Of Tangent Dreams {ATLA II: Closed}

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


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Founded: Jun 27, 2008

Postby Ascelonia » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:00 pm

“Emperor. Unit. God. Family.”

-Field Marshal Alan Baarskag when asked to list what
Huskarls value most in order of importance

December 15th, 2013
Balderburn, Principality of Zeltz

The sun of the Paloni bore down on Captain Kyl Wohar as he trudged through caked mud and snow around the stone walls of the town. His men followed closely. Wohar's steps were as brisk as the gusts of wind that swept through the plain.

“Listen up, maggots. This ain't a training exercise anymore. This is war. The Rodarions have breached the Empirian blockade. We ain't fuckin' around now,” Kyl spat at his men in gruff voice just above a whisper. They were damn good soldiers and cold blooded killers, but they didn't kill without reason unlike the Fallen. He continued, “This will be our last camping trip.”

Camping trip was a euphemism used by high command to describe specific counterinsurgency operations of military units deployed to the Zeltzian borderlands. Official manuals described it has team-building maneuvers, but, in reality, it was essentially target practice. Wohar coughed a little as a blast of wind swept ice and snow in their direction. He checked his watch, a gift from his father. The Augsburger handmade timepiece was a bit old and had been prone to breaking down at three-thirty. The spring seemed a bit worn, too, until he used his first paycheck to ensure his watch was always synchronized.

Two hours of fast marching followed by a brief stay in camouflaged foxholes dug into the foundations of the town walls. When they started out as recruits, the men were a bit dazed during more intense training scenarios, but now they would be ready to fight at the crack of dawn or in the twilight of dusk even after several hours of strenuous activity. The brief rest in the disguised foxholes steeled their resolve and strengthened their fighting spirit.

It was somewhere around midday when they rose from the earth like undead cued by a second coming. Their cold snow-covered bodies and their thin figures belied their Ascelonian origin. Fair hair smothered under the dust of the Zeltzian. The paleness of Wohar's fist concealed by his watch and a winter glove made in Arcindis. It was almost time.

“Ready yourselves, men,” his voice, a muted bark scattered by the Northern winds as they readied their weapons. Their favorite instrument of choice was the Arvaal tactical knife, which came with a handle and two detachable blades. The Korzmes, the chief staple of deep infiltration, and the Langmes, a rather long jungle blade. The former was a short blade adapted from the Fallen's use of bayonet blades in assaults. It came with a replaceable compressed air cartridge that could fire the knife for short distances.

Kyl noticed that a few of his men invested in more expensive variants of the Korzmes that came with stabilizers that extended the knife's effective range. By comparison, the Langmes looked a lot more Levantian. A few of his men equipped the curved blade. Taken from their Aarsindiin counterparts, the blade was good for throwing, easy to draw, and outranged most melee weapons. The men came armed with Vrend-7 SMGs and Makker pistols in case the situation got out of hand. Half of them carried a few nonlethal grenades each while the other half brought satchel charges and frags. All of them wore Spindel arachnofiber vests with trauma plates underneath. No identifying tags or patches, but Borderlandians knew where they came from.

An explosion erupted from beyond the city walls and the rangers looked upward at the battlements. A man peaked over at the rangers and signaled to people behind him and out of sight. Wohar stared at the man as he drew his Makker 9mm, aimed it at the crest of the wall, and barked, “Ready yourselves, men!”

“You should keep it down. You'll wake the neighbors,” a voice came down from the battlements and three ropes followed with the Ascelonian colors of blue, black, and white slapped on the end with a marker. A man in a town guard uniform signaled at them and Wohar's men proceeded to scale the walls. Kyl hesitated slightly, but joined his men as a spot opened up. Town guards in their khaki uniforms with Zeltzinger armbands helped them up.

“A wolf in sheep's clothing shouldn't have to give itself away to other wolves,” a bald man said to Wohar as he neared the top. The man wore a town watchmen's cap and tipped the cap just enough for the sun to bounce off his pores where fair hairs struggled to rise and reveal his Nordkrijger origin. He grinned wolfishly and let the cap fall back upon his head.

Wohar seemed unfazed as he climbed over to top, landed firmly on the ground, and looked at his comrade decked in the enemy uniform and asked, “Wotan's Ei?”

“A good soldier never gives away his best weapon,” the man answered. Wohar now noticed the man was wearing a Captain's cap. “Not even to a friend.”

Wohar looked impatient as he grumbled, “And what's that?”

“I guess you didn't listen,” the Captain winked and Wohar caught a glimpse of a creepy eye tattooed on his eyelid.

“Sorry, I asked,” Wohar sighed and looked about. “Any hostiles in the area?”

“Nah, we neutralized the patrols around this sector. Dor Hamer started a firefight around the West Gate, so we have the option of avoiding that area or providing support. Either way, it's Dor Hamer, so they should be fine. I suggest we proceed with the objective.”

“Right,” Wohar agreed. “Sounds good to me.”

“Alright, boys! We're gonna need most of you to spread out along this area and defend this perimeter. If you're with Wohar, there's some enemy uniforms in the watchtower over there!” he gestured at a stone structure rising from the wall further down. Then he pointed at one of his men and continued, “Josef will guide you there if you need directions. Of course, your equipment will be guarded and available when you return. I'll need ten brave volunteers and, hopefully, one of them will be Herr Wohar.”

“Alright. I'm up for it,” Wohar stepped forward.

“Excellent,” the Captain grinned as he offered his hand. “For reference, you can call me Henri.”

“Just one thing though,” Kyl looked a bit suspicious and shook it carefully. “How do you know my name?”

“I told you. A good soldier keeps his best weapon to himself,” the Captain winked exposing his tattooed eye.


December 25th, 2013
HIMS Wagnaria, Straits of Badarak

“Status report!” snapped Kristaan as he looked out from the bridge of the HIMS Wagnaria.

Field Marshal Leo Gates, a fairly young commander risen from the elite core of the Kampatka Academy, emerged from the cramped lounge plastered with maps. An adjutant followed closely at his side carrying a clipboard filled with indecipherable scribblings. A couple envelopes and a pen were tacked on via clip.

“Oblige him, Mr. Upak,” Gates ordered and his assistant approached the Emperor slowly. His presence alerted the Emperor almost immediately.

“Well? Spit it out. Haven't got all day,” his eyes cast its gaze over the sea and in the vague distance, the Waldenburg landmass sat obscured by the curvature of the earth, the greatness of distance, and low hanging clouds.

“My liege,” he began and presented a vanilla envelope to His Imperial Majesty. “I think you'll want to see this.”

“Alright,” Kristaan turned, took the envelope, and removed its contents. Upak began discussing each paper individually as the Emperor paged through it. Not much more than “satellite imagery”, “news report”, and “dossier” escaped the man's mouth as Kristaan rushed through each document before tossing them back in the envelope and returning all of it to the young adjutant. “Tell me something useful. Don't bother loading me up with all this useless garbage.”

“We're estimating that the Rodarions have about an army group in Sälitz. We're not sure about exact numbers,” Upak almost sighed, but caught himself. He was in the presence of the Emperor, after all. “In fact, they could be exaggerating their size by boosting radio chatter or downplaying it by maintaining radio silence. We're sensing a lot of traffic there, though.”

Kristaan stared out into the distance and his eyes captured the beauty of the sun striking a shimmering, seamless blue into the ocean, “So, you're not certain?”

“No, sir.”

“Mykolans to the North, Rodarions to the South, and here we are stuck in the middle. Fantastic,” he chuckled softly. Kristaan turned back at Upak, who looked like a promising young man. Ascelonia was always full of potential in his mind's eye. “Anything else?”

“Our ETA to Port Helgan is 3 hours 40 minutes. Aside from that? No, sir,” he turned but then remembered the second envelope in his clipboard. “Oh, and there's this. Unmarked letter. Strange seal. I've never seen it before. We had some lab technicians go through it to make sure it wasn't dangerous. It was originally encrypted, but we had some people look at it.”

“Give me that!” Kristaan took it from the young adjutant who scurried away quickly. “Only two people should see this message.”

Dear Crystal,

Mead apologies for the informalities and wristed trouble krauts. Ivy fallen under the suspense that someone house Ben redding my snout knowing communists. Nevertheless, I circumvented stand shard procedures. Shore leave, you'll understand.

I must say that this letter comes with rather strange timing. Don't you think? Flowers already think their mother is in red with an ass. Not the best time for them to make it literal. Regardless, I find this a bit out of character for an ass end. Desperation?


December 24th, 2013
Fort Aldithold, Kingdom of Saxe-Missern-Blomburg

Two men stood in a stone watchtower overlooking a ghost town. It wasn't quite a town, but it had been home to a town sized unit of fresh conscripts. Now, most of them were all on leave. They were warned that a tank formation would be training in the area, but they saw nothing for miles save for the sparsity of conifers, the crest of a hill to the north, and the border with Sälitz a dozen miles or so down south.

“Did you hear?” Captain Alex Seewulf coughed a little before taking a drag on his cigarette. A little label on the pack read Made in Laysley, but he knew better. Even here in old backwater Blomburg, the word of the Yallakian invasion had spread. The country wouldn't be manufacturing much of anything for a while, but what did he know? Ascelonians rolled through Blomburg and got their factories running within weeks after peace was made.

His First Lieutenant blew smoke rings and replied, “Hear what?”

“Queen's visiting,” Seewulf puffed again, observing that the cigarettes tasted like shit unlike the Manganese 'Imperial Elysian' or the Arcindin 'VoorStyx' that a rare few Ascelonians brought with them. They were health nuts. Indoctrinated from youth, Seewulf thought. You would have better luck asking the higher ranked Blomburger commanders for those brands. Or maybe not, these days. The higher ups were the first to fall under Ascelonia's influence.

“Little Carol?” First Lieutenant Sauerbach dropped his cigarette in disgust and stomped it out with his foot.

“Yeah,” Seewulf confirmed. Another drag and the rough flavor proved his suspicions. Definitely a knock-off brand. “Fuck these cigarettes.”

“Heh. I bet some starving Angzasi boy rolled them,” Sauerbach sighed sadly. He put his hands awkwardly in his pockets before noticing that the cotton enclosures were also fairly cold since he left them unattended. The middle-aged lieutenant withdrew his hands and blew on them a little before stuffing them in his coat pockets. Supposedly, new uniforms with wool lining would be issued, but most of high command's promises had been backlogged.

His older superior chuckled as he sucked down the last bit of the cig. “Well, that black boy could put a better army together than the Ascelonians.”

Seewulf smoked every now and then with his men, but he restrained himself. He noticed some of his boys could suck down an entire carton in a day and he hated the idea of all the time wasted smoking. Health propaganda didn't scare him, but losing a few precious moments did. Sauerbach sighed. “Probably. What the fuck are we doing here?”

“Feeding our families,” the grizzled Captain replied tersely. He came from a family of navy men, but the Ascelonians had obliterated the few boats

“But still, c'mon. It's Christmas Eve. We should be with our families,” Sauerbach complained as he shifted his weight back and forth to generate some heat. A cold breeze rolling over the fort disagreed with his efforts.

Seewulf smiled softly at the old excuse he had heard when he sat out the last Christmas with a younger stock of officers. “You volunteered for this. Besides, you're not married.”

“You and I both know that a good pint of lager is family enough,” Sauerbach quipped, landing a light, well-timed elbow to the Captain's side. They both laughed.

In the distance, a formation of AZ7 Protector tanks rolled into sight. It took a bit of concentration to notice them at first, but the outlines were unmistakable. Seewulf noted the engines were a lot quieter than the tanks the Blomburgers used. However, once they slipped into view one of the men climbed out of a tank hatch with a large stereo blaring loud music. The faint words of the song managed to filter its way to the two.

“He's an enemy of the state,”

“Fuck those obnoxious assholians,” Sauerbach leaned on the railing along the viewing platform and spat down the side. He was about to comment on the particularly loud stereo when a cargo truck fitted with large speakers came into view over the crest of the hill north of the fort. Now, the words were crystal clear if the crystal was caked with calcium, but the words were more distinguishable.

“And then he sealed his fate”

“Shh...” the old veteran replied and pointed at the approaching formation. “Watch.”

“When he gave himself to hate
He's an enemy of the staaaate!”

A booming yet raspy voice echoed the gruff lyrics. Tanks rolled up closer and closer to the fort as the guitar solo kicked in with such intensity that even Sauerbach could imagine some burly, muscular man with a massive mustache that occupied the most unwholesome fantasies of young harlots digging into metal strings with his thick, sausage fingers.


Yes, in spite of his instincts and preconceived notions, he could picture the man's primal hunger for music. Those large fingers searching the struts, combing for the right notes. Sauerbach had shared a similar hunger for wurst and sour cabbage.

“Hey!” Captain Seewulf slapped the back of Sauerbach's helmet. “Are you paying attention?”

He answered a bit unnerved, “Y-yes, Captain?”

“Look down there. If you haven't noticed, they have supporting infantry,” Seewulf said gesturing down at the field in front of them. “Lots of them.”

“Lord, there are enemies at our gate”

Upon closer inspection, he saw a swarm of regulars in winter uniforms with a few ski troops here and there backing the tank formation. “What in...”

“Let our rounds fly true and straight”

“You got anything white we can wave?” Seewulf asked half-jokingly as he pulled out his cigarette pack again.

”Now we're hauling iron freight”

“Snow? My boxers?” Sauerbach laughed as the music stopped. The tanks' advance halted and the troops began lining up around the fort. One Protector sat at the front, closest to the fort walls. Its cannon raised and lined itself up with the watchtower until they both saw the barrel perfectly aligned. Sauerbach and Seewulf were staring down the barrel of a really large gun.

“I'm guessing we can't use your boxers anymore,” the Captain jested, thinking it was his last. Then it went off like one of those popguns in children's cartoons. The hatch swung open and a Blomburger flag came out with it. The truck with the loudspeakers pulled up closer and a man popped out of the tank's hatchet. A man in a Blomburger uniform. He drew a loudspeaker up to his lips and cried, “I heard you could use some company. Ascelonians and Blomburgers can wait out the snow and spend the yuletide season together.”
Last edited by Ascelonia on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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The Fanboyists
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Postby The Fanboyists » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:42 am

South of Klagenfurt
January 8th, 2014

Fires formed spots of hope, barriers against the night and the ice that came with it, as people huddled and shivered, moving between canvas tents and the myriad bonfires, trying to stave off the cold. Wind blew, and lean-to shelters worked to keep the worst of it off the fires and the gathered masses. A few assorted people wandered between the blazes, talking to those huddled refugees, trying to keep their spirits up in the harsh winter. At least they had food, they said often. At least none of the armies roving the area had decided to come and disperse them.

Of course, for the dispossessed Duke, that was a temporary state of affairs. A tent city outside of the territory he'd held up until last month was not, and could not be, a permanent solution. But the simple fact of the matter was that the forces just weren't available to take Klagenfurt back from the warlord who'd wrested the war-torn duchy from his control. The traitorous Baron von Esä had seen to it that when a new potential master, appearing profitable had come through, that young Arnulf's supplies in his decimated provincial capital had dried up abruptly.

Of course, since then, the tent-city they had built on the border of the duchy had swollen with refugees from the chaos throughout the southern reaches of the empire. The Princes Andre and Henry had not been heard from in these parts in a while, which was bad; they had been amongst the fairly few that Arnulf was able to consider allies. Of course, his hopes of breaking away some greater autonomy for the Haaldstadts had gone up in flames with Klagenfurt, and he'd decided much more solidly that he would be supporting the legitimate emperor, whoever that happened to be, while keeping as many people out of harm's way as possible.

To that end, he'd managed to pull a not-inconsiderable amount of wealth from his bastion in Klagenfurt before fleeing with those who remained loyal, leaving a burned and nearly-deserted town, as well as pulling wealth from other fortresses before they capitulated as well to the duchy's new master. With this heap of coin, he'd managed to draw a number of opportunists, guns-for-hire, and soldiers of fortune to help bolster the volunteers and scattered militiamen that had rallied to his banner.

And, of course, there was the matter of the one barony that had remained loyal to him. Baron Loukas Steiglitz von Estburg had been made a baron shortly before the fall of Klagenfurt, and when the new duke had come in demanding his oath of fealty, Baron Loukas had told the new lord precisely what he could do with his damned oath, and had spent the following weeks making life a living hell for the would-be overlord, launching raids and fortifying strong-points. Meanwhile, his other loyal general, Heinrich Kurtz, had taken two-thousand militamen and stormed an armory to help arm the growing forces in the tent-city. Those numbered nearly some 30,000 now, protecting more than 50,000 refugees, although to call them an 'army' would be a bit hasty.

And so, Arnulf von Haaldstadt wandered between fires like all his trust officers, talking to refugees and letting them see that the community's leaders were enduring the hardship right along with them. It was, then, at that point that Arnulf heard something rise from one of the huddles, an excited rumor.

"And there's word of an army come out of the east, through Arnsland, trying to build a safe zone for those like us. Why not go there?" an excited woman said. "Our chances there would be as good as here, if not better, and we'd be farther from these damned warlords and foreigners. I even hear there's a force headed this way, to look for those that might seek safety there!"

Arnulf stopped, leaning on his wooden-and-iron prosthetic, and limped over the huddle.

"If I may ask, where did you hear that?" he asked warily. There were gasps as the people in the huddle turned to face him. One said, worried about speaking out of line to a noble, said "Beg your pardon, m'lor--"

"Don't worry about it. I'm curious. That's interesting news, and I had yet to hear it. Any further details?" he said, keeping his voice level but putting a reassuring expression on his face. "It might be useful for us, moving forward. What was it?"

The woman said, shakily while she shivered from the cold: "A rogue general, we hear, out of the east. Came out of Arnsland, leading boyars, Arnslanders, and, we hear, Fradrykvulk. Apparently bent on making a protected area for refugees and the like, to keep the warlords out." Arnulf stroked his mustache, pondering the news.

"Any word on where this general is from?"

"Lots of rumors, m'lord. Some say he's an Arnslander, some say from across the sea, and a couple even say he's a Haaldstadt. Name's...Markus, I want to say." Another cut in, though. "I heard Morris." Another said "Don't be daft, three-quarters of the rumors say 'Maurice'."

Arnulf's heart leaped. If Maurice had marched out...maybe that meant help was on the way. Of course, it could all just be rumors, and the odds that his father would have given leave to his top general to just leave and seek his fortune in a war-torn continent were slim-to-none, he figured. Trying to stay composed, he nodded again. "Thank you. That's been most informative. Are you all keeping warm?"

"As best as can be, m'lord. I don't think it'll kill us. Not tonight, at least." Arnulf chuckled. "I guess that's all we can really ask for, for now, isn't it. I'm going to look into that news, then. If you don't mind, I'll be taking my leave. Stay warm, and stay safe. God bless you." With that, he limped off through the blowing snow to his own tent. It was a long, blustery walk, but it gave him time to think. It had been almost seven years since he had seen his family, what with his ruling in Klagenfurt, half-a-continent away from Aachensboro. He'd missed his brothers more than he had realized. His father was likely to be getting longer in the tooth, now, and he wondered if Rudolf, his eldest, cheerful, and somewhat sheltered brother had grown into a more mature statesman. He'd never minded Rudolf's borderline-immaturity; he'd seemed to know more-or-less when to turn it off, even if he'd still rubbed some people the wrong way. And then there was grim, pessimistic Maurice. His older brother had long seemed to have something to prove, and Arnulf mused that it wasn't unlikely that he would have at least tried to strike out on his own, perhaps to carve himself a new realm, even over their father's objections.

As he limped into his tent and pulled up a chair, he was greeted by a few other loyal officers. "I hear my brother's been on the move?" he said, sounding vaguely cross. "Or is that news to you lot as well?" He was met with a mixture of nods and shakes of heads, and he sighed. "And did those of you who knew plan on telling me any time soon, perchance?" He glanced at them all in annoyance. "It was rather important info."

His quartermaster, Kaarl Grevane, shrugged. "Uhh, tonight, actually. We wanted to make sure it was true first. There's no need to race half-way across the continent on a rumor, m'lord." Grevane leaned back. "In any case, it is true. He's taken up residence near Fort Landau, near the Arnsland border, with some 20,000-odd troops. Not sure where he got 'em from, but he's apparently sent scouts this way. And those might be getting here as soon as two days from now."

"No reason not to meet 'em, then," Arnulf said. "Let's get everyone packed up and ready to move out. I don't like the smell of this place. Methinks the Aschenhyrsters and Imperials are going to be gearing up for a big old slug-fest here, soon enough. Best that we don't get all these people caught in the middle of it."

"So we should go ahead and give the order, m'lord?"

Arnulf nodded, rubbing his nose, which was running from the cold. "Yes, first thing in the morning. It's time we made for safer ground."
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Postby Mykola » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:45 pm

5 January 2013- 11:45 A.M.
Vienna, Hapsburg Reich
Kaiser Franz Josef II's Hospital Room

As the clock struck a quarter to twelve, three men entered the hospital room, one of which had been there only two hours past. That man was Ulrich von Weißmuller, the second was Fieldmarshal Wilhelm von Rothstein, Minister of Defense and the last man was Wolfgang Herzog von Schäuble, the Minister of the Interior.

Rothstein wore his brilliantly decorated military uniform, one that had enough metal on its facade to stop a bullet. The sound of his knee high jackboots sounded throughout the room, only outdone by the piercing tap from his field marshals baton beating on his glove, a most peculiar habit that he had picked up some years before.

Schäuble, on the other hand, was much less flamboyant. No feathered hat, golden watch fob or perfectly polished pair of boots. Instead, he wore a plain navy sports jacket, with a peach colored pair of trousers. In fact, he did not even have a neck tie on. While it was common for him to dress this way, and anyone who knew him paid no heed to it, for strangers, his informal dress was almost vulgar. The differing colors were one thing, the lack of a vest another, but to not have a neck tie, to many, was absolute sacrilege.

The three men, in one motion placed themselves at the foot of the Emperor's bed and bowed to their waists. For a moment they waited, apparently they had caught the fatigued Emperor off guard.

"Oh...yes, at ease gentlemen." Franz stated in a rushed manner, obviously startled by their entrance.

The men stood in silence as he swung his legs to the side of his bed, struggling for a moment to untangle one of his IV tubes. Weißmuller started to make his way to assist but the Emperor waved him away in a manner not so different than that of a woman swatting at a fly. After another half minute of the Emperor lifting himself up and standing, he collapsed into a nearby chair, grabbing a notepad and pen in the process.

The three nobles glanced at each other, unsure of whether or not they should take a seat.

"Yes, sit down damn it," the Emperor barked at them, placing his spectacles on his face.

Once the three men had taken their seats, the Emperor began slowly, periodically glancing at his notes.

"I trust that everything said in this room here today will be treated as absolutely confidential. Any leak of information I will take as a personal attack against myself."

The look in each man's eye assured Franz of their reliability, so he continued.

"Gentleman, this Empire is in bad shape, if I must be so frank. We are viewed by the region as a collection of slums and degenerates, nothing more than a slave race. This, must change," without realizing it, Franz moved his hand in a motion that reminisced picking a shot glass up and drinking it, except without the shot glass. After a startled moment, he realized that he had habitually tried to take a nonexistent shot of some form of liquor. The three nobles noticed this, but did not feel obliged to comment, with only Weißmuller interjecting with a, "What do you suggest your highness?"

"Oh, well Ulrich, and company," he nodded towards the other two gentlemen in the room, "I must assert my dominance over the nobility within the next couple days, and form my new government, which you three individuals will be integral parts of."

Franz glanced at his notes, which in all reality was a page filled with scribbles, a collection of discernible notation which directed itself any which way, whether it be vertical or horizontal and most peculiarly, several crudely drawn caricatures of a plump man being kicked in his belly. After reading whatever it was he had scribbled, he pointed with his fountain pen, "Field Marshal," prompting a nod from the man, his cap now sitting on the table beside him, "Minister von Schäuble and soon to be chancellor, von Weißmuller."

The other two men seemed surprised for a moment at that revelation, pondering it for a moment, and then realizing the profound amount of logic and reason behind the decision.

"What I intend to do is, or rather what you shall do for me is to restore order to the Hapsburg Empire. Now this is no small feat, but number one, the nobles must be kept in line and that is why all three of you are instrumental to this undertaking."

Fieldmarshal von Rothstein had been for some time, sitting with his legs crossed and both hands grasping his knee. He now broke that position and leaned forward, towards the Emperor.

"Your highness…"

"Please, let's keep this meeting somewhat informal," Franz began, "I'm tied up with tubes here. You may address me as Sir."

"Yes…sir," Rothstein started again, "I'm afraid that I don't quite understand what it is I am supposed to do."

"Quite, and I am about to tell you," Franz handed a list to Weißmuller, "those nobles are to be arrested and arraigned for high treason. String 'em up. Make an example of them. The nobles must know their place. If any dare speak out against anything I say or do, do not hesitate to finish them." Taking another shot, Franz turned to Rothstein, "To answer your question, requires coherent thought, something that at this time, I struggle at. Point is, my Empire and my authority will be restored to their full value. Ever since we were reinstated to the throne, our powers have been diminished, but not anymore." Franz turned to Schäuble, "Communicate to Minister von Barnhardt that the central bank is to call in all debt and investments with Wetzel und Hartmann Capital. No line of credit, no nothing. With that, our greatest financial enemy will be crushed. Essentially gentleman, you are to proceed with the proper tasks for forming this new government and carrying out a series of political, economical and military maneuvers that will position us to take total and complete control of the country. We are all but a step away from having the power and control of a modern, autocratic monarchy."
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Postby Waldenburg 2 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:59 pm

Streinlikstern-The Cathedral of St. Michael
January 15th, 2014

Fifty tons of copper dismissed the faithful from their psalms. The priests, deacons, and lay fathers contrived to appear as holy as possible as they blessed and sanctified the tens of thousands of scrubbed and soaped under class. Joachim von Mirenhoff was first among them; he rather enjoyed this part of the service, the pontificating he could give or take, but Mrs. Jelldi came every week and gave him a weak kiss on his cheek. He treasured the moment; beaming as soon as he saw the ancient woman negotiating the orderly shuffle of parishioners.

“Magda,” Joachim offered his cheek to the woman, who obliging pressed her dry lips to his face, “How are your children keeping?”

“Buried in the piles of money I send them every month.” The woman’s voice was wavering but pleasant, like the grandmother everyone wished they had.

“Univeristy eh? It’s been a few decades but I can still remember the fun we had.”

“Your mother paid for fun? I gave them a stick and a rock and told them to share!”

“Hah! The woman paid for everything, bless her, she was a saint. Worked every day for nearly sixty years, never took a day off, and raised the four of us by herself after our father was…” he trailed off without sorrow; everyone knew what it meant.

“Where did he pass? Mrs. Jelldi, he knew, had lost her husband aboard the WIS Majesty some ten years ago.

“Mösia, a few years after I was born. Hardly met the man.”
“Isn’t that always just the way? Fun only old world?” Magda patted the jeweled and satin gloves on the Cardinal’s hands. As the two exchanged pleasantries, a growing ruckus was building on the steps of the cathedral. “Now, Joachim…. I wonder what that is?”

“Hmmm.” The clergyman patted the woman, “Do you think they want a refund?” He smiled, broke away and strode through the last vestiges of his parish. A few priests were muttering besides the massive copper doors which had been leaned open for the day.

“What is happening?” The Cardinal demanded sharply of his subordinates.

“Holy Father…. There is a mob outside.”

“I see. Well,” Mirenhoff passed, framed himself in the Corinthian arch of the doorway. “Blessings be upon you.” Mirenhoff was alone on the top of the large granite stairs that lead from the cathedral to the cobbled square outside. Sixty thousand people crowded the space. “Is there anything I can help you with?” The basic motion of the crowd pushed forward a young man in clothing that was far more romantic than practical.
“You bastards have robbed us, killed us, and treated us like cattle for generations. We want what’s ours!”

“I … don’t know what to say…. You’re welcome to the alms of the Emperor and I will see them distributed.”

“We don’t want money,” this was clearly not true as most of the crowd was muttering to one another. “We want our dignity back!”

“I will say mass for…”

“No! We will avenge ourselves for our ancestors, and right the wrong of ages!”

“I cannot answer for my predecessors, or predict for the future, but I will say a thousand psalms for your soul.” A gunshot rang out over the square. Mirenhoff looked down at his chest as the blood began to stain the ceremonial vestments of the Holy Church . “I…. believed in God….” It was a whisper but it carried over the entire square. “I really did.” He collapsed into the arms of frantic priests.
The Imperial Palace:

Like most of the furnishings, the servants were ancient, stained and beaten by years of use; but, in the style of old Waldenburg liveried in silver and green. Besides the footmen who stood wheezing at every door, guarding like sentries the person of the Emperor who was being attended by the hereditary barber. Or rather, watched as the hereditary barber short-sightedly trimmed the antique velvet off the back of a four hundred year old chair.

Simon von Keppelheim stood at ease by the bay window overlooking the city, occasionally flipping over the endless streams of paper that piled up on the man’s desk.
“Sire, these are….” Keppelheim turned and studied a piece of vellum for a moment, “the reform acts regarding… agricultural subsidies.” The pen of the Emperor slid over the documents; as the door glided open and the stolid figures of Solf and Gröning marched in and saluted.

“Your Majesty.” Solf opened with a bow, “General von Bant is pressing further into the mountains.”

“Sire,” Keppelheim leaned down, “The death warrant is in your inbox.”

“Quite.” Solf had never managed to bring himself to like Keppelheim, who was too young and too ambitious. “Also… Mirenhoff is dead. The mob stormed St. Michaels and killed him on the front steps.”

“The Provost General has drafted an order to attach an infantry battalion to every precinct. It is in your left drawer.” Keppelheim interjected again.

“And the Army staff is requesting orders; we’re losing control of the situation, we need to do something.”

“Sire,” the aide leaned down again, “You’re coffee is ready, a limousine is waiting below, and I have made your apologies to the Lady’s Aide that you will not be attending their luncheon. They have sent, in lieu, a muffin basket. They were mostly bran. They have been incinerated.”
Klagenfurt, South Waldenburg
January 11th, 2014

Prince Andre studied a slightly damp copy of The Inquisitor, checking as he always did, Freddy the Bear, for his one laugh of the day before turning to the dire reports of financial and military disaster. Klagenfurt had, of course, not warranted a mention.
“Damn him.” It was going on three days since Arnulf had fled and both Prince Andre and Prince Henry had flown into a rage. Their token ally, the defender of so many helpless people had pulled away from his responsibilities and left. “Damn him.” The paper was slammed down against the Duke’s desk. Andre had moved his fledgling army back south, scared off the local barons (although had yet to defeat them.) “Call it loyalty, call it fealty. He took an oath to these people.”

“Yes father,” Prince Henry sat across the room with his feet upon an inlaid and probably priceless table, “But what are you going to do about it?”

“Well, he’s not coming back to Waldenburg! Ever!”

“You’re going to kill him?” Henry perked up a bit, shuffling his feet, and pushing up in his chair.

“I hadn’t intended….”

“Send me father. With six of the Lord Lovat’s men, we’ll find him. We’ll find him and make him pay.”

“I don’t know Henry… he probably had his reasons.”

“There can be no excuses for treachery. Anyway, the army will have to stay here what with Tettenburg so close. You won’t need me.”
“Even so…”

“Father.” The boy snapped, rising from his chair, “He must die.”

“Well,” Andre sighed, unfolded the paper back to the comics where he looked longingly at Freddy the Bear. He sure does love strudel…. “Then I suppose he must.”
"You guys have meetings?"

"Cole Porter would be proud. A money grubbing effete banker teaming up with a female nuclear wasteland to take over the world. "
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Postby Ascelonia » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:42 pm

“Y-you know the Layslians are d-damn fine folk. R-Rodarions are even better... when they're dead.”

- Field Marshal Alan Baarskag while inebriated

December 1st, 2013
Westford Entertainment Complex, Arrin, Ascelonia

Lights. Smoke. Music. People. Maybe brevity and staccato. Interruptions. Could capture the evanescent moments in the Westford Entertainment Complex. Yet, an explanation based solely on a similar crudity and simplicity leaves out important details. Here, the driving principles of the Left stood dominant. Vryheid, Glijkheid, Brolikheid. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Any man off the street could enter the sports stadium turned nightclub. Bouncers would give him a quick pat down before waving him onto the wall of noise. Decibels washing over him. Humbling him. Erasing his identity. He was now one of the crowd.

Ambient colors coated the dance floor, which encompassed the entire stadium grounds, while powerful stage lights beamed hues of alternating cool and warm colors. Reds. Pinks. Blues. It didn't matter. All of it blended into the sound erupting from the center where a man wearing a Hakkapa mask coordinated a team of disc jockeys and sound technicians to perfect the timing and the synthesis of the beats. At the coaxing of the impatient doormen, he stepped deeper into the fray. Sweating, dancing bodies. Coalescing. Entrancing. Under the flashing strobe lights and falling confetti. A hundred kilowatt stereo system shook the walls of the stadium.

He felt the reverberations of the bass pounding on his feet with each step. Disorientation. Stepping forward. Cannon shots. Streamers fell. The black, blue, and white of the Ascelonian flag illuminated by the haunting glow of stadium lights bleeding into the night sky. People from miles around would see the searchlights combing the skies with beams of light. Down he went into the abyss of hot, perspirating bodies. Down he went towards the venues, which lined the grounds where Ascelonian athletes might clash in Hakkaball or Football. The pounding bass stopped for a moment and the alternating large LCD screens overlooking the twisting masses filled with Kristaan's visage during his coronation speech. In the rest of the massive LCD displays, the Hakkapa masked sound engineer held a microphone to his lips.

His tongue stroked the serrated edges of the mask's mouth opening, growling as the music died down and the tempo slowed. His free left arm shot up and his voice boomed, “Long Live the Emperor!”

Cheers erupted from the crowd and the music kicked into high gear again with bodies jumping to the beat of the bass. With each wave of synthesized electronic sounds, a short pause would kick in immediately followed by a clip of Kristaan speaking at the coronation.

“The will of the people...”

Then the bass came back with a fury, as if dropped from the God's Needle in Auglich and returned for revenge. He fought his way down onto the field and wormed through the sweat, alcohol, and smartphones towards the entrance into the area beneath the seating.

“Destiny of our nation...”

Unfortunately, he bumped into some obnoxious drunk.

“Hey! I think I've seen you somewhere,” the man almost spat the words out before taking a clumsy sip of lager from a large plastic cup in his hand. The wayward venturer would've been irritated by the new stains on his clothing had it not been for the fact that he wanted to blend in and for the cheapness of his attire.

“Free markets, free people...”

Kristaan's eerie voice flooded the stadium and echoed a little before the instrumental challenged the foundations of the building's architecture. Each bass drop striking the steel reinforcement like a guitarists fingers strumming the metal strings.

He looked at the drunk with pity, leaned forward, putting his hand on the rowdy lad's shoulder, and said calmly, “Look. You're a little drunk. I don't know you. You don't know me.”

“What? You fuckin' bastard! I know who you are!” the spilled more of his drink and smacked the nameless man's hand away. A few of the club's patrons looked in their direction, but the pervasive speaker system ensured their exchange was mostly secret. Soon, time and alcohol would erase it all from memory. At the most, it would fade into some drunken anecdote passed around but never taken seriously.

“God loves those who express faith with labor...”

“No, you don't,” the man said, disappearing into the crowd. After all, who would believe some drunk? No one, especially if he went around saying he had met a Crown Prince. May as well say he talks to the tooth fairy.

Back into the swarm. People. Music. Lights. He pressed deeper until he reached the entrance to the Stadium's interior. Old doors that smelled of beer and orange-scented cleaners. He made his way past the loitering couples engaged in various stages of romantic intercourse along the hallways and stairs, heading deeper into the underworld. A bouncer stopped him with his hand held forward and his body standing stiffer than the crisp edges of his pinstripe suit, “I'm going to need to see some ID.”

“Here,” he said slipping several black bills into bouncer's coat pocket. Bewildered, the man eyeballed him for a second before waving him through. Black dollars. The currency of the underground. It started in the slums and spread like a disease through the nightlife of Ascelonia. Despite the convenience of digital money, nothing beat the allure of cold hard cash. The anonymity. The power. The life blood of the slums coursing through the crisp black banknotes faded by hushed exchanges under red lights. Perhaps, it once slipped into the calcium-corroded cup of a toothless beggar or slithered through the greasy hands of some Arkadican mobster or rested in the elastic strap of young saleswoman's uniform.

Now, it slipped into the hands of a security guard, who, in his profession, had probably seen many of its incarnations. A split second decision had to be made as to whether he could slip into the sinful den of the hedonistic elite. His initial instincts steeled him against bribery, but something seemed familiar about the man. He reminded him of someone important, but he couldn't place his finger on it.

Crown Prince Frederik Gotfrij had gone missing for two weeks since declining ascension to the throne. In the information age, Ascelonian memories had dwindled even further. After the first few days, the new Emperor called off the search and his estates were closed. The remainder of his bank accounts liquidated. It was almost as if he never existed.


December 15th, 2013
Balderburn, Principality of Zeltz

Two men in town guard uniforms approached each other from different directions in front of the mayor's residence. The three-story building was a part of a larger, heavily guarded villa. Town guards paid by the excise taxes collected from traveling merchants who charged extravagant fees for surviving bands of bandits and parties of partisans.

Willem Gernhardt, storekeeper turned soldier in the turbulent times in Zeltz, was patrolling the perimeter of the mayor's residence, a man who's stolid nature could not betray Prince Rupert in spite of Blomburger overtures. Gernhardt stopped midstride to stare at the passing soldier who looked back over his shoulder. Assault rifle in hand, he approached the other guard.

“Whoa!” the man turned slowly with his gun aimed down at the ground. “Getting a bit jumpy, are we?”

Gernhardt looked a bit embarrassed, recognizing Karl Vogener, a farmer who had fallen on hard times with anarchist militias driving him off of his farm. He shook his head a bit nervously as he stared off into the distance where iron gates exposed the brick walled compound to the outside world. Gernhardt apologetically sighed, “I'm a bit on edge. Been hearing gunfire near the town entrance.”

“No worries. Ascelonian-backed Blomburgers have slowed their advance since the last town they took bled out their forward units,” Vogener replied. “Only people who could be attacking are probably anarchist scum and we're more than capable of holding them off.”

“Alright. But what of the stories?” Gernhardt asked.

Karl cast a serious gaze at the ex-shopkeeper, “What stories?”

“The ones about the mayors around the front,” he said nervously, his hands tensed around his rifle.

“Those are just stories, my friend. Wild rumors pass around.” Vogener closed his eyes for a moment and recalled the tales he heard at the market of rebels roaming the countryside. A tinge of regret soured his feigned sincerity as he spoke softly. “No one can disprove them since travel is hard because of the rebels.”

Gernhardt didn't seem convinced, but he was eager to end the depressing conversation. “Fair enough.”

“Enough talking. Get back on duty,” Vogener snapped and the two parted ways.

Gernhardt stepped around the corner somewhat relieved when mailed fist greeted his stomach sending him keeling forward. He caught the glimpse of a tattoo eyed man dressed in a bulky town guard uniform. A gloved fist grabbed his throat and reversed his momentum, picking him off the ground and slamming him down into the cobblestone ground where unswept dirt accumulated around the grass sprouting in the cracks. In the advent of the shocking impact, he almost lost consciousness but he held on by sheer force of will.

Gernhardt gazed across the first patches of ground unclaimed by the veranda where his comrade stood. Vogener turned to face him and, at the same time, a man emerged from the blind spot behind the house. It played before his eyes in slow motion. The small pistol leveled to Vogener's head and fired with a click before the farmer turned soldier could even react. The sickening crunch of bones and flesh giving way to hot lead as the round passed through his now-deceased comrade's brain faster than the image of exposed calves in an anklephobe's mind.

Blood cascaded from Vogener's head and pooled out onto the ground while Gernhardt watched helplessly. A few seconds later, he saw the eye again. There it sat, a pale blue orb wrapped in gold printed on the man's eyelids. He tried to recover and knew it was useless as the man knocked him back with a kick to the chest. There was an expression in some steppe tribe that described the act of killing a goat so softly and peacefully that it would remain friends with the killer even after death. The word once sat in the dusty recesses of his mind, now a casualty of time. However, he tried to comfort the man as he swooped down and cradled his head, the blade pressed against the vital junction.

“Know that you have served well, my brother,” he whispered, sliding the blade gently across his neck and caressing his expiring body as the life left it slowly. “In another world, we may have fought on the same side. Know that I harbor no ill will towards you. May you rest in peace.”

Wohar emerged from the west wall's peak. Pliers had parted sections of barbed wire around the residence's walls. Tapestry was laid over the top, covering the broken glass laid out to deny intruders convenient access. More men followed. Wohar's feet struck the ground almost soundlessly as he used the wall to slow his fall. He looked at the man with the tattooed eye and whispered. “How many left?”

His left thumb and forefinger stretched out while his right finger pointed at the entrance. Two. Then he jabbed his thumb towards the house and dropped his blood-stained knife, signaling with all of his fingers spread outward. Ten. Wohar nodded at four men, who rushed over to the wall behind the two men standing guard by the gates. Two teams of two. One took their climbing ropes, tying them into a noose while the other stood by the wall ready to support his partner.

Jakob and Heinrich stood erect, resolute, and unwavering. Their unchanging expression only emphasized the seriousness of their duty, protecting the town's elite. Jakob looked uneasily over at his fellow guardsmen, “Did you hear something?”

“No,” Heinrich replied. Then the loop fell over his head. “What the-”

The rope tightened around his neck and yanked him upward. His face growing red as he kicked and squirmed. Jakob, shocked, did not notice the boa knot curl around his neck until its tightening grip squeezed the last bit of air out of him.

“Prepare to storm the house,” the man with the tattooed eye whispered to his men as they took the rifles off their fallen enemies. Another man wearing a black bandanna over his mouth shook a can of spray paint and began coating the building and the wall with anarchist propaganda. It took a few days for him to learn the symbols and slogans of the Zeltzian anarchist movement. They were a rough variation of generic anarchist ideograms.

The tapestries, dyed with thick black paint, and a large anarchy symbol, painted with petrol on the cobblestone in the front, marked the ground claimed by the faux Zeltzinger anarchists. The man crowded about the entryways preparing to toss smoke grenades inside. Rifles steadied. Knives drawn. One man even had the nerve to wield the silent bloodied pistol. It's range was terrible, but it was effective enough at close ranges. The shape of the barrel and bullet were designed to mimic that of an assault rifle and professional analysis of the fragments would suggest that the round was fired from hundreds of meters away.

Watches synchronized like the crimson watercolors of a sunset.

“Ready. Set. Go.”


December 31st, 2013
Mendelby Manor, Wend, Kingdom of Saxe-Missern-Blomburg

A winged angel descended from the sky, decked in the flawless armor of an ancient Elysian legionnaire with war hammer in hand. The long handle resembled a ruling scepter of ancient times, an column of gold alloy glimmering in the sunlight. Rays projected from the hammer head, a solid block of chromium steel, unstained and unfettered by less worthy flesh. Men halted before the glorious figure, who arrived before Kristaan and his men as the approached a hill crest overlooking Sälitz. A ring of light around his head almost blinded Kristaan's men before it turned several shades darker, draining the sky of its light. The angel's eye, a shade of blue, grew darker until it boiled blood red.

Morning skies turned crimson and clouds transmuted into billowing columns of acrid black smoke. The hammer's rays faded and barbed wire grew around the handle of the war hammer. Once an image of wise happiness, the angel's expression became one of furious anguish. The barbed wires climbed its way up his body, tearing into the flesh, and around his head, forming a crown of blood. Wings grayed. Flesh paled. Armor rusted. The glory of his gilded steel dissipated into crude iron.

His cracked, black lips, once a hominid pink, parted. “Worse than the faithless heathen who forsakes the Almighty Lord is the faithful disciple who tries to play Him.”

The pale, spectral hands tightened their grip on the scepter-like handle. Kristaan's personal guards. Elite units. Fired at the beast as he cocked the hammer back in one graceful motion and swung like a professional Grestonian golfer at a private gentleman club's ninth hole. It was a long drive smashing through three of the closest Ascelonian infantry men, sending them flying backwards hundreds of meters, one somewhat intact and the other two in large meaty chunks. The force of impact tore the uniforms of soldiers near the shock zone.

“The grace of our Heavenly Father fails to provide for those who usurp his image,” he decreed as his hammer swept aside more of the elite guardsmen. Most of them began fleeing the fearful foe. Demon! they would cry in their ignorance, but Kristaan knew better. This agent of God came to deliver a message. The remaining few rallied around the Emperor, firing a barrage of lead into the abomination to no avail. He paused, held out his palm outstretched, and received another volley of bullets. They froze in the air like droplets of rain caught in a high-speed camera.

Then he turned them to face their origin. The stalwart soldiers could only stare in sheer terror as their own munitions brought their demise. Each round shredding through their arachnofiber, trauma-plate reinforced armor and into their fleshy interior. Only one lone soldier stood between the Emperor and the divine messenger. His demeanor betrayed not a single iota of fear as he glared at the heavenly monstrosity's burning eyes meeting its piercing gaze. The angel stared back and lifted his weapon above his head. “Faith is the greatest a shield against evil, but even the strongest barrier can be rusted by blasphemy and corruption.”

The lone soldier raised his rifle above his head to parry the angel's fearsome blows, but to no avail. Once the hammer fell, the rest was history. In a split second, a living, breathing human being exploded into to puddle of flesh and bones. The blood evaporated into a stomach-churning mist. Kristaan suppressed the urge to vomit and knelt before the divine creation whose hammer turned to the sky in some twisted prayer. The Ascelonian Emperor gazed into those burning red orbs and asked, “What have I done?”

He remembered the legend a long time ago. The first Azkelon who defeated the Hakkapelitan commander and, as legend had it, a demon in duel. As the story goes, the Azkelon led a militia from Cyronis to face the fearsome Hakkapelitan marauders who, celebrating their victory against Elysian legions, decided to turn against the people of the region, and resolved the standoff with a one on one swordfight. Towards the end, the Hakkapelitan had been defeated fairly, but he summoned a demon to slay the Azkelon. Yet, it was all just a fairytale back then.

He stared into the abyss and the abyss stared back. Kristaan wanted to parry the blow. Stop it as his grandfather with many greats fixed to his name did. But who was he to contravene the hosts of heaven? The angel said nothing and merely stared towards Sälitz and back at him. His war hammer pointed at the sky and came down.

Then he awoke. Sweat poured down his face and his , “Pull the troops off Sälitz!”

“What, sir?” an attendant popped into the room backed by guards.

“Now! Damn it!” Kristaan's voice hoarse and his hair matted. “Ready the men. We're going to turn back to Zeltz.”

“Your will is my command,” the attendant said bowing as he went to fetch a few commanders who could carry out the Emperor's will. We wage a war of wills, he thought. I'd rather mine be carried out now than when I die.
Last edited by Ascelonia on Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby The Fanboyists » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:14 pm

January 13th, 2014

Somehow the trip had gone without incident, which was more than he'd dared to hope for. Sure, he'd heard tell about other convoys being attacked, but it appeared that the Allamunnae had managed to hitch a ride on the convoy that had passed its way to Eisenbach without much in the way of incident. There had been a few sightings of potentially hostile ships, of course, but no engagement. That was more than okay with the Commander-General.

"Do you believe in luck, lieutenant?" Tyrrus said to an officer as green as spring. "What would you call our voyage?" The wiry tank commander looked at the fresh-faced young officer for what he thought might be a non-verbal response. Sure enough, there was a noncommittal shrug.

"Wouldn' know, sir. I figure there probably is luck, but can't hurt to pray." Grahulm laughed heartily, catching a few sideways glances.

"A man after m' own heart. It can never hurt to stack the deck in your favor as much as possible; you never know when your luck might just run out, and then you'll need to pull together every advantage you've got just to make it out relatively intact. Don' forget that, lieutenant." He patted the young officer on the shoulder. He rose from the table where he'd been reviewing a map in time to see a quite familiar face approaching. The blue tattoos that looked more in-place on a Celtic warrior two millenia previously were a bit of a giveaway to which family his old friend belonged, for anyone reasonably familiar with Allamunnic minor nobility (such as it was). Only the Blujaarls marked themselves like that. "Something up, Waaldur?"

The tattooed man with a Commander's insignia shrugged. "Depends on what you be meaning by 'something up,' Tyrrus. We got us one division ready to move out, and from what I've seen, the others are well on their way. The Katafraacts, of course, are ready and are bitching about how long all the others are taking," he added with a chuckle. "Kaarhulm advised that they'll make for a good mobile reserve, and I'm inclined to agree."

An outsider might well have noticed the lack of formality between the commanders, and would have noticed similar lack of barrier between members of individual units. Of course, such informality wasn't terribly typical of the Federal Army, although not without precedent. But Tyrrus' Vanguard was actually a standing formation that had become so used to working with itself that a lot of those barriers had been broken down; the expectation always remained of discipline, but it had taken on a different form under Grahulm.

It was also like to be one of the smallest individual forces participating in the fighting; it didn't even number a full fifty-thousand, with three Federal Armored Divisions and a few armored Katafraact battalions.

Tyrrus nodded. "He'd already told me. Also, pass the word along to the other commanders; I want us ready to move out by tomorrow at mid-day. I hear the Imperials at Tettenburg are getting all they can handle, so let's not waste any time getting there to give them a bit of help."

"You're talking about bailing out an army better than ten-times larger than us with three armored divisions, Tyrrus." Waaldur eyed him somewhat incredulously. He'd been serving under Tyrrus Grahulm on-and-off for most of his career, but the Great Allamunnic War veteran's borderline-crazy lines of thought still caught him off-guard often enough.

"Yes, well, we can only hope that the Waldenburgers aren't going to be pissed at us for making the fight massively unfair in their favor," Tyrrus said, his voice dripping with sarcasm as his breath clouded in the frosty air. "In all seriousness, we're just a nice bit of reinforcement showing the bicolor until Erik gets his army's rear in-gear." Blujaarl nodded, understanding.

"Well, that being the case, I'll go pass that along and we'll finish up our preparations for tomorrow. Anything further, sir?" He looked to Tyrrus for instruction.

"Nope. Dismissed, Waaldur." And with that, Tyrrus returned for planning the first overt action of Allamunnic troops on foreign soil in nearly thirty-five years.


Southeast of Klagenfurt
January 11th, 2014

"Kaarl, how the hell did you get 80,000 disorganized people moving so quickly?" Arnulf's voice rang with admiration. "I thought it would be at least another day before they'd have all been ready to go," he added. The officer shrugged.

"Honestly, I'm a bit surprised meself, sir. I guess telling people that an enemy army may be coming your way has a way of making them put pedal to the metal. I'm surprised we've been mostly devoid of stragglers, too, but Thomas insists that we've got as clean a tail as can be expected." Grevane shrugged. "And I did as you asked. I made sure to spread the word that we were headed towards the sea. If that damned warlord comes after us, that should buy us a little bit of time. A couple of the scouts reported encountering the beginnings of someone else's scouting force. They've been probing all morning, but last I heard, they'd agreed to meet under a flag of truce."

"What did they say the banner these other scouts were carrying was?"

"Schroeder said it looked a bit like you--ours, actually. Ram and tower, gold and purple. Didn't have Klagenfurter arms, though." He looked over to see a cocky smile on Arnulf's face. "What is it, m'lord."

"They found us. Maurice's scouts have found us. I'm not sure how much better things could be going." After a moment's thought, he added "We might as well meet with them, make sure that there's actually something to head to and that this isn't just some silly wandering."

It was only a matter of ten minutes or so before the head of the scouts met Arnulf amidst the convoy of refugees and soldiers. Junn Sturmholst was an old crusty scout who'd been in more than his share of engagements, having traveled abroad during peace-time to fight in other forces, and having (somehow) survived the War of the Grand Alliance only a few years before.

"It's good to see you're alive, m'lord," Sturmholst lead. "We were a bit worried about you, your father and brother especially." Sturmholst said, drinking water from his canteen. "That's part o' why Maurice came out this way. He also wants to help set up a safe-zone for people, and he might have gotten a good start over near the Arnslander border."

"So he is in Waldenburg," Arnulf said, "Good, I was worried that that might have just been a rumor. Will he be able to take us on? I'll not abandon these refugees. They came to me for protection, and I'll be damned if I'm not going to give it to them the best that I can."

"We might be able to. If we can open a port to us to receive foodstuffs and supplies for the remainder of the winter, or even a land-route to the Principality, it might just be doable. Bring them back to the east with us, then, and we'll see how we can make it work."

"Excellent," Arnulf said. "Lead us on, then, sir."
Last edited by The Fanboyists on Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rodarion » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:12 am

The mood had changed, constant news from the massacre at Aschaffenburg had caused a major resurgence in belief that Rodarion’s military was still a potent force in Tyrrhenia, plans to reinforce the force in Salitz had grown to send nearly 600,000 soldiers over the next few weeks, the invasion of Hechingen was on now official on the table. But the one thing that stood between the Archangel striking Catholic lands with his sword of fire was the Dadakhoi fleet amassing in the south of the Bay of Paloni. The decision had been made by the Supreme Security and Defence Council, the time had come to put Rodarion into this war to the best of its ability.

What was amassing in the Bay of Paloni was similarly amassing in the Strait of Harveld, the entire Rodarian Divine Navy was on the move. The Rodarian Combined Fleet was it was now called contained 12 Fleet carriers, 12 out of 26 being the truth, 6 light carriers, 27 cruisers, 46 destroyers and 58 frigates, with a shadowing submarine force around 40 strong. Within the next 12 days the Rodarian Combined Fleet would be within striking distance of the Dadakhoi fleet, this manoeuvre along with the Rodarian Expeditionary Fleet in the Bay supporting the Rodarian Expeditionary Force in Salitz, would alert the Dadakhoi to Rodarion’s true intentions.

On the morning of the 13 January 2013, the Combined Fleet departed Bloemfontein Harbour and was inbound for Erendan, where again like before, it would be refuelled and rearmed, the time had come for the Archangel to spread its wings and finally take an active role in the growing war that was tearing Tyrrhenia apart. Soon fire would spread across the Bay of Paloni, the oceans will turn red with blood and the rotting corpses of either those of God, those who hail from Rodarion or those of the Dadakhoi Confederation, the heathens and heretical thinkers from the far South.

DNS Maedar, 195km south of Salitz

The DNS Maedar had been operating under silent running since the sinking of the cruise liner Neimstad, yet its tour was not yet over. Captain Cameron Theron, observing through the periscope observed the silhouette of an oil tanker, heading south with the Waldenburger flag flying high above the superstructure. He smiled to himself, he noted the direction and speed of the vessel would bring it into torpedo range within 13 minutes and sat and waited, his crew looking to him as to why he was observing an emptiness of ocean.
As the time came, Theron looked at his XO and grinned. He turned to his helmsmen, and formulated his battle plan.

“Helmsmen, ahead slow please” he shouted,

“Ahead Slow sir” he was replied to and the hum of the engines quietened to a calming monotone.

“Open tubes one and two” he shouted again

“Opening tubes one and two sir... tubes open sir” a voice behind him bellowed.

“fire tubes one and two full spread” he shouted once more

“Firing tubes one and two... they’re away” the voice from behind replied.

The two Morgen Torpedoes darted from the tubes and into the crystal blue mass before them. As it reached the super cavitation distance its rockets screamed to life and the two torpedoes headed towards the tanker at 250knots. Within two minutes two columns of water rocketed up the starboard side of the tanker, then 15 seconds later roared into a light of flame. The explosion from the torpedo had torn straight through into the holds and ignited the oil, tearing the ship inside out. Another kill for the DNS Maedar.

As the vessel dived and slipped away southward, the hulking beast of the tanker slowly slipped into the waves itself, still engulfed in fire and releasing a plume of smoke hundreds of feet high.

(OOC: Shit post but hey ho what can you do)
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

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Postby Laysley » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:22 pm

Joulle, Laysley

“It’s snowing.”

Flint rocked back on his creaky wooden chair to peer out the frosted window as the man, in the last throws of his life, croaked a quintessential weather observation. Victor Poole, born to a family of pauper clerks, had seen many winters in his life and clearly knew this would be his last, but he didn’t let on. That wouldn’t be proper, even as he lay dying from some agonizing disease in the midst of this uninspiring hospital.

“Yes, it’s come late this year.” Remarked Flint.

Victor’s son, Walter Schwarzfeld-Poole, just kept smiling his thin, tight smile. He hadn’t had much of a relationship with his father, but to be fair he hadn’t ever had much of a relationship with anyone. Flint had a hunch he had some kind of autism, but whatever the state of his head it was undisputed that he was a supremely awkward character.

But that was in fact something of benefit when combined with his other well known trait: intelligence. Walter was the highest paid accountant in Laysley, and that really was saying something. His father had built a company from nothing, and now it was near unanimously agreed that his son was going to turn it into an empire, embarrassing tendency to refer to people as numbers or no. More importantly now, Flint thought as Victor dropped a limp hand over the side of the bed and Walter looked at it in confusion, was that his father loved him.

Flint gestured politely to Walter to take hold of his father’s hand, which he obligingly if stiffly did, kneeling at the bedside with a look of relief on his pale features. Flint smiled and closed the curtains.

“If only” Victor said with sudden vigor “I had got to see you grow up without this awful war.”

Walter’s look turned to his default confusion, Flint intervened.

“It’s nearly over, Mr. Poole sir. Your son will not die amongst the sounds of shells.”

Victor turned slowly to look at Flint, who stood and walked over to the bed. The loud tapping of his smart shoes on the laminate floor masked by the rattling of a nurse’s trolley outside.

“The Guild of Assassins says that the Mykolans are going to revoke their claim, we guess Cato has offered them Arnsland, while in any case they’re ripping themselves apart with reforms since the Kaiser came out of his coma.”

Victor smiled a dry smile. “Thank you for your efforts to comfort me young man but I know as well as you that they are only part of the problem.”

Flint held up a hand.

“The Allamunae are beginning to look beyond their bickerings and increasingly look well disposed to our cause, although of course there’s that nasty business with Maurice to mop up.”

Victor raised his eyebrows.

“The Aschen clans in the south can’t stay forever, and the nutjob Cardinal in Paloni is, we hope, about to have his faith sorely tested by the Autokrator and, we hope, the Augustus in Hechingen. And if the Ascelonians sort themselves out in Zeltz, and if they find their itinerant Prince of course, our list of allies grows and our enemies disappear...”

“And the Yallakians?” Victor chuckled, not entirely grimly “It’s a three headed beast we’re fighting and the Yallakians are all of them.”

Flint grinned despite himself “Ah the wisdom of age!”

Victor cut him short with a horrible hacking cough. Flint was about to rush to help him when he realised it was a laugh. “Careful whippersnapper, I’m not too old to cancel your bank account.”

“Actually...” Walter started with his lisping voice, Flint patted him on the shoulder.

“Anyway!” Flint continued, a little too brightly “We never know what’s happening with the Yallakians, but since the second invasion their factional balance has been thrown to the wolves, especially if Speckle has blown him up and I can’t really see how he can’t have. If Solonaal is deposed by Caracas, although the Guild haven’t heard from him in a while which is worrying of course, the whole attack will just disintegrate everywhere. In any case, with any luck Rone will take the fire out of Baelin, not that I trust Carlyle as far as I could spit him, and they just can’t keep coming forever.”

Flint shrugged. Victor smiled, lifting the corners of his mouth weakly but in obvious joy.

“Happy new year, gentlemen.” he whispered in Walter’s ear, still smiling.

“Happy new year father.” Walter replied remarkably pleasantly.

And, for a moment just before the end, Victor had indeed had a happy new year.
Proud member of the Tyrrhenia role-playing community, wot!

Tonight, we bring the dream of death.

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Postby Mykola » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:09 pm

6 January 2013- 9:00 A.M
Vienna, Hapsburg Reich
Chamber for the Council of the Nobility

Since the meeting the previous morning, Ulrich von Weißmuller had been working frantically with the other Imperial Ministers in order to prepare for the revelation that was mere minutes away. Preparations had in fact been made in the entire Empire, ranging from military outposts in Fredericksland, to the soldiers stationed in Liech and all the way to Werfstadt. The preparations involved a cadre of loyal military officers, nobleman, police and Kaisichdein agents. Their orders were, "to effect and execute a complete and total roundup of all subversive and treasonous elements within the Hapsburg Empire and arrange for the dissidents swift indictment and punishment." In addition to the readying of a purge, Chancellor Hindenschloss was informed, rather impersonally that he was no longer Chancellor, in fact, the Emperor did not even speak to him. Weißmuller had a cable delivered to him moments before his downtown Vienna penthouse was raided by Kaisichdein agents.

Within the Chamber, the nobles were still standing, making small talk, making important talk and of course, arguing. The only difference between this particular meeting, was that there was a significantly higher number of Reichswächter guards in the room, and Weißmuller was sitting where the Chancellor would normally sit.

With swift determination, Weißmuller rose from his seat and took to the podium, cracking the gavel on it, his voice thundering over the room, "Order! Order! I call this meeting of the Council of the Nobility to order!"

The delegates, many of them somewhat surprised, followed suit. Unlike the deposed Chancellor Hindenschloss, Weißmuller hadn't spent the last twenty years losing everyone's respect, but quite the contrary, gaining it, regardless of which side of the aisle he sat on.

"By orders," he began, capturing the attention of the audience, "of His Imperial Highness, Kaiser Franz Josef the second. I have been given the title of Chancellor of the Hapsburg Empire."

He let the words sink in for a moment. For many, the surprise that Hindenschloss had been given the boot so quickly and discreetly was shock enough, but for those who had spoken out against the Empire in the last week, they had a legitimate fear for their future. A soft murmur pulsated throughout the chamber.

"As Chancellor, I have been instructed to carry out the Emperor's wishes, and that I shall do. This Empire will not continue on its present course. It is completely untenable, in both position and condition. There are traitors among us."

Weißmuller's words became cold and impersonal, containing absolutely no emotion behind them. After making his statement, he proceeded back to his seat at the table, where several microphones had since been set up. He leaned back in his chair and lit a cigar, and then continued, speaking towards the microphone.

"The conspirators are numerous, and they must be destroyed. They have committed high treason, and for their crimes, they shall pay the dearest price," he fumbled through several papers, and began to read a list, "Wetzel von Braubach...Erich von Hartmann...Arnold von Betzdorf..."

As he read down the list, Kaisichdein agents, dressed in their usual attire of dark suits, came down the aisles and pulled the nobleman who had been called out of the room. Weißmuller, after reading twenty names, stopped, leaned back in his seat, smiled, and took a puff on his cigar.

Several men, including Reiner von Diez protested their innocence, standing in front of their seats and proclaiming out loud, "No! Not me! I am innocent! I swear it! Long Live the Emperor!" before being hushed by the Kaisichdein thugs and dragged out of the room. Other men retained their dignity, promptly standing upon their name being called and walking out the door of the chamber as a gentleman.

Weißmuller leaned forward once more, "Give these men the edge of the sword! They are foul traitors to this great Empire. Look around you! They are everywhere! Look!" he pointed at Meinard von Geltz," You! Yes you! You are a traitor! Take him away!"

For the next hour, Weißmuller called out over one hundred names of nobleman who were indicted with treason. Their fate was to be determined by a 'jury of their peers' consisting of men appointed by the Chancellor himself. In the meantime, however, they would be stored in the depths of the Kaisichdein Headquarters until they would be tried, and then most likely hanged drawn and quartered.

After all of the names had been called, one man, one who had voted with the now purged side only a few days before, rose from his seat, proclaiming with tears streaming down his face, "Long live His Imperial Highness Kaiser Franz Josef the second! Long live the Hapsburg Empire! God bless His Excellency the Chancellor!"

At the sight of this man's overly heartwarming projection of loyalty, the other members in the chamber began to applaud, and then stood. Every member in the chamber stood to applaud except, Chancellor von Weißmuller. After an entire minute of applause, the delegates sat down, and the other members of government began to speak on official business.

Earlier at Sunrise

As the sun poked it's crest above the horizon, the brisk January mountain air bit away at the faces of the five men that moved through the snow covered compound. Four soldiers and a Captain, all members of the Reichswächter paying a visit to their commanding officer, Colonel Fritz von Tremt.

The breath from the Captain reminisced one smoking a cigar as he pounded on the door to the Colonel's lodgings.

"Colonel! It is an emergency!"

After a few moments footsteps could be heard on the other side of the door, and a squint-eyed, tired man appeared, sleeping cap and all, he hadn't even had time to put his slippers on.

"What in God's name is going on that you have to wake me at this hour Captain?" the man lashed out; he had only been living on about three hours sleep a night and being woken at such an hour only aggravated him even more.

The Captain motioned to the soldiers behind them and they swiftly moved past him and grasped each arm of the Colonel firmly.

"Colonel Fritz von Tremt, you are hereby served a notice of your indictment of high treason against his Imperial Highness Kaiser Franz Josef the second. Long may he live. You are found to have been collaborating with conspirators, inciting acts of sedition and failing to do your duty as an Imperial Guardsman. You are hereby sentenced on this fifth day of January in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, to death by firing squad at the earliest convenience."

At the Captain's reading of the indictment a perplexed look came across the old Colonel's face. His expression dropped and it was as if he knew he had been played. He was but a mere pawn in the game that the Emperor and his Dukes played in the Hapsburg Empire.

"Well," he began, "seeing as I won't be able to go back to sleep, now would be convenient."

The Captain was slightly amused by this remark and casually ordered the soldiers to escort him to the center of the courtyard where stood a post of about six feet in height. The soldiers quickly tied the officer up, from head to toe, blindfolded him, and then proceeded to stand in a line parallel to him, ten feet away.

"Ready! Arms!" the Captain bellowed. The soldiers retrieved their rifles from their slings and held them vertically in front of their body.


In unison, the four men took aim for the Colonel's heart, their fingers ready to do the Emperor's dirty work.


The shockwave from the shots echoed throughout the valley, even stirring a mother bird from her nest a whopping two miles away.

The Colonel's body sagged in his bindings, and all was done. Throughout the Empire, this scene was repeated, over and over. The Great Purge had begun.
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Postby Yallak » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:48 am

OOC: I guess this is a pretty standard addendum now from me, but I'll say it anyway: Sorry about the wait for this and please excuse any spelling/grammar issues I didn't check through it yet

January 11th, 2014 – 08:44
The Fortress of Weißburg
Scant, Ibblesguard

Garviel's heavy military boots clicked loudly as he marched up the length of the castle's great hall, a collection of aides and assistants in tow. The castle was strangely quiet given the proximity of the battle being waged outside, though the Governor-Militant attributed this to the fact that the old relic was long past its era of usefulness. Before him, seated at a table which was close to the only piece of furniture in the hall, was the Emperor of Waldenburg, eating breakfast as he poured over a spread of scribbled on papers.

'Shhh,' said Kaidan distractedly as Garviel's echoing footsteps arrived at the table. Garviel stopped and waited as the Emperor scrawled another sentence out on one of the pages. 'How long was it until the poison takes effect?'

'Three days, before the first symptoms appear, my Lord. Death typically occurs within a day or two of that.'

'Mmm, that's what I thought.' Kaidan took another bite of his toast and motioned for Garviel to take a seat, but he declined. 'What's the situation?'

Garviel chuckled quietly. 'Well, the militia have performed far better than my highest expectations. Too well in fact, they practically stalled the enemies advance and I was forced to order their withdrawal ahead of schedule. Rebel armour is now pushing forward at speed.'

'Are they close enough do you think?'

'The first army group's advanced position are reporting contact, so I would wager so.'

Kaidan pulled together his collection of papers and tapped them neatly together into one pile. 'I just finished anyway, so now is as good a time as any. Have the poison added to the water and then when I finish my announcement, signal the engineers to blow the charges.'

'Are you sure? You didn't even want to go ahead with the damming before...'

Kaidan looked up from his papers for the first time and though a heavy burden was visible in his eyes, his resolve remained. 'You were right Garviel, we are committed and there is no point in second guessing what has already passed. Do it.'

Garviel smiled and saluted. 'As you will, my Lord.'

People of Blünderburg,

It has almost been two weeks since I stopped the flow of water into the city as punishment for your treason, millions have died and yet I find that you have done nothing. The Mykolan pretender, who claims to be your lord and protector, still sits on the throne, all the while watching you die to feed his own greed and lust for power. And yet you do nothing.

Well, no more! Treasonous inaction can no longer be tolerated.

I give you three days to topple the Mykolan's corrupt regime. All those who demonstrate their loyalty and rise up against the usurper, all those who fight and free Blünderburg from his diseased presence, shall be rewarded.

As a first taste of the prosperous future that awaits you should you do this , a sign of my faith that you will do what is right and necessary, I will restore the flow of water to the city.

But do not abuse my trust. If you continue to sit idly by and allow the pretender to rape this country and foolishly order your loved ones to their deaths in his childish games of power and war, then I will be forced to unleash a fury upon you so overwhelming that neither the Mykolan, you or even the rats that scurry around in the sewers will survive.

In three days, you could be building a greater Waldenburg than has ever been seen before, or you could be dying a most agonising death, crushed under the weight of your own sins. The choice is yours again, I hope you choose the right path this time.


As Emperor Kaidan's broadcast ended, the Imperial engineers in the Ibblesguard mountains complied with their orders to blow the dammed up water supplies. As the perfect exclamation to the Emperor's words, a series of thunderous explosions echoed out from the mountains, the sound of which would likely be heard more than a hundred miles away. Boulders of immense size were flung from the mountain sides and the enormous wells of water that had been collected over the two weeks were unleashed upon the enemy army below as it advanced towards Scant. The engineers had spent every moment of the past two weeks preparing the water into a weapon and altering the mountains defences so that Kaidan's own forces wouldn't be washed away with the rest of the trash, and they were rewarded with a magnificent sight as the gushing walls of water descended the mountains with ever increasing velocity.

January 9th, 2014 – 19:37
The Imperial Palace
Arrandin, Yallak

As if in reflection of the Imperium itself, the grandiosity of the High Council chambers, the heart of Yallak, was masked in a veil of darkness, the only illumination in the room emanating from a single active computer terminal. Hunched over the end of the massive mahogany council table, tapping away furiously at the screen built into a concealable compartment, sat the Supreme Magistrate, Lord Sollonaal. His eyes were becoming blood shot and he had long since lost track of exactly how long he had been sitting and working at the terminal, but it was at least a few hours since he turned the lights off in an effort to stave off a rising headache. Now however, it was a different feeling that distracted him from his never ending to-do list. A lingering feeling, one that caused a tingle of fear and a rise in alertness for no apparent reason, one that every creature on the planet can experience regardless of species. The feeling that he was no longer alone, that he was being watched.

Sollonaal stopped working and looked up from the bright screen. His eyes hurt and he could see nothing in the darkness. He blinked hard several times. As some semblance of night vision returned he could just begin to make out the presence of a figure by the double doored entrance to the chambers. It spoke to him from the depth of the shadows in a low, echoing voice, 'For all our sakes, I hope you know what you are doing.'

'Merrech?' queried Sollonaal, recognising the unmistakably, sinister sounding voice of the Imperial Chancellor, even as he quietly he cursed himself for being too absorbed in his work to notice the man enter the chambers. 'How long have you been standing there?'

'Not long.' There was the muffled sound of movement as Lord Merrech approached the table, almost gliding across the floor and into the terminal's feint aura of light. As usual the Chancellor wore his dark blue High Council cloak and had the hood drawn over his head, his face hidden. Sollonaal searched his memories, trying to think of a time when he had actually seen the man’s face unveiled, but found nothing.

'Have you come to stop me?' As always, Sollonaal found the Chancellor's hidden gaze impossible to read and extremely off-putting. The man showed no visible physical indicators as to what he was thinking, feeling or planning, his voice was the only telling sign but it was not to be trusted as he was well practised in its use and could wield it as well as a legionnaire might use a gun.

'Perhaps,' purred Merrech as he circled Sollonaal and took his seat at the Council table. He lent back into the cushioned leather of the chair, planted his elbows on the arms and steepled his fingers before the abyss where his face should have been. 'However, I think what happens next depends on you. The real question is, what is it you are doing? Was this all so you might take the Throne and be named Emperor?

Sollonaal heard no accusation in the Chancellors question but felt insulted nonetheless. 'No! Never. Despite what you may think, what some will undoubtedly start telling you soon enough, this was not about me. I am the Supreme Magistrate, appointed by the Emperor... in all likelihood my position in the council died with Balor. This is, and always was, about the securing the future of our Empire.'

'And tell me, how do you do that? We are leaderless and heading to a war beyond the scale of any we have ever beheld.'

'That is exactly how,' exclaimed Sollonaal. He poured all of his conviction into his words as he spoke, knowing that this was his only chance to convince the Chancellor. 'For as long as I can remember, and for who knows how long before we were even born, our people have sat here in our domain, watching and waiting for the time when the primitives that surround us reach a basic level of civilised enlightenment, a point where we might begin to interact with them as an equal....but they never do. The years pass as they countenance foolish religions, breed corruption and greed and engage in petty warmongering until one of them goes and does something even more stupid than normal and we get dragged into another meaningless war. It is an endless cycle that will, at best, lead only to our stagnation. I know that you have all seen it too, on some level at least, but the Emperor held an optimist outlook and we all just followed his lead.'

'But then,' continued Sollonaal, 'an opportunity arose, one that will likely never come again, and I embraced it and opened the Emperor's eyes to the truth. That this war is the only answer. We will venture out across Tyrrhenia and those that do not bow to our judgement will perish beneath their ignorance. It will take many years and many will die, but at long last we will guarantee our Empire a far more prosperous future and raise the whole region from the decrepit depths to unparalleled ascendency.'

A brief silence followed once Sollonaal had finished speaking as Merrech simply sat unmoving and watched him. The Supreme Magistrate began to feel flushed and uncomfortable, as if the Chancellor's hollow gaze was wrapping coils around him. He felt with every fibre of his being that this was a necessary course of action but his scheme looked to be coming to an end before it could truly begin.

'A bold ambition,' stated Merrech finally, piercing the quiet. 'There is truth to what you say, I have seen it of course. If it were to fail however, it might be our demise.'

Sollonaal did not respond immediately. He knew he would be risking the whole Empire but didn't want to appear rash to the Chancellor by answering impulsively. He was still formulating a response when Merrech spoke again. 'Just answer me this one question, Sollonaal. Did you kill the Emperor?'

The question almost caught him off guard, but Sollonaal managed to answer without any awkward delay. 'No. I obviously miscalculated just how fragile his state of mind was, but Balor was meant to lead us into this great campaign. His demise was of his own doing.'

Merrech arose from the Council table. 'Too much has transpired to go back, and I see no reason to try. Attend the Senate in the morning, and I will see that you receive all that you require.'

Sollonaal grinned as the Imperial Chanceller glided back towards the doorway. 'I will do just that...and so much more.'

January 10th, 2014 – 11:20
The Imperial Palace
Arrandin, Yallak

The great golden doors to the Senate chamber ground shut with a deep, resounding bang after the last of the Senators had filed out, leaving Sollonaal and Merrech alone. The sound echoed and reverberated with glee around the cavernous room for several seconds, taking full advantage of its superbly designed acoustics. Only once the noise had abated did the Imperial Chancellor speak again. 'This is a dangerous game we play. You would do well to remember that.'

'I am well aware,' retorted Sollonaal with a scowl.

The faceless Chancellor nodded. 'Good. I suggest then that you use your new found power to resolve the situation in Waldenburg quickly, before the alliance that builds against us can grow any stronger. The Imperium is a dragon amongst insects but, even so, we cannot fight all of them at once.'

'Not yet we can't,' Sollonaal flashed an insidious smile, 'but very soon there will be nothing we cannot do.'

Sollonaal pulled out his communicator from beneath his High Council cloak and activated it. 'I am ready now, send him in.'

Merrech did not question the cryptic sentiment, instead choosing to simply wait and see. After a few moments, the chamber doors ground open again and two Custodians escorted in a man who, in his crisp, gold trimmed, black uniform and solid boots, resembled an Imperial Legion officer. Yet he was not one. He was also adorned in a black cape and as the man came to a stop on the marble and gemstone mosaic map of the Empire that covered the chamber floor, Merrech could see from his elevated position in the first tier of seating that the newcomer was not Yallakian. The uniform bore an emblem in gold of a six-pointed star with an eagle perched atop and a lion on either side facing each other.

'Ambassador Dajjer Grell,' said Sollonaal, his voice booming out across the chamber, 'Welcome.'

With a nod of acknowledgement and a wave of his hand, Sollonaal dismissed the Custodians. Once they had departed he spoke again, motioning to the map upon which Grell stood. 'The Imperium you stand upon has existed like that for millennia, but all things must eventually change. Of this, you are no doubt aware.'

'We have long held a similar belief that the powerful must assert dominance over those weaker than ourselves. That to stand on past glories leads to decay of the race and nation. It is good in these times to see Yallak finally realize these truths,' the man said, with a semi insipid tone, still yet present in his voice.

'Our dominance is not in question,' affirmed Merrech, his sinister voice made all the more eerie when amplified around the chamber. 'At any time we could have enslaved whole nations and ruled them as we saw fit.'

'Indeed,' agreed Sollonaal, 'but we must now accept that these dark times have arisen because we allowed the unenlightened to run unchecked across the lands.'

'You could have enslaved lands? Actions speak louder than words, my friends. If what you say is true, then I assume you intend to become more active?'

Merrech laughed quietly, a sound like a distant rolling thunder emanating from beneath his hood. The foreign man was amusing at the least. 'We could. We can. We have. And we will again. Have you not been watching? The first have already fallen.'

'Fallen? You mean Laysley. I can hardly count that as a great war,' said Dajjer, brushing his finger along his nose. A growing smile appeared on his face, now almost knowing what the Yallakian wanted from him.

Sollonaal smiled back at the Ambassador. A cunning twinkle in his eye. 'The first step need not be the biggest.'

'Of course not. Yet for a nation your size, you took a pitifully small step. Wouldn't you say,' responded Dajjer, his smile disappearing, through an active suppression of it. 'Which begs me to have a much larger plan in mind,' he added, the coy smile returning yet again to his face.

'You assume that the conquest of Laysley was the objective,' hissed Sollonaal in his typically sly manner. 'I don't expect you to be able to understand the true complexity of what really occurred in that tiny, pitiful place, but it was a victory far more meaningful than you could ever imagine.'

'You are correct though,' added Merrech, 'obviously you would not have been called to speak of these things, unless something large was at hand and you had a part to play. We are not prone to idle gloating or posturing.'

'Indeed, so then what would you want us to do?' Dajjer studyied both men for a minute, before resting his hands at his side.

Sollonaal stepped forward and leant against the balustrade that ran along the edge of the elevated section of seating. When he spoke, all pretence was lost and his tone was silken with venom. 'The petty creatures of this region have interfered in our affairs far to often, and the frequency is only increasing of late. This crisis in Waldenburg will be the last, we will tolerate it no longer. The time has come to restore order, stability and reason to the region. The wretched will be cast asunder and the worthy lifted to new heights. Tell me Ambassador, do you feel like a war? Does Ralkovia have what it takes to stand beside us?'

'Have we the strength to crush every insolent worm in this region? More than certain. War? When have we not felt the urge to crush those under us. I am disappointed though...that it has taken a century for you Yallakians to join us in our progress. I will contact his Gracious Majesty, the Emperor post haste. If that is all, I'm heading to lunch, please join me. As I am more than certain the Emperor will be contacting us quite quickly.'

'The whole world can wait for us if we so require it to,' answered Sollonaal, the pleasantness returning to his voice. 'Lunch sounds good, I am in the mood for something exotic.'

'I know just the place,' said Dajjer, a grin coming across his pale face.

January 1st, 2014 - 11:13
Fort St. Michael,

The dusty Tacops device hummed quietly in the background as it projected the detailed three-dimensional hologram of the Layslian battlefield around which the Emperor's strategic conclave was based. One of the eighteenth legions staff officers operated the controls with the speed and competence that only years of experience could grant as he manipulated the various unit compositions, positioning and other markers according to the successive requests and alterations called for by the gathered commanders.

'No, that is too exposed. We should deploy General Lerek's assault regiments further up the river here,' commented a Captain by the name of Moren Kildaer, pointing an armoured finger to a shallow bend in the river near a group of high rise structures that were still in decent shape. Though he looked a lot younger than his age, none would question that he was anything but a seasoned legionnaire, though a few might probably considered him perhaps a little soft. 'The buildings will shield them from fire to the left flank and snipers in the upper level can provide cover.'

General Lerek, commander of the sixty-fourth legion, nodded in response. 'Agreed.'

The staff officer made the necessary adjustment and the engineering unit faded off the riverside and reappeared two kilometres further up the riverbank.

'And designate co-ordinates Echo Zero Zero Five Nine – Lima Two Zero Seven Four for preliminary bombardment, Sergeant,' added another of the Captains.

'There is still the matter of the...' Lerek's voice trailed off as the radio burst into life.

”Attention! This is Inquisitor Caelin Anvordel. All Imperial units are ordered to cease fire and stand down immediately.”

'What the frak?' growled Lerek. He could see the from the expressions and the rapidly exchanged glances between the others around him that he was not the only one confused by the new development. Inquisitors were the High Courts hunting dogs, tasked with sniffing out and exposing corruption and the like throughout the Empire. If one came asking questions or giving orders it was not a good sign. When one followed you across thousands of kilometres of oceans to a place far beyond the sphere of Imperial law...well, that could mean anything because it had never happened before, but it was certainly a bad prognosis.

'Ignore it,' snarled the Emperor, clearly aggravated by the interruption. 'Who knows how far the treachery has spread, we can trust no-one but ourselves.

”I repeat, by order of the High Court, all Imperial forces are ordered to cease hostilities immediately.”

'But it's an Inquisiitor?!' protested Moren. 'We should make contact. Clearly, there is something...'

The Emperor drew his sidearm with astounding speed, his military training clearly not dulled despite years of politics, and even before anyone began jumping out of the area, he blasted the radio to pieces with a series of shots.

'Enough preparation,' declared Balor aggressively, re-holstering the pistol. The gathered officers were quick to recover from the surprise but remained cautious, keeping their distance. 'Get your forces into position, we are going across the Trips within the hour.'

Before the situation had a chance to go any further one way or another, they were suddenly interrupted. Like the thunder of a closing storm, a dull rumble filled the room. The floor growled with vibrations, the walls began to shudder and grit and dust drifted down from the ceiling like snowfall.

Concern gripped the room but it had less than a split-second to fester before a tumultuous and ear-piercing crack signalled a titanic detonation so close at hand that the vibrations instantly erupted into violent tremors and shaking. Cracks materialised in the masonry, darting erratically across the the surface of the walls and floor like bolts of lightning, and before anyone could even think of moving a large chunk of the rear portion of the room broke off, taking a trio of Imperial officers with it as it plummeted down into the floor below in an excruciating cacophony of splintering timber, shearing metal and shattering stone.

Those that remained stood in stunned disbelief. Through the gaping hole and the wafting clouds of dust and debris they could see that the entire back half of the structure was largely gone or in the process of collapsing in upon itself as if suffering from the inescapable effects of an extreme gravitational anomaly.

'Move!' screamed General Lerek, snapping the dumbfounded legionnaires back into action as a new series of death throws wracked the building.

The handful of remaining souls quickly piled out of the doorway and hurried down a spiral staircase that seemed to shift beneath their feet of its own volition. The air became thick and clogged as they descended to the lower floor, so much so that they found it extraordinarily difficult to breathe by the time they poured out into the great hall. The hall itself was ruined. Half of it was buried beneath a mountain of masonry, fires burned on carpets and wall hangings and hunks of rock and beams from the vaulted ceiling lay wherever they had come tumbling down.

'Hurry! This way my Lord,' called out Lerek as he led the group towards the exit. More violent tremors rocked what remained of the fort and more unstable portions of wall and ceiling gave way. They weaved through the mess of detritus that littered the floor, dodging various falling beams, bricks, chandeliers and even a portrait of a man with a most sublime walrus moustache.

Moren was filled with unimaginable relief when the entrance came into view through the lingering smoke and debris, but it lasted only a few moments before dread took its place. A secondary explosion from whatever weapon had been utilised in the attack sent a shock-wave through the building and the weakened structure couldn't withstand it. The ceiling ahead of them gave way first, and more followed in rapid succession. He saw Lerek get hit by a broken beam first and then a Colonel from the one hundred and twenty first legion was crushed right beside him with the most sickening sound he had ever heard in his life. And then Moren saw the Emperor in danger, the ceiling above him sagging and cracking, almost in slow motion.

'Lookout!' yelled Moren, running towards Balor with as much speed as he could muster before, in a move that would be considered as treasonous as it was heroic, he proceeded to dive tackled the Emperor of Yallak.

And then the ceiling came tumbling down and silence reigned over the fort, save for the soft crackle of flames and the odd clatter of a falling rock.

January 1st, 2014 - 12:05
Fort St. Michael,

They were the Emperor's finest. Hand picked warriors of great skill and experience, expert marksmen and unparalleled in melee combat, intelligent, agile, innovative and tactically adept. Each one was an army in their own right, but working in concert they should have been nigh unstoppable. They were never meant to die this way. The thought stuck in Ahzek's mind as he stopped over yet another wounded Custodian. The golden clad soldier had lost her helmet and sat clutching what looked to be an agonising abdominal wound caused by multiple gunshots. She groaned and attempted to rise despite the injury but when that failed she instead went for the nearest weapon. Ahzek lifted his sidearm and executed the woman with a single round to the head.

'Sorry,' he mumbled as she slumped back to the ground, lifeless.

Until this moment, Ahzek had always believed that hearsay stories and reputations, especially those of heroic exploits or great victories, were exaggerated to some degree or another, even those about the Empire's own renowned, but he considered now whether the tales of the seventh legion had perhaps been understated. The efficiency and ease with which they had annihilated a force of one of the Imperium's most elite military units left him amazed and a little disquieted. He endeavoured not to imagine them repeating the same during one of the sevenths famed exterminations.

A quick glance around revealed that the last of the foe had been dispatched and so Ahzek removed his helmet. Despite being the middle of winter, fighting in full combat armour had quickly made him warm and left a thin film of sweat glistening across his brow under the midday sun. He closed his eyes and let the refreshing ice cold breeze and the twirling snow flakes caress his face and started feeling re-energised within moments.

'Captain Eldaen,' interrupted a voice. Ahzek opened his eyes to find General Raudhar standing beside him, surveying the ruin that they had just battled the Custodians for, the man's armour seemingly unblemished despite being in the thick of the fighting only minutes before. 'I think it is safe to say the Emperor is close at hand, but I thought you said this was a fort?'

Ahzek managed a slow shrug. He was too exhausted to do anything else. ' was.'

'Very well,' accepted the General. 'This last battle falls to me then. You and your men have more than earned a rest but I have one last task for you. Cross the river and find General Forge, inform her that she is to hold position until I instruct otherwise.'

Ahzek saluted. 'As you will, my Lord.'

Trudging off to do as instructed, the Captain of the eighty-eighth's empty spot was shortly filled by one of Caracas' own officers. 'What now, Sir?'

'Set up a perimeter, Mauriac,' commanded the General, 'no-one comes in or out of the area. I am going inside.'

The seventh legion Captain did not seemed pleased at the order. 'My Lord, are you....'

'Certain,' interjected Caracas in a tone that indicated it would permit no contradiction. 'Very much so. Do not follow me in under any circumstance.'

The great skeleton of the Layslian Fort rose up from the ashen ground like ancient bones. Whatever had once stood here was now little more than a partially exposed room or two behind a crumbling facade. As Caracas ascended the cracked steps a terrible, fateful feeling settled on him but he continued undeterred and passed through the ruined doorway and into what could loosely be called the interior.

Within, the floor was strewn with piles of stone and wooden beams. More than one of the piles bore blood or had some body part sticking out as the only testament to the person who had been unfortunate enough to be standing in that spot when the roof came tumbling down on it. Caracas pressed further into the mess of collapsed structure, but he did not have to go very far before he found what he sought. Sitting amidst the bodies of his advisors and commanders, with his back leaning up against a portion of toppled wall and one hand pressed to a bleeding gash in his forehead, was Balor.

Caracas took one step towards him before a gasping voice cried out. 'Protect the Emperor!'

Looking down, Caracas saw a familiar, but grimy, face to his left. General Lerek of the sixty-fourth legion lay amidst the debris, broken in body but still hanging on to life. And he had not wasted breath in vain. A noise to the right drew Caracas' attention and he turned just in time to see a Custodian running toward him, combat blade in hand and coming straight at his throat.

Spinning aside and missing the clumsy stabbing attack from a the obviously injured and concussed Custodian, Caracas drew his sword, the blade of the office of Navarath, a simple and yet exquisite weapon by the name of Navaruin. The sword had a three tiered talon-like cross guard, a black wire wrapped grip and a demonic, horned and ruby eyed head for a pommel. Legend said that as long as the High Lord of Navarath carried the blade, the great city could never fall, but that if it was ever lost to a foe they would bring the city to ruin. With no intention of losing his sword or his life, Caracas brought the blade around In one deft, sweeping motion and severed the golden warriors head before he could attack again. As the Custodian fell down dead, Caracas turned back to Lerek but found the old soldiers life had since given out already.

'You were the last person I would have expected to betray me,' came the Emperor's voice from where he remained sitting, despite the short-lived battle that had just occurred.

General Raudhar cross the room and stood before the Emperor. 'You betrayed yourself. What madness compelled you to this end? I cannot fathom an answer.'

'Blood demanded blood.' For the first time since he had entered the ruin, the Emperor looked up and met Caracas' harsh gaze. 'The dead demanded vengeance.'

'And what of the thousands slain by the hands of their own countrymen?'

'Traitors, the lot of them,' growled the Emperor, 'a righteous end for those who would defend the filth who murders our people.'

'How could your actions be anything but wrong?'

The Emperor let a devious grin split his lips which was made all the more acheronian by the blood that ran down his face. 'Victory is all that matters Caracas. If you don't win, then you lose, you die and nothing you ever believed means anything. We will have victory and those who stand in our way will die.'

'How lost you have become. You have done the unthinkable and you don't even see it.' Caracas sighed, despair weighing heavily upon him. He looked into the Emperor's eyes but only a void stared back at him. A void that swirled with malice and hate. Whatever dark place Balor had fallen to following Balhaan's death, it had consumed him.

'What then?' demanded the Emperor, rising to his feet and meeting Caracas' gaze face to face. 'Is it time for you to call upon the Inquisitor? Am I to be dragged back to the Empire in chains because you don't have the stomach to see a necessary course of action through? Do you think I will let you take me?!'

'No,' responded Caracas solemnly, 'Your crimes are beyond words, Balor, and cannot go unpunished, but you can not go home. What you have done could split the Empire apart and so long as I draw breath I will not allow that to occur.'

The Emperor let out a deep, abrasive laugh. 'You see, the ends justify the means. I knew that you understood, you were just too afraid to admit it.'

Caracas took a step forward, grabbing the Emperors right shoulder with his left hand and with the other hand, squeezing tightly on the grip, he drove Navaruin into the Emperors abdomen.

As the Emperor died in his arms and they sank down to the ground, Caracas leaned in close and whispered into Balor's ear, 'I forgive you, brother.'
Last edited by Yallak on Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:51 am, edited 3 times 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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Postby Laysley » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:08 am

Blayke, Laysley, 12:52

Carlyle’s grey pipe smoke clung to the crisp, empty air. A little ash fell on the freshly fallen snow. The little group silently watched it melt itself into the ground.

Carlyle tried a half-smile at Kehlam. She managed a meagre, tight-lipped recognition in response, devoting her attention primarily to shivering under her thin coat.

Flint looked sardonically at the old man’s attempt, who he couldn’t help but see as a geriatric megalomanic. He had managed to array himself as if lounging in an arm chair despite being sat in empty frame of what was once a window (much to Flint’s annoyance), looking much too serenely over the little back street where the rest were arrayed.

Gringott sniffled noisily. The silence continued.

They all knew they were all thinking the same thing.

Flint sighed and kicked at the snow. He stubbed his toe on the edge of the pavement.

“Shall we get on with it then?” He snapped, spinning around in badly concealed frustration.

To his immense vexation the silence continued for a moment. The assembled did no more than look at him. And chew a pipe in one case.

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of, master Flint. It is something we must do.” Carlyle then remarked flatly, with complete sincerity.

Flint spat, his frozen mouth coming up with a pitiful drop of saliva.

“You’ve no principles at all have you?”

“I always keep the greater good of our city in mind. You would be wise to do the same.”

Flint smiled caustically “Oh yes, that argument clearly resonated back in 2010 didn’t it?” He nodded ironically “People want more than ancién regime hang-overs from a government.”

“Yes, and look where what the people want got us” Carlyle quipped back quickly, with lofty contempt.

Flint kicked the snow again. Carefully, and in the other direction.

“Now” the old man continued, in the same patronising tone “If we are to ever be free again, if we ever want to rebuild this country, we have to come to an accord with Caracas.”

“That’s assuming the Emperor’s dead at all.” Kehlam rubbed her hands together as she spoke, taking a sharp intake of breath on finishing.

“I am completely sure of what I saw, your Reverence.” Flint replied politely.

“As if we have any reason to trust this whelp” Gringott grinned nastily at Flint.

“I trust him” Carlyle replied flatly. Gringott growled a little, but his face returned to its usual bitter self.

“We never tell anyone” continued Carlyle, once again taking the reigns “We never anyone, anyone at all, about what has happened here today. Yallak is saved total civil war, we are saved staying an irrelevant clown in their hypocrite circus forever.”

A momentary silence.

“Absolutely no one whatsoever?” Flint said.

“No one whatsoever” Carlyle nodded “Not even Crisp, certainly not Bohemond, not that Qualan slut you can’t keep it in your pants for either.”

Flint turned on Carlyle, pulling himself up to his full height. He opened his mouth.

“And that won’t do at all, wouldn’t look good on your precious television at all would it?”

Carlyle took a serene puff on his pipe. Flint deflated, red-faced with impotent rage.

“Fine” Flint mumbled “Animosity or no, it’s our only option.”

Carlyle nodded politely to him, then turned to Gringott. The little man nodded. The eyes moved onto Kehlam.


“Then we have an accord” Carlyle finished with the obligatory clap of the hands but without the cheery smile “May it save more lives than your previous ones.”
Last edited by Laysley on Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:12 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Wissenholm und Himmel » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:37 pm

Refugee Camp-IX
Bitberg an der Welt, Klagenfurt Province, Aschen-Occupied Waldenburg
January 1 2014

After a long recess, members of the Conference had discussed the Confederation proposal amongst themselves. One by one, a member of each delegation took the podium to offer their opinions on what had been presented to them.

Graf Klaus Schenk von Zollern, from Nieder Klagenfurt, issued an appeal to the conference. Clearly moved by the proposal, von Zollern expressed concerns over the status of his homeland. Technically still a possession of the Waldenburg Empire, Nieder Klagenfurt was entirely within the Aschen-Occupied zone and it`s current sovereignty was undetermined.

The represenatives from Sauer am Mosel and Fleiner am Mosel were elated about the possiblity of the lands being reunited. Sauer am Mosel shared Nieder Klagenfurt`s status of being wholely within the occupied zone but being a smaller territory with historic ties to Paloni felt it had a reasonible chance of breaking free from the Empire and joining the Confederation. Fleiner am Mosel`s represenatives were most eager in joining the Confederation; most likely due to the recent engagement of the Duke of Mosel to Viceroy Schoenebeck`s sister Victoria, the Baroness of Dunkelstein.

Gerhardt von Steuben of Saxe-Glunder-Eisenbach spoke for over an hour about the transportation and trade agreements between Eisenbach, Ubershau and Wissenholm. His empassioned speech urged all present to join. The represenatives from Mendelsgard protested the Aschen forces moving accross their homeland, called the states from within the Empire "Traitorous Cur`s" who wished to separate from the Empire and all but stormed out of the Conference. Represenatives from Steinburg and Zwickow had mixed feelings and would require more time to discuss their positions. Uber Klagenfurt`s represenatives respectfully declined the offer; despite mixed feelings among their people, Uber Klagenfurt was one of the oldest territories of the Empire and would not leave the fold easily.

Paul Brausch of Ubershau had been at the Viceroy`s side during all the discussions about the Confederation. As he prepared to offer his comments on the issue; one of his aides came forward, whispered something in Brausch`s ear and passed him a note. Brausch seemed surprised by the information he`d just recieved. "Viceroy, I must request a brief recess. I have some information I must review imediately."

"As you wish, Herr Brausch. This conference shall recess until 8 am tomorrow." The Vicerpy slammed his gavel down and the Conference closed session for the night.

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Postby Ubershau » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:45 pm

"The delegation from Überschau opens!" The Viceroy slammed his hammer down.

Brausch stood briskly and clapped his hands together loudly.

"Thank you Viceroy," He said quietly as a token effort of politeness before hurtling with his usual boom into the rest of his sentence "I have requested the floor because I've come by some news."

The conference room rustled. He paused only to smile slightly "The diet of the Free City has voted in favour of the joint proposal by Läslich, Littlenburg and Hechingen." He didn't stop as the rustling increased in volume "Überschau will hence forth be part of the Trade Federation, a new sovereign state of the merchant republics of the continent."

"Bloody protestants" Someone said louder than they meant to.

Brausch smiled a thin, tight smile and continued, quietly "This does of course exclude us from membership of the Palonian confederation."

The room poised ready to burst into rustling of a magnitude hitherto unseen, but Brausch was ready. Immediately he boomed once again: "But of course I shall never forget the great times we've had together! Trade negotiations, morning jogs with the Bishop of Baten-" an alarmingly old man giggled inanely "-our much awaited cricket game-" the delegation from Saxe-Glünder-Eisenbach groaned, admits a smattering of friendly laughter "-and..." he stalled "I could on and on!" he finished, with a hint of desperation and a wave of the hand. But it didn't matter, they liked it when Brausch spoke.

"The Trade Federation will give all the political support it can to the creation of the Confederation, and Überschau and now Hechingen will continue to provide levies for the Landsknechte korps. Additionally I implore the delegations not to worry about money, the current trade agreement will continue as before, and I hope of course that a larger, more mutually beneficial deal will be swiftly enacted!"

There was a little good natured applause. Brausch grinned "And I hope to see a Confederation versus Federation cricket match equally soon!"

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Cukarica » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:13 am

Sometimes during our life span we are presented with choices that can not only change the way of our life, but also can alter the course of history for all of mankind. We can make changes for the better or for the worse. The butterfly in Levantia causes a tornado Waldenburg. When news got out about what happened in both Salitz and the Bay of Paloni, it was hard to keep the vast Cukarican war machine from action. Yallak and allies might have snatched a couple of small wins, but that was about to change, their arrogant and murderous ways have awoken gods of war themselves. They might've gotten Cato bogged down in Salitz, sunk a couple of civilian ships, but they shared the common problem of having very exposed men on the Waldenburg continent, more precisely Paloni, men who could die in a blink of an eye. Cvkarica was prepared, as the first possible glimpse of conflict in Waldenburg, Imperial war assets were mobilized and deployed to endangered areas of the Empire. In Paloni there were more then half a milion legionaries, and more then one hundred thousand various auxilaries, mostly Vonderborner and Ascelonians. As the legions were prepared, it was now time to act, and to act without remorse and mercy for the enemy.


24th Ahead, Always Ahead
January 17th, 2014
IV Centuria (Combat Engineers), VII Cohort, XXIV Veterana Equitata
Fort Veringenstadt, Vonderborn

Flavius Antius Proceus walked out of the breifing room, his centurion had awaken him that morning and told him to report to Specialist Centurion Caeso 1 at 0830, the optio2 wondered what it could be that required him to report to the Caeso. He had entered expecting the specialist to tell him that one of his squad members had done something crazy again. He still remembered Marcus' little prank on those fuckers from the third Legion, they'd spent the rest of the week trying to get the dye out of their uniforms. What happened was the exact opposite, when he neared Caeso's office he noticed all the other optios and centurions of seventh cohort were there. Caeso quickly walked past them and said, "Alright gents, I'm sure you're wondering why I've called you all here, if you will all head to the breifing room I will explain everything." when he finished you could feel the change in how the men were acting, as something big was going on.

When everyone was seated in the breifing room, Caeso started up an overhead projector that displayed a map of the Paloni peninsula. He began, "Yesterday at 1400 , Catoist forces along with Hechingen army units have initiated their assault on Rodarion positions in Salitz. As you've probably noticed by now, you've had the bad luck of being a part of a mechanized cavalry legion with a utterly badass reputation. Which means that you fuckers have the prized honor of being the first legionary unit to kill some Rodarion scum. You do remember the Tolzen bombings, don't you? Terrible loss for everyone. It proves that these Rodarion must be utterly erradicated from the face of the earth. They have no honor, they make no difference between military and civilian targets." he briefly paused to catch a breath, then calmly continied "Some of you served with Mamercus in Sudar, you gave the Rodarion scum something to think about when they walked the road of shame in Elysia, some of you were in Hanslow and Throppe, you as well saw what are they capable of." he made a disgusted facial expression, spat on the floor and continied "The high command has issiued us an order, there will be no Rodarion prisoners of war taken in this campaign. No mercy will be given to them, and they will be rounded up, and drowned in the Paloni Bay."

He paused for a moment allowing the information to sink in, there was finally information confirming that the military was mobilized for offensive action against Salitz and Horenburg. He got a grim look on his face, this was it he thouht, we're going to war. Centurion Caeso continued, "As you know, this will be war. Senate voted early this morning in a secret session that we will retaliate for the Vonderborn bombings. Our legion will be partly loaded onto train and aircraft' and under the cover of night moved to Blomburg to be joined by our forces stationed there, then on to Salitz, after that we will be supported by the XII and VI Legions. When we arrive at Blomburg we will be stationed at the air force base in Aßlar until we go in, when that will be I don't know. Now that we've covered everything, get your men ready, it's wheels up at 1200."

Flavius huried back towards the barracks, the entire legion was alive with preperations, he saw Vedecitus and Marcus from his platoon, returning from the Mess hall. Vedecitus asked him, "Hey Flav's, what's goin' on thats got the entire XXIV riled up?" Flavius calmly answered "Orders from the top, we're moving to Blomburg, be ready, we're moving out at 1200!" Flavius asked him, "Hey Flav, what about the XII and VI Legions!" "Their coming in after us, we're going to be stationed at Aßlar, our only stop-over is Tolzen AIB3."Flavius could understand his reason to ask about the XII legion, as his brother was its' commander, and they were close.

The three legionaires' ran to their centuria's barracks, rounded the rest of their squad up, and filled them in on the sit-rep. Flavius thanked god that they had all gotten their things ready just in case something like this happened. All non-esential items were already packed and ready to go, he had even convinced Marcius to leave his stuff here instead of at his place on base house, and they all reported outside the barracks and hussled over to the supply and armory. Each man was issued everything essential for combat protection, body armor, shatter proof goggles, ammo pouches, cammel-pack, and multiple other items. At the armory, they were issued weapons and ammo. They would be again with their vehicles in Aßlar, as part of the heavy equipment and vehicles was transpored by rail to Blomburg. They then reported to the VII Cohort stageing area near the Veringenstadt airfield. Each squad was checked off and loaded onto one of the multiple transport airplanes'. They were off the ground at 1200 sharp.


[OOC Short one to keep stuff moving]
Last edited by Cukarica on Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:13 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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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Postby Ascelonia » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:03 pm

"Divine right? Please. Ascelonians converted so they didn't have to work on Sundays."

~Captain Werther Belmont in response to
a question about the Emperor.

December 31st, 2013
Mendelby Manor, Wend, Kingdom of Saxe-Missern-Blomburg

She remembered when she was the daughter of an artillery officer. Little Caroline. The apple of her disgraced father's eye, because, in his presence, her siblings would fade into obscurity as his muscled arms scooped her up and held her in a soft embrace. As much as her father loved her and warmed her with his favoritism, she still remembered the pain of his long absences. Those brief moments when she'd sit on his lap next to a cozy fireside, his deep voice recounting some tales of bravado.

The scorn also fell into her memory. Her mother, her brothers, and her sisters all grew jealous of her father's affection. Young Caroline endured harsh punishments unworthy of nobility. Yes, she did. Her soul dragged through the mud by labor and her heart pushed through a meat grinder. Yet, she retained her purity and her heart hardened from the abuse. They made sure to keep the bruises hidden. The House of Marymont. Wayward rejects from West Ponente who sought to build their own royal house and seek new fortunes in Ascelonia.

If closets held dark secrets, the House's cellars were pitch black. Caroline struggled to suppress the images and held back the tears by shear force of will, but the sound kept resurfacing. Please, not the face! she would beg and plead. At least, they listened respected that one wish. Her looks won the hearts of many young suitors and shattered them. Their hearts of iron rusted until she could crumple them up like a paper ball and toss them into the trash bin.

In her youth, she stayed it home mostly, at the insistence of her mother, to isolate her and break her will. Her father, always away on campaigns, could do nothing, would do nothing to contravene her mother's word. Francis worked hard to win glory for the family and the House, which wasn't recognized back in Ponente and was barely observed by the Ascelonian government. He had no time for politics within the household when he busy with politics outside of it.

However, little Carol was strong. She recalled fondly how she would sneak into her father's study to read books. Caroline could feel the rough touch of each page on her fingers as the words and numbers sank in. Nostalgia set in for a few seconds before the painful memories flooded in.

Caroline dropped her tea cup. The Empirian porcelain clanged on the table spilling its contents across the rich mahogany before rolling off the edge and fracturing on the floor.

“Your Majesty?” a servant cried, skittering in with feather duster in hand. By reflex, her hand covered her mouth in feigned outrage, but she adapted to the routine.

Caroline would stay silent as she excused herself from the table and continue with her daily business.

“Excuse me, madam,” she would say as she rushed over with a wet cloth. Another maid would join in, scooping up the broken china. Caroline retired in the study where she would work on proposals for the nation and, on occasion, page over her collection of novels and textbooks. In one corner of her bookcase, the polished veneer wore off in front of a little collection of anecdotes from the Arcindin Bush War. Every now and then, her eyes would find their way to that particular book, The Jungle Rumble.

Innocuous pictures of dashing young men toiling under the heat of the savanna with rifles readied and belts of ammunition wrapped around their blotchy three-color combat uniforms. A few opted out. Their sweaty pores glistened in the Levantian sun. These shirtless gun bunnies heaved brass cylinders to spring-loaded metal death contraptions. It came alive on the page. Each screech would sound the toll and somewhere off in the distance, three and a fifth men would die. It wasn't precise, but it was the number some famous Ascelonian mathematician advanced, or, rather, took credit from a naive protege.

A grad student who studied abroad in Arkvaal and sent papers back to his old academic advisor to look over soon returned to find them in a peer-reviewed publication under a different name. Nevertheless, one ended up working for the government, weaseling his way into one of the royal houses via an arranged marriage with a rather portly Countess, and the other ended up working on sorting algorithms and data management in some mathematics library in Numera.

While generals would sit in tents around rotting wood tables marking lines on massive maps, parceling out roles to their lessers, artillery officers, students of the great mathematician, Mr. Horace Wiilhem, would retire to the muddy shade marking numbers in the dirt with a twig. Each shell killed three and a fifth. They would scale this to their gun. To their unit. To their army. And the war was over by Christmas.

Caroline paused with her finger hovering above the page: A military theorist once suggested resettling stabilized populations into small, defensible settlements, but the idea was cast aside as too costly for the Arcindin government to implement.

"Hamlets!" she cried abruptly.

A maid rushed in immediately, "Is there anything I can get you, Your Majesty?"

"A Field Marshal will do," Caroline replied and the maid smiled, sensing her the Amazoness in her Mistress returning. The scent of Levantian tobacco lingered in the room from the military officers and young wounded soldiers that had passed through her study to receive her orders and blessings, respectively. Then she remembered the outlier, Emperor Kristaan in a blue great coat with gilded patterns stretching across his broad chest. His sudden appearance seemed too Earthly for a man who sat in an office that nearly destroyed her country. Nevermind that now, she had business to attend to.


January 3rd, 2014
Westfall Guest Residence, Wend, Kingdom of Saxe-Missern-Blomburg

Silence hung in the lounge. Caroline hid her red face in her delicate palm. Kristaan looked appalled and pale, but mostly appalled. He could not tell if his object of affection was red with anger or red from embarassment. He seemed to a care much more about her state of mind than the state of their respective countries. A word escaped his lips, "Fuck."

On the coffee table sat a collection of tabloids: "Kristaan's New Year's Resolution", "The Emperor's Clothes (or Lack Thereof)", "Caroline's Dirty Secret", "The Size Queen"

"We need to have a press conference immediately," an aide whispered.

Kristaan sighed, "But why must love be such a public affair?"

"Tonight," Caroline stated flatly and placed her head back in her soft hands.
Last edited by Ascelonia on Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Aschenhyrst » Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:02 pm

January 18th, 2014
Kolmanskuppe, Klagenfurt Province, Southern Waldenburg

From a camoflauged observation post in the heights surronding Kolmanskuppe, a twenty man Long Range Reconaisance Patrol (LRRP) of Aschen Marines had been operating around the clock for over a week. Information extracted by Sinister Rouge agents from indigenous personel had led them to the area around Kolmanskuppe in their search for the renegade commander Lord Lovat, his Highlanders and their stolen WMD`s.

The LRRP`s had been doing most of their survelance with small drones. With a wingspan of less than two feet and solar powered electric motors, the drones were nearly silent and when operated at higher altitudes, would pass as a bird of prey searching for its quarry. Drones flew by day gathering intel, intel was diseminated as it came in andpromisng tips were acted on under the cover of darkness. Far outnumbered, if Lovat was confirmed to be in the area, the LRRP`s would radio back to Aschen lines and a strike team would deploy.

From the observation post, a LRRP Trooper watched the video feed coming in from the drone. "Sand, sand, sand and goats." he murmered
"I swear to God, this province would pass for a cat`s litter box. I think our tip is bullshit."
"Keep watching that video feed, Trooper." bellowed the LRRP Leader
"Do you know the best place to hide? In plain the middle of fucking nowhere. That`s how it`s been done for centuries and the practice will continue long after our bones have turned to dust!"
"I know, Boss. It`s just so desolate out here. I think we`re on a wild goose chase."
"Keep working this side of the river until noon. Afterwards, expand your search to the far side of the river and towards the hamlet. There`s several areas of vegetation nearer the hamlet. Lovat and his 3500 men are likely to stay hunkered down in the shade as the heat of the day comes on."
"Aye, Boss"

For hours the drone flew a circuituous route up and down the river. Observed were several goat-herders and their flocks, a small horse-drawn supply caravan and several mid-sized game animals. As noon drew near, the drone`s path brought it ever closer to the river. Just as the LRRP team was ready to change watch, something caught the observer`s eye. Commands were sent to the drone`s camera to zoom.
"Boss, come here"
"What is it Troop?"
"At the rivers edge, that person."
"I see them. I think it`s just a local townswoman."
"Let me enhance the image."
Fingers rapidly typed commands to the drone, the camera zoomed even closer
"There! Look at the headgear"
"It looks like a Glengary Cap."
"That`s what I`m thinking. There...streamers on the cap. I don`t think it`s a local woman, I think it`s a Highlander in his kilt."
"Can you zoom closer?"
"I`ll try"
As the camera zoomed to it`s highest level, details began to show on the display screen
"What`s she doing?"
"Boss, it looks like he`s....he`s shaving. I`m sure of it, with his boot-knife no less."
The figure appeared to finish what it was doing and retreated back into the vegetation.
"Look! He left his knife behind. I`ll bookmark the coordinates."
"Damn fine work Troop. We`ll put some eyes on the ground at that location after night fall. Continue the search and perhaps more signs will turn up."
"Aye Boss."

2300 hrs

Darkness had settled in around Kolmanskuppe a few hours early and the LRRP`s had come out of their hide in search of hard evidence that Lovat and his Highlanders were in the vicinity. A six man patrol was acting as the primary reconaisance force with ten additonal members a few hundred meters away acting as force protection as the group slowly advanced accross the arid Klagenfurt desert towards the tributary of the Klein Welt river. Back in the OP, drone survelance continued over the recon force.

The river was narrow in this region, it would best qualify as a small creek, but it was still about 2 meters deep with a fairly quick current. The patrol scanned the bank for the best location to cross the river nearest the waypoint set in their GPS devices. A small footbridge about 200 meters upstream from the waypoint was found to be unguarded and the recon team stealthily crossed. Upon arrivng at their destination, the recon team began to scour the area for the possible evidence left earlier in the day.

On their hands and knees the recon team seached the underbrush, carefully feeling along the ground.
"Raven to Covey Leader" crackled accross the radio at the OP.
"Covey Leader, proceed Raven."
"I`ve got something."
"Can you Identify?"
Raven felt along the blade,his fingers traced along some engraving on the blades surface. Carefully pulling his IR light from his kit, he switched his NVG`s on. Gently twisting the blade, he finds the proper angle to read the inscription.
"Affirmative. The Chickens are in the coop."
Covey Leader was about to respond when his drone operator got his attention.
"Sir, lone subject approaching recon team. 100 meters due west of their posisiton."
"Raven, you have a coyote approaching. Moonrise, 100."
"Identify without being detected. Use your judgement."

Raven and his team dispersed among the scrub and awaited the approach of the lone subject. As he neared, it became apparent the subject wasn`t a sentry. The recon team heard the subject humming a traditional Hibernian tune and mumbling to himself, he was drunk. It was probably the trooper who had lost the knife earlier. The drunken Hibernian stopped directly in front of Raven`s position and continued mumbling.
"Now where was I? Ah, rivers edge to fill my canteen."
The Hibernian took a swig from his bottle and continued to stumble towards the river. Raven broke cover and began to stalk the man. A few meters from the river the Hibernian stopped and raised his kilt to answer natures call. Raven was within arms reach of the Hibernian, as he finished his business and turned about.
" 'ey! You checking my package out mate?" the Hibernian mumbled as he turned.
Raven busted the man between the eyes with his black-jack.
"Covey Leader, I`ve got a christmas gift."
"Affirmative, all birds return to nest."

January 19, 2014

The team arrive back at the OP shortly before sun-up with their prisoner in tow. Covey Leader began to question the hungover Hibernian.
"I know my obligations under military code....Alistair MacLeod, Corporal, M-148877."
"Yes Cpl. MacLeod, we also know your unit...7th Hibernian Highlanders. That`s Colonel Lovat`s unit. Why would a corporal in Lord Lovat`s unit be one hundred miles beyond the front lines unless he was with the good Colonel?"
"MacLeod, Corporal, M-148877"
"Corporal, you need not keep repeating name, rank and serial number."
"Tis all you`re going to get out of me. I took an oath to His Majesty`s Army. A Hibernian honors his obligations."
"My dear corporal, you dishonored your obligations when your commander went rouge and your entire unit followed him."
"I ne`er dishonored my obligations to my commander or my unit."

Kloster Templehof
Wissenholm und Himmel

Crown Prince William was summoned to Kloster Templehof to join in a video conference with the Joint Chiefs. The Prince was somewhat confused as to why he would participate in the meeting; after all, he was a junior officer. Junior officers didn`t attend high-level meetings.

William took a seat with the other officers as Field Marshal James Aschenhyrst (the mastermind of Operation: Red Dawn) addressed the group via video phone.
"We have a special guest for todays meeting..."
William straightened himself in his chair
"... I present to you, His Majesty, the King."
"Please be seated. Field Marshal, please continue."
"He have just recieved confirmed information that troops loyal to Colonel Lovat are at Kolmanskuppe, Waldenburg. It is unknown at this time if the Colonel or the WMD`s are there as well. A draft plan of operations to retrieve the WMD`s from Kolmanskuppe shall be submitted to the Citidel with 24 hours. If our eyes on the ground confirm the presence of the Colonel and the WMD`s, we will retrieve both or render them useless to the enemy."
William spoke, "Sir, I have intimate knowledge of Lord Lovat. He was once my commanding officer. I wish to volunteer for this mission."
"Captain," The Field Marshal hesitated "I`m afraid the Citidel has different plans for you."
"I don`t understand. I`m more than qualified for this mission."
The King rose from his seat and addressed his son, " You are more than qualified, however I forbid you to cross the border. We`ve managed to keep a blackout on this information but i will tell you now. The commerce raider WIS Indolent was captured recently. She was under the command of Princess Wilhelmina von Waldenburg. The Princess died from wounds sustained during the capture of the Indolent. The Catoists will want revenge. I cannot send the heir to my throne into Waldenburg. Your position makes you a target. Your mother cannot bear to lose another son."
"Father, I am a soldier in your army. I could be in harm`s way at any time."
"You will not cross the border. You will not pursue Lovat. I need you in Wissenholm. Your cousin the appears he wishes to create his own realm now. I need you there to insure that if Anton gets his way, the transistion from being part of the Dominion to Independent goes smoothly for all parties involved."
"But Father..."
"I have spoken. Field Marshal."
"Captain, you are reassigned from your unit and will report to Colonel Meachum`s office within the hour. He is in charge of Dominion/Duchy relations and you will be his aide. Understood?"
"Yes sir. If I may take my leave to retrieve my belongings?"
William rose and turned to leave
"Son...someday you will be King. With your name comes great responsiblity. Personal honor and glory will have to stand asisde when your Dynastic duties come into play."
"Yes Father."
"If I had a nickel for everytime I offended Fictions, I`d have a Billion Dollars in nickels."-Me

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Postby Ascelonia » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:04 pm

"Restored? We're masons, not some decrepit manor. We're building Blomburg's future not gazing idly as others tear it down."

-Queen Caroline on Blomburger Royal House

January 4th, 2014
Wend, Kingdom of Saxe-Missern-Blomburg

“Burn the witch!” screamed a man dressed in a beggar's clothing, casting a jagged rock at the brick walls around the Mendelby Manor. In response, a volley of tear gas burst from behind the walls and disorienting high-tech beams, courtesy of the Ascelonian military, drove off picketers who clustered too close to the entrances. A ragtag army composed of a medley of the depressed, the desperate, and the downright furious from all walks of society had gathered outside the royal residence with picket signs, posters, and banners waving in the air calling for the Queen to abdicate. Across the country, similar protests were taken place with several jurisdictions having declared independence or standing on the verge of doing so.

Caroline looked out across the parapets from the safety of the study in the guest residence. Royal guardsmen covered all the entrances and exits. On every doorway, two or three guards stood with their rifles readied. She sighed, “It could not have gone worse.”

“My dear...” Kristaan lamented as his two attendants enjoyed the warmth of a toasty fireplace across the room.

“Silence, you foolish boy. The propaganda doesn't work. It never did. You long for my heart and yet you yield nothing,” Caroline declared in her sweet voice, her arms gesturing in the lightest fashion. “You want me to give up my country for you, but you make no strides to do the same. Love cannot be one-sided, my dear.”

Kristaan paused to reflect for an instant before pleading, “But Caroline, that's not the-”

“Same? Of course not. You lead a world power and I lead a backwater kingdom, but I'll tell you one thing, a single Blomburger has more principle than a thousand of your thugs in uniform,” she retorted with a brush of her golden locks. “My country is falling apart, but it's not a lost cause. You have two choices. Either, leave my country with your goons or cede me control. Only I can govern Blomburg.”

An Emperor kneeling to a Queen. The mere thought of it would have disgusted his predecessors. Alaric I would have spat at the absurd suggestion. Under Ekram the Brutal, the mention of such outrageous ideas would warrant several lashings. Yet, here he was. Kristaan the Kind, his reason and sensitivities would fashion himself, in contrast to his primitive desires for glory and destruction in the name of Ascelonia. One glance into those wonderful brown eyes and the entire House of Azkelon yielded to the whore of Babylon. He, the golden son of the Azkelon bloodline, would knowingly yield the family legacy and honor if only to appease the heart of this temptress.

“I dare not run counter to the history of my forefathers, but...” he began slowly, pausing to annunciate every word with his hands folded gently. Caroline cocked her head and gazed at him with this saccharine beauty that demolished his will to resist her. “But, by God, I cannot deny the power of Heaven. The force of an angel who can shatter the foundations of a nation and destroy the fabric of reason.

“At first, without knowing your gaze, I questioned the judgment of the madman who ventured into Blomburg against reason, but I see the logic now. The rationality of your angelic demeanor. Who could deny the divinity of this wondrous creature that stands before me,” as he spoke, he fell to his knees and clasped his hands around Caroline's waist, embracing some divine revelation. His dreams foretold of a force more fearful than the petty tyrants of Gholgoth and the self-designated emperors of Tyrrhenia, the love of a woman. No, not just any woman. A shieldmaiden. A valkyrie. An agent of the divines.

“Then, give me your Kingdom and I shall give you mine,” she replied brushing his thick black locks with her soft hands. He melted into her and wanted to sink deeper into the earth. Kristaan felt the strangling grip of her honeydew scent and the nectar melody of her voice.

“Take it,” he cried sinking deeper into her gown. “Take everything! There can be no one else, but you, my love.”

“Thank you, dear,” her hand ran deep and lovely across his long hair like a young girl frolicking across a prairie with a basket full of freshly picked apples. “The world belongs to us, love.”

“No, sweetheart,” Kristaan cried, his attendants too self-absorbed to notice their Emperor prostrate before the Blomburger Queen. “All of it belongs to you. You are my world and I could not live without you.”

She smiled gently, brushing his hair, and gazing at the crowd of angry protesters outside. Soon, it would all be hers.


January 7th, 2014
Sälitzian District, Olerbein, Kingdom of Saxe-Missern-Blomburg

“You can't be serious. Impossible,” Ulrich laughed at the latest headlines. He set his butcher knife down and spat at the blood pooling at his feet. “This must be some sort of trickery. Damn Ascelonians.”

“I'm telling you, Ul. Carol's outsmarted Ascelonia,” a man in flat cap gestured at the unfurled newspaper sitting on the counter. “By golly, fortunes have shifted in our favor, I tell you.”

The old butcher chuckled, dropping a fat sausage onto cutting board, “I'll believe it when it's raining Reichmarks in Donierstrom.”

The blade made a dull thump against the board, which was drowned out by the shouts of young boys peddling newspapers. No picketers in sight, but there were Carolers floating around, bands of loyalists who went door to door singing, raising support for the Queen and the country. This part of the country had remained quiet through the courtship crisis. In fact, Mayor Westgeld was less concerned over the violent protests in Wend and more concerned with the refugees from Hechingen who had filled a large sector of the city, squatting in abandoned warehouses and derelict offices. Many of them fled Hechingen during the civil war. Why they came to Blomburg of all places was beyond him.

He strolled down the cobblestone boulevard overlooking the fairway bleeding out from the city canals into Lake Ulga. Westgeld's gaze swept across the streets and if an Ascelonian bore witness to the glory that was Olerbein, s/he would realize that it truly looked like a page taken out of history. For the aging public servant, this was merely home. Vagrants milled about, but a couple of escorting officers in fancy blue-gray uniforms discouraged panhandlers from soliciting the mayor for donations. Although the city seemed trapped in the past like much of Sälitz (or Waldenburg and Paloni, for that matter), technology was catching on. The guards wore walkie-talkies and denizens could be seen carrying Ascelonian smartphones. Every now and then, some new innovation would be the hot trend. From hybrid cars to Arkadican motorcycles, one invention would pass through the town leaving small imprints.

Across the fairway sat the international district, as it was named by the city. By its citizens, it was known as the 'illegal district', the 'red light district', the 'immigrant district', but proper nomenclature was vital to the city's image. After all, nobody wanted to live in a shanty town. So, here they were. The nexus of Hechinger refugees in Blomburg taking up a good third of the quiet city. Westgeld ignored the messages on his desk from both the Queen and the various other factions vying for power in the country. The letters piling on his desk had been left unanswered and his secretaries began filing them away in some dusty storage cabinet in the parts of the Mayoral Residence left untouched by the numerous men of minute power who slept in the master bedroom.

Something about his truancy in the nation's affairs bothered him, but only a little. He held the same policy when von Neider ran the country and continued it after Caroline took over. He paid his taxes, sent his monthly dues to the ruling head of state, and mailed greeting cards when the holidays rolled around. It wasn't his business to play kingmaker when he commanded nothing more than a small city.

The two men assigned to guard him looked uneasily about. Paul, at 25, was a recent graduate fresh from the academy and the older man, Tobias, 52, a grizzled veteran of the days when police officers were friendly mediators rather than enforcers of the law. Tobias had more experience walking drunks home than stopping thieves and catching scoundrels. In fact, the only robbery he had ever encountered was back in '88 when a patron of a bawdy house refused to pay for services rendered. Both were good shots, but never leveled a weapon at another man in their lives. A voice buzzed in from his walkie-talkie, “All units on high alert, we've received word from the Nest that the Hummingbird has fallen.”

“Uh...” Paul replied nervously. ”Could you repeat that in plain English?”

“Oh, for crying out loud, Paul, can't you read between the lines?” Tobias shook his head and the group paused.

“The Queen has fallen,” Westgeld said quietly, stopping to cough into his gloved fist. From his coat, he produced a pipe and lit it with a match while the others grew pale. Frankly, he could not care less and had more important matters to pursue, such as figuring out how to rid the city of the dependents in the international district.

“W-what do we do?” Paul asked with the look of a small child lost in a mall.

“Nothing we can do,” Tobias replied and stared solemnly into the sky. “Good Lord. What has this nation come to.”

“Well, it's time we get going. I need to make a meeting with the head of Blue Sally Bank,” Westgeld puffed on his pipe on gestured at his pocket watch. The others followed slightly behind him at his flanks when a gruff man dressed in a raggedy trenchcoat suddenly emerged from the shadows of an alleyway in front of them.

“State your business,” Tobias spoke in a commanding voice. The vagrant promptly opened his coat and drew a submachine gun out before either of the two officers could react.

Four words hit their ear drums before the bullets did, “My business is the Fifth.”

Across the country, the Fifth Column opened an offensive the likes of which the country had never seen since the War of Ascelonian Aggression.
Last edited by Ascelonia on Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Ascelonia » Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:11 pm

"Caroline is our only cling to Blomburg."

-Emperor Frederik Leopold II in a secret meeting on the Blomburger Question

January 6th, 2014
Grand Republican Senate, Cyronis, Grand Republic of Ascelonia

“An outrage!” declared Senator Fildemann of Auglich, the echoes of his voice reverberating gently from the ceiling of the Senate chamber before his fist slammed upon lectern mirroring the unease of his audience.

The chamber encompassed a large portion of the Capitol to accommodate the vast legislature composed of statesman from the far reaches of the Ascelonian kingdoms including a handful of observers from Arcindis, Blomburg, and Censory who sent two representatives each, usually approved by the Foreign Ministry, to sit in. However, the emergency meeting notably lacked the foreign delegations or any representative of the incumbent head of state who had evaporated from the Ascelonian political scene.

Fildemann paused to let the silence sink in. He leaned off of the microphone and continued, his graying beard and firm blue eyes marked the wisdom of his words, “For a thousand years, our nation strove to stand amongst the world's superpowers. We were almost there, my friends, until our Emperor decided to invade Blomburg for no damn reason. Ever since the restoration, the Haas van Azkelon has brought us to ruin. I know not what insanity lingers in the imperial bloodline after centuries of inbreeding, but I do know that the thoughts of allowing such buffoonery cast us down into the ranks of tin pot tyrants and two-faced liars should leave even the most temperate of men outraged.

“There is no question, gentlemen. Our country has faced the most grievous decline since the reign of the traitorous Emperor Johann the Vicar. He almost signed our independence away to the Grestonian scoundrels. Now, we willfully gave Frederik and Kristaan the power to mortgage our beloved Republic for foolish ventures into decadence and self-indulgence. We teem over a gorge, a precipice, and, in the balance, hangs the fate of our nation. Fellow statesmen, now is the time, more than ever, to act for the well-being of our Fatherland.”

He paused, wiping his thick brows with a handkerchief. The air-conditioned chamber felt the intensity of his speech.

“Which articles should I cite for our posterity? What historical documents should fall into our recollection as we try to justify our actions today? Perhaps, the Imperial Charter, the Articles of the Republic, and the Rights of an Individual come to mind. 'He who violates the Will of God and the Ascelonian People shall be cast down from public office' (Imperial Charter). Has Kristaan not sacrificed the lifeblood of our people for his infatuation with power? Does he not occupy the highest public office in our entire nation? 'The Grand Republic shall be governed by the Legislature first and foremost' (Articles of the Republic). When did the founding document of our country say we should become a global empire? And did our Founding Fathers not warn of us of imperial hubris? The Rights of an Individual guarantees Ascelonian citizens a right to challenge the ruling authority, to petition the government to redress their grievances. Brothers, sisters, and countrymen alike, I stand here as both a citizen and a Senator to voice my grievances against the Emperor and outrage against the decline of our beloved nation.”

A flurry of applause erupted from the audience of stalwart elders and firebrand youths before he continued.

“My fellow citizens, the time has come. Trillions of credits have been wasted on a needless war. Hundreds of thousands of lives spent in vain. The value of the Ascelonian Credit has fallen dramatically. Shall we leave these losses as it is?”

“No!” the crowd replied and Fildemann smiled softly.

“Sons of Admer. Daughters of Numera. I know of but one recourse we must take to return power to the hands of the Legislature and restore the vision of our forefathers. We must impeach the Emperor and strip the office of its authority.”

Hurrahs arose from the crowd.

“But, first, we must resolve the issue of Blomburg. I suggest we investigate Kristaan's finances and shut down his operations in the country.”

“I'm sorry to interrupt, but the gentleman from Auglich will now be seated. Your speaking time is up.”

Some booing arose from the crowd, but, for the most part, they understood that the rule of law was essential to the survival of the Republic. The gavel swung and its echoes would reverberate throughout all of Tyrrhenia.


January 7th, 2014
Warehouse 11, Flecksberg, Kingdom of Saxe-Missern-Blomburg

The winter breeze bit at his shoulders as Leon trudged through the snow atop the old Blomburger storehouse. It used to carry industrial equipment for a local factory owner, but, after the war, he packed up and left seeing as how his entire livelihood was annihilated by Ascelonian carpet bombing. Leon Telsbach looked a bit out of place wearing his father's service jacket. His father fought against and died in the Ascelonian invasion. He felt the seams on the chevrons loosening, fraying in the face of the bitter cold air and the force of the Ascelonian interlopers.

Businessmen and contractors, fed from the belly of the beast, descended upon the cities of Blomburg, feeding on the existing industries and sapping the area of wealth and jobs. Leon checked his pocket watch. He had no radio or anything on his person to keep him company aside from his time piece and his hunting rifle, although hunting rifle would be a bit of a misnomer. The gun was more of a relic from Neider's reign and a stowaway in one of the national armories, left to rot and die before the Fifth freed it from captivity.

Here he was. Leon and rifle. Rifle and Leon. The clock ticked down slowly. He looked down the scope of the rifle, spotting the festivities in the distance before checking his pocket watch. Folded into the silver of the case was a fading picture of Queen Caroline. He kept it close to his heart, memorizing her image, the contours of her face, the gold of her hair, and softness of her brown eyes. Leon sighed. Of course, it wasn't a sigh of love, but one of a man who was about to gain some measure of closure. His heart was pounding so loud that he could hear it over the whistle of the wintry wind.

It lashed at him and he scrunched up against the edge of the roof, pulling his wool stocking cap lower to cover his ears. He closed his eyes for a few moments of peace, but hesitated before attending to his rifle, cleaning the barrel. Those foolish Ascelonians, he thought. Two moles slipped right under the noses of K.I.S.S., Blomburg's flagship intelligence agency, which had been put on hiatus since November. That didn't stop a massive leak of data about various politicians, statesmen, and military commanders, especially the ones loyal to the monarchist government that were supposed to be protected by the agency.

They're just as petty and divided as Leon suspected. Agents from the Ascelonian Central Intelligence Service fed them information corroborating the location of several of key officials in the Blomburger monarchy. Perhaps, they thought it would be easier to control a neo-Neider regime. Well, they're dead wrong, he mused as he wiped the snowflakes collecting around the wood of his rifle. Wind whistling. Trumpets sounding. Footsteps striking the ground in the distance in unison. Unity, something the Caroline puppet government lacked and the Neiderists could provide. The moment had been planned already and the members of government preselected. Leon's job was essential to the new regime. He fashioned himself as a janitor. Someone hired to clean up the mess left by Ascelonia.

Carolers sang in the distance. It disgusted him. The mindless imbeciles went door-to-door, during the holidays, singing festive and patriotic songs to raise support for the harlot. He checked his watch and noticed the hands had stopped moving. What, he thought. Fuck, I forgot to wind it.

Panic seized him and he rose with his rifle in one swift motion. His right eye lined up with the scope. Part of him regretted not bringing a radio. The other part of him felt secure, as his partner had been traced through his cellphone by KISS. Bernhardt had been sending pictures of a pipe bomb to his girlfriend. Fucking moron, Leon thought to himself as he swept across the street with his scope. He was a little worried about security, but the higher ups assured him that royal guards on overwatch around the perimeter would be dealt with.

The crosshairs swept across the motorcade. By god, he thought. There she is. He recognized the wave of her hair and that gentle smile. The hours of news reels he poured over flashed into his head. Without thinking, he pulled the trigger. Bam! The rifle kicked against his shoulder. He hurried to pull back the bolt and load the next round. His fingers slipped from the sweat. Leon shot on a range and on a few hunting trips with his father in his youth, but the nineteen year old never shot a person. The bolt finally fell back and he worked another round in. He found the blond woman again in his sights. She was panicked, but the fear would soon evaporate into a mist of blood. He raised the rifle several degrees above her head and pulled the trigger.


January 22nd, 2014
Apferlich Estate, Aarfal Valley, Voorkrijger Republik of Arcindis

Loud raspy knocking echoed through the halls of the Ascelonian royal residence. For several long minutes, emptiness answered the query. Then, a slightly-beyond-middle-aged man dressed in servant's attire approached the door, cane in hand. Two maids trailed behind him quietly, hiding behind various furnishings at random intervals. Jarvin paused and stared back, seeing nothing. His sight had gradually faded within the last decade, but he was too proud to admit it and refused to wear spectacles of any sort. Of course, that didn't grant him supernatural improvements to his other senses like in old comic books and movies, but he did become more aware of them over time.

And he wasn't born yesterday. No, sir. He sensed he was being followed and yelled, “I can hear you rapscallions! Show yourselves or face my fury! I'm an old man, but I'll be damned if anyone challenges my marksmanship!”

His hand drifted into the vest beneath his light brown sportcoat, reaching for his holstered Sidekick. The maids emerged from hiding, their frilly silhouettes pleading for mercy, “Sorry, Mr. Recher! It'll never happen again.”

Jarvin was somewhat relieved as he let his hand fall back at his side. He shifted his weight back on his cane and yelled, “Scram! I won't see either of you wastrels until sunset! Got it?”

“Yes, Mr. Recher!” they replied in unison and scurried off.

“Damn brats,” he muttered, turning back to face the door. He could hear them walking away, their shoes clicking at the faded marble. Nostalgia held him for a few seconds, his wife's heels would clack against the wood floor of his apartment in the same manner, but it wasn't the same. The tempo was a bit off and the texture of the sound was completely different. More knocking snapped Jarvin out of it.

He moved forward, using the momentum to ease the pressure on his knees, or, at the very least, give him the impression that it did. Jarvin hadn't seen anyone from the Haas van Azkelon for over a decade. It was almost as if they forgot the place existed. Maybe, they were too busy, too proud to come to the country. Whatever the reason, he found himself quite lonely save for the company of maids, servants, the occasional bottle of Azkey, and the weekly visit from an Aarcind saleswoman.

Usually, the mailmen just left the packages in the box. Guards would inspect it later, check it for explosives, poison, or any materials harmful to the Royal Family's wellbeing, especially spam. However, in the years of lax administration, the guards had been recalled to other posts and the estate would've been left to fend for itself had it not been for Jarvin's loyalty. All things considered, he knew the occasion was important. He paused to spritz his mouth with some breath freshener before opening the door.

Three men stood before him. One carried a silver suitcase and wore a dark gray, slightly upscale suit with a matching pinstripe tie and fedora that screamed bourgeoisie. Two men with holstered pistols outlines protruding slightly out of their mass-marketed retail threads accompanied him. He didn't notice most of these details, but he could tell from the scent of their cologne that they were definitely Ascelonians and that they weren't quite up to par for royal guardsmen. Probably from the Senate, Jarvin thought. They came a long way for nothing. He extended a hand, “Good afternoon, gentlemen.”

The two guards looked at each other with eyebrows raised under their pitch black sunglasses, but the other man, who looked somewhere between a door-to-door bible salesman and a low level marketing consultant, accepted Jarvin's hospitality, “Afternoon.”

Jarvin waved his hands towards the interior of the mansion, “Come in, Mister-”

He paused before the lawyerly man answered for him, “Reynolds.”

“I'll have the maids bring you something to drink,” he continued unfazed.

“That won't be necessary,” Reynolds replied coldly. He pulled his suitcase up in front of him and undid the buckles.

Jarvin frowned an old man's frown as Reynolds' quick fingertips sorted through a medley of seemingly unorganized paperwork, “And why not?”

“We're not here to make conversation,” he paused, leaned in a little, “Mr. Reacher, is it?”

“Recher,” he answered, slightly annoyed. In an instant, Reynolds hand shot out triumphantly with a vanilla folder, and the suitcase slammed shut and fell back at his side.

“What's this?” Jarvin glared. He reluctantly accepted the folder and took care to keep the papers from spilling out.

Reynolds said, “Foreclosure.”

“S-surely, you jest,” he stammered. “Why, he's the Emperor, of course!”

Jarvin had fought the Kiliwean rebels in the treacherous jungles where a soldier could succumb to Punji stakes, a stray landmine, malarial parasites, or any number of things under the torrential monsoon. He went toe-to-toe every time some Slav, Oriental, or Negro forgot his place in the bar. He once took a bullet for a friend and dug it out with his combat knife. He had fought wild animals, dangerous criminals, and murderous insurgents. The man feared nothing. Well, almost nothing save for unemployment.

“No one is joking. Financial responsibility is a serious matter,” Reynolds checked his watch before continuing. “Perhaps, you can relay that message to you grandchildren?”

“Don't have any,” he said.

“Well, that's shame,” he glanced at his timepiece again. “Look. I have to go, but here's my business card. Legally speaking, under Arcindin law, you have about three days to evacuate the premises. I'm pretty lenient, but three days should be more than enough. You will not bring anything that does not belong to you.”

“And how will enforce these terms?” his lips dry with fear. “How will you seize the property of an Emperor?”

Reynolds gestured towards three black jeeps parked around the entrance of the mansion grounds. Men armed with pistols and submachine guns exited the obsidian car doors like a scene from an old Numeran mafia movie. Jarvin dropped the paperwork, half out of fear and half out of disbelief. It's not that he feared unemployment, because he needed the money. He was more afraid of being one of the useless, used up bags of wrinkles rotting away in a retirement home with war medals sagging down pinstripe pajamas that looked more like prisoner garbs than anything else. He did believe in the power of the Senate. He just couldn't believe that this was happening to him.

(OOC: Should I move this to a separate thread?)
Last edited by Ascelonia on Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Waldenburg 2
Posts: 124
Founded: Jul 26, 2005

Postby Waldenburg 2 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:47 pm

I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled,
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress.
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery,
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery:
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are no walled.

Wilfred Owen

February 2nd, 2014

Winter killed more than any shell, and all the political theorists reclined, assured in their own validation that it really was good men doing nothing that posed the greatest evil. A small victory in the field of reason; a mile stone on the road of grim truth that was being laid out across the continent. While the brutal climb of the Imperial Army up the Ibblesguarder chain had been matched only in body count only by the sheer lunacy of the plan. In a month the Army had not come within field gun range of Scant and the Ibblesguarders hung on with grave determination, layering the foothills with uniformed bodies and an odor of cordite that could never be erased from the memory. The lucky few who returned with only a missing limb, or burns, talked quietly on the road with the soldiers being pulled towards the front. No tears were shed, or prayers uttered: this was all there was.

And the coal hadn’t come in. The water was feted and malignant; poisoned beyond compare, dark with cloudy chemicals and the most despairing of the population simply walked into the frigid and deathly waters and lay down. Food was scare and everywhere hungry children begged for scraps from passing armored columns. Huge grenadiers battled with urchins over the water that kept the Imperial Cypresses alive. Everywhere there was a pallid layer of crime, and palpable fear and suffering; though the streets were immaculate, the bodies carted away without fuss, the dark eyes of citizens looked hunted and mean.
He’s coming back…..

“Your Majesty,” Simon von Keppelheim bowed demurely and oiled his way into the Imperial Study where Frederick, a boy by all standards, was already teasing a few strands of gray hair into his illustrious hair, “Slentz has fallen to von Gammen.”

“Huzzah.” Frederick said distantly as he set down the hand mirror and returned to a stack of requisition orders he was pouring over, “That’s almost twelve post offices we’ve captured now.”

“It is an important crossroads between Scant and Traumenheim…” Frederick stuck up a hand and waved his aide into silence. The scratch of the pen permeated the air, as the aide waited to be dismissed and the Emperor forgot about the man. “This whole damn place!” Frederick smashed a hand against the table, “It reeks of death! Can’t the servants do something?”
Keppelheim, who noticed only the delicate if subtle scent of the cypresses, shrugged, “They try their best.”

“Well fuck their best.” Frederick threw the pen against the opposite wall where it exploded against a rare volume of Fictionese poetry. “Don’t they know anything of sacrifice? About duty?”
“They’ve gone to war, Frederick.” Keppelheim said flatly. He found it best to address his master, when the man was in these moods, as informally as possible. It denuded him of responsibility. “There’s no one left.”

“Bring the stable boys; fetch the scullery maids, an army of downturned faces! Take it away.”

“They’re gone Frederick. They’re gone.”

“I know Simon.” Frederick slumped back in his chair; the household staffed had by and large ‘volunteered’ for the front and it was perhaps the first time in history that the Household Cavalry could satisfactorily baste a turkey and polish wardrobes. Their casualties were appalling and those who returned to their employment after the surgeons had had their way with them were shaky and ill-tempered. More porcelain had been shattered in the last month than during any earthquake. “I just… It was supposed to be different.”

“What?” Keppelheim had been distracted as an underbutler, missing most of his chin, had limped in and handed him a note.

“I thought I could change things, that all Waldenburg needed was a push, a shock to bring it back to life. But I can’t make the fog clear…”

“No, Your Majesty.” The words rang out like a canon-shot, “But I’m afraid we need to move you. Now.”

“What’s happened? Have the Yallakians broken through the 2nd Army…”

“No. He’s coming back.”


Lender am Kreis
The High Desert

If the Cukaricans had failed at one thing in Operation Condor it was underestimating the size of the High Desert, and while they had easily snatched up the important coastal cities of Rudyt and Thule (most of the Imperial Army had simply shrugged their shoulders and turned the opposite direction in their guard posts when the Legionaries arrived. They had however been faced, after capturing the entire western coast down to Ruydt, with the impending mass of the desert: a thousand miles of nothingness, occupied by tribes that while once Waldenburger had shifted to require an entirely new demonym. Cukarican fighters screamed through the night punching at the caves and abandon villages where the famed Army of Prince Peter was rumored to be ensconced but there was never a tangible hit, never a body, just the welcoming embrace of nothingness.

Prince Cato had arrived a two weeks later with his detachment from Hechingen.

“All the great prophets have to cross it, requisite to divinity I believe.” Major Sufrir spat as he dislodged sand from his mouth. The Cukarican patrol craft sailed from one ridge to the other as the driver, a bald man who smoked hand rolled cigarettes fiddled with the cassette deck. He reminded the Major of someone he had used to know, and the sensation was… uncomfortable.

“I have no pretentions to divinity.” Prince Cato’s loose armed flexed against the safety bar that had been welded on to prevent the Imperial candidate from sailing out of the vehicle,
“Pretentions are practically a job requirement, but divinity is frowned upon in my social circles. It is very off putting for a man of means to believe in anything, it shows a distinct lack of reason and social grace.”

“Divinity is certainly no appendage of religion,” The man had noticed Sufrir, and the Major could swear winked once. “Imagine a divine cut of veal? The only religion involved was the squealing of the calf.”

“Don’t be unpleasant, I was hoping to eat this week.”

“I’m being quite earnest. This must be done with a certain style.”

“Oh? Doves I suppose the old rose petals from Bomber Command?”

“And why not?” The patrol vehicle sputtered across a patch of uneven ground and kicked up huge plumes of red dirt. “It’s worked for the last thousand years.”

“No, it only happened for the last thousand years.” Cato replied dryly, watching the vast expanse of stars unfold above him, “We are trying to build a new type of man.”

“There then is your difficulty, to parent new men, you have to prove the old unviable, and you and I are too much like men. This is why we need divinity.”

“So give me a white sheet and some bits of wood and I’ll give you divinity.”

“Cato,” Sufrir sputtered earnestly, “This is serious.”

“I know which is why I have the luxury to laugh. When the world burns you can finally appreciate the wall paper.” The patrol craft came to a stop beside three men, wrapped up in cloaks to keep off the cold, and holding assault rifles at various angles of readiness, “Peter.” Cato jumped from the cabin, as Sufrir extricated his body in a fashion so graceful it must have been practiced, “It’s been too long.”

“Really?” Prince Peter smiled jovially, his bushy facial hair bunching up around the tight and browned corners of his mouth, “I could swear it was only yesterday.”

Office of Naval Intelligence

Busy shoulders hunched over typewriters and the clacking overpowered the whispered conversations of Brigadier Stoffer and Grand Admiral Sloan in the smoked glass office overlooking the typing pool. Sloan, who had been entirely put out of the job by the loss of the Imperial Navy, had ceased to dress himself in his uniform and sat slouched in a battered arm chair, “No Stoffer, we’ve got a destroyer under von Hamm, but there’s no chance of further bombardment of Ibbelsguard. The navy no longer has any options to recommend.”

“We have fifty million men trapped in those hills,” Field Marshal von Pälitz drifted into the room, gaunt and pale his hands shook on the nickeled knob, “All the trains are gone, all the roads are bombed out, and the rivers are frozen over.

“And I’ve lost half the Army.” Pälitz had the sinking suspicion that Frederick’s men, the ghostly and preternatural ISS under Solf were watching him and looking for evidence suggesting some breach of duty. “We should…” Pälitz scratched at his mustache which littered skin particles across the dark leather of the chair, “Consider our options.”

“There aren’t any.” Stoffer offered simply, he had not given into the ennui of the moment, and his crisp barking voice sounded as a content guard dog sinking into interloper ankle, “winter will decimate this country, Frederick can’t surrender now, or he’ll be off the throne in a flash.”
There was a moment of uncomfortable silence. “Where is he?” They all knew who ‘he’ was.

“Some say in the Desert, others still in Paloni, some say he’s with Andre in Mäncehwald. I think Solf is hiding him.” Pälitz muttered as the others shifted uncomfortably in their seats.

“Wherever,” Sloan interjected quickly, “he is, it is irrelevant, we cannot… capture him.” They all knew what ‘capture’ meant. “I fear our control will be reduced to the City by summer and….”
“And the old man would not so, but slew his son, and half the seed of Earth, one by one.” Stoffer brightly added this last piece and leveled a glance at Pälitz. “Is that not so…Field Marshal, Sir?”

Pälitz suddenly felt all his age, all the gilt weighing him down, every star on his chest a lead block pulling him to depths of some indescribable ocean, “I don’t understand the reference Brigadier.” He returned more coolly than he felt. “Surely the cabinet should be convened again?”
“But Field Marshal,” Stoffer smiled faintly, “Frederick dismissed the war cabinet, martial law is effect. And that gives the ISS… free range.”

“Troublesome.” Sloan nodded as his eyelids closed; the low light often sent the old man to sleep these days.

“Indeed,” Pälitz felt his fingers wrap around the hilt of his sword, “But sacrifices must be made for the country.”

“I’m so glad,” a quiet voice split the air like a thunderhead, “That you agree Field Marshal.”

Two dark gray suits emerged from the doorway followed by a sparkling uniform, “These gentlemen will escort you outside.”
Mount Blünder
Abbey of St. Ceno

Some writers, waxing poetic, could write of places out of time which remained unaffected and stringently resistant to human affairs. The Holy Mount was considered one of them, and through the civil war, no one had set foot on its slopes, or harassed the small community of monks living at its base. Perhaps a more realistic author would write that some places are so influenced by man’s affairs there is a script to follow.

“You can’t, it is the covenant, and no one can! No one has!” The abbot yelled as he waved his emaciated hands at Prince Andre, who stood resolute if despairing before the man, “No one may set foot on the mountain but the Cenobiarch.”

“The Cenobiarch is dead.” Prince Andre patted the man on the cheek, conveniently forcing his eyes into line with Lord Lovat’s rangers who were gorging themselves on spindling remains of the abbey’s orchard. “Have you ever been up there?”

“No.” The man answered quietly, “No one has.”

“And you never wondered?”

“Every day for the last seventy years.”

Why didn’t you look? You of all people should…”

“Because.” The abbot answered slowly, as he slumped back into the deck chair that had been rolled out for him to meet this prince on the withered grass before the mountain, “It would destroy my faith.”

“But you don’t know what’s up…”

“You don’t understand what faith means. I’ve wanted to know every waking minute what is on that mountain, but I can’t… to know… would deprive me of my faith, and my life’s work.”

“My life work,” Andre answered diffidently as he began to stride up the foot-hills, “has been peace. And I’m going to go find some.” The Prince motioned back his two guards and set off, it was a fairly short climb up a pristine path lined with bare magnolia and cypress trees. After a few moments the green uniform disappeared from view, and the only sounds were soldiers calling and laughing to each other through the orchards.

“No no no no,” the abbot muttered as he wrung his hands, “No no no.”

“What is Father?” An Aschen sergeant took pity on the man and sauntered over.

“It’s the room of prophecy, from which the voice of God was handed down to the last known man, and in his ear whispered the truth of all creation.”

“Bet its penises.” The sergeant said knowingly.


“It’s always penises.” The sergeant nodded and tapped his nose, “Take it from me.” The abbot was forced to do so as Andre reappeared at that moment and descended the last few feet to where the man sat. Andre’s face was blank, but a certain set to his jaw seemed a premonition.
“Reverend Father,” Andre managed through clenched teeth, “We leave you now. We’re going to Blünderburg.”
February 6th, 2014

One man started the fire, his dusty boots stepped onto cobbles and he spat the accumulated dust of miles from his mouth. The smoked goggles pulled up over his helmet were flecked and etched as if sand blasted, and the tan uniform was not one familiar in the streets of the capital. The flag was though, the Imperial Eagle fluttered pristinely against the green sky.

“Where is your unit?” Two MPs sat lounging against a fountain and languidly sauntered over to the man, who was diffidently, without regard to the police started climbing onto into an unoccupied building. “Trooper! What is your unit, stand to!” The man and flag disappeared into the building and a moment later the cloth was extended from a second story window to hang over the street. The few people who were awake at this hour scuttled off the streets, they had acquired, as gormless serfs everywhere, a certain sense for danger.

A cloud of dust whipped at their heels, hot dust, and old dust, blown for centuries by the same winds. “His Highness’ Free Corp.” A scythe of bullet sliced down the MPs as a column of figures burst through the cloud: Aschen, Palonian, Cukarican, Ascelonian, Riemalian, Hechingener, Empyrian, Layslian, Grestonian, Pontean, Fictionese, and Waldenburger.

Artillery once again rumbled over the city, forlornly this time, without the same intensity of bombardments past, as if the fire had gone, as if the gunners were simply going through the motions. Major the Marquis Sufrir stalked silently down an avenue, silhouetted on one side by a burning grain warehouse, and a Mykolan tank on the other. Here in Streinlikstern the fighting wasn’t quite so intense, the Marquis was certain what had happened but there was distinct evidence of fighting in every direction; true, attack from the High Desert was usually as likely as a custard sandwich and they had expected to penetrate but where has the rest come from?
Sufrir slipped into the street, dodging a Mykolan patrol by slipping behind an overturned car, and fixed his eyes on his target; a small fish restaurant across the street with what was obviously supposed to be an inconspicuous ISS guard outside. The Major dealt with him by sweeping by and starring him directly in the eye, daring him to move; the man stood statue still.

Inside a handful of off duty soldiers smoked endless cigarettes as if they were sprinting to death, and picked over the last scraggly fish to be dragged from the estuary.
“Never seen you before,” a plump man waddled out from behind the counter with a grimy menu thrust forward. “How you doing?”

Sufrir said nothing but strode among the tables towards the man, scooping up as he went a steak knife. With one fluid movement he drove the flimsy piece of metal through a soldier’s skull; with the other hand he pulled a sawed off shotgun from under his cloak and collapsed the chest of two seated soldiers; blood splattered everything. He slowly reloaded as the cook’s saucer eyes took in the scene.

“Where is it?”

“Under the table three the last chair on the left.” The cook motioned towards the end of the room. Sufrir nodded and smacked the man across the face with the butt of the gun; the ISS guard had not moved outside, but there was another one by the door now, standing, hands folded behind his back. Sufrir cautiously approached the chair and tipped it over revealing a hatch, and a set of stairs he walked down.

“Major,” Bright lights from fluorescent spots greeted him, and he could just barely make out the glint of rifles, “It’s already off.”

Cukarican missiles pounded the Ministry of Defense, and airfields, smashing the offices and cratering the runways. Cato’s fighters, the handful of them there were, danced around the sky specks above the massive city dropping missiles on loyalist positions. There was no antiaircraft fire, and the single flight of fighters wheeled freely around the sky.

“Your Majesty!” Keppelheim pounded on the study doors, “We have to evacuate you to Granzimmerburg. There’s a ship waiting there to take you to Mykola.”

“I won’t leave!” Keppelheim could hear the rustling of papers and the occasional slamming of drawers. “Won’t go crying back to father.”

Keppelheim sighed, “The palace isn’t safe, and we have to move you into one of the Seals at least.”

“My people need to see me, my troops need my command.”

A slight rustling behind Keppelheim shocked him and the two soot covered figures of Solf and Gröning entered the vestibule, “We will talk to the Emperor.” Solf stated coldly.
“His Majesty is indisposed.” Keppelheim snapped.

“Simon,” Gröning patted the aide, “things are changing and unless you want to be swept away, dragged before the people, I suggest you sit down.” Gröning removed a sledge hammer from beneath his cloak and arthritically smashed the ancient oaken doors from their locks. Both officers climbed through the hole and saluted the stunned Frederick. “Your Majesty, just a moment of your time.”

Cato is coming.

Soldiers and civilians fled everywhere; fire licked at the cypresses and ministry buildings, as Prince Peter’s Army drove through the Königplatz and the Imperial Avenue. Barricades were abandoned, anti-tank guns smoldered and the few soldiers that stood against the wave of vehicles were relentlessly slaughtered.

At the palace the gates were already blasted open, and the Imperial Grenadiers had been vaporized by a cruise missiles strike. An APC dripping with Imperial flags rolled to a halt slightly inside the palace walls, where a maid sighed and readied her duster. Prince Cato stepped out delicately from the side hatch, followed by the great mass of limbs and bounding energy that was Prince Peter. “Up the stairs to the left, left again, and the door at the end.”

“You moved fast.” Cato bellowed as he strode through the broken doors, Solf looked up from behind the desk, then stood, “Already taking my great uncle’s place.”

“Your Majesty, it is very good to see you again.” Solf said quietly as he saluted stiffly.

“You’re under arrest Solf.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

“I’m not Your Majesty yet, I have yet to be crowned.”

“You’ve been Your Majesty for a lot longer than you realize,” As Solf spoke Cato’s eyes rolled over the hammer leaned neatly against the desk and the half stacked files of papers. It hit the Prince between the eyes like twelve pounds of steel, and Cato forced himself to fight off a smile.

“Who,” Cato began slowly as he wedged the pistol he had been carrying back in its holster, “Killed the Emperor?”

“You think I know?” Solf responded as he retreated to the leather chair once again.
“Nobody else does.”

“Does it matter Cato? Here we are, at the end of the world, and you want some…trivia?” Solf motioned out the windows behind him at a sky that was gentle transmuting to night and the rocket artillery that shrieked its assent.


“Good. He killed himself. His Majesty said he was the only man he would trust with the job.”

“Why?” Cato, knowing the Emperor as well as any other man, was not entirely shocked by this information; as a rule of thumb, one could assume the most circuitous logic in Waldenburger affairs.

“Easy,” The Solf stood, and poked a boney finger into Cato’s chest, “You. Everyone. Outside is the largest multinational force ever assembled, composed of over twenty different nations, there was a time ten years ago even when they would have fought tooth and nail against us, you are going to lead them, and us.”

“Couldn’t he have just named me as successor?”

“Hah! He was your uncle. No, because Ruprecht is dead, Thousis, Ludwig, von Blünder, Becker, Kleinder, Pälitz and half the Church. Everyone on our list. Almost.”
“Who knows about this?”

“Me, Gröning, Stoffer, Sloan. Probably thousands of others, you know how secrets are. Never told, often known.” Just as Solf was finishing his sentence two hundred pounds of enraged royal prince kicked down the door: Prince Andre stormed in, his face covered in blood and an
expression quite alien to the good natured face plastered against his visage. “Your Highness.”

“Fuck you Solf,” a saber was buried a quarter of an inch deep in the Emperor’s desk, it was followed by a small piece of white paper. Solf reached down, bemused, picked it up.

His Royal Highness Prince Andre von Waldenburg, Third Prince Imperial

Solf chuckled as he crumpled up the paper, and tossed it away, “You have to wonder about a mind like that.”

“Whaaa…” Andre had lost none of his passion, simply added a layer of bewilderment over it.

“Hello uncle,” Cato patted him gently on the shoulder, “You are keeping well?”


“Your Majesty, I believe you have a phone call to make.”

Molded in temperamental furnaces, by some primordial God whose currency and prayers arrived in spine shaking fear, the shells fell on Scant like a white curtain descending on the city. Most of the civilians were dead already, most of the soldiers too. There was practically no one left alive in Scant, except in the fortress which looked down over the valley and where the Yallakian flag still clung defiantly.

Twisted amongst the wreckage, frozen to the ground where they died, the seed of Waldenburg lay silent at last. Wind riffled the regimental flags, cemented with ice into the bunkers where their defenders had surrendered to the specter that haunted the city.

“Your Reverence,” A ghostly voice drifted through the study and roused the Cenobiarch from his reverie; a priest had silently entered and addressed him with stooped head.

“Yes, my son?”

“Your mother has died in Granzimmerburg…. So the cable says.”

“Oh.” Throm turned back out the window; studied the patterns of frost that carved intricate and unknowable channels across the glass. He wondered, not for the first time, how the little veins formed, how the speckles of ice decided to form a chrysanthemum or lily.

“Reverence…” The priest was shushed with an upraised hand, and he slipped out the door with barely a rustle.

How did the ice choose? How did it know where to go, every year it was burned away and every year it came back. There was no winning against ice, no amount of shells that could stop it. And it crept, insidiously through the night stealing life after life from the trenches, till the Cenobiarch wondered if there was anyone left alive at all. Like the wind that howled down from the mountains, Throm watched the lights, the monstrous hell glow that was the Imperial Army and cast his gaze through it, biting at exposed necks and whipping at the eyes. “Till the last man,” he whispered to himself as he pressed his fingers against a delicate petal of ice. “And in God’s own eye.”

With a thud the door banged open, this time no bedraggled priest, but Yallakian custodians, a dark deep black mass of them.

“Thank you God,” Throm threw back his head and beamed, “That I may give my life in service to you.” Because they were soldiers, and good men, the custodians said nothing as they plunged their long knives into the Cenobiarch. “Thank you,” Throm whispered once more, as the steel blades rammed again and again into his body, “Thank you.”
February 4th, 2014

“It won’t do,” Major Sufrir hurried along behind Cato and brushed specks of dandruff from the uniform, “The Emperor would always address from the balcony, you must keep up appearances.”
“No.” Cato snapped shortly as he saluted a grenadier who had inadvertently not fled before the ruler of the continent, “I am loathed to appear like that man.”
“Cato! He is the father of…”

“Horseshit.” Cato turned on his heel and entered the Königplatz where civilians were taking the rare and unheard of opportunity to look up at the sky. Soldiers were drifting everywhere, some Mykolan, mostly Waldenburger, and all dazed. “Hello!” Cato bellowed, and waved his arms above his head.

A few heads turned, and then like a tidal wave carrying off a fishing village, the peasants fell to their knees, and dropped their heads. “No!” Cato roared, “No get up!” He dashed forward and pulled a few people to their feet, but they flinched away from his touch, and the crowd as a whole remained decidedly docile. “No,” Cato said more quietly as he retreated back to Sufrir’s side, “No.” He covered his eyes with his hands, “This is isn’t how you’re supposed to be!” He collapsed on an abandoned helmet and hung his head lower yet, “We won! Don’t you understand? We won! You have a constitution; you will all have the vote! Don’t you understand? You don’t need to be afraid of me.” Besides the rumble of overhead jets, it was the only sound echoing about the square. “You don’t have to bow… You don’t have to bow.” Several slips of white paper fell out of Cato’s hands and landed on the cobbles where they were quickly whipped away by a stiff breeze, carried higher, and higher. They fanned out and danced across an open sky.
Sufrir stepped closer to the Prince and laid a hand across his commander’s epaulettes.

“You promised we could make new men. Sufrir, you promised.” Cato sniffled quietly.

“I lied.” Sufrir patted reassuringly, “But it’s a nice day, we might as well make a start on building a new world.”
"You guys have meetings?"

"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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