roman legions. . ..., control over the legions would have ceded to the Baron of Galadon. The prohibitive cost of maintaining these elite troops has led the Baron to demand a defence levy on the other highlords(note this may be a bone of contention between the highlords)

Why should the other highlords have agreed to finance the legions over suchh a long time, and give a rival such a potent threat?
How get a feudalistic society the ressources to finance and support the legions?
Out of this reasons I think a thegmata system of farmer soldiers, who see themselves as the heirs of the old legions, who see themselves as the Legions, could fit better.


I think that if Gary wants to have the legions, that we can work out a reasonable way to have it occur. If he wants there to be some tax that's levied regularly, then we can say that it's been maintained via tradition. To make it a bit more plausible over the long haul, though, perhaps it was diminished in size over the course of intervening years of peace, with much of it maintained as recallable militia. So, basically, in times of peace, the force would be at cadre levels, able to train up forces on relatively short notice.

In the light of the impending invasion, then, the Count has solicited and received extra monies from the other highlords to beef up the force to it's full wartime levels. I've already indicated that South is sending money, for example.

Would this be a reasonable explanation? Any other ideas?

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on July 15, 2003, 08:42:47 AM
I am not sure how far this would go. The text of the book makes it clear that the 8 high lords are pretty much autonomous; now, if the fear of god, ie Otamarluk, were enough of a lever...

In fact, I could see the fun in having the high lords most in the path of invasion arguing, raging, wheedling, and otherwise beating their heads over the frustrations of some short-sighted over lords they share a kingdom with.

Mike: I like your alternative concerning the port situation. Sounds great!


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on July 15, 2003, 08:46:48 AM
I'm posting several posts in a row to make for easier responses. Don't miss the ones above.

James, we never did learn from you what the title of the lord of Pendus Fain is. We could just refer to him by the title of Highlord. Given the region's extreme remoteness, perhaps it was just made a province with a sort of governor who was given the title Highlord to put him on par with the lords of the other 7 parts of the country. This would make an interesting exception, IMO.

Or did you want to give him some other title?

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on July 15, 2003, 09:05:49 AM
Oh, sorry: his title was High Lord. Nothing extravagant.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on July 15, 2003, 09:12:45 AM
Quote from: Morfedel
I am not sure how far this would go. The text of the book makes it clear that the 8 high lords are pretty much autonomous; now, if the fear of god, ie Otamarluk, were enough of a lever...

In fact, I could see the fun in having the high lords most in the path of invasion arguing, raging, wheedling, and otherwise beating their heads over the frustrations of some short-sighted over lords they share a kingdom with.

I would say that Ottamarluk is about as big a lever as you're likely to find.

Each author should decide for his region whether or not they are providing funds for East to raise their legions. South, I've decided is paying up. I figure that they may or may not be in the path of the invasion, but they've been in the path of the Dardanet invasion before, and they don't want any of that again if they can prevent it. They also happen to be sucking up to East of late (they gave East control of a small town not too long ago for the same reason).

That said, I don't see South as being particularly prosperous now, so it can't be all that much support.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on July 22, 2003, 03:15:06 AM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
I really like the idea of Kallary. Can you outline where it might have been on the map a bit?

Whilst I was forming the timeline I put together some ideas for the Kingdom of Kallary I spent a little time developing it however now Brian has expressed an interest in the Imperial West County. I want Brian to get involved and so I am willing to back down from the region and let him have it. It would be a shame not to post the material I had done for Kallary though. So I will post it here and we can decide between us whether or not we use it going forward. ok?

The Kingdom of Kallary
Imperial West County of Taveruun

Overview

The King-less Kingdom of Kallary is bewildering blend of ancient traditions and modern thinking. Antediluvian temples rest easily alongside polished alabaster Colleges amongst winding streets draped with banners of many coloured silks. Both the Church of the Three Gods become One and the Followers of the Prophet consider the capital of Port Kallary to be a holy site, being the final resting place of Xanar Lightbringer and the origin of the Holy Prophet.

Geography and Economy
Much of the territory credited to the Kingdom of Kallary is located in the heights of the Taveruu mountains, and on the whole is uninhabited save for a few fearless mountain goats. The remainder of the kingdom is perched precariously on the cliff-tops which forms the coastline of the Sea of Fallen Gods. What arable lands exists are incredibly fertile and a ingenious tiered system of agriculture ensures that even the steepest gradient is useable by farmers.

The capital city of the region is the bustling Port Kallary. Built in ancient times in an almost perfect natural haven the mighty seaport once dominated the whole of the Sea of Fallen Gods, and remains an important center for trade and shipbuilding. The Rashad of Kallary are scholars acknowledged as being peerless engineers but are perhaps best renowned for their wonderful mechanical constructions.

History and Politics
The city that is now known as Port Kallary was once Dar-Es-Kallyrii and the was the heart of a wealthy and powerful city-state. The origins of the State of Kallyrii are during the Otarmarluk conquests of third and fourth centuries. When the Otarmarluk empire stretched from the Sea of Sails to the Sea of Fallen Gods the haven that was to become Kallyrii was a small fishing village nestled between the Taveruu mountain range and the sea. The Sul’taan’s general in the lands of the Taveruu, Ashif abu Manzia built a fortress there and named it after the Taveruu peoples who resided in the region. When the Dardanri pushed the Marluk out of the lands of the Taveruu, Dar-Es-Kallyrii found itself isolated from the motherland. Though the border between Otarmarluk and Dardanet was to constantly ebb and flow increasingly Dar-Es-Kallyrii became self-dependent and eventually renounced ties to Otarmarluk signing treaties and trade agreements with Helena and Dardanet.

The culture of Dar-Es-Kallyrii was one of tolerance and accommodation. The Shieq, or ruler, of the City-State was elected by the people of the haven to rule in their stead and the qualities prized by the citizens were wisdom and fairness. Many houses of learning were established in Dar-Es-Kallyrii and many important technological advances were discovered during the Kallyrian period, including sophisticated steel forging techniques and innovative ship designs.

The City State of Dar-Es-Kallyrii was able to stand against the incursions of the young Xanarian empire in the 6th century when its neighbors Dardanet and Helena fell because of the strong natural defense of the haven and the power naval forces that the Shieq had amass. The fleet was destroyed in 575 Weyr during the Battle of the Malan Straits, though the Kallyrii victory during this naval battle ensured the survival of the nation for centuries to come.

Having failed to take the city-state by force the Xanarian Empire instigated a prolonged diplomatic campaign with Dar-Es-Kallyrii. In 938 Weyr the Shieq of the haven, Hedasa Abu Kaullan bowed to the pressure and signed the Treaty of Spatha effectively making the city-state a fiefdom of the Empire. Riots rocked the city-state forcing the Shieq to flee and for a short period of time the city-state realigned itself with Otarmarluk.

It was during the First Crusade for the Shard that the haven finally fell to Xanarium. The combined forces of Xanarium and Helena under Alexius Medellius of the Seat, and Giovanni Uradzia of Helena besieged the city and brought the peoples of Kallyrii to it’s knees after 18 months of hardship. The son of the exiled Shieq Abu Kaullan is returned to power as the first Duke of Kallary and the intensely ambitious Alexius Medellius was crowned King Medellius I of the Kingdom of Kallary in 1003 Weyr.

When Abu Kaullan was killed by a Dakyrii assassin in 1011 Weyr King Medellius I fled the country fearing for his life leaving the country under the command of a Mainlunder Duke. He returned 5 years later with a large force of mercenaries, which he used to subdue the Dakyrii Reaches. The mercenary companies took up residence in Port Kallary rich in the profits made from the Pacification of the Dakyrii.

In 1137 Weyr the last heir of the line of Alexius Medelius was killed under an assassin’s blade. The Duke at that time refused to take the title as it was seen as a poisoned chalice and ruler the Kingdom as a Steward Duke. This became academic in 1161 as the Kingdom of Kallary become the Imperial west County of Taveruun during the Reformation of Taveruun, and the imperial Overlord took up residence in the King’s Palace. After the Overlord left Taveruun in 1414, the reigns of power was returned to the Steward Duke, and the Kingdom of Kallary was returned  

Religion
The unique history of the Kingdom of Kallary has left a heritage of religious freedom, the major faiths of the Church of the Three and the Followers of the Prophet are strongly advocated. The Marlesh peoples favour the Vow and the Mainlunders the Church and there is very little traffic between them, and the Kallyrii peoples are swayed in equal portions between both.  The people generally are free to worship who they choose though the two major faiths make up 97% of the practicing population.

The Followers of the Prophet in Kallary practice a much less militant and more tolerant form of the faith, and they only nominally cede to the Emir of Otarmarluk in religious matters. This has brought them into conflict with the Emir, however the isolated position of Kallary and the historical importance of the city to both faiths has prevented any major conflagrations from taking place.

The Church of the Three also is more open in Kallary than elsewhere and Inquisition has little presence in the haven. The Holy Knights of the Shard have a modest chapterhouse in Kallary, though the Sons of the Righteous War are not welcomed in the haven and those who do reside there are billeted in the grandiose Cathedral of Xanar.

Locations and Peoples of Note
Mainlunders

Many descendants of the crusaders who took Kallary as well as migrants from the northern kingdoms have taken up residence in Kallary. The majority of the ruling classes are made up from this section of the population, though a small number of Marlesh and Kallyrii merchants are beginning to rise in power in recent years.

Marlesh (or Marleshiks)
The Marlesh are men of ancient Marlukian stock, distant relatives of the Heljin tribes. They remember the halcyon days of Dar-Es-Kallyrii and are intensely proud of their heritage. They are a colourful and emotional people and it is said that the Passion of the Marlesh and Practicality of the Kallyrii makes for the inventiveness of the Rashid.

Kallyrii
The Kallyrii are native Taveruu people who have lived on the coastlands of Taveruun from a time before the coming of the second moon. The name means Fishermen and their legendary skill at fishing has been passed down from father to son since time forgotten. The are a short and stocky people of a most resilient temperament, they rarely sicken and those who are not taken by the sea live long and fruitful lives.  

Dakyrii
High in the mountains, in a region known as the Dakyrii Reaches, dwell a people of a most ancient and malignant kindred. Their worship of a dark god or goddess has led them to believe that to take life is the greatest gift given to man, and they have taken the fulfillment of the act of murder to the level of an art-form. Many times the rulers of Kallary and the predecessor kingdoms have attempted to cleanse this blight, but the Dakyrii have proven too tenacious.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on July 22, 2003, 09:31:19 AM
Aiiee.

I like what you have, Gary, but Brian laid claim to the West back at the beginning of the project, even before you were involved. He had to go on that six week hiatus, which is why he hadn't posted yet. I hope we can work this out.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on July 22, 2003, 12:01:57 PM
Sorry jake... edited to remove inane comments.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Jake Norwood on July 22, 2003, 12:03:57 PM
wtf?


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on July 22, 2003, 01:00:18 PM
Ah hell, you've already done so much work you may as well keep West. Pity, I had some good ideas, but they were in a very different direction from yours. No matter, I'll save them for the next time we do a country with a coastline and adapt them for that.

What does that leave me? SouthWest is it? Damn, I need to find some time to read through everything you guys have done.

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on July 23, 2003, 01:10:39 AM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
Aiiee.
I like what you have, Gary, but Brian laid claim to the West back at the beginning of the project, even before you were involved. He had to go on that six week hiatus, which is why he hadn't posted yet. I hope we can work this out.

Sorry guys, and in particular Brian. I am withdrawing the Kingdom of Kallary post and I will ask Jake to remove it from the thread.

Also any changes that you need to the Timelines and Map I will of course make ASAP.

Gary

edit: Actually it appears that Jake has left for Gen Con leaving you in charge Brian :) Could you remove the Kingdom of Kallary post above please. thanks Gary


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on July 23, 2003, 01:38:24 PM
Gary,

Firstly, I seriously think that since you have done all that work you should stick with it. I can save my ideas and use them in other areas, really don't worry about it.

Secondly, we don't delete posts around here :-) Check out the forum rules at the top.

Honestly, I'm OK with it.

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on July 23, 2003, 01:59:58 PM
Thanks for putting me straight on the rules Brian ( I had a reread of them and feel strangely happier .. sigh )

Seriously though I don't want to exclude anyone from getting involved in this thread least of all you Brian so if you want West take it and I will focus my attentions elsewhere in the rather large region that is Taveruun.
Gary


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on July 23, 2003, 02:13:20 PM
Don't worry about it. I think Southwest was saved for me (still have not had time to read through everything; this weekend hopefully). Which although not what I had in mind should be interesting - the Taveruun/Dardanet border, and still some coastline to play with, etc.

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on July 24, 2003, 03:30:55 AM
Er, actually, I'm doing the soutwest. :(

I have been calling it Pendus Fain. Territory next to Savarastra.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on July 24, 2003, 05:24:18 AM
Quote from: Morfedel
Er, actually, I'm doing the soutwest. :(

I have been calling it Pendus Fain. Territory next to Savarastra.

... psst .. that's Southeast James :)


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on July 24, 2003, 10:13:38 AM
Damn! someone beat me to it! :)

I made that post before my morning coffee. On my way in to work, the realization hit me, and I couldnt edit my post until lunchtime. I was hoping there would be a lull here.

Ya caught me out!


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on July 28, 2003, 08:54:07 AM
Hey, any chance that Gary and Brian's ideas on the West can be mashed together coherently? Maybe Brian can take them as inspirational material and rewrite it? Or you guys can work together to hack something out? I hate to see any idea go to waste. :-)

Just some ideas. In any case, Brian, you have SW, so maybe you can do some of the ideas there? Hopefully we can work this all out to the betterment of the entire project.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Nick the Nevermet on July 28, 2003, 05:04:28 PM
hey guys

I probably should have posted this about 2-3 weeks ago.
I'm gonna be MIA for about a month (comprehensive exams $#%&).  Sorry I'm not helping more with Taveruun or anything else.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on July 29, 2003, 01:18:47 AM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
Hey, any chance that Gary and Brian's ideas on the West can be mashed together coherently? Maybe Brian can take them as inspirational material and rewrite it? Or you guys can work together to hack something out? I hate to see any idea go to waste. :-)
I am willing to change or remove anything including removing the entire text to achieve an inclusive team here.

I have one idea which may help. How about the Kingdom of Kallary was swept aside during the Reformation of Taveruun in 1161 Weyr and never resurfaced with the Withdrawal of the Imperial Overlord in 1415 Weyr. This would leave Brian with The Imperial West County (1161-1415W) and the successor state (1415-1467W) to play with.

I would only ask that the Port of Kallary remain as a city in the new material though it does not necessarily have to be the capital of the county.

What do you say Brian?
Gary


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on July 29, 2003, 11:48:54 AM
That sounds very cool. Can you work with that, Brian?

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on July 29, 2003, 05:57:37 PM
(Broke my own rule and deleted a post of mine after more than half an hour. Still, nobody had replied to it yet, and I wanted to change my mind).

OK, here's the thing. I'm quite flattered (and a little bemused, to be honest) that Gary and Mike are bending over backwards to accomodate me when I have already said three times that I was happy for Gary to keep West.

I've finally had a chance to read (well, skim) through everything and I'm going to say it again:

Keep West!

It's ok, really. Three reasons:

1) What you have done so far is cool and shouldn't be wasted.

2) Any spare writing time I have should really be used on stuff for The Flower of Battle anyway.

3) There's still South West, which doesn't have as many interesting naval possibilities and the puyre size of West, but does have the border with Dardanet, so I can have a play with that. The other ideas I had can wait until we do the next country after Taveruun that has a coast line and an excuse for a large indolent navy. In fact, some of my ideas were contrary to "canon" anyway, since even the main book mentions that West's navy is on the small side.

So, I will do South West (everyone take note and don't steal it from me *grin*) and also keep working on TFOB stuff (Mass Combat right now). Gary, you keep West and develop it more, etc. Whatever you like.

Sound fair?

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on July 30, 2003, 03:58:01 AM
Quote from: Brian Leybourne
Keep West!
Ok...let me think...yep I think I got that <nodding like an idiot>

Quote
1) What you have done so far is cool and shouldn't be wasted.
Thanks for the compliment Brian :) However now that i typed it out loud I quite like the idea of Kallary being a dead kingdom. It adds another layer under the surface of 'modern' Taveruun. Someone else can claim the Imperial West and what ever the successor state is called. I will tidy up the History of Kallary.

Quote
2) Any spare writing time I have should really be used on stuff for The Flower of Battle anyway.
we still could use your help in Taveruun Brian, though I am really looking forward to TFOB.

Quote
3) There's still South West, which doesn't have as many interesting naval possibilities and the puyre size of West, but does have the border with Dardanet, so I can have a play with that. The other ideas I had can wait until we do the next country after Taveruun that has a coast line and an excuse for a large indolent navy. In fact, some of my ideas were contrary to "canon" anyway, since even the main book mentions that West's navy is on the small side.
I am always looking for areas of conflict within the material we are creating, things to muddy the water and give players somthing to get their teeth into. I would read that the western navy includes contingents from the West and Southwest counties and perhaps there is competition between the highlord of the West and highlord of the Southwest for the title of Sealord of Taveruun. This would be an opportunity for all sorts of political shenanigans. Just a few ideas i'm not going to develop this.

Quote
So, I will do South West (everyone take note and don't steal it from me *grin*) and also keep working on TFOB stuff (Mass Combat right now). Gary, you keep West and develop it more, etc. Whatever you like.
Confirmed my hands are off ;)

Quote
Sound fair?

Very fair Brian

Gary


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on July 31, 2003, 10:05:48 AM
So, you're saying that you want Gary to keep the West? Just checking to be sure....

;-)

Um, so you'll have something on the SW by next week, then? :-)

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Brian Leybourne on July 31, 2003, 01:00:25 PM
Yeah, I'll make a start this weekend. Hopefully I'll have a first draft at least by mid/late next week.

Brian.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on August 01, 2003, 05:29:26 AM
What is needed on mine now?

If I recall, it was a list of relationships with the other high lords, and its status in terms of not having a "title" such as kingdom, county, or what have you.... Was there anything else?


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on August 01, 2003, 05:58:27 AM
Quote from: Morfedel
What is needed on mine now?

If I recall, it was a list of relationships with the other high lords, and its status in terms of not having a "title" such as kingdom, county, or what have you.... Was there anything else?

James from the point of view of populating the map Pendus Fain needs some geographical information, cities and notable locations. If you have any graphical talents you could edit the map yourself (I can tidy it up afterwards if necessary)

Maybe you can rethink the new port idea. We had originally discussed that since the South already had a major port in Illitizi the construction of a privateer port may be construed as competition by the South county. However with Illitzi currently a part of Numeria then the Southeastern highlord may be seeing a niche in the market so to speak and intends to capitalise on the south being portless in the south
Gary


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on August 01, 2003, 08:10:17 AM
Quote from: Gary_Bingham

Maybe you can rethink the new port idea. We had originally discussed that since the South already had a major port in Illitizi the construction of a privateer port may be construed as competition by the South county. However with Illitzi currently a part of Numeria then the Southeastern highlord may be seeing a niche in the market so to speak and intends to capitalise on the south being portless in the south


I don't think that's neccessary, and I don't see your logic. Illitzi has no port at the moment, and no plans to get one. In fact, they might be happy to learn about Pendus Fain's alternative, as they can then use that as their port (as opposed to having to go to the dangerous, and probably heavily taxed Numerian port). I think he should keep that plot.

Mike


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on August 01, 2003, 08:50:40 AM
I agree.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Gary_Bingham on August 01, 2003, 09:35:02 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: Gary_Bingham

Maybe you can rethink the new port idea. We had originally discussed that since the South already had a major port in Illitizi the construction of a privateer port may be construed as competition by the South county. However with Illitzi currently a part of Numeria then the Southeastern highlord may be seeing a niche in the market so to speak and intends to capitalise on the south being portless in the south


I don't think that's neccessary, and I don't see your logic. Illitzi has no port at the moment, and no plans to get one. In fact, they might be happy to learn about Pendus Fain's alternative, as they can then use that as their port (as opposed to having to go to the dangerous, and probably heavily taxed Numerian port). I think he should keep that plot.

Mike
Sorry I didn't make my logic clear enough. I think James should keep the port as well. I didn't mean to suggest that he remove that idea. I feel that it is a visible extension of Coranthus's ambitions and as such is completely in line with his character as he had described him

However when James originally posted the Pendus Fain material I had concerns that the building of the new port would not be a viable undertaking as Taveruun already had an established port at the end of an imperial. Imagine all that produce flowing along the highway to and from Zahnitir on the Saphire Sea. I felt that Pendus Fain did not have the infrastructure in place to compete with Zahnitir in trade terms.

The picture has changed now that Zahnitir has been lost to the Numerians. As you say Mike now Illitzi and Taveruun has no southern port. A wholy unsatisfactory situation as far as the country is concerned. Taveruun needs access to the revenue coming from trade on the southern coast.

I merely thought that James had an opportunity to rationalise the new port idea by capitalising on the current situation that all the goods passing through Taveruun to and from Zahnitir would be subject to Numerian control and taxation. There may also be some motivation to extend the Imperial Highway from Illitzi to the new port.

Sorry if what I posted previously was unclear.
Gary


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Morfedel on August 02, 2003, 07:01:00 PM
Works for me. Next weekend I'll hammer out some stuff.


Title: Taveruun
Post by: Mike Holmes on August 04, 2003, 11:39:46 AM
Rethink the implications, not rethink doing it? Gotcha. Sorry.

Mike