As the Italo campaign is taking quite a long time to set up, I’ve decided to pick up another project in the meantime – a return to the environs of the Styrenia campaign, that last saw action during my schooldays forty years ago. The original map is in a fairly fragile condition now, so the obvious first step has been to redraw it.
Observant readers may notice some differences between the original map and this new version.
1. The river system has altered in places. This has nothing whatsoever to do with me misinterpreting lines on the original and thus drawing the rivers differently by accident. Over a span of forty years, Kavallan engineers have surveyed and mapped the region properly, so this map is far more accurate and reliable than the old Styrenian map. Obviously.
2. Four decades of, first, Kavallan influence and, then, Kavallan rule have led to significant improvements in the Styrenian infrastructure, and to the growth of settlements. Most notably, a new port town has developed at Dariush, which was formerly a mere fishing village. In the desert region, places that were once no more than a well or oasis and a huddle of adobe buildings have expanded into large fortified villages or small towns, and they have been linked by a network of roads, creating vital routes for travel and commerce between Styrenia and the rest of the Kavallan Empire, to the west.
3. The area covered by the campaign map has expanded a little to the east and to the south. The Pramandan Empire is still to the north, beyond the mountain range, and is connected to Styrenia by a single narrow pass. The border with the Kingdom of Uttara is marked by the first river to the south-east of Dariush. Two other, smaller realms have entered the Styrenian arena. The small area of plains shown to the east of the (dark green) hill country is the western edge of Paltrya; the hills to the south of that, bordered by the same river that divides Styrenia from Uttara, are occupied by the wild tribes of the Natori.
The Styrenia campaign is, at least partly, a “fantasy” setting designed to use a number of the 15mm ancient armies in my collection. To make things easier to visualise, for anyone who might bother to follow this over the coming weeks and possibly months, here’s a handy guide:
Kavalla = Macedonian.
Pramanda = Achaemaenid Persian.
Uttara = Indian.
Paltrya = Parthian.
Natori = Numidian.
Styrenian = the warbands and light cavalry from my Ancient British constitute local militia, with a small number of Sub-Roman British providing a small standing army stationed in the provincial capital, Habordah.
I’ve mounted the campaign map in a cheap clip frame (99p from Wilkinsons – no expense spared, here!). The changing positions of troops can then be marked on the glass using a chinagraph pencil, saving the map itself from being scribbled over.
The other thing worth mentioning at this stage is that I need a calendar of sorts to mark the passing of time within the campaign. Feeling lazy, I’ve decided that everyone in this alternative world uses the same lunar calendar, giving them thirteen months each of four weeks and with each month named after an animal. So, the sequence of months runs (starting on the equivalent of our 1st January): Boar, Fox, Water Dragon, Owl, Adder, Wolf, Ram, Goose, Bull, Wren, Earth Dragon, Cat, Crane. I used a simple enough method to name the months. I have a deck of cards called The Druid Animal Oracle; I just shuffled them to randomise the process, then drew the first thirteen cards and named the months in the sequence that came up.
That’s much of the setting up done for the revamped Styrenia campaign. With this one, I am only bothering with character development as and when it’s actually important to the narrative. The next post in this thread will give a brief background to the situation in Styrenia and the neighbouring lands, on the last day of the Month of the Crane, in the year 334…