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Gran March

Page history last edited by John 12 years, 5 months ago

Region 6: South-West Flanaess, Sheldomar Valley

Gran March political map 

 

 

THE GRAN MARCH

 

The home and heartland of the Knights of the Watch, Gran March is the northernmost nation of the Sheldomar Valley. On the outside, it has changed little since the Greyhawk Wars, remaining a strong military focal point against the Kettites in what was once Bissel, and against hostile forces from the Lortmils, Dim Forest, and Rushmoors.

It was at the Commandant's Keep that were laid the Twelve and Seven Precepts for the order of the Knights of the Watch, that knighthood whose job it is to guard against the monsters of the western forests and mountains and the hated Baklunish of the lands beyond. The Knights have always found their most ardent supporters in the citizens of Gran March, something which has only increased as the land fills with Bisselite refugees fleeing their conquered homeland.

I shall not go into further details on the replacement of Commandant Petros by Magnus Vrianian, except to say that the Knights' influence upon the affairs of Gran March, once subtle, are now more and more open and direct. Hookhill and Shiboleth have Watchmen parading openly in the streets, and humans of dark skin, whether Flan or Baklunish, are constantly harassed. Elves and halflings also report similar isolated incidents against their own people, though nominally the March still accepts people of all races within its borders.

 

Society and Culture: Gran March has always been where the Keoish 'war hawks' have gathered, where imperialist philosophers and military minds could find the best use of their talents. The Suel and Oeridian peoples who settled this land after coming north from Keoland proper chased away the native Flan in a series of bloody skirmishes, chasing them either into the surrounding swamplands, forests and hills, where their descendants live to this day in the traditional Flan lifestyle, remembering bitterly how their offerings of peace and friendship were responded to by these interlopers.

Honor is a critical element of a man?s worth in Gran March. Duels can be called for perceived insults, often to the death, fought with long swords as opposed to the rapiers favored by the nobles of the Great Kingdom and her successor states. Failure to respond to a challenge, or avenge an insult when you ought to, are causes for grave disgrace.

Gran March's martial character means that there is also a distinct pecking order in society. From a young age, children are encouraged to brawl in rough-and-tumble style to toughen them up, with the girls getting no breaks or respite because of their gender. The length of a commandant?s term in office, not to mention those of other nobles and civil servants, are determined by how strong and charismatic they are-solving problems with force and passion is more highly valued than careful reasoning and diplomacy. While commandants are ostensibly elected every five years, a leader's colleagues may decide to force him from office, by having one of their own duel him to determine if he may keep his position.

Gran March is also a land of subtle discrimination: Although women who prove themselves have climbed far in the nation's military hierarchy, most of them do not fight, nor are they expected to. Unlike in Keoland proper, the civil rights of women and demihumans in Gran March are very limited. Elves, halflings, and Flan and Baklunish humans often find that officials can make their lives extremely difficult, and the authorities and citizens will single them out for harassment and profiling. Slavery is illegal, though some nobles are whispered to hold Flan and Baklunish 'serfs' at their own private estates.

 

Military Structure: Gran March's crack mailed cavalry is the bane of any and all who face it, with no other cavalry force in the western Flanaess being able to match it. Although the archers are only passable, Gran March relies heavily on the gnomes of the Lorridges to provide them with siege equipment, artillery, and expertise, which perform brilliantly even against keeps in the steep mountains of the Lortmils or half-buried in the bogs of the Rushmoors.

The army lacks slingers, light horse, and light foot, though in every other aspect the forces of Gran March are an impressive sight to be witnessed. Even the levies are comparable to the main forces of most other Sheldomar nations. The Knights of the Watch, and their shields and banners, are present more and more alongside the white shield Gran March uses on its own.

 

Ruler: Commandant Petros was known as a decent, forward-thinking, and honest, if not terribly bright, man. Despite being criticized for his lack of desire to follow up on and slay defeated enemies, the man seemed to have no great enemies, and was said even to command the respect of the very best Watchmen. Petros had a passion for wine and physical fitness, rising at the crack of dawn every morning to exercise and practice sword and archery. His mysterious disappearance has his wife puzzled and very worried. His three daughters are now thought to be in Niole Dra, either studying to join the priesthood of Phyton, or attending the University of the Lion, an old institution founded centuries ago by King Tavish I.

Commandant Magnus Vrianian is known, by those few who have seen him, to be a man of unusually chilly disposition. His green eyes have an intense light burning within them, the lights of a man who has seen horrors no mortal mind should witness. On those occasions when he takes the field, he has never been known to grant mercy to an enemy that has surrendered. A tall, thin man with a cropped goatee and moustache, his emaciated frame seems to be carrying a heavy weight upon its thin shoulders. The god Hierroneous seems to be granting him spells, and he wields a holy battle-axe carved with the god?s runes, but few have any idea why Magnus seems to be so harsh and cold.

 

Foreign Relations: Geoff and Sterich are both deeply indebted to Gran March for its timely assistance against the giants, and Knights of the Watch are welcomed in Gorna and Istivin. Magnus Vrianian has taken no official stance in Geoff's dispute with Keoland, and a response does not seem to have come at all.

Keoland proper gets along cordially with her northern vassal state, though the attention of Niole Dra is on the west and Hookhill is on the north. The Ulek states have little love or trust for Gran March, however-while they are ostensibly allies, the Watchmen receive a lukewarm welcome in the shadow of the Lortmils, and none of the sovereigns of those nations entertain March diplomats for long.

Gran March has now declared war on Ket to free Bissel from the clutches of the hated Baklunish. With the collapse of Iuz's empire in the north, and its best soldiers forced to return to Lopolla, Gran March has a decided strategic advantage, though, surprisingly, most of those Bisselites who remained in their homeland now seem to be converting en masse to western religions, listening to what Gram Imran Tendulkar preaches. This, of course, causes no small amount of fury in Hookhill.

Region 6: South-West Flanaess, Sheldomar Valley. South-Western Flanaess, Sheldomar Valley map

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