Signup
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Touring the Flanaess
Cities of
Oerth
Deadly Denizens
Greyhawk Wiki
#greytalk
JOIN THE CHAT
ON DISCORD
    Canonfire :: View topic - Scope and Flavor
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Gran March Gazetteer
    Scope and Flavor
    Author Message
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:54 am  
    Scope and Flavor

    Ok, in another thread we have discussed at length what the March is, or more importantly, what the March is not. The Purspose of this thread is to see what you think the March IS.

    Lets talk about the Flavor and Scope. There is a great deal of work in the pages of the Gran March Gazateer Forum concerning various aspects of the March. However, I am hoping for a overall feel, a sense of the March as a whole.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:33 am  

    IMO, the March IS a march, a militarized province dealing with the presence of foreigners, the Baklune, Flan and humanoids. It has drifted away from that to a degree and stabilized, but not completely and that function, along with its soldiers, have moved to the borders. The populace are concerned with that function so they talk about Bissel, the Rushmoors, the Dim Forest, Geoff and the Lortmills and have racial tensions with the resident foreigners. These things are all the more so because of their losses with the latter Tavishes and the fact that their stabilization came through heightened militarization.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:58 pm  

    IMV the sense of the GM (leaving aside the feel) is:

    A Knightly Society

    The Gran March is a huge knightly holding. While there is now a government technically separate from the Knights of the Watch (formerly Knights of the March), the Order of Knights remains the single most powerful and defining characteristic of the March. The government functions as much as an adjunct to the Order of Knights as an independent sovereign. The society is a knightly one, and the culture is a knightly one, more than anything else. This is not, however, absolute and is changing.

    The Gran March Comes of Age

    Since the Short War, the Gran March has had to, in a sense, grow up. It is no longer just an appendage of Keoland. While technically allied to Keoland, it functions for all practical purposes as a completely independent state. In fact, the Gran March has grown to rival Keoland in influence in the north. Nothing happens from Thornward to Shibboleth without the Gran March being involved and approving. Keoland’s writ now runs north only to the Rushmoors and the Rushflow. Beyond the midwaters of the Sheldomar Valley, the Gran March is the power with whom to be reckoned in military terms. Keoland, however, is vastly more wealthy than the March and its financial assistance is the source of its continuing influence in the north.

    Keoland and the March

    This is not to say that Keoland and the Gran March are adversaries or rivals, but no longer will the Gran March immediately bow to the commands of the Lion Throne. The Gran March is coming to see its interests as at least as important as Keoland’s interests and is increasingly assertive. Where once Keoland commanded, now they must negotiate. This sits not well with certain factions within Keoland and to this extent, a rivalry has developed.

    The situation is complicated, however, because the Order of Knights exists not only in the March and in Bissel, but also in Keoland proper. At least a quarter of the Order belong to chapterhouses situated in Keoland, most dating back to the days of the Knights of March, now subsumed into the Knights of the Watch. The international, or inter-regional, character of the Order of Knights places checks on both Keoland and the Gran March in how they deal with each other.

    The parameters of the new relationship between Keoland and the Gran March are being put to the test in Geoff. The Gran March stands in the forefront of the liberation of Geoff and it intends to have a continuing influence once Geoff is fully free from threat, if it does not outright annex portions, or all, of Geoff. Keoland’s role is more subtle and variable, as it struggles to formulate a policy at once looking toward the full liberation of Geoff but also mindful that an enlarged Gran March, were it to incorporate large portions of Geoff, would fundamentally alter the balance of power in the Sheldomar, placing the Gran March much more on an equal footing with Keoland throughout the Valley, not merely militarily but also in terms of resources.

    Internal Politics within the Gran March

    Complicating matters within the Gran March are four rival groups that each seek their own interests. While the government of the Gran March functions much as an adjunct to the Order of Knights, it is technically independent and there is a tension between the Order and the government of the March that, while often smoothed over, can flair with the character of the individuals in positions of authority on each side. Distinct from both factions are the landed nobles of the Gran March, who have a foot in each camp, so to speak, but who also see themselves as distinct, perhaps as the “true” Gran Marchers - the future of the March as distinct from its knightly past. Rounding out the picture are the rising middle or merchant classes in Hookhill and Shibboleth and the Marchs other urban areas. Of all the Gran March’s factions their interests are the most cosmopolitan or international and most likely to be in sympathy with, and subject to manipulation by outsiders to the March.

    External Politics

    The Gran March has acted as a bulwark against Baklunish expansion into Keoland. This was, however, not the cause for the founding of the March and is not central to its identity, even as such has taken on prominence. The Gran March has gone through phases in its external politics and the emphasis on one external actor or another has shifted. None of these shifts has, however, proved definitional to the Marchers self identity because the role of the Order. The Order has defined the Marchers in a constant way, even as external actors change.

    In the present, the Marchers see themselves as a power on the rise and are acquisitive of greater influence. This is seen in Bissel and in Geoff. It is more subtly seen in the March’s more equal relationship with Keoland. This acquisitiveness should, however, be distinguished from a simple territorial expansionism. This is so because of the two fold nature of the March - Knightly Order but also Government. It is an open question what is being expanded - the influence of the nation that is the Gran March or the influence of the Order of Knights acting through the Gran March. Here, the question feeds back to the struggles between the Gran March’s internal factions.

    This complexity belies the notion that the March is simply Keoland’s catspaw in the north, which confuses or perturbs some factions within Keoland. The Gran March may appear to be a relatively simple proposition on its face, but it reveals a large number of complexities upon closer examination. The end cannot be foreseen. The Gran March continues to evolve and find its place in the Sheldomar Valley and ultimately the larger Flanaess. It is a vital work in progress ideal for adventures of every sort.

    IMV
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:01 pm  
    The Beginning of the End

    I agree with both of the previous posts, and would like to add to both of them.

    The March is a march, a land designed to be a buffer and beset by enemies, as Wolfsire has described. However, I would say the the identity of the Gran March began to diverge from this somewhat with the Short War, but much more so after the Hateful Wars. In the (as yet unpublished) History of the March, the Gran March did not participate in the Hateful Wars for three reasons:

    1. Keoland had refused support, and pressured GM to do the same.
    2. Initial combat with the few troops the GM committed proved that Cavalry was terribly unsuited to the terrain, and resulted in horrible casualties.
    3. A large incursion of trolls from the Dim Forest and Rushmoors prevented them from effectively committing troops. (this is an expansion of a note in N1 Cult of the Reptile God)

    However, IMV, the GM provided a great deal of support, by providing defensive troops for Dwarven and Gnomish strongholds, food, weapons, and any other necessary supplies. The reality of their mounted society made them well suited to providing such support.

    Though the Hateful Wars rarely mention the GM, they benefited most of all the nations in the Flaness from the actions there. Prior to the Hateful Wars, the March was surrounded by enemies on all sides, with only a few short friendly boundries. After the Hateful Wars, it's longest border was suddenly pacified.

    So, IMV, this was the time when the event's of the Short War and the rise of the March's military might really began to shape events, and lessened the feeling of being a march all the time. Also, the relatively militant nature of he populace has established a certain routine and stability within the March that most other nations of the Flaness would envy. The areas of danger are well dileneated.

    As this has changed, the Marcher's view of themselves has changed. Though the Knights have been the most influential faction for centuries this is on the decline due to:

    1. The Rise of the Military (which outnumbers the Knights 4 to 1)
    2. The consistent failure of the Knights to win, thought GM Army apparently does.
    3. The Supra National nature of the KoW, which results in mistrust.

    I think GVD's assesment is also right on the money, except that he forgot the Army as a primary faction. The Army is where all males, and many females, go for 5 years. They love the Army, not the Knights. This causes a significant 3 way/ 4 way strife with the KoW, the Nobles, and the rest of the Institutions.

    I think the thing that IMV, GVD has forgotten in his politics assesment are ties to the Old Country. IMV, certian families (the Rholgran) for exxample, is an offshoot of the Rhola, and has streong alliances with them.

    I will have to pick this up tommorrow.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:20 am  
    Re: The Beginning of the End

    Anced_Math wrote:
    The Rise of the Military (which outnumbers the Knights 4 to 1) . . . I think GVD's assesment is also right on the money, except that he forgot the Army as a primary faction. The Army is where all males, and many females, go for 5 years. They love the Army, not the Knights. . . .
    I think the thing that IMV, GVD has forgotten in his politics assesment are ties to the Old Country. IMV, certian families (the Rholgran) for exxample, is an offshoot of the Rhola, and has streong alliances with them.


    I am somewhat reluctant to see the Army quite so divorced from the Knights, let alone estranged from them (and the 4 to 1 ratio sets my teeth on edge as I see the GM as more knightly in culture than purely "military," if that makes sense). With mandatory conscription and a "love" of the Army, I get an odd Starship Troopers (the movie) vibe or alternatively a PsiCorp vibe ala Babylon 5 - "The Army is mother; the Army is father . . ." I have not internalized this.

    The continuing affection of GM offshoots of the Neheli and Rhola for those familes back in Keoland also leaves me a bit guarded. It has been a loooong time since they were literally close, absent remarriage back into the Keoland Neheli and Rhola. While I could see a pride or nostalgia for their origins, absent frequent reconnection between the GM offshoots and the families back in Keoland via marriage or otherwise, I see the GM offshoots of the Rhola and Neheli more developing an identity uniquely GM and distinct from the Neheli and Rhola of Keoland.

    Not saying anyone has to agree. Just my thought at the moment. Smile
    _________________
    GVD
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:07 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    I am somewhat reluctant to see the Army quite so divorced from the Knights, let alone estranged from them (and the 4 to 1 ratio sets my teeth on edge as I see the GM as more knightly in culture than purely "military," if that makes sense). With mandatory conscription and a "love" of the Army, I get an odd Starship Troopers (the movie) vibe or alternatively a PsiCorp vibe ala Babylon 5 - "The Army is mother; the Army is father . . ." I have not internalized this.


    I get a Frankowski, Conrad series, vibe. I am OK with that, but the situation would be out of balance. Such an Uber-army would eventually take over Keoland, but start with the GM. There is enough democratic pluralism in Keoland that it would try to find a way to prevent that by using the army as a cat's paw and letting their power be diffused by a loss of victory or victory and appropriate spoils, such as knighthoods and holdings in Geoff, whatever it takes to eliminate the esprit de corp.

    IMO, to have a balance with such an army, something has to be wrong with it. Or not, this is fantasy.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:08 pm  

    Maybe it is that the soldiers are away at the frontier that keeps the balance.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:05 pm  

    Well, I understand the concerns with the Army. However, the numbers are canon, and the losses of the Army under the KoW are also a part of history. Living in a military town, i can tell you ... the military types do not like to loose. As to the culture... well for nearly 650 years you have had compulsory military service. Starship troopers may well be appropriate.

    However, I agree that there is a strong Knightly air to the mythology of GM. I think this should continue both as a character in the GM, and as a player watching it from above. That is the reason, IMV, that the "March," or "Frontier," sense still prevails. The Army patrols the roads and watches the Marches... the Rushmoors, the Dim Forest, and it's warring neighbors... Bissel and Geoff.

    One of the reasons I mention Scope so often in my posts is that we often loose sight of the size of things in a fantasy world. The Rushmoors are larger than the Okeefenokee or the Everglades... the Dim is as large as nearly any forest except maybe the Congalese belt or the Amazon... The scale of them is HUGE. If you have not been to the Okeefenokee, trust me... you won't accidentally wander out. A couple of years ago a camper was lost for two weeks, and they were using planes to look for him. They recently killed a hog that weighed 1000 pounds there (though confirmed by National Geographic, there is some dispute as some people claim it did not weigh more than 850 lbs!?!?!?!?)

    There are reasons that the Army has not dominated... but (IMV) the loss of the Lortmils as a border and the onrunning behaviour and questionable motivations of the KoW are giving rise to a sense of distrust in the Army. This is highlighted by the schism in the KoW/KoD.

    With this line of thinking, I am not necessarily craft a new sense of GM, so much as reconcile the Canon. The new independence of GM is a fact detailed in FtA and GHW. If I can wrap it in sensability for today, well that serves the immediate goal, but it may project a fairly radical new future. Looking around, I think you will find that this is exactly how history progresses. 200 years ago, who would have thought those silly colonials would have actually survived this long (hey Yabusama, this is for you Happy ).

    As to the family ties with the Keoland... it isnt just Christmas dinner and reunions. These people are related like the Queen of England and the King of Greece were related... distantly or not at all... but say it quietly and out of their hearing. They are noble, and have a stake in the Nobles staying on top. IMV of GM, and the one that is carrying through the GMP... a good portion of the GM "army," is actually the home guards of all the nobles. The "Army," is responsible for the Borders, the Roads and Chartered Cities, a Baron is responsible for everything else within his Demense. Similar to an internal/external responability, though not completely.

    IMV the KoW are not out of the picture at all, but their influence MAY be on the wane due to their own actions and the rising nationalism of the GM populace. The KoW are definately not a national group, with ties and agendas throughout the Sheldomar.

    So, I do not think my vision conflicts with the first two posts at all... it is compliant but with more detail.. and the devil is in the details.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:45 am  

    Anced_Math wrote:
    So, I do not think my vision conflicts with the first two posts at all... it is compliant but with more detail.. and the devil is in the details.


    I do not think it conflicts either. I think the differences in emphasis only underscore the conflicts that should arise in role playing.

    The only thing that I would back off some from is considering the Lortmils a safe border. I am not an expert in the area and I know that the Empire of the Pomarj has not reached that far. But I believe they are eyeing it and will have scouts. Recalling the number of humanoids you generated in the pop figures and notwithstanding demihuman control over the general area, it is my sence that it is still a wild place where relatively unorganized humanoids will exists. Reasonably safe for a border, but not one that can be left unmanned, IMO.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:55 am  

    Anced_Math wrote:
    Well, I understand the concerns with the Army. However, the numbers are canon, and the losses of the Army under the KoW are also a part of history. . . . As to the family ties with the Keoland... it isnt just Christmas dinner and reunions. These people are related like the Queen of England and the King of Greece were related... distantly or not at all... but say it quietly and out of their hearing. They are noble, and have a stake in the Nobles staying on top. IMV of GM, and the one that is carrying through the GMP... a good portion of the GM "army," is actually the home guards of all the nobles. The "Army," is responsible for the Borders, the Roads and Chartered Cities, a Baron is responsible for everything else within his Demense. Similar to an internal/external responability, though not completely.


    I am far more comfortable with this view of the Army - the combined feudal levies of the nobles of the GM - rather than a standing, professional army in the modern sense, with generals etc. who are commoners but have risen by their own merit to powerful positions commanding a large military force.

    I still have some questions about how closely the nobles of the GM see themselves as allied or concerned with the nobles of Keoland. My tendency, as with much of the GM, is to default back to knightly tradition - the noble families of the GM having arisen in a knightly environment and seeing themselves as much knightly in the GM sense as noble in the Keolandish sense. Maybe it is a question of emphasis. If so, I think I can split the difference without a problem.
    _________________
    GVD
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:58 am  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    I do not think it conflicts either. I think the differences in emphasis only underscore the conflicts that should arise in role playing.


    GVDammerung wrote:
    Maybe it is a question of emphasis. If so, I think I can split the difference without a problem.


    LOL! We cross posted. Smile Great minds . . . Happy Wink
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:40 am  

    My vision is that these complexities are there for the characters to sort out. It is all of the above and none. Each faction has a perception that it's view is the way the world is. The fictional people we are talking about do not have the benefit of the Player/DM uber reality... and I hope to create a world where the characters/players wrestle with these uncertainties. Or, they can if they choose to. Some people will not like this style of play, but I and my group do.

    So... I see the GM as a HIGHLY miltarized society, but it is has balances and other facets. IMV the society is developing, merchants and guilds are starting to excert their influence. Shiboleth is developing into a regional trade center, and Hookhill is a safe waypoint for all trade points North. Once merchants enter the GM, they breathe a sigh of relief because Hookhill is in sight. Zilchus is making inroads, and St. Inessa has established herself as a patron of the Army.

    As to the Lortmils being safe... hardly. But compared to pre Hateful Wars, or the Dim Forest, or the Rushmoors, or Geoff... they are playground for kids. Though Pomarj is over the hill so to speak, there has to be better targets than a land that has relatively little wealth, a large standing army, large noble armies and an order of crusader knights. Even orcs cannot be thrilled about trying to pillage this place!

    I think that the archetype of the Knight is something that the March is still enamoured of, even if it is not the primary fighting unit in the March. Similar to the popularity of cowboys in the 1950's. In an age of tanks, machine guns and nuclear weapons the nation was enthralled by Roy Rogers and Trigger.

    This is not quite accurate as there are the KoW, the Knights of the Nobles and the Queens Knights (article is nearly complete). It is the common non-unit fighter in the March. However, most people have been trained as infantry or cavalry, and aspire to knighthood... but will never attain it.

    All of that said, between the groups that have Knights, there is a lot of mailed horse flesh trotting to jousts in the March.

    Thoughts?
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:32 pm  

    Quote:
    ... but will never attain it.


    In Conrad's army, his overlord would not tolerate the bunch of peseants armed to the teeth because it would upset the social order. So he made him knight them.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:06 pm  

    Anced_Math wrote:
    So... I see the GM as a HIGHLY miltarized society, but it is has balances and other facets. IMV the society is developing, merchants and guilds are starting to excert their influence. Shiboleth is developing into a regional trade center, and Hookhill is a safe waypoint for all trade points North.

    I think that the archetype of the Knight is something that the March is still enamoured of, even if it is not the primary fighting unit in the March. Similar to the popularity of cowboys in the 1950's. In an age of tanks, machine guns and nuclear weapons the nation was enthralled by Roy Rogers and Trigger.

    Thoughts?


    Maybe it is semantics but "militarized" gives me visions:

    1) of a society where generals run things - generals whose only claim to fame is that they are generals, having made a career of the military (a military dictatorship (or the Starship Troopers model))

    2) commanding armies made up of common conscripts, not noble levies

    3) whose fervor for the military approaches fascism

    This would run entirely contrary to how I see the march. I see the March as knightly in ideal and in fact.

    I don't care for the idea of the knight as passe but still beloved, like the cowboy in the 1950s. That is a fantasic analogy that makes a very vivid point, but I do not see the March that way because it is still too much a frontier/march. There is still too much need for the knight. Unlike the US in the 1950s having outgrown the cowboy, the GM has not outgrown the knight.

    I see the knight as the defining characteristic of the Gran March in word, deed, idea and fact. Examples:

    There are nobles, but they arise out of the knightly class and pride themselves on being knights as much as barons etc. A baron in the GM who was not also a highly accomplished and recognized knight (however, that might occur) would be openly laughed at and ridiculed - to his face - something that would never happen in Keoland where being noble is more important than any connection with knightly prowess or rank.

    The bulk of the armed forces are made up of bodies of knights led by senior knights. Peasant infantry is recognized and honored for their battlefield utility but all honor and glory go to the knights. No knight would ever take orders from a non-knight, even one sporting the title "general." The standing, non-knightly army, is accorded respect but is treated as much like policemen as a true military force.

    All infantry etc. aspire to prove themselves worthy of notice by a knight on the field that the knight might offer them the opportunity to become a squire. Upward mobility is highly achievable, at least compared to other realms, because there are so many more knights per capita in the GM.

    Literature in the GM consists principally of tales of knighthood or chivalry. Children grow up dreaming of being knights and such dreams come true in the GM. No one dreams of growing up to be a "soldier" in the "Army." That just happens.

    Architecture is highly functional but sports unusual features made to accomodate horse and rider - the mounted knight.

    Art depicts knights, battles featuring knights, knights at court etc. In this respect, knighthood approaches a secular religion in the GM. Imagine if all the madonna and childern of the Renaissance had been knights!

    Court customs are all chivalric. There is no equivalent of "military customs and courtesies" that is not founded on the ideals of knighthood.

    The tourney is a national obsession, second only to horse racing - the horse, of course, being the knight's traditional mount.

    Etc.

    The Knights of the Watch, as the largest order of knighthood, are the biggest military and social actor in the GM. Membership is sought after avidly. The defeats the KoW have suffered are laid largely at the feet of Keoland and form a goodly portion of the reason the GM is increasingly going its own way. The KoW is, however, in no way discredited by these defeats, as they are attributed to Keoland's influence - an effete land, not run by knights and adhering to knightly virtues. Rather, the KoW gets huge credit for seeking the GMs freedom from such interference in the future. This is a rationalization in large measure but not a complete fabrication at the same time.

    Part of the complexity of the GMs politics is that so many people serve so many masters. All nobles are also knights, most belonging to the KoW. The government is separate from the KoW but many of its leading figures are also KoW. So the goverenment, noble, and KoW factions are complicated by most of the first two belonging to the latter.

    The standing army is less a faction in its own right than a supporter of the government faction that is free of the KoW. So too the rising merchant classes tend to ally with the government faction that is free of the KoW. (BTW, I see Shibboleth as an ancient city and long an important regional trade nexus).

    The only reason the KoW doesn't run the GM as one huge fief of the Order is that 1) the KoW is supra-national in outlook, having significant interests in Bissel, Geoff and Keoland, as well as the GM, 2) because the creation of the Commandant created an institutional impediment to Grand Wyvern control and 3) because the KoW sees itself as more principled than the KoM, who did run the GM as one giant fief of the KoW. The KoW is also not a dictatorship. While the Grand Wyvern is the titular head, the heads of individual enclaves hold substantial power in their own right and cannot be ordered about at the whim of the GW - ie there are internal politics inside the KoW.

    Anyhoo. Happy I'm still imagining a difference on emphasis or semantics more than any hard/intractable differences. One could easily say the opposite of the above by simply taking the view of the government faction, who would see the 1950's cowboy example as entirely appropriate. Cool

    Harmonizing the different tacs may be changelling. Shocked I don't think, however, it will be insurmountable. Smile With my particular take I try to write my contributions to the GMP with a "light"voice that can be edited without too much trouble to fit the desired mold. The "real" story I can put forward in a "director's cut." Laughing Wink
    _________________
    GVD
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:09 am  

    I'm thinking that, after meeting and having a productive chat during the Greychat last night, that AM and I have a working understanding. A chat for and amongst those interested in the GMP might be an idea, IMO. Smile
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:48 pm  

    I am not as convinced of the sacro sanct place of the Knight in the March. I see where one could lean that way, but I (and others who have participated in the project so far) lean toward a more complex view of GM society.

    However, as I was preparing this, I reread the LGG article on the GM, and I think I will open a new thread to discuss what I am finding there. There are numerous details that I, and others, have passed over. See the new thread, and after that discussion, I think I will come back to this one.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:31 am  

    Anced_Math wrote:
    I am not as convinced of the sacro sanct place of the Knight in the March. I see where one could lean that way, but I (and others who have participated in the project so far) lean toward a more complex view of GM society.

    However, as I was preparing this, I reread the LGG article on the GM, and I think I will open a new thread to discuss what I am finding there. There are numerous details that I, and others, have passed over. See the new thread, and after that discussion, I think I will come back to this one.


    I respect the opinion held by yourself and others and I am not looking to convince anyone that they should change their views. Nor do I mean to imply such.

    For my part, I am going to write a history of the GM. Smile I am happy to work with any interested persons in crafting that history Happy and as I don't figure to start writing in earnest until Summer 2007, there is no hurry. I am also happy to make the history I write available to the GMP, to be used "as is" or excerpted or edited. Happy

    Recognizing that my views are not always aligned with others thinking, I intend to make an effort to minimize or finesse any differences. I think the result will reveal not so much difference in fact as difference in emphasis or point of view. Again, I am happy to have what I produce edited or excerpted etc. for the GMP. Happy

    While I can easily compromise much of my vision of the GM, I am not going to compromise on everything, even as I will look to finesse those matters. The reason for this is that I am going to make personal use of the material I create; I am not creating it solely for the GMP, even as I am happy to have the GMP make what use of it they would like.

    Just trying to be clear that I'm not looking to rock the boat. Happy
    _________________
    GVD
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 125
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

    Send private message
    Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:32 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:

    For my part, I am going to write a history of the GM. Smile I am happy to work with any interested persons in crafting that history Happy and as I don't figure to start writing in earnest until Summer 2007, there is no hurry. I am also happy to make the history I write available to the GMP, to be used "as is" or excerpted or edited. Happy


    While I can easily compromise much of my vision of the GM, I am not going to compromise on everything, even as I will look to finesse those matters. The reason for this is that I am going to make personal use of the material I create; I am not creating it solely for the GMP, even as I am happy to have the GMP make what use of it they would like.

    Just trying to be clear that I'm not looking to rock the boat. Happy


    Just for the record, Anced Math (and GVD), I have recently submitted an article to Canonfire! detailing my vision of the history of the southern Lorridges, stretching from the time of Vecna's empire up to the arrival of the Knights of the March. The article includes my interpretation of the Mara and the Kingdom of Burgred/Burgess, and their conflict with Vecna. The article also incorporates the Cult of Ashardalon, the Sunless Citadel, and Nightfang Spire--as presented in the WotC adventure path--in the region's history. I realize that my article contains ideas that may not be popular with Canonfire's general readership, but that's beside the point... I just wanted to inform you that I had made a submission that includes material of potential relevance to the Gran March project (written with my own campaign in mind), and that by doing so my intention was not to step on your toes or to "compete" with your project (I might also have a few more GM-related submissions in the works). I thought the least I should do is inform you of this, if only for the sake of politeness.

    If you like, I can send you a draft of what I have written while it sits in the submissions queue, and you can incorporate and modify it for your gazetteer... or you can completely ignore what I have written, which is equally fine by me. I see nothing wrong with having different visions of the GM's history. Like GVD, I am open to collaboration/sharing, despite our potentially incompatible thoughts on the early (pre-migrations) history of the GM.

    Looking forward to seeing the completed GM project... in the meantime, my own GM campaign must roll on (if only at snail's crawl!).
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:33 pm  

    Twice Born... Thanks for the heads up, but there is no worries about competition or stepping on toes. The GM Project is ours but Gran March is not. I look forward to seeing your article.

    I would love to see the draft... please send it to gran.march@gmail.com. I look forward to seeing it.

    [/url]
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:52 pm  

    TwiceBorn wrote:
    I have recently submitted an article to Canonfire! detailing my vision of the history of the southern Lorridges, stretching from the time of Vecna's empire up to the arrival of the Knights of the March. The article includes my interpretation of the Mara and the Kingdom of Burgred/Burgess, and their conflict with Vecna. The article also incorporates the Cult of Ashardalon, the Sunless Citadel, and Nightfang Spire--as presented in the WotC adventure path--in the region's history.


    COOL! Happy I look forward to this article. I really like the idea of working in the Wotc Adventure Path stuff! This is something I think is long overdue. I haven't read the article and I already like it! Wink
    _________________
    GVD
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 125
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

    Send private message
    Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:45 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:

    COOL! Happy I look forward to this article. I really like the idea of working in the Wotc Adventure Path stuff! This is something I think is long overdue. I haven't read the article and I already like it! Wink


    Hey GVD,

    Given how much I respect your prolific contributions to Canonfire and the amount of thought you put into your posts on the site, it's an honour just to know that you are looking forward to the article. It's my first submission ever to Canonfire, so the debate it might engender seems a bit daunting... but I look forward to your constructive criticism (and everyone else's).

    Anced Math, my apologies for taking your thread on a tangent... I'll e-mail you the requested documents.

    Cheers!
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:26 pm  

    I have read your articles Twiceborn, and I enjoyed them very much. They vary dramatically from my vision of history, however I dont think that this matters very much. I would like to include them in the project as a historical work by your author Andammos. The article GVD and I are working upon for the "history," varies from this signifciantly, but so did Heinrich Schliemann's vision of Troy. I see no reason the DM's of a Gran March campaign, or the player's for that matter want THE history.

    As far as our article goes, it will represent the "History," in a semi official (read Gran March government) version. What we will want to make sure is that there are nuggets within your history that make it's use as a seperate article beneficial for the DM/Players.

    The overall goal is to give the new Greyhawk DM a simple and complete place to play without 20 sources to buy and look up. Thus, this may well fall among the "further reading," category. However, I think it add's to the overall project if couched properly.

    What do you think?
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 125
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

    Send private message
    Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:34 pm  

    Hi Anced Math,

    Thanks for taking the time to read the first draft of my articles. As far as I'm concerned, they belong as much in "the heretic's nest" on this site as they do under "history"--I suspect that few will import the history presented in those articles wholesale into their respective campaigns, and I'm not surprised that our versions of history differ significantly.

    I give you permission to do what you wish with my articles--stick them in the "further reading" section, place nuggets in a separate article, etc., whatever suits your purposes. I agree that there is plenty of room for different perspectives on history--the fact that existing "canon" gives us so much room for doing so remains the main reason why Greyhawk remains my favourite campaign setting all these years later (with Ravenloft a very close second). I'm also using a fair bit of the material created by the LG Gran March triad in my own campaign.

    I can easily picture Andammos as an eccentric with wild theories that are rejected by most scholars in Keoland and elsewhere--he might be the laughing stock of learned circles (and perhaps even accused of "fabricating evidence"). That would not prevent kernels of truth from existing in his work... but what is truth and what is lie should be left up to individual DMs to decide. If you were to present your gazetteer in netbook format, I might suggest that you include some of Andammos's "crazy" theories in sidebars ("dread possibilities," as they were called in 3.5 Ravenloft gazetteers and fan-made netbooks), alongside that which is considered the "more widely accepted government version" of history.

    I have not yet heard back from the Canonfire editors, but I have already noticed a few minor details in the longer article that require some tweaking.

    I am thrilled that despite our differing versions of Gran March history, you may find a way to couch some elements of my articles in your project.

    Cheers!
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 01, 2004
    Posts: 252
    From: Nyrond

    Send private message
    Mon Dec 25, 2006 2:05 pm  

    Hello All,

    If I may offer my humble opinion concerning the military. I would suspect that the military is a strange beast. I see the commoners as having such strong loyalty not for the Knights and certainly not for the nobility, but for their own towns, villages, hamlets, etc. There is a collective identity that says, "If I let this town fall, my town might fall next." I also see the commoners listening to the tales of Knights of the Watch and being so caught up in the ideas of honor, valor and justice that even thought they will never make knighthood, they'll prove that they will at least meet as equals in tenacity. And becasue they are caught up in those tales, they see a national identity. No longer do the commoners of Three Firs see the village of Whitestone as Their (citizens of Whitestone) village, but they see the village of Whitestone as OUR village.

    I suggest that although their is no love for the knights, there is no distain either. The commoners are simply disconnected from the knights. At times of peace, the commoners are too busy going about their business to notice the ongoings of knights. In times of war, the commoners realize that knights are professional soldiers and although the commoners are well trained, they don't know spit about strategy and tactics and all that other "knightly stuff." I can imagine an older infantry pikemen saying to a younger, more loud mouthed pikemen, "Hey we don't question the knight. He knows how to fight a war, that's why he's a knight."

    The nobility and the Knights are a different matter. Depending on the case, the nobility may or may not be knights. So in one regard, the nobility defers to the knights. On another, the knights defer to the knighted nobility. Yet on another, the nobility, not being knights, may not defer because they have their own goofy interest (though that would be rare). Baron so-and-so may not defer to some young 27 year old knight who is facing his first command.

    Just my two coppers,
    Dwarf from Nyrond
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:00 pm  

    Dwarf, you have weighed in on a subject that has occupied much of the correspondence between GVD and myself for the last few months. How to interweave the history of the March with the proper blend of all it's existing elements and not come up with something trite or unpalatable.

    The result is simple... the dramatic change from medieval history is not the peasant warrior's view of the Knight, but rather the Knight's view of the peasant warrior. In history it was common if not universal for the knight to look upon the peasants and infantry as utterly inferior. They were canonfodder whose purpose was to handle the mundane tasks of war... such as dying.

    Unlike this history, the Knights in the March view the Army and it's citizen soldiers as THE professional soldiers. The Knights may be the professional warriors... skilled in hand to hand and single combat, but they respect the destructive capability of 18,000 skilled infantry soldiers working in unison under the command of a capable leader.

    There are several groups of Knights, not just the Knights of the Watch. The KoW are the only order as such, though even so they are few in number, particularly in comparison to the army. However, there are two other groups of knights. 1) The Knight Barons and Knights who form the lowest layers of the nobility. These have several distinct ranks, but they are all part of the noble class and generally serve in the Noble Armies. 2) Queen's Knights... an odd appelation as the March has never had a queen. These are landless knights who have no master, but wander the land performing good deeds and seeking a goal that is known only to a few.

    In our concept the military of the March is an extremely complex structure. There are the Knights (all orders and groups), the Army, and the Noble Armies. The Knights are the archetypal warrior in the March. All strive to be like them, but few will be. That said the Army far outnumbers the Knights, and has the primary duty for protection of the borders and the roads. The entire nation is splint amongst 10 Great Barons and their feudal nobles. The nobles hold responsability for defense of their own Demenses. The army will support, but it is up to the indavidual Great Baron, and those Barons, Knight Barons and Knights who swear fealty to him (or her) to protect from small scale invasions or huminoid uprisings. Thus, the amount of militarization in this March is enormous.

    The KoW are respected, but there are small but growing factions who question their motives. After all they are transnational and pursuing goals that are not the March's goals. Some high ranking members of the army are among this group.

    As to your ideas of loyalty. I think they are right in line with our concept. The average commoner is not a peasant per se, but an experianced soldier who has returned to the farm. The very ability to remain in the military and not return to a feudal obligation changes the idea from the historic model. Also, the March has existed for nearly 800 years with no significant civil disturbance. This is only possible in a scenerio where the Nobles (generally) treat the commoner's with respect.

    I hope have our server problems finished up by the new year, and if so, you will see a flood of new articles for your review on all of these subject.s
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:06 pm  

    Just a quick note: at current count I have 36 articles by various authors on my hard drive. This ranges from a one page summaries of the populations of various baronies to a 20 page write up of all the churches of the Gran March. I am guessing somewhere around 250 printed pages, including the artwork.

    Oh, and maps... really good maps.
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> Gran March Gazetteer All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    Page 1 of 1

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum


    Forums ©


    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.34 Seconds