First Year as Baron Bors, of New Hope
It is strange to feel that an entire year has past since we ousted the Stag Lord, relieving him of his fort, and us laying the foundation of what has become a rather flourishing nation. People from all walks of life, goblin to human, flock to New Hope seeking a better life, or a chance at a fresh start.
We welcome all who follow these basic principles:
- Respect for your fellow neighbor.
- Respect for your lawmakers and law enforcers.
- Respect for your sovereigns.
- Respect for yourself, your community, and your nation – New Hope.
Those who cannot abide by these simple principles shall be asked to leave for we do not tolerate those who would wish us harm from within. We have enough to worry about with external threats ever looming on the horizon.
With that said, it has been quite an eventful first year for New Hope. Let me see if I can recollect the past year accurately.
Foundations laid, we claimed the territory containing the late Stag Lord’s fort as our own. As a testament to our strength and victory, we saw fit to build a castle. Such a glorious, wondrous piece of architecture this is. We appointed positions, and were able to fill most that we require. We decided on having an annual festival and low tax levels to begin. We zoned a nearby area to be our first city district. We have big plans, and they are about to become reality. The buzz of excitement is in the air.
We claimed a piece of territory immediately to our northwest, and placed roads connecting it to our capital city. We also designated that plot of land to be farmland only so that we have a steady supply of foodstuffs with which to feed our citizens. We then put to construction a Town Hall. A castle is a central meeting area for nobles, much like the Town Hall is the citizen equivalent for their local leadership. Of course, we intend to be present at several of these town hall meetings as well.
It seemed somewhat strange, but nobles from Restov paid a surprise visit and we saw fit to celebrate with a feast! There was plenty of wine and pork and ale to go around. Everyone had a grand time. I believe we made a good impression, not only on our visiting benefactors, but also on our newly arrived citizens as well. And the visitors had deep pockets to go with lowered inhibitions so there was plenty of coin to be made. I wish that we would have visits such as this more often…
We had a bountiful harvest! Iomedae and Erastil had been benevolent indeed! They were smiling down upon us! There was plenty of grain to go around, and a large surplus to sell. All told, we made a profit of 24,000 gold pieces in surplus stock. To celebrate, we decided to spend this month building houses for everyone. No longer will they have to sleep near the Castle or the Town Hall. But they will now have an area to call their own, free of the hustle and bustle of the aforementioned structures that are primarily used as meeting places.
Feeling the need to establish a standing army, we built a barracks with which to adequately house soldiers and guards. With my background as a soldier and knight by trade, I took personal responsibility of training the soldiers myself. Currently we have a small standing army of 100 stout men-at-arms. Kesten also trained 50 men to serve as guards and sentries throughout the city, and also to man the walls and gates of the castle. While the soldiers and guards are somewhat modestly equipped, I do intend to oversee production of sharper blades, broader shields, and armor worthy of a junior knight. I will take to this task as my free time will dictate. Running a nation as its Duke is time consuming enough.
I begin the production of a personal set of full plate armor – suitable for a knight of my rank. Once complete, I intend to find a person with the skill to imbue it (as well as my shield) with magical properties.
Seeing the necessity for persons of magical ability, this month we decided to build a structure that would cater to the trading of exotic goods. Merchants have started to visit, so they need at some place to sell their more exotic wares. We put to construction a building appropriate for such a need.
Also, a small group of goblins came and submitted to our rule. It turns out that these goblins were remnants of Poog’s village. In a show of their sincerity, they presented us with 8000 gold pieces worth of assorted jewelry, precious metals, valued art pieces, and coin. We gladly accepted them, and Poog has since incorporated them into a section of housing exclusively for goblins, which is near an area directly outside the walls of the castle. Poog seems happy that so many of his kinsmen are living among us as equals. Naturally, he is appointed to see to their needs.
The new goblin presence in our city has caused a bit of unrest among the Elves it seems. It’s nothing serious yet, but it is certainly something to keep a watchful eye on. Our exotic craftsmen managed to craft something of high value and profits for its sale helped our economy significantly.
I continue to train soldiers. They are coming along rather well. I have since completed production of my personal full plate armor and was lucky enough to find someone with the necessary skill of imbuing it with desired magical properties. This person imbued these same magical properties unto my shield. Of course, this individual was well-compensated for their services through coin out of my very own pocket.
Oleg’s wife, Svetlana, did something completely unexpected this month. No one had ever thought her to be an artist. Well, not only did she turn out to have a natural talent for painting, but she’s quite the prodigious painter! She had recently completed a work of art and had intentions of using profits from its sale for the good of the nation. I don’t think anyone anticipated Svetlana’s work of art to sell for 24,000 gold pieces! And she made good her word and donated every single coin to our nation’s coffers! I approached her and again offered her a position of great import, and one we had yet to fill: Magister. Svetlana insisted that she was not qualified to fill such a position, but I felt otherwise. She needed some time to think about it.
I continue to train and drill the soldiers. They are looking sharp and learning how to respond quickly to changes in formation calls.
Another city district is designated with intentions for it to be zoned exclusively to the study and furthering of arcana. Soon mages and sorcerers will flock to New Hope and we shall have even stronger allies residing within the city.
I begin production of a new line of armor and shields for the soldiers who had now completed their basic training. Our army may be small, but they are well-trained and well-equipped.
We annex another plot of land into our growing nation. A farm is built (livestock), as well as a road. We have every intention of constructing a paved road, connecting our nation to Oleg’s Trade Post. Such a road would lessen the travel time between New Hope and Oleg’s quite significantly.
Svetlana finally accepted the offer of filling the position of Magister of New Hope. As it turns out, she is quite the Bard, skilled in the ways of crafting artwork. We are overjoyed to have her finally serving alongside us. And quite capably so.
We continue to expand our borders and build roads and lay down even more farms. Our roads almost reach Oleg’s but not quite. It will be a few more months before this task is complete. I continue to work on new armor for our soldiers, as well as the guardsmen. This task is nearly done and my next personal task is to craft new weapons for them – crossbows for the guards shortbows for the soldiers. I expect that Zirul will oversee the production of these weapons.
Our continued expansion towards Oleg’s has gone smoothly up until this month. We had received reports of an unsavory character slitting the throats some of the goblins as they slept. Unfortunately, four goblins had been murdered before we were able to catch the culprit. Chief of the Guard, Warden Kesten, brought before us an Elf. This Elf was so prejudiced towards goblins that he made it his personal goal to completely eradicate them from New Hope. He was beyond reason and so I left his fate in the hands of Poog and his goblin kinsmen. They strung him up and used him for target practice. Poog has done well in training his kin to become proficient as Marshalls of the Frontier.
At this point, I make a speech this day reminding all of the people that New Hope will not tolerate such heartless acts of cruelty. Racism, among many things, will simply not be tolerated. Everyone present readily agreed with everything that I said.
I take some time to myself, going back to my personal workshop and continue to and begin to craft some polearms. Our soldiers will need reach weapons should they encounter any cavalry.
We finally have completed enough road to connect Oleg’s Trading Post and New Hope. It was during this month that we annexed this territory into the nation of New Hope. Oleg was not overly pleased at first, but I was able to convince him of the benefits. Moreover, he is our acting Treasurer. And his wife, Svetlana, is now serving as our Magister. It is to everyone’s benefit that this plot of land be under the protection and guidance of New Hope.
The lands surrounding Oleg’s are designated city building, and we laid the foundations of the first district down. Already a very sturdy, defensible structure in its own right, it was decided that Oleg’s Trade Post not be used exclusively for trade. We decided to fortify it even further. Construction was made so that the walls were made higher and reinforced with stone. All of the artillery pieces that were originally out of commission were repaired, and are now manned by engineers well-suited to the task. There is also a small garrison of soldiers stationed here full-time.
Oleg’s can still function primarily as a trading post. It just doesn’t look like the sort of trading post where unsavory characters would likely be found. It is well-secured now, and under heavy guard. If there are any remnants of bandits in the area, they would be foolhardy to even consider victimizing this post.