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Reconquestby Pasi Anias
Having enjoyed the late discussion about a war between Karameikos and Thyatis, I wrote up this open ended campaign to present my thoughts on the matter. As always, its from my head, for my campaign, You should feel free to change anything to suit your taste, or just ignore if its impossible. If You like it, I wouldn't mind hearing that.
The dates are for my campaign, You can easily put this anywhere from 1005-1025.
1.5.1020 The mercenaries and peasant-troops start gathering in Machetos.
1.6.1020 Troops leave Machetos, heading to Rugalov Keep.
6.6.1020 Siege of Rugalov keep. With the help of a hired wizard, Armaur, and of the staff of the Blackpoint Citadel, Machetos invades Rugalov in one night. On the morning of 7th, new flag flies in the tower of Rugalov, the flag of Baron Armaur of Borderhold.
7.6.1020 Mercenaries belonging to the army of Machetos storm Rugalov float and village, looting, raping and finally burning most of the village. Duke disagrees with the burning of the village, making Armaur burn the leader of the mercenaries. Within 2 days one tenth of the mercenaries flee the army. On the evening, Old King Karameikos gets message of the attack from Lord Viktor Lutescu, heir to Lord Vlad, who was slain in the battle. King calls a council to discuss the matter.
8.6.1020 Duke of Machetos sends emissaries to lady Marilenev and Chief Gro'tol of Dymrak forest, promising titles and fiefs within the conquested Karameikos, for help in the war.
Karameikos starts mustering troops, naming slightly unwilling Lord Justin Marshal and leader of the defence act.
10.6.1020 The treachery of Kelvin is revealed, as he denies messengers to north.
12.6.1020 Alfric Oderbry named Patriarch of Specularum and head of the church.
14.6.1020 The army attacks the Barony of Bach at the Lake of Lost Dreams. At the absence of the adventuring Baron, the barony is taken with ease. Baron Halaran jailed at Kelvin.
19.6.1020 The forces of Penhaligon and Threshold start attacks against Kelvin.
27.6.1020 The battle of Tears field, halfway between Krakatos and Rugalov. Both sides take heavy casualties and there is no clear victor.
1.7.1020 Caracallus is joined by a group of Kerendan nobles with some cavalry, hoping to earn some dominion in the duchy. Karameikos is joined by a small troupe of halfling bowmen, eager to help in the war, to keep Thyatis off their border. One half of the men in duke's Road keep join the Kelven front. The Magic school sends 30 of their students (levels 2-6) to aid Karameikos.
Duchy of Machetos
The Duke of Machetos is the key figure in the scenario. Duke Caracallus Jowdynities is a nephew of late Callastian Jowdynities. In his youth Caracallus was a officer in the Thyatian Army, eventually raising to some fame in battles at Isle of Dread and then in battles against rebels at hinterlands. At his uncles death he elbowed, bribed and bought the duchy to his name. Using his strategic mind and leadership skills he got the duchy to its feet, paid the handsome dept he had to take to get the duchy, and even bought the title and post of General of the Blackpoint Citadel. On the process he had to use most of the natural recourses (wood) of his duchy.
Duke Caracallus is a shrewd and power-hungry man. At his forties he is not yet satisfied with his achievements. He plans his plots carefully and puts them through efficiently. However he is not prone to self-deception or denial: at the need he will change his plans and act with speed to answer any new situations.
The Duke has no wife nor legitimate children, but is a solitary figure, enjoying high arts, hunting and strategic planning more than home-life. At his death the most likely heirs would be his sister or one of the cousins.
Empire of Thyatis
The most important thing to note is, that this campaign is not war between Thyatis and Karameikos. In such a war, the Karameikos would surely have no chance whatsoever to keep independence. Should the Emperor want Karameikos, he would take it.
As it is, the Emperor will not openly go to war against Karameikos. The trade between Thincol and Stefan Karameikos vas legitimate, and at the time very good for both. The Emperor, let it be Thincol or Eusebius, could not break the contract without losing face, at least as long as Stefan was alive. Emperor Eusebius surely has plans, or at least options, for Karameikos for the future, but only after Stefan is dead, and the word given to him counts no more. Duke Caracallus knows this of course. He also knows that there has been bad words with Thincol and Stefan, and that Eusebius has newer been close with Karameikos at all. Thus it is safe for him to assume, that should some minor noble clash steel with an unpopular neighbour, the Emperor would not likely intervene. The basic idea in Duke Caracallus' plan is to take Karameikos before the Emperor turns his eyes towards it, and as Karameikos is very old, the time is now or never.
County of Vyalia
The count of Vyalia does not want to take part to the campaign. Count Yldysul Greenhight, an elf of over 500 summers, is above all, horrified of the prospect of having to fight with the Callarii elves of Karameikos. Under no condition will the count take part into a kin-slaying.
Some younger elves, belonging mainly to Clan Treeshields, will however join the action, even if just as scouts and hunters for the army. Many human citizens of Vyalia join the expedition too, wishing for more land in Karameikos. The foresters will not join, being utterly loyal to the count and to the emperor.
Barony of Kelvin
Duke Caracallus knows, that his mercenary troops are not enough to fight an united Karameikos. Thus he needs allies. It has been commonly known for a long time, that Desmond Kelvin II has not been satisfied with his position in Karameikos. His ambitious and often fanatic nature has alienated him with the King, and with most of the society. Thus, when the Duke approached Kelvin, and offered him the County of Kelvin, consisting of all areas between the rivers Castellan and Windrush, the baron was taken. To fortify the union, the Duke has promised his sister to the baron as a wife, thus making Desmond one of possible heirs to the duchy too.
The importance of this union is great beyond the 500 men garrison and the other forces Kelvin is able to muster. Fist of all, it cuts the Northern Karameikos of from the southern, keeping such forces as Penhaligon with her knights and Baron Sherlane Halaran with his sturdy mountaineers at bay. Secondly, it gives Duke Caracallus some more influence to the Church of Karameikos.
Church of Karameikos
The church of Karameikos is basically an independent part of the Church of Thyatis. As such the church members find their loyalties in contradiction. Duke Caracallus has the blessing of the Thyatian Church at his side. He has even employed some clerics of Vanya to act as healers for his officers and troops. The more peaceful wing of the church dreads the economical and cultural effects of a war, rather liking King Stefans calmer ways to take care of the kingdom, and the enlightened monarchy of Karameikos. Then again, the more fanatic wing of the church sees the war as a way to get rid of the church of Traladara, and to spread the influence of their church. After the peaceful death of Patriarch Oliver Jowett, opposition leader Alfric Oderbry has gained more and more favour within the church. As Patriarch Kelvin gets to Duke Caracalluses side, he gives his votes to Alfric, making him the Patriarch of Specularum, and acting head of the Church of Karameikos. In return, Kelvin is named the High Knight and commander of the Order of Griffon, thus taking Karameikos the only airforces he had.
As the church moves strongly, even if never totally out of Karameikos hand, the threat of the invasion suddenly becomes a truly great one.
Kingdom of Karameikos
King Stefan is old and tired. Even if he has feared the invasion of Thyatian forces all these years, he still finds it hard to cope with. Especially as it comes from his old fief. Stefan is in no shape to fight the war himself, and so he is lessened to an adviser, waiting at home for any news of the war. The treachery of Kelvin and the clergy gets him into rage, with no power to suppress the mutiny. His only chance is to hold into his oldest allies and to the Traladaran population, who mainly opposes the Thyatian invasion wholeheartedly. Prince Justin is less than happy with his appointed charge as the Marshal of Karameikos. He would have hoped for his sister and lord Devon Hyraksos to handle the war, but The King is definite in his demand that the moral of the troops need an Karameikos to lead the war. Surprisingly the best support he gets comes from his brother Valen, who seems to know a lot about what's going on everywhere. Master Terari is also a great aid, and reveals a great deal of knowledge about common military strategies of Thyatians and about the uses of magic in a war. Princess Adriana keeps away from the war as an protest against his father.
Justin is forced to leave the western Karameikos open, and to take troops from the western forts to the war in the eastern front. He gains some extra troops from the Callarii, but they deny their help in the main war, only promising to defend their forest and the city of Specularum. The Gnomes of Highforge send vast amounts of weapons for the King in secrecy to be used in the war.
Marilenev and the Traladaran nobles
At Duke Caracalluses approach the old Matron Magda Marilenev kills the messenger and goes to the King to promise all the help she can offer to be used against the Thyatians. This gesture, even if not so important in itself, raises the hope of King Stefan to be able to go through the war. He offers Lady Marilenev a rank of a knight, which she declines, telling him, that she will help in this war, but after that everything will go back to normal, as it has been. Marilenevs gesture doesn't go unnoticed with the other Traladaran peoples either, who soon flock to Stefan, understanding, that the Kingdom of Karameikos will be infinitely better option to them, than the Grand Duchy of Machetos.
The Church of Traladara also gives its total support to King Stefan, thus filling the hole left by the Karameikan clergy.
The Thyatian nobles
The treachery of Kelvin and the Church troubles the rest of the Karameikan- Thyatian nobility too. To most it poses an religious question, but to Halaran and to Penhaligon it is an military threat too. Patriarch Sherlane Halaran tries to approach Kelvin, but is eventually jailed in Castle Kelvin. Sherlanes daughter and his husband join forces with Lady Arteris Penhaligons Knights of the Three Suns (no Flinn there. no) and wake war to Kelvin. Arteris sends for Duke's Road keep too, to get more troops.
In south the Vorloi's collect a massive fleet and join Justin's navy.
Orcs of Dymrak forest
the orcs are far less numerous than Duke Caracallus thinks. Chief Gro'tol promises his help, but takes his tribes north to avoid the war. The tribes unite with some northern cousins, waking Havoc along the Highreach.
WHAT WILL FOLLOW
I will not tell who will win. One or the other. You decide for your game. Both sides are rather even I think. Caracallus gets a good start, but is surprised by the loyalty of the Traladaran nobles.
Even if Karameikos wins, the country might be heading for a civil war. The heir of the King is not named, and will cause some criticism what ever it will be. The church is in trouble, should they go along the line set by Vanya (Kelvin and Oderbry), or rather hear the teachings of Tarastia (Halaran). Or rather choose a new leader amongst the other god's priests. The Traladaran wont forget that it was them who saved Karameikos, which might give them new ideas. Etc. Then again if Caracallus wins, the Traladaran peoples will not be handled kindly. Caracallus would need money to strengthen his presence, and he would get it from the natives. The Thyatian nobles might find the new overlord not to their liking either.
Personally, I think I'll continue the war for a year or two, then get some balance. But we will see.
WHAT IF'S (Story Hooks)
- - What if Armaur was actually Bargle?
- - What if Sherlane Halaran was able to get through to Desmond Kelvin?
- - What if Caracallus would die?
- - What if Stefan would die?
- - What if Justin would die?
- - What if the count of Vyalia was forced to take part, either by the orcs or Karameikan forces?
- - What if the Orcs were a bigger force?
The players could be (on either side): nobles, officers, soldiers, politics, emissaries, spies, assassins, traders, hunters, or just innocent victims.