Everyone that lives in Partum has a vague understanding that the people living in the Forkanzan Peninsula are a lot of wealthy, somewhat ambitious, and rather disorganized people. They love a fine wine, have a penchant for pasta, and thrive on feuds. What outsiders rarely hear about though are reports of war and conquest in Forkanza. While they frequently squabble amongst themselves the city-states of Forkanza rarely go the extra mile and actually conquer one of their neighbors. In fact this isn’t known to have happened in hundreds of years.
Except that it seems to be happening now. It used to be that the more powerful city-states could field an army of perhaps 50,000 soldiers and most of these would be foreign mercenaries who had more dash than anything else. Fielding these highly disciplined and colorful troops in their shiny armor and immaculate weaponry was key to making your rivals accept your dominance in a trade dispute or some other minor kerfuffle. Now however there seems to be a new dynamic. The King of Lombardia has amassed an enormous army twice the size of any other city-state in Forkanza and is swallowing up his neighbors with alarming speed.
The action began on March 1st as the legions of Lombardia crossed the border into Trentino and issued a demand for the surrender of the entire realm. The city-state of Trentino is closely linked to the Stragesta family, and while there was no word from them about whether or not to put up a fight there was an edict from the Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Imperium Church to stand down and join forces with Lombardia. Despite Lombardia being closely allied to the Andolinni family, Trentino relented and accepted the inevitable without a fight. Their legions were thus absorbed into those of Lombardia and began moving into position for the next conquest.
The second city-state to face Lombardia was the realm of Savoy. Not as spineless as the Trentinoese, the Lord of Savoy asked his patron, Lord Vandocci of Gothortus what he should do. Despite being outnumbered more than two to one the Vandocci family ordered Savoy to stand its ground. There was no decree from the pontiff on this occasion so the Savoy legions did their best to stop the invading Lombardians from running roughshod over them. The attacks began in April and again there was not as much posturing as is tradition but considerably more open attacks and bloodshed. The fighting was intense and many good men lost their lives trying to defend Savoy. By the end of the month it was clear that they were losing the overall struggle.
What harbingers this might bring to Forkanzan politics has yet to be determined as all of this is quite new indeed. Fanolania continues to keep a wary eye on its neighbors to the southeast just in case this new brand of city-state infighting threatens to spill over into the fairer land of elves and men.