The Ivellean Empire

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The Ivellean Empire

Post  Berserker on Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:10 pm

The Ivellean Empire

A vast empire to the west of Adrila, past the Dimberg mountains. It's built upon the ruins of its predecessors, but ruled more carefully and run quite differently. It has a long history, compared to Adrila, and the events that happened in its past still carry consequences today.

INDEX

1.History
2.Military
3.The Ivellean Civil War
4.Under development


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Re: The Ivellean Empire

Post  Berserker on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:05 am

History

"Long ago, a massive empire, ruled by humans and counting many races among its subjects, held almost one third of the Old World in its grasp. It was a mighty nation, for it held everything west of the Dimberg Peninsula under its grip. This great empire was called Chandeum, ruled by a mighty Emperor, and its mages were the greatest of their time. Not much is known of the time before the Dividing, approximately a thousand years ago, but through much toil has its more recent history become uncovered.

The first certain clue in my possession dates back to 1504. It is a letter from a Captain on Chandeum's eastern borders, where they held away the savages in the Dimberg mountains. In it, the letter speaks of how the surrounding villages and forts have fallen to the barbarians already, and of a 'savage cold coming from the south'. This points well towards the particularly fell winter of 1504, where even Elthern's glimmering spires were covered in ice and snow.  Furthermore, the letter is addressed to General Delmios, who, thanks to former excavations, is identified as the high commander of the armies in Eastern Chandeum from the years 1488 to 1521.  This indicates that Chandeum suffered invasions that year, and that the invaders were very successful.

Later text, recovered by my two ever useful slaves, speaks of an Emperor, whose greatness was only surpassed by his greed. Valdanus the Conqueror, reigning from 1654 to 1697. He led Chandeum to its peak, where even the Dimberg barbarians, ever wild and true to their savage ways, were forced to hide underground. Chandeum expanded past the Dimberg mountains, several new focus points were raised in the wilds, far to the south, and massive wild beasts were tamed and used for warfare. Even the White Coast fell under Chandeum rule during this era, and Valdanus, while he lived, was considered the greatest Emperor Chandeum had yet seen.

However, in Valdanus' tomb itself, my slaves found that Valdanus' stone cask had been shattered and its contents emptied, many, many years ago. They uncovered clues that led me to the conclusion that Valdanus, after his death, quickly lost his fame and power. Why remains secret to me, but I suspect that his greed led Chandeum to be stretched too far, and his follower, Empress Neldinia, was unable to maintain Chandeum's enormous size. Early scriptures state that Neldinia was trying to reduce Chandeum's strength to make it possible to rule properly, but this made her unpopular with the nobility who had taken lands in the conquered lands. Thus, Neldinia's rule ended quickly with her assassination, lasting only from 1697 to 1703.

Scriptures tell more of the quick decline of Chandeum. From the years 1703 and until 1743, Chandeum's Emperors grew decadent and careless. They handed more and more power over to the nobility, leaving it to them to maintain peace in their respective regions alongside the military. Our grand city-state, Elthern, broke free from Chandeum about that time, as you all know. Several nobles broke free from Chandeum, much thanks to the nobles convincing the garrisons of their lands that they would be better off on their own.

In 1743, Chandeum received a mortal blow it never recovered from. A particularly harsh winter came upon it once again, bringing deadly cold to the southern regions, as well as the higher regions of Chandeum. The Dimberg mountains, in particular, was so cold that year that glaciers covered most of the mountains, leaving the Chandeum forces in today's Adrila cut off from their neighbours. The barbarians residing in the mountains were forced out of their caves and huts by the heavy snowfall, and decided to turn west upon Chandeum, who had conquered them in the past. The barbarians, vengeful and wild as they were, drove deep into Chandeum's eastern regions, and shattered Chandeum control as they pillaged, looted and waged war on Chandeum populace in the region.

In the palace of Chandeum, these news were taken poorly, and the Emperor was slain in public by an arrow. Who shot the arrow is unclear, and will likely forever be. What is more important is that the next seven years saw Chandeum's influence on our continent sink drastically, with rebellions rising up regularly in the western regions, the White Coast becoming an uncontrollable freebooter's haven, and the eastern regions being ravaged by the barbarians.

In 1750, as the cold spread across our lands, Chandeum's farms and fields suffered from a terrible harvest. The armies that remained in Chandeum's control received no supplies, the civilians in the cities were unable to work, and as hunger led to a decline in health, so too did sicknesses grow more common, and in the end terrible plagues and diseases spread. Chandeum's time was over as the last Emperor of Chandeum died from the plague, leaving much of our lands in turmoil. This brief overview speaks much of Chandeum's last age, shortened down for your convenience. The full version can be found in the Grand Library, carefully pieced together and written down, if you seek to study Chandeum further. Truly, its fall is a lesson for all to learn."
- A letter from Master Galeron to Lord Magistrate Thambarus of Elthern.

Ivellea, raised upon the ruins of the fallen Chandeum, bears many similarities to its predecessor.  Ivellea is a notable power in the Old World, and is also the largest nation in the Old World.  With Chandeum's end in 1750, Ivellea rose up the next spring, word of the new nation quickly spreading through the land. While the White Coast, along with the city-state Elthern and the lands between, were beyond Ivellea's grasp, the regions further south were well within the young nation's reach, and gladly joined the ambitious group at Ivellea's center. Ivellea formed near Chandeum's old capital, and by virtue of offering a more peaceful life for its citizens, it quickly gained supporters and allies throughout the ruins of Chandeum. During autumn 1760, Ivellea's eastern armies were shoving the barbarians out of what is today Ivellea's most fertile lands. Once these lands were secured, Ivellea halted its expansion to better solidify matters of state.

At the grand rally of Damthern in spring 1761, people from all over the land came to partake. The capital city, only halfway through its status of being rebuilt, could only house so many, and so a grand camp formed a ring around the city. Never since has the roads to Damthern been so populated, and gathering sufficient supplies became a difficult task.  Regardless of this, the seven most influential people in Ivellea - namely Captain Senrick, who began the Ivellean rise; Archmage Arelonn, one of the few remaining Chanda councilors of state, and five lords who each had taken control of their land when Chandeum's strength declined - laid plans and made several votes over important matters. These seven were determined to set Ivellea's course in the future.

The rally lasted several weeks, and with the supply issue being as it was, Captain Senrick issued the command that in order to get food, citizens had to help rebuild the capital. Many citizens decided to aid in the labor, while others chose to leave for home. The capital started to take shape in a similar way to Ivellea; with the base structure already laid out, the buildings that rose were ones of magnificence, and Damthern eventually became a city rivalling Elthern in its splendor.  As with all mighty cities, Damthern too had its fortifications; tall and strong walls built for easy access for its defenders, but difficult access for any attackers.

It would take fifty years before Ivellea saw a major change again. Under Captain Senrick's wise rule, the country prospered, but eventually Senrick grew old. Arelonn, younger than Senrick and certainly aging quite a bit slower than the Captain, voiced his concerns. Senrick's follower should be from the people, not from a line of kings, and the young nation Ivellea had many wise scholars within its borders. In order to select Senrick's successor, the first Emperor, these scholars should form a council and constantly seek and teach good rulers. Senrick, old as he was at the time, agreed to the decision. Only a month later, Arelonn had selected the wisest scholars in Ivellea, and these wise men were granted quarter in Damthern's palace.  From the year 1811 and even now, the Ivellean council remains a strong presence.

Not all of Ivellea's developments were good, however; Senrick's death in 1814 was a blow to the people's spirit, as he was a symbol of their freedom. His successor, chosen by the Council as agreed, was a good man, until he came to power.  But unlike Senrick, whose ideals were for the good of the people, Emperor Garthan was pragmatic and, despite his well intentions, was never liked much by the common people. He wrote many laws to prevent Ivellea breaking apart, and on a grand scale, these laws were excellent. For the common man, however, they were not so good. Additionally, the magical focus in Damthern was made bigger. The wiser and well schooled said that it grew in power as well, interfering with a far greater area and also restructuring Ivellea's old focus network, with itself at the center.  The reasons for this were never revealed, and people slowly came to accept it.

As the years passed by, Ivellea cemented its position as a stable nation on a chaotic continent. Its emperors seemed to follow Garthan's example as pragmatic rulers with the country's stability and peace as its first priority, with some exceptions. The people grew to accept it, as it was, after all, better than Chandeum's massive taxes needed to maintain its enormous armies, or the chaos that reigned in other regions, such as current day Adrila.

Gradually Ivellea has grown into something else than merely "Chandeum's successor". The country has been stable and slowly developing, and although the armies of Ivellea remain underequipped, it has made several developments on other fronts. A successful system to prevent farms from going bankrupt during harsh seasons has been made, for example; farmers whose crops are destroyed are provided with seeds and food from reserve storages in the region, until the next harvest is ready. Underneath Damthern is a large, artificially made water reservoir, and most houses in the city can draw water up from the reservoir to the ground floor of their houses.


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Military

Post  Berserker on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:05 am

WORK IN PROGRESS - You know what this implies.
NOTE - Ranks, regiments and names will be translated into modern Ivellean once that language starts taking form.

The Ivellean military is a large and rigid structure. While the political structure and sheer size of Chandeum was largely averted when the grand empire fell, Ivellea still maintains, for the most part, the military structure. As several historians and scholars have noted on the topic, Chandeum's inefficient leadership and difficult government was more than made up for by its formidable (for the time) armies. No less than three hundred military regiments were kept up while Chandeum was at its peak, all formed by professional soldiers. While the entirety of the Chandeum military history can be found elsewhere, some elaboration upon it will still be required, and these will be provided in each entry below.

Every Ivellean regiment is kept at a strength of roughly 1000 battle-ready men, artillery not included. The regiment's structure is divided to maintain a good command structure and coherency in battle, and the structure is described below.

Command
General
Advisors, two or three
Emperor's Voice, a highly trusted officer ensuring compliance with imperial wishes
Archwizards, from 5 to 20, serving as mobile artillery, magical defence and directing orders around to the various units
General's bodyguard, 40 skilled and heavily armoured warriors who protect the command at all times

Common troops
Common troops in Ivellean armies are very varied, and oftend depends on its home region. The northern regions around Damthern rely on mobility, for instance, due to the large regions they protect. These soldiers are given round wooden shields reinforced with hide, heavy leather armour, and spears, allowing them to bring two ranks worth of pointy death upon the enemy.  Further south, where it is colder and the land is not as open, the soldiers more often are equipped with heavier chainmail armour and large, square wooden shields, forming effective shield walls and allowing for surprisingly quick crossing of rivers and in some cases even lakes. They also carry long pikes, effective for both intimidating potential attackers, and for actually stopping them. It must also be noted that in addition to the pikemen formations, where the more experienced soldiers fight, there are also support troops drawn from not yet fully trained soldiers, armed with bows. This is perhaps the one similarity between Ivellean and Adrilan armies. It must be noted that the archers do not count towards the company strength, as the different regions of Ivellea offers a very varying number of recruits per year.

Infantry company
Captain
2 Lieutenants
1 Standard Bearer
5 Sergeants
5 Wizards
100 Pikemen
Between 30 and 70 Archers, led by a select few veterans

Specialist troops
Ivellean armies have several specialist troops available in each garrison; these soldiers, having earnt or bribed their way to a promotion, are not employed as peacekeepers and local police like the common soldiery. There are several different specialist troops, all armed and equipped differently.

Some are mounted shock troops, used to smash and scatter enemy forces at their weak points in formations, and given heavy armour to aid them in this task. They carry lances and shields, and are the only units in the Ivellean armies that can hope to win a fight against Adrilan Knights unsupported. However, thanks to Fallathia's terrain, it is unlikely to ever see an open conflict between Adrila and Ivellea.  Some of Ivellea's heavy cavalry ARE in fact Adrilan knights, often recognised by the eagerness on the eve of battle.

Heavy Cavalry
1 Captain
1 Warmage
50 Cavalrymen

One of the other significant specialists are the infiltrators; these are specialists at scouting ahead of the main force, either through camouflage or disguise. They are skillful assassins, as well, adept at mixing poison and at silent attacks in the dark alike, but they operate in small teams, often working out the best possible strategy for eliminating their target.

Infiltrators
1 Coordinator
4 Infiltrators

Lastly, their bolt throwers are worth mentioning. In order to rapidly and efficiently deliver a load of punishment to the enemy, the Ivelleans have developed a bolt thrower that's both powerful and light. Three men man it; one man aims and fires, while two reload it rapidly thanks to two levers, one on each side. It is quickly disassembled, with only a few strong pins keeping its mount and lever mechanism connected to the bolt thrower itself. In shape, it resembles a crossbow, but its recoil could knock a man unconscious. It is only used during the latter half of siege engagements, when the walls have been taken and the crew can make their way up unhindered, delivering the final blows to the defenders' morale. In other battles, it is considered too fragile and slow to use, as the Ivellean rapid advance will leave it behind quickly. Some advocate using wizards to teleport these, too, around, but with Ivellean companies being as lightly armoured as they are, there are rarely enough battle wizards around to provide that luxury.

Bolt Thrower
1 Bolt Thrower
3 Crewmen

Tactical doctrines
The Ivellean tactical doctrines are considered the most effective in the Old World. Adrilan mounted companies can certainly present a lot of mobility and devastating charges, and the Tyrikan warriors in the east have built fortresses that can even hold ogres and occasional dragons out, but the Ivellean armies remain the deadliest in the world and for good reason. It is said that for every wizard in Ivellea there's magic for a hundred, and the truth of the matter is that there is. Each Ivellean company has five wizards assigned to it, and each of these wizards are graduates from the military academy in Damthern. Here, they are taught the magics required for Ivellean tactics, including mass teleportation, manipulating their surroundings to provide cover, and biological magic to keep wounded soldiers on their feet. Once they graduate, the Ivellean wizards are assigned to a unit of twenty soldiers, including their sergeant. While the sergeant maintains command of the group, the wizard acts as a counter to enemy magic, an advisor, and a powerful tactical asset. With the mass teleportation spell available to them, Ivelleans need no ladders or siege towers to take a wall from the enemy; they have on many occasions teleported directly inside fortresses and brought it down from within whilst their comrades keep the enemy on their toes. As a result, siege towers are commonly used for distraction purposes alone, and can be hastily disassembled and carried onward to the next battlefield when the siege is won.

The wizards' key role in Ivellean warfare reflects the Ivellean stance on magic quite well. Where most Adrilans think of magic as a coward's tool of staying out of the thick of fighting, considering wizards weaklings who'll rather kill their enemies with ease and from afar, Ivelleans use their wizards on a tactical level, rather than a personal one. They are not trained to kill their enemies, they are trained to support their allies. This is what makes each Ivellean unit so deadly, for without their wizards, Ivelleans can't hope to match the might of other nations in battle. But many a battle line has been broken by half the enemy force suddenly appearing behind it, crushing the enemy between the long fangs of Ivellean pikes.

Nonetheless, Ivellean commanders are very versatile, and some accounts speak of Ivellean units whose wizards were assassinated still defeating their enemies. In a game of tactics and strategy, Ivelleans are among the best in the world. They rarely use siege weaponry for this very reason; blood is easy to wash away, where a broken wall costs time and resources to rebuild. They have constructed only one siege device; the Ivellean Bolt Thrower, a deadly machine that nonetheless is very portable, and manned by a three-man crew.


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Re: The Ivellean Empire

Post  Berserker on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:06 am

The Ivellean Civil War


The Emperor of Ivellea - Current situation
As has always been the habit in Ivellea, a ruling Emperor is selected by the Inner Council, Ivellea's hidden lords. The most recently elected Emperor is Calleus, formerly one of the more prominent nobles of the Damria province. However, as very recent events caused, Calleus was poisoned by a rebel assassin, and is left in sickbed, health decreasing. In his stead, his wife, Amrys, has taken the mantle of Empress, serving as her husband's extended will. Opposing her and her still loyal forces is the rebel noble Imarus, who is battling Amrys under the premise that Calleus' rule has been too lenient towards foreigners, and that Ivellea's traditions are in jeopardy. Amrys fears Imarus is being used as a puppet by hidden forces, but his legions of rebels are all too real, and without aid, Ivellea's throne will be usurped. At the same time, Imarus believes Amrys has no claim to the throne herself, and that while Calleus was a good provincial noble, he is not a good emperor. Ivellea has at this point more than enough power to conquer many more territories, Imarus believes, and Calleus is letting the empire stagnate and lumber on as it has for the past few centuries.

Alliances
Both sides of the conflict are drawing on allies, seeking them wherever they may be found. Thanks to the royal coffers, the loyalists have been able to recruit several mercenary bands, but the rebels have managed to manipulate foreign and independant factions into battling the loyalists.

Loyalists:
18 Legions, drawn from the southeast provinces (Total number: Roughly 20,000 soldiers)
Ivellea's heavy cavalry companies (Total number: Roughly 1,800 cavaliers)
Several mercenary bands, drawn from the entire west (Total number: Roughly 1,500 men)
The Ivellean College of Magic (Total number: Approximately 1,000, all mages)
Elthern archer support (Total number: 3,000 soldiers)

Rebels:
21 Legions, drawn from the northwest provinces (Total number: Roughly 23,000 soldiers)
Ivellea's infiltrators (Total number: About 60 men, but far deadlier than their numbers state)
Several Ivellean archmages and their followers (Total number: 15 archmages, 100 apprentices)
The Arcane Church' western forces (Total numbers: Roughly 700 Clerics, 1,300 Arcane Knights)
4 Rhino Tribes (Total number: Somewhere around 300, rhinos not counting)
More numbers not yet scouted by loyalist forces

Yet unengaged factions:
Adrila
Khaerum
The Xillidi Empire
Centaur clans
Knights of the Square Tower
Knights of the Queen's Mercy
White Coast pirates

Possible consequences
In the case of the rebels winning the war, it's quite likely that Ivellea becomes more aggressive, beginning to claim new territories like Chandeum of old. This, combined with Ivellea's vastly superior Legions over Chandeum's old strategy of quantity over quality, is likely to lead to aggression into both Crevethia, Adrila and Khaerum, and Elthern once again becoming part of a grand empire. Adrila might see increased border conflicts, and the Wessa Caverns might even be sealed shut to force Ivellean forces to march through the mountains. This would make trade and travel very difficult. Centaurs, rhinos and felinides would be forced to either accept Ivellean rule or to move themselves out of Crevethia.

If the loyalists were to win, however, Ivellea would carry on as usual. The country would slowly rebuild and attempt to build relations with neighbouring countries, which could lead to positive trade agreements, or it might show Ivellea's current weakness, prompting invasions from both mountain barbarians and other nations. Unless foreign reinforcements were to dwell in Ivellea for some time, anarchy is likely to follow, as civilians and traders have all been forced to support the military. A civilian rebellion at the heels of a professional one would hit weaker, but at a point when Ivellea's forces are all weak.

Additionally, Ivellean focus points have been destroyed. This has led to an increase in residual magical power in general Ivellean territory, boosting the magical potential of all wizards in the area, but also increasing their risk of losing control and mutating. It's safe to assume that whoever caused it supports one of the sides in the war; likely, this is loyalist supporters, as they have the most wizards on their side, but this is pure speculation. However, if more focus points are destroyed, wizards of greater potential will face both increasing power and increasing difficulties of maintaining control of themselves. And if a large amount of Ivellean focus points are destroyed, the land itself will begin succumbing to the magic present, twisting and changing the landscape itself. If the conflict is not ended soon, this appears a very legitimate risk.

Where to sign up?
The loyalists' stronghold is the capital, Damthern, one of the northernmost cities in loyalist territory. The rebels, on the other hand, have taken up residence at the foot of Fallathern's entry passage, there seeking travellers and adventurers to recruit to their cause. The battles rage all over Ivellea, however; it would simply take charging into the fray in support of either side to be considered recruited. Both sides also conscript many soldiers, though the loyalists are more liable to this solution, as they are fighting a fierce defensive battle with slow and heavily equipped soldiers, whereas the rebels' troops are faster and can easier move to where they are needed.


Be cautious, traveller, for this war threatens to drag you into it if you approach Ivellea in these perilous times!
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