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A brief overlook of the state of Calradia in 1473 and the development of the various factions

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Hello, and welcome to Calradia 1473. This modification is meant to bring the world of Warband into the late 15th century with grounded approach to how the factions might've developed since the events of Warband. The reason for why I set out to make this mod is that I am a big fan of 15th century Europe and thought it would be very interesting to make a mod heavily inspired by it, but not limited by actual historical events. Below follows the brief lore of what happened in between the 200-odd years after the events of Warband. The lore is not finalised and might change slightly as I go along.

Real-life kingdoms and powers from 15th century Europe have of course been used as inspiration, though none of the factions closely follow an irl development. Feel free to speculate on the various inspirations, and I might post a devblog which details these at some point.

Kingdom of Swadia

The Kingdom of Swadia has undergone quite a bit of change since the 13th century. After enjoying a long period of expansion new cities were constructed by the Swadians to secure their foothold northwards and to the East. However this came to backfire as a incompetent rule by King Harlaus II (1345-1376) led to the split of the kingdom. The towns of Rovalt and Nysea declared their independence from the Swadian Kingdom and instead entered a confederacy with the free Nord towns. A few decades later under King Ryis III the east the town of Zarlem, owned by ambitious Dukes, also fought a war of independence against Swadia which ended up with the Duchy seizing Dhyram (formerly Dhirim) and virtually declare independence from the Swadians. While Zarlem is still technically beholden to the Swadian King in name nobody actually bothers to enforce this for fear of another war. However Swadia still remains a big power in Calradia and keeps a hold of Velcia (formely named Veluca) which they seized from the Rhodoks in 1376, at the cost of the life of Harlaus II.

Swadias military sticks mostly to the tried and true form of the earlier calradian kingdoms, with raised crossbow and spear militia supporting the heavy Swadian cavalry still renowned throughout Calradia. They have also begun to raise some longbowmen in the manner of the Nords, but these do not take a central part in their army.

The current ruler of Swadia is King Ryis IV, which took over the rule of Ryis III in 1443.

Duchy of Zarlem

The Duchy of Zarlem, as mentioned above, began when the ambitious Duke of Zarlem, Realt I, decided that he did not wish to be beholden to the Swadian King and started a war over it in 1403. Zarlem came out victorious but did not manage to garner enough support from the surrounding powers to declare itself a kingdom, and so it is still a Duchy in name. However politically they are virtually independent of Swadia and do clash with them constantly. They're a small power but due to being small they were able to reform and centralise their military to a degree not seen in any other faction of their time, and with their modern army still manage to stay competitive against the larger powers. Their soldiers also serve as mercenaries, most notably hired by the Rhodoks as they're both usually warring against Swadia.

Zarlem boasts one of the most advanced militaries in Calradia, Pioneering an early form of pike & shot tactics. They usually use a row of pavisiers at the front of a formation, backed up by pikemen and halberdiers. The formation is also supported by mounted crossbowmen which fight mounted or dismounted as the need calls for it. Besides this Zarlem has also adopted gunner regiments inspired by the Rhodoks which have begun to take a notable position in their army. Zarlem also raises knights in the Swadian manner, and while not quite as formidable as the Swadian ones still are a force to be reckoned with.

The current Duke of Zarlem is Duke Haringoth III.

Ekrem Empire

The Ekrem Empire started off as a faction within the Khergits led by Ekrem the First, which quickly managed seize control over the old Khanate with both clever politics and a reformed army very unlike the one the Khergits used to field. Ekrem then founded his empire (renaming the town of Tulga after himself) and proceeded to stabilise his foothold in the region as well as expand inwards towards Calradia and southwards towards the Sarranids, taking both by surprise. By 1435 the Empire had already established itself as a dominant power in Calradia and even constructed the town of Yaram deep into Calradian territory. Despite seemingly over-reaching however the Empire managed to hold their town without much effort, thwarting siege attempts in both 1441 led by Zarlem and 1464 led by a coalition of Zarlem and Nord troops.

However during the uprising and power struggle by Ekrem the Khergits lost control of Halmar to the Sarranids, and so far have not made any serious attempts at taking it back, instead electing to push south and taking Bariyye which took the Sarranids unprepared.

The Empire makes use of a system of both regular and irregular troops, with the regular troops being directly raised in service of the Emperor and the irregular ones being auxiliaries recruited from the territories they conquered. These irregulars bring in some calradian flair to the unit roster, such as using firearms which the rest of the Empire has not fully adopted yet. Besides this they make use of Sipahi, which fight both as heavy lancers and as armoured horse archers.

The current Emperor is Ekrem II, the son of Ekrem I.

Rhodok Republic

The Rhodok Republic arose after the siege of Velcia, where not only did Harlaus II die but so did Graveth IV, the king of the Rhodoks at the time. The fall of Velcia to the Swadians was seen as a failure of the monarchy, as Graveth IV was a notoriously warmongering king against the wishes of his people. Instead of pushing for peace with Swadia under his rule as advised he instead sought to expand the Rhodokian territories and ended up paying both with the town and his life when Swadia pushed back.

The resentment towards the monarchy had existed since it's founding as many did not believe it was necessary at all. The founding of the Rhodoks had after all been a secession from the Swadian kingdom a few centuries ago and the implementation of the monarchy was met with a lot of controversy. After the death of Graveth IV a large army of anti-monarchists stormed the coronation of the new king, hung him and his advisors, and declared the Rhodoks to be a republic again. The lords who had grown complacent and did not accept this change came together to fight the republicans and the new senate, but lost the battle outside of the fields of Jelkala in 1378. With this the old system of elected Tribunes were re-instated, being headed by the Doge.

The Rhodok army is very centered on fighting on foot, their men-at-arms also prefer to fight this way and the requirement for a man-at-arms to own a horse was abolished. Their infantry is entirely made up of mercenaries from Zarlem. The famous regiments of crossbowmen are still renowned across calradia, and the Rhodoks were also the first to adopt guns on a large scale. The combination of dismounted men-at-arms backed up by well trained crossbowmen and gunners make the Rhodoks a very tough nut to crack especially in the mountains. Rhodokian cavalry mainly comes in the form of light horsemen from around Sarranid lands.

The current leader of the Rhodoks is Doge Delrius

Sargot Confederacy

The Sargot confederacy is what remains of the old Nord faction. After King Irya II died leaving behind no legitimate heirs it gave rise to conflict between the Jarls on who would become the next king. However this power struggle created an opportunity for the Vaegirs to swoop in and take Wercheg causing a stir within the nords. Realising that they needed to unify they put aside the power struggle and the rulers of each town formed a confederacy to combat the Vaegir threat. The confederacy was meant to be temporary until the land was secure however the struggle lasted far longer than anyone could've anticipated. Once the near 80-year war was finished (lasting from 1268-1343) the towns had gotten used to being independent and any attempt at re-introducing a king was quickly shut down.

The towns are now each run by a Jarl who has been elected by the burghers of the town to represent their interests. The Marshal of the kingdom is then elected by the Jarls and is the one who has control over unified military matters but besides this has no power over the Jarls as the old kings used to.

In 1357 the towns of Rovalt and Nysea declared independence from Swadia but realised that they would not be able to withstand a potential war on their own even with the backing of each other, and after some deliberation offered to join the Sargot confederacy which was accepted. Harlaus II wanted to pursue military action to take the towns back however his vassals did not wish to go into a war with the confederacy and he lacked the support to go through with the idea.

The army of the confederacy also follows the feudal style of the older calradian armies with inspiration from the Swadians. They field mounted men-at-arms backed up by levied infantry and ranged units from the surrounding towns and villages. The Nords kept up their use of the longbow and due to the Vaegir War introduced requirements for the freemen to train with them, with the intent to raise a competent force of archers on a quick moment's notice if needed. The Nord infantry keeps to their tradition of using large axes and spears in combat, also adopting some of the newer types of halberds from the surrounding areas. The militia of Rovalt prefers to stick to crossbows rather than bows due to their swadian roots, and the occasional burgher also owns a gun.

The current marshal of the nords is Jarl Irya II.

Principality of Curaw

The Principality of Curaw is a faction which slowly grew and took over the old vaegir faction, using the 80-year war with the Nords as the perfect opportunity to do so. Beginning slowly with a simple secession from the Kingdom, the Boyar of Curaw managed to get many of the other Boyars on his side against the ruling monarch including the cities of Khudan and Rivacheyg. Being somewhat weakened against the war with the Nords marked the perfect opportunity for the Boyar to put his plan into action, beginning a civil strife within the Vaegir Kingdom and in the process causing the end of the 80-years war.

After about 5 years of conflict from 1341-1346 the Boyar of Vercheyg was replaced with one sympathetic towards Curaw and switched sides, turning the tide of the war. In 1349 the old Vaegir faction surrendered, and the old king accepted being assimilated into the new duchy but to keep his life. Thus Curaw became the center of the new power and Boyar Mleza re-titled himself Prince.

The army of the Principality closely follows that of the old Vaegirs, with heavily armoured cavalry, footmen and what are often known as the best archers in all of calradia. Materially however they have adopted quite a few things from the Ekrem Empire to the south including the compact recurve bows which are common in the Empire.

The current ruler of Curaw is Prince Nelag

Sarranid Sultanate

The Sarranid dynasty has remained largely politically unchanged since the 1200s, enjoying a time of relative stability and peace. However with the appearance of the Empire they were in for a rude awakening, as taking the opportunity to seize Halmar came back to bite them when the Empire invaded south and took Barriye. With this new threat in the northeast the Sarranids have once again begun to mount up for war.

Materially they've been inspired by the Ekrem Empire, adopting their armoured horse archers as a staple in the Sarranian army by adapting their Mameluke horsmen. They also make use of light mercenary cavalry, the very same who are often employed by the rhodoks as well. Due to the large period of stability most of their army remained the same as before with no real incentive to modernise it, and for this reason they have not yet taken up the usage of guns.

The Sarranids are ruled by Sultan Hakim V

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