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World in Flames: Treaties and Decreesby Bruce Heard
AC 1019, 1st Quarter: The Great Company attempts a surprise assault of Glantri City. The Glantrian Militia, despite its preparations, fails to keep the Alphatians out of the city. Fortunately, the Militia holds the majority of the city's quarters, except for the slums and the merchant area. Fierce fighting goes on inside the streets as the Militia and the local city residents man the barricades. There are enough magic-users left to halt the progress of the Great Company, although defences menace to give in at any time. The Alphatians plan a major breakout into the administrative quarters of the legendary city during the night. Making one of their biggest mistakes in their campaign of revenge against Glantri, the Alphatians scheduled their offensive during a full moon. Shortly before the assault, howls echo in the streets of Glantri. Suddenly, packs of werewolves lurch out of the shadows, attacking units of the Great Company. At the centre of the werewolves' spoiling attacks stand Malachie du Marais in full command of his lycanthropic gangs. Surprised, the Alphatians fall back to the city slums to avoid excessive casualties.
Further north, Synn approaches the capital with a large army of Black Jacks. Unfortunately, the cold weather slows her pumpkin-head warriors and she fails to reach the city at all. She leaves behind enough troops to delay the advance of the Glantrian Loyalists. Since the two armies faced off in Braastar, Synn has deliberately ignored the princes' requests to talk. The two armies presume each other hostile. Meanwhile, the Loyalist forces take Kopstar and Glenmoorloch. Ethengarian and Alphatian defences holding the mountain pass to Boldavia receive massive reinforcements, essentially from troops that retreated from Ylaruam.
In Karameikos, Valen holds the woods and hills east of Kelvin and Specularum (Mirros), as well as Penhaligon and the road to Selenica. Both armies clash at regular intervals, neither being able to defeat the other. Valen makes efforts to persuade the elves of eastern Karameikos to join his side. They remain neutral. The rumour is that they are talking to the Vyalia Elves of Thyatis. Thyatians pressure Valen to accept their help. He still refuses, fearing an imperial ploy to invade Karameikos. The civil war goes on.
Meanwhile in the city of Selenica, members of the Western Defence League and Eusebius spend long weeks arguing and negotiating. Before the end of the winter, signatures and seals appear at the bottom of decrees and treaties. They are referred to in general as the Treaties of Selenica. They include the following agreements:
King Stefan must be reinstated as King of Karameikos and retain the throne until his death
Karameikos remains a Kingdom, rather than a Duchy
King Stefan must stand barefoot and bareheaded at the main gate of Thyatis City, there to humbly apologise for his treachery, and swear allegiance to the Empire in the name of his people.
Karameikos, as part of its feudal obligation, is required to levy and maintain armed forces in the amount of 500 footmen, 200 archers, and 150 cavalry of which no less than 50 must be Karameikan knights for the defence of mainland Thyatis at any time they are required by the Empire. Karameikos is to pay an Imperial Tax equal to 5% of its own revenues (no less than 5,000 gp per month)
Karameikos is to pay a million gold pieces to the Empire in war reparations over a period of ten years.
The border with Thyatis is aligned on Rugalov River
All possessions east of the Rugalov River permanently revert to Thyatian control under the Duchy of Machetos
Karameikos guarantees that Thyatian citizens or Karameikans of ethnic Thyatian origins are subject to the same laws as all Karameikans and are not subjected to harassment
Karameikos is to accord all Darokin merchants with "most preferred client" status, therefore forfeiting any import or export taxes on Darokin merchants.
Karameikos must assess a surtax for all Minrothad ships entering Karameikos ports
Darokin is to provide adequate financing for the war reparations Karameikos owes Thyatis.
Darokin acts as the guarantor of Karameikos' war reparations debt to Thyatis
Darokin accords a "most preferred client" status to Thyatian merchants for the next ten years
Ylaruam drops all future claims whatsoever on Tameronikas Ylaruam constructs two fortified places, one at Warqa, the other at Cinsa-Men-Noo, according to plans and guidelines issued in the treaty
A joint WDL garrison is to occupy the fortification at Warqa against further incursions from Rockhome or Ethengar
A Thyatian garrison is to occupy the fortification at Cinsa-Men-Noo against further incursions from Rockhome or Ethengar
Ylaruam must allow and support the garrisons at Warqa and Cinsa-Men-Noo to intercept invading forces and wage war on Ylari land as may be required to defeat said invasion
Ylaruam must guarantee these garrisons and their reinforcements free and safe passage through its lands to these two fortified places Ylaruam is to provide regular food and non-war supplies to the two fortresses Ylaruam guarantees that Thyatian citizens or Ylari of ethnic Thyatian origins are subject to the same laws as ethnic Ylari and are not subjected to harassment
ALL WDL MEMBERS
Must respect Thyatis borders and guarantee not to interfere in Thyatian internal affairs
Guarantee not to interfere with Thyatian military or civilian acting abroad
Must act in the support of the Empire against further invasions from Rockhome and Ethengar crossing through Ylaruam or Karameikos One member of the royal family or the families of the nations' rulers must remain at all times in Thyatis City as guarantors of their nations' agreements
Thyatis guarantees not to interfere with internal affairs of all WDL members
Thyatis vows to respects the borders all WDL members.
Thyatis vows not to interfere with WDL military or civilians abroad.
Thyatis accords Darokin merchants "most preferred client" status for the next ten years
Thyatis' armed forces remain in Ylaruam until such time the two fortresses at Warqa and Cinsa-Men-Noo are built and garrisoned as described in the treaty
Upon its departure from Ylaruam, Thyatis returns all sovereign Ylari territories to Ylaruam, except Tameronikas
One Thyatian imperial nobility is to remain in Darokin City at all times as a guarantors of Thyatis' agreements
Thyatis agrees to provide an expeditionary force and naval support in the event of further western invasions against Darokin and the Five Shires
AC 1019, 2nd Quarter: At the news of the various treaties announced in Selenica, Ierendi immediately asks to join the WDL, offering a great amount of gold and jewellery. Ierendi's request receives unanimous approval and the gold finds its way into Thyatian hands, as part of Karameikos' war reparations. A Minrothad ambassador makes a similar request, which Darokin immediately vetoes. Weeks later, Minrothad negotiates a separate treaty with the Empire but the details aren't released.
The civil war comes to an abrupt end in Karameikos as King Stefan agrees on the demands of the Treaties of Selenica. He makes preparations for his journey to Thyatis.
News of Synn's army approaching fast reach the Great Company. The latter quickly retire out of the capital after putting the slums to the torch. The Alphatians then head east to Skullhorn Pass still in Ethengarian hands. The Dark Queen's army marches into Glantri as the people barricade themselves inside their houses. The silent, ominous cohorts of Black Jacks walk down the streets. Synn returns to her Royal Palace. Days later, the Loyalist army reaches the city gates. The Dark Queen agrees to a truce and invites the princes with their personal guard. They meet at the "Royal Palace". Synn, as Queen Dolores I, sits on her throne, her kobold buffoon crouching at her feet. She demands the princes swear fealty to the Glantrian Crown and take their rightful place at her side. The princes flatly refuse and scoff at her royal claim. Instead, they announce their army is now powerful enough to retake the capital if need be, having levied much of the native population. Synn laughs and claims she has thousands more Black Jacks in the surrounding hills, waiting to ambush the princes' rabble and their elven lackeys. The princes call Synn's bluff and start walking out. Synn immediately orders her Black Jacks to seize the Princes. Not one of them moves to execute her commands. Instead, a lone, truly wicked looking Black Jack walks up and begins to speak. He announces the Black Jacks will no longer do Synn's bidding. Instead, they claim her own Principality of Fenswick as their own with himself, Lord Night, as their rightful prince. In a rage, Synn reverts to her dragon shape and attacks her Black Jack guard. Lord Night escapes Synn's wrath while the princes immediately attack the monster. In short order, Synn vows revenge and flees in the night.
AC 1019, 3rd Quarter: Following the Selenica Treaties, Valen and Adriana renounce their present claim to the throne, allowing Stefan to return as the king. He leaves Specularum (Mirros) with his retinue and fulfils his obligations to the Empire. Tensions remain very high in Karameikos between Traladaran and ethnic Thyatians. Prince Valen, as the Karameikan guarantor of the treaty, travels to Thyatis. Eusebius isn't happy about the choice, but the treaty does not allow him to influence that choice. Lena Mauntea, daughter of Corwyn Mauntea of Darokin, trades places with Prince Gabronius Torion of Thyatis. Prince Eolemnon, brother of Princess Tanaladeyo, joins the other guests in the name of Aengmor's Shadow Elves. The Sheriffs of the Five Shires elect Marmaduke Dustyboots, the brother of Jaervosz, to be their token presence in Thyatis. Ierendi sends a totally unknown figure, Tanga Kanakola, the son of one of the elected nobles in Ierendi (since the Queen and King are elected for such short terms, members of their families would not necessarily be of use or even available). Finally, Ylaruam sends Khadija, a rambunctious ten-year-old child and twelfth wife of Mohammed al-Kalim, along with her eunuch guard, her preceptor, and her servants.
Meanwhile in Glantri, the princes debate about Lord Night's claim for the Principality of Fenswick. Lord Night just barely gets his wish, at least to get him and his massive horde of pumpkin-head warriors "off the streets". Lord Night swears to abide by the Principalities laws and principles, swears allegiance to the nation, and guarantees that his kin will not bring harm or harass the good people of Glantri. Lord Night thus takes Synn's place among the council. All the other principalities and communities, however, quietly pass laws outlawing the culture of pumpkins upon pain of death, or the possession of pumpkin seeds. Prince Morphail requests and obtains the command of military troops to retake Boldavia. He leaves the capital and marches north toward the mountain pass. Wendar troops take their leave and return to their kingdom.
Soon afterward, Kol is requested to remove his jester's hat and approach the bench. He faces charges of treachery. The trial's preparations go on for weeks, and so do the interminable debates. Evidence proves that Kol did act to protect the people of Glantri and its lands from further violence and destruction. He claims that he did "abdicate" as he had intended all along when Princess Dolores ordered him to. He was the victim of her treachery as much as everyone else when she took the title for herself. Credible witnesses do testify that "Gentle King Kol" indeed treated fairly the Glantrian people and that he took all measures available to him to protect the land and the nation's resources. Malachie du Marais and Lord Night both point out that Kol bravely attacked Ugrah's retreating forces and the invading Alphatians. The princes hesitate, debate, and argue interminably.
AC 1019, 4th Quarter: A messenger arrives at Glantri's council riding strait from the Broken Lands border. He bears news of raiding parties preparing to enter Glantrian lands. Kol's judgement comes to a quick end when the princes unanimously agree to exonerate Kol of all charges and reinstate him. After which, Kol is promptly requested to go deal with the "unrest" in the Broken Lands. Kol thanks everyone for their magnanimity and quickly leaves to handle his old business of keeping the Broken Lands safe for everyone. As he rides south, a dark shape flies overhead, tracing his every moves. The princes receive a strenuous protest from a Darokinian ambassador. He deplores their decision to accept in their midst the monster who is personally responsible for murdering the entire Darokinian relief column in the Broken Lands, five years earlier. If the princes persist with their amoral decision, future relations between Darokin and Glantri stand to suffer greatly.
Meanwhile, the Great Company settles again in Rymskigrad, preparing for the upcoming winter. Morphail's troops are on the other side of the Glantrian Alps, just setting up their wintering quarters as well. A few days later, chaos and utter terror suddenly rock all of eastern Glantri. In the middle of a night, nosferatu and vampires of every ilk creep out of their hiding places throughout Boldavia and have a bloodfest. Blood-curdling screams of abject terror tear through the chilly night, especially in Rymskigrad. By dawn, symbols traced in blood mark the doors of all Alphatian residences and military barracks. All Ethengarians have fled their camps back to the steppes. Soon afterward, under the dark, gloomy sky of the Glantrian autumn rise moaning bands of undead of every sort. Graves throughout Boldavia release their macabre guests who immediately endeavour to harass or devour the occupants of the marked houses. Boldavian people have long barricaded themselves and festooned their doors and windows will all manners of defences. But no harm comes to them. Ambushes and terrifying fights go on all day. By nightfall, the Great Company regroups outside Rymskigrad and begins a cautious withdrawal from Boldavia. At those news, Morphail's forces storm the mountain pass, now abandoned, and march triumphantly into Boldavia. They arrive several days later. The undead have left as quickly as they had appeared. As the first snowflakes begin to cover the Boldavian countryside, Morphail solemnly proclaims Glantri free at last! The Alphatians, upon meeting with the Great Khan, receive an offer to settle elsewhere. A dwarven envoy suggests the old ruins of Jhyrrad, in Rockhome. They have remained empty and are somewhat monster-infested, but "nothing like Boldavia", he quickly reassures his guests. Alphatians are welcome to settle there and the dwarves offer help to rebuild a new fortress. The wary Alphatians accept. Before the end of the year, they reach Jhyrrad and set up a heavily defended camp with the help of dwarven retainers and scouts.