1876-10-22: State of Tirth - Octobre 1876
State of Tirth - Octobre 1876
IC Date: Octobre 1876 IE
Related Information: 1876 - The Year Without A Summer

All over the world, the dimming of the sun heralded ill tidings during the summer of 1876. Starvation stalked the land, and with starvation came illness. Supernatural creatures were observed everywhere that civilisation did not reach, and order broke down. With these tidings, came the sense of impending doom. Many believe that the Last War is upon mankind, and that the Great Enemy caused the darkening of the sun to hasten Tirth's doom.

Four Corners
The world's largest and most populated city of Four Corners is devastated by the famine caused from the dimming of the summer sun. Hunger and illness rapidly descends on the city, calamities which rip through the slums before spreading through the State's land to its other holdings.

The Shadow War between the criminal Syndicates of the West that has been going on for years during the city's nights breaks into open conflict during the day. The Syndicates swell in numbers as destitute rabble join them to try and gain food. The Greycloaks force is decimated by ambushes and the state loses control of large areas of the city, which become the preserve of Syndicates and other, newer gangs that form in opposition to both the predatory Syndicates and what they see as the rich man's state. As with Rikton during the Long Night in years past, the rich merchant princes fortify their areas of town from the mobs.

Illness rips through the city, taking many away, both combatant and civilian. The only party that is considered neutral are the New Faith and their Order of the Reliant who are permitted by all sides to move freely around the city, and do much to relieve the misery of the inhabitants.

While conflict spreads throughout the city, the Chancellor Sir Mattias Thynne calls in all Four Corners' mercenaries to quell revolt & secure docks area alongside the remaining Greycloaks. These mercenaries are also heavily employed to secure the wealthy mansions areas. The Chancellor's own Cohorts, at best a mob of the the city's destitute in his patronage, become more prominent in areas controlled by the State, though when compared to the already shady Greycloaks, they are extremely abusive and corrupt. This hardly engenders them to citizens on the sidelines.

In midsummer, a massive Matinga raid brushes aside the quarrelling Free City State mercenaries and militias on the one hand and the Syndicates and gangs on the other. The Matinga take the docks and push deep into the public areas, especially the market and some of the mansions. They cause widespread devastation, sacking and looting parts of the city before withdrawing. Thousands are killed or else carried off into enslavement. After the fires burn themselves out, the State's forces re-occupy areas that they had been previously in control of. Four Corners' trade volume decreases enormously, and the city's former prosperity looks a long way away.

At the close of Octobre 1876, the Free City State controls its constituent fortresses and the neighbourhoods around them, has a strong presence in parts of the mansion area, the public buildings in vicinity of the market place, and most of the docks. Any areas outside of Four Corners city proper are mostly in control of the State, though banditry is present in a much higher proportion than previously, and there are small scale, recurring raids by Njorfolk, either from White Hall or Bitralund. Many mansions of foreign noble families & diplomats have been abandoned or held with only skeleton crews; some of them are overrun by gangs. The extensive slums are a ever-shifting patchwork of Syndicate and gang fiefdoms, which encroaches into many of the other public areas. More than one gate into the city is controlled by the Syndicates. There is a great deal of politicking between factions as well as frequent skirmishes and occasional larger scale conflict.

Aequor
The dimming of the sun causes a terrible famine which badly stalks the land, and an apocalyptic panic grows among an already suspicious and terrified population, riven with divisions and war. Many die and many forces, particularly levy and militia, simply melt away home as they are not fed adequately. Once home, deserters turn to the typical pursuits in times of scarcity – banditry. In response, noble banners disperse home to deal with this uptick in banditry, which has become rife. This especially affects Rhone (al'Mordran), the Royal Demesne (al'Ramar) and Murnord (al'Callenta).

New Kashmir & Lyionesse, connected heavily with Four Corners, experiences terrible disease outbreaks. Being intimately linked with Four Corners, Fiorello also suffers significantly, though the highly competent servants of Count d'Armaz ensure that starvation, at least, is held at bay. The remainder of Alasce is less affected due to the fact that it is still largely ruined and therefore does not have the same volume of trade or population. Murnord is also less affected – as the breadbasket of the Kingdom, it has significant food reserves.

The Order of Rose & Shield remain well supplied due to extensive preparations for a now aborted offensive. They are able to maintain order in the areas they control, including around Benide and Elden, but cannot campaign without their noble allies and auxiliaries who have left the area. The Cardinal's Guard is also well supplied, but is dispersed to quarters by the Cardinal's captain, Lord Sir Mitchell d'Sierge.

The Royal Cohorts that had previously been formed with a knightly core and filled with sellsword from Alezzo, Navali, Rikton and Parthia have partially dispersed home, and partially remain in the border region between the Duchy of Murnord and the Duchy of Rhone. With the departure of most Aequorian commanders, these remaining Sellsword Cohorts have continued their atrocious behaviour of capturing castles, towns and territory and sometimes extorting locals at will, now on both sides of the border. Many Aequorian knights and lords have lost significant holdings and have no way of retrieving them. The savvier Sellsword Cohorts have made deals with locals who are sick of the war entirely and are now acting de-facto as their own military forces. It is very likely this is going to continue until they are both fed and paid. The area is suffering dreadfully and no one has confronted these groups.

As a result of many forces dispersing to their homes and the extreme scarcity of supply, the Aequorian Civil War nearly grounds to a halt, following on from the trends first observed in the heavy winter of 1876. Skirmishes still occur along the Gendiel and Rhone fronts, but they are composed mostly of small groups.

Executions of possible sorcerers somewhat surprisingly slows during summer, and the Crown leverages its connections with Rikton to route extra grain to Aequor and distribute it. Aequor also calls in Church favours to pull significant amounts of religious brothers & sisters to help care for the starving, the poor and the ill. This engenders a great deal of good will with the peasantry and skilled classes. Most of the benefits of this Riktonian connection is felt in the Royal Demesne and in Alasce. The Crown seems to be seeking to court Duke Jordan al'Morena to declare more fully for their side.

Gendiel
Gendiel is only moderately affected by food insecurity, due to its low population density, large woods & rivers for hunting and fishing. However, starvation in the towns is still a factor, and lack of food weakens much of the urban population to the point that illnesses from elsewhere become a scourge which kills many.

Banditry is a problem as everywhere else that requires the concerted attention of Gendiel's banners and Arrani Legion. The Zmeyarch's forces are thus mainly oriented towards internal security, and operations on the front line with Royalist Aequor become naught more than skirmishes.

Messengers bearing white flags come to Gendiel from Royalist Aequor, to talk about paying ransoms for the captive knights and lords that the Arrani Region took on its long retreat from Alasce last year – specifically, exchanges of money and captured Arrani soldiers for Aequorians, especially Sir Elrick d'Tremaine (brother in law to the Prince Sylvain); Sir Sebastian al'Callenta, nephew of Archduke Cesare al'Callenta; and Sir Talbot d'Vir, a long standing Argent Legion commander. These captives have displayed honour, chivalry and virtue during the last year, and have repeatedly put themselves at the disposal of their gaolers to assist with hunting bandits. The messengers have talked about Sir Michael and Sir Gabriel Al'Callenta wishing to meet to discuss these terms with Gendiel.

Icenaila & Gan Teorainn
Icenaila completely withdraws from the wars other than the typical skirmishing, though Queen Kyrenia is still receiving embassies. Much like Gendiel, their lower population densities and heavier reliance on hunting & non intensive farming leads to less starvation, though food insecurity affects them.

Illness badly affects Gan Teorainn, and many of those living in that city leave for their ancestral lands. Whether this is temporary or not is unclear.

Bitralund
The summer famine have a terrible effect on the population, which coupled with mushrooming illnesses results in the death of thousands of locals. As summer ends, dead locals are largely replaced with Njorfolk immigrants from White Hall, tipping population to roughly half Njor, half Eastermen.

The Njor clearly occupy almost all positions of power, with some exceptions for those Eastermen who have proven themselves both loyal and capable. King Reist is still adamant on controlling raiding into Aequor, and maintains a firm grip. Very few are willing to defy him on this count. Instead, Reist's Reivers (as they are informally called) raid south into the smaller cities and towns around Four Corners, as well as into the Kingdom of Rikton.

Holy City of Rikton
Starvation is prevented by the massive granaries of the Holy City being opened. These granaries are also used as relief supplies to elsewhere in the West, especially to Aequor. Although there is a strong disease outbreak, illnesses are treated far better than in any other country due to the abundance of healing orders & serving brothers & sisters to aid the population. Much like their grain, monks & nuns are sent abroad to aid in the healing of the sick and succour of the dying.

For the first time in many years, the popularity of Rikton rebounds in much of the world.

Kingdom of Rikton
Much like the Holy City, famine and illness are mitigated by help from the Holy City's granaries and healers.

The Kingdom's nobles are busy dealing with both White Hall and Bitralund raiders, who are difficult to distinguish, giving Bitralund cover stories.

King Rollo Tusca is proving to be very popular, and has a strong relationship with the High Priest.

Galenthia
Galenthia's slightly better climate aids it in weathering some effects of the dimmed sun, though it still suffers significantly from both famine and illness.

The Queen of Galenthia returns to Firen with much fanfare in April, before the sun descends. Once again, the city suffers, though it is fortunate in being mostly empty and not requiring enormous amounts of food.

Outside of the main towns, land in the country all over Galenthia begins to return to pasture or woodland, due to so many years of war and disease. Although it is not apparent to the average peasant, the elderly and historical chroniclers note many areas that were previously well peopled are bare, and many areas previously under intensive cultivation are now wild.

Unlike in Aequor, where the lower orders are held firmly in check, the rather more free Galenthian peasants and craftsmen use the current conditions to to ask (or sometimes demand) better wages or conditions. This works in some places, less in others. In the Duchy of Tarris, some peasants & craftsmen threw in lot with bandits in the towns of Biaret and Tollet in the spring and were crushed. The remainder of rebels were moved to Frontier Regiment forts in the Ergonian mountains

In the Fallow Lands, cities and towns continue to develop their local oligarchical forms of government into de-facto city-states, which is eased by the lack of nobles in the area. Knights become extremely prominent in these city-states. Widespread banditry infests the area, and the towns form strong militias. Some bandits are said to be paid or harboured by one city state or another. For the first time, there is low level skirmishing between towns. Royal forces keep the peace in Goldhollow, Oracla and along the border but are unable to intervene elsewhere. Although the city-states remain firmly loyal to the Queen, they are more and more independent in action.

The royal supply depots set up earlier in the year are opened for us by both royal and banner forces to help suppress banditry, which works reasonably well, but does not give the Galenthian forces the ability to project on abroad on campaign.

The Galenthian Field Army abroad in the Imperial Colonies largely returns home and disperses to quarters for supply purposes, though several companies remain scattered about the disputed lands in vicinity of what once was the fief of Rykers.

Work on royal armouries, was completed in early summer; however, they have lain unused due to the famines, and await better days. There is less raiding this year by both Parthians and Njorfolk, but Galenthians remain wary. Kentaire's privateering forces become more of an issue, particularly along the Fallow Lands and Crownlands coasts.

The Ergonian Marches are restive and suffer from frequent small scale goblin raiding. However, the defences in depth set up over the last few years are quite effective at driving the greenskins off, at least in the southern area of the Marches. As previously, the March areas of County Daltre suffer significantly more, and due to food shortages soldiers are not able to be shifted with any rapidity to confront them.

Ironhold
Ironhold maintains its strong grip on its territory, and skirmishes and raids are a more frequent occurrence, especially into the Charing County, but also into Kaedon territory.

A shift in focus towards hunting and fishing means that Ironhold does not suffer terribly during the famines, and largely closes itself off from trading, incurring little illness.

Kentaire
As usual, Kentaire's true status is unknown – they are doubly under heavy state control since going into full isolation in the spring, ahead of the dimming of the sun. However, merchants who've traded with them said they observed illness and starvation, but streets are kept clear by the Prince's forces.

Kentairish privateering fleets that were previously lightly harassing the coasts of the West have somewhat stepped up their efforts, likely due to a perceived lack of consequences with everyone busy.

Partharia
Partharia is officially recovering and locked in a defensive posture. An oddly few raids cross the Great Salt into Galenthia.

Parthian agriculture suffers enormously from the dimming, particularly in the hinterlands. The delicate balance between the arid climate, extensive irrigation canals, rains and silt flooding of river systems that helps feed crops is badly disrupted. Illness is reportedly rife in the cities, and the Parthians show typically little mercy on their poor, who starve to death or die from illness in large numbers.

There are persistent rumours of large scale incursions from supernatural creatures of unknown types, as well as infighting between the various Princes and Princesses controlling the city states.

Alezzo
The Grey Prince Viktor Romante helps his realm weathers the famines well, aided by a long coastline with excellent fisheries. Illness has a moderate impact on the population, but it does not suffer nearly as bad as Partharia.

The hybrid Galentho-Parthian nobility and Alezzan mercenaries, many of whom have returned home, become a potent force in Parthian affairs. Squabbling Princes and Princesses in Partharia use them in their internecine wars, and against the rumoured supernatural incursions, which do not seem to plague Alezzo.

Ryalta
The lack of sun spoils the sugar cane crops, but they are minimally affected by famines, given the food riches of their islands and ability to fish extensively. Some pirate crews pick up anchor and travel to the West in search of new lands to conquer.

There are persistent rumours of fighting with the Matinga.

Matinga
After the midsummer raid in Four Corners; where they sacked and looted part of the city, the Matinga reportedly brought illnesses back to their islands and have not been seen since on the mainland.

There are rumours of fighting with Ryalta.

Vir Sidus
The consolidation that the Princeps and Princepsa have put into place following the end of the Qatunax campaign is interrupted by famine; careful planning and stewardship have Vir Sidus hanging on, but it's a near thing. The excellent infrastructural projects mean that supplies are swiftly able to move around; however, recovery of towns and cities is likewise stopped by famine and illness. Raids from the mountains are infrequent.

The status of the former fief of Ryker, called Nojpeten by the Qatunax, is still unclear. Small groups of soldiers from both Galenthia and the Empire are garrisoned in and around the town, which was heavily reshaped by the Qatunax and is replete with their severe pyramidal architecture. No one has fought over it, but it is clear that no one has given it up, either.

Communications with the Empire proper breaks down for the most part again. There are rumours of civil strife between the three factions – the Senatorials, the Conciliators and the War Party, though it is unclear if they came to blows. Famines seemingly have less of an effect, as the population is already fairly hollowed out. Illness does what it did in the West, but the results are unclear.

On the Qatunax side, rumours indicate that the expulsion from the colonies of the West exacerbates the civil war that they had experienced the previous year. The old High Malku that had knit the Qatunax together in their conquest of the Vir Sidus Empire was confirmed as having been killed the previous summer - one of the Imperial Limitanei saw his flayed skin on display in the Qatunax capital, built near the ruins of the former Vir Sidus capital of Asterrea. What's going on with the Qatunax now is a mystery.

Anything more concrete from within the Empire's former territory is a total unknown.

Van-Sidhe Tor (Goblin Kingdom)
Goblins have been seen all over the East of Galenthia in small parties, never led or associated with their Blue Skinned Knights (IE the Sidhe)

Separately but related, other supernatural creatures have been reported in the wilds and areas between human habitations all over the West; rumours of not just goblins, but all manner of other creatures of varying descriptions - horrible casualties indicate that there is something very widespread going on in the West, but no one knows what and the stories of babbling survivors is of little help

There are persistent reports of supernatural creatures battling with Partharia.

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