Re: Knight Fort

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Fri 30 Jan 1998 - 23:32:00 EET


Jim Gould asked:

>>When was Knight Fort built in Prax? Who did it? And where is it; my poor
>>eyes can't see it on any of my maps. I can make up answers to these, but if
>>there's a semi-canonical source it would be nice to be enlightened.

And Peter replied
>I don't know who built it but my guesses are either the God Learners
>when they controlled God Forgot and/or the Pharaoh. It could have
>even been a recent construct dating from King Richard the Tiger-hearted.

The God Learners are my guess, too, unless the early settlers of the Leftarm
Isles did that - they were sort of Malkioni after all, and knew about castles.

Belintar seems to be quite late, possibly too late. If it has to be 3rd Age,
take the Ralian merchant princes who arrived in Kethaela around 1150 at
latest, and who settled parts of southern Heortland.

Knight Fort features strongly in my campaign history. IMG it looks like Krak
des Chevaliers, and has fallen into disuse several times, only to be rebuilt
possibly grander than its predecessor.

Around 1610 or so, the Pharaoh and the King of Heortland felt that their
presence in southwestern Prax needed some reinforcement in response to the
Lunar conquest of Pavis, so they financed some overdue repairs on the old
castle and stationed a contingent of mercenaries there to relieve the
marcher barons who had held that border for most of Belintar's reign.
(Originally they came there as dissidents fleeing from the same civil wars
which drove the Quivini settlers into Dragon Pass.)

IMG around 1612 Brian of the Volsaxi went there as a mercenary, in order to
expiate/sit out the consequences of an unfortunate killing. (I figured that
he would have been unavailable in Sartar during Starbrow's rebellion, or he
would have sent support, probably led it himself; since Starbrow and others
went south to stay with him, he had to be somewhere around Heortland. He
became prominent in Heortland in 1615 or so, coincidentally years which saw
an increase in Volsaxi raids into Lunar occupied Sartar.

IMG Brian was relieved by Richard the Tigerhearted's mercenary company which
had reached Nochet around this time. Richard had the castle brought up to
Ralian/Seshnegi standards, and had a few smashing victories when his
horse-riders countercharged a bison charge... These feats earned him an
invitation to the court in Durengard. The rest of the history is described
on my webpage, or in response to Richard Develyn's wish-list...

IMG the marcher barons are a strange mix of arch-conservative extremists,
both rigidly traditional Orlanthi and hardliner Malkioni, who have in common
their disdain for the weak-minded Hendriki kingdom and their hatred against
the Praxians. This is why they enjoy to hire out to Praxians to aid them in
tribal struggles...

The marcher barons themselves have slightly old-fashioned chivalry
(crusader-style armed lancers) and a fairly effective foot militia,
supported by Pol-Joni-style light cavalry as skirmishers. Most of the time
they are scattered around the holdings along the border to protect their
herds and meagre fields from Praxian nomads. Knight Fort is a rallying point
for them, and situated so that nomads retreating with their booty can be
harrassed. They maintained a small permanent guard at Knight Fort, among
others to keep control over the resident Oasis Folk farmers (and to prevent
beast nomads from using the Fort as a base).

Assuming Dragon Pass sized units in Nomad Gods, the non-permanent force at
Knight Fort after 1610 seems to have been 500 riders and 1000 foot (or
rather dismounted barbarian cavalry). Of these, I'd have about one fifth
permanently at the fort - the mercenary company. The rest would be the
barons' levy plus Bandori tribe volunteers. Given the constant threat of the
Praxians, I would estimate that the barons could muster up to 10% of their
populace under arms, and twice to thrice that number for self defence, so
there would be around 12,000 marchers in total spread over the Praxian
border - in small fortified farming villages, or around small manors. Think
wild west, crusaders around Edessa, or Redlands, and you get an idea.
(Unlike in the Redlands here the sedentary defenders ride the horses, though...)

Marchers live mostly by raising cattle and harvesting what little grain will
grow on their irrigated fields. There are streams available from the Storm
Mountains which get lost somewhere in Orani's Mistake, or drain into the
Fort River which runs over the Praxian cliff into the marshland of the
Rozgali Sea coast. This river is seasonal at best, and usually can be forded
anywhere. Only in late Storm Season crossings can be difficult.

Anyway, that's Knight Fort in my campaign. Yours might differ...

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