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News of the Empire (ongoing, from monthly threads)

Discussion in 'Machiavel: Ambition' started by Ravana, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Here one will be able to locate most of the "news" items from prior months (two to a post, where length permits), apart from some minor details omitted for space considerations. We begin with the first month of Year 372 (officially, Year 61 of the Second Imperium, though I got tired of working with multiple dating systems). Note that the "news" will be about whatever happened the previous month, so the news for the first month of 372 is about Midwinter Court from 371. Note also, however, that you don't receive a monthly newspaper: these notices trickle into you as they occur, so in general they can be assumed to take place in the order they're presented. Following (usually) the news items is a summary of the most interesting rumors floating around, which can be presumed to arrive slightly after the events they're connected with. Other rumors, you'll have to seek out for yourself. Style and presentation (of both) may vary depending on who's at the scribe's desk at any given time. Months within the same post will be separated by

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    TURN 1: Arat, Year 372

    MIDWINTER COURT
    Year 60 of the Second Imperium (Year 371 Old Style);
    12th Year of the Reign of His Imperial Majesty, Nikovar I, Tenth Emperor of the Second Imperium

    Evrefritz, Elector Duke of Eszerthagn, is confirmed in the title of Marquis of Niksmund. He is also confirmed in the title of Count of Grichfeng, his by right of conquest. In recognition of his achievements on the behalf of the Empire, Eszerthagn is elevated to the rank of Archduchy.

    The Emperor offers his condolaces to Sazomir, Prince Apparent of Maritsdor, and his mother and regent, Nestreza, and hopes that they will be able to call on His Summer Court.

    Viscount Ergon of Sakvikvegn is elevated to the office of Secretary of the Imperial Privy Council.

    The Emperor is pleased to confirm Wininga in her title of Duchess of Gyrfalconsrest. [A lengthy list of similar confirmations of counts, viscounts and barons is omitted here.]

    In the dispute over the County of Trebovilje between the Duke of Vahir-Dascu and the Marquis of Cantrescu, dominion is confirmed to remain with Cantrescu. The Emperor observes that he should also be well pleased if the County of Merchureadu were recovered in the coming campaign season.

    In recognition of the service done by Mercha, Countess of Gramanstadt, that realm shall be regarded as a County Peculiar. The claim of the Marquis of Hesjedal, based on the historical inclusion of Gramanstadt in the Duchy of Sondehagn, is not allowed, as the marquis is not that duke.

    A Charter is granted to the city of Esling.

    The Lord Admiral is commended for the suppression of piracy by the Esteros Islands. A remission of taxes is declared for nobles who provided ships to the Lord Admiral.

    The law regarding collective responsibility for murder is hereby abolished, save where the murdered is the Emperor’s man. [A lengthy list of less important changes in imperial law is omitted here.]

    The Imperial Progress of Year 372 is announced; His Majesty’s court will depart the Winter Capital on the 3rd day of Forlu, and shall visit his Duchies of Upper Fulgau, Elgau, Gyrfalconsrest, Alstein, Evanstad and Meinerthagn–wherein His Birthday Celebration shall be held–and shall take up residence at the Summer Capital on the 11th day of Inghitsi.

    It has been confirmed that Her Majesty is with child once more.

    -

    Midwinter Court rumor mill:

    The Duke–make that Archduke–of Eszerthagn has, by his conquests of the previous year, positioned himself to strike any of three possible directions into the Kingdom of Lorthegnar, and it is expected that he will take advantage of at least one of these. Two of the three directions would be almost impossible for the king to resist: defense of those regions would fall almost entirely to local troops. Grichfeng, by the way, was conquered from Lorthegnar; Niksmund was already part of the empire.

    The Lord Marshal has been canvassing support for a campaign to retake Merchureadu from the Kingdom of Kereszney. The Duke of Vahir-Dascu does not show much enthusiasm for undertaking such a campaign–not if the county is just going to be returned to the March of Cantrescu. If he thinks he might get it, and Trebovilje as well (which was cut off from the rest of Cantrescu by Merchureadu’s defection), he may “discover” that his lands aren’t as wearied from last year’s fighting as he presently makes them out to be.

    Meinerthagn had not originally been planned to be part of this year’s Progress; it was added toward the last minute–and the Duchy of Bergeheim removed.

    Hlunegrid, Duchess of Alstein, is elderly and said to be near death, and the emperor is very keen to see her once more before she passes. Prior to the change in the Progress, his birthday was to take place during this visit… though it’s likely the emperor’s eagerness has at least a little to do with the fact that she has no heir.

    For that matter, Duke Geserich of Evanstad isn’t much younger, though he’s said to retain much of the vitality of his earlier days. And Duke Graudiger of Elgau was actually born in the days of the First Empire–more than eighty years ago. At least both of them have successors.

    Members of the regency council for Elislet, the Duchess Apparent of Upper Fulgau, have begun actively scouting for likely husbands, though she is only nine at the moment. Seems they want her married as soon as legally possible so that she can inherit promptly. Some say they might even request a dispensation to allow a wedding to take place before her fifteenth birthday.

    The Marchioness of Sjaermund, Siguving, attended Midwinter Court without her husband for the first time ever. A noted expert on fortifications, he is said to be visiting the Count of Kasselberg… who was likewise absent, pleading “a touch of catarrh.”

    Her Majesty will not be traveling on the Progress, as her due date is expected to fall sometime in the month of Atsantu. The second wife of Nikovar, she is entering her 41st year, has had two stillbirths and at least one miscarriage; the only child she bore, a daughter, died at the age of two. Nikovar’s first wife died without issue. Nikovar is presently 52 years old. It has been bandied about that if an heir is not born, Nikovar will name his two-year-old nephew Kaledy, only child of his sister Kalinda (who died bearing him) as Heir Apparent–and in either the emperor case will seek to appoint a regency council to oversee the empire should he fall prey to misfortune before the child reaches maturity. The unofficial next in line to the throne right now is Nikovar’s brother, Sebeschar.

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    TURN 2: Semanu, Year 372

    News and Rumor from around the Empire

    The Duke of Muretsu is putting out feelers for volunteers for a summer campaign.

    The Countess of Gramanstadt is also advertising for soldiery, in anticipation of Vaesthegnar attempting to recapture it.

    The emperor’s youngest brother, Prince Tergiv, is in the March of Torgevegn, possibly concentrating forces for a counterinvasion of Vaesthegnar… though this would draw forces away from the defense of Gramanstadt if true.

    The exiled Countess of Grenteheim has petitioned the emperor to be allowed to return. Details are not known, but are rumored to include an indication she would be willing to abdicate her claim to the county–if a suitable wife can be found for her 22-year-old son. Considering his lackluster reputation regarding intelligence and hygiene, this may prove problematic, even with a coronet as inducement. His Majesty’s response to the petition has not been disclosed.

    Lord Kuropatnar, the Imperial Astrologer, has resigned. Those interested in the position should contact Her Serene Excellency the Lord Steward of the Imperial Household.

    Ships from the self-styled “Kingdom” of Rikiver are said to have been sighted off the northeast coast.

    Her Majesty is said to be doing well. The Duchess of Alstein is said to be doing poorly. The Archduke of Eszerthagn is said to be doing something, but nobody seems quite sure what. The emperor’s other brother, Sebeschar, is said to be doing nothing, which nobody believes for a minute.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    TURN 3: Forlu, Year 372

    NEWS, RUMOR and OUTRIGHT HEARSAY from around the EMPIRE

    The Emperor has issued a summons to the Duke Palatine of Tyrvenhagn to appear before the Imperial Progress in the Duchy of Gyrfalconsrest during the month of Atsantu.

    The Countess of Grenteheim's petition to have her exile lifted has been rejected on advice of the Imperial Privy Council.

    A raid on the Viscounty of Lumerdor by ships from Rikiver has been repulsed with heavy loss to the attacker. Two of the raiders are known to have been sunk by harbor defenses; others might have foundered out of sight of the shore. Judging from items salvaged when they washed up on land, the ships were returning from an extended raid in realms far to the east of the kingdom of Kereszney.

    The position of Imperial Astrologer has yet to be filled.

    The Minister of Court and Protocol has announced that he will be laying down his burden, having successfully completed the necessary revisions to the imperial rolls. It is believed the Deputy Minister of Court and Protocol to the College of Pursuivants is most likely to succeed him.

    It is said that the Emperor has recalled General Malenty from his post in the Imperial City of Friudigen.

    Prince Tergiv's call for a gathering of troops in the March of Torgevegn appears to be meeting with little response. The Duke of Muretsu's call for a gathering of troops in his duchy appears to be meeting with even less–to the point where some long-term professional soldiers are actually crossing the border to take service in Vahir-Dascu instead.

    Prince Heverik has proclaimed that lace ruffles around one's wrists are now passé. They ought now to be worn only around one's ankles. Feathers are to be the new adornment for wrist cuffs, though he failed to mention whether these might safely be removed from hatbands or codpieces.

    Her Imperial Majesty has entered her confinement. The Duchess of Alstein has entered her objections to the diet her physicians seek to impose. The Archduke of Eszerthagn has entered into contracts to have a large number of "small, fast vessels" constructed as rapidly as possible. Nestreza, Regent of the Prince Apparent of Maritsdor, has entered into negotiations for a new weapons master to teach her son. Minister of State Prince Mazosyr has exited the empire by ship from the southern port of Belicheslu. Prince Sebeschar has entered into a great many court discussions, after exiting the capital of Dravuchim some three weeks past and failing to enter anybody's sight since then. A pair of ravens were seen exiting the north window of the Vavassor's Tower of the Summer Palace, causing many to enter into speculation that they represent an omen of something or other, since they've always used the east window heretofore.

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    TURN 4: Atsantu, Year 372

    News of the World (Hey, no one else is using the title, now, right…?)

    The Imperial Progress got off to an excellent start, owing to magnificent weather across the southwest. A slight turn toward the wet side as the Progress entered Gyrfalconsrest has failed to seriously dampen the court’s spirits.

    In the southeast, however, massive storms caused considerable local flooding, with the result that demand has increased for certain foodstuffs, as well as construction materials.

    The weather has also been blamed by some for the failure of a military expedition led by the Duke of Muretsu, whose troops passed through the County of Trebovilje in an attempt to recapture the County of Merchureadu, which defected from the empire last year. The duke is particularly keen on blaming the weather, as it sounds better than blaming his failure to organize an adequate supply train to see him through even a province that wasn’t being devastated by storms, or his massive military incompetence.

    The Baron of Kalderhall has formally declared feud on the Baron of Meilinger.

    An assault of no great importance has been repulsed along the western borders of the County of Gramanstadt. Informed opinion suggests this might have been a feint.

    Adalvert of Krindligen is elevated to the office of Minister of Court and Protocol.

    Gesigert, Count of Aldenthau, Governor of the Eastmark and Lord Marshal of the Realm has died under mysterious circumstances while traveling through the Duchy of Dravuchim on his way to the Duchy of Vahir-Dascu.

    The position of Imperial Astrologer has yet to be filled.

    Duchess Hlunegrid of Alstein still lives. Oddsmakers are no longer accepting bets on her continued survival.

    Prince Tergiv is reported to be leading what troops he gathered in Torgevegn eastward, having apparently decided to forego any actions against Vaesthegnar this year.

    Prince Sebeschar has resurfaced in the Archduchy of Eszerthagn, though that’s a perfectly logical place for him to be since he’s governor of the region that encompasses most of it. His whereabouts during the month since he was last seen have yet to be made known.

    The Grand Duchy of Meinerthagn has declared a general mobilization.

    Rudimer, Duke Palatine of Tyrvenhagn, Count of Erghirvegn, Knight Commander of the Order of the Coronet, Plume of the Order of the Royal Blossom, Knight Companion of the Order of the Holly, Governor and Warden of the Northmark, is hereby made a Legate of the Empire. Done this 1st day of Atsantu, Year 61, Our Court being convened at Our City of Edlingford during the Imperial Progress of that Year.

    Rudimer, Imperial Legate, Duke Palatine of Tyrvenhagn [etc.], is hereby granted Freedom of the Royal Mint. Done this 1st day of Atsantu [etc.].

    ---

    Gossip of the World

    The Duke of Muretsu wasn’t defeated: he lost a huge amount of his force without ever coming into contact with the enemy, and crept home with his tail between his legs. The main source of loss was desertion; the next largest factor was the populace of Trebovilje resisting his foragers. The Count of Trebovilje and the Marquis of Cantrescu are not happy with that duke right now. In all likelihood, the duchess isn’t, either. Duke Teshevan of Vahir-Dascu, on the other hand, is said to be delighted with the news.

    While the Lord Marshal was not a young man, his death was unexpected. It is inconvenient because of his noble title as well: the County of Aldenthau is presently split between the duchies of Meinerthagn and Eszerthagn, with nobles on each side of the border–the one in Eszerthagn calls himself the Count of Neraldsfel–claiming the same lands.

    The Duchess of Alstein has designated an heir in her will, according to “inside” sources–but no one knows who it might be. Speculation suggests the Progress might be accelerated in order to reach her while she still lives.

    The emperor making Duke Palatine Rudimer a Legate was completely unexpected–it appeared to take even the emperor’s closest advisors by surprise, and definitely surprised the duke–as well as astonishing, for a whole host of reasons. First, he’s only made two other legates in his entire reign, and both are still in their positions. Second, investing a palatine noble with Imperium is almost redundant–at least as far as his own realm is concerned, since he already exercises nearly every power of the crown within his own borders. Third, Rudimer is also Governor of the region that includes his duchy–which is redundant within his own borders, but which already extended his authority well beyond them–and is also Warden of that region, which gives him command of all military activity within it. Fourth, making any duke a Legate is utterly without precedent: Imperium is one of the tools the empire uses to counterbalance the power of its high nobles. Fifth, there are really only two important powers palatine nobles lack; one of these, the authority to conclude treaties with foreign states, is now his courtesy of being vested with Imperium… and the other is the right to mint coins in gold: the Freedom of the Royal Mint, a power that hasn’t been extended since the time of the Civil Wars, and then only as an emergency measure. Or, to look at it another way, Rudimer has effectively just been made co-emperor.

    And sixth: while the Palatine Duke’s loyalty to the empire has never been called into question, he and Emperor Nikovar have never been more than cordial to one another.…

    No one has ever heard of the position of Imperial Astrologer–or pretty much any imperial position, really–going unfilled for any length of time: there’s always somebody who wants the promotion. It’s enough to cause one to wonder what it is they all think they know.…

    -

    Coda et capo

    A few sounds can always command your attention whenever you hear them, no matter what your current situation or condition might be. One is the clatter of horseshoes on the cobbles of your courtyard in the dead of night. They almost immediately begin to recede into the distance: normally, an arriving rider will remain the night, or at least take refreshment, but this time the rider can barely have had the chance to deliver his message before taking to the road once more.

    You aren't given much time to wonder: the familiar knock of your guard commander sounds at the door. He hands you a letter bearing the ribbon and seal of the Lord Chancellor… unbroken, but from the look on his face, you would have to guess he already had a hint of its contents from the rider.

    “Done this 4th day of Atsantu, Year 61, by the hand of Her Serene Lordship, Princess Rineyard of Grassmer, Lord Chancellor to His Imperial Majesty Nikovar I:

    “Let it be proclaimed to all persons throughout the empire: Her Imperial Majesty, Derma, Empress Consort of Nikovar I, has died of complications suffered in the delivery of a tillborn child. His Imperial Majesty has decreed a time of mourning take place throughtout the empire from this day until the 4th day of the month of Inghisti.”
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  3. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    TURN 5: Inghitsi, Year 372

    All the News that’s Fit to Illuminate

    The first day of the month is the Emperor’s Birthday. All observations have been cancelled.

    Stavaslau, Count of Neraldsfel, has claimed the succession to the County of Aldenthau.

    The County of Kasselvelt has declared a general mobilization.

    The March of Sjaermund has declared a general mobilization.

    The Duchy of Kalaszlar has declared a general mobilization.

    The March of Sangor has declared a general mobilization.

    The March of Kurfsjin has declared a general mobilization.

    The Duchy of Zanarvec has recalled all troops serving outside its borders.

    Prince Sebeschar, in his capacity as Governor of the Northern Riding, has summoned the soldiery of that Region to join him at Nazhysed in the Archduchy of Eszerthagn. Sir Domnuvar of the Order of the Ward, Knight Commander of the Northern Ward, has echoed this call.

    Duke Hengvorg of Shevidhagn has politely refused to allow the troops under Prince Tergiv permission to pass through his duchy. Rudric, Viscount of Eusernich, has similarly declined that honor on behalf of his wife Lesilet, Princess of Namsturming. Prince Tergiv’s forces are now reported to be passing through the southeast corner of the Duchy of Elgau–under close supervision.

    The Imperial Progress arrived in the Duchy of Alstein in a much subdued mood. The Emperor is reported to have gone immediately to the chambers of Duchess Hlunegrid upon reaching her castle, where he remained for several hours in private conversation with her. It is said that he emerged more troubled than he entered. He then immediately vanished into another lengthy conference, involving Duke Geserich of Evanstad, who’d been staying by the duchess’ deathbed; Imperial Legate Marsanetta, who’d arrived ahead of him; Lord Chancellor Rineyard, who’d arrived with him; and Imperial Legate Viscount Berichart, who arrived by post-horse a few hours afterward.

    The second morning following, Duchess Hlunegrid died. No word has been given out on the existence or contents of her will.

    No replacement has been named yet for the late Lord Marshal.

    It has been announced that the remainder of this year’s Progress will be canceled. Given the circumstances, one can hardly be surprised.

    In the week following the death of the Empress Consort, seventeen applications were received for the position of Imperial Astrologer. Given the circumstances, one can hardly doubt they’re all eminently qualified.

    ---

    All the Rumor that’s Fit for Marginalia

    Viscount Rudric’s refusal to permit passage to Prince Tergiv’s forces was considerably less polite than that of Duke Hengvorg’s–in fact, the term “polite” could only be applied to it at all when contrasted to the one Princess Lesilet wished to deliver… which involved archers and catapults lining the shores of the river crossing. When Tergiv’s emissary sought to challenge Rudric to a duel over the insult, however, the viscount shrugged and said he’d be happy to run the other man through whenever the latter found it convenient, but that he would first have to recross the river and return, since he was at that moment still under a safe conduct. When the emissary seemed about to accept these conditions, the viscount pointed out that a further consequence of this reasoning would be that the second crossing would, obviously, not be subject to a safe conduct, as that would defeat the purpose. The emissary issued his challenge anyway, but apparently contracted an ague on his return to the bank whence he’d initially come, most likely due to the drenching he received from the fourteen catapult stones that skipped past his boat at precisely two yards’ distance while he was being rowed across. It is said that the artillerists responsible for the incident received some very stern admonitions concerning their behavior: while precise details have not been made available, their punishment seems to have involved singing non-stop and increasingly off-key throughout the night. It is also said that one of the catapult crews was further punished by having to bear on their return home bags weighted down with substantial amounts of metal, on account of their having exceeded all the other casts by two skips… though a few witnesses aver it was actually three.

    The passage through Namsturming was probably Tergiv’s last chance to make it to the east before autumn harvests–because the chances of Hedan-Saxar allowing him passage are nil, and the chances of Maritsdor doing so slightly less than that… and while the County of Cunedor is noted for its independent ways, one of those ways involves not letting anybody who could possibly endanger that independence through its high passes. If they demur, he will have to go at least as far north as Alstein. It would, in fact, probably be faster if he were to reverse his course and take ship in the south.

    In case anyone wondered, Prince Heverik’s taste in mourning garb is as appalling as in any other. Though at least it’s more subdued. Indeed, in an uncharacteristic concession to the tragedy of the moment, he has foresworn all lace, ruffles, plumes, and antlers for the duration of the decreed period. He also graciously conceded, when corrected on the matter, that he had misunderstood what was intended by the reference to tails, and with solemnity consigned them, along with the garment to which they had been attached, to a fireplace. He even declared himself so distressed over the matter that he would wear his yak’s-hair toga inside out for the entirety of the following week as a penance, but was ultimately brought around to the view that this would be taking self-abnegation farther than the occasion required.

    The last time Emperor Nikovar met with both his Legates at the same time was shortly after he appointed the second of them. Admittedly, he has three now. On the other hand, in order for Berichart to have arrived from Torgevegn, and Marsanneta from Dravuchim, at the times they did, the messages summoning them must have been sent prior to appointing Duke Rudimer to his new post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  4. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    TURN 6: Ashteptu, Year 372

    News of the Empire

    The official period of mourning for Her Imperial Majesty, Empress Consort Derma, has ended.

    Baroness Selitha of Riverwatch, in the Duchy of Shevidhagn, has died of an acute case of indigestion. Her heir is her 19-year-old daughter Sendra–who is, however, unmarried, as is her only other child, her 15-year-old son Froedlich.

    A massive fleet sailing under the flag of Lorthegnar was spotted off the coast of the County of Telgyrsvegn, leading to fears that it, or the County of Dundriksvegn, was the target of imminent invasion. The fleet consisted not only of more ships than anyone knew Lorthegnar had, but also a squadron from its northern neighbor Torsig, as well as several flotillas from the northern jarldoms, presumably hired as mercenaries. To the astonishment of observers, though, it sailed right between these two islands–and up the Vygir River into Vaesthegnar, where it is now reported that they have occupied the city of Osidring and are proceeding upriver in what appears to be a full-scale assault on Vaesthegnar’s northern coast.

    An assault upon the County of Trebovilje in the March of Cantrescu has been mounted by forces of the Counts of Sighigonetsi and Merchugonesti from Kereszney.

    Contrary to expectations, the Imperial Party has not continued to Crown Vale following the cancellation of this year’s Progress and the funeral for Duchess Hlunegrid. The Emperor has chosen to remain at Dorlingard for the time being, along with most of his Court; the Emperor himself has remained largely in isolation, and is rarely seen save by his closest advisers. Imperial Legate Marsanetta has been sent on new assignment, but Imperial Legate Viscount Berichart remains at his side. Usually, it’s the other way around.

    No news has been released yet concerning the Duchess of Alstein’s will, nor of the disposition of her duchy.

    Grumblings have been heard around the Summer Palace concerning his imperial majesty’s failure to arrive as expected: the administration purports to be severely hampered by the absence of its accustomed chiefs, and the housekeeping staff is quite put out about supplies and victuals going to waste.

    Lord Admiral Zerich has ordered that all ships entering and leaving the Duchy of Kalaszlar by the Szeklari River be stopped and searched, a measure that is being enforced by three imperial galleys from the Northeast Squadron that have been brought upriver for this purpose.

    The Baron of Faedring, a son-in-law of the late Count of Aldenthau, has laid claim to the title on behalf of his heirs, in defiance of the Count of Neraldsfel’s claim.

    Lord Hemnir, a distant cousin of the late Count of Aldenthau, has laid claim to the title.

    Forces of the Count of Murgethalsing and Viscounts of Preglysvar and Borhoved have engaged forces of the Count of Neraldsfel in and around the Aldenthau region.

    The Baron of Medzelyk in the County of Aldenthau has declared alliegance to the Count of Neraldsfel and has permitted his troops passage to the Viscounty of Borhoved, where they are now surrounding the city of Veuderburg.

    The Baron of Medlerau in the County of Aldenthau has declared neutrality in the dispute, and has refused passage to troops of the Viscounts of Preglysvar and Borhoved.

    An attack from the Duchy of Delharrow in Lorthegnar on the County of Grichfeng has been repulsed.

    An attack from the Duchy of Nichemhagn in Lorthegnar on the March of Niksmund has been repulsed.

    Prince Sebeschar has claimed the title of Lord Marshal for himself, citing recent victories against Lorthegnar as evidence of his suitability, and the Emperor’s failure to appoint a new one as justification of his action. Sebeschar has commanded that the forces in the duchies and marches bordering the Archduchy of Eszerthagn be demobilized.

    Prince Tergiv’s forces have entered the Duchy of Hedan-Saxar without formally requesting passage, and have scattered those few of the duchy’s troops that have interposed themselves. He is currently marching along the south bank of the Elgau River, and is said to be requisitioning watercraft of all descriptions as he advances.

    Rudimer, Duke Palatine and Imperial Legate, has called a general mobilization of his Duchy of Tyrvenhagn and the neighboring March of Tyrsreach… in anticipation, he says, that having the same enemy occupying both their flanks at once may not be a thing to be desired.

    The mint of Tyrvenhagn has begun to issue gold coinage.

    Six of the seventeen persons seeking the position of Imperial Astrologer have withdrawn their applications… while a seventh apparently failed to predict growing a third blade in his shoulders. No new applicants have come forward. A decision on the appointment is expected soon.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  5. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    TURN 7: Coatsu, Year 372

    News:

    Lord Ilderich of Vieding has been appointed to the post of Imperial Astrologer.

    The Imperial Party remains at Dorlingard in Alstein.

    Prince Sebeschar's "command" to the duchies and marches bordering Eszerthagn has been ignored by one and all. As has much else involving his pretensions to the office of Lord Marshal.

    Archduke Evrefritz has filed a complaint before the Lord Justicar regarding the restriction of trade along the Szeklari River where his lands meet the Duchy of Kalaszlar. Duchess Zinitsa is said to be cooperating with the Lord Admiral in the matter, though there has been some grumbling amongst her vassals.

    Battle over the succession to the County of Aldenthau continues. The Count of Neraldsfel's troops still beseige Veuderburg.

    The Duchy of Zanarvec has declared a general mobilization.

    Forces from the Duchy of Vahir-Dascu have counterattacked in the County of Trebovilje, throwing back invading forces from the Counties of Sighigonetsi and Merchugonesti in Kereszney, have retaken the County of Merchreadu which was lost to the empire last year, and are now operating in the County of Merchgonesti. The Count of Merchureadu was captured in battle and has been executed by the duke as a traitor. The whereabouts of the Count of Trebovilje are unknown at this time.

    The assault by Lorthegnar and allied forces upon the Kingdom of Vaesthegnar has proceeded rapidly up the Vygir River, receiving assistance from the Duke of Vygirsvegn, and its main force is now engaged in the Duchy of Varaborn. It is reliably reported that the attacking forces are being led by King Alfyr II of Lorthegnar in person. Smaller units have been sighted along the borders of Tyrvenhagn, while others are believed to have entered the Duchy of Mittelvald.

    A settlement to the Aldenthau dispute has been put forward, though no one seems quite certain by whom. The proposal would see the Count of Neraldsfel receive Aldenthau, if it returns the Viscounty of Hudlerik (currently in Neraldsfel) to the County of Murgethalsing, from whom it was taken some time ago, and if the Archduke of Eszerthagn transfers the Barony of Deuring (which is currently held by a member of his family) to someone loyal to the Viscount of Preglysvar (which it is technically still a part of, and which overran it and chased out its baron last month).

    Prince Tergiv's forces, advancing through the Duchy of Hedan-Saxar, were surrounded by troops from that duchy and annihilated. The prince is said to now be a prisoner of the duke.

    The Duchess of Alstein's will has finally been revealed.…

    -

    "I, Hlunegrid, Duchess of Alstein, being sound of mind in spite of what those reading these terms will no doubt conclude, do hereby record my Last Will and Testament, to which the undersigned bear witness concerning its authenticity."

    [Here follow several pages detailing the discharge of debts, forgiving of (most) debtors, distribution of properties, bestowal of gifts, granting of benefices to clergy, endowment of a Ducal Scriptiorium, funding lifetime pensions for her closest retainers, etc., etc. Each page is signed by and bears the seals by the duchess and three witnesses, as required by imperial law. Wait for it.…]

    "Item the last. As regards those lands to which I hold title, either in fief from the Empire or by right of heredity, I make the following dispositions:

    "My line having come to an end, and there being none other entitled by blood to succeed to my titles, I have after lengthy consideration and consultation determined that these lands and titles must be split into three categories, in order that they be bestowed in manners consonant with both Imperial law and my own desires.

    "Primum: Those lands to which I hold title as Baroness, being a fief received from the hand of the Emperor, are not mine to freely dispose of, and therefore I make no such dispositions. From whose hand they were received, they must now return.

    "Secundum: Those lands to which I hold title in virtue of being their feudal superior as Duchess, but no other–to wit, the County of Helbinglinden, and the Viscounty of Ijsselgrim within my own County of Dorlingen–being hereditary in nature, I cannot alienate from those whose hereditary titles those are. For this reason, therefore, I transfer the County of Helbinglinden, and the duty of its Count, to the Duchy of Evanstad, and the Viscounty of Ijsselgrim, and the duty of its Viscount, to the Duchy of Gyrfalconsrest.

    "The Duchy of Alstein is dissolved.

    "Tertium: Those lands to which I hold title as Countess of Dorlingen, I bequeath to the Order of the Holly, to be administered by the Grand Master of that Order or such other person as he deems suited, to be used for the benefit and sustenance of that Order in such manner as seems most fit to the Grand Master of the Order.

    "Done this Eighteenth Day of Forlu, in the Year 61 of the Second Imperium (Year 372 O.S.)."

    [Here follow the signatures and seals of the duchess and twelve other witnesses, including the three who witnessed each of the other pages, as required by imperial law. All six of her chief retainers are among the witnesses. As are the Count of Helbinglinden and the Viscount of Ijsselgrim. The two dukes whose lands are named at the end are not among the witnesses; neither is any other member of the Order of the Holly.]

    -

    By Act of Imperium, We, Nikovar, First of that Name, Tenth Emperor of the Second Imperium, do hereby confirm and promulgate the Last Will and Testament of Our faithful and beloved servant, Hlunegrid, Duchess of Alstein. Done this 26th day of Ashteptu, Year 61, Our Court being convened at the Castle of Dorlingard during the Imperial Progress of that Year.

    ---

    Gossip:

    Forces from the Kingdom of Kereszney are said to have entered the March of Sangor without resistance.

    Lord Ilderich, the new Imperial Astrologer, was one of the few applicants for the position who did not withdraw his application during the selection process. What, if anything, this signifies is unknown… but since signs are the business of astrologers, it almost certainly signifies something.

    The Principality of Herzerik–the seat of power of the royal line of Erchevold-Herzerik, and which formerly held its electoral vote until maneuvered out of it by Archduke Evrefritz's father–is believed to have quietly placed calls for mercenaries to supplement their standing forces. Under other circumstances, such a call from this source would meet with little response. As it is.…

    Rumor has it Duchess Angrebuda of Hedan-Saxar has refused to accept ransom for Prince Tergiv… for which few would be likely to blame her, were it not a blatant violation of imperial law concerning noble captives.

    Rumor further has it that her forces received considerable support from the Principalities of Auserdich, Namsturming and Ilverstal, possibly among others–interesting primarily because forces of the Helderau and Maritsa lines rarely cooperate in anything.

    The emperor is said to have remained almost entirely seclusion over the past month. Doomsayers have speculated he has taken ill, though more entertaining possibilities have recently suggested themselves.

    Duchess Hlunegrid's will could scarcely have been more controversial if it tried. While duchies have been dissolved before–with great regularity, in fact–none has ever been dissolved by its own ruler, even in the absence of heirs. The return of the baronies to the emperor is nothing more than standard practice; however, no baron in the empire is presently a vassal of anyone other than a superior noble holding title over the same lands, whereas this would make two of them vassals of the the Order of the Holly. And while some small parcels of land have been bestowed upon organizations such as clergy or (yes) chivalric orders, turning over an entire county is without precedent… and such precedents tend to make the nobility very nervous. For that matter, this one makes just about everybody nervous, as it implies a possible future disruption of the balance of powers within the empire. Members of the Curia have already "objected on principle" to the imperial justiciary. There are rumors of tampering with the will, either by parties beneficiary to it or by the emperor himself. Some have gone so far as to adduce that the emperor's confirmation of the will is evidence he has gone mad.…

    …which isn't helped any when he follows it up by officially naming his two-year-old nephew Kaledy as his heir, asks the Electors to confirm him as Crown Prince, and requests a regency council be named in the event of his succeeding while still a minor. This would be unprecedented in the Second Imperium (the third Emperor was seated in part because his wife, the designated heir of the second Empress, was only 18–three years over the age of majority), though not in the kingdoms: the past two kings of Lorthegnar began their reigns under regencies. It is not considered highly likely this request will be honored. It is considered highly likely the request will provoke some interesting responses… especially from the couple hundred other people eligible to be elected emperor.

    The precise whereabouts of Prince Kaledy are unknown. Two places he is known to not be are the Summer and Winter Palaces. Which strikes many as a bit excessive, if caution were the motive for his absence: given the infinitesimal odds of the Electors confirming him, who would want to bother with disposing of a toddler?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  6. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    2,012
    292
    83
    Turn 8: Secheri, Year 372

    [Note: this is going to be a rather abrupt “turn”: production will proceed as normal.]

    What Can Be Gathered from the Posts:

    According to sources in the Chancery, the emperor has appointed General Malenty, longtime Castellan-Mayor of Friudigen, to the post of Lord Marshal. According to sources in Eszerthagn, this is either the spurious action of a decrepit and isolated monarch or unfounded rumor, and in either event Prince Sebeschar is maintaining his use of the title. According to sources in the military, General Malenty was either surprised to learn he’d been promoted or has yet to be informed, depending on who you speak to.

    In the ongoing conflict in the southeast: forces from the Duchy of Voydulescu have counterattacked those of Vahir-Dascu, checking its advance through Merchugonesti.

    In the ongoing conflict in the northeast: a surprise raid was launched from County Kasselvelt across the river into County Neraldsfel, meeting with what is said to be “considerable local success” before retiring. The only impact seen from the raid so far has been that the Archduchy has used it as an excuse to move forces from other parts of Eszerthagn into Neraldsfel. An attempt to relieve the besieged city of Veuderburg has failed, though forces of Meinerthagn now control most of the south and west banks of the river and are hazarding opposing fire to resupply the city.

    The Archduke has responded to last month’s “settlement proposal” for the Aldenthau conflict: he would be willing to accept transfer the Barony of Deuring from his cousin to a baron named by Preglysvar, and would be willing to see the Viscounty of Hudlerik returned from Neraldsfel of Murgethalsing, if the County of Murgethalsing were made a part of the archduchy–in addition to Aldenthau being given over to Neraldsfel.

    Prince Tergiv remains a captive of the Duchess of Hedan-Saxar; all other persons of quality accompanying him have been ransomed. The remains of his scattered forces have been rounded up and demobilized.

    Legate Berichart slew two men, both minor nobles and members of the Order of the Ward, in what is given out to have been an assassination attempt against the emperor, who remains in isolation at Dorlingard. He is believed to have sustained some minor wounds… in spite of confronting two fully-armed knights while equipped with only his broadsword and a nightshirt.

    The Baron of Nistremen, a vassal of the Duke of Shevidhagn, has unexpectedly died: he was only 36, and was not known to be ill. Poison is suspected. It is not currently known who the correct heir to the barony is.

    Information from the kingdom of Vaesthegnar indicates that the invading troops from Lorthegnar and allies, under the command of the Duke of Vygirsvegn, have advanced well into Mittelvald against little resistance; the main column, commanded by King Alfyr of Lorthegnar, is still being held up by forces of Varaborn. A covering force has been left around the Imperial City of Friudigen, but has yet offered no threat to it.

    Rumor suggests a diplomatic courier from Lorthegnar was received by Duke Palatine Rudimer, and that he was returned thence by fast ship the following day.

    The Principality of Herzerik has succeeded in raising a surprisingly large mercenary force, which is believed to include units from Kereszney along with local troops.

    Largely forgotten in the other events of the day, the post of Governor of the Eastmark has been empty since the death of Lord Marshal Gesigert. Naming a replacement has increased in priority, following the Marquis of Cantrescu's query regarding to whom he ought to be appealing to ensure that he recovers his counties of Trebovilje and Merchureadu, currently occupied by troops from Vahir-Dascu.

    Many people are beginning to wonder who will bring in this year’s harvest, with forces mobilized across half the empire well into autumn.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
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