Rosen is the capital city of Erhard Province of the Northern Empire. Located on the coast of the Alb Lake it was one of the first settlements on the frontier during the Frontier Expansion Act, and the furthest from the Outer Wall. This is the story behind the well known settlement which was on the path of an unforgiving foe, only to emerge with its mangled flag raised proudly overhead.
Rosen leads in two major industries within the Erhard Province: mining and lumber. The city’s most iconic buildings are the Northwestern Docks, the Imperial Chappel and the Frontier War Memorial, also known as Central Plaza.
(This is what i got so far, feedback is appreciated!)
Chapter 1, Prelude to Establishment
It was 1020, shortly after Ian III’s execution. His 19 year old son, Ian IV, was appointed to the throne by the Imperial Government before word got out about Ian III’s death. Upon Ian IV’s appointment to the throne their were three major problems within the Northern Empire; the population was five million in total, taxes were morbidly high and the crime rate was virtually uncontrollable due to a decrease in law enforcement funding. Fixing taxes, boosting funding for law enforcement took nine years, seven years waiting for the members of the Imperial Court to come to an agreement, and two years for these changes to make an impact on the population. During those two years, the emperor was planning to combat the remaining problem: population management. The plan was to encourage citizens to expand into the frontier, expanding its territory toward plains of rich soil which would provide food while at the same time give breathing space in the interior cities. Known commonly as the Frontier Expansion Act, it received positive reception, with many interested in what opportunities would bring with it such as money and fame.
At the time, the frontier was virtually untouched, consisting of thick forests, enormous lakes, long rivers and the tallest mountains of the mainland, most of which remained unexplored for a long time. The Leraute, Collins and Talson families, among the most families in the empire, assembled the first groups to take part in the Frontier Expansion Act. Thousands more would follow in the footsteps of these families. The Talson family had plans of bringing a group of twenty, but regulations kept them from going over a group of seven. Erhard Talson and his sister Amelia would lead the group and observe the settlements development.
Despite the overwhelming support of the Frontier Expansion Act, their were still people who were against the Frontier Expansion Act, claiming that the highlands should be the location of any future settlement. Arguments like these were true to an extent since the highlands made up over 40 percent of the interior and would be a much safer alternative to eastward expansion. However the highlands were unable to support the empires growing population due to the inability to form adequate farmland. People still brought the argument to assemblies where they received varying responses. Regardless of these opinions, the Frontier Expansion Act continued.
The Talson Group departed on the early morning of March 3rd from Estopald. They were determined to choose land further away from the infighting between other groups, which was closer to the wall. Stone, wood and food were needed to grow a settlement quickly, and the area they located was perfect; the coast of the Alb Lake, specifically on a peninsula known which would come to be known as the Stermick Peninsula. The plains surrounding the lake provide rich soil year round.
Despite the many benefits of settlement on the Stermick Peninsula there was one major problem: it was the only location at the time which was over 1,500 miles away from the Outer Wall. The safest method to the Alb Lake at the time was the Frost Valley, but snowfall in the valley could reach six and even ten inches during the winter months. In other words, receiving help would be mostly impossible during winter.
First of all, I want to make clear that I am excited for the future of this story and that I enjoy the fact that you are putting in so much backstory.
P.S. this is a REALLY long post: be warned.
Incidentally my writer’s eye went wide a few times when reading through your work. Since this will be a rather long post I will launch straight into the crtique-fest.
One more question, are you basing this lore on history or stonehearth? (It seems from your writing that the lore is historical while the city itself is stonehearthical, which is fine.)
This sentence should be preluded by “In the beginning of Ian IV’s reign the population etc.”
I don’t think you fully understand what you just wrote here. I’m going to assume you mean the entire empire’s population was five or seven million. There are two ways to read that. Five million citizens and two million soldiers OR five million people, two million of those people are also soldiers. Either way it is not fathomable that they had two million standing soldiers historically (ancient Rome which had anywhere between 45-120 million they only had a standing army of 400,000 - 500,000) or stonehearthally where players have about 1 footmen per 7 citizens.
Historically you could rectify this problem if you go with the second of the two options above, by stating “two million of these citizens were also trained as soldiers for times of war” or something like that.
Keep in mind that the regulating taxes is not so easy. Governments are addicted to taxes and they have withdraws when it is kept from them. That in itself needs a little explaining. I will give the example of law enforcement as that case fully illustrates my point. When crime is up the government hires police. Assuming these officer do their job successfully, the criminals will begin to become afraid and crime will lower. If the government snatches the funding from the police away the police stop working. An opening is created and criminals pour in. I hope that is clear enough.
There is an easy way out of this, it is that Ian III simply kept the extra taxes for himself. But its something for you to think about.
They must be very well known indeed (and powerful) if they are a powerful family amidst five or seven million other grappling competitors.
You never specified that the FEA was a series of journeys. Adding a quick mention of that will help the story flow and keep the reader from halting in the story while he figures out the connection.
If your going for stonehearth accuracy I would recommend reducing that number to seven(as that is the number a player starts off with)
It took me to read through’s to understand this clause. It definitely needs to be made more clear.
Switch ‘millions’ to ‘thousands’ it is hard to believe that multiple million groups were formed. Especially assuming the entire population of the empire is five or seven million.
It also clashes with the next few sentences.
“It seemed that Ian IV’s plan was working.” More then seemed, if multiple million groups were exploring that would appear to be undisputed success.
“People still resisted the idea” these people would undoubtedly exist (there are always people disagreeing with every movement) but they would be a small minority of there were indeed multiple million groups exploring.
Side note this is a run-on sentence.
According to that I find it hard to believe that the highlands could support 5-7 million people in the first place. Consider changing “long term settlement” to “the rapid increase in population”
I think you should re-write this sentence to make it a little more clear. “Determined to choose land far away from the infighting among other noble groups.”
and the area they* located
my jaw dropped when I read this…
To put that in perspective, the USA is roughly 3500 miles coast to coast, and takes five days to drive it. That is with minimal stops, paved highways, fast moving vehicles and already explored location.
There is NO way that the Talson exposition of 20 or so men could travel 90,000 miles in their lifetime. Certainly not in winter months.
Definitely change that number to a smaller one. There is no way to explain that unless they could teleport or something.
That is all I noticed on my second read through. Don’t misunderstand the above critque. I love your story so far, and it shows a lot of potential. I also know how hard it is to make all your numbers work. That is why I wrote this, so you can have a lore background that makes sense.