Thursday, March 22, 2018
Developer Diary: Cenowar
Cenowar provides an excellent ground for any type of man-against-nature campaign. It is surrounded by wild steplands (populated by centaur clans) to the south, steep mountains (homeland of the dwarves) to the west and dark forests (populated by tribal worgs) to the north. It is the nation's main purpose to provide this setting.
The main difficulty with designing Cenowar is, quite obviously, to explain its existence. How did this civilized state come to be so far away from all other nations? The logical idea seems to be that the population are settlers from the south - choosing Cenowar because of the prosperity of the land. As there aren't any orcs in the area it isn't suitable that this colonization should have been part of the imperial invasion of the Northlands. Something else must have sparked this movement.
Here the already established evens in Damasa provides a reasonable explanation: as the nation reforms its military (basically overthrowing the old military-caste) disgruntled soldiers and officers assemble their entourages and leave the nation. Though relatively few in numbers they possess wealth, knowledge and - not least - vast experience of surviving in hostile territory. They travel north along the eastern coast until they finally decide to settle in Cenowar.
As it seems unlikely that the number of people doing this migration would be enough to populate a whole kingdom we need something to form the base for the population. As goths have already been described as living across many other places in the Northlands it doesn't seem unlikely that they lived here as well - though their primitive settlements just barely kept centaurs and worgs at bay.
From this point Cenowar is quite a straight journey. The former damasan soldiers take control over and unite the gothic settlements in the land. Introducing military discipline and new technologies they quickly transform Cenowar into a powerful nation and expell the centaurs and worgs from their lands - their main limitation being that they only recruit soldiers from the military families.
As it is my desire to connect the dwarven kingdom of Thzud to the rest of the world Cenowar should become a trading partner. While I imagine the dwarves viewing the human expansion with some distrust, once it has been established the two nations have little to fear from each other they seem bound to start exchanging goods. With dwarven craftsmanship at its markets Cenowar would soon attract the interests of merchants from the south, though because of the distance contact is limited.
It is easy to see that the more nations that are established it actually gets easier to fit in the story of the new ones as there are more existing context to build on. Cenowar is a great example of this.