I’d like to formally blame my slight dip in interest in Guns of Icarus for the lateness of this newest entry. It’s probably because my friends and I were forced out of Novice matches so now we actually have to study enemy ships and strategy and stuff. And we’ve got Rocket League and Star Citizen to play, darnit. We don’t have time for that crap anymore!
But I still want to keep playing. It’s still fun!
Fjord Baronies (otherwise known as The Baronies)
Capital: Lord’s Leap
Specialties: Utilizing harsh terrain, defensive tactics and strategies, both flexibility and adaptability, and ambition for expansion.
I’d throw out a picture of the Fjord Baronies flag here but there isn’t one!
It’s the only faction to note have a flag that I could find a picture of.
The shame of it all.
The Baronies are located in the north of the World. As such, their climate is a little colder than most. The importance of the “fjords” makes it into the Barony’s very name, so one can imagine that the climate of the Barony’s cultural heartland may be very Scandinavian. The Chattering Fjords may be a good example of this. While the Baronies seem to have the same geographical breadth as the other factions, their manpower seems to be a bit weaker by comparison. As an extension of this lowered population, their cultural heartland very likely being in a cold climate, and likely scarce resources, the Fjord Baronies seem to favour a more defensive mindset in war.
The government seems to be more of a confederation of smaller nations instead of more singular political entities. A barony, historically, is a relatively modest amount of land given to barons, a kind of British nobility— the lowest kind in the noble ladder, as it turns out. It logically follows then that the Baronies are more of a collective and alliance between many smaller nations.
However, there is mention of something called the Kingseat, likely the capital of the Baronies, and King Greger, implying there’s a king to lead the Baronies. This could mean that the Baronies has a more symbolic monarchy, perhaps comparable to the modern-day United Kingdom. I suppose a counterpoint to that would be that it seems odd to name the capitol of a nation after nothing more than a figurehead. Well, I point to the United Kingdom once again as a counter to that counterpoint. Alternatively, the king could simply be the man in charge of the province or barony that united all the others. Regardless of the king’s actual power, the strength of the Baronies seems lesser compared to the other World powers.
The king’s name is Greger, by the way.
Evidence for the above information follows:
The Spire (ship): This tall, oblong ship is the product of the Fjord Baronies where it can put its large balloon to use in guarding the Barony’s high mountains. Originally, the ships were hardly ships at all and functioned more like nearly-stationary floating gun emplacements. Their engines were once very small, only strong enough to stop them from getting blown about in the mountainous winds. However, hard times for the Baronies seemed to be on the way, however, as the Spires were later outfitted with new, more powerful engines to turn them into full-powered airships.
If we follow the earlier idea about the Baronies being a confederation of smaller, weaker nations, then the Spire is in support of that. The Spire appeared to be a mainly defensive emplacement kind of airship at first, but its retrofitted nature implies a kind of desperation to keep up with the escalation of conflict that target the Baronies. This may ring especially true if one examines the Barony’s close proximity to the Yeshan Empire. The Empire is quite possibly the most powerful political entity in the World. So, shoring up the Barony’s borders would be of paramount importance. Aside from that though, the Baronies can only expand southwestward since the Order of Chaladon controls their entire island to the east and the Anglea Republic is in a similar situation to the west. In other words, confrontation with the Yeshan Empire is inevitable. So the Baronies would want to emphasize their strengths to challenge the Yeshan industrial powerhouse.
I’m reminded of a popular strategy employed by Starcraft Terran players that may also be inspired by the island-hopping strategy used by the Americans in World War 2 in the Pacific Ocean or the “creeping barrage” tactic employed in World War 1. The Baronies may try to expand slowly but surely, creeping into Yeshan territory and using their Spires as ships to conquer and ships to protect their creeping gains. The long range of the Spires may turn whatever land their gain into meat grinders, shredding even the most dogged attacks by Yesha.
This is an incredibly beleaguered point to say that the Spire makes sense being in the Baronies weird little hands!
But in order to build these ships, or anything else for that matter, the modest Baronies need production facilities and resources. Some maps will show just what kind of a state they’re in in regards to that.
Blackcliff Metalworks: Nestled in the Eastern Ridge, the Blackcliff Metalworks processes iron from the mountains for use in the Barony’s war factories. However, the factory is deficient in both manpower and fuel, making it impossible to run at full capacity at any given time. Because of this and because of its weaker security forces (it’s all there in the map description, very frankly stated), the Metalworks are often raided by pirates and mercenaries. The workers seem to just want to keep their heads down and try to ignore the hell happening all around and above them.
This lessened manpower issue seems to come from the Barony’s small population, rather than their occupation in a larger conflict (see the above point about the theoretical war against Yesha). After all, with the Spire being a mainly defensive ship, even after its conversion to a full battleship, and the weakened defences of one of a huge and powerful factory, the Barony seems to be having trouble even keeping its borders safe. Another, potentially less grim, theory is that the Baronies are experiencing a crisis of unity. Given that it’s a confederation without the smaller, consolidated size of the Order or the Republic and the prestige of the Empire, each barony may be hesitant to help the lands of rival barons. And yet, given that it looks like everyone in this post-apocalyptic world wants to kill everyone else, civil strife seems like a petty thing to turn to now.
But hey, what do I know? I’m one of those goshdarned optimists who likes to think humanity will pull itself out of its own butt when the bad stuff really hits the fan.
Chattering Fjords: The Chattering Fjords is portrayed in this map— it is a territory under the control of the Baronies. Apparently, almost thirty years ago, the Fjords were conquered by the Baronies. They had laid siege to the “Navinstaak military base” and captured it, securing the location. However, bandits and pirates often attack the area, implying a lack of true control. And yet, the map’s description says that patrols will come through the area but for whatever reason, I’ll just assume manpower issues again, the Barony still has issues with bandits.
I can’t dig up anything on who the Baronies are fighting in this particular battle but I’ll just blame Chaladon since the map references that the town of “Glowwater” launches patrols up there. And Glowwater is to the northeast of the Baronies proper. So Chaladon seems to be the most likely candidate. Plus they made that heathen Squid ship, which is all about quick hit-and-running. Given how slow the Spire is, the Squid seems like a natural predator of the Spire.
Just like in the actual game. Fog banks, yo!
I suppose you may think I’ll be talking about the map Water Hazard here too, but I’m leaving that to the Anglean Republic’s entry. The Baronies take up enough space as it is!
So, from all this, we can assume that the Baronies:
- Is lacking in manpower, technology and resources
- Is trying to expand its borders due to its smaller geography and comparative lack of power
- Is mostly failing to control what it has taken, despite its more defensive tendencies, likely due to the many bandits, pirates, and mercenaries that see the Baronies as new and vulnerable. Or they just nibble at the haunch of the Baronies since they can’t keep their own stupid pigs in their own stupid pen.
- Might have internal power structures due to the Balkanized (I love that term) nature of the Baronies.
The next one’s gonna be on Colossus #6. And I swear I’ll do it by the end of September. Because Five Sentence Fiction fell into some kind of black hole, so I gotta keep the fires stoked here somehow!
Also, did anywhere else who runs a blog notice that September is the worst month for views and general participation? I wonder why that is. Maybe because everybody’s outside since the terrible reign of summer has finally ended.
Good luck, you brave writer (and gamer) folk!
1. Images from the Guns of Icarus Wiki