>>At first glance the southerners and Malkioni are parts of the very >>Andrini regime of the Pharoah Broyan was fighting against and do not >>seem to be allies of the rebellious Volsaxi. But the usurpation of >>the crown by Rikard may have changed this. Rikard's brand of >>crusading Rokarism, and religious zeal, would have made an enemy of >>the 'heretics' of the Aeolian and Church of Tomorrow.
> Except that there's far too few Rokari to actually make a stab
> at conquering anything in Heortland
This doesn't seem to have stopped them from taking over the land. Call it a coup d'etat rather than a conquest, if you will, but that's how Rikard came to power in Heortland.
Which is quite parallel to William "the Conqueror"'s accepting the invitation to succeed the line of Aethelred rather than that commoner Harold.
Main difference: Rikard is already in the country, doesn't have to construct an invasion fleet. The grain barges actually have space to spare on their trips to Esrolia, since the Quinpolic trade goods are less bulky for the same value. Ferrying mercenaries also saves on anti-pirate expenses.
Lots of Malkioni mercenaries (and not too peculiar whether they are Rokari, Hrestoli or Neo-Stygians most of the time) from all over Maniria sniff the opportunity and flock to his banner. So does the (non-Rokari) Army of Tomorrow, a good thousand house-carls worth of mercenaries.
All combined, the forces Rikard can command from immigrant westerners in 1617/18 equal roughly William the Conqueror's invasion host.
> and so the oppressive crusading theory doesn't ring true.
If Peter had ever read my write-ups, he could have seen that this crusader oppression theory (as in Fourth Crusade, Constantinople) was meant as a localized event. As such, this is fully valid, and worth pursuing. (Besides, a big nod of thanks towards Nick Brooke and David Hall for developing this stuff in HtWW1. I only adapted some of their character history to my campaign...)
Willelm the Bloody, Duke/Sheriff/Earl of Jansholm, pretty much takes over for Mularik in my older material. Sheriff of Nottingham material as per Costner's Robin Hood flick, though with a better sense of timing for his disloyalty.
The situation in Esvular developed in a different direction. Gardufar remained somewhere in between. I never really developed much about the capital.
> Moreover the only Rokari that can provide support to the
> Heortlanders are the unfanatical and corrupt Quinpolic
Yep - Fourth Crusade again. Take landless mercenaries, join them to a cause, and off you go.
> Moreover the Lunars are explicitly appointing Malkioni sherifs in
> many parts of Heortland (Baron Sanuel for example was a Trader
> Prince) so the whole picture is extremely confused.
As I said earlier, Fazzur's approach to the 1620 conquest was very thorough, and when his offers simply outbid Rikard's grants ("keep what Rikard gave you, and _don't_ fight us"), too many all too mercenary fresh landholders saw a better chance as Lunar supporters.
By coopting the Rokari minority with its strong militia as police force, Fazzur kept his expeditionary corps of veterans pretty much intact. While he didn't intend to use these troops in Esrolia, the core of officers and veterans emerged once more in 1625 (until he withdrew them from the arranged battle with Kallyr at Dangerford when news of the betrayal came, leaving the field to the Phargantites who lost against the Kheldon ragtag forces) and the Fazzurite uprising starting around 1629.
Tatius had no reason to replace a working solution without much personal loyalty to Fazzur, so the Rokari remained in place until the Battle of Milran in 1624. Given their history of switching allegiance, in quite a few cases after 1624 as well, I'd suppose.
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