Monday, April 14, 2014

Riot Campaign - the background

As I planned my Riot campaign, I also started thinking about the geography and political setting of my Dwarven Peasant Revolt. It occurred to me that just as my figures came from a few companies, perhaps my dwarven kingdom also had a few provinces and regions, and that the dwarves, although a single kingdom here, were not as uniform across the kingdom.

I base the basic geography of the kingdom after Germany. The whole kingdom is in the shape of an irregular pentagon. On the northwest it borders the sea; to the northeast it continues into the tundra; on the other three sides it is surrounded by mountain ranges. The land is relatively flat and open to the north of the country, and gradually rises and increases in forest coverage, until it reaches the mountain ranges that marks the kingdom's border.

The northwest region of the kingdom, which borders the sea to its north and the human Barony to the west, is called Hassel-Freesia. The dwarves in this region are the most cosmopolitan and "humanised" in the kingdom. As they border the Barony and have a sea port, they are also the richest in the kingdom and control the salt trade. They wield political power that is disproportionate to the size of their population.

The region to the northeast is known as Sciboria. A relatively new addition to the dwarven kingdom, the region, while less developed than the older provinces, possesses more mineral wealth and thus also political clout.

The heart of the dwarven kingdom and the oldest province is Lotringia, and spans the northern plains to the forested central uplands to the mountain ranges. Many of the oldest mountain halls are in decline as the dwarves, never a populous race, head northeast or northwest to seek their fortunes as the mineral wealth run out, but Lotringia is still the cultural heartland of the dwarves and the dwelling place of the king. Population is centred around towns along the rivers flowing to the coast, which form the major transport routes of the kingdom.

To the southwest corner of the kingdom is the region of Redboxia. Lacking even the rivers which make trade viable, the region is considered the most primitive of the kingdom, and its people are fiercely independent.

The prelude to the Revolt is the Human-Dwarf Alliance against the Goblins, which was the setting for our Strandhogg games which we played a couple of years back. To wage the war the dwarven king had to raise funds. To do this he instituted a number of taxes, including a widely hated salt tax. The situation is aggravated by the demand for salt from Sciboria (both for preserving food and the fur trade), which drives up the prices many folds. Hassel-Freesia, which had the only major saltwork in the kingdom and also imported salt from the Barony profited from this.

The resulting resentment amongst the Lotringians and Redboxians will boil over to open revolt in the near future...


fatgoblin said...

wouldn't the salt tax hit the main supplier and consumers the most?

captain arjun said...

Because the Hassel-Freesians have a monopoly, they can just pass the cost on to the consumers.

The Sciborians can afford the higher price because they also have commodities to sell.

The Lotringians exist more on a domestic economy, so when the price of an essential import goes up, they suffer the most.