Auran Empire Makes No Sense?

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Zardnaar
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Joined: 2013-07-12 06:40
Auran Empire Makes No Sense?

 

 I read the Auran Empire primer a few days ago and I am assuming the map hexes are 24 miles. 

 Anyway the Skysostan are invading and they are basically the Huns. Ok cool.

 The problem is they are over 1000 miles away across 3 nations (Somirea, Kemesh, Opelenea) and you have the narrow sea there as well. 

 

 The Empire can apparently field 300k troops. Obviously a few of them would be on garrison duty. The border betewwn the empire proper though narrows down to a 24 mile hex near the Menari Mountains near Opelenea/Nicea border. 

 Opelenea seems to be similar in size to northern France. The empire seems to have lost lost its northern provinces and has fought Somirea. If the empire is in decline why would it ship most of its available legions to Somirea which would be equivilent to the Romans trying to invade Britannia in the 5th century or even 6th for the Byzantines. 

 Are the PCs supposed to go and create a new domain down in the SE section of the Auran empire or save the Empire? If you hit level 14 would seizing the throne be a better idea or even gtting poplar support from the legions?

 Setting up a new domain in civized ara is also more profitable so I assume that narrow point in western nicea would count as civilized or borderland area for purposes of a domain? 

 

 

 

 

Millennial Grognard
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Joined: 2016-11-18 11:16

In my opinion?  The Empire probably wouldn't send more than 100,000 troops to counter the threat in Somirea, the reason being you cannot ignore an agressor taking your lands or you will encourage them to take more.  I feel like the Empire would use another 100,000 troops to ennact a very agressive levying campaign in the lands nearest to Somirea, , those with the most to lose next if Somirea falls, as well as in Somirea proper.  Hopefully, if the 100,000 troops sent into Somirea can keep the enemy busy until winter that would give the Empire time to train the levies needed to effectively end the external threat.  The remaining 100,000 troops would remain in reserve, keeping order and policing the rest of the Empire.  Mercenaries are also an option, if the need is great.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

 

A few thoughts in response to your post.

1. If you look at the Auran Empire map superimposed on a map of the Mediterranean, you will see that the distance from Tirenea to Somirea is approximately the same as the distance from Rome to Lebanon and the Levant. The Parthian and Persian Empires east of the Levant were Rome's primary contenders for dominance in Late Antiquity, and some of the largest armies Rome ever assembled were sent to fight in those territories. Therefore there is nothing unrealistic whatsoever about the Auran Empire being able to send a huge force to Somirea. It was well within the capabilities of the Romans, and they didn't have magic.

2. The reason that the Auran Empire is sending assistance to Somirea is hinted at in the Primer, but not fully explained as I think it's sometimes better to allow Judges to fill in the gaps, especially in a Primer. Somirea underwent a religious conversion earlier in the century where it converted to the Empyrean gods. The Kemeshi to the south, Celdoreans to the north, and Skysos to the west are Cthonic or shamanic. The Auran Empire thus considers the attack on Somirea to be an attack on a religious ally - much as the Christian West rallied to the Crusades when the Byzantine Emperor called for aid. As with the Crusades, however, there are practical motives in addition to the religious. To wit, the Somirean king has offered up the promise of a marriage to a crown princess to the Tarkaun such that Somirea would join the Empire. This would restore Aura to superpower status. Since the Empire has been on a long losing streak, the Tarkaun is making a big gamble for god and glory.

3. The players aren't "supposed" to do anything. It's up to them and you. The game-mechanical reason for the set-up is to create a chaotic environment where traditional sources of power and authority are not available. It's similar to the set-up of Game of Thrones: The Others are an existential threat, but the rulers and nobles are distracted with their civil war until it's too late. Likewise, the rulers and nobles of Aura are distracted by the Skysos (and, after, a civil war, likely) leaving the player characters to deal with XXX, where XXX is whatever the Judge cooks up. 

4. In my own Auran Empire campaigns, when we played in the Borderlands, it came under attack by a re-awakened sorcerer-king of Zahar. WIth the Empire distracted fighting in the West, the defense of the Borderlands fell to the player characters. They founded their own domain at the edge of the Borderlands, built a line of defenses, then got the various legates and prefects to join them. When they won against the sorcerer-king, they decided that they no longer needed the Empire and declared independence. They then intervened in the burgeoning Auran Civil War with the result that their favored side won, and they were able to secure the position of Patriarch of the Winged Sun in Aura (highest level cleric) for the party's cleric. The campaign ended with most of the PCs ruling an independent Kingdom of the Borderlands that included half of Southern Argolle and a third of Krysea, while the main Cleric was Patriarch in Aura. But that could have gone a lot of different ways - at times it looked like they might fight to conquer Aura, at times that they might abandon the Borderlands, etc. . 

 

 

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

And, lest anyone think it's implausible that the Tarkaun would raise a huge army and invade a distant country far from his borders, staking everything, I need only remind you of Napoleon's invasion of Russia as merely one of the MANY historical cases where such things happened. (And what happened to Napoleon's army is basically what happens to the Auran army, as it retreats and is cut to pieces by Cossack-like raiders.)

 

 

Zardnaar
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Joined: 2013-07-12 06:40

Rome had a land border with the Levant though, and Naopleon came centuries later and once again they could wlk there.

 

 The Auran empire was based of Rome I suppose, late Roman empire had sod all navy to speak of though so I thought hipping tens of thousands of men to Somirea was a bit silly. Maybe the Auran empire is a bit stonger or has not had thier 378 event. 

 Funny about your idea about the Zaharan witch king I was thinking something similar out of the wastes, undead, beast men etc but playing up the Egptian/ Assyrian thing. 

 

 Any plans for a 5E Auran Empire setting?  I gave you a mention here.

http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?563297-3pp-Campaign-Settings

 

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

 

 

Aura is certainly more of a naval power than Rome. It sits on an island rather than a landlocked set of hills. It previously conquered Rorn and Jutland, both of which were across the water without an unshared border.

That said, following the Second Punic War, Rome became THE naval superpower of the Mediterranean. Augustus beat Anthony at sea. Pompey fought naval campaigns against pirates.  Rome conquered all of North Africa through to Egypt and movement was by sea. 

So I feel like the Auran Empire is well-defended from claims that it makes no sense or is implausible. 

 

 

Zardnaar
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Joined: 2013-07-12 06:40

 

 

Aura is certainly more of a naval power than Rome. It sits on an island rather than a landlocked set of hills. It previously conquered Rorn and Jutland, both of which were across the water without an unshared border.

That said, following the Second Punic War, Rome became THE naval superpower of the Mediterranean. Augustus beat Anthony at sea. Pompey fought naval campaigns against pirates.  Rome conquered all of North Africa through to Egypt and movement was by sea. 

So I feel like the Auran Empire is well-defended from claims that it makes no sense or is implausible. 

 

 


-Alex

 

 They did but the Roman navy was effectively non existent in the decline of the empire except in the east. Obviously the Auran empire may be different but its a reasonably modern development where they could ship tens of thousands of men long distance. 

 

 Rome invaded Britain of course but thats only 20 miles away and they landed in Africa which is not that far from Rome.  These things were also done in the rise or hieght of the empire not towards the end. 

 I also thought it was like that due to the snippets in the Players Guide and the introduction to the core rules. It seems the Empire was gonna fall. It was also rare/uncommon for Rome to field more than 20k troops in one location (yes I know they did so on occasion).

 In the late Empire they abandoned provinces (like the Auran empire in the north) such as Britannia and Dacia, the closet example I could think of perhaps would the the Byzantines briefly getting parts of Spain back under Justinian II an that involved around 20k troops total including Italia. 

 Equating the Auran Empire with Rome 378-410 where things were turning to custard and they were losing provinces. The eastern Empire did not ship tens of thousands of troops to the west and they had the same religion and nominally were the same empire hence why I thought it would be a bad idea to send troops to the west. You have the inner sea and 2 countries and around 1000 miles before the Syskoans get to the imperial borders. 

 I was not saying the Empire is a silly idea or anything just implausible they would have the capability to do so, and why would they even if they have recently converted. That being said there are plenty of example of RL rulers doing silly things for silly reasons. My priority would be defend the core of the empire. 

Jard
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Joined: 2012-07-11 23:23

FWIW: I, a person with very little historical study beyond wikipedia and what i vaguely remember from 3 years of high school latin, got a very "oh hey, just like the roman empire!" vibe from the Auran empire.  So... even if it doesn't stand up to heavy scrutiny, the unwashed masses like me are easily convinced :-P

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

The Roman Army fought extensive campaigns penetrating deep into Persia - the empire extended to what is not even on the Auran Empire setting map. I don't find it implausible that they could sail to Somirea and land in friendly ports. 

Part of the reason that the Roman Empire declined was due to population loss. The Auran Empire has not suffered population problems as severe as those suffered in Antiquity, due to the influence of divine magic on harvest yields and peasant health. 

As to whether it was wise ​for the Auran Emperor to aid Somirea rather than focus on the decline, that's a matter of opinion. It's not inconceivable that the gambit might have paid off. Alexander invaded and conquered Persia under worse odds.

Overall, I think you have to view the Auran Empire as inspired by Rome, but influenced by factors unique to its setting (similar to how GOT was influenced by the War of the Roses but isn't hewing to that). It's not intended to be an exact ​correlate to the capabilities of Rome in Late Antiquity. It has elements inspired by the Byzantine Empire, the Crusades, etc. 

I mean, the suspension of disbelief required to believe that the flora and fauna of Westeros would resemble those of Western Europe despite seasons lasting years is vastly greater than the suspension of disbelief required to believe that an empire of 20 million people could ship a large army half-way across the Mediterranean into friendly points.

 

The Dark
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Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

They did but the Roman navy was effectively non existent in the decline of the empire except in the east. Obviously the Auran empire may be different but its a reasonably modern development where they could ship tens of thousands of men long distance.

-Zardnaar
Speaking as the semi-expert on naval matters around here, the Roman navy was effectively non-existent in combat ships because they didn't need them. Once the Mediterranean was de facto a Roman pond, massive war fleets were unnecessary. There would be no more battles like Actium, where 900 ships fought, nor even a Naulochus with 600 ships. Instead, the oceanic fleets consisted of smaller vessels, while huge numbers of riverine vessels were built (Drusus in 12 BCE sailed 1,000 ships up the Rhine to the North Sea). The known ships of the classis Misenensis include 11 liburnians, 50 triremes, 9 quadriremes, 1 quinquereme, and 1 hexeres, while the classis Ravennas had 5 liburnians, 28 triremes, 6 quadriremes, and 2 quinqueremes.

However, ships did play a key role in transporting supplies for marching soldiers, as mentioned by Polybius, Livy, Caesar, Plutarch, Tacitus, and Appian. Indeed, in the near east, the Romans never had a major campaign that was not along a river, and which used river transport to move supplies. Moving soldiers was less common because of the risk of storms, with most such movements being between Italy and Sicily, Sicily and Africa, or the heel of Italy to Greece or the near east. The largest of those was the transport of 12 legions during the civil war. However, there was plenty of transport available. Rome received somewhere in the range of 300,000 to 400,000 tons of grain per year from Africa and Egypt, all of which went by ship. The ports at Ostia and Portus also received olive oil, wine, and garum among other commodities. Many of the ships and sailors came from other cultures within the Empire, but Rome lived by its ships. Aura would be even more attuned to the sea, being on an island rather than inland on a peninsula, and well aware that 1,000 miles is slightly more than a week's sailing time. Stopping the "barbarians" as far away as possible would be a plausible response.

Zardnaar
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Joined: 2013-07-12 06:40

 

They did but the Roman navy was effectively non existent in the decline of the empire except in the east. Obviously the Auran empire may be different but its a reasonably modern development where they could ship tens of thousands of men long distance.


-Zardnaar

Speaking as the semi-expert on naval matters around here, the Roman navy was effectively non-existent in combat ships because they didn't need them. Once the Mediterranean was de facto a Roman pond, massive war fleets were unnecessary. There would be no more battles like Actium, where 900 ships fought, nor even a Naulochus with 600 ships. Instead, the oceanic fleets consisted of smaller vessels, while huge numbers of riverine vessels were built (Drusus in 12 BCE sailed 1,000 ships up the Rhine to the North Sea). The known ships of the classis Misenensis include 11 liburnians, 50 triremes, 9 quadriremes, 1 quinquereme, and 1 hexeres, while the classis Ravennas had 5 liburnians, 28 triremes, 6 quadriremes, and 2 quinqueremes.

 

However, ships did play a key role in transporting supplies for marching soldiers, as mentioned by Polybius, Livy, Caesar, Plutarch, Tacitus, and Appian. Indeed, in the near east, the Romans never had a major campaign that was not along a river, and which used river transport to move supplies. Moving soldiers was less common because of the risk of storms, with most such movements being between Italy and Sicily, Sicily and Africa, or the heel of Italy to Greece or the near east. The largest of those was the transport of 12 legions during the civil war. However, there was plenty of transport available. Rome received somewhere in the range of 300,000 to 400,000 tons of grain per year from Africa and Egypt, all of which went by ship. The ports at Ostia and Portus also received olive oil, wine, and garum among other commodities. Many of the ships and sailors came from other cultures within the Empire, but Rome lived by its ships. Aura would be even more attuned to the sea, being on an island rather than inland on a peninsula, and well aware that 1,000 miles is slightly more than a week's sailing time. Stopping the "barbarians" as far away as possible would be a plausible response.


-The Dark

 

 That was at the height of the empire though, Auran empire has a in decline type vibe and the Romans lost North Africa in the 5th century, and navies have other uses. The economy in the empire broke in the 3rd century and the west never recovered.