Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Norwold after the fall of Alphatia

by Phindar

My Norwold is starting to get pretty well developed. The lords (PC's and NPC's alike) are expanding their dominions, building roads and equipping their militias. The PC dominions are located in Central and Northern Norwold (north of Oceansend), but the south is pretty well developed by the NPC's. The coast in particular is starting to look a little crowded; the largest gap between dominions is a six hex strip between Lighthall and Oceansend, and south of Oceansend (excluding the Rhien Forest) there's hardly a hex or two of unclaimed land between dominions. Here's a pic:

The coast north of Oceansend is a bit more sparse, but even so there's only 3-6 hexes of space between them. That means that most of the coast is considered "civilized" with a few borderland hexes here and there. The interior of my Norwold remains largely wild, with a few pockets of heavily fortified dominions in the Wyrmsteeth, but it would seem that the Isle of Dawn would be the most likely staging point for a Thyatian invasion of Norwold and so the coastal dominions would be the first line of defense.

Currently, the Heldannic Territories are neutral to Norwold and Thyatis. There was some intrigue early in my campaign where a PC lord was implicated in the murder of a Heldanner noblewoman. It was a plot by Thyatian spies to sow hostilities between Norwold and Heldann, and while my PC's weren't able to prove the lord's innocence, they were able to show the machinations of the spies. This led the Heldanners to the conclusion that either the Norwolder was framed or the spies were complicit in the murder, and so now they distrust both nations equally. The Heldanners might seize and opportunity in the south if one were to present itself but are unlikely to be directly aiding Thyatis.

Another X-factor is what happens to the Alphatian armies and navies at the Isle of Dawn after the fall of Alphatia. Ericall is going to attempt to rally all of them he can to his banner, and this will likely fall to the PC's. (If they're successful, I'm seeing this as being a Miracle at Dunkirk.) That would be an influx of military strength to Ericall when he needs it the most.

There's also the matter of Oceansend, which is still a free city. Yarrvik and Ericall have an uneasy peace based on ignoring each other, and Thyatis still has Yarrvik's brother and Ericall's half-brother as prisoners to ensure this. As I understand it, Thincol sent one of his lesser daughters to Eriadna when his agents inadvertently kidnapped Ericall's half-brother along with Yarrvik's brother, but whatever insurance this provides will be gone once Alphatia disappears. A Thyatian invasion of Norwold anywhere near Oceansend would likely force Yarrvik to choose a side. (Ericall has the advantage here, as the PC's have strong ties Yarrvik's allies, the Stormhaven dwarves, and earlier in the campaign the PC's took out some slavers and freed some people, one of whom happened to be Yarrvik's young nephew.)

The last wild card (for this post anyway) are the Lords of Norwold themselves. The original module laid out which lords would betray Ericall; I decided to treat these more as inclinations and then see how the campaign played out (although one of my NPC lords is a spy). Currently, the lords most inclined to betray Ericall aren't located anywhere tactically crucial. It's possible some of the other lords might be threatened or bribed into aiding Thyatis-- particularly if Ericall looks weak going into it-- and that might alter the course of things. I don't think any of the PC lords would move against Ericall, but some of them have mentioned the prospect of becoming independent and I'm interested to see how that will play out as war with Thyatis looms.

When Thincol has come up in my game (never "on-camera" so to speak, but as a person in the world) I've been presenting him as Brian Cox playing Agamemnon in the movie "Troy". He views the annexation of Norwold by Eriadna as a personal affront, and with Alphatia gone he will gather a massive army to take what he considers his. ("I will carve Thincol Torion into the stone.") This makes the invasion of Norwold my campaign's version of The Trojan War, and it will be interesting to see if Ericall and his lords will be similarly doomed.