Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

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The Great Rings
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Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by The Great Rings » June 8th, 2015, 9:52 am

This is just an idea right now, though on the off-chance that someone wants to borrow it and do something good with it, feel free.

Apologies if someone else thought of this first, but as far as I recall, I'm the first to post something like this.

Anyway, what if the Northern Alliance and the Kingdom of Wesnoth went to war? I know that they're supposed to both be mostly good factions, but they possibly border one another and may share control of two potential trade routes in the form of the Fords of Abez and the Great River. Also, the Northern Alliance allies with/includes a number of traditional enemies of Wesnoth, including orcs, outlaws, and even some undead. Plus this would create an interesting alternative to the usual enemies. And it would mean more development of the Northern Alliance and Wesnoth.

And even if it happened before the destruction of either country, it wouldn't have to contradict the time line. I don't see it as a war that either side would have a good chance of completely winning, at least when both factions were strong. Wesnoth seems to have more territory than the Northern Alliance (at least during the reign of Konrad and Li'sar), and it probably has more people too. But I think the defences Knalga provides would most likely prove unassailable. And I'm not sure that either side could force its way across the Fords of Abez if the other side was defended by a competent commander with a large army. And going around the fords would be really hard unless you had an alliance with another faction in that territory (most likely the elves).

I'm thinking a border dispute, greed, and a misunderstanding or conflict of interest over orcs/outlaws/undead leads to a war which ends indecisively with a diplomatic solution

Does this sound plausible and interesting? Also, when would be a good time for this to happen? During the reign of Konrad and Li'sar to include as many classic characters as possible? Would people buy these great leaders blundering into an indecisive war?

If I get positive feedback, I'll probably post a summary of a plot divided into scenarios. Maybe write a fanfic. I've tried writing campaigns before and it never went anywhere.
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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by zookeeper » June 8th, 2015, 11:45 am

What conflict could they have? They're geographically pretty separated, and neither seems likely to want to conquer each other's territory. Possibly the NR could join in on a rebellion against a current rulership of Wesnoth (for example, if it had existed by the time of HttT, they could have supported Konrad), but that's about it.

Except that considering that by the time of SotBE there's the large human city of Dorest all the way northeast of the Heart Mountains, it seems very likely that at that point there's more human settlements or cities between there and Wesnoth along the Listra and between Lintanir and the Heart Mountains. Those could be something the NR and Wesnoth could have conflicts over.

EDIT: And by NR of course I mean NA. :whistle:

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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by The Great Rings » June 8th, 2015, 11:56 am

zookeeper wrote:What conflict could they have? They're geographically pretty separated, and neither seems likely to want to conquer each other's territory. Possibly the NR could join in on a rebellion against a current rulership of Wesnoth (for example, if it had existed by the time of HttT, they could have supported Konrad), but that's about it.

Except that considering that by the time of SotBE there's the large human city of Dorest all the way northeast of the Heart Mountains, it seems very likely that at that point there's more human settlements or cities between there and Wesnoth along the Listra and between Lintanir and the Heart Mountains. Those could be something the NR and Wesnoth could have conflicts over.
Regarding their being separated, Wesnoth's northern border as of Heir to the Throne is at the Fords of Abez. Dwarves Doors/Knalga isn't that much further north. And frankly, if I were in Talin's place, the first thing I'd have done after beating the orcs and creating the NA is to expand south to make sure I controlled the other side of the ford if it was practical. Abez is basically a huge potential trade route and a great defensive position directly to the south of Dwarven Doors and Knalga. Given the recent Wesnothian civil war, I'd hardly be prepared to assume that Wesnoth would remain stable/trustworthy.

You think a shared piece of strategically valuable territory coupled with the NA's willingness to take in traditional enemies of Wesnoth isn't something to fight over?

Of course, Wesnoth and the NA have sufficiently capable leaders during the Northern Rebirth era that they might easily avoid a conflict.

And yes, the Son of the Black Eye era would definitely work.

Edit: The main appeal of doing it earlier is that it allows characters like Konrad, Li'sar, Talin, and Kalenz to be involved.
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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by Whiskeyjack » June 8th, 2015, 1:28 pm

But as you said: Those people are probably able and wise enough to avoid such conflict altogether. This leaves you with the option of borderland commanders, outposts and such. And then the only action the big characters would take would be to stop their underlings from going crazy.

I do think this is an interesting idea, but I think it would be better placed in later times, perhaps in combination with inner turmoil in the NA/Wesnoth which could lead to one faction starting the conflicts instead of the whole groups.

Another idea I just had would be to take an actual bad guy, who attacks both sides and blames it on the other respectively. Could be a Chessmaster who plans to profit from such a war and further his political career.
Spoiler:
The only problem I see with this is, that it would need at least a couple talking scenarios with the bad guy involved and/or heavy side and army switching.
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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by The Great Rings » June 8th, 2015, 2:27 pm

I actually thought about having a common enemy be the thing that brings about a truce. But it seems a bit silly/implausible.

Given what you said about it happening later and "inner turmoil", maybe the Second Wesnothian civil war described in the time line?
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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by Whiskeyjack » June 8th, 2015, 5:12 pm

Hm, actually upon further reading...
Timeline of Wesnoth wrote:The Age of Fear takes its names from the events of the end of the era. On the surface, the first 90 years were very uneventful. However, during this time unexplainable magical events took place, especially in the eastern lands. Previously tamed lands were slowly claimed by wilderness as fear and paranoia gradually overshadowed the spirit of pioneering and adventure displayed earlier in Wesnoth's history. In the last 10 years of the age, Wesnoth bore the brunt of the most powerful Undead attack ever and was nearly destroyed. By the end of the era, most of Wesnoth had been made barren, most of the great buildings inside and outside of Weldyn were razed, and the population of Wesnoth was half of what it had been.

It was in this era that certain areas of the chaotic Northlands were for the first time put into any kind of law and order. A small group of humans and dwarves, accepting anyone of any race who wished to join, formed themselves into the "Northern Alliance”, with the vision of making the Northlands safe to live in. Over time, this alliance grew slowly but steadily in power. By the end of the era, the alliance had succeeded in making a few small areas, including Knalga and the surrounding regions, stable and prosperous. Consequently, many people evacuated from the wasteland that most of Wesnoth had become and moved north - depleting the population of Wesnoth still further.
This actually sounds perfect in the middle stages of this time - somewhere after the death of Konrad and Li'sar - except for the underlined part, which would contradict a big conflict between the NA and Wesnoth but not smaller military campaigns.

Second Wesnothian Civil is a lot of unexplored territory, therefore it gives all the freedom to craft what you want. Also, if you look at the description for The Silver Age of Wesnoth:
Timeline of Wesnoth wrote:The Northlands, aided by a second wave of colonization north from Wesnoth, become more civilised and stable. Although nowhere near as prosperous as Wesnoth was during its Golden Age, the Northlands developed towns of significant size and a thriving - if somewhat dangerous - trade network.

Four major powers soon came to dominate much of the Northlands. First there were the dwarves, who controlled most of the mountains and a vast array of underground tunnels and caverns. To the east, shrouded in mystery, lay the Elvish forests which continued to be inaccessible to anyone not of elvish blood. The remaining landscape was dominated either by orcish tribes, or independent human earldoms. As competition for the land grew fierce, wars smoldered between human and orcish forces.
This would give some trouble in the NA as well, while the over all hightened stability would make it more likely to draw all the powers into a conflict with Wesnoth. This could actually turn really dirty, with lots of factions and not just NA vs Wesnoth. Would make for one heck of a story, but also a nightmare of scenario planning because this would be hard to pull off with only one faction the player plays and so on. I think this would be awesome for an UMC campaign with lots of work, not sure if that is what you are aiming at.

But overall I think those are the two big options you have since after Silver Age and Second Civil War comes Black Eye and the breakup of the last orcs with the alliance. You would have 3 factions there as well, but it would again be orcs vs humans vs mixed "good" races. Even with the Second Civil War it might be hard to get the Orcs into a united effort but it could be portrayed as the last big peak of the alliance after which it only went further downhill.
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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by The Great Rings » June 8th, 2015, 11:31 pm

I dislike that the timeline has the orcs completely leaving the NA. It feels like a contrived attempt to return to the "orcs as enemies" status quo and removes one of the most interesting things about the NA- that it includes a group of creatures who are normally enemies of humans/dwarves/elves.

But yes, the Age of Fear and Second Civil War sound promising, even though I'd like to include the classic characters from the time of Northern Rebirth and Heir to the Throne. But continuity must come first.

I'm a bit busy for the next few days, but I'll try to pick a specific time, at least tentatively, and post an outline of the plot. A few details I have in mind-

1. The war starts out as a series of minor clashes on the border. Orcs/bandits raiding Wesnoth. People fleeing from Wesnoth into NA territory and getting pursued by Wesnoth.

2. Negotiation is attempted but fails because each side wants a war to seize the side of the Fords of Abez that they don't control. Plus Wesnoth sees the NA as a competitor/threat and the NA sees Wesnoth as an unstable threat.

3. Some big battles around the Fords of Abez, ending in a stalemate.

4. Both sides attempt to cross or go around the river to outflank Abez. This involves moving through or near elvish territory. Since both sides have old ties with the elves, their is a competition to see who can get the elves to side with them. Since a straight-up diplomacy-centric mission might be dull, throw in an outside enemy (like a Lich) that the two sides have to temporarily work together against here.

5. The Northern Alliance manages to attack Wesnoth from the East and seize Soradoc and/or threaten Weldyn. There is a big final battle between the armies of Wesnoth and the NA (possibly interrupted by a third party again), which ends without a clear winner, leading both sides to finally negotiate successfully.

Length as a campaign would probably be between ten and twenty scenarios. While I doubt I'll be taking that on any time soon, I'd envision it as having very large, complex battles similar to those in Northern Rebirth.
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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by jmh » June 19th, 2015, 2:59 am

The Great Rings wrote:I actually thought about having a common enemy be the thing that brings about a truce. But it seems a bit silly/implausible.

Given what you said about it happening later and "inner turmoil", maybe the Second Wesnothian civil war described in the time line?
The prestory of UtBS always bothers me. We here that at the hight of the wesstnothian magic the mages raise a new Sun -- to banish the darkness of the night. That seems to indicate a level of both fear and arrogant pride that leads to poor outcomes.

What if the NA recognized the corruption of the mages and Westnoth leadership and tried to stop the grand plan?

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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by firefox » June 19th, 2015, 6:39 am

"Legend of the Invincibles" (LotI) tells this story, although only the great finale where the third sun falls down to earth is actually shown here.
the previous events and the attacks of other factions are just described in pre-scenario texts.
apparently Efraim and Lethalia were involved in most cases, but i think it is possible to include the NA somewhere in this story.
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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by The Great Rings » June 19th, 2015, 6:40 am

jmh wrote:
The Great Rings wrote:I actually thought about having a common enemy be the thing that brings about a truce. But it seems a bit silly/implausible.

Given what you said about it happening later and "inner turmoil", maybe the Second Wesnothian civil war described in the time line?
The prestory of UtBS always bothers me. We here that at the hight of the wesstnothian magic the mages raise a new Sun -- to banish the darkness of the night. That seems to indicate a level of both fear and arrogant pride that leads to poor outcomes.

What if the NA recognized the corruption of the mages and Westnoth leadership and tried to stop the grand plan?
If the NA was even in existence then. There's no real information in the time line, as far as I recall, about how much time passed before the apocalypse.
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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by jmh » June 20th, 2015, 8:40 pm

firefox wrote:"Legend of the Invincibles" (LotI) tells this story, although only the great finale where the third sun falls down to earth is actually shown here.
the previous events and the attacks of other factions are just described in pre-scenario texts.
apparently Efraim and Lethalia were involved in most cases, but i think it is possible to include the NA somewhere in this story.
Sounds like I need to get around to updating the version (Ubuntu only provide 1.10.7 and play that game. I was attracted to it idea of the invincibles because I has done a personal mod of HttT adding in an advancement for Konrad taking him to level 7 and provide him with a core of elf fighters that reached level 6. Clearly it completely unbalances the game but that was the intent-- sometime I just like the mindless distraction of winning. ;)

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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by Whiskeyjack » June 22nd, 2015, 5:30 pm

If I may ask you, TGR, have you decided in which time you want to set your campaign?
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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by The Great Rings » June 23rd, 2015, 7:03 am

I'm not sure how far I'm going to pursue this idea and I don't know what time would be best for it. But based on the timeline, it pretty much has to be no earlier than around 620, going off the line "On the surface, the first 90 years were very uneventful" (describing the Age of Fear). Though how that fits with the timeline saying that the Northern Alliance was created early in the Age of Fear I don't know. I guess the time line's out of date. But if we go with post-620 or so, then according to the time line, it has to happen either right around the war with Mal Ravanal (which I'm worried could conflict with it) or during or after the Silver Age. And if the Silver Age is meant to be an age of peace, as my glance at the description in the timeline suggests, then after might be best. Which means that it would be 673 or later according to the timeline.

You know, there's a nice big gap in the timeline between the Silver Age and anything else happening to fill.
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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by The Great Rings » June 23rd, 2015, 8:02 am

So bottom line, I'll tentatively say that post-Silver Age is a good time to set such a campaign (even if I wish I could have it take place earlier to include certain characters). Which, going by the timeline, means during the Wesnothian civil war, I believe.

Here's a question: What about a female dwarf as a protagonist? We never see female dwarves and I love it when writers don't just follow cliches/the status quo, but do female dwarves exist in this setting? Is it a continuity problem?
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Re: Campaign story idea: The Northern Alliance vs. Wesnoth.

Post by zookeeper » June 23rd, 2015, 9:13 am

The Great Rings wrote:Here's a question: What about a female dwarf as a protagonist? We never see female dwarves and I love it when writers don't just follow cliches/the status quo, but do female dwarves exist in this setting? Is it a continuity problem?
I don't think there's any established continuity about female dwarves, and I'd certainly like to avoid the trope of them just being tucked away somewhere out of sight. Personally, I think the most hassle-free way would probably be to make them physically almost indistinguishable (so, beards for all), with a very limited amount of slightly more feminine features by which to tell them apart.

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