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Of Tangent Dreams {ATLA II: Closed}

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

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Aschenhyrst
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 49
Founded: Dec 19, 2006
Father Knows Best State

Postby Aschenhyrst » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:34 pm

December 27, 2013
1615hrs
250 Nautical Miles West of Mintasburg, Waldenburg





"This is Aeronautica Imperialis patrol flight X/A, speaking to Anirtakian forces......You are in violation of a Cukarican maritime exclusion zone, if you do not pull back and allow our medical officer to evacuate the sickly and wounded from the Waldenburger vessel, you will be held acountable for the lives of your men. Do not let this situation to escalate beyond repair. Even as I speak, over 400 warships of the Cukarican Classis Ascelonica are moving to this position to enforce the integrity of the exclusion zone. Act wisely.''

The message kept repeating over all channels and was being broadcast accross the speakers on the bridge of the Anirtakian Task Force`s Flagship, ANS Blitzkreig. Kapitän Erhardt assembled his staff in the ward room.

"It`s a single float-plane, lightly-armed. No match for the firepower of our flotilla!" Proclaimed one Anitrakian officer.

"And we`re just a twenty minute flight from the Cukarican mainland. We`re no match for the firepower that can be amassed upon us. We`re too damned close to their mainland to just blow that fucking plane to hell and expect to get away with it. We`d be damned lucky if any ship made it back to Wissenholm afloat." Reasoned another Anirtakian officer.

"What of the Aschen fleet stationed along the Zwickow coast? They could help even the odds." Yet another officer chimed in.

"Gentlemen," Kapitän Erhardt interrupped, "The Aschen fleet has it`s responsiblities and we have ours. This maritime exclusion zone...it`s rather convienent that it was established after we were in pursuit of the Indolent. The Dominion has treaties with the Cukaricans, this maritime zone is clearly in violation of those treaties....somehow. The politicians are sorting that out. In the meantime, we will carry on with our responsiblities until instructed otherwise. Kommander Von Däniken, we will position the Blitzkreig and the Viktoria alongside the float-plane. We shall present a show of force. Hopefully, they`ll withdraw. All other ships will continue to move toward the Indolent."

"Jawohl, Meine Kapitän ."

The ships moved alongside the Cukarican float-plane, so close that the plane was in danger of being crushed between the warships. Anirtakian Marines line the main deck of the Blitzkreig, rifles trained on the float-plane. Kapitän Erhardt moved below decks to a position in which he was visible to the float-plane. Grabing a bullhorn, he responded to the Cukaricans. "Cukarikan aircraft....This Flotilla is engaged in anti-piracy operations on behalf of the nation of Wissenholm und Himmel. The Waldenburger warship, Indolent, is a commerce raider and is guilty of attacking Wissenholm-flaged cargo ships carrying foodstuffs to Uberschau. We are acting legally and will not comply with your demands upon said warship. You will withdraw from this position and let justice be carried out. Once the Indolent is neutered, this flotilla will remove itself from the exclusion zone and not before. Do not attempt to interfere in this anti-piracy operation!"

Erhardt turned to his first officer, " I wonder how warmly this will be recieved."
"If I had a nickel for everytime I offended Fictions, I`d have a Billion Dollars in nickels."-Me

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Waldenburg 2
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 124
Founded: Jul 26, 2005
Ex-Nation

Postby Waldenburg 2 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:03 pm

The WIS Indolent
110 Miles Southwest of Rudyt


Wilhelmina dusted soot off her perfect jaw, patted some blood from her strawberry blonde hair, and cracked her stubby fingers against the deck rail. The Indolent was a flaming wreck; twisted metal mirrored an opened tulip, and flames licked at the ruptured superstructure. Half her crew was already dead, and most of the rest were either picking survivors out of the water or fighting back fires from the magazines.

“Where is the Captain?” Wilhelmina pulled Lieutenant Olbermann towards her, pushing him down as bullets began to ping off the hull.

“On the quarterdeck… and in the officer’s mess.” The lieutenant nodded fitfully, “The third lieutenant is taking charge of the firefighting efforts.”

“And how shall we repel boarders?” Wilhelmina poked her eye through a convenient bullet-hole, and watched the zodiac attack boats swimming ever closer. They were packed with men, serious looking men, with serious looking weaponry. Helicopters too were sprinting across the sky, eating up the distance like so many angry bees.

“Fifteen men with rifles, are on the larboard deck, and we have a team working to cut a hole for a .30 caliber down below. We’re fu… In… Dutch over the helicopters, all the deck guns are down, and the fire control is not responding at any rate.”

A few sailor sprinted past as a hail of bullets descended from a helicopter that had just let down repelling ropes. Black clothed commandoes began to glide silently down, firing silenced weapons from the hip.

Olbermann took a stream of led to the chest and collapsed. Aschen commandoes were pouring aboard, effortlessly gunning down her crew, and securing a large swath of the bow and remaining bridge structure.

“Waldenburgers!” Wilhelmina yelled, she had her command sword and that was all but she stood, and waved the length of metal aimlessly at her remaining crew, “Your nation expects..” a red splotch emerged on her stomach in a second , and blood began to saturate her uniform. For a few moments, and in a very localized portion of the deck, the battle ceased as Waldenburgers threw down their weapons and slid across the rolling deck to shield the Countess. Oil stained hands lifted together and lifted the girl to about waist-height.

Pale faces smiled down and shriek encouragement.
“Barely a flesh-wound…” Every few seconds or so, Wilhelmina registered a face would disappear, eyes rolling back first and then collapsing out of sight. Within a heartbeat a new pair of hands would be thrust under her back, “Just a few more feet Your Excellency,”

“Don’t surrender.” The girl swallowed a pat of blood, and motioned with her hand, “We are an Imperial warship. I forbid!” She shrieked, “Any one of you to surrender! Do honor,” she began to fade into unconsciousness as various helpless members of her crew began to fan her and undue her clothing while simultaneously trying to keep their eyes closed and touch nothing, “To your….”

A few minutes later, when she was brought into the galley that was temporarily the ward room of the rather harassed and slightly drunk surgeon, he waved the bearers away, suggesting with a frown that she was already dead.

The sailors paused for a moment, registering what they had already known for the last few minutes. “Into the furnace,” one man said, “They wanted her. Doctor! Lock the pressure doors, we’ll hold here!” The men bustled off to the engine room where they would dispose of the body in the hopes that the Cukaricans would not hear of it till the ship could be saved.
"You guys have meetings?"
Damirez

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Cukarica
Envoy
 
Posts: 316
Founded: Oct 25, 2008
Father Knows Best State

Postby Cukarica » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:12 pm

Somewhere in the sea of Ascelonia,
Cukarican Maritime Exclusion Zone
INS AVGVSTVS, Maximus-II class carrier


The sun slowly sank behind the horizon of never-ending water as the Augustus and it's escorts were bathed in a soft orange light. Waves crashed against the carrier, it's crew already in motion for the task at hand. Orders had been handed down from command, and questions had not been asked about the situation. All that could be said was the Augustus was on the spearhead of possibly something much larger. The silence of the scene was broken by the roar of jet engines, as they catapulted from the deck in pairs. Their afterburners lit up as they soared into the sky, as Tyrrfighters took off rocketing into the cloud-filled heavens above. Dusk set in as the pilots followed their patrol waypoints, on their way towards the Albatros floatplane, WIS Indolent and worryingly, the Aschen fleet, red line of no return. The planes however were not armed with any anty shipping missiles, and were there just to show the Aschen fleet that Cukaricans aren't the people to mess around with, a show of force, as Imperator Maximus liked to call it. Maximus was already annoyed with the Aschen leadership, whom he earlier held in high regard, because they failed to answer his inquiry on short notice, regarding the Indolent stalemate. Now he was very trigger happy, and the situation was becoming worse as every hour passed.

Newly promoted Grand Decurion Lepidus frowned upon the situation. He received clear orders to avoid needless bloodshed between his ships and the Aschen fleet, but on the other hand Consul Crassus and Imperator Maximus sent him completely different instructions. He was to protect the exclusion zone at any cost, and above all save Countess Wilhelmina from the Aschen forces so Maximus could send her to Prince Cato and cement the good relationship with, at least he hoped, new and rightfull Emperor of Waldenburg. He was troubled with this mission, earlier he was given the mission of saving another former Waldenburger royalty, Duchess Euphemia of Hanslow which he failed to do. Rodarion fanatics hanged the young, innocent girl just before the Cukarican legions along with their Ascelonian auxiliaries soundly defeated him. He was haunted by the image of the young girl hanged, and he blamed himself for her death. "What would have happened if I simply ordered the 653rd Cohort to drop behind enemy lines and protect her before our main force swashed away the Rodarions?" He never knew... and he thought that he wouldn't accept that he was about to lose another child whose life was in his hands.

Lepidus stood on the bridge of the Maximus-II the Ascelonian-designed, Cukarican-built flagship of the Classis Ascelonica- Cukarican fleet responsible for the strait of Waldenburg and the Ascelonian sea. Lepidus picked a single white hair from his dark black sleeve, as he did not stand for dirtiness, he had always been a tidy man, even for Cukarican standards. As soon as he had flicked the hair to the floor, a young intelligence officer appeared on deck. After quickly saluting, he handed a large brown envelope to the decurion.

"What's this?"

"Current situation report, sir!"

"Very well, return to your duty." The intelligence officer executed a sharp salute and a well-practiced turn. Lepidus held the heavy white envelope in his hand, he thought it quite ridiculous that these reports had to be carried like this, but for some strange reason Centurio Imperialis had deemed it so. He pried open the seal of the envelope, and withdrew the first page, he finally learned the gravity of the situation. He read further down the page, which informed him that he in turn must inform command that he had received the report and wait for further orders.

"Communicate to the Centurio Imperialis that I have received the orders." he spoke to the nearest communications officer.

"Yes sir."

Lepidus' eyes continued down the page, his entire fleet was to move at full speed, towards the Indolent, 200 warships moving towards the token force of Aschen ships hunting the Indolent. Confusing orders indeed, even more so due to the fact that the next page stated that the further course of action would be explained in further communications. The rest of the envelope contained the precise co-ordinates and times at which the fleet must take its route.

"Helmsman!"

"Sir!" The rating turned and snapped to attention.

"Steady on the following course." Lepidus handed to him the page with the directions.

"Of course sir." The rating said as Lepidus gave the rest of the sheets to the Quartermaster.

"Make a copy of all this, keep it, and then send the originals to me."

"Yes sir."

He then walked towards the windows, stopping for a moment to admire the fleet at his command. Another Maximus-II class carrier, bristling with helicopters, escorted by various escort and arsenal ships, just as his own was. Transports and smaller frigates and several assault ships packed with Legio Navis, the Imperial Marines - also sailed with the fleet. This was one out of three fleets of varying sizes that sailed from Mednordican ports that cold morning, where they sailed, not even their own commanders knew, the answer to that question only resided deep underground under the Centurio Imperialis in Neapolis.

"Get me a secure link to the Aschen fleet"

"Comlink established, sir. You can hail them now." a neat comm officer responded.

"Attention Aschen forces in the strait of Waldenburg. You are to move away from the Cukarican and Waldenburger military assets immediately and prepare to be escorted outside of the exclusion zone. This is your final warning, if you do not oblige your ships will be sunk. You have no where to run, join Cukarican and Ascelonian fleets are all around you. Act with wisdom and avoid needless bloodshed."

"Hail the Indolent now" - he continued - "establish a connection with the ship directly, if that's not possible, connect to the Albatros and make them play the message over the speakers." He started to speak... "WIS Indolent, this is Grand Decurion Marcus Tiberius Lepidus, commmander of the Ascelonian fleet, Cukarican forces are on their way, if there are any survivors on-board, hold out a bit longer, help is on the way. If there is no exit, surrender to the Aschen force, I assure you that they will not murder any captives, because if they do trick you, they will end up on the bottom of the strait."

Moving away from the communications post, Lepidus ordered Legio Navis commander attached to his fleet to take 3 helicopters and rush with his marines toward the Indolent to stop the destruction of the ship and save the young Countess. As Cukaricans estimated the rescue party would reach the Indolent in 10 minutes, protected by the already launched Tyrrfighters and the mighty arsenal of weapons on the Cukarican ships in the vicinity.

The die has been cast.
Last edited by Cukarica on Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
|Tyrrhenia|
Please note that my nation is no longer called Cukarica, but Elysian Empire or Imperium Elysium.
Imperivm Elysivm: Wiki
Imperivm Elysivm: OOC & IC Factbook
Imperium Elysivm: Embassies
Quotes to remember
<Rodarion> even Yallak is reluctant to fight the Legions of Cvkarica
<Mykola> Cvk it takes a thread on II to get you to do anything
<Ralk> I'd have to blast my way through cvk. In doing so I'd lose a lot of men.
<Ossoria> isn't stupid enough to challenge someone with the caliber of military that is Cvk when he is right on the border
<Rodarion> I'm never going to try to invade you lol

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Aschenhyrst
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 49
Founded: Dec 19, 2006
Father Knows Best State

Postby Aschenhyrst » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:43 am

********Encrypted Communication-For the Emperors eyes only***********
To: Maximus Meridius Augustus, Emperor of Cvkarica
From: His Majesty Mark II, King of Aschenhyrst, Emperor of the Aschenhyrst Dominion
Subject: WIS Indolent and Princess Wilhelmina von Waldenburg

Your Grace,

I am relieved we could come to some sort of understanding on this issue and prevent this from straining our relationship further. We fully understand your desire to keep the conflict in Waldenburg from spilling any further from it`s shores than required and will endeavor to keep any further military actions on the high seas closer to the Waldenburger continent.

It is our intent to remove the WIS Indolent from further acts of piracy against the sovereign nations of the Sudkreis and provided the warship is not a total loss, capture it intact and tow it to the port of Uberschau where it will be presented to the Sudkreis Viceroy as a prize of war.

We will be more than happy to hand over any member of the Waldenburger Royal Family that may be taken captive during our operation against the WIS Indolent. We also request to evacuate the seriously wounded to nearby Cukarican warships or shore facilities in order to limit the loss of life in this operation. As for uninjured prisoners of war, I will leave there fate to the commanders in the field. If our officers see fit to surrender the custody of the Waldenburger POW`s to you charge, there are no objections on my behalf.

Signed
Mark II Aschenhyrst de Aschenhyrst
King of Aschenhyrst
Emperor of the Aschenhyrst Dominion

*****************************************************

The WIS Indolent
110 Miles Southwest of Rudyt


A Anirtakian commando thrust his battering ram into the oak door of the galley. The door remained largely intact but the jam splintered into hundreds of pieces.
"GO! GO! GO" Shouted another commando as the assault team poured into the galley.
"Halt! Hands in the air or you will be shot!" the team leader ordered. Casting his gaze accross the room, he saw four Waldenburger sailors carrying the limp body of Princess Wilhelmina.
"Return her to the mess table." He commanded. "CORPSMAN! I need a corpsman in the galley!"
A corpsman appeared momentarily and quickly examined the princess, "We`ve got to get her out now if she has any chance of survival. The bullet ruptured her spleen and perforated her stomach, she`s at high risk of entering septic shock."
"Mueller! Schiebel! Grab that litter and get her topside post haste! Von Alstine, get the Viktoria on the radio."


ANS Viktoria
1 mile Southeast of the WIS Indolent

Kapitän Erhardt`s staff kept him apprised of the developing standoff with the Cukarican`s. Multiple radar and sonar signatures were heading towards his small task force. The situation was grim and didn`t look like it was going to improve anytime soon. "Kapitän, incomming secure communication from High Command. Would you like me to patch it through?"

"Patch it through to Com-station Delta 6-2-2"

"Aye, Kapitän."

Erhardt entered his authorization code into the com-station.
*** Secure Communication- Priority ALPHA
To: Commanding Officer- ANS Viktoria
From: Aschenhyrst High Command

You are instructed to hand over possession of Princess Wilhelmina von Waldenburg and any injured personel under her command to Cukarican military personel. Upon securing WIS Indolent, your task force is to return to Wissenholmer territorial waters at once. Assist and aid the Cukaricans in the evacuation of the wounded. Custody of uninjured POW`s may be worked out between you and the local Cukarican Commander. Finish the operation and stand down."

Erhardt breathed a sigh of relief to his orders and called for his first officer, "Radio the Cukarican Fleet, they may have the princess."

"Kapitän Erhardt, please report to the bridge. Incomming urgent message from the boarding party."

Erhardt raced up two decks to the bridge. His comm officer turned to him, pale and sweating profusely. "Kapitän, the assault team has the Princess in their custody. She`s severly injured and they`ve requested an immediate air-evac."

Erhart began to turn a shade of pale, "Son of a bitch! This is going to cause a shit storm."
"Send the air-evac and radio the incomming Cukarican flagship. Inform them that a air-evac helocopter will be enroute to their position. ETA ten minutes."

Erhart excused himself, "I`ll be in my ready room."

The Kapitän opened his desk drawer and pulled out a glass and a bottle of whiskey. Erhart poured a glass of whiskey as his XO, Kommander Von Däniken entered the ready room.

"Ernst. Care for a drink?"

"I suppose I shouldn`t decline the offer from a superior officer. What`s the occassion?"

Erhart slid the glass to Von Däniken, "The occassion? The occassion is Herr Murphy has paid us a visit and as usually, he`s really fucked things up."

Erhart raised the bottle, clinked it against Von Däniken`s and proceeded to up-end the bottle, chugging the whiskey as fast as it could flow.
"If I had a nickel for everytime I offended Fictions, I`d have a Billion Dollars in nickels."-Me

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Yallak
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 118
Founded: Jan 02, 2007
New York Times Democracy

Postby Yallak » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:15 am

This ones for you laysley. More coming later in response to other stuff. If there's grammar/spelling problems, sorry, but I couldn't be bothered proof reading it tonight

December 30th, 2013 – 08:42
Fort St. Michael
Laysley


The holographic Tacops device, a technological marvel in strategic warfare, combining all manner of data, sensory and satellite inputs to create a real time three dimensional depiction of the battlefield and all friendly and hostile units on it, sat dormant in the centre of the room. What would be the beating heart of any other imperial military operation was now little more than an awkward and bulky table, the Emperor having apparently seen to more than just cutting their communications with Yallak. Of course, that was not to say that the device was now useless. Clawing with all their effort to avoid annihilation, any and every asset available was required, and the Tacops device now lent its advanced holographic projection plate to holding up an array of old and dusty maps.

Despite all that had transpired in the last hour, the irony of the situation was not lost on Lujayne as she entered the Command Centre tucked away in Fort St. Michael, just a few miles away from the fighting. She felt like she should laugh or smile at the sight, wanted to even, to find the smallest of distractions or familiarities to which she could anchor her mind and prevent it from thinking to much about the abhorrent event in which she was inescapably involved, but her lips remained unmoved.

Surrounding the Tacops device, their faces grim and resigned, legion officers, staff and a few Layslians, desperately tried to manually keep track of the ebb and flow of the battlefield. Markers covered the maps and were constantly being added, moved or removed as even more staff around them frantically operated dozens of short range radios, relaying orders and information too and from the command centre under the gloomy lighting powered now by only a few portable generators, the main electrical grids long since taken out. Their voices betrayed their frustration and desperation, but she tuned them out and they formed nothing but a background hum.

There was a low, quiet rumble outside and the room shook slightly. A thin layer of dust dropped away from the ceiling and descended over the men and women working below. No-one took notice and judging from the dust already building up on shoulders and hair throughout the room it seemed that such an occurrence was not infrequent. Artillery. Two hundred and fifty five millimetre, perhaps a mile or two away. Perhaps a few more dead loyal soldiers. Lujayne forcefully quelled her thoughts. She felt anger surge within her, not aimed at the Emperor this time but instead herself. She knew she needed to focus, what needed to be done, but she couldn't even stop her hands from shaking. In the heat of battle things had been so clear, but now having withdrawn to the fort, the effects of increased adrenaline wearing off, doubt had began to fester. She feared what would await her on those maps just meters ahead. Was there even an army left to command?

With far more difficultly than even a new recruit should experience, her trembling hands fumbled at her helmet until it came free and she discarded it on a nearby cabinet top even as she gasped for air as if it had been denied to her all morning. Sweat ran down her face and her raven hair felt damp and greasy as she pushed her fringe away from where it had stuck to her forehead. With a mixture of relief and self-loathing, Lujayne saw that the overwhelmed occupants of the command centre had still yet to noticed her arrival and so she remained standing, unsure, just inside the doorway and began to listen.

'Contact re-established with ninth division, fifth legion,' reported a radio-operator, 'they are regrouping in northern Jameston.'

'Current status?' questioned an officer curtly. Lujayne did not recognise him, nor in fact many of the people currently attempting to hold the situation together. She could not even recall the name of the man from her own Legion, and so she attributed this as another symptom of her slowly unravelling sanity.

'Twenty-eight percent casualties, but otherwise combat effective.'

'Order them east then to aid the defences in Market Street.'

'Yes, Sir.'

'The seventieth regiment, eighty-eighth legion, is under severe air and artillery barrage. They are disengaging the enemy and falling back,' reported another radio-operator.

'So noted,' said a second officer. 'Inform Commander …'

'The Western flank of New Torran is collapsing,' interjected a third radio-operator urgently, 'Twenty-third company, second legion, has been overrun. The sixteenth company and thirty-first regiment are in retreat and taking heavy losses.'

'Belay my last order, Corporal Phael,' commanded the first officer again, 'divert the ninth division immediately in support of the western flank.'

'So ordered, Commander.'

It was a dreary picture and so Lujayne let the voices fade into the background once more and her mind began to wonder back to places they ought rather not dwell at a time like this. Suddenly though, as if on its own accord, she found her left hand pressed against the pocket on the left side of her pants and she felt the small object she always carried there, patiently awaiting her to remember it. Lujayne didn't need to see the item for she new instantly what it was and wondered why she hadn't thought of it before now. That little note book she had carried since her very first battlefield simulation exercise during her officer training. She had lost that battle, as was likely the intended outcome, because she had been overconfident and made a mistake. After the incident, she had recorded the cause and effect of that mistake in the small book, and carried it in her pocket at all times. From that day on, whenever she had made a mistake on the field, she would fill another page and then read the whole book again. She knew the words within off by heart now, but she had never repeated a mistake recorded within the dog eared pages of that tiny tome. And though it was by all accounts a complete register of all her failings, to her it was far more than that. It was a testament to her career in the Legion, her determination, her resolve and the realisation of what was once only the dream of a small girl who wanted to be just like the father she admired. Most importantly however, it gave her that one small thing she could hold on to for peace of mind. A quiet place in a raging storm from which she could see clearly what lay before her.

Lujayne stepped up to the Tacops device. Her appearance startled many of those around her, but also lent them a measure of relief. As she had expected, the moment her presence was known, all authority, all eyes and all hopes turned to her. She knew that she could not have handled that minutes ago, but now she felt purpose and drive again. Defeat was perhaps still unavoidable, but now she could once again face that reality.

The officers and staff saluted her, clamping fists to chests and bowing their heads in the traditional Yallakian manner. Lujayne did not respond in kind though, her gaze turned only to the map laid out before her. The field was a right mess, an ever moving web of furious advances, flanking manoeuvres, dire withdrawals, encirclements and heroic last stands, and yet it was much less forlorn than the General had been imagining. The Legions were badly bloodied no doubt, but still intact. The most critical problem was they were too hard pressed to coordinate their own forces properly much less cooperate effectively with each other. That could yet be corrected.

The staff continued updating the map markers while Lujayne took in the situation, but they had ceased giving their own orders, instead waiting for her as the ranking officer to take command. They did not have to wait long. She gave her first order, then after a pause a second, then another, and another and with each new order the time delay between them decreased exponentially, until directives were flowing forth from her lips like so much water through a shattered dam wall.

'What is the state of the auxillia units?' queried Lujayne once she had restored some semblance of coordination to the Legions.

'The majority of them were never unloaded from the fleet,' answered the first officer, who she now recognised as the gruff Colonel Ralof from the eighty-eighth legion. 'The Layslian air force was all but destroyed and it was deemed unnecessary to unload the SAM-units. Hindsight eh? What few we have were prime targets and most were lost in the opening salvo’s, along with a lot of the artillery. The remainders been withdrawn to protect the fort.'

'No, unacceptable. We are indeterminably fraked if we let them rain fire down on us from above. Redeploy units here, here, here and here,' she commanded, stabbing an armoured finger along the map. 'I want the forecast to be clear skies for the rest of the day.'

As the command staff went about carrying out the orders Lujayne noticed an anomaly on the map, a large collection of markers indicating squad sized units gathered around the rear of the legions centre position. 'What are these doing here?'

'Straggler collection point, General,' replied Ralof, scratching at his lightly bearded chin. 'We've been routing any separated men or survivors from destroyed units there. Can't do anything with them though, they've no officers.'

'Hmm, unfortunate.' Lujayne reached down and plucked one of the markers up. It read 11C/5. She twirled it slowly between her fingers for a moment, then stuck it back down on the map defiantly. 'Get me the ranking soldier from eleventh company, fifth legion, on the line.'

As she waited Lujayne returned her attention to the battle, it was moving quickly and she would need to stay on top of it to have any decent chance of winning. She continued to snap out orders until one of the radio-operators reported they had made the requested connection and then she moved across to take over the device.

'Corporal Aengir Heoroth reporting General,' came the voice from the other end of the line.

'How many men do you have with you, Corporal? Are they fit to fight?' Lujayne hated dealing with her troops so callously during such a betrayal, but time was against them.

'Only a handful from my unit, but a few hundred in all. They're all pretty beaten up though...' There was a minute hesitation, barely long enough to be noticed, and then the Corporal continued speaking with renewed determination, 'but we'll do whatever you need, General.'

Lujayne finally found a tiny smile crease her lips as she felt a profound pride in her legion at his response. 'Good man. I'm promoting you to Acting-Commander. I have an important mission for you.'

December 30th, 2013 – 09:37
South New Torran, Turing County
Laysley


Like rolling thunder during one of the mighty tempests which battered the Cloudspire mountains during the summer months back in the north-lands of Yallak, a trio of Darkfist fighter-bombers screamed overhead. Their angular shapes were specifically designed to not only grant the aircraft its stealth abilities but also to be as aggressive and menacing as possible. Only now on the receiving end did Aengir truly understand just how effective that design was. Though they only took a moment to pass, it seemed like an eternity, and he held his breath the entire time, every muscle in his body tensed to the point of pain. He relaxed only when he could see the flaring glow of their exhaust ports moving away.

His eyes still followed the the aircraft as they opened fire on some unfortunate souls a mile behind. The staccato thrumming of cannons punctured only by the hiss of a missile being launched and the subsequent explosion as it struck home. And then suddenly a streak of smoke lanced up from the ground not far away and struck the lead aircraft, shattering it into burning fragments that did not look to dissimilar from a glitterpalm firework blooming in the sky. It's wingman banked towards the new threat with eager reprisal in mind, but a second smoke trail came hurtling in from further down the battle-line and detonated next to the left most craft, blowing its port side main and tail wings clean off. The aircraft’s AI system tried to compensate for the lost wing surface but its engines seemed to have been damaged in the blast too and the craft couldn't maintain altitude, quickly plummeting to a fiery death on the ruined landscape below. The remaining pilot turned hard again and sought to make his escape, weaving evasively as he went, but a smaller, most likely man portable anti-air launcher, got a clean shot off from directly beneath the plane, and its doom followed seconds later.

'Alright, keep moving,' ordered Aengir as he picked himself out of the dirt, 'we're running out of time.'

Crawling out from beneath whatever they had been hiding under, scores of legionnaires reappeared and followed their newly appointed commander as he moved off through the burning urban sprawl. He had set out at the helm of approximately four hundred men, a hundred fold more than he'd ever commanded before, but the price of breaking through the enemies advance had been high, and now only a third of the initial force remained. And though nothing had been said or done to indicate as much, Aengir couldn't shake the feeling that the rag-tag group of legionnaires that had become his command blamed him for each and every death.

For the next half and hour they moved silently and with as much caution as they could spare while still trying to make good time. They had penetrated quite deeply into the hostile zone now and if they didn't complete their mission and get out again before the enemy readjusted it's lines to close them in, then they were officially screwed. The deployment of the auxillia units had destroyed the Emperor's air dominance and provided much needed fire-support to the beleaguered legions, but that had merely slowed the Emperor's advance not stopped it. There would be no relief or rescue if Aengir and his men let themselves get trapped.

'Hold up.' One of the legionnaires on point signalled with a clenched fist and the formation stopped in its tracks, crouched down and waited. Aengir moved forward and joined the pair at the front.

'Lieutenant?'

Several seconds passed but Aengir received no answer. 'Caem...that's you remember?'

The legionnaire turned to face him this time and though the man's helmet hid his facial features and distorted his voice, Aengir could still detect embarrassment behind it. 'Damn, sorry, I still haven't got used to that yet.'

'No matter, what's the situation?'

'Up ahead, look closely.'

From his position amid the burned out remains of the ground floor of an office building, Aengir's gaze passed over the street before him searching the scene for danger. Fiery explosions bloomed above the rooftops before him and the sound of a great battle that they had first heard some time ago was so very loud now. Their objective was near, literally just a couple of streets away. Then movement at street level caught his eye. A shadow fluttered within one of the buildings opposite him and though he couldn't trace the person that made it, he did notice the barrel of machine gun jutting out of window nearby. 'Frak.'

Caem moved away from the window through which they looked and sat down, his back leaning again the wall. 'We can't assault that position without heavy losses or worse yet drawing attention to our little expedition. We'll have to find a way around.'

'There's no time for that, and anyone we leave behind will be blocking our escape.'

'Do you have a plan then?' inquired the Lieutenant.

'They have to die,' responded Aengir, avoiding the question. He didn't have a plan, he was essentially making it up as he went. Though his training was extensive he was not an officer and had no experience in this kind of position, the most he'd ever commanded in the past was half a squad.

'Well whoever you are expecting to pull that off is going to need giant balls of steel.'

'I'll do it, Commander,' chimed in a voice from behind, 'just wait here.'

Aengir looked around but whoever had spoken was gone. He turned back just in time to see the legionnaire walking out the office buildings doorway and walking openly across the street. He dove down below the window calling for his men to do likewise but the hail of bullets he had expected never came. As they waited Aengir heard talking coming from the street and then laughter, followed then by a sickly crunching noise, the sound of a scuffle and cries of alarm, then a single gunshot echoed throughout the street before all that could be heard once again was the nearby battle raging on.

The radio crackled in Aengir's ear a few moments later. 'All clear.'

Caem and Aengir slowly rose and peeked out the window again. The legionnaire stood across the street inside the building holding the machine gun that had been opposing them minutes before over his shoulder.

'Holy shit, that was epic,' declared Caem over the units comm channel, 'You're second legion right? What's your name?'

'Correct. And the names Katara. Katara Lythen.'

'Aengir, I think I'm in love,' said Caem turning to his friend.

Aengir simply shook his head and stood. 'Idiot. Let's go, the hard part is still to come.'

December 30th, 2013 – 10:08
North New Torran, Turing County
Laysley


'Incoming!'

The warning cry was followed by the high pitched whistle of another shell hurtling down from the sky and detonating in the midsts of the third battalions position. Every legionnaire who was still alive was already hunkered down as much as they could be yet the warning made every head get just that much lower. In war however there was no such thing as safe and Colonel Gregor Varyn watched on helplessly as the searing blast consumed a trio of his men not more than thirty meters away. In little over a second all that remained of them was a thick billowing cloud of dust and smoke. The Colonel cursed out loud but the sound was thoroughly drowned out amidst the roar of the explosion.

Such had been the pattern for almost two hours now and despite the protection afforded by his helmet the incessant shelling was beginning to grate on Gregor's nerves, not to mention causing his ears and brain to ache and that was all made worse by the fact that his filtered air still held the repugnant traces of coppery blood and burnt flesh. Inevitably, if they stayed put and kept dancing to this same tune, they were all going to die. That will not do at all.

'Commander Rhear, I'm going to see the Captain,' reported Gregor to one of his men over the unit comm. channel, 'hold this position at all costs.'

The officer flashed him a quick affirmative salute but Gregor was already moving away. Shells fell like rain around him and bullets whizzed past randomly but he just kept running, weaving and keeping low. Concussive waves battered against him as he went and it was only his forward moment that stopped him being knocked over and all the while eruptions of earth kept showering him in debris, particles of which sometime seemed to float before him in suspended animation until he charged right through them.

Only meters from his objective, Gregor finally lost his footing as a massive blast from behind catapulted him forward, where he landed face first in the dirt. Pain lanced through his body and he wondered if he might have even blacked out for a minute, but he was fairly sure it was just caused by jarring from impact and that no shrapnel had penetrated his armour. With a groan he pulled his face out of the ground and saw someone kneeling before him.

'Nap time is over, Colonel,' said a voice that Gregor recognised, 'You can't shoot anyone lying down there in the dirt.'

'Is the war over yet?' asked the Colonel.

'Of course not.'

'Then I'm afraid I didn't nap long enough, Captain.'

Captain Sora Tyraeis laughed devilishly and then offered Gregor a hand and helped him onto his feet. She had a reputation as being a bit of a hard-ass in the legion but Gregor could never figure out why, that was until the events of today which had shown him just how capable and confident she was in even the most difficult circumstances. The entire battalion was only alive because of her, yet soon they may all be dead because of her too.

'Captain, we can't just sit around and keep taking this,' began Gregor as the pair moved back into cover. The shell fire had lessened up now and he could hear the sound of machine gun and small arms fire coming from the west that signalled the Emperor's forces trying to breach their defences again. 'We need to break out and regroup with the legion.'

Though she still had her helmet on, Gregor could hear the scowl she wore in her voice. 'The enemy are on all sides Colonel Varyn. We could try and break out and the cross-fire would rip us apart. Not to mention, with no contact, we don't even know where the rest of the legion is now.'

'We should at least try, no? If we stay here we will be destroyed, slowly, piece by piece.'

'Staying here might destroy us, but breaking out in open daylight without support definitely will. Perhaps when night falls the odds will be better, but short of a miracle we are staying put. I won't give an order that will send my command to its death.'

The Colonel was going to try and push the point when a legionnaire slid into cover with them. He saluted the two officers but the Captain didn't waste time with formalities.

'Report,' she demanded.

The legionnaire dropped his salute. 'Sizable force from the one hundred and twenty-first is moving to assault our rear positions.'

'I'll deal with it,' stated Gregor, rising without ceremony and motioning with his arm for the Legionnaire to lead him back to the the lines. He was fuming quietly as they departed and though he wished it was because of Tyraeis' obstinance, he knew deep down that what really bothered him was that she was right and he should have known better to begin with. A touch of denial perhaps. The reality was that they were not getting out of this killing field, the only option left was to burrow in like a tick and make the enemy pay a great price to dig them out.

Trailing the legionnaire on auto-pilot as he dwelt in his thoughts, Gregor was surprise to discover that they had already survived yet another explosive gauntlet run through the falling shell fire and he now found himself at the rear lines. He was not surprised to discover that this part of their miserable position was just as wretched as the rest. Morale was low and danger was constant, so much so that the dead had to be left were they lay because any attempt to move or bury them would likely see a person shot.

'There's some spare ammo over there if you need it,' said the legionnaire, pointing towards half camo covered crate. 'Shouldn't be long now, Sir. Do you want to speak with my while you can?'

Gregor shook his head dejectedly. 'No Commander, they know what needs to be done. Just sent someone to bring up the reserve squads.'

'Consider it done, Colonel.' The legionnaire saluted and then he took off again, meandering through the various parts of collapsed buildings that made up the local environ. Gregor took up a position and joined the other men in waiting.

They did not have to wait long. The Emperor's one hundred and twenty-first legion were determined that they would appease their Lord with victory and not the disappointment of failure. All the other 'loyal' legions had tried at least once and failed to eliminate the Third Battalion so this was also their chance to prove their superiority to their own allies as well. With the flawless synchronisation that could be expected of such a well trained and determined enemy, the methodical shelling ceased and the assault began.

Through the lingering haze of smoke that clung to the battlefield they came, slowly transforming from immaterial shadows to ghostly figure as they poured out of the thick smog. First came the legionnaires, swift and purposeful, they advanced by squads, leapfrogging from cover to cover, silent save for the sharp bark of their assault rifles. In their midst emerged the battle tanks , lumbering metal constructs that made the very earth tremble before them as their treads ground relentlessly forward, pulverising anything they touched beneath their immense weight. Their cannons resounded violently again and again, like great war drums that drove the accompanying infantry onwards with great zeal.

The sight made Gregor freeze up. The way the smoke swirled around and trailed behind his attackers made them look far more terrifying than even an imperial legion should. For a moment it looked as if the angry dead souls of a broken Laysley were spawning from the very ashes of their ruined country and descending to reap an unholy vengeance.

And then Gregor remembered that he didn't believe in souls or ghost or other such nonsense and his angst subsided. He could feel his fingers again and so he slowly but firmly squeezed the trigger on his weapon until it fired, and the soul before fell dead without any fuss. Quickly he readjusted himself into a kneeling position, resting the end of his rifle on top of the pile of brick and cement that was his shield. And then located a new target. He took his time and carefully sighted each new victim, doing his best to pick those moving forward in the open and using as few a bullets as possible to put them down for good. His battalion did not have the luxury of wasting ammo, unlike their enemies they didn't look to be getting resupplied any time soon.

As the battle continue, its ferocity only increased and the constant chatter of small arms fire filled the air. To the left of Gregor's position, one of the advancing tanks blasted a brick wall apart and those defenders who didn't die in the explosion were quickly gunned down as they tried claw themselves upright or stumble to new cover. Moments later the tank met its grisly end as an AT missile struck home, practically severing the turret from the hull, and avenging the dead legionnaires. To his right, the first foes reached the defensive line and met those who didn't fall back to secondary position in brutal melee.

Though the reserve squads moved in and began driving the enemy on the right back again, Gregor did not hold high hopes from the outcome. At best, they would take significant losses, at worst the line might falter and once the enemy got inside their little reservation the game was over.

The momentary distraction of that thought however cost Gregor a bullet to the chest. It hit him like a sledgehammer in his right pectoralis major and this time he knew immediately that it had punctured his armour. The pain was immense and he lost his balance and fell down sideways, his face one again in the dirt. He could see his own blood coating the ground where he had been kneeling moments before, while beyond he could still see the enemy assault, only in the brief seconds of his demise everything had changed. The assault had lost its deadly momentum and now flailed in confusion. Gunfire and missile poured into the rear of the enemy legion and amidst the lingering smoke a new force was emerging.

Gregor smiled despite his agony and then the world faded away.
_____________________________

'Comman.........roth.......legion...........we'r..........uate you.......st.......now.'

Gregor only caught fractions of words as he slowly came back into the conscious realm. He awoke to find that he was still on the battle line but had been moved to a more level piece of ground and had a medic tending to his wound. He felt numb and was unsure whether that was a result of the injury or the treatment. There were others gathered around him but he only recognised about half of them, the rest were not from his battalion. He was pleased to see Captain Tyraeis present, but she didn't seem too impressed.

'We need to move now before they realise what's happened,' said a legionnaire with the ranking insignia of a Corporal, 'our window is closing rapidly.'

'We are surrounded, and so are you now,' retorted the Captain. 'We can not move a whole battalion out of here without getting shot to hell. I've already had this conversation once today.'

The Corporal smiled. 'General Forge sent us herself. I'll take care of the cross-fire and you need to have your men ready to move out in the next five minutes.'

This time the Captain looked more inclined to take the new comer seriously. She stood silent and unreadable for a few moments and then nodded decisively, more to her self than the others present. 'Bullshit five minutes, we're already ready. Tell me the plan, how are you going to deal with our problem?'

'Like this,' answered the Corporal, as he motioned with a wave of his hand towards one of his men.

A legionnaire brought forward a radio-set and offer up the receiver. The Corporal took it and pressed the side button to activate it, speaking into the device. 'HQ, this Commander Aengir Heoroth. I have made contact with the Third Battalion at co-ordinates Sierra Four Eight Seven Two – Kilo One One Seven Three. Five hundred meter radius. Requesting priority diversion of all auxillia batteries.'

The radio crackled intermittently for half a minute and then a voice came back with an answer. 'Acknowledged Commander, proceed with extraction.

Less than a minute later, as Gregor was fading into unconsciousness again he heard the tempest of an artillery barrage drowning out all other sounds again, only this time it wasn't coming down on top of him.
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"My enemy’s enemy is a problem for later. In the meantime, they might be useful."

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Cukarica
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Founded: Oct 25, 2008
Father Knows Best State

Postby Cukarica » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:28 pm

Imperivm Romaniæ,
Mediterranica, Tyrrhenia
Neapolis


The Emperor was a shadow of his former self as he was standing on the balcony of Pallatia Avgvsta-the Imperial Palace, gazing off into the hazy panoramic view of the Neapolis harbor, and in the distance the blue towers of Magistervm Militvm1. He spat a heavy, wheezing cough that sent particles of blood onto his white tunic. Sweat gathered at his grayed brow as the warm breeze whifted in between the fingers of his right hand, his left hand tightly clutched the Holy Bible he was given long ago by Patriach Romaniae Innocentius. He recalled his younger days and thought how did he deserve to end this way. Three months ago he was diagnosed with T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia. It was too late and an Emperor who had survived countless battles and at least dozen assassination attempts was to die as an ordinary man. Despite the sickness intensifying and his condition getting worse, Maximus refused the doctor's orders for rest: he was always busy doing the ordinary business as he every day before. This, however, took a hard toll on him, a man in his early fifties, looking like a seventy year old man. By allowing himself rest, in his own eyes would be high treason of the Empire and his entire family would not be worthy to lead it, he dared not to tarnish the reputation of his two thousand year old dynasty because of a disease which was killing him slowly.

Clouds rolled over the suns reach, glistening the clear, smooth water of the harbor, entertaining the Emperor as he waited for his son Alexander2. He gazed down upon the clear waters of the Neapolis bay, relieving his memories of the liberation of Hanslow. After a lifetime of war, women, and excessive alcohol and tobacco usage, most of his generals considered it a miracle that he lived long as he lived.

A light knock on the door brushed away his thoughts.

"Come in!" Maximus' voice called pleasantly through the oaken panelled door before two Praetorians opened the door to let young Alexander come inside.

"You wanted to see me, father?" said Alexander as he approached his sickly father.

Alexander was a young lad in his twenties, and one of the youngest centurions of the Legio Imperialis. Maximus had great hopes for his eldest son and above all hoped to teach him all the political tricks he had learned from his father, but unfortunately there was no time for that.

"Yes, Alexander. As you can see.." a rough cough stopped his sentence ''..as you can see, dear son...I am dying, the doctors are giving me week at most, and after that you shall be Imperator.''

"Is this a joke father?" Alexander couldn't believe what he just heard. Pater Patriae, Maximus Meridius Augustus, First of his Name, hero of the Empire, and above all his own father dead in a week. He didn't expect this, such a burden to be placed upon him out of nowhere.

"But, fath.." Maximus' raised hand, stopped the young man from finishing the sentence.

"There is not much time boy. Listen to me and listen carefully." Alexander made an approving gesture, and Maximus continiued "I've arranged for you uncle Cassius to be transferred with his legion to Neapolis, you regiment has been detached from your former legion and attached to his. In the coming days you will need people you trust by your side. You will need to be merciless, resolute and brave above all, if you want the Imperium to survive the forthcoming days. We have many both external and internal enemies waiting for the right moment..."

The young lad had no knowledge of the schemes and machinations of Neapolis politics, but fortunately for him, his father knew them all too well. Throughout the long Cvkarican history, whenever a young Emperor was to succeed to the throne, a bunch of pretenders with fabricated claims and some even sponsored by outside powers tried to take over the Cukarican throne. It happened to Maximus thirty years ago, and he was resolute not to allow anyone to trifle with his sons claim, and with the empire he built.

''...Do not trust the Praetorians, do not trust the Senate, and do not trust anyone from the outside. And the most important thing dear son. You must find Lucious Cato von Waldenburg.''

"Why Cato, what does he have to do with anything?"

Sipping a glass of water, the half-dead Emperor continued..."War in Waldenburg is at a turning point, Yallakians are devouring Laysley and we've also received reports that Balor himself is leading the invasion, both Yallakian and Mykolan pretenders are fighting over the continent. We need an ally that we can trust."

"It will be done, father."

"Leave now, your unit awaits you." Maximus stood high up straightening his back and defying the impeding disease. No pleasantries were exchanged between the father and the son, as it was the Cukarican way. The Cukaricans were expected to be men of few words, holding the art of rhetoric in disdain, and mainly sticking to the point.

Sea of Ascelonia,
Cukarican Flagship
INS AVGSTVS


"Sir, we're being hailed by the Aschen fleet over the secure channel"..

"Allow them through, I'm dying to hear what they are going to say." Lepidus nodded to his comm officer, evidently thrilled by the response, and as he hoped unconditional surrender.

Surrendering Willhelmina to your forces. STOP Gravely injured. STOP Med-Evac helicopter enroute to your position. STOP Immediate healtcare needed STOP ETA 10 minutes FULL STOP

"You have to be fucking kidding me." Lepidus was enraged, and wanted to completely annihilate the small Aschen force, but Maximus gave him direct orders not to engage them, even though they made his life miserable, and extremely complicated his current mission. "All batteries stand down! Aschen helicopter inbound, all units are to allow it through , get the medical teams ready on the flight deck.!" Lepidus barked orders at his aides, seemingly worried if this was a simple ruse of the Aschen commander. However he was in no position to gamble with the life of Wilhelmina as his goal was clear, rescuing her from the clutches of Aschenhyrst at any cost.

10 minutes later...

Meanwhile on the flight deck of the mighty AVGSTVS, security team of the Legio Navis, the Cukarican Naval infantry were along with the medical teams, calmly talking about the weather in the treacherous Ascelonian sea. Fortunately the seas were calm this day, and the helicopter would land without any problems. Soon the legionaries were certain that they could hear the helicopter rotor blades somewhere on the horizon. At first the Aschen MedEvac helicopter passed over the carrier and circled around it which caused some uproar on the flight deck, but soon it touched down with it's doors wide open. Legio Navis team rushed toward it some of them aiming their OAR-556 rifles at the Aschen crew. The legionaries helped Wilhelmina to be extracted onboard, tightly strapped onto her stretcher, but where shocked to see a fifteen year old girl with a grievous stomach wound. The medical teams were as quick as possible to diagnose the problem but they could only determine that the girl would not make it through the night. The wound was too large to patch up quickly and her fragile young body lost too much blood already. The Aschen helicopter lifted off, banked, and headed out to sea, while the Cukarican escort helicopter flied in the trailing position.

Lepidus, the commander in chief of the Cvkarican forces in the area was furious, however he quickly realized that even though the Imperium lost it's valuable person, it still had some Waldenburger servicemen and her corpse to present to Cato. He hoped that Maximus would not be furious and that he would find a wise solution for the problem at hand.


[OOC] Further explanation of the Maximus/Alexander and Cato related stuff in some of the future posts.

1) Military Central Command
2) Alexander Severus Meridius Augustus, first son of Imperator Maximus Meridius Augustus. Commander of the 23rd Centuria 5th Cohort 67th Regiment Legio Imperialis
Last edited by Cukarica on Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
|Tyrrhenia|
Please note that my nation is no longer called Cukarica, but Elysian Empire or Imperium Elysium.
Imperivm Elysivm: Wiki
Imperivm Elysivm: OOC & IC Factbook
Imperium Elysivm: Embassies
Quotes to remember
<Rodarion> even Yallak is reluctant to fight the Legions of Cvkarica
<Mykola> Cvk it takes a thread on II to get you to do anything
<Ralk> I'd have to blast my way through cvk. In doing so I'd lose a lot of men.
<Ossoria> isn't stupid enough to challenge someone with the caliber of military that is Cvk when he is right on the border
<Rodarion> I'm never going to try to invade you lol

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The Fanboyists
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Posts: 4300
Founded: Sep 21, 2007
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby The Fanboyists » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:32 am

Duchy of Daarnhulm, approx. 2:30 AM, December 29th, 2013

Somehow, the fact that they had been forced to make landfall under the cover of darkness, in a number of commandeered commercial freighters, was oddly comfortable to the commander-general. Perhaps, she mused, she would have thought it entirely too easy for it not to be a trap if they'd opted to do it in broad daylight. Never mind that they were disembarking in a friendly port, one of the few places that could be described as a "safe haven" on a war-torn continent. Never mind that their presence was more as a form of insurance than out of any real need to fight. For that matter, even if it did come down to a fight, they and the holding they'd come to help protect would be pretty much on their own. Their nation of origin would not be coming for them. Not for a long time, if ever, before they would eventually withdraw (if they lasted that long, she mused. Given the state of their kit and support, that wasn't entirely a certainty).

The voyage had not been a pleasant one, though by some miracle, they had not been waylaid by any of the fighting ships supposedly in the region. A harsh arctic wind had torn at anyone unfortunate enough to be standing on-deck at any point during the two-week-long trip. The seas had been choppy, and standing near the edge of the deck was to risk falling into those frozen blue-black waters and dying of hypothermia. There had been more than a few cases of frostbite, and Commander-General Harper suspected that her cheeks would be maintaining their raw pink hue for at least a few weeks. She knew their destination was not likely to be any warmer; Daarnhulm was perched on the northern coast of the Waldenburg continent, a stone's throw away from Laysley and Ibblesguard, where there had no shortage of fighting of late. Of course, if it had been peaceful there, she figured, the Auxiliary Corps' 201st Army would not be undergoing its first-ever deployment.

It had to be them, of course. The Corps was not --officially, at least-- aligned with the Allamunnic States, giving their government plausible deniability if they were noticed or forced to engage in combat. They were, in a less-than-delicate choice of words, expendable. If the Allamunnic government thought it prudent, there would be little to no hesitation to hang them out to dry. Which is why it made sense to Harper that her 'army' (a little over fifty thousand troops, by all accounts) was composed of what could only be called 'undesirables.' Leslie herself was one such person, a now-former Federal Army officer who had gotten in trouble frequently for insubordination. She'd been set to be reassigned to a penal battalion until a little intervention by the Generalissimo of the Allamunnic Armed Forces had put her in charge of an 'army' of thieves, debtors, immigrants, murders, disgraced soldiers, and just a smattering of volunteers, carrying second-rate equipment into a conflict the States were not ready to be involved in yet.

But she had a job to do, and she stepped down the ramp that had been lowered in the dark harbor to see an odd welcoming committee awaiting her. She expected to recognize at least one of them: Waaltur Illaeburg had been a Commander in the Federal Army, just as Harper had been, but now he had apparently moved onto better things: her briefing had noted that Illaeburg had left the States with the Duke of Daarnhulm to serve as his chief military officer. To his left was a guard who, from his equipment, vaguely resembled one of the Cataphracts of the States. Knowing the Duke, that was hardly surprising.

To Illaeburg's right, however, was a surprise. Leslie had hardly expected the Duke of Daarnhulm to come out to meet her personally, former Federal Army officer or not. But there he was. Regulus Devall, former Lieutenant Commander in the Federal Army. Also from the briefing, she knew how he had come into the title of Duke of Daarnhulm, but that did not make seeing him there any stranger. She noted that a second guard stood to his right. As Harper descended the ramp, Devall stepped forward, offering a hand of greeting.

"Commander-General! Glad you all could make it!" he said jovially. "I daresay I've been getting a bit nervous, as small as we are and as close as the fighting's gotten of late." The tone did not match the words, but from what Leslie remembered of him, that was normal; the man had always maintained a fairly cheerful facade, even if inside dark thoughts might be stewing. "Did you have a pleasant trip?" From anyone else, the sarcasm would have been obvious. But the Duke's infectious cheer made it so that Harper could not quite be sure if he was seriously asking how the voyage had gone, or if it had been meant as a joke. Ah, well. Taking something literally like that would not be damaging.

"The sea is horrible, and I hope to never have the displeasure of traveling on it again, Sir." Her expression stayed neutral. "That said, it could certainly have gone worse." She saw Devall nod, understanding. He was well aware of how unsafe it was for shipping these days. Wars made places unsafe, even for the non-combatants, and trade in and out of Daarnhulm had suffered since November.

Devall shifted from small-talk to business with a natural abruptness. "We've set aside barracks for your troops, of course. They unfortunately won't be the most comfortable ever known, seeing as we had to convert some warehouses, but I daresay it'll be better than tents in this weather." The snow was not as thick as it was in most of the States at this time of year, but there was still perhaps a solid inch or three coating the ground, and flakes continued to drift lazily through the dark sky and the orange harbor lights, showing no signs of stopping any time soon.

General Illaeburg spoke for the first time there. "Commander-General, what is the strength of your forces? I need to know to figure out how best to integrate your forces with our own." The General was in his late forties, and grey was beginning to show in streaks in his close-cropped hair and beard, both a dark shade of brown. He was of about average build, which meant he stood a little taller than Harper, stocky as she was. "There's perhaps, say...slightly over twenty thousand combat personnel in our own land forces to defend the Duchy. There's also that rinky-dink little navy, and something which is, technically, an air-force."

"Last count, we had 52,468 combat personnel. We also brought about 18,000 logistical staff, or, in layman's terms, not nearly enough, but we'd been told that you'd have that covered, for the most part." She looked worried. She'd heard stories about Yallakian armies being bigger than the entire military of Daarnhulm. "I think we managed to sneak through about 150 tanks, last I checked. Schiltrums, I think. An assortment of other vehicles, enough ammunition and fuel to sustain combat operations for about three weeks, if I recall right." She left her doubts about the quality of her troops unspoken. No need to worry the general while they were figuring out how to make things work. Not yet, at least. That could wait a few hours.

"Alright. I'd imagine you are all exhausted. Catch some sleep. It's late. We can discuss this further in the morning," Illaeburg said gruffly. "I'll see you at 0700 hours, Commander-General." Leslie nodded and popped a salute.

"Yessir. I'll see you then." Of course, she knew she would not be getting much in the way of sleep that night. There was a fleet worth of ships to unload, and she considered it her appointed to duty to oversee that process. She would not be able to retire to her lodging until the sun was beginning to light the clouds in the east, readying for another grey day. What she would get would be little better than a nap, but it would have to do.

=========


Principality of Haaldstadten-Aachensboro, approx. 12:30 pm, December 29th, 2013

The cargo-holding planes had finished off-loading the crates of equipment for the troops, and the cargo ships had brought in the disguised war-machines that the 202nd Army of the Auxiliary Corps required to do their work. As much further south as they were from their compatriots, the weather had been infinitely more cooperative, and most of the Corpsmen had been able to fly in on chartered commercial airplanes into the modern airport facilities that the city of Aachensboro boasted. The process had been considerably less arduous than the 201st's voyage, and having authorizations from a neutral nation, the handful of cargo ships had been able to move up the Bay of Paloni (as the Allamunnae called it) without being waylaid, although there had been a number of near-misses, nobody had inspected the cargo and discovered that it was, in fact, mostly tanks and airplanes, covered in tarps to conceal their nature.

Kaepurnik, the Commander-General of the 202nd, could at least look forward to a less-arduous tenure in the state he had been sent to fortify; Haaldstadten-Aachensboro was not only considerably farther from the fighting than little Daarnhulm, it was also more densely-populated, richer, and better protected by its own forces to begin with. Which was probably why he had a force numbering around thirty-four-thousand instead of the over-fifty-thousand troops that Commander-General Harper was commanding. Harper was dealing with the uncomfortably-vulnerable Daarnhulm, while Kaepurnik's troops were there more as a friendly hand of support than anything else; short of the whole weight of Waldenburg or Yallak bearing down on them, Haaldstadten-Aachensboro could be expected to defend itself against any reasonable threat. Anything not reasonable, on the other hand, was such that the Auxiliary Corps would not be much use anyway. Where Daarnhulm had a population of perhaps eight million people, Haaldstadten-Aachensboro was up to the standards of population of some of the Levantian Allamunnic States, with a total population of about 200 million. It's standing military was half a percent of that, and still larger than Daarnhulm's by several times.

Of course, this left out the fact that, unless the war's center of gravity shifted extremely quickly, there was not much in the way of fighting going on nearby, and it was a strategic backwater, at the moment. Kaepurnik was simply expected to make contact with the commander of Haaldstadten-Aachensboro's army, Maurice Haaldstadt, and coordinate with him, and, thus far, that was exactly what he had done with the foul-tempered general, along with meeting the Prince, Fradrik Haaldstadt, and his other son, Rudolf, who was departing shortly for a planned summit in Rone. That mattered little to Kaepurnik; he knew his own fight would hardly be reliant on the summit, since his was not an officially-sanctioned force, anyway. But he still had his work to do in preparing defenses for the Principality. Just in case.
Last edited by The Fanboyists on Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Laysley
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Ex-Nation

Postby Laysley » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:25 pm

Turing,
Laysley


Speckle admired his handiwork with pride. The map, at the start of today, looked like a huge Imperial arrow descending on Fort St. Michael. Thanks to the combined efforts of the rag-tag Yallakian rebels and the raggier-taggier Layslian resistance, the map now featured an enormous imperial arrow with an eaten away edge at Steele and a cut off tip. Considering the circumstances, Speckle was pleased.

In front of him, the tip looked very cut off indeed. The Layslians had blown a series of ruins and buildings down on top of the arrogant Yallakian tanks sweeping up Market Street, while a fierce sewer battle and not a little petrol had resulted in the practical sinking of many important roads. With cries of vengeance his men had descended on the disorientated Yallakians and done pretty significant (if, in the grand scheme of things, unsubstantial) damage. But the same clergyman’s mind that had, over a very long period punctuated by midsts of extremely dull administrative tasks and councils on more baffling theological niceties, thought up this creative approach to city defence also recognised the actual, dire, situation.

“Sir?” An obscure orderly inquired politely behind him.

“G-get th the men pulled back into Cherst and Blayke and-” He replied calmly, butstruggled to cough out the next words “get everyone out of Fort St. Michael.”

“What about Jowls sir?”

“Hah!” Speckle grinned. “I’d like to see anybody try.” A pause. “I suppose we’re about to.”

---

Fort St. Michael,
Laysley


Lord Henry Jowls, Captain of the Longforest Lancers, infamous guards of the citadel of Fort St. Michael, is almost amused as Hobsbawn, his balding, kindly Lieutenant who combines affability and generosity with an excellent knack for killing people, sets one of Lapel’s works (Jowls had never really appreciated music) on the turntable in the Patrician’s office. The place had never been much used even when the old bastard was around, but it had been kept in mint condition by the staff, the enormous desk, now sporting Jowls’ fine light machine gun in the centre, shiny as ever, the many books dusted and the carpet springy and plush. His men had been cut down brutally today. There had been precious few of them to start with, but as the fight wore on they had been reduced to the members present in this room readying for the final stand. Rex, Elton, Hobsbawm, Jowls. Catherwood and Wilson had been the first to go, flushed out of the basement with flamethrowers and poison gas as vividly described by Wilson in the guise of the occasional quick, dry quips to the comms which had carried to a few moments before his death. They’d all made a deal that, if possible, they would send a burst of static down the comms as they died to give the commanders an idea of what was going on. Starkey and Scarisbrick had been forced up the Bishop’s Tower until they couldn’t retreat anymore, old Dickens and young Duffy had died in the servant’s quarters. Jowls had seen Loades take an unceremonious bullet to the back, and Wooding stab a bastard through the neck, his knife satisfyingly evading the high-tech armour, before taking a burst to the temple. Perril and Morrison and James and Smith and Fish and Graves and McCulloch and Dawson and Guy had all, in some corner of their Fort, been killed. Amusement, as might have been deducted, had not been particularly frequent for Jowls that day. But they had all been killed fighting, and he would now avenge their deaths to the best of his ability. He is proud to be here, ready to fight and kill and die in one last stand against the invaders. Alas, Rex and Elton can’t appreciate his amusement as they uselessly lock and bar the door. It is the thought that counts.

But the bastards are clever. The glass in the enormous window behind him breaks. Jowls spins round, three Yallakians have appeared in the space and are rolling into the room. But they’ve miscalculated the window sill, and that fraction of a second of disorientation will count. Jowls hefts his machine gun and sends bullets flying from his hip into the middle one, while Howsbawm deftly sends a single shot through the left one’s head.

Jowls cuts through the stonework under the window sill as he swings his gun round to meet the final Yallakian, who is sent flying against the wall. But, boots in the corridor. He signals Elton and Rex to take positions while he and Hobsbawm crouch behind the desk, guns facing the window.

Sure enough, as the door breaks down three new assailants come flying through what was the window. Before the middle and the left one can land in broken glass and blood they’re dead, but the right lands.

Rex catches and breaks the neck of the first incomer from the doorway. Elton puts a bullet through the next, the third is quick and sends him slamming back into his position as rounds fly into the room.

A stray takes Hobsbawm ingloriously through the head. Jowls’ gun clicks dry. With a bellow of fury Jowls ignores the mal-aimed shots, one of which grazes his shoulder and hefts the riddled body of one of the new assailants. A small moment for gloating at courage proving itself in the face of technology as the bullets of his enemy only have just enough power to punch through the armour of Jowls’ corpse shield, leaving Jowls perfectly able to chuck it at him. The Yallakian falls back to the floor, landing rather disgustingly on his earlier friend whose guts had been ripped open.

At the door the first attackers are soon dead, but more pour down the corridor. Elton struggles with a Yallakian inside the room while Rex valiantly holds the threshold.

Jowls, having noted the high-tech body armour, dispenses with the inefficiencies of the alternatives and throws the stunned Yallakian (equipment, armour and all) out of the window. Let’s see if it can survive six floors of falling, too.

But no time for analysis of the results. Jowls spins again, whipping his pistol out and sending a high-calibre round through Elton’s opponent’s head. Sadness as Elton collapses to his knees, smiling his rather brilliant smile at Jowls as he died, from the knife in his gut that has been lodged their since his partner first bowled him over. He keels over dead. Then more rage. More honourable Layslian blood has been spilled that his noble body did not deserve to lose.

Rex has found a chink in the armour between the stomach and the groin and has bayoneted a Yallakian brutally. Jowls sends more rounds through the door from Hobsbawm’s gun as Rex shoves the bastard against the wall then dexterously slips the barrel out of his gut, screaming obscenities. Jowls joins in with a ferocious bawl.

But all he sees is Rex’s body splatter red from behind before another fine man collapses to ground before him. Another bawl as Jowls drops the rifle and sends rounds messily into another invader’s chest. But this is it.

He keeps firing as bullets smack into the small of his back from new enemies at the window, then feels his chest collapse from new enemies at the door. He sees the pistol drop from his unfeeling hand as he inexplicably falls to his knees. The dull thud of pain runs through his body, but he can barely feel it. He has lost the Fort to the enemy, but he has died with honour and dignity in the heat of the battle. No better reward, Jowls thinks before his heart cuts out, for a lifetime of service.

---

Kamgalam,
Southern Fictions,
1670


Percival Flint rolled hurriedly out of bed, hitting the hard wooden floor unceremoniously, as the flap swung open. He landed in the relative cover between the two beds, or rather elevated sacks, but not even out of sight of the opening. His Qualan friend Suleiman in the other sack grabbed for the flintlock pistol under his ‘mattress’.

Flint, face down, heard Suleiman choke on a shout. He quietly flipped onto his elbows.

The normal feeling in this situation, Flint evaluated later, would have been shock. Following the natural fear of the law or one of his many enemies catching up on him after his expedition of minor robbery, fornication (they were all willing, but the husbands didn’t generally see it that way) and desperate survival schemes from a Layslian ship docked in Yitzchaq (which he had somehow escaped from), through war-torn Qualah, various shit holes in the desert to the fabulous but poverty-stricken (just like home) Klatchian Empire, one would have expected the appearance of a fully naked old Yogi, his parts thankfully covered by a most impressive beard, at the flap of a small cubicle in a run-down accommodation hall, to have engendered some sort of surprise. Instead, Flint felt a most remarkable feeling of calm.

Faisal handed him the pistol without either of them moving their eyes off the grinning man. He had got in, walked down the corridor and opened the flap without waking anyone else. And how had he found them? These questions didn’t, at the time, feel like they mattered.

“My sons” said the smiling Yogi in strange Arabic, holding up a hand “Please do not be alarmed.”

A little late, perhaps.

“I have come to bring you instructions.” He looked straight at Flint “Your country needs you. You must go back at once to find your destiny.”

Flint had a thousand objections to leaping back into the lion’s den, and besides, he was horribly irreligious. Now, nevertheless, he believed.
“Your people have set up a trading post a hundred miles to the south of here. You will go there and take a boat back to your lands.”

Flint tore his eyes from the still smiling man and looked at Suleiman, feeling the gun heavy in his hand. Suleiman looked back and simply nodded slightly. Against all the odds, Flint was going home.

Cherst Lighthouse,
Laysley,
Present day


It was never clear to any of the Flints what destiny was being fulfilled and by which one. Theirs had been a long and productive (for good and ill) history against all the odds, and equally improbably it was to continue despite everything.

Christopher Flint felt another gun heavy in his hand as he inexpertly blasted away the Custodian from the door. The journey to the top of the lighthouse had been a bleak one, with the bodies of Layslian and Yallakian crack-troops lying dead and broken in unnatural positions, scattered around amongst the wreckage and the blood. The top floor was the worst.

He stepped over Whistling Jr.’s body into the chamber. The Custodian lay dead on the floor. The radio, on which Whistling’s famous addresses had been broadcast, sat wrecked and useless on its rickety table. The great light itself was irreparably smashed. Worst of all, Whistling Sr. sat slumped, blood draining from wounds in his stomach, leaning against the light’s casing in the centre of the room.

Flint rushed over and knelt down beside him, dropping the gun and taking a bloodied hand in his. Whistling looked up with dim eyes.

“It was an honour to serve this nation.”

Flint let the hand go and looked over at the wounds on his stomach. “Don’t be ridiculous sir! Come on, let’s get you to a hospital!”

Whistling weakly but irritably waved him away before he could remove Whistling’s other hand from the wound. “Let me die nobly at the hands of the barbarians. I will die here.”

Flint sighed. “Look, don’t be silly. You will have a much needed role to play in Laysley after the Yallakians are gone, we will need you to help build our ideal. If they drink blood out of schools, you know fine well that we just drink it out of crystal glasses.”

Whistling smiled slightly. “No no, Flint. You’re terribly clever but you can’t see past the end of your nose. This is what your father understood.”

Flint, bristling, forgot the situation for a moment and snapped “What?”

“Remember the good times, Flint” Whistling’s caught his eye again and his smile began to broaden.

Irritation was replaced by momentary confusion.

“Remember the look of the sun rising over the ocean. The golden streets of Joulle in the autumn! The sheep and the horses grazing in Dartshire on a hot summers day, viewed from the shade on balcony of some magnificent old house, sipping an ice-cold fizzy wine.”

Flint smiled in return, remembering that day.

“The iced-over canals, the deep snow on the tops of Ibbelsguard. The towering peaks of the sky-scrapers in Blayke.”

“And their light shows at night!”

Whistling nodded. “And the sun-setting over the open sky of Arnsland, bathing the whole world in red.”

Flint nodded, looking out of the window even though he couldn’t see anything. “It is a beautiful country, isn’t it?”

“And never underestimate the people either.”

Flint looked back.

“Amongst all the sex and the crime in the tenements, there’s real hard-working decent folk, smoking a pipe in front of the fire after the day’s grind. The traders in the crowded markets on the water front might exaggerate and haggle to death, but most would never con you or steal from you. Then there’s the fishermen and the sailors and the ship-builders and all those bloody office workers in there, making an honest living and holding ultimate loyalty to our city despite the poverty and the cynicism.”

Flint felt an involuntary tear running down his cheek as Whistling looked him in the eye for the last time. The latter said quietly:

“There’s some real good people out there Flint, believe in them.”

The smile faded into the very model of a stiff upper lip. Flint couldn’t help but salute. Whistling nodded formally, his back, despite the pain, straight as a dagger and his chin in the air.

And with that, Lord Gerald Montgomery Whistling, by the grace of God, Lord-Lieutenant of Dartshire and Commander in Chief of the Layslian State Army, died.

Flint stood, finding himself crossing himself. As he stood there, he noticed the small flame still flickering behind the cracked glass of the lamp.

He had learned from his father that it would take a miracle to save humanity. Now he understood the implication of that saying: miracles happen, and its our job to make bloody sure they do, or die trying.
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Ex-Nation

Postby Waldenburg 2 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:40 pm

Fifth Imperial Field Army
Freimöt- The Kingdom of Ibblesguard, Near Scant
January 11th, 6:34 AM 2014





Some sixty kilometers below Scant, the Army had moved with amazing speed; soldiers were still pouring out of boxcars, discouraging gray in muddy and fast melting snow. Battalions were forming with great confusion as the guns of the army were being set up, and dugouts were being hacked out of the frozen earth. Even the most inobservant student of gunnery could judge the distance too far; Scant was visible as a glowing mountain side shrouded in mist but it was impossible to make out buildings or streets, or targets.

“Linsky!” Captain Detmord bellowed him out of his reverie. The fat corporal for his part had been leaning on his rifle, an ancient bolt action, and staring up at what remained of the night-time stars. Above the mountains in Ibblesguard, where he was told the air was as clear as anywhere on earth, you could look out into the night sky and see forever…. “Linsky! Division is sending out skirmishers, alert you platoon and fall in!” The Captain was in a foul mood, and once he had made sure Linksy would obey, he stalked off to yell at some other orderlies.

It caused great difficulty to the corporal to find his platoon, soldiers were running everywhere, carrying boxes of shells, forming foraging patrols, or trying to dig breastworks. After bumbling through a battalion command post he ran almost headlong into his ancient sergeant, Hoop, who unlike an old lemon could scream your ear off from a thousand yards. Linsky found it more convenient to list the ways the old man was not like an old lemon; it saved time. “Sergeant! We’re to be in the skirmishers.”

Hoop looked angrily upwards, for like a lemon he was small and bulged out in the middle, he studied the buttresses and fat heaps that composed Linsky’s chest. “Fall in line then! Freimöt is just down the road.” With a relief that was almost palpable upon his sweating forehead Linksy fled to a line of light infantry that was forming before an officer who was waving his sword around more often that was strictly necessary. “….Drive the rebels from their hiding place!”

“Who is he?” Linsky asked of the man next to him, a regular soldier of some ten years service who had rather taken a shine to the corporal.

“Prince Joachim, a colonel in the hussars but apparently eager.” The man responded back from the corner of his mouth.

“Righteously install the flag of the Emperor!”

“Little too keen perhaps?”

“Every officer is too keen. You’ll learn.”

“Company!” Prince Joachim was suddenly shouting orders, he was a thin short man, reminding most of the assorted light infantry of a vertical ferret, “Advance!” It was a gentle trot, about ninety men ambling through the dead bracken; trotting through the first weak like that began to poke holes in the mist surrounding the lowlands. It all seemed great fun. There was, Kap, and Andrew, and the sarge loping behind, and to the left and right, about three hundred yards distant another two companies.

“Not so…” Linsky began with a smile as he puffed away.

“Shut your mouth.” The older soldier ordered sternly as sight of a peasant village hove into view. It was a fairly standard affair, plaster frame houses clustered around a small stone church, that itself sat on a cobbled square. In recollection of his boyhood he recalled a school trip to the base of the mountains, and the bus had stopped for a moment in the village to let Wilhelm Klaub expedite his motion sickness with a finger down the throat, and a bucket of cold water. With a suddenly cautions eye he noted the Orophant, the flag of the Cenobiarch flying from the church.

“Company! Halt!” They clattered to a stop as Prince Joachim and a squad of regular soldiers advanced on three men who had just emerged from the church and were waving their arms the soldiery. Linsky couldn’t hear the conversation, but after a few moments, he saw Prince Joachim draw back his arm and deliver a painful slap to a man dressed simply in black robes. His guard moved quickly to drag the the remaining two up against the front wall of the church. “You!” Prince Joachim stormed back and pointed at Linsky’s squad, “Execution detail. Form!” Before there could be a response the squad was moving forward, Linsky’s legs pumping of their own accord till he stood in line with his friends facing the two men. One wore a silver chain proudly, his chest stuck out, over a white night shirt. The other wore some scraps of brown cloth sewn together with mismatching threads.

“Present!” Joachim screamed. From the corner of his eye he saw the imperial flag replacing the Orophant on the Church, he heard a fife and drum striking up somewhere behind him. “Aim!” His muscles, much more accustomed now to military service than his brain brought his rifle up to his eye.

“I pray you aim true,” the man in brown robes said without any emotion in his voice. Linsky did. The bodies fell softly onto the cobblestones.

Then piercing the night sky, like some sort of heavenly javelin, and explosion cracked the sky apart where cradle amongst the mountains Linsky knew Scant to be. And another. And another. “Railroad guns,” Joachim said smugly, privy to information no one else was, “We’ll make short work of them yet.”

Linsky slipped away, rubbing his shaking hands together, and after some time losing all focus. Staring off at the mountains, where every ten minutes or so a thunderous roar rolled through the valleys and set the ravens and blackbirds sitting in the dormant trees to squawking. Sometimes, if you just stared, you could see forever.
--

Kvellstein Manor-Sonshammen, Hechingen
January 11th, 6:34 AM 2014


He had been watching the Ha-Ha all morning, and was entirely sure what was so funny about it. Admittedly a clumsy under-butler had broken his concentration for about eight seconds while the fool had been clunking up the stairs. Perhaps it was an ironic statement? Some sort of visual pun? Cato doubted. He doubted many things; one of which that bubbled to the forefront of his mind was the veracity of Mrs. Wellig when it came to plotting and stately machinations.

“Bless the woman though,” He murmured to himself, as the day’s first gardeners were breaking forth from their cocoons to go about their tremendous metamorphosis, “She makes a passable cup of tea.” The Prince had grown accustomed to rising early, there was not a whole lot to do at the manor, while waiting for his agents to raise additional soldiers and for him to remain as silent and unrecognizable as possible, so he generally dressed and fixedly glared out the window till Sufrir arrived at a much more fashionable hour.

Pontean windows, elegantly glazed in some sort of sea-foam green separated the gray and already soaking day from the Prince, who in turn stood pillar straight in a room of dark mahogany and delicate crystal. He had to admit a tad of boredom entering his life. He had sunk so low as to talking with servants on occasion, and though it was indeed stimulating conversation, it presented equal parts bewilderment. Like what, for the love of God, was a bus token? Fantasy, he suspected.

Some weeks had passed since he arrived in Hechingen, and life had simply stopped. No news penetrated the gilded walls; Cato wondered if there really was a war going on.

“Cato…. Cato…. Pay attention”.

“Why do you call me Cato, Uncle? I am Lucius!”

“I think you’ll find you shall come to appreciate Cato more than Lucius. Lucius is something you were given. Cato, is something you inherited. You will come to resent your parents, but you must never hate your ancestors. “

“Why?”

“They made everything.”

“‘Everything’ uncle? Birds? The Cypress?”

“Oh, yes especially those things.”

“How Sir? Were they ornithologists?”

“No, no nothing like that. They were…. You are too young…. but….they were alive. They were really alive. They sniffed the desert air and smelled promise, where there was nothing, they built everything. Where there was a living breathing heart, wings, feathers, a beak, they built a bird. They are everything; from the promise of darkness they fashioned endless day, which is still with us."

“I don’t understand.”

“You will though.”

“So…. Who are my ancestors?”

“There are thousands. Tens of thousands, but the man you draw your name from was the second Emperor.”

“What did he do?”

“Drink every day, raise a hoard of bastard children, and die a piteous death in Ibblesguard.”

“I don’t much care for that name then.”

“Oh, no, Cato! That is why you must love it. Cherish it. Protect it.”
“You’re babbling uncle.”

“I always do.” A clear, sweet laugh. “Let me show you something. It is a medal, I was christened with it. It is St. Henry, patron of kings; he protects me always. Guides my steps, leads me through life.”

“I shant need anyone like that. I will be Henry, he can be Cato.”

A tremulous hand was stuffed into the breast pocket of his uniform and the now slightly tarnished medallion was pulled out like it had been so many times before. Cato’s eyes devoured it. The little silver face frozen for nearly a hundred years, the inscribed motto in the old language.’Noli neglegere parua potentia;Consilio valere potest cum viribus natura negat.’ He knew what it meant, had studied it for hours, with books leant to him from the Imperial Library; every second a painstaking eon of the transcribers art. He still didn’t understand 'why.'

“You are awake far too terribly early.” Sufrir glided in, making absolutely no sound on the creaky floor.

“I haven’t slept.” Cato responded shortly as he scowled out the panes, “But why do you think, is it called a Ha-Ha?”
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Laysley
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Ex-Nation

Postby Laysley » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:53 pm

Thormenguard, 
Capital of Hechingen

“LEIMS!”

General Menno Skreiner was, enemies and friends alike agreed, sour at the best of times. As he bawled, however, his chiseled, gin-sodden features were most peculiarly sour.

General Leims, round and bald like a shiny brass door knob, poked his head through the interior flap in the tent from the little corridor. It was still strange to have such a series of rooms inside of a tent, having been on campaign in a far simpler version for months before. This comparison rattled Skreiner: he was comparing tents because he could hardly remember living in a house.

“Yes?” Leims said, with irritating serenity.

Skreiner proffered the telegram without looking at Leims, who stepped inside the ‘room’. He began to run a hand through his thin wisp of hair, but immediately noted the grease and threw his hand away with a scowl. The finer points of hygiene had to be sadly neglected in the current situation (even the razors were second-hand from local requisitions), and this was while the showers weren’t frozen over. Skreiner had little sympathy for his grunts, but he knew from painful experience that all the card-games and cigarettes in the world wouldn’t heal the trauma of sleeping covered in shampoo that you weren’t able to wash off. What they really needed was alcohol, but regrettably...

“Oh, I see.” said Leims, derailing his train of thought. “How many lads did we lose?”

Skreiner wished he wouldn’t insist on being so damnably informal. “My estimates suggest three or four hundred, but all officers have not reported in yet.”

Meanwhile, Leims wished he wouldn’t insist on being so bloody by-the-book. You’d have thought a heartless, worldly conservative would be above such niceties.

Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like the two generals would be separated any time soon: another assault had just failed drastically. The original attack had petered out and now the battle of Thormenguard against that bastard ‘President’ Scheist and the communist rebels had become a protracted siege.

Leims stood thinking in silence while Skreiner sifted through papers on his baby-blue plastic fold-out table.

“We don’t have the men, do we?”

“No, General Leims” Skreiner sighed irritably “We have failed in all immediate regards.”

“Actually, gentlemen.” Heels clicked. The bald circle and the sour rectangle shook themselves noticeably as Rudolf Albatros, head of the now non-existent civil service and mastermind, it seemed, of basically all Hechingen’s affairs, stepped through the interior flap. He was a tall, thin man, much like a kindly, academic version of Skreiner, dressed in what was an impeccable grey three-piece, A little pair of half-moon glasses sat on the end of his intelligent nose completed the look. “I may be able to be of assistance. Good morning.”

“A pleasure, I’m sure.” said Skreiner, bitterly.

“How did you get out of...” Leims started.

“Indeed! And I have my methods!” finished Albatros, not at all unkindly.

“Will these methods bring back four hundred good men?” snapped Skreiner, rising so he could look the newcomer squarely the in the eye.

“Alas not” conceded Albatros, bowing his head “But they will bring us forward a similar number, and most likely strengthen the resolve of our remaining crop and improve the effectiveness of our recruiters.”

“Really?” said Leims, genuinely surprised. Skreiner inwardly scoffed at his lack of cynicism. A middle-aged general with the optimism of a floppy-haired student.

“Indeed!” Albatros replied with a broad grin. “I have news that Prince Cato himself is gathering an army in the south east. I am certain he can be persuaded to put the state back under the control of...” he was cut off as an orderly brought in a huge wadge of papers to Skreiner’s desk. After an awkward smile and a mumbled apology before a swift exit, Albatros continued “The crown.”

“Oh, so you’re on our side now?” Skreiner stepped up right in front of the civil servant, peering intimidatingly.

“No, my dear General, you’re on mine.”

It was Skreiner’s turn to bow his head. Here was a man who it was very much folly to underestimate. All things considered, it was a jolly fine idea.

“If I may suggest setting the boy scouts running with a plea?” said Albatros jokingly, perhaps to alleviate the intensity in the room.

Skreiner, however, had no sense of humour. Nor did he have Cato’s phone number. He waved a hand at Leims.

“Right you are!”
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Rodarion
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Ex-Nation

Postby Rodarion » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:25 pm

Sacred Council of Cardinals – Hall of Benediction – Konstantine

At midday of everyday Rodarion’s 250 Cardinals meet to debate legislation and matters of faith and nation, today the Council meets to discuss the growing situation in Waldenburg. Usually the Menarci leads the debate but due to his attendance of the Rone Conference he obviously couldn’t, in his place was the Doci himself. He stood at the forward podium before the horseshoe seating system before his Cardinals and opened the day’s session.

“My honourable friends, I stand you before you today as his Imminence the Menarci is currently away at the Rone Conference, but today me standing before you is also necessary as today’s issue far exceeds ordinary government business, and that is what is Rodarion to do in Waldenburg. Our allies and close friends in Yallak have requested our involvement and assistance and I believe we should answer them”. The congregation responded with a mix, half cheered and applauded the other half muttered and whispered. Not the response the Doci was looking for, to support his vicar of man, Cardinal Cleric Attius Pharda of Education stood up, “I applaud his Holiness, he speaks the truth and this is our best chance to support our allies and bring harm to the Catholic institution”. His words were met with applause and the Doci smiled.

“Thank you my honourable friend, brothers listen to me. We owe Yallak our support and our sword; let this be a war of two meanings – a war of friendship and a war on our dear enemy. If we are successful we will have the greatest chance of burning down the very heart of the Catholic Church and ending their oppression of our dear people and people of our faith. For centuries people of Libraism have been oppressed and isolated by people of Catholicism throughout Tyrrhenia, let this be our chance to free the people of God. With god in our hearts and pride in our minds we can defeat the Catholic monstrosity once and for all”. The room erupted in applause and jeering, this lasted well over a minute, the Doci had to wave his hands to gain silence.
Cardinal Hamada Dapharis stood up, “its about time Rodarion took itself to the shores of the enemy and smash down the gates of the Catholic Church, we must go to war – God wills it!”

“God wills it” was echoing across the hall, the Doci smiled and the decision was obvious. The later vote for action was 233 against 17. Rodarion was about to enter the war.

Lypharda harbour

Lypharda was Rodarion’s second largest city after Konstantine, with a population of 26 million it was renowned for its city centre, nicknamed the city of marble it was Rodarion’s cultural paradise. It’s centre was mostly covered with plazas, theatres, auditoriums and the National Opera House. However beyond its glittering centre Lypharda quickly became a grey slumish shithole, the main reason was due to the destruction it suffered during the civil war in the 1960s and the reconstruction effort saw the erection of cement tenements and towering housing blocks. Its harbour however was the largest in Rodarion and was the primary trading hub, greatly giving Lypharda a strong economy. It was here that the first 110,000 soldiers of the 1st Expeditionary Corps would be transported to Erendan. As the troops amassed on the piers, the Yallakian flag was hoisted up on the masts of the 43 ships that would take them to the Island and then onto Horenburg. Bishops blessed the troops and led prayers as the soldiers marched onto the vessels. The fleet of transport and supply vessels would be escorted by 2 Dionysus class carriers, 8 Exodus class cruisers, 12 Seraphim class destroyers, 11 Raman class Frigates and shadowed by 10 Valkyron class submarines in case of the Cukaricans intercepting the force. But that was unlikely due to the Yallakian flag covering the fleet. By the morning of the 25th of November the force left Lypharda and sailed south towards the Yallakian outpost, there it would be refuelled and resupplied and then moved onto Horenburg.

The plan was to send 470,000 soldiers over the next few weeks and possibly a supporting fleet to offer air support, however the latter was debatable due to the Cukarican blockades of the sea routes to Horenburg. Once in Horenburg the Rodarian forces would aid the Yallakians in the Salitz front and possibly the operation to take the Waldenburger capital. The defeat of the Catoists was a primary objective, but Rodarion always has its own agenda – the destruction of the Catholic enemy. Cato also became the most wanted figure with the National Intelligence Commission and would be hunted down by Rodarian agents until he was killed. What would come out of this venture is to be seen.
Last edited by Rodarion on Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

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Mykola
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Mykola » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:30 pm

January 11th, 2014 - 12:01 AM
Blünderburg, Waldenburg Empire
Kaiser Frederick's Study


He glanced down at a book on his desk, read the words, the most fitting and proper way for a diplomat to engage himself in the affairs of his...., he was interrupted by a knock on the door, and then a voice, it was Keppelheim.

In came Keppelheim and a sweating General von Solf, both with looks of angst on their faces.

Frederick looked up angrily, inquiring, "What is the meaning of this? At this hour?"

"Your highness, I just received this message from Lieutenant General Frederick."

Frederick grabbed it from his hands and read:
Sire,
With my own initiative, I have activated the Fifth Imperial Army and attached artillery brigades to affect an attack upon the pretender Alaric. I shall remove him by force and reunite Ibblesguard to your throne.
Your Eternal Servant,
His Excellency Lieutenant General Frederick Margrave von Bant und Treimen, C&C Fifth IFA


Damn him, he thought, damn him to hell.

Frederick crumpled the letter into his fist and slammed it on his desk, "That dribbling fool! That imbecile! By his own initiative!"

Solf glanced at Keppelheim nervously and then spoke, "Your highness, I find it important to make you aware of the preparation for attack at Tettenburg forest, it's set to begin at five o'clock this morning."

Frederick took a seat at his desk and leaned back, placing the palm of his hand over his face. For a moment he was silent, and then he leaned forward, his head resting in his hands, and his elbows resting on his knees.

"Is there any chance of pulling the fifth army back now General?"

"We received a message ten minutes ago; a message of radio silence, there's nothing we can do now. They're moving en masse...it will be a slaughter."

Frederick pondered the General's words for a moment.

"General, you're not familiar with Mykolan history at all, are you?"

"A little bit, mainly military history."

"In 1915, when the Hapsburg Reich was at war with the infant Diadakhoi Confederation, a battle was fought at Amburg," Frederick's eyes became glazed, peering into some great vast expanse of time, reliving the experiences of the dead, "I believe several of my great uncles were there, but that's beside the point. At this battle, a million Mykolans and a million Empirians clashed. It lasted one week," he clasped his hands together firmly, as if holding on for life, "The Empirians suffered 150,000 casualties total…that was the amount of our dead. We didn't have enough trucks or horses for the wounded so we had to use cattle. The Empirians took our army and sent it back to the 1860's, but why? Historians have searched for a reason, a reason for such a defeat. Can you think of a reason General?"

Solf took a long look at the Emperor, trying to understand what exactly was going through his mind; a revelation on what this man was seemed within his grasp, with only his automated military reply hindering such an epiphany.

"Well your highness, I would have to think that it was simply a miscalculation of the enemy's strength, misuse of advantages and the Empirians own lack of counterattacks."

Frederick chuckled, "No General, it was a hill, a mountain...they sent a million men to take a mountain and only half that number came back. They went up a hill! I can't help but think of this battle when I think of the fifth army, trudging up to Ibblesguard. Hell, I'd be surprised if they didn't form three ranks and march shoulder to shoulder!"

"Sir," Keppelheim began, "Our men will do good…we must have faith in God."

Frederick looked up at the young officer, his face red with anger, ready to lash out, but he determined that it was useless.

"Send this message to Field Marshal von Pälitz:"
Hurry up for God's sake, or Blünderburg cannot help you.


Pälitz


January 11th, 2014 – 3:13 AM
Tettenburg Forest,
Field Marshal von Pälitz's Headquarters


He stood out in the cold, his breath frosting as it exited his body. He tucked his hands inside his coat pockets and eyed the valley beneath him. From his current vantage point, he could faintly make out the Aschen frontlines, the small fires dotting the landscape. He looked towards the east.

Many a good man will die today, yet will it be worth it? Will we succeed, yes, he thought, yes we will, God will's it. I have seen the weather, I know, their air force will be useless here. But do the commanders know it?

Pälitz's second in command came up beside him. His name was Lieutenant General Jochen von Chemnitz, an astute and serious gentleman officer who possessed a combination of both age brought wisdom, and youthful energy.

He's the best I've got, Pälitz thought, noting this man's fire during the assault on Ponderburg. If there ever was a better man to lead an attack, it was him.

Chemnitz saluted, "Good morning Sir," almost grunting the words, Pälitz determined that he was still awaiting his morning coffee.

He returned the salute, "General, how are you this morning?"

Chemnitz looked up at Pälitz, struck a match, stuck a cigar in his mouth, and replied with it still in, "Ready to send those bastards back to their own continent."

Pälitz nodded, pointing to the east, "You see over there General? That's the Kreuzfelden Pass. To the south of it is Weinfelden. Those two locations," he paused, took a breath, "those two locations will be what decide the fate of this battle," he kicked some snow around before continuing, "It's safe to say General, that if your men can't take those locations, the Aschens will roll us back to Blünderburg."

The words struck him, the aura of being pushed back, what it would mean. No, it cannot be that bad. They do not have the men or resources we have, we will prevail.

"Sir," Chemnitz started, "If we can take that pass…"

"We can," Pälitz interrupted, "and we will."

Chemnitz looked at the old man for a moment, nodded. His look contained caution, a premonition of death, but for who's death, the look did not reveal.

"Sir," it was Garding, Chemnitz's aide de camp. He had a nervous look about him, looking almost ill, shaking in the subzero temperatures.

"Yes Major?" Pälitz replied.

The man handed him a slip of paper, he read it to himself:

Hurry up for God's sake, or Blünderburg cannot help you.


Damn, he thought. We are facing the entire Aschen army and are left to fend for ourselves, in this country?

He passed the slip to Chemnitz, who crumpled it after reading it.

"I cannot imagine what is the matter in Blünderburg," Pälitz began, "I only hope that for this Empire's sake, the blockade on supplies to the enemy is persistent. Garding, can you see if there is any way to acquire more detailed information on the situation up North, we cannot be left blind."

"Of course Sir," the Major saluted before hurrying off.

"Well Sir, I feel that I must be off to see to it that my men are ready."

Pälitz looked at Chemnitz, thinking over on his words.

"Whatever happens General, do not waver, do not stop. You will have every resource at your disposal."

"Sir," Chemnitz started, "I've been a soldier all my life, but I swear to you; we will be the first to strike, and the last to leave."

He nodded at the words, enjoying them, even for an old man like himself; the inspirational words went miles when it came to his own morale.

"General, when I was in the Calvary years ago, I told my men to charge towards the enemy, but trot away."

Chemnitz gave a slight smile and then snapped to attention, saluting, "God speed Field Marshal."

"God speed General."

It's all in God's hands now.

Flensburg


January 11th, 2014 – 4:50 AM
Tettenburg Forest,
Colonel Werner von Flensburg's position


With a slight thrust from his arms the man pushed himself off of the embankment and stood up, gazing out across the snow covered forest from the depths of his trench. He grabbed his watch and checked the time: 450 hours, time to move.

Colonel von Flensburg, a tall, slim man who was more acute to books and studies than to military tactics and guns, after all, he spoke seven languages, including, but not limited to Aschen and Anirtakian. He had been a professor of rhetoric at a university about one hundred miles outside of Blünderburg and had joined the service when the Emperor had died, receiving a commission to command a regiment of infantry within days of his offer of service. That was in October, and already, in that time, Waldenburg had been invaded in various places, something that ate away at Flensburg, like a parasite.

"Lieutenant, ready the men, the attack begins in ten minutes."

Lt. Altburg hopped away, passing the order onto the regiment. It was a redundancy; the men had been readying themselves for over an hour. For many of them, this was their first combat experience, and for many, it would be their last.

The men began to gather around the Colonel. He was surprised, not expecting to make a speech.

What was it? Friends, Romans, Lend me your ears. Yes, Shakespeare.

He stood atop a crest and began, "Friends, Waldenburgers, countrymen, lend me your ears!"

There were at least fifty men, all crowded beneath where he stood, waiting to absorb their commander's energy.

"Our Emperor has asked us this day, to fight they," he pointed, "who be our enemy today. We come here not to conquer in the name of our God or our country, but rather, we come here to defend! In defense of our homes, our wives and our children. It is they," he turned towards the Aschen lines, "It is they who come here, seeking to rob us of our independence, but I say nay! We fight here on this ground, not because we want to, but because our land has been invaded! And so men! Commend your spirits into thy Heavenly Father and come with me! And when you see the enemy…"

For a moment, all was quiet, and then, simultaneously, Flensburg continued, as the artillery began.

"Give 'em that fury!"

By this time, several hundred me had been listening to the Colonel address his men, but all across the lines, this image was mirrored as the officers sought to inspire their men, to give them a will to fight.

As the artillery shells flew overhead, the men that were once hiding in their trenches, foxholes and dugouts began to dash into the forest, followed by Leopard I tanks and other assortments of armored vehicles. It took a minute before the Aschen lines came into sight. These lines had the focus of artillery on them, but it was undetermined as to whether they had been decimated, although broken trees dotted the landscape.

"Keep going men!"

Flensburg moved forward, leading his regiment towards the Aschen lines, firing several rounds.
Last edited by Mykola on Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Aschenhyrst
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Founded: Dec 19, 2006
Father Knows Best State

Postby Aschenhyrst » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:27 am

The WIS Indolent
110 Miles Southwest of Rudyt
Image


The commerce raider WIS Indolent`s raiding days were over. Anirtakian Commandos had secured the ship and gathered the survivors for transfer to the ANS Blitzkrieg. Negociations on the fate of the POW`s continued between the Anirtakian and Cukarican commanders, in the interum the POW`s would remain in Anirtakian custody.

Damage control personel had transfered to the Indolent to determine if the ship would be able to sail to Uberschau under her own power or if she would need to be towed to port. Fortunately for the Anirtakians, most Waldenburger ship were holdovers from a bygone era. The engine room resembled something one might expect to find on a early 20th century warship and loaded with redundant systems. The Viktoria`s cheif engineer radioed Kapitän Erhardt, "She`s seaworthy. One of our bombs damaged the port side transmission but there are enough parts in the ships stores that I think I can cobble her together enough to travel under her own power. If my crews work around the clock, I believe she`ll be ready to sail under her own means in 48 hours."
"Make it so. We`ll continue to negociate the POW`s with the Cukaricans, that should buy you the time needed to make your repairs."

January 11, 2014
Tettenburg Forest
Kreuzfelden Pass
0600 hours

Three hours prior, the Mykolan forces and their Waldenburger allies had made a push for the Kreuzfelden Pass. The initial armored thrust had been a feign; as the lightly armed pickets began to fall back, the Mykolan forces unleashed a hail of artillery fire upon their possission and avenue of withdrawl. A platoon of engineers attempted to set of charges they had placed in the pass but their detonators failed in the extreme cold. One crafty engineer wrapped detonation cord around several large trees and manage to fell a few across the road through the pass, managing to slightly delay the Mykolan advance.
Image

Aschenhyrst forces regrouping in the Tettenburg Forest


Word of the Mykolan`s attack spread back to General Marlow back in Beckingham, orders moved back to the front to stop the advance and hold the line at the Weinfelden Pass. The weather was preventing Marlow from deploying his air assets, his men would have to hold the line. "Let the Mykolan`s test Aschen mettle, for they will most assuredly taste Aschen lead and Aschen steel. Moved the second armored brigade and the fifth infantry division towards Weinfelden. The pass will be held at all cost. Tell the men to fix bayonets and fight hand to hand if necessary. If the pass is lost, we could be pushed back into Paloni and eventually the sea."

Artillery on the heights of the Weinfelden Pass trained its fire on the Kreuzfelden valley. Visiblity began to fade to zero as the smoke of battle mixed with the winter storm. Aschen armor poured through the Weinfelden Pass into the valley to meet the Mykolan onslaught. As morning gave way to mid-day, fresh troops moved into Weinfelden as casualties were moved toward the rear areas. Reinforcements moved toward the front as Kreuzfelden was not expected to be the only movement.
Last edited by Aschenhyrst on Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
"If I had a nickel for everytime I offended Fictions, I`d have a Billion Dollars in nickels."-Me

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Rodarion
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Founded: Dec 28, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Rodarion » Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:18 am

Erendan Island

After spending three days in Erendan the fleet was rearmed and refuelled, the troops had been given the chance to feel land beneath their feet and also to socialise with Yallakians who were quickly becoming Rodarian’s distant cultural brothers and diplomatic brothers in arms. The Bishop Chaplin, Yaris Themana who also acted as a political commissar was sitting in the CIC with the Commanding officer of the land forces General Hadir Emplumada, commanding officer of the fleet, Admiral Matthias Kadirada. These three gentlemen would be the ones leading the expeditionary force in Horenburg and then onto which front Yallak required Rodarian assistance.

“What are the chances we’re intercepted by the Diadokhoi?” Bishop Themana spoke up, looking at the recent satellite pictures of the Diadokhoi fleet.

“We’re not sure, though flying the Yallakian flag will give us protection, but we will have to prepare for the worst” Admiral Kadirada responded, prompting nods from the other two.

“110,000 men should be enough to make an initial impact on the war, the Doci is hoping that Rodarion’s entry into the war will tip the balance of power into ours and Yallak’s favour, but that maybe just hopes. We may only end up escalating the war, but that is war” General Emplumada spoke up, he too was flicking through the files on the Catoist war effort. Rodarion had studied the war with great detail; the hope was that the new reforms to the Rodarian military would effectively make up for the disasters in Sudar and Paloni. The Divine Libraist Republic was also preparing for war against the Cvkaricans, a war they relished in. Plans to strike hard at the Cvkaricans were made, which included seizing territory in the free north on the Mednordian continent. But these for the worst case scenarios. Plans to launch missile strikes at Prince Cato’s supposed location were also put into effect, to kill him would destroy the Catoist war effort and would lead to a Rodarian-Yallakian victory.

At Midnight the fleet departed and began its four day journey east towards Horenburg and would arrive by the 1st of December. Time was of the essence, the fleet had to arrive or it would face resistance from the Diadokhoi fleet. The fleet was put at full speed, with the submarine screen put ahead to intercept any force from Cvkarica or the Diadokhoi Confederation.

Konstantine Amphitheatre
(OOC: this is for Mykola after 1984)

The Konstantine Amphitheatre was the largest cinema in Rodarion, it was also an open roof establishment, but the truth was, this was not a cinema of the usual sorts. This did not play newly released films, it did not play old classics, it played propaganda videos and speeches and tonight would be no different. With 112,000 people in attendance the Doci’s face appeared on the screen, the crowd roared with excitement, above the screen towering over the central seating area was the Libraist cross growing red with the huge neon lights that lined the cross.

“My brothers and sisters, I speak to you tonight as soldiers of the Divine Army now sail across the ocean to Horenburg, a possession of our ally and close friend Yallak. There they shall aid the Yallakian in the growing fight to end Catholic oppression in Waldenburg and bring Prince Cato to justice for its inhumane crimes against peoples of the world. Yes Rodarion is going to war, but this war is different. This war is about honour, peace and humanity, we fight there so that we at home maybe free of Prince Cato’s tyranny. You must understand.

This war is a righteous war, this war will be at the heart of Catholicism, the heart of our dear enemy. Our fight is honourable, just and guided by the Holy Father, they are much different. There only honourable act in their eyes is atrocity. We cannot ignore what we must do to these barbarians, these heathens and heretics. Their land will burn for their sins, their cities will crumble, their homes shall collapse for their sins. This war is to aid our ally but also to help destroy the institution that oppresses billions in Tyrrhenia, this war is righteous.

Unlike the war in Paloni which did fail, we shall not cease fighting. We shall fight until there’s no fight to be fought, we shall fight until the last drop of blood has been spent, we shall fight until the fields of Waldenburg are strewn with the bodies of the heathen, we shall fight until the Catholic Church is burning in the wind. We shall fight until either the people of the heretic Jesus Christ are dead or the sons and daughters of the Holy Father are dead. We shall not stop until victory is achieved!”
the Doci’s face was replaced with the Rodarian flag, the crowd roared with euphoria at this chance to hit the enemy at its heart. The National Anthem echoed out, which was then drowned out by the voices of the singing crowd.
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

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The Fanboyists
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby The Fanboyists » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:53 am

Outside the Shrine to Staalavax, Dunnmaar, Stalhamark, Allamunnic States
December 26th 2013


Mobilizations are one of those things that is damnably difficult to keep quiet. By its nature, the movement of men and supplies to certain areas caught the notice of the people being moved and doing the moving, who invariably mentioned their day at work to their mothers, fathers, spouses, and children, who then mentioned it to people who would make something of it, and thus were rumors started and stories spread. And, given the size of the army being assembled, this was especially inevitable. An encampment of 300,000-odd people tends to catch plenty of notice, because that's a lot of people. And there would only be more such encampments, Steven knew.

President Filie had called a conference in Rone of all the leaders of the nations of Tyrrhenia, and, from what Grimmeberger knew, most, if not all, were showing up, and that might mean some good things, possibly even hope for success of the Conference. But Steven was a realist, and had been for 30-odd years wearing the insignia of the Generalissimo of the Allamunnic Federal Armed Forces, and knew better than to think that when people wanted war that peace was going to be an easy thing to etch out. The dispatch of the Auxiliary Corps forces to Daarnhulm and Haaldstadten-Aachensboro had been a first-step, nothing more, to secure two important allies. And, Grimmeberger, figuring damn well that the Conference would go nowhere, had made arrangement with the President's leave, in the days leading up to the Conference, which he would be attending.

The first had been to present the Governor's Council with the discussion topic, as it were, of where the Allamunnic States would stand in regards to the various factions contesting the Waldenburg throne. He could be reasonably sure as to their eventual decision, but a process was a process, and had to be observed, or the existence of the process would mean nothing. It did not, however, mean he could not make preparations for their decision.

Dunnmaar was one of the few places in the Allamunnic States that retained some trappings of the Allamunnae's pre-Christian faith. That was owed largely to the city's most constant protectors; others had ruled Dunnmaar in the past, but Haus Grahulm had always been the city's protector. It meant that the inevitable concession to their wishes was made, and, given that about three-quarters of Haus Grahulm followed the Old Gods, that meant that a number of shrines and two temples still stood within the city. It was at the shrine to, if Grimmeberger recalled correctly, the great dragon Staalavax, that he found Tyrrus Grahulm that snowy afternoon.

Walking down the steps in his own CO's uniform, Grahulm spotted Grimmeberger waiting for him at the bottom of the steps leading out of the shrine. He popped off the salute drilled into Federal Army personnel with practiced ease as he approached Grimmeberger, who answered with a salute of his own. A few seconds passed, and the both went at ease, more than comfortable around one another. They had known each other fairly well even before Grimmeberger came to power, and the General had always been able to count on Grahulm's support.

"I thought I might find you here," Grimmeberger said. "Dead-of-Winter Offerings, is it?"

"So it is. Can't hurt to have the gods on your side, especially when one's a damned huge dragon belching fire and shit. What brings you to our fair city, Steven?" Tyrrus said. His voice was gravelly, a result of a fairly minor shrapnel injury from the Wars, where a piece had caught him in the throat. It'd been fairly minor, or he'd doubtless have been a mute, but as it stood, he now sounded like a man who'd smoked two packs a day for fifty years, without the lung cancer. He stood a bit taller than the stocky Generalissimo, right around 6'0", and a little more slender than Grimmeberger, to boot, although not by much. Grimmeberger remembered that the Grahulms were big men, and the 60-year-old Tyrrus was actually fairly small by the standards of his family. He also, Grimmeberger noted, much like the other members of his family, bucked the guideline that held that hair should be kept shorter. Federal Army regulations only held that hair on the head and face needed to be kept tidy, but guidelines suggested it be short. Tyrrus, he saw, like every other Grahulm that had ever served in the Federal Army, had opted to keep his salt-and-pepper hair longer, tied into a ponytail at the base of his neck, and having grown a well-trimmed, short beard in the same color as his mane. It was a tradition, or something like that.

Grimmeberger cocked an eyebrow. "Really, general. You should know better by now. You're not stupid, you know about the mobilization." He saw Grahulm nod and affirmative. "What do you think I'm here for, if I sought you out specifically?" He sighed, stepping around idly and crunching the snow under his feet.

Tyrrus stroked his beard for a moment, smiled and said "You've got a command for me to take, I assume, Steven?" He thought for a moment. "If I recall right, a damned big one. Above my pay-grade sort of big. Three-hundred-thousand men?" Grimmeberger barked out that distinctive laugh of his. He wasn't called "The Wardog" by many for nothing.

"Half-right, Tyrrus. I want you do some commanding, but it's for one of the detachments. I'm reassigning Erik to overall command of this one. For some of the other sub-commanders, I was looking at Gaars, Ryan, Baeryk, and Leif, most likely. As for you, you're one of the best armor commanders we've got. I want you to help Erik with utilizing the armor to the best of his ability. And, if you so desire, to lead some from the front." Grimmeberger mused for a moment. "I imagine you're already fairly sure where you might be going?"

Grahulm snorted. "If I had to hazard a guess? Waldenburg? Am I right?" Grimmeberger nodded. "Great, when do we leave?" That was when Grimmeberger sighed.

"You might not be. If that Conference over in Rone gets a ceasefire and a treaty worked out, it won't be necessary, and that would be great. But frankly, it really wouldn't surprise me, unfortunately, if it deadlocks. Too many competing interests, and something tells me a few of these nations want the war to go on." After a moment, he thought about one of the other things he'd presented to the Governor's Council. "Actually, scratch that. You leave in three days with the first detachment. You'll be bound for Haaldstadten-Aachensboro, and I expect you to stay there unless directly attacked. Is that understood, Tyrrus?" Grahulm nodded. "Good. Pack your bags and say your goodbyes. I expect the Prince will be there to welcome you personally and give whatever help you might need. There's also already an Auxiliary Corps detachment there, and they should be working to help shore up the Principality's defenses. Help them out, if you would."

Grimmeberger checked his watch, adding "And I'll be late for my train if I don't leave soon. So, do you accept, Tyrrus?" Another nod. "Excellent. I expect to see you on the departure in a few days. I think the Empirians will be willing to help with that, actually. You'll get specific orders later tonight." And with that, Grimmeberger trudged off into the snow, leaving Grahulm alone.

Tyrrus knew that if Grimmeberger was ready to act preemptively that things weren't likely to go well at the Conference, and things might get very hairy indeed. He trudged off towards home, and started the process of packing.
Last edited by The Fanboyists on Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:48 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Mykola
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Founded: Aug 10, 2008
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Mykola » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:48 pm

5 January 2013- 7:14 AM
Vienna, Hapsburg Reich
Kaiser Franz Josef II's Hospital Room


The beep of the heart monitor pulsated throughout the room. He could hear it. The noise drove a spike into his mind, forcing himself awake. Slowly, and most painfully, he opened his eyes; quickly closing them once the light from the window hit them. After a few moments he tried again, this time managing to hold them open for a second or two, but the light being too strong.

Blast, he thought, where am I? He tried once more, this time his eye lids catapulting open and the light of day cutting deep into his retina, but he was awake now…and conscious.

"Ah your highness, I see that you're with us again."

The voice was familiar. Who was it again? Franz tried to sit up, but the breathing tube prevented him from doing so. It was essentially a combination of a tube sticking out of his trachea and a marked weakness, common for a man recovering from a heart attack.

"Nurse, fetch Doctor von Wietzlou, I believe the Emperor is capable of breathing on his own again."

Yes, it was Hindenschloss. He motioned with his hand for the man to come to his side. After a few seconds Hindenschloss was standing over him, looking into the Emperor's eyes, trying to notice if ten days of deep sleep made them look any different.

"You look much better today your highness. Lord knows how bloated you were the day they brought you here. It's wonderful that you're up and alive, a lot has happened."

He let out a slight groan, trying to speak, but given the fact that he was not controlling his breathing, there was no point in trying to speak.

"Ah, your highness you're looking well today. Can you give me a nod if you're ready to try breathing on your own?"

It was Doctor Wietzlou. He spoke in a way one would speak to a child: Self assured. He was most likely convinced that Franz would be unable to breathe, especially on his first try without a ventilator in over a week.

He nodded his head and mouthed the word, "yes."

Wietzlou went over to a machine, pressed a few buttons, unsnapped the tube connected to the machine from Franz's trachea and then waited.

Franz struggled for air, trying to take in a breath. After a second or two his hand started pounding on the bed.

"Now your highness, you have to make a concerted effort to breathe or else I'll have to plug the machine back in," the doctor looked at Franz's face a moment, it was turning purple, "propel the air through your lungs!"

After a few more moments of gasping the Emperor finally took in several consistent breaths. After another minute, he was breathing normally.

"Very good your highness, I'm impressed. Usually patients take several days before they can breathe on their own," he pulled another clear plastic tube out, "for now, I am simply going to have you wear this oxygen tube around your face. It'll put pure oxygen into your nose, helping you breathe a bit. You don't have emphysema, but your lungs are certainly not in the best of shape."

The Chancellor gave the doctor a nod, signifying that his duty was fulfilled and that the Chancellor wanted to have a private conversation with the Emperor.

"I," he began, fighting for his words, a very hoarse sound it was, "I want…to know…the state of…" he groaned, his eyes clenching shut. Clearing his throat once more, he began again, "my empire."

The Chancellor's expression lifted for a moment, and he took a seat on a chair next to the night stand.

"Well," he began, "the situation is tense. The nobles are nearly up in arms. Oh, by the way," Hindenschloss seemed to remember something, "happy new year. You went into a coma on Christmas Eve and have slept until January fifth."

"Oh dear God," he groaned again, the heart monitor's beeps now becoming more frequent, "what has happened? What of Waldenburg?"

"Ah yes," for a moment, Hindenschloss debated how to answer the question, "well, Frederick has tried to get your empire to purchase 200 billion Reichmarks worth of Waldenburg bonds. The council of the nobility narrowly passed it and my head has very nearly been lopped off."

For a moment, both men were silent in the room until Hindenschloss broke the silence.

"Oh, don't forget, the entire region is about to erupt into war…can't forget that part."
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Aschenhyrst
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 49
Founded: Dec 19, 2006
Father Knows Best State

Postby Aschenhyrst » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:34 am

January 11, 2014
General Marlow`s Staff HQ
Bleckingham, Tettenburg Forest
1100 Hrs


Marlow reviewed the 3-D display of the Tettenburg Forest. His command assistants had been updating the display in real time for several hours now. Intelligence updates were recieved almost entirely by radio. The weather in the Tettenburg Forest had deteriorated to the point that sattelite imagery of the battlefield was non-existant and aerial reconnisance, save some grainy images from Predator UAV`s, was nearly impossible.

"Troop Strength?" Marlow demanded

"It`s still difficult to tell. Estimates from the ground place the numbers that have penetrated the Kreuzfelden Pass at somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000. Sattelites are still down and we`ve lost five Predators so far trying to see what`s on the other side of the pass. We cannot see 100 yards ahead on the viewscreens, the UAV operators keep crashing them into the mountains. They could not have picked a better time to launch an offensive."

"The front line?"

"The pass is overrun. It was so cold that the detonation caps on the explosives rigged along the pass failed to operate. A platton of engineers managed to fall some trees along the route to slow the advance but that`s all it did, slow it. Front line pickets have fallen back to more fortified posistions. All artillery within range of the pass is targeting anything that comes through. Armored reinforcements are going through the Weinfelden Pass to assist the infantry in holding the line. So far, the enemy has made a salient approximately five miles beyond the Kreuzfeld Pass."

"Other Sectors?"

"All quiet, so far. We`re moving reinforcement to Eine Pferd Pass but it`s doubtful that the enemy will try a push there, the pass is too narrow to fight their way through. However, if the enemy secures the Kruezfelden valley....We`ve anticipated that they`ll make a drive towards Eine Pferd Pass, providing them with a second avenue of advance. Should they attempt to take Eine Pferd Pass, we can count on them making a drive toward Namen."

Marlow checked his 3-D model, Namen sat at a major crossroad. If Namen fell into the enemy hands, not only would his supply lines be threatened but the offensive would be in position to threaten the flanks of the Northern Line.

"Alert General Hopkins. See if he can move troops toward his eastern flank from elsewhere on the line. I know he has been tasked with capturing Lovat and the weapons but this may need to take priority. Perhaps General Luttrell can spare some troops as well, it`s been quite in his sector for quite some time. If he can organize some reinforcements immediately, they would arrive in two days time under normal conditions."

Marlow`s gaze never left his battlefield model. He scanned the model like a hawk peers accross the countryside in search of it`s prey. Well aware that they could never outman the enemy, they did outgun him but only when the weather would break. In Marlow`s mind, he could see clear skies. Aschen planes and helicopters rained lead, hell-fire, brimstone and death upon her enemies. For now, he must wait and let the bloody slug-fest continue on the ground.

"Weather?"

"Meteorology reports predict the storm system over the Tettenburg Forest to continue for another three to five days. Near white-out conditions on the ground."

"Damn, we are blind until this storm blows over. Continue to move reinforcements toward the Weinfelden Pass and strengthen positions near Namen and Eine Pferd Pass. Until we can determine their strength, we must assume that every able-bodied man in Waldenburg is pouring through the pass. All units will continue to repel the advance but try to contain their casulties. Should the numbers seem to great, we will fall back on the following key positions: Weinfelden Pass, Namen and Eine Pferd Pass. These fall back positions must be held until reinforcements from the rear arrive. The weather cannot ground our air superiority forever. If ammunition runs low, have the troops fix bayonets. Use whatever means necessary to hold these positions until we can drive them back accross the mountains. Once that is accomplished, we will drive them straight into the Yallakan`s crosshairs and slaughter them all."

"Whatever means necessary, sir?"

"By whatever means necessary! My orders are clear enough that even a pacifist Fictin could figure it out. They will hold those positions by whatever means necessary to prevent to wholesale slaughter of this army, to save the lives of their comrades in arms or I`ll personally shoot them in the back of the head. I do not think I can make that any clearer than what I have. War is a vicious game and life is not fair. One must be prepared to win at all cost and damn the consequinces. Your King and Country expect no less, we shall not disappoint either of them."
"If I had a nickel for everytime I offended Fictions, I`d have a Billion Dollars in nickels."-Me

Proud member of Tyrrhenia roleplaying community

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Laysley
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 147
Founded: Jul 20, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Laysley » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:29 pm

If I should make a heart as sound,
As the Grecian craftsmen daily cast,
I should rouse the weary Emperors,
Delight their troubled hearts.

I should bring peace to the Kings and Cardinals,
On their unfamiliar thrones,
Wax great lyrical from a pagan bough,
And woo the ladies of Byzantium.

~ Byzantium, by the late Lord Harold Jowls.
Proud member of the Tyrrhenia role-playing community, wot!


Tonight, we bring the dream of death.

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Ascelonia
Diplomat
 
Posts: 503
Founded: Jun 27, 2008
Ex-Nation

Postby Ascelonia » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:25 pm

“A bit of geometry for you all: Peace and Love go hand-in-hand, but I like to think War is that rebellious, young lad riding on a mighty steed who makes a line segment into a triangle.”

- Field Marshal Alan Baarskag to the Huskarls


December 20th, 2013
Royal Palace, Donierstrom, Kingdom of Saxe-Missern-Blomburg




In the early hours of the morning, lone man on horseback peaked over the crest of the hill overlooking the Donierstrom Palace where thin whispy stalks of smoke rose from the stout brick chimneys of the guest houses and faded into the gray sky. Freshly baked bread and good old cinder, he thought as he approached the zenith. He reigned in his horse once he came into full view of the royal guards manning the palace gates. The medley of stalwart youths and grizzled veterans that comprised the royal guards, whipped into a frenzy at the sight of the horsed foreigner, sounded the bells. A man decked in a thick blue-gray trench coat stepped out of the palace gates. He raised a gloved hand to his pale face and called out sharply, “Who goes there? Speak your bidding!”

The man's sharp voice belied his small stature and, in the same manner, the distance camouflaged his bright pink cheeks. A loud ghost in the distance cried out to Lieutenant Johann Kesser, not that the name or title mattered. Under normal circumstances, he would reach into his pouch, pull out his trusty trumpet, and play the Fanfare of the Emperor's Messenger, but he saw rifles poking out from behind the palace walls.

Breathing in, he answered in the most confident voice he could muster, “Fear not, sir! Yes, I come for the Queen of Blomburg, but I come with open arms as an emissary of my Emperor!”

“And who are you, stranger? What brings you to the doorstep of our beloved Queen's humble household?” the Blomburger yelled in return, the cloudy puffs of each word hanging in the cold winter air.

“I am Lieutenant Kesser,” the young messenger shouted, not that the name or title really mattered much, “Equestrian extraordinaire! Valiant veteran! Notable notary! And Official Courier of the Emperor of the Ascelonians!”

As the words escaped his mouth, he felt the scrutiny of the Blomburger guards. No matter, he thought. A good actor knows how to deal with a tough audience and a good messenger knows how to deal with a tough recipient... even if they are armed with assault rifles. A few hundred meters behind the wall, some Blomburger soldier will make some sneering comment about snooty Ascelonians. Yet, it mattered not to Kesser. On the other hand, the Blomburger standing in front of the gates looked a bit taken aback. He took a few steps towards the gate and gestured towards some of his comrades. A brief conversation passed unheard by Kesser but seen in short bursts of vapor.

“Come now! We need to see some proper identification! No sudden moves, Mr. Kesser!” the guard replied and Kesser rode forward slowly. The footfalls of his steed left a trail of elongated hoofmarks in the deep snow. Yelsaav the Official Horse of the Official Courier of the Emperor of the Ascelonians, not the name or title mattered at all, was exhausted and his short raspy breaths betrayed his desperate need for a warm bed of straw. A guard jogged up to meet him and he presented his ID to the pale-looking soldier.

Blue-gray trench coats with the coat of arms displayed on the arms, Kesser observed. Fairly efficient unlike the rest of the Blomburger military. I guess the good ones are either dead or serving royalty like me. The man's hair was kept extremely short and the buzzcut was visible beneath his royal blue service cap. He might have been a veteran of the war, but now he was not a soldier of the frontlines. Now, he was a soldier of the rear. He smelled of fresh soap and laundry, and not the kind that soldiers would receive on those brief breaks from combat or issued during training. They smelled of the care only volunteer nurses from back home could provide.

After a brief exchange, the man looked over the Kesser's ID card, nodded and handed it back to him. The Blomburger sentry waved him forward, “I know not what business you are on, but make it brief. The Queen is very busy with the business of Blomburg.”

And so is our Emperor, Kesser wanted to say but held it in.

He looked around as he was led into the Palace Courtyard. The winter had painted the war-torn countryside with scenic snow-capped mountains and touched the coniferous with its gentle brush. It applied fresh coats to the countryside where a unit of Ascelonian Lancers might have ran headlong into Blomburger infantry. Indiscriminate in its application, the winter laid blankets over the barren lands scarred by artillery rounds and in the meadows where Blomburger children often played in the propaganda posters.

Kesser removed his plumed dark blue calvary officer helmet from bygone era as he passed through the palace gates. As his helm rolled off his head and into his hands, it revealed Kesser's golden brown mane slicked back and tied into a ponytail. He grinned at some Blomburger troops who looked enviously upon his visage. A thick mustache kept his upper lip warm and a chin puff brushed the wool of his generous overcoat.

After a few more inspections and exchanges, he found himself in the office of the Queen. Rich tapestry coated the lion's share of the floor with a giant Blomburger flag with the Caroline's coat of arms superimposed in the center and the edges framed by gold threads reminiscent of his wife's locks. Kesser stepped forward, his calvary boots clicking on the wood before the carpentry softened his steps. The walls around him whispered centuries of history. Coats of arms, swords, shields, bows, and paintings left little real estate for more modern amenities. Bookshelves lined west and east walls of the room. Old armored husks stood at the ends of each shelf, guarding the medieval knowledge.

At the north end, three large, imposing windows sat on the wall behind a barrier of upholstery. A leather sofa and a couple sectionals formed a ring around the center of the room where light from the outside scattered through and fell on the rugged floor unevenly. Opposite the windowed wall, sat a fireplace where a pair of armchairs faced the warmth of the flames lapping happily at the real wood. Two elderly gentlemen occupying the seats appeared to be enjoying a hot cup of coffee and playing chess. Of course, for all Kesser knew, they could be drinking tea and playing draughts or sipping heated tequila and playing Hnefatafl.

Speculation aside, he strutted forward and spotted the Queen sitting in her chair while another woman, presumably her mother, the Duchess Florence of Helnsburg, and a uniformed man chattered about some matters of the state. Kesser kept brisk pace and made each step as if he were some businessman in the IMCZ heading to an important meeting about mergers and acquisitions. They stopped talking and faced him. The officer checked his watch, “I suppose I should be on my way. Don't forget. Briefing at 1600.”

“I won't, Herr Trumach,” her voice sounded soft authentic Byzantine silk to the officer's 40 grit sandpaper as she waved him off.

The woman, dressed in an expensive coat with Hraalsin diamond accessories, sighed, “I have other business to attend to as well. Hopefully, the Ascelonian brings good news.”

“Hopefully so, mother,” Caroline said before directing her attention to the messenger. “And what do you have for me?”

“A personal letter from the Emperor. He requests that you keep the contents secret,” Kesser said as he pulled the sealed envelope from waterproofed compartment in his satchel.

“I will,” Caroline took it in her hands, felt the crispness of the paper, and examined the complexity of the watermark. Her eyes settled on the wax seal pressed into the delicate parchment with the Emperor's coat of arms. As she started to break the seal, the Kesser bowed, “I'll be off so you can read the letter in private! Good day, Queen Caroline.”

Dear Caroline,

I know the time is not exactly appropriate, but I wanted to express my desire to meet you in private. I want to meet the real Caroline without the trappings of state regalia and royal escorts. In turn, I will show you the real Kristaan. Personal letters aren't my strong suit since formality has decayed my writing style, so my feelings are best expressed in sonnet form:

”We should meet sometime in dreary meadows
Set upon a windy, snow-coated knoll
With clouds dotting a gray sky with shadows
So our love may blossom in winter’s lull.
Barren fields would echo with our affair
As I brush snowflakes from your silky hair,
Wherein the wintry breeze softly flows,
Clasp my hands against your coal black mittens
While I confess the degree I’m smitten
And kiss you till precipitation slows.
Here lies our mark, our small hidden cove
Where we can build ice gardens with our love
And if we shall part from each other again
I would meet you once more at solstice’s end”


~~~

December 23rd, 2013
Imperial Palace in Cyronis, Cyrone, Ascelonia


Snow fell as cannons blared and trumpets sounded as a hundreds of Ascelonian men standing shoulder to shoulder advanced on a column of Waldenburger infantry. Artillery boomed behind as the Ascelonian men dressed in light blue coats leveled their rifles at the Waldenburgers. A fusillade from the ranks of Numeran stalwarts pulled several of their Catholic enemies opposite them to the earth. Every boom from the rear would cause a delayed blast of dirt to varying effects. A few direct hits would rip through a column of infantry, knocking them aside like bowling pins.

“Hold the lines!” screamed a man wearing a bicorne cap from atop his horse as he rode along the Ascelonian men waving his saber. “The Walden dogs are at our gates! Will we scatter before the storm or stand and deliver?”

A loud crack and a burst of dirt interrupted his speech as he rallied the line infantry. He rattled his saber in the air and cried, “For God's sakes, hold the damn line!”

From the rear, a fresh column of Ascelonians approached with the gold and blue banner waving at the front. A foot soldier hollered from the rear, “SHOCK INFANTRY!”

As if on cue, a round of hurrahs greeted the reinforcements. Then a loud siren sounded and a man dressed in khaki shorts with a bright white visor screamed into a bullhorn, “CUT! I'll need a bayonet charge when we start filming again. The Nimska regiment needs to look more fierce and imposing. And... more explosions!”

“Huh,” Field Marshal Paagsvor K. Spalding looked a bit puzzled at the Emperor, “Pray tell. Why are you doing this again?”

“Some filmmakers wanted to make an epic about the Nimska and I obliged,” Kristaan shrugged as he stepped through the thick snow. His entourage followed close behind.

“Novel,” P. K. Spalding grinned as he looked at the ranks of actors dressed in 18th century uniform. He kept pace with the Emperor. “So, you called me here for a specific purpose?”

“Yes. I want you to mobilize the Imperial Army for deployment in Blomburg. We will start expanding our presence in the region to a million by the end of January and two million by St. Martin's Day. We will need to lay the ground work for the build up immediately. In the meantime, we shall also whip the Blomburger war machine into shape. We'll need to start pulling in veterans of the previous war and training them with more modern equipment. It'll be a slow process but they should be up to speed within a few months,” he spoke quickly, rattling off words like a Lewis gun and paused as his eyes shifted towards a lone tree in the distance. “Are you getting this? We'll have to sit down and write out the formal orders tonight.”

Spalding brought his hand up to stroke his manly grizzle and chuckled, “Yes, my liege. My memory's as sharp as a Manganibian jungle knife.”

“We will lend our Cukarican brothers our full support by lending auxiliaries and providing fleet support. The Republican Guard should be prepared for logistics work and properly drilled for the defense of the nation,“ he paused as his boots struck a tree root, but caught himself before he even stumbled. In the distance, faux gunfire sounded and actors charged each other with fixed bayonets. Kristaan continued, “We need to be ready for strategic actions in the Südkreis Circle. In the meantime, we'll keep a low profile. I want the troop movements to be as quiet as possible. In fact, we'll increase radio chatter in Arkadica and Meerdal to distract listeners. The bulk of our forces shall be transported in escorted supply ships and merchant vessels.'

'The initial wave, of course, will consist of engineers, logistics, and advisors to aid the Blomburgers. From what I understand, we've made a few incursions into Zeltz. I want that to stop. We need to consolidate our forces on Blomburger soil. Got it?“

“Understood,” Spalding nodded as they approached the tree.

Kristaan paused and turned, “Oh, and one more thing.”

“Yes, my Emperor?” the aged commander's eyebrows raised.

Kristaan looked out into the distance towards the southwest where Blomburg lay. With his lost in the dead trees scattered over the milky horizon, his voice softened, “Ready my war tent. I'm moving out to Blomburg to assume personal command of our forces there.”

“Sounds sporting. I shall have my adjutant formalize your commands into military orders,” Spalding gestured for one of his assistants.

Kristaan smiled as he faced the old officer, “Mr. Spalding, nothing is more sporting than the romance of war.”
Last edited by Ascelonia on Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rodarion
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1246
Founded: Dec 28, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Rodarion » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:17 am

Rodarian Expeditionary Force

(OOC: Regarding Salitz, I have no choice but to have it IC be declared an open state, since I am not sure if Fictions is around or w/e)

After sailing for well over ten days the Rodarian fleet was nearing its destination, on the fifth day at sea from Erendan the fleet received revised orders for the fleet to stop at Salitz and release the troops for duty. There they would defeat Cato’s intention to gain the Salitzians in his quest for dominance of the Waldenburger throne. However the new orders were originating from the Yallakian government’s request and Rodarion would answer. The time was close, the time Rodarion stepped onto Catholic soil yet again and fought them there in their own homes, their own soil, spilling their own blood. With 110,000 soldiers in the holds Cato was up against the best of the best, these 110,000 warriors were from the 1st Iron Division, one of three divisions that usually formed the spearhead of the Divine Army. The fleet also boasted nearly 126 aircraft from the three Dionysus class Carriers, enough to inflict heavy losses on the Catoists, recent upgrades in terms of Surface to Air missiles had granted the Rodarian fleet a great ability, it could be anchored 20km off shore and cover the entirety of Salitz under its SAM umbrella, this would prove a deadly defence against Cato.

On the 28th of November the Rodarian fleet arrived off the coast of Salitz. The entire coastline was swamped with people rushing to see what was occurring out at sea. The first action by Rodarion was the deploying of a NN5 Helicopter which flew over the coast towards the Salitzian presidential palace. Once arriving, Bishop Chaplic Yaris Themana and General Hadir Empulmada both clambered out and walked towards the welcoming committee who were confused and dumbfounded at this strange arrival. Yet prior to the fleet’s arrival the Salitzian government was informed of Rodarion’s intentions in a diplomatic telegram sent to the Salitzian Government from Konstantine, there the committee was reminded by an aid to the President, this resulted in the two Rodarian commanders being led to the Salitzian President. After a short deliberation and promises by the Rodarian commanders, the nation of Salitz was declared open to Rodarian forces, soon after the fleet released the REF to the nation. Thousands upon thousands of Rodarian troops marched down the dock piers and amassed in the harbour and then entered their designated vehicles and the convoys began to their moves south-eastward towards the Salitzian-Hichingenian border, there they would begin to dig in and await the Catoist assault.

On the 30th November 2013, the two Rodarian commanders would yet again meet with the Salitzian government, there they would request the assistance of the Salitzian Army – in exchange for no actions towards occupation, no violence towards Salitzian catholics and no forms of racial hatred. Rodarion was now in the growing war.

DNS Maedar – Palonian Sea

The DNS Maedar was a Tidan class SSK, eight of these craft had been dispatched from Rodarion to aid in the war effort two days after the main fleet. These craft were deadly, the ceramic acoustic tiles made them somewhat impervious to detection and were aimed to inflicting ‘damage’ for three days then returning to Salitz for refuelling and re-supplying. But the DNS Maedar had one day left of operations. On the 28th November it was operating at 300 meters below the surface and was 121km south of Vonderborn, there it spotted a ship. A cruise liner, which seemed battered and struggling, the ships codes were read by the sub’s crew and it was confirmed as the SS Neimstadt, a Waldenburger cruise liner that had recently been given refugee duty. However ONIS – The Rodarian intelligence service had intercepted reports that several refugee ships were being used to collect weapons from Vonderborn and then transported back to Waldenburg for the fight against Yallak. One such ship that was tagged was the Neimstadt, the Maedar’s captain was overwhelmed at last prey. As the Neimstadt moved northward, the Maedar decreased its depth to periscope depth and the captain observed this giant move very slowly across the waves. The truth was that this ship had nearly 3,000 refugees aboard, all spare room had been taken and there was no arms, no orders to take arms. At 13.43pm the Maedar fired two spearfish torpedoes towards the ship from a distance of 2km. With a speed of 80 knots the Spearfish was a deadly weapon, at 13.46pm the Niemstadt was struck amid ship and at the bow. The huge explosions tore the waterline apart, hundreds were killed below decks as the cramped spacing allowed water to drown hundreds within minutes.

Power went out as did communications and engines, the ship listed to port and began to sink. The periscope was witness to this massacre, thousands of people clambered onto the top deck and jumped overboard, the top deck was soon wrecked when tables and chairs and over heavy objects smashed through the windows of the structures on top deck and crushed men, women and children alike. By 13.53pm the ship had entirely capsized and fell beneath the waves, of the 3,103 people onboard, 2,985 died. It was truly a massacre.
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

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The Fanboyists
Senator
 
Posts: 4300
Founded: Sep 21, 2007
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby The Fanboyists » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:17 am

December 9th, 2013
Port of Draakurr, Isle of Draakurr


Executive Order 049-12-9-2013
Regarding: Attacks against Vessels and Persons of Aid, Refugee, Third-, and Neutral-Party Organizations and Entities


By Order of the Chief Executive of the Federal Government of the Federal Republic of Allamunnic States, President Andrew Filie:

Noting:
- Numerous reports have reached the Federal Government of attacks against refugee, aid, and other third- and neutral-party vessels and persons on the continent of Waldenburg and its surrounding waters.
- The alleged perpetrators of such acts are believed to be acting on the orders of their respective governments.
- This is a violation of accepted international convention, even during war-time.

Declaring:
- Any vessel or body found to be assaulting, harassing, waylaying, or attempting to otherwise harm any vessel or body under a flag of truce, a third party, or neutral nation, shall be declared a pirate vessel under Allamunnic Federal Law and subject to retaliation.
- The commanding officer and immediate subordinates of such vessels or bodies will be considered pirates, and will be charged as such if captured.
- Federal Navy vessels, remaining otherwise neutral in the ongoing conflict in Waldenburg, are authorized to take necessary action to protect such third- and neutral-party vessels or bodies, including firing upon the aforementioned offending vessels with the intent to damage, disable, or destroy them.
- Shipping and merchants who claim Allamunnic citizenship or nationality are asked to report any instance of attack against a neutral- or third-party body or vessel, especially against them-selves.
- Shipping and merchants who claim Allamunnic citizenship or nationality are hereby authorized to carry armament.
- Shipping and merchants who claim Allamunnic citizenship or nationality are hereby authorized to take necessary action to protect themselves.
- Shipping and merchants who claim Allamunnic citizenship or nationality are encouraged to give aid and comfort to such vessels which might come under attack from the aforementioned rogue and pirate vessels, and will be commended and compensated for their efforts and any costs or damages so incurred.

Order Signed,
Andrew Filie, President
Federal Republic of Allamunnic States
December 9th, 2013


The order had been posted on virtually every door of the base. The Allamunnic naval contingent in Draakurr, of course, had been equal-parts excited, angered, and worried. The stories had gotten back to them, as well, that several naval vessels, especially (allegedly) Rodarion ones, had been attack shipping at random near Paloni, and especially ships bringing aid to those affected by the War and carrying refugees. Now, ten of the destroyers, another sixteen of the frigates, and four attack-submarines on the isle would be deployed to protect Allamunnic shipping in the area, as well as to see to the protection of refugee and aid ships. Unspoken, of course, was the hope of sinking some of those damned Rodarion submarines.

Another group of ships, merchants in peace-time, had accepted compensation and assistance from the Federal Navy to refit their merchantmen into auxiliary cruisers. The commerce-raiding heavy-cruiser Broomfield had also been pulled out from mothballs and sent unceremoniously to Draakurr. The old cruiser had more than its share of refits that it had taken in Northport; it had plenty of depth-charges, torpedoes, and other submarine weapons, and some of its guns had been replaced by missile fittings, especially for Harpoon missiles and even a few cruises. Of course, a few of its 10" guns remained. The ship's crew had joked that Broomfield was an ugly old bitch, but that she would be suitable to teach some of them pirates a lesson.

They had been set and stocked; the ships would leave within the next two days.

===============================================================================================


[OoC: Passage past Yallak's fleet done with approval from Yallak.]

Bay of Paloni
January 4th, 2014


"Yes, I understand you don't want hostiles approaching your fleet, Admiral, but we're not hostiles!" the Captain said, frustrated beyond belief. The Yallakians had, at some point, that neutral shipping was hostile, and the fleet carrying the Allamunnic troops to Haaldstadten-Aachensboro had been stalled for two days now, trying to get the damned Yallakians to let them through. "For the last time, we're not here to threaten your fleet! Our allies requested a military presence to aid them in the event that fighting spilled over into their nation. I have the authorizations from the Prince of Haaldstadten-Aachensboro himself for us to make port in his dominion!"

He added "If we were going to try and attack your fleet, we would have done it by now, sir. We just want to drop off these men, get them off our ships, and go home. All this waffling around is doing is making our escorts nervous. And those are warships. They're here to protect us, but if some loose-cannon submarine like the ones we've been hearing about for months now decides to start shooting at us, your fleet is like to be caught in the cross-fire. And really, what would that accomplish for anyone? We just want to pass, drop off our cargo and our passengers, and go home. Please, sir." It wasn't an exaggeration; the fleet had already been attacked twice by what they suspected were Rodarion's vessels. Two cargo ships had been damaged, but not too severely thanks to advanced warning and counter-measures and protection from the destroyers and frigates that had escorted the fleet. They were reasonably sure they'd damaged one of their attackers, as well.

The Yallakian admiral sighed. He had that haughtiness that the Allamunnae so readily identified the Yallakians with, but he'd at least seemed reasonable enough. He'd been barring the passing of the fleet on orders, and had seemed to have been discussing with his superiors whether or not to let the Allamunnae through.

"I've gotten word from my superior officer that you may pass. If we get wind of any hint of hostility or threat from you, we will sink you. Is that understood?" It was voiced as a prediction of the future, rather than a threat. The captain of the cargo ship nodded.

"In-and-out, right quick, and we'll be headed home. On my honor as a captain," he said. With that, he scrambled off, and the Allamunnic fleet was able to continue on its way. It would be another day before they reached their destination, and another two before the off-loading finished, but when they had, they hurried home, as promised, and were at anchor in Draakurr by the evening of the ninth.

And by then, eighteen divisions from the Federal Army, under the command of Erik Hohenzorn, were ensconced in Haaldstadten-Aachensboro.
Last edited by The Fanboyists on Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:59 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Yallak
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Founded: Jan 02, 2007
New York Times Democracy

Postby Yallak » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:14 am

OOC: Sorry for the wait, I think I've caught up and replied to everything/everyone I needed to in this though.

November 28th, 2013 - 06:37
Bridge of the ILS Leviathan
Bay of Paloni


Around Tyrrhenia there was a common, though perhaps not entirely accurate, belief that the Yallakian people were, though not limited too, being an arrogant, malicious and ignoble race. Perhaps some would even label them as the most despicable or unlikeable people in the entire region. Whoever was foolish enough to believe that however, had obviously never been to Lamehk. They made Yallak look amiable, taking xenophobia to a even greater level. They held so much disdain for the majority of the regions inhabitants, that the only reason they weren't constantly trying to destroy them was that they refused to get close enough to them to do the actual killing. That was true no longer though. With a threat brewing against its outlying territories and protectorates, the Imperial government had summoned Lamehk to war and they answered with glee. Just two weeks after preparations had begun, the first Lamehkan taskforce came into sight of the Southern Waldenburg coastline.

On the bridge of the ILS Leviathan, Admiral Karanath stood stiff and solid in his black uniform, like a great obsidian statue, as he watched the sun clawing up from the horizon and showering his fleets landing operation in golden light. He found that such silent meditation was the only way to keep himself from taking, as the Yallakian's would see it, drastic measures. Since the Armed Republic had joined the Infinite Empire, Yallak had spent many years replacing the age old Lamehkan military with it's advanced and far more destructive technologies, and Karanath felt a very strong urge to finally use the immense armoury at his disposal against a real live target.

'Contacts detected at zero three two five. Fleet sized group heading this way.' The report came like divine music to the Admiral's ears. Though he was sceptical that fortune would smile on him that readily, he was still not going to be unprepared.

'Sound crews to action stations, order the fleet to attack pattern delta and report the contact to fleet command,' he ordered as he abandoned his sun-basking spot and walked across to the ships tactical display. 'What is the status on the landing?'

After a brief pause one of the bridge crew answered the query. 'The second wave has completed its deployment and is returning down the channel now.'

'Tell them to hurry up then, there is some algae floating our way that needs to be exterminated, and I don't want concern for our transport ships to distract me from watching all their little sailors burning and drowning.' Karanath's eyes gleemed in a disturbed manner as he spoke, 'It's going to be magnificent.'

'Pardon Admiral, but there is a reply from Command.'

'Speak.'

'Message reads; Probable Empirian navy. Do not commit to hostilities. Finalise deployment and withdraw outside of engagement range and await further orders.'

The crew went deadly silent as an unmatched fury swelled behind Karanath's eyes, contorting his face into something truly scary. How they could dare order the Lamehkan navy to flee without a fight was obscene, but unfortunately not something he had the authority to overrule.

'When the final wave is on route to Horenburg,' he hissed from behind gritted teeth, 'withdraw the fleet to the holding co-ordinates. Alert me if the situation changes, but know that before this war is over, we will come back and destroy our enemies without mercy.'

And then like the eye of storm, the Admiral departed the bridge in silence. And the crew got back to work with renewed energy, knowing that it was only a matter of time before their enemies bled for them.

January 1st, 2014 - 08:08
Fort St. Michael
Laysley


After a two days of constant, thunderous warfare, the near silence that greeted the new years morning was little more than eerie, the effect of which was only enhanced by the all but deserted city that covered the land between the fort and the harbour. The only real fighting still occurring was contained to the suburb of Steele, where a large portion of the eighty-eighth legion, surrounded yet stubbornly defiant, refused to die, though miles away at the fort that was little more than a background grumble compared to what had already passed.

The remainder of General Forge's traitorous army had, under the cover of night, extradited itself across the Trips River, demolishing the bridges behind them. The Emperor knew however, as he lead a detachment of his Custodians and Legionnaires through the now dead ruins of Northern Laysley toward Fort St. Michael, that this was simply a delaying tactic, nothing could stop him from exterminating the Layslian's now. Despite the fact that his men's initial assault had unbelievably failed to destroy the resistance they had in those two days of brutal combat still managed to take a third of the country and seize their enemies command center.

Now, as they crossed the bridge toward the fort, they found a scene no different than the rest of nearby city. Bodies littered the street, rubble and craters scattered the landscape and fires burned wherever they could find fuel. The Fort itself, which had survived the first invasion, had not had the good fortune to escape unscathed the second time around. It was no longer a sight to behold. The Gothic styled building that was the residence of the former Patrician and the legislature smouldered before them. Its high walls were collapsing or marred by smoke or shrapnel, every last one of the the lancet windows that had held beautiful stained glass were shattered and several of the magnificent flying buttresses had toppled or were simple not there any more.

As Balor approached the large, cracked, arched doorway the Legionnaires on station opened the doors and he passed through into the dusty interior. An officer of the sixty-fourth Legion awaited in the hallway beyond.

'My Lord,' saluted the officer as the Emperor approached, clamping his fist to his chest and bowing his head in the traditional Yallakian manner, 'We have secured the fort and prepared a forward operating center. If you will follow me, I will take you to it.'

An approving nod from the Emperor and the man turned on his heel and led the way. Balor studied the interior of the old building as they threaded their way through it. The design style was remarkable similar to Imperial architecture and surprisingly, though sections of the roof or parts of walls had collapsed, the interior seemed comparatively intact.

A little over a minute later they arrived in what had once been the General Forge's command centre, only now it looked like it should have. The Emperor's men had installed their own generators and communication equipement, and the abandoned Tacops device was now fulfilling its intended purpose in life, having been powered up and reconnected to the Imperial information network. A dozen or so high ranking officers from across all of the Emperor's four Legions were gathered around the device.

'Not a bad start,' said the Emperor, after he removed his helmet and placed it aside, 'but there are still rats in this sinking ship that need to die. Tell me how you intend to cross the Trips river?'

January 1st, 2014 - 10:42
Suburb of Steele
Laysley


The shelling had stopped only moments ago, but already the sound of approaching death had replaced it. The metallic chorus of tank treads could be heard in the distance and the ground concrete dust that accompanied their approach wafted into the air like a great cloud. Having been cut off within the first few hours of the battle beginning, this had been the pattern for almost two days now. Bombardment and then assault. Again and again without pause.

As far as Captain Ahzek Eldaen was concerned, they had only survived this long because their general was every bit deserving of his reputation. They called him the Demi-God, which was a telling nickname from an atheist population, and throughout the course of the battle he had gone wherever the enemy was thickest to lead his men directly and they had held firm time and again.

That advantage was gone now. General Ehrlen Therrak had just died, and as Ahzek shut his commanders eyes gently with his left hand, he couldn't help but find it almost amusing. Their enemies had actually killed him the previous day when he'd suffered grievous wounds saving a pair of wounded legionnaires, it had simply taken twenty-hours, three enemy assaults and one midnight game of Ehrlen's own design, called 'Mortar the Most Motherfuckers', before his stubbornness had accepted the fact.

Reality called Ahzek back to the impending attack and he looked towards one of his subordinates. The man, who was kneeling beside an anti-tank missile launcher and a pile of ammo boxes, merely shook his head solemnly. Words weren't needed. The question was obvious and the answer was grim to say the least.

'Make ready,' he called out, but he didn't bother to see if anyone reacted, the chances were they were already ready or they were dead, but he figured some semblance of giving orders would provide a bit of encouragement. 'No mercy, no surrender.'

And then they waited.

It was only after several minutes that Ahzek realised the sound of the churning tank treads had dissipated, and with it the dust cloud they had been producing. He stood cautiously from behind the rubble and ditch that serve as his defensive position and, when no-one started shooting at him, he quietly began to move out towards the enemies lines. He had only taken a couple of steps when the suspicious quiet was replaced by the unmistakable rhythmic staccato of chopping rotor blades. The noise grew louder by the second and Ahzek dove back into cover as a helicopter came flying out from behind a trio of high rise buildings, heading directly for the eighty-eighths position. 'Let it get closer but wait for my signal,' he radioed to his men as they aimed their weapons skyward.

The aircraft came toward them at great speed and was practically on top of them in what seemed like seconds, but it had yet to fire on them, which Azhek found extremely odd, and so he refrained from giving any orders. His helmet receiver chattered away with requests to fire and confused queries, but he ignored them and just watched as the helicopter came to a graceful stop directly above them and began to descend.

The legionnaires of the eighty-eighth withdrew from the aircraft as it came to land in a clearing amongst the ruined structures and, though it had yet to show signs of hostility, they remained understandably cautious, weapons at the ready. It was curiosity, more than anything else, that curbed their typical reckless and aggressive nature however. The design of the aircraft might have marked it beyond a doubt as Yallakian but the helicopter might as well have been an alien flying saucer, because no man present could think of who might just drop in on them like this, especially considering that, for the last few days in this part of the world, being Yallakian didn't mean being a loyal ally of the Imperium any more.

As the rotor-blades died down to an idle, the side doors slid back and the occupants jumped down, their identities instantly known to all present. There wasn't a legionnaire alive who didn't recognise the insignia on their armour, the winged, serpent-like dragon with the bright, fiery red eyes. It belonged to the Dragon Knights of Navarath, the Seventh Legion.

Azhek stood dumbfounded and unsure, his gun still held at the ready. Had their wildest dreams had been made reality and the greatest legends in the Imperium had just rescued them? That or the most efficient and deadly fighting force in Yallak had come to kill them as well, though this didn't seem to look like a very effective way. He was still pondering these thoughts when a shadow stole the warmth of the days sunlight from him. Looking up, Azhek found his eyes fall upon a man who was, though not as brawny as General Therrak had been, over six feet tall and despite his brooding demeanour he radiated an aura that both instilled a small measure of dread and yet inspired the very soul. He gazed upon Caracas Raudhar, the High Lord of Navarath and General of the Seventh Legion, also known by many as the Destroyer of Worlds in acknowledgement of the many civilisations he had almost, if not entirely, annihilated.

'You can stop pointing that at me now,' the words came in a pleasant tone but they struck Azhek like the most abusive of commands. He let the assault rifle loosen in his grasp and fall away to his side.

'It is a singularly well timed honour to see you, my Lord,' proffered the Captain, clamping his fist to his chest and bowing his head.

Caracas however seemed pensive, agitated, and did not care for formalities, chat, or anything in between. 'I wouldn't thank me, your part in this may not be over just yet. Come, we must find the Emperor.'

Azhek nodded, though not enthusiastically. Not quite his wildest dream after all, but better than dead he had to admit. 'I think I know where he might have gone. This way.'

January 10th, 2014 - 13:24
Outskirts of Zwontiz
Horenburg


It was quite the task to turn a nation into a fortress, but the garrison at Horenburg were giving it their best shot. The longer the Waldenburg situation had festered, the more obvious it had become to Prince Siroth Tanaen that the Empire would not be able to adequately enforce its dominion of Horenburg. Whatever troubles had been brewing in the far north, and perhaps the Imperium itself, left him fairly confident that he could only rely on his own initiative and preparation if he and his people were to outlive the war. So, with Cato rallying armies all around his home, he had decided to turn that home into a bastion.

The first thing he had done was requisition armaments and manpower from Lamehk, the nearest Imperial territory. He had not sat idle even then though, not just ordering, but leading the garrison of Imperial Praetores in constructing defences all around the Horenburg border and along the coast. And they had not stopped since. With nothing else to do but wait it out, they had just kept reinforcing and building and digging. News from the Imperial Operative that Cato had all but declared an attack on Horenburg was coming, had only served to quadruple their efforts.

Siroth's latests efforts found him near the Vonderborn-Horenburg border, digging entrenchments in recently rained upon lands.

'A fine hole you've prepared, my Lord.'

Siroth recognised the voice from behind as Horenburg's Provincial Governor Militant, Athos Laedan, and turned, planting his shovel proudly into the slightly muddy ground with a dirt encrusted hand. 'It is, isn't it.'

The new comer offered out a a glass filled with cold apple juice and Siroth took it gratefully, taking a few gulps of the refreshing liquid. 'I'm absolutely buggered. You think this would get easier after a few weeks, but no, I just get new aches and bruises.'

'You're a politician! Apart from this little escapade,' he put a heavy emphasis on the word little as he motioned his arm around, passing from bunker, to trench to minefield and back again, 'can you even tell me the last time you weren't sitting around on your backside doing something political.'

'Yes...'

Athos merely raised an eyebrow, and gave the Prince a disbelieving look.

'No... not really.' Siroth finished off his drink and avoided continuing the subject.

'Well, don't stop now,' said Athos in a commanding tone, taking the glass back off the Prince before pulling his shovel out of the ground and jamming it back across the princes chest, 'all this physical work is good for the soul...or something.'

He turned and departed, pointing off to his right as he went. 'Also, you could probably squeeze another mortar position in over there.'

January 11th, 2014 – 06:45
The Fortress of Weißburg
Scant, Ibblesguard


The stone was ice cold to the touch but Kaidan felt only a hint of coolness seep through his gloves as he stood leaning against the crumbling parapet of one of the keeps upper battlements. The frigid wind, despite its frantic assaults, was likewise unable to penetrate the Emperor's thick beige robes.

'It's quite a view isn't it?' he asked, though it came across as more of a statement, as he detected the feint scuff of footsteps approaching.

The new comer, Waldenburg's Provincial Governor Militant, Garviel Leidos, took a moment to observe the scene. The battlement did indeed offer a commanding view of the peaks and valleys of the surrounding mountain-scape but more curiously, on this particular morning, it was the ideal viewing platform to witness two suns rises. The familiar, searing orange globe of the sun rose above the horizon as normal, while directly opposite them a great fireball bloomed amongst the mountain peaks.

'What? The landscape or the burning of scant?' queried Garviel.

Kaidan let out a feint snicker. 'Take your pick.'

'Well as fun as it would be to just stand and watch, we should probably do something about it, no?'

Kaidan stood back up and turned around to face his second in command. Though he seemed to be in good spirits, the Emperor's face showed a state of weariness, or more accurately melancholy. 'I have already set Scant's rescue in motion, but this is just the beginning. The real battle is on its way, so more people can die for nothing gained...but better them than us. Ensure that the Waldenburg Army Group is ready and in position to repel any assaults and let the militia loose to do their thing.'

'And what about the little engineering project?'

That mention brought a smile back to Kaidan's face. 'We'll keep that our little surprise for now. It's much more suited for the main event that this little preamble, I think.'

'Too true. I'll make sure everything is in order then.'

'Good luck, Governor-Militant.'

Garviel turned and began to leave. 'I never rely on luck, my Lord.'

_____________________________


Scant had quickly shrunk in size as the sleek, black Darkfist fighter-bomber had climbed almost vertically into the sky from a nearby airfield that had been housing some of the aircraft transferred to the cities defences from the fleet at anchor near Pondderborg. By the time Saesar Kalvroth had levelled the aircraft out, Scant looked more like a village than a city, the bits of it that weren't obscured by smoke anyway.

As he began making his first circle about the city, four wingmen in formation behind him, he kept his eyes scanning the ground for the tell-tale signs of the artillery that were firing on the city. They had to be nearby and they had to be large calibre to achieve the range they were getting so Saesar figured they would find them without too much trouble.

He was proven right only a minute later when one of his wingmen spotted the culprits. 'Serpantus Lead, this is Serpantus Three. Flashes spotted at zero two one four.'

Saesar looked in the general direction and sure enough he saw the feint flash of firing artillery among the morning haze. 'Copy that, I see them. Break and engage, weapons free.'

And for the second time in the war, Saesar and his pilots locked onto some Waldenburg artillery and let fly a hail of missiles.

_____________________________


The cold morning misted around Rolf Wichert's breath as he lay behind a scrubby knoll. He was always amazed by the essence and the movement of the cloudy exhalation, but he ignored it today and kept his mind on the mission at hand. Making those who would attack his mountain homeland want to be elsewhere, or distracted enough to be put down by the army regulars.

Like many others from the militia he was in hiding, awaiting his chance for ambush, and with luck on his side it seemed he might get the first catch of the day. Soldiers had come into the village at the bottom of the slope he waited on and as they were preoccupied with killing civilians, it was the perfect moment to take action.

Rolf lifted his old bolt-action rifle and again checked the sights were correctly set, the magazine was secure and that a bullet was in the chamber. He didn't need too, though the rifle was old it had been cared for very well throughout its life and had never failed yet, but it was habit. When he was happy that it was ready to fire, he shifted slightly, closed one eye and took aim at one of the soldiers below, what he believed was the highest ranking one he could see.

The seconds ticked by as he slowly squeezed the trigger. Then finally there was a bang and the man behind the sight died a moment later.

And while confusion rained below Rolf took off in a low crouch and went looking for another good ambush spot. As he moved, he thought he heard another shot echo across the mountains from nearby. He was not the only militia sniper dwelling in these foothills after all.
Last edited by Yallak on Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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"My enemy’s enemy is a problem for later. In the meantime, they might be useful."

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Laysley
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 147
Founded: Jul 20, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Laysley » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:41 am

Fort St. Michael, 1981

[Dedicated to Wyatt]

'Stop fidgeting, dammit!' he remembered shouting in his own head.

Speckle was still very young. He could feel himself scratching his thigh, as had been an uncontrollable habit of his back then. This would be a moment that would quite rightly stay with him forever, and not because it was the first time he had concreted, as he liked to say, his hands through sheer willpower. That was a product of the importance of the occasion, and that is why every detail could be recalled as if it were happening right in front of him.

It was the middle of summer, midday. The sun shone through the stained glassed window that dominated the wall behind him, lighting up all the dust in the air. Humid was the word, the beads of sweat gathering under his ceremonial robe were not, he conjectured, an issue only faced by him at that moment, although perhaps he was afflicted the worst with all his nervousness added. Still, it only added a little frustration to the cynical faces of the Percy faction, sitting as they were on the front pew of the chapel. Their skeptical eyes would have been that way whatever the temperature.

His father, John Speckle, had died a week ago, much to nobody's bereavement. John had been the second hereditary ecclesiastical executive since the reforms in the 30s, and his reign of corruption and gluttony and scandal had sent even the most loyal minds questioning the wisdom of this particular line. Now they were faced with a fidgety young man with ridiculous hair. A motion by one Thomas Percy to prevent said young man's ascension to office had been defeated by one vote, the whole thing hanging on the senile Bishop of Ekling (also on the front row in his wheel chair, beaming distractedly at the font) who had decided at the last minute that he had liked old Sylvester Speckle back in the day and so his grandson should be a safe pair of hands. Well, Speckle wasn't complaining.

Still, everyone knew Patrician Carlyle preferred Percy. These first weeks would make or break Speckle, he had suspected break. He could remember clearly the sound of his shoes on stone as he mounted the steps to the pulpit. He could remember girding his very bones in an attempt to keep dignified. Most of all he could remember looking straight at the grey wall at the other end of the chapel instead of at the assembled faces of the Bishops of the Leukopolian Church beneath him.

He could remember exactly what he said but not what he was feeling as he said them, as is so often the way with new-comers to public speaking. He relived the air escaping his throat, as he, with a combination of leaning back on his feet and another burst of raw will, overcame the stammer first time.

"Gentlemen, I simply want to take this opportunity to thank you for my election and to outline my intentions for office."

Speckle had hated the following pause for the following few years, it was just a smidgen too long for his liking. These days he was much more relaxed about the whole thing, it was highly unlikely that anyone would have noticed and he'd gradually persuaded the part of the brain that maintains, despite all evidence to the contrary, that such minor faults as this irreparably damage your standing in the eyes of everyone else of the fact.

"I know that my supporters have been impressed with my intellectual capabilities. I thank you for your kind words, gentlemen, but I wish to also make it clear that there is no one here who does not-" he recalled forcing his arms to go like iron as he suppressed an urge to run a hand through his hair "-also deserve that accolade. Gentlemen like yourselves have excelled at building a strong and cohesive Leukopolian theological intellengtsia, as well as facilitating and contributing depth to the teaching of many other areas throughout the world. As an organisation this culture of critical intellectualism is undoubtedly one of our greatest accomplishment. We have trained generations of young adults who strive to excel in academia, with many claimants to be model intellectual for each generation. I feel secure in saying that our arm chairs are some the best filled in the world."

He could feel himself in the flow now, a little excited adrenaline from the memory in fact.

"But a Church is much more than a classroom. A proliferation of such people is a fine, fine achievement for any organisation, but a Church is much more than an organisation. It is our job to lead our society, and the world's society, to salvation. To achieve redemption in the eyes of the Lord we need much more than knowledge and culture and armchair philosophers, we need knights in shining armour. Not necessarily men who achieve great deeds, but those who know self sacrifice. Those who will wilfully give up their freedoms and luxuries for the good of their fellows. Selflessness is the foremost measure of the worth of a human being, in the eyes of all creeds and cultures, and that is fundamentally what we are here to inspire."

He was always grinning at the memory of his oratory by now.

"Our work is the spread the word of these knights, yes, but even more so to inspire the will in people to achieve this goal and guide them as they do so. We must provide the spark to set humanity's hearts ablaze. This is the way we shall help build God's kingdom on Earth."

---

Fort St. Michael, 2013

Well, he never thought that rhetoric would manifest itself quite so literally. He picked up the fuse.

The rest of the story was nice and all, what with the applause and the media coverage in the short term and the reasonably successful career in the long, but his moment of luxury was over. Alas he would not spend his last moment with that memory, but such is life. He fumbled with the lighter.

"Sir..." said Corporal Percy, no relation of course, nervously. Speckle waved a hand, the speech impediment had of course led to a very efficient word usage. He knew fine well that the good Corporal was referring the dangerously close sounds of gun shots and shouts finding their way through the pouring rain.

Deep in the cellars of Fort St. Michael, there were a lot of barrels of gunpowder, stacked up high into the vaulted ceiling and away into the cavernous depths of this secret stronghold. Far and away enough explosives to sink the building, and a significant chunk of the island itself, into the river. And Speckle had just set light to the fuse.

The Corporal crossed himself and mumbled something. Speckle just smiled at the thought of mission accomplished. He wasn't the sort for famous last words, so he simply carried on smiling at the thought as he was blown up.

Blayke, Laysley

The man bit down hard on the old belt, whimpering and sweating. The four soldiers holding the man’s limbs were wincing visibly as the infection that had spread up the man’s thigh, starting where his calf should have been, oozing blood and pus, and wrapping round on the enormous splinter that was lodged up the inside of his leg. Even Dr. Godfrey, a veteran of many such operations, was actively having to suppress his revulsion. It naturally didn’t help that he wasn’t in his element, stuck under the remains of a room on the ground floor, one wall completely open to the world. Some soldiers had kindly laid rags and old coats to the floorboards above so the inside was mostly dry, but a lot of rain was splashing in through the collapsed wall and gaps in the others. He also wasn’t used to operating without anesthetic and sterilised instruments (although he was doing his best with the belt and rain water), or indeed a bed (a snooker table, partially stabilised with a chair leg and some books under it, was sufficing). Still, you live and learn.

He turned to his assistant, a stocky middle-aged woman with neat hair. He smiled grimly as she passed him his bone saw, but his face suddenly transformed into a mask of surprise at the sight of her completely level expression. He looked wide-eyed at her and then glanced side-long at the horrible infection. She smiled slightly.

“I’ve been a gynecologist for the past twenty years, it can get a lot worse than this down below.”

“Aha yes, everyone’s least favourite topic at medicine school.”

Godfrey chuckled as he took the saw and carelessly lifted it up to eye level, examining the blade.

The patient fainted.

“Ah.” He mumbled, stroking his moustache. Well, nothing for it. He set the saw against the man’s leg, then something exploded.

As one, the hidden network of Layslians turned their heads toward the Trips. Godfrey couldn’t see anything, in his position, but outside the soldiers and rebels peeking over their low walls saw Fort St. Michael crumbling. It had always been there, the Fort, taking a very special position on the Layslian sky line, always sandwiched between the TV tower and the Great Lighthouse on tourist leaflets. And now it was falling, slowly but dramatically, one ancient wall at a time, collapsing into the rain-splattered river.
And then the fireworks started. Speckle had always had an eye for theatrics. It was nothing compared to the usual new year’s affair, but the splash of colour over the grey ruins was something to behold. It added atmosphere, at least, to the captain (who looked about twelve) standing atop a pile of bricks, waving a tattered Layslian flag on the end of a broom.

“Come on lads, let’s wish the Yallakians a belated happy new year!”

Godfrey waved a hand to the soldiers holding the man down. “Happy new year lads!”

They shot him relieved smiles and wished him the same, picking up their rifles on the way out. He wished his assistant a happy new year, a little more quietly, and set his saw against the man’s leg.

And he thought with a smile, as blood and gore splattered over his apron, just what a new year it was going to be.
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Tonight, we bring the dream of death.

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Mykola
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Posts: 808
Founded: Aug 10, 2008
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Mykola » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:52 pm

5 January 2013- 7:20 AM
Vienna, Hapsburg Reich
Wetzel Herzog von Braubach's Vienna Office


As the snowflakes made their way to the ground, albeit in a tediously slow motion, the dark SUV's hurriedly pulled up in front of the row house. Out of the lead SUV stepped an imposing, black suited and most of all, well armed man. Whilst wearing dark sunglasses, and wearing black gloves, he also wielded a battering ram of sorts, slung by his side. From the rest of the SUV's came at least one and a half dozen black suited men, but instead of carrying battering rams, they wielded silenced MP5's.

After a few moments of scurrying about, hopping a gate, opening the gate and running to the back yard, one of the stockier black suited men approached the imposing black suited man.

"Direktor von Weißmuller, the preparations have been made! We are ready to hail the man."

Director Ulrich von Weißmuller was the Imperial Minister of Security. Since the Emperor's heart attack, he had taken an acute awareness of just how much power the Imperial Government had let go over the years. In seeing this, he determined that it would be best if he, as he put it, 'broke a few heads.'

It was for that reason that his security team, who also happened to be members of the Kaisichdein ended up at Wetzel von Braubach's home in Vienna. As of late, he was best known for the tremendous insults he hurled at the Chancellor during a meeting of the Council of the Nobility. Since then, he had been organizing the nobles into what, as was Weißmuller's fear, would soon turn into a coup d'état. Additionally, it was blatantly apparent to any novice politician in the Reich, that Chancellor Hindenschloss carried absolutely no authority in both mind and body. The man was now a laughing stock. The fact that he had failed to force the council of the nobility to vote in his favor with regards to Frederick's appropriations bill was testament to his incompetence. It was for those reasons, amongst many others, that Weißmuller saw an opportunity rising. If he were to be seen by the soon to awake Emperor (he did not know that he was already awake at this time) as a man who stood up for his government and took control of the situation, he might very well be first on the list of promotion.

Weißmuller made his way through the front gate of the home and stopped at the front door. Just as he was about to knock, he grasped the second handle of the battering ram and drove it into the door with as much force as he could possibly wield. On either side of the door, his agents burst in, clearing each room, their weapons pointed in front of them.

While the Kaisichdein agents went about their business professionally, Weißmuller sought to enter the premises in a most nonchalant fashion, walking up the stairway and down the corridor with a certain amount of swagger. As he reached von Wetzel's office, he pulled a night stick out of his coat pocket. With two agents behind him, he opened the door to the office, only to find Wetzel nowhere in sight. After a few moments of searching, he was found to be cowering within the foot space of his desk, a most ignoble way of being caught.

Weißmuller and the two agents stood over the man, almost feeling sorry for him, but only for the slightest moment.

"Do you have anything to say now Wetzel?" Weißmuller began in a sarcastically disturbing way, "If I were you, I'd speak my peace because Lord knows, it is difficult to talk with one's own teeth smashed out."

Instantly, Wetzel's eyes lit up and he froze, with only the word, "What!" leaving his mouth before his face took the full brunt of a night stick being swung by a former baseball player. The sound of shattering teeth and bone emanated throughout the room and soon after that, the shouts of a man whose face had just been bashed in with a night stick also emanated throughout the room.

5 January 2013- 8:10 AM
Vienna, Hapsburg Reich
Kaiser Franz Josef II's Hospital Room


It was a mere fifty six minutes after awakening from a two week long coma that the Emperor was already set about running the Empire...or rather trying to rectify the pure idiocy that had unfolded in the past week. It was during those fifty six minutes that he learned, from Chancellor Hindenschloss himself, the lack of control the Imperial Government had displayed over the nobles and the significant deterioration of foreign relations in the region. It was during that time Franz Josef II made the decision that Chancellor Hindenschloss was simply not up to the job as Chancellor. It seemed, at least to him, that nineteen years as Chancellor was plenty and that any forced tender of resignation could be easily played off to the world as being one of 'age, health and family.'

"Your Highness, von Weißmuller is here to see you," an aid called.

"Yes," the Kaiser began hoarsely, "send him in."

In a flurry of motion, Weißmuller entered the hospital room, his overcoat flowing behind him. In this rush of motion, he made a quick bow towards the Emperor before asking frantically, "Your Highness, it is a pleasure to see you. What is it you require of me?"

Now it is typically understandable for someone to be excited when an Emperor, who had been in a coma for two weeks, beckons you to his bedside less than an hour after he's awoken, but for the Emperor himself, Weißmuller was a bit too fast for his tastes. It would simply be understandable that a man who had been in a coma for two weeks would not move with the same vigor that a man would had he not been in a coma for two weeks, a simple matter of everyday health.

"By God slow your pace," the Emperor began, but stopping mid sentence in order to catch his breath, "there is no rush, I've very nearly been dead for two weeks, I su...ppose that you can wait...another minute, can't...you?"

Weißmuller grabbed a seat at a table near the foot of the Emperor's bed, very nearly out of breath, he replied, "Yes of course...I have as much time in the world as you require."

The Emperor, now sitting upright, having moved the back of the bed up with the controls in the last few moments gave a nod.

"Ulrich, tell me, what is your opinion of my government? Is it...working?"

Weißmuller seemed somewhat surprised by the question, perhaps it was the Emperor's inquisitive tone that threw him off the most.

"Well," he began, trying to spit out some words, anything he thought, "it has not been the model of efficiency as of late, I'll tell you that."

"I can see that much, it seems that the Chancellor has not kept a lid on this situation." The Kaiser for a moment almost became angry, only catching himself at the last moment, "the damned fool couldn't even fix a vote properly!"

Weißmuller did not respond to this, finding it better that he did not. For all he knew, the Emperor was ready to sack him as well, that is, unless the Emperor had already gotten wind of his work earlier in the morning.

With an immediate change in mood, Franz switched focus on Ulrich.

"I heard of your...enforcement this morning. A jolly good job, a tough stance to take against those who oppose my government." The Emperor was now happily waving his one arm about, pointing at Ulrich intently, "I'll tell you this now, if it comes down to it, you will make the perfect Chancellor. Just think of it!" While Ulrich's facial expression dropped, Franz's rose to the heights of ecstasy, "Chancellor von Weißmuller, smashing the heads of my enemies and clamping down on those who oppose me! The nation and government would enter a new era! An era of sound authority....no...respect, yes that's it...respect. I'm sick of this nation being run like some medieval monarchy; it's time we returned to the days of Frederick the Great." It was blatantly obvious that the Emperor had not yet completely adjusted to not being in a sleep state and therefore, perhaps spoke a bit too much of his mind, but nonetheless, he continued, with a glazed facial expression, "Just think of it, my name alongside Frederick-Wilhelm III! I may not hunt enough, but I'll whip this Empire into shape and I'll need your help doing it!"

Weißmuller as star struck, looking more like a dribbling fool than a man who would soon be Chancellor of the Hapsburg Reich.

"W..w..wel...well....your highness...I...I'm...f..f..flatt...ered."

"Don't be! You deserve this more than anyone. We need a man who isn't afraid to smash a few skulls, we all know the amount of fools that populate the council of the nobility, and it's high time that we had a Chancellor capable of bringing them all into line."

"Do you want me to think about this?"

"Don't think, just do. When I am well enough to leave this damned place, I'll call a meeting of the cabinet. In the meantime, pull together a few of the...knuckleheads that have been causing so much commotion."

For a moment, the Emperor stared out the window.

"I was always captivated by men who would soon be hanged, drawn and quartered."
Last edited by Mykola on Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Waldenburg 2
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 124
Founded: Jul 26, 2005
Ex-Nation

Postby Waldenburg 2 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:23 pm

Draft Letter: The Sovereign and Imperial Kingdom of Aschenhyrst and Her Dominions Beyond the Seas
His Excellency Karl Graf Shenk-Holtz von Schilling, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of The Most Divine and Illustrious Empire of Waldenburgers


We write, as directed by His Most Gracious Imperial Majesty the Emperor Frederick, under the most strained and bereaved circumstances in modern times. His Majesty’s Government, as well as the ever vigilant arms of the Imperial Armed Forces, has been made to witness the slaughter of an Imperial Princess onboard the WIS Indolent on or about the 27th of December of this year last. We would inquire if it is the nature and standing orders of the Royal Navy to habitually butcher children, or if this is a more recent development brought about by an expansive megalomania within the Südkreis?
Regardless of its nature, the crime is clear. A member of the Imperial Family, a girl no less, who held no active military rank, while passenger aboard a naval vessel has been killed by your commandoes. Does a state of war exist between our two nations? An assault on an Imperial vessel certainly constitutes no less.

In light of the circumstances currently arising within the Empire, I am hesitant to respond with the customary legal means at this juncture, so I shall issue a more practical injunction.

The area around Tettenburg forest, Klagenfurt, and without the border of Skanderhafen are the sovereign soil of His Most Gracious Imperial Majesty and if your troops are not withdrawn it shall be my unfortunate duty to press His Majesty for a declaration of war. There has been a clear and evident attack upon both our people and nation, and whatever the circumstances, however dire the outlook may appear, rest assured that we will always, always strike back.

To the other matter I have taken the liberty of drafting a letter to the states of the Südkreis suggesting an immediate vote of no confidence in the Viceregality of the Duke of Himmel.

With Respect,
HE Karl von Schilling

--

Fifth Imperial Field Army-Scant
January 11th

Pencils scribbled across cheap telegraph paper as the attachés attached and swarming about High Command added this newest variable into the equation; the rail-artillery lay twisted and steaming upon their carriages. Their size had ensured that the Yallakian missiles hadn’t even demolished the entire gun, but melted it into the earth. ‘Edelweiss,’ a black steel invention of the 1930s had happily thrown a bearing before the campaign began and now was being brought up to the font. It was the last heavy gun[/i], and von Bant, realizing his sudden lack of artillery, was ordering a full advance up the mountains. Edelweiss in the meantime had been loaded with phosphorus shells and was pouring death into downtown Scant.

Linsky was oblivious to this, as his platoon had been ordered back to haul a two ton truck out of a muddy hole. They had only managed about fifteen feet when bullets began to pour out of the hills around them.

“Linsky.” They had managed, through their ramblings across the foothills, managed to come under the inadvertent command of Major Erik Pilsen, renowned throughout the service for singlehandedly defeating an Anagonian column using no more than a frying pan, two pieces of a string, and a fire poker. “Would you be kind enough to pass me a rifle?”

“Yes sah!” Corporal Linsky was crouched in the lee of the truck they had been attempting to shift, and was surreptitiously trying to fox-hole up.

“Oh please, call me Erik.” A rifle was passed over. “I like to feel at home amongst my men.” Iron sights were raised and a .303 bullet removed most of the face of a militiaman 150 yards away. “Say, what size are those boots of yours?”

“Um…. Eight sir?”

“Really? Such small feet, have you ever considered becoming a dancer? My brother is a dancer,” Erik deftly removed one of the boots, drew his own knife and drove it into the gas tank of the truck. Fuel oil poured out into the boot, which a lighter was applied to and tossed a copse of yew. “Of course he doesn’t make very good money, but he’s doing what his love.” Major Pilsen stood up, “I’ll be back in a few moments.” He drew his knife and began to run up hill, “Für land und volk!” He bellowed, disappearing out of the corporal’s view.
--

The rebel skirmishers were exacting a heavy toll of the Fifth Army as it tried to lug its artillery into range of Scant; those riflemen and sharpshooters decimated the forward infantry, wiping out three or four regiments and force a massive stall in the advance. Von Bant though, in possession of several battalions of flame tanks ordered an en masse advance of two regiments of light armor with the explicit instructions to ‘burn everything.’ Armored sappers were sent forward to demolish buildings that were composed of inflammable material, and failing that, remove inconvenient pieces of geography. It took time, in the first hour the task force advanced just slightly less than a mile, but the ground was black; charred, desolate of all life. Entire towns reduced to cinders and then blown up into Scant. Old Waldenburg burned.
--
Vimmenhaven, Sälitz
January 15th 2014,
His Highness Free Army, Paloni


Rock. Rock. Rock. Soft inedible rock. Artisanal well. Rock. Rock. Food. The bird sprung from the leather strop and exploded as only a hawk can into the air. Climbing higher, ascending on pillars of warm air, buoyed up by forces so ancient they needn’t a crown to serve, or God to follow. Drifting now. Drifting with the exhaled breath of kings and criminals both, the hawk could see the world, spilling like the contents of a child’s play chest across the continent. Here a forest of ancient pines a set of tinker toys, rivers wide enough to swallow armies, the dribblings of an open infant’s mouth.

Then lower.

Dropping upon the one speck that is different in the world. Food.

Olitz von Tregendorf shared many things with his hawks: a love of the hunt, an unending appetite, speed, grace, and sadly intellect. “They’ll get fat. Fat an’ lazy, mark my words.” The General’s staff car buzzed up the line of much more sedately moving troop carriers and light tanks. “Soldiers should be marching. Toning, gathering strength for the great and comradely push against the blighter foreigner.

“Perhaps, first though, they should be protected from having their heads removed by shrapnel?” George Kopp wished, for perhaps the sixth time today that his head would so neatly be eviscerated. He, after Cato’s most recent cavort in Hechingen, had been left in charge of the political aspect of the mission. “I think it’s rather more important we get there, we get there fast, and with all our limbs.” Another one of the fowl birds descended on the car and plopped a pigeon onto the General’s lap.

“O’ Isabelle!” von Tregendorf clapped his hands happily, “It’s wonderful. Isn’t it a fine specimen?”

“A bloodier lump of feathers I have never seen.” Kopp responded as he tried to shift across the leather seat away from the kill, which after a second was tossed out of the car and struck a drum major in the mouth. “Sir!” Kopp suddenly jumped out of his seat, “There are some men up ahead.” The driver knowing what this meant to his commander, stomped on the accelerator and propelled the staff car ahead of the column. Two men in strange uniforms were desperately talking into a radio.

“The little one Benjamin,” von Tregendorf stated calmly as the driver nodded, turned the wheel ever so slightly and slammed two tons of steel into a Rodarion soldier. The other man raised his assault rifle at the back of the speeding car, and received two and a quarter pounds of falcon to the back of the neck. His screams lasted until a kindly medic removed the squawking bird from the man’s arteries.

“Rodarions?” Kopp asked nervously.
“Looks to be.”


“Bugger that, General.”

“We’re about to be.”
"You guys have meetings?"
Damirez

"Cole Porter would be proud. A money grubbing effete banker teaming up with a female nuclear wasteland to take over the world. "
Vetalia on the Great MU Musical

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