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The Malbork Crusader State is one of the youngest nations in the Realm of Mir, made up almost entirely of Crusaders who fight in the name of Teisus.

History

The Malbork Crusader State was founded several generations ago by Crusaders hailing primarily from the Kingdom of Verloren and Theocracy of Gottland. A grand Crusade was led against the many tribal nations of Wendia, Transoxia, Lithland, and others to the East of these two places. When the dust settled the Crusaders had taken a large number of settlements and erected new castles across the land they had conquered. Seeing this as a gift from Teysius himself, the Crusaders declared their conquest to be God's new state, the Crusader State of Malbork.

While Malbork fought pagans and monsters in its new holdings, it made a pact with the King of Verloren and Patriarch of Gottland, where their lands would be protected from fairies and the like by the growing number of Witchers present in their lands. Witchers were much less welcome in Malbork, where their job was mostly covered by crusader knights.

As Malbork spread the influence of Teysius, it not only tried to downplay the worship of other gods in the lands it had conquered, but also the belief in fey and the like, until Malbork, Lithland, and other places had mostly stamped out the idea that fairies were even real.

In recent years Malbork turned its latest conquest plot Northward, to bring the many barbarian tribes of Passia under Teisus. However, on the verge of battle, word arrived that Morgenvale, the shining jewel of Verloren, had fallen to an army of fairies and witches. Due to the way word spread and the less superstitious nature of Malbork, the message changed from "fairies and witches" to "Pagan cultists." A reclamation crusade was announced, originally intent on helping the Crusader State's ally, and a message was sent to the King. Further rumors spread that Prince Sebastian was involved, however, and the more greedy elements of Malbork saw this as a chance to claim land from Verloren "for the Crusade." As Sebastian ascended the throne following his father's mysterious death, the Grand Master declared the holy war to be against the pagan heresies of Prince Sebastian the Usurper.

The Crusader State obtained some early victories over Verloren, capturing multiple castles and towns, but their advance was slowed by the hiring of some brutal mercenaries by the opposition. At almost the same time, Orcs of Skumland began raiding deep into Malbork, attempting to regain old tribal land, and other protected regions in Lithland began falling to a mysterious new group. With the assassination of Master Otto von Leiben and the mysterious sacking of several prominent monasteries, the Crusader State has been thrown into chaos, and much of the holy war has been pre-empted by the land hungry King of Middlegaard.

Government

Malbork is an electoral military state with an emphasis on religion.  It is led by the Grand Master of the Order, who is chosen from among the other Masters and important officers.  These officers include the Marshal, High Vestal, Grand Treasurer, and Seneschal.  The Masters are appointed from among the Order, and hold the higher roles in the land (Dukedoms).  Beneath them are other important lordships, though these are divided up between appointed members of the Crusade and local hereditary nobles who swore fealty to the Crusade rather than be crushed under its boot.  Even so, these nobles are treated as beneath Crusaders and always second- or third-choice when anything is being given out.

Culture

The Culture of Malbork is both highly religious and highly militaristic.  All young men are expected to train in the art of combat, and should expect to be conscripted for military action against heathens.  Nobles are likewise expected to spend a good amount of time practicing warfare, while the Crusader Knights spend almost all of their time on such martial pursuits.

Races

Most of Malbork is made up of humans, chiefly the native tribes of Wends and Liths, though the Crusaders brought their own ethnic groups with them.  A large number of Dwarven converts are also present, as are some Half-Orcs from dubious relations with conquered barbarians.

Religious Domination

Teysius is the state deity of Malbork, and it is illegal to even possess something related to other gods without the Crusade's express permission.  Anything related to pagan beliefs is punishable by any number of things chosen at the discretion of the knights responsible for the punishment, and can range from a lashing, seizure of property, disfigurement, banishment, and execution.

Dissent

While in previous years any detected dissent was dealt with severely, in much more recent times it has become more and more open, with the natives fully displaying their resentment for a weakened and distracted Crusader government.  It should be noted that not all of the dissenters are even possible Pagans, as some of them have more secular concerns over their treatment at the hands of their callous overlords.

Locations

Castle Malbork

The central position of power for the Malbork Crusade, Castle Malbork is a mighty fortress.

Crakenburg

The castle tasked with defending Malbork's Southern borders, Crakenburg is built on a plateau that offers an excellent defense against Warakia. Its lord was Master Otto von Leiben, though he was recently assassinated.

Mt. Transok

The central point of Transoxia, Mt. Transock is the home of the largest concentration of Teisuit Dwarves in Mir.

Affiliations

The Malbork Crusader State is loyal first and foremost to their god, Teisus. They are beholden to the Patriarch of Gottland, but apart from that they maintain no allegiances. An old agreement with the King of Verloren kept them out of the nation until recently, and while allies Malbork is not friendly with Muskovia.

Notable Citizens

Grand Master Sigurd von Jadwig

The current Grand Master of Malbork is Sigurd von Jadwig, a man considered holy by many.  He is respected by the Patriarch of Gottland and the late King of Verloren, as well as many other Teisuit nobles.

Gorazd Morav

The leader of the Hammers of Teisus, a Dwarven battalion of Crusaders. A brutal fanatic, Gorazd sees nothing he does as "too good" for enemies of the faith.

Karl von Hartmann

The Marshal of the Malbork Crusader State and Master of Bohvaria.  Though shrewd and educated, Karl is a warrior at heart, and has put all his learning toward tactics and strategy.

Cassomir

A Wendish noble from the Southern fringes of the Crusader State, loyal more to his duty than to the actual idea, he and his people suffer under the Crusader yoke. A widow, recently he has found love and a new fiance in the lady Grace vo Weiss of Gottland.

See Also

Realm of Mir.

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