Author Topic: Fjord Baronies  (Read 40143 times)

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Fjord Baronies
« on: May 10, 2013, 01:39:53 am »
Lets kick off a discussion of the Fjorlands, the culture, people, disposition and imagery.

We know that their a feudal government, the national bird is a crow/raven and I invented words for the banner on a whim "Providence by blood", meaning they rule divenly by right of their ancestry.

I'm not taking the angle that they are a religious bunch, just that it is probable that a great deal of emphasis is made on lineage and pedigree, so much so that it's almost become an ancestral cult, a persons social status possibly escalating with the achievements of their blood relatives and ancestors.

With this in mind I can see fierce power struggles taking place, along with a succession of rule based on a gravelkind to the children, different houses likely handling the passing of titles and deeds to the next generation in appropriately different ways.

Some key issues with this system might be claimants to property or titles.  For example, John was baron of the Keystone Ridges, he passed the title to his son James, who died young and passed it to his younger half brother, as James has no children, micheal.  However, John had a brother as well, who had a true born son named Alex, whose mother was also Johns  second cousin(their nobles, incest is gonna happen), giving Alex a higher percentage of blood relation to John over Michael, and is older with children of his own which would provide him with an unbroken chain of succession.  In this way, Alex can claim the title to "protect" the families fortunes from foreign invasion or a weakening of the blood.  With suitable support from the House of Johns vassals he could take the title by force, or just have Michael assassinated.

There's a fairly epic story locked away in that example that just begs to be told.

There is also the possibility of the nation existing as an elector state, the heads of households are elected from the members of the house to lead the family from one generation to the next, or it could be a combination of the two.

I believe the overall government, the "king" or "emperor" of the baronies would likely be an elector chosen from all the noble houses that have a vote on some form of congress designed to give each noble house a say in the governance of the federation.

So ya, that's my mental vomit.  I'll likely be doing something like this for each faction just for the sake of getting conversations going, or to nudge some devs to chime in with an "actually... Your wrong Tim, go back to your whales".

Offline The Churrosaur

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 01:57:53 am »
John was baron of the Keystone Ridges, he passed the title to his son James, who died young and passed it to his younger half brother, as James has no children, micheal.  However, John had a brother as well, who had a true born son named Alex, whose mother was also Johns  second cousin(their nobles, incest is gonna happen), giving Alex a higher percentage of blood relation to John over Michael

My brain...

I've always had conflicting views of the fjorlanders (?) in my head between a people named with lots of C's and Z's that eat sugar plumbs in pointy castles and one that drinks mead from horned helmets whilst pounding heavy weapons on the floor.

feudal siberian/northern european was it? I need to read that chart again.

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 02:24:55 am »
What's worse is I was trying for a simple example.  I can make it down right Byzantine in complexity, there is a possibility to create a lot of depth even in a relatively short story given enough background information.

As for their culture I kind of imagine them as French aristocracy, having a combination of both Versailles and Hare chaser nobility among their ranks.

Offline Wazulu

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 06:17:51 am »
Hmm, I've been thinking about the Baronies' hierarchy, and there are two ideas which stand out as the most applicable. Overall, at the time of our Adventure Mode, the Baronies, in some fashion, have to be united, or at least have some mechanism by which they can be united.

I'll talk about my ideas on their structure, before going into how and why they have to unite. Mostly, this is carried on from Tim's electoral ideas, but with my slighty more greed-filled tone.

From their name, 'The Baronies', it suggests the typical split houses pattern, as we've all settled upon. However, the interesting dynamic this presents is their struggle for power. Tim's showed us the chaos in a single family, but match this with 5 major families, with smaller ones in lower bands, and you have a hotbed of scheming, betrayal and power struggle. Game of Thrones, anyone?

In time before the game it is rather certain that each of the houses would have squabbled and fought for land and material. As such, deep-seated feuds will be present, with alliances broken and made for convenience. These pre-game relationships should have significant impact from a lore perspective, and this leads me onto my main meaty idea:

How do the Baronies go to war?

Logically, there is only one path to war, but it's integrity and the steps that lead up to it are in debate. What has to be assumed is that each house, by itself, does not have the military weight to take on another faction in it's full regard. With this mechanism in play, it means that the Baronies have to unite to take on a larger threat than their own bickering. However, the method this is achieved by is critical:

If we play to their Nordic heritage, we can establish a system whereby each Head of House can make a claim onto a throne or overarching Kingship. The stronger the House, the stronger the claim, yet one house itself needs allies, as it is rather probable that the second strongest house + the support of the third strongest house could overthrow the strongest claim. With the route to Kingship established, this must be viewed as a Gengis Khan-esque model. He doesn't have absolute power, but there is an honour code by which he can summon the other Houses to unite their military might to fend off foreign invaders. By this system, war with the Baronies is rather stable, as only civil war itself can destabilise the King. In this scenario it will depend on who is loyal and who sides with the Revolution. Interestingly, in the event of a poor perfomance in the war, a challenge on his claim could be made, which would allow room for political maneuvering. On that note, challenging a King's claim could either be 'My achievements are better than his', 'Everybody supports me', 'He's weakened, look at X evidence', Or, even more interestingly, perhaps a duel to the death? While that last suggestion may be a tad too barbaric for the Baronies, having mechanics such as these make them very interesting.

But, there is potential for the Baronies to go to war without a Kingship mechanic- If the threat is deemed large enough (Yeshan Empire begins a campaign of Total War) The clans may come together and reason that they must fight together. In such a case bribery and deal striking must occur, as I doubt an Eastern Clan will be to fussed by a Western clan's fears of Yesha (See map). Or, on the reverse, a threat from Chaladon would worry some, but it may not be viewed as a full conquest by Western Houses, and so they would let their Eastern cousins be slaughtered, so that they could swoop in and gain supremacy. However, an Alliance, as partial or full as it is, is heavily subject to betrayal and fracture- if a war isn't going well a clan will pull out to reinforce itself and reduce losses, or potentially to initate a first strike scenario against a rival clan. It may also be the case that the losses on the battlefield exceed the value of the deal that was struck, and with no honour code to hold them, the house will simply withdraw its troops.

Up to this point I have been treating the wars as defensive conflicts, as wars such as these present the easiest conditions for unification. However, an offensive war will be much harder to substantiate, especially in the non-Kingship model. I'll get thinking on offensive possibilites, but I'll save talking about it to another long-winded post, I guess.

Hmm. In terms of your electoral idea Tim, I personally feel as if the houses are simply too fractured and distant from one another for everyone to sit down and talk like rational people- also, the claim system establishes a more culturally Nordic system, as election, although very similar, is a modern implementation, suggesting more of a Presidential character.

To all reading, I apologize for all spelling/grammar errors, I'm a lazy proof-reader.


EDIT: I love it when Muse come over and go: 'What the hell are you folks on about? Take those foil hats off and maybe you'll listen to our lore!'

Oh, and I would gladly talk about all the factions with you Tim :) Personally, I'm really interested in Chaladon, as it's the faction I know the least about.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 06:20:02 am by Wazulu »

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 06:33:19 am »
The electoral system I'm considering was more a product of the Holy Roman Empire, the Germanic princes would elect one among their own number to lead the nation, each having to come to the newly elected emperors seat of power and pledge a renewed loyalty to the combined Empire.

This electoral system could allow flexibility for inter house conflict, with the elector king able to call on levies promised to him by all the vassals under his direct command, as well as those pledged by the electoral seat.  Each barony would have only their personal retainers to maintain law and order within their realm, or maybe not even that depending on the strength and charisma of the current elector.

I imagine for the Fjordlands to be a threat in the games present a rather strong elector would need to be in control of the baronies, ruling through a complex connection of blood ties, favors, bribes and naked force.  The sheer might if their own retinue sufficient to crush any thought of rebellion before the seed can germinate amongst his vassals.

Offline Clara Skyborn

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 11:22:23 am »
So ya, that's my mental vomit.  I'll likely be doing something like this for each faction just for the sake of getting conversations going, or to nudge some devs to chime in with an "actually... Your wrong Tim, go back to your whales".
EDIT: I love it when Muse come over and go: 'What the hell are you folks on about? Take those foil hats off and maybe you'll listen to our lore!'

Really? I feel kinda bad when I keep dropping in and going "UR ALL RONG," but if you like it...

Waz is a little closer to the mark, the king is definitely not an elected position. Lord's Leap, the Kingseat, got its name when the first king of the current reigning dynasty (Dahlberg) secured his title by having the last prince of the old house and the two lords who were his closest supporters thrown off the 200-foot waterfall that is the city's most prominent geographical feature.

Also, internally (and now, I guess, externally) I do often refer to the Baronies as the "Game of Thrones" faction. Actually, the artist who did the faction concept art just watched through the entire series at her desk while she was working on the Baronies...

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 04:12:24 pm »
It gives me a direction to continue going on a tangent.

Dynastic rule usually is what follows an elector rule anyways as one king garners enough power to change the legal system to which they have pledged to uphold.

Since its the got faction definately going to throw emphasis on blood relation, minor vassal count and monetary potential. 
An interesting note, does it have a professional retinue of men selected from levies across the realm, or does it still rely on vassal bondage to raise levies from fiefs?  The later decentralizes the naked power of the thrown, the former increases it vastly but brings more of the nobility closer to court to garner for power through commercial, marriage and industrial might.
These aren't absolutes of course, a levy system where the king simply has all the largest military fiefs would still mean the king has all.  Or if their lanister rich, they can just out fund anyone else.

Offline Ofiach

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 01:29:18 am »
Is this a Divine Right style of rule like Japan. Or is it more along the lines of "Chain of command. That chain I beat you with till you know who's in ruttin command." OR along the lines of family line kingdom, that ocassionaly gets overthrown by its neighboring lord.

From the Video I couldn't really get a feel of how the King would happen. It still seems fuzzy to me that's why I was asking a bit more specifically.

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 02:02:19 am »
That's a good question, it would change the overall flavor of the baronies.  Dynastic right by blood makes for tons of high born in fighting and possible dynastic conflicts.
Rule by divine right would shift the power balance depending on the power of the worshiping cult, if the ruler was head of church and state, or was church and state.

Offline Ofiach

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 07:30:22 am »
I was also thinking along the lines of the Shogunate for an internal structure. Honor and loyalty are highly placed perhaps? Maybe not so much a Catholic style religious king but the Emperor is gods chosen and that's that you can only squabble so much internally because no one will overthrow that blood line.

Once again just throwing ideas around.


Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2013, 02:58:47 am »
That's a pretty good one.  It allows for military dictators to rise up alongside the king if they have enough power, but allow the legitimacy of the throne to continue onwards, and possibly seize power back.

But that might be more like Chaladon than Fjordlands.

Offline Ofiach

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2013, 03:35:12 am »
I really wasn't sure like I said I'm just throwing ideas out there for you to think on, you're the one writing it.

Also This place is cold right? What are they using for heat and energy? I was thinking along the lines of the geothermal plants that greenland has. Then again that might be more Anglean with their higher tech level..... These cold weather communities are going to keep crossing me up. I can't remember where I got the idea but "Lords Leap" could be right on top of a geothermal vent and the heat rises up through the walls keeping the stronghold warm.

That's just a bit of fluff but I like the idea. :P

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2013, 03:52:26 am »
Ooo I like that fluff!

Could also be coal mines, with a caste system in place that gives a convenient location for the lowest orders of society.
Do bad things, break the law, impregnate a nobles daughter?  It's the mines for you.

Offline Ofiach

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2013, 03:57:14 am »
I like it! can you imagine being forced to work on degrading geothermal equipment at the base of Lords Leap? Coal mines would suck, but the total humidity and heat of geothermal work in a society that considers you expendable?

BRAINGASM have you ever seen Deep Space 9? When it was Terrak Nor (SP?) and the Bajorans had to work in the refineries onboard? Conditions like that XD evil.

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Re: Fjord Baronies
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2013, 04:02:48 am »
YES!  Omg, fjords could have huge assembly lines of practical slave labor on the lowest castes doing repetitive labour in the place of complex machinery.
of course, I blame the merchants guild for all of it.
There was this anime short, can't remember it's name, where an entire city existed for the purpose of manufacturing and shooting massive cannons all over the city.  Every facet of the city was dedicated in some way to making the guns fire, used to hit an enemy in a moving city that they never saw themselves yet their government insured was out there.  I could see propaganda used in this fashion to keep lower castes in place.