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G-Tech Corporation
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Posts: 56809
Founded: Feb 03, 2010
Democratic Socialists

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:42 pm

Part 15, Chapter 5: A Patchwork Fiction


April 17th, 86 AG

Through the woodlands the army rolled, a river on the move more than a discernible body of men, an exodus that was less a leaving and far more an arriving. I rode along in the main body of soldiers, hooves drumming on the pavingstones in a monotonous tattoo filling my ears alongside the familiar sounds of wagon wheels clacking from bump to bump and a thousand boots slapping on the cool granite of the hours after dawn. Where we were, exactly, was not something I concerned myself with- by rights I normally wouldn't be here. A fact that the Governor-General of this region, Xavier Hersan, was well aware of. His impassive blonde-mustachioed face rode at my right hand, very similar to where he sat when both of us made our home at the Rose Council.

But this was an important spring. Doubly important because of what the spring had portended in the lands under his control.

Brittany was rising. Or, more accurately, several tribes that lived in Brittany, this wedge of France that had been carved out by the Breton lord who had shown foresight in joining with the Imperium, were rising. The signs had been seen all winter, a steady trickle of reports coming in; assessors ambushed or driven from villages by force, patrols forced to defend themselves against brigands, missives from spies and Eyes within the population reporting dissent that was frothing towards rebellion. There was only so much you could do to head off such social forces, once a region had entered a sufficient state of foment.

Arans. Gusivals. Ilidani. They were not names I was familiar with, not except for from the reports I had read with increasing concern in the heart of the White Palace, but they meant far more to the scattered farmers and herders of this region than me in distant Mara. Once they had been free tribes, kindreds ruled by chiefs of their own bloodlines and lineages, powers in their own right. Then the Brightlord, Robert Dawn, had begun his conquest of the region; he had ruled as any feudal king, seizing control through force of arms, ingenious in exploiting the changing tides of progress that rippled out from the boundaries of the Imperium for the advantage of his own people. They had fallen, these former tribes, forced to pay homage to the Bretons underneath Robert, fighting in his armies, accepting Imperial rule- but always the knowledge that the choice of joining was not their own had festered.

An infected wound left to rot corrupted the whole limb. Thus it was now, a half-generation hence, that the septic cancer had borne its sickly fruit. Where a thousand other tribes had freely accepted the sovereignty of the Great Anchor, binding their lives and customs to our own, it was different for those who were never given a choice. Now demagogues harangued the population, calling them to arms, to win back their freedom from the oppressor that had been set over them.

I glanced sideways to where Lord-Commander Flavian of the 4th rode his roan stallion, his eyes nearly glazed over as he digested another sheaf of reports from horseback. It was an axiom that Imperial society was built on, so fragile, so dangerous if the axiom was disrupted. This polity I had forged, this patchwork quilt of ten thousand ethnic identities and languages and kindreds, was balanced upon once simple statement: being a man was more important than being anything else. From Rome, to the Baltic Sea, to Mara, to the shores of the Adriatic, even to the wash of the Nile, that was the assumption under which the commerce and lives and ambitions of those folk who called themselves Imperial citizens operated. The gift of enlightenment that I, the Hegemon, had brought to them, was for all men- not just for the Marans, or just for those people who lived within the sight of the Erzgebirge, or just for those people who embraced the truth of the Almighty. Manusabi, Aegyptian, Breton, Italian, Salic, Anatolian; they were equal before Our Father, and thus equal sharers in the prosperity and opportunity that stood attendant in the hand of the Imperium.

Was it a fiction? Perhaps. But it was a fiction I had carefully cultivated, not just out of need, but out of belief. A fiction that I had told myself to avoid journeying to the dark places of my mind until it rang true in my heart. A man's allegiance was always divided, and that was the insidious poison that ate away at the roots of civilization. A brother chose a sister over a cousin, a tribal his kinsman over one not of his lineage, a citizen another citizen over a foreigner. It was the poison I had sought to purge so desperately from the hearts of those who had followed me decades and generations ago; the men we fought, the tribes who joined with us, were not the other. They were flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood, men merely deluded in their resistance to the truth that I had been given by Our Father. The light of reason, the truth of progress, the words of salvation. Long-lost brothers could be welcomed to the family, not established in their own category, and this was the reason why so many men and women had found in the Imperium the home they had not looked for. To be alone in the wild world, a member of a dwindling tribe surrounded by foes, was different entirely to the status of one who lived within the Imperium of Man- not an Imperium of one Man, but an Imperium for all Men.

A pleasant fiction, the societal glue that held the bonds of civilization together. And then the others had come along, with their strange ideas. The Scythians, serving God in a different way. The Norscans, following another king. The men of Fenis, even, clinging to their own superstitions and ideas. Those interlopers, those Deceivers, had been a dire threat to the new order that was rising under my careful cultivation. Men had asked questions, seen ideas that were not mind and weighed them to see if they were equal. I had had to act quickly to maintain the comforting belief that then permeated the Imperium, and had now come unto Gospel Truth for those who still lived within her borders; men might think differently, and do differently. But if they thought and did differently, they were wrong. Not the type of wrong of philosophers in debate, but the type of wrong of a man who slays another over a petty grievance. Disunity was a wicked seed that only those deceived embraced.

And here lay the heart of why the rebellions in Brittany were such a grave occurrence. By rising against the local garrisons and commanders, the Arans and the other tribes rejected that view of the world. They loudly declared not only that they were in the right, not deceived but free, and that men should take their own destiny into their hands, independent of the Imperium. It was one thing for men and women who did not know better to reject the light of civilization; they could were deluded, obviously, or so set in their habits as to not be able to shake free of their ignorance. It was another thing altogether for those who knew that light to cast it aside and say that instead they embraced the darkness.

In that embrace they called into question doubt in the minds of all who heard of their actions. And doubt was a disease.

A disease that this host and others now marched to eradicate. It would be bloody, most likely, a paroxysm of violence purging the vestiges of a man's mistakes from the body of the patient that I worked to treat. In some places in my heart I resented the actions of the Brightlord Dawn as much as I had previously lauded them. He had done well in joining his people to the cause of right upon this world, certainly. But the problems he would have inherited down the line, the suppression of an unintegrated populace, had now become our problems. Problems that would have to be solved in blood, and fire, and the scattering of families across the face of the earth.

Wrapped up in my melancholy thoughts I rode onward, noting only in passing thin columns of smoke rising in the distance. It was not far now before the Great Company would start coming across lands in open revolt, and the faces of the soldiers were grim, like my own.
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The Olog-Hai
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Founded: May 12, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby The Olog-Hai » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:11 am

Abraham Meyer
Franklin, New Jersey
June 9th, 2915 B.C.E.


So. They thought that Franklin was a settlement of Ego. Very false, to be true, but a narrative that could work to Abraham's advantage, as long as he didn't betray the fact that this was more or less false. A few of his tribesmen heard this, and reacted with a bit of surprise, coming up to him, but he waved the back, before calling over two of the tribesmen who were carrying a folding table, something he had worked on and near perfected, so that if he wanted to take a meal somewhere with no table, like the testing grounds, he could. Hopefully they wouldn't find it too odd, seeing as they believed that Franklin was a colony of Ego, and currently Abraham had no reasons to prove otherwise.

Once the table was set up, Abraham sat the food down on the table, opening the containers and unveiling steaming hot meats and succulent fruits.

Abraham gestured for his guests to sit down as he sat down himself. As he did so, he began to speak. "If you know it, perhaps we could speak in the tongue of Ego, so our talk of business is easier? It is hard to negotiate with all of them having to speak to each other first," he gestured at the translators.
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Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:21 pm

Governor’s Palace
Aswan
Southern Military Province
Late afternoon


Governor Pepi was beginning to feel the evening chill settle on his palace balcony. From where he sat he could oversee the whole of Aswan, a shining city in the middle of a barren wasteland. The Nile slithered in from the south, quickly pushing north. The city fires were being lit, orange light shining through many of the windows of the clay huts that made up the city. In the far distance Pepi could make out the military encampment of the royal army, an almost perfect circle lightly illuminated. In the past weeks, the Councillor had made progress with the army. He had enforced big reforms which would almost certainly have been countered by the conservative military command, if it hadn’t been entirely purged. Pepi was conflicted about that. Many of those officers had become his acquaintances, and he never liked to see his friends imprisoned. However, if the Councillor truly made an effective fighting force, Pepi would surely share in the riches of his conquests.

Still, there were rumours. Vicious rumours that the Councillor did not suffer corruption. At least, not among his own ranks. His dungeons were now full with people who had taken or offered bribes. Those who effectively gave information vital to the arrest of corrupt officials were given great rewards, either in land or silver. There was no money to be made with corruption anymore, and where corruption had once thrived there was now great distrust among partners. Selling former friends out was now a profitable venture. Still, Pepi was not worried. He had played his cards well, chosen the right friends. A testament to his intelligence and savvy business sense.

Pepi took a sip from his wine. An expensive wine from the north, paid for by the Pharaoh. At least, indirectly. Pepi smiled as he thought about the position he was in, provided by the High Priest of Thebes. It was so easy to take a fair share of the royal treasury and supplies moving through the city harbours. It was easy, too, to slowly take over royal lands on the city outskirts, selling the lands to himself at incredibly low prices. There was little control, as the government of Pharaoh was basically controlled by the High Priest. It made Pepi one of the richest men in Upper Egypt. Sitting there, sipping his wine, he thought about making a move in Thebes. Being a part of capital life was one of his dreams. Aswan was nice, but it was no Thebes, with the monumental architecture and incredible wealth. Who knows. Perhaps he could take over the Councillor’s lands, with the help of his friend. No-one would mourn the loss of the foreigner.

A loud knock on the door shook him from his daydream. Annoyed, Pepi took his goblet and stood up from his reclining chair, walking back into his chambers. Another loud knock followed.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m coming!” he said grumbling. With his free left hand he pulled up the bolt of the door, which swung open violently. A hooded and cloaked figure burst into the room, almost cashing into Pepi as he entered. The governor was perplexed and dumbfounded.

“What’s the meaning of this?” he asked angrily. The cloaked figure, now standing in the middle of the room, checked all the different compartments in the gubernatorial chambers. Then, he removed the hood from his head, revealing an all too familiar face to the governor.

“Itisen!” the governor exclaimed, immediately recognising his friend.

“What happened to you?” Pepi asked, already knowing the answer. Itisen was one of the former officers in the royal army, and a close personal friend. He had been among the officers captured when the Councillor had instituted his first purge against the corrupt.

“I escaped” Itisen said plainly, clearly out of breath.

“That Councillor is far too trusting. He is a fool, Pepi. He allows his prisoners a few hours of outside air every day. I managed to give my guards the slip and came here directly”

Pepi walked onto the balcony with a brisk pace, pouring a goblet of wine for his friend. Itisen gladly accepted, gulping down the contents in a few seconds. Then, he looked at Pepi, his face more serious than Pepi had ever seen.

“You need to escape” he said simply. “The Councillor is preparing a massive action against our associates. He said he had a list…”

Pepi suddenly remembered discussing this with the Councillor. He cursed internally. He should never have trusted the stranger. He had grown careless over the years of comfort. Now, it came back to bite him. There was little time for regret, however. He had begun to prepare for this eventuality. Quickly, Pepi took two torches from the walls of his chambers, giving one to Itisen.

“We need to move, then” he said. “In the left wing of the palace is my personal library. It contains documents relating to our business. You go ahead and put it to the torch, I’ll pack what is necessary. Meet me at the Weasel Gate”

Itisen nodded and immediately moved towards the door. Just before exiting, he turned around.

“What about the treasury?” he asked. His voice was almost cracked. The hoard of gold was everything they had worked for over all these years. Pepi shook his head, however.

“There is no time. It’s all stored in the basement, but it’s far too heavy. If we can get to Thebes in time, we might be able to get help from High Priest Huy-Pinhas. We will get our revenge, my friend. I promise”

Itisen nodded and shot into the dark corridor outside. Pepi could hear the footsteps fade into the darkness. Then, he began packing. Nothing much was needed: a few gold coins, a necklace that had belonged to his mother, the final will and testament of his father. A few pieces of clothing as well, to at least be somewhat presentable in the presence of Huy-Pinhas. After gathering all these little artefacts in a sack, Pepi slipped out his chambers in the same way Itisen had done. He pulled the hood of his thick cloak over his head, obscuring his face from all others.

Luckily for him, he met no-one on the way out. Most palace attendants had probably returned to their sleeping quarters, or they had gone out to have a few drinks at the local taverns. It was quiet as could be in the fragrant rooms of alabaster stone. Pepi turned a corner, and then another. He went down some stairs. Eventually, he arrived in the main entrance hall, where he saw Itisen standing in a dark corner. Pepi quickly approached his friend.

“Gods, I’m glad to see…” Pepi said, but he was silenced by a gesticulation.

“Shhh!” Itisen said. Pepi didn’t respond, sliding into the dark corner beside his friend. Just in time, it seemed. As they did so, a platoon of soldiers armed with wicker shields and spears entered the building, headed by a lieutenant. It was one of the new ranks instituted by the Councillor, who needed a breeding ground for good officers as well as more unit cohesion. The lieutenant barked orders at his men, whom quickly fanned out in groups of three. They quickly dispersed into rooms and corridors, a group of ten led by the lieutenant immediately taking the stairs towards the governor’s chambers. Pepi gnashed his teeth.

“That son of a whore didn’t even have the guts to get me himself…” he said, seething. Itisen looked around the corner to see if everything was clear. He could see no more movement on the square in front of the palace. Apparently, the streets were abandoned, although shouts could still be heard in the distance, both inside and outside the palace.

“We’ll get our revenge, Pepi” Itisen said. “Now, we have to move”

“Right” the governor replied. “I have a ship in the harbour, with a crew on stand-by. They will take us to Thebes, to get help”

“Wouldn’t it be better to take ponies? The Councillor will suspect an escape by river” Itisen weighed in. Pepi shook his head.

“I have seen his chariots, they can overtake any pony. His ships are just as fast as mine, and my ship is prepared. We’ll be gone before they can start the pursuit”

Itisen relented. The two men silently slipped out the palace, hugging the walls of the palace as much as possible. They avoided big avenues, mainly using the back alleys normally reserved for thieves and beggars. They struggled to get past the multitude of vagrants camped there, reaching out for alms. Many of them coughed heavily; sickness was rampant in these communities. The two men pressed the hoods of their cloaks against their noses to negate the stench, but small whiffs always got through. It smelled of rotten cheese and sour milk, of urine and faeces.

One time they were nearly caught. A platoon of soldiers passed through the avenue right in front of them, led by a torch-bearing lieutenant. The group stormed past a couple of buildings before charging into one of the houses. Inside, men and women screamed in terror, the sound mixed with the breaking of pots and the tearing of fabric. Pepi and Itisen crossed the street in silence, with Pepi lingering just behind the corner. From there, he peeked into the avenue, where he could see the soldiers exiting the house. Two soldiers dragged out a man with a sack over his head. The man attempted to resist, but the strong soldiers made every attempt futile.

“Seems like they got Aperanat” Pepi whispered. As he looked into the alley they had just slipped in, he saw Itisen hurry along, not stopping to let Pepi catch up. Pepi quickly followed, not wanting to be separated from his friend. Aperanat had been one of his business associates, and an avid land speculator. It was clear Itisen had not made up a word of what he had said.

After a few more minutes scurrying in the darkness, the two men finally arrived at the harbour. The docks were lit by giant torches, and patrolled by squads of soldiers. Normally, these would have been protected by the city guard, under command of the governor, but tonight was not normal. The harbour master could be seen walking with one of the army captains, apparently pointing out various ships. The captain would point when necessary, leading to a boarding party entering the vessel. They were systematically working through the various ships from north to south, but they had not reached the personal yacht of Pepi yet. The governor could see his vessel in the distance, the crew nervously pacing around the deck.

“Prepared to escape a second time, Itisen?” Pepi asked with a smile. His friend smiled back, and nodded. Covered by the shadow of crates and empty market stands, under a blanket of early darkness, the two men slid silently past the various docks. They kept their heads low, walking at a brisk pace, but trying not to catch too much attention. Once they saw the soldiers board another vessel, they made a run for it. Their hearts pounding they raced up the gangplank, almost leaping over the other side into the Nile, saving themselves by hanging onto the mast. They were totally out of breath, heaving as they slumped against the side of the ship. The crew was somewhat dazed by their sudden presence, but their confusion was cleared when the captain of the ship came up from below decks.

“Governor Pepi, I’m glad to see you’re unhurt. And you brought company?” the captain asked, pointing at Itisen.

“He’s a friend” Pepi replied. “Without him, I would be rotting in a dungeon by now. I owe him my life”

“Very well” the captain said in turn. “You two better hide down below decks, in case of a check-up. We’ll set sail in a few minutes”

The two men did as they were told, quietly slipping into the dark underbelly of the ship. Without a torch or candle to light the way, the cargo hold was viciously dark, with their eyes taking very long to adjust. Using their touch, they could manoeuvre towards the back of the hold. Pepi noticed that there were things stored in here, cold to the touch. They were objects large and small, and generally didn’t provide much hold. At the back of the hold, were the bow of the ship came out of the water, the two men hunkered down.

“What are we going to do when we reach Thebes?” Pepi asked, more in general than aimed at his friend. “I guess we give Huy-Pinhas a visit. It will take him two seconds flat to assemble an army to crush the Councillor. Bring things back the way they were”

“Hmmm-Hmmm” Itisen said. His chin had slumped onto his chest, and his eyes seemed to be closed. Pepi could now make out shapes among the darkness, especially against the dim light falling through the cargo hold latch. These items were strangely shaped. He didn’t remember giving this ship orders to stock up on goods like those. Still pondering this, he was spooked by the sudden sound of boots hitting the deck. Men were coming aboard via the gangplank. A pair of boots, two pair, three pair, four, five, six… Eventually, Pepi counted fifteen pair of boots hitting the deck.

“Probably the crew coming aboard…” Pepi said. “The soldiers at the docks weren’t with so many”

The foot seemed to stomp on the deck with purpose. There was no sound of ransacking, just a slight murmur of voices. Then, a sandal appeared at the top of the ladder leading into the hold. Pepi recognised the legs of the captain, and was relieved. However, his head was followed by another pair of legs, these clad in leather greaves. A soldier carrying a torch. As he descended, a warm orange light illuminated the entire hold, appearing very bright to the freshly-adjusted eyes of Pepi. Then, a third pair of legs descended, these covered in the ends of a long tunic. This was someone of high stature. Pepi’s heart stopped as he recognised the face of the man in the tunic: it was a white face, with light brown hair and piercing blue-grey eyes, a colour that seemed to shift whenever one tried to define it. It was the Councillor.

Now, in the light of the torch, Pepi recognised the cold objects in the cargo hold. It was glimmering gold. Not just gold; golden artefacts from the main temple of Aswan. Effigies of gods, plaques, even gold-rounded tables used by the high priests. The hold was stocked with holy relics of all kinds. Pepi was aghast at the sight, wondering what they were doing in his ship. Then, he looked at the men opposite him, and stood up. Before he could utter a word, the Councillor spoke.

“Governor Pepi” he said, calmly. “You are under arrest for suspected corruption under the law of Pharaoh, as well as the desecration of holy ornaments stolen from the city temple”

His voice resonated in the confined space of the ship. There was no anger in his voice, it seemed. He stated everything in a very matter-of-fact way. His cold expression produced tingles in Pepi’s extremities.

“You… You set me up!” Pepi exclaimed. “You can’t do this. I have powerful friends!”

“Friends like Aperanat?” Bruno said coldly. There was a moment of silence. Pepi had trouble collecting his thoughts. How did they find out? Was it all a bad dream? Was he currently asleep in the hold of the ship? It all seemed real and unreal at the same time.

“You’ll never get me, Councillor” Pepi said, trying to mimic the cold tone of his adversary. His attempt was half-hearted, and similarly effective. “All the documents in my library are gone, and my friend Itisen can vouch for me”

As he said that, he felt confidence restored. He saw the sudden frightful expression on the face of Councillor, which gave him hope that this was going to be alright. He smiled devilishly at the dismay of the Councillor. However, the frown on his opponent’s face turned into a grin, and then a friendly smile.

“Good thing I have those covered” The Councillor said. One of the soldiers who had descended after him handed him a bag, the sound of coins clearly audible even from the other side of the cargo hold. In a solid arc, perfectly calculated by the mind of a tennis player, the bag of cold leapt from the Councillor to Itisen, who caught it with both hands. Then, he walked forward, passing the Councillor and taking a position behind him.

“Itisen…” Pepi tried to say, but his heart sank. There was nothing to say.

“Citizen Itisen, you will be aptly rewarded for your aid in uncovering this heinous plot by governor Pepi. You will receive the farming lands, as promised, enough to feed and maintain your family in perpetuity. When you have led us to the personal library of the governor, of course” the Councillor said. Itisen only nodded, whispering something that was indistinguishable from where Pepi was standing. The Councillor just nodded, and then looked at Pepi. His face was cold again, expressionless.

“Governor Pepi, by the power invested in my by Pharaoh, life, peace, health, I am stripping you of your possessions, including your lands and titles. You will be held in the palace dungeons until you are ready for transportation to Thebes. There, you will face the Pharaoh’s judgement. I will personally make sure he gets a list of all your crimes”

After that, the Councillor just made a small gesture. Two soldiers moved forward, grabbing the former governor under his armpits. Pepi didn’t even try to resist. His eyes were heavy and slumped, his legs ached and trembled. Those who paid attention could observe a single tear rolling down his face. He didn’t look at his captors, nor at the Councillor or the captain. He only looked at Itisen, holding a big back of silver coins, who dared not look back. Without uttering a sound, Pepi climbed the stairs, after which he was escorted back to the gubernatorial palace.

From the deck of Pepi’s yacht, Bruno watched the former governor march away into the night. One of his army captains was personally tasked with making sure he got where he was going. The Councillor let out a heavy sigh, which was picked up by one of his staff members.

“Are you okay, general?” the staff officer asked. The Councillor nodded, but then closed his eyes.

“The bad drives out the good, and the good drives out the bad. A solid lesson of economics” Bruno said.

“I’m just not sure what just happened here. I guess we’ll find out”
The name's James. James Usari. Well, my name is not actually James Usari, so don't bother actually looking it up, but it'll do for now.

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G-Tech Corporation
P2TM RP Mentor
 
Posts: 56809
Founded: Feb 03, 2010
Democratic Socialists

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:31 am

Docks of the Settlement of Franklin, The Delaware River
June 9th, 85 AG

Brother Jerome nodded at the man of Ego’s words, slowly, his mind desperately racing to summon up what scraps of the foreigner’s tongue he had been instructed in prior to the Armada’s departure from Brest.

“You can- I can get by in this tongue.” He said, speaking with a practiced accent but halting grammar. “As you say, it may be better than using the line of speaker-sayers that we have assembled.”

Terovingian frowned, but the friar translated quickly, and the captain nodded to continue. Understanding had dawned on his face, a fact confirmed by Abraham’s command of the language of the traders from the Great Lakes. At a gesture from the captain, the two men bowed their heads and spoke a brief prayer of thanks for the food and peaceful contact in low Imperial Common; from their words it was apparent that not all of their encounters with the indigenous tribes had been so peaceful, not that they could know that Abraham understood them.

Brother Jerome smiled brightly as he raised his head again, and ladled a serving of the meats onto the piece of earthenware as he sat at the table. A bite, two bites, and he swallowed happily before speaking.

“My apologies. Just a little ritual of our faith.”

The captain took food as well, and seated himself, savoring a few bites of the repaste after Jerome didn’t fall over dead, and at length he spoke to the Transliterate, who turned the query into the language of Ego for Abraham’s imagined needs.

“My captain thanks you for your hospitality- he asks what you might have for trade. We are happy to exchange some goods for small amounts of food and water to reprovision our vessels, but my master Terovingian notes that such an exchange is not really the foundation of a broader commercial relationship. Is there ought your people produce of skill and craft in excess that you would offer in trade? Gems, fabrics, spices, metals?”
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Ralnis
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25473
Founded: Aug 06, 2012
Father Knows Best State

Postby Ralnis » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:46 am

Chapter 4, part 2: The Eagershield Job,
Stovundin, Nom Sampai,
April, 86 AG/2915B.C./BCE


As the ship came up to the easternmost town. Bob had heard of the ruined cities that the native Sami now occupy and the Nordics that stay in their lands. Bob and his crew step onto the frosted harbor and the cold wind ran up their spines. Bob was used to Colorado weather in the winter as flashbacks of brisk mountain air welcomed him from heated buildings and hot coco. Reality kicked back in as Bittertooth tapped him on the shoulder to remind him that none of them are used to the cold for being Germen.

Bob started to bundle himself up more as he started to take the lead. As they walked through the ruined streets and the buildings that accompanied the Sami and Nordics that looked at the group with strange looks, Bob had to stop for a bit. He sat against a cracked wall as his eyesight started to get dizzy. Bittertooth tried to hoist him on his shoulder and cursed in German but Bob pointed to a building as the letters started to shift to English in his eyes.

" There's an inn up those stairs."

The other three looked at him with questioning looks but Bittertooth just led the way to the inn. The inn was something that was out of a fantasy book in Bob's eyes. There was a warm fire, warriors and sailors sat around round tables drinking mead, and even a bard sang foreign songs of myth and wonder to the patrons.

The four were welcomed in as weary travelers. Bob translated and told them to sit him down somewhere. As they sat, the bar maid came to them with a smile and wanted to take their order. Bob translated that they'll have mead, water, and two cups of milk. The serving wench was surprised that Bob's Sami was surprisingly good and ask if he was a trader. He gave a nod and said that they usually trade in various baubles.

The others around the table couldn't understand Bob for the life of them. To the Sami, he was speaking Sami but with a Germanic dialect to it. To Bob, it was like he was speaking English and she was speaking English but with a heavy Sami dialect. Bob at least gotten used to the idea that he can understand any language as an Immortal but his friends didn't. It was something that he had to rectify while they were here.

Bob asked the server if there's any spare rooms left. She told them no but there's another place closer to the docks that had rooms but she gave a warning that it was seedy. Bob told everyone and Bittertooth smiled inside as that's where he felt most at home. Bob said that we'll take our chances as they paid for their drinks and left to the streets.

Bob's eyes still strained with the transition of Sami letters and pictures to English but they did find the tavern. The tavern itself was more run down than the other tavern but it was still lively. Walking in Bob felt like he was watching a Spaghetti Western with all eyes were going to be on him but they didn't really care, some gave them passing glances but everyone was conducting their own businesses. The innkeep was just wiping the bar with a dirtied cloth.

The other four sat at a table while Bob asked the keep if they have a room. The keep pierced into the eyes of the thief and he saw the eyes of man who was living a hard life. He said we had a couple of rooms and he said that can work. After hearing that he paid for a couple of weeks and started to walk to one of the rooms.

Bob and his crew were all together and he decided to warm his hands as he started to speak. The crew asked him how long they were going to stay and he said only about a week but paid for two. Bittertooth said that this was where the pirate Eagershield usually has been seen on his longship before making attacks on Foxbeard's smuggling ships trying to cross the North Sea. Bob thought that it would be a good idea to start snooping around and see if there's a way to get any idea for pirates.

It's where Atoli, Katherine's sister, pointed it that they couldn't speak and didn't have the powers of an Immortal. Bob's eyes grew big when she said that but just smiled as he knew that they could at least keep the secret. Bittertooth just confirmed this as he told everyone about what you were able to do but he also knew that if Bob was the demon that the Imperium fears, then the crew didn't see it. Bob was a thief, that was true, but he held himself back in these regards and looks after his friends.

Bob just laughed a bit to think himself a Deceiver as he was still ignorant of the world and didn't even know what year he fell in this timeline. If anything, he told them that if a Immortal was still a human with some powers then they should be fine. He didn't know much about what happened nor won't go against his word that they will have clean lives. This was the sort of loyalty that Bob didn't know about, he could feel the commitment to the other three and can pull strength from it. In a way it made him forget about his workshop in Colorado but he understood what must be done.

Bob had to scout out as Gaslight but he started to add improvements to the costumes. He started to think about Katherine and Atoli as their alter egos of Lynx and Bobcat. The two had good costumes but, like the others, needed better protection if they were going to try and take down a pirate captain. To him, such a thing to prepare by himself was something he didn't want to do alone but it would probably be something he had to get used too in countries that his crew couldn't work.

One of the things he came to understand is that the Imperium had a stranglehold on the steel that was needed for good chainmail but one thing that could be made in some time and be of use was gambesons. Padded armor was just as good as leather, though it would mean that they would have to work around their costumes to a better layer of protection but lien was more common than cows in the Sami Kingdom.

It was hard to find good lien but he found a few layers that could be dyed and evened out for stealth operations. He grabbed a few layers and went back to the rooms to get the crew to get sewing. Katherine and Atoli were used to the idea of making adjustments to clothing and Bob was trying to get Bittertooth to at least dye the padding and hand it to Bob as he was making things evenly. It took a few days as Bob was getting rumors and the women were sewing the padding in the costumes evenly until it was time.

One week had passed and Bob had found a weakness in Eagershield's business. His first mate, a man by the of Olaf, was fed up with his boss and so were quite a number of other pirates that rowed the longship. Bob had decided that this was the time they should strike because the pirate captain was about to leave in a few days to hunt another smuggling ship. The padding was enough to help them to be protected from steel and iron weapons a bit but they wouldn't be able to swim, not that anyone knew how to in the first place.

From the tavern, that don on their costumes and felt a bit heavier than normal but it was better than nothing. They still snuck around in the darkness, masking their presence from the local guards as they hunted their prey. Olaf was captured and he was brought to the outskirts of the city. He awoke to being naked and sitting in the cold. The man was spouting curses in Sami till Bob told him that unless he wants to freeze in the cold. He stopped for a second but then continue with the curses.

Bob just shrugged as he told his crew to go in another language but changed his mind as he the cold shiver started to creep his spine and other important areas. Bob turned around and told him not to be cursing at the people that basically hold his life in their hands. Olaf asked if they were aligned with anyone and started to spout off names that Bob didn't know about until he got to Foxbeard. Bob merely gave a nod as Olaf asked if he was going to be taken down.

" Me and my crew don't kill." Bob said in Sami," though I have a proposition for you."

Olaf raised an eyebrow," what kind of proposition?"

" Heard you and some of your mates don't like the current ruling of your captain. Maybe you need some help and a patron?"

Olaf was very interested now. He asked what he could do with the pirates and Bob said that they weren't just thieves, but looking to start up a business and can make your longship better than it currently is. Olaf asked what he needed from him and Bob just said he needed numbers and his boss is what he wanted. It was then a deal was struck for Bob to have a pirate ship of his own.

Olaf let the thieves to his hideout where they crafted the Eagershield Job. Bob got the weapons and the ability to find a way to get in the Eagershield's pirate den in a large enough cave that had ramshackle infrastructure that was built off the backs of slaves. Such a thing wasn't uncommon for certain clans and pirates to take thralls and help them build bases of power away from the Sami. It seemed that the captain was rich by Sami standards.

When Bob heard of thralls, he clenched his fist tightly. His mind going back to the ideas of black slavery in his timeline but he took a deep breath as he had a job to do. As they found a hidden passage that Olaf introduced them to as they snuck in and took out any warriors and hide them somewhere in the shadows until they found a prison cell.

With in the cell was a man who was held down by iron bindings with three warriors watching him. Bob and Bittertooth split up with Atoli and Katherine as they were told by Bob to ambush them while they get the prisoner out. The prisoner was surprise to see costume women were able to fight trained warriors. The other two came in and wrestle them to the ground and killed them as Bob said that they saw you wanted out. The prisoner asked if his clan hired to save him but he looked down before Bob even said anything.

Bob said he can still let him out and run out because there's going to be a fight soon. The prisoner got close to the cells and said that he could help as a bowyer. That idea was enough for Bob to unlock the makeshift cell and undo the bindings. The Sami prisoner was thankful and offered his services to him. Bob asked if he thought that his clan came to get him. The bowyer said that the pirates raided his clan and took him as a slave as they slaughtered his clan.

Bob was taken aback a bit but he said that if he wanted vengeance then this would be the time. The bowyer got a quiver and a bow from the rack as he tested the strength of the string and said that he'll follow them. Bob asked if he was able to sneak and he said that he had some training but he was not a thief like the four. It was a fair enough point and he told the crew in Imperial that the prisoner will be with us and he's going to kill the pirates and be our range support.

The crew liked the idea as they snuck to Olaf and told him to get his boys ready. The first mate wondered why the prisoner was there and then he said that Bob took out some of his men. Bob mental cursed but as Gaslight he said that it didn't matter because they were knocked out and they were worth more than common pirates. Olaf just gave a sigh as he gave the signal and to start the fight.

It was a surprise to Eagershield as his Frist Mate was leading half of the crew against him. What doubly surprised him was the thief that Foxbeard hired was going after him. He tried to get his most trusted men but they were down as arrows hit through their ruined chainmail, killing them as Bob tackled him to the ground. The pirate was swift and manage to push off his assailant, only to meet the equally large Ironsides and they started to wrestle.

Reinforcements came and the other three were tangled with them but the girls showed surprising agility and dispatched them with the blunt of their steel weapons. Bob had a smile on his face but notice that Bittertooth was down and he had to beat the pirate himself. The pirate was strong. Some slashes could be dodged as he cut through air but there were those that nipped through the costume. Either by luck or skill, Bob managed to anticipate one attack. He sidestepped out of the way and gave a kick to the temple that made him stunned on the ground and another kick to the head to knock him out.

Bittertooth saw that and gave a nod as Bob helped him up. Olaf gave a victorious hoorah as the last of the Eagershield's pirates were either dead or were broken. After the clean-up, Olaf woke up some of his men and told him that they managed to get taken down by women and two men. Olaf was surprised that there were others that they had managed to get the drop on them. Bob had plundered the old bosses' treasure and he mentally checked that off his bucket list of things he wanted to do.

Olaf said that he will be the new captain but it would take some time to get some men up and running at full speed. Bob said that it was fine as he just wanted him to start plundering the enemies of Foxbeard. Olaf said he can do that and started to give him the info of Eagershield's benefactor, an Imperial by the name Tyzanik who is a native of the town of Walnous. He said that it would be best to do it as he has more profits than the Nord.

The Sami bowyer stared at the scene of battle that he participate in. Bob came over and said if he was happy and said gave a sigh,

" Not so much thief."

" Didn't you get your vengeance?" Bob asked

" I wanted them destroyed but I only saw a change in management." The bowyer turned to him.

" I wouldn't worry so much. The pirates need outside support and I already told him no more slavery. Besides there's much better coin than doing slavery. Speaking of which your skills with a bow was pretty good, maybe your looking for work?"

The Sami shook his head," I'm not looking to disgrace my ancestors any more than what I have done."

" A man who has his mind stuck with his ancestors forgot their sacrifice." Bob said.

" What in the Underworld do you know about sacrifice? Or ancestors for that matter?" The Sami said angerly

" I know that your and my ancestors protect us in our lives, they connect us to our gods no matter what religion we belive in. Just because I'm a thief doesn't mean that I have to steal from some innocent person who is just trying to get through this world." Bob retorted.

" Then tell me thief," the Bowyer pointed at him," why are you walking down the road of a criminal?"

" Because I wanted to get back at someone." Bob looked at him as he stared through the Sami's soul," I didn't want to be a thief but it just happened out of vengenace. After that I wanted to pay someone back, bust a freind out of jail, now I've taken over a pirate ship because I'm trying to get their lives back."

The Sami's eyes widened. He didn't expect Bob to actually be like this but he could feel a sense of animosity when he spoke about his profession. In a way, it did reminded him of a memory about his clan and he threw his hands up.

" I guess I will come with you for now thief but under one condition."

Bob gave a nod," what is it?"

" I want you to help me rebuild my clan."

Bob blinked," you want me to do what?"

The Bowyer just looked at him deadpan," you heard me."

Bob started to think about this. While it would be good to have a bowyer on his crew but he wouldn't know where to begin when it came to building a Sami or Nordic clan. Still, it was something he had to try since they may help further down the line.

" I don't know where to begin for politics but I promise to help you rebuild your clan, anyway that I can help."

The Sami in return pledge his loyalty to Gaslight and his crew. His name was Caundil of Clan Elhorn, last of his kind as far as he knew. Apparently he was both a hunter and a guide for Imperials before he was enslaved and that was convient for Bob and his crew. Bob introduce the newest memeber to the Sami and he spoke in some degree of broken, yet comprehensable Common that he the others could understand. Bob said that he will get a costume soon but they needed to get the pirate through one of Foxbeard's agents in Nom Sampai.

As the transfer was made, the captain was gagged because Bob couldn't stand his cursing but a job well done. The agent was delighted to see that the target was captured alive. The agent gave Gaslight a letter that the agent said that Foxbeard has another problem and it would be harder to get into. Bob just shrugged as he left back to the seedy inn and started to read the letter.

Foxbeard wanted to get a man by the name of False-Eye to "disappear" as he was a source of second-rate drugs and weapons that is arming the gangs that threaten the Nord. Bittertooth jumped out his chair at the mention of the name and snatched the letter from his leader. His ears weren't deceiving him as he saw the name. Bob saw him get angry and asked if he knew him. Bittertooth had to calm down but it wasn't helping as the flood of memories of his days as a bandit.

Like him, Bittertooth was a rehabilitated bandit but he went to the frontier that was Brittany and the last letter he got he was serving in the local garrison's somewhere. Bob remembered hearing that Brittany was in full rebellion and trying to infiltrate in a warzone is basically asking for bullets and cannonballs to kill them. Bittertooth argued back saying that Bob and this crew were the best thieves in the Imperium, they managed to take down pirates, fight Lawkeepers, and hideaway for months.

Bob told him that the military was different and it wasn't something that he couldn't do. He also noted that the rebellion was doomed from the start as no doubt the Great Company was marching on them as they spoke. Katherine said that Bittertooth is right, Gaslight and his crew are trying to be spies and did promise the Sami Bowmen that they were going to help rebuild his clan.

It did give Bob a pause and he turned his head away from them as he looked at the wall. He then give a nod, didn't like what he was going to do but a promise was a promise. The rebels are doomed in Bob's eyes but that sort of doom could help the crew to make connections, resources, and a challenge to see if the great Gaslight and crew to steal information from Imperial militaries for the rebels.

Caundil didn't care at all about the politics of the Imperium, only knowing that the Sami didn't like them and some feared their weaponry. It was a chance to see the mighty great war machine up close. He also noted that while Bob had rational fear, he was a skilled thief and his promises and friends did drive him to rise up to the challenge. When approached about this, Bob said that this crew is ran through a democracy of some sort but he makes up the plans and dictates the moves.

The Sami wasn't familiar with it but Bob just simplified it that he has a vote on what the crew should do and Bob will go with it unless there's something bad to it. Caundil understood it as a king with his court and Bob just shrugged claiming that he wasn't a king but he is the Mastermind so the analogy still worked to some extent. The Sami then voted that working for the rebels is probably the best course as well as the connections can help with what he and everyone else needed.

With that decided and the crew rested, he got Olaf and his refreshed crew to set sail to Brest for his next heist. He only hoped that they don't get killed by being in the crossfire.
Last edited by Ralnis on Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Skarten
Senator
 
Posts: 4682
Founded: Dec 08, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skarten » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:05 am

A Lot of time since the Last Post

In the Northern Japan,the situtation looked bright.
Yaroshima had been working to Centralize and unite the tribes,in an effort to become a "King" of sorts.The many technologies he introduced, of course,helped. (Of course,the best ones were only used by His tribe,Such as Bronze.)
The Rice fields were producing enough grains for the village, allowing hunting and gathering to decrease a bit without starvation danger,while practices such as the production of Fur clothing,pottery and other poducts that could be used for trade and etc.

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G-Tech Corporation
P2TM RP Mentor
 
Posts: 56809
Founded: Feb 03, 2010
Democratic Socialists

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:39 pm

Part 16, Chapter 5: Cold Fire


April 21st, 86 AG

A snowstorm in April. How ridiculous. I pulled my cloak tighter about my shoulders, shivering despite the thick material, more out of the view than any true sense of coldness. It had blown in out of the north-west bare hours ago as the 4th descended through the hills of Muscal, slowing our march rapidly as the powdery precipitation gathered in a coverlet at first, then windblown drifts. Under me my destrier's breath came slow and steady, but as it exhaled the steam from its nostrils flashed to miniature clouds that were promptly dispatched by the driving wind, and I bent my head forward over my steed to try to keep away the worse of the wind.

Still attempting to stay as warm as possible, I glanced behind me; cloaks had been removed from packs even as the men marched, spring fatigues a good substitute for winter, oilcloth good against the wet but little use against the cold now buttressed by swaddlings of thick fur or cotton. Some eyes glanced back at me in bemusement from under cloaks, weapons still holstered over packs, and I smiled broadly at those men of the Great Company who had noted my concern for their welfare. After all, Brittany would be a mess for years if we didn't put the lid on this rebellion quickly, and these soldiers were some of the few assets the Imperium could spare from the multitudinous fronts it manned across the globe for such a large-scale uprising.

My eyes drifted back forward, drinking in the dun gray sky thick with falling flakes of snow and the indifferent light of the sun. Under this overcast men's shadows all but disappeared, washed from all directions by a placid luminescence, and it was tough distinguishing anything in particular out toward the horizon. Here and there forests only new-brushed with snow gave dimension to the landscape, but by and large field and fen disappeared beneath the snowy onslaught only slightly faster than the flagstones of the road along which the vanguard rode.

All around me the world grew gradually more silent, the sound of the wind drowning out the already-muffled conversations of warriors on the march, the blanket of snow crunching under hooves and boots doing its normal duty of swallowing sound and overawing men, until few felt inclined to break the heavy quiet of the lands of Brittany.

Thus it was somewhat of a surprise, a startlement that caused me to jerk fully upright in my saddle and my steed to prance slightly beneath me, when the sound of gunshots came from away to the western side of the highway. I peered in the direction of the weaponsfire with equal measures of curiosity and concern as it continued past the initial volley; the repeaters outriders carried could lay down a fearsome fusillade of death, when their owners chose to use them to the fullness of their capacity. That meant there had to be a sizable force out there, in the whiteness, one which couldn't be put down by the flanking elements of the Fourth with speed.

A few more minutes passed, and I nodded to myself as Flavian called a halt to the march. Pressing forward with some of the men of his command actively engaged only made sense if we were marching on an objective- and we were, but not one so proximate as to render any delay unseemly. He turned his horse, riding back along the line of the army, and at barked commands some sections began to separate themselves out from the main column. Men in grey cloaks or black touched with white from the elements deployed in fluid skirmish formations, meant to cover the most ground as possible while being able to quickly contract into a lethal gunline.

As the men fanned out into the fields, some horsemen came riding in from the direction of the gunfire. I was close enough to hear the exchange of words, a concession to my position outside of the military, and what I heard caused me to nod again. A strong force of rebels, perhaps a thousand strong, had taken advantage of the snowstorm to sortie against one of the local garrisons at a village called Grasano, only a kilometer distant. The outriders had come upon their force on the move and caused grave casualties (or so the outriders though), but such a mass of men was difficult to dissuade with a mere handful of riders.

More commands. Away from the solid firmness of the highway the Great Company turned, deploying steadily from a column into a ranked battle formation. Up a small hill I trotted, the black figures of the guardsmen about me, and as we crested the rise I saw them.

They were almost invisible in the driving snow, at this distance. Not discernible as individual men and women, the rebels, but a mass of serried forms blended together into one smudge of black and brown near a small village where fires burnt brightly. A brisk staccato of gunpowder weapons rasped out as I looked down on the tableau, and light wisps of smoke from guncotton mixed with the falling snow where cavalrymen harassed the force and tried to keep them away from the village.

It looked grim right then; such numbers were hard for any force to turn, even with modern weapons, and those numbers were obviously angry. Probably drunk or simple outraged, riled up by some demagogue's words into action against those who they had formerly called neighbors and friends. Civil conflict was an ugly thing, an ugly thing that the Brightlord Dawn had placed within the reaches of my empire, my Imperium. I would that it were not so, but here it could scarce be avoided.

Behind me pieces boomed, and I pulled lightly at the destrier's reigns, urging him higher on the hillock for a better view. Obviously the intelligence of these rebels was faulty, or more likely, nonexistent. Their advance on the village halted almost instantly as mortars began bursting in their midst, a beautiful but macabre display of violent will. Bodies rose and fell in the distance, more smudges against the gray-white canvas, and then ranks of marching soldiers came into view, deploying with a will against the uprising- this part of it, at any rate. Swiftly whatever will the mob possessed broke, and they began fleeing into the distance, back the way I presumed they had come.

That was well, and I almost willed them to run faster. Men who fled today had little stomach in their heart for anything other than petty violence, and were fathers who resented the way things were, but would go home to their families. They might be bold when liquored up and attacking a foe they didn't believe could fight back, but they would stay in their houses if a host thousands strong tramped along the streets.

There were others, of course. A hundred, maybe, who stayed together as a solid mass, and turned towards the encroaching Great Company. They were either the drunkest or the bravest of the rebels, and they died drunk and brave. In the distance the tinny commands came to my ears almost at the same time as the retort of the rifles, sounds of the doom of the foolish rebels carried on the stiff winter storm breezes. As the mortars continued falling they broke up the mass of the rebels, a fearful but necessary slaughter against men who would have happily torn Imperial soldiers limb from limb if they were the ones with the whip hand.

Fire warmed my face, the hot blood of an engagement and victory, a counterpoint to the sickness I carefully held down in my heart and the cold that my cloak turned away. It was a cold day, a cold day replete with fire.
TG if you have questions about RP. If I don't know the answer, I know someone who does.

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Ralnis
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25473
Founded: Aug 06, 2012
Father Knows Best State

Postby Ralnis » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:16 pm

Chapter 5, part 1: Dogs from the Woodworks,
Brittany, France, the Imperium,
April, 86AG/2915 BC/BCE


As the longship docked itself on the harbor of Brest and saw the tension in the air. Olaf gave his own warning to the thieves who were covering themselves about not being killed by Imperials. Bob just reminded him that he has been able to sneak into the city and told him to go hunt down Foxbeard's smuggling ships while they go do this. As Olaf believed that he rather be doing something better like using his skills for something better other than helping a doomed rebellion.

As the longship set sailed, the crew had started to move into the crowds and make their way into finding a line to the Rebellion as they've heard of the encroaching Great Company. Bob and crew started to look into the various underworld connections and found a person that's been looking for bodies to fight. Bob told a messenger that Gaslight wishes to meet with one of the representatives. It was something that he knew would work as the rebels would need stealth professionals as the rebels are doomed from the start and many would give resources and connections to Bob.

The messenger sent Bob a message for the alter ego to meet them outside the city. Gaslight and his crew made their way to the rebels. The rebel representative had has own warriors that didn't have much in the way of modern weapons but those taken by raids on local flag companies. Bob and the crew kept their weapons hidden and eyes trained. The training and experience of the crew matched the rebels and representative but most of the rebellion were farmers and raiders that can be easily broken.

Bob had to tell the rebels of his exploits, mostly with the help of his gang to pull off the heists that he did. The representative was impressed with the work of the crew and made note that they were looking for help. This was good for Bob and his crew but the rebels were looking for someone more than a spy, but an assassin and a commando. Even though Bob has killed before and was surprisingly good at stealth, he still had reservations about killing but knew that it was a necessary to live as what he was.

The representative did make notice that they had a lack of quality against the tide of Imperials. That said, the representative decided to give the crew a test that could help the local rebels. The rebels wanted to try and get the local town of Loren la Oreom. The town itself had rebel sentiment but the local garrison is strong enough and they didn't know the exact strength of the forces.

The job was to find out the intelligence and a bonus if they can sabotage them by some means. Bob went on the idea that subterfuge was officially off the table because their weren't superhumans and action heroes. Yet one thing that he can do is give in-depth intelligence and understand the town and the defenses more than trying to burn down things or kidnap a leader if their just a garrison. Bob took the job and got to work to prepare for the plan.

Bob and his crew managed to sew out the padding from after their fight with Eagershield. It was worth more to try and put leather around them to keep things aerodynamic and able to sneak better. The leather was painted navy blue and it was in the form of bracers, greaves, and upper pieces that can protect vital organs.

Bob noted that this is equally dangerous as they are sneaking into a warzone, garrisons would be looking for any rebels in the area. The crew didn't mind as they've came a long way and these jobs will only help them further into their goal for a better life.

The town in the French interior was something that he didn't expect to be easy, but going up against the military was something more than he could bargain for. The garrisons in the interior had disciplined patrols, tight formations, and watches that made sneaking that much more dangerous. The crew had to split up around the city as being together would get them spotted. They needed to scout the area and try to find the headquarters to get the information.

While the crew had been able to be get into cities that were under the guard of Lawkeepers and normal police, but some had been captured as the soldiers sounded off the common shouts about scouts. The guards were alarmed and Bob had to get to his crew. Bittertooth was mad that Katherine had been captured but Caundil had managed to get on the rooftops but he was going to be spotted by the soldiers soon in his current position.

Bob and Bittertooth managed to get to him but the soldiers came as bolts and arrows flew in the position. Bittertooth got hit in the shoulder by a bolt but the Sami archer manage to fire off his own arrows at the approaching soldiers as the arrows pierced the chainmail but they had to get Katherine. The rooftops had became more of a wild goose chase as they had to escape the soldiers.

In the shadows hiding, Atoli had started to hear the commotion and the soldiers who were dragging her sister to the headquarters. She wanted to do something but Bob had told her that a "good thief strikes when the time is right". She started to panic and run to get the other crew but she saw that they had their own problems as soldiers were following the blood trail marked by the former bandit.

On the other side, Bob had took out the bolt from his arm and bandaged it with some of the costume. It helped for a bit but the blood trail had the sound of approaching doom on their tail. They had to get into a building if they had any chance to escape. Their movements were slowed, but they already knew they've been spotted. They snuck inside a house that was abandoned recently as they probably moved away from the combat.

All the furniture was still there and some of the clothes that allowed Bob to try and disguised themselves if they have to but he didn't think of it much. As the soldiers passed he heard footsteps on the roof and looked outside to see Atoli on it. She climbed into the window and hugged him for what its worth.

" Katherine got captured when we were intercepted by a patrol. She pushed me into some crates before she got taken."

Bob sighed," I fucked up, I knew that this was our most difficult job but I knew that we weren't cut out for this but..."

" Shut up with that wining." Bittertooth said in some pain," you fucked up, you've overestimated your skills and the skills of others. It happens to master swords, hardened bandits, and you. Now, what we need to is try to figure out a way out of this mess and see if we can get the job done."

Bob started to sit down and think for a second. He knew that the town was of normal size for Imperials and some of the people are rebels or at least have sentiment. However without the knowledge than their wasn't anything to go on. He then lifts his head up and said,

" It's the Lawkeeper Job all over again, but we have to release the prisoners to cover our escape when we steal the information and get Katherine."

Caundil lift his head up," the Lawkeeper Job?"

" Bittertooth and Ulaluk busted my sister out of prison in a town north of Karlburg. It's what started this from gang you can say." Atoli chimed in.

Caundil crossed his arms," how does this job go?"

Bob recounted the tale of Lawkeeper Job but gave how this job would be them running in somewhat blindly but they had to do It before the sun was up. The rest understood the plan but Atoli worried about Bittertooth's injury but the bandit shrugged and proclaimed it didn't hurt much. The Mastermind just gave a sigh as they left.

They were more careful this time around as they started to scale up the headquarters with Bob's grabbling hook but when they reached the top window, they noticed that this wasn't the prison, but the captain's room. When they entered it, the room looked very modest for someone in his position. He naturally wasn't there as the garrison had been alarmed and captured one of them.

Searching the room, Bob found the papers needed for the rebels to get an edge over the Imperials. The papers consist on messages between the other towns in the interior, rebels that had been imprisoned, and that the Hegemon was leading the Seventh Great Company to put the rebels down.

The last part was something that he interested in. He had heard of the Hegemon known as Viktor and the other Immortal that was known as a Deceiver. While it the Great Company was slowly moving, it did give some form of timeframe that could mean that Bob and his crew would need to work against before the rebels were blown up by canons and professional soldiers. He grabbed the messages and try to make their way down to the prison.

Patrols inside were alive and somewhat lively which made things difficult. Bob had to get ready his stiletto in case the crew were caught. Luckily or blessed that they managed to evade the inside patrols but the prison was well guarded, the sounds of interrogation could be heard through a steel door in a quartered off area of the prison.

The prison bars were lightly guarded and something that the four thieves could handle. Two guards were guarding the door and were rushed by the thieves. A clash of steel came but the regulars were outmatching bob and Bittertooth. Atoli picked the lock of the cells while Caundil went against the regulars and started to turn the tide in numbers. Atoli claimed to the prisoners that they were with the rebels and needed some help getting their friend out in exchange for causing some revenge.

The prisoners joined the side of the thieves and reinforced them. Bob had to get out as he was getting injured and Bittertooth was barely able to hold back his opponent by strength alone. The prisoners were a breath of fresh air, coming at them like a small, vengeful force. They manage to overpower the two guards and force their way inside the interrogation chambers.

The thieves and the newly freed prisoners ensured chaos among the captain and soldiers. Bob and the others jumped on the captain, killing him but not without suffering their own bruises by picking a fight with the Imperials. In the ensuring chaos, bodies of both Imperial and rebel were dead but they won with some bruises but the rebels wanted more carnage and started to set the headquarters alight.

It was something Bob didn't expect to happen but the thieves looted the few weapons in the armory and got the friend out as the building was starting to be engulfed in flames. The thieves got out as the townspeople saw rebels and soldiers fighting each other. The townspeople were frightened and was a good distraction to get out of sight.

The crew had to slow down and rest as their wounds were weighing down on them. Bob and Bittertooth sustained the most wounds with sword cuts from all over the body with Bob having some close to the neck and were starting to show signs of healing. Bittertooth had chuckled under the pain as he remembered that Bob was supernaturally resilient but still was a human.

It took a few days to reach the rebel representative and report in. While he expected something more from professional stealth specialists, they had did damage, killed a captain, and get the information. Yet Bob said next time to give them some more time to actually get the fill of the area but the rebel said that they didn't needed to go immediately and they should be blessed on both sides that they managed to get their info and do as much damage as they did.

Once the crew was bandaged up and the rebel commander heard of their success to some degree and wanted to meet them.

Loren la Oreom

Bob and his crew were in costume as the representative escorted them to one of the local rebel commander. He looked like he was disciplined than most and had a sense of leadership that made his portion of the semi-organized mess that was the native rebels. The commander was pleased of the work for the thieves and brings some hope that a free Brittany is possible against the Imperial forces. He was happy to say that the other rebel leaders would be very interested in hiring the crew for more help against the flag companies and garrisons that would pose a problem for them.

Bob said that it would work as long as the money and he makes friends then he can work but if he says that he can't do it anymore than he can't do it. The commander understood the idea as he said that it was still a good thing that the spirits had introduced a helping hand in a stealthy trickster.

The very day, the town was taken by the rebels and they looted and defaced the churches of the Imperials in an act of defiance. Bob didn't like the looting and pillaging but he's seen it too much that he can't unsee it. All he cared was to get the rehabilitated bandit while making sure he's crew has some work to keep the supplies flowing.

Back in the village, Bob was trying to sleep through the pain but he couldn't. He knew he messed up too much back there and it weighed on his mind, he knew that the rebels would expect them to do the same tasks like they did. However relying on gadgets and costumes wouldn't work all the time. He needed to go deep infiltration, bribe people, and get messages to the rebels in the interior for goods and resources.

He also needed to understand the interior and the towns of France if he would have any chance to succeed. Even though he was skilled, he was playing with the big dogs and his training only handled against criminals and the police. He just needed to do what he can to get the target and get out.
Last edited by Ralnis on Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Yatzatz
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Ex-Nation

Postby Yatzatz » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:06 am

I woke up the next morning with a slight headache. We had celebrated late into the night. The new nation of Yapan had inaugurated its birth with a lot of food, drink, song, dance, and noise. And noise. And also noise. Did I mention noise?
It had been very loud.
I sat up slowly. It hurt a bit, but that dissipated. I got up, and walked out.
Voni was waiting for me.
"You do know how to start a party," he said. "Not so much how to stop one, though."
"How long have you been waiting there for?"
"About an hour."
"And what was it you wanted to discuss?"
"The next step. Come, let's walk." We started walking through the town. "Now that we've officially joined a side, how do we proceed?"
"Firstly, we still don't conduct large campaigns. We continue with raiding, just not on Politburo installations. Secondly, begin proselytizing. Start training men in converting people to serve Mat. Once this war is over, the Politburo will be weak. Many will not trust it, and it will be torn by internal strife. If we can gather enough men, we could rebel."
Voni nodded. "Both good ideas. I'll find some people to start training. How may should train for proselytizing?"
"A hundred and fifty men."
"Alright. I will do that now."
I smiled. "I know you will, my good friend."
Hi!
Yatzatz is a tropical North Pacific nation. RP population is about 25 million.
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Leikmis
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Ex-Nation

Postby Leikmis » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:50 pm

No reason to get excited
The thief, he kindly spoke
There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we've been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now
The hour is getting late

Atoyac River, Mexico

June

Atoyac Village


The men stood at the back of the house facing back from the tall clay forge that had been used to make the first several batches of iron, which were mostly test ones to figure out how different amounts of iron and charcoal had impacted quality of iron. From these tests her learned how different types of iron and charcoal, such as powered and solid form,s affected quality of iron as well as what role slag had. Through this, over the three weeks during his free time and many cooks and rehashes in the original forge, he had discovered that crushed iron ore and semi-solid charcoal worked best in the forge. The crushed iron heated far easier than chunks of it, like how crushed crackers will turn soggy and wet faster than a whole cracker in soup. He had also discovered that it wasn’t great for iron or his time to make layers of iron ore and charcoal, firstly because it was far harder to make good layers with crushed charcoal and iron, and secondly because he found that since the iron did not actually melt into a very liquidy form throughout his tests, that the iron at the top of the forge would not become malleable because the charcoal several layers up would not catch fire like the ones at the bottom.

Inside his hut sat several designs for changes to the original forge, mostly in order to solve the problem of slag build up. Slag in the original furnace would build up within the charcoal and the iron, forming large disgusting chunks of carbon and other material in and around it. This also, partially unknown to Zachaios, increased the carbon content within the iron past usable amounts, making it crumblier. Despite the shoddy hammer that he had created to show the chieftain, his stories of great buildings made of the stuff that touched the sky and the support of Masawa made some, such as the men who had come, interested in the iron. Masawa had also promised to give them an extra amount of crop product in payment if they worked with Zachaios instead of himself.

Zachaios told the men to follow him exactly. He would explain each step of making the forge but after the fire had started the forge became a ticking clock that needed to be kept, and any mistakes, at least mistakes according to his designs, could not be changed well after that. Masawa sat by the side with a clay tablet, ready to make drawings of the process.

Zachaios brought three designs of forge to them, and gave one to each. Each was a design that would supposedly improve on the slag problem of his own forge. The first one was just a shorter forge with a pit in the bottom to put charcoal, with Iron going on top of that. The second was similar, but the charcoal pit was angled so that slag would slide into a hole in the side and then into a pit dug outside of said forge. The third one was similar to the other two, but worked on the basis that since Iron was denser than slag it would sink to the bottom, with the slag making its way to the top. This slag would then be tapped via a closed up hole part way through. The men are told that these are three different types of forge to purify the iron rock. Two men were to make the second design, one the third, and one the first. Zachaios himself would help to make each.

He instructed them to build hollow towers of thick clay walls, maybe up to their waists, empty at the top and with between one to two holes near the base of the forge. If two holes were added they were to be at right angles to each other because the iron seems to build up near them and he only wanted one pile of iron instead of two. He instructed all of the men to build a pit in the middle of their forge, all the way out to the walls of the thing, and then to filled it charcoal powder that they were to make themselves out of the provided charcoal, explained to be ‘burned wood, smothered so that no smoke can escape the fire,’ which was a decently accurate description of how charcoal is made.

The man making the first forge was told to simply fill his forge with crushed iron ore, and then to wait for further instruction.

The men making the second type of forge were told to do the same as the first man, but to make two holes at right angles in the clay of their forge, angled downwards into the fire and near the base of the forge. They were then instructed on how to make a sort of pump using pots and leathered skins based on the premise that when you pulled up on the “bag,” air would be sucked in due to the increase in space. They were then instructed to connect these pumps to the holes using clay tubes. They were then told to wait for further instruction, and to watch how the third forge was made as the man making the first forge was asked to wait and watch them make theirs.

The man making the third type of forge was asked to do the same as the first man, but to place only one hole for a pump and to place a smaller, closed off hole on the opposite side.

When each type of forge had been constructed they were told to make some fire out of dry grass and sticks, as they normally would when making a campfire. They then lit their forges. The men using pumps were instructed to pump together, both releasing and filling the pumps at the same time.

A few hours later, when the forges were done cooking and all the charcoal had been spent, the men looked into their forges from the top. The first forge had produced a very small amount of iron, and it was concentrated near the edge of the forge. It required scraping with a stick to get the iron off the walls and into a bowl.

The second type of forges produced large blots of iron centered near the two pump holes, with most slag running off into the slag hole at an angle.

The third worked similarly to the second, but more slag seemed to build up in the iron blot, and only some could be take out via the hole.

The men were noticeably angered that not all of the iron came out correctly. Down low Zachaios knew that this was really just to test out his forge designs while also teaching the villagers, so he made up the lie that it was to show that small changes in the forge can greatly harm or greatly improve iron quality and production, and that Smiths should be trying to improve their iron at all costs. Zachaios then said that the second type of forge was the best available to the villagers for making iron.

After the men and the forges cooled down to a suitable level, the group began to take out the iron blots from the forges. The blots were then brought to a coal fire and pumped with the pumps used on the forge to heat it up to ‘very high’ temperatures. Two men would pump air into the fire while two others would heat and shape the iron blot using rocks and stone tooling.

Over the next few days they produced two hammer heads, a basic shovel head, and several dozen arrowheads from the iron, with some left over to spare.

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G-Tech Corporation
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Democratic Socialists

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:54 pm

Part 17, Chapter 5: A Pyre of Rebellion


April 29th, 86 AG

I pulled the binoculars away from my eyes, rubbing wearily at the half-circles that had laid siege to my face for a week and more in barely conscious irritation. My mind turned and I pursed my lips in concentration, my thin mustache grating against my thoughts even as beside me Flavian lowered his own piece and hmmed contemplatively.

“I’m loathe to deploy against a fortified town, but the rebels are certainly here in force. And the scouts do report very few civilians remaining.”

Flavian nodded.

“A good field trial, and a good way to dislodge the Marinans. Jethro estimates two thousands in Loren la Oreum, the lion’s share of the rebel force. A brigand tried to lead some whoresons out south toward Havle, but the Fifth drove them back inside the walls with heavy casualties.”

Such bloodless language. I had watched the skirmishing as the Great Company set up to besiege the settlement, and the line of bodies slowly being covered by the snow that littered the trail back from where the outriders had hit the fleeing rebels was all too visceral. But I did not begrudge the Lord-Commander his euphemisms; they made the task of command simpler, to dehumanize the enemy. And they were the enemy, a grim fact I had hoped not to confront here in France. But the rumors were all too graphic, and the men we had inside the few towns the revolutionaries had taken all too accurate in their reports.

Pillaging, rape, looting, arson. Murder, wanton orgies of violence against those who wore the wrong cut of clothes, or had too much Imperial silver in their purses. Christians left to dangle on upside-down crosses at prominent street corners, entire villages that wouldn’t join the uprising reduce to ash by vengeful mob-armies. It was, in many ways, understandably wretched. Whatever firebrand or demagogues led this reactionary force, they comprehended that such behavior bound the other rebels all the more tightly to the cause; there was no washing out, no sneaking away, no hope for parley for those who had committed such deeds. They knew now that the executioner’s blade was the only comfort they would be afforded in this life unless their rebellion succeeded, and so they would fight desperately and all the more wickedly to prevail.

But wickedness did not profit man. The serried groups of Brittany might think themselves hardened, inured against the lash and the coercion of force, having retained their spirit despite the actions of Brightlord Dawn when he first forged them into a kingdom. They did not know the force of will against which they had set themselves though, not truly. It was my will which had turned the people of Germany and Czechia from tribesmen to masters of the world, certainly. The will of my sons and daughters, my generals and captains, which had carried the Great Anchor to the shores of Asia, Africa, and America. But moreover it was the will of the Almighty that had returned me to this time with a purpose, a purpose which had set me upon the course I now trod.

And His will cannot be denied, no matter how men may rail against it or set their faces against His designs.

I twitched the reigns of my destrier, and waved a hand toward where the covered batteries had been assembled.

“You have my blessing, Lord-Commander. Make an end of this disorder that stains France with blood.”

Flavian’s face was impassive as he raised a hand, signaling to the engineers to begin the bombardment, but I saw in his eyes both a dread and a glee that much matched my own. There were innocents within the town of Loren, without a doubt. They would perish, inexorably, in the maelstrom to come. Men and women who wished nothing other than peace, whose lives had been weighed in the accounting against the lives that would be spent crushing these rebels conventionally and found wanting. As the first thuds of the cannonade spoke I bowed my head, lifting them up to the Lord in prayer, seeking salvation where Earthly wisdom dictated there would be none.

Most of the rounds from the heavy mortars and long-guns fell wide, long, short. The wind of the wintry weather that clung to the plains of Brittany effected even heavy iron shot and steel shells, and despite our best efforts, the guns themselves simply weren’t built to tolerances that a modern engineer would find acceptable. But they did the job nonetheless; though some did nothing more than spray snow and ice about as they landed outside the thick wooden palisade that was Loren au Oreum’s protection from attackers, others fell within the confines of the town, to deadly effect. They were new models, largely experimental, straight from the Imperial Academy. Contact explosives and bursting shells, weapons fused to be fired with precise weights of propellant and so detonate just slightly above the heads of an enemy host in a wave of razor-sharp shrapnel that could turn even armored warriors into so much butcher’s meat. Others in the volley carried canister shot meant to initiate very similarly, during the downward arc of the shells, shotgun blasts of malicious intent which would wipe away entire swathes of the rebel army even as they stood in the streets and byways of the city so recently overrun.

Most dangerous of all though, it soon became apparent, were the incendiaries. Swiftly as I watched, my binoculars raised to my eyes again, lurid red and orange flames began rising into the sky within the confines of the town. Men ran here and there like ants whose hill had been kicked; they likely knew our attack was coming, but these hill-brigands could scarce have expected the severity of the bombardment and unanswerable nature of the assault they now found themselves under. Soldiers or warriors rushed up to the walls as I watched, doubtless eager to make the Imperium pay through the nose to slay them, only to discover no approaching siege equipment, no formations on the march, only a steady rain of death that left their comrades sprawling sightless and the snow red with gore.

It was a truly modern way of doing battle, I reflected. Substitute manufacturing for martial prowess, spend lead instead of lives. That was the crux of victory in warfare now, an axiom I had introduced to this world, and the Imperium was a machine I had forged that was all too good at running that calculus. The loaders worked in synchrony to continue serving the pieces, and before long it was obvious to both myself and the watching Great Company that the fires were spreading out of control with Loren, wooden buildings consumed by the inferno along with many desperate rebels.

It was plain to see where their leader lost command of his men. About three o’clock in the afternoon, local time, only two hours and a bit after the bombardment had begun. The gates began to open, one at a time, and bands of warriors poured out of them without any particular direction or sense of organization. Some were doubtless fleeing the burning city; others, seeking refuge from the rain of death which had scythed down comrade and friend alike. Others, clearly set on death and glory, lines marching at double time towards the waiting guns of the Fourth, battle cries howled from hundreds of lips.

Most didn’t even make it anywhere near the ridge line where the warriors in gray and black waited. Rangefinders adjusted the lengths on the artillery pieces, the king of the battlefield working a fearsome slaughter on those men who had left the cover of Loren and traded intervening walls for the open field where cold earth offered no protection against shrapnel and the cannonballs and other shot from older guns which raked their ranks. It was Grasano again, broken bodies littering the farms and fens in their hundreds before even the lines of bowmen and rifles broke the spirits of those few who had endured the bombardment and sent them scrambling back towards the burning city.

But there would be no refugee. As the lines of men fleeing the city became a tide, Flavian returned to my side, eyes questioning.

“The commanders of horse report full readiness to engage, Hegemon. Their orders.”

I looked out over the burning city, consumed by fire, a testament to the futility of opposing the Imperial Will.

“No quarter, Lord-Commander. If they leave the city, they die. If the stay, they burn. The bodies of the slain, throw them back into the inferno. A cleansing fire rises today in Brittany.”

Harsh. But the ancient world had little room for men of pity and charity. These rebels had shown none to those innocents they had taken unaware, and they deserved no less than to be repaid in their own coin.
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G-Tech Corporation
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Democratic Socialists

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:01 pm

Battle of Tu Thancha
The Storm Breaks

The rumble of boots and shoes came from the darkness below the walls as men ran forward, captains bellowing them into action. In the half-light illuminated by the burning parapets men wearing slapdash armor and wielded the weapons of peasants were herded into the siege towers. Shot fell heavily about them, arrows and weapons trained on the few engines of war that could harm the high wooden walls, but even as some of the men taken from their homes and villages fell more crowded forward into the breach. Within minutes they were streaming across the narrow bridges of the siege tower, meat thrown into the fray by their commander to bolster the numbers of General An Hai's regulars attempting to seize the wall, seeking to do with bodies what had yet to be accomplished by skill.

Coincidentally, the commander of the warriors of Ego trying to hold Tu Thancha must have thought similarly- up the stairs from the interior of the city boiled men in good armor and weapons, some bearing heavy breastplates of iron and wielding their weapons with skill; with control of the walls threatened, the Skulk and the soldiers of Ego deployed in force, grim battle-hardened formations and warriors bearing strange devices pushing through the warring defenders to hurl their own wall of flesh and metal against the beleagured attackers of the force of Blue Lagoon, the defense willing to spend lives almost like water to prevent the besiegers gaining a foothold. In that desperate battle bodies fell like leaves from trees, the wooden logs making up the parapet slick and black with blood, men cast over the wall by the crush of combat to their screaming deaths below even as more rushed forward to take their places.

Below a formation of conscripts, the seemingly endless manpower of Turner, pushed forward where the fire from the defenders was light, moving in the few shadows afforded by the city's walls. On their backs they bore long canoe-like contraptions, shields against errant arrows and crossbow bolts which stuck firmly in the wood, and at the center of their numbers a battering ram was carried by many arms. A growling captain urged them forward at a double march before he fell, cut down by a heavy bolt of one the insidious Skulk repeating crossbows, but the ram reached the main gate nonetheless, and soon the timbers shook under the repeated impact of a forest giant against the entrance to the city, wielded eagerly by many hands.

Elsewhere before the walls the assault seemed to be slackening; not because Turner's forces were running out of men, at least not yet, but because in many places the conscripts, unstiffened by experienced units in their midst and unused to the atrocious casualties storming a defensive emplacement could wreak, had begun to waver and break. Men streamed back from the ladders at the base of the approaches to the city, leaving piles of their dead behind, their spirits unable to face what seemed to them certain death in the attack. Here and there more stalwart souls continued to climb, warring with the defenders upon reaching the apex of the citadel and gaining small footholds along the walls, but with some of the ladders now falling silent the pressure on the bowmen and warriors which held the wall slowly decreased.

Then a blast of fire rose up from a separate part of the walls of Tu Thancha. A noise as if of a thunderclap echoed over the din of battle and the wounded which filled the air, and on the south side of the city one of the small postern gates leaned inward drunkenly, reinforcing bars and sturdy wooden construction nearly sundered by a carefully placed detonation of a captured pile of Summersoul jars, the entire captured stockpile remaining aside from that which the catapults still flung into the city. It was not yet broken, but with a shout men boiled out of the nearby woods, some in pitch black, some bearing the clothes of farmers, and a primitive battering ram soon began clearing the debris of the gate with heavy stokes, breaking down the damaged gate so that swiftly a man might, if he was nimble, gain egress to the city. Here, where the defenders were not in earnest, only a few arrows dropped in the numbers of the attackers, and few of them fell.

Behind the walls of the city, nearly the entire population of Tu Thancha was now awake; those who were not awakened to join the fight were now busy fighting some blazes that had broken out from long shots of the Blue Lagoon artillery, the few incendiaries that had fallen within the walls threatening to create firestorms which the mainly wooden city was ill prepared to deal with. Bucket chains from wells and cisterns were formed here and there to combat the flames, but with the streets full of men running to the defense, and most commanders focused on the walls, the flames were ill-contained and began to spread here and there.

Ego: 13 Skulk and Knights, 160 Regulars, 920 Conscripts, 300 Garrison Troops
Turner: 180 Elites, 330 Regulars, 2240 Conscripts


Ego: 4 Skulk, 40 Regulars, 100 Conscripts
Turner: 3 Elites, 50 Regulars, 350 Conscripts
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Kelmet
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Kelmet » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:20 am

Image

-Banner of the Kingdom of Norsca


Mara, Imperial Capital
This is my thirteenth time in the imperial capital, so much has changed since I was baptized here a decade ago. My people had completed our great migration to the old British Isles, completely supplanting the demographics of much of great Britannia, Perhaps now they should be called the Norscan Isles. Yet that is a dream until the rest of the islands are brought to heel. Our capital New Valkenheim stands near our norther frontier with the Pictish tribes, their mountains making it very difficult to naturally expand in that direction.

To the south the remainder of the Brittonic Tribes violently resisted any further Norscan expansion, by far the biggest threat to the Nordscan people any attempt to consolidate the Isles under our rule stats with the submission of these people.

To the west lied the Island of Ireland, even writing the name down now brings back so many memories of my past life, a thing a never think about anymore outside of the subject of the emerald isle. For the better part of a year I had been exchanging corespondents with the High King of Ireland Fergus Cormac and his heir apparent daughter Andraste in pursuit of a marriage alliance. At first I looked only for Fergus's allegiance. Yet the more I learned about "Andra" as she apparently liked to be called, with her blood red hair and piercing green eyes and a personality that fits her being named after the cleric goddess of victory the more a came to see a women I could grow to love. The concept of finding some one to care about again wast frightening but exiting.

Back at court my "father" was growing increasingly old, a new wave of sickness and a lifetime of war injuries had taken its tole and it seems one day soon I would ascend to the throne I had forged many years ago. The Migration to the isles proved a boon for our governance as the centralization and planning of the colonial effort was easy to retain as the last ships arrived. The long term pay off of having cities, farmlands and industrial zones planned out in advance would be amazing, especially so when our domestic industry approached the technological level of the Imperium. Besides all the planning from the ground up Norscas pride was in her ships and ship yards. Our Viking traditions rooted a strong marine forces and navy that was the scourge of pirates in Europe's seas and oceans, and every year the Royal navy grew stronger our newest models fast approaching what the imperium had to offer a mere half decade ago while our merchant marine brought Norscan commerce to three continents.


But the linchpin of all my plans rested on how well this new emperor took to his northern neighbors.

Closing my journal and placing it back into my pack I straightened up my uniform and set off to the throne room nodding to the familiar nobles and other aristocrats along the way.

Entering with the proper decorum, "Emperor Alexander, it is an honor"
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Holy Tedalonia
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Moralistic Democracy

Chapter 7: Choices

Postby Holy Tedalonia » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:34 pm

Edward "Ted" Tomlinson, Eir Tribe, April 26th 86 AG
A village burnt to the ground. As Ted shedded tears for his fallen brethren the Imperium men chain him like a dog. Brought before the Emperor for all to see, and cursed to execution for his abilities. They condemn him to execution to join his fallen brethren. They brought him to the executioner, who carried a massive axe to cleave heads. One Imperium man kicks him to force Ted to kneel. The Executioner raises his axe, and makes a mighty swing

Ted shaked suddenly as he woke up. The nightmare had startled the ever youthful boy. He thought to himself, As far as I am from the Imperium, I still fear their punishments? I must be losing it. It was rare for Ted to get a nightmare, but they do happen every now and then. He looked out the window only to see the night sky.

He spoke, "so it is still night..."

He sat in bed. Pondering what to do to save his tribe. He knew the Eir Tribe was a border tribe to the Norscans and they would no doubt expand north. If they went to war the tribe would be massacred. He grabbed a wood tablet from his self-made nightstand. It listed the tribes capabilities at combat and showed several predictions of opposing the Norscans. Even if I were to steal a blacksmith the chances of success for the tribes would be rare indeed, Ted thought. Ted's room was a mess. While giving up on ambitions he set himself up to do a difficult task of saving a tribal village from war. Wood tablets of war strategies, and historical "documents" were scattered across the room. With his carpentry skill he used it to write down and record stuff. A primitive tactic, but gets the job done.

It was his job as the advisor to the Chieftain Cynbil to advise him on preserving and protecting the people of the Eir Tribe. If they had been farther north than perhaps then they could rally the other tribes to fight, since their village would be at a safe distance from the frontlines. However these were borderlands, and while the scots may raid the Norscans from time to time it wouldn't lead to a Norscan army coming north due to dealing with their other wars, however as days pass and the Norscan power grows Ted presses himself under pressure to find a solution to save the village.

Another sleepless night studying a solution; another sleepless night filled with stress.
Name: Ted
Ideology: Capitalism
Political Compass: Social Libertarian for some reason
Race: Vampire
Political Side: Right
Favorite Senator: Ted Cruz (Ted's have to help out Ted's)
Status: Healthy and as strong as a starved ox
I M P E R I A LR E P U B L I C

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G-Tech Corporation
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Democratic Socialists

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:01 pm

The Battle of Tu Thancha
The Breach

Wielded by eager hands, the battering ram shuddered against the wrecked remnants of the postern gate, each stroke shattering more of the failing defense. From within the city yells and shouts of alarm could be heard, and the sound of marching feet; some arrows fell from on high, alongside stones, smiting down the massed elites and conscripts that prepared to rush into the city. But they were few, a desultory rain from the paltry dozen men that had been left on this section of the wall out of the bloodbath to the east. And now the defenders, taken by surprise, had a real danger to contend with.

The last pieces of the gate shattered, and through the gap leapt eager Elites, their black masks black on black against the night gloom. Some garrison soldiers, wearing the livery of the city, stood ready to oppose them- but the numbers that poured through the breach were far greater than those of the opposition, and though the defenders must assuredly be aware of the attack now, they were heavily engaged on the wall and any forces dispatched to the postern had yet to arrive. With gleaming blades and cruel thrusts the Elites sliced their way through the defenders, bodies dropping to the packed earth as the defenders sold their lives cheaply, and in a few moments those of the defenders who were not dead were fleeing- the valour of the men of Tu Thancha proven false as expected.

Boots slapped on the dirt within the walls, and down some of the streets from the east poured conscripts bearing the banner of Ego, led by a few officers. Their faces were stern, set with the courage of numbers, and the shining points of their spears were set for war. Urged on by their captains and lietenaunts the spear-wall crashed headlong into the ranks of the Elites and conscripts of the Blue Lagoon, still pouring in through the postern.. and a bloody engagement began. Behind the lines of the skirmish, though, some of Turner's men began lighting torches and tossing them onto the roofs of buildings, dry thatch and wood catching swiftly and beginning to burn merrily. The sky over the city, already lit with a dull glow from the fires raging in the east under the influence of the catapults, started to fill with the orange halo of an engulfing inferno, fires doused by the civilians and garrison near the main engagement now counteracted by more arsonists near the breach.

Back near the main gates, the battle on the walls began to turn; from the main camp of the rebels, the men of Blue Lagoon, came a serried mass of soldiers- men bearing the Black Mask, and conscripts in their marching companies. The reserves Turner had held back swarmed toward the siege towers, passing masses of their slain comrades with trepidation, warriors trying to harangue their fleeing brothers in arms back into the lines to little avail. At their forefront General Nijlon came, bearing gleaming iron armor and a heavy war axe that she held aloft to rally the farmers and artisans.

And then a bolt from a mounted heavy crossbow took her in the chest. A Skulk sniper smiled to himself, one of the few trained soldiers manning the walls of the defense having scored a valuable hit. Nijlon stumbled forward, one hand clawing at the wound where the two-foot long shaft had penetrated her heavy plate through sheer force, before pitching down and laying still. Some men ran forward to bear her away from the battlefield, but the rest of the conscripts moved forward more slowly, bow-fire inflicting fearsome casualties on the hundreds as they queued to mount the siege towers.

At the gate the ram hammered, bending iron fittings and cracking wooden planks buttressed against just such an assault. Down from the gatehouse projectiles fell, battering against the overturned canoes, but most were ineffective. Some projectiles though, fell from more cunning hands- and as they smote the canoes or the ground they shattered with an explosive energy, ceramic pots bearing the volatile Summersoul mixture scattering the incendiary fluid across the canoes and shards of pottery into the men bearing the ram. Warriors fell cursing from bits of fired clay that severed tendons and lacerated legs and torsoes, some maimed, others beating desperately at burning patches of pitch. As the bombardment continued some of the canoes started to burn through, and one of the bands of canoe-bearers fell, their numbers weakened too much to hold up the thick siege equipment. The pots now burst in their midst, causing fearsome casualties and slaying many, and the assault on the gate slackened as the numbers of the ram-bearers faltered and men began to think of retreat rather than attack.

But above, upon the walls of the eastern defense, all was not well. Most of the genuine warriors of Ego had been slain or injured, and against General Hai's regulars and the weight of numbers of the conscripts of Blue Lagoon all was not well. With men pulled from the wall to staunch the breach near the postern gate, the warriors of Turner began to make progress, quality counting even alongside numbers as they cut their way through passionate but lightly armed and poorly trained militiamen bearing farm implements and padded cloth jackets. Some began to break and despair, abandoning the walls and certain death for the safety of the few towers that stood held by the men of Ego. Catapults hammered against the walls, causing the wooden parapets to splinter in places, and the endless tide of conscripts from the east began to take the heights from the men of Ego.

Ego: 9 Skulk and Knights, 120 Regulars, 820 Conscripts, 300 Garrison Troops
Turner: 177 Elites, 280 Regulars, 1860 Conscripts


Ego: 3 Skulk, 50 Regulars, 150 Conscripts, 40 Garrison Troops
Turner: 30 Elites, 30 Regulars, 240 Conscripts





The Chamber of Crowns, The White Palace, Mara, The Imperium of Man
May 6th, 86 AG

As the great doors of the Chamber of Crowns were swung open by black-garbed Guardsmen, a crier lifted a heavy staff of iron and smote it against a flagstone of the court, a ringing sound that cut through the murmuring of the assembled courtiers like a knife. The sound echoed through the vast ceiling of the White Palace, chambered windows of intricately decorated stained glass windows letting in streaming spring light reverberating slightly at the sound. The crier, a man nearly seven feet tall and as broad as an ox, clearly chosen for his impressive stature, stood forward and spoke in a voice deep and commanding, not shouting, but the breath of his address enough so as to still nearly the whole room.

"His Majesty, Conner Monroe, Crown-Prince of the Kingdom of Norsca."

Ladies and gentlemen bowed here and there as the Norscan prince strode into the hall, his military uniform provoking some interested glances in the courtiers and military commanders assembled within the halls of the White Palace. Along the length of scarlet carpet and cloth-of-gold the Prince paced, before approaching the throne where Alexander sat, the chair of hewn iron his father's father's father had forged so that no man may ever sit comfortably upon it, inlaid with volcanic obsidian and precious ivory from distant Africa.

The Prince spoke, no bow offered, though foreign rulers were not expected to offer such.

"Emperor Alexander, it is an honor."

Upon his throne the young Emperor leaned forward, his hawklike demeanor reminiscent of his mother's fine German features, his dusty blonde hair speaking of his father's sire. In his pale green eyes, like unto sea-green more than emerald, interest sparked. It had been some years since the Norscans had sent a representative of such caliber south, though of course their ambassador was regularly seen here in court. It could hardly be otherwise- even savage chiefs from beyond Egypt and east of Mesopotamia sent men to pay court here in Mara.

"Crown-Prince Conner Monroe. We have looked forward to your visit for some time- our father spoke highly of your father, and now it is our turn to speak with a scion of the men of the North. We welcome you to our court, and the Imperium of Man."
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Kelmet
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Kelmet » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:12 am

The Chamber of Crowns, The White Palace, Mara, The Imperium of Man
May 6th, 86 AG

As the great doors of the Chamber of Crowns were swung open by black-garbed Guardsmen, a crier lifted a heavy staff of iron and smote it against a flagstone of the court, a ringing sound that cut through the murmuring of the assembled courtiers like a knife. The sound echoed through the vast ceiling of the White Palace, chambered windows of intricately decorated stained glass windows letting in streaming spring light reverberating slightly at the sound. The crier, a man nearly seven feet tall and as broad as an ox, clearly chosen for his impressive stature, stood forward and spoke in a voice deep and commanding, not shouting, but the breath of his address enough so as to still nearly the whole room.

"His Majesty, Conner Monroe, Crown-Prince of the Kingdom of Norsca."

Ladies and gentlemen bowed here and there as the Norscan prince strode into the hall, his military uniform provoking some interested glances in the courtiers and military commanders assembled within the halls of the White Palace. Along the length of scarlet carpet and cloth-of-gold the Prince paced, before approaching the throne where Alexander sat, the chair of hewn iron his father's father's father had forged so that no man may ever sit comfortably upon it, inlaid with volcanic obsidian and precious ivory from distant Africa.

The Prince spoke, no bow offered, though foreign rulers were not expected to offer such.

"Emperor Alexander, it is an honor."

Upon his throne the young Emperor leaned forward, his hawklike demeanor reminiscent of his mother's fine German features, his dusty blonde hair speaking of his father's sire. In his pale green eyes, like unto sea-green more than emerald, interest sparked. It had been some years since the Norscans had sent a representative of such caliber south, though of course their ambassador was regularly seen here in court. It could hardly be otherwise- even savage chiefs from beyond Egypt and east of Mesopotamia sent men to pay court here in Mara.

"Crown-Prince Conner Monroe. We have looked forward to your visit for some time- our father spoke highly of your father, and now it is our turn to speak with a scion of the men of the North. We welcome you to our court, and the Imperium of Man."

"Thank you for the warm welcome my lord always a pleasure to be here at your court."

After a short break of intermittent chattering in the court

"It will be my honor to finalize negotiations between our to nations an bring about our latest treaty, one that will surly be beneficial to both our peoples."
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G-Tech Corporation
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Founded: Feb 03, 2010
Democratic Socialists

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:14 pm

Part 18, Chapter 5: The Chaff and the Wind


May 18th, 86 AG

My boots crunched on the light layer of snow that blanketed the terrace of the Governor-General's garden, inlaid ceramic beneath the frozen crust of white showing up where my footwear brushed it aside. It was a touch too warm inside the mansion estate that Jorvik called his home, here near the center of Mannheim, at least for my tastes. Tanya was soaking up the heat like a cat with a sunbeam, happy to chat with the official's wife, Amelia, but I was too accustomed to the cold of the campaign season to want to sweat like a pig in the imported warmth of a well-insulated chalet. I flexed my hands as I paced on the portico, unconsciously performing the exercises a swordsman did to keep his wrists and fingers limber enough for the technical fencing necessary in combat, my eyes drinking in the vistas of Mannheim.

It was a young town, rough and tumble, but possessing the good bones customary of Imperial design. I knew little of its history save that it stood here, on the Sundal River, since before we had come out of the east with steel and roads to turn the French countryside from a place of forests and dells into the manicured farmland that it was today. A primitive village where the river could be forded, no doubt, now swollen into a burgeoning metropolis and the seat of rule for the whole Frens Governate. From the Hill of Rule, where the administrative buildings and complexes of the Administratum looked down upon the city, the many wooden roofs and stone walls of the city were a curious tableau, a scene of winter idyll complemented here and there by verdant blooms of a delayed spring which now touched the city.

Almost all of the snow had melted away now, and with it, I reflected, most of those rebels of the various ethnic groups that had thought to remain in the field will full Imperial military might deployed against them. Most of the ground, especially east and south, was firm and dry of the winter snowmelt of the last few storms. And firm ground on which to maneuver had made the possession of mounted companies felt acutely; there were few forces on this planet not immobile citadels that could stand up to a few hundred men on horse bearing repeaters and armor, and the rebels that had risen here in Brittany possessed none of such citadels. Like the snow before the spring sun and gentle rains of May that had at times touched the windows of my room here at Jorvik's home, the revolutionaries had dissipated into nothingness.

Well, not all of them. Nor was the work entirely finished. Behind me the sound of a door opening came low and with a slight creak, and I tensed for a moment in the parade stance of restful watchfulness I had fallen into. The footfalls of an approaching person, though, were as familiar as my own heartbeat, and I relaxed as willowy arms wrapped around me from the waist up to embrace my chest as cool lips planted a kiss on my neck.

"You do know Master Jorvik is back, husband, and waiting inside to appraise you about the continued pursuit of the brigands near Havre?"

I sighed, theatrically shivering, and replied in wry tones.

"The Governor-General is a good man, but I fear his wife has the totality of the whit of the couple. I may have an eternity to look over forms and reports and listen to logistical requests, but even an eternity is too short to waste on all of those details which Hans would expound to me most willingly."

Tanya laughed lightly, a tinkling of bells of amusement still tinged with love, though certainly I had made that joke to her before in our long years together. She was my grounding in these days, these ages of men, and spoke little that I did not need to hear. It was true, what I said, in part; one of the reasons back when I had been the first Emperor of Mankind I had chosen to abdicate in favor of my son for a host of reasons. Dynastic succession, the dangers of keeping a man in the wings waiting to rule for his entire life on the off chance I should perish, the desire to be unbound from the daily concerns of the throne. But more than anything, I wanted to see and do more than being shackled to rulership would allow.

And yet, my wife gently chided me, and as I turned around to gather her into my arms she quirked a scolding eyebrow even as I studiously ignored it and planted a decorous kiss on her left cheek, rosy from the chill of the outdoors. Yes, it was also true that I owed those men who I elevated to positions of power a weather ear. Hans Jorvik was as much my appointment as Vladimir's and had served the crown faithfully ever since Brittany was formally joined to the Imperium. His reports were long and oftentimes tedious, but in the minutae of his examination were frequently truths and insights which a man less attentive to the subtle currents of the world might miss. The young black-haired German was an administrator and leader of men with few parallels, provided he never had to give a speech, and I wished I had a dozen more like him most days- save those days when I had to interact with him personally.

Tanya laughed once more as I sighed again, an expression of martyrdom plastered across my visage, and turned to walk back inside the mansion.

It was much warmer indoors, warm enough that I immediately shed my greatcoat to a servant who stood all too ready just within the door. A nicety of command and privilege, using the services of others to save time and effort, but perhaps a sign of the softening of the men and women that led mankind which concerned me at times. Social inequality was a phenomenon I had despised in the past that I had come from, a scourge which the primitive peoples of this past had not worried themselves over before my coming. But power, privilege, and the necessary concentration of capital that had been ramifications of the changes I had perpetuated upon this vanished Earth... they had changed all that.

Don't get me wrong. There was hierarchy ere my meddling changed the course of history. After all, the family I had married into, that of my old friend Gaodon, had been wealthy tin merchants whose standard of living was far greater than that of the average Neolithic citizen. They had lived in a house of hewn wood, sealed against the chill of winter and the heat of summer, and never worried where their meals would come from. In contrast, famine had stalked the streets of Mara in the depths of that bleak winter; indeed, a man searching for food in the small settlement of Kniepper had been my introduction to the world beyond the village I had adopted as my new home.

But industry, artisanship, currency; they had accelerated the process which had come to define the world in latter years. Men with grew richer, and men without struggled to ascend the social ladder. It weighed on my mind at times, but more pressing matters than the nuances of civilization which were so esoteric and hard to control often captured my attention more thoroughly.

This I pondered for the briefest moment as the servant nodded in a deferential manner and disappeared into the confines of the Governor-Generals chalet with practiced ease. A voice came from within the house, high and musical, held back from a laugh.

"Viktor, will you close the door? We may have a fireplace now which runs on the miracles of science, but that doesn't mean you have to melt the snow on our deck with it."

I shut the door. It was a silly commonplace, worrying about heating the outside, but I betrayed that my mind wandered to Hans and Amelia. Not that he was probably already not aware of it; the men of the Rose Council joked at times that I spent so much time away from the White Palace because I sought to keep the courtiers from learning how many lengthy hours I passed pondering the courses of the world, and wished to avoid having sonnets and other fripperies dedicated to my contemplation.

A smile crested my face, my mind recalled to the present, and I carefully kicked off my heavy black boots on the mat before the entrance to the veranda, before passing deeper into the estate to the sitting room. It was a lushly appointed chamber, though tastefully decorated and spartan in its sensibilities; the Jorviks had but two couches within the entirety of the cavernous space, as soft as clouds, but uncluttered. Natural light streamed in through glass panes set in the ceiling, a new fashion of construction for homes only made possible by the declining price of lead-float glass here in the west of the Imperium. An innovation I approved of, really- you had to shutter windows through most of the winter to keep out the cold, but I had never been overly fond of the smoky lung-parching air which came from light provided by torches and candles.

I walked over to the small table at the center of the room, our hostess' eyes upon me, and took a small slice of honeyed bread to occupy my mouth so I would not have to speak overmuch. Merriment twinkled in the raven-haired woman's eyes as she exchanged a glance with my Tanya, merriment I affected not to notice as I sank into one of the chairs.

"You had better chew quickly" my wife said, mischief in her voice.

"Mmphf?"

"Jorvik has a guest in his study- Messir Ortho, from the Department of Migration."

That did, indeed, make me chew more quickly. The Department of Migration was the solution I had suggested to Alexander in my most recent missives back to the capitol. There were loyalists here, of course, of the many tribes that had risen in revolt. Perhaps only a fourth of the men and women of Brittany had taken up arms or materially supported the rebels. They would have to be punished. If they were trying to hold onto their culture so aggressively as to shed blood over it, that deathgrip would be rewarded with the blotting out of their way of life. It was a process the Imperium had employed many times. The most dangerous radicals would go to the block. Their sympathizers would have their assets seized by the crown, and then be packed up and shipped across the length and breadth of Europe, no family to the same village, to start lives anew. So sundered from their fellow men and conspirators, they would be unhappy, but they would live.

And in a few generations, they would speak the same languages as their neighbors, wear the same clothes, eat the same food, worship the same God. It was the axiom of mankind, to homogenize by exposure. Cultures only persisted if they were allowed to persist in one place, to maintain an identity against the corroding tides of conformity through proximity. That was precisely what the Department of Migration would end, given time. I swallowed my bite of bread, straightened by dress shirt, and padded my way on slipper-shoes over towards the office of the Governor-General. There was much work to do.
Last edited by G-Tech Corporation on Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Leikmis
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Founded: Oct 20, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Leikmis » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:53 pm

No shaft of light
Can breach it
No breath of air
Comes from it
Only an endless dark rises

Cotxen, Mesoamerica

July

Two weeks had passed since the creation of the first fully successful iron smeltery in the now named village of, Gotheni, a mix of the words for ‘Port’ and ‘People’ in the lingua franca of the local people. In those two weeks near a dozen more forges of the same design were built by Zach and those who accompanied him in creating the first originally, as well as several others who had become interested after being introduced to iron tooling created from the first forge. The tooling of this forge was of a far ‘higher’ quality than the original slag hammer Zachaios had created with his failed forges. This iron was similar to cast iron, still riddled with impurities due to at best hobbyist skill, but far better and far more usable than previous iterations. The idea that the material could be shaped faster than flint and stone, and that it lasted longer in contrast to the former materials, brought in several other tool makers who had before denied the call to work with Zach by Masawa due to the reality that the original forged iron was so low quality.
In these two weeks Zach had also gone to making plans regarding religion, part of a new list of ideas. Slowly he had been telling Masawa the stories of the bible in secret, no one would accept some stranger telling the heir to the chief, who is already seen as unstable and weird, that some random god rules everything. To level the risks of this ever being found out, instead of telling Masawa tales of pure christianity and judaism, he modifies them heavily to fit with the pantheon of the village and surrounding area. This new syncretic christianity has seven main figures; The God, ruler of everything and overseer of the Universe, and six other ‘angels’ representing one of the major angels found in normal christianity and judaism. Each one of these angels closely represents one of the six major gods of the native pantheon, down to the name, with names like “Archangel Michael” only being thrown around as ‘What they are called where I used to be.’ Because of this heavy modification, the tales, and the detailed explanation of the one god, is seen by an extension of already known religious knowledge, exemplifying the superstition that Zach is there for a reason.
Despite the want for more power in a society where he is downcast being fulfilled, Zach cannot help to feel bad for manipulating one of his only friends in this primitive world. Despite this guilt carried in his gut, Zach continues on with the stories, slowly indoctrinating Masawa into the new faith, making sure to not overstep his boundaries, and to do it slowly so that Masawa continually becomes more interested.
Zach is given the new name ‘Sacwa’an’ by Masawa, which means white in the name language, a day after his birthday near the end of June.

Cotxen (Atoyac Village)

A week or so after his birthday, in which his new name is his gift, Sacwa’an plans out an expedition along the main river that the village, known as Cotxen, is situated against. The River is known as the ‘Eau’ River to those that live along it, and in some locations measures nearly 300 meters across from side to side. The river is decently slow, but features many small rapids upstream, making navigation difficult but not impossible. The river acts as one of the main modes of transportation and small scale trade in the region, in which ‘craftsmen,’ who produce religious items, toys, ornaments, paintings, and other such objects sell their products alongside tool makers.
The expedition up the river is almost entirely a reason to get to the highlands near the mountains of the region, seen in the distance whenever someone were to look north-east over the many hills of Michoacan and Guerrero. Within the highlands and the base of the mountain, Sacwa’an hopes to find large surface deposits of Copper, Iron, and metals that would be far easier to melt into tools within his forge compared to iron, which only becomes soft and mushy. The expedition to the mountains is part of a larger plan to create a massive forge out of brick and clay, where large quantities of metal could be melted all at once, allowing cheap and fast large scale production of ingots to be made into tools.
Alongside Scawa’an are the original four men who accompanied him in making the dozen or so forges across the village. They are fully free to help due planting season having been over for a few weeks, and their new interest in smelting further brings them inwards. Four other men and two women join voluntarily.
In order to carry more amounts of ore, bought goods, and supplies, the ten people split themselves into six groups of two. The idea is that each group of two will dig out three dugout canoes from three logs, and that the two people will drag the third behind them with rope attached to the commanding two, covered up with leather incase of capsizing. This way, two people can be independent supply and harvest wise, and large amounts of material can be brought back to the village. This plan is thought up by Shanaran, the devout superstitious toolmaker of the original group of eight.
Construction of the dugout canoes take a bit more than four days, with the logs needed provided by the nearby forest, and tools to hollow out the logs provided by the toolmakers going along the trip. Construction by hand takes nearly the entire day to hollow out one canoe.
Unsure of how long the journey may be, a minimum amount of food is bought from the villagers to be brought onto the journey. Consisting of mostly cornmeal and quinoa flatbread, the food rations are thought to last maybe a week if the minimum is eaten. Water is provided by the river itself. Basic paddles from the canoes are fashioned from branches and cut logs.
The ten members of the expedition set sail into the Atoyac River from the village Cotxen near seven in the morning on a Saturday.

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