Swords and sorcery
The negotiations had gone well, uncannily well in her professional opinion. The nobility of the Realm of Flowers were overjoyed by Dawn's continued triumphs and their recent victory over their hated enemy the Druj had been cause for mutual celebration. Now they seemed to be falling over themselves to offer aid. That was their way of course - when Dawn triumphed they would shower her with love, and when tragedy befell them then they would turn on them just as quickly. They were as faithless as they were powerful.
All the more reason to bind them to this compact now. Take what is given when it is freely offered, but wall your heart against their favour when the weather turns cruel she told her apprentice. She wished she'd taken that advice herself, once.
Where had that thought come from? Better not to think about that. Not today. Most of the talks had been with heralds so far, but she would be here today to sign the compact. Something as important as this would require Presence - the laws of magic compelled her. So many years had gone by, would she even recognise Nimue? Lord Boric, the enchanter who had led the negotiations claimed that eternals were incapable of understanding mortal aging. He thought that when they met a mortal again later in life, they would think them a different person. It was a silly idea... but there was some evidence for it.
In a way it made sense. She thought about herself all those years ago. She was a different person then. Nineteen, flush with the confidence of youth. Beautiful, strong, arrogant. Fifty years later, the troubadours called her elegant instead of beautiful. Faint praise indeed, not that it mattered. She'd lost her heart when she passed her test and sworn she would never love again. Now she was a enchantress with the full power of House Moraine arrayed behind her. Heralds and house members alike feared her wroth. It was a fair exchange, all things considered, albeit somewhat involuntary.
She checked her hair was still in place. Mary had spent an age braiding it. The yellow petals were a nice touch, and the winds were just calm enough for them to stay in. Would she remember the night they had lain together on a bower of golden lilies? Of course she wouldn't. Only one heart had broken that night. Faithless they were by their nature. Powerful - but eternally faithless.
She was nearly at the summit now. The great moss-covered stones were coming into view. She could see her colleagues waiting for her and some of their counterparts were already beginning to assemble. She tried not to laugh as she spotted Keki, the funny little koboldi servant of the Mountain King, capering and cartwheeling between the stones.
Enough foolishness, it was time. Today was about glory.... not love.
The Dawnish armies have gone from victory to victory. They have driven the druj from Dawn, sending them fleeing from Semmerholm. Then they made common cause with the eternals of summer to gain their aid to cross the Semmerlak and take the Druj by surprise invading and swiftly conquering Osseum. Buoyed up by these triumphs, the people of Dawn, noble and yeofolk alike, increasingly see their armies as invincible. Now the mandate that the Dawish national assembly gave Pelleas has created three chances for Dawn to capitalize on these opportunities.
In the wake of the mandate, the armies of Dawn are filled with zeal for conquest and glorious war. For the next year (until the start of the Winter Solstics 383YE) no Dawnish general can issue the Give Ground or Cautious Advance orders. However if even one of the generals takes advantage of one of these opportunities, this restriction will become permanent for every Dawnish army. They will never again be able to give ground before a foe, or use cautious inglorious tactics.
Hounds of Glory
The Hounds of Glory have prided themselves on their unstoppable nature since the army was founded. The core of the army are battle-hardened knights arrayed in gleaming armour, their shields proudly displaying their house and personal sigils. They are supported by cadres of archers and witches, but what has long made them unique in the Empire is the Courage and the conviction that they draw from their surety of purpose and their commitment to glory above all other things. In battle they go where the glory is found, where the fighting is thickest, where legends are written.
The Hounds of Glory very publicly strive to be the most glorious army in the Empire; while few are so gauche as to say it openly that comes with the clear understanding of every Hound that that means they are the greatest army in the Empire.
Driven by the need to prove themselves themselves first among equals, and capitalising on the enthusiasm generated by the Dawnish victories and Pelleas' mandate they have recruited knights from all over Dawn and challenged each to prove their glory in ever more demanding ways. Now they stand ready to capitalise on that success. With 25 wains of mithril and an appropriately worded order their general can request that the knights of the Hounds of Glory perfect their new training. That army's quality would be changed to indomitable glory.
This would mean that in addition to the current options allowing them to order a triumphant charge or a final stand, the general of the Hounds of Glory could give the order for the army to fight with an allied army at any price. Thus the Hounds of Glory can prove, once and for all, that there is no army anywhere in the Empire that is their equal.
- Can give the order to take a named region No Matter the Cost when attacking.
- Can use the triumphant charge order when attacking
- Can use the final stand order when defending.
Every member of an army with indomitable glory is committed to the eternal quest for glory and the need to prove that they are the greatest heroes of the Empire. Their unwavering Ambition, Courage, and Pride in the face of any danger means that they are prepared to take any chance to achieve glory. This allows their general to issue unique orders, taking enormous risks where necessary.
- The ability of this army to capture territory is increased by one-fifth.
- The general names a single region when giving their orders that they will take at any price.
- Provided the Imperial side is victorious, the army will gain sufficient additional victory points to take the named region. They will suffer one hundred additional casualties for each additional victory point required.
A general who gives the order to take a region at any price is doing everything possible to ensure a glorious victory. Provided that the Imperial side is victorious, the army will succeed in taking the named region. However they will pay a significant price, suffering additional casualties as a consequence of their glorious indomitable advance. After the normal campaign outcomes are calculated, the named region will be completely conquered by the army with indomitable glory, but it will suffer one hundred additional casualties for each victory point required to take that region (and only that region).
When people think of Dawn their first thought is usually the nation's knights, arrayed in mail, swords gleaming, ready for battle. Those that know Dawn at all will talk of the witches and weavers, of those who speak with the eternals as equals and those who forge magic the way the blacksmith forges armour. The yeofolk are always the last to be mentioned... yet they are the most numerous by far and they are every bit as hungry for glory as their noble kin.
Inspired by the recent victories and urged to seek glory through service to Dawn, thousands more yeofolk have requested to join the Dawnish armies. The Golden Sun, one of the oldest Dawnish armies, has been their first choice, probably because its general is sometimes referred to as the First General of Dawn. As a result there is a short window for Dawn and the Empire to capitalise on this enthusiasm.
As an opportunity available at the Winter Solstice, should the Senate approve a commission to enlarge the Golden Sun, then the thousands of yeofolk who are looking to enlist can be recruited and trained. As a consequence, the cost to enlarge the army would be 100 wains of mithril and 200 crowns.
Over-shadowed by Urizen's pre-eminent mastery of the magical arts, those outside Dawn often forget that the nation has powerful magical traditions with deep roots. Their weavers create some of the finest magical items in the Empire (as well as many fine and beautiful mundane things). Clad only in mage-armour, their war-witches enter battle with the same unwavering commitment to glory that marks the knights. But in the crucial area of negotiation with the eternals of summer they are without rival. The unique position of the enchanters combines their mastery of magic with their political and temporal power granting them a respect from the monarchs of the summer realm that they accord to few other mortals.
The Dawnish Assembly commends the magicians of Dawn for their contribution to the Imperial war effort and urges witches and weavers to forge their legends with the Dawnish armies.Pelleas Thorne, Statement of Principle, Dawn National Assembly, Summer Solstice 382YE, Upheld with a Great Majority 156 - 0
Inspired by Pelleas' statement of principle unanimously approved by the Dawnish Assembly at the Summer Solstice, a group of enchanters who serve with the Eastern Sky have met in secret with a number of the eternals of Summer. It has taken the best part of six months, but they have managed to hammer out a deal that provides the Empire with a unique opportunity to secure the support of these otherwordly patrons permanently.
Each eternal may only be called on for aid once a year, and never the same eternal two seasons running. At the insistence of their eternal counterparts the deal states that if the Empire ever violates these terms then the aid will be rendered, but the compact with that eternal will be broken. Henceforth that eternal will offer no more aid to the Eastern Sky.
To do so the Empire must commission a great tower of mithril to be constructed at the the Semmerstones. The Tower of the East would require 75 wains of mithril, and would need to be constructed in the regio itself. The structure would form a place where the enchanters of Dawn and the Eternals of Summer might meet and discuss business in comfort and security. Rather than appoint someone to oversee the tower, the suggestion is that it become the official residence of the General of the Eastern Sky. If they were an enchanter they might use the tower to meet with their eternal allies and negotiate their help, if not then they could direct others to do so on their behalf.
The tower would take two seasons to construct, but once completed, the quality of the Eastern Sky would change to favoured a reflection of the close relationship between Dawn and the summer eternals.
As a small additional benefit, the eternals of Summer would ensure that if the Semmerstones were ever seriously attacked, they would draw the Tower of the East into the Summer Realm so that it could not be reached until the danger had passed.
- The army can use traverse the crossroads, triumphant charge, make them pay, stand the walls or merciless onslaught orders once each per year
An Imperial army that is favoured by the eternals of a realm can call on them for allies each season. Whichever patron they ask for assistance will determine the nature of the aid, granting the army great flexibility. Most will send soldiers to fight alongside the Empire, but not all the lords and ladies of Summer have armies at their command.
By right of the agreements made, the general is guaranteed the right to call on each eternal once each season and never the same aid two seasons running. The eternals of summer are bound by their word, so they are obliged to provide the aid agreed, regardless of how they feel about Dawn or the Empire at any given point, but they cannot help if the Conclave has given them enmity. If an eternal is under emnity, then any attempt to request their aid will automatically fail and the army will default to solid defense.
A favoured army is versatile, but can only request aid from each eternal once a year and never the same eternal two seasons running. The general of the Eastern Sky is appointed in Summer. They might immediately employ the Iron Duke's aid to give orders to traverse the crossroads, provided that a different order was given the season before, but then cannot call on Barien again until after the next Summer summit. If the general chooses to override this limitation it will work, but that option will be permanently removed from those available from that point onwards.
The Eastern Sun could call on the following Summer eternals for aid. That aid would allow the general to employ a specific order, provided that the eternal is not currently under emnity.
- Can move up to five territories this season. It must still stop moving when it enters a hostile territory.
- Casualties suffered by this army are increased by a fifth
- The ability of this army to capture territory is increased by a fifth
- This is an attacking order.
With Barien's aid, the General of the Eastern Sky may order their army to traverse the crossroads. The soldiers take advantage of Barien's aid to move swiftly with the aid of summer magic. Roads seem shorter than people remember then and they always travel in the direction the army wishes to go. Sometimes they may even make use of summer regio to gain strength for their journey, or to enjoy the hospitality of the inhabitants and wash the weariness of the road away. Such expedited travel is dangerous - the army may quickly move beyond its supply lines - but comes with opportunities to take the enemy by surprise.
- Can work to defend a fortification or similar structure that is under attack.
- The ability of this army to defend territory is increased by a fifth
- The fortification protects the army that is defending it, taking all the casualties in their place
- This is a defensive order
With Adamant's aid, the General of the Eastern Sky may order their army to stand the walls, taking advantage of a named fortification under Imperial control to defend the territory against all attackers. In addition to the aid of the eternal, the general's side must control a suitable fortification in the territory otherwise this order defaults to solid defence.If the region containing the named fortification is attacked by the enemy during the campaign, then the army will benefit from the protection gained. All casualties that the army would have suffered are transferred to the fortification up to the point where the fortification is destroyed (these casualties are not diminished by this, they are transferred one for one). The army only gain this additional benefit if the fortification is attacked.
These opportunities are only available during the Winter Solstice 382YE.
The people of Dawn applaud the great triumphs that our generals and our armies have wrought. Now let us embrace glory, claim victory, an seize the prize. We send Pelleas Thorne with 50 doses of liao to urge every Dawnish soldier to commit themselves body and soul to glory in the service of Dawn.Pelleas Thorne, Mandate, Dawn National Assembly, Autumn Equinox 382YE, Upheld 82 - 10
The general of the Hounds of Glory provided 25 wains of mithril after the Winter Solstice and has changed the army's quality to Indomitable Glory.