pre-TNESVII - Signup Thread


Le Pétit Prince
Jun 2, 2005
In the desert
What child has not dreamed of being a god? And what man has not wondered himself a worm?

I cannot give you Truth, but you might find it yourself.

The upcoming TNES VII - Consider the Laurel, is a simulator of war and politics in a vast empire and its neighbors, in a universe somewhat analogous to our own in antiquity.

It is a co-moderated project between myself and Terrance, which we have been painstakingly developing for your enjoyment over the past 6-8 months. This thread is for the purpose of officially recording signup details, and providing us with some introductory information. We have recorded, informally, the start locations of our signups so far, but we will take a post here as a final confirmation of participation in the NES.

Our current signups are located approximately here (map not to scale):

Expressed interest, but no starting location chosen yet: Shadowbound, Immaculate, Christos

Most of the remaining space for signups is in the Eastern Empire, but we could potentially accommodate one more player in the West as well. We will likely not take more than 2-3 additional players for this first round, assuming all the signups are still here.

Some helpful information to learn as we finish developing the final map, which is much, much more detailed than this preview:

Ruleset - (semi-final, subject to some minor changes)

Region Guide - Western Empire

Region Guide - Eastern Empire

Topography Map (created by Thomas)

Culture Map (created by Thomas)

Please provide the following for your signup:
  1. Candidate or Leader Name - In Valian, nomen and praenomen at minimum. If you have non-Valian origins, you may have a different name in a different culture’s language, but official diplomacy will refer to you by your Valian name. In the course of the campaign you may also gain (or promote) an honorific you become popularly known by.
  2. Candidate type. Choose from the following options:
    1. Imperial - (Governor)
    2. Imperial - (Legionary)
    3. Imperial - (Delegate)
    4. Foreigner (already selected by ork/TMG)
    5. Barbarian (already selected by Angst/Lord Argon)
  3. Location on the map (if not already specified)
  4. Primary color (your troops and provinces supporting you for imperium will be this color on the map)
  5. A description of your banner design. This will mark armies and cities loyal to your coalition. (If you want to draw your own, it will be a 17 x 25 pixel rectangle with any colors you wish. If not drawing, please select an image that can fit this limitation.)
  6. As many words about your background as you would like to provide, preferably a few sentences. (This may influence comitatus bonuses.)
  7. If you are officially nominating another player for Emperor at game start, you may indicate here. (The only current extant team is the two foreigner players. Teams may form and break after the game start as well.)


Q: Do I need to participate in the CFC thread? You post a lot of updates on Discord, do I need to participate there as well?

A: This NES will be run in parallel on CFC and a Discord server for diplomacy and battles, which are resolved between turns. Orders can be sent via CFC or Discord as well. Participating in both is recommended, but we will have workarounds for players who do not wish to use one or the other.

Q: So battles happen between turns - do I need to command those myself? What if I just want to send orders?

A: If you do not wish to resolve the battles on Discord, we can ‘auto-resolve’ them by commanding your army as an NPC within guidelines set in your orders. Battles are fairly simple to complete in the system we designed, and there is no penalty for not participating.

Q: I’m interested in this game, but I’m not sure if I can play right now. Are there options for me to join later?

A: Definitely. This may wait until the first crisis ends, or a player might choose to set you up as a junior commander of theirs. There will be many crises, and between crises different players may join, rejoin, and drop out as they prefer, or restart as heirs or followers of their old character.

Q: How does your co-modding with Terrance work?

A: It is a huge map, (just wait until you see it) so we divide responsibilities in updating, running battles, NPC diplomacy, etc. A message sent to one of us might be responded to by the other. Try to cc us both on communications like diplomacy, orders, or questions (either via CFC PM or Discord group) so we have the same information and can make joint decisions.
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  1. Candidate or Leader Name - Titus Valerius Ahenobarbus
  2. Candidate type. Imperial - (Governor)
  3. Location on the map: Pre-specified
  4. Primary color: Azure
  5. A description of your banner design. The Chalice of Life over a Crescent Moon on an azure field
    Valerii Banner.png


Titus Valerius Ahenobarbus is the paterfamilias of an ancient patrician gens, the Valerii, who was appointed some time ago by Emperor Carian to administer the vitally important imperial province of Taria from its seat of Lutecia, the Empires western capital. He was distinguished in his youth in battle against the Ashrai and later for his oratory as a senator. After he ascended the cursus honorum, Titus Valerius quickly became known for his influence amongst the Saian patriciate as well as for his historical religious appointment as a pontifex at an unusually youthful age. Some amongst the senatorial class murmured upon his subsequent appointment as governor that his "exile" to Taria was a consequence of his rivals convincing the emperor to eliminate a potential political threat by isolating him from the capital's affairs (such contentions between Emperor and the largely toothless factions of the senate being commonplace). The governor himself speaks nothing of these rumours even as his youthful renown has faded somewhat in Tarian obscurity. Some in his own provincial court murmur that if the emperor had not sent him away and made use of his wisdom in the Great Hatephite Rebellion and the resultant Ashraic Invasion the outcome would have been different. Alas, there is now no emperor and the governors prowess in battlefield command has not been tested since his youthful forays in the east (it is to be hoped his prowess is as sharp as ever).

At any rate, during his tenure as governor, Titus Valerius' priorities have been in promoting development and public order, seeing the prosperity and stability of the province as serving the Empires good given the recent depredations of the east and south by the Ashrai and the proven vulnerability of Hateph to rebellion. To this end the governor has historically sought to foster good interprovincial relations with Interaltia, Taria Esronensis, Aureia and Vincentia knowing that Taria's stability is the bedrock for Valian control over the northwest of the Empire. In the aftermath of the demise of the imperial dynasty and the looming succession crisis, his main priority however has been the selection of a competent Emperor (although he himself has kept his own views on who should sit the throne to himself thus far, waiting to see what pieces the gods shall put on the playing board), knowing that the longer the throne lies empty the greater likelihood that the Empire itself will collapse. In that moment, the governor fears, the barbarians and rebels will feast.

As for gens Valeria itself. Its origin story tells that before the arising of the Valian League the founder of the gens, Lucius Valerius Sanctus was a King of Saia (kings being elected in those most ancient of days) who had concourse with the goddess Pallater and the great sky god Caelus who conveyed to him over the course of seven days and seven nights the sacred rites and laws of the Valian religion, and instructed him to write them down in a book that would come to be known as the "Saian Oracles", a law which forms the ancient foundation for all Valian rites to this day. A later scion of the house was Marcus Valerius Taricus who served as general to Emperor Zoticus in the pacification of the Tariae and who later became the founder and first governor of Valerium (establishing a historical and fruitful connection between Taria and the Valerii). On the other hand, whilst some academic skeptics amongst the jaded Saian elite dispute the historicity of the Lucius Valerius' theophany these days, this story and the historic life of Marcus Valerius Taricus serve as foundations for the commonly noted influence of the Valerii in the fields of the military and religion. Indeed the current paterfamilias is a noted patron and devotee of the mystery cult of the great goddess (a Tarian cult who holds that the valian goddess' Titis, Pallater, Euphrete and Zoe [under both their Tarian and Valian names] are all aspects of a single "Great Mother") as well as the official public religion and the state rites to the Dii Superi, Dii Involuti and the genii of the deified emperors. His youthful career in the military speaks for itself with respect to Valerii military contributions to The Empire.
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Candidate or Leader Name - Albus Cencutrius Fabani (Albus Ken Cutrius)
  1. Imperial - (Legionary)
Color - Navy
Standard - A tree, bent and bowed, yellow on a navy field. Purple flowers adorn its limbs.

Five generations ago the Fabanii met the assembled legions of the Empire on the field of battle. It was a glorious war, full of honor on all sides, heroes of which songs are still sung. Finally, recognizing that both the armies were evenly matched, and that the strength of both would lay wasted on the foggy fields of the north, the Fabanii King Cutrius (who was but the first amongst kings) met the Valian Emperor Prosperus Giganticus in single combat. For three days, the two fought, bolstered by their faith and righteousnes, until, finally, the Giant Prosperus was victorious. As Cutrius’s lifeblood watered the northern fields, his son, Connar Ken Cutrius knelt to the emperor, swearing eternal friendship to the Valian Emperor. Recognizing the friendship, the Emperor bid Canarius rise, and gave the hundred kings and their brave soldiers a gift in honor of their loyalty - the Islands of the Fabanii, which he charged them to pacify, for in those days, they were a den of foreign raiders and pirates.

Albus himself had a long and prosperous career in the honor guard of the Emperor, Serving with distinction in Saia itself, as is the custom for the Fabanii, who are well known as the most Fearsome and Honorable of warriors in the Empire, before returning home at his father’s death. The resulting moot confirmed the recommendation of the Emperor, recognizing Albus’ ascension to the office of Praefectus, as well as honoring his title as Manus Imperatoris. Albus’s eldest son, Cannarius, serves now as Captain in the Imperial Guard, holding the Imperial City against those who would take advantage of the void in power to act perfidiously. Albus is a devoted follower of the Imperial Cult of Carian.

Albus honors the title of the Emperor, in memory of his late friend, and vows to serve only one who is worthy - but should one who is worthy emerge, the full might of the Hundred Kings will be felt again.
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Candidate or Leader Name: Praeses Paraves Anchiornis, though Paraves is only officially in charge and most important decisions are made after family argument.
Candidate type: Imperial - (Governor)
Location on the map: As noted on map
Primary color: Forest Green
Spoiler A description of your banner design :

Simplest form of the symbol. More elaborate forms include feathering and stylized wings.

The Anchiornis family was awarded the title of Praeses over Aetheria a decade after the initial conquest, when the first governor to hold the position, a deeply unpleasant man who viewed the position as one of exile from true civilization and tried to squeeze as much money from the locals as he could so he could afford to import Valian comforts, managed to anger the locals into three separate minor rebellions in a row. The matriarch of the Anchiornis family, a brash woman who had, in her youth, gotten the Emperor's favor, saw an opportunity to cement her house's future and pressed on him to hand the governorship to her eldest son. Rumors abounded that this was because he was secretly the Emperor's bastard and this was a convenient way to appease him, naturally these were firmly denied by all parties. The entire family, over three dozen strong, moved to the island en-masse and made an earnest effort to assimilate with the locals, with several of the unmarried scions of the house marrying the children of Aetheri chiefs and the family itself contructing their new estate in the Aetheri style of timber and thatch rather than Valian tile and stone. Fast forward a hundred years and the family has firmly rooted itself in the province, with many of the more important clans having at least some Anchiorni blood in their lineage. In provincial politics the family often acts more as moderators than a traditional governor, with family members coordinating discussions and guiding the clans they've married into towards results at least somewhat agreeable to all parties. As a result unrest is relatively light, with the chief threat to their authority coming from outside, either Nemetian raiders or, worse yet, Valian politics. Already a relatively minor house, their effective abandonment of Valia proper and willingness to assimilate amongst the provincials has several times now led to ambitious nobles in Valia demanding the emperor grant them the province as a reward for their service that they might properly Valianize it. Thusfar they've only gotten their way once, in the early days of the late Emperor Carian's reign, and the precipitous drop in tax revenue and near rebellion in the province led him to reverse the decision within two years of having made it.
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  1. Adennakar "Starchild"
  2. Candidate type: Barbarian
  3. Already specified
  4. Brown
  5. A five pointed star
  6. Adennakar was born to a mixed tribe of nomads from the east and barbarians of the west. His father was a great warrior, but even he could not best the might of the Imperial Legions. Seeing the greatest warriors of the tribe easily defeated gave him a new goal. He wanted to have the power they had. He wanted the strength to rule, live in massive stone palaces, and eat endless feasts. When he reached adulthood he gathered a warband to enter the empire and learn all of their secrets and become just as strong as the Imperials. He plans to use the disruption of the civil war to loot battlefields and unprotected towns, raise his own legions, and get paid lots of money to fight imperials and steal their tactics.
  7. Nobody has paid me too.
I have discussed Valian relgion with Terrance and Thlayli and they have given approval for the below draft document to be put forth here for comment from the playerbase. Please note this does not deal with regional religions (Titanomuric religion, Hatephite religion, Aspesianism etc).

Valian Relgion
Just saw this up! Haven't been following NES discord much. I'll get the post up soon.
Signup entry to be edited.
  1. Candidate or Leader Name -
    1. Valian: First name Scaius, last name Rota. I'm bad at Latin, so may change this a bit in a near future edit (wanted to reserve colors). Scaius is valianization of his Taglarikan first name, Rota is Latin for wheel, literally, and is sometimes used somewhat mockingly about him. He uses it himself. It's integrated in his character background in a future edit.
    2. Taglarikan: First name Skagar, last name Woder. I'm more acquainted with pseudoversions of Old Norse than Old Germanic, so this will probably get an edit after a talk with Iggy.
  2. Candidate type. Choose from the following options:
    1. Barbarian (already selected by me)
  3. Location on the map (same)
  4. Primary color - Orange
  5. Banner: A black serpent with heads at both ends, with two red tongues protuding from each head, on an orange field. They make almost a full circle. I made a quick design inspired by Nordic art:

  6. Background: Future edit incoming.
  7. Emperor nomination: None yet.
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Name: Abbisdiun, v. Bastian - Grand Magus of Ashrai, Priest-General of the High Sun, Lord of Haron and Sind, Judge of the Valians, etc, etc.

Type: Foreigner

Location: the strait is crossed, Ashrai returns

Colour: Crimson

Banner: The Heavenly Standard of Ashrai, a golden sun surmounting the horns of a bull on a field of crimson, edged in gold


Background: The foreigner Bastian's origins are shrouded in mystery, and little is known of his earliest days save that in a far land he rose amongst the ranks of the Magi for his devotion to their God Ahtan, who is the sun. In battle Bastian won many victories against the men of Sind, and so in turn earned the love of the men of Haron.

Bastian enters the Valian record suddenly, and in Ashrai's hour of greatest need: the Emperor's son Carantius had boldly pursued the invader Hestus (a. Huzasht) back across the strait of Myrmisis and into the heart of Ashrai, pinning him in Sataraphon - their Heavenly Capital of Capitals. Woe was upon that land, and many were burned and slaughtered amidst civil strife and invasion. Unbeknownst to both, the Magi of Ashrai had marshaled all the armies of the east, and they marched to save their realm from the depredations of the Apostate and decadent Valia alike.

With charm and guile and the aid of shadowed allies, wily Bastian and the army of the Haronians entered Sataraphon through a secret way beneath the walls and the encircling siege. They came upon the Apostate suddenly in the dead of night, and many of his men threw down their arms and begged the mercy of the Magi - some among them were spared, for their God had need of them still. Hestus' Immortal Guard fought bravely where they gathered, but they were too few, and the Apostate was thrown down beneath the light of the moon.

As dawn broke Carantius and his legions looked out upon the city and wondered at the plumes of smoke - but the walls were manned much the same, and no sign was seen that might betray the Priest-General's plan. It was then strange horns were heard, and the low chanting of barbarous tongues. A glittering thunder rounded the edge of the Holy Mount Khibar, plumes of dust rolling behind. The Cataphracts of Ashrai had come, and many more besides. With characteristic efficiency and discipline Carantius rallied his legions into line, yet even they began to hesitate and murmur when they saw what approached them from beneath the rising sun.

As the golden tide of cavalry split into wings, behind them came all the gathered panoply of Ashrai: archers on camelback who began to pelt the maniples from beyond reach, laughing and riding away. Then came the last of the fish-scale imitation legions of the west, whose like had wrought much destruction in Hateph. They guarded the flanks of a great phalanx of far-eastern Titanians marching to the beat of steady drums, forsakers of their legacy and long servants of the Magi. As the Ashraic line formed opposite the brave Valians it opened and spat forth a wave of terrible beasts: trumpeting elephants afroth at the mouth, and armoured rhinoceroses eager to feast on flesh - at the heels of the cataphracts and camelry ran packs of dusty yipping wolves, leaping and tearing on command at the Valian equites and their mounts. The Valians were shaken, but they held as they were assailed, for Carantius rode back and forth like a beacon, and the legions rallied to his call, pelting the elephants and rhinoceroses with darts and driving them off.

But just as the Ashraic phalanx ground up against the Valian legions in a tumult of steel and blood, more horns were heard from behind. The gates and ports of Sataraphon burst open, and out from the city a golden and terrible figure led a host of men like trolls - their thick and ashy hides proof against arrows, and their bellowing war grunts rousing terror in the heart: they stood nine feet tall and bore gruesome man-splitting axes. Behind them came the Moon's devotees, garbed in blackened armor and eerily silent, and yea even the last of the Apostate's men found faith and courage renewed and joined the charge of their countrymen.

Yet still the Valians resisted, fighting stoically on two fronts against all the gathered horrors of the East - for they were led by brave Carantius, and the men would not fail their beloved champion. This Bastian knew, and so he sent his most skilled and wicked archers to set an ambush for the Emperor's son. They dipped their bolts in cruel poison and waited from behind a well-placed rock for Carantius to ride past. Their volley nearly missed, save one bolt that grazed his arm. Seeing blood upon their Lord the Valians began to despair, and Carantius reeled and cried out in pain from the evil poison. His men gathered him up as he slumped from his horse, and with that the equites broke at last before the cataphracts, and then the legions too began to waver and flee. Many Valians escaped that slaughter, for even in defeat they are hardy and enduring.

The Grand Magus captured a pair of eagles for Ashrai on the fated Day of Two Battles, adding them to three still unrecovered. This humiliation rankles the dignitaries of Saia to this day. Many say that a Prophecy from his God drives fell Bastian, and he has done much in the intervening months to put Ashrai to order beneath the rule of the Magi. Rumours abound that he will soon cross the strait and revenge his nation upon the Valians.

Nominee: Bring me the child with the golden eyes and you will be rewarded beyond your wildest imaginings.


By a Wine-Dark Sea

The sun sets in the west, and a long shadow is cast before you, reaching towards a distant and darkened sea. You gulp nervously as you approach the crossroads atop your donkey. Fields of tall wheat ripple in the wind at the roadside; the air smells of sea salt and flowers.

It has been a far journey - you are sore, exhausted and in want of a bed. You have endured many weeks of hard travel among strange folk since your departure from the as-yet debatably Valian land of Elcius, but you carry out your master's bidding; you must glean what there is to be gleaned, and know what there is to be known. Three figures garbed in dull red linen jackets await you at their ease by the signpost ahead, girdles of bronzen scales still shimmering in the fading light. They sit atop fine and well-bred mares, coats of beauteous and deepest brown.

"Ah, sakhim, we have looked for your arrival. Be welcome, for you are in Ashrai," the leader says in surprisingly well-spoken Valian, a great grin spreading across his dark-bearded face.

"I am most honoured, and eagerly anticipate your Lord's hospitality," you reply formally in practiced Ashraic.

"Then come, for it is good to be acamp when the Moon's law rises," he says in his own tongue. You take the easterly road. It is quiet, but after a wide turn about a small rise you are greeted by the sound of strange music and the bustling hum of an army on-the-move. The camp is well-organized to your eye, surrounded by a ditch and wall of stakes - near Valian in its quality and placement, you realize sourly.

You come to a gate and observe on one side a group of blue-painted Canirii, gazing upon you darkly, drumming their fingers impatiently on artfully crafted pommels. On the other side stand three dusky-skinned men of immense proportions, standing at least seven feet tall, great poleaxes held languidly and relaxed - they incline their heads and smile as you and your escorts ride past.

Peoples of many unfamiliar nations are gathered here with their accouterments, and the smells of a hundred foreign cuisines assault your nostrils. You recognize Ashavans in their lavish furs, and stocky Myrians in their conical hats. Grim Titanians from Sind scour and oil their coats of mail while Haronians sit peaceably nearby, cutting oblong purple fruits and frying them in oil. Ashraic cataphractoi with their plaited beards jostle each other and laugh, mingling with wine-drunk Evvics from Cylene as they roll dice at the fireside. You note that near-all seem to speak the language of Ashrai as a common tongue.

Chanting groups of darkly-dressed Ashraics bearing the Veil Banner emerge along the wide avenue as the night deepens, lighting standing torches at regular intervals. A crimson pavilion waits for you ahead, heart-like at the camp's very center. It beats with light and sound as folk enter and leave. Your escorts salute you graciously as they part the entrance, ushering you inside. You only realize the entire enormous edifice is woven silk when it brushes gently against your shoulder.

A waft of incense washes over you, and you cough and sputter at the strange fumes. Oh, the indignities that you suffer in your master's name. Curtains and cushions spill in every direction, servants bearing silver plates circulating among the grandees with endless food and drink. Reflected flames from golden braziers light each nook and corner, tended carefully. Voluptuous dancers sway rhythmically to the high lilting of foreign flutes, their bodies lithe and lustrous with oil. You feel stunned by the clamour and cacophony, the excess and wealth. For a single moment you could swear you see a man with the head of a goat playing a brass horn amidst the crowd. Your head reels as you stumble towards the high dais, desperately seeking out your host. It sits empty, and you feel utterly abandoned amongst the enemies of your people, surrounded on every side. You curse your master's name, and beseech the gods that they deliver you from your tribulations!

A firm hand grasps you warmly by the shoulder, and a stout man in a deep crimson robe steps up beside you, the well-oiled and intricate plaits of his beard glimmering black in the brazier-light.

"Sakhim!" he near-shouts in exuberant greeting "We have waited long for you, and are most eager to hear your master's words. Know that I am the Magus Bastian, and that you will be my boon-guest - and soon my friend, God willing" he continues, seeming to note your discomfort. "Ah, yes. Our nights must be of some small strangeness to a man of your customs - but we do as we are bid by our God's mistress. It would not do to anger the Lady beneath her own light!" he laughs, pulling you aside to a secluded pair of cushions.

Seemingly from nowhere he produces a silver goblet of iced and honeyed wine, placing it gingerly in your hand. You slurp greedily as you sink into the luxuriant cushion, quenching a thirst you didn't even know you had. You think to yourself that it would be troublesome to rise - but fortune smiles upon you, and you have no desire to do so.

"Now come, my friend, and tell me all there is to tell of what passes in the lands of Valia. Tell me of what your master knows. Tell me of the child with the golden eyes…"

He grins widely, his teeth white and polished, and you find yourself smiling back. For a moment you feel like you're forgetting something, something your master said, perhaps. But for the life of you there seems to be no reason not to do exactly as you've been asked. It is only right to repay the kindness and benevolence of your host.

And so you begin your tale.
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Please feast your eyes on a full-scale preview of our map, with river systems - be patient with your computers as this may take a bit to load.

This map will serve as a high-detail terrain map for planning troop movements, logistics, and engagements, we will continue to keep a mini-map akin to our region previews so that people don't get overwhelmed by the detail and can track provincial control at a glance.

Many other features will be coming soon to this map, including mountains, forests, rivers, settlements, and so on, but this should give a good feel of the map scope for now.
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Signs in the Heavens


It was a most inauspicious day when a herald on a swift horse arrived in Lutecia from Holy Saia bearing his ill-omened news. For the day was the feast of some oriental goddess, whose vagrant priests, all without exception eunuchs in women's garb, and her eccentric votaries drunk upon oriental mysticism lamented the dying of their goddess' mortal lover by stinging their pallid flesh with thongs and stripes in gloomy procession. The eerie lilting of their, to pious Valian ears, unseemly lamentations and displays of public mortification could be heard throughout the streets as the grey clad traveler made his way unnoticed to the governor's palace.

His message?

"The Emperor is dead and his son also"

That same day a message was sent back to Holy Saia to the Temple of Caelus where a certain associate of the sender could bring about the sender's request. What request you say. Well, it was Valian in its brusqueness and dire in its implications.

"Consult the books"

It was a few months later that the reply finally came unto the Empires northern capital, with the veiled visitor bearing the secret words only passingly regarding the subdued mood of a people now fully cognizant of the uncertain future of the Empire which Tempus and Parca had conspired to conceal even from the wise. Nonetheless as he passed Lutecia's forum and entered the gates of the governor's palace he could not help but consider how undisturbed it appeared in the wake of the demise of the crown. It remained stately in its marbled grandeur and its grounds well-kept with topiary, statuary and tinkling fountains conducive to the mind-arts of the practitioners of Evvic philosophy. Perhaps its well-ordered harmony was such that one temporarily forgot the state of public mourning that yet hung over the Empire like a bank of Amorian fog he thought. Pulled from his reverie by the welcome of a house-slave appointed to guide him to the master of the dwelling the governor's guest was led through mosaiced halls and courtyards before he finally came to the governor's office, a dimly lit room which smelt of candle-smoke and black oak-gall ink.

The governor wasted no time.

" What passage did the consultations call forth?"

"One obscure, with its meaning yet to be unveiled in time, Pontifex"

The visitor murmured, as if uncomfortable to even convey the words he was bidden to reveal.

"The gods seldom speak with the clarity of an Evvic oration, for the divine is beyond our comprehension. Nonetheless it is a fool that disregards the oracles of the gods, as the people of Titanomuria learned to their peril when they ignored the oracle of Hermon and deigned to serve only the two ladies. Tarry not and convey the words".

Bowing slowly in in dim silence the visitor, in the archaic Valian of the Saian Oracles, ponderously intoned the divine words.

Et erunt signa in sole,
et luna, et stellis,
et in terris pressura gentium
prae confusione sonitus maris,
et fluctuum arescentibus hominibus
prae timore et exspectatione,
quae supervenient universo orbi,
nam virtutes caelorum movebuntur.

And the governor, hearing them pondered deeply, hoping beyond hope that he could descry the mysteries the gods had hidden in the verse.
  • Candidate or Leader Name - Caelinus Mancinus
  • Candidate type - Imperial (Legionary)
  • Location on the map - Titanomuria
  • Primary color - Blue
  • Banner - A Wolf's Head
  • Background - Caelinus Mancinus served long as an adjutant to the Emperor Carian, one of his chief military aides. Now, he is past his prime and was managing the logistics and reinforcements for the Ashrai campaign from Titanomuria. The death of Carian and his heir leaves him without a clear task for the first time in his life and a loyal legion trained by him.
Reposting Lucky's application here:

Leader Name: Democles Braccus
Candidate Type: Imperial (Legionary)
Location on the Map: Aetacia / Aytakos
Primary Color: Thalo Green
Banner Description: A barbary lion
Background: Possibly of mixed Valian and Tarian Cunic origins, Braccus is a career Valian soldier, posted to Aytakos as an outsider, who has become popular with the locals with a reputation for fairness and competence. A well-organized commander, the empire is his purpose. He has defended the frontier from desert raiders effectively during his posting. A stoic man living a utilitarian lifestyle, he considers the gods distant but worthy of respect, and is known to consult oracles to understand their will.
Myself and @Shirogane are interested in joining co-op as imperials, if there is still room for applications. Would also need a link to the NES discord

Leader Name: Septimius Agrippanus Theocritus, Prefect of Evvia
Candidate Type: Imperial (Governor)
Location on the Map: Province of Evvia
Primary Color: Violet, or White at the GM's discretion

Banner Description:
The Signa Evviacus (p. ev-æ-kos), standard of the office of the Praefectus Evviacus and Imperial Evvia

Background: Septimius came into being as seventh and youngest child to an old and powerful delegate family in the imperial valian capital. Born by specific design as part of a genetic engineering program meant to manipulate lasting relations and greater means of which to assert influence over the city states by installing pro-valian offspring that were considered evvic by blood. As he was an esteemed member within the elite upper-echelons of valian society Septimius enjoyed the privilege of being carried safely throughout life in lavish luxury, leaving him unburdened by the menial hardships that troubled the common plebs and granting him free time, of which he was railroaded by the family towards mastering the fields of imperial politics, matters of state, governance, valian law and specifically the culture, traditions and histories of Evvia and her many ancient city states- as per the designs of the Agrippas and their fellow upstanding valian houses' schemes.

The long and arduous journey of being groomed for the mantle of governance most of his life would finally bear fruit years later as Septimius, upon reaching adulthood, was moved to practice true imperium as a junior magister over a sizable but local region in the imperial province of evvia, where he quickly showed skills well beyond the expectations of both pers, onlookers and his dynasty. Septimius would only continue to rise further in the hierarchy structure of the empire as time moved on. His great display of competance and nigh uncanny speechcraft granting him widespread love and support amongst the peoples of evvia, as well as increasing his favour in the eyes of powerful forces in Saia and across the valian empire. Before his untimely demise in 841 the Emperor, in recognition of Septimius' work and abilities, named him Prefect of Evvia and created the office of Praefectus Evviacus which held direct and highest imperium on all matters to the fullest extent of the province, subject only to the forum and emperor. After he had consolidated his power septimius adopted "Theocritus" as his cognomen, establishing the House of Theocritus and taking a evvic pureblood; Lysistrata, a highborn's daughter renowned for divine beauty but brightness of a mule, as his loyal trophy wife.

Although it had immortalized him upon the highest marbled pillars in society, as well as brought with it immeasurable glory and wealth to both himself and his house, the constant conditioning pressed on septimius had spawned many invisible shadows of the mind. Untreated and ignored, these shadows grew fat and eventually overpowered septimius at a very young age by cursing his soul to stone, petrifying his empathy, love and compassion which all crumbled to dust within him and was swept away. Moving in to fill the void oozed forth a cold, calculated and sinister ego- devoid of humanity and unchained by remorse or guilt.
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About time I finally make a character for the position I'm claiming!
Leader Name: Cordius Surinus
Candidate Type: Imperial (Delegate)
Location on the Map: Pre-Determined (A fort near the border in the province of Valerium)
Primary Color: Yellow
Banner Description: A hammer and shovel crossed together with a Valian gladius down the middle, all brown on a yellow field.
Nominee: Nobody yet - officially, anyway.
The Surinii are not an ancient family of Valian statesmen or generals, nor are they a prestigious background of native aristocrats. Cordius was born as the third son of a soldier and a local woman in a veteran colony: the only reason he learned how to read and write was because in his youth he made friends with the son of a prominent local who was wealthy enough to afford an Evvic tutor. He often stayed over with that family whenever he was not being lectured on diligence and virtue by his father, and his mother quickly picked up on and encouraged it, ensuring he took to his studies with great vigor. It soon became clear that he had a way with numbers, often exceeding his friends despite them having more time with the tutor, and he quickly took on management of his family's finances - including its debt. The family's eldest had been caught committing scandalous acts with one of the virgins at the local temple, and in order to avoid scandal and dishonor on the Surinus family, Cordius' father had been forced to both pay off the temple and the other family's paterfamilias for their silence and had to take a loan from a predatory lender to do so.

It took Cordius a decade to pay off that loan, during which time he honed many skills: financial acumen, persuasion and other people skills, and organization. At first, he helped run the family taberna, but as soon as he saved enough he invested in larger ventures: a bakery, a pottery, and even a tin mine. During these, a pattern emerged: he'd use his savings as a down payment to found it, manage it successfully through its ups and downs, and after its growth started to show signs it would slow down he would sell it to a wealthy businessman or family and move on. At first, when he assembled some construction workers and took on a contract from a wealthy family to build a new temple to the Gods, he assumed that it would be a side-gig for a quick influx of cash while he planned his next business. However, that was when history turned. Cordius was out late one night, ensuring that the construction was going as expected, before he noticed several shapes approaching. At first, he assumed they were brigands and reached for his sword - before he saw the glint of armor on one of them in the pale moonlight. Deserters. The group drew their weapons to ensure no witnesses would be left to report them. Thinking quickly, however, Cordius spoke with them, telling them who he was and offering them something they desperately needed: a place to lay low, a source of income, and a story to avoid suspicion of their true identities. He would hire them as workers and mercenary guards for the construction site and his property, giving him extra labor and protection to ensure the construction went to plan. Having little in the way of a better plan, they agreed.

With the experience and engineering expertise of this group of 'mercenaries' combined with his construction workers, they exceeded expectations for the construction and he was given an extra reward by the grateful local priesthood. After a few more contracts, he had more than enough money to pay off the family's loan in full, and his grateful father gave his blessing for Cordius to continue his ventures. Over time, Cordius took on several other contracts as he assembled a larger and larger force, both recruiting more construction workers and buying out actual mercenary contractors, and using the latter's experience to train and drill his workers into a private army with the construction experience and engineering capabilities on par with and even imitating a Legion. He used this force to take on a whole host of tasks, often at once, whether that be building new roads or escorting caravans for merchants, hiring themselves out to assist in power struggles in Tacilium, or even putting down a local rebellion for the provincial governor (who turned a blind eye to Cordius' troops in exchange for the help). As long as it was legal, he and his men could do it - for the right price.

Upon learning of the news of the death of the Emperor deep in Ashrai lands, Cordius took notice. While not technically commander of a Legion, his army could easily be considered on par with one, and the luster of the Emperorship cast a log on the blaze of his ambition. With his current contracts drying up, many of his usual employers trying to secure themselves in the midst of his succession crisis, he ordered his forces to withdraw to an old legionary base previously abandoned for being poorly positioned for defending the frontier. But that suited him well: the frontier wasn't where he intended to march. Instead, as he assembled his army, he began to send letters to his various contacts both within Imperial borders and without made during his work. It seemed the time was right for him to consider the laurel.
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Varinius is pledged to zap's governor

Leader Name: Varinius Aglia, Commander of the Elaton naval legion and Septimius' prime lieutenant.
Candidate Type: Imperial (legionary)
Location on the Map: Elaton (U)
Primary Color: Gold
Banner Description:
The Signa Evviacus, standard of the office of the Praefectus Evviacus and Imperial Evvia

Background: Varinius is a dedicated career soldier and a seasoned combat veteran of several military campaigns as well as more recent tribal subjugation efforts across the imperial eastern frontiers. He was given the mantle of command and appointed legate after delaying a large warband of Ashrai nomads with only a single centuria long enough for the successful evacuation of several overrun villages in Triportia.

His outstanding military history and deeds put him in good favour with the Imperial Forum and especially the Prefect of Evvia, whom have seen fit to grant this otherwise lowborn eques the lucrative station of commanding the Elaton naval legion.

Empowered by the insignia of the Praefectus Evviacus and enjoying great political boons and influence from his benefactor in Evvia, Legate Varinius leads the legion with a fierce zeal and seemingly unquestionable loyalty to the House of Theocritus.
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Please enjoy this latest development update, as we've mostly completed our mountain systems:

(As before, a large file that takes some time to load)

In the coming month you can look forward to our finalized physical map as we add forests, hills, swamps and deserts. Then we will begin filling in the political geography as our final phase of the game's development - cities, farmland, roads/bridges/passes, borders, troops, gold and food. And your banners will finally appear on the map!

Because the philosophy of this game is that all meaningful stats are shown on the map, when the update is done and the map is updated, the game is ready to go - no need for delays waiting for the mods to do accounting. That's why we're investing so much time into getting the map right to start off with.
Development update!

For those of you not on Discord, where more frequent development content comes out, we are about 90% done with the physical map, around 40% done with the political map, and picking up speed as we perfect our final style. I understand this has been a long wait for the playerbase, but it doesn't seem like anyone is going anywhere. In the event that anyone has dropped out, we will recruit new players for those spots.

I personally committed to be involved with the NES for at least 5 years, and I think once the map is completed, most of our work will be done - i.e. updates will proceed much faster. We will likely be making use of Discord threads to manage the battles between updates.

The size of the map will probably require us to upload it in halves or quadrants, but we will continue to explore this (like with different compressions, textures, etc.) to make uploads more manageable.


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