Free Traders Setup Part 6: Novgorod

Posted: 3 May 2013 in Settings
Tags: , ,

Novgorod was at this time the second city of the Kievan Rus, which I hadn’t thought of when I separated the two by umpteen parsecs of alien stargates. Never mind, there’s a story there somewhere. The tradition was for the eldest son of the ruler of Kiev to be sent to Novgorod to control that, as a sort of practice run I suppose. At the time of our stories that would be Yaroslav the Wise, whose father Vladimir the Great is ruling Kiev.

Reading ahead, as it were, I can see that Novgorod is a power on the rise, it will be one of the largest powers in the region in a century or two.

Right now, it has a fortress, and is already influential in politics, economics and culture, so I’ll give it the Preceptor Archive tag to reflect its cultural heritage. It’s remotely controlled from Kiev, so although I have no reason to suppose Novgorod resisted that, for entertainment value I give it the Colonised Population tag as well, with a mental note that Yaroslav is actually an OK guy, but the resistance are against him on principle. I keep reminding myself that this is a roleplaying setting, not a history lesson.

Tags: Colonised Population, Preceptor Archive.


We have a couple of major NPCs too; Yaroslav and Vladimir, and although the latter properly belongs with the Kiev writeup, let’s do him now as well.

Yaroslav Vladimirovich: Thin-faced, and lame from a poorly-healed leg wound, Yaroslav was sent to rule Novogord in 3010. He does not get on well with his father. As the campaign begins, his father is about to die, and he himself is about to become embroiled in a complex and bloody war against his brothers (several of whom he will murder) for the throne of Kiev.

(Yes, seriously – he used to be an adventurer like you, until he took an arrow in the knee.)

Vladimir Sviatoslavich: The youngest son of the previous Prince of Kiev by his housekeeper, Vladimir has numerous children by several wives (he was a polygamist in his youth), the most recent of whom was Emperor Basil II’s sister Anna, now deceased. He seized control of Kiev from his brother in (2)972 and consolidated the fledgling empire by (2)980.

I can see that the politics of the Farside Route will be dominated through the campaign by the battles for control of Kiev. However, they don’t start until a year or so into the campaign, so I can park them for now and research them in a later preparation slot, possibly even after the first few sessions.

Damn, now I want to run this as a historical-fantasy mashup instead of sci-fi. Stay on target, Luke!

  1. davebill says:

    Even if the battles for actually control are in the future, the opening moves of the “Game of Thrones” are likely to be already happening – especially if Vlad is starting to get a bit sickly and old. Yaroslav’s brothers will already be maneuvering to secure their positions and fend off Yaroslav and I wonder if any of Vlad’s brothers children are still around to make a return play for the throne? The players may find themselves running cargoes for secretive patrons who are looking to import advanced Byzantine weaponry and armour before the lid blows off the Kiev situation. Lots of fun! Think North Korea succession politics.

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