Verland, the last kingdom in the west
battle report:Rats over lowbridge (prologue)
Battle report:Rats over lowbridge AAR
As shown in the older posts i have shown the lay of the land and have given some detail of the first nation (a touch garbled but hey!). The idea of doing these posts are two fold. First its made up of ideas that have formed a setting that i love to game in and have kind of stuck together over the years while gaming and designing armies to collect. The secondis that it seems a shame to just keep it to myself, why not share some ideas to either provide some starting points for others that want to game in a different setting and to also give some insight into creating your own setting so others may be inspired to make their own. Oh, and so i can game this setting on Wronghammer without totally confusing the rest of the online world!.
So anyway onto the second nation of the setting and arguably the most powerful in terms of military and economic clout:
THE GUILD ALLIANCE
Back to the dodgy map again!
The Guild Alliance rose to power during the period after the age of strife. During this time the smaller Kingdoms in the west that united with Verland to turn back the forces of the Shadow were all but ruins. Slowly they rebuilt and began to grow but required heavy taxation to do so. Before long they were back to their old ways raiding each others borders and playing out old grudges. During this period tradesmen in the Kingdom of Orrane decided to join together to protect their interests during this unrest to ensure they could maintain a living and continue to prosper. These early agreements were soon copied by other industries such as the money lenders and farmers, smiths and artisans. Before long these groups banded together for strength and support against the crowns demands for harsher taxes and conditions. The guilds soon began to lend money to the crown to help support the nation and lessen the demands on the common people. Before long the other Kingdoms had similar alliances to protect the common classes. The rise of guilds in Equintadore and L,etten were swift and word spread to Redstone before long. Soon these groups were sharing ideas and working loosely together. Without the groups realizing it they were the economic power of the west. 20 years after the rise of the guilds the crown of L'etten attempted to outlaw these groups due to a fear that they were becoming too powerful among the unwashed masses (not to mention the kings chronic paranoia caused by substance abuse!). This led first to strikes and trade bans and ended with the crown putting troops in the field to murder striking workers. The struggle was ended when common folk and guild members from surrounding areas overwhelmed the royal army and stormed the palace in a bloody revolution!. L'etten' became the first republic in the history of the west and it sparked the spirit and ambition of the guilds in the area!. The next action happened when the guilds of Equintadore and Redstone called in all debts they were owed by the respective royal families of the country. Over the years these sums had become staggering as they were in essence able to replace the bulk of taxation with guild lending. This act threatened to bankrupt these nations and gave the ruling classes two clear choices, they could pay and face years of hardship and a loss of power to the guilds or they could refuse and risk uprisings like the one in L'etten'!. Both Kings chose the latter and struck at the guilds. However the Guilds were in such a strong position they could not hope to beat them. They had the support of the masses, allies in the other nations that shared their borders and enough economic power to buy armies of sellswords to fight for them. It was not long before the Kingdoms fell into the hands of the Guilds. Soon the Ruling family of Orrane fled in the night fearing revolution in their own country and the Kingdom of Arradan called in the crown of Verland to protect them from the tide of change sweeping the nations!. Verland were happy to send troops to protect Arradan as it formed a buffer between Verland and the guilds areas in the south. Over 5 years the west was transformed from a group of childish kingdoms at odds with each other to a solid alliance of guilds working together for their own prosperity. Only Arradan stood as a free Kingdom but only because of the actions of a kingdom powerful enough to fend off the young guilds.
A guild force advances through the southern outlands
THE MODERN GUILDS
The guilds strength has continued to grow and now they are the richest single entity in the world. They control most of the trade in the west and are involved with almost all major economic actions in some way. They lend money to most groups and nations and use this to further their influence. In truth they learned an important lesson during the revolutions and now hold a vice like grip over many important groups and rulers who have no hope of paying the debts they owe the guilds. However money is not the only way to pay, the guilds are happy to take on informants and to use this power to influence the actions of the nations they lend to. The guilds are still interested in expanding its influence and are aggressive when they want to take an area of strategic, economic or military importance. They hold the largest standing army in the world and is the only force of fully professional troops. They have no trouble raising forces as they dont allow any destitute peoples in their nation, they either have to go into poor houses (almost prisons where they work long hours for food and a roof) or join the army. Criminals are also either imprisoned or forced to join up for life. The army is harsh but very well organized and run and is the pride of the guilds.
The guild run nation is governed by a High counsel of guild leaders. these leaders are elected from within the highest ranks of their own guilds every 5 years. It is said however that the seats are less decided by ballot but through influence, gold and the assasins blade!. Each area is under the influence of the counsel and run by a high Governor who implements the orders and policies of the high counsel. He is served by a series of lesser Governors that serve their own areas again implementing the orders of those above. The position of Governor is highly sort after and like most of the leaders in the Guild system gives ample chance for corruption and personal gain!. As the size of the operations the guilds oversee is ever growing the use of policy is key in keeping the people at all levels acting for the good of the Guilds. Laws are kept by policy, disputes are judged by policy, trade is performed in line with policy. As long as policy is adhered to life is good. For the lower classes they are encouraged to lead useful lives. Children must be apprenticed to a trade by the time they are 5 and this will be their life. Personal growth and wealth is encouraged as the ideal and working toward the growth of the guilds is seen as the point of working life. These ideals and policies are encouraged by the local Governors through their personal team of enforcers. The enforcers are men trained to be part local police, part community reps and part brute squad. they regularly walk the streets and collect the guilds fees from members. Those not adhering to the guilds standards are punished, sometimes through economic sanctions but often through violence!. They are greatly feared and have a massive influence in all aspects of life, intimidating the locals who live in fear of them. They are chosen by the Governor they serve for their size, lack of morals and ability to blindly follow orders. They earn good livings and often run their own protection rackets and take bribes on the side.
The guilds are by far the most advanced nation as far as developing new processes and tech. They developed black powder and sold it to other nations as well as adapting the pike as the primary infantry weapon in the modern age. They have the reputation of being at the fore front of production methods and use the population to further their aims rather than operating for their own prosperity. The guilds engineers have recently discovered steam power and have developed quite a few new applications for this including the steam piston and boiler. This is slowly rolling out in industry and has led to the development of weird new military applications such as the steam cannon and steam behemoth, although both are strictly developmental and untested in the field.
THE GUILD ARMY TODAY
Enforcing Guild rule!!!
The common solder will be trained in a dedicated battlefield roll and will be well drilled and trained. His equipment will be mass produced and uniform armor patterns are used according his roll. The rolls are:
Pikemen, the mainstay of the infantry.
Musketeers, using the latest muskets, often deployed in a block supporting the pikes.
Swordsmen, used in a flexible roll.
Billmen and Light crossbows used in a supporting roll
Marksmen and Cannon crew, those that show talent for these rolls are given special training.
Heavy Horse, unlike most nations the guild use the most promising men as cavalry rather than leaving the roll to nobility. If you are suited to the roll you will be trained to do it.
Due to this training and organization the army is very tight knit, Officers are raised from those that show the relevant abilities rather than through rank of birth. Anyone can rise to lead and this makes the respect for leadership more real as the troops feel that officers are one of them.
As well as the common troops sometimes enforcers take to the field armed with huge swords and small muskets.
Enforcers in their finery.
Also it is not unknown for developmental weapons to go into the field, weapons using the new steam tech are seen on rare occasions.
The Steelside land ship!. (by Ironclad miniatures, very cool stuff!).
The guild armies are also keen users of sell swords to bolster their numbers and strength. It is not unknown for an army to be made up of all sell swords to desguise the guilds actions (they do dress troops as sell swords to confuse opponents and blame other nations for the guilds actions!).
As you can see i have gone for a 16th century Spanish style for the army but its up to you how you go, as long as they have a tech level in advance of the rest of the world you are good to go. It also means i have a table ready warhammer Estillian army!. The minis i have used are a mix of Zvesda, red box and revell.
As ever with this project use what you want and if it sparks some ideas feel free to go with them!. Or ignore it...whatever really, im amazed you made it to the end!, give your self a pat on the back and a treat of your choice!.
Anyhow, till next time!