Connor Tarra-Caddick

(a.k.a. Langshanks, The Sergeant)

His Life - A Brief Summary

 
But thanks to The Sergeant we spent the winter well; other units had constant strife or spent time under canvas or in the open. He always managed to find decent billets and food though he could be a real ██████ if we tried to exercise our "rights". "We're here to beat their rulers, not to make them want our blood" was his view.
— Carron Langford, Morsby Militia, letter dated 795MD
The son of a brewer and tavern keeper in Morsby, Connor Tarra-Caddick was pressed into the Tithing Militia in 794MD, early in the Covrin wars. An accident in training resulted in his service being with the baggage train - this little regarded part of the Militia recognised his organisational abilities and became his new family. In a series of campaigns he excelled in a range of roles that are seldom appreciated by the students of warfare but without which successful wars are seldom fought - moving the baggage train, finding lodgings and provisions for forces on the march and such like. This developed his skills at persuasion, threat and negotiation both with the populations of the areas of the campaigns and with the war lords of his own side who thought only of fighting battles, not of winning wars. A series of promotions saw him finish the war (in 800MD) as Sergeant of the Duchy Train - in charge of the logistics and administration of the Duchy's forces.
  He was grudgingly respected by the nobility for his services though looked down on by many of them for having achieved power and influence without any victories to his name. After the war he remained in Covrin overseeing its integration into the Duchy, returning to Morton in 810 where he joined the Duke Corman's Council. He initiated and oversaw the rebasing of the Duchy Currency under his son Carric the fifth, which the stresses of the war had seen collapse in value as the coinage dropped to only 25% silver.
  Through the reigns of three dukes his star rose and fell as his views on organisation and governance went in and out of favour, but most of the reforms of that period bear his stamp in one way or another. This made him the key figure in the Duchy's development as a more homogenised state without the differing feudal structures and stages of serfdom that had arisen over the centuries as the territories that were now the Duchy had developed. He retired in 835 accepting the sinecure of Constable of the Morsby Dower devoting his time to keeping bees and avoiding his wife, Carra's demands to return to the society of the capital. Her wishes came to pass in 842 when he returned to Morton to act as guardian to Duke Hobrin (who inherited the Duchy aged 4) and died in 850MD of pneumonia.
Born
794MD at Morsby
Died
850MD at Morton
Honorary & Occupational Titles
Chancellor of the Moran Duchy,
Constable of the Morsby Dower,
Regent of Hobrin
Children
Quotes & Catchphrases
Politics is an extension of war by other means.
If you want to control a man, grab him by the purse strings and pull.
Aligned Organization

Political Philosophy

Early in his career, finding lodgings for the militia, he recognised that the way to get peoples agreement was to make them realise that what you proposed was better than the alternatives. You could threaten to provide that worse alternative, but far better to draw their attention to the worse options already there.
  Though often devious and slippery he was respected for honouring his promises and making the ensuring that power and responsibility were balanced. He saw making that balance as the heart of good government and politics as the art of finding the balance and persuading others of it.
A very shrewd operator. If only he respected the glory of war.
— Gaddock, Tithar of Durranby

Key Achievements

Reconstructing Covrin

The Covrin Wars ended with both sides exhausted both economically and militarily for although the Duchy was much larger it had ongoing troubles in the Houghlands sapping its resources. Eager to avoid similar issues in the new territories Corman installed Connor as the Governor knowing that he had a good reputation with the Covrines. Connor used heavy force to suppress some pockets of resistance but also restrained the Duchy troops, at times resorting to military action to prevent pillaging, incurring some life long enmities as a result.
Although rebuilding continued for some year's after his recall to Morton, his insistance on a light touch and trade rather than taxation ensured that Covrin recovered faster from the wars than many parts of the Duchy, where the Houghlands remained a source of trouble.  

Rebasing the Currency

After the debasement of the Duchy Currency during the Covrin Wars trade suffered badly both inside the Duchy and with its neighbours. Connor took care to ensure that the rebased currency provided a good living for the money makers and a clear process for managing the purity of the currency. Whether this would withstand the stresses that broke the old system is debatable but by lasting two centuries, with no change in the purity of the coinage it was clearly effective at eliminating the variations seen before the Covrin Wars.
The wisdom of avoiding coining in both silver and gold was made clear when the Kingdom of Mor adopted the Duchy's model but with high value coinage in gold and saw alternating shortages of gold and silver coins as the relative abundances of the metals changed with the productivity of the mines of the Moran Mountains.  

In Regency

The death of Cadvic left something of a power vacuum in the Duchy with his son Hobrin only 4 years old. With none of the main fractions wanting to appear to usurp the child, Connor was asked to act as Regent for his known integrity, knowledge of the court and lack of active involvement in it's current politics. That he initially resisted was seen as a good sign by those who sought his appointment.
He did eventually agree and supervised the child's education and introduction to rule while presiding over the Duchy's government. Age, however was creeping up on him and the challenges of ruling on his own account resulted in a the deterioration of his health and his death just after Hobrin's thirteenth birthday. He had however given enough of a grounding to the lad that he avoided the tribulations often visited on young rulers.
 

Legacy

His legacy is strongest in the Covrin provinces where his role in re-establishing order following the wars sees him regarded almost as a folk-hero, despite having been from the conquering side. To this day, Connor is a common name in these areas and it is widely believed by Covrines that he was of Covrin descent despite the extant documentation indicating otherwise.
  In other parts of the Duchy he is less well known other than to students of history or military organisation, for his work "Feeding the Dragon" remains the "go to " text on military campaign logistics in northern Tarusia.
 
He is less well regarded in the sections of the nobility, and others, who see the purpose of war as no more than a big fight and the opportunity for heroics or who believe that the conquered should stay that way with the conquerors' triumph passed down the generations. Similarly the feudal nobility of the Houghlands resented his social reforms and hold him in low regard despite recognising the value of his currency and economic reforms.
  Despite this opposition his reforms remain largely in place some 200 years after they were enacted though some of the northern tithings have partially reverted to their earlier social structures.

Comments

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28 Sep, 2019 21:37

Ah, a man of humble beginnings! I like it. There is always something amazing about a political figure who knows they are needed. Id love to see some art in the article and maybe some links on the sidebar for the conflict the article speaks of but otherwise, it's a solid piece!