View Full Version : Crossroads of Numantia: A Homebrew Campaign Setting

2008-07-21, 01:57 PM
Crossroads of Numantia

Author's Note: This is a project I've been tinkering with for a couple of years, on and off, that I thought I would share to see if people thought it was interesting, and possibly worth running a PBP campaign on these threads. That said...
Concept: A low fantasy, “swashbuckling-and-sorcery” desert kingdom, intended for an all-"rogue" campaign. A generation ago, the sands of the world’s busiest trading route ran red with the blood of empires. Revolting against imperialist ambition and constant warfare, a rag-tag alliance of thieves, rogues, assassins, and pirates launched a lightning campaign against the exhausted combatants…and won. Today, Numantia is a land without laws, a free and neutral place where goods can flow free from taxation and inspection, where everything and anything is for sale, and where property rights are only as strong as a man’s sword arm.


“Welcome, weary traveler, to the crossroads of the Known World, to the Land Without Law – to Numantia. It is a harsh land, where the rain falls seldom, and blood soaks the sands like a monsoon. The people are rich in valuables, but poor in peace.

Set astride the Great Trade Road between the Westron Kingdoms and the mysterious land of the Q’in by the hand of some feckless god, Numantia has been the birthplace and burial ground of empires. Ruins built on ruins have seen battles rage over their shattered stones, as the great powers of West and East strove to dominate the terms of trade, Trade Almighty.

But the land grew weary of war. Rising up from the muck, the leavings of three peoples – a motley collection of bandits, thieves, and assassins – launched a night-time war against the exhausted invaders. They struck from the darkness and the dunes, an unrelenting wave of assassination and ambush cast down mighty legions and proud princes alike into the dust. Having risen to victory, the rebels proclaimed themselves the leaders of a Free Nation. Numantia would be independent, answering to the laws of none, and open to all. Three mighty Thieves' Guilds, drawn into a loose confederation, guarantee the land’s independence against all threats, including from one another.

From across the globe, adventurous and desperate people like yourself have made their way to this new land, seeking opportunity. Rogues look to a land where crime is legal for safety from the law and prospects for advancement. Merchants brave the risk of theft and brigandage for a chance to tap into the vast riches of this ancient entrepôt. Explorers come to uncover the secrets of the past and the unknown. Gold, ivory, rare animals, and buried treasures lure scavengers in the thousands.

For those cunning enough to see it, swift enough to seize it, and strong enough to hold onto it, there is wealth undreamt of to be found. For the unwary, the unwise, or the unlucky, death lurks in a thousand shadows.
Welcome to Numantia.”

2008-07-21, 01:58 PM

Races: for the moment, Human only, but humans will come in several varieties:

Westron – new arrivals from the Westron Kingdoms (Renaissance Europe, but twisted in the way of Warhammer Fantasy or 7th Sea).
Numantian – transplants from both the Westron Kingdoms and the Q’in Empire who have been born or naturalized to Numantia, who identify with their new country.
Ferrak – the native desert tribes of Numantia, divided into feuding clans but fiercely opposed to outside invaders. Dark and mysterious history of invasion and resistance against foul and sorcerous God-Kings.
Crossbreed – the product of intermarriage over the warring centuries between Westron, Q'in, and Ferrak, somewhat outcast among their native populations, but form the social and financial lynchpin of the country, as the most agile go-betweens, fixers, and trading factors in Numantia.
Q’in – citizens of a mighty, yet over-stretched and corrupt empire sent out at the end of adolescence to bring back their weight in gold before they can return to their mother country as full citizens. Ruled by a mysterous Vermillion Emperor. Long history of conflict with the Westron Kingdoms over terms of trade and control over Numantia

Classes: Fighters, Rangers, Rogues, Warlords as standard
still working on Wizards, Clerics, Warlocks, Paladins
Essentially, magic in the CoN setting is supposed to be somewhat mysterious and awe-inspiring. Magic used to exist, but most of it has been forgotten or lost; people gain access to powers through accidents of births, the discovery of lost grimoires and artifacts, or the voice of the gods echoing int heir dreams. Not sure how quite to work that into D&D terms, but I think the 4E non-Vancian system should help somewhat. Possibly will add in Artificers as a base class.

Items: Add in firearms, cutlasses, less in the way of armor
Add in Ships – Sea Ships, Sand-Ships

Alignment replaced with Allegiance:
Guilded - guilded players are loyal to one of the three ruling Thieves' Guilds in Numantia, the closest thing it has to governments or political parties, and seek to rise in power and prestige through the ranks. The Three Guilds do not trust each other and do not get along, and exist in a state of continual clandestine war for wealth, territory, and influence, but they will band together instantly in the face of an outside threat...for now.

Casa di Mercutio - a mostly-Westron guild, founded by a near-legendary Westron Pirate, Don Giovanni Il Magnifico, who founded the alliance between the three guilds that won the war for independence.
Red Hand - a mostly-Ferrak guild, the largest bandit army in Numantia, dislike outsiders, and raid trading caravans ruthlessly. Their numbers and knowledge of the land were vital to the success of the guilds' guerilla war.
Noćna Straža (the Night Watch) - a mostly-Crossbreed guild, the Night Watch is an ancient brotherhood of thieves and assassins who have operated out of the southern desert for centuries. Perfectionist professionals to the nth degree, rumor has it that the Night Watch guards Numantia against ancient threats, including the possibilty of the return of the God-Kings of old.
Merchant Companies - despite the high risks of doing business in a land without law, many merchant companies have flocked to Numantia after the war for independence because of Numantia's promise of no taxes, no regulations, no questions asked. There's a lot of money to be made, and smart individuals who take on positions as caravan leaders, scouts, or trade factors can rise very high, no matter what their background.
Mercenary Companies - in order for the Merchant Companies to exist, they depend upon the services of companies of mercenaries who have set down roots in Numantia. During the days of the wars between the Westron Kingdoms and the Q'in, they played each side off against the other with skill and aplomb. These days, the Mercenary Companies operate with the tacit blessing of the Thieves' Guilds, who use them as deniable proxies against each other, but the big money is in guarding the merchant caravans against bandit raids. And if business is ever slow, they turn bandit and raid the merchant caravans, so it all works out in the end.
Independents - despite the necessity for having a larger institution to guard your back in Numantia, some brave souls abjure any such ties and strike out on their own for gold and glory. It's a dangerous route, but if you succeed, you don't have to split your take with anyone - as long as you can keep what's yours.

2008-07-21, 02:00 PM
The Three Guilds:

What law there is in Numantia is the Concord of the Guilds, an agreement reached not very long ago, that the three major thieves guilds would consent to co-exist among each other and cooperate against any outside threat. Their knives held back two world powers, and they keep the peace, but now the old rivalries re-emerge. The leadership agrees to ignore the existence of violence to keep things under control, while secretly using the struggle to test the mettle of their underlings. Jockeying for a larger cut of the profits, for influence and territory, to settle scores, a shadow war breaks out in the alleyways and the outlaws’ hideaways. Which guild will rise and which will fall? Which side will you choose?

Casa Di Mercutio- “All Honor to the Casa”

- most cosmopolitan of the guilds – deals with the outside world’s trade most of all.
- highest proportion of Westron immigrants.
- most lawful – the Casa believes in the code of the familia, which it brought as a bastardized version of noblesse oblige from the West. The Casa sees itself as the benevolent protector of civilization and commerce.
- most anti-Ferrak – although the Casa supposedly is open to all races, the Ferrak are considered rather uncivilized, and are largely excluded from the guild.

Founded and lead to prominence by the great Don Giovanni Il Magnifico di Mercutio, the Casa is largely comprised of the large, sprawling Mercutio clan, its cadet families (la casa minore), and the large majority of unrelated thieves hoping to be noticed and rise in the guild. As it seeks to maintain its position in Numantian society, the Casa has begun increasingly to recruit from outside its bloodline and promote more new-comers, although mostly from the Westron people. The leader of the Casa is the chosen heir of Don Giovanni, La Bella Donna, the Lady Marguerite di Mercutio. Ever since the disappearance of her father, Marguerite has ruled through guile and intrigue, although many of her male cousins would love to either force her hand in marriage or force her off the throne.

The Casa is the richest and most technologically advanced of the guilds, basing its financial empire on “protective arrangements” with merchant houses and other civilians seeking protection from crime, the acquisition and “retrieval” of lost property, a vast smuggling operation of illegal goods bound for Westron markets, and a flat tithe exacted on all ships arriving and leaving from Shipsend, the Casa’s capitol city, and all stock transactions in its Exchange. From these vast resources, the Casa invests in the best military and infiltration technology available, maintaining its edge over would-be usurpers. Gradually, the Casa intends to build its resources into an army and navy capable of resisting any new imperial incursions. As it expands, the Casa is transitioning from a crime syndicate to something like a government, although it would never admit to this.

As part of its "civilizing mission," the Casa promulgates a very rough code of law, if such a term can be applied to personal advantage codified on paper. The two laws of the Casa uphold the romantic self-image of a benevolent family institution protecting ordinary people from a dangerous and savage land, while spreading the benefits of technology throughout.

The Two Laws of the Casa

Trade Must Flow – The Casa permits fraud, corruption, theft, and any other crime imaginable, as long as the merchants keep coming. Anything that threatens the free movement of goods, that threatens to kill the golden goose, be it an isolationist clan chief or overly greedy bandit, is met with swift retaliation. Those who refuse to recognize the necessity of moderation wind up in the bottom of the harbor with something heavy tied to their feet.
Honor the Casa – to those who spurn or can’t afford the Casa’s protection, the Casa turns a blind eye to any crime committed against them; but a thief who touches a merchant whose insurance is paid up-to-date will find that, for a thieves' guild, the Casa can be very protective of property rights. Those who attempt to interfere with Casa rackets or to encroach on Casa territory are met with unrelenting violence.

Guild Colors – Blue
Headquarter – the Casa compound in Shipsend, a floating city built from the remnants of Don Giovanni's pirate fleet, and the only Westron city in all of Numantia.
Center of Strength – Western Numantia, bounded by the Ring Forts

The Red Hand – “We are the Wind, We are the Sands”

- Ferrak nationalists – the Red Hand view immigrants as the spawn of conquerors, a threat to the independence of Numantia and the purity of the land.
- Nihilists – morality is for the weak. The desert is not rich enough for such luxury.
- Xenophobic – most Westron or Q’in are not welcome in the Red Hand, but a few have managed to display the kind of strength that can’t be ignored.
- Exploiters – the Red Hand takes what it can without thinking of consequences.

The Red Hand began its career as a collection of Ferrak bandits who were forced to work together to avoid the patrols of the Westron Alliance and the Q’in Empire. The Red Hand swiftly grew into the largest, and only multi-tribal Ferrak institution in all of Numantia. Foot soldiers of the rebellion, the Red Hand today brings together bandits from every Ferrak sept, clan, and tribe to hone their craft and increase their strength. Almost entirely Ferrak in composition, the Red Hand makes its primary living assaulting merchant caravans in the desert, and mugging in the alleyways. Not rich in scruples, the Red Hand willingly dive into every criminal enterprise that the snooty Casa di Mercutio turns its nose up at – including trafficking in humans.

However, the Red Hand tempers its violence with a strict code of honor, stemming from Ferrak tradition but leavened with the experience of professional banditry. Willingly and gladly, the Hand lives and dies by the sword, filling its ranks with the best fighters in the land, and accepting a high mortality rate with the calmness that comes with a deep reserve of willing applicants. The Red Hand is led, if not always wisely but always strongly, by the Council of Scars, consisting of 50 men who have killed their predecessors in single combat, and who are bound by oath to accept any challenge for their position, always in single combat in the Arena. Within the Council, leadership is a matter of respect and persuasion, with no one supreme commander.

If it wasn’t for the fact that the Red Hand is the largest and most militant of the Guilds, the other forces in Numantia would have tried to eliminate it long ago. The Casa di Mercutio views their violent presence as a constant threat to Numantian trade, and the Night Watch believe their crude style is an insult to the art of thievery. However, as long as the Red Hand’s trained bands stand as the first line of defense against would-be invaders, the other guilds accept them, if grudgingly.

The Code of the Red Hand

You Own What You Can Keep – in the Red Hand, property rights extend to the reach of a man’s sword. If a man can defend what is his, he is worthy of respect and his belongings will be respected, but a weakling will be robbed with impunity. Civilized concepts of property rights are disdained as decadent.
Only the Strong Survive, Survival Comes from Strength – the Red Hand owe their strength to the culling effect of the desert, and they honor the lessons of hardship in constant dueling, ordeals, and battles, weeding out the weak and honoring the survivors as few others. As a result, the Red Hand is one of the most meritocratic institutions in Numantia, where the only limit to advancement is your strength.

Guild Colors: Red
Guild Headquarters – the Rootless City, a travelling tent-city and slave-market that traverses the northern half of Numantia.
Center of Strength – anywhere in the North and East where Ferrak are in the majority.

Noćna Straža, The Night Watch – “To Guard the Light, Stand Watch in the Darkness”

- Oldest of the guilds
- Pragmatists; holding the line is all that matters
- Tolerant; open to all races, but cross-breeds predominate
- Preservers; they seek to keep the peace at all costs

This most ancient of thieves’ guilds is the smallest of the three, but the Night Watch makes up for in skill what they lack in numbers. The most subtle thieves and most deadly assassins in all the land petition to gain acceptance to the ranks of the Watch, but few within their elite ranks are deemed worthy. The Watch offers more independence than any other guild and offers full license to its members within its territory, while collecting only a small tithe in return.

From unnoticed pilferings and unseen deaths orchestrated from Undercities across Numantia, the Watch funds its two great institutions, the dusky jewels of Barranca. The Academia stands as the pinnacle of the Thieves’ Art, a school for rogues where the rigorous training of the Instructors, patient research of the Black Archives, and esoteric meditations of the Seekers teach the initiate the secret ways of the Shadows. The Outriders comprise the elite military arm of the guilds, whose task it is to patrol the forgotten corners of Numantia and plumb the depths of its mysteries. Emerging from caves and dungeons long since abandoned, the Outriders bring back lore for the greedy archivists, treasure for the coffers, information for the Whisperers (The Watch’s intelligence arm), and tales of fell things kept in darkness by brave men and bare steel.

For according to the Lore, the Night Watch was founded thousands of years ago by the great Consul-General Meganthes Fabianus to stand guard against the return of the God-Kings, deter the Deathless Ones, and investigate the terrors of the deep. Though memory has faded into legend, the Night Watch have held to their mission, through empire and rebellion, war and peace, keeping a long vigil in the hours of darkness. While the Night Watch is a looser confederation than the Casa or the Hand, and while it eschews the formality of the former and the bloody theatrics of the latter, the Watch does have its own customs. Whereas other guilds rule by descent or by challenge, the Night Watch chooses its leaders by an open test of wit, agility and endurance offered every 10 years. Dozens of their number enter, and almost always all of them die in the process. Every so often, though, a man will survive the ordeal known as the Desert’s Sieve, to become either Leader or Heir to the Leader. This ruler commands for the duration of his life, although failed or aged leaders have been known to deliberately wander into the desert (or be made to) to force a vacancy. This rules is sole commander of all Archivists, Instructors, Outriders, and Whispers, and sets the rules for the Watch, although it is customary for the leader to ask the consent of the Meeting House, a council of the heads of each of the Watch’s Divisions. Moram Shurj’in has stood as Commander of the Night Watch for nigh-on fifty years, and every time the Desert’s Sieve has come around, has been dismayed to see not one heir emerge from the dunes. The land is not finished with the old man yet.

Shurj’in’s Rules
Thou Shalt Not Get Caught – the Night Watch permits all crime within their borders, as long as criminals conform to the aesthetisc of agility, subtlety, and discipline that the Night Watch holds as the highest virtue. Those who display a lack of craft pride or outright incompetence find themselves staked out on the dunes to meet the sunrise.
Protect the Hidden Ways – The Night Watch, small as it is, takes its responsibility to keep outsiders out of the ruins and forbidden places and to protect the realm from what lies within. Guild members who abandon their post or fail to carry out their mission without just cause are ostracized forever. Outsiders who try to violate the prohibitions are exterminated.

Guild Colors – Black
Guild Headquarters– Barranca City, a city carved into the sides of a deep canyon and connected by rope bridges, ladders, and other contrivances.
Center of Strength – the Southern Desert, choked with ruins.

2008-07-21, 02:01 PM
The Chronicles of Numantia:

Time of the Tribes (5,000 Years Before Current Day): Since before the earliest written record, the Ferrak have lived in Numantia, before it was even called Numantia. Then a lush grasslands steppe, Ferrak tribes roamed across the endless plains following the wild herds. Life was hard and life was good. The Gods dwelt among men and heard the prayers of the pious at first hand. Raids culled the weak and gave glory to the strong, and times of peace grew the next generation. All was as it was meant to be.

The Cataclysm (Approx. 4,000 Years Before Current Day): No one remembers how it began, but the ties between Gods and Men seemed to weaken, and their Voices became harder and harder to hear. Raids became wars, wars grew more frequent and more brutal, as the victors strove to slaughter their enemies to the last child, so that they would not grow to revenge their fathers. Father warred against son, son against father, and brother against brother.

And then they came, up from the jungles of the South. The dread God-Kings, seeking new lands for conquest. They smashed aside the warriors of the Ferrak like grass before the sickle, and bore the people into slavery. The God-Kings bid the people cut the free plains into farmland, and settle into cities. Great stone monuments to the vanity of the God-Kings rose up from the prairie like the russet mountain of the north. Countless thousands of Ferrak died as human sacrifices on their altars, fuel for the blood magicks that crushed the Ferrak underfoot and kept the God-Kings alive throughout the centuries.

Countless more thousands marched south as slave levees to aid the God-kings against their ancient foes to the Southwest, the Deathless Ones. In these terrible wars, Ferrak died to the skeletal hands of their fallen foes risen up again or the foul curses of the Deathless Ones. Human sacrifices were used to build a Line of Bones to keep the war out of God-King lands, but the death tolls kept rising.

Coming of the Prophet (3,500 Years Before Current Day): The land sickened, and the wild places grew wilder. A child arose from the Ferrak slaves, who foretold a time when the God-Kings would be pulled down from their jeweled thrones. This child, who came to be called the Great Prophet, spoke of a great light from the West who would deliver the Ferrak people from bondage and hurl down the evil God-Kings. For years, the Ferrak hid the Prophet among them, sheltering him in their anonymous hovels from the informers and the reavers of their overlords. As the Prophet grew to adulthood, his preachings stirred the Ferrak into restlessness, and more and more left the slave villages to escape into the wild places, to live free from tyranny. From out of the wilderness, they struck again and again, killing the reavers and informers, torching the palaces and pleasure gardens of the God-Kings, and raising hope in the hearts of the Ferrak.

But a traitor, one of the favored acolytes of the Prophet, betrayed his teacher for a promise of high position. In a thorny ravine, the Prophet was seized and taken before the King of Kings, chief of the God-Kings. The Prophet's right eye was plucked out, and he was then bade to deny his words and proclaim his loyalty to his sorcerous masters. He refused. The King of Kings grew wrathful and had the Prophet’s right hand struck off. Still the Prophet refused. The King of Kings howled with rage, and threatened the Prophet with the Living Death – to have his heart ripped from his chest as the King of King’s sorcerers used their magicks to keep his body from dying. The Prophet laughed, telling the King of Kings that the Light from the West would come if he lived or died.

As the Prophet was lead up the stairs of the Great Altar, where he was to suffer the Living Death before a captive mob of ten thousand Ferrak slaves, a great sand-storm gathered in the West and swept across the city, obscuring the Altar from even the all-seeing eyes of the God-Kings. When the storm lifted, the Prophet had vanished.

The Light From the West (3,450 Years Before Current Day): For a time, everything was still. The Prophet was gone, and without him the wild Ferrak were reduced to mere banditry. Yet the Prophet was not dead, and the God-Kings rested uneasily on their jeweled thrones.

And then on the first day of spring, the Light came. From out of the West, the Feathered Standard of the Numantine Republic was sighted on the sails of a thousand ships. Fleeing the destruction of their island homeland by fire and water, the Numantines came off their ships in a flood of iron and silk, as the Iron Legions and the Enlightened Men came to strike fear into the hearts of the God-Kings. Their armies marched forth and the slaves rose up behind them like the wake behind an armada, as the unyielding shield walls and long spears of the Legions hurled the levee armies of the tyrants before them. The Enlightened Men rose into the air with lightning and fire at their command, smiting the God-Kings from their flying chariots, as the pure magicks of the Light cast down the corruption of blood magicks.

In the end, the King of Kings was slain upon his throne by the Consul-General Meganthes Fabianus, and freedom came at last to the Ferrak. The Numantines embraced the Ferrak as brothers, and taught them the secrets of stone and water, fire and earth. Enlightened Men brought forth wells in the desert, and the land grew fruitful once more. The clever engineers of the Legions turned their arts to peace, and built great cities, where white marble and russet sandstone blended in a million marketplaces, forums, temples, and baths. The great machines brought forth riches from the earth, a never-ending tide of gold and silver.

The Ferrak shared with their saviors the ways of the land, which plants could be eaten and which were poison, where animals unknown to the West could be found that provided hardy leathers, rich furs, sumptuous meats, and purest ivory. Together, the Ferrak and the Numantine built the Great Roads that parted the wastes and brought this land, newly named Numantia, into the world. Traders from distant lands came to bargain for the richest of Numantia, bringing silks and spices, salt and tea, lumber and ore to the marketplaces.

Enter the Qin (2000 Years Before Current Day): As the years past, Republic became Empire, and men forgot that there had ever been Republics. Numantia grew stronger and stronger. Its mighty Legions carved out great swathes of land from the jungles of the God-Kings, subdued the wild men of the Northern Mountains, and pacified the eastern tribes. Magic and spears paid back in full the blood debts owed by the Deathless Ones and the God-Kings, and the Ferrak gave thanks to the Gods for vengeance delivered.

Numantia spread North and South, and then East, ever East. At first, all they encountered on the great steppe were barbarians and nomads, people of little consequence, but no manufacturies for the silks they had once traded. Some thought this strange, but the Legions pushed on until they encountered the Great Empire of Q’in.

Pouring forth to meet the invader with their great curved bows and swift steppe ponies, the Q’in would not deign to be conquered. If the Numantians were proud, the Q’in were prouder; if the Numantians were strong, the Q’in were stronger; if the Numantians were many, the Q’in were many more. After a few decades of prickly truce, war broke out. Neither the Feathered Emperor of the West nor the Vermillion Emperor of the East would recognize the others preeminence, so a long and bloody conflict began.

Iron Legions that pushed beyond the borders of Numantia perished like flies before the black arrows of Q’in raiders; when they sought to press their advantage and invade Numantia, Q’in armies broke like waves against the obdurate opposition of the armored Knights of Numantia. Sorceries were hurled back and forth until the sands boiled and smoked, and hideous beasts rampaged across the land. Castles rose and were sacked, borders swayed back and forth like serpents, but neither side could establish a permanent victory.

And so it went for hundreds of years. The Q’in and Numantines battled each other to a standstill, along a line that stretched from the Northern Mountains to the Southern Seas. And one morning, the Numantine armies woke to find that their foes’ wise men had called up a great Wall that ran the length of the line. Fifty feet tall and fifty feet thick, the Great Wall stood shining in the sun as the Q’in disappeared behind it.

Rising of the Ferrak (1000 Years Before Current Day): After the centuries of war, the Feathered Empire was exhausted. When the childless 400th Emperor of Numantia, Demetrios Augustus, died, a civil war emerged between rival claimants. A group of Ferrak, calling themselves the Sons of the Prophet, proclaimed that the Numantians had become worse than the God-Kings of old and called upon the Ferrak to throw themselves into a great war against all non-Ferrak. Decadent and worn out from strife, the Numantians fell like wheat before the swift-moving desert raiders. Most of Numantine blood who survived the war were forced at spear point onto clumsily-made ships, into the Western Ocean from whence they had came thousands of years before.

The victorious Ferrak tore down the cities, burnt the libraries, tore up the irrigation works, and took their people into the desert to begin a life wiped clean of the mistakes of the past. They returned to the old ways, of herding and hunting, raiding and trading to the terrified outsiders who came to anchor off the shore or scuttle through the wall like ants, as if the past four thousand years had never happened.

And so they lived, tribe warring against tribe. And so they would have lived forever.

The Most Holy Wars (500 Years Before Current Day): The time of the Ferrak would not be long, however. As time past, the once savage peoples of the West grew into mighty kingdoms, where hosts of plate-clad knights sought new lands and new wars. The Numantine refugees were absorbed into their peoples, bringing their arts and sciences, but also tales of fabled riches, and dreams of revenge. The Pontifex of the Nine called for a war to bring the lands of Numantia back into the true faith, and the armies of the Westrons sailed forth to conquer for the Light, for gold, and for glory everlasting.

Though the Ferrak tried to hurl them back into the sea, the Westrons clung to the land tenaciously. The two sides warred back and forth, but the advance of the Westrons was unstoppable. Even after the Holy Wars fell into feuding and fell apart into feuding colony-kingdoms, isolated groups of Westrons ventured forth from their seaside outposts to explore and win booty from the wilderness. Then merchant outposts began to appear along the Great Trade Road, and Westron incursions became bolder and more frequent. Westron weapons and wines bought peace from local tribal chieftans, and turned tribe against tribe, so that peaceful tribes acted as buffers from the hostile tribes of the Northern hills.

More and more Westrons poured into Numantia, and many of those that came brought with them the pale eyes and dark hair of Old Numantia came to settle, drawn by ancestral memory to their once and future homeland. A Renaissance of arts and sciences had brought new technologies, new arts, and new knowledge to the Westron people, giving them military might beyond their numbers, which paled before the numbers of the Ferrak.

Forty-eight years ago, the Great Fleet of Don Giovanni Il Magnifico di Mercutio, a noble lord turned pirate, beached itself upon the Westron shore and founded the city of Shipsend. The first major Westron city was followed by the re-establishment of Quatros Esquinos as a neutral bazaar where West and East came to trade. The Gate of the Wall opened once more, and the Q’in caravans began to move in ever increasing numbers to exchange silks, teas, and spices, for salt, timber, and metals.

Where trade went, empire tried to follow behind. The warring nations of the West sought to expand their crown colonies, and military adventurers claimed great swathes of desert for the greater glory. Q’in armies sallied forth to protect the rights of their traders, establishing their own colonies int he eastern deserts, and inevitably Westron and Q'in fell to war, and Ferrak raiders warred against all sides. The wars lasted off and on for more than a decade. It seemed as if the old hatreds would never end.

The Great Rebellion (38 Years Before Current Day): But just as the newly-founded Westron Alliance and the Q’in Expeditionary Force began to clash, a new generation of Numantians, some Westron, some Q’in, some of mixed blood, grew into maturity. Proud of their independent ways and preferring their homeland remain free from imperial rule, they rose up against both sides. Don Giovanni of the Casa Mercutio signed an alliance with the Scarred Council of the Red Hand, the great bandit army of the Ferrak, and Moram Shur’jin, the mysterious old assassin who lead the Night Watch.

Combining Western technology, Eastern arts, and Ferrak ferocity, they hurled back the invaders. And the rest is history.

2008-07-21, 02:03 PM
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2008-07-21, 02:05 PM
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