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Fort Doomby Niels Just Rasmussen from Threshold Magazine issue 1
Before the Thyatian invasion the westernmost Traladaran people used to keep to themselves, as they were isolated from other Traladaran settlements by ominous forests full of humanoids and other dangerous creatures. The small fishing village of “Old Halag” had both daring fishermen that sailed into the Gulf of Halag catching big game with long lines and coastal fishermen using nets. In the flat lands around Old Halag you could find some excellent farmland where thousands of farmers made their living. All of these people had together built a walled inland town - “New Halag” - which was protected both from pirate attacks from the sea and from humanoid attacks from the forests. There, fishermen and farmers could exchange goods under the jurisdiction of a Mayor appointed by all the male elders of the region -- all free men of 40 years of age and older could vote. The Mayor was appointed for life (or until his wits failed him) and he sat in the council with an elder fisherman and an elder farmer that together had the power to veto the Mayor's decisions or remove him from office if they agreed he was unable to lead.
When the Thyatians invaded in 900 AC and took over Marilenev (renaming it Specularum) the Halag region was mostly unaffected, since it was far away and not in any way a trade center that was tax worthy. The Halag Traladarans were very superstitious and regarded halflings, elves and dwarves as tricksters to be avoided. So they kept to themselves as they had done for centuries, not even trading with the halflings in the Five Shires just across the Gulf of Halag.
Their age-old isolation was brutally broken in 970 AC when the Ludwig von Hendriks and his Hattian cavalry suddenly came crashing out of the woods into the plains with far greater speed and coordination that any humanoid raid. The Traladaran swere overwhelmed and many farmers could not flee in time to safety behind the walls of New Halag. The attacking Hattians had taken many farmers hostage and threatened to kill them before the walls unless Halag opened its gates. The horrified populace was at first indecisive, but the elders bade them stand firm. But after the displays of cruelty before the walls, many farmers faltered, fearing that their family members were the next to be killed, and they opened the gates. The Hattians poured in; von Hendriks and his men confiscated all property and rounded up all the leaders and their families and executed them in the main square as punishment. Those who had opened the gates for the Thyatians were spared and allowed to keep some of their property.
Over the last 30 years the Traladaran population has been reduced to slavery, working at strengthening the fortifications of the town and building castles and manors for the Thyatian elite led by von Hendriks. The entire Traladaran population, with the exception of the few traitors who had turned to work for the Thyatians, has been relocated to New Halag, now known as Fort Doom (or, as the Hattians call it, "Festung Verhängnis"). The new town is much larger than the old one -- 10,000 people now live there.
Layout of the Town
The buildings around the market square, which was the original center of the town, have been confiscated and repurposed into army barracks, bureaucratic offices and food storage. Goods and produce brought in from the surrounding farmlands and fish caught by the fishermen are registered, labelled, and stored here, mostly for use of the Thyatian élite.
The city is protected by walls, and four gates allow entrance to the town. The Northeastern gate is the largest and controls a paved road leading to Luln. The road is sufficiently well kept as to allow wagons to pass. The Southwestern gate is the second largest. It leads to the harbour, which lies around five miles away. The road here is also paved, but it is narrower than the Luln road.
The Northern and Southern gates have gravel roads leading out to the surrounding farms. These two gates are a lot narrower and not well suited for large wagons, although carts can negotiate them.
The city walls are five meters high, and guards patrol the parapets (4 meters up). Fortified guard houses protect the gates, overseeing the raising and lowering of double iron gates. All gates are down during the night. Guards also control every movement in and out of the town asking for papers and searching all belongings and goods thoroughly.
The town is bureaucratically split into 5 different districts:
Center District is the smallest district and is for the soldiers, bureaucrats and their families, and other dignitaries either local or visiting. This district is exclusively inhabited by Thyatians (or foreigners supporting the regime).
Western District is the home of the Traladaran fishermen. It is the largest district spanning the northwest all to the southwest of the town.
Northern District is the second smallest district and is for the farmers tending the farms which lay to the north of the town.
Northeast District is a medium-sized district and is home to Thyatian merchants as well as Traladaran prisoners working on the gigantic Black Eagle Castle being built to the Northeast of the town.
Southern District is the second largest and is for the farming families working to the east and south of the town.
The buildings in town are mostly close-standing, single-storied cottages for the fishing and farming families. Buildings around the center square have several stories. Also ,some of the houses in the Northeast district along the road leading from the town center to Luln are multi-storied.
While Fort Doom is an inland town, the western road leads to a harbour area a few miles away. Many fishing boats and the great ship "Eisen Flotte" lies here, but few live here permanently. Guards are stationed to patrol it, but the Traladaran fishermen are forced to live inside of Fort Doom itself. The harbour has a pier and several small warehouses, as well as a large guardhouse. The barracks of the 6th Fähnlein, one of the units of the Baron’s army, are located here as well.
Half a mile north of the harbour, a tower is under construction for the use of the Baron’s magist, Bargle. So far only three underground levels and the base level are completed. The tower also has its own small harbour.
A couple of miles northeast of Fort Doom, along the road to Luln, Ludwig von Hendriks is building an enormous castle on an artificial hill. Traladaran prisoners work themselves to death on this immense building project1. The Baron has had the castle designed on a grand scale, to rival the largest fortifications in the Known World.
Important characters of the realm
Freiherr (Baron) Ludwig von Hendriks
A first cousin of Duke Stefan Karameikos, Ludwig von Hendriks is half Hattian (through his father) and half Kerendan, but he strongly identifies as a Hattian conservative, to the point that he employs the traditional Hattian title “Freiherr”, rather than his actual Thyatian title of Baron. He hates both his cousins, Stefan Karameikos and Alexius Korrigan, for being both more popular and lucky than himself in their youth.
Ludwig is a pathological liar and a psychopath, who utterly believes he is always right2. He can be very charming towards people when he wants to, as when receiving guests or when he wants to achieve some political goal or favour, but his charm is only skin-deep.
From an outside point of view, Ludwig is an evil, totally self-centered man, utterly uncaring for anyone but himself. In his own perspective, however, he is the good guy -- Ludwig sees himself as a protector of the true “Thyatianism” in its purest form, as held by the Hattian conservative ideology. In fact, Ludwig believes that Duke Stefan Karameikos is a very dangerous man -- a traitor to the Thyatians. The Duke, indeed, is building a country that supports equality between Thyatians, Traladarans and even mixed “bastards”, as von Hendriks would call them. “What's next? The Duke wants to mix Thyatians with goblins and orcs”, is a common quote -- quite ironic, since the Baron routinely employs goblinoids. The Duke, in Ludwig’s eyes, is clearly both too weak to support the Thyatian ideals, and pursuing evil goals.
Ludwig knows that to demonstrate the errors of the Duke’s rulership and win the hearts of the more conservative Thyatians, he needs to prove his point in practice. Thus, his plan is to portray the old Traladaran town of Halag as a perfect example of cleanliness and order, where Thyatian superiority keeps control over conquered lesser people. Visitors are told that Freiherr von Hendriks is “educating" and "correcting" the Traladaran people to the "light of culture and civilisation", but since many of them tend to retain their antiquated, superstitious ways, they need to be "ruled by a firm hand for their own good".
Freiherr von Hendriks is formally a follower of Vanya. He surrounds himself with fanatical followers of that Immortal, primarily Hattians. Von Hendriks appreciates these kind of people since they are easy to understand and control. In contrast, he is deeply suspicious of people with personal ethics or that question orders, as he expects blind obedience from his followers. In truth, Ludwig von Hendriks only follows Vanya because he likes war and hates peace. He has no personal reverence for Vanya3. War is the way to achieve glory and recognition and to keep the Thyatian spirit strong and feared among other nations -- "War is character-building," as Ludwig likes to say.
His other prestige project is the immense castle he is building northeast of Fort Doom. Its gates and castle are to project an image of martial power and ordered cleanliness in contrast to Traladaran provincialism, and demonstrate all the signs that Hattian culture is holding true to Thyatian principles. He has commissioned immense marble statues, one of Vanya as the triumphant goddess, and an equestrian one of himself, in field plate with shield and raised sword.
Duke Stefan Karameikos is yet unaware that his cousin Ludwig has been plotting his demise since childhood. Thus far the Duke has been lucky to survive several attempts on his life from both his cousin Ludwig and from Traladarans. The Duke is still convinced his cousin Ludwig is a lawful and faithful follower and that he is being wrongfully accused by political opponents as a result of the initial Traladaran rebellion.
Traladaran refugees in both Luln and Specularum have told stories about the evils going on in Fort Doom. Townmistress Sascia of Luln, in particular, has been very vocal about Baron von Hendriks in her reports to Specularum. Even one powerful Thyatian, Lord Alexius Korrigan, the Duke’s Seneschal, has voiced concern about continuing crimes being committed against the Traladaran population. The Duke is caught in a difficult position, as he is pressed to believe one of his cousins over the other. Thus, he has acted indecisively up to now.
Meanwhile, Freiherr von Hendriks has started agitating among the Thyatians against the accusations. In Ludwig von Hendriks’ own view he is the good guy and the efforts done by Lord Alexius Korrigan in spreading these lies are essentially the spreading of evil. If other Thyatians start to listen to these lies, they could destroy years of work in bringing prosperity to Karameikos, and they could even lead to a new Traladaran uprising.
The key concept in his campaign is the following, as stated at political meetings by Ludwig himself: "Rebellious forces of the Traladaran resistance try to remove me and spread discord among the Thyatians. But should I fall, the Duke will be next and all Thyatian holdings will be in jeopardy". Whether this is true or not, most Thyatians believe it.
Thus removing his cousin could spark a Traladaran uprising, since these horrors will have to be formally admitted, instead of remaining rumours. The Duke also knows that hardline Thyatians might take the side of "cousin Ludwig" and lead to a civil war among the Thyatians, another event that could easily spark a Traladaran uprising. His political advisors tell him to remain ignorant and naive in the matter, so that is his policy towards his cousin unless he goes into open rebellion: "See nothing, hear nothing, say nothing."
Ritter Konrad von Messerfeld, High priest of Vanya
Freiherr Ludwig von Hendriks has a trusted "lieutenant" (as much as it is possible for him to trust anyone), Ritter Konrad von Messerfeld (C12). Von Messerfeld is the high priest of Vanya in the Barony and is an utterly fanatical Hattian conservative. He is most grateful that Vanya has such a warmongering benefactor. In case of a civil war with the Duke, the high priest will order his followers to side with Ludwig von Hendriks against the Duke. Konrad von Messerfeld and his men are ready for war and has personally been blessed by Vanya with a new spell recently, Vanya’s Battlefield.
Sidebar (new spell): Vanya's Battlefield
6th level clerical spell.
Range: 500 yards in radius from a War Banner of Vanya.
Duration: Until battle has ended
Effect: All sentient creatures within range
The caster establishes a center point on the consecrated battlefield, which must be a banner of Vanya. The caster has to hold the banner when casting the spell, but can then give it to another person. Around this banner, the power of Vanya makes sure that “proper” fighting takes place, making it impossible for casters on both sides to concentrate on their spells or for items to be activated. This is a kind of internal anti-magic shell. Magic bonuses to items will still function normally.
Any creatures that showed up to fight voluntarily get no saving throw, but creatures caught in range of the spell that had no intent to fight get a save. If they miss, they will flee the battlefield for the duration of the battle. If they succeed, they can observe the battle unaffected, but should they join the fight they will be affected by the spell and be unable to cast spells or use magical items. It also makes people dispel any magic cast on themselves or the area, because they get in a fighting mood. Only unaffected non-combatants can have spells active.
All armies (both friends of the caster as well as foes) fighting in this zone will never retreat, surrender or show mercy. The caster's army gets a +10 bonus to Morale and ignores any Fatigue if using War Machine. Enemy armies don’t receive a Morale bonus, but will not be subject to fatigue either. The spell remains in effect until one side is annihilated.
Bargle the Sybarite4
Spionagechef (Spymaster) Bargle (MU15) is a much less trusted "lieutenant". Bargle is head of the "Iron Ring" network. He is not its creator, but has taken control of it, which makes him able to provide Ludwig von Hendriks with intelligence from the underworld outside his realm. Not that the Baron fully trusts this intelligence -- he has numerous Thyatian informers of his own across both Karameikos and Thyatis. Bargle, however, gives him enough information to remain important and the two men have an uneasy truce. So long as Bargle knows his place, the status quo is preserved.
Bargle appears to Freiherr von Hendriks as a flashy, 30 year old dandy magician interested in sophistication and fine dining. He tries to appear much less powerful and ambitious than he actually is, though he suspects that the paranoid Freiherr is not easily fooled. For now Bargle is not interested in rulership, since he is quite bored by politics. Being a crime kingpin is much more fun.
Ludwig von Hendriks has commissioned a Wizard’s Keep for Bargle, to compensate him for his services. Spies and prisoners can be shipped in and out of this tower through the "Eisen Flotte" fairly unnoticed. The tower is distant enough from the town to allow the wizard to conduct his experiments without causing undue disturbances. Indeed Bargle, both out of scientific curiosity and being a psychopath, has a keen interest in testing the limits of human, demihuman and humanoid endurance to different types of pain, as well as the use of pain for indoctrination and information gathering.
No one is known to have seen Bargle’s true form and survived. The wizard is always in disguise and has a number of doubles. These doubles are the highest measure of his powers as well as the focus of his current magical studies. Each double looks exactly like Bargle’s public persona, thanks to extensive magical transformation. Each double’s mind has been completely shattered, and each believes themself to be Bargle, but in the service of an unknown master that reports to them telepathically and in dreams. With their minds disrupted to this extent, however, the doubles are quite helpless, unless closely directed by Bargle himself. He can use them to cast spells, although he can manage only low level magics. Every report of Bargle being killed is likely to be a double and it only increases the fear when he seems to come back again and again.
Sidebar (new spell): Puppet-Master
7th level magic user spell.
Range: Touch (victims mind has to be broken down first).
Effect: One living human, demihuman, or humanoid.
The victim has first to be mentally broken down until it is lethargic and in a state of total apathy. Then the caster imprints his mind on the "tabula rasa" - the blank slate. The victim gets no saving throw, since it is already broken mentally.
The victim is then convinced that he is the caster (it is after all the only "mind" in its skull now), but being controlled by some supreme being. The victim is utterly loyal to this supreme being and will not act on its own accord. The caster can control the puppet through his own thoughts telepathically - so long as they are on the same plane - since there is a shared mental link between them.
The puppets have limited magical capabilities. They can cast 1st and 2nd level spells memorized by the puppetmaster at the point of their creation, but are themselves incapable of learning new spells. The puppets are immune to all mind-affecting spells since they are already mind-controlled. The puppets have no idea other puppets exist and will never believe it even if shown the evidence.
The caster can have 1 puppet for every 2 levels of experience, but no more than their Intelligence ability score. A 36th level Magic User with 18 Intelligence can thus control 18 puppets.
Bargle has so far made four doubles, three of which are still alive5, and is working on creating more. The first double remains at Ludwig von Hendriks’ court in his castle. Bargle uses this double to mask his activities, and appear less ambitious and far reaching than he really is. The second is stationed in Specularum -- Bargle uses it to control the Iron Ring there. The third remains in the Wizard Keep, from where it controls the Iron Ring operations in the harbour. The real Bargle is down in the dungeons in disguise as "Chief Torturer Gelbar" (an anagram of Bargle) or travelling incognito around the world to increase his knowledge and power. If anyone goes after him, they will likely kill the wrong Bargle.
Army of the Black Eagle Barony
Freiherr (Baron) Ludwig von Hendriks is the overall commander (General) of the army if he takes to the field.
Ritter (Knight) and High Priest of Vanya Konrad von Messerfeld is the "Oberst" (Colonel) of "Der Schwarze Adler Schwere Bataillon" (The Black Eagle Heavy Battalion), which is composed of 200 Hattian heavy cavalry. This unit patrols the north and northeastern part of the Barony, especially along the Luln road6. Von Messerfeld is in command of the whole army when Freiherr Ludwig von Hendriks is not present. He carries a Banner of Vanya (see sidebar for spell description) into battles as the Hattian Warriors are clerics or followers of her.
The nickname of the unit is "Verhängnislanze" (Lance of Doom) and doom is certainly what they have brought to the many Traladarans trying to escape towards Luln or humanoids trying to attack. The men are equipped with field plate, lances, long swords and kite shields and the horses have plate armour.
Von Messerfeld is assisted by two "Rittmeister" (Captains), who are regarded as "Edler" (Landed Lords). They each control one hundred cavalrymen of the Black Eagle Heavy Battalion. Each of these subdivisions are called "Schwadron" (squadron). The two Rittmeister are Adelbert von Lindenhof and Gerhardt von Schmeissen. Both are followers of Vanya, but they are ordinary fighters, not clerics. The two sub-units are known as "Schwadron von Lindenhof" and "Schwadron von Schmeissen".
Six "Leutnants" (Lieutenants) are regarded as "Junkers" (Court Lords), which allows them to include a "von" in their names. This rank does not exist in the Black Eagle Heavy Battalion -- Officers of this rank commands auxiliary non-Hattian platoons called "Fähnlein".
Five of the Leutnants are appointed and promoted from a Black Eagle Heavy Battalion "Feldwebel" (sergeants) to lead a platoon, except for the 1st Fähnlein that (as a Thyatian mercenary unit) is allowed to promote its leader from their own ranks. There are 6 platoons, numbered Fähnlein 1-6. The leader of the 6th Fähnlein is called "Kommandant" instead. The Leutnants can then later get promoted back into the Black Eagle Heavy Battalion as Rittmeister.
Several "Feldwebel" (Sergeants) leads 10 men in the Black Eagle Division or 5 men in the Fähnleins. A Hattian/Thyatian general soldier is called a "Landsknecht" (rank as corporal) while the Traladarans and Humanoid are called "Schlägerkopf(e)" - meaning "Clubhead(s)" - which is the lowest rank (private).
1st Fähnlein: 50 Kerendian-Thyatian Mercenaries. The "Equitum Honoris" (Honour Cavalry) is the most prestigious of the six platoons. It is also the only platoon where non-Hattians are allowed officer rank, so they have a Kerendian "Leutnant" (Lieutenant). They guard the gates and patrol the walls. Ten men are assigned to each gate, with the remaining held as reserve. They also act as a mounted fighting force when needed. They are regarded as medium cavalry, more mobile and faster than the Black Eagle Heavy Battalion. The mercenaries are equipped with chain mail armor, long sword and spear, while the horses are unarmoured.
2nd Fähnlein: 50 Hattian, Thyatian or mixed heritage young Skirmishers and Scouts "Die Jungen Wölfe". This unit also enjoys some prestige, but is not regarded as an élite unit -- it is primarily the training ground for the sons of veteran soldiers. Here they can learn before being moved to the élite Black Eagle Heavy Battalion or the 1st Fähnlein. These skirmishers are footmen in charge of the hostages brought into the city center and also take part in the hunt for fleeing Traladarans beyond the town walls. Each is equipped with leather armour and a long sword.
3rd Fähnlein: 50 Traladaran Criminals. "Pumnale Sãngeroase" (Bloody daggers). This is the dirty jobs platoon, used to keep the population in fear. It is regarded with utter contempt by the Thyatians, but the members are secured a much better life in it than out of it. The members have no alternatives, as they are wanted criminals elsewhere, so they are very loyal. They are only patrolling inside Fort Doom. They carry clubs and serrated daggers, but have no armour.
4th Fähnlein: 50 Orc warriors. "Die Schweine-Hunde" (The Pig-Dogs). These unusually loyal raiders can avoid being noisy and overly smelly compared to other orcs. They are mostly sent on missions towards Luln. They have mixed equipment of all kinds, mostly of poor quality and they are on foot.
5th Fähnlein: 50 Elite Goblinoids (bugbear, hobgoblin) from the woods south of Fort Doom. "Die Nachtschatten-Jäger" (Nightshade Hunters). The strongest warriors of the tribes from the southern woods join this force. They are employed to harass food transports to Radlebb Keep and keep the garrison there spread out patrolling, as well as to keep other humanoids from entering Black Eagle territory. They have mixed equipment of all kinds, mostly of poor quality and they are on foot.
6th Fähnlein: 92 Mercenary naval personnel of mixed background (including many foreigners). "Die Eisen Flotte" (The Iron Fleet). With a somewhat exaggerated name, the “Iron Fleet” is just a Troop Transport armed with 2 light catapults. Its crew includes the "Kommandant" (equivalent to a Leutnant), 20 sailors, 12 light catapult operators and 30 marines. It is mainly used to capture people along the coast and hold them in the cargo deck until sold as slaves (or given to Bargle for his experiments for instance). It is also used in trade, as it is strong enough to avoid most pirate attacks.
Thirty more marines guard the harbour, register catches and escort fishermen to and from Fort Doom. The crew on the boat are called 6th Fähnlein A and the crew on land are called 6th Fähnlein B, though the marines rotate their duties from A to B every month. Equipment consists of leather armour, crossbows and short swords.
Serving in the 3rd or 6th Fähnlein is a way for Traladarans to escape the Baron’s oppression, although it comes at a terrible cost. Veterans from these units can receive as compensation farms that are more distant from Fort Doom. These Traladaran families still have to have all their grain and animals registered, but are allowed to keep more for a better lifestyle. They can live on their farm and do not have to rapport back in town or send hostages.
The 3rd Fähnlein members are the worst of all - even worse than the humanoids. They prove themselves "eager" by performing truly horrendous acts. While the Hattians are mostly cold, fanatical combat machines, these traitors love what they are doing, and they are rewarded for their sadism. The humanoids have orders to hold back and are selected for their (relative) discipline, whereas these Traladarans are chosen for their cruelty.
Laws of Fort Doom
The law in Fort Doom is based on the Thyatian attitude of "Vae Victis" (“woe to the conquered”). If you are weak enough to let yourself be conquered, then you cannot expect any rights. Only "Might makes Right" and Vanya blesses the stronger warriors. The Traladarans were easily vanquished and thus are beneath contempt. They are rightly slaves and have no rights. Even more, their pathetic immortals and their superstitions make them hardly more sophisticated than humanoids.
To keep the Traladarans where they belong a system of patrolling and personal identification and registration (through identification papers) is employed. Street patrolling is done by the 3rd, 4th and 5th Fähnlein in Fort Doom, and 6th Fähnlein B at the harbour, since it is not considered a job suitable for Thyatians. Identification papers also report infractions and crimes (“disobediences”) committed by the holder, allowing the patrols to keep track of wrongdoers. Copies of the personal papers are kept by the bureaucracy at the center square.
The troops are allowed to harass the local population, although the extent of such harassment depends on the victim’s worth to the Baron’s regime. Traladarans with no disobediences are only to be asked for papers and inspected - but not otherwise mistreated. Traladarans with one disobedience should not be killed, but can be otherwise mistreated. Traladarans with two disobediences are imprisoned in the special camps in the NorthEast District to work on the Black Eagle Castle. They can be killed if they cause any disturbance or do not work fast enough. Three disobediences lead to execution on the town square.
Guidelines for the patrol
1) Traladarans are expected to carry their personal papers on them at all time, even when at home. Forgetting to have papers on the person when inspected will result in one disobedience. Guards will follow the person home to wherever he say he has forgotten the papers. Loss of papers will warrant a further disobedience. Traladarans are only allowed to move within their own district and center square. Catching a person in an illegal district gives one disobedience.
2) Traladarans can be inspected and searched anywhere by any Black Eagle soldier or Schlägerkopf, even within their own homes and at any hour. Traladarans do not own anything so any item can be taken. Beware not to take materials essential to their profession (fishermen and farmers need their tools).
3) Traladarans not showing proper respect (for instance looking a soldier in the eyes) will get one disobedience. Showing open contempt by gestures or words gives two disobediences. Physically attacking a soldier gives three disobediences. Such offenders are to be captured and brought in.
4) Every family that has members that works outside of the walls (fishermen, farmers, workers at the castle) must each morning before work escort a family member to the center square where he/she will be a hostage until the worker returns to Fort Doom. They have to be back within 24 hours or they will be regarded as trying to escape. People with “special remarks” can stay away up to 48 or even 72 hours before being regarded as escaping -- this allows for higher sea fishing, but is allowed only to known collaborators. The hostages will be provided food and water to survive at the guardhouses, but are otherwise treated according to their number of disobediences.
5) Traladarans caught trying to flee Fort Doom are executed at the town square, together with the hostage. If the person is not caught, then all his immediate relatives are executed.
6) It is illegal to even mention the names of Halav, Petra and Zirchev. It will cost one disobedience. Being a priest of these immortals will bring death by execution on the town square and two disobediences for all the family members for not having reported it. If the family reports the priest, they will get a special remark instead.
7) A Traladaran can receive a special remark that will subtract disobedience (though they are never deleted from the papers). Informing on a person talking about Halav, Petra and Zirchev, on people trying to escape, or people talking negatively about the regime will give a special remark (if true), that can negate one disobedience. If the accusations turn out to be false, nothing will happen at first, but after three false accusations (for instance reporting that a family has escaped at night, when they clearly are still present the next day) the informer will be given a disobedience for wasting the bureaucracy's time.
8) A Traladaran town is unkempt, but it shall not be so under Thyatian leadership. Any family that has members not working outside or being hostages have to work keeping the streets clean. Families with no disobedience are not harassed, but it is typical for guards to soil the streets to make the Traladarans clean all over again if they have disobediences in their papers. Failure to clean streets on demand will cost one disobedience.
9) The Baron wants to keep his men on their toes so each morning a special law is put on the town square. It is the duty of everyone (soldiers and Traladarans) to know this law. These laws provide entertainment for the Baron, and teach flexibility to soldiers and bureaucrats all.
10) Guardsmen have to keep an eye out for Traladarans with fire in their eyes. Open provocation (typically mistreatment of relatives who cannot defend themselves) is a typical technique adopted to root out Traladarans that hide some will to fight the conquerors.
But they also are to look out for assets -- Traladarans that can be of use for the regime, like the members of the 3rd Fähnlein. Traladarans eager to help are to be tested -- if they are true to their intentions, greater rewards will await them the more they prove themselves.
Wise Traladaran rules of survival
“We Traladarans are constantly harassed by the guards for the slightest imagined insult. You have to have eyes and ears open constantly to avoid the patrols. Learn their routines, so you can avoid meeting them. If you run into them, you have to learn to stand passively with eyes on the ground accepting any insult, pushing and inspection.
They want to have the Traladaran people totally broken, so the guards especially look for people that have "fire" in their eyes. Learn to ignore the horrors around you.
Many are forced to spy on relatives, though some do it willingly. The bureaucracy will often encourage such behavior from hostages or when a Traladaran gets their first disobedience. So keep your thoughts to yourself. Trust no one, not even your own family.
Beware the “special” laws, which the Baron makes up daily to entertain his troops and cause misery to the Traladarans. They are put up on the main square, when people arrive to deliver their hostages. Not knowing today's law, because you haven't seen it is no excuse. Be up early to learn it yourself, as some could lie about it to you.
You must always carry your personal papers on you; they state your name, physical description, family members, address and occupation. Any kind of disobedience will be stamped on the papers. If your papers get to many disobediences, you’ll be put to work at Freiherr von Hendrick’s monstrous castle -- but many don't last long since the hard work kills them. If you end here all hope is lost. The work sites of the castle is called "Knochenmühle" - the bone-grinder - by the Hattians.
Many desperate families try to escape but they are almost always hunted down and tortured and executed in public. Often only single young men or the occasional brave woman are able to escape, though it means death for the rest of the family.
The city is extraordinarily clean and a great showcase when foreign dignitaries are allowed to visit. Then everyone has to stand outside our homes and smile and act happy. Guards will severely punish anyone not putting up a good show. Guests are only allowed into town by invitation from the Freiherr von Hendriks.
Traladarans have to keep the streets around their home perfectly clean, so it amuses the guards to mess it up right after cleaning and laughing at them when they have to start over. Don't get upset over this.
The harbour lies a few miles from the walled city and is patrolled by guards. All Traladarans have to unload their catch to these guards, who register everything. They are only allowed to bring home what they can survive on. All Traladarans are forced to live in the town. They same goes for the farmers. They are given enough food to survive, but all production is registered and confiscated.
Producing too little or catching too few fish can be seen as disobedience, if it is recurrent, and you can risk being transferred to working on the castle.”
1 The end layout will be something like the crusader castle "Krac de Chevaliers" in modern day Syria.
2 A detect lie spell will not work on him, since he is fully convinced whatever comes out of his mouth is the truth.
3 Vanya does not seem to mind, though.
4 Sybaris was an ancient Thyatian town known for its hedonist population, which caused its fall as the population grew weak.
5 The last double was killed while trying to capture Aleena Halaran.
6 The flat farmlands surrounding Fort Doom are ideal for horseback fighting.