It currently consists of all of Hanist, though some areas are only free of orc control but not under Liberation authority. The Tzavarim of the Virten Forest are loose allies of the Liberation but hold their own sovereignty.
The Liberation is currently an oligarchy controlled by Trahaern and the Ruling Council. This is a dynamic situation in which the military, economic, judicial, and legislative powers are held by the Consul and his advisers. The Consul and ruling council are not constitutionally bound nor do they have anything like a clear plan for succession or specialization among themselves. The government has received ambassadors from two foreign powers, but has not supplied reciprocal diplomatic envoys. As the strain of coordinating and controlling an increasing area and population continues to mount, and as the citizenry become more accustomed to their liberation new strategies of government will have to be explored.
The current hierarchical structure is metastable with regional control maintained by counts who, for the moment, universally support the Consul in his efforts to drive the Empire of Night far enough away to provide a measure of assurance there will not be a swift return. That unity of purpose will eventually deteriorate as individual Counts seek advantage over one another. Most tax income is controlled by the Consul, as well as the majority of the available military personnel. The Counts have few resources with which to cause trouble, as the small local militias are no match for the Liberation Army.
Life in the Liberation Edit
People of the Liberation Edit
Most people in the Liberated Lands are humans. There is a substantial kobold minority, a small and resentful Dynfarch minority in Zerniless, a smaller Minotaur minority being resettled from Zerniless into Hanist, and a smattering of refugees from other nations. There are also limited of populations of Orc, Goblin, Ogre, or Dynfarch 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.
The Dynfarch of Zerniless are generally angry about the destruction of their militia and their loss of power and prestige. However, between the losses in Imperial service and the deaths of the militia forces during the Liberation of Zerniless, the Dynfarch are at least a generation away from being able to contest the issue militarily. For now, most of them deeply resent Aisling and General Sven and Dynfarch guerillas in the depths of the Keveteen Sema are a concern.
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. Nevertheless, Völundr is the best known god, as the other priest have fragmented among dozens of gods and various creeds and faiths.
- Long Distance Communication
Many potential or actual spellcasters in the Liberated Lands are unfit for military service: blind, lame, ancient, or otherwise infirm. They can still use magic, and with the discovery of the strategic communication spells at the Black Library, are being hired to provide instant long distance communication between important cities and persons of the Liberation.
The Liberation also maintains a system of post couriers on fast horses to transmit messages between less important cities. They can transmit messages at 150 miles/day along the Imperial Highways or 100 miles/day on the Imperial Military roads.
- Long Distance Travel
After the Liberation of the horse ranches of northern Hanist, Venrike, and the southern Menkgu steppes, a number of corporations have started organizing stage coaches along the same routes as the Liberation post couriers. The stage coaches normally travel at 60 miles/day on the highways or 45 miles/day on military roads at the cost of $1/mile, but for excessive fees, priority runs can reach 100 miles/day on the highways and 80 miles/day on military roads.
Crime and Punishment Edit
The Ruling Council passed the first of the new nation's laws in June 508. 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.
The Liberation has no restrictions on arms or armor within its territory. There is a thriving trade in Orc weapons, salvaged from the edges of battlefields, and kobold weaponsmiths turn out knives and axes as fast as they can. Violence in the cities has gotten worse, with some collaborators being decapitated by halberds. The Dynfarch in the Zerniless are also buying bronze weapons and armor, mostly for self-defense but some to stockpile against a future uprising.
Social Order Edit
See also Rank, Status, and Wealth
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. The Counts are appointed by the Consul and his advisors and the positions are non-hereditary. The Ruling Council is agitating for the ability to appoint, or at least nominate or confirm, replacement Counts. 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.
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 aside from her service as a General.
The most respected military leader in the Liberation is Trahaern ab Owen ("the ever-victorious"), closely followed by Sven Hurtigruten, 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. There is also more unrest in Menkgu and Zerniless, with different legal traditions that do not always harmonize well with Liberation law.
The various great cities are experiencing waves of petty crime, as the Orcs provided law enforcement before the Civil War but mostly stopped patrolling after the Legions left. The Counts are using Liberation militia as watchmen, and Grimstut and Elverum have clamped down on the worst of the crime, but the newly liberated cities in Menkgu and Zerniless are still struggling to deal with anti-collaborator violence.
See also Military Organization
The Liberation Army is built around two Legions, equipped with a mix of scavenged orc Gear and new pattern weapons and armor. 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. Each Legion is a combined arms task force. To date, the 1st Legion contains most of the veterans of the liberation of Hanist and is the primary force in Zerniless while the 2nd Legion has newer recruits and fights in Menkgu.
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.
The Liberation Army is constantly training new troops to match the countless numbers of orcs still left in Menkgu, Zerniless, Gandabria, and the western Empire. The 1st Legion's 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. Training for the 2nd Legion has been moved to the former orc citadel of Landzby.
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. A number of Dynfarch serve as mercenary light cavalry. The Minotaurs of Zerniless, now resettling into Hanist, have volunteered a large number of their excess sons for service, and they are being trained and equipped as Ultraheavy Infantry.
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 Hanist and Venrike. Southern Menkgu is under control out to Uran Paduro and Yosumy, but the northeastern plains and deserts past Umichiry are still controlled by the Empire. Southern Zerniless, including all of the Keveteen Basin and the southern mountain range, have also been liberated, but the northern coast is still controlled by orcs and the Keveteen Basin is uncontrolled beyond any local tribes of Reptilians.
The southern Virten forest on Cape Har has been ceded to the Tzavarim tribes living there.