Apr 23


A prematurely balding and greying Silver, the Realm Benefit Party's Secretary of Information.

Betrays his master, Admirable Silverstones, in order to protect his family in the Second Siege of Lakeside Koslin. Uses the codename Mole in order to do so.

He is subsequently given safe passage out of Koslin and a new identity in exchange for his cooperation, with special clemency for all incidents in which he was involved which he confessed.

He also deals for clemency for other leaders of the RBP. The deal he is offered is amnesty for ordinary members of the Party provided they take the loyalty oath and commit to participation in public works to restore war damage; fair criminal trials for those who have committed what would be crimes at any other time, without their RBP membership being considered as a factor either for or against; any Golds to be attainted from their position for treason, and replaced with a member of their family if available who is prepared to swear the loyalty vow, otherwise by someone of the Realmgolds' choice.

Apr 23

Siege of Lakeside Koslin

There were two sieges of Lakeside Koslin during the Unification War. The first, by Admirable Silverstones and the Realm Benefit Party's forces, led to the withdrawal of Determined to the Tussocklands along with his troops and a number of civilians (humans, gnomes and dwarves).

They left behind booby-traps, which Silverstones used civilians (mostly gnomes and dwarves) to spring, forcing them ahead of his troops. Determined sent in aerial forces to rescue them, but a number died early in the action, including women, children and old people.

The second siege, by Unification forces, was barely worthy of the name, since the RBP forces were first manipulated through the treachery of Steadfast into maneuvering out of the way of the loyalists, and then broke and surrendered when confronted with evidence that their leader had abandoned them.

Apr 23


A city-state, built on an island near the mouth of the Salvanus River.

Its major export is mercenaries, famed for their incorruptible political neutrality. They act as palace guards and Realmgolds' personal guards, mainly, and will defend their principals against insurrections, but are contractually excused from taking part in international disputes. Originally archers, they are now retrained as riflemen.

Their native language is Tenus.

Mar 02

Reliable Chandler

Secretary to Determined. Has a rabbitlike face, and at first a rabbitlike demeanour, but gains courage from his master, to whom he swears an oath of devotion.

Mar 02

Red General

An ancient elven military man who wrote a famous book on strategy and tactics, Victory's favourite book. His other claim to fame is that he rose from the Copper Class to the Gold Class and became Emperor at a particularly war-torn time in the Empire's history. He was a sergeant when his unit was caught behind enemy lines, and managed to get them back largely intact, but without the Silver lieutenant. He was promoted (and taken up to the Silver class) to replace the lieutenant, and rose rapidly through the ranks, becoming a general, which put him in a position to take the imperial throne.

He states that any plan quickly meets chaos when implemented, but chaos favours the prepared.

His famous list of key elements for success is:

  • Allies
  • Intelligence
  • Logistics and Supply
  • Troops
  • Plans (for attack, defense, withdrawal, and a plan for when the other plans fail)

The Nine Factors:
"The wise commander, seeing a force that has superior numbers, does not despair. Rather, such a commander takes action, refusing to meet the larger force face to face on open ground, and takes steps to use the opponent’s numbers to advantage. For there are nine factors of victory to consider, apart from the number of the enemy. These are the factors of location, being terrain, placement and manoeuvrability; the factors of one’s troops, being their condition, training and armament; and the factors of the mind, being tactics, intelligence and attitude. Only when one’s opponent is one’s equal in all of the nine factors do numbers become insuperable."

Mar 02

Realm Benefit Party

The so-called Realm Benefit Party was the political expression of the Human Purity philosophy, led by Admirable Silverstones, Countygold of Upper Hills. It was banned after the Unification War because of its treasonous activities.

The Reversionist Party consists of those members of the RBP who managed to escape conviction for treason.

The enforcers of the RBP were the Special Security Group, large men who wore dark-grey coats down to their shins and (in the period before open war) carried long wooden staves. Dark grey was the colour of RBP uniforms (though many troops wore only brassards).

The RBP flag was bright red, with a white circle to symbolise purity.

Mar 02


Provincegolds of Denning:

  • Felicity Lake (middle-aged, unruffled facade, languid style of speech). Capital: Lakeside Koslin.
  • Courteous Westcoast (daughter: Courtesy Hollowtrees of Westcoast; about 60, gruff, grey-haired, wears a long blue coat). Capital: Port Sunset.
  • Tenacious Northriver (replaced by Constance Blueclay). Capital: Northgate.
  • Consolation Thousand Hills (elderly, given to complaining, tremulous, querulous; her province has a lot of mining, but little agricultural production, and her citizens tend to leave to look for work in Lake or Southcliffs). Capital: Mount Morin.
  • Beauty Six Gorges (middle-aged, a little older than Felicity).
  • Southcliffs (middle-aged, older than Beauty, weatherbeaten face). Capital: Koslinmouth (becomes known as Old Koslinmouth when New Koslinmouth is founded across the river as the capital of Koslin).

Provincegolds of Koskant:

Magnanimous Gulfhead (son of Realmgold Glorious), older than Victory but young enough to have been at school at the same time. Capital: Gulfport.

Other Koskant provinces:

  • Western (Victory's province). Capital: Westport
  • Gulfshore. Capital: Havenpoint
  • Islands. Capital: Deepwater
  • Eastern (impoverished). Capital: Riverbend Market
  • Inner. Capital: High Rapids

The realmgold of Koskant was elected from among the provincegolds. By firm tradition, the (province) heir of the previous realmgold could not be elected immediately after him or her.

There are plans to establish a Northeast Province in the beasthead lands, of which a beasthead would naturally become provincegold - making them eligible to become realmgold of Koslin, and raising the number of provinces to 13. This is naturally controversial. The capital would most likely be Snakemouth.

Mar 02


Countygold of Southern Shore, a poised woman in her late 30s whose legs are replaced with a steam-powered walking machine. She is a former Realmgold's Agent who lost her limbs protecting the Realmgold before her accession to the demesne. A dead shot with a rifle.

She was at school with Victory, a few years ahead of her.

Mar 02

Pack of Sevenhills

Dwarf caravan owner, the victim of Human Purity inspired violence just prior to the Unification War, at a location south of the village of Boulder Bend, while on his way to the Thunder Gorge dwarfhold. Constance judged in his favour.

Associated characters:
Pot at Sevenhills, his gnome leader, business partner and (Constance suspects) lover, killed in the attack.
Three other gnomes.
Tree Stonecircle ("Muscles"), caravan guard (see centaurs).

His caravan consisted of six mules.