Never Put All of your Orcs in one Impregnable Place

Before Reichsha became the Queen of Slothjemia she was quite the intrepid adventurer. Her travels took her and a handful of companions to the Forkanzan Peninsula where she managed to get herself wedged in the middle of the centuries-old civil wars that have wracked the city-states of Forkanza since the collapse of the Third Imperium. As a part of these shenanigans Reichsha and her friends were instrumental in defeating a massive pirate uprising and a minor invasion of Torkan soldiers. As a gift to her and a show of thanks to Slothjemia for their help the Forkanzan kings got together and decided to cede to Slothjemian control of a small mountainous sub-peninsula of land called Gargano in the southeastern portion of Forkanza. All that was there was a sleepy fishing village on the northern shore that was named Manfredonia that was inhabited almost entirely by goblinoids. The Gargano mountains are not terribly impressive, rising to a maximum of 3400 feet in elevation, but they were difficult to subdue by the Forkanzans because of the rough terrain and natural defensive capabilities afforded by the geography. Giving this problematic area to somebody else to deal with seemed to be a good way of shoving a problem onto somebody else’s shoulders.

The obvious downside to this notion was that Slothjemia was and is a nation primarily run and organized by the same kind of goblinoids the Forkanzans were having trouble with in Gargano. Once the Slothjemians set up shop in the already naturally fortified cluster of stony mountains there was no getting rid of the goblinoids that were native to the area. In short order the minor threat of the occasional orcish raid was transformed into a military power capable of crushing any one of the minor Forkanzan kings in the nearby city-states with ridiculous ease. The sleepy fishing village of Manfredonia was turned into a bustling harbor with an impressive seawall creating an unassailable harbor. The Slothjemian Navy keeps a fleet of galleasses and galleys here with a few deep-sea capable galleons as the backbone to deter invaders or pirates. This is the Slothjemian 2nd Fleet. Their main activities involve attacking other vessels that happen to stray into their jurisdiction in order to free anyone on board that can be categorized as slaves. This was something else the original Forkanzan kings hadn’t planned on or welcomed.

While small Gargano boasts several heavily fortified towns in the mountains and along the coast that forms three-quarters of the area’s boundary. The last quarter is along the west side of Gargano which opens onto the wide valley of Apulia. There are a number of large Forkanzan towns and small cities within easy range of commerce and trade with Gargano. For the most part relations are cordial but wary. Forkanzans worry that they might have made a small problem much more difficult to overcome in giving a pocket of goblinoids to a larger empire of goblinoids. Those that would like to see Forkanza united under a single ruler view Manfredonia as a major hurdle to get across in accomplishing this goal. Slothjemia has a well-deserved reputation for martial prowess and there isn’t anyone in Forkanza that can on their own go toe to toe with the ferocity of Slothjemian military power. While the Slothjemians are weakest at sea the Forkanzans know full well that Slothjemia always has more tricks up its sleeve than they can guess at.

The moral of the story is that if you have a problem with orcs do not let the Slothjemians help solve that problem. They might solve the problem of petty raids but they will replace it effortlessly with the threat of massive military power. Now if the Slothjemians suggest they can remove your orcs and relocate them someplace else, be sure to read the fine print. Are they removing them entirely from the area, or did they just promise to change the name of an orcish settlement and redevelop it into an impregnable fortress? “We told you we would get the orcs out of Drearydale. So we renamed the place Slaughterville and built a castle for the orcs to hide in. Better?” No, that wasn’t better. That is worse. Much worse. Damn it all so much Slothjemia, have you no shame?

Spoiler Alert: They do not.