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Hans sucked his teeth, this was not pretty and was going to be a rough job.

"So, yes. The problem you've got here is that it's riddled with these Eoten."

"Jotun," Naomi politely corrected for what felt like the seventh time. She was grateful for the Commonwealth engineers coming up from Madruga to look at the problem but still. She was very sure that a Gemeinsamesprache-speaker was entirely capable of getting the pronunciation of Jotun right, and that Hans was just amusing himself at her expense. Luckily Lina was a lot more sensible in outlook.

"Right, anyway these Eojoten are your real problem, you can see they're infesting all your brickwork and removing your mortar, enough of that goes and you're looking at a complete degradation of the framework then that will cost you a pretty ring."

"Very funny," said Naomi. "But can you help?"

"Oh, surely. We can help," said Lina shooting a withering glance at his partner. "But jokes aside, you will likely need to get rid of your invaders first."

"That's not my problem," said Naomi firmly. "That's for the Military Council to worry about. We're just here to talk about roads and bridges."

"Roads, and bridges, yes," agreed Hans. "But also we are here to talk about armies!"
Time and time again.jpg
The Freeborn in Kahraman face the threat of a Jotun invasion, and the depredations of bandits and raiders.
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At the Winter Solstice, the Imperial Senate instructed the prognosticators office to prepare two appraisals. They asked Naomi of Virtues Rest to appraise how the infrastructure of Kahraman might be restored and they also requested Naomi to consider ways by which pilgrims of the Way could be encouraged to travel to the Empire. Naomi is unable to conduct both appraisals, but the motion to appraise the infrastructure of Kahraman was raised first, so Naomi of Virtue's Rest has spent the last season doing her best to assess the problems. The situation has been made especially difficult due to the arrival of forty thousand Jotun not long after the Winter Solstice.

Still, Naomi is adept at rising to the challenge and eager to address the Kahraman Problem. Even before the traitor Stephen of Sarcombe inspired the Jotun to sabotage the roads and bridges, travel through the hills and mountains of northern Kahraman was arduous. Already a treacherous land of broken rock, barren mountainsides, fast-flowing streams, and jagged-edged valleys, as often as not poor weather made travel even more hazardous. What roads there were required constant maintenance, and the scattered settlements that shelter in the valleys often had more pressing concerns than ensuring a bridge two days travel from their walls was properly repaired. There was a proposal, prepared by the Civil Service in 382YE, to build Cinnabar roads to address this problem. Unfortunately, that proposal relied on the bridges and roads still being there to be repaired... And before any problem can be solved, it must first be understood.

To send Naomi of Virtues Rest to appraise Kahraman for ways to restore or improve the infrastructure destroyed recently; including any revised proposals for the Cinnabar Roads.

Proposed: Kahraman, Seconded: Madruga
Strategic Concerns
During the Summer Solstice 384YE, the Lasambrian Jotun enacted a plan detailed in the One tree at a time Wind of War. As a result, travel through Serra Damata, Serra Briante, and Braydon's Jasse has been crippled. Campaign armies now struggle to move freely between Braydon's Jasse and Serra Briante, or between Serra Briante and Serra Damata.

This makes it impossible to attack more than one of these regions in the same season. However has also dealt a devastating blow to the effectiveness of Fort Braydon - and to any other fortifications in the surrounding area. Any fortification in Serra Briante, Serra Damata or Braydon's Jasse will be able to defend the region it is in, but will not provide any benefit in either of the other two regions.

This situation will persist until the Empire is able to commit the time and money needed to repair the roads and bridges - something that will be difficult to do while battle still rages in the territory.

The Kahraman Problem

  • Caravans from the Great Mine of Briante and Serra Damata have been placed at risk of attack from raiders and brigands
  • The Imperial Senate can arrange for mercenaries to protect the Bourse seats and their trade
  • The Dhomiro of the Cinnabar Hills and the Mistress of the Dust Parador have seen their ministries impacted significantly

Kahraman is not a poor territory. Both the Damatian Cliffs and Great Mine of Briante are found here, providing significant bounties of white granite and mithril. There are plenty of mines and mana sites in the hills and mountains that provide their owners with great Prosperity. Thanks to the destruction wrought by the Jotun last year, caravans carrying mithril and white granite cannot take the direct routes to Tassato they once used. Now they need to go out of their way, down onto the plains, and south-east through Madruga. This unfortunately leaves them easy prey for orc raiders.

Despite adopting the Virtues, the Lassambrian orcs are not shy about raiding their enemies and taking their wealth. The orc bandits who once lived in the high peaks of Kahraman are even worse, especially now they are united under the mountain banner of the Jotun champion Geht Ahan. There is even the occasional gang of Freeborn thieves, prepared to prey on their neighbours' prosperity. The Lasambrian Jotun have taken advantage of this situation more than once. Only last season, Imperial heroes were called upon to prevent a Lasambrian warband from striking against caravans leaving Serra Briante. They were successful, but the warband belonging to Warleader Duarte was just the first pebbles before the avalanche.

Unless the situation changes, these regular raids mean that the production of the Damatian Cliffs is reduced by 7 wains of white granite each season going forward. The production of the Great Mine of Briante is also reduced by 6 wains each season. Not all the lost wains will be stolen by bandits or thieves; the reduction also represents the challenge of getting workers safely to and from the quarry and the mine.

It is not only the Great Mine and the Cliffs that are affected. The Dhomiro of the Cinnabar Hills is coming under increasing pressure to find some solution to the problems besetting the families who live in the hills and mountains. As people look to their own security, old squabbles have ignited and old grievances are being settled. The Dhomiro will no longer have access to the two highest ranks of their ministry. Likewise, with the difficulty of safely moving metal out of the mountains the Mistress of the Dust Parador can no longer access the top two ranks of their ministry. On the other hand, the matter may well become moot if the Jotun successfully conquer Jade Range, where the Parador stands.

Short Term Solutions

  • The Imperial Senate may use a Senate Motion to make funds available for the protection of Kahraman's mines, quarries, and merchants

Restoring the damage done by the Jotun will take time and funds. In the meantime the Imperial Senate could use a Senate motion to make funds available for the hiring of League mercenaries and Freeborn warriors to protect the caravans coming down out of northern Kahraman. This would incur an ongoing cost of 10 thrones each season to the Imperial treasury; the bandits and raiders are only becoming bolder in their depredations. If the Senate did this, then as long as they continued to pay, the lost production of the Great Mine of Briante and the Damatian Cliffs would be restored. There would be no further risk from casual raiders - although the Jotun might still threaten the Bourse seats if they acted on a larger scale (by invading with armies, or enacting the kind of scheme that might provoke a major conjunction of the Sentinel Gate, for example). This would also restore faith in the Dhomiro of the Cinnabar Hills, and allow the Mistress of the Dust Parador to regain full access to their ministries.

It would also create a new opportunity. Any military unit could take advantage of these lucrative contracts and play a part in protecting the people of Kahraman and their prosperity from raiders, smugglers, bandits, and accidents. Freeborn or League military units would be able to undertake a new downtime adventure called Kahraman Caravan Guards. The new option would appear on the independent action dropdown. Rather than their normal production, a standard military unit would earn 90 rings and five random metals for undertaking this adventure, with an upgraded or enchanted unit gaining proportionally more. It would remain available as long as the Senate continued to pay the upkeep cost.

Restoring the roads

The Bare Minimum
Commission Type: Folly
Location: Kahraman
Cost: 70 wains white granite, 50 wains weirwood, 240 crowns, nine months to complete
Effect: Repairs the roads of Kahraman

Obviously, paying mercenaries is only a short term solution, and does nothing to address the strategic problems posed by the ruined roads. With the assistance of a mixed group of Freeborn soldiers and League bodyguards, Naomi spent some time reviewing the damage herself. Fortunately, their team was in Serra Briante when the Jotun invaded Braydon's Jasse, and narrowly avoided being caught up in the fighting. Her eye-witness assessment, along with the earlier proposal, coupled with the reports of civil servants and Freeborn families in northern Kahraman, enable her to lay out what is required to repair the infrastructure and restore everything to normal.

Restoring the roads and bridges to the point where they are functional again is relatively straightforward, but it will be expensive. The Jotun did a lot of damage to a transport network that was already teetering on the edge of collapse. It will cost 70 wains of white granite, 50 wains of weirwood, and 240 crowns, and take nine months to complete. It will also require Imperial engineers and builders to be able to move freely through northern Kahraman. This means that while the project can be begun, it can't actually be completed until the Jotun are no longer in control of Braydon's Jasse.

Once these bare-bones repairs are completed, the strategic problems in Kahraman will be repaired. Both armies and the garrisons of mundane and magical fortifications will be able to move freely. One of the things that allowed the Jotun to damage the roads and bridges so comprehensively was their age and poor maintenance; they won't be able to do so so easily again.

Unfortunately, this will do little to help the traders and caravans moving through the mountains; they will still be vulnerable to bandits and raiders until the situation changes dramatically, or the Senate chooses to address these problems directly.

Improving the Infrastructure

The Senate may wish to go further with the restoration of the roads. It is here that Naomi's trademark diplomacy comes into play. She has made overtures to the Faraden merchants who trade with the Brass Coast, and have their own extensive involvement with the Jotun. She has also spoken with the staff at the Commonwealth Embassy in Madruga - the ambassador there has offered to help protect the Brass Coast in the past and may be persuaded to do so again.

She has presented details of three further opportunites, but each is reliant on the mountain roads being restored. However, as long as the work on repairing the roads has begun, these opportunities can be pursued concurrently - rather than waiting for the work to be done.

No More Bandits

The Bataguin Kamkrag
Commission Type: Folly
Location: Kahraman
Cost: 60 wains white granite, 120 crowns, six months to complete.
Effect: Restores production, allows new mines to be opened, makes mines in Kahraman more lucrative
Restriction: The roads in northern Kahraman must have been prepared, but this commission can take place alongside the repair project
Opportunity:The Bataguin of Faraden are prepared to provide 30 wains of white granite and 60 crowns toward completion of this project in return for assurances.
  • Naomi has worked with Faraden traders of the Bataguin family to explore ways to protect caravans traveling through Kahraman
  • A series of Kamkrag could be built across the territory at a cost of 60 wains of white granite, 120 crowns, and take six months to complete
  • The Bataguin are prepared to provide 30 wains of white granite, and 60 crowns, to the project in return for assurances from the Senate
  • The Kamkrag end the immediate threat of raiders and restore production targeted by them
  • They also allow Freeborn citizens to establish mines without needing to pay the usual fee to change a personal resource
  • Every mine in the territory would produce 2 extra ingots each season of the resource's base production

The economic threat in the territory comes partly from the poor roads, and partly from the boldness of the bandits and raiders. It's exacerbated by the traditional rivalries between the families of Kahraman - there's a reason that the Dhomiro of the Cinnabar Hills is an Imperial title. The Freeborn aren't the only people moving goods and people around Kahraman, however. Faraden traders are regular visitors to the territory, and they are also suffering at the hands of the thieves. In particular, the Bataguin family of from Tebukan have very personal reasons to want to help their Imperial neighbours secure their borders, at least a little. After speaking with Naomi for a while, their leaders have suggested a way that the Senate could permanently address the raiding and banditry problems, and increase transportation through the territory.

The Faraden make use of something they call Kamkrag. These are simple two-storey stone towers surrounded by a low wall, with stout doors and barred windows. They are spaced around a day's journey apart on many major roads, and are maintained by a small cadre of road wardens who move constantly around a territory and ensure that bandits and raiders are dealt with. The Kamkrag are available for anyone to use, but there is a tradition that after a merchant or a traveller benefits from their security, they spend a few hours tending to the area and providing whatever repairs may be needed. Obviously an inspiration for the Towers of Anduz that help protect merchants visiting Segura, the Bataguin propose a joint effort to establish a number of their Kamkrag not only in the mountains, but across the plains of Kahraman as well.

Establishing Kamkrag across Kahraman would require a commission, 60 wains of white granite, and 120 crowns in labour costs. It would take six months to complete. While the bill is not cheap, the Bataquin are confident that they can work with other Faraden families to provide half the materials and labour required. After all, they reason, they'd be benefitting just as much as their Freeborn friends. All they require in return is that the Senate motion explicitly says that if the Empire ever cuts trading ties with the Faraden, they will reimburse the Faraden families for the materials they contributed, just as they did after the unfortunate Moonwater Hall incident in the Marches.

The effect of the Kamkrag would be threefold. It would remove the production penalties to the Great Mine of Briante, the Damatian Cliffs, and the Mistress of the Dust Parador, and restore confidence in the Dhomiro of the Cinnabar Hills, without the Senate needing to provide a constant upkeep. The adventure, however, would remain available - in this case representing an opportunity to work with Imperial and Faraden caravans moving through the Lasambrian Hills.

It would also mean that a number of very rich mines in the mountains of Kahraman could be reopened - mines that have been abandoned as the quality of the roads and bridges declined. There would be more mines than people available to mine them, and any Freeborn citizen who chose to change their personal resource for a mine would be able to do so without the usual 2 crown fee.

Most importantly, perhaps, the repaired roads and the security provided by the Kamkrag would mean that, as long as the network of low towers remained intact, every mine in the territory operated by a citizen of the Brass Coast would be able to produce 2 additional ingots each season (of the mine's base material).

This project won't have any effect until the roads in northern Kahraman are repaired. However, it could operate concurrently with that project. Because the Kamkrag are just an extension of the road repair project, it would also be possible to use a single senate motion and commission to establish both the basic repairs, and the network of Kamkrag, and take advantage of the Bataguin proposal. The costs for the two projects would be added together, taking nine months to complete.

The Baumeister Intervention

  • Two Commonwealth military engineering specialists have offered their assistance
  • The General of an Imperial Army in Kahraman who takes an appropriate order can work with the Commonwealth military engineers to support the rebuilding project
  • A normal army will remove the entire labour cost of the project
  • An army with the Siege quality can also reduce the amount of weirwood needed
  • The Towerjacks can reduce the amount of weirwood and the amount of white granite needed
  • This opportunity is only available in the downtime following the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice

In the past, the Commonwealth Embassy in Madruga has expressed an interest in helping to secure the city of Siroc where it is based. When Naomi approached them, she did so in the knowledge they were unlikely to be interested in affairs in the dusty mountains and hills of Kahraman. Nothing, it turns out, could be further from the truth. Hans and Lina Baumeister von Leerdam are military engineers from the Commonwealth city of Leerdam, in Madruga visiting their spouse Lotte von Volkavaar who serves at the Commonwealth Embassy. The pair have a great deal of experience building roads and bridges in difficult, hostile territory. After the ambassador arranges a meeting with Naomi, they are excited by the possibility to provide their expertise to their Imperial allies.

The first stumbling block is that the Commonwealth goes about large scale engineering projects very differently to the Empire, where everything is done by the Imperial Senate and the Civil Service. "Every Commonwealth soldier carries a sword, a spade, and a shovel," quips Hans, as the pair explain that back home they would prevail on the armies to help with this kind of endeavour. The pair need to get back to the Commonwealth soon - their skills will be much in demand once the war with the Principalities of Jarm heats up - but for the moment they are keen to share them with the Empire.

If the Senate commissions the road repair project, and the Military Council is prepared to accept the Baumeister's proposal, it will require the assistance of an entire Imperial army, which will need to come to Kahraman and engage in a solid defence. They will also need to explicitly state in their orders that they want their soldiers to work with the Baumeisters to help restore the roads of Kahraman. If this is done then with the assistance of the Commonwealth engineers, the labour cost to restore the roads is waived.

Certain armies will be more effective in taking advantage of this opportunity, as they will be able to bring their soldiers' expertise to bear to quickly clear ground and construct bridges. If the army has the Siege quality, then in addition to the primary effects, the amount of weirwood required will be reduced by 20 wains. If that army is the Towerjacks, and they take their dig in order, then they will also reduce the amount of white granite needed by 20 wains, as well as having the full normal effect of their order.

The downside of this is that an army without the Siege or Engineer quality will contribute nothing to the defence of the territory. They will generate no victory points, and will cause no casualties, although they will still take casualties (reduced as normal for their order).

The Baumeisters will only be able to offer this assistance once, and must return to the Commonwealth by Autumn at the latest. This means that an army will only be able to contribute in this way after the Spring Equinox or Summer solstice.

(Note that the Baumeister intervention will only help the basic restoration of the roads; it will neither assist, nor impede, nor be impeded by, the Bataguin Kamkrag project)

Just a fool to believe (Conjunction)

  • A band of Jotun are travelling through the settlements of the Jade Range offering the Choice
  • If the Jotun are not stopped then a number of the families that sell to the Mistress of the Dust Parador will be targeted
  • The Sentinel Gate will open at 18:30 on Friday to Path of the Liscano family in Jade Range
  • The Mistress of the Dust Parador is responsible for stopping the Jotun

As the Jotun push further into the Jade Range some of their bands venture beyond their lines in their enthusiasm for thralls and wealth and their gaze has settled on some of the rich, and secluded, mine and quarry owners of the rich hills. The largest of the bands, led by Jarl Thraggan the Brave, have heard rumours of the Dust Parador which serves as a veritable treasure trove of wealth, mithril, and those able to mine it. Jarl Thraggan and the rest of their band are moving slowly and taking their time in their journey to the home of the Liscano family and are expected to reach the first settlement a few days after the equinox.

If the Jotun are not stopped then even if the Jotun are pushed out of Kahraman the Mistress of the Dust Parador will struggle to regain the full use out of their ministry as the families are either killed, taken as thralls, or take up weapons for the Jotun.

The band that accompanies Jarl Thraggan is made up of a combined force of Raoljost, Ulvenwar, and Skjaldir. Given that the group directly threatens the traders who visit the Dust Parador the responsibility for this conjunction lies with the current Mistress of the Dust Parador; Nemisio.

Burn me with the sun (Conjunction)

  • Venator, herald of Hayaak, is leading a group of Jotun in pursuit of a group of yeofolk
  • If they are not stopped then they will slaughter a number of the Dawnish who trade at Boar's Market
  • The Jotun are likely to be accompanied by a number of other heralds of Hayaak
  • The Sentinel Gate will open at 15:00 on Saturday to the Sylvan Track in Jade Range
  • The Reeve of Boar's Market is responsible for slaying Venator

Venator is chasing after a number of the yeofolk of House Perigord who are one of the few houses that have connections in the Brass Coast that offer their goods for sale at Boar's Hollow. Venator, a herald of Hayaak, is leading a group of Jotun in the Jade Range and seeking to put an end to the yeofolk. If Venator and the other heralds of Hayaak are not killed then they will be able to chase down the yeofolk. The deaths of the yeofolk would see the Reeve of Boar's Market losing the highest ranks of their mithril and white granite ministries for at least a year.

Not much is known about Venator beyond that they are one of the few remaining ranking heralds of Gryphon-King, and that they have been calling for the head of Edric de Gauvain. The yeofolk of Perigord often wear the traditional black and orange colours of the house which may have contributed to the mistaken identity given the colours of de Gauvains are orange and black.

The pursuers are made up of a combined force of Raoljost, Ulvenwar, and Skjaldir. Normally this would have been considered the responsibility of the Knight-protector of Summer, but the title is currently vacant. Given that this represents a threat to those who trade at Boar's Market it is instead the responsibility of the Reeve of Boar's Market, Guy Grimbold the Elder, to kill Venator.