The Kingdom of Adrila

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The Kingdom of Adrila

Post  Berserker on Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:03 am

Continent: The Old World.
Location: Southern grasslands

The Kingdom of Adrila.

History
Once a mere castle surrounded by two villages, Adrila rose into a position of power thirty years ago, when the blacksmith Arrendal Woodsworth led a daring rebellion that ended with him on the throne. It is currently among the stronger and more influential nations in the Old World, after successfully conquering the entirety of the Adrilan Basin. Its expansion has reached a full halt, however, as Adrila's surroundings are very mountainous, and it would be difficult to move an entire army through the mountains, let alone their supply convoys, with the intention of conquering anything.

"I am certain you know of Ivellea's eastern neighbour, Adrila, and its quite impressive rise to glory. Their king, Arrendal, was a mere blacksmith before he rose to power through an excellently staged rebellion and subsequent conquest. The young nation under his rule has already proven itself formidable, and Arrendal himself has maintained the peace in his lands for the thirty years he has ruled, with a single exception.  

In our year 1967, a band of nobles grew tired of their increased taxes, and staged a rebellion.  Trying to employ Arrendal's own strategy against him, they managed to draw most of Adrila's forces away from their capital, where Arrendal and his family resided.  The rebellion made its way into the castle with relative ease, and while Arrendal and his heirs survived the attack, his queen did not. Never before have I seen a nation in such a state of collective grief as when they heard that the rebellion had claimed Queen Milena's life. She, unlike most nobles or former royalty in the kingdom, was only a servant before Arrendal requested her hand in marriage, and she never distanced herself from the people she was part of. From a strategical standing point, one might say that Milena's death was the best thing that could have happened to Adrila at the time, for with her death pinned on the rebels, no citizens were willing to support the rebellion, whether with supplies or men, and only a month after the queen's death, the last rebels had either given up their schemes or been imprisoned.

In the aftermath of the rebellion, Adrila's internal politics have improved further, ensuring that nobility no longer hold such power that they can incite a rebellion, but retaining their common respect as nobility. However, when I met the king five years ago, he lacked any of the inner fire he possessed when I first visited Adrila, twenty years ago.  The loss of his queen must have affected him deeply, for he has not remarried, and not even his children seemed to know their father well. I hope Adrila does not fall as soon as it rose, for it holds promise as a nation."
- Excerpt from a scroll covering Adrila's past, authored by Master Galeron of Elthern.

The Adrilan citizens are quite content with their lives, as King Arrendal makes sure to retain a relative peace within the borders.  The average Adrilan is something he wants to be. Younger people often join the army, both men and women alike, and many meet their future wife/husband in the army. They then leave the army before they die and lose each other, unless they feel particularly duty-bound to the kingdom's defense.  There are several examples of married soldiers working exceptionally well together.  Most who leave the army choose to contribute to the kingdom's welfare through farming, forestry or other useful occupations.

Adrilans are a split people, even though all are loyal to their king. Older Adrilans tend to accept anyone who lives in Adrila as fellow countrymen, all having had their lives improved by Arrendal, but younger ones, not knowing how it was before, often look at those from the outlying provinces as lesser citizens. This attitude is sadly quite common in Adrila, despite Arrendal's efforts towards the contrary.

Relations to other people
The people of Adrila are, like every human, infused with the magic running through the world. However, those of less brave natures are distrustful towards people of clearly magical races, such as Sylvians. The Xillidi get along with the Adrilans quite well, as most Xillidi come in peaceful business. Despite the Xillidi's insectoid, inhuman appearance, the Adrilans accept them as exotic travellers and merchants, common ways of life in Adrila as well.  Adrila does, however, have a long and violent history with vampires, and the night stalkers are far more real to many Adrilans in the south than the fairytale versions told of in northern Ivellea and Elthern. 
Ogres are very variable. Those who reside in Adrila proper are generally not hostile and rather friendly in their own, primitive, numbskulled and simplistic ways, but those in the Grimscathe mountains are very hostile, and Oldgate, Deephill, Eastbank and Adrila provinces all are forced to dedicate an amount of their forces to beating the ogres into submission. With the ogres' attention bent on Tyrica, however, Adrila are left in relative peace.
The natives of the Grey Marshes, queer people in their way, tend to get along with Adrilans. The two peoples are very similar in some aspects, and on occasion an Adrilan Knight Order travels into the Grey Marshes on a quest.  People from Elthern are from far off, and usually met with curiosity in Adrila; the grand city-state's scholars are well known, but the Adrilans don't approve of their use of slaves.  Ivelleans, on the other hand, have some bad blood to the people of Adrila; this is somewhat because of Adrila's superior might in physical combat, but also thanks to Arrendal successfully forcing an Ivellean force assaulting Fargate to withdraw, leaving the mountain province free for Arrendal's forces to conquer.
Finally, the Bear Tribes and mountain tribes in the southern wilds and the Dimberg mountains are often enemies; an enemy the knights and soldiers of Adrila tend to enjoy fighting. The tribesmen fight with an inspiring ferocity (even their enemy gets inspired!) that usually leads to large battles where neither side is willing to back off. Thankfully these are rare.  People outside of these groups are rarely seen in Adrila, and thus are met with both curiosity and suspicion.

The Adrilan landscape is largely dominated by its open grasslands and streams.  Some forest glades are always present, but for the most part, Adrila is grasslands and farms, along with wide rivers.

Map


Military
Adrila is renowned for its solid military. While Adrilan soldiers aren't the most disciplined or organised on the battlefield, nor the best equipped, Adrilan soldiers who serve past their five years of obligatory service remain in the military because they love warfare. The comradeship that arises between brothers in arms, the thrill of a fair fight, the willingness to put their lives on the line for their homeland, all these things hold a strong position in the hearts of Adrila's knights.  It is no understatement to say Adrilan soldiers wield their swords with a passion only beaten by their loyalty.

No army is complete without officers leading it, and Adrilan knights need someone holding them back and coordinating their attacks. The thirteen generals who serve Arrendal at current are at the top of this branch, though there is little distance from a general down to his men. In fact, only three ranks stand between a general and a soldier.  

An Adrilan joins the military as a soldier at age 20, though volunteers can join earlier as squires. As a soldier, he will most commonly serve as a guard, receiving training in basic warfare and learning to obey orders. On battlefields, the soldiers are kept out of the worst of the fighting, serving as support troops and reinforcements, more often than not only joining the fight to deliver a decisive blow. This is both to teach the soldier to read a battlefield, and to experience battle without dying in vast numbers.  Some soldiers of calmer dispositions are given bows, but as the Adrilan way of fighting usually is to face the enemy in close combat, Adrilan archer support is not counted upon, and captains will more often use archers as bait than as reliable ranged troops. Archers are well aware of this, and so archer sergeants often spend many hours of training ensuring their men are well trained at fleeing enemy attacks. This is a valuable tool for disrupting enemy formations, as enemies who spread out to slaughter the weak archers become easy prey for the knights who lead the counterattack.

If a soldier chooses to stay on after his five service years, he will be promoted to knight, and be trained in the usage of heavy armour and different weaponry, as well as mounted combat. The knight is the all-round soldier of the Adrilan army, trained in different weapons and particularly skilled with their swords and shields. They are always found at the heart of every Adrilan engagement, as every province is required to have a standing force of knights ready to repel invaders or support neighbouring provinces. Their role in battle is simple; engage the enemy's main force and fight until the enemy retreats or is slaughtered. More often than not, the knights end up forcing the enemy off vital positions either way. As their wargear will generally keep them protected against the brunt of the enemy attacks, they serve as both hammer and anvil in most Adrilan engagements.

Once a knight has fought in enough battles, he may request promotion to sergeant, a request most commonly accompanied by statements of trust from his comrades.  As a sergeant, his role will be to take commands from his captain, and lead his men into battle. The sergeant can always be found in the thick of the fray, bellowing orders to his men. His role is making sense out of the chaos on the battlefield, and look after each of his men to ensure they are at their peak before each battle.

When a sergeant has grown experienced enough to adapt to battlefield changes, he will be promoted to captain. These men and women, of which only 60 exist in Adrila, stay behind the front lines and command from afar. It seems a safe position, but is not, as the enemy often will target the captain. Therefore, the Adrilan captain is equipped with heavy armour and given a bodyguard, often consisting of a Royal Knight, ten to fifteen regular knights and a mage. In addition, the battle standard will often be found with the captain.

The peak of the Adrilan military career is the coveted position of general. These individuals are widely respected by citizens and soldiers alike. Only 13 are in Adrila at current, and of these, the most prominent is Vembras Jarris, Arrendal's right hand man and supreme commander of Adrila's knights. Arrendal himself is the only man with a higher position.  These few are very skilled and deeply loyal commanders, chosen by the king himself. Instead of leading divisions of the army, however, the generals are assigned to regiments or provinces per the different engagements. This is part of the disorganised army of Adrila, but as each captain is taught to take matters into his own hands, only the greatest of engagements will need the presence of a general.

There is another path available to the knight who has attained sufficient skill, but does not want to lead. These specialist units are famous for their skill. Exceptional duelists are promoted to Champions, who specialise in forcing their way to enemy commanders and defeating them. Knights who show themselves as particularly dependable and brave may be promoted to Royal Knights, often assigned to protecting important figures all around the country. While this takes them away from their cherished battlefields, it is the highest honour bestowed upon an Adrilan knight, and there are very few who refuse this.

The 2nd Greyvale Company
The 2nd Greyvale Company has twice left Adrila and ventured south towards Khaerum. They have weathered assaults from the Bear Tribes and fended off the bear-mounted wildmen using their skills and tactics. They have survived in the wilderness for months, by hunting and harvesting whatever food they could find, and through their ordeals, they won great renown in Adrila.

In their first expedition, in 1980, they were hunting a particularly vicious vampire who had caused great havoc in Orbush the preceding year. A hundred knights, the entire company, marched out from Greyvale in early spring. Though it took them months, they reached the borders of Khaerum, and there, Captain Rol laid his strategy. For three days they camped there, recovering and preparing for the fight of their lives, all the while Rol and his sergeants planning. Then, on the third day, Rol set his plan in motion. By ambushing and killing several tribesmen in the southwestern regions, they managed to agitate the Bear Tribes into chasing them. Twenty knights, led by Sergeant Arton, acted as bait, drawing the tribesmen's attention to themselves with the company standard, and forced their way across the border. The tribesmen, out for vengeance, chased Arton and his men into the Gothic Kingdom. As the knights marched forward, they gained the attention of the local vampires, whereas the tribesmen, outnumbering the knights many times, spread out in search. The havoc caused by the marauding tribesmen caused widespread destruction in the northeast region, with vampires and tribesmen clashing many times, until the twenty brave knights were eventually cornered. They fell, one by one, in a three-way battle between themselves, the tribesmen and the vampires, and with them fell the company standard, held high by Arton until he fell. Nevertheless, Arton's sacrifice was necessary for Rol's plan to succeed.

The remaining eighty knights, led by Rol, crossed the border after the tribesmen as they drew the vampires' attention, and forced their way into their target vampire's castle. While several vampire guards stood in their way, the knights pressed forward with light casualties. Within the castle, they spread out in squads of five to search through the grand structure. It was the squad of Sergeant Dulch who found the vampire in a narrow corridor. Their enemy had noticed their approach, and a fight erupted. Dulch' men were no match for the vampire one on one, and the tight space left them unable to use their numbers to win. The vampire tore into Knight Sange with his rapier, thrusting straight through his armour with inhuman strength. It was then that Knight Aile, who walked behind him, charged into the vampire and locked her arms around him, holding him in place. The vampire, in desperation, tore into Aile's chainmail with his hands, inflicting dire injuries on her, but Dulch, who came after her, drove his sword through Aile's back and into the vampire, slaying both. Dulch forced Aile's dead body away from the vampire, still clutching firmly around him, and his squad returned to the entrance, mourning their loss. Less than two hours after entering, Captain Rol had accomplished his goal. With all men accounted for, Captain Rol sounded the retreat.

That autumn, when the remaining 68 knights of the 2nd Company returned to Greyvale, the entire company made an oath to recover their standard and honour those of them who gave their lives to accomplish their goal. It would be another five years before the 2nd Company was again at full strength, however, and the company remained watchful for more vampires.
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