Author Topic: The Causeway Arms  (Read 2571 times)

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Offline Tolen

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The Causeway Arms
« on: September 06, 2010, 09:46:43 AM »
     In 991 WR, the Paladin Ashe Caladari embarked on a campaign to rid Amara and Audun of the legions of undead that plagued the known lands for more than two hundred years.  While Ashe was completing this task, the Governor of the Westmarch Territory decided to build a bastion against the undead to keep them out of Amara.  Nine years later, Duke Adram Tymbard completed his keep on what was the western border of Bergren at that time.  It guarded the only easily travelled path across the Giant's Causeway, the narrow strip of land that connected Audun and Amara.  There were of course other paths, and patrols were established to guard them, but they were narrow and treacherous, and those patrols would be based out of Tymbard's Keep.
     Duke Tymbard maintained the Keep according to its charter, and for the next thirty-five years, every traveler into Amara was stopped at Tymbard's, and all baggage, freight, or belongings were searched.  If the traveler did not meet with the Duke's approval, he did not continue on into Amara.  Then the Duke grew deadly ill, and turned control of the keep to his son, Hadrian.
     Hadrian Tymbard tried to run the keep in the same manner as his father had, but soon lost interest in the strict discipline.  The gates were opened wide in 1047 WR, and Hadrian stopped harassing travelers.  The Guard continued training, however, should the order come to block the road.  The Guard was ever prepared for a siege.  In 1075 WR, Hadrian passed away, and his son Elos took over. 
     Elos was a fighter, trained in the same methods the Amethyst Knights use.  He won fame for himself in the gladiatorial arena.  He immediately changed the ay the keep was operated, and how the Guard was trained.  He taught the Guard everything he knew about defensive maneuvers and small unit tactics.
     Up to this point, the guard was housed in a barracks within the keep, and there were only about a thousnd  in total.  in 1087, the nearby mining town of Curran Lee had grown large enough to apply for charter.  Tymbard struck a deal with the mayor.  Curran Lee would support the forces of the keep (providing food and other supplies, it was also a port city, and so saw a lot of trade), while the Guard would also protect the city.  This way the guard could be housed outside of the keep, and larger numbers could be recruited.  The arrangement proved fruitful for both sides, and within a hundred years, the famed walls of Curran Lee were completed.
     Through its history, the Guard has practised against many adversaries:  They engaged small groups of undead left after Cladari's mission, they struggled constantly with the Bloodclaw Clan of Orcs who claimed the part of Bergren West of the keep.  The Guard was earning a reputation for skill and strength.  After years of attrition, the Bloodclaw Clan withdrew further west, and formed an uneasy alliance with the keep.  The keep enjoyed a reputation of being undefeated until 1339 WR, the War of Dearic's Lashing.
     A young noble named Dearic Bathendron was known for his unruly behavior, and during one of his more famous episodes, a housemaster of King Asric II of Caladyn whipped him for his insolence.  This was the excuse his father had been looking for, and he started a minor rebellion against Caladyn.  He was banished to the Audun wastes.  Bathendron would not be finished so easily.  He assembled a mercenary army, combined with the remnants of his house army, and they made three feints against the Keep.  The third finally succeeded, but only because the keep was emptied to assist Curran Lee in the aftermath of a hurricane.  This was the only time the keep fell into the hands of an outsider. 
     Once the hurricane had passed, and Tymbard's men could return, they quickly overwhelmed the mercenary force, and retook the keep.the last Tymbard to rule the keep, Marcus Tymbard, made a vow on his father's deathbed that the keep would never fall again.  He reorganized the Guard, naming them the Causeway Arms.  He stepped up the training, and began a more restrictive recruitment policy. The Causeway Arms have been undefeated since 1340 WR.  At any one time, at least 500 Armsmen are in the keep, often more.
     There was one incident in 1511 WR that some people claim was the second time the keep was defeated, but it is an argument of semantics.  This was during the plague years, when the forces were depleted due to sickness.  This was the time of Wallace, when hordes of undead marched out of Audun, across the mountains and into Amara.  The legions passed Tymbard's and Curran Lee without directly attacking anyone.  The Cuaseway Arms slaughtered dead by the thousands and fought bravely, but the march could not be stopped.  No one knows why the dead suddenly stood and began to march on Amara, or why it ended.  The undead army made it half way across the Westmarch territory and then vanished. 
     Only two men were killed near Tymbard's Keep during the march, and one was accidental.
     Over the past two hundred years, the keep has been used less and less.  Curran Lee has grown and evolved, and is the more important resource, now fully capable of housing a small army, and mounting a defense of the Causeway.  There is still a force at the keep, but it is mainly used as an advance warning for incursions into the land.

more to come...
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Offline Tolen

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Re: The Causeway Arms
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2010, 09:51:07 AM »
Organization of the Causeway Arms
     The Causeway Arms today is under the nominal control of the Mayor of Curran Lee, acting as a sort of militia.  The units highest ranking officer is the Brigadier General.  He has the power, in times of emergency, to declare martial law over the city and evacuate civilians.  He is without fail the most experienced and senior officer of the Arms, periodically retiring when a suitable replacement comes along.
     The Brigadier General has under his direct control anywhere from eight to twelve Majors.  The Majors earn their post through merit and skill, just like the Brigadier General, though the Brigadier can choose to replace them if warranted.  The Majors oversee ten Captains, who each have ten Lieutenants.  The Lieutenants directly manage the day to day operations of the Keep, and manage the training regimen.  They also assign a portion of the force to work as constables within the city walls.  Everyone who gains entry into the Causeway Arms (As opposed to the Curran Lee militia), is given the rank of Lieutenant, and can give orders to the militiamen.  Many career Arms officers started in the militia.  The nominal strength of the Arms alone is approximately a thousand men.

Racial Relations in the Arms
     The Causeway Arms embraces the differences of the various cultures.  They refuse membership to no one, provided the new prospect shows at least some basic ability.  There is one exception, of course: Elves.  Since Tiberion's Expansion, there have been no elves in the Arms.
     Of the other races, the half-breed races are considerably rare in the arms.  Due to racial prejudice, anyone of mixed blood has a difficult time gaining acceptance in the Arms.  In general, if a militiaman has mixed blood from one of the 'enemy' races, he will find it difficult to get past the prejudices that abound.  The Arms, after all, are there to defend Amara from the enemy.  It is possible to serve with distinction, however, and a few half-bloods have earned  a place in the Causeway Arms.

Joining the Arms
     Anyone can join the Curran Lee militia at anytime during the year, though locals are favored over people from out of town.  During each Equinox and Solstice holiday, the Arms holds a competition and festival.  Those interested in applying to the Arms must enter the fighting tournaments held during these times.  Only the cream of these tournaments is considered.  Those who score highest are taken to the Arms training grounds, and put through even more grueling tests.  Once the cadet passes this series of tests, he is sent into the mountains for two weeks to test his survival skills.  Only once they pass that test are they inducted into the arms.  (This gives the Majors time to check into the applicant's past as well, and learn if there might be other reasons to deny him.)

Important Members of the Causeway Arms
     Brigadier General Osweld Morris
     The Brigadier dedicated his life to Alaric at the age of 16.  He served as best as he could in Yolengrad, until he was drafted into the Confederation Army at 18.  By the age of 20, he was a paladin.
     For the next fifteen years, he served the Confederation Army, fighting when needed, and acting as chaplain.  By the age of 35, he completed his commitment to the Army, and began life as a wandering paladin, righting wrongs where he found them.  He came to Curran Lee, and learned of their struggle against the Bloodclaw Clan.  He decided that it was his calling to aid these men in their fights, and took the tests.  He passed them easily.  In a vision, Alaric blessed his decision, and the paladin rose through the ranks until he was appointed Brigadier General.
     Osweld is old now, and wishes to retire.  Until he finds a suitable replacement, he continues to run the Causeway Arms with a mixture of discipline and faith.  Osweld's men refer to him as the most religious member of the Arms, and many will miss him when he goes.

     Major Caswain Endol
     Major Endol is one of a very few half-elves to join the Causeway Arms.  He has proven his loyalty and skill on numerous occasions.  He is a competent fighter and a fair commander.  New recruits often do not trust him, but once they serve under him for a few weeks, that mistrust usually disappears.
     Occasionally, his views and methods bring him into conflict with the Brigadier.  Both men, however, have learned to trust one another.  In the end, the job gets done, and Major Endol is one of the bravest men in the Arms.  He was a ranger before he joined the Arms, which made the endurance and survival tests easy for him, though he was at the bottom of the selections from the tournament of arms that year.  As a result, his unit usually pulls reconnaissance and scouting duty.  Much of his experience as a member of the Arms comes from fighting the Bloodclaw clan, who recently have begun to test the limits of the treaty, and has been engaging in guerrilla warfare along the Bandits Road.

     Captain Eriol Tarvis
     Captain Tarvis is a dwarf who sought adventure away from Irenier and the surrounding regions.  His travels carried him eventually to Curran Lee.  He joined the militia, and worked there for nearly thirty years before deciding to apply to the Arms.  The Endurance test was his favorite part of his entry.  Since they sent prospective new members into the mountains, he felt right at home.
     Eriol has a reputation as a loose cannon, and this has prevented him rising above the rank of Captain.  Major Endol and Brigadier Morris both agree that to promote him any higher could be dangerous.  He has a 'shoot first' mentality, and only his loyalty to the Arms keeps him from charging head first into the fray when his commanding officers want him to stand down.
     The men under his command, however, find him to be an unstable personality, and there is a regular flow of requests for transfer from his unit.

     Lieutenant Ezekiel Bindlewhite
     Ezekiel is one of the oddest characters to join the Causeway Arms.  He is one person who does everything 'By the Book'.  He is a genius when it comes to building and repairing the units equipment, and is responsible for the creation of a watermill near the keep.
     The tests were very tough for him, but he was determined to pass them.  He doesn't know for sure why he wanted to join the Arms, aside forhis belief that being a protector of people is a good, honorable job to have.  He carries with him an unmatched fanaticism for his job, and he is very happy in the Arms.
I'm in Southern Illinois.
No, further than that...
Try South of Mt. Vernon, where Southern Illinois really begins.