Limitless Worlds

Limitless Worlds

Friday, May 26, 2017

Three Hundred Years' War - Ruthen

A procession in Qazan for a local boyar
RUTHEN

Ruthen was originally formed of disparate peoples - ancestors of the Osmanli, the Gilded Imperium and the Noreg were all wanderers and allied with native Ruthenians into the hard-scrabble nation of Rut'. The nation rose to prominence, but roughly 2000 years ago was overthrown by Hobgoblin Khans from the Tsagadaina Steppes who ruled over the land for centuries. Eventually, a man known as Ivaan rose up and united the remnants of Rut' and struck back against the Khans. Their subsequent victory caused the formation of the Tsardom of Ruthen, and Ivaan 'the Great' was crowned their first Tsar.

RECENT EVENTS

Despite its size and power, few people from either Europa or Asiwai journey to Ruthen, so few know of their struggles. When Ivaan's grandson, Ivaan II, ascended the throne, he was unstable and mentally disturbed. He sent Ruthen's armies out to expand and conquer in near endless wars - mainly against Noreg and the Lekhitian-Tuvian Commonwealth - and he created a 'realm of the Tsar', which was an administrative district he owned that consolidated all the wealthy boyars of the country, leaving most of the country poor and starving. After his death, a line of pretenders tried to adjudicate to the throne and Ruthen was thrown into dissension, rebellion and civil war backed by foreign powers. This time became known as the "Time of Troubles," and only ended roughly 30 years ago when Tsar Mikhail rose to power after being elected by a congress of Ruthen nobles. Though Ruthen has calmed down, Tsar Mikhail is still struggling to get the weary nation back on its feet.

LAY OF THE LAND

Ruthen is a diverse and sprawling land. Two major rivers run through it - the Dnepr to the west, which forms a natural border with The Lekhitian-Tuvian Commonwealth; and the Bosra, which is a main artery that runs from the massive Qazan Lake across the north of the country, dividing it from Noreg. The lands to the west are mostly deciduous forest that bleed into taiga the further north you go, and rising lands that turn into steppes to the south. Ruthen is divided from Asiwai by the Uralskiye Mountains, a northern branch of the Ximalayas. Large cities are few and far between - Moskva, Qazan and Novgor all lie along the Bosra at different intervals. The rest of the country is small villages or towns in their oblasts, and vast tracks of beast-haunted lands. The land remains cold year-round throughout, but can plummet to freezing at the height of winter.

POLITICS AND DIVISIONS

Ruthen is ruled over by the Tsar of All Ruthen, Mikhail Romanvy, and he has total autocratic power - though Tsar Mikhail is considered a kind and understanding tsar. The country is divided into dozens of oblasts, each ruled by a prince, duke, baron or boyar - collectively called dvoryanstavo. Despite the years of the Time of Troubles, Ruthen government maintained relatively strong due to the large amount of bureaucracy in it. That said, their government is rather strict - few people are allowed to migrate from their residencies, and serfdom is not only encouraged, but any who escaped it are considered fugitives. This leads to a strong central state and sparse outlands, which could be a boon as Ruthen is surrounded by enemies such as the Arktos Wastes, Noreg, Lekhitian-Tuvian Commonwealth and Tsagadaina Steppes.

THE PEOPLE OF RUTHEN
A group of cossacks reading a letter from Osmanli


Ruthenians are a diverse peoples. Though they can trace their heritage across most of Europa, they have interbred into a distinct people - broad shouldered, dark haired and stern faced, but possessing a jovial spirit and a true feeling of kinship. Large portions of Ruthen are still rural, so many are either farmers or nomads, but more and more are starting to migrate to the cities. A unique peoples of Ruthen is that of the cossack - groups of autonomous 'mercenaries' that sell their sword for coin and glory. Tsar Mikhail has hired many cossacks to patrol the borders of Ruthen for any threats, and these soldiers are willing, able and more than ready.

NOTABLE LOCATIONS

Moskva - The capital of Ruthen and the largest city in the country with over 150,000 people living here. The city is heavily fortified - surrounded by three walls, possessing numerous citadels called kremlins, and distinctive onion-domed temples with few weak points. Perhaps that's why in spite of multiple invasions and occupations, Moskva still stands proud. Here is also the imperial palace of Tsar Mikhail, one of the most imposing in all Europa.

Qazan - Qazan was once its own nation, conquered by Ivaan II not long before his death. This meant the city was in ruins and had a dwindling population. Over the years it has been built back up and is now a bustling trade port, trading by both land and sea to places such as Osmanli, Noreg and the Gilded Imperium. Still, Qazan is a remnant of what it once was, and its native nomad residents long for their old state.

Novgor - Novgor has always had a rebellious streak, a sprawling city often inhabited by cossacks and nomads who would rather break off into a new nation. However, after a terrible raid from the forces of Corruption, Novgor is considered cursed. While people still live here, it is said voices howl at night and babes here quickly turn to Grendels. Tsar Mikhail always has one eye fixed on this city, in worries it will be raided again.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Three Hundred Years' War - World at Large and Revisions

I've made some changes in how the Three Hundred Years' War setting will play out. Basically, due to work and real life, I don't have enough time to devote to large amounts of research and writing. Instead, I'm going to go to a structured, broad strokes setting like early WFRP did.

To give you a taste of that, below I have listed every country in the Three Hundred Years' War setting and my intentions for it. Below that, I have put the new format that countries will be described in - once again, similar to WFRP 1e. My goal is to hopefully fit each country on a page or two. Also note that these are only for the nations of the setting - I'll have other sections on religion, magic, and history as well.

Europa (Europe)

Albain: Based on England after the Union of the Crowns and in the height of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Unlike WH, the pre-Roman Britain will be restricted to 'Scotland'.

Couronne: Based on France after the French Wars of Religion, especially the Huguenot Wars. Will be much more 'traditional' France rather than Arthurian.

Gilded Imperium: Based on the Holy Roman Empire under Ferdinand II, but with a lot of focus on the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent Thirty Years' War - or its fantasy analogue. Will most likely have a large focus like the Empire did. This will also contain the Sylvania/Transylvania analogue

Noreg: Based on an anachronistic Kalmar Union, set after the Kalmar War with parts of Noreg (aka Sweden) trying to be independent. Sweden will keep the Norsca theme of raiders, while the others will be a more proper 'kingdom.'

Alpenne States: Based on Italy after it was basically split up between Spain and France, with only a few states like Venice and the Papal States. The Papal States will become the religious center of Europa instead of the Gilded Imperium - not a big surprise.

Schwarzlander: Based on the Dutch Republic, it is in the midst of the Eight Years' War for its independence. It'll be a trade state like the Wasteland, but they will have a much more independent streak

Lekhitian-Tuvian Commonwealth: Based on the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, this is my Border Princes analogue. Strangely enough the Thirty Years' War was during the PLC Golden Age, so they'll kind of be a relatively peaceful place aside from internal skirmishing - mainly the Khemelnytskyi Uprisings.

Ruthen: Based on the Russian Tsardom, this will be post-Time of Troubles and the beginning of the legendary Romanovs. It'll be painted as a country trying to get back on its feet, with a little less mysticism than Kislev - though ice magick will still be a thing.

Hespia: Based on Spain during the Habsburgs, Hespia will play a much larger role in the global stage than Estalia did. Not only will they be a center of exploration and trade, but also the seat of the Inquisition (which no one expects). Spain was basically the second most powerful empire in Europe at the time, so I think it deserves to shine.

Non-Humans: Wood Elves will be based on Hungary, High Elves on Portugal, Dwarves on Romania, Halflings on Austria, Gnomes on Romani

Untamed Lands: Eireann is obviously supposed to represent the Kingdom of Ireland, a perfect home for the Fey.

Kibula (Africa)

Osmanli: Based on the Ottoman Empire, this is trying to move away from the 'Islamic Golden Age' weird pastiche that Araby is into the sprawling Turkic empire. This will be set during the Era of Transformation, which saw the Ottomans turn from expansionists into kind of a more bureaucratic state who upheld Islam. Also there will for sure be Barbary pirates

Sonrai Sultanates: A 'new' country, this is basically going to be the remnants of Morocco and the Songhai Empire after both have fallen. They've descended into a bunch of squabbling multiethnic city-states who either fight against each other or try to protect their borders from the undead. This is an attempt to separate the African parts of Araby into their own thing.

Untamed Lands: Bala-Khana is my Badlands analogue, and is supposed to be a mix of Saudi nomads, the Pushtans and the Uzbeks. The Kufu Expanse (and Habesha) is based on Ethiopia, while the Heart of Kibula is supposed to be my Amazon-filled Southlands by way of the Kongolese. The Plateau of Iram is supposed to be Persia, with the Duergar representing the Safavids.

Asiwai (Asia)

Gurkani: Based on Mughal Empire India, specifically under the reign of Shah Jahan (aka the person who built the Taj Mahal). Mughal India is a very interesting time period, as it was both flourishing and under great strife. I hope starting with this I can dissolve some of the weird mysticism that Warhammer has in their Eastern Lands for something more grounded.

Chongzhen: Based on Qing China, Chongzhen will about the transfer of the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty - quite a messy time in Chinese history.

Nihon: Based on Edo Japan, also knwon as the time of samurai, daimyo, ninjas and isolationism. It'll take place after the Sakoku Edict - which basically locked down the country and didn't allow any Japanese citizen to enter or leave.

Untamed Lands: Qingzang Highlands is my Ogre Kingdoms and based on Tibet. Tsagadaina Steppes are Mongolia and the Goblin khans. Chosun Peninsula is Joseon Korea but ruled by the Skrzzak, and the Kerajaan Archipelago is the Majapahit Empire but with more than a hint of Lovecraft and Rl'yeh.

New World (North and South America)

Dinetah Confederation: Much like how Africa never got any consideration in Oldhammer, neither did Native American tribes. My solution to this is the Dinetah Confederation - an association of Native tribes trying to fight back against the Siabra to the north and the Aztlan to the south. They will be based on the five largest Native tribes - Chippewa, Sioux, Cherokee, Navajo and various Latin tribes.

Untamed Lands: Dinetah is supposed to represent colonial America in its imperialism, while Anahuac is the Aztec Triple Alliance during its decline.

New Layout

Here is the new layout for each nation. I am going to go back and revise Couronne in a new post with this format, and then I'll have new stuff in this format from now on.

XXX (Name of country)

Recent Events

Lay of the Land

Politics and Divisions

The People of XXX

Notable Locations

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Three Hundred Years' War - The Untamed Lands


THE UNTAMED LANDS

Beyond the borders of the Gilded Imperium, Chongzhen, Osmanli or one of the other human nations, the world bleeds into dark wilderness where dangerous beings lurk. True, in these places are nascent kingdoms and duchies of humanity trying to carve out a scrabbled existence, but the forces of Corruption, wild beasts and foul Mutants truly hold dominion. These Untamed Lands, as they are called, are ancient and dangerous - but they also hold mystery unknown and treasure unimaginable. Those brave enough to set foot in them rarely come back alive, and those that do are irrevocably changed.



ANAHUAC

Across the Great Ocean lies two massive continents which have only just been 'discovered' - though they have long been occupied. The southernmost continent is known as Anahuac. A land of deep swamps and even deeper jungles, it is believed that it and Kibula used to have once been one single landmass.

Within these dark jungles are the remains of the Aztlan, the chosen children of the Ancient Ones who once seeded our World. Though their empire was once grand and opulent, a terrible war with the Skrzzak has left their temple-cities in ruins, their Tlalocs in prophetic stupors and their power waning. Still they live, warring with Corruption and capturing human slaves to drain their blood into their Tlaloc's rejuvenating pools.

ARKTOS WASTES

Far to the north at the crown of the world, the land flattens into barren cold nothingness. Here are the Arktos Wastes, a landscape of glacial mountains, vast tundras, a midnight sun and howling winds. These lands connect Dinetah, Europa and Asiwai with their bitter cold. Another Arktos Wastes lies far to the south, but that is isolated by oceanic waters.

These Wastes are the most cursed place in the World, as it is here yawns the Rift that leads to the Abyss, altering the landscape with dark magicks. Pouring out from it are demons and beasts of all sorts, and it is here the Abyssal Princes of Chaos gather their hosts to assault the world. Constantly battling for dominance with their armies, they have recently announced their choosing of an Usher, a Bringer of the End. Now, the new Usher journeys the Wastes, rallying troops and tribes for an assault on the World below.

BALA-KHANA

Pushed to the fringes of civilizations lies the stark land of Bala-Khana. Bordered to the east by the Aswiai Sea and surrounded on all other sides by the Osmanli Empire, the veldts of Bala-Khana are stark and vast. Made of mostly rocky veldts, scrub grasslands, muddy rivers and gnarled trees, it is an inhospitable place that is filled with peril.

Though nomadic humans do dwell in Bala-Khana, the overwhelming majority of residents are Orx and Goblins. Spread out among countless WAAAR! Parties and Goblin tribes who have gained a foothold since the Mutant Wars, they fight constantly against each other or attempt to invade Osmanli or any standing Dwarf Holds. Luckily they have been managed to be pushed back to this relatively cut-off piece of land, but it seems more and more of these Mutant menaces arrive in the plains of Bala-Khana day by day.

CHOSUN PENINSULA

Located off the southern coast of Chongzhen, the Chosun Peninsula is a land of misty rainforests, wide swamps and soaring highlands. Isolated by mountains from Chongzhen and by the Aswiai Sea from nearly every place else, on first glance it is seen as nothing more than a untamed wilderness. Upon closer inspect, a much different story is told.

The Chosun Peninsula was once ruled by a spanning human empire whose name has been lost to time. This was until one day, the mysterious Skrzzak began appearing in its sewers and warrens. Over a manner of months, the Skrzzak rapidly multiplied, and with their sickness and might drove the humans out. Now the peninsula is overrun by Skrzzak Kabals, mining the hills and and forests for the copious amounts of buried Wytchstone and spreading their disease. The peninsula also contains the city of Gyeongbukgong: the most densely populated city in the World and the neutral meeting ground of all Broodmothers, making it the 'capital' of the Great Warren.

DINETAH

Across the expanse of the Great Ocean lies two continents that are only now being explored - though they have long been occupied. The northernmost continent is known as Dinetah. A harsh and massive land, the north is covered in tundras and glaciers, before eventually bleeding into mountainous pine forests and harsh desert to the south.

Dinetah is now a haunted land ruled by the cruel Siabra. After the Elven Civil War, the Siabra journeyed west to Dinetah's shores. Once there they built up their massive spire cities, laid waste to the coastlines, and enslaved any human they could find upon the land. Even now their wretched empire is built upon the backs of slave labor, while they lounge in decadence and raid Europa for slaves and supplies all other times.

EIREANN

Of the coast of Europa and only a half day's sail from Albain is the small island of Eireann. Thought to have once been connected to Albain by a land bridge, Eireann is mostly composed of fens, lowlands, dark forests and rolling hills. No humans live here and it would seem unremarkable, but these woods hold dark secrets.

Within this green isle is the largest Coterie of Fey, both Seelie and Unseelie, in the entire World. Several times, large hosts of the Fey have tried to make expeditions onto the mainland, but the forces of Albain have a blockade around the island to strike down any incursions. Few who have ever set foot upon Eireann are ever seen again, their skulls most likely adorning the belts of the cruel and otherworldly Fey. In fact, it is believed that Eireann may be a direct portal to the Black Lodge and the terrors it holds.

PLATEAU OF IRAM

Between the Qafqaz Mountains on the edge of Europa and the majestic Ximalaya Mountains of Aswiai lies the dreaded Plateau of Iram. Once a relatively barren and featureless land, the disaster of the Great Eruption altered the landscape forever. Now the Plateau is covered in a permanent layer of smoke and ash, as the land is rent with steaming rifts, belching volcanoes, tar pits and rivers of oil. Nothing grows in this volcanic land, and breathing is difficult.

These deplorable lands writhe with savage life, however. Orx and Goblins of all stripes clash against each other in endless war, while Grendels dwell within dark caves and valleys. Here is also the dreaded civilization of the Duergar, separated from the bulk of Dwarven civilization after the Great Eruption. They have since succumbed to Corruption inside their massive ziggurats - spending their days either mining for gems, gold and oil to appease their Hell Furnace god, or gearing up their demon-powered war machines for assaults on civilized lands.

KERAJAAN ARCHIPELAGO

The Kerajaan Archipelago is set in the Aswiai Sea, though part of it is also a peninsula attached to the southern end of Chongzhen. Composed of mostly tropical islands and small tributaries, it had long served as a passage of trade from Europa to Aswiai. These islands had remained a wilderness for the longest time, up until the Ogre homelands were destroyed centuries ago.

Now, those Ogres who made a pact with the Witch-Queen to survive dwell in Kerajaan, mutated into the demon-spawned Fomorians. In the depths of the ocean, along the coasts and jutting from atolls are the mind-warping non-Euclidean cities of the Fomorians, where they spend their days worshiping their Crones. When not absorbed in their manic chants, they ply the waterways to ravage ships for treasure, supplies and new captives to breed with. Though other Covens have appeared throughout the oceans of the World, the Kerajaan Archipelago has the greatest concentration.

HEART OF KIBULA

The Heart of Kibula makes up the bulk of the mainland of the continent of Kibula. South of the Expanse of Kufu, the Heart is a dense land full of steaming jungles, raging rivers, soaring mountains and dangerous beasts. It is also a land brimming of natural resources, and has thus garnered the attention of Europa for potential exploitation.

The residents of Kibula are the Amazonian warrior-women, and they are not about to be exploited by 'northerners.' They have spent centuries building up their civilization after their escape from the claws of the Aztlan and will not see it fall to ruin. They regularly mount raids against colonials, deserted pirates and the occasional incursion of Grendel or Orx. Their civilization is a secret, and they intend to keep it as such.


THE KUFU EXPANSE

South of the borders of Osmanli and north of the borders of the Heart of Kibula are the dusty and windswept dunes of the Kufu Expanse. Extending across almost the entire length of northern Kibula, the Expanse is a vast desert whose winds whip like razors, scoring skin and the countless ruins rising out of the sand.

The Kufu Expanse once held the Habesha Empire, believed to be the first true human civilization. However, a being known as the Gilded Pharaoh placed a curse on the lands, turning the entire population of Habesha into undead and ascending to Daemonhood. Now the Kufu Expanse is ruled by decadent Defilers who rally up undead armies from their tomb-cities in order to strike against the lands of Man. The black obelisks and pyramids are tempting though, as they are said to hold massive treasures.

QINGZANG HIGHLANDS

In the heart of the Ximalaya Mountains lies an elvated and vast plateau known as the Qingzang Highlands. Containing some of the highest mountains in the World, it is a land of bitter cold and savage beauty. It has remained untouched for centuries due to its height and isolation from the surrounding landscape.

Deep within the heart of the Highlands lie the remnants of the Ogres, living among petty kingdoms ever since their original homelands were destroyed centuries ago. They constantly feud over food and land, but this may be due to years of conflict with the Asiwai lands surrounding them. They often also raid the Great Eastern Road that serves as a trade artery between Europa, Kibula and Asiwai, so the kingdoms are despised by humanity. There are many massive ruins within the Highlands, as they were also once the home of the Nephilim before their exile.

TSAGADAINA STEPPES

North past the heights of the Ximalaya Mountains and only a day or two from the Arktos Wastes lies the Tsagadaina Steppes. A land of rolling plains, grasslands and bitter cold hills, it is believed this was the birth place of the noble horse. The land has little to offer except grass and stone, so few humans dwell here.

The vast majority of the Steppes are ruled by Hobgoblins and their goblin tribes. Divided between multiple Khans who claim to be the most powerful Hobgoblin, they spend their days launching raids to the south to attempt to take Chongzhen - a land they see as their birth right. This conflict has been going on for so long that Chongzhen has constructed a massive wall to their north to block off the advancing hordes. Even with this, the assaults continue almost nonstop.

OUTRO

Sorry for not having a post for a handful of days, as real world work has been swamping me. I decided to take a different approach here that will kind of forecast how I'm taking the Three Hundred Years' War. Much like the old version of WFRP 1e, I'm leaving these 'untamed lands' with broad strokes and mystery for a GM to fill on their own. That doesn't mean these places will not go undescribed - instead of giving them full 'nation' treatments, they'll be expounded upon in a sizable timeline, also similar to WFRP 1e. I am also thinking of going back and revising the layout of some posts, but I want to do a 'new' nation first before I go altering things rashly. Anyway, hope you enjoy this one!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Three Hundred Years' War - Dwarven Holds and Vechiul Regat

Bucuresti, the old dwarven capital of Vechiul Regat
VECHIUL REGAT

Not long after the Rifts first appeared in the Arktos Wastes, migrating up from the grasslands of Kibula were the Dwarves. A short, squat, and taciturn people, they migrated northward in search for a permanent home - as well as to escape the swarms of Goblins and Orx that seemed to explode after Corruption's inception. Eventually, they stumbled upon what is now known as the Stara Mountains. They found it to be a good defensible position against their hated Mutant enemies, as well as a land of mineral resources, so they began their settlement.

What started as small villages in caves eventually turned into mining cities and towns among the stoney heights of the Staras. However, they were still beset on all sides by their enemies, and it seemed every village they built soon fell. This was until they allied with the massive civilization of the Elves, who had journeyed east during their exploration of the World.

The two found allies in each other - the Elves helped provide military aid and their powerful magics, while Dwarves provided their craftsmanship and natural resources. As time went on, however, the Elves became more demanding and gave little back to the Dwarves. Eventually the Dwarves united under a charismatic craftsman named Basarab, who revolted against the Elves and caused the century long War of Broken Hammers between them. When the dust settled, the Elves (fractured by their own civil war) retreated, leaving the Dwarves of the Stara Mountains independent, but depleted. With exhausted fanfare, Basarab declared himself the first Voivoide of Vechiul Regat - the Dwarven kingdom.

Lands affected by the Great Eruption
THE AGE OF STRIFE AND THE MUTANT WARS


Worried for his people, Voivoide Basarab began to make sweeping changes to his new empire in order to keep their strength without the help of the Elves over the 200 years of his reign. Unfortunately, most of these ideas were misguided, and the era is commonly referred to by Dwarven scholars as the Age of Strife.

One of the first things Basarab did was enslave a race of beings local to the Stara Mountains, who called themselves Gnomes. These Gnomes had awesome mechanical prowess, and were forced to create machinery that even today has not found an equal. Dwarves didn't abuse the Gnomes as much as they could, but they still lived in squalor for no pay and little prospects. Basarab then declared that every Dwarven Hold - whether they be small or large - be ruled by a noble called a Boyar. While a seemingly innocuous idea, Basarab installed his children in all the positions, leading to rivalries and jealousy.

This all came to a head when a long-extinct volcano near Bucuresti exploded - the resulting Great Eruption left Basarab dead, a cloud of darkness and ash permanently covering the desert of Iram, a gullet opening to the Great Warren of the Skrzzak and an in-roads for Orx to better assault Vechiul Regat. The Boyars began civil infighting on who would next be Voivoide, and it seemed as if the Dwarves were nearing extinction.

The Siege of Hateg, a major turning point in the Mutant Wars
This all changed when Karolus - the first Emperor of the Gilded Imperium - approached the Dwarves. He too hated the Orx and wished to aid the Dwarves in driving them from their lands, but he needed a strong leader. No Boyar would speak up, but an old blacksmith from Bucuresti named Mihai offered to step up. Amused, Karolus dubbed him Mihai the Brave, and a friendship formed. Over the next decade, the forces of the Gilded Imperium and Vechiul Regat fought against the Goblins, Orx, and Skrzzak in the Mutant Wars, eventually driving them back into Iram.

While Mihai was crowned by Karolus as the new Voivoide, he was wise enough to know the Dwarven kingdom could never fully recover from the Great Eruption and the Mutant Wars - many Holds had fallen, countless Dwarves had already migrated into safer mountains west and north, and Bucuresti needed massive repairs. As a final act, Mihai the Brave freed the Gnomes from slavery before declaring that he was Voivoide in only name - the glory of Vechiul Regat now long gone.

A Dwarven Boyar headed to war
LAY OF THE LAND

Though Bucuresti still thrives within the Stara Mountains despite the ages, few full Dwarven Holds are found in Stara anymore. Some have migrated west to the Alpennes, others have settled in the Gilded Imperium, and others have travelled north to Noreg. The largest Holds are massive underground cities - story-tall vaulted ceilings, massive causeways and buildings of stone, and architecture that dates back thousands of years. The smallest Holds are little more than mining camps, with only a dozen families within them.

Each Hold is ruled by a Boyar, while the nobility under them are called Kynatz. All Boyars still pay tribute and are technically under the authority of the Voivoide - currently known as Grigore - even though Vechiul Regat has no actual borders any longer. The Holds usually contain one large extended Clan, which the Boyar is usually the patriarch or matriarch. Many Holds also contain populations of Gnomes - even after their release, they didn't have really any place to go. As a result, they still suffer in their industrial jobs and slog in slums, but now they get marginal pay instead of none.

There are also three other important positions in a Dwarf Hold besides a Boyar - that of the Rune Master, Grudge Keeper and Master Engineer. The Rune Master oversees the forging of the mystical runes in many Dwarven constructs; the Grudge Keeper is a historian who records every sleight against a Clan in their enormous tomes; and the Master Engineer monitors the steamwork and industry of the Clan. These three are found in nearly every Hold and are close advisers to the Boyar.

The Vechiul Regat Armata strides headlong to war
THE PEOPLE AND THE VECHIUL REGAT ARMATA


Both Dwarves and Gnomes are a proud people who do not handle scorn or broken promises. Their society is rather complicated - age, wealth and skill are their most valued commodities, and the more you have of any of them the higher your social rank is. The lowest ranked are outcasts or Dwarves without a Hold to call home, the next highest are the artisans, then followed by the Kynatz. Dwarves also, oddly enough, rank themselves by their beard size.

Their nobility are often stuck in their ways, dreaming of past glories rather than improving the Dwarves as a whole. True their might is great, their runes strong and their technology imposing, but Dwarf culture has been stagnating for centuries. The Holds are starting to fall apart, and their age is near over. Now they are embroiled in the Great War, an ally to their long-time companions in the Gilded Imperium, but it is unknown how long they can serve as a bulwark.

When any one Dwarven Hold marches to war, especially the imperial army of the Vechiul Regat Armata, it is an impressive sight. Slayers with blood-red mohawks stand side-by-side with meteoric iron wearing flamethrower wielders. Tunnel fighters, rune thanes, and the powerful gyrocopters and cannons of Gnomish make leave the Dwarves with one of the most powerful armies when they can gather up their numbers.

OUTRO

Yowch, quite a lengthy one for the Dwarves (and Gnomes). Obviously I took a lot of hints from WFRP 1e Dwarves, but I inserted a hearty amount of Romanian history in there - especially focused on Wallachia. I'm also starting to build up timelines here - the War of Broken Hammers, the Elven Civil War, the Age of Strife, the Great Eruption, the Mutant Wars, etc. I'm also shying away from magic and religion unless it is very important - both of those will get their own posts going in depth. I'll probably head into another Europan country next - I'm leaning towards Ruthen or Hespia.



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Three Hundred Years' War - Couronne

The city of Gascon near the Hespia border
COURONNE

Roughly one thousand years ago after the Old Imperium collapsed under its own weight, much of the western half of that empire was without leadership. Often seen only as a breadbasket fit for peasants to work on, a minor duke known as Hugo Cour decided to take up the flag and unite these fractured people. Declaring the land he claimed as Couronne and taking the title of Le Rei Soleil, Hugo spent the rest of his life trying to unite the nascent kingdoms of the land into a cohesive monarchal empire.

After Cour's death, succession carried down his bloodline. Though the lands around Le Rei Soleil's palace of Semailles respected and followed his rule, many outlying territories didn't recognize it. This led to conflicts with Albain trying to claim the Couronnian throne - which Couronne won - and attempted expansion into The Alpenne States - which Couronne lost via Hespia. Since then, Couronne has experienced a Renaissance - literally. They've expanded their borders significantly, art has exploded in quality, and the current Le Rei Soleil - Luis the Greater - has consildated power. For the past few hundred years, however, they have been been at a stalemate with their Imperium rivals and internal struggles, and there is little sign of stopping.

THE MORGAINE REBELLIONS 


The Voliex Massacre
Couronne is a fairly religious country as well, though unlike their Imperium neighbors, they worship a deity named Morgaine - a regional goddess of nobility, chivalry and honor. This worship is mostly followed by the nobility, while many peasants still follow the way of the Old Gods.

For a while, the nobility accepted this but suppressed many of the rights of those who did not worship Morgaine. That was until under the reign of Henri Voliex around 100 years ago, a minority of urban poor who worshipped the Old Gods began rising up against the unfair conditions. Disaffected worshippers of Morgaine struck back, killing hundreds in a bloody killing all around the country in an event known as the Voliex Massacre.

These deaths sparked the Morgaine Rebellions, a period of upheaval that resulted in civil war lasting nearly 40 years, the title of Le Rei Soleil exchanging hands a half dozen time, and a death toll of roughly three million. This eventually ended when Henri Bordeu, the grandfather of Luis the Greater, ascended the throne and managed to extend a hand between the Cult of Morgaine and the worshippers of the Old Gods. Still, tensions run high between both parties, and Couronne still has not fully recovered.

LAY OF THE LAND

The countryside of Bordeu
Couronne is very much a rural kingdom, but one of quite striking beauty. It is mostly composed of rolling plains and farmlands, with occasional lowlands and basins that create swampy marshes. All sorts of crops thrive here - fruits, grains, flowers and livestock are shipped from Couronne all throughout Europa.

Couronne is lush with rivers - the Liger and Sequana rivers feed much of the country, and the River Rhenus serves as a natural border between Courounne and their hated Imperium neighbors. The south of the country is hilly, with parts of it bleeding into the Alpenne Range. To their west is the Great Ocean, which Luis the Greater has already set ships across in hopes to colonize the 'safer' parts of Dinetah. There is also the massive Landes Forest, the home of the Auber elves.

Couronne is divided into dukedoms, where the duke or duchess rules over their capital city and the surrounding countryside. There are between roughly 20 to 30 dukedoms at a time, their numbers changing depending on grants, fealties and the progress of the Great War. The dukedoms of Lyonse, Rodomo, Bordeu, Tolosa, Panam and Marshela have remained constant however, and are known all across Europa.

Le Rei Soleil is the 'duke' of Panam - Couronne's capital - though he rules from his palace at Semailles. The actual city of Panam is one of the largest in all of Europa, with nearly half a million residents. Couronne cities are often large and extravagant, with beautiful castles and architecture, but this is a facade - their streets are rife with urban poor, disease and banditry, and only the nobility generally gets to enjoy the fineries. Most of Couronne's population remain rural in the farmlands and marshes of the dukedoms.

A contingent of Couronnian chevaliers
THE PEOPLE AND LE GRAND ARMEE DE LA COURONNE

Couronne may seem beautiful and perfect from the outside, but the inside is rife with unseen Corruption. Both the nobility and peasantry of Couronne are proud of their country, so many turn a blind eye to the neighboring farm with a mutated son or the decadent noble who holds sordid orgies.

Couronne politics are draconian and bureaucratic - those nobles who want to get things done will have trouble making any changes due to interference and overlapping responsibilities. That is why most of them spend their days amongst parties and noble intrigue, as there is not much else to do. Luis the Greater is generally beneficent, but even he falls to these distractions. The massive peasantry is left to fester in overflown sewers, muddy alleyways, or toil their lives in the fields.

When not playing their games of fancy, the nobility are playing their games of war. Currently embroiled in the Great War as an attempt to finally overthrow their Imperium rivals, Le Rei Soleil assures it is only for protection of borders. The pride of Le Grand Armee de la Couronne are their countless knights and chevaliers, lesser martial nobles said to be blessed by Morgaine herself. The rest of the army is composed of peasantry press-ganged into service by their dukes. Though they may not have the numbers and technology the Imperium has, their knights have gone down in legend and song for their prowess.

OUTRO

There is my first big write up. Obviously it is related to Bretonnia, but I went more the way of decadent nobility of the original Bretonnia in WFRP 1e, and dropped much of the Arthurian stuff. Similarly, I added some real life history of France- allusions to the Hundred Years War and the Italian Wars, as well as a focus on the Huguenot Wars. I feel like I'll touch more upon those wars when I cover Albain and the Alpenne States, but the Morgaine Rebellions were more pressing. I also think this is how I'm gonna handle the 'large' nations - ancient history, more recent happenings, geography and politics, then people and armed forces.

Anyway, hope you are enjoying the series so far! Now I need to formulate what to cover next.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Three Hundred Years' War - Arktos Wastes

ARKTOS WASTES

Beyond the thick taiga woods of Ruthen and the countless peaks of Noreg lies a land of shadow and eternal cold and endless night. It was here, thousands of years ago, that a piece of the star vessels used to propel the Ancient Ones across the Vault of Heaven ruptured. The energy within tore open a portal in space and time - a pitch-black, massive Rift into the hell of the Abyss.

The energy of Corruption and the fetid nature of the Abyss has spread across the seemingly endless tundras of the north -known as the Arktos Wastes. The land was just ice sheets and tundras, home to small prehistoric tribes of hunter-gatherers. Now, it is an ever-shifting landscape - where the land can warp from vast ice fields into a fetid marsh or a barren desert; supernatural storms bring about storms of blood and worse; and basalt monoliths to the Abyssal Princes call out to believers to worship there. The Arktos Wastes are as close as you can get to actually visiting the infinite Abyss.

The Wastes are constantly fluctuating in size and composition, with arcanists believing it reacts to the emotions that humanity feels. As hopelessness and despair grows, so too does the blasphemous wastes creep ever further south. As humanity strives and reaches great heights, it shrinks as the barbaric residents cloister themselves to fight another day. Unfortunately, the Three Hundred Years' War and the terror and death associated with it has caused the wastes to swell, nearly taking over all of Noreg and licking at the feet of Ruthen.

There are also rumors that the Southern Arktos Wastes on the bottom of the World also contain a Rift to the Abyss, but these Wastes are luckily isolated by the ocean. They are said to contain countless hordes of Grendel, however.

RESIDENTS OF THE WASTES

Believe it or not, the race of Man still dwells within the Arktos Wastes. Descendants of the stone-age tribes touched by the Rift millennia ago, these Arktosians have lived under the sway of the Abyssal Princes, worshipping them as gods and joining their ever swelling ranks.

Arktosian is a general term, as they are from countless clans of different backgrounds. The ancient peoples who used to live in Noreg, Chongzen and Dinetah make up the majority of the Arktosians, but others exist too. Within their tribes, they worship the Abyssal Princes in all they do, many tribes following the allegiance of one Prince. They constantly war against each other, much to the delight of the Princes - as war and chaos gives them energy and power.

Arktosians are not the only ones living in the Wastes. Grendels are said to have been born here, and many Wild Hunts can be found stalking the glacial rifts and ragged peaks. Other beings touched by chaos - Ogres, Dragon-Born Ogres, Trolls, Harpies, Mutants and Chimaera either join the hosts of the Princes or ravage the countryside alike. Every once in a while a Demon will romp across the land, though often on its own volition.

LEGIONS OF THE USHER

The Abyssal Princes of Chaos spend endless hours in the Arktos Wastes, assembling massive hosts to throw at each other in their neverending battle of supremacy. Their armies, composed of Howling Marauders and often lead by Fell Knights or Havoc Conjurers, wage massive battles that often leave both sides decimated - only to be built up again to continue the fight. The most powerful Chosen of Chaos - namely the Dread Counts - have their names written in the standing menhirs that dot the landscape, their deeds immortal and their name legend.

Recently however, the Abyssal Princes have come together for the first time in centuries and nominated The Usher - the champion of all four Princes, meant to lead the forces of the Abyss southwards to consume all creation. Crowned by the First Mutant and calling himself Astaroth, he is journeying across the Arktos Wastes to gather a massive Legion to consume the world below, and let the roiling mass of the Abyss engulf all the World.

OUTRO

Well that's the first proper entry for the Three Hundreds' Year War. Obviously based on the Chaos Wastes, this one hewed a little close to the source material since it is such a unique aspect of a Warhammer world. I still think its fun, and I tried to make it a little more generic and broad-strokes than current Warhammer lore. Also, I know I said last time I'd do an overview of Europa, but this bug kinda bit me. Soon, though!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Three Hundred Years' War - The Main Factions

So to start off, I thought I would just do a very brief overview list of the factions that will be present in the Three Hundred Years' War setting - similar to the armies of the Old World.

I've divided the main factions, 28 in total, into an Order and Chaos orientation. Some of these may not make sense at first blush - such as why the Aztlan, who would traditionally line up with Order, instead fall into Chaos.

I see it instead as human vs. unhuman, with unhumanity lying within Chaos and humanity in Order. That said, these are not 'hard locked' alliances. For example, Couronne and the Imperium have been at a cold war for centuries, yet they are both Order factions. The individual nuances will gain more ground under each individual entry

Without further ado, here is the faction list!

ORDER
  • Hespia
  • Albain
  • Couronne
  • The Imperium and Schwarzlander
  • Noreg
  • The Alpenne States and Lekhitian-Tuvian Commonwealth
  • Olmani
  • Ruthen
  • Gurkani
  • Chongzhen
  • Nihon
  • Dwarven Holds
  • Elven Homelands
  • Wood Elf Glades
CHAOS
  • Aztlan Temple-Cities
  • Fomorian Covens
  • Skrzzak Kabals
  • Vampire Broodhordes
  • Defiler Legions
  • Orx WAAAGH! Parties
  • Grendel Wild Hunts
  • Fey Coteries
  • Amazonian Hosts
  • Ogrish Khanates
  • Duergar Ziggarauts
  • Siabra Fleets
  • Legions of the Usher
  • Demoniac Hordes
Next time, I think I will delve into a quick overview of Europa, my Old World expy. Stay tuned!