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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Dark Albion Update: 1466


(note: you can find Dark Albion, a complete system-neutral (mostly) historical-fantasy setting for free here on this thread)

The following were important events in the Dark Albion setting year 1466:

-King Edward of York's daughter Elizabeth (his first child) is born. 

-A huge Turk army invades the Border Kingdoms, but local resistance stalls their advance in their planned conquest of the Continent.

-In Arcadia, the  Pontifex Paulus II enters into political conflicts and machinations with the Cardinals, events escalate to the point some assassinations of important church figures take place.

-In Albion,  Henry Courtenay, younger brother of the attaindered Earl of Devon, and Sir Thomas Hungerford, son of the attainedered Baron Hungerford, plot to raise an insurrection in Devon; they are discovered, arrested and executed.

-Sir Pierre De Braap, Frogman champion and hidden agent in Albion, makes contact with a group of degenerate Frogmen living in an ancient Elven temple complex in the swamps of The Wash.  They attempt to summon/control a Dragon to destroy London and kill the King, but are thwarted by a group of adventurers.

-King Casimir of the Commonwealth wins the 13 year war with the Teutons, which ends with the Treaty of Thorns, with Teuton lands becoming a vassal state of the Commonwealth.

-Richard Wydeville (the King's father-in-law) is made Earl Rivers; Anthony Woodville is made Baron Scales, Henry Woodville made Lord Rockingham (Anthony and Henry are the King's brothers-in-law). Thus the King continues to increase honor and favor on the low-nobility family he has married into.

-in other Solstice honors, the King makes his 14-year old brother Prince Richard Crookback (Duke Gloucester) a provisional Knight of the Star. Earl Rivers (that is, Richard Wydeville) is made Knight of the Star and Lord Treasurer. Sir John Wenlock is made Captain of Calais. Lord Hastings is made ambassador to Burgundy.


In Our Campaign:
The PCs main adventure that year involved the aforementioned story about the degenerate frogmen in Albion's only large swamp and their attempt to summon a dragon.  That was a very challenging adventure for them but luckily they very quickly realized that time was of the essence, and managed to stop the frogmen BEFORE the dragon was summoned.  This is not the type of campaign where things just get suspended in space/time until the PCs show up for it to be perfect climactic moment.

In addition to this, politics loomed large in this year.  The PCs were mostly agents and allies of the now-marginalized Earl of Warwick ("the Kingmaker"), who had enormous influence over King Edward (having been chief architect of getting him on the throne in the first place) but had lost all that when the King happened to fall in love with Elizabeth Woodville and secretly married her without Warwick's knowledge.  Now the Woodvilles have been using their new status to full advantage, securing favorable marriages for themselves, getting the Queen to influence King Edward to give them new titles, lands and offices, and the paterfamilias Earl Rivers now controls the crown treasury!
This all led to some conflict within the PC party mainly because one player character was Sir Henry Woodville, brother to the new Queen; and now he found himself pretty strongly on the opposite side of his former patron Warwick and his soon-to-be-former-friends in the rest of the party.

Not all the politics was at the federal level; one of our PCs, Doctor Ralph (who everyone calls "the Doctor") used his prestige as an adventuring physician and one of the most clever medical minds in all the civilized world to create a Guild of Physicians, a new livery company that would control and regulate the trade in the medical profession in London.  The Guild would of course be under his control.
The player running the Doctor has been quite clever, I think, in NOT pursuing a knighthood or seeking to play the game of high politics. He realized that he could do much more following the example of certain significant historical commoners that accumulated great wealth and influence in all those things that the nobility felt was beneath them.  

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