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Crusades idea

by David Knott

Another "Crusades" idea, this one a refinement on the "HKs vs. Hule" scenario:

The Immortal Gareth causes a great sign for his followers to appear in the city of Kladanovic, which is located on the coast of the Gulf of Hule SSE of Slagovich and the other City States. Inspired by this sign, his followers spread his word throughout Brun and attract many followers -- and even those who do not actually convert to his service are positively impressed by his message and the good deeds of his followers. They build a shrine to Gareth in Kladanovic that soon becomes famous throughout the world as a place of peace, enlightenment, and healing.

Meanwhile the Master has embarked on a new campaign of conquest, this time directed against the City States. In a few short years he has conquered all of them. From Slagovich (the last City State that he conquers) he overruns Kastr and then the rest of the Konumtali Savannah, ending with the cities of Kladanovic and Tyjaret. In Kladanovic the Huleans destroy the shrine to Gareth and replace it with one to their own patron Bozdogan. These conquests provoke much outrage but no action among the nations further east. Followers of Gareth are outraged at the desecration of their shrine but lack the power to do anything. The Minrothaddans, of all people, are the ones who come closest to taking action because the Huleans have cut off their most direct trade route to the Savage Coast.

What spurs the Crusade is the reaction of the seers of Yavdlom. In accordance with their visions, they depose all of their highest leaders, as they can foresee that nobody in Yavdlom is going to "matter" on any large scale in the foreseeable future. With the Huleans approaching their northern border, they see that they are in a crisis that must be resolved quickly -- and when the seers see signs that their deliverance can only come from the east, they send some of their number to the Known World region seeking aid. There they are not disappointed, for they see signs indicating several heroes as "mattering" on a grand scale and immediately invest them with the appropriate titles of Yavdlom nobility.

Once the Yavdlom seers have explained the significance of the titles that they have awarded, these heroes (who are driven by a variety of motivations but who are all very ambitious) raise armies and sail west to the Serpent Peninsula. From there they march north and in a few short months conquer all of the lands that the Master had conquered in his latest campaign.

Afterwards the Yavdlom seers demote them from their high titles, as they no longer "matter" as much as they once did. These heroes are quite annoyed with the seers (and indeed in future years their successors will conquer Yavdlom) but decide to compensate for their losses by establishing fiefs in the conquered lands. These fiefs establish vital trade links with the nations further east, and those links along with the growing reputation of the re-dedicated shrine to Gareth are sufficient to provoke massive outrage and retaliation when the Huleans gather enough strength to reconquer the City States and the Konumtali Savannah.