[CENTER][U][B][SIZE=7]Volkarna[/SIZE][/B][/U] [IMG]https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c4/70/7b/c4707bb275b984b0d4a2550b7cf506f4.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER] Location: far north on the east coast of the main continent Climate: Dark, Prone to raining and storms, icy weather and snow, and in winter, it can become cut off for short periods due to ice, via road links. Though the sea never freezes, and they rely on that for trade.. Primary Terrain: The city is situated at a natural harbor. That has a volcano nearby and has a rocky and hilly terrain Government: Kratocracy Affiliation (if any): Lip service Empire (would like to be truly independent) Population: 30,000 as well as slaves up to another 30,000 slaves in the city Points of Interest: 1: The Black Keep 2: The Outer City 3: The Silver Mines & The Heart Stone Mine Locations: Volkarna is a self-governing province at the far reaches of the Empire, it is a dark city. The city lies on in an area where the Myst has been saturated, has corrupted many of the elite who live here. As the bloodlines that can use magic here, have deformed somewhat. Added to this a result of the heart stone ritual, which the strongest of the Von Volkarna undertake, and if they survive, they become part of the city rulers. The city has very few laws, the main one is Might makes right. Thus lots of mercenaries, and other troops can find work here. The place also attracts pirates, who can unload their goods, without fear of the law. The strongest of the Von Volkarna control the black keep, this was built where the myst was at its strongest point in the city. The Black Keep is an exceptionally strong fort, that could hold back most conventional forces at its base. The rulers of the city live here, and they are currently the Von Volkarna, a bloodline that drips in the shrouds magic. The inner city is were other important families live, nobles of the land, and those rich or strong enough to reside here. There are sometimes mini battles between houses here, as they try and gain importance. Though these are short-lived, as they don't want to lose to much power, so one will usually give up before that happens, as the consequence is great, if it is a total loss as they may end being utterly destroyed root and stem. Though due to the strength of the myst in the area, some people have set up a few colleges of Magi here. The outer city was where the middle classes lived, they were artisans and well versed in crafts for being so separated from the Empire. They plied their trades, and had a modicum of protection, as the guards were mostly loyal to coin, and who were recruited from their own ranks. They did not like how the city was run and was a source of malcontent within the city, but they did not have the power to change the system. They did, however, stay as they enjoyed having a semi-autonomy in the area, as long as taxes were paid, and as long as they did not try and rise up, they were left alone, to govern themselves. The outer city was also walled, that is something they liked and kept them here as well and looped around the entire outer city, with guard posts dotting the barrenness. The silver mines are controlled by Von Volkarna family and were mined using slaves who obeyed with a will and eagerness that few other slaves could match, and if not they were eaten. These slaves did not live long, due to the shroud, and harsh conditions. Though the ones that died were reused as food for the existing populace. The mine lay north of Black Fortress and is in complete control of the city rulers. Armed Forces and Invasions: Volkarna was rich in monetary terms but did not have the population, to support a full-sized military. This meant they relied on mercenaries to bolster expeditionary forces. These can come from anywhere, as they are well known for paying for hired thugs. Though if anyone rolled up there door, then this city, by its very nature was militarized. Sure not everyone would fight, though unlike a normal province were they expect to face up to ten percent, in this province they would be looking at nearly twenty percent people taking up arms, against an invading force. They would also conscript slaves, they just put spears in the hands and a shield, and would peg down to face enemies come to form certain directions. They would be forced to fight them, as they could not get out of the way. This added with the leading house could raise an army of undead, to help fight the enemy at their gates. The weather is also on there side, as most armies, would not know how to deal with the harsh winter conditions, in this province. Rough number of men/women in any evidentiary force are 250 Soldiers 100 slave warriors [LIST=1] [*]One hundred Slave warriors, armed with Spears, [URL='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutum_(shield)']Scutum Shields[/URL] they have 2 [URL='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilum']Pilums[/URL]. They wear [URL='https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/555800845/viking-leather-armour-medieval-armor']leather armour[/URL], around there chest. They tend to be the strongest slaves, the captain can buy, before setting off. They do not have any martial discipline, apart from what they pick up on the road. They are mainly there to be slaughtered and tire out the enemy, as hacking people to death is energy draining. Though before the that happened, they do use Pilums, into the enemy rank. This will bend once pierced, making shields useless, and they are unable to be pulled out of limps, that they pierced as well. The first thing they are shown to do is to make a shield wall, to protect themselves, from incoming attacks. They are sometimes chained together or pinned to the ground, to prevent them from running away or breaking formation. [*]Hundred and sixty-four man-at-arms, these men are the bulk of the infantry arranged into four units of forty-one troops, the one is a [URL='https://www.shroudofrhiaden.com/index.php?threads/thralls.194/']thrall[/URL]. They act as the officer of the unit and are utterly loyal. The rest are professional soldiers and are trained as such. They are equipped with a broadsword and a crossbow. They also have a round shield and wear plate armour, a plate helm, and chainmail coif. These are the rank and file of the company and are also very flexible, with shooting and melee options. [*]Forty-one heavy infantry unit, as well as others the officer is a thrall. They are equipped with a halberd, hauberk chain mail, with a metal breastplate. Chainmail coif. They act as a heavy infantry unit, with heavy infantry weapon, and heavy armour. So they cut through enemy formations, but are slow moving, compared to other infantry. Though they are utterly disciplined, and train hard and play hard. [*]Twenty-five light horsemen, the officer is a thrall. They have crossbows, swords round shields, hauberk chainmail. They act as scouts, and hunting party, to help bring in extra food. They all used to harass enemy lines. They use female horses, as they have a better turn than male horses. They also use dire wolf each control four each, these are really good against skirmished units and scaring the horse and other beasts that are unfamiliar with them. [*]Twenty-five knights, all of these men are thrall to a Volkarna commander who is in the unit, who maybe sired one, for a greater lord. They are wearing [URL='https://hlj.com/kt-project-takeya-shiki-jizai-okimono-15th-century-gothic-style-field-armor-bronze-kyd12028']full plate armour[/URL], and a heavy warhorse wearing [URL='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barding']barding[/URL]. They have heavy lances, as well as swords and metal shields. They are better trained than most knights, as the enthrallment of them, means they don't get bored with training or turn to drink. [/LIST] House Von Volkarna: The House of Von Volkarna is the ruling house of this province and has been since the beginning of existence. This includes when they were exiled after the last rebellion, they still controlled it. The heads of this noble house are Ritual Vampires, though not all members of the house are. The Strongest in Myst of the house are chosen to become so, the rest are given important jobs in the province, or trained as enchanters. Though one of them is always the puppet king, as the face of the house needs to be replaced from time to time, and having a mortal their makes this easier. They call this the Masquerade, they all try and pretend to be normal humans, as so not to alarm them. As they know full well they outnumber them, and they would come for them, rather than they being the hunters, they would become the hunted. The true political power of the province lies with the council, they are a total of five ritual vampires from the volkarna line, they are the strongest of them. They represent each point on a compass, and the head of the council points the way. Then each of them has a group of fellow vampires and thralls to help them. They keep the numbers of vampires low, as that way they are less likely to be detected. They, however, are always looking for Wolfsbane. A plant used inside the Black Keep, to ward off Werewolves, their only natural predator. History: The city was founded here by Arvan Von Volkarna who founded the settlement here, as it was a natural port, and with mining villages nearby it meant they could be shipped out for money easier, as well as bring in supplies. As this province was saturated in the gems, due to dormant and live volcanoes in the region. They used the money from the mine to build the first fort, which is known as the Black Keep, and as such others then came to settle here as well, to live under its protection, as the city grew, and more rock came out of the mines, they built, more walls, and the fortified port. As the City grew, and the province grew in wealth, a plague struck the city and the surrounding province. The weakened the region, and then empire took advantage of it and came north. Then seized the province, and claimed it. As this happened the Volkarna family, just became vampires, as they wanted a way to avoid dying in the plague. They did not like this situation, but now immortal, they can bide there time. So they did, and always on hand to fund instability, and try and find ways to weaken the empire and strengthen the other imperial provinces. Though they rarely did this directly, as they do not wish to incur the wrath of the empire. Though if an opportunity did come, in such a way, as nothing to do with the empire, then they would do so openly. That moment did come, they decide they had enough of the cattle telling them what to do. They saw the chaos that was ensuing by the empire and rebelled. They helped others do the same, as the more the north the empire lost, the hard it would be to retake it. This strategy ultimately failed as the empire, still had its legions, and soon the empire was on their doors again. This time the Von Volkarna had to flee, they had seen what had happened to the others who lead the rebellion. They did not flee far, but far enough to stay outside the grasp of the empire. As they knew the icy desert, and the legion did not. They returned a hundred years later, they were the same vampires who had left, they used there supernatural charm, to start retaking the city slowly, so not to alert the empire, and the first thing they retook was the silver and gem mines. They steadily rebuilt there influence, creating and installing thralls into positions of power, so they could retake the city from the cattle when the time was right. So when an open rebellion came to the empire, they retook their city and took back the black fort. Though after that they saw empire retaking the provinces, and they surrender, before they got to them. Though they came very much as independent as they could be, without actually rebelling again. Though they are preparing to rebel again, and are preparing for the right moment to do this, also unlike the last time they want to be ready to lose as well. This time, they are using magic to make the area colder, making the route an imperial herd would come more difficult, to cross. They also built a fleet, to protect the harbor, from a direct assault. This and thanks to its silver mines, the city is rich and prosperous and a hotbed for piracy, crime, counterfeiting, and any other sin. They are a thorn in the side the empire as they represent a fair wealth and are difficult to attack, that it cannot remove easily, though at the moment they are compliant, as they do have the strength to beat the imperial herd.