It currently consists of Cape Har up the Bergen-Swartlug line and Cape Sood in Hanist up to the Groanridder-Ravenrock line, including all the Red Hills but not going as far as Vartop. The Tzavarim of the Virten Forest are loose allies of the Liberation but hold their own sovereignty.
Life in the Liberation Edit
People of the Liberation Edit
Most people in the Liberated Lands are humans. There is a substantial kobold minority and a smattering of refugees from other nations. As of June 508, the Resistance leaders have begun accepting limited populations of Orcish prisoners of war in the Liberated Lands.
- Social Unrest
Most human peasants consider Kobolds to be filthy rat-skink thieves. There is still a lot of resentment about the kobolds' dubiously privileged position under the Empire. Furthermore, kobolds have mostly monopolized the smithing trade by virtue of their previous training while working under the orcs. Humans looking to move into that prestigious trade find that the army already has more kobold smiths than it knows what to do with. There has been some muttered protests and infrequent acts of violence. As Consul Trahaern ab Owen and his allies on the Ruling Council aggressively support kobold rights, these protests have gained no traction. Individual soldiers may hold anti-kobold opinions, but Aisling wants the kobolds protected, and the army as a whole does what the Ambassador wants.
Technology, Religion, and Magic Edit
The Liberation is technologically advanced, with minor magical tools and alchemy supplementing human craftsmanship. They are a TL 3+1 society, roughly equivalent to the historical Renaissance, though without gunpowder or anything similar. In some areas, such as food preservation, alchemy and herb lore bring them TL 3+2, and medicine has some TL 3+3 elements thanks to herbal and alchemical disease killers.
Magic and religion are intertwined in the worldview of the Liberation: there is no clear dividing line between one and the other. Not much is known about either, as the Empire aggressively murdered wizards and priests among the peasants and burnt their books. Prophets such as Ariana Rees are beginning to preach, and Liberation scholars study at the Black Library, but they are well aware that the Luminals are capable of feats of magic beyond their current comprehension.
The Liberation mostly relies on liberated kobold smiths for the production of arms and armor. As the best smiths were taken when the Legions left, the remaining kobolds can only work steel, bronze, leather, and wood. Advanced techniques such as duplex armor or hardened steel are beyond them. They cannot work meteoric iron except in the crudest fashion - even before the revolution, meteoric iron arrows and bolts were imported from the north, and probably made in the capitol region of the Empire.
Ariana's demonstrated miracle working ability has made her preaching about Völundr especially effective. About 20% of the magically active priests in Liberation service have at least some allegiance to the Forge God, and half the kobold smiths and armorers regularly attend services or offer sacrifices. The general population has mixed views on Völundr, as many peasants are suspicious of him as a "kobold" god.
Crime and Punishment Edit
At the beginning of June 508, the Liberation Council passed the first of the new nation's laws. These include harsh punishments for active collaboration with the orcs (though with the knowledge that mitigating circumstances are common), the establishment of a deed and charter office for tracking ownership of land (and protections for landowners serving with the army), and laws covering crimes against people or property that generally result in guilty parties spending time on labor gangs; the Liberation has a lot of Imperial road to maintain, after all. Enforcement is still ad hoc, with the local Count ultimately responsible for establishing police forces (usually with the aid of the local militia) and appointing trusted regional judges, but the necessary administration is beginning to fall into place.
Social Order Edit
As of June 508 ANI, the Liberation Council has proclaimed Trahaern ab Owen as Consul for the new Liberated Lands and established an advisory Ruling Council to aid in administration as the Liberation movement grows. Dividing Liberation territory into Counties that closely followed the divisions laid down by the orcs, the Ruling Council consists of the Counts of those territories (usually, but not always, the Resistance leaders established in those areas) and various non-landed advisory positions. While thus far the Counts are appointed by the Consul and his advisors, it hasn't yet been established whether these titles will be hereditary and the structure of the eventual permanent government is still being negotiated. Many of the newly-appointed Counts are still adjusting to their new duties. As they're accustomed to dispensing rough justice from the shadows, the task of openly governing is stretching their skills to the limit and forcing them to adapt quickly to unfamiliar responsibilities.
The initially established Ruling Council consists of the following:
- Trahaern ab Owen, Consul for the Liberated Lands and General of the Armies
- Greex, Speaker of Kobolds
- Ariana Rees, Priestly Legate and Chief of Supply for the Liberation Army
- Hloomawl, Tribune and Command Sergeant Major of the Liberation Army
- Finbar Gullvan, Count Swartun
- Uster Vaipnesterk, Count Namdalside
- Attivi Valar, Count Duzen Iken
- Himmel Detfin, Count Kristinsund
- Heike Kohlberg, Countess Elverum
- Albin Dietrich, Count Travgrave
- Diana Behm, Countess Grimstut
- Kara Berg, Countess Otern
- Karla Pauli, Countess Elvby
Nesta Bowen and Nayla have expressed no interest in governing and have no particular following among the Liberation, though both are regarded as deadly killers for their parts in the death of Whitemist. Ambassador Aisling Mhic Muiris is happy to offer her advice and has the ear of most of the Councilors but has no official standing within the government of the Liberation.
The most respected military leader in the Liberation is Trahaern ab Owen ("the ever-victorious"), closely followed by Himmel Detfin and Aisling Mhic Muiris. Aisling is much more popular among the troops and the population in general.
Uster Vaipnesterk retains a loyal following among the Costvud troops and new recruits, but his popularity and respect is hampered by his lack of field service. Kaja Thoen has a reputation as a rising star thanks to her command of the Hortskink defense and Aisling's affection.
Greex is generally recognized among the kobolds as their spokesperson, but he gets little respect from the human troops. The kobolds also value the words of Aisling and the numerous kobold smiths treat Ariana Rees as a demi-god. Nayla has some reflected support from her friendship with Greex.
Attivi Valar is the acknowledged leader among most of the priests and wizards, but the Tzavarim druids prefer to work through Mikael Orna. Ariana Rees has established a small following of faithful (mostly among the Kobold craftsmen).
The passage of the Council's first package of laws has caused some dissatisfaction among the headmen of villages and mayors of larger towns. They had grown accustomed to being mostly ignored by the orcs (so long as taxes were paid and sufficient respect shown) and by the still-forming Liberation government, and there is some resentment as local traditions are bent or broken to fit into the new nation's framework. Still, this has not yet resulted in tax revolt or open hostilities with the Liberation government: heavy handed or not, they've also got the only army around, and even detractors (grudgingly) admit that the orcs were far worse.
The great cities of Elverum, Kristinsund, and Grimstut are experiencing waves of petty crime. Ever since the Legions left Hanist and the orcs generally withdrew from patrolling the cities, crime has been a problem. Originally it was looting and score-settling directed mostly against wealthy collaborators, but now the looters are being robbed in turn, and even public institutions like apothecaries and taverns are being burglarized.
See also Military Organization The Liberation Army is built around one or more field forces of infantry, mostly equipped with scavenged orc Gear. There was a single field force in the early months of the Liberation, but that force was split into multiple independent commands after the Liberation of Hanist. Ideally, each field force is a combined arms task force with a clear objective, like "defend northern Hanist from orc raiders in Menkgu" or "liberate Zerniless". That system has yet to put into practice.
The field forces are supplemented by militia troops levied for local defense. In theory, roughly 1/6th the eligible population serves for roughly two months in the areas threatened by orc invasion and roughly a quarter of that number are called up for training and anti-bandit patrols in the safe areas. However, the Liberation has grown so fast that the system has never had a chance to match with theory.
The Liberation Army is constantly training new troops to match the countless numbers of orcs still left in Hanist, Menkgu, Venrike, and Zerniless. The major training depot is the old orc fortress of Hortskink on Cape Har. The fortress is usually filled to overflowing with new recruits in training and veterans returning for reorganization and retraining. At Aisling Mhic Muiris' urging, the Liberation Army has also begun incorporating Orcish turncoats who've proven willing to fight rather than take up arms as bandits or quit the war entirely.
The Liberation army aggressively recruits local Resistance forces as they liberate orc held territories. At any time, there are another two or three hundred Resistance forces in training in Imperial controlled lands but in contact with the Liberation. As the Liberation expands and draws more orc attention, these local Resistance forces get more freedom of movement and become more aggressive. The Liberation also smuggles steel weapons and armor into Imperial territory on its immediate borders.
Geography of the Liberation Edit
The Liberation consists of southeast Hanist, from Elvby to Eleverum to the coast south of Swartlug. Their western frontier runs from Elvby to the headwaters of the Helin River to Grimstut and then enters the Storikeskog between Mortilbaser and Duzen Iken.
The southern Virten forest on Cape Har has been ceded to the Tzavarim tribes living there.