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    This is a story, "Historical Fiction" if you will, written by The Reasoner about the most recent revolt in Sunshani History, thirty years ago.

    This guy is so ****ing organized, he made an appendix. AN APPENDIX.

    The Winds of Change

    The most famous (or infamous according to Imperial scribes) revolt in the history of the Sunshan was Miyaza’s Rebellion. It saw the Torei rise up against yoke of servitude imposed by their noble masters. But it started in the simplest manner possible: A chance encounter.

    Lord Hideki Miyaza was one of the great landowners, a man of keen intellect and military skill with an impeccable bloodline. He’d served as an officer in the Empresses’ Household Guard, led raids against the Goliaths and Soleh, and served a successful tenure amongst the many bureaucrats of the Imperial Palace. At home he was viewed as an honest, just, if demanding, ruler. His Torei were content, his lands producing in plenty, and his first son had recently been born.

    It was Miyaza’s practice to tour his lands from time to time. It was on one of these tours he met a young man, dressed in the simple robes of the Monastic Orders, walking between two villages. The man introduced himself simple as Li. As both were traveling the road, Miyaza struck up a conversation with the young monk. They discussed theology, the landscape, and history. Though Li was young, he spoke with an almost timeless wisdom. When they reached the next village Miyaza made a proposition to the young monk: return to Miyaza’s estate and become the tutor for Miyaza’s son when the boy came of age.

    Li responded with a counter-proposal. If Miyaza followed Li, learned about the people that Miyaza and his fellow nobles ruled, then Li would teach Miyaza’s son. Miyaza agreed and, leaving his retainers behind, Miyaza followed the young monk across the countryside. He saw firsthand the brutality inflicted by harsh nobles and the hardships the people faced. When the journey was finished a kernel of doubt had been formed in Miyaza’s mind. He returned with Li to his own estates.

    The Beginning

    Years passed. Miyaza began to reform his lands, improving the lives of his people based upon Li’s advice. The proverbial straw that broke the horse’s back was the actions of another Lord. Lord Zhao Shiyazawa held the land to the south of Miyaza and was one of the most brutal nobles. He drove his Torei hard, never leaving them enough. Miyaza was disgusted by the man’s actions but the recognized that Shiyazawa, as a nobleman, had every right to do what he wished with his peasants.

    But when a half-starved family of Torei sworn to Lord Shiyazawa fled into Miyaza’s land Miyaza intervened. He barred Shiyazawa’s men from crossing into his land while Li quietly ensured the family made it to the distant Monasteries. Shiyazawa was furious. He called on the Imperial Court and, playing off of court favors, insured that a party of the Empresses’ Guard was sent to Miyaza to demand the Torei’s return.

    The meeting was tense and in the end the leader of the detail, an arrogant palace-raised nobleman of minor bloodline, insulted Miyaza and threatened his son. Miyaza snapped. Drawing his sword he and his men cut down the Empresses’ Guards. To strike one of the Empresses’ Own was an act of treason. With a stroke of his sword Miyaza had put himself on the path of rebellion.

    Miyaza wasted no time. He called out his retainers, men sworn to him and him alone. He then rode out with Li by his side to address the people. He called on his Torei to join him in removing the yoke of oppression. The words were spoken by Miyaza, but it was Li who suggested that Miyaza take this drastic step.

    Thousands of Torei flocked to Miyaza’s case. The local garrison of Imperial Bannermen1 was convinced to join the revolt by Li after a quiet but impassioned speech. In a matter of weeks Miyaza had assembled the beginnings of an army. He rode into the lands of Lord Shiyazawa, freeing the Torei and arming them. As the Torei toke their revenge on the local taskmasters their former Lord was screaming for aid. The Empress released the local garrisons to his command. Shiyazawa rode out with a force of five thousand men, predominately poorly trained Bannermen stiffened with Shiyazawa’s own Retainers.

    Miyaza had two thousand trained men, mainly his personal retainers and the Bannermen. The rest were Torei armed with simple spears or farm implements. But Miyaza was a man of great military skill. Shiyazawa was lazy and arrogant. Certain that Miyaza’s Torei levies wouldn’t stand he sent his own disorganized Bannermen at them in a wild, disorganized charge. But Miyaza, riding at the head of five hundred picked Retainers, outflanked Shiyazawa’s force with his own trained contingents. Li, armed with nothing beyond a quarterstaff, fought at the head of the Torei. Caught between the surprisingly resilient Torei and Miyaza’s surprise assault Shiyazawa’s army disintegrated. Shiyazawa was captured during the fighting. Of his five thousand men barely one in five survived. Miyaza turned Shiyazawa over to his vengeful former servants. They tore him apart in retribution for the years of brutal treatment.

    The Revolt Spreads

    The defeat of Shiyazawa’s army shocked the Imperial Court. None of the local lords were willing to march out, content to remain behind their castle walls. The Torei were running rampant and Miyaza’s forces were growing in size. The Empress was desperate for troops to put down the rebellion but unwilling to rely on the always shaky Imperial Bannermen. Instead she looked south, to the lands of the Dotze Affariata. Offering more than any mercenary captain could refuse the Empress was able to assemble an army of eight thousand veteran Dotze Affariata mercenaries. They set sail almost immediately, reaching Sunshan after an unusually fast voyage.

    Miyaza had not been ideal while the Empress sought out her foreign solution. From the mountain monasteries young monks had traveled to aid his cause. Trained and dedicated devotees of the Poenix helped train the masses of Torei. Miyaza had gathered to his banners fifty thousand Torei. Only eight thousand were properly equipped with arms and armor captured or looted from Imperial Bannermen. The rest were still a disorganized mob armed with whatever weapons they could lay their hands on.

    Miyaza began the slow process of besieging the various castles and estates of the nobility. When word reached him of the imminent arrival of the Affariata mercenaries he gathered thirty thousand men and marched to head off the landing. But the Affariata had already arrived and begun their march further inland along the edge of Hikado Bay. Miyaza moved to head off their march, unaware that the Empress had dispatched a thousand of her Imperial Guard1 and four thousand Bannermen to meet the Affariata mercenaries.

    Miyaza’s army was slowed by the large number of camp followers,
    chiefly the families of the Torei levies, and was forced to resort to following the main road. General Mateo di Llanca, a grizzled lesser member of the Elect and leader of the Affariata mercenaries, had already located Miyaza’s army thanks to the hard riding and skill of his Lancers. The Affariata and Imperial forces picked their battlefield, a stretch of farmland butting up against the Bay with thick forest on the landward side. The Affariata veterans quickly built ditches filled with spikes and entrenchments for their light field ballistas. Formed up behind the obstacles the three Battalias1 of Veterans waited. The four thousand Imperial Bannermen where formed up on the right, closet to the forest.

    Miyaza deployed his army in seven great blocks, each of four thousand men. The leading two squares where the best-equipped men, then two thousand of Miyaza’s retainers, ex-Bannermen, and Monks of the Righteous Path. Behind Miyaza came three squares in line, with the final two taking up the rear. Miyaza knew he had no option but to overwhelm the Imperials and their mercenary allies with overwhelming numbers. With a great cry the first two blocks of men charged forward, followed by the next three blocks of Torei. Miyaza and the final two remained as a reserve. In all twenty thousand men were charging headlong at the Imperial line. But the Affariata mercenaries were all of the Empresas Viejos. They simple lowered their pikes or hefted their crossbows, unflappable in their confidence. The ballistas let lose, round shot and flaming pots of oil. As the charging mass entered crossbow range the men of the Affariata began to fire. The Affariatan crossbow was a masterpiece of engineering. Simple, easy to use, and utterly deadly. The veteran soldiers fired again and again, pumping levers to reload. Hundreds died under the relentless hail of bolts. The charge stalled as men were impaled on the pits of stakes or simple crushed in the press. Then the Affariatan pikemen advanced, utterly unflinching, with their banners fluttering in breeze. What followed was a slaughter. The veteran soldiers cut through the Torei like butter. Bravos, flung out in loose order on the flanks, charged in with sword and dagger, expertly cutting their way through the masses of disorganized and battered Torei rebels. Even the Imperial Bannermen, renowned for their lack of skill as soldiers, fought bravely. Hacking, stabbing, and dying they fought forward alongside the Affariatan mercenaries.

    The battle raged for several hours with frequent pauses as both sides rested before resuming the slaughter. Lord Miyaza watched the slaughter and against Li’s protests led his personal force into the fray. The Torei gained heart at the sight of their leader. Miyaza, surrounded by his personal retainers and the devoted monks of the Phoenix smashed into the Affariata mercenaries and began pushing them back.

    It looked as if the tide may turn. Then General de Llanca sprung his trap. From the woods came the sound of horses. The sunlight glittered off the serried ranks of Imperial Guardsmen. They were tall men on big horses, clad head-to-toe in scale armor and wearing tall conical helmets sporting giant red feathered plumes. Alongside them the Affariata cavalry, the famed Lanzas Spezzate in full plate. In all some eighteen hundred cavalrymen came thundering into the flank and rear of Miyaza’s army.

    The Torei of the reserve threw away their arms at the sight of the charging horsemen and fled. Others followed suit as the Affariata mercenaries counterattacked all along the line. The battle quickly turned into a massacre. In the center Miyaza’s retainers died where they stood, desperately defending their master. But finally Miyaza was struck down as he fought back-to-back with Li. What happened next is a subject of great debate amongst the Imperial Court even today. Officially both Miyaza and Li were killed, though the latter’s body was too terribly deformed to properly identify. But it was whispered that, having spoken one last time with his friend, the monk had fought his way out of the encirclement, a handful of his brothers’ beside him.

    The battle had been harsh on both sides. Three thousand of the Imperials and their mercenaries were dead. When the men killed in the rout are included, some twenty-one thousand rebels were killed or captured. Those captured were quickly put to death as an example. Miyaza’s rebellion was over.

    Aftermath

    The joint Affariata-Imperial Army marched on, relieving the besieged nobles one after another. Most of the surviving rebels had disappeared into the countryside or to the distant monasteries. Finally the army came to Lord Miyaza’s Castle, where his wife and son remained. The Affariata, acting according to the Articles of War1, gave an offer of surrender to Miyaza’s wife. She accepted. Then the darkest chapter in the entire revolt began. The Imperial forces, granted entry to the castle, put the occupants to the sword. Not a single man, woman, or child was spared. The Affariata were outraged. It went against the very principles of the Warrior’s Code that insisted that a besieged force would be granted free passage if they surrendered. It was an insult to the very code of the Affariata mercenary society. General de Llanca personally met with the Nobles responsible for the massacre. De Llanca, calm and composed as ever, one hand gently stroking his luxurious moustache, had informed them that the contract was hereby void. He then calmly told them that to remove the stain on his and his mens’ honor, a price was required. When the Sunshani nobles inquired what said price was, de Llanca answered by coolly waving his hand. A half-dozen grizzled mercenaries entered the tent. The Sunshani nobles were killed were they stood, hacked apart by the swords of the Affariata mercenaries. In the camp around the Miyaza’s burning estate the Affariata mercenaries turned on their erstwhile paymasters, returning in blood the betrayal of their oaths to the peoples’ safety. Over the course of the night the Affariata killed thousands of unsuspecting Imperials. De Llanca then lead his army back the way they’d come, sacking a dozen nobles’ estates before reaching Hikado Bay1 and their waiting ships.

    The Empress was furious about the ‘betrayal’ but unable to take it out on the Torei. Mass executions, public whippings, and villages made ‘examples’ of and put to the torch. Thousands died in the orgy of violence as the Empress let out her anger. The people had been shown what revolt led to. Content, the Empress returned to the world of palace intrigue and courtly life. For the Torei, toiling in the fields, life was as had as ever before. But know, in the dark of night around lonely fires amongst the hills, new stories took shape.

    For, during the orgy of violence that saw Miyaza’s estate put to the torch, a story emerged; the story of a lone man, wrapped in the robes of a monk, entering the castle to rescue Lady Miyaza and her son. It was whispered that while the mother had perished in the flames, the child lived. The monk had disappeared as quickly as he appeared, the child following behind him. It was also said that the man had escaped with the help of a group of Bravos of Llanca who had kept the rampaging Imperials away. Always, the stories ended with the hope that, in the distant monasteries or in the wilderness beyond the tilled fields of the great estates, Miyaza’s son, under the guidance of Li, waited to return and free the people from oppression.


    Appendix

    The Imperial Bannermen: It had long-ago been realized that the Throne could not solely rely on the personal Retainers of the Nobility for battle but impressed Torei couldn’t be kept under arms for the long periods required for garrison duty. Therefore the Banners were formed; each had an on-paper strength of four thousand men, divided into ‘swordsmen’, spearmen, and crossbow in a 1:2:1 ratio, each Banner was set to garrison a province of Sunshan. Often understrength, with sometimes barely a thousand men, the Banners were issued simple armor, often leather lamellar, and crude, if usable, weapons. They were used to garrison frontier outposts and often to quell minor revolts or police the Torei. The recruits, drawn from the Torei, were always sent to a different province from which they were raised.

    The Imperial Guard: A picked force of three thousand, these men are picked sons of the nobility or prior Guardsmen, they grow up in the palace. Utterly loyal to the Empress, the Imperial Guard is used to protect the Palace while a select cadre of Eunuch Bodyguards protects the Empress herself. They are trained as heavy cavalrymen, armed with lance and sword and wearing full suits of scale and lamellar armor. Their horses are also barded with a cat of lamellar armor.

    The Articles of War: The defining laws defining war as waged by the Dotze Affariata. Enshrined amongst the most valued of these is the idea of honorable surrender. To prevent unnecessary bloodshed the Affariata allow a besieged garrison to surrender with the understanding that they have safe conduct to their own lines or to a safe haven as long as they never again fight against the victor. To break this promise of safe conduct brings a black stain on the honor of the oathbreakers and any associated with them. The stain can only be removed by ‘dealing with’ those responsible for the breach of safe conduct.

    Hikado Bay: A sheltered bay in southern Sunshan, near the Stormwall mountains and the border with the Dotze Affariata. The city of Hikado sits on its shores.





    Also, I just realized that The Reasoner would make a world-class DM. Thanks again, bro!
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  2. - Top - End - #722
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    After reading the first few lines, I stopped. Does this story take place before or after the campaign we're playing? I don't want no spoilers.
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  3. - Top - End - #723
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Thirty years before. The Empress was about five years on the throne, now she's at about 35. Moon knows all this IC, and Vail knows the very basics.
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  4. - Top - End - #724
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Who's the Reasoner?
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
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  5. - Top - End - #725
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    A childhood friend of mine who grew up reading Military Fiction and Sci-fi. The Reasoner is his screen name, he's posted a couple times here. Big help on this project, too, he pretty much made the Affariatan military system by himself. Great guy, too.

    Thanks for posting!

    If there's anyone else lurking, feel free to say hi! Don't be shy! Any help you can offer is welcomed!
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    ...

    I am so incredibly jealous of you right now.

    That was awesome. Makes me want to draw that standoff. If only had time! Maybe next week...4th of July? No promises though.

    But yeah. I wish I could use this forum as a place to help me brainstorm my book...or any forum for that matter...but I fear putting material pertaining to something I may one day publish online. With a campaign, it's quite different I'd say.

    That whole set up would be a wonderful introduction to a campaign. The great part of you project is you can decide where you want the timeline to be, and you can even have a campaign write in some of the history for you!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    That whole set up would be a wonderful introduction to a campaign. The great part of you project is you can decide where you want the timeline to be, and you can even have a campaign write in some of the history for you!
    Some of the points that I've considered for this include the Vallheim Civil War, the Long Winter* that ended it, Miyaza's Rebellion, and maybe the Time of Darkness.


    *An event that occurs every several generations, where the strait between the northern Vallheim and the Land of the Giants (which needs a better name. suggestions?) freezes over, letting a horde of giants, evil spirits of the cold and other strange creatures invade. King Brenyn's grandfather used this as a motivation to reunite the Eleven Clans into a new Kingdom and repel the threat, ending the Civil War. Several Goliath tribes also offered their support during this campaign, though tensions have resumed since.

    ** A period of two centuries after the disappearance of Tiber Gaios Asteri, when the Old Empire shattered and reformed into the nations we see now, with a couple differences. The Darkness came from an ash cloud that spread over much of the East, caused by several volcanic eruptions in the Elder and Stormwall mountains. (These all occurred immediately after the battle on the shores of the Mistbound River, where the First People were massacred and sealed the far shore to further incursions) This era was marked by civil war, famine, plague and political discord.
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    What a great history! It blends the underground railroad, the American Civil War, and asian/renaissance Italy flavor very well!
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    I really like this a lot. Thanks again, Reasoner!

    If anyone else is inspired to write, go for it! Ask questions if you want, I'll help you find an event, time period, location, whatever, that's best for you!

    Wombat, feel free to ask me details about the Sunshani military equipment and such.


    Some new items of Vallheim fluff, all stolen from the Space Wolves of WH40K.

    Every eleven years the Clan Chiefs of the Vallheim assemble and participate in a tournament of various events for the right to carry the Wolf Helm of King Brynjolf, who brought the refugees and common people of the Old Empire together during the Age of Darkness and created the Vallheim. Whoever wins this artifact is entitled to carry it in battle or award it to a subordinate for the next eleven years.

    The first Chief of the Wolf Clan was Fenris. King Brynjolf, a powerful shaman and warrior, gave him a cup carved of the skull of a great wolf. Those warriors allowed to be inducted into the Wolf Guard* must hunt and kill a Dire Wolf unarmed, and return with it to drink its blood from the Wolf Cup. Upon doing so, their bodies are twisted and their minds changed into something barely human. They are then cast out into the wilderness. Any of those who can retain their sanity and return to the Fang** are inducted into the Wolf Guard. Those with the highest levels of self-discipline can voluntarily return to that bestial state in battle.

    *The highest ranks of Wolf Clan warriors.

    **The fortress of the Wolf Guard, and headquarters of Wolf Clan.

    I plan to do more stuff like this for each other clan. Take or leave 40K, it's a massive and rather interesting worldbuilding project, and one that I can learn from.
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    Guess I should make a appearance since you all enjoyed the story. I like the idea of borrowing from the 40k universe and would suggest you look at the Fantasy setting as well. A little magic/steampunk heavy, but it has some interesting ideas.

    Anyways, thanks to everyone who liked the story. I'm glad I could help out.

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    Wow, this thread has come a long, long way. I am very pleased to see this at the top of the boards as one of the largest ongoing projects right now. Proud even. I remember doing my write-up on Soleh way back when, before I was deployed again.

    Happy to say I'm back for good. Time to sift through everything I have missed. Congratulations and fantastic job Wyntonian.

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    I might as well throw in my name for any writing. I'm happy to write history or fiction (or both), at your discretion.
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    Arathnos! It's great to have you back, man. You're always welcome here, we couldn't have got as far as we did without you. Soleh's come a long way, too.


    So, everyone? What shall we tackle next? Specifics of the Vallheim clans, prominent Affariatan mercenary bands, crime organizations, cults and minor religious groups? What's your collective fancy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Othesemo View Post
    I might as well throw in my name for any writing. I'm happy to write history or fiction (or both), at your discretion.
    Great! Do you have a specific area of expertise, or a particular culture you have an affinity for?
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    As essentially an outsider at this point with no idea how everything has really shaped up, I throw my vote in for criminal organizations.

    Done properly, they can really "gritty up" a world and add a layer of harsh realism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Great! Do you have a specific area of expertise, or a particular culture you have an affinity for?
    In terms or writing? I mostly do either 3rd person fiction or 'textbook' writing. As for what I write, I don't have a strong preference whichever way, so I'm happy to just do whatever you think most merits writing.

    If you'd like, I could give you an example of my writing. I'm sure I've got a few old projects gathering dust on my computer.


    Oh, and I suggest either cults or crime.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arathnos View Post
    As essentially an outsider at this point with no idea how everything has really shaped up, I throw my vote in for criminal organizations.

    Done properly, they can really "gritty up" a world and add a layer of harsh realism.
    Sounds good! I'll get a start pondering that. I'm always open to ideas!

    Quote Originally Posted by Othesemo View Post
    In terms or writing? I mostly do either 3rd person fiction or 'textbook' writing. As for what I write, I don't have a strong preference whichever way, so I'm happy to just do whatever you think most merits writing.

    If you'd like, I could give you an example of my writing. I'm sure I've got a few old projects gathering dust on my computer.


    Oh, and I suggest either cults or crime.
    Looks like it'll be crime, then! One thing I'd like to see more of is in the Dotze Affariata, the transition for being followers of the Old Gods to the Good God and the Elect system. If you're down for that, I'll fill you in with some more detail.

    If possibly-fake prophets and a merchant upper class finangling divine right to rule doesn't float your goat, there's plenty of other options.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    One thing I'd like to see more of is in the Dotze Affariata, the transition for being followers of the Old Gods to the Good God and the Elect system. If you're down for that, I'll fill you in with some more detail.

    If possibly-fake prophets and a merchant upper class finangling divine right to rule doesn't float your goat, there's plenty of other options.
    Hmm... sounds fun. Alright, I'm down.

    Incidentally here's a thing I wrote a few months back, though I'm still not certain if I've finished it yet. Still, it's the most recent fictional thing I've written that I've still liked a few weeks later. Based on your preference, I can either write something like that (fantasy with the intent of exposition) or a more textbook-y thing, like the story you posted earlier.
    Last edited by Othesemo; 2012-06-30 at 02:24 PM.
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    Excellent. I was going to say crime as well.
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    An idea, which I've seen used to great effect in a couple places, is an "annotated" history. Like, for example, an Imperial Sunshani historian writes a report on a Torei revolt ("A horde of bloodthirsty, brutal savage Torei massacred the family of a noble and raped his wife") and then in italics there's the margin-notes of a Phoenix scholar with a differing viewpoint ("The Torei were prevented from escaping to the Vallheim, and fought their way out. On the way, they took some of the food the noble had taken as taxes.")

    The reason I mention this is because although the Church of the Good God is the state religion of the Dotze Affariata, there's people within the Elect and a bunch within the common people who still covertly worship the Old Gods. There could be a history of the Nameless Prophet who brought the worship of the Good God to the Dotze Affariata, and have it annotated by a Loyalist scholar who disputes the claims.
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    Another fluff-let stolen from 40K.

    Wightbone is a material used by the Vallheim for the creation of armor and amulets. When a person dies, they can deliberately place a fragment of their souls inside it, with a variety of potential purposes. If enough powerful spirits are contained in a statue, it is possible for the statue to become animated. There are several of these statues in the palace, and more in ancient barrows around the Vallheim. Weapons with charms or components made of this can be easier or more effective to wield in battle.


    I'm trying to decide if this should be the bone of a certain animal, a kind of stone, or a magical wood, maybe of the trees that grow on a barrow-mound.
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    I like the idea of doing stuff about crime, particularly with the Dotze Affariata. One idea I'm shamelessly stealing from real-life Italy is the connection between "legitimate" bUsiness and crime. So a wealthy Affariata merchant who sells grains or such "officially" also smuggles goods and strong-arms the competition with his personal band of Bravos. Lots of low-scale violence in the form of street duels, assassinations, bribery, etc. Plus maybe have the Affariata culture place a lot of importance on extended families with a tradition of vendettas, guessing
    , and competition between family groups. Plus I love
    The idea of somebody having to flee the city after a dalliance with the innkeepers daughter leading to her cousins/brothers showing up armed and ready to 'avenge' her honor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    An idea, which I've seen used to great effect in a couple places, is an "annotated" history. Like, for example, an Imperial Sunshani historian writes a report on a Torei revolt ("A horde of bloodthirsty, brutal savage Torei massacred the family of a noble and raped his wife") and then in italics there's the margin-notes of a Phoenix scholar with a differing viewpoint ("The Torei were prevented from escaping to the Vallheim, and fought their way out. On the way, they took some of the food the noble had taken as taxes.")

    The reason I mention this is because although the Church of the Good God is the state religion of the Dotze Affariata, there's people within the Elect and a bunch within the common people who still covertly worship the Old Gods. There could be a history of the Nameless Prophet who brought the worship of the Good God to the Dotze Affariata, and have it annotated by a Loyalist scholar who disputes the claims.
    Hm. I'm thinking that a conglomeration of letters, propaganda, sermons and such could be interesting. How expository do you want this to be? I can try for the 'these new facts do nothing but raise questions!' approach, or I could attempt to create an actual history. Personally, I'd prefer the former, because it's much more fun to write, and it doesn't require as much interference with your setting.

    Also, just to make sure that I get the general gist of things (all of the following is what I could garner from forum quick search of Dotze Affariata)-

    People worshiped the Old Gods, who placed emphasis on devotion to them. 200 years ago, some unnamed upstart goes around curing the sick and such, and gifts various nobles with divine right to rule. Which understandably pleases the nobles, so they try to spread the faith. Which is opposed by the unwashed masses, who liked being equal in the eyes of god.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Othesemo View Post
    Hm. I'm thinking that a conglomeration of letters, propaganda, sermons and such could be interesting. How expository do you want this to be? I can try for the 'these new facts do nothing but raise questions!' approach, or I could attempt to create an actual history. Personally, I'd prefer the former, because it's much more fun to write, and it doesn't require as much interference with your setting.
    Yup, sounds good!

    Also, just to make sure that I get the general gist of things (all of the following is what I could garner from forum quick search of Dotze Affariata)-

    People worshiped the Old Gods, who placed emphasis on devotion to them. 200 years ago, some unnamed upstart goes around curing the sick and such, and gifts various nobles with divine right to rule. Which understandably pleases the nobles, so they try to spread the faith. Which is opposed by the unwashed masses, who liked being equal in the eyes of god.

    Yeah, the common folks didn't really dig it too much, but most of them didn't directly rebel. I'll do something on cults soonish, maybe next after crime.
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    Alright, I've started working. This is a short little something I've whipped up to start out with. I'm just making sure that this is the type of thing that you're looking for (also, to see if I need to change my phraseology).

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    A storm comes, my friends.

    A storm comes, and only we stand before it. Only we have the strength, and the will, to turn it back. If we stand strong, it shall break against us. Should we waver in our faith, it will reduce our dear land to ruins.

    Word travels fast. No doubt, many of you have heard of this prophet. A man, they claim, of unparalleled splendor. A man whose touch can bring the dead to life, or turn lead to gold.

    But in such grave times, my friends, rumors cannot be trusted. This blasphemer- this antichrist- seeks to seduce us all with power. He seeks to break our wills, and to turn us from the gods that have guided us for time immemorial. The token act of goodwill is merely a thin veneer of lies, covering insatiable lust for power and domination. This man- for man he is, and prophet of none but the evil and darkness of the world- invades our cities, and our homes. Are we to allow this stranger to stroll into our houses, and smash our altars? To burn our books, and beat us into submission?

    I think not.

    We must fight. Through deceiving words and honey tongued preachers, he hopes to break our resolve- to mold our very souls into twisted mockeries of themselves. But we shall not let him.

    We shall fight, my friends. Where his slaves breach our walls, we shall turn them back. Where his words cut at our faith, we shall stand, unwavering. Wherever he brings forth darkness and misdirection, we shall repulse him with light and truth. Together we shall stand, a pillar of righteous glory and strength, against which this craven pretender can do naught but cower!
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    That looks great, Othesmo! Note that there wasn't a terribly strong push-back against the Nameless Prophet. That faith is way more likely to be all "You can't have any gods but me, everyone else is a devil" than the Old Gods, who are pretty live-and-let-live. For the most part, the cults just went underground and lost a little attendance.
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    I know I said I'd do crime, but the Vallheim Clans have been bugging me.

    We currently have eleven clans, each fulfilling a different societal role.

    Elk-Leadership roles, often kings and military officers.

    Wolf-Wilderness guides, hunters, warriors.

    Bear-Warriors, officers and generals.

    Horse-Cavalry, cart drivers (seeing a pattern?)

    Dove-Healers n stuff

    Raven-Artists, messengers and religious officials

    Owl-Historians, magic folks, librarians

    Hawk-Spies and stuff

    Beaver-Builders, forts and roads

    Boar-Judges and police

    Fox- Caravaneers, gypsy traders.

    So, my big things are thus.

    1. I'd like a clan of craftsmen and such. What's an animal that could be their totem? I'd like something focused around the forge and sculpting, if possible.

    2. Too much warrior-caste overlap. I'm considering ditching Horse Clan, because their warrior skills are a subset of Bear clan, and their animal skills are overlapped by Fox.

    3. I'd like an oceangoing/maritime clan, fishermen and sailors and such. Otter sound good?

    4. Boar is overlapped by Elk. There isn't enough division of powers to warrant having judges and mayors both. They're out.

    Any feedback on that?
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    If you're willing to overlook the "forge" aspect of it, then Beaver Clan might work for sculpting. Adding the craftsman stuff to Fox clan might also work. Otherwise, I'm not sure which bird or mammal would work well enough for "forge". Nvm, just saw Beaver was the construction-work clan.

    Unless you want to ditch cavalry entirely, then Horse Clan should stay, IMO. If only because you need people to take care of the horses the other clans use. If anything, ditch Bear clan, because Officers and Generals are the same thing, and can easily be folded into Elk clan.

    Why not? Otter sounds great for a seagoing mammal with fur.
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    I will write up a big thing about animal tribes in the morning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    Unless you want to ditch cavalry entirely, then Horse Clan should stay, IMO. If only because you need people to take care of the horses the other clans use. If anything, ditch Bear clan, because Officers and Generals are the same thing, and can easily be folded into Elk clan.
    Well, cavalry (which the Vallheimer's are big on, really. More like mounted infantry, but whatever) would be the domain of bear clan, the warriors. Also, in a per-industrial society like this, everyone can take care of animals. It's like being able to check your tire pressure or defrag your computer.

    Why not? Otter sounds great for a seagoing mammal with fur.
    Yeah, Albatross sounds kinda dumb, they probably don't have many sharks that far north, whale is kinda meh... Otters it is. They can bring Bear Clan marines for boarders on fighting voyages.
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