The Brothers War | IC (Closed)

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


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Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:10 pm

“Those eagles, like angels, don't distinguish between work and play. To them, it is all one and the same.” ― Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Inperiala Palace
Ghish, Ghant

It was inevitable that during the course of so many nobleman gathered in one place, that some sort of tournament would be held. It was only a matter of time, and that time had come. Such as it was that the great expanse comprising the rear courtyard was filled with eager lordlings ready to prove themselves to their elders, their peers, the ladies and to their emperor.

Beneath a hot sun on a bright and unusually warm autumn day, men donned suits of armor and their weapons of choice to take part in a melee tournament organized by the Lords Paramount of southern Ghant with the Emperor’s blessing, or rather, the blessings of Nathan’s council, as he was too aloof to grant such blessings himself, slugabed that he was of late.

Eventually however, he did arise, bathing and changing in his usually feckless pace before finding his way to the courtyard turned tournament grounds. It would not be the first time that the palace courtyard played host to a tournament of arms. It was certainly large enough to accommodate melee tournaments, archery competitions, squire’s tourneys, and the like. Jousts were prohibited on account of there not being adequate grounds for it, hence such events were held in the city common grounds further to the north. No joust would be taking place this day, however. There would be only the melee tournament, and a field of 64 at that.

The Emperor knew how his lords viewed him…they think I’m some fool. Though to be fair to them, many of his actions since becoming Emperor almost twenty years ago affirmed their suspicions. He saw the way that they looked at him, speaking to one another with smirks and sniggers. Even the musicians with their lutes played ballads to commemorate their Emperor, and he listened to their words, hanging on each one.

“Prodigal Son they call him, Prodigal Son indeed.
Alone he moves through the world.
For Honor, For Empire
An eagle of the north that flies somberly,
In plain sight one moment, obscured the next.
Many faces, many names.
Yet still he remains a man.

He looks Roman, he thinks Ghantish.
Greater than many a man.
A tower of virtue, a pillar of principle.
Young flesh over an old mind.
Emperor Nathan is his name.
'Nathan' they call him, 'Given' it means.
Mountain, snow and forest offer little comfort
Glory calls him. The battlefields cry his name.
And he cries for renown.

Warrior to some and lover to others.
A proud man, a loyal friend.
A gentleman wrapped in armor with weapon in hand.
Honesty flows him, never lying, no deception.
Honor and courage light him like a beacon in the eyes of his peers.
Perfectly imperfect.
The Prodigal Son.”

Nathan narrowed his eyes at them, but paid them little mind. Through the sounds of music and polite conversation, the smell of cooking food and the feeling of warm air upon his skin, he could see the shields of many of the combatants. The leopards of the Voors, the green snakes of the Ordosas, the red lions of the Lianus, the swords on purple of the Moros, and of course the bleeding white roses of the Dakmarans.

It’s time to suit up, the Emperor thought as he called for one of his guards to fetch his squire. It didn’t take long for Marcus Haro to show himself. The boy had stoney blue eyes and dirty blonde hair peppered with brown, and though they were first cousins, they didn’t look especially alike. “Your Majesty,” Marcus said with a bow.

“Fetch my armor, sword and shield,” Nathan commanded as casually as he was dressed, in his dark grey tunic and shoes. “I intend on joining the list. Be quick about it now, and don’t hesitate to get help if you need it.” Marcus inclined his head and ran off back into the palace, in the direction of the armory no doubt.

Alexia was upon him next, bearing letters that the Emperor had already looked over with his council. “Hello brother, have you given anymore thought to these here?” she showed him the letters.

“I have, and I have responses in mind,” he told her. “Though I’m more concerned about this melee coming up.”

The willowy princess with raven hair and deep blue eyes smiled. “Most of them are young and eager, for adventure and renown. You would not let them go to war…this is the next best thing. A chance to serve their lord and prove their prowess. They have come, even northerlings.”

“Good, because I am as well,” he answered while stretching his back. “I’d like to win, in order to remind everyone here that I am no wastrel.”

Alexia opened her mouth as though she was going to speak, but then closed it, as if the words caught in her throat. Then she said, “…would you like for me to enter you into the list?”

“Yes please sister, that would be good of you.” She curtsied and went off to do that, and while she did, the Emperor continued to walk along the edges of where people had gathered. Viewing stands had been erected around where the melees were to take place, with the stands of honor occupying an elevated position for optimal spectating. It was there that the likes of the Empress, Nathan’s sisters Diana, Theodora and Alexia, cousins Cassandra and Anastasia as well as Princess Ava and other high ranking females of court would be seated.

Marcus Haro returned to his cousin the Emperor with some helpers, bearing pieces of his armor. Nathan bid that they follow him to a secluded part of the courtyard to suit up. It was the same armor that he wore in Jehenna, though it had to be repaired since its last use. The armor enameled white plate with gold inlaid, the helm had wings like an eagle and the shield was gold with a white eagle. His weapon of choice would be his Arragarran steel sword, Inperioa.

The Emperor kept a low profile while he waited for the melee tournament to begin. It would last all day, that much he knew, and the following three days, no doubt. The way they usually went, to Nathan’s knowledge, was the round of 128 on the first day, the round of 64 on the following day, then on the third day the rounds of 32 and 16, and then on the fourth and final day, the rounds of 8, 4 and the final fight, spread apart with adequate breaks between.

Rather than spar with a practice dummy, the Emperor meditated, clearing his mind of all distractions before the day’s events were to begin. It was some time into the first round that the Emperor’s first fight was announced, against an old nobleman by the name of Terrance Tronpa, a marcher house from Lurberdea who wore the sewer green colors of his house upon his tattered surcoat.

A few cheered for the Emperor, mostly his family and close friends, while the rest were mostly mum. When the match began, the two combatants circled around each other before exchanging a few blows of their swords, sending out a ringing noise that reverberated across the courtyard amidst some cheers. Instinct took over then, honed by training with the caress of steel.

Tronpa was an older man, and couldn’t keep up with the Emperor nor match his blows. Eventually he fell to one knee and yielded, and it was done. And under five minutes at that. Nathan helped the man up, and the two clasped each other on the shoulders before seeing themselves off the grass of the field of combat. In routine fashion he removed his armor with the help of his cousin and squire, and put his tunic back on.

As was customary, Nathan assumed the seat upon the stands of honor beside the Empress, who smiled at him and squeezed his hand. He took her hand and kissed it, feeling its smooth coolness against his face. That was the extent of his pleasures, as he would not sate himself during the tournament, finding that the energy was best preserved. Just wait until after the tournament…

Indeed, at the end of the first day’s events, he retired to his chambers to bathe and relax. He went to sleep early, and upon waking up the following morning, went about his day in the same fashion as he did the previous. The second day’s melee would start at the same hour, so there was just enough time to bathe once more, get dressed and eat, which he did in the courtyard.

Nathan ate sparingly of the mutton chops and cream of broccoli stew, not so much that he would get full. His next match was against a more formidable opponent, that being Lord Manfred Urdina, one of the Seven Lords of Ghant, and of distant kinship to the Empress. Like most of the Seven Lords, Manfred Urdina was a haughty and arrogant man full of conceit and self-worth. His armor was as fanciful as the Emperor’s, platemail tinted blue and with wave patterns engraved upon it.

The clashed steel against one another, and this man was certainly of greater prowess than Lord Tronpa, Nathan could tell. Yet, Nathan was taller and had a longer reach, which he used to great effect. After enough hits to the man’s helm, he staggered back, and yielded. Once again, the Emperor was gracious in victory and helped his downed opponent up, and followed the same routine as the day before.

The third day would see the Emperor fight two different opponents. The first was young Marcel Voor, cousin of Lord Voor. The youth was said to be the best fighter of the entire expanse of House Voor, though Nathan wouldn’t have guessed it by looking at him. He was pretty boy, with long, flowing blondish-brown hair and gold-green eyes. The cheers for him were loud, especially from the ladies present, and Marcel looked smugly at the Emperor as he grabbed his morningstar and lowered the visor on his leopard-head themed helm.

Unlike the Emperor’s first two bouts, Marcel delivered the first strike with a precise blow of his morningstar against Nathan’s side. The weapon gave Voor more reach than the Emperor could match, forcing him to try to get closer than he’d usually care to. After more than ten minutes of fighting, the Emperor did a spin move to get in close to Voor’s side, and proceeded to wrestle him to the ground. The tumbled around in the grass for a minute, until Nathan’s sword was pointed at Voor’s face.

Begrudgingly, Marcel Voor yielded, sending the Emperor to the round of 16. It’s certainly not going to get any easier, he thought as he composed himself upon helping Voor to his feet. Nathan riled upon speed, guile and cunning in order to best his opponents, but against raw power and pure skill, that would only get him so far. His next opponent would prove the measure of that.

Lord Banadar Bogardan from the Kingdom of Arrautsa was a large, physically opposing man, built like a bear and as mean as one in a fight. His weapon of choice was a massive two-handed maul, his armor a smoky grey color. He was polite at least, inclining his head to the Emperor before assuming his position at his end of the field of combat, Nathan doing the same on his.

Bogardan was careful, deliberate in his steps, advancing methodically with his maul in his hands. He wins with a single swing of that maul, Nathan knew from watching him the previous two days. All it took was one hit. As the two closed in on each other, Banadar swung his maul from side to side, causing the Emperor to jump back. On the next swing, Nathan dove beneath the arc. That was how the fight went for the next twenty minutes, with Bogardan swinging his maul and Nathan dodging it, and landing any blows in that he could when the opportunities arose.

This went on for some twenty minutes or so, with both men growing tired. Bogardan tired first, allowing the Emperor to deliver a few strong hits that sent the Arrautsan into submission. Come the end of the day, there were only eight combatants left, those being Martin and Michael of Dakmoor, King Taboro of Arrautsa, Arthur Estilon, Basil Moro, Alaric Dain, Zara Thrall and Nathan. An impressive list indeed.

On the last day of the melee, the Emperor found himself fortunate in that he drew Basil Moro, who was in Nathan’s opinion the weakest of the final eight, but still superior to the rest of the entrants. Basil was a seasoned warrior, with ornate violet armor and a long spear with a knob on the end opposite the blade. Dakmoor so far proved the most successful province in the tournament, featuring four of its sons in the final eight.

When the first started fighting, Nathan noticed the incredible reach of Basil’s weapon, as well as his great speed. The Emperor was on the defensive for most of the bout, trying to block the strikes with his shield. Yet in spite of his efforts, Nathan felt as though he was being worn down by Basil Moro and his sturdy spear, rapping against his armor, here and there.

Once again, Nathan realized that in order to prevail, he had to get in close, where Basil’s weapon would be far less effective. So it was that after fending off the Dakmooran’s fierce blows, Nathan got in close and went for the man’s legs in an attempt to get him on the ground. This proved effective, and Basil was ill-prepared for such an attack. A few minutes later, and Basil yielded, propelling the Emperor to the final four, against some of the greatest fighters in all of Ghant.

The final four took form over the course of the next hour or so. Alaric Dain defeated Martin of Dakmoor in a close contest, Zara Thrall made quick work of King Taboro of Arrautsa, and Michael of Dakmoor bested Arthur Estilon in a savage bout. The final two matches were revealed to be between Alaric Dain and Zara Thrall, and Nathan against Michael. Certainly a fight I’m not looking forward to…

Fortunately, he had time to recover between fights, and Alaric and Zara were going first. Alaric was arguably the best swordsman in Ghant, fighting with a two-handed greatsword, and dressed in beautiful violet platemail armor with the sword and shooting star of his house patterned into the plate. Not only was he gallant but he was handsome as well, and it was said that a thousand maidens wept when he married Countess Claudia Zecharias, the daughter of a prominent Edomite religious leader.

Zara Thrall was a study in contrasts. Unlike the tall and strapping black hair and violet eyed Alaric, Zara was a scrappy looking woman with platinum hair and forest green eyes with a scowling face. Her armor was gaudy, consisting of a highly detailed suit of dark green and black platemail armor styled after a gorgon, and her helm was custom made to fit that theme, featuring stylized snakes. Her shield bore her personal sigil of the cold blue spider, and her sword was none other than the cursed Arragaran steel longsword Mazadar, inherited from her tragic ancestors.

The two of them clashed their swords together, sending out a loud ring across the melee grounds and to much raucous applause. Few fared better against Zara than Alaric Dain, though in the end even he proved no match for the famed northern lady, for her technique was flawless, and she wielded her sword as though it were some mere stick. Alaric submitted within five minutes, and Zara saw herself off the grounds to await the championship bout.

Michael of Dakmoor had new armor for his match against the Emperor, freshly made just for him by his sister the Empress. It was a slick suit of black platemail armor, with stylized eagle’s wings on the shoulders, and a griffin’s head shaped helm with the maw forming the visor. Elsewhere were rose patterns upon the armor pieces, and a bleeding rose upon a black shield to boot.

There was nothing polite or courteous in Michael’s expression to his brother-in-law either, as there was no love lost between the two men. Nothing will stop him from crowning his Jocasta the Queen of Love and Beauty, the Emperor knew, and so he had to steel himself against his determined opponent. Both men wielded Arragaran steel swords, with Michael having Grifoatzapar at the ready.

When the fight commenced and the two clashed their swords, it let out the sweet, yet haunting whistle of Arragaran steel crashing together. Nathan was fast, but Michael was faster, and while the former was an experienced fighter, he was scrappy and improvising, as opposed to Michael who was expertly trained and finessed. There was no doubting that during the course of that bout, Michael wanted it more, because like Nathan the Dakmaran had something to prove, but also had a larger chip on his shoulder.

It went on for roughly ten minutes, or so the Emperor thought, as they slogged out a series of blows against each other’s armor causing them to groan and grunt. It all happened so fast, and ended with one mighty blow to Nathan’s helmet, causing him to crash to the ground upon his back. As quickly as he tried to stand up, Michael was upon him, tackling him and wrestling with him on the ground.

Nathan was too delirious from the encounter to properly yield, and so Michael won by default. Marcus and Desmond came and pulled the Emperor off the grounds and got him to an area where he could be changed and cleaned. It didn’t go unnoticed by Marcus or Desmond that the Emperor had several bruises all over his body from that last fight, as well as a bloody, busted lip and a few cuts where the skin broke on his face and body.

“You just got knocked the fuck out,” Desmond observed to his cousins. “I’ve never seen anything like that. It’s as though Michael was granted a boon from God to whoop your ass.”

It all goes back to Rosa of Garza, Nathan thought in his stupor. “He’s a great fighter, he deserved it. Try to get me ready to go back to the stands so I can watch the final fight.” His handlers did just that, getting him properly cleaned and dressed in comfortable clothes after eating and taking a bath. Eventually he was helped back to the stands to sit beside his wife, who seemed a mixture of disappointed and pleased, for while her husband was defeated in spectacular fashion, her brother was in the final fight.

There was some irony in that the final fight featured a Ghantish prince who was now Edomite royalty by marriage and dressed in griffin themed armor squaring off against a Ghantish noblelady of Imperial Deadoran descent dressed in gorgon themed armor, both wielding Arragaran steel swords. They said nothing to each other, and when the bout commenced, they walked in circles around each other as they stared each other down through their fashionable visors.

Zara struck first, the blow parried by Michael. Zara was fast on her feet and moved fluidly like water, maneuvering in and out, back and forth away from her opponent as she probed for weaknesses and flaws in his technique. Michael did the same, though it was apparent that he wasn’t used to a foe of this caliber. When they started fighting in earnest, their swords rang together in rapid succession, moving as quick as lightning to the eyes of the uninitiated. Nathan had a hard time keeping up, so swift and precise were their swings.

Michael was good at dodging blows, but Zara was better. Indeed not only was she accurate, but she was hard to hit, and while in the beginning she took limited shots at her opponent, she gradually increased intensity until he was becoming overwhelmed. This time it took over seven minutes, but in the end Michael was on his back and Zara’s sword was over his eye. He yielded, and Zara was champion, albeit to very little fanfare.

She approached the main stands and plunged her sword into the dirt before removing her helm, as Michael was helped off the field by some of his father’s bannermen. She said nothing, though her mean green eyes flashed over the group of them, before smiling a mouth full of crooked whitish teeth.

It was the Empress that spoke. “Lady Zara Thrall, by might, prowess and force of arms, you have prevailed in this tournament and so have been named Melee Champion. As is customary, you shall receive prizes commensurate to your accomplishment, including the honor of bestowing your favors upon anyone present. At this time, you may do just that, in addition to saying whatever you wish to say.”

With a slight nod, Zara looked about the crowd of honor as she was handed a wreath crown of white and red roses. “Tis a great honor to be the champion,” she said in her northern accent, “which is owed to my training and to the great challenge posed by all my opponents this day and the days previous. None have faired better against me in single combat than Prince Michael of Dakmoor, and I know that which compelled him to the final match against me, and inspired him to last as long as he did.”

Carefully, Zara made her way up into the stands, and gently placed the crown of roses upon Jocasta’s head. “So it is that I shall name Jocasta Obed, Princess of New Edom, as the Queen of Love and Beauty this day.”

The irony is complete, Nathan thought as a round of applause broke out, at the sight of a Thrall honoring an Obed in such a way. Though, Nathan’s appreciation for this spectacle was interrupted once more by his half-sister Alexia, who tapped him on the shoulder in a bid to get his attention.

“Brother, these letters require your attention,” she insisted. “You’ve put them off for days, and now the tournament is over. Please, I beseech thee to read them posthaste.”

Ghantish Minister of Foreign Affairs
Leonor Bozagua

To: Offices of Michael, Offices of Constantine, New Edom, Tericio, Chaco, Jedoria, Ghant
CC: Emperor Nathan IV of Ghant, Prime Minister Nymun Izarbegiratzeak of Ghant
From: Leonor Bozagua, Ghantish Minister of Foreign Affairs
Subject: RE: CPO Inquest
Encryption: Low, Hand-delivered by diplomatic courier

To whom it may concern,

The Ghantish Government is in agreement with the CPO Secretary-General that peaceful means should be pursued as a means of resolving the conflict ongoing in the Empire of Latium. We would like to join our voice in support of a formal CPO inquest into the legitimacy of the wills used by both Constantine and Michael’s respective camps that name them the successor to the late Emperor Jason.

We are also in agreement with the Edomite proposal to insist upon the following:

- That a cease fire should be established
- That there should be an immediate limit on foreign forces entering conflict
- That the current foreign forces in Latium should remain where they are currently
- That if there should be a reasonable suspicion between the parties of Constantine and Michael that there could be a peace keeping force of uninvolved CPO nations which could help establish cease fire zones and protection of humanitarian organizations

The government of Ghant respectfully beseeches both Constantine and Michael to submit themselves to this CPO-backed inquest in the hopes that war can be ended and that lawful and peaceful governance of the realm can be restored once more.


Ghantish Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Emperor yawned, and scratched the back of his head. “Alright…so there’s that one, and those ones from Constantine…has anyone said anything about who they’d recommend represent us at Constantine’s negotiations?”

“…Marsella, actually,” Alexia answered. “That would be mine as well.”

“Good, make it so then. Write to Marsella and inform her that she is representing our government at Constantine’s negotiations with the Edomites. Wish them good luck…they’ll need it.”

“Yes of course brother…by the way there is one more letter.” Alexia handed him a letter that was addressed to Cassandra from Teresa. “From Teresa.”

Nathan examined it carefully to see what it had to say.

To: Cassandra of Ghant
From: Teresa of Ghant, Empress Dowager of Vannois
Encryption: High
Subject: An invitation

Dear Great-nephew,

Please excuse me for addressing this to your cousin Cassandra. It is a necessary precaution to ensure that this invitation does not fall into the wrong hands, as so many of your letters supposedly do she informs me.

With all the trouble in the world today, especially that south of our border, we could all use a distraction, couldn’t you agree? I know that your people are distress and riled up, and in need of a proper release. Fear not, for I know just the thing to get my Ghantish kin and countrymen back in proper spirits.

Your dear Great-aunt Teresa would like to cordially invite you, your principal bannermen and all their knights and retainers for an extended vacation in Vannois for the purpose of savoring the delights of our world-famous continent Wine & Cheese. At your disposal will be Vannois’s legendary southern wine-country on the Latin border, complete with expansive vineyards, chateaus and scenic terraces.

Please consider this once in a lifetime opportunity carefully. It's festive and fun…
Wine & Cheese, anyone?

P.S. please be sure to bring many, many armed men with you, as the Vannoisian wine country has been plagued with banditry of late and we must do the utmost to ensure the safety and security of our royal and noble persons.

With love,

-Great-aunt Teresa

The Emperor’s face lit up as his eyes grew wide. “Oh, my dear Great-aunt Teresa, such a clever old lady isn’t she? I’m sure all of my noble friends would love to go to Vannois for a…wine and cheese tasting adventure in the countryside.” With that said the Emperor sprung up from his seat and rushed off to go back into the palace. “Letters to write, Alexia…letters to write.”


To: Constantine XX, Emperor of Latium
From: Nathan, Fourth of His Name, Emperor of Ghant, High King of the Ghantar, King of Gholghant, King of Low Ghant, Lord of Ghish, Lord of Gaztelua, Lord of Gholgoth and Protector of the Realm
Subject: RE:RE: Latin Policies
Encryption: High

Dear Constantine,

You’re welcome for the counsel and support, for as a friend of the family as I consider myself to be, I never even thought twice about it. Indeed, I find myself hindered by political concerns and considerations that inhibit my ability to support your cause more directly. Alas, such things are difficult by nature and require work as I’m sure you are aware. I continue to navigate the political morass all the same.

It is reassuring to know that you have taken my advice regarding the Jedorians, as that will go a long way in making your cause all the more appealing to the international community. As previously stated, there are of course political considerations to be factored in, and so I understand taking the necessary precautions. I have the utmost faith in your ability to get that sorted out to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

As per your most recent invitation to participate in negotiations with New Edom, we would very much like to participate. A representative from our government is yet to be chosen however. In addition as per your request, a transcript of the Grand Inquiry is included in this communiqué. I hope it proves as useful to you as it has to me.

Thank you, and sincerely,

Emperor of Ghant

To: Teresa of Ghant, Empress Dowager of Vannois
From: Cassandra of Ghant
Encryption: High
Subject: RE: An invitation

Dear Great-aunt,

A necessary precaution, no doubt, and I complete understand the measures taken. Naturally, I would be loathe to turn down such an invitation, and I’m confident that many of my loyal bannermen and their companions would join me for such an adventure. After all, Vannois is well known for its wine and cheese and beautiful wine country. We could all use a little trip, and have been eager to embark. So please, mark us down as coming your way very soon. And of course, we will be well provisioned with loyal soldiers to protect us from the depredations of bandits and highwaymen.

With love,

-Great-nephew Nathan


Vorindeum Palace
Vorindeumstadt, Vorindeum

Count Hans Girnef lurched through the macabre hallways of the Palace of the Emperor of Vorindeum, contemplating its dour architecture. It was a building built in a classic gothic style, made more profound by the presence of the Iron Eagle himself. He was a man that preferred plainness, aside from the occasional portrait that hung from the wall or bust that sat perfectly upon a table in the hallways.

The man that came just before Albert was one Septimus Lexus, a strange man if Hans ever knew one. Strictly religious but not dogmatic, a proper soldier but no warrior, and a true sovereign if not a tyrant, Septimus married Princess Kristin of Vorindun and was said to neglect her, if only because he was strict in his religious observations regarding sex. No wonder she ran off to northern Ghant and got with a pagan prince, Hans thought with a scowl. She’s probably getting fucked bow-legged now.

Hans didn’t think much of Kristin, finding her to be a stupid and vain young woman too eager to pursue her pleasures. Likewise, Septimus was a lobster of a man that had too few accomplishments to grant him such an austere disposition. The Iron Eagle, on the other hand cast a wide shadow indeed. Unlike Septimus, Albert was neither religious nor dogmatic, a warrior and a soldier, and a true sovereign who ruled with a steady and fair hand. Harsh, but fair.

Featured on the walls of the palace halls were portraits of Albert’s mother Empress Grace, with a look of caprice upon her fair, freckly face, and red hair as burning as a great fire. Even on canvas, her amber eyes were searing, as though she scrutinized every move that Hans took. He had never known the woman in life, but even having been dead for over sixteen years, he could feel her presence merely through her guise in art.

There was also a portrait of Albert’s older brother John. He appeared a gentle-looking man, but also sad in a way, like a man haunted by his mistakes, too many to rectify in one lifetime. He was tall, with black hair and blue eyes and a long face. Albert didn’t speak of his brother often, but when he did, it was nothing but the utmost admiration and respect, though not without a tinge of resentment and bitterness too.

Another choice that was most curious, and no doubt infuriating to Empress Isabel was the painting of Elizabeth Mutu near the palace gardens. In it was a haunting, though beautiful woman with dark brown hair and soft blue eyes, a lovely face that yearned for true romance. Albert didn’t even attempt to hide his adoration for the woman…it was in plain sight. There were nights too…long, rainy nights when the lightning struck and the thunder roared, that Albert would gaze upon it in solitude.

Hans turned his gaze to the hall in front of him, and to the double doors at their end. Guards flanked them, but stood aside as Hans made his final approach. With a subtle push of the doors, he entered Albert’s solar, and found the Emperor sitting at his desk, and the young Crown Princess Adela, heir to half a dozen thrones, playing on a large, fluffy blanket nearby.

“I take it you have news,” Albert asked bitingly as he looked up from his desk.

Hans bowed with lowered eyes and answered, “Admiral Beatus Gerlach and the fleet are nearing the west coast of Latium.”

“Good, very good,” replied the Emperor. “Admiral Gerlach has done well, and the hour of action is upon us. My contacts in Ghant have informed me of negotiations to take place in Adrianople…all I need is for the boy Constantine to make a fool of himself, and then things will be set in motion.”

“…You really want to see Michael on the Latin throne?” Hans asked curiously.

At this, Albert snorted, almost seeming a laugh. “No, of course not. Michael is a fool and a madman, a truly dangerous combination. That, and he is no friend of my family. He is the enemy of our house, and therefore he must be destroyed. Though it will not be by own hand, but by his own. As for Constantine, he is milktoast, and arrogant.”

Hans was truly confused, and looked at Albert with a cocked head. “So what is it exactly that you wish to do, your Majesty?”

“…My true intention is to seat my nephew Leo upon the Latin throne,” Albert admitted. “For political as well as dynastic reasons. The sons of Jason have proven themselves unfit for the throne.” Having said that, Albert slid a letter across his desk towards Hans. “I wrote and sent that out this morning. Go ahead, read it.”

Looking at it for a moment, Hans picked up the copy of the sent letter and began to read it.

Emperor of Vorindeum, Lord Prince of Ghant

To: The Offices of The King and Queen of New Edom
From: Albert, Emperor of Vorindeum
Subject: Latium
Encryption: High

Your Majesties,

The situation in Latium is one that I’m aware your government has taken a particular interest in and presently are invested in, on the side of the late Emperor Jason’s second son Michael. It is neither my intention nor purpose to either chastise your government’s position nor persuade you away from this course, but merely to inform you of a viable alternative to both Michael and Constantine, both of whom to my knowledge leave much to be desired.

I would like to bring your attention to my nephew Leo, son of my elder brother John and Jason’s older sister Isabella of Latium. Not only is he a Prince of Ghant, but a Prince of Latium, raised at the Latin court and given titles and privileges by Jason himself. This of course includes succession rights to the Latin throne, most convenient I know.

Leo occupies a peculiar position at the moment because he, unlike his cousins, is pragmatic, principled and polite, as you would expect from a Ghantish royal by birth and early rearing. He has an army at his disposal full of loyal men who are inspired by his bravery and devotion, and he is a candidate that would favor both Ghantish and Edomite positions.

It is my hope that your government would consider him should you begin to doubt your support for Michael. Leo would make an outstanding Emperor, perhaps better than either of his cousins would, and might even put his brother Nathan to shame.


Emperor of Vorindeum

“You underestimate your nephew’s support for Constantine,” Hans said frankly. “Leo will not abandon his cousin’s cause.”

“Perhaps not, but I shall try all the same to persuade him,” the Emperor spoke just as bluntly, and pushed himself up from his chair behind the desk. “If there’s anything the boy is dedicated to more than Constantine, it’s to Latium itself. Once he realizes he’s the best thing that could happen to his country, he will come around. He has the army, he has the position, all he has to do now is reach out and take the capital, and the rest will fall into place.”

Princess Adela mewled as began to crawl away from her father’s desk, making her away across the floor in a determined fashion. Hans watched her out of the corner or her eye, as did Albert. “You know him better than I do…but doesn’t he despise you for what you did to him and his sisters and mother? Exiling them from Ghant when you became Prince Regent?”

“Aye, he does, and so do they, but they are ignorant of the facts. If needs be, I will clarify them, if that’s what it will take to sway him towards my point of view…” Albert watched as Adela climbed up onto an end table staked tall with letters, envelopes and papers. She began to bob up and down and make loud baby noises.

Albert wheeled around the desk and grabbed his daughter, scooping her up and pulling her away from the small teetering table as it fell over. The stack of papers and envelopes tumbled over unto the carpet, laying in a heaping mess. So it was that the envelope at the bottom of the stack, now near the top of the pile upon the floor, slid out and away, towards Hans’s feet.

…What’s this? Hans picked it up, and stared at it for a few moments. “Your Majesty…have you seen this?”

The Vorindese Emperor was gritting his teeth at his young daughter’s adventurism and holding her under his arm like a gridiron ball when he looked at Hans coldly. “What is it?”

“…It’s a message from Emperor Jason of Latium,” Hans answered. “It’s yet unopened, and it bears his seal…”

For the first time that Hans could remember, he saw a look of surprise on Albert’s face, the man nearly taken aback. “Nonsense…that cannot be.” With Adela tucked under one arm, Albert reached out with his opposite large, long-fingered hand and snatched the envelope away from Hans. “Let me see that…this is strange. Jason cared little for me, that was evident upon our first meeting, many many years ago. I didn’t care for the man either…so what is this about?”

Hans carefully walked around to stand beside the Emperor as the latter set the little girl back down on the blanket, and then used both of his hands to break the seal and open the envelope to read its contents.


To: Albert of Vorindeum
From: Jason VI Augustus of Latium
Encryption: Eyes Only


I have given a great deal of thought to the enclosed and it was not a decision I came to lightly. Events have occurred recently that have given rise to grave concerns for what may occur following my death. Marsella has often insisted that you are a man who would never “disavow the truth” no matter what it may be or how it will impact you. I have often found that difficult to believe, though I trust her word above all others. Because of this, I simply see no other option that what I am about to ask of you.

That upon my death you present this document, my handwritten, signed, and sealed Last Will and Testament, as certified by the Supreme Court of Latium, to the international community to prevent any harm to my children, my wife, my mother, brother and sisters and their families, and most of all the people of Latium. I hope that should the worst occur after my death, that by providing you with this document, we can prevent my family and my country from being torn apart. Measures have been taken in order to prevent my greatest fears, however that may not be enough in the end.

Dated: 12 March 2016

Attached: Last Will and Testament of Gaius Claudius Nero Iason Felix Alexander Caesar Augustus


My powers shall pass to my eldest born son, Gaius Claudius Nero Constantinus Felix Alexander, after my death, based upon the laws laid out in the Acts of Succession.
In the event of his incapacitation or death prior to ascending to the throne, that the line of succession – by following traditional laws of the Acts of Succession – will be as follows:
Vopiscus Claudius Nero Petrus Romulus Drusus (Peter), Octavius Claudius Nero Phillipus Benfri Iordanes (Philip), Maria Claudia Sophia Euphemia Constantina (Maria), Selene Claudia Theodora Lyanna Georgia (Selene), Vopisca Claudia Polyxena Iustina Diana (Polyxena) and Olivia Claudia Anastasia Leontia Irene (Olivia).
That my sons Peter, and Philip each be styled Prince of Latium upon execution of this document. That upon marriage Peter be bestowed the Dukedom of Clivia, and that upon his marriage Phillip be bestowed the Dukedom of Eboracum. Each Dukedom shall hold a remainder to the first Duke’s heirs male of body lawfully begotten.
To my nephew Leo John Robert Aurelius Gentry, that he be styled a Prince of Latium; that he may be afforded all rights and privileges of a Prince of Latium, if not already done so prior to my death. Furthermore that upon his marriage, he shall earn the Imperial peerage of the Dukedom of Ostia, with remainder to the first Duke’s heirs male of the body lawfully begotten.
That my son Michael earn the Imperial peerage of the County of Durolipons upon his marriage. He shall hold no privilege in the line of succession.
That my wife, Marsella, hold the title of Empress Dowager, and use of Castra Felicis or Villa de Anicia, whichever she chooses. That she receive a yet to be agreed upon monthly stipend from the Imperial Estate. In the event my son Constantine is unable to assume the throne, that she serve as regent for our son, Peter, until he come of age.
And that I can no longer deny and deprive a child the knowledge of knowing who their father is, and I hereby acknowledge my parentage of George, Count Vinovium and Alexander, Lord Iluro by their mother Honoria Caprenia, 6th Marchioness of Espo.

His Imperial Majesty
Gaius Claudius Nero Iason Felix Alexander Caesar Augustus,
By the Grace of God, the Most Serene and Noble, Unconquered, Emperor of the Latins, Basileus and Autokrator of the Hellenes, King of Kings, Most Christian and Apostolic King of Castellum and of Agato, King of Karchidonia and Lord of the Isles of Imbros, Prince of Alexandria, of Ravenna, of Oea and Haenna, Lord of the Palatine, Father of the Fatherland, First Citizen of Senate, He Who Commands the Tides of Our Sea, Equal to the Apostles, King faithful in Christ, Sword of Christ, Defender of the Faith.

Peter Abronius, Attorney General of Latium
Michael Pinaria, Lord High Chancellor of the Privy Council
Comitas Funar, Lord Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Latium

Albert stood still and held the envelope in his hands, mentally digesting the contents of the letter. Then without looking, he addressed Hans who likewise stood still and quiet. “This is Jason’s will.”

“…Why would Jason have sent you a copy of that?” Hans asked. “If the man disliked you so…”

“Because he knew I was a man of honor,” the Emperor answered solemnly. “And because he knew I was a man of the law.”

“So now that you have seen the one true will, what will you do with it?” the Vorindese count had the feeling he was asking questions that he shouldn’t ask, but at this point, Albert didn’t seem to mind.

The Emperor on the other hand seemed at a loss for words. “…I don’t know yet, but things have already been set in motion. The Edomites support Michael without caring much for his legitimacy it seems, and I’ve already made my position clear on Leo.”

“You confuse me,” Hans suddenly blurted out. “…You speak of the law, of honor, yet you wish to seat your nephew Leo upon the Latin throne…the same Leo that you yourself attainted and exiled from Ghant and left for dead. Wasn’t it you that said that it is every man’s duty to remain loyal to his rightful king, especially in the face of usurpation?”

Albert looked at Hans furiously, and practically yelled “It was, and alas, it is.” He took a deep breath and added, “And here is the truth of it. Truth is a bitter draught at times. Leo and his sisters? If you only knew…if only they know…that was a hard choosing. As for now, my blood or the true Emperor. My nephew or Constantine.” He grimaced. “It is as my mother said. Blood comes first, and then the law. I have a duty to my daughter, to my brothers and sister, to my nieces and nephews…all of them. To protect them, to advance their positions, to destroy their enemies. Leo is John’s son. John loved me but little, I know, yet he was my brother, my mother’s child. I did what I did in those days to save him, and I will do so again, against any that would wish him harm. And so help me God, if he wishes to be Emperor of Latium, he need but reach out and take it, and I shall do my part to deliver it swiftly upon him.”

“…I understand, your Majesty,” Hans nodded, not sure what else to say, and more confused than he was before.

“No you don’t,” Albert snapped. “Leave me now, and send a message on my behalf to Admiral Gerlach to hold his position west of the Latin coast until further notice. I will not have it said that I interrupt negotiations. He will await further instructions from me. Also, you will convey this development regarding Jason’s will to the Edomite ambassador. Is that understood?”

Hans lowered his eyes. “Yes your Majesty…it shall be done.” With that, Hans turned and walked away, leaving Albert to contemplate the Latin will and his dynastic ambitions. Then a strange thought came to Hans…of an Iron Eagle with a heart as black as ash, capable of great feats for those that he truly loved. Like his dear precious Adela…does he sing melodies to her by night, when the lightning cracks and the thunder roars?

Sleep well now my love
for I stand by your bed,
Walk safe my love
for I watch over your shoulder.

A shadow to take comfort in,
no matter what they said.
With these wings of Iron I protect
and with this blackened heart
I make a shield thicker than lead,
to protect you from this dreaded world,
to protect you from all that
could never see you as perfect.

For you have been mine since our first meeting,
you knew it somewhere deep in that heart
which I hold in my hand beating.
I am no angel that people pray to at night,
I am fear and wrath for all to see.
I can keep you safe from all that be
except.. for me.
But fear me not too much, my love,
for as you will find,
this shred of a heart
still beats for you,
and only you..
I swear it's true


The Vorindese Fleet
Tempesta Ocean
West of the Latin coast

Every subject's duty is the King's; but every subject's soul is his own. Therefore, should every soldier in the wars do as every sick man in his bed, wash every mote out of his conscience; and dying so, death is to him advantage; or not dying, the time was blessedly lost wherein such preparation was gained; and in him that escapes, it were no sin to think that, making God so free an offer, He let him outlive the day to see His greatness and to teach others how they should prepare.

Henry V was the favorite play of Admiral Beatus Gerlach. The old Vorindese Admiral read it from beginning to end every time he found himself at sea, and drew inspiration from the verses within. The journey across the Tempesta had been a long one, but at last they were drawing near the west coast of Latium, and to their ultimate destination, the nature of which was known to few. The Emperor plays his cards close to the vest, Beatus thought of Albert, the so called Iron Eagle of Ghant, and the successor of Septimus Lexus chosen by the Vorindese Senate for reasons that Beatus wasn’t entirely clear of. Though that matters little now…

Beatus had made sure his men were prepared to seek out a viable landing point to commence ground operations, and to prepare for possible naval operations. The more Beatus thought about it, the more he began to suspect that this was all some sort of ploy that he didn’t understand. Albert is a crafty man indeed…

His ruminations over Shakespeare were interrupted when a knock came upon the door. This was no triviality…Beatus gave specific orders to only disturb him when there were important developments that he needed to be made aware of. Such as it was, Beatus sighed and said “come in.”

A rangy communications officer entered the Admiral’s cabin and brought his boots together in a thud, and saluted. “Admiral sir.”

“At ease, officer.” Once the communications officer came to stand still in an easing fashion, Beatus leaned forward over his desk. “What is it?”

“We’ve received word from the palace,” the officer explained confidently. “The Emperor wishes for us to stall our operation and await further instruction.”

And we were so close. “…And did he say why?” Beatus asked bluntly.

The officer didn’t hesitate in his response. “The Edomites, Ghantish and Constantine’s government are entering into negotiations in Adrianople, he said citing reliable sources. We are to proceed no further until after they have concluded, and until after a ceasefire has been determined.”

“A ceasefire…I see.” The Admiral took a sip of his white wine and rubbed the cleft of his chin. “And if there’s a ceasefire…we are to do what, exactly?”

“…His Majesty said that should that be the case, he will inform of what we are to do next.”

The Admiral narrowed his eyes and subsequently asked, “and if there is no ceasefire?”

“…Then we are to proceed as planned, unless told otherwise.”

Beatus pushed himself up from his chair and hit the desk with a clenched fist. “I don’t like sitting around on my ass while so many potential enemies are around us. I want the initiative…I don’t want to give anyone time to plan against us. We are far from home, Zahn, and we are vulnerable. No matter how mighty our ships, or their capabilities, we are at a disadvantage. And the longer we must wait, the more disadvantaged we shall become.”

Office Zahn wasn’t sure what to say in response to that, apparently, so he just nodded and stammered out, “…these are the orders, sir.”

“Bah,” said the admiral with a wave of his hand. “Leave me. I must think.” Officer Zahn was quickly gone, leaving Beatus alone once more. It’s only a matter of time before someone notices that we are here and tries to communicate to us. What will I tell them? Albert was a much maligned man in Cornellia, and the fact that he sent a fleet of carriers and warships deep into the Tempesta to intervene in a local Civil War was sure to be poorly received.

Still, I have my orders, and I must follow them. To be fair to the Emperor, he had led Vorindeum to glory in Cornellia already in the Tempesta during the height of tensions involving Gloria Regis. Beatus had been skeptical going into that excursion as well, though his mistrust would prove poorly placed, as the Vorindese fleet prevailed in stunning fashion against the enemy, far greater in number.

In the stillness of his solitude, Beatus thought long and hard about what was to come. Death lurked around every corner for all, eagle and man alike. From that, there is no escape. Not even the eagles can break free from that. It dawned on the admiral that perhaps they shouldn’t be there, and that doom awaited them. If it came, what he would think about when his time came? Would it be regret, or pride perhaps? No…it will be of the choice. The choice that every soldier makes.

I stand in a hallway
between two rooms
the first room
has nothing but death and pain and gore
People who scream in their dying agony
People who beg for me to spare them
With Death standing in the middle of the room
Standing like the Ominous Figure that he is,
Beckoning me to join him
I look into the other room
Full of so much Love and Warmth
Familiar smiles and warm hugs
Laughter and jokes
They beg of me not go
But across the hallway
The calling is just to strong
As I stand and walk towards the first room
And enter the jaws of hell.
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User avatar
Lacus Magni
Posts: 753
Founded: Apr 02, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Lacus Magni » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:20 am

Domus Agrippae
Adrianople, Latium

(Co-written with Ghant and New Edom)

Domus Agrippae had been the home and birthplace of more Kings or Emperors of Latium than any city with the exception of maybe Alexandria. While Castellum had been the seat of the Crown for the earliest days of the Latin Crown and the last sixty years, Adrianople and the ducal palace was the birthplace of the three most recent Sovereigns in Leo X Augustus, Jason VI Augustus and now Constantine XX - having been the seat of the Claudii family from the 12th century onward.

The palace was said to have its earliest foundations constructed in the 12th century, however, the ducal palace complex remained nearly unchanged since at least the late 17th century. It was nearly a forty minute drive from the city center of Adrianople and the temporary Senate House, while being a closer thirty minutes from the nearest airport. However, empty some empty lands near the estate could be used to land small, private aircraft if needed. The palace rested in the hills with a resemblance to many medieval Christian strongholds, serving as a castle, palace with residual residential areas for subordinates or visitors. Finally it was surrounded by massive outer walls and watchtowers, though walls that required a good deal of upkeep in certain locations if they were to ever be utilized for defenses.

Security in the form of Praetorians stood all around the complex, with local police providing added support further down the roads leading to the complex. All other roads had been closed off to the palace except for the Via Sacra which was the largest and most prominent street in the entire city, though was little more than a lightly paved or even dirt road the closer one became to the temporary Imperial seat.

The Emperor moved about his apartment in the ducal palace for his last preparations before his guests arrived. He emerged from the bathroom after just getting a shave, likely his first in over a month. On a hanger near his closet was a dark gray suit, with white shirt, black tie with burgundy dress shoes beneath on the floor, all laid out for him. Constantine took a deep breath and a quick run of his hand over his cleanly shaven face before nodding to a servant. The aide handed the young Emperor his trousers, and then stretched out his arms to be aided in getting dressed for the important occasion.

As servants were helping Constantine dress and look his finest, a Praetorian knocked and informed him the Consul was here to see him. Constantine nodded to let him in. “Your Majesty,” Consul Pompilius dipped his head when he entered. “You wished to see me before the Edomites arrived?”

“I did,” Constantine said before lifting his head as a servant pulled his collar up and put the black tie around his next to tie. “I changed my mind, I’d like for you to meet them on the tarmac. Get a good measure of them before negotiations begin.”

The Consul hesitated before responding. “I’d be happy to set the tone early on, sir. I assume you’ve heard the recent news out of Fabriano?”

“Yes I have,” Constantine stated, sliding one arm at a time into his suit jacket. “That’s all for now. I’ll see you in the Grand Ballroom. Thank you, Consul.”

The Grand Ballroom would be the sight of the negotiations. The room was bright, with the sunlight reflecting off the white walls and catching the gold decorations all along the wall and window frames. Looking towards the ceiling one would find a vast biblical portrait glaring down upon them. There were clouds, blue skies, angels and the like flying flying about. There was a spread of tables surrounding a main table, with those along the exterior able to be utilized for staff and various support staff should it be required. The main table saw name plates for the Emperor, Consul, senators, advisors, and foreign diplomats to be seated, with papers being placed down in front of each seat.

Constantine walked from his apartment to Grand Ballroom at a deliberate pace, taking a longer route than was required. Along the walk he made sure to pass through the galleries for yet another look at its works of art. The last wall he passed wore portraits of his great-grandfather The 36th Duke, hero of the Social War, and finally Constantine’s own father as Prince of Youth and Duke after his first marriage. He lingered for a time until a guard spoke to him. “They’re beginning to file in, Caesar.”

The Emperor pushed his sleeve up for a look at his watch and then gave the guard an approving nod. Constantine took a deep breath and continued on his way to the ballroom. When he entered, the young Emperor expected the room to be filled with a number of senators. Though all he saw were a number of aides putting the final touches on the various documents relevant to the day and most surprisingly his step-mother Marsella.

The now Dowager Empress Marsella stood solitary, dressed in black, rich fabrics as dark as a raven’s wing. Her eyes were dark, and her skin was tan, giving hints of her Greek, Latin and Edomite heritage but otherwise she appeared Ghantish, a certain dignified beauty found in that cold land to the north. As was common amongst her countrymen, she had no piercings, nor were her nails long or painted. There was no jewelry about her, aside from a golden band upon her ringfinger. The skirt of her long black dress nearly touched the floor, concealing the dark slippers and smooth legs beneath. As if she were there for the first time, Marsella studied the architecture of the Grand Ballroom, with the disposition of an art critic.

“Marsella,” Constantine spoke with a level of shock and confusion as he approached her. While his face was cleanly shaven, his hair was much longer than she’d likely ever seen him wear. “I didn’t know you’d be here. Last I heard you and grandmother were drumming up support among the Greeks.”

The former Empress examined her hands, without looking up at her step-son. “Aye, we were, Constantine. What support we could gather from the Greeks has been gained. There is little else that can be done in that regard. Now I have business here, as it happens.” Marsella seemed sad, a remoteness in her eyes as she looked up at Constantine. Then she strode forward to embrace him.

Constantine looked to Marsella with as much of a smile as he could muster, embracing her in return. His thoughts lingered on how even his own mother had made such little effort at being present though his recent trials, but Marsella was still here. “I’m glad you’re here.”

“I’m glad you’re alright, Constantine.” Marsella held him as though he were her own son, with all the affection of a loving mother. Then she pulled away and put her hands on his shoulders. “How is Peter?” she asked him about her son.

“He’s in Olympia with Santella. He’s safe,” Constantine said in reference to the loyal Praetorian Prefect. Others attending the negotiations began to file into the large ballroom, the first of which was Curiate Tribune Alexandra Sulpicia along with Home Minister John Pollius; however, they remained near the main doors for now. Even an aide worked to squeeze around Constantine and Marsella to put the final touches on table. “A lot’s happened since you left.”

Marsella nodded, and exhaled at knowing that her son was safe. “That is good, thank you Constantine. Dare I ask, what’s changed?”

Constantine carefully scanned the room as it began to fill, lowering his voice slightly when he spoke again. “The business with Theodora, Leo taking Ravenna without firing a single shot, the bloody CTO and...and I’m marrying the Consul’s daughter I suppose as well.”

Another servant walked by and placed a thick packet of papers on the table near them. At the top of the packet was a cover sheet with the title Acts of Succession - Royal Assent provided 1353, Amd. 1926, 1953 & 1991 in Latin. A small table of contents placed just to the side, listing the other documents within and titles in Latin, Greek, Ghantish, English and Baran. Just below the Acts of Succession was The Last Will and Testament of Gaius Claudius Nero Iason Felix Alexander Caesar Augustus though the document itself was typed in Latin. Finally was a transcript of Prince Michael’s narration of the version of Emperor Jason’s will that he had been touting, along with what little they were able to copy of the corresponding law that supported that assertion.

“Ah...I see,” Marsella nodded, keeping her voice down. “As it happens, things have changed for me too. Where once I was a Ghantish diplomat, I am such once again.” Marsella handed Constantine her Ghantish Imperial seal, showing him that the Emperor of Ghant and his government appointed her to represent Ghant at the negotiation.

“Oh?” Constantine looked to the Ghantish seal with a hint of surprise. “Hopefully that means we’ll finally see some action or more response than words out of them. It’s been disappointing how easily the Edomites have managed to keep them somewhat neutral.”

“...Don’t underestimate the Ghantish,” Marsella said with a faint grin. “I once heard a saying in the streets of Ghish. They’re like the retired Imperials offensemen Dabu Gorabu. Does nothing all game, but comes alive late in the 3rd period and makes the shots that matter.”

The Emperor nervously looked to the floor. “No matter who they’re like, I’d much rather have you here than any other person they could have sent.”

Finally the lawyers had begun to file into the room. Each would have with them relevant case law, Acts of the Senate, and various governing constitutional documents. One of the lawyers, Anastasius Erucia, Lord Erucia of Sufetula, and was invited for his academic study of Latin constitutional law, particularly in regards how to handle contradictory laws, edicts or acts of the Senate conflicted, which was the case for the laws Michael claimed supported him. The Lord Erucia of Sufetula was a slow moving, white haired, elderly man, nearing his late seventies and was appointed Emperor’s Counsel in 1996 in what would be the last appointment of Leo X Augustus.

Now all that remained was for the Emperor, Consul and foreign representatives to join so the dialogue could begin.

Consul Alexander Pompilius waited along with his security detail, and the most important members of his staff. “What news of the Edomites did we have from Gavius again?” the Consul spoke quietly to his chief of staff just outside of his car.

“Thomas Lalery was in Castellum early on to pledge their support to Michael. He met directly with the boy according to Gavius. Michael has only scarcely spoken with the King or Queen if at all,” his chief of staff replied, squinting at the sunlight.

“Good,” Pompilius stated, leaning against the car. His vehicle stood between the ducal estate and the temporary runway. Normally the runway was meant for smaller, more personal jets, but under the circumstances, both Constantine and Consul Pompilius were assured it would be more than adequate to accommodate the Edomites landing with the added benefit of doing so out of sight of any prying eyes.

The New Edomite National Executive Transport had exchanged her escort from National Naval flight to an Imperial Air Force escort from Constantine’s forces, and now the sleek plane with the Griffon heraldry touched down on the tarmac. After an exchange of communications between the control tower and the flight commander, it came to a stop.

By the time Queen Mara was ready to descend, her game face was on, and the woman who emerged was dark eyed, with a naturally friendly and smiling mouth, not exactly pretty but with a great deal of energy and an attractiveness that overwhelmed a rather individualistic face. A red dress that somewhat resembled the stola of a Roman lady of days past, with pleats and soft colours blending with the cherry tone bared supple olive tanned arms and showed the sway of gracefully flaring hips, her feet, strong and bare with painted green toenails in high heeled sandal wedges, and a golden bracelet of beaten gold around a wrist. She had her dark hair piled just behind her head in pleated rings. Around her slender neck was a necklace of beaten Cornellian golden coins which had been worn by her ancestor, Adah the Liberator following the successful rebellion from the Cornellian Emperor Gallus.

Following after were the Finance Minister, Count Thomas Lalery, and the Foreign Minister Hosidius Geta, as well as General Alarion Vrinn, a sharp faced raven haired woman in the blue uniform of the National Air Force. A pretty lady in waiting walked the Queen’s little black Pommeranian, Precious.

Once he saw the plane begin to touch down, the Consul pulled himself away from his lean against the car and stood up straight, still occasionally whispering to his chief of staff about those he saw exit the Edomite plane. He removed his sunglasses as the Emperor’s Praetorians began to line the tarmac in formation from the down ramp to the cars where the Consul stood. Handing his glasses to his chief of staff, Pompilius began to walk towards the Edomite visitors for a welcome.

“Your Majesty,” the Consul bowed his head ever so slightly to Queen Mara. “On behalf of Emperor Constantine, I’d like to personally welcome you to Latium. I, of course, am Consul Alexander Pompilius, Senator for Portunata. I hope your flight went well,” he added with an artful smile.

“Consul, I am so glad to meet you at last face to face,” said Queen Mara, inclining her head far less in response. “You find me having touched ground from the heavens. I am a soul in bliss, for God brought me safely to Earth. But how are you?” she asked, looking into his eyes earnestly as though expecting an honest response.

The Consul continued to wear his clever smile as the Queen spoke. “I’m well, Your Majesty,” though his face quickly turned towards a look of sorrow. “Eternally grateful that the chaos has remained far from here. Though unfortunately not all are so lucky as I or my family. And who else has accompanied you? I do recognize the Foreign Minister, though I can’t say the same for the rest of your honorable entourage.”

“Count Thomas Lalery, my cousin and our Finance Minister,” said Mara.

Thomas Lalery, with bold dark eyes, a rich olive tan and raven hair, wore a cream suit with a blue shirt and red tie; he was a man with the swaggering almost triangle build of a pit bull. “Consul, such a pleasure,” he said with a nod.

“And of course you know Foreign Minister Geta,” indicating the short, energetic man with the classic Cornellian features and silvered brown hair. “And our Chief of Air Force Staff, General Alarion Vrinn. Also of course Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Elizabeth Corbulo…”

The short, pear shaped also raven haired woman bowed politely.

“And last but far from least, my dearest little friend Precious!” Mara exclaimed, reaching down and picking up her little pom. “This is Precious, one of my darlingest little friends. Do you have any dogs, Consul?”

“Ah truly adorable, Your Majesty,” the Consul drew a smile when the Queen spoke of her dog. “No, not since I was a child I’m afraid. We had a Hellenic Shepherd named Achilles that would round up the herds, when we had them at least,” he smiled again then looked to all of the Queen’s fellow travellers with a few welcoming words before stopping with Lalery. “And Count Lalery...I’ve heard a great deal about you. Though if I’m not mistaken this isn’t your first trip to Latium?”

“No it isn’t,” said Lalery, studying him.

“Yes, I imagined that was the case. I hope Adrianople lives up to the expectations Castellum may have left you with,” the Consul’s face stuck to the same careful smile. Then he turned his attention to the motorcade of cars. “And right here are our rides to the temporary Imperial seat. Choice of car is up to Her Majesty, and we will send more for your necessary staffers. I will be right behind you until we meet the Emperor.”

“Thank you for the warm welcome,” said Queen Mara, walking to one of the cars, the closest one, along with Lalery and Geta.

Once inside, she said in Baran, “Speaking of warm, it’s a bit chilly. I’m regretting not wearing my panties now.”

“For the love of God,” began Lalery.

“Yes,” she said. “For the love of God. Let’s look at the countryside and commit ourselves, mind and body and soul for the good of the Lord’s Heaven, so that we may see our purposes clearly. Then we will be at peace when we arrive.”

Pompilius waited outside the cars until the Edomites began to shuffle into theirs. He spoke with his chief of staff as he approached his own. “Look through our notes from Gavius,” the Consul spoke quietly, still smiling. “I want to know everything about their meeting with Michael.” His chief of staff nodded, following the Consul into the car before the door closed and the limited motorcade began the short drive to the ducal palace. “It might be we can use something in there as added leverage or even fuel for the Emperor to channel at them.”

No more than ten minutes later the motorcade climbed up the hill and reached the main gates. They quickly passed through due to the necessary clearance and after a quick, few turns arrived at a large courtyard. However, it didn’t appear to be the main entrance. Guards stationed outside the structure approached each if car to open the doors. And just as was planned, the Emperor was not awaiting them just outside the building’s door.

“I pray you don’t take insult that we take you through the back door or that the Emperor isn’t here to welcome you,” Consul Pompilius offered to the Queen and her support.

“A door is a door Consul,” said Queen Mara softly. “Christ saw it no dishonour to ride to his destiny on a donkey’s back, and said that the Son of Man had no place to lay his head. Shall I scorn to be humbled?”

“Of course,” the Consul nodded his head with a polite smile. “If you’ll follow me along we’ll be right on to the Grand Ballroom where we can begin.” Pompilius entered the door first, leading the Edomites along through the halls. Along the way they would encounter walls full of artwork, tapestries and the like along their short walk to the ballroom. Some depicted battles, others of important historical events, and some simply portraits of former Claudii Dukes of Adrianople.

Just before they reached the Grand Ballroom, the Consul’s chief of staff stopped Pompilius and whispered something into his ear. “We’re nearly there,” Pompilius turned his attention back to the Edomites. “However should any of you need somewhere to freshen up or further prepare, my chief of staff Peter can show you to a proper setting.”

“Yeah, Consul, I’m gonna need to water the snake, if you catch my drift” said Lalery in a jocular manner.

Mara cracked up. She burst into rich infectious laughter like this was the most hilarious thing she’d ever heard. “Oh my gosh, Tommy, I’ve never heard you use that expression before! Where did you learn it? You naughty fellow, tee hee!” General Vrinn grinned and shook her head, Geta shook his head more in the manner of a friend accepting another’s gaffe in good spirits.

“Ah, I learned it in Novitera, best dialect of Latin for swearing in in the Region,” grinned Lalery, pleased with himself.

“Of course,” Consul Pompilius feigned a smile and gave his chief of staff a pat on the shoulder. “Anyway, Peter here will show you to the Grand Ballroom when you’re ready.” The Consul offered one last smile before departing in front of the rooms put aside for the Edomites, and walked down the halls.

“We have this room for Her Majesty,” Peter directed Queen Mara to the first door they faced. “And another for everyone else. You’ll find restrooms, and refreshments inside. And I’ll be just outside whenever you’re ready.”

“Oh my, how fancy,” said Queen Mara, beaming at Peter. She handed her leash to a uniformed ADC, Lieutenant Count Alexander Domris, and the lady in waiting went in with her.

“Refreshments inside the restrooms?” said Lalery. “You mean I can eat chocolates and take a leak at the same time?”

“No, sir. You’d find the refreshments in the main room when you enter,” the Consul’s chief of staff answered plainly.

“Right,” said Lalery. “Right.”

When he went in with Geta he said, “I’ve never seen such a bunch of soap bottles, have you?”

“I did tell you. They’re a rather serious people. And when they joke they are not particularly funny. Like the Romans.” They both attended their necessaries and then after washing their hands meticulously they headed out again.

The Consul’s chief of staff was surrounded by various aides and a Praetorian when the Edomites exited, though he shooed them away immediately. “All set? The ballroom is just a quick walk away.”

The Queen emerged as well and nodded. “Thank you, please lead on.”

The chief of staff led the visitors through the various halls until they came upon the Grand Ballroom of the ducal estate. Inside was Emperor Constantine speaking with Consul Alexander Pompilius just behind their seats. Additionally, Home Secretary John Pollius spoke with both the young Curiate Tribune Alexandra Sulpicia and Hellenic looking Foreign Minister Issakos Kontostefanos speaking to one another, though all three were seated. Finally, pouring a glass of water was Constantine’s newest advisor Dr. Pankratios Anemas who began to walk back towards his seat next to Master of Soldiers Flavius Vipsanius.

A Praetorian just inside the doorway stood ready to serve as herald of the new arrivals. “Caesar,” he drew the attention of the Emperor and all in the room. “Presenting Queen Mara of New Edom.”

Emperor Constantine stood from his somewhat relaxed lean against his chair and looked towards the Queen and her followers. “Welcome, Your Majesty. It’s an honor to finally meet you in person,” the young Latin monarch offered politely, though presenting a stoic look. “Please have a seat.”

Queen Mara said in a friendly tone but a serious one at the same time, “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance as well, and I thank you for your hospitality. Whatever may have brought tensions between my government and yours...I hope it will not come between us as people. We are both after all children of the same God; we are of different approaches to the same faith. Our sacraments and our ideals are brother and sister. I hope we may treat one another as that--where we may disagree here and there, let us find together, here the best way towards peace.”

“That they are,” Constantine’s face remained unchanged, now extending a hand out for everyone to find their seats. “Have you heard the recent news out of the Vatican?”

“I have,” said the Queen. “I have no idea how well informed His Holiness is though. We must base all decisions upon justice and examination...upon the law, must we not?” Mara looked calmly into his eyes with compassion.

“Each of your seats at the main table has the necessary information the Emperor wishes to present,” the Consul’s chief of staff added to the Queen. “And we have additional space for staff if it’s required.”

The New Edomites began to take their seats. Lalery caught a good glimpse of Marsella and caught his breath a moment. She was a beautiful evening to Caroline’s morning, and he had been avoiding pleasuring so long in anticipation of his hoped for marriage to honour his vow to her that he found himself at full attention instantly as it were just watching her move.

Marsella had been seated, but rose from her seat in order to greet the Queen of New Edom... a distant relation of hers, as both were descended from King Elijah III, son and heir of Queen Adah the Liberator. “Queen Mara,” Marsella said warmly with a curtsey and a smile. “It is a pleasure to see you again. You look to be in good spirits.” the resemblance between them was not lost upon Marsella, who had little contact with her Edomite kin outside of formal events.

The last time the two had met had been at the funeral of King James II of New Edom, killed by Damoclean anarchists. Mara’s eyes briefly filled with tears at the memory. Her lip trembled. “I hope you know I was so sorry about his death. If only it were more than tragedy that brought our parts of the family together...but even in such difficult times I am glad to see you. I am so very sorry for your loss. He was a strong man and his country prospered under him.”

“Indeed, Mara,” Marsella responded sorrowfully. “Latium is a resilient country, and it shall prosper once more, rest assured. It may please you to know that I have received an Imperial commission from the government of Ghant to represent them at these negotiations. I hope you will trust that I shall conduct myself as fairly and impartially as possible, prior comments and actions aside.” Marsella turned back to take her seat at the table.

“Shall we begin then?” Constantine finally took his seat, with Consul Pompilius to his right and Master of Soldiers Vipsanius to his left.

“You’ll see we’ve prepared some items,” Pompilius finally spoke up, adjusting his glasses as he fingered through the various documents. “Here we have the Acts of Succession with all the necessary amendments, copies of the late Emperor’s certified Last Will and Testament, and as much a transcript of what Michael claims is a will as we could scrounge up.”

My powers shall pass to my eldest born son, Gaius Claudius Nero Constantinus Felix Alexander, after my death, based upon the laws laid out in the Acts of Succession.
In the event of his incapacitation or death prior to ascending to the throne, that the line of succession – by following traditional laws of the Acts of Succession – will be as follows:

Vopiscus Claudius Nero Petrus Romulus Drusus (Peter), Octavius Claudius Nero Phillipus Benfri Iordanes (Philip), Maria Claudia Sophia Euphemia Constantina (Maria), Selene Claudia Theodora Lyanna Georgia (Selene), Vopisca Claudia Polyxena Iustina Diana (Polyxena) and Olivia Claudia Anastasia Leontia Irene (Olivia).
That my sons Peter, and Philip each be styled Prince of Latium upon execution of this document. That upon marriage Peter be bestowed the Dukedom of Clivia, and that upon his marriage Phillip be bestowed the Dukedom of Eboracum. Each Dukedom shall hold a remainder to the first Duke’s heirs male of body lawfully begotten.
To my nephew Leo John Robert Aurelius Gentry, that he be styled a Prince of Latium; that he may be afforded all rights and privileges of a Prince of Latium, if not already done so prior to my death. Furthermore that upon his marriage, he shall earn the Imperial peerage of the Dukedom of Ostia, with remainder to the first Duke’s heirs male of the body lawfully begotten.
That my son Michael earn the Imperial peerage of the County of Durolipons upon his marriage. He shall hold no privilege in the line of succession.
That my wife, Marsella, hold the title of Empress Dowager, and use of Castra Felicis or Villa de Anicia, whichever she chooses. That she receive a yet to be agreed upon monthly stipend from the Imperial Estate. In the event my son Constantine is unable to assume the throne, that she serve as regent for our son, Peter, until he come of age.
And that I can no longer deny and deprive a child the knowledge of knowing who their father is, and I hereby acknowledge my parentage of George, Count Vinovium and Alexander, Lord Iluro by their mother Honoria Caprenia, 6th Marchioness of Espo.

His Imperial Majesty
Gaius Claudius Nero Iason Felix Alexander Caesar Augustus,
By the Grace of God, the Most Serene and Noble, Unconquered, Emperor of the Latins, Basileus and Autokrator of the Hellenes, King of Kings, Apostolic King of Castellum and Agato, Grand Prince of Alexandria, Prince of Ravenna, Lord of the Palatine, Father of the Fatherland, First Citizen of Senate, Equal to the Apostles, He Who Commands the Tides of Our Sea, Sword of Christ, Defender of the Faith, Commander-in-Chief of the Legions.

Peter Abronius, Attorney General of Latium
Michael Pinaria, Lord High Chancellor of the Privy Council
Comitas Funar, Lord Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Latium

Key clauses to Acts of Succession

The law governs that a Monarch's sons and their lines of descent all come before that dynast's daughters and their lines. Older sons and their lines come before younger sons and their lines. Older daughters and their lines come before younger daughters and their lines. This has been the accepted method of succession since the 1353 Acts of Succession.
  • To be eligible one must be a member of the Fabrian Catholic Church
  • Marriage without the emperor's consent disqualifies the person and the person's descendants from the marriage from succeeding to the Crown, but the marriage may still be legally valid.

While not included or revised into the Acts of Succession, the 1926 Senate Eligibility Act mandated any person in the line of succession to the Latin throne must forfeit their place in the line to have the ability to enter elective politics. The law makes no mention of that individual's children, but common practice continues to place their children in the line of succession where they would have been were the forfeitee still be eligible.

Hosidius Geta and Elizabeth Corbulo began to read them, Geta putting on a pair of glasses and squinting a bit.

Lalery said, “Your contenders had different wills and testaments,” his dark eyes boring into Constantine’s before looking at the Consul. “Tell us why we should believe these ones.”

“This document bears the signatures of my father, the Attorney General, Lord High Chancellor of the Privy Council, and Lord Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,” Constantine began his attempt to explain. “I read this very document, in full, live on television, and making it available for everyone to read. I’ve made every effort for transparency.”

“Mr. Lalery,” the Consul spoke next. “When you read Michael’s version of the will, what did it look like? We’ve been trying to get our hands on a full copy, but as you can see it simply hasn’t been possible.”

“Who the fuck is Mr. Lalery?” snapped Lalery. “It looked like this in reverse, Your Excellency.”

“Easy my friend” said Geta, lifting a pale hand and speaking mildly. “Sir,” he said to Constantine, “I think you are perhaps missing the point of what Count Lalery said. This is a matter of far more than legitimacy on a piece of paper. Which if we are being honest is what this is. Your government was immediately supported by a totalitarian, anti-Christian state which with extraordinary swiftness provided you with military support. Some concerned persons in our country, not ourselves mind you, have called this a coup d’etat. We are still open minded. But I’m sure you understand our concern.”

“The Ghantish government has expressed grave concern about Latin dealings with Jedoria as well,” Marsella agreed in earnest. “Latium is a good Christian nation steeped in a strong history of godly virtues. Naturally, being bedfellows with the Jedorians is a valid concern for other god-fearing nations, such as New Edom.” the Dowager Empress spoke smoothly, as though she were merely discussing the latest news over tea, and yet, there was a certain gravitas that hung on every word.

“I could say the very same for your rapid support of a man who was recently excommunicated by the Vicar of Christ,” Constantine was quick to add, though Pompilius interjected just as quickly.

Count Lalery said, “Oh, you mean that thing that just happened like…” he looked at his watch. “Today? Not cutting it, sir. Massacres of Christians versus your feud with your brother doesn’t cut it by comparison.”

“The matter of the Jedorians has been something His Majesty and Government have been discussing a great deal as of late. Initially it was our hope to persuade them against their rash action, which we have increasingly begun to see as horrid treatment of Christian minorities,” the Consul added with a sly smile, almost enjoying the Count’s quick loss of his temper. “And yes, the event which happened today. Do you expect the people of Latium to accept a man the Holy Father has disavowed and blames for the disappearance of the Archbishop of Castellum? I certainly don’t.”

“The Senate and I have come up with a solution and are fully prepared to both expel the Jedorians from Latium and fully denounce the Jedorians,” Constantine ignored the Count’s condescending tone. “However, I’m afraid politics and concerns of other allied forces, especially the Chacoans, have thus far prevented such action. The executive order has been drafted and is simply awaiting my signature.”

Marsella said warmly, “with all due respect, there are greater allies to be gained by issuing this executive order than the likes of Chaco. Besides, my late husband wouldn’t have let politics get in the way of doing the right thing. That’s an example that we can all follow, is it not?”

“Simply put, you want the Jedorians gone. You don’t want their influence to grow. We can easily satisfy those desires. And the Senate and People of Latium wish for other interferences hindering the rightful succession, a treasonous act among citizens I might add, from taking place. You can help us in that regard,” the Consul added following Marsella’s remarks. “Now of course you aren’t citizens so treason is irrelevant in this matter, but we can all get what we want here. All it takes are assurances.”

Queen Mara was very quiet during all this, watching them all with unreadable eyes. She turned to Lalery and murmured something in Baran to him. He replied gruffly in the same language. Geta looked at them alertly and then made a note which he passed to Corbulo and she began scribbling in response.

General Vrinn cleared her throat. “Excuse me, Your Excellency, but what kind of timetable would there be for a Jedorian withdrawal from Latium?”

Pompilius looked to the Emperor and the Master of Soliders, who then leaned forward in his seat. “By now I’m sure you know we have a number of assets nearby. It would simply be a matter of moving them into place in Sorrentia and perhaps utilizing the Chacoans in this regard as well. Following that the executive order is signed, we issue the expulsion to Jedorian command for what we hope would be a peaceful departure,” the Master of Soliders explained. “I assume handful hours at most for the necessary movements once the order is given.”

“With all due respect, General, your navy is hardly in a position to insist that they leave,” said Vrinn. “So in other words this is speculation. What is the actual status of Vannois with regard to your government’s security?” she asked.

“That’s true. We do have limited naval assets in the Delphic, though likely not enough to ensure what we wish to see occur,” Master of Soldiers Vipsanius offered in return. “As for the Vannoisians, Emperor Louis recently made a public declaration in support of Emperor Constantine.”

“Fortunately, the Vorindese fleet is in such a position,” Marsella informed those present. “Albert’s fleet is off the coast, and on hold in order to honor the spirit of these negotiations.”

The effect on the New Edomites was almost uniform--they all lost their friendly expressions or serious ones and went blank a moment.

“I beg your pardon?” said Queen Mara in an unusually cold tone for her.

Marsella maintained an air of politeness and civility in the face of such incredulity. “It has come to my attention that Emperor Albert of Vorindeum had intended to intervene in this dispute, though to what end I am unable to speculate. He dispatched a fleet from Vorindum, which is off the coast to the southwest. Yet, they have not landed, nor deployed. My Ghantish sources tell me that Albert does not wish to commit further action while these negotiations are in effect, though I can only speculate. I am merely suggesting that should the Latin government require substantial force of arms in order to insist that the Jedorians leave the country, that the Vorindese could be called upon to that effect. Albert has no love for the Jedorians, after all, and has all the fondness in the world for his Edomite friends,” she offered a smile after her explanation.

“The Navy’s long range patrols north of Peregrino detected this force, as Your Majesty recalls” General Vrinn offered.

“And we are in communication with Emperor Albert’s government. Even from friends,” said Geta, glancing at Marsella before looking back at Mara, “We do not like unexpected arrivals.”

“You seem to have enough allies then,” said Lalery. “You have the pope on your side as well in this contest. Ghant has been steadily intriguing to your side as well and putting all these chips into position. What you lack is what we consider to be a satisfied outcome legally. We don’t see anyone attempting even to negotiate with Michael. Not the pope, not Vannois, not Michael, not yourselves, not the Jedorians, not the Chanos. The Noviterans made a half-assed attempt at it. However we agreed to support him, and we are not concerned about numbers faced against us. If the CPO’s mediation is not outright rejected, there is no legal or moral position that New Edom is concerned with here. You sit there, sir, as though you deserve to be Emperor of Latium. If these allies and those documents are what you’re satisfied don’t need us. You can just finish Michael off militarily. So why don’t you just do that?”

“I do deserve it. By every law and by blood the burden of the throne falls to me as eldest son of my late father. And if it’s necessary I will do so, with or without you,” Constantine explained, growing irritated with Lalery. “But I have made every effort to demonstrate the validity of my late father’s will. I offered it for all the world to see, for them to read themselves. Do you really think that I would have added in a clause, which some argue legitimized two bastard children of my father, into a falsified will? I have invited you here in hopes of quelling these differences as they are easily solvable. And we have brought excellent legal minds, those who were appointed by my grandfather during his reign to examine these documents and their legitimacy, yet it seems you have no interest in that.”

“The Emperor has made every effort to speak with his brother on a peaceful resolution, yet he has heard no reply. People aren’t attempting to negotiate with Michael because they see his claim for what it is,” the Consul added. “The boy has no legitimate claim. The only thing for you to decide is how you want your relationship with Latium to be. A pariah state with no popular support - one which overthrew the elected government, who’s leader is one riot away from losing their throne? The same one who has yet responded to an request for mediation from the CPO and perhaps has imprisoned or killed an Archbishop? A man who some among the people say killed his own father? Or one led by the rightful heir of Emperor Jason VI Augustus - a man who has made efforts to reach out to all nations and peoples for a peaceful resolution, even those who do not or show no interest in reciprocating. The Emperor and the Senate are prepared to expel the Jedorians if you are willing to work with us and see your own forces leave as well.”

“And besides, what is there to negotiate?” Marsella asked those present. “There is no mutually satisfactory outcome. Both of them wish to be Emperor, and only one can be. Believe me, if I could lock the two of them into a room and remind them that they’re brothers, I would have done that while I had the chance. Alas, this cannot be done. Additionally, Michael seems unwilling to negotiate, from what I’ve gathered. So why bother?” Marsella looked at her third cousin the Queen and added, “I beseech you, Queen Mara, a woman of peace, and a peace prize laureate at that, to consider this information.”

Queen Mara said quietly, her voice a little rough at first, “I came here for peace. However when I came here I was surprised to find that we did not talk about how to work with the CPO to achieve it. We rather talked of the will and clearly you,” she looked at Constantine, “Are angry with us because we have supported your brother. We did what we thought was right, and that is where we are. But we have provided you with a means to demonstrate that you have done all you could. What you are simply asking our leaders to say is ‘oh, we were wrong, we give up.’ And perhaps that is what should happen. But I can tell you this: it will not be. We were not really treated with much respect when we arrived here. You see yourselves as the only righteous ones. You are not. You did not appeal to the CPO or any international arbitration--you chose war as surely as Michael did. Right now we can still find a way towards peace, but let me assure all of you--I am a woman of peace but only so far. I once quite willingly went to war with Damoclea for offenses against my country. Damoclea has been crushed and dominated and rebuilt in the image my government desired. We are not afraid of odds against us or the whole Region in doubt of our virtue while we stand alone. My Ambassador in Castellum is seeking to hear from Michael’s government. If we do not hear positively from him within two days then we will make a declaration against him that he must answer. If following that we receive nothing we will cease to support him. That is three days. However if Michael does reply positively then I will expect a ceasefire and for negotiations to commence.”

“You don’t know the what he’s like,” Constantine stated almost under his breath as if to caution everyone about Michael before stewing over on Queen Mara’s words a moment longer. “I didn’t wish to make war against my brother. I don’t want to be here...fighting him. He chose war against the rest of our family when he forced us from our home under the threat of death. I am doing everything in my power to protect my brothers, sisters, stepmother and grandmother and keep them safe. And I will stop at nothing to do that. As for your offense, I have afforded you every courtesy possible under these sudden and limited circumstances. We elected to choose discretion and brevity over all the trimmings of a formal state visit. If an offense was taken then I am sorry, that was not my intent,” Constantine spoke quickly though genuinely. “It’s true that I did not appeal to the CPO. I admit I have made mistakes since my father’s death, though I assure you I am doing my best to correct those mistakes to ensure they don’t occur again. That is, in part, why I made a quick declaration in support of the proposed ceasefire. Michael has had more than enough time to make his intent known.”

“Three days appears overly generous and he’s had plenty of time already. One more day seems a sufficient deadline, but in the honor of compromise what do you say of two days as a deadline?” the Consul added to the Emperor’s words.

Queen Mara’s eyes did not leave Constantine as she gestured at the Foreign Minister, who murmured to her in Baran in quick succinct words. “There may be communication issues” the Foreign Minister said to them. “If Michael’s government is able to respond and confirms receipt of the message, we will notify you and proceed with discussion of negotiations through the CPO. If there is no response within an hour of the receipt of the message, we will keep trying throughout the day. If at the end of 24 hours there has been no response we will notify you following taking what actions we can to get into direct contact through our embassy. So it is only follow those steps that the 3 days would be considered. However we are willing to accept two as you say.”

The Queen nodded. “As Mr. Geta has said. The insulting response,” she said to Constantine, “Was that you did not break bread with us. You did not share wine and salt with us. You have apologized, I accept the apology. I think we have a reasonable agreement with the timetable. Count Lalery what else is there?”

“The question of what to do if Michael does or does not accept,” said Lalery gruffly. “If he does, then we expect a negotiated peace through the CPO to proceed and along with that a cease fire. We believe that this is in your best interest--if you are so confident in your succession, sir, then you have little to fear. If he accepts then our government proposes that we become neutral and remove ourselves from direct combat positions, remaining only available for the CPO as peacekeepers. If however he does not accept, then we will become neutral and declare our intention to withdraw or support your claim. We would like to make sure an envoy is here to support that. We would like to leave a liaison here towards that end.”

“Two days it is then,” Constantine nodded, though still thought his brother had plenty of time to respond already, not to mention the concerns of peacekeepers should things come to that. Though I am interested to hear what The Dowager Empress and the nation of Ghant have to say,” Constantine addressed Foreign Minister’s points.

Marsella had been quiet for some time as she listened carefully to what her stepson and her third cousin were saying, but upon being prompted she addressed the chamber. “I’ve always believed in the old adage that a man should endeavor to save the kingdom in order to become the king, rather than try to become king in order to save the kingdom. Latium and her people have suffered truly, and the CPO would be a welcome respite for those who have suffered. Indeed it is as Queen Mara has said, that the breaking of bread is an important, if not symbolic gesture. Unfortunately, Latium as is the case with most catholic nations, do not share this. It is not their way, but in any event, I’d be more than happy to share wine and bread with my Edomite kin and their companions.”

I’m glad to hear that,” said Queen Mara. “Empress Marsella has understood perfectly.”

“I’m not afraid of an investigation, Count. I have already shown the world this will. I have nothing to hide,” Constantine plainly directed at Lalery. Then the Consul pulled the Emperor’s attention and spoke softly in Greek. Constantine drew his head to the side and listened closely before speaking again. “We’d be happy to accept a representative of yourself at court. I believe we should be able to find some space suitable in the city near the other temporary embassies as living space and an office should one be required. As for my brother should he accept, I agree neutrality among all foreign entities involved is paramount. I would certainly ask the same from my allies. If he does not accept, your neutrality would be most welcome as is the expectation that your forces present in Latin territory and waters will be withdrawn.”

“If you have truly nothing to hide, then why not embrace Edenism?” said Queen Mara. “We will embrace you as true allies now, discard Michael and do everything in our power to put you on the throne.” Her tone was utterly serious. “We can all remove our garments and jewelry, our unnecessary trappings, and go as God created us to your chapel and pledge together our atonement of our sins before God.”

“With all due respect, your Majesty,” Marsella coughed into her hand, “Latium is steeped in its strong catholic faith. Constantine would be betraying his people, and its traditions, were he to do such a thing. Catholicism is as strong in this country as it is in the Papal States themselves,” she said politely. “Though I will pray with you, as a measure of good faith. I am Ipargurutze by birth, and Catholic by marriage, hence I am not so anchored as my stepson and his countrymen in their observations.”

Marsella rubbed her chin with the backs of her fingers, and contemplated what had been said carefully. “I would recommend that these negotiations be adjourned for the time being, so that everyone has the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what has been said. That would allow adequate time to relax, eat and drink and enter a more comfortable mindset that would be conducive towards talking diplomatically.”

“Adjourned for what, Majesty? The rest are details for the civil servants to hammer out, the schedules and dots and dashes and all that,” said Count Lalery. “Are there other concerns?”

Constantine narrowed his eyes in confusion when Mara asked him to embrace her heretical leanings or whatever it was she was hinting at if not that. Thankfully Marsella stepped in before he had the chance, allowing her to hit the major points concerning that attempted conversion. “My stepmother is correct on that point, Your Majesty. So I’ll have to respectfully decline. And no, I don’t believe there’s anything further to discuss. Consul?”

The Consul looked to the other members of the Senate leadership for any indication of further business, though none gave any. “Nothing at this time.”

“Very good,” Constantine said with a look of relief. “Feel free to use the chapel if you wish, your Majesty. I’ll send for someone to show you there if you like.”

“Then we will be in touch through our appropriate envoys and officials” said Queen Mara, rising gracefully. “What’s that Precious? What’s that? Walkies? Oh wow, walkies walkies!” the little Pomeranian danced around panting and yapping. “What a good doggie! Dogs, eh?” she said with a smile at al and sundry. “Their innocence brings us joy. Thank you, Your Highness, for your hospitality,” she said to Constantine. “Cousin majesty” she added to Marsella, and then with her smile at the others in the room as she took her dog’s leash from her lady in waiting. “Ladies and gentlemen.” And with that, with appropriate ceremony and courtesies, the Queen of the Allied States left the building.
Last edited by Lacus Magni on Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lacus Magni » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:23 am

Palace of Augustus

“Caesar, we have the Edomite Ambassador on his way for the long overdue audience they requested,” Michael’s now closest and one of the few remaining Privy Councillors, Flavius Gavius meekly whispered to the young Latin Emperor. “We’ve prepared things for you in your office study.”

Emperor Michael rested in one of his entertainment rooms in the Imperial apartments, with Antonia nearby. He rolled his eyes with an annoyed look. “I told you I don’t want to see them. Nor do I want them in the apartments. Tell them tomorrow is better. Yes...tomorrow.”

Gavius was nervous, his hands shaking as he spoke with an anxious tone. “Sir...they were very adamant on this meeting. I believe we’ve pushed it off long enough.”

“No, and that’s final,” Michael rose his voice, causing Gavius to take a quick few steps back from the Emperor.

“Oh, I’m sure it won’t be too bad or all that long,” Antonia spoke to Michael in a high pitched voice before kissing him on the cheek. At that point, another messenger quietly entered the room and waited for the Emperor to address him before speaking.

The Emperor rolled his eyes with a heavy groan. “Very well, but we do this in the throne room or not at all. And what in bloody hell do you want?” he added in an angry shout to the messenger.

The messenger saluted Michael. “Sir, we have reports of Edomite troop movements just north of the city. They appear to be moving our direction. Laetorius sent out a message to them, but wanted you to know of and possibly approve of the movement after speaking with the Ambassador.”

“It’s always something isn’t it? That will be all,” he said with a mocking laugh to cover his anger. Antonia smiled at him and offered a kiss on the cheek. “You stay here.”

“ don’t want me to join you?” Antonia feigned sadness.

“Caesar,” Gavius spoke up once more.

“Oh Christ, I thought you’d left already. What now?” Michael laughed and began ready himself for the meeting. “The blue or purple, dear?”

“Purple is your family’s color, love,” Antonia smiled at Michael.

“The throne room is in an inadequate state to host someone of this level of standing. The floors alone are still covered,” Councillor Gavius tried to explain to the Emperor.

Michael quickly brushed the complaint aside. “What of it? If anything the barbarian may respect it for what it is or simply understand I am not one to be crossed,” he finished tying the purple tie Antonia had chosen for him. Dressed in a dark gray suit, with the tie in the color of his house, the Emperor left for the throne room.

When Michael reached the throne room, he was accompanied by the brutish Sir Ajax Ischyrós, a tower of a man, and Peter Laetorius. The Emperor never went anywhere without Ischyrós following him and Laetorius was never far behind, though he had recently been made Deputy Prefect of Michael’s armies - a task the soldier was hardly qualified for. When he entered he saw what Gavius had been talking about, with various blotches of dried blood resting in various locations to cover the ornate floors of the throne room. The only place that appeared to spared of any of this bloodshed was the elevated seat of the throne, where Michael would be sitting with Councillor Gavius and Sir Ischyrós on each of his sides.

To: Head of New Edomite Forces in Latium & Vice-Admiral Matthias Randronoth, Ambassador from New Edom
From: Deputy Prefect in Evocati Peter Laetorius of His Majesty’s Armed Forces
Subject: Movements
Encryption: Highest

It has come to our attention that your ground forces in support of Emperor Michael have begun moving south towards the capital. Per discussions between our two governments, this is not an agreed upon movement and on behalf of Emperor Michael, I must demand that you to cease all southward movements towards the capital until such a time as notified and resume defense of the city from the position previously agreed upon. The Emperor would also inform that you forces loyal to His Majesty have begun to pull back from Kallipolis and are moving towards the your present location to take up defenses of the capital. It is the wish of His Majesty’s top military advisors that we begin to collaborate on a proper defense of the capital to repel the rebellious forces in this location in order to keep the rebels from coming to close to the Imperial seat.

On Caesar’s Behalf,
Peter Laetorius
Deputy Prefect in Evocati

Above Ravenna

While Prince Leo had been below moving between Ravenna and his camp before beginning his final march on Castellum, allied air support had gradually begun to provide added cover for their movements and in the event an attack should be launched against them. Just days prior, his uncle Prince Theodosius, Duke of Beroea, had worked out an arrangement with his other nephew, Emperor Constantine, to provide a more adequate air cover for Constantine’s and allied ground forces in Ravenna and their areas of movement.

The first to reach the area were the outward fighter patrols. Moving through the air in pairs, were no fewer than twelve Typhoon fighters arriving in the sky above Ravenna and the surrounding area from the nearest airbase loyal to Prince Theodosius in rural county Collipo. Based on communications between Constantine’s top military commander and representatives of The Duke of Beroea, another dozen could be provided with the requisite notice. These fighter patrols would quickly being their patrols of the area to protect the Emperor in Adrianople’s army below on the ground and as they moved along towards the capital.

Also joining these fighters were four Tornado SEAD fighter aircraft. Traveling from the same base in Collipo, these aircraft would work to suppress any enemy air-defense they would possibly encounter. Two of these Tornado aircraft were fitted for a pilot and an electronic warfare officer to the seat on his rear. And finally, Emperor Constantine and Prince Leo’s uncle had provided them with a single E-2 Hawkeye to aid allied forces in further organizing their allied forces and helping them spot enemy forces should the appear.

These patrol and support flights were not expected to go entirely smoothly, with expectations that at some point they may encounter Edomite air or sea support. At present, their orders were not to engage unless fired upon as thus far Prince Leo's forces have encountered no trouble thus far from the Edomites.
Last edited by Lacus Magni on Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
Posts: 22911
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby New Edom » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:11 pm

The Imperial Palace, Castellum

The Ambassador, Admiral Randronoth, strode briskly into the throne room, his footsteps clicking sharply. When he came in his eyes swept the room and a quirk came to his mouth of distaste as he noticed the stains. Then his gaze was upon the emperor, a stern gaze of a man who had served his nation in statecraft and in war. He bowed stiffly from the waist, his eyes not having left hose of Michael.

"Your Imperial Majesty. Their Majesties Queen Mara and King Elijah salute you and your resolve to hold your throne. However you are faced with significant challenges. Not the least of which is the apparent treachery of Strategos Iccius, overwhelming support for Constantine on air and sea, and your forces being outnumbered three to one. Near every area of coastline is now controlled by allies of Constantine or his own fleet and air arm. And so: this puts us in a very difficult position.

"Sir" said the Ambassador, "You have expressed concern with the 4th Marine Infantry Regiment moving closer to Castellum. This is because our position has become increasingly untenable. With the loyalty of many of your commanders in doubt, we must face the facts. Sir: you must cooperate more closely with us. Normally must is not a word to use to princes--but let us call a spade a spade. You are losing the war. Only New Edom and Akai remain as your allies. So these are your options.

"First: change your position on the CPO mediation and agree for the two wills to be examined by the CPO's representatives. This would enable a cease fire and buy you time. It may however be too late for this, as your military advisors failed to impress on you the importance of this at the earliest stages of th war. There is no shared intelligence. There are fewer potential landing zones and staging areas.

"My own proposal, and htat of my government, is that Your Majesty requires more direct contact with my office and involvement by the New Edomite government. Second, we must bring the 4th Marine Infantry Regiment into the city. Your soldiers, sir, have proven unreliable, many of your commanders incompetent." he looked stern. "Even if it was an act of mutiny not ocunenanced by anyone--to attack the Ghantish embassy with an armoured company and fail--to fail to hit a helicopter like a Chinook while firing at it with tank shells--is ludicrous. You need our help more directly. You need reliable soldiers and officers here with you."

The Ambassador concluded. "Our further support for your government depends on agreement to these terms, sir. If you have questions I will be glad to answer them, but otherwise without wholehearted agreement my own government is going to reconsider its support for your own."

The 4th Marine Infantry regiment kept advancing towards Castelleum in four large convoys. Each convoy cosisted of 12 light tanks, 24 APCs, 12 Infantry fighting vehicles, and about 24 soft skinned land rovers, trucks and other utility vehicles. Each also had 2 drones covering it and 4 utility helicopters providing support. One of these convoys also included the 12 self propelled artillery pieces assigned to the regiment. Each convoy was broken up into groups of 4-6 vehicles at most, well spaced apart to avoid being boxed in, to enable both the companies and also the convoys to maneuver easily and avoid ambushes. They were to be alert for surprise attacks and be ready to get advance warning of any serious efforts to stop them.

Meanwhile, a flight of Terriers supported by air defense information from the fleet and the UAVs accompany them kept providing air cover but continued toavoid clashing with Leo's air power. They had strict rules of engagement to avoid this.
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Postby Tericio » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:31 pm

Last edited by Tericio on Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Republica De Gran Chaco
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Postby Republica De Gran Chaco » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:37 am

GCS Miguel Grau

“I want you to inform the Latins and the Jedorians that we are moving! Tell them that the Terians have just informed us that Akai has a fleet heading our way. I want the pickets and screens out how we planned, get the hawkeyes up and the CAPs going. Have the screen ships take their assigned positions, and I want everyone checking for subs. Tow sonar and make sure the choppers are dipping sonar and let’s get some sonobouys out there. I want to get in posision to intercept them if they try and make a run, we have no idea why they are here, but if they haven’t been in contact with our government they probably aren’t supporting Constantine.” Admiral Matias was in his element, finally something was happening. He had thought that his career had peaked when launching airstrikes on Ashab and then it had gone up another notch getting in an actual naval battle with Michaels forces. Now a carrier task force was being tracked by the Terians and the locations were given to him to try and intercept it.

The Admiral had already informed Yanque, who told him to try and send a message to find out their intentions and to have the Lazins to turn back, but if they persisted, and tried to force their way into a restricted warzone then the coalition fleet was clear to keep them out by force. The war was so close to a finish, everyone felt it, the addition of this fleet muddled things up. Hopefully this wouldn’t turn into a fight, but Matias wasn’t going to be caught off guard. He had a message sent to Tericio to be relayed to the fleet so that his position wasn’t given away.

To: Akai Fleet
From: Terian Military

Hello friends, we are being sent a message from our coalition counterparts that they have requested be relayed to you. We believe this ought to be shared with you.

From: Coalition Fleet for Emperor Constantine
To: Approaching fleet

Warning, you are on course for a restricted war zone enforced by combat ships of the United Coalition!

We have your location.

Take caution and stop your ships before entering.

Make your identity and purpose known.

If this is a mistake reverse course.

If you do not heed this message, then we will be forced to use force to prevent you from entering by use of arms.

To: Emperor Constantine
From: Admiral Javier Matias
Subject: Approaching Akai Fleet
Encryption: Highest

Emperor Constantine,

We have just been informed by the United Enclaves, that Akai has an approaching fleet to the restricted sea zone. The fleet is currently being tracked and I have messaged them to discover their intentions, and have ordered the coalition fleet to move to a positon to intercept them if our messages are ignored.

Javier Matias,
Admiral, Republica de Gran Chaco

To: Foreign Minister Hosidius Geta
From: Assistant Minister for International Relations
Subject: Akai Fleet
Encryption: Highest

Dear Minister,

It has come to our attention that a fleet from Akai is approaching Tericio, with a bearing headed for Latium. Our navy will not allow them to enter the zone, as we have no idea of their intentions, and they have made no effort to contact any of the nation’s supporting Constantine. As you know, the situation in Latium is delicate, and we would not like to add anything else when we may all be so close to a ceasefire.

I am requesting that you please put some pressure on the Lazins to avoid conflict and to turn back.

With the highest respect,
Xeina Ccallo

To: Executor of State Eric Douglas
From: Assistant Minister for International Relations
Subject: Approaching Akai Fleet
Encryption: Highest

Executor Douglas,

Be warned that The United Enclaves are tracking an approaching fleet from the eastern straits into the Delphic Sea. We believe that they are heading towards Latium. We have no idea of their intentions, only that they have not been in contact with any nation in support of Constantine. We have sent a message to them, but are preparing to intercept and engage them if they ignore it.

Their arrival could potentially cause mayhem in the situation in Latium, and in our potential deal with the Edomites. I am requesting that you please encourage New Edom to put pressure on Akai to turn back their fleet to avoid anything that could extend the conflict and hinder free trade.

Any form of military assistance would also be most welcome if it comes to keeping them away by force.

Xeina Ccallo
كان التيز سمين

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New Edom
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Democratic Socialists

Postby New Edom » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:03 am

The New Edomite National Executive Plane

The faint wheezing of air pressure in the cabin hissed as Hosidius Geta was sighing and relaxing. He had a vision in his head. Queen Mara approached him and slid her dress down her shoulders, the fulsome fonts of holy nourishment before him. "You deserve a reward Mr. Geta," her gentle kindly voice said. He fell to his knees in worship and was drawn forward into sweet cushiony flesh...

"Excuse me, Excellency," said an unfortunately flat chested young Air Force captain, leaning over him to reveal...nothing beneath her uniform blouse. Geta could not have felt more crushed. "A series of messages have arrived for you through the encrypted channels. They appear to all be priority."

"All?" he grumbled. "What crisis now? Alright Captain, go ahead, thank you."

"Excellency." she walked off. God, it could be a youthful boy from behind too. He hoped someone loved her for her personality.

He frowned and read through the series of them, his lips moving now and then.

“What is it?” demanded Lalery, who was sitting across from him killing thousands of aliens on his Sleek-5.

“Akai’s fleet has arrived—and Vorindeum’s fleet has arrived,” said Geta.

“Those messages should have come to me first,” snarled Lalery, grabbing at them. Geta however resisted and pulled away. “What the hell?”

“They came to me as Foreign Minister, why should they go to you firsts? You’re not President yet, you know,” said Geta mildly. “And I’m sharing them with you as the senior council minister present with me, so relax. We should talk to the Queen.”

“This is a nice gift,” said Lalery. “Wish Albert had told us first, the jerk, but still, he’s been a consistent ally.”

“Unlike Ghant,” pointed out Geta. “Which, while definitely an ally is also definitely inconsistent.”

“It will be better when I’m married,” said Lalery. “Between me, Jocasta and Amenmar we’ll have the place running like it’s Nass. But we don’t want a confrontation yet, do we? We want to hold off on this. And thank God—they contacted us first, not Nicanor. This is a gift.”

“I rather wish they had actually, because all this is uncoordinated. Having their planes and ours, their vessels and ours, their ground forces and ours in such proximity is inherently dangerous. Wars have been started that way, Count Lalery,” Geta pointed out in a mild tone but with a very direct stare. “We must tell the Queen now and advise her that we are the go betweens for all of this. And it’s time we contacted Vannois as well. I’m going to forward this information to Urban to present to the government there.”

Queen Mara was, to their astonishment, in a good mood, her eyes sparkling, talking with animation to Elizabeth Corbulo about something. She looked up as the two men approached her.

“You’re looking very well,” remarked Lalery.

“I’m feeling very well. Maybe I just needed to get mad! Ooh, did you see how Constantine gave me the fish eye the whole time, like it was all my fault? What a jerk! And the Consul reminds me of a geography teacher I used to have, a creepy one with a fluty voice who liked to breathe near my neck when he was instructing me on locating latitude and longitude. Brr! Anyway what’s going on boys?”

“Majesty, these messages have arrived from the governments of Gran Chaco, Akai, and Vorindeum. It appears we have one of the largest naval engagements since the Great Cornellian War building up in the Strait.” Geta told her.

“Well that just poops on our pita doesn’t it?” exclaimed Mara, looking surprised. “Vorindeum and Akai?”

“You were briefed on the possibility but you were having a really bad day,” Lalery explained. “But we thought you should know. We’re going to recommend that everyone hold their horses.”

“Well I was going to recommend that we contact the Defense Minister and work out a plan,” proposed Geta. “Majesty, while the King is sick, while we’re still deciding on a President, we need you.”

Mara looked at him gravely. “You know, Mr. Geta, I don’t know much about war at all. I’m not good at that stuff.”

Geta said, “With all due respect, you don’t need to be good at the details. You need to tell us, as you have done before, as your father and uncle did before you, what policy you want to govern according to and let us carry out the details.”

Mara took his hand and smiled warmly at him. “Oh my gosh…I could just hug you, Hosidius Geta. You’re right…okay this is what I want then. I want you to do like you said, but I want to know what I ought to tell General Nicanor…what do you guys think?”

“If we’re going to do this, have him prepare a plan where we coordinate all the forces supporting Michael, and forward that to the Ambassador to Castellum. Michael might be about to shout off with his head about now,” said Lalery.

“And then make it clear that we’re trying to negotiate,” added Geta. “And you want a peaceful solution as much as possible?”

“yes, I want a peaceful solution, but not one that risks all our people or our national honour,” said Mara. “But let me be clear about that. I don’t want national honour where we only have one idea of what that means. Let’s explore every possibility for peace.”

The two men went back to their seats after bowing.

“I wonder if this will last,” mused Geta. “Let’s make the most of it.”

Lalery nodded. The two men got to work as the plane soared towards Novitera their officials led by Corbulo joining them. The Queen contacted Prince Enoch and talked about her husband’s condition with him over the encrypted phone line before it began to break up due to some atmospheric issue, or possibly the sheer volume of signaling going on with several large fleets now in this part of the region…

To: Assistant Minister for International Relations Xeina Ccallo
From: Foreign Minister Hosidius Geta
Subject: Fleets in the Apollo Strait
Encryption: Most Secret, Eyes Only

Dear Assistant Minister,

I am also most concerned about the presence of these fleets in the area of the straits south of Latium. We have just been informed of their presence.

I should inform you that Queen Mara, myself and Finance Minister Lalery have just paid a visit to Constantine, claimant to the throne of Latium, as well as our ambassador in Castellum approaching Michael, claimant to the throne of Latium, and we are approaching what we hope will be a peace agreement between the two rivals. This agreement would involve a cease fire, a review of the claims and arbitration through the CPO. Towards this end we are determined to avoid shots being fired in anger any further than is necessary, particularly by non-Latin actors on the stage. We will continue to keep you informed of the progress of our diplomatic efforts.

We will also take the Akai and Vorindese operations in hand and prevent any unnecessary escalation, and will keep you informed of this as well.

I continue to admire and applaud your own diplomatic efforts which are in the highest that the diplomatic service of any nation can achieve: saving their country’s honour, treasure and people unnecessary loss and working towards their gain.

I have the honour to be
Hosidius Geta
Foreign Minister

To:His Imperial Majesty Albert, Emperor of Vorindeum
From:Queen Mara I
Encryption:Most Secret, Eyes Only

To Our Dear Cousin Albert,

I hope you are well, and your daughter and wife too. I have appreciated how steady and firm your hand has been at the helm of your country. While I wish I could say the same for myself I am proud to have had such a good government to work with and a family so strong and supportive. Our faith in God has been much tested but we may be through the refiner’s fire now.

Your fleet’s arrival came as a bit of a surprise, but then you enjoy surprises. I kind of like them too, and so here is my response to yours.

I went with Hosidius Geta and Finance Minister Lalery to Constantine, claimant to the throne of Latium, at the same time our ambassador in Castellum approaching Michael, claimant to the throne of Latium, and we are approaching what we hope will be a peace agreement between the two rivals. This agreement would involve a cease fire, a review of the claims and arbitration through the CPO. Towards this end we are determined to avoid shots being fired in anger any further than is necessary, particularly by non-Latin actors on the stage. We will continue to keep you informed of the progress of our diplomatic efforts.

In the meantime, to avoid unnecessary problems, I want to propose that our fleets should act in coordination as well as with the Akai fleet that is arriving. To make this easier, both my Defense Minister and Foreign Minister recommend that we have one general command for these operations on land, sea and air. I would like to propose that Admiral Count Amalek be made Commander-in-Chief for Allied Operations Latium, with Admiral Beatus operating under him. If this is acceptable to you please let me know. I will also advise my ambassador to work closely with your government in helping coordinate our diplomacy and overall goals and operations.

Regarding Prince Leo: he appears to have carried out his military campaign with a lot of competence. How well he would govern is another matter, but at the moment we seem to have the official choices of Constantine and Michael. I was not really happy with my meeting with Constantine, who I could be generous in saying was mourning his father and upset at his circumstances—I can hardly condemn anyone for that—but who seemed to be in a pissy mood generally. Michael by contrast might be insane according to our intelligence, but we’ll see what our ambassador has to say. However I respect your wisdom and I think we should talk about Leo more directly.

With greatest affection,
Mara the First
Queen of the Allied States

To: Ditor Hulang Lazin etc.
From:Queen Mara I
Subject: Latium
Encryption: Most Secret, Eyes Only

My dear Ditor,

Thank you very much for your letter. My government as well as my younger sister are grateful for your support. My sister speaks most highly of you indeed.

I went with Hosidius Geta and Finance Minister Lalery to Constantine, claimant to the throne of Latium, at the same time our ambassador in Castellum approaching Michael, claimant to the throne of Latium, and we are approaching what we hope will be a peace agreement between the two rivals. This agreement would involve a cease fire, a review of the claims and arbitration through the CPO. Towards this end we are determined to avoid shots being fired in anger any further than is necessary, particularly by non-Latin actors on the stage. We will continue to keep you informed of the progress of our diplomatic efforts.

In the meantime, to avoid unnecessary problems, I want to propose that our fleets should act in coordination as well as with the Akai fleet that is arriving. To make this easier, both my Defense Minister and Foreign Minister recommend that we have one general command for these operations on land, sea and air. I would like to propose that Admiral Count Amalek be made Commander-in-Chief for Allied Operations Latium, with Admiral Lu Chichu operating under him. If this is acceptable to you please let me know. I will also advise my ambassador to work closely with your government in helping coordinate our diplomacy and overall goals and operations.

May our friendship long continue,
Queen Mara the First of the Allied States of New Edom

To: His Imperial Majesty Louis XIX of Vannois
From:Queen Mara I of the Allied States
Encryption:Most Secret, Eyes Only

Your Imperial Majesty,

First, let me personally congratulate you on your natural ascension to the throne. I am informed by our Ambassador to your Court, Count Urban, that your coronation was in his words ‘breathtaking’. I wish I could have been there but I was still sick from my confinement following the birth of our heir, Prince Josias.

Your government is as concerned as ours is with the situation in Latium. I went with Foreign Minister Hosidius Geta and Finance Minister Lalery to Constantine, claimant to the throne of Latium, at the same time our ambassador in Castellum approaching Michael, claimant to the throne of Latium, and we are approaching what we[region] hope will be a peace agreement between the two rivals. This agreement would involve a cease fire, a review of the claims and arbitration through the CPO. Towards this end we are determined to avoid shots being fired in anger any further than is necessary, particularly by non-Latin actors on the stage. We will continue to keep you informed of the progress of our diplomatic efforts. I realize that your policy concerns may be very different from mine, and so I would like to propose that we work closely together to avoid unnecessary escalation of conflict.

As you may or may not be aware, there are fleets from Vorindeum and Akai in the strait now, which changes the balance of power as indeed our own presence does. These fleets are intended by us to operate under joint command under our admiral in the straits.

We would like to avoid an escalation and with your cooperation with us, as what I hope are the cooler heads involved, we may be able to do so.
I look greatly forward to your reply,

Queen Mara the First of the Allied States

To: Executor Eric Douglas
From: Foreign Minister Hosidius Geta
Subject: Fleets in the Apollo Strait
Encryption: Most Secret, Eyes Only

Dear Executor

I realize you are a very busy man and so I will not waste your time.

I should inform you that Queen Mara, myself and Finance Minister Lalery have just paid a visit to Constantine, claimant to the throne of Latium, as well as our ambassador in Castellum approaching Michael, claimant to the throne of Latium, and we are approaching what we hope will be a peace agreement between the two rivals. This agreement would involve a cease fire, a review of the claims and arbitration through the CPO. Towards this end we are determined to avoid shots being fired in anger any further than is necessary, particularly by non-Latin actors on the stage. We will continue to keep you informed of the progress of our diplomatic efforts.

We will also take the Akai and Vorindese operations in hand and prevent any unnecessary escalation, and will keep you informed of this as well.

I have the honour to be
Hosidius Geta
Foreign Minister

To: His Holiness Pope Julius IV
From: Queen Mara I of Latium
Subject: Latium
Encryption: Most Secret, Eyes Only

Your Holiness,

Having been advised of your excommunication of Michael of Latium, I am wondering about any further guidance of your government or the other Catholic nations of Cornellia you intend. I realize that there are grave concerns you must have about Michael’s spiritual state and his leadership of his country. I hope that there can be discussion as to what conditions Your Holiness would consider appropriate to lift this excommunication which would make it possible for there to be peace in Latium. I welcome discussions between our ambassador to Rodarion and your Office, or your Nuncio in New Edom and my Council on this subject.

I have the honour to be
Mara I,
Queen of the Allied States
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Lacus Magni
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Founded: Apr 02, 2011
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Postby Lacus Magni » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:18 pm

Palace of Augustus
Castellum ab Alba

When Ambassador Randronoth was admitted to the throne room, Emperor Michael hadn’t even noticed, instead he was laughing at something Deputy Prefect Laetorius had said to him before the doors swung open. It wasn’t until Councillor Gavius coughed that Michael first gave the man a cold stare before looking at his watch and finally the Ambassador. He gave the Edomite Ambassador a quick once over, then looked to his watch once more as he sat upon his throne comfortably with an uninterested look. The Emperor ran his hand in a quick circular to motion the man to hurry up and speak.

And when the Ambassador did speak, he kept his stare focused on Michael, but the Emperor did not provide him with full attention. Randronoth offered the usual pleasantries and first, which Michael ignored. He first brought up the betryal of Iccius, causing Michael to turn towards one of his sides. “Ah. What’d I tell you about that one?” Michael said with a chuckle to whomever standing near him that would listen, not addressing the Ambassador’s point of the enemy forces continuing to close in on him from all directions.

“Excuse you?” Michael adjusted his manner of seating to a more attentive position and laughed loudly with a face of disgust. “I must? Must he says? The nerve of some people. He comes into my home and thinks he can make demands of me, a Sovereign?” he turned to Gavius and shook his head disapprovingly. The Councillor was looking as nervous as ever as he shifted his eyes from the floor to the Emperor to the Ambassador and back to the floor. Surprisingly enough, Michael remained silent for the remainder of the Ambassador’s lecture though he made no attempt to pretend he was amused or even listening.

“How about this, Mr. Ambassador? I continue to tell the, Noviteran puppet, CPO to go fuck themselves and they stay out my business. There will be absolutely no deals with them. As the great ally you claim that you are, I’m sure this should be no problem for you to swallow. New Edom is a powerful country is it not? Make it work. And don’t come here with complaints of lack of landing sites when you have more than adequate land to utilize north of the city, yet in all your infinite wisdom have decided to abandon without prior discussion or involvement with my military.”

“You talk of information sharing, yet your government made no mention of the 4th’s movements towards the city. When I got me wondering, Ambassador. What could possess these great friends of mine to begin moving their troops without sharing that information” Michael said curiously, stroking his chin as if in deep thought. “What are you planning, Ambassador? Are you trying to overthrow me too? Is this some plot against me? You may not have been aware, but if you’re trying won’t be the first time someone’s tried. Would you like for me to tell you how it went for those who tried before? They’re dead. Some of them are right there actually, on the floor next to you,” Michae finally rose from his throne and pointed at one of the nearer stains.

“Sir, perhaps it’s more prudent to think on some of what the Ambassador has said,” Councillor Gavius muttered quietly and nervously.

Michael pulled back in confusion at the gall of his Councillor. “Open your mouth again like that and you’ll wish you hadn’t, Flavius. Now, I don’t want to hear another word of this...from either of you,” he pointed at his councillor and then the Ambassador. “We will defend the city, together, from the defensive positions previously agreed upon. My forces coming from the north will work in concert with your own on a defense. The men in charge now are me alone, of that I can assure you. What mistakes that were made by those disloyal members of my military and government are no more. Tell your government I have heard their concerns. Is that understood or do you have more demands of me, Ambassador? If there’s nothing else, we’re done here.”

Delphic Sea

The Latin carrier group loyal to Emperor Constantine in Adrianople had remained near the other allied naval vessels following the limited engagement that took place between rebellious elements of the Latin navy and Jedorian and Chacoan naval forces. Latium’s sole aircraft carrier, the IMS Leo X Augustus had served as the flagship of the limited Delphic fleet. Either aboard the flagship or doing patrols of the nearby airspace were a contingent of Rafale fighter aircraft, Super Entendard fighters, and two E-2 Hawkeye AWAC. Accompanying the IMS Leo X Augustus were three FREMM class frigates, IMS Victoria, IMS Vespasius, and IMS Sol; and two Orizzonte class destroyers, IMS Iohnnes XIII, and IMS Maria Augusta.

Following an alert from Terian and Chacoan militaries and advisement from Master of Soldiers Vipsanius in Adrianople, the Latin carrier group under the banner of Constantine XX proceeded to prepare to move in together with other allied naval forces to intercept the intruding enemy naval fleet under a joint allied command if it should be required.
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New Edom
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Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby New Edom » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:22 pm

The Imperial Palace, Castellum

During the earlier part of Michael's response the Admiral was standing quite still. It wold have been wrong to have said he was not disturbed or worried--but he had spent years of his life learning to be calm under stressful circumstances. He might vomit or fret later; while on duty he had learned to contain himself.

Towards the last part, as Michael was finishing his orders, The ambassador read from his phone and then looked up. "Two fleets have entered the strait. one Akai, one Vorindese. These fleets will be under Edomite command, ultimately. Otherwise they will be tempted to turn on you, sir. And regardless: this is a moment of truth sir. If you do not agree to go along with my Monarchs' plans then you will no longer considered a friend, but an enemy. What you are doing is in contravention of what our interests are. So here is a simple fact: I see the bloodstains here. I know the stories sir, I'm not blind. But it doesn't matter what happens to me save in this regard: If I do not tell the 4th to stop, they won't. Right now they presume according to their orders that you are incapable of governing and that they must secure your person for your own good. Whatever defenses you have they will brush aside without difficulty." He stared at the emperor. "Your only hope now is that I act upon the mercy of my Monarchs and advise you. If you are discourteous or threatening with me again, you will be treated as our enemy. And then we will do everything in our power to annihilate you. So you are at the threshold. Friendship or war, sir?" he stood waiting, making no effort to defend himself looking directly into Michael of Latium's eyes.

And still the Edomite Marine Infantry advanced steadily. By now they would have reached with less than 10 KM of the city. They were prepared for possibly being shelled or attacked, and so their drones were alert to the possibility of signals being fed to artillery or air strike units. As Captain Lucas rolled his APC forward he now dropped below the hatch and into the commander's seat and began to rely on the periscope and screens. He did a last check of the CROMWELL II battlesystem. The advancing force was also capable of contacting the fleet and using long range missile support to get cruise missiles as heavy ordnance if they needed it. One of the destroyers was on standby for this purpose.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Founded: Mar 10, 2011
Corporate Police State

Postby Arbites » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:19 pm

To: Office of Foreign Minister Hosidius Geta
From: Ambassador Jacob Lee
Subject: Latium
Encryption: Hand-delivered by diplomatic courier, eyes-only

Congratulations, Excellency, on the apparently successful talks with Constantine. I hope that the added stress of the Latin situation has not caused you any additional trouble with your health.

It seems, based on the negotiations at Adrianople, that New Edom is seeking to honorably extricate itself from this conflict. We hope that your government is able to do so, and if the Imperium is at all able to assist in this we hope you will contact us. The absurd attack on the Ghantish Embassy confirmed to my government that the forces loyal to Michael are largely incompetent. Embassy staff in Castellum report that an entire tank company was unable to prevent the escape of a large transport helicopter, and that Michael's air defenses apparently allowed the aircraft to escape the city. This debacle has further reinforced the Curia's belief that Michael is incapable of governing. Luckily the air and naval blockades have provided my government with an excuse to halt further aid shipments.

As we understand it now, however, Edomite forces are rapidly approaching the outskirts of Castellum, and Michael's military situation grows increasingly tenuous. Should it come to an occupation or outright conflict, my government wishes to offer assistance in whatever capacity would be most suitable. Although I believe negotiations will ultimately be successful, my government wants to stress that in the event that open hostilities break out between New Edom and any Latin faction, the Imperium will naturally honor our alliance. In the immediate term, we can offer to open a line of aerial reinforcement and resupply routed through East Klamath if an air corridor is open. Within 24 hours, a battalion of light infantry with artillery and vehicles may be transported by air to a suitable airfield, as long as an air corridor can be opened to the west. A full regiment can be deployed within 72 hours. It should be noted though that the presence of Imperial troops would apparently be distasteful to Latin leaders, who harbor strong prejudices against the Imperium. Imperial forces would need to arrive at airfields under direct Edomite control. If this would be politically inconvenient to New Edom's objectives, we can instead send supplies, enough to sustain your operations for at least two weeks.

In terms of naval movements, one of our submarine squadrons can also reach the Strait within the next 24 hours, although we anticipate the to be heavily monitored and detection may be unavoidable at this stage. Within 48 hours, Carrier Group Tempesta could reach the Strait with a Marine expeditionary force embarked on amphibious carriers. This would, we imagine, be provocative. As far as air elements are concerned, most of our air operations at least in the immediate future (at least 72 hours) would likely have to be carrier-based. At present no suitable airfields are accounted for, thanks in large part to Michael's refusal to share any intelligence whatsoever with our liaisons.

Alternatively, the Imperium could begin calling openly for CPO mediation as an unaligned player in the current hostilities. We anticipate that a number of nations would prefer to resolve this conflict before it threatens international shipping in the Strait, including the Noviterans, Romans, Tercians, and likely at least one of the Latin factions themselves. If both Constantine and Michael can be made to agree on a CPO mission, my government is fairly certain the votes are there.

On a tangentially related note, my government is watching events in Jedoria with great interest. All indications are that the hostile regime has overextended itself. We hope this will largely remove the Jedorian element from the Latin conflict, and presents a number of opportunities in southern Acheron which my government hopes to discuss further with yours in future communications.

By His Will,
Ambassador Lee
He who stands with me shall be my brother

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New Edom
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Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby New Edom » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:45 pm

To: Ambassador Jacob Lee of the Imperium of Arbites
From: Foreign Minister Hosidius Geta
Subject: Latium
Encryption: Most Secret Eyes Only, Hand delivered in sealed pouch directly to ambassador

Your Excellency,

Thank you very much for your letter. I agree that the situation is volatile. First, rest assured that we will do all we can to protect your embassy and any citizens of yours who could be in a potential war zone. However we imagine that this operation will be fairly surgical and that either Michael of Latium will yield to pressures one way or he will yield to them another.

It is our intention to bring about a peace in Latium which is to our satisfaction. Towards that end, if your government could support the moves by the Secretary-General and our envoy to a CPO settlement and peacekeeping, that would be excellent. Of course most nations in the region are not yet ready to provide a peacekeeping force, in which case the numbers you mention might be necessary to put in motion--for a peacekeeping force. We can coordinate your fleet's refueling and operational planning at Peregrino where they will be welcome to dock in anticipation of their move towards Latium.

I am, on behalf of my government, grateful for your nation's alliance which is as constant as the North Star.

I have the honour to be
Hosidiius Geta
Foreign Minister
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Postby Novitera » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:14 pm

To: Executor Eric Douglas
From: Foreign Minister Hosidius Geta
Subject: Fleets in the Apollo Strait
Encryption: Most Secret, Eyes Only

Dear Executor

I realize you are a very busy man and so I will not waste your time.

I should inform you that Queen Mara, myself and Finance Minister Lalery have just paid a visit to Constantine, claimant to the throne of Latium, as well as our ambassador in Castellum approaching Michael, claimant to the throne of Latium, and we are approaching what we hope will be a peace agreement between the two rivals. This agreement would involve a cease fire, a review of the claims and arbitration through the CPO. Towards this end we are determined to avoid shots being fired in anger any further than is necessary, particularly by non-Latin actors on the stage. We will continue to keep you informed of the progress of our diplomatic efforts.

We will also take the Akai and Vorindese operations in hand and prevent any unnecessary escalation, and will keep you informed of this as well.

I have the honour to be
Hosidius Geta
Foreign Minister

To: Foreign Minister Hosidius Geta
From: Executor Eric Douglas
Subject: RE: Fleets in the Apollo Strait
Encryption: Most Secret, Eyes Only

My government understands and thanks you for keeping us informed. The Administration is not comfortable with the Vorindese fleet entering the Strait at this time. I have been instructed to inform you that we insist they consult with us first and receive our permission after an understanding has been worked out before proceeding. If not, the Vorindese fleet will be instructed to refrain from entering the Strait. Should they refuse, United Federation naval and air assets will be ordered to fire upon them.

Eric Douglas
Executor of State, United Federation of Novitera
Last edited by Novitera on Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Founded: Apr 02, 2011
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Postby Lacus Magni » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:16 pm

Palace of Augustus

Michael’s level of frustration at the combination of the length of the discussion and the manner in which the Ambassador was speaking with him had been continuing to grow. This man won’t shut his fucking mouth, Michael looked at his watch again when Ambassador Randronoth opened his mouth again after Michael had declared the conversation over and had begun to get ready to leave the room.

The Emperor left a calm face as he looked to the Ambassador, who continued to ramble on about his nation’s desires. And finally he left Emperor Michael with a choice, friendship or war. The Emperor sat on the words for a few seconds before breaking out a large smile. It was almost if the look on his face instantly went from one of frustration and anger to one of sudden joy. He looked to Gavius and then back to the Ambassador before slowly rising from his throne. Michael carefully and deliberately made his way down the few steps between the throne and the ground below where Ambassador Randronoth stood.

Michael stood next to the man, still wearing the same smile and reached out his arm to place on the Ambassador’s shoulder. “We shall be great friends then,” the strong and tall Emperor smiled with a cheerful voice, removing his hand from the man’s shoulder and lowering it for a handshake to demonstrate his friendship.

The Emperor offered one more friendly smile before speaking. “Together my men and your detachment of the 4th shall begin a defense of the city. Towards the end more shared communication, I offer you Deputy Prefect in Evocati Laetorius. There is no man I trust more both with my life and with defense of the city than him - he has repeatedly demonstrated his value. The Deputy Prefect will ensure that we now have a proper channels of communication. No one knows the city quite like him. Where would you see defenses set up, Peter?” Michael turned to his side to see the Deputy Prefect.

“North of the river in Pistorium is where I’d try and break through. We can shore up the Felixian Wall there with the 4th, should our allies agree. From there we can do any number of things with the Scholarians, their new commanders, and forces pulling back from Kallipolis,” Laetorius stepped forward to suggest. “I’d be happy to welcome your men, Ambassador, and draw up any plans for defense with the commanders. From there we should be able to find a use for our retreating force.”

“Are you married Ambassador?” Michael said before ending the conversation. “I should love to have you and a guest over soon so we may sup together. Flavius here would be happy to arrange it. I’d be forever grateful if you could attend.”

“And Ambassador, one last thing,” Michael began to speak once more as he stopped walking away. “I will treat you and Their Majesties as ever faithful allies, but not as babysitters. There were those that worked to undermine me. You now know what happened to them, and that their sabotage will be no more. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some writing complete.”

Between Ravenna and Pola

Before embarking from Ravenna, he checked in with Adrianople to hear if there was any news of a ceasefire. There had been none. Good, he thought when he heard the news, Michael shouldn’t get off that easy. If we’re lucky he won’t by the time we march through him. He had wanted to speak with Constantine before leaving Ravenna, but due to security concerns Leo and the Master of Soldiers thought it best not to have the Emperor speak. Leo and his army travelled along the Raedavea and another access road to its north, though making sure to move between different points in his lines. He knew their movements were being watched based on his most recent intelligence briefing and scouting reports. That much was clear.

Though as of yet their path had been smooth and void of resistance from locals they passed by with no sign of any enemy army in the area. Flying in the skies above Leo were the same aircraft that had been on patrols of their location and movements, though Constantine had seen it fit to send further air support and cover for Leo in order to expand the area of their patrols. Leo had heard that a pair of fighters had even flown just past the eastern boundary of Greater Alba. Uncle Theodosius has been more than generous with the added support, he thought on the news of the agreement and even more additional air support over Ravenna, his forces and further. He was so close to catching Michael, he could feel it would happen soon. Days he’d hoped at least.

The sooner Michael’s dead, the sooner we’ll all be safe and the sooner I can see Anna again, he thought on occasion as they pressed forward toward the city of Pola, the only other major city between Ravenna and the occupied capital. At his support, along with Strategos Iccius and all their legates, were nearly forty thousand men of infantry, armor and artillery with all their requisite equipment and the like. The remainder would maintain their supply lines and hold Ravenna and the surrounding area until called upon.

Western Latium

Per agreement with his uncle, which had allowed for expanded air support of all Emperor Constantine’s forces, elements of the Latin Imperial Air Force had begun to expand their patrols of western Latium in greater numbers. Recent reports had placed an alarming number of potentially hostile navies heading towards the Latin-Noviteran Strait. At this end, it was hoped by Emperor Constantine and his uncle, Prince Theodosius, Duke of Beroea, that to ensure both a swift end to the conflict and an attempt to cut off Michael in Castellum, that added patrols and flights would be needed across Latium.

Nearly forty Typhoon fighter jets had been dispatched from the closest airbase in Acrae, along with five Tornado SEAD fighter aircraft. At their furthest reach, these aircraft would patrol the Latin airspace and territorial waters in the westernlands. A single E-2 Hawkeye would be joining them from an airbase further north in Beroea, to aid with any possible surveillance.

Mons Ottavia

Citizens had been gathering since the disappearance of the Archbishop of Castellum. The first day of his disappearance only few concerned faithful began to appear outside of Sacra Basilica de Angeli Gabriel. They would approach the doors of the church, only to be turned away by the Archbishop’s Correspondence Secretary. The only information he gave was “His Eminence is unavailable at this time.” The next day, Scholarians began to appear outside of and around the Basilica. According to the local press they were simply investigating the “suspicious disappearance of the Archbishop.” After the Scholarians arrived at the Basilica, they had placed barricades and guards around the entrances.

Since that day, crowds had continued to gather outside the Basilica and even other major churches in the city though Scholarians continually worked to keep people away from the church. The more and more they tried, the more people began to gather. Then the news came that the man claiming to be Emperor in Castellum was excommunicated. The crowds would reach its largest size, with protests springing up not only in the vicinity of Sacra Basilica de Angeli Gabriel in the borough of Mons Ottavia, but nearly every borough in the city with exception of the Greek Quarter, Palatine, the City and port.

“They didn’t enforce curfew last night,” said one local Mons Ottavia man in the group to his friend. They were gathered near Sacra Basilica de Angeli Gabriel, but with such a large crowd were further away and nearing on the border of their own borough and neighboring Mons Pincius.

“Look around, there’s no way they’d be able to,” his friend replied with a loud volume in his voice so he could be heard over the rest of the loud crowd. Further up in the crowd protesters continued to shout at the few Scholarians that stood in front of Sacra Basilica de Angeli Gabriel. “They gave up for a reason. Your brother-in-law is a Scholarian right? He have anything to say?”

“By no choice of his own,” the friend replied with a laugh. “He’s worried, told my sister his bosses are concerned that they can’t contain the crowds. Well bugger them,” the man spit on the ground.

“Show us the Archbishop you fucking coward!” protesters around them shouted.

“I’ve heard some talk of a...gathering at the Palatine...that sounds awfully dangerous, Anastasius” he told his friend. “Why bother shouting, not like they can hear you anyway?”

“They can’t hear me, but they can hear us,” Anastasius replied, grabbing his friend by the jacket. “If we don’t show them we care, if we don’t demand answers…” he paused with a sigh. “Look, this boy killed his father, has repeatedly suppressed the media, stripped us of our rights to assemble, he rejects the Senate and they him, did who knows what to the Archbishop and has been excommunicated. He needs to go, it’s as simple as that.”

“What...are you suggesting we climb the Palatine and…?” Anastasius asked curiously, fearing someone would overhear their conversation through the large crowd. Rumors had been of agents hidden throughout the crowds, some protestors claiming friends or family members had gone randomly missing.

“Even the Scholarians don’t know what to do, friend. They’re just like you and me. This is their city, just as much as mine or yours. They have families here and elsewhere. Well...for the most part,” his friend’s attention was drawn towards the front of the crowd when a commotion began. There was shoving near the front of the crowd, bodies of some protestors being thrown into the Scholarian and police barriers that were blocking the entrance of the church. A Scholarian immediately threw the protestor back into the crowd and fired a single shot into the air, causing the protesters closest to jump back away from the barriers and the guards. Local police, easily identifiable by being armed and lacking a a Scholarian uniform quickly began to step away from the exterior walls of the church and from the scene entirely.

“Come on,” Anastasius grabbed his friend as they pushed through the crowd. Some protesters shouted, some fought to reach the front like Anastasius and his friend, few tried to push away from the front of the church. The few Scholarians stationed in front of the church looked at one another confused and then to their commander, fired his gun into the air, though looked less and less confident after doing so.

Once they reached the front, all of the few local police that had been stationed at the doors finally fled from the scene. Now the only thing keeping the protestors from the church were no more than seven Scholarians and a thin moveable barricade. Anastasius continued to drag his friend to his point, letting go of his friend just as they reached the barricade. He continuing forward over the barricade and ramming into Scholarian that appeared to be the leader. The man dropped his gun and hit the ground, along with the protestor. Others followed his lead, leaping over the barricade and attacking the few remaining Scholarians - though at least two started to run off in a different direction.

Finally, Anastasius looked around at the chaos, finding a rifle lying on the ground at his feet. He picked it up, then thrusted it into the air with cheers from the protesters.
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New Edom
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Democratic Socialists

Postby New Edom » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:38 pm

Palace of Augustus

Michael stood next to the man, still wearing the same smile and reached out his arm to place on the Ambassador’s shoulder. “We shall be great friends then,” the strong and tall Emperor smiled with a cheerful voice, removing his hand from the man’s shoulder and lowering it for a handshake to demonstrate his friendship.

The Emperor offered one more friendly smile before speaking. “Together my men and your detachment of the 4th shall begin a defense of the city. Towards the end more shared communication, I offer you Deputy Prefect in Evocati Laetorius. There is no man I trust more both with my life and with defense of the city than him - he has repeatedly demonstrated his value. The Deputy Prefect will ensure that we now have a proper channels of communication. No one knows the city quite like him. Where would you see defenses set up, Peter?” Michael turned to his side to see the Deputy Prefect.

“North of the river in Pistorium is where I’d try and break through. We can shore up the Felixian Wall there with the 4th, should our allies agree. From there we can do any number of things with the Scholarians, their new commanders, and forces pulling back from Kallipolis,” Laetorius stepped forward to suggest. “I’d be happy to welcome your men, Ambassador, and draw up any plans for defense with the commanders. From there we should be able to find a use for our retreating force.”

"Thank you sir, but I think it might be wiser if you communicated with them through an encrypted radio and messaging channel at this stage." advised Randronoth.

“Are you married Ambassador?” Michael said before ending the conversation. “I should love to have you and a guest over soon so we may sup together. Flavius here would be happy to arrange it. I’d be forever grateful if you could attend.”

"Your Majesty is too kind," said Randronoth as though he was glad to hear this, which he was not. The idea of dining with Michael was about as pleasurable as a colonoscopy to him. "I am a widower, I'm afraid. I have not seen fit to marry. My daughters both live in New Edom. However I can arrange to bring someone suitable." He smiled inwardly at the thought of Brero slouching around the palace slurping his soup and staring blankly at the emperor.

“And Ambassador, one last thing,” Michael began to speak once more as he stopped walking away. “I will treat you and Their Majesties as ever faithful allies, but not as babysitters. There were those that worked to undermine me. You now know what happened to them, and that their sabotage will be no more. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some writing complete.”

"Well, that's very good sir, about the defense of the city," said the Ambassador. Randronoth was a bit personally relieved...he was prepared to let his bood be shed but didn't necessarily want it to be particularly. However he coghed as the Emperor finished his last words. The young man could rattle off like a damned woman, he never shut up when he got started. Randronoth made a few discreet button pushes on his phone.

"Sir, there's one more thing, I'm afraid. The CPO issue. That has to be resolved. There must be negotiations and an agreement to allowt he CPO to arbitrate and examine the case for legitimacy of the throne to have a peaceful settlement." He was firm on this. "Their Majesties were quite clear on that point. We will need to have a message sent out right away. While the 4th Marine Infantry is fully prepared to help you defend the city, ideally we should be buying time. One step at a time. Right now the rebels are in a great position of advantage. Starting the negotiations will reverse that."

He then waited.

"...I'm seeing large crowds on the streets in spite of rumoured curfew, and apparently they've overwhelmed a police station. They are protesting the missing Patriarch..." a New Edomite journalist was saying. The 4th's regimental commander nodded slowly. "Well this is awkward. Maybe he's sick. Or dead." he shook his head.

"This is the reality on the ground here," he informed his officers. "We are about to enter a world of hurt unless they give us the green light to attack. We are outnumbered on air and land, and sea is getting farther away. If we're going to slow down these bastards, we need those missile strikes now. Otherwise it's a fighting retreat to Castellum and then we're stuck there with only the resupply we brought with us. However we will do our duty. Will you?"

"Amen, sir!" he got a chorus of replies.

The Colonel swiftly calculated. For a modest fight, he had a few hours in this regiment before they got seriously low. They would run out of artillery and tank shells first, then heavy weapons, then finally small arms. He ordered the vehicles refueled in stages, by companies, spread out so that there could be no easy kill by missile or air strike, sentries posted in ambushes to prevent a swift dash from a recon or armoured unit from breaking through.

Rumour had also reached him that the Vorindese and Akai fleets had slowed down. He wasn't sure if this was true or not, but he snorted. All talk, these supposed friends. As usual, New Edom stood alone, only Arbites, too distant to be of real help, their true reliable friends. So be it.

He knelt in prayer in the vehicle. The other men there crossed themselves. Lord, if it be thy will, let my arms not be ashamed nor defeated. let me not be caught in the snare of the fowler. Let a thousand fall at my left side, and ten thousand at my right, but let it not come near me and my men. Oh Lord, not today, not today! But nevertheless...Thy will be done. He rose with a clearer head.
Last edited by New Edom on Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Republica De Gran Chaco
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Founded: Jun 29, 2015
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Republica De Gran Chaco » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:12 am

To: Admiral Amalek, Carrier Task Force Boa
From: General Pablo Fuentes, CEF
Subject: Planes over Castellum
Encryption: Hightst

To the esteemed Admiral Amalek,

I wish to let you know that you will soon detect aircraft over the Latin capital city.

We wish to avoid confrontation with Edomite fighters.

The planes are on a non-combat mission, and no Edomite is in any danger.

We still have orders to avoid combat with Edomite forces at all cost.

This message is a courtesy; we trust the honor of you and your countrymen.


Sky Over Castellum ab Alba, Latium

Captain Christian Jordy held his course high over Castellum. His squadron of F-15E Strike Eagles were flying escort to 24 A-4M Skyhawks of the Fleet Air Arm Reserve that had been deployed to Latium before the move. They were just about moving towards the city center. 5,000 feet below the Strike Eagles, F-4Gs were moving searching for detection of radar and the SAMs that often came with them. there had been a flight moving ahead of the group and one was behind trying to make sure that no ambushes waited. As they had approached the city, Christian had heard the cry “Magnum!” come over the radio a couple times as the SEAD boys had launched harms at any radar they picked up. Now everything seemed quiet, no planes of Michaels had scrambled, so it looked to Christian that he wouldn’t get to play today.

Over the radio the EWOs in the E-2 Hawkey were informing them that Constantine's planes were moving alongside them now to the north.

“Hey Jordy, check it out.” Christian’s Weapons Systems Officer said over the intercom.

Christian looked to the right, the squadrons of Skyhawks had broken into their flights and spread out heading towards their objectives over the city. They headed for the most populated residential areas, and the post popular downtown working and shopping spots as their Latin counterparts were doing farther north. Finally, the Skyhawks dropped their ordinance, and what seemed to Christian a grey white cloud was fluttering down towards the streets. The Skyhawks turned and headed for home and Christian and the other escorts followed.

What had been dropped was hundreds of thousands of leaflets that floated down to the capital for all to read. The message was printed in both Latin and Greek, and it was meant to further incite displeasure among the populace that sat under Michael’s control.

To all who read these words know, that you are constantly in the heart of the true Emperor Constantine. Had these papers been bombs, then all who hold a message would have died. The emperor wishes desperately to liberate you from the tyranny of the pretender Michael. As we speak, Michael is preparing to make your very homes a battlefield! All of you know how hard life has been because of this pretender. Please encourage the soldiers in your city to join and welcome the true emperor, and encourage Michael to step down.

Soldiers and Scolarians who are reading, if you surrender than nothing will happen to you and you will be allowed to return to your families after the war in peace!

Should you believe that it is too dangerous, please evacuate the city as soon as possible! We do not wish citizens to be caught in a battle, and if Michael does not step down the battle will come.

Michaels forces have collapsed outside the city. The army that defended Ravenna has joined the emperor, leaving nothing but dirt between there and the capital. Michaels northern army has been routed. The Pope has excommunicated Michael!

Even if soldiers tell you these are lies, think about this, dozens of aircraft opposing Michael have flown over you today. Where were Michael’s fighters to oppose the emperor? Good people of Latium you know the truth! Let us make this war shorter and have peace again!
Last edited by Republica De Gran Chaco on Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:18 am, edited 3 times in total.
كان التيز سمين

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:35 pm

“The winged beasts and angels know, that mortals cannot fly.
But how I flew to see the sun; a broken bird am I.”

― Craig Froman, An Owl on the Moon: A Journal from the Edge of Darkness

Inperiala Palace
Ghish, Ghant

(Co-written with Lacus Magni)

Wow…Irulan Coru wasn’t bluffing…

The road from Ghish to the Golden Coast on the eastern shoreline of Nathia ended in the town of Thalia, an old if not unremarkable coastal abode famous for its long grainy beaches, tall pale stone lighthouses and white-washed beach houses. The sky was clear with sparse clouds, the air was fresh and breezy and smelled of the sea, and gulls hovered above the coastline in search of quarry. Thalia was a rather picturesque seaside town, though it was often overlooked as far as tourist destinations were concerned. The most famous of the features of Thalia were the three tall alabaster spires that stood sentinel not far off the shore, the so called White Towers of Thalia.

They were built almost a thousand years ago by King Edward I of Low Ghant, the Seventh Gentry King, and who was famed for his great constructions, which also included the legendary Walls of Ghish. The towers were built in honor of the coastal Ghantar that inhabited Nathia who were plagued for centuries by marauding Vikings. The Vikings inflicted the Ghantar with sorrow and great loss, but in King Edward’s days there was relative peace in the realm. Edward himself came often to the towers, and it was he that insisted that lights be put inside so people could look and see them from far beyond the sea.

It was beneath them, and all around them that the good men of Ghant had gathered to do the bidding of their lords, chief among them Lionel Lianu and his principal bannermen, though they were not alone. He had sent a message to the Latin Princess Maria about joining him, but as of yet had not heard back from her. However, Emperor of Ghant was joined by such illustrious company as King Gadiel of Gaemar, King Taboro of Arrautsa, King Jori of Jehenna and Crown Prince Martin of Dakmoor, Captain Rosa Sharon as well as a smattering of southern lords of far lesser repute. Their men arrived in planes and vehicle convoys, and assembled in Thalia as the staging ground of their great undertaking.

Nathan was restless the whole drive from Ghish, nervously tapping his fingers upon the window of his sedan. It is finally happening, he thought. Foreign adventure at last. More immediate company consisted of Alaric Dain, Olyvar of Thule, Zara Thrall, Desmond Hyla, Ser Rolli Ahateremu and Ser Lyl Bogardan. Though of course, all of this company didn’t make him feel any less alone. His mind was wandered back to his final act in Ghish…

“I’ve been thinking about this for awhile,” Nathan remarked to Cassandra when he came to visit her again in her chambers, the morning that he departed Ghish. He sat on the edge of her bed the way that he had before, and leaned back to face her. “About what you said…”

Cassandra had still been sick, in a comfortable white shift under the blankets. “Is that right? Good, you should…you should listen to me more often,” she replied gently, with all the subtlety of a succubus.

“Myself and many others are going to Vannois to taste wine, as I’m sure you’re aware,” Nathan said to her, speaking in code. “There’s a chance that I might not come back…you know that. And a chance that I will come into conflict with certain beasts of the wing.”

“Woe be to any who would dare endeavor to strike a blow against our Empire,” she said as she shifted under the blanket. “And the lowest of the Nine Hells reserved for false friends.”

“Aye, Cassie. Alas, there is only one who I know can lead this family, and this country, through the coming storm, and will no matter what, put our country, our people and our family first, and be able to withstand the influences of anyone, until such a time as I return, or Gods be good, should I perish and my son and heir take the throne.” With a deep breath, Nathan bent down and picked up the massy gold scepter of his office and slid it across the bed, where it stopped at her feet. “Princess Cassandra of Ghant and Cumberland, daughter of Prince Richard of Ghant and Minka of Nekulturnya, I would name thee Lady Protector of Ghant, until such a time as I return, or unto my death, when the Jauneketxea will name a Regent until such a time as my son and heir comes of age.”

Cassandra looked at Nathan with wide eyes, and her mouth opened wide, showing her straight white teeth and her fair tongue. “I accept, of course. It is a high honor, and a great responsibility that such power be thrust upon my shoulders. I solemnly swear to you that I will carry out the duties of the Imperial seat with the utmost care and prudence.”

“And you must also swear to protect my wife, my children and loved ones,” Nathan insisted as he got up. “If you will do that, then I shall leave you to it. The officers and administrators of state have been informed of my decision, and that should you accept, that you are the Lady Protector of Ghant under the circumstances that I’ve explained.”

She nodded slowly. “They have nothing to fear, cousin. It pains me that you must leave, and naturally I shall worry for your safety. Please, stay with me a little while longer, for I shall be sad to see you go, and wish that you will return soon.”

“Unfortunately I must make with great haste, for the wine of Vannois may be gone by the time I arrive there. Rest assured, when the tasting is done I will return, and we can spend more time together then if you’d like…”

Then he was gone, as were his companions and compatriots. Word of Cassandra’s ascension spread quickly however. “Michael is insisting that Jocasta and he leave the capital at the earliest available opportunity,” Martin told him while en route to Thalia. “The lords of Dakmoor left Ghish with their retainers in some haste, and some have begun praying that this will be over soon. Tell me though Nathan…what madness possessed you to name Cassandra Lady Protector of Ghant?”

Nathan had to be careful in his response. “Sophia could use her help…you know that. She can’t manage everything by herself…”

“…Some help.” Martin didn’t have much else to say after that, a look of apprehension on his face as they approached Thalia. Once they arrived they parted company, and Nathan went out into the seaside town to inspect the situation more thoroughly, dressed in casual and comfortable imperial regalia.

It certainly didn’t have the look or feel of a military operation, keeping very much in the spirit of a large number of people traveling somewhere to engage in the local festivities. There were several large planes that would make the trip to Vannois, along with a number of large crates of supplies. There were many armed men however on patrol, marching in formation and escorting VIPs to their aircraft. It was a most unusual combination with the otherwise sleepy coastal town, not accustomed to such activity.

Indeed, the locals looked out from the windows of their homes, perched up on roofs gazing down like it was a parade. There were picnics, merchants with stalls in the streets and peddlers hugging where the beach met the street. Elsewhere there were children running barefoot in the sand, pretending they were soldiers, and girls with makeshift tea parties with white bedsheets draped over small round tables.

The Emperor stood on the edge of the road by the beach and squinted as the sunlight cast its rays upon his eyes, and felt the ocean breeze stroke his somewhat shaggy reddish-brown hair. The tides gently lapped against the sandy beach, and all around him people moved to and fro, busy they were in their tasks. It was then that a figure began to take form like a mirage, off in the distance, but becoming clearer to him as it grew closer.

Princess Maria of Latium and her small retainer of Praetorian guardsman, complimented by added guards and men from House Atmos, arrived in Thalia after receiving urgent word from Emperor Nathan by way of Hector Atmos, who had been in Ghish. The Latin princess was advised by her Praetorians that her brother wished for her to remain put until he called on her and their siblings again. Though still upset with Nathan after their most recent - and unusual - encounter, Maria eventually decided to ignore the advice of her guard and made the journey to meet him.

As Princess Maria moved through the streets with her guards, she took in all the sights of the men marching, though focused on the waterfront in particular. She was thankful that her guard instructed her to “dress down” for the occasion, as such the Princess was dressed casually for the journey in the hopes of not standing out so much.

She came after all. The Emperor walked in her direction, and smiled when she was close enough to talk to. “You came after all,” he said to her, beaming. “And here I thought you wouldn’t come at all.”

“I nearly didn’t,” Maria forced a smile out before remembering to curtsy for the Emperor. “You should thank Hector for being so persuasive. Vannois then...this should be an interesting trip.”

“Hector knows just as much as I do that your presence is vital,” he said to her as he drew near. “I only hope we aren’t too enjoy wine season, that is.”

Maria looked around at all of those marching or otherwise preparing to leave for Vannois. “I’d be more concerned about them running out of wine with this lot.”

Nathan laughed at that, and tapped Maria on the shoulder. “Vannois, running out of wine? That’ll be the day, Maria. That’ll be the day.” Then he recomposed himself and looked around, noticing that the first of the cargo and personnel planes had began to depart from their strips for Vannois. “We should make our final preparations to fly out. You know I don’t do so well on flights...better start drinking now.”

“Stranger things have happened. And these are a strange a times as any I can remember,” Maria said with a disappearing smile. “I suppose I should get ready as well. Who will I be flying with?”

“Me, apparently…” a feminine voice interjected from behind the Emperor, his guards parting for other imperial guards. They were escorting Princess Anastasia, while servants carried her bags out of a black tinted sedan. The Ghantish princess was dressed in a casual gown appropriate for traveling, while her hair was disheveled and her face in the guise of someone who didn’t get much sleep.

Nathan smiled at his cousin, though it was rather forced, merely a means of addressing the awkwardness of her sudden arrival. “Anastasia…I wasn’t expecting you to join us.”

The first thing out of her mouth in response to that was “what the fuck Nathan, you named Cassandra Lady Protector of Ghant? Her first order of business was to summon me and send me packing on this stupid wine tasting adventure of yours. When I refused, she had me forcefully escorted to my chambers by armed men, and then taken here after I packed. God, this is so stupid!” she snorted in anger.

The Emperor choked on the words as they caught in his throat, and couldn’t find an answer…or at least couldn’t think of one that would make her feel any better. Man, it seems like the people around me think that was a bad idea…

“Lovely, we can share our reluctance in this trip together then,” Maria took a look at the girl who just joined them, finding her to look familiar. “Princess Anastasia, is it?”

Anastasia nodded as her men carried her luggage off towards the plane nearest to them, smaller than the others as befitted a small party. “That’s correct. I saw you at Arietta’s wedding, talked to your brother and stuff. Constantine, that is...crazy to think about how much has changed since then. What a world, right?”

“Oh yes, I remember hearing about that,” Maria offered a faint smile before speaking to Nathan. “Indeed...what a world. Well, if there’s nothing else, Your Majesty, I think I’d like to get settled before take off.”

The Emperor nodded. “By all means, be my guest. I’m glad you’re with us, and please have a pleasant flight,” he said to Maria and his cousin before bowing slightly and walking off in the direction of his designated plane. Anastasia puckered her lips and sighed as she too went towards her plane, following in the footsteps of her luggage-bearers with guards in tow.

Maria followed after Anastasia to their plane, with her few Praetorians tagging along. She managed to catch up to Anastasia by walking at a quicker pace as they neared the plane. “So they forced you to come then?”

“Not they,” the Ghantish Princess clarified. “ sister. She’s such a bitch, you have no idea. I suppose the silver lining in all this is that at least I won’t have to be around her for a while…”

“I see,” Maria nodded. “I’m sure she had her reasons. Maybe she thought it wouldn’t be safe in Ghish while Nathan was away or something.”

“...Nah, she did it for some reason that only she knows about,” answered Anastasia with a brush of her brown hair away from her face as the wind got it in her eyes. “I swear, sometimes this family just does the strangest things for purposes all to themselves.”

“There’s always one in each family, possibly more in the case of yours,” Maria said jokingly in hopes of brightening the mood some. “On the bright side the weather is sure to be warmer in Vannois.”

Anastasia nodded, finding that statement to be especially true. “That’s definitely the case. Warm weather and an excess of wine? The more I think about it the better it sounds.”

“Hmm,” Maria offered a genuine smile. “The only way it could be even better is if we make an extended stop at the beaches near Saint-Nazaire. We could even bribe the pilot,” she joked.

“That does sound nice,” the Ghantish Princess agreed with a firm nod of her head. “I’m not sure what the itinerary is, but we shall find out in due time.” Anastasia took a deep breath as he began to climb the ramp up into the plane, giving the white towers one last glance before vanishing into the plane’s interior.

Princess Maria followed Anastasia up the plane’s ramp, pausing to take one last look at the coastal city before boarding. She looked across to see if she could spot Nathan out of the crowds of people, but soon entered the plane anyway and hoped for a quick flight to Vannois. In that regard, she was not alone...


The Vorindese Fleet
Tempesta Ocean
The Latin West Coast

The admiral’s cabin of the Vorindese carrier was so quiet that the grandfather clock roared with all the ticking of a church organ. In the midst of the richly decorated though otherwise Spartan room, stood the old Admiral as he scratched at the stubble growing beneath his chin and rasped his knuckles upon the wooden table. The sound of the clock was almost deafening as he tapped the letter forwarded to him from his Emperor, nestled in his perch back in Vorindeumstadt. The sound of bone upon the smooth, hard wooden surface of the table let out an audible thud, swallowed by the ticking of the clock. If he was miffed before he received this letter about the Emperor of Vorindeum’s machinations, he was especially miffed now, to see how those machinations evolved.

“The Emperor and I had this discussion before I left port,” Beatus scowled as he rubbed his forehead and exhaled deeply. “I told him that the Strait was a deathtrap due to the number of potential enemies that dwell in those waters, and he agreed with me. Now, the Edomites want to exercise control of this fleet in their operation, and send us in there? The Noviterans and their allies despise Albert…the man is everything that they hate. They won’t let any ships bearing Vorindese flags in, and that’s even if we are to assume that Constantine’s commanders would either. All indications are that they wouldn’t.”

Admiral Beatus had not only received the first two letters of correspondence between Albert and the Edomites, but he received the most recent one as well, and it was the third one that caused him the greatest feeling of being disgruntled. He looked it over once more, shaking his head even as he read it a second time for posterity.

Emperor of Vorindeum, Lord Prince of Ghant

To: Mara, Queen of New Edom
From: Albert, Emperor of Vorindeum
CC: Admiral Beatus Gerlach of the Vorindese Imperial Navy
Subject: RE: RE: Latium
Encryption: High

Your Majesty,
I am as well as a man could be under such trying circumstances as these appear to be. Your appreciation is received with gratitude, as the world of good governance is so often a poorly understood craft. Indeed, as my mother used to say, good rules are often fair but seldom considered kind.

Perhaps I would be remiss in not pointing out that I enjoy surprises less than I do the element of surprise. Latium is a hornet’s nest, swarming with volatile opportunists. With that in mind, I hope you can forgive my lack of forewarning. Now that my fleet is present off of the western coast of Latium, I feel as though we are in a position with which to make a difference for the good of the realm.

It relieves me to know that my friends in New Edom value the same thing as myself, though our paths to achieving that have thus far proved different. As a second son myself, I understand Michael’s frustrations and sympathize with them, though naturally, it is the duty of a younger brother to be loyal and faithful to his elder, especially within the realm of highborn personages.

Might I digress, naturally I support a peaceful resolution to the conflict, all the better one that involves Constantine and Michael working out their differences via CPO mediation, while their claims are reviewed. For what it’s worth, I can personally provide evidence of Constantine being the legitimate and lawful heir of the late Emperor Jason, but to be frank, I believe that your government cares less about all that than it does about the tangible political realities that your government is faced with.

The principle political reality is the ongoing threat that certain nations pose to New Edom in that part of Acheron. While I would naturally agree to allow the distinguished Admiral Count Amalek to exercise command over my fleet, my primary reservation at this time is Vorindese involvement in the Latin Strait. It was not my intention to enter the strait but rather to avoid it entirely, because it is known to me that the nations that currently have military assets there are no fans of either myself or my country, and as you may recall, previous efforts to pass through it have been rebuffed. I would rather avoid direct confrontation in the Strait where the risks are high and the rewards are minimal at best, so as it stands I’d like to receive some reassurances involving the feasibility of such an undertaking.

Lastly, as it concerns my nephew Leo, indeed he has thus far been impressive. While it is true that good soldiers seldom make good kings, the boy is certainly my brother’s son. He has his temperament, which is more than can be said of Jason’s brood, which have inherited his arrogance and conceit. In any case, I would be more than happy to discuss Leo more directly, whether it is with yourself, a representative of your government or the Ambassador here in Vorindeumstadt.

It is my hope that any issues involving mediation, your idea of a joint command and my nephew can be worked out as clearly and as decisively as our governments have been able to do in the past.


Emperor of Vorindeum

Officer Zahn had the misfortune of being the one that delivered the message, though the young officer was not without his uses. “At least the Emperor had the decency to express his concern about entering the strait. If the Edomites want to take us in there, then they can ensure our safe passage. Otherwise it is as you say…too dangerous to go in under our present arrangement. Those there already will not take kindly to our being there, and again, at least the Emperor was keen enough to avoid the strait initially. There is nothing to be gained for us by entering it outright.”

Admiral Beatus put his hands behind his back and puckered his lips as he began to pace around the cabin with his chin raised high. “The Emperor intends to seat his nephew Leo upon the Latin throne, and yet Leo commands men loyal to Constantine, nevermind the fact that the boy himself is his cousin’s loyal man. It will not be any easier for the Emperor to persuade the boy to claim the throne if he thinks that the Emperor is acting against him. He is a Gentry after all, and that lot are as bull-headed as they come. One would have an easier time convincing the tide to not come.”

Apples seldom fall far from the tree. The Emperor of Vorindeum was a complex exercise in character study. He was far more popular in Vorindeum than he was in his homeland of Ghant, where he was nothing short of a polarizing figure. Beatus observed the similarities between Albert and Michael right away. Both were hard right-wingers, dictatorial in their ways, headstrong, arrogant after a fashion and most noticeably, the second sons, left to brood in the shadow of more popular elder brothers who were destined to rule.

As far as Beatus was concerned, Michael was living on borrowed time. His only advantages were that he controlled the capital and held the support of the Edomites, two things that he was in danger of losing if he didn’t play his cards right, which all indications pointed out that he wasn’t. It wasn’t like the Edomites to back a losing cause, unless of course doing so was merely a precursor to something else that wasn’t as easily seen. I am no political mind, what do I know of it? Soldier’s had the luxury of not having to worry about such things, after all.

Though the Emperor would never admit it, he loathed his older brother as much as he loved him. “It is like two trees that grow beside each other,” the Emperor of Vorindeum explained to Beatus privately in the former’s solar, once upon a time. “One shall grow tall and strong and beautiful, while the other shall be ugly, twisted and withered, deprived of the sunlight that the other tree has an abundance of.” Indeed, Beatus pitied the man while most of his countrymen feared him. Like Michael, Albert is a man who fights shadows, and shadows always win…

“And yet, the Edomites are the key,” Officer Zahn pointed out carefully. “If they can be persuaded to shift their support from Michael to Leo, all Leo has to do is take the capital, and it shall be secured for him. Constantine can be dealt with by other means.”

“The Griffins are proud beasts, that much is true, for they have grown fat from the spoils of victory,” Beatus cautioned, though ultimately he agreed. “To go from Michael to Constantine would appear a 180, but to go from Michael to Leo…well, that would merely be a policy adjustment, now wouldn’t it?”

The younger officer flashed a straight, pearly white smile that ironically matched his neatly pressed uniform. “Indeed, I doubt they would consider that backtracking.”

It was then that Beatus paced back around to his table, and gazed upon his detailed map of Latium and the surrounding lands and waters. He carefully reviewed the Vorindese fleet’s assets, in order to ascertain it’s formidability in a hostile environment such as the Latin Strait…should it come to that.

The deployable land forces consisted of two brigades that formed a light division, and they were a mechanized force supported by a carrier, joined by three amphibious ships with a carrier and escorts. More specifically, there was the carrier to provide air cover and helicopter support to the ground troops, a cruiser, three destroyers, four frigates, three troop ships and a fleet tender.

As it happened the fleet was somewhat seasoned, having conducted extensive training before being deployed to intervene in the Gloria Regis conflict. They exceeded expectations and earned the friendship of the Shrai, a favor that the Emperor had yet to call upon. That was their first true taste of combat, and had it not been for being blocked from intervening in the most recent Edomite Civil War, the Vorindese fleet would’ve had two campaigns under its belt.

The ground forces were under the command of a Brigadier-General, and consisted of two tank battalions, six mechanized infantry battalions (three of which were mechanized infantry regiments), one combat engineer battalion, one logistics battalion, one artillery battalion and one air defense battalion. No doubt that lot was chomping at the bit to get some action, and were resentful of Beatus for staying the orders to deploy into Latin’s west coast countryside.

While the Vorindese fleet was the pride of the empire, the imperial army was a source of great national fervor. The Emperor inherited a well-trained professional military force from Imperator Septimus Lexus, and the Emperor had determined relatively early on to keep it sharp like a blade ready to be drawn upon an eager foe. No doubt they wanted their opportunity, envious of the fleet’s success in Gloria Regis and ready for their chance at glory.

After some thought, Beatus replied, “The success of the Edomite plans at present are crucial to that end. Let us see how this issue of negotiation, and the strait fares. Anything beyond that is merely conjecture.” After a moment’s pause, the admiral turned to look at the officer and asked, “do you have anything else you wish to add, Officer?”

The young officer stiffened his back and replied, “no sir, that is all, though if there’s more I shall relay it to you as per your instructions. It is as you say…everything else is pure conjecture until we are assured of the Edomite course’s viability. There’s no danger in staying put.”

Sage counsel indeed. “Aye, that is what we must do, officer. You are dismissed.” Officer Zahn saw himself out, while the old Admiral went back to his business, though he was hoping for some reassurances from those damned beasts of the wing…
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Founded: Jan 01, 2012
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby The IASM » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:02 am

Co-written with Latin.

A swift exit
Castellum ab Alba


There was an annoyance present in her father’s voice today which she had heard only on a few occasions. “Yes, your Perfection, I will do as you command but know I do not expect good of this,” she heard him in a barely calm manner respond over whatever video calling software he was using. She could see the glimpses of Hulang over the edge, while Qiang stood tall looking down upon it, his arms resting straight on the table.

“Hopefully this can be done swiftly, Hulang out” the voice said before Qiang have a sigh of relief.

“There are times where that boy refuses to see reason, we should have left this place after Michael had the fucking stupidity to blow up a Ghantish embassy and furthermore failed to achieve the goal of killing his targets. It was a sloppy job, a good enough special forces team could have easily killed whoever he wanted inside… BUT NO!” Qiang struck the wooden table with his fist, hammering away at it in an aggressive rage. “Instead he sent a bloody tank over. If he wanted to brute force it, he should have sent a good missile or blocked out the sun with artillery, not a tank. And he didn’t even have...”

“Father!” Shijin exclaimed, tiring of his rant. She had little appreciation for her father’s military role, and preferred the comfort of the courts of Akai. She was not his student, his puppet like Housheng was, she held herself higher than that. Her whole interest in this was simply in testing the waters here, experimenting to see how she could interact. Yet her foreign presence was one only really welcomed by Michael, something which she lost the ability to do in the chaos. She just wanted some security in her life and a position of prominence. She hated the very idea of being in the shadow of some foreign Dihei as Hulang seemed to want. Qiang isolated her from it, in his little bunker here.

Qiang paused for a moment, before slowly and methodically approaching his daughter with a grimace. The slap that followed was a brutal one, striking against the base of the jaw and the neck and hitting with enough force to push her over. “Let me remind you, never speak to your father like that girl.”

Shijin, felt the harsh rocky floor across her hands. The dirt was unpleasant and the rippling pain was equally so. She got up without responding to him, instead giving him a vicious glare which rivalled himself. Your violence is a shorthand for your inadequacy.

“Hulang wants us to try and extract ourselves from here, it’s the purpose of the whole bunch of forces he sent up,” Qiang articulated composing himself. “You go, find a guard to take you to him. Michael I mean. I’ll come after you.”

“As you wish,” Shijin responded in a tone of faux politeness as she cleaned her dress and exited the door, to try and find a guard. Let’s hope my barbarian is good enough.

Latin guards stood at each end of the hallway. In the days before the death of Emperor Jason, these guards would have been Praetorians. When Michael first seized control they had been members of the newly formed Manipulus Umbra. Now, they were largely Scholarians pressed into service at the palace due to lack of other options.

Shijin was wearing a black and red dress, one which might easily passed for a dinner dress were it not for its relative lack of ornateness. It was simple by Akai standards, as the arms and legs were covered by a vinyl like substance. “Excuse me, would you be able to take me to the Emperor? Me and my father - who shall be coming shortly - have a rather pressing message to deliver.” Shijin paused before adding, “I am Princess Shijin, daughter of Prince Marshal Qiang.” She rubbed her beaten flesh, trying to deal with its tender agony.

The young guard took a curious look at the young woman then spoke into his radio. “Got a Princess Shin wanting to see the Emperor,” he said, gaining a muffled reply. Once the radio became silent the guard gave his attention to the foreign princess. “Follow me, my Lady,” he said as he began walking her down the hall. “What message do you have for the Emperor?”

“It relates to our safety, and the reinforcements we were trying to send in,” Shijin replied not knowing the whole truth herself. There was an uncertainty to her voice as she cautiously studied the guard. “It’s Shi-Jin by the way, not Shin,” she added correcting the guard on his poor pronunciation. Barbarians, unable to get a simple name right.

The guard gave no response, other than a nod, to the girl as they continued down the hall, taking a final turn towards the Emperor’s apartments within the residence wing. Walking out of the door to the apartment were two of the remaining few Manipulus Umbra, as noted by their white uniforms. “What we got here?” the smaller of the two, Peter Laetorius said with a grin, inspecting the girl.

“Princess Shi-Jin to see Caesar,” the guard replied with emphasis when he said her name.

“Well he’s got Antonia in there already. Be sure to knock before you get to close,” Laetorius said with a laugh before walking away.

The guard opened the door for the Princess revealing a large opening of a main room with paintings, tapestries and other art throughout the room with marble floors. Though the Emperor was not in the entrance room. There were loud sounds coming from one of the connecting rooms, causing the guard to knock at the door. “What is it?” the Emperor said loudly.

“Princess Shijin, Caesar,” the guard replied through the door.

“Come,” Michael ordered. The guard opened the door for the Princess, revealing the Emperor seated closely with his arm around Lady Antonia on a couch. Antonia looked to the door with a faint smile, she was dressed casually in a t-shirt and sweatpants. “Leave now,” he barked at the guard before quickly turning to a friendly voice to speak with Shijin. “Princess, to what do I owe the pleasure?” The Emperor’s hair was unkempt and his shirt halfway unbuttoned.

“Well it seems I am a bit overdressed.” Shijin joked as she arrived to study the room. “A mixture of good and bad news… for you and myself,” Shijin answered as she responded in a most favourable terms, bearing a pretty smile while her burgundy eyes floated over with a flickering anger. What a whore. At least he has found ever forms of entertainment since my departure. “Hopefully my father can deliver that however, I came here earlier to speak to you something I feel I haven’t done in a while.” She began to slowly approach Michael, being cautious yet confident in her steps. “I never got to thank you for that dinner we shared when I first arrived, my… Qiang blocked me from doing so,” she continued in her melodic voice, asserting something rather calmly as she did. “And I was so worried when I heard of what happened, but fortunately you are here as you deserve to be.” Shijin continued her advance towards the couch, before touching her wound again - her white flesh being more exposed than it would be in the courts of Akai in her dress.

“I’d say so,” Antonia first said with a laugh. Michael rose from the middle couch, joining her with a smile.

“I don’t care much for bad news, perhaps we just tell your father I’m engaged and you just tell me the good news,” Michael grinned at the Princess, ignoring her voicing concern for him during the attempted ‘coup.’ “Your father does have that impeccable skill of simply getting in the way doesn't he? I should have sent him away long ago...though leaving you and your sisters here at least. Please have a seat,” the Emperor gestured to the couch and proceeded to pour a few drinks before finding his seat once again, “Do you care for a drink?”

“I certainly would, haven’t had a good one in a while,” Shijin added eagerly seeking the glass. “I assume it’s a wine of some kind?” she asked as he took her seat on the couch next to Michael opposite to Antonia. The Princess instantly disliked the girl and her comments, admittedly for a few petty reasons. “Qiang was sent here to see what kind of man you are, and then lead the troops we were sending,” she spoke almost melancholic as she stroked her neck, trying to test the texture of it She took a large taste of her drink, savouring it as she did - letting the taste flow through herself. “This does dull the pain,” she quietly commented before turning to face Michael - wondering whether he’d notice the slowly emerging bruise. She whispered in her voice, enriched in power: “I could of course tell you the good news myself… if you wish to avoid you know who.”

“I never turn down good news,” Michael grinned, looking to Shijin as he sipped from his glass before putting an arm around Antonia. She pulled in even closer to him after that. “Well, out with it already. Or will I need to ask again and again?”

“The troops are on the verge of arriving, a brigade of them. And they are rather fine if I heard correctly. Mostly mechanised. Perhaps you might even be able to get rid of my father,” she tempted with a mischievous grin on her face.

“Good, that’s long overdue. Even moreso if it keeps your father way from lurking around here,” Michael said of the troops, taking another drink from his glass and rubbed Antonia’s shoulder. “He thinks he’s so clever...well he’s not. He’s lucky Vindóbona didn’t involve him in her little plot. Did she try to include him?”

“Not as clever as you though,” Antonia smiled and gave Michael a kiss on his lips.

An admirer as well… what poisonous whispers has she been telling him Shijin responded carefully as she was not sure herself “Knowing him, he would have avoided involvement in what happened, he prefers fighting to the whims of courtly men and women. He dislikes people in general… if you excuse the pun,” she jested trying to refuse the topic. “He wanted to come with a small force but some Geluxu scum forced him not to.” She turned her head to look at him once more. “Let’s move the topic off him then…” she continued with a hint of bitterness leaking through

“Well for all his annoyances, I suppose he and I share that. Terrible these ‘courtly’ people,” Michael said with a plain face and disapproving shake of his head.

“Absolutely two-faced peoples,” Antonia took a heavy drink from her glass, finishing it.

Michael eyed Antonia curiously, though said nothing in response to her. “Yes let’s,” the Emperor agreed with Shijin and moved on from talking about her father. He leaned forward, placing his empty glass on the nearest table before resting his hand on the Princess’ leg. “You look angry Princess, I’d have figured my presence alone would make anyone’s day. Isn’t that right, dear?” he added at the end to Antonia, who quickly smiled and nodded.

“It nothing that’d you’d ought to concern yourself with, just a small family dispute the usual.” Shijin commented trying to hide her ever growing bruise. “To small for someone as great as you I’d imagine,” she responded with her tone shifting into a more favourable one as she slowly placed her hand around his. She left her eyes linger upon his hands for a time, studying them and admiring her relative meekness. “You have lovely hands you know, just marvellous,” she remarked contemplative. “Good as the rest of you for sure,” the princess quickly added cocking her head towards his, gazing upwards into his eyes.

Michael’s smile grew larger and larger the more Shijin began stroking his ego. “You seem to have a good eye, why don’t you find out for yourself,” he said with a grin, his hand still moving along her leg until he found her hand.

“Thad I’d love to,” The Princess responded to the advances as she clasped his hand and moved the other up the open shirt. She bore a grin as she moved closer, for a kiss most probably. She felt joyous, especially now. She forgot about Qiang as she did, and nearly the glass which she nudged elsewhere.

“Your Imperial Majesty…” Qiang announced as he walked in through the doors carrying some kind of tablet-laptop, with the ever meek Housheng following. He changed to Akai as he saw his daughter next to Michael. “I see your ambitions are finally seen to. Good.” His glare was a brutal one, full of disdain and contempt for all before him.

“Apologies, Caesar, I knocked at the door and Laetorius said you weren’t overly busy,” a Latin guard stumbled over his words to explain the interruption to Michael.

“He really does have the worst timing doesn’t he,” she whispered before retreating to stare at his father.

“Emperor, I wish to inform you that the Ditu of Akai, His perfection, Hulang I Lazin. He emphasises it is quite urgent,” he explained in Latin ignoring the events before him while Housheng failed to hide her amusement. Perfect timing… as always.

Michael had his hand moving up Shijin’s body when he was interrupted. He left it in place when Qiang barged in and spoke to him. “Of course he does,” Michael let out with heavy sarcasm. Antonia removed her hand from Michael’s leg and rose from the couch to remove herself from the awkward situation, something that Michael allowed after she gave him a kiss. “What does he want this time? I’m very busy, can’t you see that.”

“I can see, clearly busy with meaningful pursuits,” Qiang dryly replied with the most unnatural and painful of smiles erecting across his face. “He can of course tell you himself; he specifically requested that I should refrain from doing so,” he explained as he approached the laptop.

With a few buttons, the webcam of sorts activated and the Ditu appeared on the laptop screen. He was at the end of a desk in what looked like somewhere in Xungong, given the expansive gardens and neatly contained rainforests behind him. “Emperor Michael, it seems I have caught you at an inopportune time but I must say it is a pleasure to meet someone of such incredibly ambitious character.” His voice was very fast, like always Shijin noted yet it had an uncanny level of precision regardless. His mind and his tongue moved as fast as mountain rapids. “The matter at hand at the moment is your most intriguing of positions at the moment and also the extraction of my family from the Castellum.”

“That is outrageous,” quietly added with a viper's venom in her voice. “We are perfectly safe here are we not?” I know the war is close but we have the Edomites right?

“Dear cousin, let me remind you that the present is like the sands of desert, and things as we have seen many times in the past, and perhaps more recently, that the present is ever shifting,” Hulang calmly replied as his crimson glare studied Michael with and ever sharp glare.

“Well I’d say your uncle was rather rude to simply barge in here and demand this conversation of me... I suppose I’ll have to have another talk with my guard about upping security. I would like an apology though...from your uncle,” Michael narrowed his eyes and looked to the frightened guard who stood at the door. “Yes, there is no safer place in Latium than this palace. On that I assure you, princess. And what of my troops you promised. Have they again run into delays?”

Qiang glared at Michael with his usual pent-up rage, “I apologise for demonstrating in ineffectiveness of your security,” he replied in an earnest tone.

“How shocking, I always assumed my uncle was a master diplomat,” Hulang swiftly teased with an unamused face contradicting himself. Yes… Hulang. He continued: “We expect the Chacoese and Jedorians to be impediments for sure, but fortunately for us, we have more than a few friends in the region. The Selajtrazeni and the Tericians have considerable ties with ourselves and should it be necessary, it might be prudent to exploit that,” Hulang explained with an air of objectivity to himself. “We plan on using a submarine to transport the forces through the blockade and anyways we do have our ways,” he added. “However, there is one thing which I do desire above all else, and I is the safety of my family. I want them out of Castellum covertly and immediately. Their presence here shall be completely forgotten by all of us and never mentioned to anyone.”

“Wasn’t it you who sent us here,” Shijin criticized her cousin with an anger now starting to burn in Akai. “I survived two coups, in which my life may have vanished in and you have the audacity to wipe it from the records.”

“The alternative is letting you potentially be captured by who knows who,” Hulang responded in a detached melancholy tone. “Or were I father, possibly leave you to the fate of Prince Hei.” He ominously alluded. He turned to speak in Latin once again, his displaying a sense of fluency to it: “Anyways, I imagine it might be far easier to move in our forces once I know my dear family are safe.”

“Oh yes, the best friends I’m sure,” Michael led in a mocking tone. “And you should watch your mouth. I warn you to offer a mocking apology again,” he angrily pointed at Qiang before finally having his attention pulled back to the conversation at hand, his own hand still on Shijin’s leg. “He and the others may leave the palace, I don’t care; he will certainly leave this room though. But this one may stay if she pleases.”

Thank you Shijin thought to herself upon reflecting upon her wounds and Michael’s words.

“There must be no trace of our presence here,” Hulang explained, “we all must leave just in case. I refuse to allow the possibility...”

“Because it might undermine your reputation Hulang,” Shijin sharply responded, still letting her leg be touched by Michael. “I am not leaving, I’d rather live like eagle rather than flee like prey, at the side of someone who is rather kind to myself.”

Hulang’s pleasant demeanour slowly began to slip piece by piece: “You fail to understand, this is not an option. This is an order for you my dear family and one I will be more than willing to enforce.”

“I must obey the Ditu, you will be coming with us,” Qiang added in an increasingly authoritative tone, approaching Shijin with all his bulk. You wouldn’t dare… Shijin thought as her gaze turned into nothing more than a vision into a land of inferno.

The guard who had entered along with Qiang reached for the man’s arm. “Sir, stop at once,” he said with his other hand touching his sidearm.

Michael shook his head and laughed. “Let the old man come,” he said as he rose from his seat to stand in front of the man. The guard stood just behind Qiang now, his hand still rested atop his holstered sidearm.

“Michael...” Antonia said meekly, quickly pulling the Emperor’s attention from Qiang to her.

Qiang instead of showing fear chuckled to himself, more pleased with how the situation was going than anything else. He gave a nod to Housheng who slowly moved backwards, if Shijin knew her well she probably carried a small knife with her had the guards not searched her. “Woman this is not your place,” he informed Antonia in a far more excited voice than usual. “Yes I am old… Michael. Old enough to have served in the Zhaoze theater of the Guizitong where Jieke unleashed nuclear fire against the traitors. I served to crush the Kengese hordes in the desert, not knowing that could have enough water for the next few days.Why should I be bothered by a Prince who has failed to secure his nation?” Let his words linger before continuing: “ I do not wish to harm you boy, I want my daughter. That is all.”

“How melodramatic dear uncle but entirely unnecessary,” Hulang instructed. He then commanded: “Stand down Qiang.” Then with a heavy sigh he turned his eyes to Shijin and then Michael. “I apologise for my uncle’s eagerness. Why can’t we make a deal over this particular matter?” Because I do not wish it Shijin thought to herself.

Nothing irritated Michael more than the disrespect Qiang had shown Antonia. “Don’t talk to her like that,” he said with a clenched fist. Antonia reached for his hand to make sure he didn’t do anything foolish and held onto it. She shook her head at him. “Apologize to her, then your daughter is free to go if she chooses.”

Qiang was ready to respond but he looked to Hulang whose glare was domineering in every sense. The facade of politeness was slowly fading as his patience was slowly diminishing. “Do it,” he commanded in Akai.

Qiang sighed and turned his head towards Antonia, “I apologise for the tone I addressed you in. And…”

“I simply do not wish to leave myself, for the reason I have outlined,” Shijin responded knowing her position of strength in the situation. “I myself want to be with Michael, and given that we have the power here.” To strong arm a Ditu, this is something new.

Hulang sighed before asking Michael in his particular way. “Your Imperial Majesty, is there any way to ensure that she comes whether she wants to or not?”

“Michael come on, just let them go,” Antonia spoke softly to him in Greek. She tried to slowly lead him in her direction with a tug at his hand.

“Of course, there are many ways to do many things,” Michael said to Hulang as Antonia pulled at his hand. “Frankly, I don’t care what happens at this point. I just don’t wish to see your uncle anymore.”

Hulang speaking in accentless Greek responded: “I assure you, I can most easily sympathise with yourself,” something which Qiang was clearly displeased by. He then switched to Latin: “But currently, I think I can respect my cousin's wishes under one condition and that you personally vow to ensure her safety, and that a company of my Tezhentuan special forces remain present in the embassy. We have them onboard one of the ships and I imagine their transfer is possible. They’d be here to help protect her and to assist you in whatever task you need. How does that arrangement sound?”

With this a smile came across Shijin’s face, as she heard the results of this. She arose from the sofa, keeping Michael’s hand at her side before whispering in her quixotic and passionate voice: “Congratulations, my Emperor.”

“They’d be more use at the front. Besides, why should there be any conditions?” Michael was ready to walk away, turning partially to face Antonia at this point. “She chose to stay, your inability to force her to leave isn’t my concern.”

Hulang glared at Michael once more, hints frustration slowly increasing as he tightened his hands. “I want a guarantee, an insurance policy to know that she is in safe hands.” He stopped himself from added something quickly before he continued.”And I assure you, they could be deployed there also but the embassy would serve as their hub. And yes, you are right, Shijin here decided to complicate this whole thing for myself but you have her the option to stay. It is irrelevant now.” Hulang paused before adding: “And also before I depart, I wanted to inform you that as a gift you now have an beach front estate in Lazinato. Warm, fairly comfortable, quiet and secure, I hope you may enjoy it. Qiang, Housheng, make your way to the embassy. Keep that in mind, and have a nice day your imperial majesty,” Hulang said as his feed cut out and Qiang took the laptop away.

“Your Imperial Majesty,” Qiang said upon departing to Michael before bowing his head before him. He the turned to Shijin and spoke in Akai, his voice clearly displeased: “Have a nice time my whore of a daughter.” With this they made their way out, with Qiang checking the screen and mumbling something about batteries as he made his way out.

“My apologies, my Emperor, they were the bad news.” Shijin spoke relieved. “Sorry for making you deal with them, but now it is just us.” She mused to herself now then. She took her seat back on the sofa with a beguiling smile on her face. She poured another drink for him: “Shall we continue where we left off?” she amorously inquired.

“Yes, they certainly were terrible news,” Michael sat down on the sofa next to Shijin and placed his hand on her leg again, beginning to move around as his face grew a serious look. “I don’t like bad news, make sure you don’t have bad news for me every again.”

Shijin quietly nodded in response, knowing which path to tread in order to avoid falling into the snake pit.

“Michael, a word?” Antonia said from the other side of the couch in Greek. The Emperor groaned, though obliged her as he rose quickly and stood in front of her. Her hair was a mess, Michael brushing it back over her ear. “I don’t like these people and I don’t trust them,” she whispered to him in Greek. “Send her packing with her dreadful father and sisters.”

“Are you jealous, dear?” Michael laughed, and then kissed Antonia. “It’s extremely unbecoming. I’ll tell you head back to the room and I’ll finish up here to meet you there.”

“How long will you be?” Antonia asked him as they continued to converse in Greek.

“Not long, I promise,” he told her, offering a quick kiss on her cheek. Antonia gave him one last smile and walked out of the room without another word. “Now princess...where were we,” Michael rounded the sofa again to stand in front of Shijin.

Remained there quietly smiling Shijin held up the glass filled with a sip wine, towards him, tempting him with it. He was amused with Antonia, and it seemed to blur into her smile. Her comments probably were in the right place, as while she lacked the strange hearing of the Ditu, sh could work out the sentiment shared. As her burgundy eyes looked into his, “I think we both know where we were but were we shall be...” she said leaning upwards towards him: “Is ours to decide, my emperor.”

ꡂꡎꡍꡆ ꡓꡀ ꡆꡀ ꡆꡇꡀꡍꡍꡄꡕ ꡀꡊꡀꡈ ꡆꡀ ꡃꡈꡔꡎꡒ ꡅꡔꡀꡍꡆꡎꡍꡆꡔꡇꡈ

TO: Queen Mara of New Edom
CCPrincess Jocasta of New Edom
Topic: Latium

To Queen Mara
This solitary one, must respond to such high praise and wishes respond in equally favourable terms. This humble one is always inspired by the intense kindness that Queen Mara has displayed in her charitable work and her legendary devotion to her faith. He wishes also send his kind regards to his dear friend Princess Jocasta whom he wishes the best of fortunes as always.

His perfection wishes to congratulate the New Edomites on their efforts to push for a peaceful resolution for the conflict with regards to CPO arbitration. He in particular however must stress that the true leader of Latium must be found through a fair process. He still remains convinced that the Autokrator Michael has the superior claim, and wishes to see justice verify that no matter the situation. And he in his infinite wisdom also perceives that this may be to the mutual benefit of ourselves also so that such a result is achieved.

He, however, does not wish to dwell on such issues and appreciates the efforts put forth to secure peace in the region. We ourselves have no objection to the creation of a single temporary command to handle the fleets, and we will inform Admiral Lu Chichu of this new role. However, we have currently reached a predicament. The Gran Chacoese forces are probably going to prevent our access to Castellum and they do outnumber our forces and have threatened to attack.

If Edomite Pressure could be used to allow us access through this blockade, we would greatly appreciate it and I imagine it would ensure further progress for both of our forces.

We also have machinations in place of our own also, which may lead to fruitful results in Tericio.

I wish for our mutual continued success in our goals and let me leave you with a riddle. There is a pride of lions in which the chief lion is ageing and decrepit. He has a brood of sons. one of whom seems good natured but is weak both in spirit and in the body. He has another who is strong in both spirit and body but too proud to realise his true potential. And you have a cub who is born to the old male lion and someone from outside the pride and is a pariah because of it. This being on top of his weakness also. Now who takes charge of the pride?

Yours truly

His Holy and Most Exalted Perfection Hulang Huike Jieke Tingzi Jieke Lazin, first to rule, Ditu of Akai, God on Earth, Eternal Guardian of Mankind, Emperor of Emperors, Autocrat of all the Akai, Sovereign of Lazinato, Yaosai, Zhaoze, Keng and Xuan, Avatar and descendent of Kutu and Waishan, Most High Archon of Xungong and Kaizangong, Enlightened prince and protector of Yahashi, Master of the Riyeskonsu, Ta yuan shuai of the Orders of National Defence Master of the Secretariat of Internal Authority, Gothic Lord, Grand Master of the Blessed order, Celestial being, Dæmon-Sovereign, Architect of the future, World-ruler, He who brings order to reality, Son of heaven, Vanquisher of the unfilial, Great Overlord of the Clans, Kehan of Kehan, Lord of Ten Thousand Years, Inheritor of the Six Dituate Dynasties, Pure of blood, Master of the Colossi, Protector of the Thirteen monoliths, Father of the Akai, Regent of Heaven, heir to the Immortal Ditu Shiyaohaung, heir to Tiao-Li, brother of the sun and moon, the most enlightened guardian of all the Akai.

Eyes only- hand delivered


TO: Coalition Fleet for Emperor Constantine
Topic: Answers to inquries

To whom this may concern
This is the Order of the Seas Fourth Carrier Task Force.

We are currently escorting Akai citizens to conduct their business in Latium, due to the unsafe nature of the waters.

After this our withdrawal can be achieved.

In the meantime, we are associates of the New Edomites and Admiral Amalek and wish to meet with his forces.

We are not hostile but will fire upon if an attack on us detected.

Yours truly

Admiral Li Chichu

Top secret- maximum encryption



TO: Mercede Falcone
Topic: Latium

To Lady Falcone
There has been a major complication involving Waidiy forces and the force in the Delphic sea that I have recently learned from the Ditu. In particular that my forces have been blocked by Gran Chacoese forces in the Delphic sea.

I myself have been told that I would make a suitable envoy for the Ditu and he wishes to discuss the details the fleet in person with the Tericians in secret in order to create superior understanding. I hope we may reassure our merchant friends that we harbor no ill intent. I feel it is also in our interests to dicuss my employee's acounts also. Hope we see each other soon.

Yours truly

His Celestial Highness, Yanfeng Yalong Long Youxian Long Lazin, Celestial Prince of the blood and of Akai, Lazinato, Chief of the Waidiyi group

Eyes only- hand delivered
Last edited by The IASM on Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

20:22 Kirav Normal in Akai is nightmare fuel in the rest of the world.
11:33 Jedoria Something convoluted is going on in Akai probably.
Transoxthraxia: I'm no hentai connoisseur, but I'm pretty sure Akai's domestic politics would be like, at least top ten most fucked up hentais"
18:26 Deusaeuri Let me put it this way, you're what would happen if Lovecraft decided to write political dystopian techno thriller
20:19 Heku tits has gone mental
20:19 Jakee >gone
05:48 Malay lol akai sounds lovely this time of never

User avatar
New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
Posts: 22911
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby New Edom » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm

The New Edomites

The diplomatic mission to Constantine's court had departed Latium by this time and had reached Novitera, where Count Thomas Lalery was dropped off to conclude negotiations with the Noviterans concerning trade agreements and national boundaries. He was accompanied by his security team and some of his civil service and personal staff. His intention was to meet with Douglass as well as others relevant to their plans. The overall goal was to stress a gradual move towards improving trade relations and freeing up arenas of the New Edomite economy for the market. He had certain terms for this that had to be made clear and agreed to. Total free trade would probably cost him his political ambitions and so his main focus was going to be on trading, finance, services and insurance for the time being to improve New Edom's general trade security, making it safer for Noviteran companies to do business. There would then be a series of proposals towards this end for other CTO nations, with Tericio taking a similar priority.

Meanwhile, Queen Mara and Hosidius Geta were on their way to New Edom on the National Executive Plane when a series of communiques arrived for them. Mara had been observing, with fascination, a series of ventures which were intended to improve and ease the work of producing aquaponics systems for the home when they arrived, which annoyed her. “God give me strength,” she muttered.

“Majesty, it is clear from this that neither the Akai nor the Vorindese really have our interests at heart. They are pursuing agendas of their own. The Vorindese are trying to put Leo on the throne. The be honest I have no idea what they want.” Geta informed her.

A satellite phone call to General Nicanor, back in Fineberg, confirmed that there had been little real intelligence sharing between the other two nations and New Edom. The Defense Minister also wanted to know if she wanted reinforcements readied for the Latium operations.

Mara pondered this. She ran a hand through her hair and leaned back into her chair. “Oh my gosh, Mr. Geta, I have no idea! What do you think?”

“What do you want to do overall? Maintain our current policy?” asked Geta.

“Well…” Mara waved her hands in the air and danced on her seat. “I don’t know! How am I supposed to know? I can’t read the future! Holy gee…I guess I don’t want to start a full on war though. I mean that’s how it starts right? They push us, we pus them, they push…wait…” she pondered. “I lost track. Shit!” once that started Mara suddenly got out all the swearing she hadn’t done in years. “Shit, motherfucker, cunt ass stupid fuckwad asshole jerkoff fuckfaces!” The cabin became very quiet, more out of astonishment than intimidation. Geta wondered if she was having a fit and drew back in alarm and distaste.

Mara raised her hands, turning crimson. “Oh…my…gosh. I am so sorry…” her eyes were huge with shock at herself. “I…am so sorry!”

Elizabeth Corbulo took a deep breath. “Are you alright?” she asked gently. “Do you need some water?”

“Yes please.” Mara took a deep breath. She heard a funny little tinny voice, and wondered in panic if she was losing her mind. “What…does anyone else hear a funny little voice?” she said, her own voice breaking.

“The satellite phone is still on, Majesty,” said Lieutenant Count Domris, the royal ADC, helpfully. “I believe the voice is that of the Minister of Defense.”

“Oh shit!’Mara fond that once she had started swearing again she couldn’t stop. “Oh General, I am so sorry, I just…I’m so frustrated!”

“That’s understandable,” said Nicanor, holding back his mirth. “I must say, I think Your Majesty is more yourself…you seem more yourself.”

“Do I?” Mara paused, and a little smile came to her. “You know, I’ve always been myself. But now I seem myself. And maybe that’s the important thing. Maybe…maybe I was just mourning my Papa and Perrin. Thank you all so much,” she said, tears forming in her eyes. “I think…alright I think I can handle this. I can do this. Gentlemen, ladies, I can do this. I want a peaceful resolution. But General Nicanor, can you please start getting stuff ready in Peregrino…you know, keep protecting it, right, but also move what we have ready there to move to Latium in case we have to?”

“I will plan to reinforce Peregrino and have our forces there ready. You are right, Majesty, they were prepared to do battle with the Jedorians, but our Noviteran friends seem to have sorted that out, and the Imperium’s forces will arrive there soon.” Nicanor said.

“Right. Forewarned and prepared is…ready for anything,” Mara said. “Alright. And we need to do something about Latium and our people there. What can we do?”

Nicanor said, “Majesty, Admiral Amalek can do another supply drop for the 4th Marine Infantry so that they can fight on, but it must be done now. Ravenna has fallen to the enemy. We must also withdraw our fleet to a fighting stance and engage Leo and Iccius’ forces to delay them, while avoiding the Chacano and Terrician operations in the area. Such as the Terrician operations are. Reinforcements for our forces in Latium can be there in 24 hours.”

“We must diplomatically delay the Vorindese and Akai people,” urged Geta. “We can do that with diplomacy. The Chacano, Noviteran and Terrician governments do not want escalation. We are still waiting on what response we may get from Vannois, but I can get the ambassador, Count Urban to genty push that agenda. As for Michael, we are still awaiting a response from our ambassador about the CPO.”

Mara tapped her fingers. “You all know I hate war. But because I do, I’m going to make it clear that I don’t want it so much that when I do have to fight, people will regret it. God’s will be done! Oh wait, why didn’t we know that Nathan was going to appoint Miss Bossy Tits Lady Protector?”

Nicanor muttered something and then the voice of Police Minister Ashdod came on the satellite phone. “It was a Nathan-ism, Majesty, we had no anticipation of this whatsoever.”

“Are you sure your guys and gals up there weren’t just fucking the dog, General?” Mara said sharply. “I mean that’s why we’re in this mess in Latium, yeah? Screwing the pooch, humping the hound…”

Ashdod had never been so simultaneously aroused and ashamed at the same time. “I…uh…no, Ma’am.”

“Okay I believe you. What about you Mr. Geta?” Mara asked the Foreign Minister.

“I think Amenmar was mad and surprised enough to eat his own monkey,” said Geta. Everyone burst out laughing, Mara most of all.

“You boys! Okay,, okay, but I want better intelligence about what’s going on, I don’t like nasty surprises. What are we doing about that?” Mara asked.

“What we’re proposing, Ma’am,” said Nicanor “Is to move two flights of Blackfly UAVs to cover the areas of the strait near the Akai and Vorindese fleets. We’re proposing moving fishing boat guised listening posts into those areas as well. We’ll let the Vozgarnori and Romans do the work of keeping an eye on the Jedorians. This will take several hours to initiate however. In the meantime, we now have adequate air, signals and on the ground intelligence in our area of operations in Latium.”

Mara asked for a glass of cold mint tea and drummed her fingers on the arm of her seat on the plane. They hit some turbulence and she looked around uneasily. Precious, in his carrier, whined a bit and she reached her fingers down through the grate to let him lick them for reassurance. Geta and Corbuo grimaced and Mara said, “This is my ass scratching hand, don’t worry. Well, about the diplomacy thing…aren’t the Akai and Vorindese kinda waiting near the edges of the strait?”

“That’s correct, Ma’am” said General Vrinn.

“Then let them wait some more,” said Mara. “I don’t like that they’re playing with us on this. They know we’re alone out there, and I’m tired of trying to spell things out for these dickwads. God bless them all. Let’s act. Resupply the 4th, gather the intelligence, support our fleet from Vozgarnor, slow down Leo’s advance, protect Michael, have a force on standby to help him. You know we did all we could I think to get ourselves out of this with some face and some peace, but I think everyone is fucking with us but the Chacanos, so we’ll reward them. Let’s warn them about what we’re about to do.”

“Done” said Geta. ‘It will be my pleasure.”

Code: Select all
To: General Pablo Fuentes and  Rear Admiral Elias Suni
From: Vice-Admiral Count Barnabas Amalek, Carrier Task Force Boa
Subject: Further Cooperation
Encryption: Most Secret, Eyes Only

Our situation has changed. With the progress of Prince Leo’s forces and Strategos Iccius changing sides, our peace agreement may turn into a military victory for Prince Leo. This is politically unacceptable for my government and so my instructions are to delay their arrival in Castellum as long as possible. It is my intention to slow down their air and land capabilities. I will make sure to the best of my ability that your forces are not attacked. I ask you to continue to do likewise. I am assured by my Minister of Defense and Foreign Minister that this will go a long way towards preventing any collision of our forces in Latium.

It is our intention to block travel along the roads from Pola and Egara towards Castellum by use of smaller forces as well as guided missile attacks from our fleet. Naturally if Constantine’s fleet attacks we will be obliged to defend ourselves. We intend to fly missions from Vozgarnor to support our fleet in attacking Constantine’s AWACS and electronic warfare planes to inhibit his air support. All your forces have to do is avoid being in those air corridors.

For the time being , we recommend continuing to warn off the Vorindese and Akai fleets until they propose operations more favourable to us. If they proceed without a word from our government or myself, I quite understand if you feel obliged to defend the straits from interlopers.

I have the honour to be
Vice-Admiral Count Amalek
Commander, New Edomite Operations in Latium

Carrier Boa

For the one hundredth time, Navy Junior Lieutenant Samantha Bajith, callsign “Shiloh” looked at her flight leader calmly reading a magazine and wondered, "How does she do it?". This was a common enough thought for Samantha to entertain about her flight leader and mentor,
Lieutenant Jael Eliada, callsign “Tentpeg” to everyone in the squadron.The older woman was everything Samantha wished that she was- big, confident, and one of the boys. But right now, what Samantha was wondering was how she stood the smell. An explosive combination of chickpea and onion stew along with fig pastries for dessert had been served for lunch. It was a popular one and she didn’t get it, it was even a tradition.She thought that they would have figured out by now that such a combination produces enough flatulence, what her
male squadron mates so quaintly called the Tuesday farts, to make the aviation wardroom uninhabitable. And then there was the general smell of male punkiness, though the male pilots assured the women at least once a week that women reeked worse. “It smells like the rag in here” was as common complaint as “who’s cooking fish?” But Jael Eliada would often just laugh this off and give as good as she got, sometimes louder. Bajith, shorter, slimmer and more girlish in body and voice, had to find other ways to adapt and part of this was following Eliada around like a sidekick. Eliada didn’t mind and seemed to enjoy her company.

Stronger than flatulence, the body odor of pilots and senior deck crew officers, none of whom had had many breaks over the last several days and so could only shower in haste, was the tension of waiting. What was happening? When would they make a move?

When Lieutenant-Commander Besai walked in people glanced up and then suddenly stiffened when he said, “It is on, children of the air! Follow me, all of you, to the briefing room.” Magazines were dropped, chairs creaked and uniforms rustled and they all quickly grabbed any gear that they had removed to follow him.

“Alright, you folks, listen up!” Besai stood near the white board and clicked a remote so that the projector lit it up. “Dim those lights, Bajith!”

“Aye sir,” Bajith did so and sat down eagerly between Jael Eliada and the Second Flight Deck Officer, Lieutenant Diliean.

“Strategos Iccius has changed sides in Ravenna. Ravenna is now enemy territory. There is, as yet, no cease fire agreement, there is no CPO accord, no negotiations, no nothing. Until there is, Constantine’s people are still the enemy. Our ambassador is still negotiating with the Emperor in Castellum. Alright, politics over!” he paused, smiling grimly, as a few sarcastic hands came together.

“Three groans for Emperor Michael!” offered Junior Lieutenant Shobek, a wag.

“Belay that,” said Besai. “Now: We’re facing closest to us the Latin carrier group, the Jedorian carrier group and the Chacano carrier group. We only know through scuttlebutt that the Jedorians are withdrawing, so that’s not fully confirmed. The Chacanos are still keeping their distance. So we do not fire on them unless there is a clear order from our own fleet command. No one below squadron commander to give that order, is that clear?”

“Yessir,” came a chorus of replies.

“Very good. Now. That leaves the Latin carrier and air force. We are looking at: Latium’s sole aircraft carrier, the IMS Leo X Augustus Either aboard the flagship or doing patrols of the nearby airspace are a contingent of Rafale fighter aircraft, Super Entendard fighters, and two E-2 Hawkeye AWAC. Accompanying the IMS Leo X Augustus are three FREMM class frigates, IMSVictoria, IMS Vespasius, and IMS Sol; and two Orizzonte class destroyers, IMS Iohnnes XIII, and IMS Maria Augusta. We estimate forty Typhoons operating in the western reaches between Acrae and Beroea. The west is not our concerns but the Air Force…” he frowned at the groans. “Shut up! The Air Force is monitoring them. Now here’s what we’re going to be doing. First, Hawkmoth Flight is going to be doing CAP. Scimitar flight is going to be doing reserve duty and will support CAP as need be while the fleet withdraws from the Ravenna Zone towards the middle of the fleet closer to air support in Vozgarnor. However we’re not going to leave our 4th Marine Infantry boys and girls in the lurch. We’re going to give them some breathing space by taking out those E-2s. That will be up to Cherub Flight. Cherub Flight is going to be striking at them with the support of a CFHQN-1 Drone to provide radar recon. Maritime patrol will be provided by a P-20 out of Vozgarnor and our own fleet. The fleet will provide a distraction by deploying electronic warfare against Constantine’s fleet and air arm. S-1 and Kite drones have been keeping tabs on the Latium Air Force. Once we have a definite target on them, your mission is going to be to hit Leo's air cover. We have counted about 12 Typhoons and an E-2. The E-2 has priority. The Air Force will be launching one flight of Sparrowhawks and one flight of Shadowhawks to help with this operation in..." he checked his watch, "One and a half hours from now. Let's start getting rready. We're going to take a look at weather patterns and terrain now..."

Ground Operations

Commander Joanna Heep was exhausted. When the Strategos had changed sides, she had had no warning save the impending arrival of Leo’s forces. Having no idea what to expect, she had taken her land rover and left. She had no idea where her driver had gotten to but he’d gotten some kind of stomach ailment from the local food and she hoped he was alright, but she had no time to waste. She had to get to her own forces. It was a weird feeling for her, but she had done escape and evade training before. Lightly armed but for a sidearm, she drove along the roads but found that Michael’s forces were nowhere to be seen. For hours she drove, not even finding any sign of her own forces until she saw a TH-300 helicopter thudding its way overhead. No way that they could see her. She tried to raise them on her vehicle radio but no luck. Grimly she pushed on.

The navy flyer had been assigned as a liaison to the staff of Strategos Iccius, and now she was drifting. She didn’t think it wise to hail anyone from Ravenna. She paused at a local farm, bought some sausage, wine, bread and cheese and ate it quietly beside an olive grove, then moved on. The land around here seemed oddly peaceful.

Finally she ran into a picket of Damoclean soldiers who had an M28 Vigilo (a six wheeled armoured recon vehicle with a 25mm autocannon and grenade launchers on it) camouflaged by a roadside near some farmland with villages picturesquely dotting the hillsides. The soldiers rose from the ditches to cover her. Looking at their rather coarse, dark olive tanned faces, these boys barely 20 glared at her. Two were exposing their manhoods as they’d probably been idly amusing themselves sin their improved trenches. They spoke to one another in harsh sounding Greek.

“What a sexy mouth,” one of them said, licking his lips.

“I’m in love,” said another more softly. “Let me go first like usually, she’ll like it and then she won’t mind your rough ways.”

“Let me go first,” said the squad’s bully. “She’ll be grateful for you when me and Timon have broken her in a bit.”

The squad sergeant, a New Edomite who had been given a promotion into this unit from the transport corps, tried to remonstrate with them in a fussy way. “Now now, boys, this is no way to treat a person.” The Damocleans glanced at him as though he was a dog that had barked and looked back at her.

For a moment Joanna was terrified. The Damocleans were known to be utterly brutal when they wanted to be, and she wondered if they were in a state of mutiny. Thoughts flashed through her mind, her stomach lurched, she felt down for her side arm, and then realized—all they saw was her face and a Latin vehicle. She had a young fair skinned face that was like that of the northerners around her, raven hair and light coloured eyes. They couldn’t see her uniform. She hoped, her bladder clenching in terror, that they were still on her side. Otherwise she’d open fire with her pistol and gun it…

“I am a New Edomite Naval officer.” She stood up slowly so that they could see her field uniform and shoulder boards. Thank God she was wearing wardroom dress and not just battle dress.

The change was dramatic, they practically cringed before her. Grinning placatingly the corporal who was second in command in the squad said, “Oh, Your Honour, what a blessing to have you among us! This is our sergeant!”

“Welcome, Your Honour,” he said. “Are you looking for our regimental commander?”

“I am. I am Commander Heep, Air Commander of the Task Force,” she informed them in a cold Baran tone of indifference as though this was an everyday thing.

“Straight up the road, turn left at the road sign two klicks up, you’ll get to Colonel Zelek,” assured the squad leader.

“Thank you, Sergeant. Radio ahead, let them know I’m coming. Remind your soldiers that rape is forbidden,” she said, staring at the men. “I understand Greek as do many other officers.”

The Damocleans dropped their eyes, ashamed as scolded children. The sergeant seized the opportunity. “They will repent their coarseness, Your honour!” he exclaimed.

Heep drove on, her heart racing with relief. She got a burst of nervous laughter at how absurd it all was. She passed one more checkpoint, which was waiting for her, and finally reached the Regimental Headquarters where she almost sobbed with relief to see Zelek and his staff.

The officers crowded around a fold out map table and finished preparing their plans. Captain Lucas’ F Company was to advance to the Pola road and wreak what havoc they could there, to delay the enemy’s approach. The rest of the First Battalion would move to hold the position of the road fork southwest of Castellum, while the second battalion would move to control the road to Egara. Any bridges were to be destroyed. Artillery would fire mines into the flanking fields around those road positions. They placed no reliance upon Michael’s forces now. He had started out with 100,000 troops and how had about 11,000 according to last reports. Consistently they had failed to hold back Constantine in spite of numerical advantages. Commander Heep would coordinate the fleet’s cruise missile support from the 4th’s mobile HQ.

They had been preparing for some time, and there was little point in delaying.

Captain Lucas inserted his 7.62 mmL ammunition cartridge into the last of his 50 round magazines. The M20 Hamsher eight men plus the three crews occupied the wheeled combat vehicle. Unlike the other battalion commanders of the Marine Infantry, Captain Lucas had been in the 1st Marine Infantry before which specialized in commando operations. His very own six man team was handpicked by him alone, composing of a communication expert, a sniper, a machine gunner, a SAW gunner, a medic, a demolitions combat engineer and himself, they alone were a formidable foe to face. The rest of his company were mechanized infantry but had been kept in good shape as per the best of the country’s very high light infantry standards. “Never trust your vehicle. Your vehicle wants to break down. It wants to not work for you. It wants to betray you. Look after it well but it will not be what you rely on in battle. It’s your taxi. Rely on your weapons and the men next to you,” he would insist. Sergeant-Major Acchish backed him up on that.

To face off against a division strength unit with a Marine Infantry Company might have seemed merely suicidal, but Lucas knew better. He had no intention of a head on fight; his aim was to mess up their road, ambush recon units and slow them down. He was backed up by a single gun from an artillery battery, by an S-1 Schiebel drone, and a single attack helicopter on reserve. The fleet was somewhere out there but he knew better than to assume that signals would reach the fleet in a pinch. His job was to paint targets if need be in that regard, but they were relying more on UAVs than him. What they could do was move faster than a larger unit, and this they now did. Since his own side had been patrolling the roads down there for almost 24 hours, he took the risk of blazing from south of Castellum towards Pola. Following in addition to the other four M20s, 2 M28s and his mortar vehicle was a combat engineer vehicle with a dozer blade and a backhoe claw, a demolition gun and plenty of charges. He felt almost merry now, and his men and officers noticed it. “Sarn’t Major!” he barked into his headset.

“Your Honour?”

“The men may sing.” He said with a grin.

[url=]Well a man come on the 6 o’clock news
Said somebody’s been shot, somebody’s been abused
Somebody blew up a building
Somebody stole a car
Somebody got away
Somebody didn’t get too far yeah
They didn’t get too far

Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he done
Take all the rope in Bara
Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys
Hang them high in the street for all the people to see that


Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
We’ll all meet back at the local saloon
We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces
Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
We’ve got too much corruption, too much crime in the streets
It’s time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send ’em all to their maker and he’ll settle ’em down
You can bet he’ll set ’em down ’cause

Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
We’ll all meet back at the local saloon
We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces
Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses
Last edited by New Edom on Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Republica De Gran Chaco
Posts: 505
Founded: Jun 29, 2015
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Republica De Gran Chaco » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:00 pm

Fuentes scowled at the Edomite letter. It was everything in him not to rush to the capital as fast as he could, and kill Michael and be done with this stupid mess. Fuentes hated this, it wasn’t like Ashab where he had been let off his leash. In Latium, he had to obey a strict RoE to avoid any unnecessary damage. To Fuentes it was a bunch of bullshit, he didn’t want men to die, to keep a house looking pretty. Already he had been restricted in bombing enemy defenses, because the civilians didn’t have the good sense to get out of the way of an approaching army. Still he had his orders He would order a two day halt to “Reorganize, and then advance at a cautious pace until he heard otherwise. Fuentes jotted up a quick response to the Edomites, and then forwarded their message to Admiral Matias.

To: Vice-Admiral Count Amalek
From: General Pablo Fuentes
Subject: Further Cooperation
Encryption: Most Secret, Eyes Only

Your message is understood.

We will stay clear.


To: Admiral Matias
From: General Pablo Fuentes
Subject: Forwarded message from the Edomites
Encryption: Most Secret, Eyes Only

This came in today from Edomite fleet.

Thought you should see.

To: General Pablo Fuentes and Rear Admiral Elias Suni
From: Vice-Admiral Count Barnabas Amalek, Carrier Task Force Boa
Subject: Further Cooperation
Encryption: Most Secret, Eyes Only

Our situation has changed. With the progress of Prince Leo’s forces and Strategos Iccius changing sides, our peace agreement may turn into a military victory for Prince Leo. This is politically unacceptable for my government and so my instructions are to delay their arrival in Castellum as long as possible. It is my intention to slow down their air and land capabilities. I will make sure to the best of my ability that your forces are not attacked. I ask you to continue to do likewise. I am assured by my Minister of Defense and Foreign Minister that this will go a long way towards preventing any collision of our forces in Latium.

It is our intention to block travel along the roads from Pola and Egara towards Castellum by use of smaller forces as well as guided missile attacks from our fleet. Naturally if Constantine’s fleet attacks we will be obliged to defend ourselves. We intend to fly missions from Vozgarnor to support our fleet in attacking Constantine’s AWACS and electronic warfare planes to inhibit his air support. All your forces have to do is avoid being in those air corridors.

For the time being , we recommend continuing to warn off the Vorindese and Akai fleets until they propose operations more favourable to us. If they proceed without a word from our government or myself, I quite understand if you feel obliged to defend the straits from interlopers.

I have the honour to be
Vice-Admiral Count Amalek
Commander, New Edomite Operations in Latium

GCS Miguel Grau

Admiral Matias, read the response from the Lazin fleet, muttering to himself, “They insist on pushing do they? What kind of civilian, gets a fucking carrier group as an escort? And why the fuck would I care that he wants to link up with Edom, they are officially with Michael. We only let them through because they worked it out with us, and Yanque ordered it.”

He looked up at his aid, “Commander, have we received any word from Yanque regarding Akai.”

The commander looked up from the papers he was flipping through, “No sir none, RoE still stands. And funny enough, General Fuentes just forwarded us a message from the Edomite, meant for your eyes only.

Matias took the message and decoded it himself, and then read it. A grin crept over his face, “I think these boys are bluffing, but they are too proud to turn back now even though they don’t have the support they claim. Vice Admiral Amalek, actually requested that we hold off the Lazins, and said he understood if we engaged them. Looks like Yanque is playing games.”

“Ok I’ll be nice. I’ll give them one last chance to play ball, because they claim they aren’t hostile. Keep our battle formation and keep all the ASW up! We still don’t know their intentions; they just gave us a lot of flowery words. I honestly doubt that they will respond reasonably.” Matias wrote up a quick message, “Here Commander, send this to them.”

To: Admiral Li Chichu
From: Coalition Fleet for Emperor Constantine
Subject: Entering Restricted Zone

If you wish to enter the restricted zone, then you must agree to and follow all the instructions:

1. Suspend all flight operations from your ships.
2. Suspend all Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations.
3. Suspend all Anti-Air Warfare operations.
4. Surface all submarines.
5. Provide a list of all ships, and their types to our command.
6. Submit to being escorted to the Port of Heraclea.
7. Submit to an inspection of your civilians.
8. Submit to custom procedures of Latin inspectors, business must be explained and where visas must be shown.

If these instructions are not met and you continue forward into the restricted zone, then you will be considered hostile, and we will take necessary action to prevent your entrance.
كان التيز سمين

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Posts: 3598
Founded: Jan 01, 2012
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby The IASM » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:02 am

ꡂꡎꡍꡆ ꡓꡀ ꡆꡀ ꡆꡇꡀꡍꡍꡄꡕ ꡀꡊꡀꡈ ꡆꡀ ꡃꡈꡔꡎꡒ ꡅꡔꡀꡍꡆꡎꡍꡆꡔꡇꡈ

TO: Queen Mara of New Edom
CC: Princess Jocasta of New Edom
Topic: Clarification on intent

To Queen Mara
My council has been rather concerned with the relative silence on the matter of potential cooperation between our allies in the Delphic sea so perharps we not as clear was intended. While my message was intentionally shrouded in enigmatic mystery, perhaps clarity in on this matter may be reassuring.

Our original intent for the fleet movements was simply the escort of the proxy forces to Latium, as well as if needed to support Michael in his quest to secure the throne of Latium. Our primary reason for doing so was to secure another potential ally in the Delphic sea, a vital area for trade. In this task, we sent my uncle Prince-Marshal Qiang to assist and advise Michael along with two of his daughters to help him navigate the court and to serve as his assistants. This however due to other presences in his court and his personality made this a difficult task. Another purpose was to observe his behaviour to help build a good psychological profile of him and his associates as well as to observe the effectivity of certain tactics. This task has been accomplished. However, as time went on, and as his position became more and more unsustainable and his personality has become more and more unpredictable we have begun to question the safety of this most humble one’s family and have managed to extract all but one - Princess Shijin - from Michael’s court. While my uncle could have possibly forcefully extracted her, we were not certain of Michael’s reaction and a potential hostage situation could have arisen in which he could have been used to strong arm us into situations less desirable given Michael’s behaviour. This we hope you’d understand would be not only bad for us but also you in your goal in securing peace.

As of now, we are more than willing to conduct friendly operations with the New Edomites with regards to a ceasefire as well as pursuing my own goal of protecting my family in Castellum at this time. One would like to know whether it may be possible, that cooperation may be achieved as this environment is a potentially unstable one. Furthermore, we also have sway with the Tericians that may prove useful through Celestial Prince Yanfeng which we may be able to use to our mutual benefit.

We also wish to establish clearer links of communication as of late between our forces.

Should after the security of Princess Shijin be confirmed you prefer for us to withdraw our forces, this can also be achieved.

Yours truly

His Holy and Most Exalted Perfection Hulang Huike Jieke Tingzi Jieke Lazin, first to rule, Ditu of Akai, God on Earth, Eternal Guardian of Mankind, Emperor of Emperors, Autocrat of all the Akai, Sovereign of Lazinato, Yaosai, Zhaoze, Keng and Xuan, Avatar and descendent of Kutu and Waishan, Most High Archon of Xungong and Kaizangong, Enlightened prince and protector of Yahashi, Master of the Riyeskonsu, Ta yuan shuai of the Orders of National Defence Master of the Secretariat of Internal Authority, Gothic Lord, Grand Master of the Blessed order, Celestial being, Dæmon-Sovereign, Architect of the future, World-ruler, He who brings order to reality, Son of heaven, Vanquisher of the unfilial, Great Overlord of the Clans, Kehan of Kehan, Lord of Ten Thousand Years, Inheritor of the Six Dituate Dynasties, Pure of blood, Master of the Colossi, Protector of the Thirteen monoliths, Father of the Akai, Regent of Heaven, heir to the Immortal Ditu Shiyaohaung, heir to Tiao-Li, brother of the sun and moon, the most enlightened guardian of all the Akai.

P.S Should this be a more productive form of letter, future communications will be carried out like this.
Eyes only- hand delivered


TO: Coalition Fleet for Emperor Constantine
Topic: Clarification of a variety of matters

To whom this may concern
This is the Order of the Seas Fourth Carrier Task Force.

As your terms for entering the restricted zone are currently unacceptable, we will hold our position in the Delphic outside of it and wait less the situation changes.

We will remain outside of the restricted zone for now.
Yours truly

Admiral Li Chichu

Top secret- maximum encryption

Code: Select all
Maxinium encrptyion
To: Trezarch Rallanar Sjadrachest
CC: Gujnarch Gylars Jaznapral
From: Admiral Li Chichu

This is the 4th Carrier Task Force, we are requesting permission to entere the Selajtrazeni EEC.

The Harbinger of despair
Near the restricted zone
Delphic sea


The Admiral felt increasingly confused by the whole affair. Every time he felt that the Masters of the Orders of National Defence had a dispute, it was one of the fleets that had to suffer its consequences. He was increasingly convinced that the fact that Qiang had been removed only now was due to the Ditu’s insistence. Someone was gambling a significant amount on trying to get Qiang killed he felt. Not surprising given how many enemies Qiang had at this point. He could easily see Grand Admiral Tajin or Censor-Marshal Molxue trying to organise such affairs. But regardless, he had more pressing matters to deal with.

He knew that the Chacoese had his position and furthermore that they were tracking him. However, his AWACS were also in the air, and they were trying to keep an eye on the enemy fleet before them. There were at least twelve R-37 missiles mounted on some J-15E compliment, just in case, the decapitation of the enemy AWACS became a necessity. Such a move would be immediately followed by launches of the various Nenda-12N A missiles from a variety of vectors. ASW helicopters remained on their patrols, cautiously watching the waves to see if something was hidden beneath them. However, Chichu was also aware that he would be well in the range of the enemy and such an engagement would be rather suicidal - he hoped his superiors could at least know his distaste for it.

In the meantime the fleet's submarines were functioning as silently as possible, remaining in a state of HF ENCOM. They hid deep below thermocline to avoid any attempts for active sonar to work. They were prepared to deploy various noise making decoys were carefully being placed to mimic the sounds of the submarines via the submarines tubes. Both to inflate their apparent numbers and to hide those operating in HF ENCOM. They had descended from their previous depth of 90m to 150m in their quest and reduced their speed to 9 knots. Their goal at the moment would be to move into Jaznapral waters inside the Selajtrazeni EEZ, something they had permission to do thanks to the Lazins’ various ties to the country. These subs were based on Nifonese design, being exceptionally quiet in terms of their mechanics but their crew was also a bizarre specimen. The Akai were careful to minimise sound not to the point that there was a black hole in the water but rather they blend in with it.

Both the fleet and the flotilla began to disperse in the terms of its direction, while its course was diverted from the restricted zone. The plan now was to remain in a position of a standoff and to hope the various schemes of the Grand Conclave and their master would work. Chichu always did question whether he earned his rank through the status of his clan or by his own skill. As he continued to sip away at this tea, he hoped it would be tested here and now.
Last edited by The IASM on Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:32 pm, edited 8 times in total.

20:22 Kirav Normal in Akai is nightmare fuel in the rest of the world.
11:33 Jedoria Something convoluted is going on in Akai probably.
Transoxthraxia: I'm no hentai connoisseur, but I'm pretty sure Akai's domestic politics would be like, at least top ten most fucked up hentais"
18:26 Deusaeuri Let me put it this way, you're what would happen if Lovecraft decided to write political dystopian techno thriller
20:19 Heku tits has gone mental
20:19 Jakee >gone
05:48 Malay lol akai sounds lovely this time of never

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Posts: 2410
Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:45 pm

“It looked as if a night of dark intent was coming, and not only a night, an age. Someone had better be prepared for rage...” ― Robert Frost

In the Air
Over the Tempesta
En route to Vannois

The Tempesta Ocean was a broad swath of dark blue for as far as the eye could see, and like something from a tale of old, it sprawled out broad and still, beneath a sky both starless and bible black. Surely the God of the Sea lurks deep below, watching the world of men above with wary eyes…

It had been some time since the Emperor found himself on a plane. His fear of flying kept him away, but now there was no other feasible way to reach his destination and to achieve his goals. All the same, the Emperor had to resort to certain measures to keep his nerves calm. Specifically, copious amounts of alcohol and staring out the window, into that watery void below.

Indeed, even as the Emperor contemplated the sea and the dark night above it punctuated by a full moon, he was bereft of his senses. Everything around him in his cabin seemed fluid and shifty, and his eyes heavy, though his hearing fared better somewhat by comparison. He could still think, though it was a laborious task that required specific, deliberate actions in order to make any sense to him at all.

It is as though I must read a book in my head about what I should do, Nathan thought as he set another empty bottle of hard liquor down on the floor, next to the other ones that he couldn’t count the number of. Walking seemed hard, as did staying sitting up straight, hence he fell to the floor and crawled on all fours. Yes…that’s much easier.

He did know some things, at least…things that couldn’t escape his mind despite the excessive drinking. There were a large number of planes full of lords, their knights and retainers and supplies, though Nathan’s in particular consisted of some especially highborn company. The various kings in his company, consisting of Gadiel of Gaemar, Taboro of Arrautsa and Jori of Jehenna were present, with the luxury of their own cabins for privacy and a common area to meet and discuss. Dame-Captain Rosa Sharon was present, as were Ser Rolli and Ser Artur Ordosa.

In all, some eight-thousand Ghantar had joined the Emperor on his wine-tasting expedition to Vannois as it were, though Nathan didn’t know most of them and trusted fewer. He tried to remember some of their names, but couldn’t, and became distracted by the door going out into the plane’s inner passage. He clumsily pushed it open, causing it to make a loud thud against the thin wall of the passage. His guards jumped to help him, but he waved them off.

“…No…stand at your posts…you lot…I need…something…” With great effort, he managed to drag his body out into the passageway and crawled down it’s length, like some awkward snake with stubby legs. …Everyone…always trying to help me…just leave me alone… They never did though, pests that they were, biting his ankles and nibbling on the pale white skin of his ass.

He came upon a conversation between his cousin Prince Paul, the young pretty boy with downy brown hair and gentle blue eyes dressed richly, conversing with a young, but already grizzled knight by the name of Garai Gauzua. He was from an old house in Northern Dakmoor that enjoyed the favor of King Malibar, though the house had an ominous reputation, and famous arms consisting of many black bats upon a violet field.

Garai cast his eyes from Prince Paul down to the drunken Emperor who shambled clumsily upon the floor. He was a handsome man no doubt, with a nice nose, fancy cheekbones and a jaw straight out of a male fashion magazine. He was clean-shaven, though his eyebrows were a thick bushy black, and his eyes a wicked shade of dark violet, nearest black. Like his eyebrows, his hair was long and thick and midnight black, aside from the silver streak that ran through it from the top of his scalp down to the end of his hair at the base of his neck.

“I’ve heard said that the Emperor of Ghant was a snake,” the Dakmooran said casually from his shadowy corner near a table, dressed in black. “I hadn’t thought he’d slither like one too.”

Hopefully Captain Rosa Sharon is around here, Nathan thought, though he couldn’t see her, he knew she was always near. “…the Ordosas believe that snakes are…sacred beasts,” the Emperor stammered in his drunken stupor. “Ancient creatures of knowledge and wisdom, ready to impart upon the minds of men who listen.”

“And what wisdom do you have?” Garai asked callously. “I’ve heard little of it, and seen fewer still.”

The Emperor buried his forehead into the carpeted floor and groaned. “I am not wise, Ser Garai, for the fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

“I was weaned on fools, your Majesty,” Garai spoke to him thusly. “Fools who test me will come to rue it.”

Is that so? It didn’t go unnoticed that the graceful Prince Paul, Ser Rolli and Ser Artur weren’t far away, and so it seemed unlikely that this knight of northern Dakmoor was any serious threat. “…For a man that speaks so boldly…I would have thought to have seen you…in the tournament…”

To that, Garai laughed. “I don’t fight in tournaments, because when I fight a man for real, I don’t want him to know what I can do.”

“How quaint of you, ser. Are you some sort of…champion of renown?” Even as drunk as he was at that moment, the Emperor was still of glib tongue…or so he thought with a drooling smile.

“No,” Garai shook his head. “Men call me Voidstar, for I am but a star, alone in the void. And here is some wisdom for you, your Majesty. Wine and tea are the instruments of women. If you wish to start a war, it must happen as it does in the wilds. With a predator and its prey.”

Prince Paul carefully approached the Emperor and knelt down to put a hand on his shoulder. “Clearly His Majesty the Emperor is…indisposed,” he interjected. “Perhaps he will be better suited to conversation at a latter time.”

“I would certainly hope so,” Garai replied with a twisted smirk, before pushing himself away from the table and walking in the opposite direction of the Emperor’s destination.

Paul watched him leave and spoke to his Imperial cousin. “I do not trust Garai Gauzua, for he is a wicked man.”

“…Wicked men make the best battle companions,” the Emperor countered gently. “To be fair, of course.”

“Please, let me help you to where you’re going,” Paul insisted, noticing how drunk the Emperor was.

“No…I’m fine…just…watch me.” With that said, the Emperor continued to crawl in the direction he wanted to go, leaving Paul behind him. He used his hands and knees to push himself along, moving like a crippled bear through the dimly lit passageway. There were cabins to his left and his right, and alcoves between them. There may have been people, but he didn’t notice them. He liked to think that Rosa was with him somewhere, though he couldn’t see her.

“…Don’t you see, Rosa?” he asked deliriously, whether she was near or not. “How they mock me so? Speak to me like I’m some jester? It’s no use trying to stop it…they will do as they will, for men see what they wish to see. That’s why austerity…behaving all proper-like…it’s a waste of time. No matter what you do, you can’t please everyone, and someone will always be displeased. So why not just worry about pleasing yourself?”

Eventually Nathan came upon the kitchen, where startled cooks, kitchen workers and servants appeared startled. The Emperor raised his hands after standing on his knees. “As you were, people…your work is appreciated, don’t let me interrupt.”

“…Is there something we can do for you, your Majesty?” one of the cooks asked from amongst the stainless-steel tables and counters.

“No…just pretend as though I’m not even here.” Nathan fell back down to his hands and knees, and continued along his way, speaking to the Rosa he imagined was near. “I could have had one of them do something for me…get me what I want, but where’s the fun in that? I don’t want to be one of those old assholes who sits around in a solar, reading reports and dictating policy to a bunch of ass-lampreys. No…I do not wish to be near the fire. I wish to become the flame!”

At long last, Nathan came upon the monolithic white fridge, glowing eerily in spite of the bright lights of the plane’s kitchen. “At long last…the great refrigerator, like the Ark of the Covenant…and within it lies God’s sacred gift to the world of men…”

Nathan opened the fridge and basked in the cold air that came rushing out. Within and upon the top shelf sat a full glass of milk, which the Emperor struggled to reach up and grab. “Behold, my dear Captain…ice cold milk, straight from the fridge and right down my gullet!”

The Emperor twisted the cap as hard as he could, and sent the milk pouring down his gullet, drinking it like a man dying of thirst. After a few moments he took a break and smiled. “I’ve never had any broken bones…because I’ve always drank milk to make my bones strong. And when I’m shit-faced drunk…the milk helps settle my stomach.”

Carefully he closed the fridge and leaned against the door, staring off into the kitchen as people carefully glanced at him and whispered amongst themselves. “You see how they all look, how they all talk? Let them. I’m tired of concerning myself with what they do…what they think. I care about what I think. Michael of Latium is a cunt who hides behind his goons and his false friends like a coward. And like a cunt I’m gonna fuck him till he screams, and I’m gonna enjoy every minute of it…”

A drunk mind speaks a sober heart… “I’m sorry Rosa…I shouldn’t speak that way in front of a lady…it’s just that…I feel like I can be myself around you. You bring out the best in me…and I’d be lost without you…I need you…” Nathan reached out for her, but couldn’t find her with his hands, only grasping the air.

Then he thought of Maria of Latium, who was with his cousin Anastasia on another smaller private plane. He also thought of Cassandra, back in Ghish. It was a ceremonial office he bestowed upon her of merely symbolic importance, a formality in the event that he was gone indefinitely, though he still had his cell phone and service to take advantage of in case he needed to be contacted or needed to do the contacting.

Gods, I’m such a whore… there were so many women, some like succubae that sucked his blood, leaving him drained. It was hard to tell what from what…but Maria was true. She refused him many times over, and played hard to get, like Sophia, though unlike the latter, she didn’t come with strings, cast into his flesh to make a puppet out of him. Maria, Maria, where art thou?

Before long, he could feel pressure in his stomach, and then a swelling up in his throat. Oh no… he began throwing up on the tiled kitchen floor, emptying his stomach on the floor as he went back to his hands and knees. He knew the drill…always face down, never face up… he didn’t know how long it went on for or for how long he was there, but it all began to blur together before he passed out, feeling the cold milky vomit against his face. Then the dream came…

Blackened sky over den of beast
A horrid beginning, at the least
Dwelling within, rapt with pain
The beast sighs with great disdain

“Love would break these chains
Release me from this disgusting form
Shield me from the chilling rains
A body close, that fire so warm”

The vile creature stepped from throne
To wander deepest forest alone
In deep contemplation of his past
Until in exhaustion, he fell at last

“This be the end and wonderful
To die in the darkest night
To not know love tis miserable
At last I fade so out of sight”

A light broke the trees
Passing along the greenery seas
Skin like amber, eyes like the wood
Surely an angel before the beast stood

“Should I call out to heavenly sprite?
Would I gain the favor of nature?
To be brought up to heaven’s light
Despite the sin of my features”

In anguish, the beast did grunt
Extolling his pain in the brunt
The angel could look upon the ground
And witness the horror of what she found

There twas a man upon the floor
Bleeding from wounds old as yore
She’d not known how got he there
But he’d now fall into her care

“How got you here, hapless man?
With wounds that cry out sanguine tears
Tell me, I’ll help all I can
Just recount to me all your years”

Certainly, an angel would inquisition such
And if that’s what she wanted, it twasn’t much
So, the beast parted his detestable lips
And lamented the eons of rises and dips

“Once, was I, a beautiful lord
Upon the house of Gentry reigned
The world itself bowed to my accord
But fortune’s smile was feigned”

The angel but waited…

“The one that I called wife
Upon my body cast a hex
That borne blood rain upon my life
Forever would my features vex

Cast out of castle, village and country
I found a cave beneath the land
The king of all Ghantar
Cursed to living in den of rock and sand”

The angel shook her head
Casting from her shoulders dread
The fear of this “beast” had left
She could just not leave him bereft

“Rise, my king, from the ground
Follow me to safety
I will treat your hurt profound
I cannot carry you, so hefty”

Beleaguered but intrigued
The beast cast off all that fatigued
He made to his feet with reserved strength
And vowed he’d follow her any length

“Upon the remnants of my heart
I make to you this pledge
I will follow you end to start
Even to death’s very ledge”

The angel said nothing
She preserved a careful pacing
Down the path that grew but darker
Through what seemed forest no longer

“Not much farther now
Do not despair
Do not fret or furrow brow
See, we’re already there”

Set upon the umbra ahead
Luminescence to them bid
A shack came out from the ink
Safe and far, at world’s brink

The beast arrested at the threshold
Still unbelieving of angel’s abode
That she would let someone ghastly as him
Set one foot within, even on her whim

“Are you an illusion, dear savior?
Mere delusion in my death throes?
Excuse my disrespectful behavior
But a beast like me has many woes”

With a restrained giggle, ringing like a bell
The Angel’s hand caressed his shoulder well
She pulled him through the portal, into her den
Careful that he should trust her then

“Trust that I’m your benefactor
You will soon see an end to your strife
I’m not some illusory actor
I will restore your one taken life”

The warmth from inside was radiant
Covered his body with heat so pleasant
Upon her posh bed she laid him
Her hands moved across the dim

“I fear I cannot sustain my eyes
To see your magic proper weaved
Weariness cannot be covered with lies
Your kindness already more than preconceived”

“Then but trust me, fair man
I will mend your tattered soul
You’ll be better than when I began
I will once more make you whole”

The night did acquiesce to day
The sun replaced the moon in play
The sky again darkened and sunset arrived
The woman’s ritual, for victory, strived

“Waken, man, not beast
I’ve bestowed you your former countenance
Before the sun rises in the east
I shall ask you for penance”

The man restored knew nothing was free
There was a price to pay for beauty
But he would do anything for she
If she indeed had restored thee

“A mirror, bring me the glass
I must see your reformation
And then, oh beautiful lass
You may have you compensation”

The maiden awayed for but a moment
Returning with that shining bestowment
In his hand, he took the apparatus
To peer upon his visage’s status

“By the heavens, your words are true
I’ve become that man again
And now that you have birthed me anew
Tell me what you’d have from my reign”

The angelic creature did not stir
She in pensive thought deferred
Finally, her chin rose to him
And a grin she bore with vim

“What would you give me, stalwart king?
The one who set you right with fate
How would you reward this being?
What prize can you offer, sir so great?”

The once beast was struck with confusion
Her request was one of illusion
Deep inside he considered her demand
And then he knew what she had planned

He hesitated not, for that is why
He stepped out past evening, twas not to die
Searching for something, someone rather
He’d decided the perfect gift to gather

“In return for your benevolent action
There is but only one payment
Though I fear, it is but an abstraction
For my heart, you are now the claimant”

Taken aback, the angel to her knees did retreat
And inside her chest, furious her heart did beat
Was he suggesting what she’d thought he might?
Was this king not selling her spite?

“As reward for your deed
I offer you such
My soul you may lead
My heart you may touch

And if you agree
The resolution is bound
My love for thee
Will be forever renowned”

Faced with this decision so grand
The angel could not even stand
Tears in her eyes did form
Upon his hand they fell, so warm

He wiped the droplets from her face
And replaced them with his own embrace
To feel the presence of another
He’d searched for that, for a lover

“And if I agree
By what matter do I show
How will you see?
How will you know?”

“If you deem it a proper remuneration
And my partner you will be
Just but accept my declaration
And tell me that you love me”

Silence echoed through the umbra
Crashing waves of quiet slumber
Lips formed syllables, word by word
And only he was that which heard

“I love you…”
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"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
Posts: 22911
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby New Edom » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:23 pm

Air Over Tempesta

Captain Rosa Sharon was disgusted with her whole situation. The Ghantish nobility had flooded towards Vannois in thousands. Literally thousands. Instead of an army or fleet they had sent a whole Imperial Court. The Ghantish nobilith often shoced her. Every body of aristocracy was often spoiled, proud, dripping in luxury relative to their population, but at least in New Edom, Chaco, the Imperium and Deadora there was a modicum of effort towards helping ordinary people rise above wretched circumstances. This air fleet...and she knew many Ghantar lived in thatched huts with wood or dung fires. It was incredible.

Then there was herself. How could she be so deeply in love with such a ruin of a man? Every woman she'd never wanted to be...she was now.

And yet she did love him. Even as she spoke quiet words to reassure him of her presence, he needed constant reassurance of it. How could she love a man who crawled in his own executive plane drunk as as stupid rock star or football star?

and yet she did. Enough that she did not defend him when that snooty lord mouthed off to him, though she badly wanted to. Because she knew it would only shame him in public. And she would never do that. She would rather be hurt herself than hurt him. Everyone was playing her like a fish, including her own people. She had been assigned to him because her clever superiors knew she would fall for him and want to protect him. That was a major part of her role. There were better intelligence operatives than her. So she swallowed yet another insult to him. Nathan had to find a way of his own. And if he never found it, she'd be there, letting him sob a bit against her bosom while she held him there a moment, stroking his hair. And yes, she'd find a way to mop up his puke when it spilled out of him when he was drunk.

Rosa helped him back to his stateroom if he would let her. "lean against me, sir," she murmured, never letting anyone overtly hear her use a lack of an honorific to the emperor. If he would not, she followed him. She wished she were crawling instead of he, but Nathan would never demean her. He was always gentle with her, always kind, always making her smile when they had time together. How could she not love him?

The Emperor of Ghant. Stained with his own piss and vomit. She would help him change, sponge him clean, and make sure he woke beside her voluptuous scented body. She wondered if she would one day find her beautiful body (for she knew she was beautiful, softly curved, rich raven hair, smoothly feminine even in her strength, and light olive of skin) hanging beside his as a mob jeered or greedy nobles crowd their triumph.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Lacus Magni
Posts: 753
Founded: Apr 02, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Lacus Magni » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:19 pm

Palace of Augustus
Castellum ab Alba

”Your Majesty is too kind. I am a widower, I'm afraid. I have not seen fit to marry. My daughters both live in New Edom. However I can arrange to bring someone suitable,” Ambassador Randronoth offered in response to Michael’s generous dinner invitation.

“Oh, that’s such a shame,” Michael offered disingenuous condolences as he was preparing to leave the throne room. “We’ll set up a suitable time.”

"Sir, there's one more thing, I'm afraid. The CPO issue. That has to be resolved. There must be negotiations and an agreement to allowt he CPO to arbitrate and examine the case for legitimacy of the throne to have a peaceful settlement," the Edomite Ambassador continued to pester the Emperor on the topic of the CPO.

Michael stopped just in front of the opening doors of the throne room and offered a sigh. “What did I just say, Mr. Ambassador? Wasn’t it that I had some writing to take care of? Was that it, Peter?” the Emperor turned to Deputy Prefect Laetorius who stood at his side.

“I believe it was, your Majesty,” the soldier nodded in response.

“What is it I could possibly be writing, perhaps my statement to the CPO,” Michael stated with anger. “I had always heard how the Edomites are a people of great faith. Have some now, Mr. Ambassador.”

Palace of Augustus

After finally leaving the throne room, Emperor Michael quickly moved to his next appointment in the lower levels of the palace, which had been designated as cells for the Emperor’s most significant prisoners. A single guard stood outside the main door to the area, offering Michael a half hearted salute as the Emperor walked past with Deputy Prefect Laetorius following closely. Few rooms remained occupied this low, though the most recognizable room was that of the door marking the Archbishop of Castellum

As he walked through the old hallway, Michael came across another guard cleaning out a newly empty cell. “What happened here?” Michael asked Laetorius for who’s cell it had been.

“The People’s Tribune,” Laetorius muttered in a hush tone. “Passed away nearly an hour ago.”

Michael shook his head and sighed. “Such a shame.”

After a few more steps he found himself at his destination, the holding room of former Consul and chief of all those who had betrayed him - the Dowager Duchess of Vindóbona. From inside the room Michael could hear a faint scream, followed by a another more piercing shriek. Then there was nothing but silence as another guard slowly swung the door open, first revealing a man inside who turned around in confusion. Michael shook his head to the side, the soldier taking the hint and quickly disappearing from the cell.

When Michael saw Duchess Maria lying on the dirty floor in rags he could do nothing but smile. Laetorius was the first to enter the room, forcefully restraining her hands before the Emperor took a few steps into the doorway. “Your Grace. I must thank you for clearing your very busy schedule to meet with me,” Michael sneered as Laetorius then picked the Duchess up to her feet and threw her back to the ground. Michael crouched to meet her at eye level. “I know just how much you adore our little talks.”

Duchess Maria hung her head facing the ground when Michael spoke to her, waiting until he crouched down to eye level to look upon him. Then she spit in his face. Michael to hop to his feet, reared back his arm and took a swing at her stomach. She collapsed to the ground after a painful moan as she began to cry. “Its been hard enough for you, I know. You’re son is dead, and soon all your other children will be if you don’t give me what I want once I find them. And I will find them,” Michael crouched back down once more and lifted her up from the filthy ground by her dirty, matted hair. “I don’t believe I’m being unreasonable here.”

“I have to admit you’ve lasted longer than I ever thought possible. But you won’t make it forever,” he looked to her face, blood dripping from her nose. “You know this can stop at anytime. Only you have the power to decide when that is. And I know how much you love power.”

The Duchess’ head hung limp with no response, prompting Michael to throw a nod to Laetorius. The Deputy Prefect shoved Duchess Maria to the ground effortlessly. When Laetorius went to lift her back up, she offered a small level of resistance. “...please…” she mumbled out though it was hardly audible.

Michael smiled to Laetorius who then stuck the Duchess one last time before attempting to pull her away from her now curled up position. “Please...” Michael laughed as he mocked her. “Confess. It won’t be long now until my man reaches your children. Do I need to remind you what happens when he does?”

“...what...what do you want?” she whined from below on the ground, refusing to stand for Michael or the Deputy Prefect.

“You know what I want. You and my father were close, so very close. I’ve heard the stories, everyone has...including my mother. Do you remember her? I’m sure you do. Can you imagine how it felt for her when she discovered you were fucking her husband. Such a shameful act from such a pious woman. News of this would certainly destroy your reputation or legacy if it were true,” Michael crouched back down, gripping the crying Duchess by the jaw. “And your children. Oh my, what about them. They’d be absolutely devastated, of that I’m sure. And to find out that their father isn’t actually their father,” Michael feigned shock and disbelief.

“If only I knew which for certain,” Michael gave the Duchess a light pat on her cheek before standing and making it appear like he was deep in thought. “Now I don’t believe your sweet sweet daughter Theodora is in that category. No, she has those beautiful blue eyes and looks so much like your dear late Ducal husband. But the others...Justin, poor Duke George, Adrian, Helena, now they on the other hand look very little like your Ducal husband and very much like my late Imperial father. Justin most of all in fact. Even my own grandmother remarks how much he resembled my father. I can’t believe we didn’t notice it before.”

“It’s tr…” the Duchess spoke so softly that it was impossible to hear for sure what she said. Laetorius kicked her in the side, causing her to cough and spit up blood.

“It’s what, your Grace? I apologize, but could you speak more clearly,” Michael commented with a smile.

“’s true. What you said,” she struggled to speak through her tears. “Now...please let me go and don’t hurt them.”

“Let you go?” Michael nearly fell over from laughter before he began moving towards the door. “Why on earth would I let you go? You were born in this palace...and you’ll die in this palace.” And with that Michael left the Duchess lying on the floor in her tears, with Laetorius quickly following him out before the door slammed shut.

“Have someone splash some water on her. Vespillo actually, make him do it. Then have him take another run at her and we’ll go from there,” Michael kept walking once he left the dank room, moving at a swift pace down the narrow hallway to the exit. “Keep her alive for now and see if there are any final takers, we’ll slit her throat later tonight. And let’s begin a pullback of all Scholarians. I want them protecting the palace first and foremost.”

“Aye, Caesar. I know there have been reports of protesters that have been giving them a hard time moving through the city,” Laetorius informed the Emperor of the recent events

“I don’t care, fucking shoot through them if you have to. I want them here. And let’s have Antonia in my chambers when I reach them. I’ll have need of her assistance,” Michael rushed up the steps before Laetorius fell back. The Emperor didn’t stop for anyone as he moved across the marble floors of the palace. A few times, staff attempted to stop him, but he repeatedly brushed them off in an effort to reach the residence as quickly as possible.

“It will be done, Caesar,” Laetorius nodded in approval, following Michael at a near equal pace. He flashed the guard a look, signaling him to take care of the Emperor’s orders, the guard disappearing behind them.

Outside of the apartment’s main entrance stood a guard, who promptly saluted Emperor Michael before speaking. “Caesar, Lady Antonia has just arrived.”

Michael walked right past him without the slightest acknowledgement of the guard’s presence and entered the his room. Inside, Michael found it to be empty, until he heard Antonia call for him. “Michael, I’m in here.” Michael followed her voice into the Emperor’s study, where he found her reading a book on the nobility in Latium. “You sent for me?”

“Mhmm, that I did, dear,” Michael grinned and grabbed the book from Antonia’s hands, tossing it across the room before kissing her.

“How was your meeting?” she offered a faint smile.

“It was wonderful, she finally...” Michael said with a joyous smile, resting on the armrest near where Antonia was seated

“The Ambassador?” Antonia looked at him in confusion. “I thought the Edomite Ambassador wanted to speak with you.”

“Oh that dreadful man. The fucking nerve he had to speak to me like that. I “must,” he demands. An errand boy thinks he can talk to an Emperor that way. I’ll show him,” Michael repeated once he returned to the residence within the palace after having spoken with the Edomite Ambassador. He paused his rapid pacing of the room and rested his hands on the back of a chair largest office of the apartment.

Antonia remained relaxed on one of the couches of the great office, not uttering a word unless spoken to or Michael indicated otherwise. “It’s fucking unbelievable,” Michael lurched over the chair, ranting in frustration. The Emperor looked to the desk, finding an exorbitant amount of clutter and paper upon it. Laid atop the piles were his notes from his recent interaction with some of the recent prisoners he had taken, most notably Lady Maria Optima - the now Dowager Duchess of Vindóbona.

“Don’t give them what they want,” Antonia said as she stood and cautiously approached Michael. “They’re clearly using you, and it’s even clearer they’ll toss you aside whenever it suits them. That’s what they’ll use the CPO for. They don’t want to help you. They don’t care about you, about Latium or about anyone that doesn't serve them. Are you the Emperor or are you a puppet?”

Michael shook his head. “I am not a puppet! I am the fucking Emperor,” he shouted, causing Antonia to take a quick step back.

She finally reached him at the desk, placing her hand atop his. “And what about the Noviterans? Their insults shouldn’t be forgiven. No Emperor should allow others to speak to them that way.”

“They called me a fool,” Michael clenched his hand into a fist and rammed it into the desk. They called me unqualified and an imbecile!”

“And together they both control the CPO. There’s no way it will be fair to you,” Antonia rubbed his shoulders. “I’d be happy to write something up for you, dear.”

Michael looked up at the portrait of his father that sat on the wall behind the desk. It did nothing to quell his anger. “...Yes...yes, would you please,” Michael told her with labored breathing. “I should take care of this business just in case.”

“Of course,” Antonia offered him a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll be just over here if you need me.”

Michael nodded, then found his seat at the large Imperial desk that had once belonged to his father. He pushed around through the papers on his desk, finally pulling out a sheet of paper with Greek writing on it. At the top of the paper was his father’s name with Duchess Maria’s next to it. Below that was some small and insignificant notes with lines coming from each of the top two names reaching down to the names of all of the Duchess’ children. Michael crossed out the name of the woman’s eldest daughter. Not that it matters, she’s not even in the country, he thought when he crossed it off. Then he drew a circle around the remaining names of: Justin, George, Adrian and Helena, though neglected to put any mark next to the Duchess’ infant son.

He tossed the paper back to the desk and leaned back in his chair, running a hand through his hair with heavy breathing. Constantine’s a traitor, Maria’s a traitor, Marsella’s children are dirt, and Selene...her betrayal hurt the most, Michael thought as he looked over his papers. I have no successor of my own. He thought in silence for a moment, thinking of anyone in his family left in his support. He couldn’t select his uncle Theodosius or his children after his neutral intentions became complete support for Constantine. Any of his aunts were unacceptable, as were their own children. Then it dawned on him. “Espo had a daughter, no?” Michael asked Antonia, who perked up from her own writing.

“Hmm?” Antonia looked up from her furious writing. She tapped her chin with her pen as she thought. “I believe so...Constantia I think, but why?”

“I need to make my successor known to everyone. The realm won’t do with any of my siblings as Monarch, nor do any of them deserve to hold that right. Her brothers were my brothers, so there is absolute certainty that my father and their mother were involved. I don’t know to what degree though, she wasn’t mentioned in that will.”

“Why should that matter? The Emperor’s word is law. If you write that she is truly your sister, then that’s all that really matters isn’t it,” Antonia stated before turning her attention back to her own writing.

Michael sighed. He knew that writing that by that Lady Constantia was his half-sister by his father and The Marchioness of Espo would devastate his mother. He pictured her response and it wasn’t pretty. ”You choose some stupid bastard girl as your heir over your own full blooded sister? No son of mine would do that.”

I don’t want to, mother, he thought as he finished penning the note. Flicking the pen off the desk after he finished, he reached for his seal to affix it to the note, before noticing Antonia was finished.

“Here, its simple enough,” she slid her draft of Michael’s announcement to the CPO in front of the Emperor. He read it carefully, kissing Antonia once he finished. “We should be prepared to leave the grounds just in case. Say twenty to thirty minutes?”

“Twenty or so should be enough. We’ll have Ajax and Laetorius prepare things, then get this ready for release.”

To: Offices of the CPO; Immediate Media Release
From: His Imperial Majesty The Emperor of the Latins
Subject: CPO Arbitration
Encryption: None

To Whom It May Concern:

The requests made by the Cornellian Peace Organization, while noble in their intent, do not serve to benefit the People and Senate of Latium, nor the interests of the Crown itself. Upon discussion with my most prudent Privy Council, as well as my trusted and most faithful allies, I have decided that it is not in the best interest of the Latin State to participate in any discussions, talks or arbitration of any kind with the Cornellian Peace Organization.

Michael VIII
Emperor of the Latins
Latium — Member of Ajax (Discord)
Factbook National Map

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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
Posts: 22911
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby New Edom » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:09 pm

Fineberg, New Edom

General Nicanor emerged from the washroom and walked back into the boardroom where the members of the Council of Ministers and senior military advisors were meeting. Everyone was tired, taking turns washing up, having a smoke or a drink or something to eat. Nicanor’s vast hairy bulk gleamed light olive-brown through nests of crinkled damp hair, towel handed to an aide, another stretched over his comfortable chair which he sat down in with a great sigh like a buffalo going to wallow. Other senior commanders present were in a similar state, lounging in semi to complete undress, refreshing themselves before continuing. Though all were decaying with age, they were also tough strong men and women. The image of God less the new flower o fawn, more the rocks and trees that had weathered much but had their beauty in their strength and age. The fresher, younger ones—Undersecretary Fish, the aides such as Captain Bashan—were less scarred, more angular and clean limbed, showing their lack of experience.

“Minister,” said Fish, “We’ve just heard from Latium and from the CPO. Ambassadors Randronoth and Nimrod confirm: Michael has refused the CPO terms altogether.”

“He’s refused?” exclaimed Nicanor. “Have the Queen and Geta been told this?”

“We’re trying to get hold of them, there’s some interference. Enough signals jamming in that area you could walk on it,” said Admiral Galt.

“We have our leave to act though,” said Nicanor. “John?”

General Ashdod nodded. He lay against his chair like a Cornellian in the baths, a towel loosely draped over his lanky body. “I can confirm that there is still protesting activity, verging on rioting, in Castellum.”

“Then we carry out our responsibilities and oaths,” said Prince Enoch Tubal-Cain. “I believe that is what Her Majesty agreed to do in Adrianople.”

General Nicanor smiled, his craggy ageing face wrinkling at the eyes and lips. “Captain Bashan, please inform Admiral Amalek that he may go ahead with Plan B.”

Near Castellum

Colonel Zelek, receiving the information of Michael's refusal from Admiral Amalek, gave instruction that all his units moving out to block the roads should withdraw to the regiment's AO. That Michael's forces were to be designated as hostile, and that they were to prepare once again for an advance on the capital. The enthusiasm was dampening; he could see the forced expressions of his officers and senior NCOs, who only out of discipline and obedience began to transmit the orders with brisk efficiency. The turn arounds in this conflict were draining, and they hadn't even seen a shot fired in anger yet. He himself concealed his bitterness at the fresh orders.

What was worse was this: if the Damocleans got at part of the population now, God help those on the receiving end. He spoke quietly to his battalion and company commanders. "Keep a tight leash. I know, it's maddening. These people are led by crazy men, and we cannot trust them. Remind them of their duty to the regiment, their pride, the reputation, the glory of our nation, that our Queen and King are relying on them. Remind them of their oaths. Focus them on their duty and on helping their comrades."

"We all feel alone and isolated out here, Colonel," said Major Obmi, the adjutant, in a grim but quiet conversational tone so that none of the men saw his irritation. "We're getting edgy about whose side we are on, what we can count on here."

"I know. But we're Marine Infantry--it's out duty to go in first and be alone and isolated," said Colonel Zelek. "Alright? Set a good example hey?"

Major Obmi took a deep breath. "For the 4th, eh?"

"For the 4th," said Zelek. They both smiled and exchanged friendly casual bows. Thank God the men saw that. Zelek had his work cut out for him. Fortunately the Sergeant-Major was doing the same thing with the NCOs. It would all filter down. They would make it through this.

Captain Lucas was on his way to his designated position when he received a radio call. He had to use all his training and discipline not to curse at the regimental operations officer. “For the love of God,” he said irritably. “Can you fellows please pick an enemy and stick to it?”

“We’re as frustrated as you are, Lucas,” snapped the operations officer irritably. “You will kindly return to the main regimental area of operations and will participate in our advance on Castellum.”

“Sir,” said Lucas shortly. He spoke into his helmet headset. “Alright Marines, halt the convoy. Turn us around, we’re heading back to the AO.” He heard a chorus of groans. “Hey, what is this? You were hoping to face a division on our own?”

“Yes Your honour!” came the chorus.

Lucas had to grin. “You crazy bastards! God requires us not to sacrifice ourselves as Christ save when required,” he said, making his voice stern. “Now turn these God-blessed vehicles around and head for the AO. I shall lead the advance.”

However he wondered what his government was now doing to make sure whose side they were on…

To: Emperor Constantine XX; Prime Minister Trujillo, Emperor Nathan IV, Emperor Louis XIX, Executor Eric Douglas, Ditor Hulang, Emperor Albert of Vorindeum
From: Queen Mara the First
CC: Relevant Foreign Ministries; Field and Fleet Commanders in latium
Subject: CPO Message
Encryption: Most Secret, Eyes Only

In light of recent events including the Pretender Michael’s refusal to accept CPO mediation, the Allied States of New Edom is reluctantly required to cease all support for his government. It is believed that his refusal is proof of his lack of recognizable authority and right to govern Latium. In the likelihood of his having usurped imperial authority, the Allied States of New Edom has little choice but to support the claim of Constantine as lawful Emperor of Latium.

Towards this end, the Allied States’ expeditionary force will act in concert with Latin, Chacano, Terrician, Ghantish and Vannoisian forces in Latium. As our 4th Marine Infantry Regiment is within minutes of Castellum, we will move towards the city. We ask that our air support be allowed to fly freely and establish landing zones for the resupply and assistance necessary to our regiment. We will also provide missile and air support to allied operations as required.

I have the honour to be
Mara I
Queen of the Allied States

The New Edomite Embassy, Castellum

On receiving the news about the CPO, Ambassador Randronoth realized that it might just be the end. He could hope for the marines' arrival soon but...there were increasingly large mobs in the street and a no doubt angry pretender to the throne to deal with. He felt better realizing this.

He ran a hand over the portrait of his late wife, and still living sons and daughters posed around them both. Six years ago now seemed like decades. There was little time, but he had already composed a letter in the event of his death which he sent on to the Foreign Ministry by email before calling in Colonel Brero.

Colonel Brero. Bless him. A bit bloated of body, heavy lipped face, rubbing the lower lip, looking like he'd slept in his uniform.

"Colonel, we're going to have to tell the rest of the staff that it's over. We can now only do our duty here and pray." Randronoth told him calmly.

Brero smiled sadly. "So it has come to it at last, eh? I'm sorry Sir."

Randronoth nodded. "I am too, my friend. But if we must die, we will have done so in the service. So." he patted his desk fondly. "Start wiping the security files. The codes, stuff about the recent operations, about our agents in the field here. Transfer copies to Fineberg. We may have little time."

"I'll start the transfer right away" and in fact Brero simply called his assistant on the emergency sound powered phone in the office "INitiate Code Emerald," he said. Then "Yes, I confirm, Code Emerald." He hung up. "And now?"

"I will speak to the staff. We should also engage in prayer, seek our peace with God, for the wrath of an enemy wmay descend on us. This boy Michael is a fool, but a very dangerous one, cruel and backed up by his Scholarians, who appear to generally be men of no conscience. We have a handful of soldiers here who are armed with light weapons. I have my sidearm, you yours, and that is it. Not really enough for a battle, eh?"

"No sir." Brero offered him a proper military bow like a Guardsman, his heels coming togrether. "It has been a privilege to serve with you sir."

Randronoth felt his eyes mist. "Thank you Brero. And you too, you awful slob."
Last edited by New Edom on Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

User avatar
Republica De Gran Chaco
Posts: 505
Founded: Jun 29, 2015
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Republica De Gran Chaco » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:03 am

2nd Battalion, CLI

Bryan ran to his MRAP, orders had changed and everyone needed to mount up as quickly as possible and get on the move. They were now ordered to make a strait dash to the capital. Bryan thought it was about time. He had noticed that the men were getting restless. All this stop and go, dig in, now move, now dig in again was starting to grind on them. They didn’t mind if they thought that battle was imminent, but as he overheard one corporal say, “all this shit is giving me blue balls.”

Everyone had mounted and the Marines and Lancers ahead of them had begun to move. Now it was there turn, and the MRAPs started rolling forward. Bryan got on the radio, “Second Battalion Company officers, this is Picaro 2. Remember all Edomite forces are now an ally. If you happen to see anything remember they are friendly, do not engage!”

Bryan wanted to make sure that everyone remembered this. Orders had come through of the switch in sides, and that if they met any Edomites, that they should be supported immediately. S-2 had informed him also, that they may be in exposed positions and in need of possible relief, but that nothing besides that was known. Helicopters had been leap frogging along with the CLI ground vehicles, and everyone was told that they were on standby in case they needed to rush to support the New Edom Marines. Byan liked that, and secretly hoped that they would be called to fly quickly to the finish rather than sitting in a car seat all day.

Now that everything was moving, Bryan leaned back and pulled out a work picture of Alicia. What would she think if she saw him now? He and all of his men were disgusting. His uniform was greasy and dusty. Everyone reeked of that smell of body odor and dirt after a rough sports game. Thrown in that was the smell of piss, from trying to urinate in bottles of moving vehicles on bad roads for too long, every once in a while, a bump caused a miss that couldn’t be helped. Now though they were heading to the end of the road. No one knew what lay ahead, but at least the end was in sight.

To: Queen Mara I
From: Luis Trujillo
Subject: Latium
Encryption: Highest

Queen Mara,

In light of your recent words, and the current forward, and exposed position of your marines, I have authorized the full support of Chacano air, land, and naval assets to assist your people. Immediately of use, are two frigates, for naval gun support, all of our CAS planes, and the Chaco Light Infantry Regiment, which may be flown to your men’s aid at need. I must express my extreme pleasure that we are working together for a common good, and I hope it helps to strengthen the bonds between our nations.

With the highest respect,
Luis Fernando Trujillo

To: Michael the coward
From: General Pablo Fuentes
Subject: Times out
Encryption: None

Bite the Curb


To: Admiral Li Chichu
From: Coalition Fleet for Emperor Constantine
Subject: Entering Restricted Zone

We have been in constant communications with the Edomites, and they have recently recognized Constantine as the true emperor of Latium. They have not told us that you are working with them, and indeed do not seem to be inclined to your presence in the area.

Since you have stated that you have business with Latium, but have not agreed with the emperors terms, nor informed us of your intent, we are informing you that you are now considered a hostile enemy to the coalition, unless you turn back and leave.
Last edited by Republica De Gran Chaco on Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
كان التيز سمين



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