Wednesday 29 November 2023

Sparking Conflict

Mythic Bastionland is approaching its final week of funding! 

Go and check it out.

Now onto the actual post.

So you've built a nice Mythic Bastionland realm where everybody lives happily alongside each other.

Let's fix that. Who do we have in in the four holdings of this realm?

The Amber Knight rules over Archforth, the Seat of Power in the centre of the Realm
The Boulder Knight rules over Buckwall, a fortress in the West
The Chain Knight rules over Castle Churn in the North
The Dawnfather, high priest of a sun cult, rules over the town of Daybreak in the East

We'll use the Spark Tables in the Quickstart to make them nice and complicated.

First we'll give each one an internal conflict. The Drama, Woe, and News tables can all work for this, so we'll just jump between them.

Archforth: Jealousy/Family - A powerful family, let's say they're more money-powerful than knightly-powerful, jealously eye the seat of power, waiting for the Amber Knight to slip up and allow them to seize the support of enough of the other vassals.
Sanctioned/Famine - The harvest failed, so food is being strictly rationed, so much so that people are actually starving. Tough times over here.
Castle Churn:
Tournament/Content - A tournament is being planned, and I guess "content" means that this holding can comfortably spare the resources to make it a lavish event. A real contrast to Buckwall.
Banishment/Duel - The Dawnfather has been challenged to a duel, with the loser being banished from the realm. He seeks a champion, as he's no fighter himself. 

Next we'll take each pairing of Holdings and create some inter-holding conflict. Here's we're rolling first on the Relationship table to see how the Rulers are connected, then on the Conflict table to see how their Holdings are in conflict with each other. I like the idea that the relationship between rulers and holdings might not always add up. Sometimes the council make demands of their ruler, and sometimes circumstances give you little choice but to go to war with a dear friend. 

Archforth and Buckwall

Harmonious/Friend - The Amber and Boulder Knights share a lot of common interests and values, enjoying a unified desire for peace in the realm. 

Bloodfeud/Occupation - Buuuut, the conflict between their Holdings goes back further than themselves. Powerful families within each Holding have long feuded, and each have seats in their respective councils, ensuring the feud continues. The current status is that Archforth keeps a small garrison inside to Buckwall, an occupation attempting to keep things contained. 

Archforth and Castle Churn

Hateful/Peer - The Amber and Chain Knights once travelled together in the same company, but quickly grew to hate each other. The Chain Knight especially resents this new situation where the Amber Knight holds authority over them. 

Theft/Negotiations - Thieves from Castle Churn have stolen a tax coffer headed to Archforth, denying it of course. Archforth has entered into tense negotiations to try to amend this crime, hoping to avoid sending an armed presence to another of its holdings. 

Archforth and Daybreak

Friendly/Rival - The Amber Knight and the Dawnfather share a friendly relationship, though the Dawnfather is open about his desire to convert the whole Realm to his cult. This honesty actually keeps things quite civil, and so far no boundaries have been pushed... until...

Waterway/Standoff - Daybreak is the Realm's sole eastern port, and Archforth has used it to ship merchants in and out of the realm for generations. The Dawnfather has now cut them off, demanding a higher cut of the profits. The negotiations have stalled at a deadlock, with neither side benefiting from the current situation, but neither wanting to give ground to their rival. 

Buckwall and Castle Churn

Hateful/Supporter - The Boulder Knight has the poorest lands in the realm, the Chain Knight has the most bountiful. Surplus grain has long been traded at a generous price, but resentment grows each year that Buckwall becomes more reliant upon Castle Churn. 

Deceit/Skirmishes - Under a false banner, soldiers from Castle Churn have been attacking the outer lands of Buckwall, hindering their already struggling farmlands, hoping to stir the vassals into rebellion against the Boulder Knight. 

Buckwall and Daybreak

Adoring/Successor - In desperate times, the Boulder Knight has proclaimed the Dawnfather as his successor, swayed by the promises of his cult. 

Conquest/Truce - Of course, this didn't come about peacefully, but followed a failed attempt by Buckwall to conquer some of the outer lands of Daybreak's domain, the oath of succession being a necessary part of the truce to avoid a violent counter-attack against the Boulder Knight's weakened realm. 

Castle Churn and Daybreak

Secret/Peer - The Chain Knight is secretly a part of the sun cult, with equal rank to the Dawnfather. Perhaps the Dawnfather is the face, the Chain Knight the brains. 

Debt/Tension - The wealthy lands of Castle Churn provided a lot of early support to the Dawnfather in establishing the sun cult, and likes to give occasional reminders that this debt should be repaid some day. 

You could work through even more Spark Tables to flesh this out, but I think it's a good starting point. 


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