More than an Online campaign
On the 1st August The 9th Age Age community (Lich King in cooperation with Eldan and Adaephon_Delat) launches online event ‘The Fight for Avras’. It will be more than just a campaign where you fight battles and report results… the campaign is aimed to approach all hobby activities: from playing to painting miniatures, from writing background for your troops to creating homebrew rules. The campaign starts as 3 side fight between Empire of Sonnstahl, Vampire Covenant and Vermin Swarm. It is a great opportunity for everyone to delve into The 9th Age developing lore. More information and rules for the campaign can be found on 9th Age forum.
'Avras' by Thomas Karlsson
But what is that ‘Avras’…?
Tandemar 3rd, 962 AS.
It is most exciting! I have arrived in Avras itself! It has been a right whirlwind and no mistake. All of Monday I was on the great Bridge of Destiny, an enormous stone highway that leads into the city: it’s the only way to get there! Sadly, this means that the bridge is very crowded at all times of day – an incredibly diverse throng if ever there was one – so it took me many hours to finally reach the gates! Meanwhile there was nothing to do but gaze at the fantastical battlements ahead, and dream of the glory of a lost empire. I also tried to wave at some of the “archies” that live under the bridge (underits arches, hence the name) in terrible conditions. They gave me a very rude gesture in return, so I had to look away.
Today is only Wednesday, and already I have seen more sights than I thought the entire world could contain! I have seen the great Senate House, and the mighty Sepulchre behind it. You can only enter this most holy site on the wide road from the East, and for three hours each morning, starting at the moment of sunrise, they close the great doors of the Flame Gate for pilgrims and pennants to watch the glory of the dawn through the fiery colours of its stained glass. Now that was a sight to behold,let me tell you!
After worship, I saw other remarkable monuments such as the ancient Forum, Amphitheatre (where I am told that Sunna’s victory over the Rat King is yearly re-enacted) and the famous lighthouse of antiquity, Sunna’s Lantern, which still guides ships through the mists that wreath the Omiphorous river. Here I saw citizens from each of the city’s 27 “contradas” (districts) compete in a very dangerous race to swim to the western shore and back, cheered by an enormous crowd, to win glory for their contrada. What a thing to stumble upon! I visited shops of every description in the great bazaar(once an Avrasi bathhouse) and visited the dead in the legendary Necropolis! I even saw the Ruined Quarter where city mages keep watch over a magically contaminated patch where they say the Veil was torn many centuries ago.
All in all it has been a very enjoyable and interesting trip. I am also glad to report that so far I have not fallen victim to any of the criminal activities that everyone told me were such a problem here. I think their concern may have been a little overblown.
Farewell for now!
— Diary of Claude le Petit, Equitan traveller.It was found on his body, in a gutter in the Volskayan district, on Tandemar 4th.
Empire of Sonnstahl introduction
Emperor Matthias left the sparsely furnished room. Jürgen von Kleppersbusch was leaning over a huge table that was crowded with hundreds of wooden miniatures which obviously represented imperial troops. The miniatures seemed to be put into position to lay siege on a huge city with a great bridge as it’s single entrance.
Von Kleppersbusch squinted at Adjutant Brunner.
“What is wrong with you? Didn’t you hear our emperor? Start writing that damned letter!”
The Adjutant twinkled nervously, dipped a quill in the ink bottle and started writing while speaking out loud what he was writing.
We have read your letter with great interest and we agree, that Avras should be under control by our Empire again, so the church of Sunna can reestablish Avras as the centre of our faith in the Goddess and her Pantheon. ”
“That’s good, keep on!” von Kleppersbusch interjected.
“We have not been idle and we are happy to tell you, that we had negotiations with the Kingdom of Equitaine and we agreed on a contract. The Kingdom accepts the Empire of Sonnstahl as the new ruler of Avras in exchange for landholdings in.. “
“Stop this!” von Kleppersbusch interjected again. “The church must not know what we gave to these horseborn basterds. Start again.”
The Adjutant frowned, took a new piece of paper and wrote down what he had already written.
“Alright, maybe like this.” He continued.
“We are pleased to tell you, that we have proven our strength to the Kingdom of Equitaine and convinced them to give up the city so that we as the most powerful nation in Vetia can bring it under our control again.”
“Much better, keep on.” Jürgen von Kleppersbusch said.
“Right now we are building up an army that will ride to Avras to enforce our rights and make the city part of our Empire again. As we have heard the rumors that there are Vampires in this city, we suggest that some of your prelates and men of the inquisition join this army to eradicate this evil brood in the name of our Goddess.
It is known that an army of about 4.000 equitainian knights was slaughtered at the gates of Avras some time ago. General Fontaine and his men seem to be a hard nut to crack. But we are sure, that the defenders behind their walls won’t stand our artillery, steam tanks and faith in Sunna for a long time, so that the siege of the city will be victorious soon. We will succeed in the name of Sunna where the weak equitanian men failed so badly.
We will keep you informed.
May Sunna bless us all.
“Good, seal this letter and take care that the Supreme Prelate gets it as soon as possible.” von Kleppersbusch said. He walked to a window to get some fresh air as Marshal Friedjost von Weyerswert entered the room.
“…on Avras? W.. w…why is that?” von Weyerswert stuttered confused. He seemed to be afraid of von Kleppersbusch.
“It’s not yours to ask, just make it happen! Send messenger pigeons to our eastern provinces. The Lords must rally their troops, if it happens, that our main forces need support. Furthermore inform all Lords with landholding at the equitanian border to be cautious. I do not trust this snobbish jerks further than i can spit.” Von Kleppersbusch spat out to prove that this was not very far. “Now go!” he ended.
“May Sunna bless us all!” he whispered. “I have a bad feeling about this …”
Vermin Swarm introduction
„The Senate recognizes Tullius Fabricius.“
Before Tullius could even gather his toga around him, the mob behind the stands of the populist party started their shrill shrieking. The populists, as always, had no respect for the dignity of the senate and their paid lackeys smelled of sewage and blind anger. Nevertheless, he stood and marched to the podium, emboldened by the proud chant and the smell of righteous anger at this indignity coming from the noble tennants who had voluntarily come to support him.
„Proud citizens of the Avrasi Republic. Brethren. Today, I return the City of your ancestors to you.“
Immediately, the shrieking started again. He could make out the shouts of „Liar!“ and „Traitor!“, though his valiantsupporters quickly silenced them, while heroically dodging the rocks thrown by the vile populists in clear violation of the weapons ban in
„As you know, the Eternal City has been denied ever since the so-called rulers fell to dark powers and revealed their true nature by openly feasting on the blood of our honoured, oppressed ancestors. Vampires!“
An angry hiss went through the crowd and he could hear the supporters of the mercantilist faction begin the classic „Stake the rich and eat their ashes“ chant, like the thoughtless sheep they were. Lashing his tail for silence, he threw a bundle of letters down on podium in front of him.
„These are letters between the humans who call themselves the rulers of the temporarily occupied Avrasi provinces of Solaria Magna and Equitania. Our shrewd Sicarians have slain their messengers and intercepted these messages. In short, they are planning a second crusade for Avras, in the name of their false avatar of the pagan diety Sol Invicta. Brethren, countrymen, Avrasi, this is an opportunity. We can let the barbarians and the bloodsuckers fight and weaken each other, so that we may heroically reconquer the City by strategically striking at the right time. What’s more, by interccepting these messages, we have ensured that the Equitanians will not be forewarned of this attack by the „Sonnstahlers“ and will see it an attack on them, leading to more war between the barbarians!“
The depraved followers of the academic faction were starting to chant „Equitanes eunt domus!“ They probably thought it was funny.
„What remains to be decided, fellow citizens, is who shall be the one tasked with leading an army to Avras and gain the eternal glory of liberating the Eternal City of our honoured ancestors. May anyone who feels competent for the task please speak up.“
As he sat down, the first fights were already breaking out in the plebes, even as the senatorial representatives of the various tyrants were trying to shove each other off the podium.
„If Maximus Gloriosus is given this command, promises that in his triumph, he will give a talent of silver to every household and-“
The speaker was cut off as another ambassador punched at his kidney and shoved him off stage.
„Julia Invicta will personally bite the throat of the vampire queen and bring her head to the senate floor if she-“
That was all this speaker could proclaim before he was tackled to the floor by a much larger representative who was kicking at the black-furred runt who was hanging on his tail.
Tullius smiled. He loved democracy.
„And so, the Senate has decided to give the command over the Avrasi Liberation Forces to you, Julia Invicta. We think your superior fighting talents will ensure victory.“
The tyrant looked extremely smug as she looked down on the three senators, all a head shorter than her, even without the two feet of ornamentation on her
„Of course“, was all she said, as she took the sealed scroll that gave her senatorial authority. The smell of pride coming off her was sickening, as she was sickening as she and her retinue walked out.
„Cato?“, Tullis said, as she had left and closed the door behind her. The sicarian peeked out from behind the curtain in the corner. „Be a dear and have an assassin follow that one. She’s too ambitious and I don’t like her.“
The other two senators nodded their agreement. „We can also make sure that she’s given faulty ammunition on her mortars“, added Senator Fulminatus of the Rakachit.
„Excellent. How many is that now, dear colleagues?“
„Six“, senator Kyrious of the Fetthis wheezed next to him, gesturing for one of his slaves to pass him more candied rat tails. „Two or three more I think?“
„Princeps Commodus! The senate is extremely honoured to announce that in light of your great military accomplishments at the wasteland border, we have decided to give you[i]sole command of the Avrasi Liberation Forces. Be assured that after your victory, you will be given a triumph greater than any in history since…“
Vampire Covenant introduction
(by Lich King)
“My Queen!” a resolute scream echoed through the wide hallway, hung with expensive carpets, which led to the bedchamber of Nereida. The pale beauty lounged on a typical Avrasian couch made of the finest wood, grinning threw her long black hair over her graceful shoulders and straightening her wafer-thin, white tunic, adorned with numerous gold decorations, to her perfectly shaped body.
Puffing, Pachymeres reached the apartment of his older sister. The sweat made its way from his forehead over his cheeks, down his chin, over his muscular upper body. In the brilliance of the candlelight, a strange erotic scene emerged. Nereida rose from her couch and approached Pachymeres with unearthly, steadily flowing motions. As she approached right next to him, she glided gently by the tip of her index finger along his broad shoulders. With a seductive bite on her lower lip, for which hundreds of men would instantly want to throw themselves into the most hopeless fight, she whispered in his ear: “Brother! I haven’t experienced you so hasty and out of breath for a long time! I should care for your heart … if it were not already dead.” With these words she turned away from Pachymeres again.
He was still busy shaking off the seductive aura that Nereida had built up around him. “My queen …” he started again “… your spies have been able to intercept the following exchange of correspondences.” He hurriedly pulled a scroll from one of his pockets, which hung from his heavy belt, and handed it over to his sister.
She took the document and dropped back onto her couch as she rolled up the parchment. Immediately she noticed the seal of Emperor Matthias. Frantically, she began to read the news. Her face darkened visibly. Where only a few moments ago the delicate face of a young beauty was visible, the facial features hardened, causing them to wrinkle. Under the pale skin, dark veins suddenly appeared all over her face, forming pulsating black rivers. Involuntarily, she hit the bulbous carafe, which had stood on the small side table made of black obsidian until then, with her hand’s back, so that it fell splintering on the bright marble floor and distributed the wine in all directions. Right in the middle of the blood-red puddle, Nereida sat and fought for her self-control:
“No, it’s enough … IT’S ENOUGH! Tell me, brother: how many times have I been lenient with the people of the Empire? How many unforgivable mistakes have I forgiven? How many times have I willfully turned a blind eye to the fact that they treated us like lepers, sometimes even hunted us down with their priests and their inquisitors? For how long I contented myself with pulling the strings in the background of human society, in THEIR INTEREST?!”
“But sister …”, Pachymeres interjected.
“WHAT, brother?! Do you want to appease me again? Do you want to tell me that an open war against the Empire would not be wise right now again? Not this time … NOT AGAIN, I tell you! My patience is exhausted! For far too long, we have had to live in the shadow of humanity. Each of us weighs hundreds … thousands of these humans in the heat of the battle. They should worship us like gods! Falling on their knees and asking for forgiveness, is what they should do! I will teach them respect! I will remind them of their mortality! We are the race that should reign over all of Vetia, strong as the warriors of the north, swift as the elves, tough as the dwarfs, fierce as the swarmand as magical as the ancient saurians.”
In the meantime, Nereida was so inspired by her monologue that she had risen from her couch again and was standing in front of the large balcony of her palace between the billowing silk curtains while gazing at the Avrasian sky by night.
“I’ve seen ages come and go, civilizations rise and fall; always watching – lurking in the shadows … when will there be a better time to come than the current one? Who wants to stand in my way?” Her voice faded away, and so did her anger. The furious grimace of just a few moments ago smoothed out and the pulsating, black veins were completely gone again.
“Do not challenge him, sister! The power of Savar, who rules over all beings, careless enough to yield to pride, is huge, and even for us, as far as we may be off nature, dangerous!” Pachymeres advised his sister paternally, after approaching her again. He kissed her with his cold lips on her pale forehead. She returned his affection and wrapped her arms around his back.
“Don’t worry about me … the gods will be able to bathe enviously in my light. Because I am Avras … and I am Death to those who dare to oppose me!”