Grandmark (AAF 995)

Major towns:
Tremayne (15,000) (capital)
Lisolet (10,000)

Ruler: Tarrant
Population: 100,000
Pantheon: Greco-Roman (R)
Language: Vardish

Coinage: None
Important Persons: priests, etc.
Alliances: Jarlesheim
Hostilities: Falcondonia, Wildedge
Open Warfare/Skirmishing: Skirmishing by advance elements of a force aimed at retaking Wildedge
Intrigues: Factions vying to have Skandian (T) or Kelltic Pantheon replace currently acknowledged Greco-Roman (R) are war/peace factions. Various others.
Magickal Devices: No major items known, some items of minor power.
Thumbnail Sketches: The current ruler, Markthegn Tarrant, came to power in a disorganized state torn by priestly politicking and pantheistic rivalry when his father died of various complications related to his age. Believed to be a foppish and self-indulgent young man, the real rulers of Grandmark at the time (the priests) were quite startled to find him an effective and strong leader.
The efforts to reclaim Wildedge (a colony of Kelltic dissidents, many of whom were from Grandmark and whose self-sufficiency was assisted by Falcondonian partisanship and the unsettled political situation in Grandmark) languished in the last years of the previous Markthegn, but Tarrant has imperialistic ambitions and he has revitalized his armies.
At this point in time, all political power rests within the grasp of this charismatic and talented young man, and his known goals include the annexation of Wildedge (which he justifies as repatriation and reclamation of lost territory), punitive strikes against Falcondonia for assisting Wildedge, and the conquest of additional (currently unclaimed) territory. It is suspected that his current ambitions will bring him in direct conflict with Jarlesheim, a nominal ally, and the Iroukian people.
In Tremayne, Tarrant has instituted a number of public works projects, including a renovation of the docking facilities and vastly improved waste disposal facilities (thanks to the discovery of a large, underground cavern system similar to the ones used in Paris, Londun and other major AEropan cities). The temple quarter has spilled into other areas as each of the three major religious factions (Greco-Roman(R), currently ascendant, Skandian(T), and Kelltic, the smallest) vies to attract a larger number of followers. Merchants tend to isolate themselves from the political and religious games, however, and while Tremayne is not as major a trading center as Falcondon, it maintains a respectable presence.
Tarrant is known to have recently hired a number of agents to investigate problems within his realm, and he is also known to pay large rewards for powerful Heka-imbued items. It is not known for absolute certain, but his arsenal has apparently been improved with the addition of a few minor items (including, at least, the Stormcloak and the Ceremonial Rattles of Power), although nothing near the power levels ascribed to those items possessed by the various AEropan nations.

The Stormcloak: This dark black cloak is, perhaps, misnamed. Its particular effect is that, while worn, it surrounds the wearer with Heka static of sufficient power and strength that attempts to control Heka of any sort will be extremely difficult and will require anywhere from 2 to 20 times the normal Heka expenditure in order to break through the 'noise', depending on how close the Heka-bender is to the cloak. While the effect is occuring, the wearer is also surrounded by various inclement weather conditions caused by the Heka flux, such as lightning (although not harmful), rain, clouds, thunder, and the like. The cloak can be operated infrequently at best, for it disrupts weather patterns, and it will drain the wearer of Heka.

The Ceremonial Rattles of Power: Once rattles used by the medicine men of the Delaware tribe of Vargaard aborigine, these turtle-shell rattles are incredible Heka foci, and they can allow any Casting which they focus to cost but half the normal Heka (i.e. 10 for Grade I, 17 for Grade II, etc.) However, they exact a price, in that use by anyone who is not bound by a Vow to the False Faces or the Manitou has a 10% chance, per use, of being visited by a vengeful False Face (75%), a vengeful Manitou (20%), a powerful Vargaard Phaeree (4%), or being stripped of all Heka capacity (1%). In the latter case, approximately half of the victims will eventually recover Heka capability, but they must begin anew (with no TRAIT, etc. Heka at all, STEEP only), while the rest are completely and utterly stripped of Heka forever.

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