The Council of Schönbrunn: A Closer Look at the Good Guys

Some three hundred odd years ago (and yes, they turned out to be very odd years indeed) a group of dedicated clergymen and paladins gathered together in a small chapel on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Schönbrunn, the capital city of Geldenreich. These virtuous and determined men and women hailed from some of the finest families in Geldenreich and Lusatia. Although not in positions of power individually it was felt that if they combined their energies they might be able to keep their respective monarchs informed of nefarious plots being hatched on the perimeters of their territories. The primary topic of concern during this first meeting was what to do about the growing influence of the Diosian Lodge, an organization that even then was thought to be in a state of decline. Somehow the liches had found a new way to make the lives of the living even more unbearable.

This ploy by the liches of the Sikilian Confederation was painfully simple. They had just created a puppet ruler in the form of a count that was given control over a dismal swamp wedged in-between the alpine range that separated most of Partum from the Torkan Caliphates. But this count wasn’t undead. Oh no. This fellow was very much alive, nuttier than an outhouse squirrel, and more dangerous on the battlefield than any two liches with a dragon on a chain. He was a swamp orc, also known as jors, and he was proving to be a magnet for every ne’er-do-well in the region looking to make a name for themselves. Thousands of unsavory souls flocked to his banner; fallen mages, assassins, priests of questionable moral fiber, and seemingly anyone that was wanted for criminal behavior in all of southeastern Partum. In rapid fashion he had formed up an army. And then two armies. Soon he had a lock on the entire swamp and any hope of there being peace in the region looked to be doomed.

It was this first order of business that brought the Council of Schönbrunn into existence. Fear of what else the liches had in mind caused the first members of the council to reach out to the Fanolanians that were considerably further away and probably didn’t much care what the undead wizards might be up to. However, the elven ruler of Fanolania, King Carloman, decided it would be prudent to keep an eye on these things too. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to share information if it meant destroying a lich. With prominent members from the three major nations of Partum comparing notes and working together the rulers of those nations became remarkably well informed about all of the potential enemies to civilization. Some turned out to be quite problematic. Others not so much.

As it turned out that jor warlord in the swamp ended up falling into the latter category. Not only did the new count never make a move to destabilize the region he never even hinted that he wanted war with Geldenreich. He hadn’t even heard of Lusatia, and he died having never heard of Fanolania, either. The jors did however rain holy hell down on their supposed overlords in the Diosian Lodge. One of the liches just up and quit to join the swamp orcs and their monstrous allies. Another was slain outright. After a few years the jors had set up their own tiny nation and as a threat began to drop off in the briefings of the Council of Schönbrunn until they ceased to be a concern at all even though they were beginning to grow and conquer more and more territory. Much to the delight of the clerics, priests, and paladins the growth of this new country, Slothjemia, was almost entirely at the expense of the Torkan Caliphates and the Sikilian Confederation.

As time marched on it became evident that these Slothjemians were proving to be more help than they were a bother. Mind you they were still damned worrisome. You can’t have that many backstabbers running around and not get a reputation. But there were also a goodly number of paladins popping up in this goblinoid hell-hole and the righteous fury of their clerics on the battlefield could not be easily ignored. While there might be disagreements on methodology there was no denying that the Slothjemians were getting solid results and were making progress against many of the enemies that had first bound together the Council of Schönbrunn. And when the Queen of Slothjemia took as her husband a human paladin, well, the dynamic shifted once and for all. Slothjemia was offered a seat at the table.

They were given three seats, actually. Geldenreich has four members on the Council, and Lusatia also has four. Fanolania started with three and now has four. All told there are fifteen people that coordinate their national efforts with one another and share information on the enemies that the Council is concerned with. Only recently has this materialized as actual military coordination with the successful invasion of Vincasikilia and the annihilation of the Ash King. This was so successful that the Council of Schönbrunn is now working on a campaign to bring about the end of the orcish presence in Oublier. The teamwork being exhibited is quite a thing to behold for a group of nations that previously had never worked together in this way.

The resulting victories all across Partum meant the establishment of a new nation, the Archduchy of Maelonbourg and the Wenigzustand. Agreed upon by Fanolania, Geldenreich, Slothjemia and Lusatia and with a nod of consent from a few lesser states in the region, this new Archduchy was immediately included in the Council of Schönbrunn. They were offered two seats on the membership of the council in order to more accurately steer their activities in completing the goals the group has set forth.