DEVELOPMENT UPDATE #2
Oi oi oi, guess who's back. That's right, it's the random guy off the internet. We (yes it is we now) are back with another development update after quite some time. There's a few things to go over, so let's just get right into it.
I am happy to announce that the BIP team has doubled in size since last time. I'd like to officially welcome PlainShort and Diamond to the team! Diamond is helping out with a lot of xml editing and PlainShort is our coder and overall code whisperer. I'm glad to have them on board as now we'll be able to make progress at a much steadier pace.
Work done since last time:
- Continued work on BIP lore. See below.
- Added a number of new minor/mercenary factions. See below.
- Implemented functioning versions of all the new cultures. This means we are now able to apply the new cultures to characters, settlements and troops and not that we have fully implemented the kingdoms and factions as well.
- Reworked more wonky vanilla weapons.
- Reworked the Eorling banner aesthetic. Should be in a good place now and just needs expanding.
- Begun mapping out clan members and families for the new kingdoms.
- Mapped out the development internally for easier task management.
NEW MINOR/MERCENARY FACTIONS
THE BASTARDS OF BASILECH
The Bastards of Basilech were originally named after a pyrrhic victory in a battle between a confederation of Battanian clans and an invading imperial legion near the village of Basilech in the southern highlands. Famously, the imperial commander, in a speech to his troops on the day of the battle, referred to the defending Battanians as "flea-ridden, sheep-loving and shit-eating bastards". The battle was, as mentioned, a pitched one with the outcome unclear until an unknown Battanian soldier charged forward from behind the shieldwall and leapt onto the defending blob of imperial shields. Inspired by the mad bravery of their comrade, the nearby Battanian men went into an absolute frenzy and charged forward, slowly carving a hole in the imperial line. Eventually this hole grew to the point of splitting the imperial army and routing them entirely. The brave man who initially charged in was never identified but has been named in countless retellings of the event as "The Bastard of Basilech". Years after the battle, a band of veterans that were present at that crucial charge formed a mercenary company that they affectionately called "The Bastards of Basilech". They've been around for decades now and are looked at by many Battanian commoners as icons and heroes of their people.
THE BASILISK KNIGHTS
The Basilisk knights are knights in name, but are looked down upon by many of their noble peers. Most the Basilisks have served in military forces in the region in some capacity, with many acting as caravan guards going across the strait to and from the lands of the Aserai. Others worked as bodyguards for merchant kings in the ports of Terrenia. All of them wanted something more glorious, however and when Malbert the One-Eye gathered his own rag-tag bunch of men, donned a Basilisk emblem on his shield and declared them the Basilisk Knights, many came to his banner. Even though they own no land, they declare themselves the martial equal of the landed knights of the nobility and most of all “Knights-for-hire at Premium Prices!”
THE RISLAV RIDERS
The Rislav Riders will be a mercenary faction originating from the border region between the Paliski Kingdom and the Northern Empire. They form a force of capable cavalry, famous for their particularly long lances that allow them to pierce enemies without having to get close enough to risk their own skin. They're a new arrival on the scene of renowned mercenary companies and and have climbed their way up the chain through contracts with many of the warring kingdoms in Calradia.
THE BLACK TIGER COMPANY
The Black Tiger Company is a famous mercenary company from the far, far east. To most Calradians their homeland is barely even a myth, it is so remote. Most, including myself, don't even know its name. Despite this, the Black Tigers have made themselves known on the eastern fronts of Calradia, not just by their distinct appearance and panoply of war but by the utter professionalism displayed by all tiers of its ranks. The Black Tigers have fought alongside Khuzait Khans to serve as their core infantry force but have recently drawn the eyes of other rulers as potential mercenaries.
THE BAMAPTI GUARDIANS
The Bamapti Guardians are a company of archers from the Subuwari city of Bamapti. The city has long been famous for being home to some of the Subuwari aristocracies most established houses. Early in Subuwari history, the average household guard took the form of an archer. This became an even more common style of warrior as Bamapti grew in wealth and prosperity and eventually built it's large stone wall around the city. Since then, the city has been under siege many times by various threats of both Subuwari and foreign origin and almost every time that the day was won by the defenders, it was at the hands of the household guards of the aristocracy. In more recent times Bamapti has become the home to various martial schools where many young Subuwari noblemen end up from all across the land. Here they learn these traditional ways of combat and often form companies of mercenaries, often colloquially called Eye-Takers due to their accuracy, for hire to gain martial experience before eventually returning home.
That is all the factions that have gone from concept to somewhat physicalized since last time, but there are still a few more to come before we have the total deck. Stay tuned.
THE VLANDIAN KINGDOMS
Below is the complete lore and story of the Vlandian kingdoms of BIP, courtesy of Cornelius Crispus. He's done an amazing job and I hope you all enjoy it.
“The Vlandian kingdom, named after the early warlord Wilund the Bold (Valandion, in Calradic), began as a large number of barbarian tribes, who migrated into former Battanian lands during the waning period of the Calradic Empire. The Empire was at war on all sides, so it offered these new barbarian tribes land grants in exchange for mercenary work. Unfortunately, this gave Vlandian nobility a taste for Empire lands, and they united under King Osrac Iron-Arm to conquer the far west of the Empire and declare themselves an independent nation.”
Surprisingly, the Calradian Emperor did not dispute this claim. He even sent King Osrac a crown, and acknowledged him as king. Yet it was a poisoned gift, for while this crown did spawn a kingdom the Vlandians could call their own, it spawned just as many claimants who wished to rule it. Osrac’s son was poisoned and soon the throne lay vacant. The claimants warred with one another, leading to the formation of not one, but many Vlandian kingdoms, of which three now remain: Angevin, Valeric and Baldric. Of these, the Angevin crown has long held dominance over its two siblings, yet has not managed to annex them fully. Often they have warred, but they have sometimes come together to fight against outsiders who would yoke the Vlandians to their cause. Recently, this was the battle of Pendraic, when the Calradians insulted Vlandian honor, and all three kingdoms rode to war. The battle was terrible, and like all who participated, the Vlandians lost much and gained little. Since the Battle of Pendraic, Vlandia has lain more divided than ever. While nominally king Derthert reigns supreme as ruler of the vast Angevin Kingdom, in reality his position is far from secure. Brave Fulcred to the south leads the Valerians and has a fierce temper that is only matched by his thirst for more lands. Meanwhile, the Baldrians of the rugged northern highlands are rallying under the rule of cunning king Sigbert. It is a time fit for such a warlike people, and time will tell which of these three kingdoms will dominate the west coast, and maybe even the lands beyond...
The Angevin Kingdom
The greatest of the Vlandian kingdoms, hamstrung by internal turmoil. King Derthert has ruled these lands for many years, yet has faced staunch opposition to his rule from without and within. A deeply honorable man, who has found that his ways do not sit well with many of his nobles. He managed to make a coalition of all Vlandians to lead the charge at the famed battle of Pendraic, but gained no glory from it. In many ways, this symbolises Derthert’s relationship with many of his noble countrymen: as a ruler, he preferred to aid the empire, but his nobles wished otherwise. After the battle, his nobles clamoured for him to push the advantage and strike deep into the western parts of the empire, yet he bridled their expansionism and returned home. Many years of dealing with their bickering has left him jaded and weary, but he must remain. This will be necessary as his fellow Vlandian rulers eye his territory greedily and are looking for any sign of weakness. Many rumors persist that they are actively fomenting dissent in his realm, hoping to expand their own kingdoms at the expense of the Angevin.
Despite all these challenges, Derthert does rule the greatest of the Vlandian Kingdoms: many villages, towns and castles fall under Derthert’s rule, which in turn supplies him with plenty of levies when his nobles cooperate. But even if the nobles often oppose him, the commoners support their king, for while most nobles would rather feast and raid, Derthert has gone to lengths to improve those holdings under his stewardship, improving the lot of many. He also has made a name for addressing the worst injustices the Angevin nobles inflict on their serfs, seeking to slowly modernize the country and bring it on par with the Calradian empire. Time will tell if Derthert and his followers can stabilize the quarrelsome Vlandians and forge an empire that is capable of standing the test of time...
Important Angevin Characters
King Derthert der Meroc
The current king of the Angevin Vlandians is Derthert. In his youth, he dreamt of creating a modern Vlandia, which could compete with the empire of old. However, upon assuming the throne, he spent most of his reign simply putting down revolts, quashing pretenders and keeping his fractious barons and neighbors in check. When possible, he prefers to rule by arbitration, cajoling his vassals to set aside claims to each other's lands and enjoy what they have. But some Vlandians murmur that a warrior people deserve a more virile king. Even so, Derthert attempts to keep the large Angevin kingdom together, and even modernize it where possible. In his mind, the Vlandians as a whole can only move forward by investing in their towns and villages instead of wasting the spoils of war on feasts and trinkets. His dreams may not be shared by all of his vassals, but he holds to them with a stubbornness that is definitely Vlandian. Mayhaps this king may yet surprise friend and foe alike...
Ingalther den Cortain
The most bellicose of Angevin’s many nobles, Ingalther den Cortain has proven a headache for his king ever since he was knighted. Openly questioning Derthert’s policies of peace, he often disregards Derthert’s plans and instead pursues his own course. Doing this, he finds himself backed by many nobles who likewise despise Derthert. He has been approached by envoys from the Valeric and Baldric kingdoms, believing him a possible ally in ending Angevin hegemony by making him a turncoat. These envoys have found themselves whipped and handed over to the Angevin king, much to the puzzlement of the latter. It seems that though Ingalther bears his king no great love, he takes his oath of loyalty seriously and his nation’s enemies may find that the Angevin have a staunch defender in Ingalther den Cortain.
Unthery der Arromanc
A minor noble, elevated to greater heights when he married his wife, Calatild, the only heiress of the powerful der Arromanc family. With this marriage being matrilineal, his children may never bear his name, but Unthery believes the bargain was a good one, for his marriage is a happy one by the standards of this time and Calatild is known to be a driven and intelligent woman. Together they have sired many children, securing the future of the der Arromanc for the coming generations. While his wife habitually manages the estates as legal head of the family, Unthery shows himself to be a shrewd strategist, winning Derthert’s favor. One may find Unthery often in the field, performing his duty as bannerman, faithfully serving his king as the commander of the Angevin archers and crossbowmen.
The Baldric Kingdom
The Baldric Vlandians inhabit the hills and mountains to the north. Having grown rich on the trade of metals and forged goods, they have managed to stay strong when faced with past aggression from their neighbors. Their strength comes from the mountains they call their own: rich ore veins have brought plentiful iron and silver, which have fed both armies and trade. Baldric metalwork and weapons even finds its way to the Calradian empires, when the caravans make it through the Battanian mountains, or via the northern sea trade routes, leading all the way to Zeonica in Imperial lands. The wealth this brings has led to the rise of a strong middle class of craftsmen and traders in Baldric society. Lacking much of the horse pastures their neighbors have, it's this middle class that forms the backbone of their nation’s armies: Baldrians rely on a solid core of voulgiers, armored infantrymen and archers to win the day, a style of warfare well-suited to their mountainous homelands.
Although nominally an elected monarchy, in practice the lords of Rovalt have won nearly every election due to their political savvy and superior resources. With the old nobility in check, it is actually the rising power of the middle classes in the Baldric towns that is posing a more serious political issue. So far, king Sigbert has successfully navigated these waters, but the idea that commoners may wield power similar to the landed nobility sits ill at ease with some barons of the Baldric kingdom. Baldrian society is rapidly evolving, and it will take a strong oarsman to keep its course.
Their reliance on dismounted soldiers can also be attributed to their proximity to the Battanian highlands, which has also left its mark on the eastern parts of the kingdom: some Baldric clans trace their ancestry back to the first men to inhabit these lands, and share blood with the Battanians. Traces of this can be found in their clan names, even this day. This shared blood does not mean that they are on friendly terms: much blood has been spilled between Battanian and Baldric lords and the Baldrians often find themselves in a war on multiple fronts with their Battanian, Eorling and Angevin neighbors.
Now however, they breathe in relief as the current Angevin king seems to have little stomach for war and the Eorlings are busy recuperating from their recent war with the Paliski kingdom. Some Baldric nobles have already started dreaming of expanding southwards… maybe one day creating a unified Vlandian empire under Baldric leadership.
Important Baldrian Characters
King Sigbert den Rovalt
As liege lord of the wealthy and ore-rich lands around Rovalt, Sigbert’s family secured hegemony amongst the northern Vlandians who formed their own kingdom. His election as king was uncontested, as even without his family’s resources, Sigbert is generally well liked by his subjects: a man who is quick to laugh and whose charisma makes him the center of attention at the many extravagant feasts he hosts. These feasts are more than just for show, as the cleverer of his subjects would note: he uses them to show his wealth and power to his would-be rivals, as well as forge alliances with the rising middle classes of his realm. Yet he has a darker side too: when his erstwhile rival Baudin den Haringoc refused to toast his kingship, he was found dead alongside a hunting trail, presumably murdered by bandits. Sigbert toasted his bravery at his funeral. Such is the nature of smiling Sigbert den Rovalt. With his hand on the Baldrian tiller, the kingdom may yet triumph over its enemies.
Ailbert den Haringoc
The leader of the old nobility in the Baldric kingdom, whose father was murdered by bandits years ago. A father who had protested the rise of craftsmen and peddlers into positions of power in Baldrian towns. A father who had refused to toast a king whose election was a sham. A father who had a loud tongue, and is now silent evermore. Ailbert is wiser than his father, and knows the value of silence. Yet he remembers, and even though he proclaims his loyalty to his king, its veracity is the subject of much speculation.
With a name that betrays his origin as a peddler of salts, Henric is the future of the Baldric kingdom made manifest, or so he likes to believe. Growing powerful through town guild politics and trade on the northern way, Henric has bought his way into nobility through influence and gold: it was due to his influence that Sigbert managed to broker a deal with the Ostican guildsmen for more taxes. It was also due to his influence that the rebellious noble Wilhem dey Madroc was stopped when he tried to incite the Osticans to revolt against their king. For this, he was awarded the Lordship of this major city, and a seat on the king’s council. Some nobles may weep tears at the ascension of a commoner, but this salt-peddler is here to stay.
Douglon dun Breddoc
A Baldrian lord of Battanian descent, he is the lord of Ormanford Castle, guarding the passes against the highlanders. Despite shared blood, he has little love for the Battanians of the hills, as they form a constant nuisance by raiding his holdings. His fellow Baldrian lords often joke about his descent, but they are wise enough to do so at a distance farther than an arrow could travel, for Douglon has inherited his ancestor’s famed skill with the longbow, as well as their irascable temper. In the past, many a brawl has been started at the feasts at Rovalt because of an ill-conceived joke about mountain goats, when only the skilful arbitration of king Sigbert avoided bloodshed.
The Valeric Kingdom
The most southern of the Vlandian kingdoms, the Valeric Vlandians have settled the rolling plains and hills of the southern coast. The temperate climate makes for long summers and mild winters, leading to bountiful harvests and a peasantry that does not starve every winter. This plenty has in turn made even the lower nobility, the bannerets, rather wealthy, with many of them supporting the arts with their riches. Poets and troubadours at courts are already singing tales and songs of the exploits of these bannerets, hoping to earn their favour. The fields of this land have proven to be good for the raising of livestock and horses, the latter which find their way into the military more often than not. The abundance of warhorses has in turn given birth to a healthy warrior class of mounted riders, and nowhere is the image of Vlandian cavalry more made flesh than in the glittering mounted hosts the Valeric Kingdom can bring to the battlefield.
Such hosts are most useful to a king such as Fulcred, latest ruler from the house of Dey Robrinoc. This headstrong king has vowed to expand Valeric lands, appealing to the warlike nature of many Vlandians. To this end, he has attracted many fine warriors to his personal Royal guard, far outclassing those of his Valeric peers in the kingdom. Some of these peers grumble, as Fulcred has a habit of playing favourites, especially with those warriors closest to him, at the expense of the old nobility. Yet most dare not raise the matter directly with a ruler who can command such loyalty from his own soldiers. And for now, Fulcred commands his court without opposition. It remains to be seen how far the kingdom will go under Fulcred’s rule, or how far it may yet fall due to his hubris.
Important Valerian Characters
King Fulcred dey Robrinoc
Fulcred is considered by many to be the epitome of the Vlandian king: warlike, contentious, yet also cultured and generous if the situation calls for it. Even as a young man, he spent most of his days in the saddle, or practicing his skill at arms. At the age of fifteen, he led a small band of his noble peers at the battle of Talivel deep into the Angevin battlelines, and forced their levies to rout. When Lucand der Gunric opposed him, Fulcred wheeled around, and after a short duel, took him prisoner. With the ransom he later gained, he threw a magnificent feast for those who had followed him into the Angevin lines, and paid for new arms and armor to outfit them with. This band would become the start of his royal guard, and since then has only grown, as he often bequeathed rewards on these men closest to him. This generosity also extends to poets, who have wasted no time in praising this valliant king. Only the older nobility has not yet grown fond of Fulcred, with his favouritism alienating those nobles who do not fit into the “valiant few” that surround their liege-lord.
Pepin di Tarroc
A favourite of the king who has seen his loyalty rewarded with lands of his own. Once a banneret of modest means, he saved king Fulcred during the previous war with the Anean city-states, fighting his way through an enemy encirclement single-handedly to reach the king’s bodyguard. For this, he was made king of Bourmonc castle, which guards the southern passes against Anean aggression. Some of the older Valeric families have scoffed at being passed over, but dare not move against the king’s new favourite as of yet. Pepin is an honourable warrior, and his honorable conduct is already the subject of many songs in the kingdom, which the young warrior generously funds. After all, the love of the commons brings its own reward, and which warrior does not like being the subject of his own saga while alive?
Hugo dey Valmon
Scion of the oldest house of the Valeric Kingdom. He is known to be a penny pincher, who brutally taxes their peasants for every penny they have. To him, the lords rule, the priests pray and the peasants toil. And the Lords with the most ancient lineage should rule the most. He is always eager to expand his land, hoping to snatch a fair share from the spoils of King Fulcred’s invasions. Anean lands in particular have caught his eye due to their great wealth and he does not hesitate to advocate the merits of a southern expansion to his king. He is exasperated by his brother, Eurin, who takes on a far softer stance in life and is known to be a kind and generous man. The tensions between the two have often been heated as both have very different views on how the clan’s fortunes should be used.
And that is it for this development update. I hope it was informative and interesting. To keep up to date with development you can track the mod here on modDB or you can refer to:
Want to help out?
If you are interested in joining us on this project and want to help it become as good as it possibly can be, here are some thing we need:
- Modelers and texturers. This we really need. If you are someone that posseses this skillset, it would be an opportunity for you to work on not only familiar historical armor and clothing, but also completely original styles and ideas, like the Durkhan for example.
- Coders/Scripters. We have much more than just new cultures and kingdoms that we want to do, so this is where coding/scripting comes in.
- Concept artists. Plenty of new UI needs to be made and implemented, so if you are an artistic (not autistic although that is not disqualifying) person, this could be something for you.
- Media/promotion. Things like video editing and cinematic videos.
If you have any questions, feel free to post them below and I'll answer as best I can. See you at the next one,