on the state of Argrathi affairs
is an Emperor on the throne of Dara Happa; his name is Eremdaivu
the Golden. According to reports from trade sources, he was in the
position of Golden Proxy for the last Red Emperor incarnation when
he disappeared and has since passed the Ten Tests of Dara Happa
but not the Acceptance Codex of the Lunar Synod required to be named
Red Emperor, he is missing many of the "parts" they require
as proof. As a result, though he rules from his golden throne in
Raibanth, he is not accepted as Red Emperor and has a seat, not
a sovereign position on the Ordanestyum, the ruling council of the
entire Empire that sits in Glamour. Rinliddi and Carmania refuse
to acknowledge his rule, as does Sylila and Darjiin. They all maintain
the increasing fiction that they support the Lunar Empire but await
the return of the Red Emperor, even though it has been 6 years.
The Tripolis do acknowledge Eremdaivu for he has passed the tests
so much of the Heartlands are in his power. Eremdaivu is known to
be tough minded and responsible but neither a great general nor
a potent magician. The Provinces and their troubles hold little
sway for him right now, as he is more concerned with the control
of Rinliddi, Doblian and Oronin as well as the threat of the nomads
independent under Shah Avanshar the Liberator and has conquered
most of the western parts of Doblian and Oronin as well as controlling
much of Brolia and Anadikki. Avanshar came from Charg when the Ban
came down and is Shah of a resurgent Neo-Carmania Empire that has
powerful armies and control of the Sweet Sea. Word of ferocious
wars in Fronela indicates that Carmanian power will not be a great
factor in Heartland diplomacy at the moment, though if her attention
turned to the east, her armies would be formidable.
deified the Paradisal Aviator; Merkinoros the Iron Wing and has
become a militarised state to defend itself from the nomads occupying
much of Oraya.
declared its Satrap as the Manimat of Darjiin and announced that
it will only accept the rule of the Red Emperor. It is currently
skirmishing with Sylila over the Dara-Ni region and watches the
hell city of Alkoth with strong forces in case of an attack from
their ancestral enemies who have already made demonstrations against
The Sable riders
of the Hungry Plateau have become independent of the Empire once
more as their Satrapy revolted beneath them with the fall of the
Red Emperor. Several assaults on their plateau have failed and they
are still a force to be reckoned with, however they are effectively
isolated from events thanks to the hostility of the Kostaddi.
Sylila is our
truest foe currently, they have orchestrated a campaign of aggrandisement
that has seen their lands expand and their vassal states take over
wide expanses of territory from the old Provincial kingdoms and
Sylila Pardidas the Axebringer
The long ruling
scion of House Erriounit is reputed as something of a dandy for
his brilliant white clothes, shining Carmanian armour and elegantly
waxed moustache. He is also a famous hunter, cavalier and general,
as comfortable sleeping under the stars on an icy hillside as holding
court in his splendid palace in Jillaro. Pardidas has earned his
war name, 'Axebringer', from his recent conquests and militarisation
of Sylila. While professing undying loyalty to the Empire, Pardidas
has refuted claims that Eremdaivu the Golden is his Emperor for
Sylila never gave obeisance to the Solar Emperor, only to the Red
Emperor, which everyone agrees, that Eremdaivu is not. Therefore
though he will not struggle against the Empire or declare himself
independent, he continues his search for the Red Emperor and conducts
his own policy. The Provinces have naturally attracted his attention
and with the positioning of his own family in all the key spots
within the Provincial Government, Pardidas has attained hegemony
over the entire region.
to unify the rule of Saird and Sylila under his son, Ingkotarm,
when he dies, creating a Sylilan dominated empire in the Provinces.
This has long been the dream and goal of Sylilan policies in the
region and it appears that without Argrathi interference his strategy
will likely bear fruit.
of Sylila Pardidas Ironsides
Brother of Axebringer,
both were named after their father but usually the younger Pardidas
is usually known to all as' Ironsides'. Though not the heir to the
Satrapy he has the title of War Prince of Sylila and is a grim,
burly and utterly ill tempered man of great military experience
and skill. Ironsides is famous for his love of the infantry of Sylila's
armies and has campaigned incognito as a common foot soldier many
times, much to the despair of the courtiers and his teachers over
the years. Word among the Imperials of the Sylilan court is that
Ironsides is a throwback to the days of barbarity and baseness and
many in Sylilan elite circles are more enamoured of his young nephew,
Inkgotarm for his grace and rulership skills. Ironside's love of
battle and his understanding of infantry tactics have earned him
the command of the Sylilan Royal Army that is currently based in
Kistium facing the Darjiini hosts. Ironside's is also a disciple
of the War Bear aspect of Odayla and commands a small army known
as the Iron Band of likeminded warriors of the traditional Odayling
fighting cult and the newer Moon Bear faith.
King of Saird,
Heir of Sylila Ingkotarm the EverReady
Eldest son of
Pardidas, Ingkotarm is the premier hero of Sylila, since a boy of
8 Ingkotarm has been heroquesting to add or discover powers within
himself or to take them from others. Pardidas has long prepared
his son to become King of Saird, and has had a thousand priests,
heroquesters and scholars working for twenty years to aid him and
prepare him for this endeavour. Known as the EverReady, Ingkotarm
is a deadly warrior and well-schooled ruler. He can be expected
to make few mistakes and even fewer mistakes twice. However, his
strength is not in his sword arm, formidable though that skill is,
it is in his magic. He has a dozen or more heroic weapons and artefacts
that make him invulnerable to mundane assault and his magical defences
are comparable to an entire regiment of mages.
Overseer Pardikot Mindtrap
The fourth child
of the Satrap, Pardikot is a sage and explorer of knowledge, a man
of great curiosity and esoteric wisdom, magic and power. Pardikot
is quite young but he was born of Pardidas and Erendana the Great
Thinker, high scholar of Irripi Ontor in Jillaro as part of the
Divine Potentials project. Erendana manifested Irripi Ontor in a
perverse Lunar ritual while Pardidas heroformed Odayla All Knowing
to create a unique blend of Lunar insight and Odaylan practical
thinking in their Demigod child. Pardikot was thus born complete
with some impressive skills that he has honed for the last 25 years.
His position of Provincial Overseer is a puppet role but also an
education in politics and rule enforced by Pardidas over the objections
of his brilliant son who would rather be buried in esoteric knowledge.
popular in Mirin's Cross for his liberal policies and support for
expensive state projects that have seen great wealth freely dispensed
in the city. However, he is not Appius Luxius in style or substance
and the administrative systems of the Provincial Government are
resistant to his family's assumption of power. Some of them even
covertly oppose his rule.
of the Provincial Church Gwaerida Roadlayer
One of the new
gods born of Pardidas and a carefully bred Lunar heroine of the
Deezola cult, Gwaerida is third child of Pardidas. She is beautiful
and cruel, cunning and forceful. Her recent take-over of the Provincial
Church has seen many of the old guard crucified or exiled and a
series of reforms instituted designed to make the Church more militant
and less forgiving of the worship of other deities. The High Priestess
has lost much support among the Provincials for her aggressive ways
but those that do support the lunar way have become even more fanatical
in their dedication to it. Funds have been directed her way by the
Provincial Overseer for the formation of an active and professional
Provincial Field Magical force similar to the Imperial College of
Magic. That and the formation of Church Soldier units to enforce
her edicts has meant the Provincial Church has had a direct input
in military matters for the first time since its inception.
The New Gods
Church and the Satrapy of Sylila had been working for years on a
special project called the Divine Potentials or colloquially - the
New Gods. The basic premise is to create demigods that will serve
the Empire as heroic warriors and leaders, cult figures that will
be born with great powers and skills in place that then develop
other skills an abilities with experience or enhance their initial
advantages. To that end a decades old breeding program was instituted
using heroformed deities as the parents in highly enhanced and complex
ceremonies. The product of the third generation of this great experiment
is now leading the Sylilan and Provincial forces against us, including
several members of the Sylilan house and the Provincial Government.
Rumours of elite units of lesser scions of the project have been
heard for some time in the Provinces, though they have yet to have
been seen in action.
Kingdom of Saird has become a powerful entity within the Provinces,
with something like 700,000 people or more and a great deal of wealth
and military potential. King Ingkotarm is popular and heroic and
his support of various Sairdite institutions that have long been
repressed by the Kingdoms that had carved up Saird has created a
strong bond of loyalty to the new King. The Jajalaring minority
have also given him their loyalty and serve as a source of troops
for his rapidly expanding army.
is the capital of Saird and the Lunar Provincial Government. It
is a large city verging on a metropolis and rests on the raised
wedge of rock between the Oslir River and the Black Eel River. The
Daughter's Road cuts through the city on it's way to Filichet from
Jillaro. The city is ancient, it was established by the Dara Happans
as a religious city called New Nivorah during the first age, was
taken over by the Orlanthi and became Domanand the Dragon Slayer
city during the second age when it was home to the great Kings of
Saird and waged stubborn but fruitless war against the EWF. Once
conquered by the EWF it became a centre for trade and the regional
capital for the EWF but with the fall of the Empire of Wyrms Friends
the city once more passed into Sairdite control and served as a
mustering point for the True Golden Horde. After the Dragon Kill
it was capital of the Orlanthi land of Saird that eventually fell
to the ambitions of Sylila when the Conquering Daughter took the
city by creating a magical crystal bridge over the Black Eel that
still stands today. The defeated King of the Cynnelfing Alliance
against Hwarin Dalthippa was spirit bound as protector for the bridge
and still guards it. With the onset of Lunar power in the area,
the city served once more as a focal point for the expanding military
campaigns in Dragon Pass. Now, once more it is the seat of the King
of Saird. He has commissioned a great palace-citadel upon the northern
shore of the Black Eel to mark the occasion and has progressed with
the construction of new walls and defences for his capital that
were begun by the last Provincial Overseer.
the death of Appius Luxius, the long serving Provincial Overseer,
the Provincial Government has increasingly become a commonwealth
facilitating body rather than a state organisation. It fulfils the
role of ensuring smooth trade negotiations, land allocations and
mutual defence between the various Provinces. However, since the
effective domination of the Provinces by the House of Sylila, it
has in point of fact become a puppet of the Satrap and a slave to
his ambitions. There are several elements within the Provincial
Government that resent this but they have little cohesion or power
to change affairs in the face of overwhelming Sylilan hegemony.
Army has also ceased to be an effective unified force. Though the
Provincial Battle College in Mirin's Cross still trains troops in
the modern Lunar way, the Provincial Army officer corps has few
troops to command it that are not assigned to local armies and increasingly
is finding that the officers are loosing their loyalty to the Provincial
Army higher ideals and returning to their cultural and ethnic roots
for recognition and opportunities of promotion.
Church has adopted a new role in the last two years, a far more
militant and hard line policy that has seen a series of pogroms
against suspected Orlanth practitioners that has stirred up religious
hatred as never before in the Provinces. To further that aim the
Church has been pouring its not inconsiderable fiscal resources
into providing its own troops and heroes to further the cause. These
fanatics are finding the troubled times a suitable recruiting ground
but their extreme activities are fanning the flames of rebellion
among the die hard Orlanthi who have up till now kept many practices
by disguising them or cloaking them with less offensive deities.
These now are also anathema.
Since the disastrous
civil war in the early 1600s and the annexation of large amounts
of territory by Vanch and Holay, Imther was both weakened politically
and militarily but was imbued with a yearning for retribution. Young
King Arkrath the Warrior has resurrected ancient Imtherian heroic
practices and become a stanch ally of the Sylilan Hegemony. Thanks
to the support it has given to the creation of Saird, Imther has
received control of many of its old lands, such as New Lolon and
Hortugarth. This support is not without a price however. Imtherian
troops are present in the Sairdite army as allies and the kingdom
is armed for war in a way that it has not seen for centuries.
rules Holay from the ancestral city of Filichet, long considered
the core of the Holayan peoples. Holaya was the founding heroine
of Holay in the Second Age and held her throne against Verenmars
Dragonslayer of Saird, the greatest warrior king in Sairdite history.
Holay has a long history of antipathy towards Saird and has resisted
the recreation of Saird, holding several items of that broken nation's
regalia in their vaults including the War Hound battle banner and
the Gloves of the Stone Man that allow a mortal to hold the Net
of Souls, a Jajagappan artefact. These items were stolen and handed
over to Ingkotarm by Anashayla, younger sister to Queen Karsalla,
the Queen of Mirin's Cross and Deezola priestess. Anashayla the
Traitoress has been offered the throne of all Holay by King Ingkotarm
of Saird in return for her aid and support. She maintains a small
but loyal army of lunarised Holayans and has her greatest support
in the north of the Queendom.
appears to have thrown her weight behind the Argrathi but is clearly
concerned at her people being the front line in a rapidly widening
of Vanch has seen its fortunes diminish greatly since the death
of Appius Luxius. The formation of Saird at the behest of the new
Provincial Governor saw much of their lands annexed and the support
given Imther in the Provincial Assembly saw Vanch forced to hand
back the lands taken from Imther during the civil war. Vanch is
now a rump state returned to its ancient tribal and cultural boundaries
around Bihky and the Vanch Hills. The Empire or more precisely,
the Sankenites who are ancient allies of Vanch and never forget
a debt are guaranteeing their independence. Even Sylila does not
care to risk battle with the hoplites of Sanken for there are none
tougher or more stalwart.
control a significant trading and monetary Empire that extends across
the Empire, they have access to funds of seemingly limitless scope
and may be a source of revenue at a favourable rate should they
be assisted in reclaiming their lost lands.
between Winter and Summer tribe Aggar is more than just a cultural
one, it is also religious. The Summer tribes have accepted the Lunar
way wholeheartedly over the years while the more traditional Winter
tribes have clung to many Orlanthi ways, especially when the agents
of the Provincial Church were elsewhere. Now that Argrath Storm
Maker has gained the throne, the division is clear and one that
will likely only be sealed in blood. Northern Aggar was once part
of Saird and those lands, revenues and forces have been lost to
Aggar when Saird was reformed three years ago. Old King Rascius
is said to be infirm and unable to protect his realm as before,
however others have taken on the role with the old king as a figurehead.
Sandor Redsword, Champion of Aggar and Glittering Scimitar of the
Tarnils branch of the Provincial Church has assumed the role of
Warlord of Aggar and commands those forces remaining to the King.
He has raised the warbanners of the lunarised tribes and called
on monies and troops from the Provincial Government and Church.
To date, only the Church has responded with any help but it is not
insignificant and the magical forces Warlord Sandor has to call
on are not lacking, nor is his fanaticism. He promises to be a difficult
control of Prax and the Zola Fel river valley by a policy of encouraging
the nomads to pursue their ancient history of raid and small-scale
war while promoting settlement in the valley and trade through Corfu.
Currently much of Whitebull's free resources are going into funding
the war effort against the Empire, he has not held back or been
stinting in his part.
themselves have been quite as some rumours come from the deep wastes
of great rituals and quests designed to awaken the ancient magics
of Genert and his hero Tada. It is unknown how true or resultant
such rumours are.
King Ketil the
Fearless of the Bilini is a man beset by foes. Since the defeat
of the Chaos horde in 1625 and the subsequent war against the Empire
in 1630 which saw the death of King Oddi the Keen and the loss of
many Bilini warriors, Ketil has worked on maintaining the peace
and protecting his fragile borders. Though a doughty warrior, he
will not risk his people in a great war or risky venture. He is
an Orlanthi but while Dorastor sits on his borders, a festering
pit of enmity and hate, he will not march is fyrds away to war elsewhere.
Should Dorastor be removed as a threat then he can face Lakrene
and western Sylila without fear.
High King of the Lakrenea is covetous of the Bilini lands and their
great sheep herds that supply much of the wool for the Lakrenea's
vast loom industry. He is concerned that a war with the Orlanthi
will leave his looms bereft of wool and thus his people destitute
and himself unable to pay the loans to the Sylilan Cartels that
have allowed his ambitious building program in Voranel.
The hard core
conservative Orlanthi of the Talastari tribes, the Skanthi are stubborn
hillmen and foresters. They acknowledge no great tribal kings but
operate as a group of clans held together by a mutual faith and
hearty dislike of foreign influences. Typically they feud and raid
each other constantly but unite under the priests, devotees and
disciples at the great Skanthi temple at Oxhead, their only settlement
that might be classed as a city. Many heroic warleaders gather their
own personal bands to fight, raid the lowlanders and assail chaos
in Dorastor, many grow large and take over or form clans, others
wither or die in pitiless battle.
the Skanthi as a people will be impossible but it is likely that
many of their warriors and heroes will be attracted by the promise
of booty and glory in wars against the Empire, a power they have
had to ignore due to the power of it's arms.
Aside from the
three citadel cities of the Balazaarings, the land of Balazaar is
poor and lightly populated. However, the Balazaarings have strong
shamans and hunters, a number of decent fighting men and an abiding
hatred of the Lunars who occupied Elkoi, their greatest citadel.
They could prove allies if approached the right way and if their
land were unified under one ruler loyal to the Argrathi.
The cult of
Yelmalio is strong there and agents of Ogunjar may have been active
in the region for Sota Lamplighter has yet to preach his Doctrine
The lands on
the western bank of the Arcos river have increasingly come under
the sway of the growing power of the Kingdom of Estvenor ruled by
the chevalier King Loris Debarden. This land is of semi-pastoralists
and farmers who are allied firmly with the Elder Wilds elves that
seek to return the region and the Elf Sea to its former glory as
an Aldryami homeland. The Estvenori are known of little in the region
of Holay though some traders claim they have superb heavy, medium
and light cavalry as well as deadly archers armed with bows made
by elven artifice and magic for human wielders. Whether these tales
are true or not, it is beyond doubt that in the last 10 years they
have absorbed many of the small clans and tribes commonly known
as the Zarcosians into their hegemony.
paid the Estvenori to allow the Pentan nations through their lands
to wage war on the Empire and his negotiators said they worked a
hard bargain and gave nothing for free.
The realm of
Sharpsword includes Volsaxiland as well as Karse, the Rightarm Isles,
Three Step Isles and all of northern and central Heortland. Sharpsword
has considerable fleet assets, estimated at close to 100 war hulls
with which he is dominating trade along the southern Genertelan
coast and in Choralinthor Bay. All grain and goods shipments from
Esrolia to foreign lands are controlled by Sharpsword. The Protector
of the Holy Country as he likes to be known has a strong land army
and contributes significant forces to the war against the Empire.
However these troops, though of high quality, are but a tithe of
his true strength. He has a well trained core of professionals,
mercenaries, marines and Huscarls to back up his militia and fyrds
when called. All are well equipped with decent armour and weapons.
The main opposition
to his domination of the region comes from Archduke Gerard of Mt
Passant who refuses to pay Sharpsword his trade tithes. Gerard also
has a strong army and is building a navy in the God Forgot Islands,
Vizel and Refuge, his main harbours. The integration of the God
Forgoti into his domain has seen Gerard's strength increase greatly
and the renewed faith of the God Forgoti who now call themselves
the Remembered has seen his realm become a serious potential problem
for Sharpsword. The Archduke is the Secular leader of the Aeolian
Church and has demanded that Sharpsword remove the Rokari Church
representative from his position as Archbishop of Heortland in Duchamp.
The Rokari are strong supporters of Sharpsword, so this is another
source of conflict.
The Kitori of
the Troll Woods are also opponents of Sharpsword and retain their
independence of his power. Sharpsword counts them as part of his
lands and has begun to array forces against them.
The five great
Sun dome Temples of the Saird region have formed an alliance under
the command of their Supreme Polemarch Ogunjar Straightarm. Ogunjar
has heroquested to prove himself Palangio the Conqueror and has
gained many articles of power to back up those claims. The Pentaverate
operates as an autonomous body within the Provinces but are backing
Saird and Sylila in their war against the Argrathi. This is doubly
the case now that the Argrathi have identified their cause with
that of Sota Lamplighter, considered the great anti-prophet of the
Yelmalio religion by the Pentaverate. The Pentaverate believe that
Yelmalio is a name for the High Sun, a mystical deity once known
as Daysenarus. Since his defeat in the Gbaji wars, Daysenarus has
been almost forgotten, but Ogunjar and others have resurrected him
and seek a return to past glories.
The army of
the Pentaverate is a strong one, with many Phalangites and specialist
troops of great skill and experience. Ogunjar has been leading phalanxes
for twenty years, almost all on campaign and is one of the foremost
infantry generals of the age.
The Troll Queendoms
of Dagori Inkarth have increased their activity with the Argrathi
of late, they are particularly friendly to Argrath Storm Maker who
is considered a great Troll friend. Troll mercenaries are potential
hires for the wars in Saird and it is likely that if approached
in the right manner, an army could be gained from the Uz.
The plans and
portents of Cragspider are unknown at the present. The Firewitch
is as inscrutable as she is powerful. However, it has been seen
that her Great Troll bodyguard has reached the largest size it has
seen since the 1300s and many more trollkin and dark trolls have
been seen training in arms in Crabtown and around Cliffhome. A great
store of weapons and armour has been gathered in the mountain fastness,
but to what purpose, it is unclear.
are increasingly remote from Esrolian affairs. Their intercourse
with all outside groups has been distant of late and their hostility
toward Sharpsword and his Protectorate has been quite overt. The
Shadowlands council have long held plans secret to humans and we
do not think that their silence is that of inaction.
behind the Argrathi Alliance, the Queendoms of Esrolia are still
rife with division and infighting. The Warlords of Porthomeka are
still a threat, gaining in strength since their recent land gains
and the barbarians to the west are as fond of raiding the fertile
Esrolian fields as ever. Other recent concerns have been the sudden
disappearance of many farms and small villages at the edge of the
Arstola forest. It seems that the forest expanded over night and
those communities within the new boundary have ceased to exist and
their occupants have failed to appear anywhere. Strong bodies of
Aldryami troops have been seen patrolling the area aggressively.
The long war
and the commitment of many of their best men has drained the Grazers.
Some hostility to his persistent support for Maniskisson, his lifelong
friend, has arisen for Jandetin the Luminous Stallion King. Karndaro
the Leaper, chieftain of the Queens Post confederation of clans
has proved the most staunch opponent of Jandetin's policy and seeks
instead a return to the isolationist ways of his ancestors to let
his people regain their strength. The Feathered Horse Queen is wife
of Maniskisson and while she rules the women and Jandetin the men,
there will be no shift in policy from the Grazers, their continued
support in the war is guaranteed.
by the forces of Mularik, the northern part of Tarsh, especially
the lowlands is strongly lunarised with many Provincial Church priests
and sympathisers to remove from their positions of power. This process
will take time, even for one as ruthless as Mularik. If there is
a shift in the fortunes of battle for the Argrathi forces, it can
be expected that we will see rebellions and unrest in this region.
of Tarsh will likely remain pacified due to the almost complete
eradication of the lunarised population in the various battles around
Bagnot, Goldedge and Furthest. Fazzursson is working hard to cement
his control over the rest of the land, especially the truculent
Mellmuri in the east.
is bled white from the wars and badly needs a reprieve. The stress
of so many years of conflict has manifested in an increase in brigandage,
raid and tribal conflicts. The most pressing is the dispute between
the Colymar tribe and the Malani over the long fought over Afritha
Vale. Both tribes have brought their supporters into the feud and
it threatens to become more widespread should the High King not
resolve the issue.
The Prince of
Far Point, Orgovalt, has issued warning that the chaos in Snakepipe
Hollow is disturbingly active, more so than has been seen since
the initial lunar invasion in 1602. Many steads and caravans have
been raided, the Dwarfs have even begun to patrol the Tarsh road
The chaos land
is always and unknown quantity but recently the Unicorn Emperor
form of Ralzakark the Chaos Lord has been seen outside the traditional
borders of his lands leading warbands from his trained Broo army.
Other odd news concerns the sudden absence of many of the teeming
feral broo that usually bedevil the Bilini and Skanthi. All the
clansmen on the borders of the chaos land have talked about it but
no answer has yet been given. Speculation ranges from Ralzakark
sacrificing them to the return of the Sky Terror.
declared himself king of the Talastari two years ago and he has
been fighting to enforce his claim ever since. With him were many
Aramnites, the Black Horse Troop and his own army of followers,
many from his days as Prince of Far Point. His questing to name
himself Lokamayadon reborn seems to have succeeded and the last
Talastari resistance to his power was crushed early in 1634. Southern
Anadiki also fell to his forces. The Provincial Government has recognised
his rule as legitimate and he in turn has recognised the authority
of the Provincial Overseer, making Talastar a Province for the first
time. Harvar is now consolidating his rule, bringing errant clans
has created a new Black Horse county in eastern Tenlingland and
western Rist with the blessing of Sylila and the defeat of the Tenling
by his forces and Harvar's. Many of his people from his now abandoned
lands in Dragon Pass made the trek with him, as did a great mass
of weapons, treasures and building materials. All reports indicated
that the foundations for a new Muse Roost have been laid and a new
city temple for Ethilrist is well underway.