Athdaelda, IV Legion Fort of

Just a few miles east of Athdaelda is a small military complex which acts as base for the IV Imperial Legion.  This fort is a major force in the region, both militarily and economically.  The Empire is able to exert its influence militarily by maintaining the largest standing army in the region, whose direct line to the Empire both subverts the Prince’s influence while maintaining it by perpetuating his family’s rule through treaty and force.

The men stationed here are nominally guarding against potential uprisings by the horsetribes and act as deterrent against those who might practice highwaymanry on the road to Gazee and Diirdec.  They serve a more immediate function in maintaining leverage for both Cirsova and Athdaelda’s position in the region.  While no one would consider Karkuras occupied, it is notable that both Gatlia and Ungoza are “protected” by a lone legion stationed in Davou while otherwise being left to their own.

The economic impact of the IV Legion has a twofold effect.  While the land itself is taxed to feed & mount the soldiers, many supplies and dry goods originate from outside Karkuras, thus bringing traders & merchants from the Heartlands and from Paelnor to keep the troops equipped.  The merchants who created the community of Doan at the crossroads have benefited the most, though some farmers around Athdaelda are aggrieved, as they are most impacted by food tax, a burden not shared with Karkuras’ other citizens.

The Athdaeldan monarchy and IV Legion keep unrest in check, though many Karkurans, not just farmers, have begun demanding more voice in the matter of the fort and legion.  Hence, the Gatian nobles have their worries about the example set by Gatlia’s experiment in republican governance.

One of the primary responsibilities of the Legion was the deforestation of the Sabrio Valley north of the river, along with the razing and total demolition of the bastions of the Kingdom of Sabrio.  At the outset, this created a great surplus of timber for the Empire, however this act is ultimately responsible for the dearth of construction lumber within the province, which today relies heavily on Cirsova and Paelnor’s logging industries.

No art this week

I’ve fallen incredibly behind on basic things around here, like finding art and music and even writing Encyclopedia entries.

I think Cirsova may be going on a pseudo-hiatus for a bit while I work on another writing project I’m engaged in.

I’ll probably still be regularly posting gaming, reading and other various thoughts, but pretty soon I think the bread and butter posts (which have never been very popular and I don’t think have ever received a single comment) will be on hold until I get a chance to regroup.  Entries on Karkuras will be finished out.  Eventually I’ll do Ortia and Paelnor.  Or not.  We’ll see.

If anything, the ‘creative’ aspect of this has served its purpose, and I’m writing again.  Not about Cirsova, but I’ll definitely come back to it someday.  If anyone gives a shit, I might even write a book that takes place there.

Athdaelda, City/Principality of

Athdaelda is the seat of political power in Karkuras, its ruling family considered “cousin” (though only sometimes by marriage) to the Imperial family of Cirsova.  Though well respected (principally in the heartlands) the Princes and their kin command very littly authority outside of Karkuras (and some would say Athdaelda itself).  Still, the pomp and circumstance surrounding the trappings of royalty can be felt in the city which once stood alongside a divine king bringing low a dangerous foe in Sabrio.

The city stretches and sprawls for miles upon the plain, far beyond the old city’s walls.  The old city, at Athdaelda’s core, is built upon and around a small butte which has been formed into a stable earthwork.  The old city is divided from the rest of the city by an octagonal outer wall, which surrounds the old city and the “upper city” (really the inner citadel), a walled diamond with each point a gatehouse oriented to a cardinal direction. The paths from each gateway spiral down the rocky perch of the citadel to the lower portion of the old city.

In the walled section of the “lower city”, which surrounds the base of the butte, one may find the old guildhouses, public halls, temples and houses of wealthy patricians. Here, all manner of business public & politic is conducted.

Within the walls of the “upper city”, the cardinal lanes lead to the palace keep, residence of the Prince and immediate royal family of Athdaelda.  Though during the period of unification this keep was hardened and prepared for long sieges, the palace has long since been retrofitted for creature comforts.  Armories are now dining halls & museums and barracks are ballrooms.

The palace itself is an imposing structure of sublime symmetry.  Each cardinal path leads to a heavy wooden door carved with intricate details recounting the deeds of past Princes.  Each corner of the palace is adorned with a vine-trellised tower, and a great central spire rises up from which the Princes can gaze over the plains.

The rest of the “upper city” has largely been converted to gardens.  A few of the old barracks remain to house the palace guards, groundskeepers and other palace staff who do not reside within the keep.

 

Of a somewhat exciting note, as of this post, the Brief Guide to the Imperial Provinces now exceeds over 20,000 words!  The average length of a Campaign Mastery post.  

More French Rev Stuff

I’m not usually into more modern settings for Role Playing Games (and have a particular dislike of Steampunk because everything ‘steampunk’ that is not Thief: the Dark Project is just so disappointing in comparison), but my French Revolution reading has piqued my interest in the idea of a game set in the maelstrom of the French Revolution.

There is so much going on, so many factions, so many possible classes and opportunity for adventure and intrigue.

Rather than “race”, one would fall into one of the political alignments of the day. Ironically “Noble” would not be one of these catagories, because, while by and large members of the 1st estate were royalists, there were members who fell across the political spectrum. Same with the 2nd estate. Higher ranking clergymen tended to be royalists, while the local curates, who were often poor, sympathized with the people.

A character would therefore choose one alignment; these could change throughout the course of the game as events progress, but players would need to be wary that any shift in political alignment could instantly put their character in mortal danger.

Royalist
Royalists support the Ancient Regime. They are members of the court, nobles, ranking ecclesiastics, officers in the army, or simply loyal subjects. They hate any and all republican factions and will do anything in their power to thwart them. They also hate the constitutional monarchists, but will work with monarchists who are sympathetic to or loyal to the King if it suits their needs or is necessary for their safety or safety of the Royal Family. Royalists may either remain with the court, be in the provinces, or be part of the emigrant army waiting to liberate the Bourbons.

Constitutional Monarchists
The Constitutional Monarchists wish to do away with the worst oppression of old feudalism, but love the king and feel that a benevolent monarchy is far preferable to vulnerable republicanism or violent and anarchic democracy. For these people, the rule of law, maintenance of peace, and preservation of the kingdom of France are important above all else. These will typically be enlightened nobles, intellectual middle class, and non-noble members of the clergy. The would work with the Royalists if the Royalists did not insist on thwarting their cause. They desire to see the King and his family preserved, despite being hated by the Royals and the Court. They disagree with the Girondists, but fear the violence of the Jacobins more.

Girondists
Civil Republicans, the Girondists have had it with Feudalism, had it with nobles, had it with the intrigues the court has instigated against the people of the nation and are ready to be done with Kings. They do not, however, advocate public disorder and acts of mob violence, nor do they wish to see the heads of their enemies on pikes. The Jacobins are as much their enemy as the aristocracy, for they threaten the peace and stability of revolutionary government.

Jacobins
The Jacobins are the voice of the mob, anarchists and democrats who have seized upon the chaos and anger of the common man to foment acts of destruction and violence in the name of the revolution. Not content to be rid of Nobles and Aristocrats, Jacobins’ class warfare extends to the rising middle class as well. The Jacobins are the mortal enemy of the Royalists, Constitutional Monarchs, as well as the more moderate republican Girondists. Jacobins’ superior numbers and use of mob violence make them most powerful and dangerous faction, though even within this group, there is a great deal of distrust.
Within these political distinctions, characters would chose roles, whether as delegates, courtiers, courier, commoner/professional, commoner/farmer, demagogue, publisher, soldier, etc. etc. and try to navigate their way through the revolutionary turmoil.  Can you survive, or even thrive, in the chaos?  Will you end up in a foreign dungeon or sent to the Guillotine?  Will you die in your bed like Mirabeau or will you be stabbed in the heart by a hot chick like Marat?