For the Lunars Balazar is a backwater of little or no strategic importance. The Lunar incursion into Balazar over 50 years ago was never strategic, but a tactical attempt to stop raiding over a difficult border, and to buffer Imther, Tarsh and Holay from constant raiding from the Elkio clans.
Now this goal has been largely achieved the Leadership of the Lunar provincial government has no plans and little time for Balazar. All eyes are on Satar, Prax and Whitewall and events of strategic, religious and cosmological importance going on in that theatre.
This has left Balazar without strong Lunar governance, an unclear power structure and a lack of troops and resources for the Lunar leaders to implement the basic tasks assigned to them. The limited Lunar garrison in Elkio has the following responsibilities.
- Support the King of Elkio who the Lunars have selected.
- Protect Lunar citizens within the Kingdom of Elkio and across Balazar
- Suppress any revolts and raiding from within the Elkio clans
- Patrol the border and stop other Balazaring tribes raiding the Empire
- Scout deeper into the Balazar and the Elder wilds to detect threats or opportunities for the Lunar empire
For this task they have been provided with 200 Lunar troops, and have the 30 additional citadel warriors at their disposal. They even struggle to feed this limited number and have to use resources guarding the food caravans coming into the citadel.
The current situation is starting to get concerning for local lunar leaders with the following trends
- Clans traditionally loyal to Elkio pulling away from the citadel and rule of the King Glyptus
- Increased Orlanthi activity with balazaring Orlanthi appearing and the Windsword being found
- Occasional raids on Lunar convoys
- Killing of a Lunar Citizens in Trilius
- Yelmalio temple relocating to Dykene after the opening of the new Lunar temple in Elkio
The view from Mirin’s Cross
The Lunar provincial government sees very little of value in Balazar, with the only opportunity of note being the rumors of the Giant Gon Orta and his pass into Northern Prax.
However to connect with Gon Orta the Lunar administration would have to;
- Subdue another 80,000 Balazarings,
- Subdue or reach treaty with 300,000 very primitive trolls,
- Create a treaty with an elven society which still remembers the mooburn
- Open up a new 200 mile wide front with a potential Pentian threat
Not things the provincial administration would want to do and even if firm data and good intentions were received from Gon Orta. It frankly would not be worth the effort to expand further east.
The Lunar Admirations sees Elkio as a buffer to the rest of Balazar, Balazar as a buffer to the Elder Races, the Elder races as a buffer to the Pentians who are still seen as a significant threat to the empire.
This status quo is a situation the provincial administration approves of and it would take significant changes in opportunities or threats for them to even consider a change of position. The activity to the south means they are unlikely to even recognize a change of threat level in Balazar.
Local leaders have been ordered to maintain the status quo and quash threats to the empire, with only the resources to hand, and to expect no more.
The View from Balazar
The day to day Leadership of this province has been left in the hands of three very different men, with three very different perceptions and agendas.
Halycon Von Enkorth
Sees himself an up and coming man, he is 25 years old in a position of power as ’Advisor to the Lunar Minister of Provencal Security with special consideration to Balazar and the Elder Wilds’ and is looking for more. He somewhat bemused with his posting in the backwater and sees it as a slight. However he is still looking wants to make a name for himself and looking for opportunities to distinguish himself to his superiors.
Halycon is firmly of the belief that to keep the border stable the Lunar empire needs to keep rivals and opponents unstable. He is actively destabilises non lunar tribes clans and tribes, aids and support rebellions. He actively campaigns against opponents outside Lunar lands and has no issue in detaining or assassinating people anywhere in Balazar. His agents are more circumspect in the other two citadels but apart from that he works with impunity.
Due to there not being a direct line of command between himself and the Lunar garrison Halycon mainly uses mercenaries for his operations with varying degrees of success. Currently;
- Barons Blackshields – A small group of adventures come mercenaries who are on permanent retainer with Halycon, these coordinate most of the other mercenaries for Halycon.
- Elkio tribesmen- There are always a small number of Balazarings ready to do virtually anything for Lunar goods and gin.
- Tusk riders – Halycon has recently imported a fair sized band of tusk riders, on the promise of land and payment. This is not turning out to be one of his better projects.
- Imther, Holay and Tarsh mercenaries – Halycon will employ mercenaries on an ad hoc basis as they finish their work guarding the supply columns coming to Elkoi
Halycon knows Ergryptus is working against him and is considering having him eliminated if an opportunity were to present itself.
Ergryptus the Bold
The 55 year old career soldier and commander of the Lunar garrison wants to hit retirement alive. He knows situation is delicate, he does not have the resources to deal with a significant uprising and he is protecting an incompetent king.
He his however a highly competent and professional soldier and just wishes to fulfil his standing orders, with minimum of fuss and little interference. He has no need to prove his competence or curry favour with any politician.
It is his belief that a steady, competent garrison duty is what is required to maintain the border. He sees no reason to engage in behaviour that will provoke confrontation either within or without the borders of Elkio.
He is however concerned about the lack of manpower to garrison this frontier but has been informed from the Lunar Provincal Army that no extra resources will be forthcoming. His response is to start to train a local auxiliary of 100 Elkio tribesmen to supplement the lunar forces, this force is not part of the citadel guards but reports directly to him.
Due his competence over a 5 year period he has by far the best information network in Elkio and the allied tribes.
Lines of command are confusing with Halcyon reporting into a ministry in Mrins Cross and Ergryptus reporting into the Lunar provincial army.
He has a personal dislike of Halycon and his actions and thinks they will destabilise the border and create issues. If Ergyptrus can find a pretence and gets enough evidence he will have Halcyon arrested
Glyptus the Good
Though as a client King Glyptus is officially the supreme authority of the Lunar Empire in Balazar you would not know it, he dithers, confers and vacillates between the opinions of his two lunar advisors and subordinates, and then does exactly what his wife tells him to.
However Glyptus is bright enough to be concerned about his position. He is losing support of many traditional Elkio clans and some have even raided the lunar supply caravans.
He is desperate to be seen as important within the Lunar Empire, and this with his wife encouragement makes him pray to Halycons more strident manipulations.
However he is very aware that without Ergyptus support his head could be on a pike attached to castle gates very quickly. King Glyptus thinks he is cleverly following a middle path between the two lines of council, but the truth is he vacillates between opinions which infuriates each of the men in turn. It also makes lunar Policy very hard to predict.
To most Balazarings the Lunar empire has unlimited resources and is wanting to invade neighbouring lands at the slightest provocation. Though this is not true, it is the widely held perception of the Empire of all who pay it any attention.
The exception to this is many of the formerly Elkoi clans who have stopped paying Glyptus fealty in recent years, they have realised that of Lunar Dominance over western Balazar does not extend far beyond sight of the citadel of Elkoi.
However the fact that the Lunar garrison is twice the size of the standing armies of Trilius and Dykene leaves an impression of strength, both kings are concerned about possible invasion and the hunting clans are rife with rumours of plots afoot, the machinations of Halycon von Encorth keep the myths alive.
Trilius is trying to strength its light bringer connections to bolster itself against the empire, without being directly provocative to the empire. Dykene is strengthening its Yelmalion credentials and a the public perception of a stronger alliance with the Dwarves of Greatway to increase its position of strength. Both are unaware these moves are unneeded.
Current Lunar Troops
The current Lunar garrison is comprised of the following;
- Permanent Garrison, Command staff, and logistics – Regular Lunar Army – 30 effectives
- Elkoi Militia – Balazaring Peltasts Skirmishes – 60 effectives
The following units tend to be rotated on 2 or 3 season rotations.
- 1 Company of Mercenary Peltasts from Holay(80 effectives)
- 1 Company of Barbarian Mercenary Spears(80 effectives) from Holay or Tarsh
- 1 Company Mercenary Light or medium Horse (40 effectives) from Holay