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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1544 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  20:22:04  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In support (mostly) of following (the most sensible available, whatever those are for a given country) canon numbers for demographics:
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

However, I want to first address one of the main points about population. I would point out that the population numbers that I've given are MUCH higher than stated in the 3E FRCS.

Yes, but they assume that most of the population lives fairly evenly distributed as more-or-less subsidence farmers who may sell a tiny fraction of their output to support nearby villages.

In actual fact, the population in the Realms lives mostly in the hinterland near large towns and cities, with strong militaries to protect them from the dangers of the wilderness areas, and manage to feed themselves using much less land than they'd need in medieval Europe.

For Thay, Unther, Mulhorand, Chessenta and the Wizard Reach, increase urbanisation near coasts to account for the thriving international trade, matching the historical East of the Mediterranean, but on the other hand, huge tracts of land are simply not inhabited by all that many peasants and certainly not by people who are counted as part of the nations above. This is because the Realms has dangers at the edges of civilisation that far outstrip historical societies and those who live there aren't effectively part of the nation.

There are bandits and others who prey on peasants, often of non-humanoid origin, but unless there is a strong city nearby to provide a military to defend the peasants, they tend to die. As a result, I view all areas of difficult terrain in these countries, unless they currently have strong, lawful, centralised government, as being politically outside their domain and thus not a part of the population number given in the FRCS.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

For example, Unther has a population of 4,265,840 according to the 3E FRCS. I've given Unther a population of 12,960,000.

Under ordinary circumstances, Unther ought to be fully capable of supporing 12 million. Given the centuries of mismanagment under Gilgeam and two decades of civil warfare and famine, I think that the population in the FRCS is fair enough. Unther is a land very much reduced from its former glory.

Of course, there are plenty of bandits living on the edges and then there are the non-humans. Those are not all counted in the numbers in the FRCS and, in any event, monsters take up a lot of carrying capacity.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

Mulhorand has a population of 5,339,520 in canon, and I've given them a population of 11,664,000.


I'm assuming that the FRCS number is accurate for official citizens and slaves, but more-or-less allied tribes, for example in the Dragonsword Mountains, exist outside it. Not to mention that it excludes Murghom and probably the area north of Sultim.

Yes, I realise that this means that huge tracts of land are sparsely populated. They live near the rivers and canals, leaving the rest of the land uncultivated. Mulhorand is rich, but it is not utilising their economic potential to their full extent, the results of their slave driven econoy, fossiled bureaucracy and inward-looking courtier-priests who control most of the wealth.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

Chessenta has a population of 3,386,880 in canon, and I've given them a population of 6,912,000.


Yes, but you've reduced the size of their cities for no good reason. The cities are located mostly on the coasts, which means that you need to model them using historical Mediterranean models, not medieval France.

I prefer to say that the official population of Chessenta, that is, adding together all the city-states and their hinterlands, is 3,4 millions. The rest of the people and things there are not counted, but that isn't because they aren't there, it's because they are effectively politically independent, living in tribes or small feudal socities that aren't subject to any of the city-states.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

Thay has a population of 4,924,800 in canon, and I've given them a population of 20,160,000.

Imagine that - Thay, despite it's intense use of magical agriculture - has a population nearly equal to war torn and famine stricken Unther, and a smaller population than Chessenta!

With this, I agree. I'm inclined to say that the 5 million number represents their citizen population, with slaves making up another 15 million.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

I'm going to write more about magical agriculture later, but if we assume the nations are roughly the size I outlined based on the 3E Map, and we took the population numbers from the 3E FRCS into account - then there would be massive amounts of wilderness in those nations.


I actually have no trouble with that conclusion. Given dragons, wywyrns, hippogriffs, griffons, not to mention trolls, orcs, goblins, duergar and just human bandits, all of which are canonically mentioned to live in the more difficult terrain of the above-mentioned nations, there is ample reason to suppose that human populations in the Forgotten Realms tend toward clustering tightly around economic polities that can provide protection.

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Edited by - Icelander on 20 Jul 2013 00:34:30
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  20:23:56  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

The title Kabarrath took is similar to High Imperceptor, but if we take a look at Faiths and Avatars it is common practise in the banite faith that leaders give themselves titles and i see him following that tradition and not a direct challange, granted he mostlikely wanted to be the leader of all banites aswell but i see it more as a traditional move and more to symbolize to the faithful in the Old Empires that he is the one to turn to.


What you write here is certainly true regarding titles. With the exception of High Imperceptor, which is granted by Bane, all other titles are self-granted by ranking priests of the faith greater than 12th level.

However, Kabarrath was indeed making a power play prior to the Time of Troubles.

"Imperceptor Kabarrath Telthaug styled himself Dread Imperceptor in the days before the Time of Troubles, asserting his own independence of the standard Banite hierarchy. It is not hard to understand why: He commands over 700 Banite priests of rank, another 1,000 lesser clergy members, and a well-equipped, harshly disciplined army of loyal troops armed with many items of minor magic, and well practiced in slaughter." - Faiths & Avatars, pg. 39

As I bolded and underlined, he broke away from the official hierarchy of Bane - located in Mulmaster. If we think of things in terms of the Catholic Church, the High Imperceptor would be the equivalent of the Pope. Kabarrath would have been one of the most powerful and influential Cardinals / Archbishops - literally a step below the High Imperceptor. In addition to having his self-granted title of Imperceptor, he was likely also granted an official title such as Imperceptor Kabarrath Telthaug, Dread Patriarch of the East.

What seems to have happened is that the Moonsea Banites fell into a civil war between the Orthodox Church and the Transformed Church. Kabarrath then likely gathered popular support from the faithful of the Shining South and Unapproachable East - and then declared not only his independence, but their independence as well. Effectively speaking, naming himself Pope - with the slight catch that Bane hadn't recognized him officially. They likely believed this was coming, but then of course, the Time of Troubles happened, and Bane's church pretty much collapsed as word of his death spread - with the exception of the Priests of the Cloak, who remained loyal even after his death.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7262 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  20:30:58  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just a thought, since your wanting NPC ideas. I think it would be very interesting if there were a Chessentan mercenary company that's led primarily by followers of the Red Knight, who are attempting to "make a name" for themselves. Perhaps they also see having a Faerunian war god of strategy taking on the Mulhorandi god of war as a holy mission. They may explicitly want to face the enemy strategically, and wouldn't necessarily care how many Tiamatians are lost in the act.


It is possible, yes.

On the other hand, how would followers of the Red Knight feel about fighting each other? Canonically, one of Pharoah's closest advisors is a paladin of the Red Knight, Kendera Steeldice, commander of the Gold Sword mercenary company, which is filled with worshippers of the Red Knight.

The Gold Swords are responsible for much of the success that Mulhorand has had so far, as they've helped integrate the advanced logistical and military organisation of modern Chondathan (or Amnian, Sembian, etc.) mercenaries into traditional Mulhorandi warfare.



Actually, I see the red knights as more than willing to strategize on opposite sides of a battlefield. They often challenge each other in games of strategy and a battlefield is simply a bigger playing field. That being said, another option would be clerics of Tempus from Chessenta who would challenge the red knight followers (granted, both religions are friendly, but both would see the wisdom of honing warfare using "other people's forces" as the playing pieces).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1544 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  20:38:08  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

As I bolded and underlined, he broke away from the official hierarchy of Bane - located in Mulmaster. If we think of things in terms of the Catholic Church, the High Imperceptor would be the equivalent of the Pope. Kabarrath would have been one of the most powerful and influential Cardinals / Archbishops - literally a step below the High Imperceptor. In addition to having his self-granted title of Imperceptor, he was likely also granted an official title such as Imperceptor Kabarrath Telthaug, Dread Patriarch of the East.

What seems to have happened is that the Moonsea Banites fell into a civil war between the Orthodox Church and the Transformed Church. Kabarrath then likely gathered popular support from the faithful of the Shining South and Unapproachable East - and then declared not only his independence, but their independence as well. Effectively speaking, naming himself Pope - with the slight catch that Bane hadn't recognized him officially. They likely believed this was coming, but then of course, the Time of Troubles happened, and Bane's church pretty much collapsed as word of his death spread - with the exception of the Priests of the Cloak, who remained loyal even after his death.


Exactly agreed.

However, with the return of Bane and with the strong presence of Orthodox Banites under Fzoul in Messemprar*, working through the Zhentarim, I think this conflict must have been resolved. And as with Teldar Darkhope, I think it was resolved with the breakaway Banites acknowledging Fzoul, given that Bane clearly stated his preference.

This doesn't mean Kabbarath is powerless or cravenly subservient. Merely that he accepts the authority of Fzoul and in return has access to a worldwide network of Zhentarim to aid his own schemes. And he believes that Fzoul will fall before he does, and then who will inherit the title and power?

*See The Alabaster Staff, and hints in other products.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7262 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  20:54:47  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

I would have to disagree with you Aldrick on the part of Mourktar controlling the faith even in Thay. I personally do not see the faith of Bane in Thay being dominated by Mourktar, granted i can see them as an important link in the region, but i see the Temple in Bezantur with itīs Highpriest,as stated in Dreams of the Red Wizards, the center for the banite faith in Thay which would geographicly make more sense.


In another thread (that I created) in which we discussed Threskel this issue came up. Prior to the Time of Troubles, (and thus the publication of Dreams of the Red Wizards), you could potentially be correct.

It's important to note (as I'm sure you already know) that the faith of Bane is intensely hierarchical. So, even if there is a temple located in a region it still ultimately answers to another temple somewhere else in the hierarchy.

One of the arguments I've made is that the Temple of the Black Lord's Cloak is one of the oldest (still active) temples devoted to Bane in the Realms. I speculated that the Temple of the Black Lord's Altar, which is located in Mulmaster, is likely the oldest and perhaps first temple to Bane in the Realms. The Temple of the Black Lord's Cloak is of course named for the holy relic they have in their possession, a magical cloak worn by Bane prior to his ascension to divinity.

As a result of being one of the oldest temples, I've argued that Bane's faith in the region likely spread throughout the region as a result of the work done by the priests who've journeyed to or have been trained in Mourktar. This would include the religion as it ultimately spread into Thay - you can even somewhat chart a path of its spread, considering events during the various rebellions in Unther. For example, understanding that there is a large temple to Bane in Escalant which is just a few days north by ship from Mourktar.

I've argued that the Temple of the Black Lord's Cloak has likely waxed and waned in it's influence over the years. However, prior to the Time of Troubles, Kabarrath Telthaug - the head of the Temple of the Black Lord's Cloak - declared himself independent of the Banite hierarchy. In doing so he named himself "Dread Imperceptor" - this is quite presumptuous, as the leader of the faith (which is chosen by Bane himself) is known as the "High Imperceptor".

So, in effect, it seems that Kabarrath was preparing to name himself the leader of the faith of Bane. At the time, of course, we have to keep in mind that the church in the Moonsea was bitterly divided and in a civil war between the Orthodox Church and the Transformed Church.

This led to my feeling that all of the temples and churches in the region effectively moved to recognize the Temple of the Black Lord's Cloak as the new center of the faith - effectively creating a rift between the Moonsea Banites and the Banites in the Unapproachable East, and Shining South, and the Old Empires. This, in my mind, would be the equivalent of a fracture in the Catholic Church with a major chunk of the faith proclaiming and officially recognizing a new Pope.

Of course... then the Time of Troubles happened immediately after they did this and Bane died. What is interesting about this fact is that after Bane's death his faith further divided and fractured with some going to Cyric and others to Xvim. However, the Priests of the Cloak, and in particular Kabarrath Telthaug remained loyal to Bane - even after his death. They also maintained their divine spellcasting abilities. It's suggested that Xvim could potentially be granting them their divine power under the guise of Bane, but Eric L. Boyd suggested that they probably took the Servant of the Fallen feat from Lost Empires of Faerun.

And so, we speculated that after Bane's death some of his divine essence dispersed to some of his holy relics, and became trapped there in much the same way Myrkul became trapped in the Crown of Horns. Therefore, even after the death of Bane he could have been speaking to the Priests of the Cloak through the Cloak.

Since we don't know HOW Bane returned - it just happened without explanation - we've speculated that the Priests of the Cloak, and particularly Kabarrath Telthaug played a pivotal role. There was speculation that the Priests of the Cloak may have quested (and did battle with former Banites as well) to gather holy relics of Bane in order to further empower Bane. Ultimately that may have led to a divine ritual led by Kabarrath in which Bane was able to subsume control over Xvim - killing his usurper son.

A lot of this is trying to fill holes in the canon. The cult of Bane has undergone massive upheaval that began even BEFORE the Time of Troubles. However, it is canonical fact that the Temple of the Black Lord's Cloak is the largest and one of the most powerful temples devoted to Bane in all the Realms. Why is this the case? Why is this Temple located in a backwater like Mourktar so important and influential?

It's unrealistic to imagine that a small town like Mourktar - which has always had a population around 10,000 would have around 1,700 ranking priests and lesser priests of the faith living within the city. That's just nuts. Nearly 2/10th's of Mourktar cannot be nothing but priests of Bane. Thus, we are forced to conclude that the Temple of the Cloak was at the top of the hierarchy in the region.

As you noted, Dreams of the Red Wizards highest ranking priest of Bane was located in Bezantur. It also lists major temples of Bane located in Eltabbar, Bezantur, Tyraturos, Pyarados, and Surthay along with major shrines in the Delhumide and on the Aldor.

It's my belief that prior to the Time of Troubles Bezantur served as the head of the Banite hierarchy in Thay, and all of the priest of Bane in Thay ultimately answered to the high priest there. However, that doesn't mean that the high priest there did not in turn answer to the leader of the Temple of the Black Lord's Cloak (who would have in turn answered to the leader of the Black Lord's Altar). It's possible that at that point in time Mourktar was waning in influence, and that Kabarrath had not yet been named head of the temple.

However, when the Time of Troubles happened everything changed. The clergy of Bane in Thay became divided between Cyric, Xvim, and very likely also Bane (if they held loyalties with the Priests of the Cloak).

The newest source of Bane's Temple's in Thay - from the Unapproachable East - paints a very different picture than what was painted prior to the Time of Troubles. The largest temple of Bane in Thay is placed in Escalant, and it is led by Curoz Palblatis. Further north along the river is the city of Amruthar, in which we find "the House of the Black Lord", a temple led by Tharek, a half-fiend cleric of Bane. The other Banite of note is Tharchion Dimon of Tyraturos, who is a former priest of Waukeen that converted to Bane after the Time of Troubles.

...and what of the High Priest of Bane from Bezantur? There is no mention of a temple of Bane in Bezantur. There is, however, a major Temple of Cyric in the city named "the House of Cyric". The Unapproachable East clearly states that Thay now has "strong and well-organized churches of both Bane and Cyric".

It is very likely that the current "House of Cyric" in Bezantur is actually the former Temple of Bane, and it's priests are former Banites. It is also probably not an accident that the temple in Amruthar is called "the House of the Black Lord". This probably indicates where the Banite loyalists retreated to after many in Bezantur converted to the worship of Cyric.

In the end, I think the new head of the hierarchy in Thay is Curoz Palblatis in Escalant. Who in turn answers to Kabarrath Telthaug in Mourktar.

The big question that remains is that after Bane's return Fzoul is named the High Imperceptor of the faith by Bane. It's unclear if the Priests of the Cloak rejoined the official hierarchy or not. However, in all future lore regarding the Temple of the Cloak in Mourktar it's called the "Black Lord's Altar" - the same name given to the temple at the center of the faith in Mulmaster. I believe this is a mistake, but during our discussion of events it was speculated by some that this could have been intentional, and Kabarrath could still be refusing to acknowledge the validity of the Banites of the Moonsea.

In the end, regardless of where one stands on that issue, it's probably wise to conclude based on what we know that Kabarrath is probably one of the most powerful priests of Bane in the Realms if not THE most powerful priest of Bane in the Realms. Not only in game mechanic terms, but in the ability to muster and command the faithful of Bane. Game mechanics wise, I'd probably make him either level 32 or level 34 - the divine spellcasting equivalent of the Simbul or Elminster.

It's unfortunate that he's largely been ignored by the lore... although, it may be a good thing - otherwise they could have ruined him like they did Fzoul.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

As far as the numbers of military go, we do have to take into consideration that when we speak of crusaders of Bane we speak of religious driven zealots who dedicated their deeds to the Black Hand. If Kabarrath, leader of the largest temple of Bane in Faerun, would send out word to fight for Baneīs glory we can assume that every crusader in the old empires and neighbouring regions not occupied with tasks at hand would heed the call. There are few other faiths who can compete with the devotion banites show when it comes to their deity and multiply that when it comes to the aspect of a religious war.
So we would have a highly motivated fighting force with numbers exceeding the ten thousands at the call of Kabarrath that enters the fight, larger that any mecernary force can field in the region and it would not be far off to assume that Mourktar can make it presence known on the battlefield which strikes fear into the enemy.


I would agree here. If Kabarrath or the Temple in Mourktar were seriously threatened, they could likely send out a call that would draw in thousands of people who'd be willing to fight to the death to protect the city. However, they would still require food, weapons, armor, mounts, and transportation to get there.

So it's unlikely that Kabarrath is actually fielding that many people on the battlefield. It's probably cheaper to hire mercenaries from neighboring Chessenta, who can arrive pretty much ready to fight.

Mourktar is seriously disadvantaged by the fact that it is such a small city. However, I've argued that Mourktar has likely nearly doubled in size since Kabarrath took power as a result of their profiteering from the unrest in Unther.

In fact, prior to his becoming Regent Mourktar was already preparing to do exactly that...

"Mourktar is a small but aggressive trading city. It has a large port facility to handle goods for the farmers and herdsmen of Threskel. Small mining communities in the Riders to the Sky Mountains sometimes ship their goods to Mourktar, as it is closer than Mordulkin to the major trade centers of Bezantur and Sultim. Troubles in Unther, however, have made the Sultim-Messemprar-Mourktar trade route less attractive to traders in the last century. There have also been major problems with pirates and the sahuagin.

Mourktar is full of traders and mercenaries who hope to profit from the riots of Messemprar, as well as from what they hope will be an upcoming civil war in Unther."
- Old Empires, pg. 55

This was, of course, prior to the death of Gilgeam. So if Mourktar was already positioning itself to take advantage of the unrest in Unther prior to that point, there is no reason to believe that Kabarrath did not accelerate and even double down on this strategy.

Not to mention the issues with the sahuagin are no longer a problem, after the eruption of the Ship of the Gods volcano. They were pretty much wiped out by underwater lava flows - it was an undersea genocide.

And of course, Kabarrath has been making deals with pirates who secretly serve him, most notably the "widely feared pirate fleet of Alkoth".

So, there is no reason to believe that Mourktar is not experiencing an economic boom the likes of which it's never seen before in its entire history. I would argue it probably went from a population of around 9,969 just before the Time of Troubles, to around a population of 21,938 by 1372 DR. Many of these people would be merchants, guildsmen, nobles, and laborers who've been fleeing the unrest in Unther. Laborers are likely working day and night to rapidly expand the city, because it's overpacked - there is just not enough room for everyone who wants to get inside the walls. And so the entire city is likely surrounded by a massive tent city.




Just wanted to say, on this topic, I agree as to the political/religious idea you have for Banites spreading into Thay. I'm betting that there was some "infighting" between Bezantur and Mourktar over which temple should control things, with Mourktar probably pointing out repeatedly that Bezantur is known as "the City of a Thousand Temples" and therefore they haven't cemented control as proper tyrants.... and Bezantur pointing out that Mourktar controls a backwater area. However, it probably was a common practice for young Banites to "serve" and train in Mourktar's temple for a certain period of time and this practice probably helped cement their control.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Aldrick
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909 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  21:07:20  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the other thread we generally agreed that it was likely that Kabarrath acknowledged Fzoul as the High Imperceptor after Bane's return. I wasn't sure how I felt about that, because it felt like a slap to the face - Fzoul had jumped between how many deities by that point? Meanwhile, Kabarrath remained loyal and held his church together even after the death of Bane.

However, ultimately someone brought up a good point. The primary reason Fzoul was likely named High Imperceptor upon Bane's return was because of the absolute devastation of the Banite church in the Moonsea - the traditional center of the faith. There was the civil war within the faith prior to the Time of Troubles, then the divisions caused by Cyric, and then later Xvim, and after that Bane's return... Bane needed someone in the region to try and pull things back together.

It's my feeling that while Fzoul may hold the title, in terms of power and influence within the faith, a lot of that probably rests in the hands of Kabarrath. In fact, it could be argued that Fzoul likely needs Kabarrath's support to prop him up, and avoid further division within the church.

I'd imagine the relationship between them is more akin to equals than anything else. He likely isn't a person Fzoul could easily intimidate or give orders to, and if they are reunited as theorized then they are likely both actively lending support to each other. This means if there are Banite Zhents down in the Old Empires, it's likely Kabarrath has total knowledge and control over that situation.

...and no doubt, Fzoul is helping Kabarrath make good use of Zhent merchants and trade.

I could imagine a beneficial relationship for both of them, with the acknowledgement that the Unapproachable East and the Shining South is Kabarrath's playground, and the Moonsea and the Heartlands are the playground of Fzoul. We'd likely see a situation where Kabarrath is sending priests north to the Moonsea to take control of lost Banite Temples, Churches, and Shrines and to fight against the influence of Cyric. (Which in turn helps shore up Fzoul's power in the region.)

Meanwhile, Fzoul is sending supplies, merchants, and troops to the south to help Kabarrath shore up his power in that region.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7262 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  21:12:22  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander
[br
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

When it comes to Thay, I think we are in a bit of a disagreement. Primarily because, as you pointed out previously, Thay lacks a unified foreign policy. It's my belief that the Temple of the Black Lord's Cloak is the main central temple for the entire region, and that ultimately the Banites in Thay answer to him.

I disagree that they answer to him. Officially, they answer to Fzoul Chembryl now, just as Kabbarath Telthaug does. Even before Fzoul, I don't see them ever having been very effectively subservient to the Black Lord's Cloak, as the Banite temple in Bezantur is the regional power in Thay and it's hard for Mourktar to enforce any authority over Thayan priests, seeing as the Red Wizards would block any military means of doing so.

But I certainly think they are allied with him and individual high priests probably admire him and seek to emulate him.

And the Black Lord's Cloak certainly commands most of the Banite temples in the east of Faerun.




Hopefully I snipped this so that the quoting shows up right. I don't see it as "Kabbarrath orders the Banite Clergy around". However, just as a for instance, if the Banite Clergy that were formerly in Bezantur were sent a missive to start putting a portion of their "take" towards creating chain mail armor and possibly obtaining slaves for a new militant arm of Bane and to ship that chain mail armor and the slaves to Mourktar, they'd probably do it (now, they may raid other people rather than raise the money... after all, they're Banites). Mourktar may also request that all young Banites perform a holy pilgrimage and be pressed into service to protect the Black Lord's Cloak, and this may be so ingrained in their religion that its considered "a rite of passage". In doing so, Bane's followers also learn a lot about the surrounding cities from the other pilgrims that come to Mourktar and develop bonds that may aid them later in life. However, what Bezantur does with the rest of its money and how it directs other temples in Thay may be outside the control of the Black Lord's Cloak.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  21:20:35  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just wanted to say, on this topic, I agree as to the political/religious idea you have for Banites spreading into Thay. I'm betting that there was some "infighting" between Bezantur and Mourktar over which temple should control things, with Mourktar probably pointing out repeatedly that Bezantur is known as "the City of a Thousand Temples" and therefore they haven't cemented control as proper tyrants.... and Bezantur pointing out that Mourktar controls a backwater area. However, it probably was a common practice for young Banites to "serve" and train in Mourktar's temple for a certain period of time and this practice probably helped cement their control.


That's exactly how I view it as well. I see Mourktar's influence waxing and waning with time - based on the strength of their leader, and the strength of the high priest in Bezantur. Ultimately, in the end, the Priests of the Cloak got a really strong leader in Kabarrath, and he was able to unite them all under his rule prior to the Time of Troubles... which was unfortunately not all that useful due to the fact Bane died and the entire faith began to disintegrate.

And of course, Mourktar remains the center of Bane's faith in the region, because the Temple of Bane in Bezantur has been lost to worshipers of Cyric. This makes the Banites of Thay even more reliant on the outside stabilizing influence of the Temple of the Cloak in Mourktar. This is true for most other Banites of the region as well, considering the Priests of the Cloak never had any of the divisions experienced by Banites elsewhere.

In short, the Priests of the Cloak are a very, very, very stable branch of the Cult of Bane that has successfully weathered pretty much every storm that has blown over the faith since Kabarrath has become it's leader. They avoided the divisions experienced in the Moonsea between the Orthodox and Transformed Church, and their faith in the Black Hand didn't waver - even as others proclaimed Bane dead and converted to Cyric or Xvim. They remained true to Bane throughout everything.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  22:06:43  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

I actually planned to make a post about how trade and economics likely work in the Realms, so I want to eventually address everything in your response in future posts.

However, I want to first address one of the main points about population. I would point out that the population numbers that I've given are MUCH higher than stated in the 3E FRCS.

For example, Unther has a population of 4,265,840 according to the 3E FRCS. I've given Unther a population of 12,960,000.

Mulhorand has a population of 5,339,520 in canon, and I've given them a population of 11,664,000.

Chessenta has a population of 3,386,880 in canon, and I've given them a population of 6,912,000.

Thay has a population of 4,924,800 in canon, and I've given them a population of 20,160,000.

Imagine that - Thay, despite it's intense use of magical agriculture - has a population nearly equal to war torn and famine stricken Unther, and a smaller population than Chessenta!

Of course, as I pointed out - the population numbers shifted dramatically between editions without any explanation. It is all based on the D&D formulas being used.

I'm going to write more about magical agriculture later, but if we assume the nations are roughly the size I outlined based on the 3E Map, and we took the population numbers from the 3E FRCS into account - then there would be massive amounts of wilderness in those nations. Keep in mind that in my population estimates I'm assuming that only roughly 33% of the nations are settled. The other 67% is wilderness. If we go by 3E population estimates, and assume the measurements are correct - then we're looking at only roughly 10% to 15% of the entire nation as settled. This wouldn't make much sense - arguably, my population estimates are on the lower side of things, and for Unther and Mulhorand I should have gone even higher with population density.

The alternative to fix that is to shrink the size of the countries (meaning the scale of the 3E map is wrong). However, that would make the countries seem unnaturally small. Keep in mind that Unther is (as I measured it based on the 3E Map scale), roughly the size of modern day France. Mulhorand is roughly the size of modern day Spain.

...and arguably speaking, I think the scale of the 3E map is already probably too small. So shrinking it further is something I'd personally avoid. So, we basically have a situation where - if we go by canon numbers - there is an insane amount of wilderness, or alternatively, the population numbers I've given are more realistic.

Once again, I'd point out that the population numbers change arbitrarily with each edition, based on whatever formula they are using - in most cases they shrank even more when 4E came out. (In a few cases - cut by almost half!)








I think your population numbers may be a bit off. Consider these facts, modern US, 315 million... US around 1900, 76 million.... US around 1860, 31 million (which admittedly, in 1860 we were still taming wild country... but so is Faerun). I am roughly comparing Thay to the US from the 1st edition box... and I'd say its maybe as big as Louisana, Mississippi, and Alabama combined. Now, Mississippi's population around 1900 was 1.5 million, and it too was a largely agricultural state at that time. If we multiply this by 3 we get 4.5 million. I can't see Thay having a 20 million person population given its size and the fact that the majority of its interior is dedicated to agriculture rather than housing. I'm more inclined to agree with the third edition almost 5 million number, with the rough dispersion as listed in Dreams of the red wizards. However, I will agree on the differences between editions being insane and I don't think the population distribution listed in 3rd edition even remotely makes sense.


<From Dreams of the Red Wizards>

Counting the slave population, there are about 1.5 million sentient people within the borders of Thay. This is an estimate, as the Zulkirs consider any such information potentially hazardous to the security of the country, and they refuse to take a census. Probably the best-counted members of the society are the slaves, as the slave owners have to keep some record of how many they have and how much they are producing, but there is no central repository for these records and individual slave owners are leery of letting anyone know the extent of their holdings.

Due to the centrally organized farming, where most is done on large slave farms, there is a higher proportion of population in the cities to the people on the farms than is common in the western realms where the farming is done mostly by small collections of free farmers or serfs of small landholders. About 300,000 people live in the cities, the other 1,200,000 in the wayside villages and slave farms. Of the city dwellers, about half are slaves, but in the country, the proportion of slaves to freemen is about seven to one.

<From 3rd edition campaign setting>

Thay
Population - 4, 924,800 (humans 62%, gnolls 10%, orcs 10%, dwarves 8%, goblins 5%, halflings 4%)

I find it interesting that in the 3rd edition campaign setting, in the one region NOTED for having a sizable centaur population.... centaurs aren't even listed.... but dwarves that aren't really listed as any of the major NPC's are. My personal viewpoint is to drop the dwarf and halfling listings altogether, make goblins 8%, (noting many slaves are probably goblins... and those that don't work become meals for the orcs and gnolls), centaurs 5%, and have a 5% other races as Thay is kind of known for not being shocked by odd races being there. I'd also note that undead aren't listed as a portion of the "population", and I'd say that of that 4 million there's probably a good 3 percent of them as undead.

I'd also note that the humans and human slaves probably dominate the cities, and the humanoids are probably 1/4 in the cities and 3/4 slugging away over slaves in the countryside.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
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Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  22:24:06  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Red Knight and Tempus in the war:
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Actually, I see the red knights as more than willing to strategize on opposite sides of a battlefield. They often challenge each other in games of strategy and a battlefield is simply a bigger playing field.

That's exactly what I've ruled is the case in my campaign. On the other hand, the fact that the Mulhorandi are winning, that they have a very lawful, very organised society and that they are trying to build a lawful society in Unther, in addition to the privileged position that the Gold Swords and Kendera Steeldice enjoy in Mulhorand all combine to make it more likely that followers of the Red Knight will gravitate toward the Mulhorand.

The PCs have an explicit policy of religious tolerance and neutrality, but in practice, they are trying to reach out to priests and believers whose deities have a lot to win in Unther. They are building an Academy in Messemprar where secular and religious teachers from any creed may compete for their adherants on an egalitarian basis, with coercion and intimidation of potential worshippers forbidden.

They have a lot of priests of Waukeen in their forces and also a fair portion of Lathanderites, Tempurans and Tymorans. There are also significant minorities of Valkurites, Selunites, Gondites, Assurans and Maskarran. In addition, they are firmly allied with the Northern Wizards, which means Mystran and Ishtar (Isis) support, and have very friendly relations with Deneir's High Librarians in the Vast.

The PCs are encouraging all sorts of educated people, including priests, to move to Messemprar and teach at their Academy. They are especially trying to reach the clergy of Oghma, Deneir, Waukeen, Gond, Mystra, Azuth, Valkur and the Red Knight, with good success at least for several among those.

However...

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

That being said, another option would be clerics of Tempus from Chessenta who would challenge the red knight followers (granted, both religions are friendly, but both would see the wisdom of honing warfare using "other people's forces" as the playing pieces).


Here's a god of warfare who sees Unther embroiled in war after war, with everyone and his divine brother claiming to represent armed might of one faction after another. Assuran, Anhur, Bane, Gilgeam, Horus-Re, Ramman, The Red Knight and Tiamat all make some claim on being associated with war, generalship and command of armies in Unther and Tempus does not like it.

He is the Lord of Battles and no one, not even a favoured daughter, will be allowed to take the host of warlike worshippers that rightfully belong to Temups once Unther fully becomes a part of the Faerunian sphere of divine influence.

So I imagine that devout mercenaries, adventurous clergy and driven divine champions of Tempus are all eager to take part in the war and carve out the Foehammer's greater glory on the vast canvas of the war.

Given that they would not want to fight alone, though, they'll have to ally with some faction. They don't want the Mulhorandi to win, obviously, so that's out, but neither to they want any of the three Banite-influenced factions, i.e. Alasklerbanbastos' faction of the Cult of the Dragon, the Black Lord's Cloak and Mourktar forces or the Zhentarim, to gain added influence in Unther or be able to claim any portfolio close to war for Bane.

In addition, while Tempus-worshippers have previously fought aside Tiamatans in the region, I think that Tiamat's position as the Nemesis of Gilgeam and Queen of Dragons is a dangerous combination, added to which she has orders of holy warriors and many veteran combatants serving her, and she must not be allowed too much martial glory for her church. So she's be a less desirable ally for savvy Tempurans than a god which has no interest in challenging Tempus for power over warriors in Unther.

I'm thinking that the Northern Wizards and those generals who have acknowledged their authority are an attractive ally for clerics, holy warriors and divinely-inspired mercenaries of Tempus. In the south, of course, the Gray Ghosts receive plenty of help from Tempurans, but it is becoming obvious that if there is to be a Free Unther again, it will be led from the North.

Does anyone disagree? Or see a more suitable ally?

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Edited by - Icelander on 20 Jul 2013 00:33:18
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Aldrick
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Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  23:15:09  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

Excellent analysis and I agree fully.

I quibble only in that there is no realistic way to transport the loot from southern Unther to Mourktar for it to be sold there. Not only is it much too far, but it would have to go through Mulhorandi controlled areas, Mulhorandi controlled seas, the lines of battle and natural obstacles.

No, I think it's much more plausible that powerful priests of the Cloak set up a base either among the Gray Ghosts, in Hardcastle or perhaps built a temple of their own in the Uthangol Mountains. From there, they'd ship goods overland by caravan to the Shining Lands and through Hardcastle to Chondath and the Vilhon Reach.

Inefficient, yes, like all overland trade, but they lack any access to ports there.


It's true that they lack coastal ports, because that's where the overwhelming bulk of the Mulhorandi forces will be located.

However, they do not need to use the coastal ports. They can sail down the Winding River and hug the Riders to the Sky Mountains side of the Methmere. Towns and villages will be all along the river, and Mourktar can have mercenaries and merchants prepared to pick up the goods at strategic locations (especially where the Methmere becomes the River of Metals). From there they can carry it the couple days journey or so overland to Mourktar, sell it directly to the Northern Alliance Army, or ship it the rest of the way down the River of Metals to Messemprar.

Where these things eventually end up would be based on what comes down the river, and where it's needed most. In the end, though, the wealth is going to end up in Mourktar.

I'd argue that the Templars of the Cloak and the Zhent Banites from Messemprar have ceased control of a small town with a port along the River of Metals. Goods will flow down river to them there, and mercenaries will flow back up river.

This is essential to the success of the Northern Alliance. Without the ability to travel along the Winding River they have no ability to go around behind the Mulhorandi Army. Any large fleet of ships sailing south of Messemprar would be targets for the Mulhorandi Navy.

The bulk of the Northern Alliance obviously cannot travel up and along the Winding River, without drawing the full attention of the Mulhorandi Army. However...

The Winding River forms the border between Chessenta and Old Unther. If the Mulhorandi Army starts appearing there in force, it would incite massive panic throughout Chessenta - it would look like they were preparing to cross and invade. Pretty much every Chessentan city would be forced to send troops to attack the Mulhorandi Army and force them back.

In short, Mourktar can get away with sending a few hundred mercenaries up the river every few days, so long as they aren't trying to move thousands of them. This allows them to do exactly as I suggested they do in the conquered regions of Southern Unther.

Also, keep in mind that the overwhelming bulk of the Mulhorandi Army at the moment is between Messemprar and Shussel. The rest of it is likely located along the coast. They've likely left enough of their army in Unthalass to hold the city, but not to defend the entire region.

The goal, of course, is to force the Mulhorandi to divide it's army. As the Mulhorandi force begins to break up, that allows the army of the Northern Alliance to go on the offensive. They could then hopefully start beating back Mulhorand's main force.

Keep in mind that one of the reasons Mourktar wants pillaged goods and tribute to travel back north is so that the Northern Alliance can keep itself equipped and prevent starvation. If those goods are flowing in the opposite direction, the Northern Alliance's chances of defeating Mulhorand would grow smaller and smaller by the day.
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Icelander
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Posted - 19 Jul 2013 :  23:57:08  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unther, pre- and post-fall:
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

I can largely see what you outlined happening, although I imagine it being much more fractured than that. In my mind, after the fall of Gilgeam, there were wide spread riots throughout all of Unther. Certainly, groups like the cult of Tiamat played a part, but mostly I got the impression it was just average everyday people. They loathed the oppressive paranoid tyrant Gilgeam, and with him gone, and his clergy weakened as a result - they were rising up to overthrow them and everyone associated with the Old Regime.

Absolutely. But once they've done that, they didn't have anything to replace them with and that's when the nobles, ex-priests, generals and civil servants were able to move in to reassert control. After all, they were the only ones with trained armies, experience of goverment and, often, the only ones with any education.

The angry common people didn't have any way to keep a complex society like Old Unther running. Nor did they have any way to protect themselves from the remnants of Assuran's Chessentan invaders during the Time of Troubles or any of the bandits and warlords that wanted to profit from the fractured situation.

So in the years between 1358-1361 DR, I imagine the remaining loyalists slowly asserting control over larger and larger areas, starting with Unthalass. From 1361-1371 DR, they were the effective government of Unther, though they were never able to eradicate Tiamatans, the Grey Ghosts or any of the other smaller factions that had holdings far from Unthalass and even within the city, there were underground factions that they couldn't act against without blowing up their fragile concord. So they were a very weak government, with much of Unther being effectively under the control of local warlords who may have given lip service to the capital or even been in open opposition.

In the south of Unther, the Gray Ghosts largely exacted tribute where they pleased and directly ruled more-or-less the territory within a few days' ride of the Uthangol Mountains. The territory around the rivers was still held by nobles more-or-less loyal to Unthalass, but as for the wilderness around them, that was Gray Ghost or Tiamatan territory, with other groups also moving in to set up shop (the Cult of the Dragon, Banite priests from Mourktar, etc.).

And the whole Methtir, i.e. northern Unther, was never under this coalition government at all. Instead, Messemprar, Shussel and Sadamzar were all independent city-states, some ruled by nobles from the region and Messemprar ruled by a fragile allegiance of rebel factions. Much of the Methtir countryside was torn between warlords from the Chessentan army that fragmented after Assuran's defeat and local warlords.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

This is precisely why Mourktar was no doubt profiting from the chaos in Unther not long after the rebellions. Many members of the Old Regime - particularly the nobility and priests - could have easily found a friend in Kabarrath. Former priests of Gilgeam, who would be without divine powers, would no doubt find Bane a welcoming and a familiar deity to serve. The nobility would want some place to keep their families safe - no one wants to see their children massacred in the streets by rebels, and they need a secure place to store their wealth which in turn will help pay for mercenaries... Mourktar offers them all of that.

Agreed.

Note, however, for those former Untheri nobles who just want to make it out of there with their families and wealth as intact as possible have no reason to stop in Mourktar. In my campaign, those who don't have any interest in resisting the Mulhorandi and carving out their peace of Unther have mostly fled further away from the war than Threskel. Depending on their foreign contacts, level of wealth, avenues of escape and individual preference, this means Thay, Wizard Reach, Chessenta and occasionally even the Vilhon Reach (nice climate and good place to be rich and cultured) or yet further away (some turned up in the Vast in my campaign).

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

However, the problem still exists in that I don't see a single power group in the region that can seize and hold Unther successfully.

Ah. You see, that's where the PCs come in.

I'll explain about their position in a seperate post, but suffice it to say that they are a multinational merchant house, mercenary company and privateer fleet with large bases in the Vast, Pirate Isles, Reth and Messemprar, as well as smaller trading posts all over the place. They command more than two thousand mercenaries already in Unther and over ten thousand sailors and marines in more than a hundred ships, many of which are already in the Alamber Sea.

And while their officical goals are merely to fulfil a series of military and civilian contracts on the behalf of the 'legitimate' government of Free Unther, i.e. the Northern Wizard dominated shibutuu (council) that controls Messemprar, they actually have far-reaching territorial, mercantile and political goals in Unther.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

It could be argued that the members of the Old Regime could be propped up with enough international support. However, they'd still face internal chaos, turmoil, and basically preside over what could only be defined as a 'failed state'.

The issue is that everyone on the outside would have a different opinion on what Unther should look like, and those within Unther have very large differences of opinion on the same issue. There is no reason we shouldn't see non-nobles such as wealthy merchants of Unther also fighting for their piece of the pie, as well as commoners who resent the Old Regime who want to form democratic councils... and this doesn't even include foreign mercenaries who'd want to show up to play and carve out something for themselves from the corpse of Old Unther.

Of course. No one said that this will be easy for the PCs, some of those foreign mercenaries aiming to carve something out of the corpse of Old Unther.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

And if Mourktar is used as I suggested, one of the most powerful players in the region would be actively pushing (behind the scenes, of course) for these types of rivalries to develop.

Only after the war, though. If hostilities break out now, it could cause the Free Unther side of the war to implode into internecine warfare and allow Mulhorand to win the war in less than a year and without having their armies appreciably weakened. Which would be disastrous for Mourktar.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

There is simply no way for Mourktar to conquer and hold Old Unther, and I'm giving Kabarrath the benefit of the doubt that he sees such a folly. For centuries Mourktar has lived in the shadow of Old Unther, and it simply would not be in their best interest to have a powerful unified Unther to their south.

Well, such an Unther would be just dandy if it were a theocracy of Bane, controlled by Kabbarath.

Or, as Alasklerbanbastos clearly prefers, a tyranny ruled by the Dragon King of Old Unther. Though he wouldn't shy at using Banites to do it, since he's always had a soft spot for them.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

What makes sense for Mourktar is to have a somewhat stable region that is heavily divided against itself, that they can form trade deals with to increase their power, wealth, and influence. The somewhat stable region just needs enough power to be worth trading with as well as to be able to unite against further conquest attempts by Mulhorand. ...but in the end, the days of a unified Unther would preferably be (and very likely are) over.

It makes sense to think of the future of Unther in terms of the Methtir, which is the north from Red Haven to Messemprar, the Mesenankh or the extended Greenfields, which is the fertile central area around Unthalass and the Shaaran borderlands of the south, which may be seperated into the eastern reaches of the Chondalwood, the Uthangol Mountain areas and the Azulduth area.

The Methmere borderlands, the Black Ash plains borderlands and the River of Metals/Threskeli borderlands might then belong to their respective parts, be annexed to neighbouring polities or be independent (or not policed at all, which is equivalent).

Mourktar needs the River of Metals/Threskeli borderlands. They want the Methmere borderlands, but don't need more than a slice. The same goes for the Methtir area.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

Any attempt to unite Unther once again would likely take multiple generations to achieve.


In theory, that's the most likely timeframe.

On the other hand, Gilgeam's mismanagment and the two decades of civil war and warfare has been so successful in making the common people desperate for any alternative than what they have that the situation there can be likened to Russia in the the 1910s.

A sufficiently charismatic leader, with enough outside help backing him up, might make something entirely new within a single generation. Whether that is a good or bad thing depends on which leader and what outside force backing him up we are talking about.

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Icelander
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Posted - 20 Jul 2013 :  00:03:36  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Winding River and transport:
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick


It's true that they lack coastal ports, because that's where the overwhelming bulk of the Mulhorandi forces will be located.

However, they do not need to use the coastal ports. They can sail down the Winding River and hug the Riders to the Sky Mountains side of the Methmere.


Canonically, the Winding River is not navigable and certainly not suitable for transport of goods in any bulk. Traversing it at all would be a heroic feat suitable for much boasting and it is utterly unusable for cargo transport.

You can change it in your games, but the impossibility of using it to link the Northern Allegiance with the southern Grey Ghosts and other rebels is a vital part of the strategic situation in canon and one of the reasons why Mulhorand is expected to win at all despite the Great Bone Wyrm, the Church of Bane, Zhentarim and Thay all providing a lot of help to Free Unther (canonically, Mulhorand finally takes Messemprar in 1379 DR).

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Edited by - Icelander on 20 Jul 2013 00:32:21
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Icelander
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Posted - 20 Jul 2013 :  00:21:24  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Logistics for Free Unther and effects on strategy:
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

hug the Riders to the Sky Mountains side of the Methmere. Towns and villages will be all along the river, and Mourktar can have mercenaries and merchants prepared to pick up the goods at strategic locations (especially where the Methmere becomes the River of Metals). From there they can carry it the couple days journey or so overland to Mourktar, sell it directly to the Northern Alliance Army, or ship it the rest of the way down the River of Metals to Messemprar.

This, however, is done by all the factions in northern Unther. Goods bought in Chessenta are shipped into the Methmere and down the River of Metals. The Mulhorandi try to stop it, but cannot invade Chessenta to do so. It is, in fact, for that reason that it is so important for them to take Sadamzar. That way, they can finally stop traffic in the Methmere.

If the mercenaries in the service of Mourktar sell their goods to traders in Hardcastle or even organise their own caravans going west to the Vilhon Reach and Lake of Steam, for example, the temple can easily pay for Chessentan goods out of the proceeds. Bane's church has credit, especially if they are making good money in Chondath and and elsehwere. Wealth is much more portable than food, which is the primary good necessary for warfare at all tech levels (until fuel becomes more important).

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

I'd argue that the Templars of the Cloak and the Zhent Banites from Messemprar have ceased control of a small town with a port along the River of Metals. Goods will flow down river to them there, and mercenaries will flow back up river.


While they are welcome to set up trade posts and even barracks in towns defended by the Free Untheri forces, actually seizing control of any territory so vital to the cause of Free Unther would be a slight too large to ignore for many of the Untheri nobles and generals commanding the remnants of the armed forces of Old Unther, not to mention the Northern Wizards.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

This is essential to the success of the Northern Alliance. Without the ability to travel along the Winding River they have no ability to go around behind the Mulhorandi Army. Any large fleet of ships sailing south of Messemprar would be targets for the Mulhorandi Navy.


The Northern Allegiance currently has trouble sending anyone or anything behind the Mulhorandi, yes. Of course they have many allies that operate there, but they cannot supply those allies directly, which means that they are forced to operate as partisans and obtain their supplies from the Mulhorandi.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

In short, Mourktar can get away with sending a few hundred mercenaries up the river every few days, so long as they aren't trying to move thousands of them. This allows them to do exactly as I suggested they do in the conquered regions of Southern Unther.

But they can't send anyone further than the Methmere, unless they walk.

I'd argue that they still sent the Renegades, at least, and probably more groups of mercenaries, having them march from Chessenta, Chondath and the Shining Lands over the Shaar. But this was neither easy nor cheap for them and they didn't arrive until the mid-point to end of 1372 DR (being sent early in the year, after initial successes by the Mulhorandi during 1371 DR).

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

Also, keep in mind that the overwhelming bulk of the Mulhorandi Army at the moment is between Messemprar and Shussel. The rest of it is likely located along the coast. They've likely left enough of their army in Unthalass to hold the city, but not to defend the entire region.

This is true and suggested the currrent strategy of the PCs.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

The goal, of course, is to force the Mulhorandi to divide it's army. As the Mulhorandi force begins to break up, that allows the army of the Northern Alliance to go on the offensive. They could then hopefully start beating back Mulhorand's main force.

Agreed. Though the PCs have another plan to force Mulhorand to abandon the Methtir.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

Keep in mind that one of the reasons Mourktar wants pillaged goods and tribute to travel back north is so that the Northern Alliance can keep itself equipped and prevent starvation. If those goods are flowing in the opposite direction, the Northern Alliance's chances of defeating Mulhorand would grow smaller and smaller by the day.


Which is why the Methmere cannot be allowed to fall into Mulhorandi hands, which it will do if they take Sadamzar, the only large harbour on it. At the end of the campaign season of 1372 DR, it looked very much like the Mulhorandi would open the campaign season of 1373 DR by doing just that, because the Mulhorandi had made incredible gains and were positioned much better for the winter than anyone could have guessed.

So Kabbarath Telthaug recalled the Crow Banners from raiding the Mulhorandi in the south and started diplomatic preparations for providing help to the defence of that town. Which is why the Cult of the Dragon under the Great Bone Wyrm are openly aiding the Tiamatans of the Northern Allegiance in marching to the relief of Sadamzar and why many allies of Kabbarath have joined them.

He has still not committed his templars to open warfare with Mulhorand and remains leery of doing so (what if Mulhorand does win?), but he's pulled out pretty much all the stops otherwise.

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Edited by - Icelander on 20 Jul 2013 00:29:20
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Aldrick
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Posted - 20 Jul 2013 :  00:50:21  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I think your population numbers may be a bit off. Consider these facts, modern US, 315 million... US around 1900, 76 million.... US around 1860, 31 million (which admittedly, in 1860 we were still taming wild country... but so is Faerun). I am roughly comparing Thay to the US from the 1st edition box... and I'd say its maybe as big as Louisana, Mississippi, and Alabama combined. Now, Mississippi's population around 1900 was 1.5 million, and it too was a largely agricultural state at that time. If we multiply this by 3 we get 4.5 million. I can't see Thay having a 20 million person population given its size and the fact that the majority of its interior is dedicated to agriculture rather than housing. I'm more inclined to agree with the third edition almost 5 million number, with the rough dispersion as listed in Dreams of the red wizards. However, I will agree on the differences between editions being insane and I don't think the population distribution listed in 3rd edition even remotely makes sense.


<From Dreams of the Red Wizards>

Counting the slave population, there are about 1.5 million sentient people within the borders of Thay. This is an estimate, as the Zulkirs consider any such information potentially hazardous to the security of the country, and they refuse to take a census. Probably the best-counted members of the society are the slaves, as the slave owners have to keep some record of how many they have and how much they are producing, but there is no central repository for these records and individual slave owners are leery of letting anyone know the extent of their holdings.

Due to the centrally organized farming, where most is done on large slave farms, there is a higher proportion of population in the cities to the people on the farms than is common in the western realms where the farming is done mostly by small collections of free farmers or serfs of small landholders. About 300,000 people live in the cities, the other 1,200,000 in the wayside villages and slave farms. Of the city dwellers, about half are slaves, but in the country, the proportion of slaves to freemen is about seven to one.

<From 3rd edition campaign setting>

Thay
Population - 4, 924,800 (humans 62%, gnolls 10%, orcs 10%, dwarves 8%, goblins 5%, halflings 4%)

I find it interesting that in the 3rd edition campaign setting, in the one region NOTED for having a sizable centaur population.... centaurs aren't even listed.... but dwarves that aren't really listed as any of the major NPC's are. My personal viewpoint is to drop the dwarf and halfling listings altogether, make goblins 8%, (noting many slaves are probably goblins... and those that don't work become meals for the orcs and gnolls), centaurs 5%, and have a 5% other races as Thay is kind of known for not being shocked by odd races being there. I'd also note that undead aren't listed as a portion of the "population", and I'd say that of that 4 million there's probably a good 3 percent of them as undead.

I'd also note that the humans and human slaves probably dominate the cities, and the humanoids are probably 1/4 in the cities and 3/4 slugging away over slaves in the countryside.


Europe around 1300 reached it's peak at around 100 to 120 Million people. France alone had a population of roughly 12 million people. The combined population of Thay, Chessenta, Unther, and Mulhorand that I gave was around 51,696,000. Collectively, these nations cover roughly 727,200 square miles.

All of these nations have existed and have been settled for centuries. Thay in particular (which is where the bulk of that population comes from), benefits heavily from magical agriculture that could probably outstrip what we can achieve even with modern technology. (I mean, let's face it - they can control the weather.)

Of the 727,200 square miles of claimed territory - 440,000 square miles of it is wilderness - completely unsettled. That leaves only 287,200 square miles as settled land. Arguably this number is off because Thay's magical agriculture would allow them to get vastly better yields from their farms - thus giving Thay more wilderness than I portrayed.

In the nations of Mulhorand, Chessenta, and Unther 67% of their controlled territory is wilderness - more than half.

That's my major issue right there. It's not so much about population, it's the wilderness to settled land ratio. In nations that have been in existence for centuries, that canonically have many cities, and do robust trade... it's almost inconceivable that less than 33% of the territory is unsettled.

We can talk about monsters and the like, and I would argue that they're included in the numbers. However, they would be widely dispersed across the wilderness in small groups. It just wouldn't make sense for there to be a situation in which there are literally thousands upon thousands of orcs chilling out together in the wilderness. That large of a gathering of monsters would attract notice and instantly spark a war.

A "super large tribe" is likely 200 to 300 strong, and they would be aggressive and actively raiding the villages and towns of a nation. In most cases monsters would be encountered in small family bands of around 10 to 25 in number.

And every intelligent creature living in those nations would be part of those population numbers. Thus, if we assume a troll is roughly the equivalent of five humans, we'd subtract five from those living in the isolated areas of Unther - for example for every one troll we'd want to add to the region. As a result, if we have a family of five trolls living in the Methwood, we'd subtract 25 people from the isolated population living in Unther. Then on a separate list we'd add 5 trolls to the total of non-humans living in Unther.

For large tribes of orcs and the like - I'd use the village populations, and I would strive to keep any one tribe under 400 individuals. These large tribes would be far enough away from human settlements to avoid provoking an attack against them, and where they can have a semi-permanent settlement that focuses on basic agriculture, hunting, gathering, and herd animals (such as sheep and goats). They'd strive for some degree of self-sufficiency, and when their population ultimately grows beyond what they could handle - that's when they'd turn to raiding. The exception to this rule would be nomadic tribes that subsist entirely off banditry, and they would strive to be near human towns, villages, and trade roads.
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Icelander
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Posted - 20 Jul 2013 :  00:51:29  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kabbarath Telthaug's goals in the war:
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

I agree 100%. Kabarrath NEEDS to control the River of Metals, at the very least. Ideally, he'd control Messemprar directly as well, if he could get away with it. However, controlling Messemprar isn't absolutely necessary so long as he can use pirates to force Messemprar to mostly trade with Mourktar instead.

Agreed. Mourktar would love to control the Methtir as a whole, but if that becomes impractical, they'll much prefer a reduced (or destroyed) Messemprar and a devastated Methtir with only those areas they retain having any wealth at all. An empty land of desperate bandits would be an adequate buffer zone, as long as Mulhorand was terribly weakened by the war as well.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

In my Realms this is exactly what ultimately happened. Mourktar eventually conquered Thamor (who by that time was mostly a protectorate anyway) and Messemprar. The city ruled the lands from the Long Beach all the way to the River of Metals - on both sides, including some land along the Methmere.

If this happens, they'd do well to have sympathetic city-states in Sadamzar and Shussel, as well as a Messemprar that's been reduced to a shell.

One must also consider the goals of the Great Bone Wyrm. It's hard to see him accept anything less than control over the Methmere as an acceptable outcome of the war and he obviously has much more ambitious goals. He'd only allow a Mourktar-based state to exist as a vassal or protectorate. Even if he might lack the power to enforce vassalage once Tzchassar comes back and slaughters most of his draconic servants, anything less than the destruction of the Great Bone Wyrm will still leave him strong enough to claim the River of Metals and the northern Methmere, unless Kabbarath Telthaug can convince him that with Mourktar holding it, it is securely within Alasklerbanbastos' sphere of influence.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

Ultimately, Mourktar also raised an army and conquered the rest of Threskel as well - thus adding Mordulkin and the lands around the Jade River to the list of controlled territory.

Mourktar became the capital of a strong, independent and unified nation of Threskel - that pretty much controlled all trade moving in and out of the Alamber Sea region.


Why bother conquering the rest of Threskel? It's poor land and much more difficult to take than other, better, land, given that it's claimed by a Dragon King ruling dozens of lesser dragons.

If Kabbarath did this as a vassal of the Great Bone Wyrm, that is much more sensible. In that case, I can absolutely see the Dark Templars of Mourktar being used to transform Mordulkin from a tribute-paying protectorate into a directly ruled vassal state.

Of course, that's assuming that Tzchassar was not prepared to go to all out war for Mordulkin, which in my opinion, he would be. Alasklerbanbastos can exact tribute for it, but any attempt to take and garrison it with Mourktari troops would bring Tzchassar and Chessenta troops in response. It's too good a harbourage for pirates against Chessentan ships to be allowed to fall into enemy hands completely.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

However, to survive post-war Kabarrath must secure free and unfettered access to the River of Metals at an absolute minimum. There appears to be enough gold in the region to keep Mourktar wealthy, and allow them to continue trade.

While true, note that the dragons under Alasklerbanbastos claim the River of Metals and the gold there. It would be difficult to get them to give permission to mine it effectively.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

Without foreign interest in the wars, and no access to the River of Metals and the Riders of the Sky Mountains... Mourktar's economy begins to collapse into a depression, which in turn means famine, and ultimately revolt against his rule.


Absolutely.

Which is why Kabbarath Telthaug needs diplomatic skill far more than he needs to go on the offensive. He has to keep the Banite-faction of the Cult of the Dragon from coming to blows with the Undying Queen-dominated faction of the Cult. And prevent the Cultists within his own ranks from straying too far into heresy and antagonising the Orthodox Banites of the Zhentarim. And keep all of the above on friendly enough terms with the Orthodox Tiamatans of Shudu-Ab to keep fighting the war.

Not to mention the rest of the factions in Free Unther, the Northern Wizards, the former Gilgeamites and nobility, the generals and commanders of the armies, etc. These are just the Banite and draconic ones, which fall squarely within his purview, seeing as he's a vassal of Alasklerbanbastos as the Regent of Mourktar and subordinate to Fzoul Chembryl as an Imperceptor of Bane.

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Edited by - Icelander on 22 Jul 2013 13:21:13
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Icelander
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Posted - 20 Jul 2013 :  01:04:35  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Demographics of Faerun's Eastern Inner Sea:
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

All of these nations have existed and have been settled for centuries. Thay in particular (which is where the bulk of that population comes from), benefits heavily from magical agriculture that could probably outstrip what we can achieve even with modern technology. (I mean, let's face it - they can control the weather.)

Thay, on the other hand, has for the past three centuries, had the worst foreign policy and internal policy imaginable. They engage in near-genocidal wars against their neighbours, with their own troops suffering the vast majority of the casualties, and they also have constant internal warfare that is not even viewed as 'warfare', but simply as a fact of life. Red Wizard will fight Red Wizard, noble will fight noble and the slave troops as well as the mercenaries will die like flies, killing and starving slaves and the few free poor indiscriminately in the fighting.

Only for the past five years or so have they decided to focus on what they historically did well and take a short pause from tearing their own land apart. If this lasts even a generation, Thay will move from regional powerhouse to sole superpower on the Inner Sea.

But it's not there yet.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

In the nations of Mulhorand, Chessenta, and Unther 67% of their controlled territory is wilderness - more than half.

That's my major issue right there. It's not so much about population, it's the wilderness to settled land ratio. In nations that have been in existence for centuries, that canonically have many cities, and do robust trade... it's almost inconceivable that less than 33% of the territory is unsettled.


You are looking at them after centuries of misrule, stagnation or internal warfare. Also, there is only a generation since the largest plague in recorded history killed most of their population, the Plague of Dragons, from 1317-1323 DR (1324 DR in Unther).

Mulhorand, meanwhile, is a very rich land that has for the past three centuries or so had negative population growth and negative economic growth. It stagnated nearly completely between the rebellion of Thay and the Time of Troubles.

Only when the Pharoah was no longer an immortal with no ability to adapt to new conditions and technology did they start to work again. Thus, they are economically incredibly backward, despite having access to quite advanced technology and theories.

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Icelander
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Posted - 20 Jul 2013 :  04:28:04  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Purple Reign Trading Group (i.e. the PCs) and their goals:
The PCs in my campaign have been playing since the real world year of 2004-2006 (have to admit, I can't figure out which, I'll have to look it up in our pre-computerised notes). Some of them are merchant princes, others are exiled nobility and yet others are warriors of renown. In D&D terms, they are around 13th level and there are around six PCs with some ten allies of similar level (that used to be PCs or are their close NPC allies). They also have a lot of other powerful allies gained in play.

In their early days, they were privateers and they still retain an affinity for the sea. They now command a massive multinational merchant house based in Ravens Bluff, but with huge recruiting, buying, storage and training bases in Lyrabar, Reth and the Pirate Isles of Tan and Oreth. The (reformed) pirate fleet of Azla the Pirate Queen belongs to them and Quincy Blackmantle, former pirate and former Rear Admiral of Ravens Bluff, commands more reformed pirates in their service. They also have the remains of the pirate fleet of Vurgrom the Mighthy, they hope, after having defeated him, kept him alive and enslaved him with magic to send back to bring his fleets to Unther.

They employ tens of thousand of people, with two thousand elite mercenaries already in Unther and around ten thousand privateers, ex-pirates and marine-trained mercenaries onboard their fleet of some hundred vessels in the Alamber Sea. Marius the Valiant commands their infantry in Unther and they have a strong allegiance to the Northern Wizards and most of the more sensible generals of Old Unther.

Their initial goals in Unther were war-profiteering (the callous, greedy PC and his allies) and relieving the suffering of the common people who were mere victims of the warfare caused by fanatical religous crusaders of all alignments (the heroic ones).

By now, however, there are several PCs who see a new future for Unther. The mercantile ones see a future where trade is free of the fetters imposed by Gilgeam and the eastern Inner Sea can finally take its proper place as the economic leader of Faerun. The benevolent, charitable PCs see a chance to make the lot of the common people in Unther better than it ever has been. They reject the forcible conversion of Untheri to 'bettter ways' by the Mulhorandi, since at least two powerful PCs are very individualistic and advocates of personal freedom, but they don't mind that the Mulhorandi should have an equal chance to convert Untheri to their beliefs, as long as they don't do it at the point of a sword.

Finally, one PC wants to unite Unther under his banner, as a charismatic and politically savvy warlord who was raised as a prince in Murghom, but is exquisitely educated and very cosmopolitan. He has gotten the other PCs to declare him the Viceroy of Purple Reign (the merchant house, mercenary company and privateer fleet owned by the PCs) in Unther and assumed titles such as the Protector of Free Unther and Defender of All Faiths. He has one powerful priest and noble Untheri heir PC aiding him, who used to be a priest of Gilgeam, but switched to Tiamat and is now looking for the highest bidder among the gods to take as his patron. And the 'evil' PC, who is mostly excessively pragmatic, has thrown his hat in the ring behind him, giving him full support of the Purple Reign in his quest.

So for reasons ranging from self-interested to benevolent, the PCs want to transform Unther into a 'democratic' society ruled by councils of the 'best citizens'. They have plans for rapid technological advance and extensive education of everyone who wants it, but they also plan to give land and peasants to a military elite that proves useful and loyal to the new regime. And they plan to gain mining concessions around the River of Metals, in the Riders to the Sky and the Smoking Mountains, not to mention becoming the leaders in trade in, through and around Unther.

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Edited by - Icelander on 20 Jul 2013 05:57:09
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Lord Bane
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Posted - 20 Jul 2013 :  13:04:00  Show Profile Send Lord Bane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

However, Kabarrath was indeed making a power play prior to the Time of Troubles.

"Imperceptor Kabarrath Telthaug styled himself Dread Imperceptor in the days before the Time of Troubles, asserting his own independence of the standard Banite hierarchy. It is not hard to understand why: He commands over 700 Banite priests of rank, another 1,000 lesser clergy members, and a well-equipped, harshly disciplined army of loyal troops armed with many items of minor magic, and well practiced in slaughter." - Faiths & Avatars, pg. 39

As I bolded and underlined, he broke away from the official hierarchy of Bane - located in Mulmaster. If we think of things in terms of the Catholic Church, the High Imperceptor would be the equivalent of the Pope. Kabarrath would have been one of the most powerful and influential Cardinals / Archbishops - literally a step below the High Imperceptor. In addition to having his self-granted title of Imperceptor, he was likely also granted an official title such as Imperceptor Kabarrath Telthaug, Dread Patriarch of the East.

What seems to have happened is that the Moonsea Banites fell into a civil war between the Orthodox Church and the Transformed Church. Kabarrath then likely gathered popular support from the faithful of the Shining South and Unapproachable East - and then declared not only his independence, but their independence as well. Effectively speaking, naming himself Pope - with the slight catch that Bane hadn't recognized him officially. They likely believed this was coming, but then of course, the Time of Troubles happened, and Bane's church pretty much collapsed as word of his death spread - with the exception of the Priests of the Cloak, who remained loyal even after his death.



I never denied that he was not making powerplay. Styling himself as the one to go to for banites in the old empires is a move for more power as he "seperates" himself from the rest of the hirarchy which as you stated and everyone should be aware of, was in a religious schism and close to civil war. But i still say, the title move was also part of tradition. Yes he wanted to be more than another Impeceptor in the churches hirarchy and yes he is one of the most powerfull servants of Bane in the realms, but before the ToT hit he was not in a position to make a grab for power directly, he was off the "radar" in the Old Empires while events in northern Faerun overshadowed his schemes. He has the ambition but in the end got unlucky that the Time of Troubles happened and that Bane went with the north after his return (we can blame the emphasis on northern Faerun in literature for this).

I wouldnīt mind seeing Karrabath Telthaug and Teldorn Darkhope gather with Fzoul Chembryl and scheme some plans for Bane to conquer all of Faerun, a Dread Triumvirate with Fzoul as annointed Chosen of Bane having the head seat.

When i look at the build up and goals of your group Icelander i directly get two flashlights that may spice up the campaign for your group and adds dynamics that could spiral the Old Empire conflict into a greater Fearun spanning war.

You state that your group has a large naval position which will collide with two powers that rely on it aswell, Thay and Sembia.
I think we can agree that Thay is not united in any efforts so rivalling Zulkires could secretly try to sabotage the groups shipping, reducing their weight of impact in naval operations in the Alamber Sea and shifting the scales more towards Thay when it comes to naval trade.
Sembia on the other hand, i do not see simply sitting idle while a merchant powerhouse like your group is in itīs neighbourhood in the Vast and i would expect sembian merchants to make use of your companies distraction and take steps to diminish itīs influence and weaken itīs capacities for their own gain.
Maybe even Chondath with itīs mercenary forces could see their company as competition for contracts in the south and make moves to weaken them.

Just some ideas which easily can set large parts of Fearun aflame.

The driving force in the multiverse is evil, for it forces good to act.
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Icelander
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Posted - 20 Jul 2013 :  23:53:27  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

When i look at the build up and goals of your group Icelander i directly get two flashlights that may spice up the campaign for your group and adds dynamics that could spiral the Old Empire conflict into a greater Fearun spanning war.

A Crimean War analogue?

It sounds interesting, but in my opinion, most of the rest of Faerun is ignoring the war and those who realise the impact the outcome will have on them are mostly against a resurgent Mulhorandi Empire, meaning that they are more likely to aid Purple Reign than hinder it.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

You state that your group has a large naval position which will collide with two powers that rely on it aswell, Thay and Sembia.

The shipping fleets controlled by Thay and Sembia dwarf the number of vessels controlled by Purple Reign.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

I think we can agree that Thay is not united in any efforts so rivalling Zulkires could secretly try to sabotage the groups shipping, reducing their weight of impact in naval operations in the Alamber Sea and shifting the scales more towards Thay when it comes to naval trade.

Any Red Wizard or Thayan noble who is at all concerned about trade will probably realise that a new player of moderate size is much less damaging than having the Mulhorandi control all of Unther. That would allow the Mulhorandi far too much scope for dictating the terms of trade over the Alamber Sea.

As a consequence, most important factions in Thay are enthusiastic suporters of Purple Reign, at least as long as the war lasts and Mulhorand looks likely to win. If the PCs achieve signal victories over the Mulhorandi that reduce their odds of taking Messemprar to a very low order of probability, however, a lot of Thayans will reevaluate their relationship with them.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

Sembia on the other hand, i do not see simply sitting idle while a merchant powerhouse like your group is in itīs neighbourhood in the Vast and i would expect sembian merchants to make use of your companies distraction and take steps to diminish itīs influence and weaken itīs capacities for their own gain.

Only around 20 ships from Purple Reign ever dock in Ravens Bluff and of those, only 12 are there regularly.

That means that Purple Reign is a comparatively small player in Vast shipping and barely noticable in Sembia. They worry far more about rivals in Ravens Bluff, like the Blackblades House, than Sembian rivals.

They do have mercantile rivals in Reth and serious ones in Westgate, but have managed to successfully deal with any conflicts so far.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

Maybe even Chondath with itīs mercenary forces could see their company as competition for contracts in the south and make moves to weaken them.

Not Chondath as a nation, in my opinion. Lord Eles Wianar has no special stake in the running of individual mercenary companies and does not necessarily view it as a vital national interest for Chondath to preserve the power of these independent mercenaries. Even if it were not so, there is more demand for quality mercenaries than there are mercenaries to meet it.

The infantry and marines of Purple Reign, are, in fact, mostly a Chondanthan mercenary group. The soldiers are recruited from among established mercenaries in Reth and Chondath, as well as boys from mercenary families, and Purple Reign has large facilities in Reth where they are trained and housed. They are moving their training facilities to the Pirate Isle of Tan now, but they'll still have recruiting offices in Reth and expect to continue to get more than half of their recruits from there.

Purple Reign pays well for good soldiers, making service under their banners a sought-after career choice among military men in Chondath, and their recruiting officers in Reth are competent, popular and well-connected.

Individual mercenary companies might resent Purple Reign, of course.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

Just some ideas which easily can set large parts of Fearun aflame.


There is a brewing war in the Vast in my campaign, due a unified realm of hobgoblins displacing the orcs in the mountains and having allied with Calaunt and Mulmaster. The hobgoblins are fighting Impiltur as well.

Around the River Lis, the Mulmastrans are rebuilding Ylraphon with covert help from the Zhents and this is viewed with alarm in Sembia and the Vast.

Zhentil Keep and the Zhentarim are enforcing their authority over the Moonsea with their fleets.

Tantras and Ravens Bluff are in negotiations to send a joint expedition to take Scarsdale, which is currently being ravaged by mercenaries in the employ of unknown powers. Sembia might be behind it and is certainly considering sending an expedition of its own to take Scarsdale's harbour.

There's at least one war in Chessenta already and a small war in northern Chondath.

And in the Endless Wastes, all the powers are fighting the remnants of Solon's undead horde, controlled by undead or monstrous lieutenants.

The nomads not affiliated with Yammunaihar are raiding the northern provinces of weak Shou Lung.

And then there is the war in Tethyr and Amn, against the humanoid and monstrous hordes there, as well as the war in the Swordcoast North.

Finally, Impiltur, Damara and the rest of the Bloodstone Lands are fighting Cult of the Dragon-inspired forces of humanoids.

Added to all this are the rampaging dragons of the Dracorage.

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Edited by - Icelander on 21 Jul 2013 00:32:12
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Lord Bane
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Posted - 21 Jul 2013 :  10:35:44  Show Profile Send Lord Bane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not really a Crimean War analogue but more the fact that somebody always has an interst in something that may be worth going to war over and usually that connects factions who may usually not be so prone to actions.


I do not consider ten of thousands of shipping troops to be dwarvable by sembian merchant houses, they are barely united and have their own interests and with that number you in return dwarf each sembian merchant on his/her own, but not all together. You may not have more than a few docked in the Vast but with that amount of naval power you are bound to raise the awareness of merchants across the Sea of Fallen Stars and some will see the numbers as a threat for their enterprise, especially the pirate component.

You meantioned serious rivals in Westgate, did your players have any run ins with Fireknifes?

Itīs your campagin and iīm just giving suggestions.

The driving force in the multiverse is evil, for it forces good to act.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 22 Jul 2013 :  02:31:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

Red Knight and Tempus in the war:
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Actually, I see the red knights as more than willing to strategize on opposite sides of a battlefield. They often challenge each other in games of strategy and a battlefield is simply a bigger playing field.

That's exactly what I've ruled is the case in my campaign. On the other hand, the fact that the Mulhorandi are winning, that they have a very lawful, very organised society and that they are trying to build a lawful society in Unther, in addition to the privileged position that the Gold Swords and Kendera Steeldice enjoy in Mulhorand all combine to make it more likely that followers of the Red Knight will gravitate toward the Mulhorand.




<snip to just the part responding to>

Bear this in mind, essentially the Mulhorandi war is for another Pantheon and principally being driven by that Pantheon's god of war. Many followers of the Red Knight might just see aiding the expansion of that pantheon's power (especially that of a war god that is not Tempus) as a wrong strategic move. As a result, while they may not like the Tiamatans... and may use them as fodder in their strategies... they may find aiding the side of Unther and Threskel as the better strategic move for their god's gaining of a foothold in the region. Note, they may also seek to undermine the power of the Banites in the region as well... for instance, sending intelligence that maneuvers them into situations that they can resolve, but at great expense... seizing Banite supplies right after a major victory and using them for their own troops while making it politically inopportune for the Banites to complain (or framing the loss on the enemy by routing the enemy into the caravan's path and then coming in at the end to rescue what's left of the wagon drivers).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 22 Jul 2013 :  02:52:21  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I think your population numbers may be a bit off. Consider these facts, modern US, 315 million... US around 1900, 76 million.... US around 1860, 31 million (which admittedly, in 1860 we were still taming wild country... but so is Faerun). I am roughly comparing Thay to the US from the 1st edition box... and I'd say its maybe as big as Louisana, Mississippi, and Alabama combined. Now, Mississippi's population around 1900 was 1.5 million, and it too was a largely agricultural state at that time. If we multiply this by 3 we get 4.5 million. I can't see Thay having a 20 million person population given its size and the fact that the majority of its interior is dedicated to agriculture rather than housing. I'm more inclined to agree with the third edition almost 5 million number, with the rough dispersion as listed in Dreams of the red wizards. However, I will agree on the differences between editions being insane and I don't think the population distribution listed in 3rd edition even remotely makes sense.


<From Dreams of the Red Wizards>

Counting the slave population, there are about 1.5 million sentient people within the borders of Thay. This is an estimate, as the Zulkirs consider any such information potentially hazardous to the security of the country, and they refuse to take a census. Probably the best-counted members of the society are the slaves, as the slave owners have to keep some record of how many they have and how much they are producing, but there is no central repository for these records and individual slave owners are leery of letting anyone know the extent of their holdings.

Due to the centrally organized farming, where most is done on large slave farms, there is a higher proportion of population in the cities to the people on the farms than is common in the western realms where the farming is done mostly by small collections of free farmers or serfs of small landholders. About 300,000 people live in the cities, the other 1,200,000 in the wayside villages and slave farms. Of the city dwellers, about half are slaves, but in the country, the proportion of slaves to freemen is about seven to one.

<From 3rd edition campaign setting>

Thay
Population - 4, 924,800 (humans 62%, gnolls 10%, orcs 10%, dwarves 8%, goblins 5%, halflings 4%)

I find it interesting that in the 3rd edition campaign setting, in the one region NOTED for having a sizable centaur population.... centaurs aren't even listed.... but dwarves that aren't really listed as any of the major NPC's are. My personal viewpoint is to drop the dwarf and halfling listings altogether, make goblins 8%, (noting many slaves are probably goblins... and those that don't work become meals for the orcs and gnolls), centaurs 5%, and have a 5% other races as Thay is kind of known for not being shocked by odd races being there. I'd also note that undead aren't listed as a portion of the "population", and I'd say that of that 4 million there's probably a good 3 percent of them as undead.

I'd also note that the humans and human slaves probably dominate the cities, and the humanoids are probably 1/4 in the cities and 3/4 slugging away over slaves in the countryside.


Europe around 1300 reached it's peak at around 100 to 120 Million people. France alone had a population of roughly 12 million people. The combined population of Thay, Chessenta, Unther, and Mulhorand that I gave was around 51,696,000. Collectively, these nations cover roughly 727,200 square miles.

All of these nations have existed and have been settled for centuries. Thay in particular (which is where the bulk of that population comes from), benefits heavily from magical agriculture that could probably outstrip what we can achieve even with modern technology. (I mean, let's face it - they can control the weather.)

Of the 727,200 square miles of claimed territory - 440,000 square miles of it is wilderness - completely unsettled. That leaves only 287,200 square miles as settled land. Arguably this number is off because Thay's magical agriculture would allow them to get vastly better yields from their farms - thus giving Thay more wilderness than I portrayed.

In the nations of Mulhorand, Chessenta, and Unther 67% of their controlled territory is wilderness - more than half.

That's my major issue right there. It's not so much about population, it's the wilderness to settled land ratio. In nations that have been in existence for centuries, that canonically have many cities, and do robust trade... it's almost inconceivable that less than 33% of the territory is unsettled.

We can talk about monsters and the like, and I would argue that they're included in the numbers. However, they would be widely dispersed across the wilderness in small groups. It just wouldn't make sense for there to be a situation in which there are literally thousands upon thousands of orcs chilling out together in the wilderness. That large of a gathering of monsters would attract notice and instantly spark a war.

A "super large tribe" is likely 200 to 300 strong, and they would be aggressive and actively raiding the villages and towns of a nation. In most cases monsters would be encountered in small family bands of around 10 to 25 in number.

And every intelligent creature living in those nations would be part of those population numbers. Thus, if we assume a troll is roughly the equivalent of five humans, we'd subtract five from those living in the isolated areas of Unther - for example for every one troll we'd want to add to the region. As a result, if we have a family of five trolls living in the Methwood, we'd subtract 25 people from the isolated population living in Unther. Then on a separate list we'd add 5 trolls to the total of non-humans living in Unther.

For large tribes of orcs and the like - I'd use the village populations, and I would strive to keep any one tribe under 400 individuals. These large tribes would be far enough away from human settlements to avoid provoking an attack against them, and where they can have a semi-permanent settlement that focuses on basic agriculture, hunting, gathering, and herd animals (such as sheep and goats). They'd strive for some degree of self-sufficiency, and when their population ultimately grows beyond what they could handle - that's when they'd turn to raiding. The exception to this rule would be nomadic tribes that subsist entirely off banditry, and they would strive to be near human towns, villages, and trade roads.




Just on the part about Thayan magical aid comparing to US modern technology. Our ability to deliver water to crops from electrically powered wells local to the crops via sprinklers is something that can probably simulate the ability to control the weather (to a degree, remember the red wizards have control... but its not like they have Doppler radar to tell them where to drop the water). Even more importantly our understanding of and ability to create improved chemical fertilizers would in my view make modern agriculture equivalent if not superior to what Thay can do (because Thay's is dependent on an elite force of very powerful mages dedicating their time to weather control.... their power is amazing compared to other countries, but I'd bet its comparable to our agricultural practices right after the industrial revolution).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
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Posted - 22 Jul 2013 :  13:04:30  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

Not really a Crimean War analogue but more the fact that somebody always has an interst in something that may be worth going to war over and usually that connects factions who may usually not be so prone to actions.

I mentioned the Crimean War because it provides a real-world example where most of the Western nations had a national interest in keeping a decaying empire propped up rather than see an imperial rival swallow it.

The Moonsea cities certainly all have such an interest in keeping Unther independent, to prevent any one power from having the potential to control trade between the acricultural powerhouse of the East and their seriously over-populated, over-militarised cities that depend on cheap grain from Thay for their survival. The same goes for the Pirate Isles.

While it's unlikely in the extreme that a resurgent Mulhorand could take the Thayan plateu in the foreseeable future, it is vaguely plausible that a Mulhorand which had successfully swallowed Unther could seize the Alaor and the Wizard Reach, thus effectively isolating Thay proper from access to the Inner Sea.

Certainly the Pharoah could impose trading restrictions on the tharchions of Thayan ports within a few years, if Mulhorand came out of the war with Unther unscathed and stronger than ever.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

I do not consider ten of thousands of shipping troops to be dwarvable by sembian merchant houses, they are barely united and have their own interests and with that number you in return dwarf each sembian merchant on his/her own, but not all together. You may not have more than a few docked in the Vast but with that amount of naval power you are bound to raise the awareness of merchants across the Sea of Fallen Stars and some will see the numbers as a threat for their enterprise, especially the pirate component.

I agree that ten thousand men are not small change, but note that they do not have that many ships compared to their manpower contingent. A more reasonable crew complement for merchants would number only around 3,000 men.

The PCs' ships are seriously overmanned because most of them operate as men-of-war, not simple trading vessels. Even those vessels that are not fighting in the Alember Sea are heavily armed and carry larger crews than usual, sailing as they do close to the Pirate Isles and not being averse to supplementing the income of a trading run with the prize money for a captured pirate ship or two.

In addition, only some 30 of their ships are 'official' Purple Reign vessels whose existence is common knowledge around the Inner Sea. Many others are recent captures from the Mulhorandi, crewed by a polyglot lot of seamen and as yet untested in battle, and others are captured pirate vessels with 'reformed' pirates providing a lot of the crew. Then there are thirty vessels brought to their cause by a secret ally, Azla of Oreth.

As the naval power they have amassed in the Alember becomes common knowledge, I expect that their profile among financiers and statesmen around the Inner Sea will be raised quite a bit. And that not all the attention will be beneficient. In addition, the allegiance they have with pirates, even 'romantic' ones that claim to want to establish a legitimate nation on their island, may end up causing them a lot of problems diplomatically, legally and economically.

On the other hand, some of the PCs and their NPC allies are master diplomats, propagandists and negotiators. They may end up spinning things to their advantage, as having reduced the strength of the pirates considerably and established an enclave of lawful government in the Pirate Isles. Only time will tell.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Bane

You meantioned serious rivals in Westgate, did your players have any run ins with Fireknifes?


The Fire Knives have some connections to the group, but mostly unknown to the players. Some of their NPC allies have a familial relationship with the ruling families of the Fire Knives.

Rather more important on the surface has been their feud with a number of powerful merchants and nobles in Westgate, originally objecting to the PCs (as Cormyrean Freesails) defeating pirates in their (secret) employ, capturing their vessels and turning the pirates in to the authorities (though not in Westgate), which caused some embarrasment at trial.

Later on, some in Westgate were also put out by the trade route established by Purple Reign directly between Lyrabar and Reth, sailing over blue water and passing close to the Pirate Isles. This undercut the longer, but safer, route that Westgate merchants dominated, transporting goods from the Vilhon Reach to Cormyr and Sembia. It also upset Sembian merchants, of course, but most of those soon adapted to it and even started to profit from increased traffic.

The PCs, meanwhile, had to deal with the Night Masks and affiliated gangs in Sembia. Fortunately, at the beginning of the current year in the game, 1373 DR, the amoral yet personable chief dealmaker of the PCs managed a rapproachment with the Night Masks that will see both sides prosper (and the mercantile rivals of the PCs neutralised).

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 22 Jul 2013 :  13:12:01  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Bear this in mind, essentially the Mulhorandi war is for another Pantheon and principally being driven by that Pantheon's god of war. Many followers of the Red Knight might just see aiding the expansion of that pantheon's power (especially that of a war god that is not Tempus) as a wrong strategic move. As a result, while they may not like the Tiamatans... and may use them as fodder in their strategies... they may find aiding the side of Unther and Threskel as the better strategic move for their god's gaining of a foothold in the region.

This is Tempus' view, in my campaign. The more politically sophisticated Red Knight, on the other hand, takes a longer view that sees the Mulhorandi conquest of Unther as accelerating the emergence of the Mulhorandi onto a larger world stage and the integration of Faerunian and Mulhorandi worlds.

It is the view of the more far-sighted of her priests that once Mulhorand controls Unther, the isolationism that has kept the Mulhorandi pantheon seperate from the Faerunian one will eventually end. And when it does, the pantheons must inevitable merge. Not this generation, perhaps, but within the next century.

And the Red Knight believes that once that happens, Tempus will be triumphant over the foreign god in any clash over the portfolio of war, as his worshipper base dwarfs the Mulhorandi nation, let alone merely the Anhur worshippers there. And in that great battle of war gods, she will be Tempus' general.

Who knows, after the war, perhaps Anhur will accept a position under Tempus as a god of heroic champions, to complement her own status as the god of strategists and generals? And perhaps having fought on opposite sides in such a grand war might be just the sort of courtship gods of war ought to have...

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Note, they may also seek to undermine the power of the Banites in the region as well... for instance, sending intelligence that maneuvers them into situations that they can resolve, but at great expense... seizing Banite supplies right after a major victory and using them for their own troops while making it politically inopportune for the Banites to complain (or framing the loss on the enemy by routing the enemy into the caravan's path and then coming in at the end to rescue what's left of the wagon drivers).


If and when Free Unther forces start to have success against the Mulhorandi, this sort of maneuevering for post-war position will hobble their war effort, naturally.

I imagine that Tiamatans, Banites and Dragon Cultists will be rather more serious offenders than Tempurans, if only because they have more experience of vicious political in-fighting. Not to mention all the former priests and nobles of Gilgeam's regime, the survivors of which are mostly past masters of self-preservation and advancement through treacherous acts hidden behind fulsome public support.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas

Edited by - Icelander on 22 Jul 2013 13:16:59
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