And let me speak to the yet unknowing world
How these things came about: so shall you hear
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
Fall’n on the inventors’ heads: all this can I
Truly deliver.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet


GM’S NOTES 1. Please entitle your orders (the file, not just the e-mail) according to the nomenclature found in rule 1.4.2 of the House Rules.  I get forty-plus sets of orders every month and calling them “Turn 8” or worse “L54 – Lords of Theeurth Orders Template.xls” doesn’t help me organize them at all. 

2. I delete all e-mails.  Information sent to me in an e-mail, such as additions to your orders or the above sort of flavor information will be deleted and ignored.  If you want me to use it, put it in your orders or at the very least put it in a text file I can store with your orders. 



North-Western Medarhos

The Skane Jarldoms – 
Ruler – King Bjarnalf
Capital – Vanaheim
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – The Skane March [EA]
Regent Varguth sent thousands of men and much gold into Godemar, clearing land with fire and axes and founding a number of small towns, so that the region boomed with activity and many landless men came to seek their fortune now that the days of raiding the southlands appeared to be over.  Varguth also appointed a host of new headmen and sheriffs for these villages, expanding the government he would one day hand over to his nephew Bjarnalf.That day came in 2817, on Bjarnalf’s sixteenth birthday.  The boy king was crowned by the arch-druid in after a secret ritual in which the youth bathed in the blood of an ox.  He named his uncle Varguth as a Prince of the Skane, but the old man did not long enjoy the title, for he passed away in his sleep two months later.

Svenn Hvidunkat, the great Skane skald, visited the Skane March and convinced the men of that border kingdom of the wisdom in selling their goods to the world through the auspices of the Jarldoms.  Count Asparian was named a jarl of the Skane and mead flowed in the March to celebrate.

However, the most significant event for the lives of the Skane jarldoms came in 2819.  A great plague of beetles swarmed over the land, eating all the crops and killing most of the seed for the next year.  Thousands went hungry and many died of this terrible affliction.


The Kingdom of Tirgonia –
Ruler – King Quinn Michelmas
Capital – Tirgon
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Eastern March [F]

King Quinn decreed a series of canals and locks along the Aré river near the city of Sirion.  The added prosperity created by the great project drew landless men from around the region and across the nation.  At the same time the king gave charters for several royal strongholds in the Crown Lands to penniless knights who had been loyal for many years.  A further thousand of these knights were recruited into the Tirgonian army.  Meanwhile a policy of eastward settlement encouraged farmers and small merchants to move into the plains of Bekanor and create small holdings and villages.Duke Farionh of Alqualondë spent years in the Eastern March, consulting with Theros Lossian, Duke of that region.  However Lossian died before swearing fealty to the King.  However, his will was quickly found and proved his intent to leave the duchy personally to the King himself.  There were whispers amongst the nobles of the March that Duke Farionh must be a forger, but none of the whispers spoke so in public and the March passed into Tirgonian hands.



The Iron Empire of Daerond –   
Ruler –
Emperor Vantos I Elerek
Capital – Aicherai
Dominant Race – Human


The young Emperor prepared for the first great challenge of his reign, the onslaught of the undying Null and his Black Banner rebels. He retrieved his own house troops from Nivaan, and then set out a strict draft of all eligible warriors. Dragooning peasants from the field as well as every man between the ages of thirteen and seventy, Vantos increased his meager army to a respectable forty-five hundred troops. Before leaving for battle, he commissioned an adventuring party from the Manticore League.  This motley band of cutthroats, misfits and fanatics called themselves the Red Scorpions. “Find me something…anything that will rid me of this demon Null!” he commanded.  The scorpions scuttled off to obey.

The Emperor also commanded Aicherai’s wizards to summon up demons which they were to bind to the blades of the army, making them hard and bitterly sharp.  But the quavering cabal of demon-priests and heralds of annihilation were unable to do their master’s bidding – the blades remained the dull stuff of mortal hands. 


Meanwhile, Emperor Vantos dispatched his newest infatuation, the beguiling Melisandre von Landegol and eight hundred troops to Lycia, there to take command of the defenses of that river province.An important victory was won early on in the very heart of Aicherai.  Several dozen enemy agents, citizens of that great and sinful city gathered in warehouses along the Rift to plot the deaths of hundreds of important imperial officials.  They planned to throw the government into disarray and despair.  But these traitors were themselves infiltrated by the feared Eyes of Malbor, Daerond’s secret police.  By morning they were screaming in the Blood Gardens for the amusements of jaded passers-by.

These things accomplished, the emperor and his army moved out of the city,  marching east into the dusty, sun-bleached Uruk Hills.  See The Battle of Uruk, below.


The Black Banner Rebels of Daerond –   
Ruler –
Black Duke Null
Capital – Vanuma
Dominant Race – Orc


Null had not been idle.  He ordered the chieftains of Ghedrosia to provide him with more than two thousand soldiers.  Most of these were armored goblins on wolf-back, while the balance were highly disciplined siege engineers. His advisors suggested lighter horse-mounted troops, but the arrogant Null would have none of that. He refused to believe that Elerek might confront him in the hills where armored cavalry would be far less effective than in the open fields of the Great Rift.  With a single cavalry charge, the ancient Black Duke would sweep the young pup’s army from the field.  Not all of this was arrogant.  Null knew that his army far outnumbered anything that Elerek could throw against him.  He trusted that despite Elerek’s very public entreaties, none of Daerond’s neighbors would lift a finger to aid the self-styled emperor, so long had they hated and feared the Empire.  Finally, he knew that Elerek held all the richest lands of the Empire.  The longer battle was delayed, the more powerful the young pup would become.  Null, therefore, determined to strike immediately. 

With a quick march, Null’s seven thousand troopers moved west into Hinnom, then north towards Aicherai.  They confronted Elerek’s army in a broad plain amidst the hills of Uruk.  See The Battle of Uruk, below.


3 Cleon, 2816

The two armies eyed each other across a quarter mile of gently-rolling plain, dotted here and there with broken hillocks, scrubby pines and knotted clumps of sage. Elerek was magnificent atop a great black charger, his enameled armor gleaming in the sun.  Null stood on a pillar, erected for the purpose at the crest of a small bluff.  His stygian robes fluttering fitfully about him in an unseen breeze. After surveying his opposition for some minutes, the lord of the Rebels called out in a loud, clear voice that horrified those nearby.  Few had ever heard their commander speak, and his voice was a croaking rasp filled with other, inhuman sounds, like the scraping of scales on stone and the sounds of dissolving flesh.  But the words of power he spoke were not for their ears.  He spoke to the very demons Elerek’s shamans had failed to summon.  With a screeching laugh of destruction, these spirits burrowed through space towards the host of Daerond, which let up a terrified shout – their weapons began to rust and age before their very eyes.  It was during the shock of this moment that Null raised a hollow sleeve, the signal for his armies to advance at a run.  The battle was joined.

The hills of Uruk witnessed terrible, desperate deeds that day, as former comrades in arms strove mightily to disembowel each other.  The commanders could not have been more different.  The emperor rode steadily amongst his troops, encouraging here, leading charges there and rallying his men all along the line.  Null stood atop his eerie pillar, directing movements with a whisper as a man might move pieces around a game board and hurling spells of great destruction into the midst of the Daeron lines.  Men and horses melted under his assaults, or limped from the field utterly changed.

It was midday by the time the battle truly turned, and that suddenly.  Through the morning the contest of muscle and magic had been inconclusive, with charges and countercharges, valor and villainy on both parts.  But as the men of Haastalm struggled to hold back the ogres of Hinnom in a dry river bed, they were outflanked by the Gaulmak tribe of orcs coming up the ravine.  Seeing their untenable position, the Haastalmites began to retreat towards their own line.  The retreat became a rout and despite Elerek’s best efforts, the panic spread through the army like a disease.  Within fifteen minutes the surviving Daerond army was in full retreat.  Null ordered his cavalry forwards to harry the retreating enemy, and the true slaughter of the day began. 

By nightfall, the losses had been neatly tallied for the rebel commander.  Nearly two thousand of his own troops were dead or fled the field, while more than three thousand of the enemy were casualties.  It was an important victory, but not the total destruction of his enemy that Null had demanded of his commanders.

While Elerek limped back to Aicherai, desperately attempting to recover every lost trooper he could, Null regrouped his army in Uruk, and remained there until the Spring of 2817.  The he marched west into the lands around the Great Rift and scattered the light opposition before him.  Elerek had wisely sought refuge behind the great walls and impressive fortress of  the enormous metropolis.  Null was stymied.  He held the Daerond homeland, but was utterly unable to besiege such a huge city with such complete defenses.  He therefore sat outside the city consolidating his hold on the region.  In the summer of 2820, his feudal allies marched home, taking with them a quarter of his troops.



The Harkorian League –
Ruler –
First Councillor Azazel
Capital – Cadares
Dominant Race – Human

Three quarters of a century ago, the Harkorian city-states were the abject playthings of the ruthless and cruel Black Dukes of Daerond, and the name of Null the Unspeakable had not been forgotten amidst the still-shattered ruins of Morthales, Erzerus and Cadares.  A foreign observer, upon asking the First Councillor why he was not glad that his old enemies were once again engaged at civil war, was told “For Daerond is like the hydra, when its head is cut off it grows two more to replace it.  I wonder which of these two heads will strike at us first?”Clytheus was determined to be ready should Null choose to carve out a region in Harkoria rather than face the young Emperor.  To this end, he ordered all his forces to set up elaborate and thorough defenses around Cadares, to the anger and dismay of the other provinces, who loudly demanded that the army be sent to defend them.  The Councillor for Erzerus, an elegant woman named Clodia Nerethene, was particularly sharp-tongued in the great session, decrying the unprotected status of her city on the very border with the Black Dukes.  Clytheus held firm, however, and the army, twelve thousand strong, remained firmly entrenched around the capital.  When the First Councillor sent his lieutenant Eloros to tear down the walls of Morthales in order to accommodate the city’s burgeoning population, many began to whisper that he was mad or a traitor.


In 2817, a large army suddenly appeared in Viator, seizing and looting the region.  Still Clytheus would not budge.  This was the army of Ascarlon (See Ascarlon, below) which then proceeded to quickly and efficiently raid Saranthos and Alaxos before turning its might on Trolium.  Unopposed by the much larger Harkorian army which sheltered behind the walls of Cadares, the Ascars took nearly everything of value. 

After the raiders returned to the mountains, the anger against Clytheus mounted to a fever pitch, and soon rebellious sentiments were being written on walls in every city of the League. Plots and rumors of plots abounded. The First Councillor responded by training his troops to a honed readiness, leaving a smaller and more elite force of nine thousand.

In 2820, Clytheus died at the age of sixty-nine of a racking lung ailment.  His loyal lieutenant Eloros immediately seized control of the national army and then offered the place of First Councillor to Clytheus’s adult son, Azazel.  No prominent leader proved able to oppose the young man and he was duly sworn in as First Councillor in the summer of that year.  Though none were willing to challenge Azazel’s right to lead the Council, a great many landholders and noble families refused to follow Clytheus’s son, naming him Blackseed (because of his father’s supposed possession by devils).  Saranthus was the first to secede from the League, but it was far from the last.  By the time the winter rains had set in, eight of the League’s fourteen provinces (Alaxos, Archaieon, Epherodos, Malcian, Maxis, Naxarius, Saranthus and Vaanes) had declared their independence to thunderous applause.


The Edgemoor Orcs –
Ruler –
Malik the Timid
Capital – Zaramaka
Dominant Race – Orcs


King Malik demonstrated the caution that earned him his sobriquet.  Though he would not engage in battle, he did send out slaves to build villages in the caves of the Edgemoors and the woods of Haggsh and Nurgun.  Graun the Mouth, a grossly fat and particularly boorish orc chieftain led a thousand unfortunate orcs on an ill-planned raid into Lortuth.  The native orcs were not about to let the Graun’s forces take what was theirs and met and harried the Edgemoor orcs with spear and arrow, killing or scattering nearly twenty percent of Graun’s force and forcing the raid to go home without loot.

South-Western Medarhos

The Brythnian Confederation – 
Ruler – King Esriadan
Capital – Carrenthium
Dominant Race – Taurid
In 2816, a poet-hunter of Vilayan named Marbrand wrote and popularized Hooves of Hill and Heath, a poem cycle celebrating great heroes of Brythnia’s long history.  The popularity of the poems caused a great renewal of interest by the taurids in their own culture and scholars came from Corland, Harkoria and even the Empire to re-examine this previously lost or little-valued lore. For a few brief years, everyone in Medahros seemed to know some piece of taurid history or poetry. His army shattered by the Edgemoor orcs, King Esriadan appealed to the patriotic outrage of his people and soon had nearly four thousand new centaur cavalry under his command.  By gathering the garrisons together, he was able to improve that number to six thousand before long, and he took these stalwart warriors to Lloricam to await the return of the orcs.  He did not have to wait long.

But Esriadan was not content to have a rematch of the last battle of Itherias.  Instead he appealed to an unusual source for the spirit-worshiping Brythnians who hated the Grail religion on sheer principle.  He called to him the Grail bishop of Carrenthium, a human whose flock consisted mostly of foreign sailors and merchants, with a few hundred more centaur converts.  The bishop agreed to help and sent a message to Conorr by mystical means.  There, the Patriarch heard his call and prevailed on those small but doughty sons of the Church, the Aelissian halfling veterans of the H’rethek Wars.

Aelissia responded by hiring transports and sending seven thousand crack warriors to Carrenthium by ship and thence overland to the Brythnian Hills where they took up the defense of the minotaurs (some of whom were rumored to have died of shame on the spot).

In 2817, the orcs returned. And not alone.  As the orcs raided out of Itherias (See The Worldspine Orcs, below), a force of fast-moving raiders suddenly struck Tathlann itself out of the Orosel hills (See Ascarlon, below.)  These incursions from two directions were devastating to the war-weary taurid economy, but they would respond to neither, for this was when a great tragedy befell the nascent Brythnian-Grail alliance.  The Order of the Dawn, the military order of the Grail religion suddenly and without warning crossed the Firefall bridge across the Lyodan with a force of two thousand heavily armed knights of the Golden Dawn.  The knights were on their way north to retrieve their brethren from the danger of the H’rethek and knew nothing of the situation in Brythnia.  Primed to repel any invader, and fearing a Grail double-cross, Esriadan turned and confronted the Order amidst the fields and flowers of the Great Meadow.  (See The Order of the Dawn, below).


Aelissia –
Ruler –
King Brandon Longhandle
Capital – The Great Delve
Dominant Race – Halfling


After receiving a princely sum from the coffers of the Great Church, King Otho responded to the Patriarch’s request (see Brythnia, above) and sent his army, seven thousand strong, into Brythnia to face the fearsome Worldspine orcs (who surely never thought to face tiny slingers and thigh-high archers in the Brythnian hills.  Otho even hired mercenary warships and transports, adding their capacity to that of the small Aelissian navy.  The halfling army under Pip Oxback did yeoman service, preserving the defenseless minotaurs against orcish raids out of Itherias.At home, Otho spared no effort in drilling the troops and preparing them for their next encounters.  He also sent a large amount of treasure and manpower on the re-cultivation of Greensward, which continued to slowly produce improved results in crop yield.

Rose Merriweather, widow of old king Brandobaris, passed away at the relatively young age of 57 in 2816.  She was laid to rest beside her husband with full honors.

Jarvis Kegbelly, squire of Great Lirien, died in 2817 of pneumonia.  The Great Lirien moot, feeling that too many of their youngest and best had been slain in foreign wars, refused to send another squire to the Great Moot, though they stopped short of ejecting the Aelissian tax collectors. 

King Otho died the following year, passing away peacefully in his beloved garden.  There was much debate in the Great Moot over whom the delegates should select to replace him.  General Oxback was the very clear favorite, but Big Pip was in Brythnia, harassing orcs.  So the moot settled on Brandon Longhandle, the governor of the Great Delve.  Many mourned the ascension of Longhandle because they were losing the most efficient governor the city had known in generations.

King Otho’s widow passed away herself, of grief, in 2820.  Sadly, no one could remember her name.  It was almost as if she’d never had one…


Corland –
Ruler –
King Armand
Capital – Khairais
Dominant Race – Human

Peace was upon the land of Corland for the first time in generations.  The people were suspicious that their long nightmare would return, and agents fanned out across the former H’rethek lands to look for signs that the insectile overlords might be planning to return.  Despite rumors that the H’rethek had fled to the boreal forests of Rhanalor, the Corish were taking no chances. 

King Armand spent a fortune establishing a great many wayshrines and roadside temples to the Lords of the Grail in Quesante, in thanks for their deliverance from oppression.  It was also thanks to the enormous sums of cash lavished upon the nation by the Great Church. He ruled over his bustling nation from the stern castle at Khairais, happy that his affairs of state had nothing to do with war.  Queen Gwendolyn gave her proud husband two sons (though she was still undecided about a name for her six-year-old daughter).

Lord Bohemond was chief among those searching the countryside for signs of the H’rethek.  When he found none, he settled down to a watchful peace in Serry with a garrison of a thousand siege engineers.

Lord Tancred, the King’s father, traveled to Niance where he urged the Duke to submit himself to Armand’s rule.  Tancred died suddenly in mid-conversation, startling the duke.  The stress of the event was so severe that the duke suffered a stroke that night and died the following day.  The duke’s son, in honor of his father and of Tancred, agreed to enter into a defensive pact with Corland.

Traveling with Tancred had been lord Folgar, who traveled onto the city of Rhavais.  There, he and a small army of masons astonished the locals by erecting a mighty wall around the city which rivalled those of the greatest cities in Theeurth.  Certain among the wise note that the magical instrument used by Folgar to accomplish this wonder is probably The Giant’s Level.

In 2816, the region of Mauredoc and the city of Rhavais declared themselves to be independent.

In 2820, Armand’s sister Veronica died of a blood fever in Khairais, an unmarried old maid at thirty-six, like her twin sisters Valerie and Vivian.



Lorraine –
Ruler –
King Artorius
Capital – Armorica
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Launds [NT], Persant [FA], Nabon [NT]


Prince Mordred commanded a voyage across the Corish straits to bring more colonists to Bruyenne.  The dashing young prince was bored with the ragged workmen and oafish merchants with whom he was forced to travel, and spent most of his days in his cabin with the daughter of a priest from Cassivelaunus.  Having deposited the lot (including the girl, who had become tiresome) on the loamy shores of Corland, he then set sail for the orcish hills of Nabon on the west shore of the island, there to treat with the tribes and seek their submission to the rule of Armorica.  The young man shed his charm and wit like a second skin and was able to boast, brag and browbeat in the great orcish tradition.  In the end, the orcs agreed that the men of Lorraine might cross over their lands unhindered.Mordred’s father, King Artorius, traveled to the drafty halls of the hill-kings of Launds.  These stiff-necked marcher lords spoke Alatian, the ancient language of the islands and the north before the coming of the Conorrians and viewed the great king of Armorica with more than a bit of suspicion.  But they too agreed not to hinder the movement of Lorraine’s armies across their lands.

It was Sir Morgan who had the greatest success in this great push of diplomacy.  For among the wild orcs of Persant, he found a friend in the chivalrous if headstrong Sir Thark of the Closed Helm.  Despite the different race, religion and language of the Persant Orcs, Thark readily swore an oath to serve the great King of Armorica and bring his warriors to Lorraine’s service in times of need.

Myrddin wandered the realm during this time, appearing at far-distant spots without warning, searching among ancient bards and sorceresses for something unknown.  Lord Boedwen was given the governorship of Cassivelaunus, but appeared to do little but read and study.

It was during this time that many in the land began to feel that the local priests were living far too well on the sweat and tears of the common man.  Crowds gathered in hay markets and village fairs to listen to men who denounced the clerics as

parasites, claiming to bring the favor of the gods, with little to show for it.  In 2817, a priest was found drowned in a stream in Howel.  In 2818, six priests were found hung in Andred and Bruenor.

The Whisper Wood –
Ruler –
Queen Elevuil
Capital – Menelcandara
Dominant Race – Elf
Diplomacy – Ferrense [NT], Gold Cliffs [NT]


A great many new Heartwood trees were planted in Menelcandara, providing living space for the many elves who desired to live in the capital.  The queen’s deep connection with her realm radiated health and life, causing the trees to be more fruitful and the hunting to be plentiful.Her son Prince Fëalure traveled to the human realm of Ferrense and convinced the men of that region to acknowledge his mother’s supremacy over their land.  But their difference in species, language and religion ensured that no close amity was possible.  The men of Ferrense worshiped the god Aeolan and regarded the Lords of the Grail with both hatred and contempt.

So it was also with the mission of Lords Vaire, Talorn and Barok to the giants of the Gold Cliffs.  The pagan lords of the mountains had no more love of the Grail than did the men of the south and though they grudgingly acknowledged Elevuil as their sovereign, they did so through gritted teeth and amidst muttered curses.


The Neldorean Wood –

Ruler – Queen Nereil
Capital – Elenuil
Dominant Race – Elf
Queen Nereil continued her careful reign, planting the last orchard of Hearttrees in Belfirth and guiding those who tended the streams and lakes in the Leosse Glades to improve the health of the forest and manage the annual flooding.  Prince Taralom traveled from deep within Shanatar to the great woods of Celendor by way of Marador and the Mulgaunt River, though to none would he reveal his purpose or mission. 

Lady Senelra continued to train her small but elite army and move them amidst the many woods of the great forest.

Lord Iledril indulged his love of the sea and of travel by closely questioning the captains of all foreign ships arriving at Elenuil. Indeed, elven scribes took copious notes of his questions, which were primarily about dangerous plants and beasts faced by travelers in many lands.  When finished, he published his findings in a slender volume of warnings entitled Felenora: A Traveler’s Guide to Hazards Abroad.



The Airnim Horde – 
Ruler – Tarl Wolf’s Paw
Capital – Haelopolis
Dominant Race – Human
Ever restless, Tarl once again called together the tribes, causing them to abandon the farms and towns they had so recently invested, and gather to his banner in the Riftmarch.  His lieutenant Borborutai traveled to Halianis to retrieve a thousand horse archers from the tribes stationed there and return with them to the khan’s horde in the Riftmarch.While waiting, Tarl began to instruct his people about kingship, sending teachers among them to get them used to the idea that their “undying” leader was in fact mortal and that one day they would need to choose a khan to succeed him. 

Meanwhile, the shaman Sundijama, aging but still forceful of personality, with eyes that could make a man’s (or elf’s) blood run cold, traveled to the elven regions of Manariyë in Neldorea and Valdori in the Whisper Wood, there to herald Tarl’s half-elven blood and challenge any elf-maid who would to come and be judged by the khan for her fitness to bear his children. 

The old human shaman was met with haughty scorn in the Whisper Wood, where she could find any elves at all. The elves of Neldorea, ever practical, largely hid their daughters away from view of any Airnim spies.  Several noble elves sent their daughters to secret retreats in the Great Stoneheart Mountains.  But one elf-maid, a noblewoman named Ceria, agreed to travel to Haelopolis “to look upon the man who deems himself so high.”  Long of face and wiry of leg and body, Ceria, though an elf-lord’s daughter, is an archer by choice and training, and carries her long knives and yew bow with her wherever she goes.



The Exarchate of the Great Crusade –
Ruler –
Queen Ava
Capital – Pontezium
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Salt Shore [FA]
A host of engineers traveled to Regaldros in the Salt Shore and rebuilt the city’s walls.  The knights and merchants of that city breathed a sigh of relief.  There were still those in the city who held in living memory the Orc Dominion and wished never again to be subjected to the capricious rule of savages.    At the same time, Sir Maradoc and Sir Yaral traveled about the Salt Shore, shoring up old alliances.  Seeing the renewed interest of the crown, the knights of that region swore once again to be the feudal vassals of Good Queen Ava. Far down the coast, on the shores of the Llyran Sea, the Exarchate founded its first new city in a generation, Rantes in Mocarre.  The High-Conorrian speaking Grail worshipers felt unusually isolated amidst the Ianthan-speaking Aeolites and began almost immediately to demand a city wall of their own.

The Company of Wanderers, a band of accomplished adventurers was commissioned to investigate the famously strange magics of the Akasian plain, said to be left over from the Mage Wars a thousand years ago.  In 2819, they triumphantly entered Pontezium carrying gifts of an ancient magical device and several strange crystals.  The Company had discovered a lost pre-Miletian library with many valuable notes on the lost arts of the Blood Mages.



The Holy Order of the Dawn –
Ruler –
Grand Master Tiberius
Capital – The Akasian Hills
Dominant Race – Human


The Best Laid Plans O’ Mice and Men Gang Aft Aglay.”
Robert Burns
The Order was looking sharp to its military duties.  Master Aneias led five thousand cavalry northeast into the Empire and took up the defense of Lenicum, lest the orcs of the Worldspine try to capitalize on their recent string of victories and invade Grail lands.  But it was the haste of Grand Master Tiberius to rescue his troopers stranded in the far north that led to military disaster much closer to home.  For the great man chose a very direct route to his goal – a route that cut through lands at war and whose inhabitants held little love for the Grail and still less for its most fanatical defenders. Tiberius crossed the Firefall bridge across the Lyodan river and into Brythnia in the summer of 2816, not realizing that he was walking into a powder keg.  The Order had given the taurids no warning of their approach or intentions.  The taurids were fierce adherents of the Medahros Spirit Cults and viewed the Lords of the Grail with hatred and contempt.  Grail troops, in the form of Aelissian halflings had just decamped into the Brythnian heartland, setting the populace on edge, when Ascalon and the Edgemoor orcs began to raid from either end of the taurid nation.  The advance from the rear of two thousand heavily-armed knights was more than the Brythnians could bear.  The king, convinced of a Grail double-cross wheeled his army of six thousand centaurs away from the Lyodan and pursued the unsuspecting knights, catching up with them in the wide plains of the Great Meadow.  Out of a cloud of dust they came, firing bows and lowering lances.  Determined to defend their homes and families.

Both forces were superbly trained.  Both were led by competent generals.  The Order force was entirely elite, among the best heavy cavalry in Theeurth rivaled perhaps only in Corland. But the civilized men of the Order were not used to combat in the steppe, and they now faced the undisputed masters of the steppe, who though not elite forces nonetheless outnumbered the knights nearly three to one.  The centaurs galloped in, let loose with volleys of javelins and arrows and galloped away again before the ponderous squadrons of the Order could come to bear.  Where the Order did manage to force its opponents to fight, it was masterful.  “A charging knight could bring down the walls of Echoriath!” wailed one unfortunate centaur soldier.  But the day was never in doubt as the centaurs surrounded and harassed the knights until they broke and then pursued them with vicious glee into the waters of the Lyodan where they drowned by the hundreds.  Tiberius managed to escape with his life and a few companions, no more.




The Shadowed Realm of Ascarlon –
Ruler –
Baron Gauros the Arisen
Capital – Denavine
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Turlag [EA], Ios [A


As the armies gathered in Orodea for the dark benedictions of the clergy of Caravok, Baron Gauros named Marzdak of Galati to be his heir.  Gauros then marched southwest with thirty-five hundred troops while Marzdak set out south with a nearly identical army.  The dark Baron and his forces crossed the Goldenhorn Mountains in the spring of 2817, slipped through Vaanes and attacked Viator, seizing it as a base of operations against the Harkorian coastal towns.  Ignoring and ignored by the large Harkorian army at Cadares, Gauros raided Trolium, Alaxos, Saranthus and Archameos with impunity, and returned north unopposed in the fall.Marzdak had even greater success in the east.  He crossed the Kemallya Peaks and the Auram, decamping into Orosel in 2817.  Unbeknownst to Marzdak, the great host of Brythnia was even then turning south to face the Grail invaders.  Marzdak fell upon an undefended Tathlann and looted its towns and villages without mercy, retuning north in the fall with a vast haul of treasure and leaving nothing but smoldering farms and ruined villages in his wake.

Diplomacy seemed a hazardous trade for Ascars, since Vachik died at Turlag in 2817 (of pneumonia) and Vilkhar the Hammer died in Ios the following year.  However, both diplomats were successful in the short time they remained with their hosts.  Turlag agreed to enter into an exclusive trading agreement with Denavine, while Ios agreed to sign a treaty of alliance.


The Worldspine Orcs –
Ruler –
Vaurog Breakspear
Capital – Mount Kauroth
Dominant Race – Orc
Diplomacy – The Forest of Memory [NT]

Growing long in the tooth, Vaurog Breakspear transferred the command of his armies to his son, Vraag Irontooth and put his efforts into governing his rapidly-expanding nation.  Vraag, meanwhile, set out straight for Brythnia.  His horde of nearly fourteen thousand warriors demanded blood and treasure, and all knew that the Brythnians were the toughest foes around.  Who better from which to slaughter and steal? Setting up a base in Itherias, the army broke up into small bands and executed swift raids across the Lyodan into Lloricam and the Brythnian Hills.  Minor defenses in both places presented some obstacles to the orcish raids, and the presence of Esriadan’s large army in Lloricam assured that little was stolen there.  But the Brythnian Hills were stripped bare. Toting their booty and reveling in the smoke and ash of blazing minotaur homesteads, the orcs retreated as swiftly as they’d come.

Markhag and Gandaur traveled to the Forest of Memory, threatening and posturing until the locals agreed to allow the orcs freedom of the forest paths.  Markhag died at the age of thirty-seven after a severe bout of celebratory drinking.

In 2818, goblin trackers discovered a Conorrian spy lurking amidst the caverns in Mount Kauroth.  The spy carried coded orders to assassinate King Vaurog.  His head was subsequently delivered to the Conorrian outpost in the Worldspine South in a pickle jar.



H’Rethek –
Ruler –
The Hive Queen
Capital – Kal Secundus

Dominant Race – Har’keen
Having at last outpaced her pursuers, the Hive Queen set up the new nation of H’rethek in the wilderlands of Rhanalor where once the Airnim horselords roamed free.  Seizing control of Airnim, Olos, Aldar and Kajd Tudun, she enslaved the human tribes there.  With the prodigious and diligent speed of her children, she raised a new city in the once-green fields of Airnim, named Kal Secundus.Here, far from the ravages of this plane’s natives, she could once again set about creating a realm of perfect order and harmony.


The Empire of Carhallas –
Ruler –
Emperor Maugrath
Capital – Carcaroth
Dominant Race – Hobgoblin


As the emperor continued to rule from Carcaroth, his ruthless legions continued to seize all free hobgoblins from the regions beyond the imperial frontier and press them into slavery within the empire.  Duke Zdrach led an army of five thousand legionnaires and four thousand irregulars into the regions of Naurog and Ildriss at the headwaters of the Manndaran river.  In brief and all but perfunctory campaigns he put down the local militias, rounded up the survivors for slaves and looted the provinces of their meager goods.  When the locals protested their love of the empire, the soldiers told them they would now have a chance to prove it behind the plows and shovels of Pukkalid.Duke Zdrach died in 2819 of a blood fever.  Divinations revealed this to be the curse of an Ildrissi witch-woman whose tribe had been enslaved the year before.  Scarkug, Zdrach’s second-in-command, led the legions and slaves back to Mendhaur. Lord Fildrak of Jezul died on campaign, with an Ildrissi arrow through his thigh.  The wound festered and the aristocrat died in camp a few weeks later.  The lord of Mendhaur died in his own bed in 2820.

Meanwhile, not all that occurred in Carhallas was martial in nature.  The Circle of Stone, wizards and priests employed by the crown, conducted ceremonies in Pukkalid with the aid of Prince Khazel the necromancer and Lord U’karth, priest of Malbor.  These ceremonies summoned to Pukkalid a horde of flopping, flying demons who obeyed the commands of the Circle, draining swamps and clearing forestland for future farms.

In 2819, the men of Jurath, having rarely heard of the Empire, let it be known that they were no part of the hobgoblin empire and appealed to the Conorrian Emperor to send them aid in their defense.


The Great Kingdom of Annvar –
Ruler –
Councillor Marvaith
Capital – Varthane
Dominant Race – Human

Councilllor Marvaith ruled his top-heavy kingdom from Varthane, and pared some of it away by giving Argininkai into the hands of a loyal retainer and by cutting Medinavai free of all ties but the necessity to recognize Annvar’s preeminence. Despite his precautions, several small merchant houses left the country, fearing a general civil war.  Though small, these few houses had been important because they loaned money to the aristocracy and royalty.  In their absence, cash was scarce, though all agreed it could have been much worse.There was joy in Varthane as Councillor Marvaith married the daughter of a Varthane noble house and she promptly provided him with a healthy son.  Two years later, she presented her lord with a squalling trio of baby girls.

Cautious in the aftermath of the near civil war, all of Annvar’s leaders were on alert against invasion.  All except Lord Tellenor who was tasked with governing Varthane.  Tellenor’s famous appetites for fine food and the wives of other men left him little time to actually produce much change in the capital.


The Conorrian Heartland –

The Conorrian Empire –

Ruler – Emperor Constantikos III
Capital – Echoriath
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Kylades [N/E]
Faced with the threat of a bloated empire, ready to topple at the slightest provocation, Emperor Constantikos removed imperial administrators from several of the Empire’s less developed regions, granting those regions political, though not actual or economic autonomy.  Affected regions included Risinium, Ganthus Longa, Heirocomita, Hydastes, Sabratha, Mogentianae, Liburnum, Osca and Medensus.Princess Anna, known as Anna Comnena, married Flavius Merikus, a grand nephew of the Conorrian hero Flavius Sextus.  It was a flawless match of excellent Conorrian bloodlines.  Flavius, however, was conceded amongst the cognoscenti to be a bit of a dullard.  This could easily explain the rumors that flew about the capital regarding the beautiful young princess and Lucius Keletes, dashing centurion of her own legio Comnena (the joke being that he gave new meaning to the term primi pilus – first spear).  At times, there were other rumors regarding Anna and Helos Verinius, a married priest high in the ranks of the Temple of Erdhon. Whatever the truth or provenance of these rumors, Anna became pregnant in 2818, and Flavius acknowledged fathering the child.

On a night in Branaeor, priestesses of the Valendrian and Calandran orders were summoned – something was wrong with the pregnancy.  In time, the Imperial Herald let it be quietly known that the princess had survived.  The baby – a boy – had not.  Thereafter, Anna was rarely seen by anyone in the city.

Palos Eatredes, leader of the ill-fated assault into the Worldspines, returned south, transferring his command to young Herculeades Agrippa at Lenicum.  Palos then became imperial governor of Callistus, at which he was acknowledged to have performed adequately. Herculeades, meanwhile, had force-marched his legions (legio XIII Corvus and legio XIV Pathera) from Faloricum to Lenicum in just under five months.  Once he had taken over command of Palos’s surviving cavalry, he stood in defense of the frontier with a force of 17,000 regular legionnaires.

Arcalas and Varantius, twin sons of the Emperor were made Princes of the realm at the age of sixteen in a great ceremony largely designed to shift attention from the travails of their older sister.

Lord Phaesus of Scythnus died in 2816 of a liver ailment (that ailment being two jugs of Thariyyan wine every day).  Gaius Calos, who had traveled to Kylades in the spring of 2816 with an imperial commission to offer Conorrian citizenship to the residents, died in 2818 without having accomplished his mission. Lord Nichous of Aquae Albanesis died in the same year after suffering with gout for many years.  Lord Heageus of Baetulo died peacefully in bed in 2819.

In 2817, the woodsmen of  the deep-woods province of Elirius turned out the imperial governor and forced him to ride backwards out of the province on the back of an unsaddled donkey.


The Great Church of the Lords of the Grail –

Ruler – Patriarch Calidonus
Holy City – Conorr
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Trolium [CH], Cadares [CH], Mynos [MN],
[CH], Hypylus [CH], Zabu [N/E], Sharham [EC], Belfirth [AB], Lenicum [CH], Dhûnazhar [AB]
The Great Church of the Grail was, as usual, a hive of activity.  The wharves of Conorr bustled with the building of warships and transports, while the Patriarch mustered thousands of elite men-at-arms in the Mynos fields.  Trunks of gold were sent to Aelissia, Har’akir, Corland and the Neldorean Wood while yet more fortunes were spent in the improvement of the Akasian Hills.Grail legates were even sent to hire the Brave Companions, but those worthies were hired away by Brythnia for an undisclosed amount.

Patriarch Palladius spent most of 2816-17 ensuring that the clerics of Lorrained collected tithes for the Church and sent them on to Conorr. After founding the large monastery of St. Thenelsius in Mynos, the patriarch collapsed and was carried to his bed in Conorr.  He lingered on until late in 2818, but finally slipped into a coma and passed away. 

An election was held among the powerful of the Church, but many of these were away.  Unfettered by the great voices of the Church, the Council alit on the choice of Calidonus as Patriarch.  This was an unusual choice.  Calidonus was the youngest of the great bishops, and just recently returned from one of the greatest military disasters in modern times.  But he was also a claimant to the throne of the Valesian City-States and making him Patriarch was seen as a way to bind that restive nation more closely to the Church.  Calidonus briefly returned to Conorr to be crowned, then returned to his business in the Kingdom Under the Mountain, where he was attempting to found an abbey in Dhûnazhar.

Bishop Iscandus returned from Agazier to the Empire with his army, and after some time in Conorr traveled to Lenicum where he joined the imperial forces of Herculeades Agrippa, adding a further eight thousand troops to the allied total.  Meanwhile, Bishop Aetrius led his army out of Agazier and also returned to Conorr to acknowledge the new patriarch.  From there, he returned to Vales, this time landing at the Valesian city of Sirtis with four thousand men. Aetrius died at Sirtis in 2820.  Also in the region was Bishop Tantalus, who founded churches among the halflings west of the Kherouf Desert.

Bishop Alecius also traveled to the Holy City.  After paying his respects to Calidonus, he traveled to the Neldorean Wood.  There he presented a large gift of gold to the queen and received her permission to build an abbey in the city of Belfirth.

Finally, the dwarven mercenary Khedem-Var, along with five thousand mercenary troops, left Har’Akir and under Church auspices marched overland through the Valesian cities and into Hypylus, where he placed himself under the command of Bishop Tantalus.


The Dwarven Realm of Dhûnazhar – 
Ruler – King Valand Dragonsbane
Capital – Khelem Vala
Dominant Race – Dwarf
Diplomacy – Phaedon [F]


Awakening from their long slumber, the dwarves recruited two thousand elite soldiers and worked to enlarge and elaborate the delvings of Dhûnazhar.  There was rejoicing in Khelem Vala when, in 2819, the queen gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl.



North-Western Vales –

The Llyran Republic –
Ruler –
Constans Harko Marova
Capital – Tarrentica
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Sandrettos [War]


Constans Harko sent thousands of peasants and craftsmen to the shores of Mons Llyrae, where they extended the walls of Tarrentica to include the tiny (and now improved) port of Baestia.  The Long Walls, as they were thereafter called, effectively linked inland Tarrentica to the sea. At the same time that the capital was being improved and expanded, the Republic’s outpost on the Ianthan shore suffered terrible destruction as a fire raged for twelve days through Vorogrod.  Thousands were forced to flee to the questionable safety of the nomad-dominated countryside.  The troops and Llyran wizards fought the blaze, managing to protect some of the city’s most important buildings and defenses.  But the fire left wide swathes of the city mere rubble.  Two weeks after the fire started, the population had dwindled to that of a mere village.  The cause of the fire was thought to be the unstable summoning by a rogue wizard of several imps from the plane of fire.  The wizards was thought to be the first victim of the holocaust.

Giancola Bolusova spent all of 2816 and 2817 treating with Cazio Pachiomadio da Chiovattio, lord of Geshtai, and convinced the latter man to sign a treaty of alliance with the Republic.  Giancola then set sail for the Windhaven Channel, where he planted a Llyran flag amidst the twisted, glittering ruin of the Plain of Glass and claimed the region in the name of the Republic.  To enforce this “claim”, he left several hundred despondent troops in a miserable camp along the forbidding coastline.  Giancola himself traveled inland, searching over the deadly crystalline landscape for the next two years before returning to Nasilia in 2820.

Strategos Emratur z’Accatto Marova traveled to Agazier to retrieve the army and fleet that had gone to protect Har’Akir from the Marrakhan Horde, and moved them to the ruins of Vorogrod to ward off any enemies that might think to pick through the destroyed city.

Finally, Leovigild Ackensai Bolusova, the Joraidan, traveled to the island of Sandrettos in the Pale Sea.  En route, the well-known composer wrote an orchestral piece he entitled Anthem of the Sea.  On arriving at primitive Sandrettos, the aristocrat attempted to parley with the savage natives and even performed his Anthem before a gathering of fierce tribal chieftains.  But whether because of the music or because of their anger at the Republic’s attempt to curtail their freedom, the tribes attacked the Llyran encampment, killing dozens.  Leovigild was himself wounded.  Rather than face what he felt certain would be the condemnation of his family and nation, the young man fled south with his ships and men, into the unknown.

GM’s Note: “Claim” is a diplomatic status, achievable only through the Diplomacy order.  Anybody can claim anything they like, but that doesn’t get you the flag on the map.  However, posting troops does.


The Holy Matriarchy of Ahuran
Ruler – Queen Luriaal Moonshadow
Capital – Sedeskan
Dominant Race – Human
No news came out of Ahuran.
Har’akir –
Ruler –
Sultan Socacia Alouda
Capital – Mar Awas
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Kumrat [F], Khars [C], Dikhil [NT], Har Jadme [F]
With the allied troops leaving in droves, Sultan Socacia looked to resecure his southern frontier.  To start with, he scoured thousands of peasants from the slums of Agazier and Mar Awas and soldiers from Har Mekelle, sending them south into Awas Fahan to reoccupy the abandoned farms there.The sultan ruled from his palace in Mar Awas, where he concerned himself primarily with new mercantile laws which ordered the captains of ships based in Har’Akir to concentrate on bringing goods between the cities and provinces of the realm and allowed only a certain amount of trade with the foreign world.  Such trade could, of course, be handled by the foreigners themselves. No royal children were produced.

Socacia’s lieutenants fanned out into the surrounding provinces to bolster the sultan’s influence amidst his neighbors.  Lord Nuldor offered the hand of the sultan’s sister Favoud in marriage to the Emir of Kumrat.  Deeply flattered, this worthy immediately agreed and became a prince of the realm.  Lord Bajid, bolstered by gold, magic and the well-wishes of his sultan, traveled to the hills of Khars and attempted to engage the wild hillmen in dialogue.  Despite his many advantages, few came to hear him speak.  Old Prince Edelmo died in the midst of negotiations with the woodsmen of Dikhil.  In honor of his death amongst them, they agreed to acknowledge the sovereignty of the sultan.  The sultan, on the other hand, wasted not a single day in offering the hand of Edelmo’s widow, his sister Azmeralda, in marriage to the Emir of Har Jadme.  Azmeralda remained unmarried only 101 days (the required time under Har’Akir law) before remarrying. The Emir became a peer of the realm.

In 2817, Socphares grew bored with distant Har’Akir and threw out the sultan’s governor.



The Valesian Empire –
Ruler –
Primarch Centorius II, Euristis
Capital – Centauris
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Phalces [F]

With the advent of an imperial form of government, many changes swept through Valesia, particularly in the capital. Euristis took the imperial name of Centorius, and changed the names of both the nation and the capital.  The nation he renamed The Valesian Empire.  The capital he renamed Centauris, in honor of himself and his dynasty, which he predicted would last a thousand years.To cement his imperial status, Centorius instituted vast changes in the capital city, though not as vast as he had desired, for there was a limit to the amount of money the merchants would lend the new empire. A large area at the center of the city was cleared, its inhabitants moved to the newer districts being built.  The cleared area became a walled city-within-a-city known as the Imperial Enclave.  Parks and water gardens dominate the green expanse and surround three new tower-palaces: The Rose Tower of Ventasis, housing the Primarch and his household; the Dawnspire, housing the clerical establishment; and the White Tower of Sixteen, housing much of the imperial bureaucracy.  Other buildings in the Imperial enclave include the House of Artorius Invictus, a grand cathedral that also contains shrines to the other Lords of the Grail and The House of Blades, a more shadowy establishment for the Primarch’s agents.

The single most impressive great work of the age, however, is the immense bronze statue of St. Valesia designed and built by the Valesian architect Andregis.  Standing nearly seventy feet tall and depicting the  hero-saint thrusting her spear into the heart of the dragon Serpentedes, it stand on the southern shore of Ventas and looks out across the Valesian Bight towards Vales, the city where this mythical event is thought to have taken place.  Devout pilgrims are already traveling to visit the site, and sailors use the statue as a navigational aid.

The warships of the Valesian Empire took to flying plain red flags just below their national ensigns as a sign of the strength of the Red Pact of Vales.  The fashion has not yet caught on with the other Pact members. The Empire also cooperated with the Great Church, guiding the armies of Bishop Tantalus and the mercenary Khedem-Var.

Primarch Centorius named his young brother Tempus to be his heir.  This was accounted a wise move for not only was Tempus an acknowledged wizard, but Centorius was producing no heirs of his body.

Lord Dracon performed a complicated shuffle of the Imperial garrisons and then spent several years patrolling the Gulf of Thariyya with a fleet of fifty ships, alert for Accolon pirates. Lord Malishas brought Phalces back into the Valesian fold by arranging a marriage between the Primarch’s family and that of the leading men of the province. Meanwhile, Lord Caesaris, allied master of Euristi, upgraded his troops to elite hoplites. 


Luxur –
Ruler –
General Eshamok
Capital – Thedelos
Dominant Race – Sathla
Diplomacy – Aysira [A], Pyrayus [N/E], Kerma [N/E]


Great things were done in Luxur in those days.  Thousands of colonists traveled to Keferis, repopulating the region with sathla as it had been in the days before the Valesian invasion.  Great numbers of sathla returned to Badar from their jungle tribes, encouraged to live there by the creation of vast rat and goat farms.  Castles and fortified towns were established throughout Badar and Naqada. A true son of Udjo, Speaker Jesserek sent large quantities of meat to the Church in furtherance of its holy duties. Missionaries sent to the realm of Qassara began to convert great numbers from the spirit cults to the worship of Udjo.  All were mesmerized by the holy artifact carried by the priests – the Censer of the Void.

Speaker Moltass visited Pyrayus, but died before he was able to accomplish anything.  Captain Vystil traveled with him and worked his charms on the chieftains of Kerma. Those staunch rebels refused to heed his call of unity. Speaker Kyuss, on the other hand, easily convinced the Keferis rebels to ally themselves with Thedelos.

General Eshamok, meanwhile, led nine thousand warriors into the human realm of Hawat and laid waste to the unbelievers with sword and fire.  He returned with thousands of slaves, whom he put to work farming in Habu.

Speaker Jesserek traveled to Aysira and married the daughter of the lord of Aysira, who became an ally of the empire once again.  However, Jesserek, hero of the realm, died in Aysira in the fall of 2819, choking on a goat hock.  Eager to avoid another civil war, the ruling council quickly alighted on General Eshamok as their First Speaker, and with the blessings of the patriarch, he took that office in Merwal in 2820.



The Holy See of Udjo
Ruler –
Arch Priest Slaasthess
Great Cathedral – Thedelos
Dominant Race – Sathla
Diplomacy – Merwal [MN]


Believing that much power resides in names, the Autumna Primacy changed its name to The Holy See of Udjo. Archpriest Kyassthi divined that it was the will of Udjo that all his priest be branded on their arms to show their devotion to him.  Kyassthi was the first to do this in the Great Square at Thedelos.  Going further, he drove a hot iron spike through his own right hand to show his disdain for worldly matters.  The terrible wound festered and Kyassthi died in agony two weeks later.  Thereafter, there was little debate amongst the priests over the value of worldly things.Slaasthess, the only other priest with any real clout among the sathla was soon crowned as the new Arch Priest. He spent several years searching and researching in Merwal, choosing among the ancient sites and reading the epochal scripts carved on ancient tomb walls to find the perfect place for a great monastery which he eventually founded in 2819.


The Serpentine of Mykele –
Ruler –
Regent Kouresh
Capital – Oroyon
Dominant Race – Sathla
Diplomacy – Oroyon [F], Mikkulizim [A]

Sauressh Sishtreth encouraged emigration to the regions of Gigalgudar and Kurgal, paying for the support and maintenance of thousands of colonists in each region.  The Sauressh himself remained in Oroyon, working to overcome the last obstacles to controlling his own capital.  in 2818, his wife gave birth to a son, but died in childbirth with another son in 2819.  Grieving, Sishtreth himself passed away months later, leaving the Serpentine without an heir.  The great general Lisal’assh had died in Ursurrnam the same year before he could bring his own diplomatic efforts to fruition.  Thus the fate of the nation fell to Kouresh, who proved loyal and agreed to hold the Serpentine in regency for the one-year old son of Sishtreth.  Kouresh had just concluded an alliance with the independent city of Mikkulizim and hurried back to Oroyon to take power.

Finally, Tailheresh, the allied leader of Vaaltoth, traveled to the jungles of Kilni where in a series of fast-moving raids, his thousand sathla cleaned out and stole nearly everything worth having, then returned to Vaaltoth in triumph!




North-Eastern Vales –

The Kingdom of Thariyya –
Ruler –
King Mogrihan Vahdin
Capital – Uls Fakhar
Dominant Race – Halfling
Diplomacy – Abin [A], Hassar [+5YfC]
King Al-Kadem invested heavily in the schooling of noble children in Uls Fakhar and in the encouragement of halfling scholarship.  He endowed three separate schools of philosophy in the capital.The king had planned to convene a council of the Fezhirs in northern region of Abin for the Spring of 2818, but the stout old monarch passed away on a hot summer’s day in 2817.  THe royal coroner pronounced it a case of excessive melancholic humors. As it happened, the Fezhir of Abin had himself passed away not a week earlier, suffering from gout.

Al-Kadem’s son Mogrihan was crowned king in an elaborate festival and city-wide feast a month later.  Those Fezhirs who had been planning to travel to Abin came instead to Uls Fakhar to pledge their loyalty to the line of Vahdin.

Mogrihan himself quickly returned to what he had been doing when he learned of his father’s death – attempting to assuage the still-fragile relationship with the conquered halflings of Hassar.  He attempted to do this by a prodigious use of information, magic and the promise in marriage of his nineteen year-old sister, Sharuza.

Kaedir Vahdin returned from defending Har’Akir for the Red Pact of Vales, and brought with him Mogrihan’s little brother Zarahan (the Law Student and Junior Assistant Lieutenant Aide de Camp de Flag).  Once home, Kaedir took up the defense of Uls Fakhar until the middle of 2819, when he garrisoned the troops and seemed to disappear from public view.  His cousin Sezir was likewise absent for many years after leaving Hassar in 2817, where he had aided Prince Mogrihan in his diplomatic efforts.


Accolon –
Ruler –
Warlock Belshazu the Evoker
Capital – Dammarask
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Nuradeem [+3 YfC]
Belshazu ruled from the Spider Throne and ruled well.  All agreed that he was one of the most energetic and insightful rulers in recent Accolon history.  Under his guidance, the population of the capital swelled, as did the rural population of Akin.  Five watchtowers were built to guard the coast and riverbanks of Bis.  Tens of thousands of gold coins and the labor of thousands of peasants poured into Hamsh, completing the cultivation of that region, popularly known as Spiderhaunt Heights.The Warlock known as The Annointed One governed in Agharra.  This masked man spent all his time in the brothels and alehouses of the city carousing with the city’s elite.  Kurotsuki Black Moon was more diligent as governor of Nuradeem, and managed to have the city’s cisterns repaired to secure its water supply.  Sithmore the Brave was appointed governor of Dammarask, but died in a drunken knife-fight over the favors of a Farmuz courtesan. 

Bishop Marakin Trollkin drowned in a large heated bath in Nuradeem in 2817.  He had been trying to soothe relations with the heretical branches of the Church.



The Shadowed Primacy of the Dark Court –  
Ruler –
High Priest Gezz Half-Shadow
Holy City – Dammarask
Dominant Race – Human
The Priests of shadow improved the city of Unaagh with walls, agricultural storage and water cisterns.  If they did aught else, it was with great secrecy.


The Shadowguard of Marador –  
Ruler –
Queen Madariel Shadowfoot
Capital – Lantar
Dominant Race – Elf

Most men think of elves as aloof beings of the forest who take ages to puzzle out each decision.  But when aroused to anger the elves can be both dangerous and swift.  Alas, they can also be incautious.  Queen Madariel threw all her resources into war with the Ogre Horde.  She raised more than four thousand troops and unleashed a storm of magic. The trees and grasses in Dimbe and Gaja writhed with the power of the Earth goddess, slowing any attempted escape by the Horde.  By scrying, she maintained a watchful eye on the Horde’s defenses.  By summoning magical protections, she greatly increased the durability of her army.  What she did not do was await the coming of her allies, so that the Ogres could be assailed with superior force.Elven assassins were sent to find and kill the Ogre sorcerer, Taurog.  These were successful in wounding him and driving him off from the gates of Oromardi where he attempted to parley with the elves of the city.

In Kinn-Lai, a rumor spread through the ranks that the queen had been killed and the person leading the army was a succubus, determined to draw them all to their deaths.  Consternation and rancor flew until the queen and her lieutenants could identify the malcontents and remove them from the army.

And then, with her entire host, the elf-queen rode away to battle.  (See The Battle of Dimbe and The First Battle of Nastaldo, below)


The Ogre Horde
Ruler –
Capital – None
Dominant Race – Orc


Quor and his ogre/orc horde dug in at Dimbe and awaited the coming of the elves.  They didn’t have long to wait.In early 2816, it was discovered that elven agents had paid many of the ogre chieftains bribes and that a mutiny was underway in the army.  Quor personally slew the leaders of the uprising in a bloody midnight raid and then crucified one out of every hundred of their followers as a warning.

Taurog, trying to cajole the elven city of Oromardi, was wounded by assassin who lay in wait for him as he returned to his camp.

The Second Battle of Dimbe
13-14 Maravis, 2816

Madariel and her elves were hot for revenge, and so did not await the coming of allies from Aurdrukar or Sengkar.  Having hurried along to Nastaldo and taken up the elven troops of the injured Glorfindel (who insisted on riding into battle despite his wounds), and a thousand allied archers of Balan under Orodeth, the Elven Queen rode into battle with fourteen thousand soldiers, including some six thousand elven archers and a thousand cavalry.  Elven rangers had scouted the Ogre defenses in Dimbe and made their report to the queen at the frontier.  The Queen’s magic surrounded her warriors with unseen blessings, able to turn the blades and arrows of their enemies.  The word was given – this was to be a battle to the bitter end.  No surrender, no retreat.

The ogres, for their part, whipped their orcish slave warriors into a frenzy of digging.  Trenches, spiked pits and earthworks were thrown up all about the camp while they awaited the coming of the elves.  And the numbers of the elven host were well known, for orcish spies dogged their trails throughout Nastaldo. Quor’s army also numbered thirteen thousand, but these were nearly all highly-trained cavalry.  What the orcs lacked in magic they more than made up for in ferocity and discipline. An elven army is a terror in the forest.  But in the wide open expanses of Dimbe, Quor’s cavalry would have free rein.

The two sides came together in a thunderous headlong rush on the morning of 13 Maravis 2816.  A gentle mist rising from the Mulgaunt river gave an eerie, otherworldly appearance to the first hour of the battle and made archery hard both to direct and to avoid. Quor, the better tactician with a vast superiority in maneuverability, strove to pin down and encircle Madariel, the ancient elven queen and her elite archers. Strange lights seemed to dazzle the eyes of orcish archers while the ground seemed treacherous underfoot to orcish cavalry.  The ogres themselves were a nearly unstoppable force, dominating whichever portion of the battlefield they chose.  The elves survived this onslaught only by constantly giving way and harassing the deadly giants from a distance.

As the day waned, the elves under Prince Glorfindel forced back the orcish left flank and seemed almost to threaten an encirclement, when a great column of ogres slammed into the prince’s guard, heaving their bodies into the sky like farmers threshing chaff from wheat.  Glorfindel dueled Magrod the Ogre in a battle that seemed to last an hour.  But in the end the ogre struck the prince a mortal blow which crushed his helm and drove the valiant prince to his knees.  Though he struggled to rise, Magrod shoved him back with a great splayed foot and pinned him to the ground with an ash spear.  Then the elven advance was broken and the elves fell back in dismay as the sun set over the hills of Indoglaurë.

On the second day of battle, the two fierce but battered forces abandoned all pretense of traditional battle and merely ran at each other with the ancient hate of their races, mauling and killing with a ferocity born of millennia of hatred.  The elves sought to avenge Glorfindel, but were unable even to recover his body.  With their numbers waning, they fell back, refusing to run.  By the end of the day, the elves had achieved a pyhrric victory.  The orcs had been put to flight, but the elves had themselves lost nearly 90% of their force.  In the confusion, both sides were convinced that the other held the field and both turned to flight.  Quor and the Ogre Horde fled north into Gaja, where they were assaulted by the very plants themselves, while Madariel and the elves fled south to Nastalso.

In the aftermath, both armies sought to recompose themselves and call in all stragglers. By the autumn of 2816, both armies had recovered all they could.  The Ogre Horde now numbered eight thousand cavalry and eight hundred ogres, whereas the elves mustered a total of thirty-six hundred warriors.  The Ogre Horde soon returned for revenge.

The Battle of Nastaldo
4 Branaeor, 2816


The elves of Sengkar arrived in Nastaldo about the same time as Marador elves were streaming south in disarray.  Prince Namaril the Hunter had brought his father’s host of nineteen thousand elves, including nine thousand cavalry and immediately began to dig in around Nastaldo.  They welcomed queen Madariel’s elves and helped with their many wounds.  A few months later, their defenses were put to the test as Quor and his eight thousand riders came pouring over the frontier, ready to mop up the Maradoran survivors.  The reality was something quite different.

Quor was the finest general on the field, and despite being outnumbered more than two to one, facing fixed defenses, elite forces and not one but two powerful sorcerers (Madariel and Namaril), he very nearly broke the back of the combined elven armies with sheer ferocity and cunning.  The initial charge of the orcs was like a spear thrust into the soft belly of the elves.  When the terrible ogres followed up this charge with a sustained assault of their own, it was all the defenders could do to hold their lines.  But hold they did.   It cost them the life of Orodeth, lord of Balan to do it, however.

Near the end of the day, it became clear to the orcs that despite all their efforts, they had succeeded in losing a greater portion of their own army than they had taken from the elves.  The orcs retreated under cover of darkness back to Dimbe, all the while harassed by elven cavalry.

Queen Madariel, grieving over the loss of her son, demanded that the armies immediately pursue the fleeing horde.  But Namaril commanded the vast majority of the army and insisted that they regroup and recover the injured and scattered.  To Madariel’s concern that the orcs would do the same thing, Namaril pointed out that the elves held the field and would benefit far more from such a delay. So it would be the following spring before the elves would move to retake Dimbe.


The Third Battle of Dimbe
19-20 Strynod, 2817

In the early Spring of 2817, Namaril and Madariel moved out their combined host of seventeen thousand elves and invaded Dimbe.  The horde had re-occupied its defensive positions of a year before, but its numbers were now much diminished. Once again, the genius of Quor of the Seven Skulls made what should have been a lopsided fight into a death struggle. The first day of the battle was a near total victory for the orcs, who despite being outnumbered two to one, inflicted more than twice the number of casualties on the hated elves.  Things looked desperate for the elves, who were driven back from the defenses.  Madariel was not about to give up her birthright, however, and trusted in the elves still-vast numerical superiority.  Namaril, an excellent general in his own right, swore to defeat the Ogre Horde at any cost.

The second day of battle was dominated by the magic of the queen and the prince, as the orcs and ogres fell afoul of eldritch bolts, of strange illusions and of plants that seemed to move of their own accord.  By midday, Prince Namaril led the combined host over the last Ogre defenses and with the queen at his side, attacked the place where Quor and his battle standard stood.  With a ruthless fury, the elves avenged the death of Glorfindel and raised Quor’s severed head up on a pike for all to see.  The fleeing orcs and ogre settlers were harried back into the hills or slaughtered from behind. 

The ogre settlements of Dimbe were dismantled and the elves freed from bondage.  The queen held courts of inquest and had crucified all those elves identified as having cooperated with the ogres, which were few enough to raise no great ire among the people.  The impoverished folk of Dimbe burned the fallen orcs in a great pyre, and buried the fallen elves in neat rows on the gentle hills above their fields.  They then held humble celebrations of the Queen and the Sengkarians, and gave thanks to Artorius for their deliverance.

In the wake of the death of Orodeth, Balan withdrew its alliance with Marador.


South-Western Vales –

The Steaming Kingdom of Drormt –
Ruler –
King Braa’k
Capital – Breeka
Dominant Race – Saurus
Diplomacy – Patu [T]

It was time, declared King Bra’ak, to declare a new age for the sauruses.When the Sun Priests of the Holy Pyramid of Breeka proclaim the dawning of a new age, the ruling Saurid King must journey to the head of the Ulailai River and proclaim a River-Stone to mark this new era in Saurus history. Generations of Sun Priests then follow the river’s gradual erosion of this stone to track the slow passage of time during throughout this era. From these River-Stones, can be read the very fate of Drormt. A smoothing of the stone’s surface portends prosperity for the Saurids, but a crack, cleavage, or any other flaw is considered an omen — and hardships must be borne for a great long time. And yet, while the splitting of a River-Stone is unknown, it is said that this is nothing but a harbinger of doom — that untold horrors will befall the Saurids. Thus, the Sun Priests of Drormt take a great interest in the River-Stones.

Having read the sky signs from their Holy Pyramid of Breeka, the Sun Priests gathered and, after conferring amongst themselves, declared that a new age was upon the Saurid nation of Drormt. From this, King Braa’k was charged with proclaiming a new River-Stone. After ceremonies at the Holy Pyramid, King Braa’k was given a new name, Tlazolteotl, meaning, “Brightest scales of the earthly rivers”. Then, the young king prepared for his journey.

Accompanied by an entourage of High Priests, warriors, advisors and ignorant pack-slaves, Tlazolteotl set out for the source of the river. The journey was an arduous one, and many days and nights were spent stealing through the humid jungles and swamps of Drormt. Though the track often disappeared beneath the lush growth of vines, creepers, ferns and broad leaves, the group followed the course of the wide, muddy river — remaining ever close to the marshy banks, lined with reeds. From this route, they did not drift — the sounds of the river would lead them to their destination. Nearing the river’s head, the landscape began to rise and the soft mud of the earth gave way to become more rocky and treacherous as they ascended through the misty cloak of the tropical wilderness. After finally reaching the head of the Ulailai River, Tlazolteotl spied a large rock at the top of a tall and narrow cascade. Proudly jutting from the cliff, it had a fine, dry place for the king to sun himself. “It will make a good River-Stone”, Tlazolteotl said to himself. After spending most of the afternoon there, basking on it’s precipice, with the river rushing all around and thundering into the gorge below, Tlazolteotl made his final decision and then slowly descended from the dizzying height for the ceremonial sacrifices. All agreed that this River-Stone would last for a very long time — perhaps longer than any before.

The previous River-Stone was now but a small rock, having weathered the passage of many an eon. Picked from a sandy pool, it was easily grasped in the claws of the Tlazolteotl. With their purpose fulfilled, the Saurids began their slow descent back down into the swamps and jungles of Drormt. The way was lead by a procession of Sun Priests, chanting in reverence as they bore the old stone back to the Holy Pyramid in Breeka.

To cement the new era, Tlazolteotl led his armies in  two-pronged assault on the evil sauruses of the southern jungles.  Tlazolteotl himself led five thousand warriors into Ixtapar, where he subjugated and enslaved the population there.  Simultaneously, Chief Dzz’kit, allied lord of Munampt, took four thousand warriors into Jehardi and did the same.  The plan from there was for Tlazolteotl to march into Pauxin while Dzz’kit marched into Yearrak.  The two would meet in Ezekar and finish off the evil cult. (See The Battle of Pauxin, below).


Sendahl –
Ruler –
King Leyoleyo*ta
Capital – Nyange
Dominant Race – Human

King T*ko, last of the nomad kings of Sendahl, died in his sleep in 2817, childless.  He had named a second heir in 2816, Maduan.  But Maduan preceded his liege into death by two months, leaving the young nation leaderless.But the violent nature of the plains riders did not show forth at this time.  A man of noble birth and good connections, Leyoleyo*ta was in the right place at the right time.  He stood to eulogize T*ko at the great gathering of the clans, and spoke fiercely of the old king’s vision for the future of their people.  Many of the older chiefs were impressed, and were equally unwilling to live in T*ko’s stone house.  So Leyoleyo*ta was drafted by the assembly to be the new king of the Sendahl people. 

While these weighty matter transpired, the Sendahlese struggled to repay the enormous loans they had taken to finance the cultivation of Desiket.


Mekebele –
Ruler –
Emperor Mufun
Capital – Awayal
Dominant Race – Human
Emperor Mufun endowed the academies and teachers of the Empire with great largesse, bringing some of the best minds of Vales to teach the people of Mekebele.  He housed them and the armies of merchants and laborers that followed them mostly at Kaznuma, where the city grew in size and importance.The great work of the day was the cultivation of Menrat, to which were dedicated thousands of men and much treasure.

However, these years were mostly about war.  The Emperor hired two thousand skilled jungle warriors and added them to his retinue.  Along with Warleader Stonesinger of Eura, he marched through Yearrak, Ezekar and Pauxin with six thousand men, putting the regions to the torch and enslaving their evil tribes.  These slaves were then forced to labor in the hot sun of Menrat on great slave farms. At least, that was the plan.  (See The Battle of Pauxin, below).

Similarly, Warleader Boru’fan and D’Hargi traveled to Pareshter, Veset and Bargi performing the same bloody operations. Boru’fan died in Pareshter and after burying his body and sending his heart back to Jokari, D’Hargi took over and completed the conquest of the lesser tribes.

The Battle of Pauxin
22 Daarlem, 2818

As Dzz’kitthe saurus lord entered Yearrak, he found it empty, with many signs of battle and an obvious trail leading north.  Fearing the worst for his liege, he followed quickly.  The same was true in Ezekar, but now he was close on the trail of the victorious army.  Humans, by all signs.  He hurried north to Pauxin.

Meanwhile, Mekebele Emperor Mufun marched confidently north into Pauxin expecting another simple conquest and plentiful slaves.  Instead, he ran straight into the army of Tlazolteotl.  Astonished at the sight of so many armed sauruses so close to his empire, Mufun rushed to the attack.  The sauruses, meanwhile were oblivious to their impending danger.  To add further to the chaos, as Mufun fell on Tlazolteotl’s unprepared troops, Dzz’kit fell on Mufun’s rear guard.  Soon, the battle had become a confused and bloody melee.

The humans had the power of sorcery on their side, not to mention better arms and armor.  The sauruses had a vast superiority in numbers and scouts.  They were, however, a very long way from home.  Both sides fought valiantly, with the humans remaining better organized and led.  Mufun turned Tlazolteotl’s numbers into a disadvantage by forcing waves of retreating sauruses to interfere with those coming forward to fight.  The battle lasted well into the dark, until neither side could see to grapple with the other.  Then both forces slipped away under cover of darkness to return to their homes. 

After months of recovering his wounded and scattered forces, Mufun managed to muster a mere sixteen hundred men.  Tlazolteotl, after doing the same, could muster thirty-five hundred and Dzz’kit another three thousand.


South-Eastern Vales –

The Dwarven Realm of Aurdrukar –
Ruler –
King Norrim Forgemaster
Capital – The Brass Tower
Dominant Race – Dwarf
Diplomacy – Kamandi [EA]


Brave and determined, the dwarves of Aurdrukar did not hesitate to march from their halls when they heard of the coming of the Ogre Horde to the Mulgaunt.  King Norrim marched forth with fourteen thousand dwarves, two-thirds of his host, and with a further fifteen hundred human mercenary cavalry.  Alas, by the time the dwarves arrived in Marador, the elves had already defeated the Ogre Horde.  After a brief conference with Queen Madariel of Marador and Prince Namaril of Sengkar, the dwarves about-faced and marched home again.In Kamandi, Lord Thulnor convinced the human farmers to allow the dwarves to buy and sell their grain and wares.



The Elven Empire of Sengkar –
Ruler –
Emperor Valoril Greenshield
Capital – Ezrand
Dominant Race – Elf
Diplomacy – Kibeyes [FA], Ozhayar [-]


Emperor Valoril called his son to him and ordered the prince to take the Sengkarian army north to the aid of Marador.  Talan of Mita trained and marched nine thousand cavalry to meet the Prince in Radhrost.  From there, Namaril marched north to victory with nineteen thousand elven soldiers. (See The Battle of Nastaldo and The Third Battle of Dimbe, above.)Back in Sengkar, Valoril continued to rule over a peaceful realm.  Princess Gahaliel, after residing with the elves of Kibeyes for more than a decade, convinced them to become her father’s vassals.  Lord Talan, busy with more martial matters, had little success in swaying the elves of Ozhayar.

In Kyelepe, Princess Janriel caused the land to be more fruitful, filling the grain jars to overflowing.


The Valraj –
Ruler –
Sultan Farouz
Capital – Muddakir
Dominant Race – Human

As Sultan Valoon reached his sixty-second year, nearly all of it spent zealously watching the kingdom’s borders, he felt a strange pain in his side.  His doctors could do nothing to relieve the growing pain but to drug their lord.  Valoon died in 2816 of a massive overdose of poppy juice.  His son Farouz, who was already ruling in Muddakir, stepped simply and efficiently into his father’s role.  In 2817, Farouz’s wife produced yet another child for the prolific father.In 2818, Emir Jameel, governor of Shenthalas, died of a fever brought to the city by a Kasadir merchant sailor.  The fever claimed hundreds of lives in the city that summer.

In the same year as the fever, a strange hill was seen growing amidst the groves of canthas trees in Jadjas.  By mid-autumn, the hill had become a small mountain, and strange rumblings were heard deep within the earth.  At midwinter, the mountain, now called “Mount Surai” erupted into a roaring volcano, spewing fire and ash for dozens of miles in all directions.  The column of smoke and ash darkened the sky as far away as Virityal.  The few woodsmen dwelling in Jadjas immediately abandoned the province for Luud and Muddakir.


The Kingdom of Weshtayo –

Ruler – King Piccarome, Red-Feathered Lord
Capital – Khulank
Dominant Race – Human
Observing the difficulties of the royal tax collectors, Piccarome commissioned nearly a hundred new sharp-eyed and tight-fisted Bluefeathers, with warrants to squeeze out all legitimately owed taxes immediately and without delay. He also ordered Lords Ahkeena and Lanza to oversee such efforts personally.  These measures worked excellently and Weshtayo’s finances were once again flowing properly.The young king ruled from Khulank, where he also proved a lusty husband, producing two daughters, princesses Theera and Naveel.  Piccarome appointed his brother Rikorious a Prince of the Realm, naming him the Black-Feathered Prince of Tsu’u.

Black-Feathered Lord Lanza died of a sudden heart failure in 2819, while overseeing tax collection in Khulank. After the Bluefeathers took over tax collection, Lord Ahkeena was governor of Rendulha for the year 2820, where he proved to be an excellent administrator.


The Imperial Realm of Zikuyu –
Ruler –
Empress Neela
Capital – Ivallkyu
Dominant Race – Human

Content in their splendid isolation, the Zikuyans rested on their laurels.Prince Zanwee died of syphilis at the age of twenty-seven.  Lord Zegela of Urrides drowned at a boating party at the age of thirty seven.



The Kingdom of Tas Dar –
Ruler –
Regent Markil (King Ayden)
Capital – Darious
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Tithand [-], Vagis [FA]

Tired of the constant wailing of his six infant children, King set out to travel, intending to start with the elves of Sartus.  Before leaving, he named his seven-year-old son Ayden as his heir and nominated Lord Sendor to be his regent should he not return.  Alas, neither Adier nor Sendor survived even ten days on their journeys.  Both had traveled together for awhile (Sendor was planning to part ways with his king and head south to Lumad), when a freak rockslide buried most of their column, including both king and regent.The sudden crisis of leadership could have plunged Tas Dar into civil war, but a strong leader, Duke Markil, stepped forward and proclaimed his support for Ayden, son of Adier.  Markil also had one of the few militaries outside of the Tas Dar garrison, and so none opposed him.  Markil had himself named regent and looked to the young king’s education. After a time, Markil traveled to Tithand, but no one on the north side of the Rhasdine river was interested in joining the southerners in their new kingdom.

Lord Deneil, who had traveled to Vagis, managed to convince the Lord of that region to swear a feudal oath to King Ayden.


The Kingdom of Ukanve –
Ruler –
King Mazool
Capital – Ukanve
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Kiriyelru [C]

Ukanve’s history entered a peaceful period of colonization and better relations with its neighbors.  King Mazool, a master of arcane lore, completed a complex ritual involving fasting and sacrifice that summoned the Jangoor, a race of slow but powerful turtle-men.  These he bid shore up the beaches and stream beds of Yezhu’u, creating rich wetlands and fish ponds throughout the region.The king then set off through the eastern jungles with the army and more colonists.  The jungle tribes warily allowed him passage, and only a few of the colonists were abducted for grim and prolonged sacrificial rites.  Those that completed the trek settled into the beautiful elven lands of Ayma Vas.  During this same time, the jungle reclaimed the untilled elven lands of Deja.  After this, Mazool returned to Ukanve for a few months in 2820, the first time he’d seen his wife, Maryam, in almost five years.  The lords of the land worried that like Damwen before him, Mazool had no heirs.

Mazool’s good friend Aleo the Wise traveled to the nearby steppes of Kiriyelru and greeted the amused goatherds and horsemen.  They entertained the Ukanvan and his troops, but ignored all entreaties towards a warmer relationship with the kingdom.


The Grand Duchy of Meneen –
Ruler –
Grand Duke Salene
Capital – Yaz Meneen
Dominant Race – Elf

The elves took a little me-time.


UKELE – The Emerald Realm of Lekandi –
Ruler –
King Galens Eagleheart
Capital – Suwelho
Dominant Race – Elf
Diplomacy – Achecka [-NT], Gyanlay [F]

The elves of Lekandi finished the work of destroying Fikosha.  Bloodspear commanded an army of ten thousand, including a thousand allied troops from Akufiki, that stormed the walls of Isanio and put its inhabitants, and then the city itself, to the torch.  Disregarding the death toll there, he turned on the populations of Arumbom and Fikosha, murdering every sathla in the regions, whether armed or not.  The sathla fought back, and indeed the operations cost Bloodspear three thousand soldiers.  But the death of Galens’s son Messans had been thoroughly avenged.  Never mind that the Lekandi had started the war…Ruling from Suwelho, Galens relaxed his control of Achecka, demanding only that the Acheckans acknowledge the suzerainty of Lekandi. 

Lord Juelans brought word to the city of Gyanlay that Galens had granted them full citizenship.  The city fathers ordered a three-day festival of celebration.

Lord Tanathasia governed the city of Suwelho, and planted several important gardens amidst the giant boles of the Hearttrees.


Rumors from Elsewhere –Something has gone seriously wrong in Celendor.  Suddenly and without warning, all magical communications and effects in that area have ceased.

More rumors of a floating golden city have reached the far eastern city of Vanil on the Sea of Frozen Stars.


GM’s Tip #8 – Each turn, I will use this space to present a useful rules hint.  Eventually, all of you will know what LOTE GM’s and experienced players know.


Combat in Lords of the Earth is typically governed by one of two rule sets.  Thomas Harlan’s is the standard, but many GM’s use an alternative combat rule set (also included in the GM’s handbook) written by Lorne Colmar.  I liked aspects of the two, and so Lords of Theeurth combat is best described as an amalgam of the two, with some additional rules regarding race and magic. NOTE: The following details are not universal and are possibly related only to L54.

This hint was broken up into three parts.  In the first part, I discussed command and control.  In the second, I discussed open field combat, and this turn I’ll discuss sieges.

I. Definition of Terms

There are four related sorts of combat to be discussed herein, each involving fortifications of one sort or another: Passive Sieges, Active Sieges, City Assaults and Field Fort Assaults.  Each uses the following terms.  Siege Strength is the total siege strength of all the units on both sides, including wall points.  You can find the siege strength of a unit on the unit build chart.  The second term is Siege Effectiveness (also called Siege Modifiers), which is a measure of the situational power of your army, including first and foremost the Combat ability of your commander, modified by additional commanders, and many other factors, as seen below. One can think of Siege Strength as power and Siege Effectiveness as accuracy.

II. Calculating Siege Strength

This is one of the places where the two methods above are at variance.  Here, I follow the alternative combat rules. 

Siege Strength is  Base Value x Equipment x Experience x AQR.

The Siege Value shown in the unit charts on your turn sheets already includes the first three factors (Base, Equipment & experience) (e.g., Cavalry x Heavy x Elite), so all that is necessary is to multiply by the AQR.

III. Passive Sieges

A passive siege is one in which the besieger does not directly attack his target, but instead surrounds and cuts them off from outside support in the hope that time, starvation and disease will force their surrender.  This is the most time-consuming form of siege, but it also entails the least risk.  If not relieved, the besieged forces must eventually surrender or come forth to do battle.

The first requirement for a passive siege is that the besieging force must have more siege strength than the defenders.  Without this, a siege simply cannot take place.  Similarly, to lay siege to a port city or port fortress, the besiegers must include warships equal in number to the City or Fortress Wall Points or the fleet cannot effectively stop the resupply of the besieged.

Troops defending a city without Wall Points fight a regular land combat instead of a siege.  An undefended city with no wall points surrenders immediately when besieged.

An un-led city or fortress (one without a Leader to to command the defense) will generate a temporary leader with what is usually a fairly low Combat rating.

In order to force the surrender of a city or fortress, any Agro stored there must first run out.  Agro is consumed at a rate of 1 point per 3 City GP per six months.  Saved Agro, by default, is not stored in any specific location unless the player indicates that he is stockpiling Agro points in specific cities.

Every 2 AP that a passive siege is maintained after the Agro runs out, the defending leader(s) must pass a Loyalty Check to maintain their morale. When all the defending leaders have failed the check, the city surrenders. Each 2 AP after the first check, the loyalty of the defenders is reduced by one. A King, if besieged, begins with a loyalty of 10 for this purpose.

If the siege is successful, any besieged leaders are (likely) captured and the city walls are not destroyed. Defending units are eliminated.


IV. Active Sieges

As active siege is one in which the besieger attempts to use force to cause the defender to surrender. It is quicker than a passive siege, but bloodier, with the potential for besiegers to lose and be repulsed. As with a passive siege, troops defending a city without Wall Points fight a regular land combat instead of a siege.  An undefended city with no wall points surrenders immediately when besieged.  Unlike a passive siege, there is no minimum number of besiegers, nor must the active siege of a port include warships.

Each commander then generates a Combat check, modified by most of the same modifiers as for open field combat (refer to GM’s Hint #7).  The ratio of their Combat checks is then applied to a formula (in which the attacker has slightly worse odds than the defender) which generates the losses for each side.  Mobile forces in the city or fortress are taken as losses before any Wall Points.

After this round of fighting, if the attackers have a lower Siege Strength than the defenders, the attackers are defeated and retreat completely out of the region! If the defenders have a lower Siege Strength, the defending Leaders must make Loyalty checks.  If they all fail, the city surrenders. If the defenders have no Siege Strength left, the city surrenders. If not, the fight goes on.

If the siege is successful, the defenders and Wall Points are eliminated.


V. City Assaults

City Assaults are the quickest and most dangerous form of siege.  The attacker’s forces throw themselves at the walls in attempts to breach or climb them and carry the city by direct battle.

The mechanics of a city assault are nearly identical to those of an active siege, save for the -1 modifier to the attacker’s roll and +1 to the defender’s, as well as the formula dictating an increased ratio of losses for the attacker over the defender (put another way, a city assault is only rational where the attacker’s forces are significantly superior to those of the defender, and time is of the essence.)

After this round of fighting, if the attackers have a lower Siege Strength than the defenders, the attackers are defeated and retreat completely out of the region! If the defenders have a lower Siege Strength, the defending Leaders must make Loyalty checks.  If they all fail, the city surrenders. If the defenders have no Siege Strength left, the city surrenders. If not, the fight goes on.

If the siege is successful, the defenders and half the Wall Points are eliminated.


VI. The Role of Fortresses

In each of the three forms of siege above, Regional and Border Fortresses may be independently besieged.  A City Fortress adds its Wall Points to those of the city.  A Regional Fortress does not, but must be screened or destroyed before the city can be besieged.  “Screened” means that a sufficient force is dedicated by the besieger to prevent the regional fortress garrison from interfering with the siege.  This amounts to half the siege strength necessary to besiege the regional fortress.  Border Fortresses have no effect on passive sieges of a city.