Monday, March 30, 2009

Unkerlant Travel Log: the Marches

The Marches lie in northwest Unkerlant. It is a wild, unsettled place, across the river from one of Unkerlant’s many natural barriers to the outside world, the Great Forest. The Marches are full of dark woods and moss covered rocks, mists and damp hollows. The March lords rules this place, and like their people, are fiercely independent. Most Unkerlanters consider them little more than bandit kings who extort money from visitors passing through. These “travel fees” are collected by the Moss Troopers who patrol the land as border guards. Many of the horsemen are recruited to join the King’s Heavy Cavalry regiment despite their questionable reputation.
Neumark in the north, like most Marcher settlements, is more of a fortress than a village. The outer walls are surrounded by sharpened stakes and a moat, protecting the populace and their scrawny cattle. Mundmier in the south is similar, but older and more moss covered. The main trade seems to be cattle rustling, and Sir Manfred, the nominal lord of the Marches does little to stop it. As long as the taxes arrive on time, all is well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Unkerlant Travel Log: Bergstaat

Bergstaat is the largest land in Unkerlant, compromising the mountains in the north, and the flatlands of the south. Berstatters make much of these geographic distinctions as generations of highlanders and lowlanders have fought many bloody battles over slights real and imagined. The last, and possibly the bloodiest fight, occurred during the last War of Unkerlantian Succession when highlanders and lowlanders took opposite sides.
Gesehburg, home to the current master of Bergstaat, Baron Siegfried Von Bergstaat, is the highest town in Unkerlant. Loctated in the Widowfang mountains, Gesehburg offers splendid views of the bleak countryside. Many nobles travel here to take in the mountain air and dine on the often exotic highland cuisine.
Kruetzhofen, in the lowlands, is where the iron dug from the mountains goes to be forged. In contrast to Gesehburg crisp mountain air, the sky above Kruetzhofen is black with soot. Most townsfolk wear dark colors to mask the ash raining down on their shoulders. Despite the terrible air quality, Kruetzhofener are proud of their craft, and make excellent weapons and cannons.
To the south across the border lies Grenzstadt. Once part of Bergstaat, this village was lost during the partitioning of the last war. Many on both sides of the border still consider Grenzstadt part of Unkerlant. In fact, it’s one of the few things highalnder and lowlander agree on.
Years of internal warfare have made Bergstaaters great warriors. But, it takes any even better commander to turn their aggression from each other, to the enemy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I'm off to RECRUITS this weekend. If you've never gone, it's a great convention here in the Midwest. If you're anywhere near the KC area this weekend, stop by. Only $5 to get in! Free if you're a student. I won't be running a game this year, but helping out a fellow Basement General run a Samurai game. Stop by and say "Hi!".

Unkerlant Travel Log: Verdenheim

Verdenheim is Unkerlant’s southernmost land. It suffered greatly from the last war of succession. Because of this Verdenheimer’s are a paranoid folk, imagining Borogravian spies everywhere. Outsiders have often been stung up on suspicion of espionage, with little to no trial.
The Von Wusterburgs, who have ruled Verdenheim for generations, have a long history of producing twins. This, mixed with their native paranoia, has led to some of the more memorable fratricides in the kingdom. Currently, another set of twins holds power. This time, however, they seem content to break with tradition. Brother and sister Electors Ernst and Lilly Von Wusterburg co-rule over a blighted and still recovering land. It is rumored Ernst is a little “slow”, and his sister Lilly actually rules.
Wusterburg the city is a walled menacing sight on a windswept plain. Its blackened walls still bear the scars of previous assaults and sieges.
Schambech is Wusterburgs’s other principle town. It has managed to escape most of the privations its neighbors have suffered. Schambech mostly exports a type of sour apple used in Unkerlantian cuisine. This osur apple is also used to make a brandy used not only for drinking, but in times of necessity, lamp oil.
Verdenheimer soldiers are a scrawny, tough lot, eager for a fight.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Unkerlant Travel Log: Sumpftlund

Sumpftlund is a swampy land full of bogs and fens, tucked into a bend of the Oberphaltz River. The “frog-eaters”, as they are referred to by other Unkerlanters, are a reclusive, independent people. No one’s sure they actually eat frogs, but they do hunt a more elusive animal, the great Red Boar. The size of a small horse, with the ferocity of a angry bear, the Red Boar of Sumpftlund is hunted across the bogs and thickets as a test of manhood. It is so revered that it graces the Sumpftlund flag.
Wissenburg is home to the Sinking Library. Unknowingly built on swampland, this great depository of Unkerlantian knowledge and history is so vast it was deemed easier to continually built new stories upward, rather than try to move the books to another location. Scholars are ferried back and forth all day, for a minor fee used to pay for the construction.
Streissen sits in one of the drier areas of Sumpftlund, in the mountains. Castle Streissen has never been taken by siege. Most armies that have tried end up dying off from the perpetual disease that grips the surrounding swamps.
Count Hans-Ludwig Sumpftlunden holds title of leader for this waterlogged land. He and his constantly growing brood, move throughout the countryside on a floating castle, never in one spot for too long.
Sumpftlunders are some of the best light infantry in Unkerlant, experts at laying traps and ambush.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vanz Glortho

Introducing Vanz Glortho, Scourge of the Galaxy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Unkerlant Travel Log: Wurten

Wurten falls inside Unkerlant’s grain belt, and like Averland, it is horse country. Wurten is proud of it’s cavalry traditon, and many a young noble has joined the Wuppental Dragoons as a right of passage. Wurten horses are a larger breed than their Averland cousins, and more ill tempered. Many of the Wuppental Dragoons are missing an ear tip or finger, but wear it as a badge of pride.
The town of Wuppental sits astride Lake Wuppental, a vast, brackish, cold expanse not known for it’s beauty, but for the number of lives it’s claimed.
Lonigbruk is a town of note in southern Wurten that takes advantage of the countryside’s many lakes and streams. The fishermen of Lonigbruk are a tough people, eking out a meager living in the cold waters of Wurten.
Wurten’s horses and fish have provided it with it’s biggest export, fertilizer. “Wurten prospers on two things”, the saying goes, “fish heads and horse sh*t.” As a consequence, Wurten’s people have often been accused of smelling too much like their product.
Olfactory jabs aside, Wilhelm, 12th Earl of Wurten, is much respected around Unkerlant as a just ruler. Although age and gout now keeps him from horseback, he is still considered one of the best cavalry commanders in Unkerlant.
Wurteners make passable soldiers, but better cavalrymen. You want them on your side, as long as they’re down wind.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Unkerlant Travel Log: Hochland

Hochland sits on a high plateau overlooking most of its neighbors, including the royal city of Koenigstadt. According to their neighbors, this has given Hochlanders an over inflated image of themselves. Outsiders consider most Hochlanders aloof and arrogant.
“As snotty as a Hochlander” is an old Unkerlant saying.
The countryside is in better shape than most Unkerlant, even bordering on pretty. As such, large tracts have been given over to the King’s hunting grounds. The King’s master huntsman resides in Krugenhiem, a collection of the leading nobility’s hunting lodges, rather than a village.
Grunburg is home to the Royal Artillery Training School. The booms and bangs echoing across the highlands not only scare the peasants, but have left most people in Grunburg a little hard of hearing.
Duke Elector Horste Von Hochland also lives in Grunburg, residing in his ancient vine covered fortress. He is a tall, rapier thin man with a hawk like nose. A shrewd man, Von Hochland was a close advisor to the former monarch and will be eager to aid whomever takes the throne next.
Hochlanders are a proud people, and will be the first in battle to lead the attack, after, of course, the artillery softens the enemy up a bit.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Unkerlant Travel Log: Durmwald

Durmwald is bordered on three sides by either rivers or mountains, and as such has always been an isolated place. It is filled with dark pines and lonely meadows. Durmwald is known for it’s oxen, and its equally thick-headed people. This is an unjust assessment as most Durmwalders are by nature a serious, contemplative people unused to new ideas in their remote land. They are also extremely loyal. Durmwald has long been an ally of neighboring Volburg. Where Volborg goes to war, so does Durmwald.
Waldburk, the largest of two towns in Durmwald, is the oldest walled city in Unkerlant. It is a noisy place, filled with bellowing of oxen echoing of the walls on their way to market. It is said you will smell the other town, Blech, long before you see it. Blech is filled with tanneries. The tanning of hides, in this case from oxen, involves a great deal of urine and feces. This has left the people of Blech and their town, shunned by almost everybody, in an already isolated part of the kingdom.
Count Dietrich Von Durmwald presides over Durmwald, and is known as a stern, level headed man, with a love strong ale and the raising of prize bulls.
Durmwalders make sturdy, tough warriors. They do require a bit of goading to get them moving, but once they get going, they come on like a stampede.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Unkerlant Travel Log: the Principality of Hurn

Hurn has at its head, the only prince (in this case princess) not of the royal bloodline. The Principality of Hurn was annexed during the First War of Unkerlantian Succession. Neither side has been particularly happy about the arrangement since. Hurn is currently governed by redoubtable Princess Lucrezia Saxe-Golgoth Von Hurn. She has outlived three of her husbands and all but three of her seven sons, all of which died in the fratricidal ritual that is Hurnish royal succession. The old matriarch is currently being courted by a much younger Ruprect of Borogravia, which only furthers the belief by most Unkerlanters that Hurn is full of traitors.
The one thing Unkerlanters do like, however, are Hurnish turnips. These turnips became popular during the potato famine of 1688, and Unkerlanters have cherished them ever since. Most are grown outside the town of Carroburg in the north and shipped throughout the kingdom.
Alsdorf is the provincial capital and famous mostly as the home of the current Kannonball champions. This is troubling for most Unkerlanters because not only is the title held by outsiders, but many believe they won by cheating. There are allegations of spiking the opponent’s ale and greasing the cannonball.
The Principality’s troops are not considered reliable or aggressive unless they’re facing other Unkerlanters.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Our Boys in Butternut

Inspired by the wave of activity over at the Lead Adventure Forum over a fictional 1938 British Civil War, I delved into something I've been toying a with, some ground based skirmishes set in the Crimson Skies universe. Crimson Skies is an aerial combat game with a great background set in the "what if the Great Depression caused the U.S. to break apart?".
Presented is the 13th Missouri State Militia. Unlike the Dixie Regulars clad in traditional gray, the state militia wear uniforms of the old butternut variety, as an homage to the waning days of the Confederacy. The blue shoulder tabs identify them as infantry and they carry a variation of the original Missouri battle flag. This picture was taken while on maneuvers in the Ozarks.
(Yes, the front rankers are blurry, but I'm too lazy to take another).