Argrath was acclaimed Prince on Day 88 of 1627. Several assassination attempts were made on him as he entered the city, but his companions cut them down. Argrath impressively lit the Flame of Sartar and all the tribes and priests accepted him as Orlanth Rex. He’s got his work set out for him.
Millitary: The Lunar Empire is already on the recovery after the Dragonrise and nomad invasions. It is certain that the Red Emperor will seek to reassert his authority over Dragon Pass. This means fighting against the Imperial College of Magic and the Cavalry Corps – far more dangerous and skilled than the Native Tarsh Corps commanded by King Pharandos. It must be emphasized that no Sartarite army has ever been able to stand its ground against the Lunar Army led by the Red Emperor – few in history ever have.
Defeating the Lunar Empire must be Argrath’s top priority – and it seems a nearly impossible task.
Traditionally, the Sartarite army is mostly militia raised by the cities from the tribes and who are dismissed before the harvest. However, Argrath can count on two additional groups:
1. Praxian nomads who can live off the land (but need regular opportunities to pillage and plunder); and
2. Companions and adventurers, who need to be paid or given offices and lands in conquered areas, or serve out of religious belief or fanaticism. This includes the Twin Spears, Bullocks, and Swordbrothers, as well as the magical units of the nascent Sartar Magical Union.
These forces are largely veteran cavalry, turning a traditional weakness in Sartarite armies into a strength. The problem with these two groups is that they need to kept active – Argrath cannot dismiss them. This means that unless the Lunar Army comes soon to Sartar, he will need to take the war to them.
The Sun Dome Temple is available as a source of high quality and disciplined infantry, but they are very expensive.
Additionally, Argrath can potentially gain the aid of Harrek the Berserk and his Wolf Pirates – a very powerful military force that has already defeated the Lunar Army before. However, Harrek is currently causing trouble in the Holy Country and his price is likely more than Boldhome’s empty treasury can afford.
Civil: Argrath has the acclamation of all the tribes (even the Alda-Churi and Alone tribes), but most are resigned to his rule rather than enthusiastic. He can count on the support of the Colymar, Alda-Chur, Alone, Swenstown and Wilmskirk, and the Dundealos-Poljoni. But for the rest he must cajole, bribe, and woo.
However, Argrath has his own military loyal to him. That is an advantage no Prince has ever had.
The first thing he needs to do is get the cities and tribes working together again. Argrath has no personal or clan dispute with any of the tribes – another advantage he has over Kallyr (at the same he lacks deep support in most of the tribes, for the same reason). Compensation and justice for the ducks is necessary, and likely going to come out of Argrath’s personal finances (see below).
Second, Argrath needs to restore order and get the caravans going. That means deal with bandits, stop feuds, and make it clear that the caravans are under his personal protection. That also means repairing roads, supporting markets, etc.
Like Kallyr, Argrath has numerous companions and advisors who much of this work gets delegated out to. Some are close friends (especially from his journey around the Homeward Ocean), but most are people that have no past relationship with the Prince until now (who has not lived in Sartar in over a decade and a half). Finding the right people to delegate authority to is an ongoing problem.
Religious: Argrath has the enthusiastic support of the Orlanth Adventurous cult, and he self-consciously models his actions on Orlanth Adventurous (like Alexander self-consciously emulated Achilles). He supports all of the Seven Lightbringers, especially the Eurmal cult. He also courts the support of Humakt and Storm Bull.
Argrath is a noted experimental heroquester, and has wandered the Hero Plane, and has been exposed to many magical secrets from other lands (Prax, Teshnos, Pamaltela, Malkioni, God Learner, etc.). He is determined to get the magical specialists of many cults and traditions to work together to do things that alone would be impossible.
Early in his reign (likely days after his acclamation) Argrath spoke with the dragonewts of High Wyrm at Trade Site. He is supportive of efforts to communicate with the dragons. Argrath is openly curious towards all of the Elder Races and encourages interaction and trade with them.
Argrath has placed the existing Lunar cultists in Sartar under his protection. He is known have at several Lunar advisors – including Estal Donge, who is the younger sister of Prince Pharandos, and the two Fazzursons, Onjur and Annstad. He also has at least one Malkioni advisor. When confronted with this, Argrath points out that Orlanth worked with the Strange Gods – should he do any less?
Finance: Restoring the kingdom’s finances is a top priority. Kallyr’s treasures are gone and Boldhome is broke. Toll revenues are down to less than 500 talents in the last year (probably much less). Contributions from the tribes and cities can raise maybe another 200-250 talents.
Fortunately, Argrath’s nomad allies can be fed on the rich grasslands of the Donalf Flats and Wulfsland. However, the Swordbrothers and Twin Spears are expensive, as is the Magic Union.
Merchants need to be protected, markets supported, bandits eliminated, and feuds ended. Some of that can be in Sartar, but to really fix the problem is going to mean restoring order to the Holy Country. Gaining grain, encouraging trade, and financial contributions means working out a deal with Esrolia. Which means figuring out what to do with his old companion Harrek the Berserk and his Wolf Pirates.
Unlike just two years ago, the Royal Ring must look much further than just Dragon Pass. Boldhome must be constantly keeping its eyes on a long list of people:
Red Emperor. The real threat to Sartar is the Red Emperor, who will never accept the loss of Dragon Pass and whose resources recover quickly from the turmoil of the last two years. Boldhome needs to gather as much information as necessary on him, his movements and that of his household. Merchants, spies, anything. Heck send a delegation to Glamour!
Jar-eel the Razoress. By all accounts, she is the most powerful Hero in the Lunar Empire and is responsible for the defeat of the nomad invaders. She’s a far more experienced hero quester than Argrath and seemingly capable of anything. She will likely be part of any imperial effort to reconquer Dragon Pass.
King Pharandos. The King of Furthest is a bit player and is dependent upon the Red Emperor. He may be the easiest way to get information on what is going on in Glamour, and it is certainly easier to gain information from Furthest than Glamour.
Estal Donge: Boldhome’s emissary with the Lunar Way, she is torn between her loyalty to her brother and to her uncle Fazzur. She is an important source of information and although she is not to be trusted, her presence is nonetheless a valuable asset.
Queen Samastina. The queen of Esrolia, she is a necessary and invaluable ally, who is incapable of helping Boldhome as long as she is plagued by Harrek the Berserk.
The Feathered Horse Queen. As it was for Sartar and Tarkalor, the priestess-queen of the Grazelands is potentially a key ally or a deadly enemy of Sartar – she must be courted at any cost.
The Inhuman King. The dragonewts must be neutralised as Lunar mercenaries, and ideally should be made allies.
Harrek the Berserk – Argrath’s friend and former companion, Harrek has thrown the Holy Country into complete turmoil, and until that is dealt with, the kingdom’s prospects are bleak.
So if I am a Sartarite in 1627, my vistas just got a whole lot bigger than it was in 1625. I have a Prince that is actively encouraging adventure – encouraging dealing with the Elder Races, different cults, and obtaining new magic. Which means as a GM it is much easier for me to provide carrots and sticks to my players to do that sort of thing. It also means that if my players do all sorts of player character kind of weird things, they might still enjoy the favor of the Prince – heck, they are likely to rise in his favour, while still upsetting the old traditionalists.