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Longshanks by CastleGreifenghast Longshanks by CastleGreifenghast
A medieval-punk map. Not really much more to say.

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With the marriage of his son Edward to Margret, Queen of Scots, Edward I’s conquest of the British Isles was complete. With his campaigns in Wales and this diplomatic coup he had ensured that the Plantagenet dynasty would rule over all Britain, equalling King Arthur himself in his power. With his control over Britain secure, Edward focused his attention on an older, more Plantagenet problem. The family lands in France continued to be under the control of the French King, unjustly in Edward’s eyes. When Philippe IV demanded that the “Duke of Gascony” come and pay him homage, Edward decided that enough was enough. He launched his attack, sweeping into France with his armies and reaching the gates of Paris itself. The French army, stunned by the violence of the English attack, rallied outside the city to give battle. It was a rout, Edward had brought troops from across the isles, archers from Wales, pikemen from Scotland and wild men from the Highlands. Edward tricked the French, focusing all of his weaker forces, militiamen barely backed up by the wild men, the sweepings of Britain, on his left. It collapsed under French assault, and the Phillipe IV poured in his reserves. Then Edward stuck, cutting off an annihilating the French. It was a rout. All seemed lost. The French army had been crushed by Edward’s host, vast swathes of France were bending the knee to the English King, and too make matters worse that aforesaid king had declared himself King of England and of France. As he wondered around his castle, despairing, Phillipe saw a figure. It was tall and shining, clad in golden armour, from its brows erupted antlers, draped in golden chains and jewels, its eyes shone and its face seemed human(ish). It declared that it was a Lord, one of the gentry beyond, and could render aid to the King of France. When the King asked who had sent this Lord, the fay creature replied, the Court of Eternal Summer. Taking this to mean God (generations of Theologians would smack their heads into their desks upon reading this part) the King accepted the Lord’s offer.  

When the English army drew up outside Paris the Antlered Lord’s host attacked. Figures clad in shining armour led the French levies (hastily drawn up after the defeat of their field army), their glowing plate proof against blade and arrow. Sorceries were used, fire erupted from eldritch fingers, trees walked and fought and killed. Edward was forced to retreat, his host disintegrating around him. Soon he was barricaded in Caen, the fay French outside, with what little remained of the Great Host he had brought across the sea starving to death. There he was met by a rather different figure, its armour was pitted, cold and dark. Its face was obscured by a dark helm, and it stood upon silver-shod hooves. Unlike the lies prattled to the King of France, it told the truth, the brutal, cruel truth. For as long as they could remember Winter and Summer had been locked in an eternal war, it was how the fair folk occupied their time; preventing them from getting out of control and destroying everything with their power. But now summer had picked the King of France for their mortal champion, and the Winter court was determined to respond in kind. Edward asked what they could do for his armies, the figure responded that they could mold the flesh of men, and make them stronger or fairer as they willed. With dreams of glory in his head, Longshanks accepted the Dark Lord’s offer.

His successor in this present year of 1890 certainly lives up that name, at some 12 feet tall King-Emperor Edward XII is a huge ogre of prodigious war-making skill and even more prodigious appetite. The aristocracies of both Britain and France have more than their fair share of eldritch blood after nearly six centuries of co-operation with the courts. Indeed Edward XII is one of the more human-ish ones, he at least still walks upon two legs. This is surprisingly rare amongst the forms taken by the aristocracy, but it is not only them who are increasingly inhuman in Albion. Conscription into the army frequently means exposure to the malevolent energies of the Fair Folk, twisting the conscripts into forms more suited for the eternal war. Ogres with grinding jaws and endless hunger, vicious elvish warhounds with razor-sharp teeth and claws and other monstrosities. For them that stay at home there is the danger as well, the mutated results of the alchemical industries in the towns are particually pitiful; whilst the crops favoured by the Gentry are often rather violent. The Kingdom and Empire of Britain is still under the rule of the Plantagenets, and has expanded across northern Europe and indeed the world. This expansion is not for its own sake, but is designed to gather as many resources as possible for the continued was in France. Britain holds several fortified towns along the French coast, from which British armies occasionally march (likewise French troops occasionally besiege them). The countryside around these fortresses have seen centuries of war, and hundreds of battles. Here the very land is warped, ever-shifting, malevolent...and hungry. These are the fairylands, time and space twisted by the incredible forces unleashed here over the years.

South of the fairylands of the front is France proper. France has conquered much of Italy, aside from the redoubtable Papal States, and holds Iberia in thrall.  The Valois rule here, equally in thrall to the Elves, yet in a quite different manner. The court of the Sun King is degenerate, and debauched, with the tremendous mental capacity of the fair folk devoted solely to corruption. The King is composed of glass, ethereal motes of light glancing through his eldritch form. He is in thrall to the extravagance of his court and the gifts of his sponsors, and cares nought for the outside world. Outside Paris France is run by its armies, who ensure that peasants grow food to supply the armies that keep the British armies bottled up in their costal ports.  This lack of attention, and corruption at the heart of France, mean that it may not be long for this world...But until then the war drags on. Gunpowder is only used in primitive bombs, but the Alchemical sciences have produced many great wonders. Flying machines, boats without sails and other wonders, all forged by the ingenuity of man (Alas turning base metals into Gold eludes man yet). Knights in virtually impenetrable alchemical steel plate run down hordes of peasants equipped with lesser weaponry, Greek fire is deployed in great cloying clouds from flyers, whilst legions of homunculi grind all opposition into the dust (The Holy Roman Empire lacks these, but the Pope has removed all proscriptions on Jews in return for their Golem armies supporting the Reich). All these technologies are shared by all nations, giving them the ability to fend off the rapacious demands of the British and French.    

In the East three Emperors duel for supremacy, the Holy Kaiser in Vienna, the Roman Basileus in Constantinople, and the Great Khan in Kazan. All three despise the Elf-Consorting powers to the west, yet squabble amongst themselves for influence in Eastern Europe. This struggle is mirrored in Africa, where the Christian Empire of Abyssinia seeks to expand at the expense of the Islamic Caliphate of Cario and the Pagan Kingdom of Zimbabwe. The Far East however is at peace, for no power there can challenge the might of the Emperor of Cathay.

But humans and elves are not the only powers of this world. There are the Dog Heads of course, but they are scarcely a challenge. Indeed once one gets over the fact that you are talking to Dog that walks on two legs they can be relatively reasonable. Dragons are a bit more of a worry, but have been virtually expunged from the Civilized World. Then of course there revenants, but those ambulatory deceased don’t pose a real challenge to men with Greek fire and alchemical armour (that’s the official story anyway....), but there are darker and fouler things than elves in the corners of creation. Corruption, war, horror and sin spread, and behind them comes the Lord of the Flies, the Deceiver, the Morning-star, first-born and first-fallen, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Accuser of the Brethren, Power of Darkness and of Death, Son of Perdition, Belial, Beelzebub, Satan, Lucifer, the Devil. His agents are once again abroad in the world of men, and he plans to drag all the world down with him.
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:iconlediblock2:
Lediblock2 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2016
Ooh, what's in the Congo? Dinosaurs?
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:iconavatarvyakara:
AvatarVyakara Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
...yipe. Poor Australian aboriginals...although they at least kept their continent intact. But...aw, why does a world with ELVES in it really need Satan around? Elves are scary enough as it is...
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:iconroyalpsycho:
RoyalPsycho Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015
This is probably my favourite map in your collection so far.
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:iconcastlegreifenghast:
CastleGreifenghast Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015
Thanks!
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015
Now this IS awesome :o
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:iconcastlegreifenghast:
CastleGreifenghast Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015
Thanks!
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2015
You're welcome :)
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