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Thread: Kiergard

  1. #11
    I tend to read the fluff with a whole bag of salt, it is, after all, almost entirely written from a person's point of view. The levels given for Kiergaard in Havens of the Great Bay are just not conducive to "blasted ruin". That reads like you'd expect hungarian loyalists to describe occupied Hungary during the ottoman invasion (I somehow doubt the protestant hungarians who sided with the turks would call religious freedom and more power than under the habsburgs a blasted ruin, and at the time I suspect the blame would have been laid on the catholic league). And it's the middle ages to boot, if the regent of Kiergaard had this kind of army, he could just as well have crushed everyone from Torova Temilatyn to Baerghost for the Gorgon.

    Mostly because, I'll be fair about it, I tend not to want my games knee deep in annoying fantasy cliches and sometimes considering the fluff as just fluff works surprisingly well for realism. And it even saves me from having to consider some of the more unfortunate views of the more reactionary characters as word of god (case in point: everything to do with other cultures coming from the Chamberlain, I just don't see the point in presenting his account as fallible if it's then treated as truth, and everywhere that's not Anuire is treated as hat-countries and either good savages, cynical profit seekers, traitors, or [s]asiatic[/s] barbarian hordes)...

    Full blown slavery and concentration camps wouldn't leave Kiergaard just as densely populated as some of Anuire's "great" duchies.

    My half-groat (with its known idiosyncracies) and all.
    Last edited by Gwrthefyr; 04-02-2010 at 07:10 PM.

  2. #12
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    Mass executions, ethnic cleansing? Nation living in part fear, part slavery, part emigrated, part collaborators, part hiding, part free?
    The term blasted ruin may imply that the urban area is non existent, but the people/humanoids are present. Gorgon needs to feed his troops, so if he kills people, his soldiers would need to do all the work instead of fighting.

    Anuire isn't exactly a heaven. Duchies have their share of troubles, so they can't really reach high populations that easy.

    Kiergard's two easternmost provinces are held by the leader of resistance, I'd expect them to have greater population (refugees and liberation guerilla). One of the remaining is a seat of power for Gorgon's puppet, I see some collaborators there as well. Then there is a coastal province that had its share of Mudenite navy attacks, so you need to pump it up a bit. The rest are ones, twos and threes. And those are qualified as thinly settled rural regions. Population range: 2000 - 10000. Though I see province population to be in the lower range.
    Is that too much or maybe it should be adjusted a level lower?
    Rey M. - court wizard of Tuarhievel

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Rey View Post
    Mass executions, ethnic cleansing? Nation living in part fear, part slavery, part emigrated, part collaborators, part hiding, part free?
    The term blasted ruin may imply that the urban area is non existent, but the people/humanoids are present. Gorgon needs to feed his troops, so if he kills people, his soldiers would need to do all the work instead of fighting.

    Anuire isn't exactly a heaven. Duchies have their share of troubles, so they can't really reach high populations that easy.

    Kiergard's two easternmost provinces are held by the leader of resistance, I'd expect them to have greater population (refugees and liberation guerilla). One of the remaining is a seat of power for Gorgon's puppet, I see some collaborators there as well. Then there is a coastal province that had its share of Mudenite navy attacks, so you need to pump it up a bit. The rest are ones, twos and threes. And those are qualified as thinly settled rural regions. Population range: 2000 - 10000. Though I see province population to be in the lower range.
    Is that too much or maybe it should be adjusted a level lower?
    Or we could admit that the people who are quoted in/as the fluff are just as fallible as we are, adding a new, interesting, entertaining layer of political complexity that goes beyond the "designated villain, tolkien-inspired story where every single legend from even 5 millenia ago is not only true but accurate" mentality, or tacking on methods that are based on the extremes of a modern ideology . </rant (and probably oot for this thread)> "The claimant to the throne of Kiergard is lying about the extent of the tragedy to bolster support from the other, more powerful states to restore the old feudal order" has just as much potential, and not decreeing either one right adds flexibility.
    Last edited by Gwrthefyr; 04-02-2010 at 10:22 PM.

  4. #14
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Personally I see Kiergaard not as a conquered realm to be ground down in the Gorgon's mind, but simply another part of his realm. He's had it for a while now afterall.

    I'd expect that the population is split between the small number of 'have's' who serve the Gorgon and probably make much of his best craftworks, form some of his elite soldiers, etc. Next comes a fairly large swathe of oppressed-but-not-til-the-pips-squeak peasantry. Finally come slaves from house slaves who may be reasonably well treated, to field slaves who have fairly tough lives, to pit slaves who are a warning to everyone of just how bad things can get if you don't toe the line. Obviously each of these three main classes would have innumerable graduations.

    I put much the same sort of approach into how I view the crown itself. I figure that as Raesene led an Anuirean army against Haelyn and Roele at Deismaar it is likely that some survived, so I have him ruling a fell court at Kal Saitharak where the descendants of his once-loyal knights are the highest ranks descending down through the orogsand orogs to goblins and then to dimmer creatures such as ogres and trolls.

    So in Kiergaard I have the rebels as Charles II types when he was fleeing Cromwell, many of the peasants support him as the 'true king', but not really actively, and even most of his enemies see him as 'special' and not to be harmed, only the truly loyal Gorgonites will turn him in allowing him to move about in many areas without being noticed and to recruit allies quietly - I'd expect that much of the army used to crush Edlin evaporated back into the general populace within a month quietly exulting in having struck back at their hated lords.


    I can even see a rather hysterical court scene in the land, the players (nobles, merchants, lave lords, etc) always knowing but never saying that the Gorgon might crush them and so frittering away their wealth on parties and suchlike to forget the terror that truly rules them.

    For me the benefits of a less blasted land are that:
    1. If liberated it might actually stand against moderate raids, giving the players a chance to become legends by freeing it and then enjoy their spoils.
    2. A 'rescue-able' land also very interesting game setting - the players can mingle with the courts which will be riven with spies, turncoats, hedonists, and sluggers desperately trying to serve their master without being noticed for failure and play factions against each other, gain a few allies and many enemies, and all the social fun.
    3. The land also has the ever-popular staple of slaves to be freed (the players want to rule a province, ok, they need people).
    4. There are no-guilt ill-gotten gains to be liberated in a slightly safer environment than the Crown itself.
    5. We have slavers who range from slightly sympathetic people caught in a system that demands wrong, to truly vile monsters that any hero should exult in destroying giving moral conundrums, surprising allies (the slaver may be a brute, but is their young son with a crush on the parties paladin?)
    6. Mixed in with armies and generals who would far rather hush up a problem than admit to their leaders that it might be more than they can handle to giver players a chance to get some serious strength going before having to face el-stony's legions.
    Last edited by AndrewTall; 04-03-2010 at 07:05 AM.

  5. #15
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    All of the above sounds reasonable. The land becomes even more interesting with these hints in mind.
    The situation kind of reminds me of world war two. Some of the cities were really bombed down to ruins. People died but some remained living in the ruins until it was time to rebuild after the war. But since the "war" never saw an end in Kiergard, no one actually had a need/will/resource to rebuild.

    And there's another idea that struck me. Gorgon defeated Kiergard 200 years ago, if I'm not mistaken. It says that Kiergardians are struggling within against the Gorgon's troops. It explains why there is much population there. There are rebels hiding everywhere. It supports the idea of Brand's beating down Esden, on the other side of Kiergard, like Andrew said.

    Then there are earthquakes that have become almost regular in the last 30 years. Maybe the earthquakes and Brand Mournsinger are actually the ones to 'blame' for ruined cities of Kiergard. Kiergardians could be crazy enough to blast them all, if it takes to free the enslaved people and to mess the plans of the oppressor. And I kind of get the feeling that the situation now is on the verge of exploding. Onwen, the puppet lord of Kiergard, is in panic packing anything he can for his private stash before it's time to dash.
    Rey M. - court wizard of Tuarhievel

  6. #16
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    A birthright take on the earthquakes follows on the land following the blood idea. If the birth of a prince makes the land bloom what does the dominance of an awnsheghlien for 200 years do?

    I like the ruins idea, ruins are always good for adventures, and they are terrible for police/etc to try and find people in as there are so many hiding places.

    I think that the 'rebellious' natives vary across the full range from 'would like to rebel but don't dare - but will look the other way / leave out the odd loaf to be 'stolen' to the 'hide in the ruins' types with the odd 'upstanding member of the community secretly working towards its downfall from within'. If you are one of 'team gorgon' then the first thing you have to learn is don't trust anyone Of course that does breed the hunting-peasants sports and brutality which then feeds the rebellion further.

    I can see the Gorgonites blaming 'earthquakes' for any building destroyed by rebels, built badly in the first place, etc - it's a very convenient excuse for failure and gives the all important sign its clearly not our fault - which is vital given the temper of their boss.

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