Its based on a couple real weapons with some extrapolation based on an industrial society without gunpowder firearms.
@Wonderboy, the conflict between Karagon and Halassur seems to be more a cold war rivaly than a real “hot” war, perhaps oocasional skirmishes and minor border shifts happen from time to time, but I think right now there is no major conflict between the two nations, that’s why the MC and all the other nobles aren’t serving.
Ah, clearly I’m extrapolating from a fair bit of bad information. But how does a cold war work when one side is an isolationist state whose borders are literally inviolable? Are there proxy wars in the abhunan federation? Does Karagon just periodically burn down neighboring villages for the fun of it?
google “Korean DMZ”
@Havenstone alone knows what exactly happens on the border, but the game so far gives no hint that there is much active warfare right now
Some terrific thoughts and questions – look forward to having the time to answer properly! (Now off to swim in a lake with my kids)
The Phalangites could likely be a strong supporting force for Theurges depending on how effective a group of highly trained, and fully supllied Theurges are in direct confrontation. The player can’t do much with Theurgy yet, because of a lack of training, blood, and vitriol of oil.
The Hegemony should have a decent pool of middle class to draw from in desperate times. The population make up of the Hegemony is likely different in the cities. I’m sure the middle class is skating by in cities and less agrictulrly focused areas. Helots can’t make up the tradesmen, and skilled labor section of the population. I’m sure the fact that they aren’t getting killed several times a year helps their growth.
Does anyone else name their character Jim Stark?
Corvo Attano Lord Protector reporting for duty.
You didn’t happen to drown in that lake, did you, @Havenstone?
Can I have an updated link good sir mr. Author person plesse
There is no updated link, @Havenstone posted many links but all are the same as the one in the first post.
So I don’t know if this has been asked before but approximately how old is the empire of Karagon?
OK, back from vacation. Glad to report that while in the US I had some good writing time, and hope to be ready to pop up an update later this month… in the interests of which, I’ll spend less time on the forum.
@Verand, here’s my current timeline for the Karagond Empire – a slight revision of the game text to date. The Karagonds discovered Theurgy nearly four centuries ago, spurring a decade-long unification of the Karagond city-states under the Hegemony of Hera the Thaumatarch. They then embarked upon a war of conquest that took up most of the century – conquering Erezza by 363 years before present (BP), Shayard by 351 BP, the Nyr 335 BP, and the Wiends 305 BP (the same year Karagon first invaded Halassur). 291 years BP the Xaos-lands came into existence, and 290 BP Thaumatarch Hera was assassinated, causing her successor to turn inward and create the great Wards.
@WulfyK, empires sometimes divide-and-rule by making small administrative units, and sometimes by making bigger ones – for example, by bringing together lots of rival ethnic groups into the same borders. (Causing major problems in e.g. the post-colonial Middle East and Africa). 300 years ago, the Karagonds snipped some of Shayard’s conquests and grafted them onto Wiendrj and Erezza – the former of which had never previously been under unified rule, and the latter of which had spent much more time as independent princedoms of varying size and cohesion.
There’s plenty of blue water between Moncesano and Shayard. Remember the scale; all those swerves in the coastline are huge. You can cut weeks off a sea journey by not hugging that coast. During times of truce, trade abounds with Halassur, and there’s plenty of sea trade south with the Abhumans. You make a great point that at least one dominant port would have to be a Cleruchy – I think Aegre and its sister city of Sescia across the strait in Erezza fit the bill.
@Wonderboy, you’re right that the Hegemony wants its troops to be resilient to Theurgy rather than experts in taking down Theurges. When encountering enemy Goety, Phalangite tactics boil down to “survive the attack; protect the Theurges until they’re ready to act; and leave any direct retaliation to them.” As for who the Phalangites are, I’ve now clarified in the World Index that they’re commanded exclusively by the nobility; the regular troops are not the equivalent of Goldman Sachs interns. And yes, the Karagond attitude toward helots is incompatible with a Mamluk-style slave army. The grunt soldiers are mainly free-born kids from poor urban families.
Though you wouldn’t know it from the story so far, set in the backwater of the Rim, the Hegemony does have a huge urban population – far bigger than the MC can imagine. Shayard’s Theurgy-bolstered harvests feed restive slum populations of a size that our world couldn’t sustain until modernity. The “middle classes” are also more visible in the cities than they are in the rural areas, and there are also a lot more Alastors per person – it’s still true that, as you say, “oppression on the homefront” soaks up a lot of the Hegemony’s human resources. (And that nobles, rural and urban, consistently get trained in combat because they need to be able to credibly threaten the underclasses).
The long-running, low-level war with Halassur is not consuming enough to require a continent-wide mobilization of ground troops. As you say, the proportion of the population involved in active military service is quite small, and the Hegemony prioritizes Nyrish troops for much of the actual fighting (along with the Erezziano – but much more of their surplus population is deployed to the mines).
Some Shayardene Phalangite units get deployed to the east, if only to keep them experienced enough to go to war with the Abhumans (should it ever come to that). But the real struggle to push out the border in Halassur involves Theurges, not massed troops; and the Hegemony has limits on how many Theurges it dares to train. Is the whole exercise “laughably futile”? Well, it’s been a long time since there was a serious push to conquer Halassur, but the Thaumatarchy keeps challenging the borders. Make of it what you will, and we’ll see more later on.
Halassur is slightly larger in land area than the Hegemony, and has a comparable population. As you’ve guessed, they rely much more on mass conscription and have a vastly larger army than the Hegemony.
@DenPobedy, you asked about splitting up the stats, and I don’t think I’ll do that – the stats screen is already overcomplicated for my tastes. So I’ll keep one noble cred stat, but it’ll be clear in the game text when and why e.g. foreign nobles are less charmed by you.
I was reviewing my post and it made me think of something less fantastical with historical precedent. The crossbow.
China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang utilized crossbows to great effect by essentially organizing his Army around three man crossbow teams. These crossbow were huge something like 3 times the size of a medieval equivalent and each bolt had an iron core and tip. The three man team consisted of a loader, shooter, and a pavise-man. Essentially the army would advance to contact while sustaining a continuous barrage and then engage with polearms and longswords in close combat. The continuous suppressing fire would also break apart enemy formations for cavalry exploitation. The crossbow’s iron core and large size generated armor penetrating force and velocity. The flatter trajectory of the crossbow supported by the pavise also made the fire more accurate.
@Havenstone, Take the time you need to finish chapter 3 but pease take some time and explain these things:
What year number is it in-universe and which event marks the reference date?
Do the inhabitants of these snipped off territories still consider themselves Shayardenes, have they been assimilated or do they have some smaller scale local identities?
a. Do they employ helot camp-followers in non-combat positions, like fortification construction, cooks, drivers, officers’ servants, xebec rowers deckhands etc.
b. Can helots bemerchant ship sailors?
a. How different is the treatment of officers and enlisted phalangites/navy sailors?
b. Do poorer nobles become common soldiers?
c. Can active-duty soldiers have a family and do some buseness/investment apart from their military carrer?
d. What is the approach towards warefare, do both sides follow certain rules of engagement?
e. How are enemy POWs and civilians treated?
Are troops segregated by their region of origin?
And if yes, could a charismatic nationalist MC switch at least a part of the forces send to fight the rebels?
That means Shayard is the hegemony’s Corn Belt? Would they be still able to feed the remaining population if it breaks away?
I like @cascat07’s idea with crossbows very much, maybe you could make them, the slings and the pneumathic rifles the preferred ranged weapons in three different regions? Then the Shayardenes could have longbows, a longbow used by a properly trained archer had greater firing rate and accuracy then early guns.
What about the climate, I’ve mentioned this earlier but you didn’t respond to it here.
Concerning your earlier statement that the Shayardene Codex is shorter then the Karagon canon and my triple question mark: If the only difference is just the absence of certain later texts, how is it possible to search for and burn any copy and prosecute people for the possesion? Any heretic could simply use standard copies of the codex and just know which parts are true revelation and which are Karagon forgery. And burning the Shayardene copies would mean to destroy sacred scriptures. It would only make sense if what you said is just Karagon propaganda and some additional texts exist.
@Havenstone – good to see you back, looking forward to the update, whenever it may come!
Sounds like building on the Karagond regular army is a lost cause for the sort of successor state I envision then.
Meaning that it along with the Alastor regiments would have to be disbanded entirely, which of course means having lots of unemployed former regime personnel roaming about. it also means the core of both the internal and external security forces will have to be drawn from the former Rebel army exclusively (better hope I have enough rebels left at the end to at least police all former Hegemony territory in that case). Even more so than the US in Iraq it seems the army situation is a damned if do and damned if you don’t scenario.
@WulfyK given what we know of the Hegemony I don’t think they’d allow Helots to be sailors (the mere possibility of escape and or contact with foreign societies would be too much especially when they’ve got large restive, poor and nominally free “middle class” slum populations that provide a more than ample manpower pool to draw from for these occupations. Same goes for noncombatants in the military they’d probably just use the urban poor that don’t quite pass muster for active duty.
Assuming our rebellion expands to the point where it matters, will our popularity with the urban or otherwise non helot poor ever be tracked? Would it be possible to win the rank and file soldiers over by calling for some variety of Marxist solidarity?
@Wonderboy, I don’t think so given that the Hegemony heavily conditions its “citizens” to think of Helots as sub-human therefore I believe that even the poorest freeborn soldier would never willingly take orders from a former Helot officer, which renders them utterly useless to my rebellion. In fact, leaving aside the nobles it would be the urban poor who might fear the Helot rebellion the most. “Helots thinking themselves human and coming to take away our way of life” (even when that way of life sucks and can really only go upwards for most them in a freer society).
Given your rebellion can at least theoretically win over wealthy merchants and even aristos, I’d suspect there’d be at least some elements of the urban poor willing to set aside their pride if you can convincingly sell them on a better life and/or bloody vengeance on the current elite.