NATION

PASSWORD

[SC ONLY] Troubled Birth

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]

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Romae in perpetuum
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Founded: Mar 14, 2016
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Romae in perpetuum » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:23 am

I.R.S. Valentinian, Harrenite Blockade.

Praefectus Agrippa stared darkly out of the window. Barely hearing the reports of the Valentinian’s Trierarch.

“In conclusion sir, devastation was conclusive and casualties massive. From what we can tell the rebels were on the edge of capitulation, but…”

“The Myraxians.” Agrippa said, practically spitting the word out. “They should stay in their own part of the world…”

“Indeed sir.” The man replied, apprehensively. “Word of this has reached the capital. Needless to say, Prince Nero is not happy with Myraxian forces active in the region. He’s authorised the 2nd Cohort of the 12th Legion to join us, under your command sir.” Agrippa seemed unphased however.

“How are the ‘glorious premiers’ preparations going?” He asked, his tone unchanged.

“As well as can be expected sir. He’s started ranting and raving more than usual, we could take that either way to be honest…”

The Praefectus waved his hand dismissively. “It makes no difference. The confederacy will break or die. We win either way.”

“Speaking of death sir.” The Trierarch ventured. “Our analysts predict that the subversives will not accept your generous offer. The Myraxian meddling gave them hope ,maybe if we were to extend the deadline until after…

“The target.” Agrippa interjected sharply, prompting his compatriot so stiffen.

“Meisa. Sir. As far as intelligence can determine it’s a former capital city and the former seat of their monarchy, before it was overthrown by pirates.”

Agrippa scoffed. “We’re these people ever not pathetic? I want the attack to commence the moment the deadline expires. If we wait too long the Myraxians will have time to reach us.

“Any preferences sir?”

“Operation plan Zeta this time. After the past week standard ordinance will have less of a phycological effect than before. Make sure to broadcast the Asgar-Romae defence agreement on all channels before and during our attack. Myraxia can choose. Spite and a rock in the middle of nowhere or their precious ESZ.”




Exactly Two days after the Razing of Salome.

Bzzt.
Bzzt.

Across the Confederacy the alert could be felt. Terrified citizens checked their various devises, praying to whatever deity they believed in that it was something, anything else. No such luck. The dark red screen, the resplendent gold eagle, those four letters that had come to symbolise terror and death across the Port Cities.

The, now infamous, features of the Roman commander once again stared down at the Islanders. He glowered in silence for a few moments before simply saying.

“I gave you a choice, you chose poorly. I now offer you another.”



City of Meisa, Harren Island.

It was a near certainty that many, if not most, of the denizens of the rebel cities were now gawping at the sky; wondering if it was them who would be the latest to feel the wrath of the Romans. The people of Meisa did not have to wonder long.

The all too familiar roar of jet-engines sounded thought the city. Not the occasional drone that preceded raids or food but a cacophony the sheer volume of which forced people to cover their ears in pain. Soon they could be seen. What must have looked like thousands of planes flying high in neat formations. Heading straight for them.
The islanders ran for cover, desperate for anything or anything that might protect them and their loved ones. They must have known deep down that it was pointless, surely, they had all seen the ruins of Salome?

A synchronised set of explosions racked the city, with no area of the city spared, but this time there was something different. The explosions were almost…tame? The destruction minimal. A sense of relief rippled through the city. Maybe the Romans had been scared into submitting? Perhaps their bombs didn’t work? The odd few loyalists may have even thought that Balthazar had curtailed his new allies. Then they heard it, a slow but persistent hisss coming from the craters. Gas.

The unfortunates nearest to the craters succumbed first. Collapsing in a fit of coughs and pain as their very lungs began to dissolve. On seeing this the people fled, barricading themselves in their homes, desperately trying to seal their houses and rapping themselves in cloth.

All according to plan.

When the gas bombs finally stopped and the whole city was blanketed in their deadly fog. That’s when phase II began. More planes filled the skies dropping their payloads, which exploded in great waves of fire, spreading Napalm and other flammable substances across the city. Buildings collapsed as the explosions rained from above and the fire ate away at them from below. Whole streets burned in bright chemical flames. Infrastructure, industrial and retail districts, even schools. Nothing was safe from the force of the flames or the tenacity of the gas. The attacks continued well into the night; the city itself blazing like a second sun, acting as a guiding light for its defilers.

Agrippa had been true to his word. The citizens of Meisa had been given a new and terrible choice. Burn in their homes, or choke in their streets.
Last edited by Romae in perpetuum on Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.

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Harren Island
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Founded: Nov 02, 2018
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Harren Island » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:44 am

Harrenian Nature -

Theodore saw the deer drop to one knee, weakly strain to stay upright and then collapse to the ground, still. He was glad that it hadn’t taken long to die, he didn’t want any unnecessary or prolonged suffering. When he lowered the scope, he noticed that all the other deer hadn’t scattered as he’d expected.

They were staring at him and singing with a sharper, more discordant tune that caused a shiver to go down his spine and goose bumps to rise on his arms despite the warm weather. “What the fuck is this?”, he asked to no one in particular, his voice sounding weaker than he’d thought and entirely swallowed by the melody. These deer weren’t natural.

The tune rose to a crescendo. Theodore fell to his knees, rifle dropping to the ground next to him as he clutched his ears to try and crush out the noise. That made no difference at all. The all-consuming song resonated within his head and whilst he could feel himself screaming, he could only hear the cacophony in his head. Writhing among the dirt, leaves and detritus of the forest floor he tried to escape it. Begging for it to stop he felt his face scrape against the wood of a tree root and began banging his head against it, the tune quieted by the pain for those brief seconds.

Then the visions started coming and Theodore shuddered to a stop, on his back, staring up at the sky but not seeing it. In the intervening minutes, he experienced an entire life as one of the deer, the one he’d shot; he was born and grew up, loved and was loved, one with nature and at once both peaceful and striving to protect it from those who cared not. Then the fateful moment came, the thunderous report of a rifle and the pain in his chest and the sudden end of an entirely innocent life.

The song ended and Theodore came back to himself. Covered in dirt, leaves, a few insects and bloody from the injuries he’d caused to himself. He cried. Sorry for what he’d done. He kicked away the rifle and then crawled over to it, planning to end it all and pay for his mistake, pay for the crime he committed.

Image
Last edited by Harren Island on Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Friendly Island
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Posts: 21
Founded: Oct 10, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Friendly Island » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:04 pm

"Friend"


"Brother"


"Family"

Many voices speak as one through and to the man. The tones have a certain safe, reassuring quality - as if family or friends were speaking to him.

"You have done nothing wrong"

"You are forgiven."


"You are loved."


The fawns approach carefully, slowly, gently. Their movements are deliberate but delicate. The ground beneath their feet doesn't even make a sound as they pass over leave and branches. They stop very near, and put their small hands forward, in an inviting manner.

"Please, stay with us. We love you. You are loved. You are wanted. You are forgiven."
A friendly little nation in the Sovereign Charter
Tier 1, Level 8, Type 3.5, according to this index
Socialism · Ecology · Order



Friendly Island is a small jungle island nation, notable for its primeval nature and unconventional views. It appears all beings here share a bond which is facilitated by a massive fungal network.

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Iryllia
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Posts: 345
Founded: Mar 26, 2014
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Iryllia » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:13 pm

The Diplomat.

Things had moved very fast. She looked on as she waited, still in the dark and becoming increasingly concerned of her situation here. Kathrin was very glad her presence was a minor one, as everyone who seemed to be dog piling into this situation were state enemies. She'd heard rumours of Myraxian ships to the south, people who'd shoot her without question of diplomatic decorum. They were at war after all. The Romans and their barbarian entourages were busy doing... Whatever the hell it was. They'd enslave her probably. The thought of what those duties would entail made her shudder.

Asgarthians... Not sure actually, maybe lock her up or just ignore her hopefully. She had managed to squirrel away a couple bottles of the local vintage her captain had kept in the draw. A bribe maybe? The gobbo's were probably her best ticket out of here. Take the emergency fund and fuck off to start a new life in the Undercity. Not a bad idea certainly.

Just earlier she'd herd a couple of deck crew muttering about strangers from the north. Pale and gruesome. That's the Valari no doubt. Don't know, don't want to know. Probably similar to the Romans but colder. Perhaps she could catch the eye of a dashing Valari colonel with raven black hair and stiff leather boots... She shook her head. Getting off track. A knock on the bulkhead, a command issued with prompt intent. She nodded, gathering a file and picking up her briefcase. Time to see this oh great leader and bribe the shit out of him.

The door loomed, she tapped a foot absentmindedly. Going over the plan in her head one last time just as the bolts began to swing open. Be punctual, lay the points out first and try to keep the initiative. She undid the neck button of her uniform shirt. Gotta use everything you got. She stepped in, confronted by guards, agents, possibly other spies, ministers and of course: Balthazar.
"Your grace, Balthazar of the Harren Hegemony, rightful ruler of the Harren isles. The Iryllian government is prepared to offer you aid in your endeavour. To the tune of..." The briefcase connected with the table, clicked open revealing rows upon rows of bills. "Two hundred and twenty million Ruons. For your consideration of course."




The Smuggler.

Whelp. If things hadn't gone to shit before. They certainly had now. Like. Really gone to shit. Valentina had made a tidy profit off getting in a few choice food imports. A few tons or rice and grain, preservatives. Even a little meat. Her main buyer was dead down, buried in the rubble of an airstrike. She kept out of global politics in general, only getting the general news but damn these Romans really liked bombing civilians without precedent. Didn't they know how dangerous they were making her work? Inconsiderate bastards. Several of the cities had become down right warzones. What was left of her favourite cafe was just completely gone now. It very much seemed like the Confederacy was gasping it's dying breath. Gone. Kaput. She's dead Jim. Belly up.

Completely and utterly fucked.

Now was the time to leave, she pondered from beneath the rubble, a metaphor involving rats and ships that didn't float too good came to mind. Take her money and leave. How on earth was she expected to do that? No clue. Since there were like four different navies fucking around the waters here even her bravest contacts had told her to go do one. Refugee ships were being sunk, anything that flew reconsidered that terrible proposition long ago now.

The dead had stared her in the face, it took her back to places she'd long since buried. At least in Rygan everyone had been a soldier. Even if they hadn't wanted too they'd died fighting in some way. It wasn't the case here. Mothers, fathers. The old. People who'd just been going about whatever normal lives they had. Gone. Snuffed out in an instant. She'd been sitting on some rubble here for a few minutes. A girl, maybe no more than twelve stared glassy eyed up into nothing near by. She couldn't look, how could she answer that look. She didn't have a damn thing to do with it. Go haunt the pilot who dropped that bomb. She stood, picking an arbitrary direction to leave. Wiping away the tears welling in her eyes.

Time to leave.




The Spy.

The Spy had been busy. They'd presented a couple minor artefacts as payment to the Aurumite mercs. In the intervening days however, they'd been very busy. News from the ports was grim. Ashley didn't expect the central lands to be far behind them. So she'd been preparing. Backpack, check. Rope. Check. Whip? Check? (Why, they didn't know. Seemed necessary at the time.) Hat and duster for anonymity. Their Archaeology tools. Lights, a couple weeks worth of compressed and dried rations. Maps and water. Notepad. Their files. They'd made sure water reservoirs had been placed near the main points of all the dig sites. Including the deepest.

As everything went to shit above their head. Ashley was going to make sure the deepest treasures in these deep catacombs would be secured. Whatever they may be. Even now while the Heartlands were preparing for the end. The nondescript archaeologist slipped their way down into the darkest depths of the ancient vaults. The whip could be used as an emergency rope? I guess. It looked cool. That's what mattered here.
Feel free to ask me anything and everything
Notorious Procrastinator


Sovereign Charter
ALERT LEVEL: PROCRASTINATION

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Asgareth
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Posts: 264
Founded: Nov 27, 2015
Iron Fist Consumerists

Technically, we're the good guys

Postby Asgareth » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:37 am

Asgar House, Asgar, Asgareth
In Asgar House, the Imperiali had summoned Rufus T. Perkins and Yulta Ross to him. With the majority of the cabinet still out of the country, the Imperiali had had little choice but to invite others. Sat alongside, were General Edmund de’Lance and Denzyl Pera, the Minister for Asgarthian Development. They were in a video conference with Axic Ross and Yaznon Paltri.
“What about those rumours by the way? Is it true that Caesar has fallen pregnant again? With his son’s child?” Axic enquired, with a smirk.
“Confirmed. Due in four months. I’m sure we’ll send flowers nearer the time.” Denzyl responded
“Boy or girl?” Axic chuckled
“Yes.” The Imperiali smirked. “Something like that I expect.”

A puzzled look from the cabinet caused the Imperiali to elaborate
“Caesar’s family like to keep it in the family. Generations of inbreeding… that shit has to come home at some point. The bald fraud is going to create some kind of monster.” The Imperiali paused, before continuing. “But enough about the Romans. This city… Salome. Were we supplying there?”
“Nothing was deposited directly into the city.” Yaznon stated. “Our nearest drop off point was some 5½ miles north-east. Nevertheless, the islanders had probably already moved supplies south.”
“I assume this means they lost the days rations?” Rufus T. Perkins asked
“Almost certainly.” Axic finished.
“A fitting punishment for incompetence.” The Imperiali stated, with a swift smirk. "And what of the gassing of Meisa? What have the international community said?"
"Surprisingly little sir. The goblins continue to make noise, as too do the Valari. But they will not intervene. As for the islands, the port cities are in no position to talk."
"I assume that is because the Romans keep gassing them all?"

“Indeed sir.” Yaznon began. “But this latest attack, it has created further issues.”
“The Myraxians. I heard.” Rufus began.
“They’ve announced the island under their protection.” Axic finished.
“Did they indeed? Well, I believe the Romans, Valarisk, Skjoldurians and Goblins may have something to say about that. They should know better than to turn up late to a party.”
Perkins smirked. “So what’s our play?” Rufus continued, as he turned to the Imperiali.
The Imperiali studied the group for a moment, before he spoke with a smirk.
“Clearly the islanders are incapable of safeguarding our generous supplies. Now that the island is under so-called Myraxian protection, I will order for supplies to stop. Let the Myraxians supply their inhabitants.”
“You wish for Asgareth to leave the theatre?” Yaznon enquired
“Not at all. But the port cities are currently… unprotected. It is time for our troops to enter the fray.”
“An amphibious invasion is impossible at this time. Whilst the Romans, may… indeed, almost certainly would, allow our ships to pass unharmed, there is no guarantee Balthazar’s forces won’t be anywhere near. And even the Myraxians may turn on us.” General de’Lance stated, as he studied the Imperiali’s reaction.
“I’m not suggesting anything of the sort.”



As usual, the 19th Wing were flying their supplies to the port cities. As had always been agreed, they used the positions of the Roman fleet to provide a safe flight path. Unbeknownst to both the Romans and the Port Cities, however, the 16th Airborne Regiment were onboard these planes. Their task was a simple one: the extermination of the islanders. On board one of these planes, one could meet H-Squad, part of the 320th Company. And here, on the first seat to the right, we meet the hero of the war: Lieutenant Frakos.

“I met Bjorn once.” Lieutenant Frakos began, as he studied his squad. “He was a good man. I was most saddened to hear of his death. May whichever god the Skjoldurians are worshipping this week have mercy on his axe.”.
“He was a special one. Once tried to take me on at a drinking contest. He passed out after half a shandy, but at least he tried. Nearly nicked his axe afterwards as well!” Sergeant Ernic proudly proclaimed.
“So the Valarisk killed him? Damn. Rome must be shitting itself now that Valyrien and Myraxia have entered.” Trooper Yingo stated.
“Kinda makes you question why we’re switching sides, doesn’t it?” Trooper Lickin asked.
“Nah not really. This is our way of sticking two fingers up to the Myraxians without actually engaging in war.” Frakos replied. “Besides, we’re not so much switching sides as we are committing a genocide against a civilian population. Technically, we’re still the good guys.”

The squad chuckled, as the plane continued on its voyage. Below, the coast of the island came into view. The Bay of Airi made a rather scenic view, particularly as it had so far been largely untouched by the war. As the plane drew closer, the city of Elias came into focus. The city had become something of a refugee centre for the displaced citizens of the ports. This made it the perfect target for the paratroopers. Hundreds of civilians, almost defenceless. The islanders watched as the Asgarthian planes – still painted in their luminated orange paint – roared over. Naturally, this caused little cause for concern. The planes always flew over at 3pm, so as to drop more supplies. They also did not become terribly concerned when objects started to fall out of the planes. Perhaps they thought the Asgarthians had finally committed ground troops. Well, that assumption was almost correct.

The paratroopers deployed their parachutes; some 5000 white clothes filled the sky. Frakos was amongst the first out. An experienced jumper, he had little trouble on the way down. Upon landing, he tasked himself with reuniting H-Squad. Trooper Yingo had landed just a few feet away from him, and together they eventually reunited with Ernic, Lickin and several others.
Once reunited, the squad charged into the cities, along with countless others. There, the troops of the 16th Airborne Company opened fire upon the civilians. With the militia focussing more on the continued Roman airstrikes, and lack of food, little resistance was offered. The city swiftly became a bloodbath. Men, women and children were slaughtered wherever they were found. Nowhere was safe from the paratroopers; schools, hospitals and churches swiftly became favourite hunting grounds. That is not to say the paratroopers did not sustain losses. Of the 5000 paratroopers that had jumped, 4962 had made safe landing. Of these, only 37 had been killed in the fighting; 17 of which by friendly fire. Included in the list of the dead were Sergeant Ernic and Trooper Yingo. In the minds of the commanders, the day had gone well. Now, the troopers had fled into the hills, on the hunt for more refugees


At the same time that the 16th Airborne Regiment carried out their attacks, the 17th Wing began to carry out its own mission. The latest set of supplies had been dropped off one hour before by the 18th wing in the city of Ruri. In the time between, command had ordered the destruction of all supplies within the Bay of Airi. The Port Cities had centralised their supplies, with each city using the town hall as a distribution point. This made it rather easy for the Asgarthians to pinpoint just what they were bombing.

Above the skies of Ruri, the luminated Asgarthian planes came closer and closer. Some citizens were a little confused as to why more supplies were arriving so soon after the last set, but for most this was an occasion for celebration. Citizens lined the streets, as the planes came closer and closer to the town hall. Once above, however, the mood quickly changed. The cargo was swiftly dropped, and with it, the hall was alight. Flames raged, causing panic in the streets. The citizens of Ruri watched in shock, as the realisation of the Asgarthian betrayal came into sight. Across the Bay of Airi, town halls were bombed by the 17th. Galatea, Saya, Filia, Yui and Mesia were also hit by squadrons from the 17th wing. The bay’s supplies were virtually wiped out through the coordinated strike. The bloodbath city of Elias had also been struck, so as to prevent the city being used as a supply station. Those that had survived the initial bloodbath, now faced the loss of all supplies, and with it the eventuality of starvation.

A message was broadcast, from the Isle of Gespe, to the Bay of Airi:
“To the Airian residents of Harren Island. The bombings committed in your major cities serve as warning. If you do not surrender yourself to the Asgarthian forces, you will be dealt with as conspirators to treason. The deaths of the citizens of Elias should also serve as warning. Do not mistake their foolishness for heroism. They have already paid the price for their treason. Do not be so foolish as to pay the same cost. Your town halls are destroyed. As an act of surrender, and to embrace your new Asgarthian overlords, fly the Asgarthian flag on all houses within your city. If a single house does not fly the flag, the entire city will be held accountable for the consequences. ”


A second message was sent, in private, to Balthazar:
“Balthazar, Do not mistake our attack on the Port Cities as a sign that the Asgarthian Empire looks to work with you. You are a fallen leader; a failure. You have no place amongst us. By order of Asgarthian High Command, hand over your fleet, or face imminent destruction. Give command of your forces to the Asgarthian Empire and the Roman Imperium. Harren Island is now the property of the Asgarthian Empire and Roman Imperium. Resistance is futile.”

The letter was sent anonymously, though later analysis suggests it came from the son of the Imperiali himself.
Last edited by Asgareth on Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Proud (No, really!) Member of the Sovereign Charter.
Drekhi: Asgareth is not a place, it is a vintage

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Harren Island
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Posts: 9
Founded: Nov 02, 2018
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Harren Island » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:37 pm

Who cries for Harren?


Harrenian Hegemony in Exile -

The attack happened at dawn. The first wave of each of the five landings consisted of ten thousand raving marauders from Skjoldur, sent in first to locate defensive positions, of which few were expected, and to sow anarchy among the population. The second wave at each city contained almost ten thousand Romans who would attack any organised points of resistance and seize critical objectives. Harrenian Marines were interspersed among all forces to help direct efforts.

Balthazar had considered going with his troops and leading from the front and being the first to step on shore. A grand statement for all to see and he sorely wished to do it but he couldn’t, for without him, Harren would never grow to span the world and the dream would die and so he put aside his childish and selfish desire. For the glory and future of Harren, his duty was to not risk himself under any circumstance.

He’d worried at first that his allies would abandon him and turn to smoke upon hearing Myraxia’s public pledge but the fact that the landings were happening proved that not to be the case. However, he found the declaration from Asgareth to be confusing. Why turn against the Confederacy but not align with him? That gives them no support on Harren whatsoever and did they really think they could take the entire island with a paltry number of paratroopers? The Imperiali was obviously incompetent and leading Asgareth to ruin, Balthazar only hoped he’d be powerful enough in time to take a chunk of the pie when they were divided up.

Originally, Balthazar had intended to land only at Noa, Baruch and Cyma in order to utilise the harbours and secure the naval academy and shipyards, however, with the extra troops he had available from Rome he had decided to expand his landing zone to include the weakened Nara and Erinyes to give him a larger foothold and spread any defensive efforts.

Image
Fig. Dawn as seen from Saya with the sun creeping up over the mainland. Not quite as beautiful for those under attack to the North.

He invited the Iryllian diplomat to watch events unfold in the HH Ascendancy’s war room as reports flooded in and his Grand Admiral coordinated efforts with Rome’s Air Force. The money she had given him had been a surprise, he couldn’t really use it to buy anything on the international market due to the exchange rates being murder, especially considering the state of Harren Island and its economy but he could use it to rebuild his country after the War was over. It would accelerate repairs and the next step on the road to supremacy. For that, she had his thanks.




Harrenian Conflagration of Port Cities -
The 11th Noan Home Guard were awoken by alarms blaring across the city and an announcement declaring an incoming assault. Taking their positions at sandbag emplacements and makeshift barricades, the riflemen tried to spot what was coming but were staring straight into the dawn sun coming up over the horizon and could barely see the sea in front of them. They heard the rumble of their light coastal batteries open up and cheered but it was a fragile half-hearted cheer, knowing that it wouldn’t have stopped the attack. A few seconds later the screech of jets ripped overhead and then explosions along the shoreline silenced the guns forever. Then they saw them. Hundreds of light craft charging across the waves, shining bright in the glistening and sparkling waters. It would have been beautiful if it wasn’t so terrifying.

Sergeant Norio ordered his squad to open fire. The cracks from the Home Guard rifles snapped out, accurately sending Raiders cartwheeling off their boats in a splash or flopping to the decks and coating them with blood. He saw muzzle flashes and heard the whumps of large bore guns, were those shotguns? He heard the whine of pellets as they whistled through the air and saw sandbags burst open in fountains. One of the barricades took a direct hit and he saw the spread of small punctures. Yes, shotguns. That’s not good because they’re about to be in point blank range.

Norio knew this wouldn’t end well. They weren’t putting a dent in the raider numbers and those bastards were pulling up at the docks already. Directing his squad’s fire at one of the boats that had scraped up alongside their jetty, a ripple of rifle fire took out the first raiders that surged over the side but before his men could reload, the next bunch dropped to the jetty and opened fire. The avalanche of roars sent men flying back in arcs of blood and sand. He saw the squad medic drop his rifle and fall over backwards, twitching and clutching at his abdomen and legs that had been riddled with pellets. “FALL BACK!”, Norio pulled one of his less wounded riflemen up to his feet by the collar and dragged him backwards, “BACK NOW, TO THE HARBOURMASTER’S BILLET!”. He made sure not to run because he knew that it would start a rout.

As he backed away up the jetty, he saw the raiders close with the position they’d just abandoned and using axe attachments on their shotguns, butchered those who had been too slow or too badly wounded to retreat. Bastards, he thought, as he put a round through one of their throats and watched him gasp to his knees and spasm on the floor. Looking around, Norio saw that the whole front had collapsed and most of it was in full retreat. Cursing, he directed the last six of his squad to the Harbourmaster’s building, a two-story concrete warehouse, office and living quarter.

“Sarge, what are we doing?”, his youngest riflemen, nicknamed the ‘Kid’, asked in a trembling voice, shaking with adrenaline. Norio looked down at him as he barricaded the main entrance with cargo containers, “We’re holding here and gonna make the bastards pay for setting foot on Harren Island.”. Another one of his riflemen, an older fellow by the name of Samouel who had dashed up a metal gantry way to the first floor, broke open a window and took a shot before calmly pointing out that no one else appeared to be holding. Norio smiled up at him, “Well then, it starts here.”. He organised the squad, leaving two men to watch the stairways and the warehouse ground floor and setting up the rest in positions by windows and firing at anything that moved.

It seemed like the raiders had given up trying to rush across the open concrete loading area to the Warehouse and were flowing around into the city behind them. As far as he could tell hundreds if not more had bypassed his squad and so things were looking positive until Samouel noticed what, or more accurately, whom, had arrived in the second wave. Romans, in their characteristic armour and moving with deadly purpose, scared him more than the Reavers. They didn’t advance across the open but took up positions opposite and began to exchange fire with Norio’s squad. A burst of assault rifle chatter carved through windowsill and the kid, spraying the back wall dark red with his blood. Norio and Samouel fired back, aiming for the Roman who had killed him. They saw their shots connect and drop him but he rolled onto his front and crawled into cover. They didn’t see a blood trail. Damn Roman armour. Norio kept his sights aimed at the location where the Roman had crawled to, hoping he’d peek and get a bullet in the face. Then something Samouel casually mentioned sunk in, “They’re painting us.”. FUCK. Norio moved and yelled at his squad, “GET UNDER HARD COVER N-“.

Norio found himself lying on his back, seeing spots and with ears ringing. Dust filled the air and his rifle was nowhere to be found. Stumbling to his knees and then feet, he pulled himself up and faltered down the hallway before catching himself just in time; the gantry way and upper level ahead of him had been blasted apart and there was a three-metre drop to a burning crater below. Looking around, he couldn’t see his men in the smoke and couldn’t hear anything apart from the ringing. Then he spotted movement by the crater below. Romans. They had taken the opportunity to assault and were already in the building. Damn. He watched them dart in pairs between cover, clearing each corner and tossing grenades in alcoves and rooms.

He darted along the gantry way, hoping to find his rifle but finding a wounded Samouel propped up against a wall. Norio lifted him up despite his spluttered curses and supported him as they made their way towards the stairs. Norio didn’t have a plan but he knew they couldn’t stay here anymore and simply hoped they make it to the stairs to go up before the Romans had cleared the ground level. His hope was denied. Rounding the corner, they came face to face with the first two Romans who were climbing the stairs. They levelled their Assault Rifles. Norio closed his eyes and expected to be gunned down. Instead he heard, “Surrender now or die. As Agrippa has constantly given you pathetic people, a choice, choose wisely.”.

Before Norio could respond, even though he still wasn’t sure if he’d have spit in his face or taken the offer, a rumbling crash reverberated throughout the warehouse. A tank! In the glorious bright blue Harrenian colours. With a crash, its cannon opened up and bits of the Roman squad on the ground floor splattered up the stairwell as Norio, Samouel and the two Romans on the stairs were blasted off their feet by the shockwave. With his ears ringing for the second time, Norio clambered to his feet again, knowing that whoever recovered first would win, and threw himself on top of one of the sprawled Romans, holding him down as he pulled out his combat knife and forced it into gaps between armour, feeling the blade push through flesh and then scrape against bone as the Roman writhed and screamed under him. It took multiple stabs, in different places, for the Roman to finally stop squealing as his lifeblood poured out, soaking Norio and the stairs. Still clutching the knife with a white grip, he looked up and saw Samouel, sitting on the stairs, who had managed to get his hands on one of their assault rifles and taken out the last one. Samouel weakly smiled, “Look, it’s the Cavalry from the Heartlands.”.

Image
Fig. The Harbourmaster's warehouse, office and living quarters, or at least the part that was still standing after the militia's stand.

Norio helped him to his feet and they both trudged down the stairs, finally getting a good look at the tank that had helped them. It was tiny. The hatch popped open and a woman stood up, she looked like a weird mechanical centaur considering the size of her vehicle. Norio saluted her and asked, “Are we going to win?”. She sighed and shook her head, “We hoped that you guys would rally to us and push them back into the sea but no one is holding. You were the first I found actually putting up a fight. Now get on, we have to go.”. Norio lifted Samouel up onto the rear deck and climbed up to hold onto the turret as it rumbled around and back out the way it came. Holding onto Samouel and the turret for dear life as it careened around corners and over rubble and wreckage, Norio noticed that what she had said had been true. The Skjoldurians were looting, murdering, raping across the city and they passed multiple groups of militia that had surrendered and were being rounded up by the Romans. They passed two burnt out light tank husks as Romans and Skjoldurians took pot shots at them in the chaos.

Eventually, to Norio’s surprise and momentary terror, the tankette took some stairs down into the subway before screeching to a halt and turning off the engine. The woman popped her hatch and clambered. “Outta fuel” she gruffly mentioned whilst opening her fuel tank and stuffing a rag into it, “We gotta hoof it. Get off.”. Norio went to help Samouel off but found him staring off into nowhere, maybe he’d taken a hit during the drive through the city or maybe he’d died of his wounds but either way, the result was the same. He shook his head as she pulled out a lighter and lit the rag. “I have no intention of being taken by the Romans”, she said to him, “come with me or stay, your choice but I’m leaving now”. He was getting mighty fed up of these choices. She jumped off the platform and started walking along the tracks Westwards. He followed.

It seemed like they’d been trudging for a while before he asked, “So what was going on with your attack then, we thought the Heartlands were sticking to themselves?”. She didn’t look at him but responded in a monotone voice that grew more heated as she went on, “Leadership decided to prop you guys up, to defend against Balthazar. It was too soon and I told them so. We didn’t even have a full company and they were entirely green. You guys crumbled before we could even get to the Harbour and we got separated trying to deal with the packs of raiders. No radio you see. We risked everything to try and save you fucks and now we may have just opened the door for Balthazar. You see why I’m pissed.”

They both heard the racking clack of shotguns from ahead of them in the dark and stopped. She clipped open her holster and drew her pistol, a small 8mm thing that looked tiny in her hand. Norio realised that, again, he was unarmed and felt naked. “Oooh, look here lads, we’ve got ourselves a fighter. Not like the rest of these Harrenian dogs.” Out of the gloom strutted a pack of Skjoldurians covered in blood, sporting trophies and wearing items they’d looted, “Told ya we’d find stragglers down ‘ere.” The tall one at the front grinned, a golden tooth glinting in the dark, and signalled with his shotgun that she should drop her pistol. She spat, raised it and fired. Everyone froze. The tall one looked down and then back up at her and laughed, “Alright missy, you had your shot, now drop it. I won’t ask again.”. He saw the intent in her eyes and dived as she pulled the trigger five more times, tracking him as he rolled across the floor. The rest of the tall one’s posse darted forwards instead of firing, tackling her to the floor and wrestling the pistol from her grip. Norio thought about helping but knew it would just get him killed and so he stood there, defeated. The tall one got back to his feet, laughing in a relieved way and shouldering his shotgun before going over to his men and grabbing the pistol off of one of them, claiming it for himself. “Not many people have nearly killed me, women, less so.”. They hoisted her to her feet and tied her arms behind her back. The tall one glanced over at Norio, disregarded him and turned back to his prize, “Kill him. We’ll have fun with this one tonight.”. Before Norio could speak he heard the blast and felt the air punched out of his lungs and then the hard rail beneath his back as he choked on blood and spasmed his last moments on the floor.




The starvation, mass bombings, genocidal actions, betrayals and landings finally broke the Confederacy. Whilst fighting was still going on at multiple points along the coast, the government voted and agreed to surrender, 73% to 14%, 13% failed to vote.

Following the public vote and the militias laying down their arms, Balthazar proclaimed himself once again, to be the ruler of Harren, “Fellow patriots, I thank you for fighting for Harren and the rights of its proud people. As I return to my seat, I promise you that as Harrenian citizens, you will not be treated as slaves and will have privileges befitting the proudest nation on this world and invite you to participate in the great dream of Harren, an empire that spans the globe at the forefront of human advancement. With your help, it will be so.”



Harrenian Heartlands -
Director Lockwood ran his hands through his hair, massaging the stress from his temples as he read the reports coming in. Their relief force had entirely failed. They’d known that it would be an uphill battle to defend against the combined forces allied with Balthazar but they’d hoped to rally the Confederacy and buy time for the Myraxians to arrive. However, things had gone much, much worse. Maaya had objected against the orders claiming that they were foolhardy, based on nothing but optimism and would leave them almost defenceless. In hindsight, she’d been right and they’d thrown away the defensive advantage and men and material they couldn’t afford to lose.

The only forces defending the border between the Heartlands and the Port Cities were now the mercenaries supplied by Aurum and their entire existence relied on them keeping good faith. He had been a downright fool. If Aurum abandoned the Heartlands now, he’d have to defend the Heartlands against Rome and Balthazar with naught but the scrap of paper promising Aurum’s support. He’d been a fucking fool. He picked up the phone and started calling Gazziks before putting it down. He was unsure if that would make him seem even more desperate and make Aurum more likely to run. Instead, he composed a letter and had it delivered to Gazziks by a courier, requesting more mercenaries to defend the border and an accelerated arms delivery schedule to make up for recent, ‘setbacks’.

Later he was somewhat relieved to hear that two tanks managed to return, battered and worn, neither of which contained Maaya, but leading a mass exodus of refugees. It seemed that with the fall of the Confederacy, many had chosen to flee to the supposed safety of the untouched Heartlands. It was a double-edged sword, more manpower to help defend and build infrastructure but great short-term stress on their supplies and administration. The University was working overtime to try and manage the influx of people but as of early estimates, almost a million Harrenians had fled from the Port Cities. Nathaniel had the majority assigned to assisting with agricultural development but ensured that those who had been trained in the Militias were inducted into the Heartlands Army.

Image
Fig. Refugees fleeing the war and violence at the coast. Hoping that in the Heartlands they'd be protected and not under Balthazar's rule.
Last edited by Harren Island on Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Auruum
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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Auruum » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:51 am

Harrenian Heartlands

Aurum made good on it's promise, with the state military busy elsewhere, there were plenty of private military corporations available to be sent towards the troubled island. With a variety of new toys to help, in addition to the light tanks the Harrenian's already orders, which the Aurummite manufacturers were kind enough to have already painted them in Harrenian colours. This time the mercenaries took on a much more proactive approach. The borders were maintained by mercenary infantry, with small aerial drones scouting out possible enemy movements nearby. Training continued, but this time the Orc drill sergeants were much more vocal about it. Several lumbering green giants shouted at their charges, practically spraying them with spittle as they tried to instill in them some discipline.

Aurum also seemed to make a point to include some small arms, for any Harrenian infantry. Anyone who was going to get a rifle or pistol or some other weapon would be given the weapon's specifications, recommended uses, and training if needed. This time, Aurum would assign the Harrenian squads with a few mercenaries, partly to show that Aurum was fully committed, and partly to give the puny humies an Orc to help even the odds.

With the increase in supplies, came an increase in demand for payment, Several mercenaries accompanying the trips to the vaults and even down in the dig sites themselves, There was talk of perhaps using one of the underground ruins as a bunker, in case things got really bad. One Mercenary swore he had heard something or someone in the tunnels but upon a none too thorough investigation only found more dusty hallways. Still, Aurum security would tighten ever so slightly for the dig-sites and treasuries.

Harrenian Heartlands Border

"You wanna cap this one?"
"Nah man, I capped the last one. All my ammo is even now."
"Your superstition about odd numbers is really stupid man, I'm just saying."
A quick gunshot would sound as a Skjoldurian raider was on his knees, side by side with a few of his kin who wandered just a bit too far inland, would fall forward, a fresh new hole where his face used to be.
"That's another scalp for me..." The First Orc muttered, drawing a knife and removing the Skjoldurian's braided hair from his skull.
"Hey Humie! Come over here and cap the rest of these fuckers!" The Second Orc shouted towards the Harrenian Rifleman that was with them on the border patrol. The Human nervously approached but took the offered pistol, somewhat disgusted by the brutal execution and then scalping of one of the unarmed captives. He shakily held it up to the next Skjoldurian, who was currently fighting back his fear, or atleast putting on a good show. A long moment of nothing happened before one of the Orcs spoke up.
"Hey! The hell are you waiting for?"
"I-I just...He's unarmed..." His hand began to shake some.
"You know what he is right? He's a raider." The Orc stepped up behind the captive and yanked at a braid with one hand while he held up a collection of heads, some goblin, other, fresher ones, being human. The Harrenian looked away and the Orc barked again. "Look! This is what they do! He has butchered far more unarmed innocents than you or I, and he's likely done far worse to those he hasn't cut down! If you were in his place, do you think any amount of whimpering would have saved you?" The Orc said before walking around towards the human, placing a hand on his shoulder, while another hand steadied the human's aim.
"Think of the bodies in the streets, think of all that fire, all that death, and all that pain. He is just as guilty for his part in all of that. Now Hate what your firing at, put down this animal, and make him pay."

A moment passed before another gunshot sounded, this time forcing the body to slump backwards. It didn't take nearly as long for the third, fourth, or fifth captives. And soon enough, a scalp was gifted to the human, along with a quick lesson on how to collect the rest. The Orcs congratulated the human on becoming a warrior and they continued on.

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Romae in perpetuum
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Postby Romae in perpetuum » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:09 pm

The Acropolis Hotel, City of Cyma, Harren Island.

Agrippa took in the views from his penthouse suite. Not bad, considering the city had been under intense assault a few days ago. Fortunately, some of the nicer areas had survived, including this very pleasant hotel. Considering the state of its competition though four walls seemed to be considered luxurious in this town. With or without a roof. When Agrippa had turned up and politely asked to be given custody of the whole building, (and a few adjacent ones) the owners had been extremely compliant. Even if it had required a major overhaul to bring it in line with Roman standards of luxury. After a short time working out where to put all the marble, the City of Cyma had become the nexus point of the Roman occupying forces.

Meanwhile, Balthazar had been working furiously to turn his naval academy into functioning government offices, this, however, turned out to be easier said than done. Considering he had recently shot his remaining officials and many of the local administrators were either dead or in hiding, the premier had turned to his Roman allies. It was a wise choice. If there were two things Romans excelled at it was statues and bureaucracy. Within a few hours of the request sectaries, undersecretaries, subundersecrateries and junior subundersecrateries had swarmed into the port cities like unusually pale locust.

In every major city a dedicated core of administrators, with hefty escorts, were working to determine the extent of the damages done during the reclamation, the numbers of survivors and how they could tax them. The palace was determined to make a profit of this invasion… Agrippa had even given orders to involve local authorities in their administration; though it did involve trying to teach the locals Latin. Naturally these bodies reported to Agrippa first before he passed on their reports too Balthazar. Or not. Depending on how he felt. The Acropolis Hotel had quickly emerged as the administrative heart of Balthazar’s domains, much to the premier’s chagrin.

A knock on the door drew Agrippa from his musings. A slave hurried to open the door and one of Agrippa’s aides hurried in barely having time to salute before blurting out.

“Sir you have…visitors from the capital.” The man mumbled nervously. Agrippa frowned not only was he not expecting anyone, very few people should be able to elicit this much fear in a Praefectus’s chief aide. He didn’t even have time to respond before the visitors strolled into his suite unannounced. Three smaller men in dark military tunics, buttoned at the shoulder. They wore no obvious marks of rank, but the gold bands around their sleeves and the scorpion badges attacked to their caps left their identity in no doubt. Praetorian Intelligence. Agrippa stood a little straighter, few were safe from them; even high-ranking officers.

“Salvete Praefectus.” The lead one drawled. “I’m Prefect Caelius, these are Centurions Gallio and Lucan. We’re here to direct Intelligences efforts in the pacification of the locals.”

“I see.” Agrippa replied neutrally. “What do you need me for? Praetorian intelligence can easily commandeer any forces it needs for…policing.”

“What we need is access to the former Confederacies online records.” Caelius said, tone unchanged. If these people really did experiment with direct democracy there will be records of their voting habits, prepositions and Pluto knows what else.” He smirked. “Using these we will easily be able to work out each Harrenites political dispositions, personal opinions even private lives. From there its just a matter of borrowing some men from the local garrison and breaking down doors. Potential dissidents, subversives even sexual deviants. Gone in a matter of weeks. The mines if they don’t put up that much of a fight. If they do.” The sneer grew wider as the sentence was left hanging.

Agrippa moved to his desk and sat down, repressing a sigh of relief. They weren’t here for him.

“I’m sure one of our secretaries has unearthed their records. Balthazar might object to his citizens being rounded up and taken though. The man has become increasingly more…independent, ever since we reclaimed the Port Cities.”

“He won’t be a concern for much longer, Praefectus. We’ve brought a few ‘specialists’ from Nova Roma. Equipped with Myraxian weapons and instructed to leave some very damning ‘evidence’ at the scene. This time tomorrow Harren will have a new leader and us and the Asgarthian’s will have free reign to do with this island what we will.”

“Like removing the goblin infestation in the centre.” Agrippa added. “I hear the Skjoldur are particularly eager to deal with them, ever since they started collecting scalps. It shouldn’t be too difficult even for them, the gobbos are useless without their Valarisk masters.”

The Praetorians turned to leave before Agrippa spoke up. “Oh, make sure Balthazar knows I was involved. I hear he was planning my own death at one point, I want him to know I stuck the knife in first.”
Last edited by Romae in perpetuum on Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Valyrien
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Postby Valyrien » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:29 pm

Nara

The 5th Battalion had withdrawn from Nara to avoid any encirclement by the Hedgemony and their backers. Valyrien was neutral under their humanitarian banner, but it seemed to be a foreign concept to both Roman and Skjoldarian alike. The Battalion seemed to have grown in size as well. The prospects of living under the rule of Balthazar didn’t sound too appealing to the survivors of Nara, and in a moment of weakness the commander had allowed the younger generations to hitch a ride on top of the tanks and squeeze in with the mechanized infantry. A full evacuation was impossible without more vehicles.

A few hours earlier,

"The entire armoured division will be re-deployed south to assist with the 'Myraxian Project'. It may sounds ominous, but it's just the current nickname, we'll both be updated en route to the objective."
"Understood ser... Concerning the trucks I requested."
"Your request is still denied, Colonel."
"It’s for humanitarian reasons, I thought that’s what we were here for?"
“Don’t give me that bullshit, you’ve got your orders, get moving.”
“As you command, General.” One-eyed answered as she looked out over the gathered survivors, choosing who were allowed to live and possibly die from further retaliations was something she hoped to be avoid, pushing the choice onto them was an easy way out. One-eye left with a souvenir, a Skjoldurian head with braids that almost looked like snakes when damp with blood.





Outskirts of Elias.

“A volunteer force, eh? That’s mighty kind of them Khyreneans...
A Special Medical Batallion...
Five Pv-100 MBTs...
Four double ILK HMGs..., reckon their cannons are any good?” A pipe obstructed some of Alfvreds’s speech, but his friend Gustafv had learned to understand him none the less over the years. “Who knows, heard they have a competition with dogsled races, mixing in some sharpshooting at the end.” The Gustafv paused to take a swig of his whiskey, passing it to one of the Asgarthi paratroopers.
“Yeah, so? We’re talking guns, not skills Guss.” He answered, doing the same and passing the bottle along to the others around the table.
“Well, if you’d let me fucking finish Tommy...” Gustavf muttered as he lit the cigarette he’d been offered by another of the Asgarthi earlier. “Instead of normal rifles, the competitors use self-built anti-tank rifles. Something about showing of their engineering skills and their ability to stay in their sleds despite the recoil.” He blew a thick cloud of smoke, eyeing the bottle of whiskey not being passed quick enough.
“Sounds rather interesting... Mhm... Yes.” Alfvred continued, chewing on his pipe. “A sight to see, I’m sure. But I’ve heard the bizarre rumour that they don’t drink... imagine living that far north without some spirit to warm you up.” He folded the paper neatly in his lap and put his boots off the table to receive the bottle.

Excerpt from the Khyrenean daily newspaper "Perspective" referenced in the International Inquisitor, read by Gustavf

The Valari had relocated their forces to port cities of southern Harren after certain talks with the Myraxians. AA-guns and surface-to-air missiles had been installed to ward of any further aggression now that the cities of the Bay of Airi had been placed under the joint protection of both Valyrien and Myraxia. Reinforcements had been brought from Archon to bolster the defences, most of the tanks consisting of T3’s.

The Khyrene Fleet had been more requested, than been ordered to rendezvous with the Myraxian Fleet accompanied by a few Valarisk warships. Sending their flagship was certainly a welcome addition, but it was time to prove themselves, Valyrien had after all already begun to replace their ships with those of Khrene design.
Last edited by Valyrien on Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
A proud member of the Sovereign Charter.
The stratocratic governed Valarisk empire is an authoritarian meritocracy with elements of communism and facism.

The Heartland is located in the north of Rusina, but as of recently the Empire's territory and influence stretches over most corners of the world.

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Harren Island
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Harren Island » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:31 pm

Harrenian Nature -
Theodore had carried the deer all the way home. He took great pains not to waste a single cut, putting every morsel to use, glazing each piece and preparing it all expertly. When he was ready, he invited his neighbours and family for a backyard barbeque. That was how it started.

With a dozen zealots, the friendly agenda started gaining ground. They established a ‘church’ in an old rented warehouse by the docks and began to attract ‘converts’ with offers of free food. Within a week, almost the whole town had joined the congregation. Those who hadn’t turned up for the offers of food soon found themselves dragged out of bed during the, ‘Night of Tranquility’, by a horde of villagers chanting, ‘PEACE’ and ‘NATURE’ who tied them up and exposed them to the ‘truth’.

It didn’t all go according to plan, some members of their flock broke away, gathered weapons and tried to call for aid on the internet to anyone who would listen, however, no one took any note of the remote and unimportant town of Tsuru, especially with everything else going on across the island and the fact they were talking about obviously insane stuff like telepathic deer and enthralled villagers. No help came for them.



“Jason,” a hushed whisper sounded out in the old hilltop cabin, “Jason! Something’s moving out there.”. With a loud click, he turned off power to the old beige desktop computer, leaving the room in ominous silence without its whirring fan. He darted over to the window and pulled the curtain back slightly in order to look out. Shit, she was right. He saw the brown and white fur and swore. “Wake the others now!”. She dashed towards the rear room but tripped over the coffee table in the dark with a clatter before clambering up and opening the bedroom door. A few moments later all six of them were gathered in the front room, loading weapons and preparing their personal, ‘mind-clearing’ devices. Jason turned to them and quickly went through their prepared plan again, “The Deer will come first, we put them down… then, get to the Harbour before the rest of the town falls upon us. Whoever gets to the ‘Queen Kima’, start the engine and go. If the rest haven’t caught up before she clears the jetty, they never will. Good luck everyone and may at least one of us escape this mess.”.

The singing started but they had been expecting it. Each one of them had created or jury-rigged a ‘mind-clearing device’ to help them resist the mental pressure. Jason’s was an electric training collar for dogs and it seemed to work when he spammed the button, the visions and the singing faded out in the face of immediate, cramping and spasming pain. He grimaced and snarled but kept on hitting the button as he followed the others out the open door, holding his shotgun down as if disregarding it and chanting loudly, “PEACE, NATURE”. He used the opportunity as he walked downhill to approach one of the melodic deer and then emptied both barrels into it at point blank range, sending it spiralling backwards in arcs of blood with a surprised look on its face. “Sing now you fucking furball.”

He hadn’t seen what happened to the others since leaving the shack but followed the plan, dropping the shotgun and sprinting for the harbour whilst spamming the button repeatedly. When he got there he saw the ‘Queen Kima’, under power with frothing water splashing up behind her stern, starting to move away along the jetty.

Image
Fig. The 'Queen Kima'. One of the last functional fishing boats in Tsuru

Jason ran for it, barging his way through some of the villagers that had come out of the ‘Church’ when they’d heard the noise of the engine. They started following after him but he pushed himself to his limits, feeling his leg muscles strain from the effort as he bolted down the wooden stairs towards the pier and the water below. At speed, he’d been unable to hold onto the handrail due to its extreme state of rust and the fact that it would have torn apart his hand if he’d tried and so was unable to correct himself when his boot skidded out from under him on a slippery green, worn and mossy plank. He slipped down the last remaining steps with a crash and landed on his tailbone hard enough to drive the wind from his lungs and left his gasping soundlessly as he struggled to draw in breath.

Rolling to his knees and looking up as his chest heaved in an attempt to suck in oxygen, he saw the stern of the ‘Queen Kima’ slip past the end of the berth and out into open water. Knowing that had been his last chance, he dropped his head to the planks with a thud and began to cry, finally drawing in choking breaths. He felt a hand grab his arm and he instinctually rolled to the side, lashing out with a kick that sent the unfortunate woman back onto the stairs, hitting her head on the way down with a sickening crack. Jason ignored that, knowing that he had to do something or he’d end up as one of those thralls, so he picked himself up and clattered along the wooden jetty before throwing himself off into the sea, hoping against hope to catch up with the ‘Queen Kima’.

If the waves hadn’t been quite as large, or if the water wasn’t quite as cold or if he’d been wearing less clothes to drag at his movements, he may just have been able to catch up. Instead, he watched helplessly as the ‘Queen Kima’, slipped ever further away as swimming grew ever more exhausting and his cries ever quieter against the sound of the roiling waves. When he eventually lost sight of her, he tried to turn back and return to shore but the tide pulled him out to sea as he futilely struggled against it. It got harder and harder to hold his head above water, each stroke a conscious effort to push himself up and suck in a breath despite his quivering muscles.

It took a while before he realised that he was going to die. It took a few more hours for that to become a reality. His head slipped under the water but he held his breath, faintly thrashing in a vain attempt to break the surface but he couldn’t muster the strength to properly raise his arms and his kicks were feeble. Starving for oxygen, his brain forced him to draw in breath, flooding his lungs with freezing, choking water. Dancing like a puppet as he groped for the surface, he ultimately stilled, just one more dead man from Harren Island.
Last edited by Harren Island on Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Skjoldur
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Postby Skjoldur » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:27 pm

The Temple of Bjorn, City of Cyma, Harren Island.

Commander Tortuous stood in the newly christened temple admiring the view. The orders had come in from command to create a temple for the newly christened god. Apparently, Bjorn had sacrificed himself to defend some innocent civilians from a merciless Valyrian tank. Because of his heroic sacrifice the King had deemed him the new god of sacrifice. A state funeral had been held where the Asgarthians had done a flyby out of respect. The Romans had honoured him by putting him in the pantheon. Tortuous bowed his head in respect to the great fallen one. A slight tap on the shoulder made Tortuous turn around grabbing his gun. There had been a few Skjoulderian bodies found around town recently, revenge killings most likely. Only recently Tortuous had found a woman covered in blood surrounded by the bodies of her attackers. Tortuous had packed her up and sent her back to the king. His brother did enjoy women who liked to kill, reminded him of their mother. Tortuous looked at the person who had disturbed him, it was Freydis and Urlf the two War-Band commanders who had been sent to raid the ports.
“We are leaving Tortuous” said Freydis mockingly “we want our pay”
Tortuous flared and the obvious disrespect shown towards him, he hated that these commanders had no allegiance to him, they could come and go as they pleased and had no allegiance to anyone but the king “good” said Tortuous trying to keep his composure “and the pay, well we are waiting on Balthatzar as well”
“we should hurry” said Urlf “I hear the Romans and Asgarthians are sending a hit squad to kill him”
“don’t worry” interjected Tortuous “I have had insurances from the Romans and Asgarthians, whoever takes his place will inherit Balthatzar debt”
“can we trust the new leader” asked Fryedis “whoever replaces Balthatzar will have less power than Aurrum”
“I doubt that” said Urlf mockingly “I reckon the new leader could have a shit without asking for permission, I don’t think we can say the same thing for the goblins”
Tortuous laughed “it honestly wouldn’t surprise me” he said, “they probably have to text the Valyrian’s every time they leave the house”.
After a few more minutes of Goblin jokes Tortuous sighed “ok listen, the Valyrians and Myraxians are now fucking each other in some shitty port city somewhere, this means that we have the whole central island to ourselves, if you want you can join the raiding parties, we could always use the help?”
Urlf laughed, “no way, the land if your area not ours, but we do want to be paid”
Tortuous sighed “listen if you want to be paid now then you’d better go and ask Balthatzar yourself, he’s somewhere in this city go and demand you pay”
Urlf and Freydis stormed off looking for Balthatzar whilst Tortuous turned back to ponder his strategy. He had already begun to gather his troops and had begun making plans with the Romans, they will take control of this island, no matter what Valyria and her client kingdoms did.

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Asgareth
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Postby Asgareth » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:06 pm

War Council, Aykia, Isle of Gespe
Following the attack on the Bay of Airi and the massacre of Elias, the Asgarthian government had authorised the creation of a war council on the Isle of Gespe. Included, were the Commander in Chief of the Archonian Isles, Supreme-General Yaznon Paltri, Axic Ross, the heir to the Imperialiship, Fleet-Admiral Tygno Pylin, of the 12th Naval Fleet, and Aerial Admiral Packno Laskey, of the 15th Air Navy.

“It was a lovely funeral.” Yaznon Paltri stated. “Packno, the flypast was a fitting touch. I’m sure Bjorn would have loved it.”
“Are the rumours true? The Harrenian people are to erect a statue in his honour?” Laskey enquired
“Indeed they are. Willingly, or not, there will be a statue of Bjorn, the Last defender of Harren Island.” Paltri replied.
The foursome chuckled.

“So our attack on Airi went well, I heard.” Paltri stated.
“Indeed.” Laskey replied. “My men were exemplary in the field, as too were the paratroopers. Elias is a ghost town, and the other major cities have lost almost all their supplies. Consequently, the port cities have fallen.”
“Impressive. That was… a week? I didn’t expect them to hold out that long.”
“Naturally, both the heartlands and Balthazar’s forces have made moves towards Airi.” Laskey started before being cut off.
“The Valarisk control Airi. We agreed to give it to them. They were the least disagreeable of all our options. But now, tell me. What about Balthazar?” Paltri asked

“He’s becoming stronger by the day. And of course, our refusal to side with him… it could prove problematic.”
“What if we did side with him? He’d be a fool to turn away Asgarthian support.”
“Indeed sir, but he is a fool. Sir, might I suggest a simple removal from the scenario?” Pylin stated.
Axic intervened at this point. “Well personally, I am not that big on removing leaders by killing them. Sets a rather dangerous precedent, if you ask me.” He chuckled, though no one else did.
“The Imperial Service will remove him from power.” Paltri began. “We’ll find a replacement far more agreeable. But in the meantime, we ought to extend an olive branch to this fraudster. Tell him we shall support his Imperialist desires. Send the 12th Naval Force to rendezvous with the Romans. The 19th Ground Force can establish a presence on land with the Romans, with the 17th Air Navy providing support. From there, we can hold the north of the island.”

Balthazar,
It has come to the attention of the Asgarthian government that the Roman forces, with some minor assistance from your own, have successfully landed on the northern side of Harren Island, near the cities of Nara and Erinayes. Clearly, you are not as much of a failure as we predicted. We believe there is a future, between our two governments and therefore will now pledge to work with you, until the heartlands are destroyed. We congratulate you on the fall of the port cities, though we must claim much of the credit for our work in the Bay of Airi.

What we propose, is a simple alliance. We shall support your imperialist desires, as long as they do not clash with our own. An Asgarthian naval fleet are en-route to your location, along with a ground force and an air navy. They will assist in reclaiming the island from the rebel scum.
In all good faith,
Supreme-General Yaznon Paltri, Commander in Chief of the Archonian Isles




Elias, Harren Island
The paratroopers from the 16th Airborne regiment had enjoyed great success in Elias. The dead citizens outnumbered the living, and the regiment were clearly in high spirits. The arrival of Valarisk troops was anticipated, and warmly welcomed. In truth, they wanted to get off this god forsaken rock. There was no ale, and very little shelter. Indeed, the Valarisk were also in high spirits. They supplied the Asgarthians wil ale, making the entire regiment far more amicable. They shared cigars, whiskey and food with our famished heroes.

An agreement had been reached between the Valarisk and Asgarthian governments. The paratroopers would be allowed safe passage back to Gespe. The dead would be repatriated with full honours. In exchange, the Valarisk would assume control of the Bay of Airi. The Asgarthians had little care for who held what. Indeed, Airi would be a pain to hold, what with its proximity to Rome. The Valarisk had offered the use of their airstrips in the heartlands, and the 16th Air Navy had been swiftly dispatched to pick them up.

Safe in the skies once more, the paratroopers relaxed. There was a triple supply of ale on each plane, which helped to improve the mood of the troopers. On board one of these planes, the remaining members of H-Squad could be seen, and with them our hero: Lieutenant Frakos.

Frakos was sat drinking with Trooper Lickin, discussing the events of Elias.
“Ernic was foolish to try take on a three year old child. They’re the most dangerous weapon in the known universe.” Lickin chuckled.
“Indeed. Not as bad as Yingo shooting himself in the face mind. That almost reaches a Roman level of stupidity.” Frakos stated.
“So, I take it we’re no longer the good guys? What with massacring hundreds, and leaving the rest to starve to death?” Lickin asked, smiling.
“It's a morally grey area” Frakos chuckled. "Technically we did just kill hundreds. On the other hand, there's ale."
The pair chuckled, as the planes landed on the Isle of Gespe.



Eastern Section, Isle of Gespe
The 12th Naval Force, under the command of Fleet-Admiral Tygno Pylin swiftly set sail, en-route for the city of Nara, in the north of Harren Island. The crew knew where they were going, and remained in a cheerful mood, mostly because the ale supply was plentiful. At the same time, the 16th Air Navy set off from A.A.B. Tyrinka, carrying with them 50,000 men from the 19th Ground Force. Lieutenant-General Palska Olwinta was the man in charge of the men. Their task was a peculiar one. Destroy the heartlands, and if necessary the goblins, without pissing off the Myraxians, and in particular the Valarisk too much. A weaker man would believe it impossible, but Olwinta was most looking forward to the challenge.

His men were ready for war. They were a mixture of Gespians, Leximiians, d'vurians and Wasgarthians, and with that came certain cultural differences. Whilst the Gespians prayed silently to Narvador, the Wasgarthians were merrily drinking. But the rivalry between Gespians and the Leximiians was perhaps the greatest difficulty that Olwinta had faced. Their shared hatred stretched back a millenium. Indeed, the hatred was so great that Olwinta had forced them to share planes, to stop them trying to shoot the others down. Regardless of their cultural differences, however, Olwinta was convinced these were the men to get the job done.
Last edited by Asgareth on Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Friendly Island » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:27 pm

Harren Island, Tsuru
The Friendlies continued to sing a song of love, compassion, and acceptance to Theodore, his family, their friends, and anyone who would listen. Words and tones flowed together weaving a song that made a very real feeling of connection and understanding between the individuals and the land. The fauns sang of the trees and grasses, animals and people, how everything connected, how everything mattered. Judgement, hatred, greed, envy. . . these feelings seemed to fade; peace, love, unity, nature . . . this is all there was. The Friendlies were there on a peace mission.

The fauns were not the only Friendlies who came to the island, the spores which permeated their bodies and minds came to Harren as well. With every breath, every blink, every movement, every song, the fauns spread more of the spores which lived throughout the people. These spores wafted delicately on the winds, then were carried to the surrounding plains and forests and shores. These spores found homes in the trees and grasses and beasts and people. The hosts were similar enough that the spores had little trouble laying root and spreading fibers. The new carriers spread more spores as the unifying fungus bloomed in the foreign bodies.

Some beings didn't seem to fully accept the songs or the spores, some appeared immune or. . . actively resisted? The Friendlies were perplexed by anyone wishing to go against the unity they had in their lives. The unity of man and nature. The unity that brought peace. Those who didn't accept weren't harmed or even thought negatively of. . . at least by the Friendlies. All the Friendlies wanted to do was accept.




Earlier...
Friendly Island, Spice Troop
A long frock of sandy brown hair hung down below the hips. Sticks, bugs, tangles, moss. . . many things grow in the mottled tan and white fur which covered the body. A sweet smile sticks across the dimpled face. A pair of brown eyes twinkle in the middle of the childish face. These features belong to Sara Fay. She laughs and leads a small group within Spice Troop.

They smelled the strife and "progress" from their lost sister across the sea. Everyone on Friendly Island could smell and sometimes hear the travesties that were occurring. The network shared this information with everyone, and everyone was curious what was going to happen over there now. The stories of trouble always occurring just across the water were always around, and they contained many details which made the accounts seem particularly believable. When you can still hear the sounds and smell the scents of bygone wars and struggles, the terrible stench of progress throughout the ages, it's easy to believe the history which is presented.

Sara Fay wasn't content with waiting and watching and seeing what was going to happen now. Sara was ready to go and actually see it for herself. Nina Vera had recently called the attention of the world. A new age had been ushered in. An age of exploration and discovery was at the feet of the Friendlies, and was ready to present adventure and wonder to those who answered the call. Sara Fay answered the call. She called out to her friends and companions, some came with her to see this amazing new land.




Harren Island, Tsuru
Whispers float between the faun, communications which were queerly blocked from the network. It wasn't unheard of for individuals to occasionally whisper something, or keep a secret. . . but things were different in this strange land. Not everyone was in the loop. Not everything was connected.

There was talk that Sara Fay had never left Friendly Island. She should have never answered the call. She should definitely have not called the others to go with her. There was also talk that Sara Fay was like Nina Vera. She was able to answer the call. She was able to call the others. No matter what this was unusual. It was stranger still that multiple individuals were capable of doing this and alive at the same time.

The faun who became recognized as their leader, Sara Fay, was aware of the conversations. She could listen to the echoes that drifted afterwards, but it was quiet and most wouldn't even notice these sounds. She decided to call to Friendly Island, and tell the others what was happening. The strangers here who were learning how to live properly. Some of the Friendlies answered and they stepped through Sara's song into the strange land.

A pack from the Grass Troop, a pack from the Love Cluster, and a smattering of other individuals landed. Most of those who answered were fauns, but several virtues came along as well. It was the Virtues who scouted nearby villages and towns, plains and jungles, rivers and lakes, which the rest of the Friendlies went and visited. They were eager to meet the strangers, even if it did mean sometimes someone would die. . . but that wasn't such an issue because their song would live on forever.

The Friendlies fanned out spreading their message of peace, love, acceptance, unity, nature. . . They were always happy, sweet, and forgiving. Nothing seemed to upset them, and once they decided they were interested in visiting something they were nearly impossible to dissuade. Fires, guns, hateful words. . . nothing seemed to stop the peaceful advance of the Friendlies as they spread their message, and spores.

Image
Fig. Some reports by mouth and on the internet speak of horrors on Harren Island. Horrible deer, or perhaps horses. . . maybe they're skeletons. . . which descend from the skies. Beasts acting strangely. Town and villages disappearing overnight. Ridiculous rumors spread as the horrors of war continue to rage on. Many attribute these fantastical stories to stresses related to the war.
Last edited by Friendly Island on Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A friendly little nation in the Sovereign Charter
Tier 1, Level 8, Type 3.5, according to this index
Socialism · Ecology · Order



Friendly Island is a small jungle island nation, notable for its primeval nature and unconventional views. It appears all beings here share a bond which is facilitated by a massive fungal network.

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