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Author Topic: Taveruun  (Read 27835 times)
Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« 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.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Nick the Nevermet
Member

Posts: 352


« Reply #1 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.
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #2 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.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Gary_Bingham
Member

Posts: 65


« Reply #3 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.
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #4 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.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
A.J.
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #5 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)?
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Sneaky Git
Member

Posts: 169


« Reply #6 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
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Molon labe.
"Come and get them."

- Leonidas of Sparta, in response to Xerxes' demand that the Spartans lay down their arms.
Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #7 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.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Gary_Bingham
Member

Posts: 65


« Reply #8 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.
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Jake Norwood
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Posts: 2261


WWW
« Reply #9 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
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Nick the Nevermet
Member

Posts: 352


« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2003, 07:53:53 AM »

Very cool.  Thanks!
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #11 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
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #12 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.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2003, 09:47:13 AM »

Here's a map of Taveruun 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
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #14 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.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
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