MeyerHawk - Critwall defenses overview


Time for a first look at what it takes to keep the forces of the Old One at bay. The background map is a work in progress, so please forgive things like colors are not matching and features like forest are missing. Several of the lakes, especially in the north east, will be converted to bogs, wetlands, moorland or flat grassy areas. Veng and other major waterways are not edited much either, so expect lots of more detail coming.

There are enough work done of the map of this area to start detailing the defenses of Critwall. My campaign is now at the very end of 598CY and it is over 15 years since major fighting ended, and the Order of the Shield have reclaimed around a quarter of its former holdings. Critwall is, and always have been the center point for power in this region. From the Flan over a thousand years ago who built the first hillfort on the highpoint of the peninsula on the eastern banks of the mighty Veng.  The white defensive line are the Flan hillfort. When the first Oeridian raiders  took over the peninsula, they reinforced and improved the hillfort's defenses. From this moment forward there would be a fortress, in stone, on top of the low hill.

After the creation of the Great Kingdom Aerdy appetite for expansion grew and Critwall became a major staging point for a young, expansive empire. Not only the need to protect, now came the need to project power. No one in the region should doubt the strength, capabilities and determination of the Great Kingdom. In rapid succession a city wall (red) was built to expand the the old hillfort. A second major keep was built both to house more troops but also to serve as a temple.

The Flan had started to protect the tip of the peninsula with a earth and stone wall across (black), which also should serve as a way to protect the ports. This idea was realized and expanded on with a port district on the side facing the Veng to be able to handle river and lake traffic even under threat. Even back then the major threat came from the north and east.

When the Great Kingdom peaked around 200 CY or so, the inner defenses (white), the main city wall (red) was improved and a new ward was walled in (orange) covering the rest of the mesa. This gave the city the ability to house, and feed, a population of over 20,000 inside the walls.

The Flan who lived here in earlier times also saw the defensive nature of the peninsula and built a primitive barrier across at the most narrow point (yellow). The Aerdy used and improved this barrier, as much for tax and control purposes as for defensive needs.  In my campaign this is where the Horned Society's invasion was stopped, but Iuz forces who came after where much stronger and the old mound was easily overrun.

The hordes of the Old One lay siege to Critwall itself, but the city defenses held. Sound sturdy engineering by the Great Kingdom builders, harassment from ships on the Veng which the Shield Landers and Furyondians dominated, and sheer determination of its defenders kept the city out of reach for Iuz.

As the reconstituted Order of the Shield under Katarina Walworth took over and started to claw back the invading hordes, the need for a much improved set of defensed was realized.  First they used a small river valley which was given barriers to stop cavalry (green), the river banks was dug out on the western side to make it hard to crawl up it, chains, sharp poles and other nasties on top of that. A road made it easy to both control and reinforce sections in case of attacks.  The main purpose of this barrier was not to stop an enemy, it was instead to delay him, buying time to secure the city in case of a major attack.

After several years of successful reconquest the area along the Veng's eastern bank all they way to the bridge across to the Veng (pink).  A line formed by natural features such as rivers, lakes, wetlands and a canyon in the south was chosen as the new (provisionary) border. A number of small fortresses was built along this territory, all with access from the Veng. They served as garrisons, fall back positions that could be reinforced and resupplied from the Veng. They also served as secure shelter for the population who are now encouraged to resettle the (for this region) fertile eastern Veng bank. This line is patrolled day and night and have roads and trails to facilitate this.

Plans to take back more land from the Iuzian occupiers are under way. A new "line of interest and defense" (light blue) have been established as an outer perimeter. This is not a line to be held at all costs, it has few if any installations and is instead used to set the area the Shield Landers now want to keep a close eye on with daytime patrols along its entire length.   This patrols primary purpose is reconnaissance, to make sure that any Iuzian forces big enough to be a threat are detected before they reach the purple line. Semi permanent camps and a few permanent bases are to be found in the area between the pink and light blue lines.

The dark blue lines are natural defense lines in the form on rivers and wetlands that can be used if need, something the Shield Landers are well aware of and trin for.

Katarina is building up the strength and morale of the Order, and raids into occupied territory are both more frequent and successful. The defenses of Critwall who was once a desperate necessity, are now becoming more of a reassurance.

You can download a higher resolution map here, both with and without the line marked out:

and a small version: