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Author Topic: A Tilean Campaign  (Read 68036 times)

Offline Padrissimus

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  • Posts: 493
    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #660 on: August 14, 2022, 01:45:17 PM »
Lord Silvano, heir to the bedridden Duke Guidobaldo Gondi, was now ruling Pavona as regent. While his father lay in his palazzio, visited only by physicians and his most trusted servants …



… the young lord was glad to see that the city realm had at long last begun to recover from the cruel battering it received at the ogres’ brute hands. The town of Scozzese was thriving, having extended its cultivated lands and stocks of sheep and kine, while the once fruitful lands of Casoli and Todi showed signs of natural recovery, as Pavonan gentry, traders and peasants flocked to them, there to repair, rebuild and replant. Many were keen to leave the overcrowded city, where hunger had become quite normal.

In the previously conquered realms of Trantio and Astiano, there were signs of a similar recovery, although both presently lay outside of Pavona’s control. Lord Silvano announced that he had never yielded his authority as ‘Gonfalonieri for Life’ (governor) in Trantio, and had only appointed a substitute governor because he himself had been required to fulfil his holy and heartfelt vow to serve the arch-lector against the vampires. That substitute - the wizard Bellastra - had failed to defend the city against Boulderguts’ double army. Lord Silvano declared that he took not just his vows but also his offices seriously, and so (unable to travel there himself due to his many and necessary duties as regent in Pavona) he sent a  small force to ensure the safety of Trantio until he himself could return. These soldiers were ordered not just to protect the realm against an advance by the uomini ratto, but also to encourage the city’s healing and enforce the good behaviour of the populace. Trantio, he declared, was to become a bastion from which to thwart any advance by the foe into Tilea’s heartlands. 

As a consequence of the attempted assassination of their duke by the Verezzan brigand known as the Pettirosso, a new hatred of halflings festered in the streets of Pavona.



It was said that the duke should have gone much further than banishing the dwarfs several years previously, and instead banished every kind of non-human, including halflings. Of course, this would not have stopped such enemies secretly infiltrating the realm, but it would have meant such assassins found none of their kind to help or harbour them. Indeed, it was presumed exactly such had been the case, which is why the few halflings living within the city state were arrested, either to be imprisoned or worse. The luckiest were thrown into dungeon cells, supposedly to await questioning, but oftentimes forgotten, while any considered able-bodied or quick-witted enough to have assisted Pavona’s enemies in some way, were hunted down by lynch mobs, to be most roughly handled.



This became a cruel sport in the realm, which Lord Silvano failed to rule against. Here was a first glimpse that perhaps he possessed some of his father's notorious wrath? Or perhaps it was his love for his wounded father that spurred his own hatred? Many halflings were pilloried and branded, while those believed to have been part of the Pettirosso’s band were strung up, exhibited alive so that the people could see the fate awaiting all traitors. Some such poor souls were so treated for many days, so that once the baying mob grew bored and drifted away, the more genteel Pavonans might spend a while viewing them, laughing at their pathetic state and fate.



Some were alive when finally cut down, but most had died, as a consequence of the rough handling they had received from the crowd, the lack of food or drink, or a brutal combination of both.



Meanwhile, the city state of Verezzo, now (during Lord Lucca’s nephew’s minority) ruled in practise by the bitterly angry halfling noble, Barone Iacopo, continued to prepare for war against Pavona.



The barone bolstered the realm’s forces as best he could, mustering new pike and crossbow soldiers in the Tilean style …



… yet it remained commonly doubted that he had anywhere near enough strength to defeat the stoutly walled city of Pavona, defended by its still not insignificant army.



Barone Iacopo became further angered by the Pavonan accusation that a Verezzan agent (the Pettirosso) had attempted to assassinate Duke Guidobaldo, publicly declaring that the duke of Pavona had now most likely added slander to his litany of well-known and proven crimes, the worst of which was the murder of Lord Lucca Vescussi in an entirely unwarranted predatory attack on Verezzo at a time of emergency in all of Tilea. And even if the Pettirosso was responsible for the attempt, then it would be due punishment for Lord Lucca’s assassination, and no bad thing. Upon hearing of the maltreatment of halflings in Pavona, the barone became almost apoplectic with rage!

And so he declared publicly, that as Duke Guidobaldo was (perhaps mortally) wounded, and in light of his litany of crimes, the duke must urgently seek to prepare his soul for its journey into Morr's heavenly garden. Furthermore, the barone demanded ...

* That Duke Guidobaldo personally apologise for Lord Lucca’s cruel murder, by travelling to Verezzo to attend a public service in the Morrite Temple there.
* Or if he was too ill to do so, then he should send his son, Lord Silvano, as his proxy, just as he sent the same son to answer to General Valckenburgh of the Army of the VMC before the walls of Pavona, after he slandered the said general by claiming it was his forces that had killed Lord Lucca.
* Or if Duke Guidobaldo refused to apologise and beg for the forgiveness of Morr and the good people of Verezzo, that he should allow himself to be subjected to a church led, legal enquiry (in holy Remas) concerning his actions and claims, and if found guilty of any crime, should pay whatever reparations were judged appropriate and undertake whatever penance was deemed necessary.
* Or if he was too ill to do that, then he should send his son, Lord Silvano, to stand as his proxy in the church enquiry.

The Pavonan nobility advising Lord Silvano considered these demands outrageous, especially as they came from a petty noble ruling a city state that had committed numerous slights and slanders against Gondi family in the past. The Morrite Lector of Pavona, Mauro Capolicchio, thought the halfling lord was foolish to believe he could make such demands of the Reman Church of Morr.



Besides, he added, were Lord Silvano even to allow said enquiry, then as a part of the committee charged with the duty to discover the truth of the matter, then he could prove Duke Guidobaldo had only ever served Morr and the gods first, his own realm second and Tilea third – which was all that can rightly be asked of a noble, Tilean ruler.

The young Lord Silvano, however, being of his own mind, chose to satisfy Barone Iacopo’s demands by sending a proxy (Erkhart, the refugee lector of Trantio) to answer the summons and attend any judicial procedure.



This was indeed done. Upon arrival in Verezzo, Lector Erkhart met with the Barone Iacopo, who was attended by several of his newly raised guard companies.



The lector informed the halfling lord that Duke Guidobaldo was indeed far too ill to travel, or even to leave his bed, having been so badly wounded by the assassin-brigand Pettirosso, and that his son, Lord Silvano, could not possibly leave his many duties as regent, especially as Pavona itself also lies wounded still.



With father and son so disabled from attending, Erkhart was there to stand in place of both, to offer the duke of Pavona’s apologies for any and all assumed and proven offences. Bowing most humbly before the barone, he offered himself as Duke Guidobaldo’s substitute, to receive punishment.



Barone Iacopo was said to be lost for words, for he considered this sending of an unasked for proxy to be but another Pavonan insult. His advisors were equally stunned, and indeed afraid to offer advice to their obviously irate master.



When the barone finally spoke, it was to curse the lector, the duke, his son and all Pavonans, and in no uncertain terms.



At that very moment, one of the lector’s two Pavonan guards brought down his halberd’s blade and struck the back of Erkhart’s head, apparently attempting to lop it off. Prevented from completing his attempt by the Barone’s more numerous guards, both he and the other Pavonan guard were restrained. When questioned, the guard confessed that this act was a misunderstanding; that he thought that such a punishment was required and believed it only right and proper that a soldier of Pavona should carry out the execution.

Lector Erkhart subsequently lay unconscious under the care of a doctor of physic in Verezzo, who were doubtful he would ever recover. His attacker was imprisoned, as Barone Iacopo was not at all satisfied with the account offered. The second guard was sent back to Trantio, there to deliver the message that this response to Barone Iacopo’s justified demands was in every way entirely unacceptable.

What the Reman arch-lector, Bernado Ugolini, truly thought concerning this dispute was anyone’s guess, for his holiness did not reveal his mind when he learned of these events. He had fought beside both Duke Guidobaldo and his son in several battles, against both the vampires and the ogres, forging a strong alliance with Pavona. Yet at the same time, he had long respected Lord Lucca Vescussi of Verezzo, the two having been friends and fellow students under the same Reman tutor in their youth. During the vampire wars, Bernado, just as Calictus II before him, strove to avoid any division or conflict between the city states of Tilea, and now, with the threat presented by the rat-men, could not reasonably be expected to steer a contrary diplomatic course. Nevertheless, it was openly rumoured among the high clergy, that his holiness Bernado knew a good deal about the disagreement between Pavona and Verezzo, having a deep insight into the true nature of those concerned.



By the end of summer, having stripped Capelli of every horse available to replace his army’s broken mounts, General Valckenburgh of the VMC and his shattered men arrived at the ruins of Mottola. Much of his foot, with the artillery, were somewhere just south of Raverno, and he had yet to hear from Luccia la Fanciulla in the far, far north.



Leaving the bulk of his exhausted men at the ruins, Valckenburgh went ahead with a small party to the city of Alcente.



There he learned that the city’s hastily raised garrison force had not chosen to pursue the Sartosan army along the road east, as they suspected the enemy’s manoeuvre was a ruse to lure them away from the city, exactly as the Sartosans had previously (successfully) tried, leading to the losses incurred at the Battle of Sersale.



This time, however, it turned out not to be so, for it soon became clear that the pirates intended to sack the newly prosperous port-town of Pavezzano, where they could also embark upon their ships if it proved necessary. They razed the watchtower of Tursi as they passed, taking prisoners (which they later butchered) …


… and there was now nothing the general could do to stop them.



Pavezzano was indeed assaulted, while the Sartosan fleet, which had arrived offshore before the army, cannonaded the defences. There followed a cruelly comprehensive sacking.

Presumably, General Valckenburgh cursed his decision to take so much so far north. For the first time since the VMC had defeated Khurnag’s army, the native Alcentians had begun to wonder whether they really could expect prosperity and peace under VMC rule, and some began rueing the day that military governorship was granted to these foreign soldiers. None, however, were foolish enough to voice their concerns too loudly, for the VMC’s soldiers were still  numerous, with more yet to return, and the mercantile company employing them was itself backed by investors with deep pockets, who knew full well just how much they could profit from possession of such a large swathe of fruitful lands in southern Tilea, and who were no doubt willing to send whatever was required to ensure that future income.

The Sartosan fleet, carrying Admiral Volker’s battered but still intact army and a vast quantity of plunder, passed by Alcente on its way back towards Sartosa, bearing some distance south. Even after a string of victories and so many settlements looted, they remained cautious of the VMC’s ships and soldiers, probably aware that if reinforcements had arrived by land or sea, then the enemy might well have regained sufficient strength to defeat them easily in battle.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, despite the vast wealth stolen from no less than five settlements under Alcentian (and thus VMC) rule, the Sartosan’s insatiable greed was not yet satisfied.



And so it was that the wizard, Duke Ercole Perotto, uncle to the hostage King Ferronso III of Luccini, became, at long last, involved in serious negotiations for his nephew’s release. He met with several of Admiral Volker’s emissaries at one of the coastal watchtowers studding the shore for several miles south of the city.



Luccini had begun to heal after the pirate’s incursion, and several Tilean banking families recognised that there was a profit to be made by lending Duke Ercole the sums of money required, underwritten by a share of the recovering realm’s future tax income. Of course, the Sartosans cared not a jot for these details, only getting as much gold as they could, while ensuring they gave no hint concerning just how much Admiral Volker wanted rid of his annoyingly troublesome prisoner. 

My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline WuZhuiQiu

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1171
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #661 on: August 14, 2022, 04:56:22 PM »
Another great read! Are there any Halfling Morrite priests...?

Offline LouieN

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 471
  • "Aure entuluva!"
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #662 on: August 14, 2022, 05:15:39 PM »
Epic story

Offline Padrissimus

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    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #663 on: August 14, 2022, 05:20:29 PM »
Another great read! Are there any Halfling Morrite priests...?


I don't think so, but you have put the idea in my head now.

Offline WuZhuiQiu

  • Mastermind
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« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 08:01:27 PM by WuZhuiQiu »

Offline Padrissimus

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 493
    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #665 on: August 14, 2022, 08:00:20 PM »
Hee hee! I am waiting right now for an order from Midlam for 4 children figures I need for the next but one video. They're in the post and should arrive tomorrow. Jinx!

Offline WuZhuiQiu

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1171
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #666 on: August 14, 2022, 08:03:57 PM »
Hee hee! I am waiting right now for an order from Midlam for 4 children figures I need for the next but one video. They're in the post and should arrive tomorrow. Jinx!

 lol

And should any go the way of Biagino...

https://www.midlamminiatures.co.uk/undead-halflings.html

Offline Battle Brush Sigur

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1385
  • Brush-for-Hire
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #667 on: August 15, 2022, 12:29:24 AM »
It's been a while since I looked into this thread. All I can say is that I require more time to catch up, and that you're presenting something grand here. :D Cool stuff.

Offline Padrissimus

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 493
    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #668 on: August 23, 2022, 09:45:57 PM »
Thanks ever so much for saying!

Part 42 of Tilea's Troubles is now on YouTube. Troublesome news reaches the army camped at Viadaza. Campaigns can get messy!

See     https://youtu.be/X4Zlg9kV-BE

Offline Padrissimus

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 493
    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #669 on: September 07, 2022, 10:31:29 PM »
Tilea's Troubles Part 43 is now done.

The commanders spiritual and military of the Holy Army of Morr have to deal with a mutinous 'incident'.

See - https://youtu.be/iDjnkfRmjbo

Some pics ...




Offline Garanhir

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 475
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #670 on: September 14, 2022, 11:25:44 AM »
Another excellent installment. Your collection is inspiring, too.
A life without festivity is a long road without an inn.
-Democritus


Offline Padrissimus

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 493
    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #671 on: September 16, 2022, 02:43:51 PM »
Thanks very muchly, Garanhir!

Tilea's Troubles Part 44 is now available, being the prequel to a battle report. (A somewhat faster turnover than usual.) I am currently working on four extra models I need for the battle report, but hopefully it will be up within 2 or 3 weeks!

See
https://youtu.be/on2a-8yJg-w

Some pics ...




Offline Codsticker

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  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • *
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    • Kodsticklerburg: A Mordheim project
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #672 on: September 18, 2022, 09:43:38 PM »
I've missed so many episodes... I am now playing catchup. :D

 

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