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The Mareyland Civil War (Past Tech, IC, Signup Required)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Mareyland
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The Mareyland Civil War (Past Tech, IC, Signup Required)

Postby Mareyland » Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:26 pm

OOC: Sign up to join the RP here

The city of Eureka, the capital of the Commonwealth of Mareyland, was becoming an armed camp. It seemed that new groups of soldiers had arrived in the city every hour for the past few days. They were an army of many colors, and informed observers could determine their sort by the uniforms they wore. Men of the National Guard, the federal army, wore jackets of rifle green. A handful of soldiers wore a dark Navy blue, which marked them as members of the Corps of Marines. The majority of the troops wore a cadet gray, the uniform of militias raised by the constituent states of the Commonwealth.

They were armed with an assortment of weapons – the Guardsmen and Marines carried the most modern weaponry, rolling-block breechloaders. The militia troops carried converted muzzle-loaders, older weapons that had been modified with a trapdoor mechanism to allow for breechloading. Many of their weapons were National Guard surplus, replaced by the more modern, purpose-built breechloaders and stacked up in state armories for militia use. The militia was usually called up to deal with incidents of civil disorder, like riots. Riots had been spreading across the Commonwealth lately. Strikes by the railroad workers had inspired strikes by coal miners and other industrial laborers, and the efforts to suppress this worker activism had only inflamed the poor and disaffected people of the cities.

Riots had swept through Eureka itself, and scared President Martin Winslow and his cronies into fleeing across the Carter River and into the neighboring state of Parthenia. His political opponents had wasted no time in impeaching him, for the failure to defend the capital from insurrection. But Winslow had refused to acknowledge the impeachment, and issued a proclamation declaring martial law and proroguing the Senate. So now there were two Presidents in Mareyland, and it seemed that force alone would settle who would remain. Both President Martin Winslow and President pro temper Quincy Addison, newly elected by the Senate, had called for the National Guard and the state militias to muster and put down the opposing government.

General Emmanuel Dewey had accepted responsibility for the defense of the capital, and was busy coordinating the National Guard and militia regiments – mostly from the states of Delmarva, which bordered the federal district of Eureka to the north – that had responded to the Senate’s call. Across the Carter River, General Adolph Vernon had been appointed to command the army of National Guard and state militia, mostly men from Parthenia, which President Martin Winslow intended to use to re-enter the capital, disperse the treasonous Senators, and re-install himself in the Presidential Mansion.

Among the men assembled in the town of New Penzance was Colonel Edward Arlington, commander of a regiment of Parthenia state militia. He and his men had been called up by Governor Henry Radcliff, and sent by railroad to join Winslow’s army. Colonel Arlington’s separation from his home had come at an inopportune moment – he had just married Sarah Ceely, the successful conclusion to a long courtship. The new Lady Arlington despaired to see her husband leave. Her father had died in battle, in a foreign land, and the heartbreak of the loss had left her mother to die a slow death. She feared for her new husband, and wept when he rode away from their plantation home at Woodlawn.

Edward Arlington took a moment of quiet to sit down and pen a letter to his wife. He assured her that he was in good health, and good spirits. He did not tell her about his grave misgivings, or his fears for the performance of his men in battle. They were good men, but not professional soldiers. They were required to muster at infrequent intervals to refresh their skills, but things were calm in Parthenia and they had not needed to muster for anything besides training for years. A few days of drilling in the camp at New Penzance would not turn a collection of farmhands and shopkeepers into skilled men-at-arms. But none of that appeared on the page. Instead, Edward wrote to his wife and told her that he yearned to be home, and surely he would return to Woodlawn soon.

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Neo Prutenia
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Postby Neo Prutenia » Sat Oct 02, 2021 5:34 am

Coast of Mareyland, bay near the mouth of the Carter river

The ship entered the bay; it was a curiosity to observers. Not because that stretch of water wasn’t frequented by ships, quite the contrary, nor was it that unusual to see a vessel sporting a foreign flag. But a foreign steamer, a full-ironclad warship, and a mastless turret ship at that—now that was something of an oddity. The “Sonnenhetzer”, or “sun harrier” when translated from it native name, was one of several ships in a relatively new class of oceangoing mastless ironclads designed by the admiralty back in Lieblich and built, launched, and commissioned in Zelisch. It’s features reminded one of the now a decade and a half old first monitors, yet bigger and far more advanced. The turrets, front and back, were nothing new. But their arrangement, the central superstructure, the spur bow, the lack of masts in defiance of centuries of habit, and the pure wholehearted embracing of modern technologies and developments made this ship class into something of a cynosure, and perhaps a harbinger of designs and times to come, perhaps soon.

It wasn’t without its skeptics and critics of course, even back in Prutenia. But it was a tested design, proving its merits in the Pelagos and the Pruton sea, and the “Sonnenhetzer” in particular now had crossed a vast ocean and the equator. Another victory in a string of such. Something even the crew had to admit.

And they were a curious bunch. Two-thirds were experienced seamen and the other third had been composed of barely wet swabbies and polliwogs. That changed some ago as the line-crossing ceremony was performed and the polliwogs were initiated into the ranks of the shellbacks before the daemons and spirits of the ocean, as was tradition. This particular ceremony was somewhat brief and less elaborate than what the old salt shellbacks would have preferred, but no one felt entirely comfortable with the new all-coal ship steaming over the ocean in defiance of the winds and currents. They still had to build that trust—as superstitious as the lot was—that the ship was reliable. No doubt they would make up for some of the missed opportunities and traditions in Eureka’s bars and brothels. Only the gauntlet would have to be less literal boards and ropes and would likely include far more beer and rum. Something they had to look forward to.

The captain of the “Sonnenhetzer”, Filibert Erikasson Hildwicker, was in a far better mood than the crew. A modern man with modern sensibilities—being in his very late forties, quite chipper for someone of his experience and profession, witty but tactful—he understood his crew traditions and superstitions but did not indulge in it nor share it. He was a firm believer in Prut engineering and artisanry. And he was rather happy with this assignment. Prutenia was keen on recuperating some of the development costs of the various naval development programmes, including the new class ships. After some negotiation Mareyland invited the Prutenians to deliver a ship for trials and evaluation, although it was already all but signed black-on-white that the “Sonnenhetzer” would be sold to the Mareylanders. And our good captain Hildwicker only had to sail his ship intact to Eureka, enjoy a welcoming ceremony, and keep his crew in line long enough to demonstrate a few sea maneuvers and mock combat exercises and he’d be golden.

Right now he was observing the bay, focusing on the mouth of the Carter river. His officers were with him, chief among them at this moment was his navigator and second mate, Hilde Lottasdochter Hildwicker, who also happened to be his sororal niece—a somewhat irascible blonde in her mid-twenties, who shared the family’s proclivity for wit but sorely lacked her uncle’s tact and restraint. She observed her uncle and captain scanning the coastline and looking at his pocket watch. He smiled.

“To the minute! You called our arrival to. The. Minute. I must say, Hilde, I’m proud of you. I’ll have to tell your mother how great you performed during this journey.”

“Thank you, skipper. I’m also proud of rising to the challenge of doing the most basic navigational work.” She smirked, but it was obviously forced and fake to the keen-eyed observer. Her eyes did beam, and she was in fact very happy about all her reckoning being correct.

“Chief mate Hageler, please get the crew ready. We’ll be entering the river soon. We’ll have to be far more careful now.” The captain then ordered the ship’s signaller to raise the S-flag. “Let’s warn the others we’re slowing down.”

“Take care when you raise the signal flags, Herr Hageler! Don’t hurt your delicate old hands.” Hilde commented as Hageler left their presence.

The ship was operating astern propulsion, thus slowing down. The captain raised an eyebrow at Hilde’s remark, but opted to wait a bit for a more opportune moment to inquire what that was about.

“Delicate hands?”

“Aye, uncle. Delicate hands. It’s what he used as an excuse to deny me my turtle. He thinks me a rube I reckon, and I never reckon wrong.”

“What, the shellback tattoo for crossing the grand line? You care about that, my nift?”

“Of course I do, uncle! He did the ink for some of the polliwogs, and most of the old salt. And his work is great. He claims he’s too old now, his hands to ‘delicate’ for such precise work, so he wouldn’t agree to ink me. Said he’d shake too much and couldn’t handle the needle.”

“Nah, he probably didn’t want to ink a lass. He only worked with lads so far. He’s uncomfortable, is all.”

“Fair. Why didn’t he let me participate in the ceremony then? All other polliwogs got the treatment!”

“Well, you’re an officer, no? It’s… inappropriate?… I can't have my navigator and second mate covered in fish guts and other muck thrown overboard and dunked in the sea. We'd get lost!”

Captain Hildwicker noticed that she hadn’t bought his excuses, but she didn’t want to continue this avenue of conversation either. Relieved, he used that to his advantage and switched right back to work talk.

“Entering the Carter… now. Things are bound to get tricky. Hilde, would you kindly fetch me the Frau Grönheid. We’ll need her language and interpreting skills soon and I’d like her close and on stand by.”

“Sure, skipper.”

“Alright lads, raise the Q-flag and the G-flag. Nice and steady. We won’t enter Eureka without a pilot on board.”

Slowly, the Sonnenhetzer sailed up the Carter bound for Eureka. She clearly signaled that she was healthy and that she required a pilot to enter the city’s harbour and navy yard. Meanwhile the crew observed the goings-on on the river and the shore, the towns along the way, and the traffic. Some commented, some even sketched what they saw. Chief mate Hageler, for example, drew and sketched some of the landmarks swiftly when time and circumstance permitted and he thought no one observing him. Hilde the navigor likewise made a few observations and sketches for herself, focusing on the river and terrain more so than the hustle and bustle on and around the Carter.
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Always assume I'm the exact same tech level/reality as you are, with access to the exact same technology/abilities; I just happen to prefer very strict MT. IC name: Prut Meritocracy

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Mareyland
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Postby Mareyland » Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:40 am

“Shoulder…arms!”

“Present…arms!”

“Order…arms!”

Colonel Edward Arlington watched as the sergeants ran their men through the manual of arms. The faces of his soldiers were largely impassive, or fixed in concentration as they tried to keep the many similar-sounding commands straight in their heads, and match the movements of their fellows on either side. But there were some men who were plainly tired of the endless drill. It was fine enough to muster twice a month and review the parade-ground formations and motions, but they had been in the camp outside New Penzance for longer now than any regular muster - and this outing lacked the accompanying festivities that they enjoyed back home.

“I hope General Vernon sets us in motion soon,” muttered his aide, Solomon Allen. “You can only drill a man so many times without giving him some action - or a furlough.”

Edward chuckled, but the sentiment rang true. The longer they sat motionless in this camp, the harder it would be to keep the men disciplined. There had already been issues of desertion - though the truants were usually found not far from camp, in the nearest bar or bordello - and duty-shirking. Militiamen weren’t regulars and they made sure to voice that distinction loudly and repeatedly. They could not be expected to follow orders without question, and they refused to be treated as mindless automatons. Colonel Arlington bridled at their lack of discipline, and his letters to his new brother-in-law George Ceely were full of and other friends were full of exasperation and frustration.

The sergeants had begun to put the men through the bayonet drill, withdrawing the blades from their scabbards and affixing them to the rifles. A few of the men cursed as they fumbled with the awkward devices, and Edward fought to suppress a wince.

“Sir, looks like a messenger is coming this way.”

A man on horseback trotted up, coming to a stop a short distance away from where the colonel and his aide were observing the drill. He approached and saluted before handing over a folded piece of paper.

“General Vernon would like to speak with you, at your earliest possible convenience, Colonel.”

Edward turned to his aide. “Find Major Wyman, and have him observe the rest of the drill. I’ll want a full report when I return.” His aide saluted and dashed off to find the regiment’s second in command. Edward turned his attention back to the messenger. “Tell General Vernon that I will be there within the hour.”

In fact, he was there within the half-hour; just in time to catch the last moments of a meeting between the army’s commander and the mayor of New Penzance. Mayor Jackson Marshall was a rotund man, nearly spherical, who looked comical as he stood there in his suit and sputtered at the unamused General Vernon.

“…picking the damn countryside clean,” the mayor was saying as Colonel Arlington entered. “I’ve got men coming to me saying they’ve lost half their hogs, a third of their corn, entire orchards of apples…”

“I understand their frustrations,” Vernon interjected. “But until the supply situation is resolved, my men do need to eat, mister Marshall. Unless you propose we try to put down the traitors on empty bellies. I don’t think President Winslow would appreciate that sentiment.”

“Now General, that’s not what I said.” The mayor raised his hands defensively. “I know we’ve got to lick these people. I just want to make sure my constituents are being heard.”

“Well, you have been heard,” General Vernon said flatly. “Thank you, mister Marshall. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to discuss matters of a military nature with Colonel Arlington.”

The mayor looked over to where the colonel had been standing silently, then back to the General. “Does this mean you will be moving soon?”

“That will be all, mister Marshall, thank you.” General Vernon indicated the door behind Edward, who moved aside to allow the mayor to leave the room. Once he was out of earshot, Vernon snorted in derision. “Politicians. They’re too fat, and they talk too much. At least there’ll be fewer of them, once we get into Eureka.”

“So then we will be moving soon?”

“Very soon,” Vernon confirmed. “We’ve got all the troops we’ll have, on short notice. And the good mayor did have a point - this army can’t live off the land forever. The sooner we retake the capital, the better. This thing needs to end quickly or it’ll tear the whole country apart and drown us in blood.”

Vernon motioned for Colonel Arlington to come over and look at the map of Eureka and the surrounding land. Markings on the map indicated the positions of Vernon’s troops and the known locations of the usurping Senate’s forces. The pro-Winslow National Unionists were concentrated around New Penzance, south and a little east of the capital. The pro-Addison Liberal Republicans occupied the city and a few fortifications on the opposite bank of the Carter River.

“A frontal assault would be a bloodbath,” Vernon said. “But our intelligence seems to point to this bridge here, northwest of the city, as a weakly defended point. So we’ll force a crossing there, and swing down on them from the north. They’ll be pinned against the river.”

It seemed like a sound plan. The only question was why the General was sharing it with a mere colonel of militia. Edward Arlington got his answer soon enough.

“This army, it’s full of political men,” Vernon said with obvious disdain. “Men who got themselves a place here because of who they know in the government. Most of ‘em aren’t fit to lead a ditch digging detail. But you led men in the last war, and competently. I need commanders that I can trust to do the job properly. So I’m promoting you, to brigadier, under General Shaw. You’ll be with the vanguard.”

Edward was stunned. A field promotion to brigadier. And Vernon was an officer in the National Guard, the regular army. A promotion from him could pay immense dividends down the road. “It’s an honor, sir.”

“Go back to your regiment and make sure your second is ready to take over,” Vernon instructed. “Then report to General Shaw.” Edward saluted smartly, and General Vernon returned the salute. “I’m putting a lot of faith in you, son.”

“I won’t let you down, sir.”
Last edited by Mareyland on Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Aionios Rhomania
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Postby Aionios Rhomania » Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:30 pm

EMPIREOFTHEROMANS - 1875: LEAD-UPTOTHEMAREYLANDCIVILWAR
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Before 1875:

The 19th century was a complex series of events, that some argue condensed a vast stretch of history into mere decades. Within Rhomania, the 19th century would go on to be given the epitaph of the "Alexandrian Era", not only for it's great conquerors and expansive empires, but also for the name of the man who reigned for most of that era. Alexandros Palaiologos was the reigning Emperor when the Empire humiliated the Chinese at Zhangjiawan, it was under his reign that the ancient rivals of the Iranian Plateau where subdued much akin to his namesake, and it was during his reign when the Roman Empire had reached an apex unseen since the 2nd Century. Indeed for all of the great wealth and prestige accumulated since his reign began, many had believed that the age of Alexandros would last in perpetuity, but alas this was not to pass.

In 1858, Alexandros had caught a particularity terrible illness that had impacted his health severely, and just as it seemed he was on the recovery, he would pass away in his sleep at the age of 73. The Empire would be in mourning for what felt to at least be a century, for they had lost the greatest Emperor since Kōnstantînos Palaiológos Mégas. With the death of Alexandros, the Empire naturally transferred to his eldest son Heraklios III who understandably had large shoes to fill, especially when in the first decade of his reign, the Empire faced a great challenge in the Austrian Revolution. Predicated upon the misgivings of the Austrians and Hungarians to what they claim to be Roman oppression; the Austrian Exarch, Karl von Habsburg-Lorraine had mustered a considerable amount of support for his war, and was aided by several German states in his war. Even with support from the other German states, it was likely the rebellion could last had an uprising within Iran not drawn away the full might of Rome. The resulting two front war had sapped much out of the Empire, as the Austrians where able to claim a large chunk of territory including all of Hungary from Rhomania, ending a centuries long dominion over the Pannonian basin and greater Carpathian region.

Despite this blow to Rhomania's prestige, Heraklios was able to maintain control of much of the northern Balkans and crush the uprising in Iran, stabilizing his rule, and allowing the Empire to recover. As the 1870's began the black mark of his early reign was slowly fading away, and the Empire was profiting from it's vast colonial empire, it's coffers fed by the riches of India, East Asia, and Africa. An even greater shift in Roman politics occurred during the reign of Heraklios, one which shifted it's political ambitions greatly. The prior war with the Austrians had delayed the general elections that had taken part since the late 18th century, with the war over however the people of Rhomania finally had the time to express their opinion on the current government, it was not a positive one. In 1868 the Senate was reorganized, the then reigning liberal faction, the Prasini had been the party in control of the Government which utterly failed to defeat the Austrian rebels the years prior, a reason that alone could have spiked their chances to retain their mandate, but it was the compounding issues that drove the People to vote elsewhere.

As the Alexandrian age had come to an end, there was the unmistakable presence of rot within the Empire's institutions, as corruption became rampant and the Provinces where taxed with little given back, many had saw the Dynatoi and wealthy business owners has leeching off of the Empire, and insulting the institutions the Empire lives by in the process. The Liberals where seen as being too weak, not only could they not defeat some upstart barbarian from capturing the Northern territory, but they couldn't even protect the institutions where their mandate is derived from, left to be corrupted by the rich and privileged, they wanted change and they made it known, in November of 1867 the Liberals had lost their control of government, and in their place came the Russati, leading from the Socialist Party.

The Socialist had worked hard to curb the excesses of the Dynatoi and support the common worker leading up to the election, and their policies of worker liberation, strengthening of civil virtues, and Christian values had done much to win over the common Roman. The Socialist mandate over Rhomania had almost immediately come under strong opposition from the more conservative Veneti, who where the de facto party of the elite, but a strong coalition with the Liberals, who despite their loss felt they could regain ground by supporting the Socialist, had halted their attempts at every turn to prevent reform. The new Mégas Kankelários (Great Chancellor) was Giorgos Laskariades, a senator who had served for a full decade, his new government was tasked with rejuvenation of the nation, which was still in need of recovering after the humiliating defeat against the Austrians. To this end he had succeeded admirably, working tirelessly he ended the corruption in government and society with an iron fist, implementing laws that supported the common man, such as a return to a progressive tax system, union protectionist laws, and improvements in state welfare.

Relations with the new Austrian Empire were cooled, while foreign territory under the control of the government where freed from many of the strict restrictions placed upon them under Alexandros, which normally saw the Imperial territories follow suit. The Laskariad government was a breath of fresh air, as it acted in harmony between itself and the Imperial court. Indeed it was under this new administration that a balance between the elected office and hereditary monarchy was achieved, wherein as under Alexandros he effectively ruled as an absolute monarch, or his father Leo who many could call a puppet Emperor. Under the reign of Emperor Heraklios and administration of Giorgos, Rhomania was once again at peace, but this peace could not go undisturbed much longer. Across the Atlantic, on the continent which bears the Imperial name, a new conflict was brewing, one which could easily draw in the interest of the Empire. In 1875 reports came in of the riots that had overcome the Commonwealth of Mareyland, the northern neighbor of the Roman state of the United Provinces, and the coming conflict was of great concern in both Constantinople and the Provincial capital of New Alexandria.




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The United Provinces:

Although founded in 1740, the various Exarchates that make up the United Provinces have been a Roman bastion in the deep south of Palaiologia for centuries, and have been critical for the Roman presence in the Antílles since at least 1496. Named in the honor the reigning dynasty of the Empire, the continent would host a myriad of various other colonial powers, some of which lost their territory due to colonial wars of conquest. The first Roman settlement on Palaiologia proper was established in 1538 in what would become Limáni ton Vasiléon (Literally "Port of the Kings" in common Greek), shortly followed by settlements across the Flórinta peninsula. It wouldn't be until 1578 that the city of New Alexandria would be founded, which would become the capital of the United Provinces upon it's foundation. Following the standard system of Roman expansion overseas, much of Rhomania in the west as it were, started off as a series of cities governed by an Eparch, up until provinces where formed, and eventually an Exarch was appointed by the Emperor; In 1589 the Exarchate of Konstantia was formally established with it's seat at New Alexandria, which remained the Exarchates capital until the founding of the United Provinces, where it was moved to the city of Atlánta. For a while Rhomania was one of the premier colonizers of the new world, sharing much of the spoils with it's Iberian allies, it wouldn't be until 1590 that things changed massively.

In 1590 George Lygon would discover the continent for his mother country, which christened the land as Lygonia in his honor. It is unclear if they had understood the land was previously discovered, or if they thought it was another continent entirely, but the result would be that a series of colonies would be established starting in 1610, colonies that would eventually become the Commonwealth of Mareyland in 1775 after declaring independence. By the end of their war for independence in 1780, the continent was shaped beyond recognition, and a new dynamic was formed. Thankfully for either party, there had been no reason for war, and the Ioannia-Garland border had remained peaceful and calm. Things seem to be changing however, as a series of riots and insurrection has resulted in the northern country entering civil war.

Prior to the outbreak of the civil war, the United Provinces where going through their own conflict, albeit one without violence. In 1870 Andreas Kanelatos had won the office of the presidency of Palaiologia, a liberal senator from Konstantia, and a former Katepano of Theodosia; Andreas Kanelatos was considered by his peers as the quintessential new world Dynatoi, a man with a massive villa in the countryside, tenets working his plantations, and even tipping his toes into new industries appearing within the cities. Andreas had actually not sought the office of President for most of his career, and was content to act as a senator and katepano, but after attending a function held in Kinitó, he met some like minded politicians who felt he should run on the ticket.

The United Provinces where not quite hampered by the same level of corruption as the motherland, and neither did it suffer such a humiliation as the Austrian secession, and thus the desire for socialist cause had not quite been as loud, especially as his administration was one of prosperity, thanks to his effective policies and compromising nature as leader of the nation. Nonetheless he still obeyed whatever orders the Mégas Kankelários could officially issue, mostly due to the fact they were stamped by the Imperial seal. Further cooperation between the liberal parties of the Provinces and Rhomania proper meant that his part naturally worked with the socialist in the United Provinces, mostly to check the power of the Dynatoi plantation owners and business magnates. Perhaps this made more sense when looking at their northern neighbors, despite cool relations between the United Provinces and Mareyland, the Provincials are still at their heart Roman, and thus see the northerners as barbarians, a viewpoint expressed rather matter of factually and without any malice, if with contempt when otherwise displeased.

The United provinces where impacted by a small scandal when in 1873 the province of Theodosia was turned into a Despotate, ruled by Emperor Heraklios third son Andrónikos, the apparent usurpation of one of the Provinces by the crown had angered a good deal of senators within the capital, with some calling for independence. The mood was calmed down by President Andreas who reasoned that the move was more or less to expedite governance, the fact that the Imperial Prince had affirmed to maintain the general rules applied by the civilian government in Palaiologia gave rise to the perception that the Exarchs where to soon receive even greater levels of independence from Rhomania. Andrónikos arrival was perhaps a bit more nuanced, as Emperor Heraklios likely wished that his youngest son spend time overseas and more or less be out of the way, a common tactic that was more or less forgotten under Alexandros who was by the standards of most monarchs, rather chaste.

As the next two years gave way to a return to normalcy, something notable was occurring in the background, a prelude to what was to come. From northern Mareyland came full scores of immigrants, both legal or otherwise, who had sought a new life under a government that was neither particularly corrupt nor oppressive as back home. Mareyland had entered a recession, and the nature of it's corrupt political sphere had resulted in the wealthy land owners, barons and tycoons, to put all the pressure on their employees. Taxes were cut for the rich while the poor received worst payment for working longer hours, and it was tearing their society apart. The natural result of this was that some people sought a better home, and this meant may had taken the great risk to immigrant down south into the United Provinces, which while impacted by the recession up north, was robust enough to take the hit and recover with little fanfare.

This naturally lead to animosity among the locals, who viewed the arrival of barbarian immigrants with suspicion, and either as competition for jobs, or leeches on welfare. Not all opinions where negative, the exact nature of how things had deteriorated in Mareyland could not be kept hidden from the outside world after all. To the average Provincial the status of the poor in Mareyland was abhorrent and many had wished to organize charities to send supplies such as food and clothes to aid their neighbors. Many especially within the great churches had decried the actions of the Mareylander business tycoons as unchristian and founded in sin, with several missions sent up north with the goal of bringing the correct word of God to the masses. Ironically enough, despite not suffering from the business magnates of Mareyland, the Provincials were still being caught up in the concept of Socialism by their neighbor. All could tell that a match would strike the north soon, and may groups where plotting how to best take advantage of the coming storm, soon enough the year become 1875.



The North in Flames:

By 1875, the rising tensions between the common people and the business owners of Mareyland had boiled over. At first nothing seemed all to different from the usual up North, but then the transcontinental trade system had stalled, causing many Dynatoi to wonder what was causing delays across the border. Soon news trickled down that many of the railroads in Mareyland have been cut, and workers refused to work, not only impacting Mareyland, but also the United Provinces. Perhaps not so surprisingly, it had angered many Dynatoi, many of whom where greatly annoyed with the strikers, but just as many who blamed the actions of the Godless barons for causing the disaster.

Early June was then marked by reports of the Massacre of Jonesborough, the first of many. All throughout the United Provinces and Rhomania at large, many newspapers reported on Colonel Heathcote's massacre of protestors, sometimes embellishing events to appeal to the Roman mentality. The rising tensions could not be ignored and within the United provinces various meetings where held by provincial governments worried about the state of their Northern neighbor. Some had called for a session in the Senate to determine the stance of the United Provinces on the growing disaster, but nothing came of it until the reports of Millstown.The genuine Massacre of Millstown had reached the United Provinces a few days after the event transpired, a week for it to reach Constantinople. The news of what happened had outraged the public within the United Provinces, not only because it was seen as an immoral action, but because of genuine concerns that Mareyland was falling into tyranny. A concern that would only grow into a fever pitch in the following days.



New Alexandria:

The Great City of the South, New Alexandria has always been a center of activity; numerous ships come and go into port, bringing supplies from all across the Empire and abroad, on land the roads are dominated by carriages and cable cars, while in the periphery trains transport people and cargo throughout the interconnected Provinces. Within the city center lied the Senate building, an impressive structure echoing back to Rhomania's ancient past; constructed with a white marble base, and accented with reds, blues, and gold. The senate chamber was abuzz as countless senators talked amongst themselves, all sorts of backroom deals and plotting were taking place. Many were irritated at even being there, wishing to rather be in their villas and overseeing their profits from their businesses, and regardless of the specifics, they all blamed the northern barbarians for such a delay.

Eventually the doors opened, revealing the image of the Consul, Pannikos Rousselis, flanked by two of the Senatorial Guard, decorated in a mix of modern ceremonial garb along with a decorated breastplate and lance. The Consul stepped in front of his seat at the head of the chamber, the two guards by his side, and sat down once the flag of the United Provinces was raised. The entire chamber silenced itself as a sign of respect and after a moment of silence, the Consul spoke, starting with a roll call starting with the most senior men in the front row, until everyone was accounted for. As the Consul began to read for the sessions agenda, a meeting of similar importance was taking part farther away in the Presidential Palace.

President Andreas Kanelatos was meeting with several important figures, chief among them was his cabinet, the Despot Andrónikos, as well as officials from Constantinople, representing the Kankelários and Basileús respectively. The topic of discussion was how to address the growing crisis in the northern Commonwealth of Mareyland, a situation that required some level of response quickly given the importance of trade on the continent, and the threat a civil war could pose to not only that trade, but the general stability that everyone has enjoyed up to this point. Andreas was confident that his Consul could get the senate to agree on a domestic course, but he needed to deal with the big picture abroad.

"Gentlemen, I'm glad you could come here in such a short time, I apologize to His Imperial Highness the Despot, for distracting him from his endeavors, of course we must understand the unprecedented situation occurring to our north." Andreas started out as everyone present settled in within his office.

"Oh there is no need to apologies my good man, I too have concerns with how the northerners are conducting themselves, already I am feeling the hit to my coffers as a result of the strikes." The Despot's phrasing had taken the attention of the Kankelários representative, who stayed his tongue as to not disrespect the Imperial Prince.

"Yes, of course the strikes are a problem, no doubt with how the Mareylanders have handled the situation so far." The Imperial representative immediately took hold of the conversation, easing in what his partner could say.

"Of course, the issue isn't the strikers, they have good cause to raise their complaints given the abysmal situation they have been handed." The Despot added.

"Ioannis, as you represent the Mégas Kankelários I assume he has much to say on this matter?" Andreas said, handing off the conversation to the representative. Ioannis Kostatos was a well respected member of the Socialist Party, a veteran of the political space, he was a critical asset for the parties rise in the last election, and found himself working a cozy job dealing with Rhomania's various overseas territories, his only weakness so far was his little interaction with the Imperial side of politics.

"I believe it is evidently clear that we cannot expect the government of Mareyland to competently handle the growing crisis, not without a good deal of bloodshed that would impair their image on the world stage. Furthermore, the distress of the workers of Mareyland demands a call of action in some form or another from our government, I believe if we show our displeasure at how the Commonwealth has handled the situation, and with the plight of their common people, we can push the Winslow administration to act appropriately."

"Worker solidarity is mighty fine and all, but I question the ability of Winslow's government to meaningfully do anything, it is as you said, they handled the situation poorly thus far and I don't think any one of us can expect them to handle an equally difficult problem." Andreas countered.

"So we subsidize the government, demand they rein in those robber barons, give the people food and security, all so that they may once more bring harmony back to their country; we help them recover economically as well, Rhomania's economy is more than sturdy enough to prop an ailing country, and I believe that this course of action will be for the best." The Despot added.

"Could we count on the His Imperial Majesty to advance such a cause?" Andreas turned to ask the imperial representative.

"I am afraid not Mr. President, The Emperor at this time sees no reason to disrupt the situation in Eureka any more than it has been already, nor would he find it reasonable to fund them without a lot of favors on their end." The Imperial representative, Sokratis Marou had responded, he himself the Protasekretis, a title that once was above the Mégas Kankelários in times past, but now had been relegated to lower status.

"There are many immigrants from Mareyland who have been up in arms recently about the massacres, they're demanding action, blood even. Jonesborough embellished as it may have been in the papers, was still intolerable to them, to say nothing of Millstown." The Protasekretis of President Andreas chimed in. "We'll need to make sure they don't try to mobilize to fight for their relatives up north, perhaps subtly start moving them south and west?"

"That we should, and it brings me to another concern, have there been any Imperial citizens that have been in either of these massacres so far?"

"Thankfully no, as far as we can tell Roman citizens in Mareyland are a minority and are mainly visiting, there are more from the Provinces but none who have been in the riots so far, the Bureau of Barbarians has already sent an advisory that we hope can be relayed to any of our citizens still in Mareyland, though it will take some time."

The discussion was momentarily cut by a knock at the door, everyone took their attention off each other and took a peak before the President gave the okay for them to enter. The door opened to reveal a women with papers in her hands and the Presidential Guard at the side. She walked in hastily and set down a series of papers on the desk in front of everyone before standing aside. Andreas took a quick glance at the papers and his expression went form curiosity to shock and finally sternness.

"Thank you Miss Nomiki." He said and the secretary soon departed as the door was once again closed.

"Gentlemen, it seems that in the time it has taken us to meet and discuss the Mareyland situation, they have not been idle. It appears that their capital has been sacked by a hungry mob, and their President has left the capital." This brought a shock to everyone in the room, who had taken reading over the report.

"This changes everything." Ioannis muttered reading over the report.

"Does it?" His colleague responded, filliping a page as he continued reading.

"One could argue it challenges President Winslow's legitimacy, to surrender the capital to the mob, and as a consequence, leaving it to a sack." the Despot spoke for Ioannis, putting down the page and reaching for his cup of kaffos. "Could one truly call them the legitimate leader of the nation if he is unwilling to defend his seat of power?" He ended with a sip.

"With so little forces to defend him, he couldn't hold out against such a force. No, he still lives and he has all the staff needed to run the country, it isn't a good look for him, but he has no serious challenge to his power." Andreas said, countering the Despot.

"What matters is that the situation has become untenable, he has been kicked from the capital from the will of the people, and while it is unfortunate it has resulted in a sack, the people have been left to their baser instincts, to what end does morality hold out when survival is on the line, I cannot blame them, the blame is solely upon the heads of the Ploúsiosoi who have deprived the working class of their life and liberty." Ioannis added.

"And while we may want to support the proletariat, Mareyland has yet to act against us." The Protasekretis argued.

"Yet."

"I do not wish to bring war to our borders, lets ensure that it doesn't cross into our lands and keep the peace internally, but I will not go around provoking Winslow." Andreas said, putting his boot down.

"It is doubtful the Mareylanders within our borders would be so idle however, not after this, could we truly prevent them from moving north in a timely manner?" Andrónikos brought up a very real concern, could they contain the emigrants from the north?

"Tension is likely to occur regardless, but in the event they do cross the border or smuggle themselves up north to fight against the government, they'd find themselves in the southern states of Mareyland, those states haven't faced the unrest seen right now in the industrial states, so they likely won't take too kindly to such an intrusion."

"Then we should get in touch, help them understand that we need to keep the border safe and secure as this rebellion continues." By the time President Andreas had received word of the Capital sack, so too did the Senate, which erupted into a whole new chorus of chaotic rambling and debate on what to do. Soon this shall be repeated within the City itself, which will soon be made aware of the start of the Mareyland civil war.



When the news of the Sack of Eureka had reached Constantinople, it was followed by reports that the country was now in civil war, split between the factions of the de facto President Martin Winslow, and President pro tempore Quincy Addison. The Mégas Kankelários was soon summoned by the Emperor to formulate a response, as well as what course Rhomania will take in response to the outbreak of civil war in Mareyland. Despite Giorgos Laskariades wishing to aid the senate in the war, the Emperor was not willing to commit to any offensive action against a country which has not acted against Roman interest. The Emperor had suggested that aid may be given the Addison administration through covert means, but only until he says so.

The plan for now was to ensure that hat happens in Mareyland does not affect the United provinces, a major breadbasket for the Empire. To that end a message would be sent to both sides to offer a military observer, both to act as a weight to prevent further massacres (In theory at least) and to gain insights into any new developments in warfare that may arise, a practice that was well established by this point across the world. It took only several days for a complete message to be sent to both seats of Mareyland offering a military observer from Rhomania, An official from Rhomania proper would arrive to observe the Addison faction, while an observer from the United provinces will do the same for the Winslow administration, whichever either side accepts will dictate how Rhomania moves forward.



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Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn
Basileus Basileōn, Basileuōn Basileuontōn

Bureau of Barbarians, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn
Logothete of the Course overseeing the Bureau of Barbarians, Leonidas Macriadis
To the Commonwealth of Mareyland,



To whom it may concern:

In the name of the Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans, Ruler of Time and Space, Gods Vicegerent on Earth, Emperor of Emperors, and First Citizen of the Empire; Basileús Autokrátōr Heraklios III Dorotheas Palaiologos, and in the name of the Senate and People of Rome, we bring good tidings upon your persons. It has come to the attention of the Basileús of the recent series of skirmishes that had taken place within your country, up to and including several massacres against the citizenry. While we understand that in some cases mistakes may be made, or otherwise rogue elements within the army may decide to act above their station in bringing peace to the land, it is of the great concern of the Basileús how far this violence my spread. As you may already be aware of, the United Provinces to your south is a territory of Rhomania, and there is concern amongst the senate that the violence that has erupted within your state may spill over given how many immigrants from Mareyland there are.

It is thus the interest of the current government of the Mégas Kankelários to come to a suitable solution to these concerns. The Mégas Kankelários, Giorgos Laskariades thus brings to your office an offer, an offer extended to both sides of the current civil conflict. A representative from the United Provinces shall a act as a military attache to the armies of President Martin Winslow, while a representative from Constantinople shall likewise observe President pro tempore Quincy Addison. Both sides shall work to the best of their abilities to ensure that further massacres such as Millstown or Eureka will not be repeated. Further the Basileús would like to offer mutual aid to either side, so as to limit potential destruction upon the common folk, if cooler heads prevail the Basileús would be more than willing to host a meditation amongst both sides. Until such a time presents itself, it would nonetheless be of the interest of our Empire to mediate in other ways, and perhaps learn and teach all the while.

Signed: Leonidas Macriadis, Logothete of the Course, Bureau of Barbarians

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Last edited by Aionios Rhomania on Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:53 am, edited 3 times in total.
Factbook - Empire of the Romans ♦ Year: 1473 ♦ Leader: Basileús Autokrátōr Kōnstantînos Dragásēs Palaiológos ♦ Government: Bureaucratic Republican Absolute Monarchy
Canon Name: Rhōmāníā (Land of the Romans) - Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn (Roman Empire - Empire of the Romans) ♦ NS Name: Aionios Rhomania (Aionios = Eternal) ♦

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Mareyland
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Founded: May 26, 2021
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Mareyland » Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:39 am

Neo Prutenia wrote: “Alright lads, raise the Q-flag and the G-flag. Nice and steady. We won’t enter Eureka without a pilot on board.”

It took an unusually long time for any sort of response to the Sonnenhetzer’s signal flags to appear on the shore. But eventually, a small pilot boat appeared headed towards the ironclad warship.

“Doesn’t look like any vessel I’ve ever seen,” the boat’s skipper commented as they drew nearer to the foreign warship.

“It’s not,” replied one of the other men aboard the small craft. “That’s the future, right there. But it moves just like any other ship, so there shouldn’t be any trouble with navigating to the Yard.”

“If you say so,” the pilot said, sounding unconvinced. “Just hope someone on that thing speaks the language.”

The pilot was a civilian, one of the men licensed to guide ships down the trickier portions of the Carter River and safely up to the docks of the city, or in this case the Navy Yard. The Yard sat on a branch of the Carter which ran northeast of the city, while the main body of the river flowed to the northwest. The water was not especially difficult, but there were some areas that had become silted over time and needed to be avoided. Standing near him was the other passenger, a man named Isaiah Smith. He was an employee of the Navy Department, and one of the men assigned to research, technological development, and procurement. He was also a friend of Chancellor pro tempore Henry Heywood, which made him the ideal person to go and negotiate the status of this ship.

“If this vessel is as powerful as you say it is, then we need it on our side,” Heywood had told him.

When the pilot boat pulled up alongside the Sonnenhetzer, the pilot went to work with the ship’s navigator to guide the vessel towards the Navy Yard docks. Isaiah Smith went to work on the ship’s captain.

“You’ve come at a...complicated moment, Captain Hildwicker,” he told the foreign officer. “Our former President, Martin Winslow, was impeached – that is, removed from office – after he failed to protect the city from riots. But he refused to acknowledge the decision as legitimate. So now we are on the brink of civil war.”

“But the new government – the legitimate government, that is – is eager to maintain the relationship that our two countries have developed,” Smith continued. “President Addison hopes to speed up the timeline of our purchase of this vessel. And, if possible, negotiate some sort of agreement to retain you and your crew, to help run the vessel and train a Mareyland crew.”

“All this will be repeated by someone of higher authority,” Smith added. “But the new president, Quincy Addison, wanted to avoid surprising you with all this upon your docking in the Navy Yard.”

As the warship moved down the Carter River, the crew could see the city of Eureka on the shore. While the fires had been put out, the city still bore obvious signs of the recent chaos. Burned-out husks of buildings stood out like rotten teeth, and most of the people that the sailors might see were soldiers of the growing army gathering to defend the capital. The area around the Navy Yard was especially badly damaged – rioters, unable to overcome the resistance of Marines, sailors, and other naval personnel and breach the walls of the dockyard, had taken out their frustration and rage on the surrounding neighborhood.



Aionios Rhomania wrote:To whom it may concern:

In the name of the Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans, Ruler of Time and Space, Gods Vicegerent on Earth, Emperor of Emperors, and First Citizen of the Empire; Basileús Autokrátōr Heraklios III Dorotheas Palaiologos, and in the name of the Senate and People of Rome, we bring good tidings upon your persons. It has come to the attention of the Basileús of the recent series of skirmishes that had taken place within your country, up to and including several massacres against the citizenry. While we understand that in some cases mistakes may be made, or otherwise rogue elements within the army may decide to act above their station in bringing peace to the land, it is of the great concern of the Basileús how far this violence my spread. As you may already be aware of, the United Provinces to your south is a territory of Rhomania, and there is concern amongst the senate that the violence that has erupted within your state may spill over given how many immigrants from Mareyland there are.

It is thus the interest of the current government of the Mégas Kankelários to come to a suitable solution to these concerns. The Mégas Kankelários, Giorgos Laskariades thus brings to your office an offer, an offer extended to both sides of the current civil conflict. A representative from the United Provinces shall a act as a military attache to the armies of President Martin Winslow, while a representative from Constantinople shall likewise observe President pro tempore Quincy Addison. Both sides shall work to the best of their abilities to ensure that further massacres such as Millstown or Eureka will not be repeated. Further the Basileús would like to offer mutual aid to either side, so as to limit potential destruction upon the common folk, if cooler heads prevail the Basileús would be more than willing to host a meditation amongst both sides. Until such a time presents itself, it would nonetheless be of the interest of our Empire to mediate in other ways, and perhaps learn and teach all the while.


The ambassador to Rhomania and the consul in the United Provinces were both Winslow partisans – unsurprising, given the status of those diplomatic postings as prime offerings of patronage for political allies of the President. Relations with Rome and its colonies had been stable and generally uninteresting for much of recent history, so neither position was seen as requiring an especially keen diplomatic mind. Unfortunately, that was about to change. The message from the Rhomanian diplomatic office, with its insulting name “Bureau of Barbarians,” provoked a howl of outrage from the Mareyland ambassador. He dashed off a response:

To Leonidas Macriadis:

Sir,

I wish to lodge complaint and protest regarding your recent message. To address such diplomatic communication to both the rightful government of Mareyland, the administration of President Martin Winslow, and the usurpers who have attempted to unlawfully remove President Winslow without just cause and seize power for themselves, grants an unearned legitimacy to what is nothing more than a cabal of traitors, who are no doubt in league with the subversive elements which are responsible for the recent disturbances in our country. If your government insists on insulting Mareyland in this fashion, there may be further consequences.

I have further been informed that your observer from the United Provinces will be permitted to accompany the military force currently assembling to quash the insurrection and restore lawful order to Mareyland. President Winslow makes that this gesture in the spirit of international friendship, in spite of the offensive nature of your communication. I caution against your proposal to send such an observer to the rebel forces, as this would be interpreted as a grave breach of international decorum and protocol.

Signed,
Mason Delone, Ambassador of Mareyland to the Land of the Romans


In Eureka, the message fell into the lap of James Pleasant, the Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs. He had become the de facto head of international relations for the new Addison government, because the Secretary himself had fled with Winslow and remained loyal to the now-impeached president. Pleasant had been working more or less without pause since the impeachment of Winslow and the election of Addision, in order to stabilize relations with Mareyland’s neighbors, allies, and trade partners. All of them were concerned by the recent developments in the Commonwealth, and their decisions about which government to recognize could tip the balance of power. The United Provinces were a powerful outpost of a powerful empire, and their recognition would be vital to the legitimacy of the new government.

To Leonidas Macriadis:

Sir,

We would be more than willing to permit your observer to accompany the armies of the Commonwealth, as they endeavor to defend law and order against the tyrannical ambitions of the former President Martin Winslow. The violence of recent weeks has been terrible, and regrettable. The blame lays squarely at the feet of the Winslow administration, which pursued policies that inflamed the situation and then attempted to rely on naked force to suppress the grievances of the workers.

As for your offer of mediation, at this time President pro tempore Quincy Addison thanks the Basileús but must respectfully decline. The dispute here is not one which can be solved through compromise: either Martin Winslow accepts the lawful ruling of the Senate, or else the laws of the Commonwealth are rendered meaningless and tyranny reigns. But President pro tempore Addison hopes to resolve the situation as quickly and bloodlessly as possible, so that work can begin on addressing the conditions which gave rise to the current situation.

Signed,
Adam Francis, Provisional Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs

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Mareyland
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Founded: May 26, 2021
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Mareyland » Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:17 pm

The Liberal Republican forces around Eureka had the advantage of terrain: the Carter River was too deep and long to ford anywhere close to the capital city, so any assault by the National Unionists would have to be directed towards one of three bridges that spanned the river. Two of them led directly into the city, and were the most obvious routes of invasion. General Emmanuel Dewey had deployed the bulk of his troops, including most of his National Guard regulars and the most capable of the state militia, to guard those approaches. They occupied the Woodbury Heights opposite the city, and marched through the slums of Calhoun that clustered around the riverbank opposite the nation’s capital. They erected earthworks and bastions, covered by artillery placed with excellent lines of sight.

On a tour of the defenses, Chancellor pro tempore Henry Heywood remarked, “It seems as though Winslow would be a fool to attack these works head-on, General.”

“That is the idea,” Dewey replied. “The sooner he and his pet generals realize that they can’t just march in and impose their will, hopefully they’ll come to their senses and end this standoff.”

“Some in the Senate think we should be going on the attack, and striking this army Winslow is assembling at New Penzance,” Heywood said. “What do you think of that?”

General Dewey shook his head with determination. “Absolutely not. We gain nothing by meeting him on his ground. On the other hand, they must come to us. Besides,” he added. “I accepted command of this army to defend the capital, not to invade Parthenia.”

“And yet, some of your men have invaded Parthenia,” Heywood noted. “You have men spread out across the the west bank of the river-”

“As a defensive necessity,” Dewey retorted. “Advancing on New Penzance is not necessary for the defense of Eureka. If the Senate wants to initiate civil war, they will have to find another general to do it.”

The third bridge over the Carter River was further to the north of the city, and was not on a direct line of march from the National Unionist camp. For that reason, Dewey had assigned some of the lower-quality men in his army to defend that crossing. They occupied a series of hills that guarded its approach, and garrisoned the small village of Stevensville which sat on the far end of the flank. The decision to send mostly state militia created headaches in the form of disputes over command hierarchy, and to end the bickering Dewey dispatched an officer of the National Guard to take overall command of the sector. Colonel Joseph Wheatley was an engineer by training, with no field experience commanding men in battle. But his status as a federal officer was enough to quiet the various militia colonels who had refused to take each other’s orders. It was long-standing policy that federal officers had seniority over state officers of the same rank.

Wheatley had his realization while he was surveying the terrain from the top of Monroe Hill, which sat just southeast of Stevensville on the other side of Fitzhugh Run, a narrow tributary of the Carter.

“They’re going to come this way. This will be the battlefield.”

His aide, Major James Hudson, was standing with him. The colonel had not spoken for some time, which was normal for Wheatley. He had an analytical mind, and Hudson had learned to give his superior space and quiet in which that mind could work. But the sudden pronouncement confused him. “Sir?”

“The defenses in front of the city are too strong,” Wheatley explained. “When you dam up a river, the water looks for the path of least resistance. Even if Winslow has nothing but fools over there, they’ll still see it. No way they can take Eureka by storm. But maneuver…” He pointed to a spot far in the distance, where a small collection of buildings was barely visible on the horizon. “That’s...McLean, right?”

Hudson did not know, and it took him a moment to remember that he had a map of the area in his satchel. He fumbled around, until finally he found the paper and unfolded it. A moment of scanning the map confirmed the answer. “Yes, sir.”

“They’ll come up to there,” Wheatley explained. “No doubt there’s some road that connects it to New Penzance.”

Hudson let his eyes trail down from where the village of McLean was drawn, and sure enough, the town was built on an interaction between Sharpe Road, which ran past Monroe Hill to the bridge over the Carter, and a turnpike that led south to New Penzance.

“They’ll come up that road, cut north and then east, and push over the bridge here,” Wheatley was saying. “Come down on Eureka from the north, and pin them against the river.”

“Sounds like we’ll need reinforcements,” Hudson said.

Wheatley shook his head. “I could ask for them. I bet General Dewey would even see sense in it. But the Senate, and Addison, they’d see it as weakening the defenses downriver. No, I think these boys are all we’ll get.”

That was not an especially inspiring notion. The state militia were not trained soldiers, and their track record in dealing with the riots and strikes was not encouraging. “So how do we stop them, sir?”

Colonel Wheatley took a deep breath. “I don’t quite know yet, Jim. Let’s get back to camp, and try to figure it out.”

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Aionios Rhomania
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Founded: Aug 09, 2021
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Aionios Rhomania » Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:41 pm

1875 Continued:

The response from ambassador Delone had impressed neither the Basileús nor Mégas Kankelários, written with all the diplomatic tact expected of a barbarian. While indeed the term barbarian had mostly softened over the centuries, largely meaning foreigner in the high tongue of the Romans, there was still a stigma when dealing with foreigners that colored Roman diplomacy. Regardless of their opinions on the warnings issued by the ambassador, neither had particularly taken it too seriously.

Romans were more than familiar with civil wars, and both knew the conflict was unlikely to end in the upcoming battle, further they knew that the Winslow administration would likely not attempt to provoke them into actively picking a side, while the Ministry of War had come to a conclusion that Mareyland could make any war painful and costly to the Romans, they also knew these projections were for a united Mareyland. Either way the Basileús had no intent to disrupt the current relationship, and where as less astute Emperors would have responded with fury, Heraklios was far more diplomatic with how he wanted the response constructed. As soon as the message was sent on it's way, the Emperor's son Andrónikos, was given the position of acting as observer, representing the United Provinces, as well as Rhomania as a whole.


To Mason Delone, Ambassador of Mareyland to Rhomania

To whom it may concern:

It is unfortunate that such misunderstandings have come between our two countries in regards to the offer of sending observers to the conflict. We assure you that we have no interest in legitimizing the faction which had seen it fit to betray your nation, however we merely wish to act as a mediating force to prevent further unfortunate events that had transpired within your great country, to this end we meant no offense. Rhomania continues to recognize Martin Winslow as the rightful and legitimate President of Mareyland, and it is our sincerest apologies that such was not already apparent.

Our relationship so far has been built by trust and cooperation and it would only be right to reaffirm such trust in the administration of your most honored President. As conformation of this trust between our two countries, the current Despot of Theodosia, Prince Andrónikos Palaiologos, shall act as the observer to this glorious expedition. He should be on his way as this message reaches your office, may your President be in good health and property return to your great Country.

signed,
Logothete of the Course, Leonidas Macriadis


The response from the Addison administration was far more measured and polite in comparison, and Giorgos was far more invested into supporting the Addison administration. Given the particularity sternly worded letter from the Winslow anointed ambassador, it was considered more appropriate to deliver the message in person and show a degree of favoritism. The message was sent quickly while a man was chosen to represent Rhomania amongst the Senate faction. Naturally just having a Roman official would proof risky, perhaps even dimwitted, however ironically enough, it was recent events which had provided the perfect appointment.

Josef Bruckner was a member of the Austrian Tagmata who stayed loyal to Rhomania, rather than support Karl von Habsburg-Lorraine's war of secession. His service was impeccable during the war, but he was but merely one out of many soldiers who had fought for the motherland. Since then he had completed his officers training and proved himself in the east leading small offenses against minor insurrections in Persia, but he was an excellent choice; Josef was not only an Austrian, but his name barely meant anything out of Rhomania, with a neutral custom uniform and a few trimmings here and there, and he was fit to act as the official observer of Rhomania. Rhomania could rest knowing that if he was to be seen, he would likely be mistaken for an Austrian observer instead of a Roman. Should Mareyland inquire this to the Austrians, then it would also be reasonable to assume he was a war tourist, something which was not uncommon itself.


To Adam Francis, Provisional Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs

To whom it may concern:

Your thanks is most welcome, the news of the events which have transpired in your country is indeed most unfortunate and it is the hope of our own government that peace resumes once again. It has come to our attention that many suffer from hunger and so as a token of goodwill our observer shall arrive with foodstuffs to help feed the people of Mareyland in these trying times. At this time it appears that the Winslow administration would rather not see an impartial observer to your party, as they see the Addison administration as usurpers. Civil wars are certainly complicated, and our government is at this time unwilling to fully commit to supporting a faction either way, the Mégas Kankelários sympathizes with the plight of the common worker in Mareyland, who had suffered under the tyranny of the business tycoons so far, as well the "warnings" from the Winslow ambassador have not impressed Basileús. Thus to this we have come up with a suitable solution to this particular issue, one which may not be the most open, but would allow an observer to your side of this conflict.

signed,
Logothete of the Course, Leonidas Macriadis



1875 Continued: New Penzance

Within the mustering grounds of New Penzance, a carriage of immaculate form stops short outside of the encampment, the carriage opens up to reveal a old well dressed man in the uniform of a butler who steps aside and places a mat upon the ground. From within the carriage the visage of the Despot of Theodosia, and prince of the Empire, Andrónikos emerges. He in an almost ritualistic fashion pats his foot on the map one at a time before properly setting foot onto the ground before him. The Despot was dressed in a luxurious red uniform, adorned with a golden collar, cuffs, and trims across it; a silk sash and cape, both in the imperial purple and embroidered with patterns of the Imperial dynasty meet at his waste. This was the very image of the Despot as he took in his surroundings, he was soon followed by less decorated but still fashionable retinue of men who would act as his aides during his duty as attache to the army of New Penzance. A nearby attendant arrived with several horses in tow, which he graciously accepts before he and his two aids mount up and follow the escort to meet the Armies commanders.


Last edited by Aionios Rhomania on Thu Oct 07, 2021 2:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
Factbook - Empire of the Romans ♦ Year: 1473 ♦ Leader: Basileús Autokrátōr Kōnstantînos Dragásēs Palaiológos ♦ Government: Bureaucratic Republican Absolute Monarchy
Canon Name: Rhōmāníā (Land of the Romans) - Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn (Roman Empire - Empire of the Romans) ♦ NS Name: Aionios Rhomania (Aionios = Eternal) ♦

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Neo Prutenia
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Founded: Oct 21, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Neo Prutenia » Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:32 pm

Mareyland wrote:Snip


Chief mate Hageler tried his best to capture the landscape; a morbid curiosity made his hands refuse any order from his brain besides ‘put this to paper’. Here and there he’d bark an order when necessary, but one eye was figuratively always darting over what was Eureka now. It seemed to have weight, gravity, a need to be documented, even if only in sketch. Perhaps he could later make a better picture, if time and circumstance permitted it. And he wasn’t the only one transfixed. Many crewmen gawked at the aftermath, wondering what happened. Most were naïve enough to assume some accident or such occurred, a fire perhaps that got out of control. ‘Poor folks…’ they thought. It didn’t take long for them to notice that practically everyone they spotted in the area was in uniform, the bad kind of uniform… ‘really poor folks’ they thought, but this time the mood shifted. This was the result of violence, and fury. They became quieter, contemplative. For such moods linger.

Navigator Hilde Hildwicker had her hands full with the pilot, insistently explaining that the draught of the Sonnenhetzer was 8 metres. The last thing she needed is her vessel being stranded in some river on the wrong side of the globe, and she wasn’t willing to take any risk. She had a sailour who happened to be exactly six feet tall stand next to a two metre plank, pointed at that and explained that to her pilot. ‘Four of those, and you convert that to your numbers.’ But they soon got everything sorted. She also made her own sketches, meticulously logging when and where the pilot had them avoid obstacles and tricky spots, and adding a few key descriptions for later reference. The two of them managed to sail the “Sonnenhetzer” without incident to her berth and spot in Eureka.

Captain Hildwicker meanwhile pondered what he had been told. His mastery of the local language was limited to nautical terms, customs, taxes and some related legalese, curses and foul language, haggling, and the finer points of every card and dice game played from one pole to the other. So he wasn’t quite sure what was on offer here, and what a ‘pro tempore’ was supposed to be, and if he understood correctly what the man, Isaiah Smith, meant when he said ‘polite war’. Nothing seemed polite about any war, especially not this particular one if the scars of Eureka were any indicator. Luckily his linguistic aide was finally here.

Also a lady like the navigator, Berta Grönheid took this particular assignment because she was very much qualified to interpret and translate between the relevant parties, and because she was eager for a change of pace and scenery. It also helped that the Frau Grönheid was a notary and experienced traveller. Unlike the navigator, she bothered to appear far more ‘ladylike’, being properly dressed in a practical travel skirt and blouse. She introduced herself to Isaiah Smith, explained her role here, apologised for any inconvenience or impropriety caused, and assured him that Prutenia sent her best to guarantee successful trade talks and negotiations.

“Skipper, not ‘polite’. He meant ‘civil’ as in ‘civil war’. They are fighting each other”

“Ah, thank you, Frau Grönheid“ he glanced at the city again. “Yes, I see the misunderstanding now.”

Captain Hildwicker wasn’t thrilled. Well, he was happy that Frau Grönheid prevented a misunderstanding or diplomatic faux pas, but he definitely wasn’t keen on having to navigate this mess. And of course, there was no telegraph line between Prutenia and Mareyland, so there was no quick way to get new instructions from the parliament. Of course—several thousands of kilometres of ocean, and not a single wire to connect it. He asked her to confirm again with Herr Smith if they understood everything correctly—about the civil war, the recent events, the situation here.

Once that was affirmed, captain Hildwicker agreed to meet with the relevant representative of the legitimate government to agree on a joint course of action that would be agreeable to both parties. He forwent trying to speak in the local language and had Frau Grönheid translate it properly, which she did rather well, speaking in an articulate and clear manner if with a hint of foreign accent:

“I understand the situation. I apologise for inconveniencing you at a complicated moment. It appears we were at sea and well into our journey when things here in Eureka and Mareyland unfolded as they did. We did not mean to intrude. Let me also assure you that I won’t let the current events jeopardise legitimate previously negotiated deals between our fair nations. Given the circumstances, we also won’t hold it against you if you’d prefer to renegotiate or defer such to a later date. Let me also very much thank you for being a kind host and warning me in advance; it would have been an unpleasant surprise if you hadn’t done so and I had docked sans warning. I will inform your superiors, that you have done your duties satisfactorily at first opportunity.”

The captain paused, and gave Frau Grönheid enough time to convey everything. He also noticed that she probably made it sound a bit more diplomatic, given her gestures and length of speaking. And he thought her doing so was probably for the better.

“Now, Herr Smith, assuming you’ll be our liaison, or you’ll get us in touch with one, I would appreciate talking to the official in charge of handling this at their first convenience. We will sort everything out then”.
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Mareyland
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Founded: May 26, 2021
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Mareyland » Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:56 pm

Garland was the southernmost state in the Commonwealth of Mareyland, bordering the Roman colonies to the south. It was divided into three regions: the tidewater coastal plain, the piedmont, and the mountains that formed its western border. It was a land of immense disparity in wealth: in the coastal low country, the Cavalier families owned immense plantations that grew tobacco, cotton, rice, and indigo. These plantations had relied on the labor of enslaved black people until abolition only seventeen years ago. Now, many former slaves were cottagers and sharecroppers, working the same land under different but no less exploitative terms. This was where the wealth, political power, and industry was concentrated. By contrast, the piedmont region, the Garland backcountry, had been largely ignored for decades. There were a few large estates in the western counties but most of the land was divided up into small farms where families grew crops for subsistence and local sale or barter.

In recent years, however, change had begun to creep into the backcountry. The railroads had come, their iron tendrils snaking into the region and opening the land to further development. This development did not benefit the people of the backcountry: it enriched the merchants, and the Cavalier landowners, and it drove the common folk into poverty. Families lost ownership of land which they had worked for generations. Then the depression hit and made things even worse.

In these hard times, farm communities across the Garland backcountry worked together to survive. People helped one another, bound by ties of kinship, friendship, and faith. Religion was central to life in the backcountry, and it was not the sedated ritual of the Episcopal Church which dominated the coastal low country. The piedmont was alive with the electrifying preaching of Baptist ministers who broke from the institutional churches and preached a message of personal salvation and egalitarianism. This religious fervor mingled with political and economic resentments to create a fertile breeding ground for ideas of resistance.

Until the Sack of Eureka, there was little connection between the grievances of the backcountry farmers and the unrest overtaking the rest of the Commonwealth. The rural people of Garland had little concern or sympathy for the strikers of the industrial towns of Delmarva or Cressia. The counties of this region were reliably National Union Party strongholds, the result of years of entrenched party politics that gave opposition parties like the Liberal Republicans no way to get a foot in the door. The elected officials of the region regarded their constituents with disdain, seeing them as easily led sheep who voted how they were told. The Sack of Eureka, and the seemingly imminent outbreak of civil war, changed the equation.

The town of Willoughby was nestled at the foot of the mountains, at the very end of a railroad line. It was typical of many towns across the backcountry. It was a town of put-upon people. Those who still had farms of their own faced high prices for goods and low prices for their crops. Some who had once owned land now had to work as cottagers, who kept their homes and gardens only so long as they grew tobacco or cotton in the fields for the profit of the Stafford family. And those who had lost their land entirely were forced to work long hours in the cotton mill built by Francis Tasbrough, who also owned most of the other businesses and stores in town.

In a small church at the edge of town, a Baptist preacher named Malcolm Dove was holding forth from the pulpit, railing against the injustices of the wealthy and powerful. Dove was not permitted to preach in the Presbyterian church in town, because his message was too inflammatory for the tastes of the minister - an ally of Tasbrough and the Staffords.

“You see now, how the Lord afflicts this land with misery and discord, because we do not live by His teachings! I see great sin, infecting the land. I smell the stench of greed, and gluttony, and pride. I see the righteous trampled underfoot by those who know no God except the almighty dollar. And it is plain to see that this wickedness is what has sent our nation into chaos!” The crowd muttered in agreement as the preacher went on. After more than an hour of preaching, the energy level never dropping or faltering, the congregants were whipped into a frenzy. Nathaniel Walker, a farmer who still held ownership of his land, leapt up from his seat.

“In the days of our forefathers, when there was great injustice, what did Calvin Horner do? He didn’t sit around waiting for someone else to fix it, did he?”

The name Calvin Horner was a totem of the backcountry. He had led a band of rebels, calling themselves the Regulators, in defiance of the corrupt colonial government in Garland several years before the Revolution. They had briefly shaken the grip of the rich and powerful, and frightened them into making reforms. Horner and the Regulators were folk heroes to generations of Garlanders.

“I say it’s time for another Regulation,” Walker declared. “Who’s with me?”

A tall, lanky man stood up in one of the back rows of the church, and said in a commanding voice, “I am with you, Nathaniel Walker.” It was Harmon Kankey, a farmer known for his fierce piety, recently reduced to tenancy. Soon more men rose from their pews to stand with Walker. They agreed to meet again, in two days’ time, at his farm to plan their next moves.

Aionios Rhomania wrote:Within the mustering grounds of New Penzance, a carriage of immaculate form stops short outside of the encampment, the carriage opens up to reveal a old well dressed man in the uniform of a butler who steps aside and places a mat upon the ground. From within the carriage the visage of the Despot of Theodosia, and prince of the Empire, Andrónikos emerges. He in an almost ritualistic fashion pats his foot on the map one at a time before properly setting foot onto the ground before him. The Despot was dressed in a luxurious red uniform, adorned with a golden collar, cuffs, and trims across it; a silk sash and cape, both in the imperial purple and embroidered with patterns of the Imperial dynasty meet at his waist. This was the very image of the Despot as he took in his surroundings, he was soon followed by less decorated but still fashionable retinue of men who would act as his aides during his duty as attache to the army of New Penzance. A nearby attendant arrived with several horses in tow, which he graciously accepts before he and his two aids mount up and follow the escort to meet the Armies commanders.

Escorting the Despot and his retinue into the army encampment were mounted soldiers from a unit of volunteer cavalry, raised as part of the Parthenia state militia. The cavalry unit was a pet project of the wealthy landowners in and around the city of Beverley, and so it was adorned in expensive uniforms modeled on the cavalry of the Old World, including a gleaming metal cuirass and a plumed helmet. The riders were generally sons of the gentry, men with the time to become adept horsemen and the wealth to own and maintain a suitable mount.

At the army's camp, General Adolph Vernon was waiting to greet the Despot with some of his officers and staff. Two companies of soldiers in the cadet gray uniforms of the state militia - which made up the vast majority of the National Unionist army - were drawn up in parade ground formation behind them. Among the officers present for the reception was newly-promoted Brigadier Edward Arlington, who was visibly the youngest of the corps surrounding Vernon. Edward thought that the Despot's uniform was magnificent, if a bit ostentatious.

"Welcome, honored sir," General Vernon said in greeting. "I am General Adolph Vernon, commander of this army. Allow me to introduce some of my subordinates." He went down the line, naming each man, ending with Brigadier Edward Arlington. "I also wish to convey the regret of President Martin Winslow, who was unable to meet you in person upon your arrival. He has been kept in the city, managing the affairs of state. You have come at an opportune time - very soon, this army will break camp and march for Eureka, to put an end to this insurrection."
Last edited by Mareyland on Mon Oct 25, 2021 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Aionios Rhomania
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Founded: Aug 09, 2021
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Aionios Rhomania » Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:31 am

Mareyland wrote:Escorting the Despot and his retinue into the army encampment were mounted soldiers from a unit of volunteer cavalry, raised as part of the Parthenia state militia. The cavalry unit was a pet project of the wealthy landowners in and around the city of Beverley, and so it was adorned in expensive uniforms modeled on the cavalry of the Old World, including a gleaming metal cuirass and a plumed helmet. The riders were generally sons of the gentry, men with the time to become adept horsemen and the wealth to own and maintain a suitable mount.

At the army's camp, General Adolph Vernon was waiting to greet the Despot with some of his officers and staff. Two companies of soldiers in the cadet gray uniforms of the state militia - which made up the vast majority of the National Unionist army - were drawn up in parade ground formation behind them. Among the officers present for the reception was newly-promoted Brigadier Edward Arlington, who was visibly the youngest of the corps surrounding Vernon. Edward thought that the Despot's uniform was magnificent, if a bit ostentatious.

"Welcome, honored sir," General Vernon said in greeting. "I am General Adolph Vernon, commander of this army. Allow me to introduce some of my subordinates." He went down the line, naming each man, ending with Brigadier Edward Arlington. "I also wish to convey the regret of President Martin Winslow, who was unable to meet you in person upon your arrival. He has been kept in the city, managing the affairs of state. You have come at an opportune time - very soon, this army will break camp and march for Eureka, to put an end to this insurrection."




1875 Continued:

Despot Andrónikos is the third prince of the Empire, born in the purple much like his brothers, he had spent much of his life within Constantinople before attending the School of War, an institution far older than it's current contemporaries. He was well educated in both matters of war and governance, prior to his appointment as Despot, he had fought under the shadow of the Kilimanjaro, working under some of the best Strategoi in the Empire until he had earned his own command. While he was still fairly young, Andrónikos liked to think of himself as a worldly sort of man, besides his warriors journey in Africa, he had traveled throughout not just the Empire, but to various other counties. He had visited the capital of Ethiopia, Rhomania's closest continuous ally, he toured the great cities of Europe, most of which the Empire had once held dominion, he traveled to the lush lands of India, visiting the ancient city of seven walls, and payed respects at Zhangjiawan where the famed strategos Elias Doukas routed a Chinese army twice his size. Indeed in all of these places and more he had learned, and he had familiarized himself with the peoples that called those lands home.

Of course none could compare to Japan, those islands where the faithful can be proud of the work of Orthodox missionaries. Ever since Japan had converted to the faith, Rhomania had a distant but surefire ally in the pacific, and one which allowed for Rhomania to become unchallenged in Asia for a long time. Japan is where a former Emperors wife had hailed from, and it was after her passing the city of Sakura was established in her honor, a city which still stands proud within the United Provinces. Oh yes the Provinces, he was sure to know all of the provinces beyond his small Despotate, the Palaiologan's where a very interesting people, of several ancestries and cultures morphed into one new identity, his reign as Despot has been short so far, but it has been quite enjoyable so far, war in the north withstanding. Unlikely as it may be, perhaps the Despot could find some manner of enjoyment in this war, of course on should always pray for a short conflict, but such prayers often fall upon deaf ears.

Military observers are by no means a new innovation, the tradition of sending military men to foreign conflicts to observe the war and it's developments has been well practiced by this point, perhaps what was unique was the Roman offer to send observers both ways as a sort of mediating force, the idea being to have both sides let loose some steam, before they sit down and realize that they were making a mistake. There was also the idea that any future innovations either side makes could be picked up upon, but this was a crap shoot as far as the government was concerned. The fact that the Winslow administration, at least by proxy of their diplomat has shown this to be ill-advised, plans where being rearranged. Now the plan was that the Despot would observe the Winslow led forces, and a shadow observer would be sent to do the same for the Addison government. Either way Andrónikos was to do his duty and observe the war and report on not only how the Mareyland army fought, but what innovations in strategy or technology had been made, something supported by his small support staff, whatever may be learned would help the war room greatly for future plans and contingencies.

The Despot was pleased when he found himself escorted by an honor guard of sorts, he was unsure if the Mareylanders had taken to the military traditions of the old world, but it may very much be so, it at least disrupted the popular image of Mareyland cavalry being spartan not in ability but in dress. Eventually they had arrived to the camp proper, where the Despot and his men dismounted and found themselves before the Penzance senior officers, along with troops in parade. No sooner had he been introduced by the General of this army, and eventually to the entire commanding staff along with him, before finally being offered an apology for not being able to meet with President Winslow himself. Either way Andrónikos decided to introduce himself to the general, prince be damned, as long as he was an observer he'd leave the opulence behind him, with a smile he offered his hand to the general and returned his answer.

"Please, the honor is mine General. I must say I am impressed by the elegance of your kataphraktoi" He stopped himself briefly before resuming. "Or as I believe they are referred elsewhere, cuirassiers? Either way I have been led to believe that such was uncommon within your country, it speaks to your power and wealth to field such venerable units." The kataphraktoi were an ancient tool in the Roman arsenal, having more or less remaining unchanged since their adoption centuries ago; their appearance has changed little over time, with the biggest changes having been the wide adoption of plate in the 15th century, to their modern form of just a cuirass and helmet. Much the same in terms of arms, they still charge with the lance, but have long since given up the bow for firearms.

"Alas it is unfortunate that the President has found himself occupied elsewhere, but his duty to his country is admirable and I would not wish to interrupt him in such a time as this. But besides that I am pleased to hear that your army is preparing to move, I am sure that your army shall bring a swift defeat upon it's foes, and I am most honored to be your guest for the upcoming battle."


Factbook - Empire of the Romans ♦ Year: 1473 ♦ Leader: Basileús Autokrátōr Kōnstantînos Dragásēs Palaiológos ♦ Government: Bureaucratic Republican Absolute Monarchy
Canon Name: Rhōmāníā (Land of the Romans) - Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn (Roman Empire - Empire of the Romans) ♦ NS Name: Aionios Rhomania (Aionios = Eternal) ♦

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Mareyland
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Founded: May 26, 2021
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Mareyland » Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:14 pm

In the northeastern state of Pavonia, the National Union Party and its allies held control of enough levers of power to keep the state loyal, at least officially, to President Martin Winslow. There were hungry bellies and shuttered factories in and around Amityville, the state capital, but the economic circumstances weren’t as dire as they were further west. And when the strikes first began to spread across the nation, Amityville’s mayor had a police force of over one thousand men on hand to keep the peace. The police enacted curfews, closed bars, and broke up the handful of protests that erupted from the slums. Dispersing the protestors with nightsticks, rather than bullets or bayonets, helped to keep passions from inflaming the way they did in Millstown. The governor of Pavonia suspended most of the citizenry’s civil liberties, forbidding public meetings and threatening to close down newspapers that published “inciting” materials.

This did not mean the whole state was subdued. There were strikes in plenty of the smaller towns, which had been hit harder by the depression and the policies of the railroads and other corporations. But these were usually crushed, either by state troops or by private company militias, hastily deputized by the governor as “Citizens Corps.” In places like Dunder and Sanderstown, these private militias fired into strikers and protestors with abandon, killing and wounding dozens of people. In Riding, state militia fired into a large crowd that was trying to stop a train from transporting troops towards Millstown. Twenty-five people were left dead on the tracks.

To the south, the state of Delmarva had been struggling under a divided government. The Governor was a National Union Party man, but the State Assembly was dominated by the Liberal Republicans. The two sides took every opportunity to frustrate each other’s agendas and ambitions. But when the Mayor of Jonesborough testified before the Assembly about the events that had led up to the violence in that city, it supplied the necessary political ammunition. Governor Madigan was impeached, removed from office, and replaced with a reliable Liberal Republican. Delmarva was the first state to recognize Quincy Addison as the President pro tempore and provided the majority of the state militia and volunteers who were currently entrenching in the capital city of Eureka.

To the west, in the states of Cressia and Vandalia, the authority of the National Union Party seemed to evaporate. These were the areas where labor agitation had been the most widespread and effective. The Combined Workingman’s Association, led by the seemingly inexhaustible Robert Tobiah, had organized general strikes across the two states. The police were powerless and most of the state militias had sided with the strikers, rather than kill their coworkers, neighbors, friends and family. Governor Dudley returned to Cressia from his vacation to find it was Tobiah and his armed workers, not the state authorities, who were assuring his safe passage. He kept going past the burned-out wreck of Millstown, to the National Union stronghold at Reedsborough on Lake Talbot. There he issued toothless proclamations announcing martial law and calling for Tobiah’s arrest. The Liberal Republicans were quick to forge an alliance with Tobiah, promising to enact labor reforms once Winslow and his cronies were put down.

And so the Commonwealth of Mareyland was split. All eyes turned to Eureka, and the two armies gathering like storm clouds on opposite banks of the Carter River.

Neo Prutenia wrote:Once that was affirmed, captain Hildwicker agreed to meet with the relevant representative of the legitimate government to agree on a joint course of action that would be agreeable to both parties. He forwent trying to speak in the local language and had Frau Grönheid translate it properly, which she did rather well, speaking in an articulate and clear manner if with a hint of foreign accent:

“I understand the situation. I apologise for inconveniencing you at a complicated moment. It appears we were at sea and well into our journey when things here in Eureka and Mareyland unfolded as they did. We did not mean to intrude. Let me also assure you that I won’t let the current events jeopardise legitimate previously negotiated deals between our fair nations. Given the circumstances, we also won’t hold it against you if you’d prefer to renegotiate or defer such to a later date. Let me also very much thank you for being a kind host and warning me in advance; it would have been an unpleasant surprise if you hadn’t done so and I had docked sans warning. I will inform your superiors, that you have done your duties satisfactorily at first opportunity.”

The captain paused, and gave Frau Grönheid enough time to convey everything. He also noticed that she probably made it sound a bit more diplomatic, given her gestures and length of speaking. And he thought her doing so was probably for the better.

“Now, Herr Smith, assuming you’ll be our liaison, or you’ll get us in touch with one, I would appreciate talking to the official in charge of handling this at their first convenience. We will sort everything out then”.

Isaiah Smith had not expected to encounter a woman aboard the foreign warship - and he had noticed a few more besides Frau Grönheid as he had walked across the ship’s deck. He had little time to get caught up in the strange ways of foreigners, however. Whatever the translator’s gender, she did an excellent job of bridging the language gap between Isaiah and the ship’s captain, who looked more like the sort of person Smith would have expected to find aboard a warship. And it seemed that he was amenable to the proposals that Smith had carried from the new government.

“There should be a carriage waiting for us at the Navy Yard,” Smith said. “It will take you to meet with James Stanton, the Secretary of the Navy. He will present a more detailed offer.”

A carriage was indeed waiting when the Sonnenhetzer docked in the Navy Yard. Along with a small honor guard of Marines, there was a decent-sized crowd of onlookers, mostly sailors and civilians working for the Navy Department, who were intrigued by the strange-looking warship. A single other armed vessel was tied up at the Yard’s dock: a older model of ironclad, on station for defense of the sea approaches to the capital. Another, larger vessel was up on drydock. While it would usually be covered in a swarm of busy workmen, the riots had disrupted work schedules and the ship currently sat bare of attendants.

The carriage could accommodate Captain Hildwicker, Frau Grönheid, Isaiah Smith, and one other person, if there was another officer of the ship that Hildwicker wished to bring along. Sitting next to the driver at the front of the carriage was a policeman armed with a shotgun. As the carriage proceeded through the streets of Eureka, the foreign passengers could see more evidence of the recent violence and destruction. The streets had been cleared of debris and bodies, but there were still plenty of broken windows. There were police and militia on the streets, and the civilians seemed either shell-shocked or sullen.

The Navy Department was housed in a large rectangular building, with an entrance framed by ancient-style columns and statues of Mareyland’s past naval heroes. It appeared to be untouched by the rioting; the building was not well-known enough to draw the attention of the mob. James Stanton, the Secretary of the Navy, was waiting for the captain and his entourage in a comfortable office on the second floor of the building. Stanton was a barrel-chested man with an enormous, bushy white beard, who talked in a voice that always seemed to be just slightly too loud. “This damn mess,” was how he referred to the outbreak of civil war. He seemed more irritated than distraught, especially for how it affected the acquisition of the Sonnenhetzer.

“I told Mister Smith here, that ship is the future,” he told his guests. “And if Winslow had just done his job and kept a lid on things here, then we would be having a big, lavish reception to celebrate the handover. Instead, I’m trying to get our Navy ready for war against our own countrymen.”

He paused to allow for translation, then carried on. “Your warship could tip the balance of power, captain. Our Navy is not especially large, and many ships are sitting in dock for lack of crews. President Addison wants to establish blockades of the ports in the rebellious states, to prevent Winslow from receiving any foreign support. So what he has authorized me to do, is negotiate a sort of auxiliary status for yourself and your vessel. The Commonwealth of Mareyland would not only purchase the warship as previously negotiated, but also hire the services of your crew, in order to make it immediately ready for action.”

Another pause for translation. “You would, in essence, temporarily become members of the Mareyland Navy, fighting under our flag, until this conflict has ended, or sufficient actual Mareylanders have been trained to take over the operation of the vessel. Obviously this is massively different from what you were expecting when you set sail. If you need time to confer with your government, and your crew, that is understandable.”

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Neo Prutenia
Minister
 
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Founded: Oct 21, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Neo Prutenia » Fri Oct 15, 2021 4:52 am

Mareyland wrote:Snip


What an unfortunate time to arrive, Hildwicker thought to himself. Unlike Frau Grönheid, who either could maintain her veneer of professionalism and calm remarkably well or failed to experience any feelings of discomfort even though they had just half an hour earlier arrived practically in a war zone, the captain was obviously troubled if composed. He also made a mental note to never play cards with the woman, just in case. He glanced at her, then at Smith and Stanton. He crossed his arms, then took a few steps to look through the window of the office, hoping to have a nice view from the second storey—he scanned for the horizon, for something familiar to latch on to and make the weight of decisions he was about to make or rather he was practically forced to make somewhat easier. Hildwicker was quiet for a full minute. Whether or not the other men picked up on it, Berta Grönheid took the hint and apparently interjected:

“It is at least three days sailing til next reliable telegraph line to Prutenia, and three days back, plus a day lost in transition and preparation. These are unfortunate circumstances, but we are on opposite sides of the globe. Thus confiding with the government would lose us a week.”

Hildwicker smirked for a minute moment, and gave the company present a nod, confirming that Frau Grönheid was indeed properly ‘translating’ his silence. He also got the hint from Grönheid to continue talking, which she promptly translated:

“And another week on top of that til they make heads or tails of this situation on the floor, and that is giving the parliament a rather generous benefit of doubt that they’ll even work that fast. Best case, two weeks before we have an answer. And there is a chance we might like the answer.”

He pointed through the window and traced his finger over the landscape.

“Two weeks is a long time. The battlefield could easily shift in either direction, the circumstances might change, which would necessitate renewed confiding with the parliament, which again would lose time. The decision will have to be made here, soon.”

Frau Grönheid cleared her throat, then gestured something to Hildwicker with her eyes; she stared at him expectantly then glanced at Stanton than back at him. The captain needed a moment of prompting to understand, then laughed.

“Dearest colleague, I apologise. It appears I may have been unnecessarily subtle. Let me state loud and clear that I am sympathetic to your cause, that is the cause of the Addison administration.” He raised his hand to excuse himself for a moment, then quickly confided with Frau Grönheid in Low Prut. They exchanged quite a few words, the captain clarified something at the last minute, and then let her explain it while he just faintly smiled and kept quiet.

“Prutenia and Mareyland so far had no quarrel and both our people would prefer relations to remain as such. However, the circumstances Mareyland found herself in indicate that something rotten is transpiring, something the ex-president and now perfidious dandiprat Winslow was supposed to recognise and prevent, or at least mitigate. To surrender the capital and flee even under dire circumstances is not the mark of a good leader. Yet here you are, picking up the pieces, rectifying past mistakes and leading this nation forward. As far as I am concerned, you and your administration are they people I came to do business with. And I can confidently state that Prutenia would see it likewise; you are here, we are here, and we agreed under a previous set of circumstances to do business and further relations. The circumstances have changed, yet you offer me neither platitudes nor excuses but try your best to fulfill your obligations and find solutions. Gentlemen, you are the exact kind of people of sound and reliable character that Prutenia wants to have dealings with. If you require assistance, then assistance I will provide to the best of my ability, and if it so happens we’ll be bettering the relations between our fair nations while we’re at it then even better.”

As Frau Grönheid stopped, Hildwicker gave her a moment, then added:

“But, it’s easy for me to say such. I am a member of the privileged class that can afford to beg for forgiveness later rather than ask permission first. My crew however signed up for an easy tour of duty, travel, transport, and combat trials and demonstrations. I can guarantee that each and every one of them is capable of handling combat, but that doesn’t mean they’d be willing to fight if it’s this sudden and sans warning. I would need to confer with the crew first. I have their trust and I can’t jeopardise their lives and deny them a say in the mater.”

Hildwicker crossed his arms again, tok a deep breath, sighed, then nodded, just in general, more to himself than anyone else. He returned to the centre of the office.

“Herr Stanton, if you’re authorised to offer any incentives or have knowledge of anything that might sway a highly-trained foreign crew to join your side as combatants and risk their lives, now is the time to share such, for it would make my work that much easier.”



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Always assume I'm the exact same tech level/reality as you are, with access to the exact same technology/abilities; I just happen to prefer very strict MT. IC name: Prut Meritocracy

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Mareyland
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Posts: 57
Founded: May 26, 2021
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Mareyland » Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:32 am

Aionios Rhomania wrote:"Alas it is unfortunate that the President has found himself occupied elsewhere, but his duty to his country is admirable and I would not wish to interrupt him in such a time as this. But besides that I am pleased to hear that your army is preparing to move, I am sure that your army shall bring a swift defeat upon it's foes, and I am most honored to be your guest for the upcoming battle."

General Adolph Vernon had made his headquarters in a two-story stone house which belonged to a wealthy landowner named John Parke. It was a summer home, and the planter had been more than willing to rent the building to General Vernon for use as headquarters. He had also provided the general and his retinue with the services of the house staff. Apart from the housekeeper, a stout and elderly white woman with a thick Hibernian accent, the other servants in the house were all people of color. Most of them seemed to be of mixed race, lighter-skinned than the black sharecroppers that the Despot might have seen in fields as his carriage traveled to New Penzance. John Parke was away, safely ensconced in his plantation home further south, but those who knew the planter recognized that many of the servants working here bore a distinct resemblance to him.

General Vernon brought the Despot into one of the two rooms on the ground floor of the house, which served as his office. On a walnut table, he spread out a map of the area around the capital city for the benefit of the foreign observer. It was the same map that Colonel Arlington had been shown at his first meeting with the general.

“My intention is to achieve a victory with a minimum of bloodshed,” Vernon explained. “The Liberal Republicans have entrenched along the primary approaches to the city, along these two bridges over the Carter River. In our recent conflicts, we have seen the folly of attacking fortifications head-on. So instead, the army will conduct a flanking march, along these roadways. We will march west to the town of McLean, and then turn back towards the river and cross the bridge here, east of the town of Stevensville.”

“No doubt this will be defended, in some capacity,” Vernon hastened to add, to preempt a possible comment from the Despot. “But certainly in far less strength. We should be able to force those defenses without considerable loss. Then we will be across the river, and sweep down to pin the Liberal Republicans in the capital against the river. That will hopefully be enough to bring them to their senses, and once order is restored in the capital, things will settle down elsewhere.”

“The army will be breaking camp for the march tomorrow,” the general concluded. “I have had a bedroom made up here for you and your retinue,” he told the Despot. “But if you have any questions, or requests, I will be glad to address them.”

Neo Prutenia wrote:“Herr Stanton, if you’re authorised to offer any incentives or have knowledge of anything that might sway a highly-trained foreign crew to join your side as combatants and risk their lives, now is the time to share such, for it would make my work that much easier.”

The Secretary of the Navy visibly relaxed as Frau Grönheid spoke on behalf of her captain. Perhaps James Stanton was not even aware that he was holding in a breath until he slowly let it out. The ultimate nightmare scenario was that the Pruts would have stormed out of the office, sailed their dreadnought back down the river, and sided with Winslow and the National Unionists. But it seemed that the Addison government would not have to worry about that, and that put Stanton greatly at ease - he had been given authorization by the President pro tempore to disable or even sink the Sonnenhetzer if it seemed likely that the ship might fall into Winslow’s grasp. How exactly Stanton would have accomplished that was something that the Secretary had not fully figured out prior to the start of this meeting, and it seemed that he would be able to table that line of thought.

“I am glad to hear that you hold such a good opinion of our new government,” he said to Captain Hildwicker and Frau Grönheid. “And I’m sure that President Addison will be pleased to hear it as well. Now, on the matter of incentives...the President pro tempore and the Senate have reached an agreement, where your crew would be brought onto the payroll of the Mareyland Navy as a kind of auxiliaries. They would be paid wages according to their position, with a bonus if they are asked to enter a hazardous situation.” Stanton chuckled. “Usually this sort of arrangement is used to contract merchant ships for transport duty, as opposed to actual warships. So it’s less of a question of ‘if’ and more of a ‘when.’ And there will be prize money for the capture or sinking of enemy vessels, similar to a privateer’s marque. So if this does become more than just a tempest in a teapot, then it will be quite lucrative work.”

“That is the most direct incentive I can offer,” Stanton said. “But I can also offer this: that ship your people have built, it shows you’re thinking about the future. President Winslow and his cronies, they are the past. They cling to power on behalf of the robber barons, who squeeze every drop of profit out of whatever they can get their hands on. There’s nothing wrong with making money, if you have a keen head for it and a good idea, but they’re gorging themselves - and Winslow just wants to keep their trough full. The Liberal Republicans aren’t perfect, but I think Addison has a good head on his shoulders, and they seem to care at least a little bit for the people underneath the upper crust. If you help us in this fight that’s coming, I think you’ll be helping to make Mareyland a better place.”

“I have a letter from the President pro tempore,” Stanton added, reaching into a drawer of his desk and withdrawing an envelope with an official-looking seal. “It basically says the same thing, with a bit more flowery language. He wanted you to have it, and to share it with your crew.”

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Mareyland
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Founded: May 26, 2021
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Mareyland » Wed Nov 03, 2021 6:45 pm

The largest settlement in the Republic of Madawaska was the town of Houlton. It was not, by any stretch, a “city.” It had a population of just a few thousand, and most of the buildings were made of wood, which was far more plentiful than brick or stone. Many of those buildings were very recent constructions - much of the town had been burned during the last war, when the armies of howling native warriors and rebels had sacked Houlton on their way to invade Mareyland. That invasion had wrought great changes, though certainly they were not the ones that its authors had intended. Maryland had pursued the bandit army back into Bossonia, delivered the white inhabitants of the eastern region from their abuse, and then helped to create a new nation: the Republic of Madawaska. The name was taken from a native word for “porcupine,” in reference to an old legend about the way the native peoples described the bayonets wielded by the colonial powers who had conquered the land.

Mareyland continued to station troops in Madawaska. Officially, it was to help hunt down the bandit remnants of the rebel army - one of their leaders, Francois Colline, remained at large and at the head of a gang of outlaws - and protect the sovereignty of the new nation. Unofficially, the troops helped to ensure that the new republic did not find itself on a course that would lead it out from under the paternal care of Mareyland. The garrison of Madawaska comprised a large portion of the active National Guard, which had never been a large organization to begin with. These troops were under the command of General Randall Flynn, who had led the campaign that had driven the bandit-rebels from the region.

Flynn had made his home in a stately two-story house in Houlton. It was one of the few homes in the town to be made of stone. The general’s residence also served as a headquarters for the Mareyland force stationed in Madawaska, and it was thus here that the chief officers of that garrison met to determine their response to the outbreak of civil war in their homeland. They were all gathered in the parlor on the first floor: General Flynn, his chief aide Major Edward Gray, and the colonels who led the regiments assigned to his command. They were joined by Joseph Moore, a colonel in the Army of Madawaska who served as a representative of both the military and political wings of the infant republic.

“All leave has been canceled,” General Flynn announced to his officers. “Prior requests which were granted are now denied. No new requests will be entertained. We are entering a state of heightened readiness.”

While the Mareyland officers digested this news, Colonel Moore asked, “Are we expecting trouble here, General?”

“Here? Doubtful, but of course one can never be certain,” Flynn replied. “No, what I am more concerned about is half my army marching itself back over the border into Cressia, and declaring for one side or the other. We represent the single largest concentration of professional soldiers in the Commonwealth. I intend to keep it that way.”

Colonel Charles Shafer asked the question that had been hanging over the army since the first reports of a breach arrived in Madawaska. “General, what happens if we get orders to march east?”

“Major Gray will request verification of those orders,” General Flynn asked. “And ensure that there is no question of ambiguity about their source.” The barest hint of a smirk passed over the general’s features. “And, as you know, Colline and his bandits remain active. Telegraph lines might be severed, and communications disrupted.”

There it was. Flynn would not allow the army to act as a kingmaker. Without them, the two sides of the civil war would be limited to the handful of National Guard battalions assigned to the coastal forts, plus whatever state militia and volunteers they could assemble. The majority of the regular army was either in Madawaska under Flynn’s command, or stationed on the island of Guarma where it could not easily become involved in the fighting.

Colonel Edward Kirk spoke up next. “Sir, some of the men might not take this too kindly.”

“They are National Guardsmen,” Flynn retorted. “I don’t care how they take it, so long as they obey. Remind them that they swore an oath to defend the nation, not tear it apart over who gets to sit in the Presidential Mansion.”

“They don’t stop being from Parthenia or Delmarva just because they put on the uniform,” Colonel Kirk insisted. “Some of these boys are from Millstown, or Jonesborough. There’s talk of leaving for home anyway, damn what the orders say.”

General Flynn’s eyes - piercing green, of such a strange intensity that many people described them as reptilian - bored into the colonel. “Any officer or soldier who leaves his post will be guilty of desertion, and hanged,” Flynn declared. “Do I make myself clear?” Silence hung over the room. “I expect you to make it similarly clear to your men. You are dismissed.”

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Neo Prutenia
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Posts: 2121
Founded: Oct 21, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Neo Prutenia » Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:16 pm

Mareyland wrote:Snip



Just a few moments ago firm handshakes were exchanged and intentions confirmed, all that carefully managed by the more tactful Frau Grönheid, while the seemingly more cheerful captain Hildwicker entertained the notion of going through with all this. He strongly appeared as such or at least convincingly played the part. But that was then and there, in the office with his peer. Now? Now he was sitting in the carriage on his return trip to the ship. And he had to consider what to tell his crew. His officers he might convince rather easily, some disturbingly so, other might be recalcitrant until they’d be given proper incentive. Same for the men. For that wage no one would risk their lives.

Grönheid meanwhile was engrossed in the Addison letter. Occasionally she’d glance at her skipper, but she politely pretended he wasn’t having a tough time figuring everything out on the fly.

“Any impressions so far?”

Grönheid smirked. “Basically the same, more flowery language.”

“You might as well read it then to them, I suppose.”

“Why?”

“I’m sorry?”

Grönheid put the letter aside, took a breath, even flared her nostrils a bit. She corrected her posture and tugged at her shirt. Then she continued: “Skipper, what would be the purpose of reading that letter—and I presume translated?—to our crew? It’s meaningless to them. The officers, perhaps, but they will listen to you anyway. You’d be much better off finding a good incentive for the sailours.”

“Fray Grönheid, am I to assume then that you support the idea of joining Mareyland’s president prote emporium…. Whatever word he used…”

President pro tempore, legal term from another northern language. ‘Temporary’ or ‘acting’ leader.”

“Ah yes, that makes sense.” Hildwicker stroked his chin, and nodded. “Well, let’s call the man Addison for clarity. Do you…”

“Yes!”

The captain was taken aback with the quick reply. Just for a moment he was stunned. Then he started laughing. Loud, genuine, it lasted for a good minute. Grönheid explained herself.

“We don’t have a choice, do we?”

“Oh, how come?”

“You’re not considering the… hm… shall we say political angle here.”

“Elaborate.”

She seemed a bit reluctant, or the captain assumed so. In truth she was considering how to frame it without ‘it’ sounding condescending or presumptive. Hildwicker didn’t notice this exactly, him simply not being that type, so he just prompted her again.

“Frau Grönheid, you can speak your mind between us. There’s no need to keep appearances. In front of the crew, sure, but not under circumstances such as these. Please.” He gestured with his hand to continue.

“We don’t have a choice, since the ‘Sonnenhetzer’ is too much of a factor of chaos. Given that the Addison administration is currently holding the capital, they can make the call. If they don’t get the ‘Sonnenhetzer’, they will make sure the other side doesn’t get it. It would be far, far too much of an risk.”

“But they have obligations! The trade deal?!”

“They have the option of claiming the deal was with the previous disgraced administration, and that they can’t be held accountable for it, nor be liable for breaching the contract.”

“I suppose…” Hildwicker didn’t like this. At all.

“Best case scenario ‘if we don’t play ball’, both parties stall. For a time. We could claim the necessity to confide with our government first, but they obviously wouldn’t let us take the Sonnenhetzer with us. Too much of a risk, as mentioned. We could perhaps sail to the other side of this civil war, join them. Technically they are the ones that signed the deal, and we have a certain reputation to uphold. As more time would pass, the chance some of our crewmembers causing some sort of ruckus would only increase, giving the Addison administration an excuse to hasten things in their favour.”

“I very much see your point, Berta.” He glanced outside, frowning. “Is it just a happy coincidence I am sympathetic to their cause? Or was at least…”

“Yes.”

“Very blunt.”

“Also yes.” She smiled. “Regardless, that sympathy plays into our hands.”

Hildwicker raised his eyebrows, and gestured to her to continue.

“Skipper, you can use this sympathy very much to our advantage. May I suggest a course of action?”

“Very much so, yes. Please.” The captain raised his hand and bid her to elaborate.

“We should go all in. Fully commit. We may not really have a choice, but we can make this decision ours. They will perceive you as an idealist—a sympathetic capable fighter. So, no political threat but a powerful military asset. We embrace exactly that. Play along with Addison, fight their little war, … and we try to wring as much concessions and advantages out of this for Prutenia as possible. We’d improve our reputation here, we’d encourage further deals in the future, and we’ve sold the Sonnenhetzer practically as well. It just requires black ink to dry on a specific piece of white paper to formailise that. We can do more than that. Let the crew earn some coin. Let the politicians back home rub their hands thinking about the new opportunities. Not mentioning the shipwrights. And we’d make a killing too… well, after the killing-killing anyway. Use your guile and sympathy to win over the crew and we’ll be golden.”

“We just have to win this war then, no?”

“Yes.

“Frau Grönheid, I definitely insist on you being my official political advisor and aide during this.”

“I accept.” She said, grinning.
Factbook: The Prut Meritocracy | Prutopaedia (TG feedback appreciated) | National Policies | φ(._.) - Shoot me a TG if you want to RP with me

Always assume I'm the exact same tech level/reality as you are, with access to the exact same technology/abilities; I just happen to prefer very strict MT. IC name: Prut Meritocracy

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Mareyland
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Posts: 57
Founded: May 26, 2021
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Mareyland » Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:22 pm

“So, a journalist, huh?”

“That’s right. Daniel Jessup, from the Marion Daily Clarion. Same as what it says right there on that paper.”

“That’s some name for a paper.”

Daniel Jessup smiled, the way a person smiles when hearing a joke or comment for the millionth time. “Sticks in the brain, doesn’t it? When you want the news in Marion, you reach for the Clarion.”

The sentry at the edge of the camp did not seem especially amused. He continued to scrunitize the papers that Jessup had handed over. His credentials included a letter of introduction from the editor-in-chief of the Clarion and a document from the local branch of the Combined Workingman’s Association, verifying his identity and purpose: he was being sent to report on the army that was mustering in Cressia. The documents were supposed to help him get access, without being mistaken for a spy. Unfortunately, the sentry that Jessup had encountered was not the believing type.

“You got anybody else that could vouch for you, Mister Jessup?”

The one doing the talking was a heavier-set man, who either didn’t do much hard work or ate enough to compensate. His quiet partner was a rail-thin man, but whose defined arms clearly showed that he had the muscle to easily heft the rifle that he was currently holding at a rest. They’d stopped him from getting any closer to the camp of soldiers that sprawled out behind them. He could hear, faintly, the commotion of an army at ease. But he couldn’t see much of anything while these two were blocking the road.

“You got a telephone back to Marion from here?” Jessup asked sarcastically. “Look, I got the head of the CWA down in Marion to personally sign off on this. He says I’m not a spy. I’m here to speak with whoever’s in charge of this army.”

“Who says it’s an army? Maybe we’re all just out for a camping trip.”

The attempt at information security would be laughable, if it wasn’t infuriating. “Look, just take me to someone in charge. Don’t you have a commanding officer, or somebody like that?”

“Maybe we do, maybe we don’t,” the sentry replied. “But we’re not supposed to let anybody through here unless they know the pass phrase. And you don’t know the pass phrase. So you better -”

“York! What’s going on here?”

A tall, stocky man who moved with an air of annoyed authority was marching up to the checkpoint. Jessup made sure to get in a word before the sentry started talking.

“Sir, I’m a journalist sent from Marion. I’m here to speak with the commanding officer.”

“He doesn’t know the pass phrase, lieutenant,” the sentry - York, apparently - replied hastily. The lieutenant took the papers from the soldier’s hands and looked them over himself.

“Well how the hell is he supposed to, if he’s coming up from Marion?” The lieutenant handed the papers back to Daniel Jessup and gestured. “Follow me.” Jessup hurried to follow the lieutenant as he spun on his heels and marched back into the camp, leaving the two sentries behind in a confused huff.

“Has there been trouble with spies?” Jessup asked as they walked. The lieutenant gave no reply, nor did he answer the other questions that the journalist peppered him with as they walked briskly past rows of tents. Most of the men that they passed were wearing the cadet gray of state militia troops, but Jessup noticed a few clusters of men wearing other uniforms, or no uniform at all. He knew that a call for volunteers had gone out, and the Combined Workingman’s Association had mustered several companies of armed men in Marion to answer it. No doubt many of these men in street clothes were of a similar background.

Finally, they reached a tent with a sentry of its own outside, who let them in at the lieutenant’s insistence. Inside was a middle-aged man, sitting at a desk writing something. He paused when the lieutenant entered with Jessup.

“Colonel Irving, sir.” The lieutenant saluted, then gestured to Jessup. “This man says he’s a journalist from Marion, here to report on the army. Thought you’d know what to do with him.”

“Thank you, lieutenant,” Irving replied. “You can leave us.” The colonel gestured to a small folding chair opposite him. “Sit down, man. What’s your story?”

Jessup handed over the credentials and told the colonel who he was and why he was here. Irving looked them over, nodding and listening. “Well, this all seems to check out,” he told Jessup. “I’ll send you on to the general’s staff, and they’ll write you up something to deal with sentries.”

“Before that,” Jessup interjected. “Colonel...Irving, was it?”

“Edward Irving,” the man answered. “Cressia State Militia. I was a writer, before all this madness descended on us.”

“Colonel, what is this army gathering for?”

“The general can tell you more,” Irving said. “But, in short: we’re marching on Reedsborough. It’s the main bastion of Winslow’s rotten old government in the state. If we can take it, we’ll control all of Mareyland west of the mountains.”

“Then what?”

“For that, you best talk to General Ellington,” Irving said. “Come with me. I’ll introduce you.”

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Hathian Prime
Attaché
 
Posts: 92
Founded: Nov 26, 2017
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Hathian Prime » Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:15 am

The dim light of a small candle danced and flickered, illuminating the room as Sergeant Leonard Bruer sat in the hallway, writing on a letter. Though it was broad daylight above deck, certain areas of the ship lacked portholes, and the gun ports that normally provided light were sealed with water-tight doors.

A slight grimace came across Sergeant Bruer’s face as the ship pitched from a wave, causing him to accidentally draw a line across part of the letter. He hoped the recipient of the letter,his wife Julie, wouldn’t mind the mistake. Oh, how he missed her. The young couple had only just gotten to see each other for a month after a 6 month deployment before Leonard was sent off to fight a rebellion, in a nation he cared little for.
The only reason that he had agreed to go in the first place was due to the fact that his men, veterans of several wars and interventions, were going to be lead by a green Lieutenant who’s closest combat experience were war games. And Leonard knew that such games were nowhere close to the harsh reality and brutality of armed conflict.

After jotting the last sentence of his letter, he sealed it into a waterproof envelope that contained other letters for home. He carefully placed the envelope into a sack that the Quartermaster would mail back home when they landed and supply lines had been established. Leonard grabbed his cover off a nearby rack, made sure that it had not been damaged or bent, and climbed a ladder up onto the deck of the ship.

Ironclad HWS Stierwas primarily designed for transportation of supplies and men, she boasted a compliment of 4 105mm breech loading cannons(two rear, two front), and 16 cannons(8 starboard and portside). She was one of the “older” ironclads, still having wooden masts and non-rotating turrets. Despite this, she was still seen as one of the most reliable and veteran ships in the Hathenian navy.
She was escorted by two other Ironclads, her sister ships HWS Ludwig der Grosse and HWS Lenrau. There were 2 other transport ironclads, of smaller size than the others, as well as 10 large wooden supply and transport vessels.

But the real power sailed both to the sides and front of the transports. The Escherich Fleet, named after its admiral, boasted a compliment of 12 large Ironclads, 3 medium Ironclads, and 4 Ironclad Sloops. These modern Ironclads had been the “second wave” of vessels intended to replace the outdated Hathenian wooden vessels.

Leonard could not help but feel pride swell in his chest as he stared at this show of power. He smiled, but it quickly trailed off as the coastline came into view. Ugly pillars of black smoke arose from the distant city, blotting the otherwise beautiful skyline. Leonard’s men, the 34 strong 13th Mountaineer Sharpshooter Corps, were all standing in awe of the sight. High Command had stated that the operation was to merely help put down a few riots. But it looked as if the riots had already spiraled into a full scale rebellion.

As the transports turned to starboard, Private Sirus beckoned for Leonard to come over. The Sergeant obliged, noticing his men had set a camera up a distance away. It was a tradition to take photos every deployment that they went on together. Still no sign of the Lieutenant, Leonard thought to himself. After barking orders, the men got into a formation, weapons at the ready. Leonard drew his pistol from his belt, holding his NCO sword in the other hand as he stared into the camera with a stoic gaze. A sailor snapped the photo of the unit, capturing the burning city in the background.

As he holstered his weapons and turned around, he noticed vessels approaching the fleet. Almost immediately, the Eshreich fleet put themselves between the incoming vessels and the transports. Alarms were rang, and all personnel quickly got themselves under deck. Though they all knew it was more than likely friendly forces, the fleet could not take the risk of allowing possible enemy vessels to get close to their supplies and manpower.
Hathian Prime does not use NS Stats.
HP and all other nations take place in an AU. HP is not Germany.

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Neo Prutenia
Minister
 
Posts: 2121
Founded: Oct 21, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Neo Prutenia » Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:00 pm



“Gentlemen!” Hildwicker exclaimed! Then glanced at the two ladies present, and continued: “Dames included. Although our fair ladies have not spent the last several minutes mumbling among themselves and staring indecisively at their feet.”

The captain’s words stung, but he still didn’t hit the right spot to swing the mood.

“Far as I can tell, there’s two concerns. Military and political. Let’s solve those.”

He whistled a signal, rather loudly so. Two crewmen carried inside a shell and carefully placed it in the middle of the room. Some officers stepped back, out of habit or concerned, some were curious where this was going.

“Now, this is a Pelzer artillery projectile. One of the first if not the first of its kind. If you take a look to our portside, specifically where I’m pointing my finger toward, you’ll see some of the vessels we can expect to engage here. I remind you, these are the vessels at their capital city! We won’t encounter anything more powerful than these here ships in these here waters. Good ships… ten or twenty years ago. Even five years ago. But! This little friend of ours here…” Hildwicker gestured with his hand toward the Pelzer shell. “…this one will crack open those ships like taking a hammer to a walnut and have at it. And before anyone objects they haven’t been tested in battle—true—yet at Holmwick we literally used a decommissioned casemate ‘clad for target practice. While it may not have fired back, it did get quite a pounding from the ‘Sonnenhetzer’ and her Pelzer-shots. And our loaders and gunners have been drilled to sell these shells with these cannons on this ship—they’ll perform admirably even if push comes to shove. That’s literally why they are here for; to demonstrate to our Mareylander friends how fast and accurate those guns are, and incidentally how devastating those shells can be.

And before you raise your hand, I already know the second objection!”

The captain raised both hands. He calmly smiled while his officers and related personnel stood there, cross-armed, and still not entirely convinced. Suddenly the captain started to stomp in the room and in a rather aggressive manner. It was a bit comical, even theatrical. After he let the sound echo a bit he stopped.

“Hear this? Hear how massive this is? My conn has more armour than that ship’s over there belly. Do you hear this? Our conning tower, the bloody exposed bit of the Sonnenhetzer we stand on and scream orders from has thicker armour than the armour belt of potential targets, that bit they pray to whatever higher power they believe in to keep them alive and afloat.”

He let them simmer for a bit. Some raised their eyebrows, apparently only just now realising how advanced and masterfully crafted the ‘Sonnenhetzer’ was. The armour, the engine, the arrangement of her various components and departments, the guns, the ammo, all these were the culmination of decades of advancements from several scientific and engineering fields put together. Their arms were definitely no longer crossed. Some even touched the inner wall and lining of the ship to feel it. Hildwicker laughed, and some officers joined him.

“Oi! Don’t you lot be getting cocky on me now. We are still outnumbered, yes, hence why I need you all to be not only onboard with this, but focused. We need to keep the crew in top shape and be careful about this. But, capturing even one *Wenzlau-aligned ironclad would bring a few hundred thousand in prize money. One ship’s worth about three thousand times the monthly wage of one of you. If we capture two or three literally every single crewmen of the ‘Sonnenhetzer’ could retire if they so desire. And! For the old salts and hardshells among you. Frau Grönheid here is a licensed notary. She’ll make a document you are free to sign, voluntarily, which will guarantee your shares of any prize going to your next of kin.”

“Or person you designate as the beneficiary.”

“Thank you, Frau Grönheid. What the lady said, to whomever you designate as you beneficiary. Meaning those of you supporting a family, that’s taken care of. Those of you wanting to retire at forty and live the rest of their lives in an orange orchard drinking Glühwein all day long, well, that’s on the table as well.”

The opportunity to make quite a buck in such a short span was not lost on the assembly. Hildwicker managed to hit the right spots. While one or two were still being objectors, even they could read the room, and mostly only half-heartedly put up some resistance.

“What about the legality of all this?”

“We’ll officially be working as part of the Mareylander military. All signed and documented. This means we can’t be prosecuted any worse than any other member of the *Eddasson administration, nor ought we to suffer any harsher penalties or indignities, in case of capture or such. Even in the unlikely scenario everything goes impossibly bad and we end with our backs to the wall, we’re practically guaranteed clemency since no one would want to provoke our government into an actual intervention. After all, we’re liberal-minded adventurers and sympathiser of the cause of the plighted masses of Mareyland, that acted out of their conscience and desire to help. And as far as our own government is concerned, we have nothing to fear as long as we win.”

“Just win and survive the war, skipper?”

“Simple as that.”

“Seems clear to me then lads. We win, we gain a lot. And even if I don’t make it, I have kin back home that could use the money. I trust the skipper in that regard. And I reckon most of us have kin as well. Would be selfish and unkind to gyp them of the prize here on offer. And if we lose, we have protections and the backing of our home government?”

Implied backing.”

“I’m not keen on rotting in a Mareyland gaol.”

“If we try to sit this one out, we’ll be foreigners, penniless foreigners mind you, stuck in a land in midst of a civil war, with no way home, and both sides angry at us for not picking a side. Trying to sit this out results in rotting in a gaol for loitering and vagrancy within a month or two. I’d rather take my chances in battle, especially if the incentive is so nice. Or did you think they’d let us just turn around the ‘Sonnenhetzer’ and sail home?”

“Like I said, I’m not keen on rotting in a Mareyland gaol. Let’s fight Wenzlau!”

A few more men chipped in. Within ten minutes the consensus was formed. Winslow and his cronies would face the Sonnenhetzer’s guns and crew, with the officers now fully committed to the cause. Now they only had to convince the other three hundred or so members of the crew.

But Hildwicker had already an angle to work with, and he shared some of his thoughts with his officers and confidants. It didn’t take them long to put the captain’s plan in motion.


***


While the Sonnenhetzer was very much a modern ship and a pinnacle of current maritime engineering, the crew still communicated very much mostly like their predecessors did in the age of iron men and wooden ships. Yes, the flares might be brighter and the signaling mirrors shinier, and flag literacy was higher, developed far enough to even rudimentary communicate in a wireless manner not dissimilar to but far more limited than the telegraph used on land, but most of the talking was done by shouting. Well, keen eyes for spotting signals and shouting. While the captain was in possession of a decently stentorian voice and demeanor when called for, his chief mate Hageler was the designated ‘shouty man’. And shout he did. His voice boomed over most of the harbour, and probably also a good chunk of the city and river next to it, no doubt inspiring tales of a new river banshee upstream. And downstream.

The crew took a minute to disembark and assemble properly. Why exactly they had all to disembark they weren’t in the clear, as there were other methods to assemble them for a speech by the skipper. And some were visibly uncomfortable being in the harbour in its current deteriorated state. Too gloomy perhaps, or foreboding maybe. They did have to travel back home at some point, and leaving from here under such circumstances gave some the jitters. There was talk of bad luck, staying or leaving or landing, everyone had an opinion.

The captain didn’t leave them waiting for long. Hildwicker had a little desk set up, sat the purser behind said desk, and had his direct subordinates corral all the crewmembers. When he was satisfied that everything was as it was ought to be, he addressed them.

“Sailours, friends and colleagues, I think it goes without saying that our arrival coincided with a rather unfortunate event transpiring in Mareyland. Since we’ve entered the mouth of the Carter river we’ve seen the signs, and now in *Jorwicken we can’t deny it no longer. I’ve also had the opportunity to talk with the representatives of the government of Mareyland, who clarified the situation as much as time and circumstances permitted. They corroborated what our eyes were telling us. The land is in the grip of a vicious civil war.”

He gave them a moment to collect and sort their thoughts, but not too much.

“Obviously this leaves us in quite a pickle. We are obligated to deliver the Sonnenhetzer and demonstrate her capabilities as a war ship. Each and every one of you signed on for that exact purpose. As the circumstances have changed this side of the pond our partners in Mareyland can’t exactly fulfill their end of the deal and we can’t exactly take the ship back home since that would technically be stealing and we could technically be persecuted back home for theft or even piracy, and definitely for breaching a contract. None of us would see a dime from this then. And I’m not exactly keen on any member of my crew being turned into scapegoats for this disaster by some politician or suit back home.”

The crowd mumbled, dissatisfied but keen to hear their skipper continue.

“Now, I’ve got our dear purser there in the back. What funds we have shall be handed to you, each getting their fair share by rank and seniority. I won’t lie lads, it is a pittance. I and some seniors have agreed to renounce our shares and add them to your pot, so we could squeeze in a bit more. It still what wherewithal we have, and you will need it. You’re now de facto stranded in a devastated land, specifically in their bloodied capital, with no vessels leaving for home or anywhere else save a hostile harbour south or north to shoot and be shot at by their neighbours. Hopefully you’ll be able to find some accommodation and victuals before your funds run out; although the prices are of course jacked up due to our apparently rotten luck and their even worse and quite dire economic circumstances due to the war. If you manage to share your funds and act prudently you might make a fortnight with a roof over your head and something to fill your bellies. After that? It’s either lucking out and some ship being able to take you, home or for work, if the war ends by then, or it will be a stern talking to with the local constable, followed by a brief visit to the constabulary and then a longer stay at the penitentiary, as is the local custom for vagrants, loiterers, and work-shy laggards. Such is life…”

Hildwicker crossed his arms, and flared his nostrils.

“We reckon it will be a good two to three weeks before the admiralty notices something’s off. Then at least a week before they manage to organise a ship to check on us. That will then take another two to three weeks, maybe more if the weather is real foul, before it arrives. Then they’ll have to return to the nearest transoceanic telegraph station to get instructions, resolve what to do, and return. And then you might count on them. But that’s two months, a month and a half at least.”

He let the crew ponder what they just heard. Most were concerned, obviously so. Some less. One of the latter commented:

“Well, skipper, it really is quite a pickle, isn’t it…”

“True, true, but I can’t leave you penniless, that would be unbecoming of a Prutenian officer. Inconceivable even.”

“But what about you and the other officers?”

“Ah, don’t concern yourself with us. They’ll be fine. And I? Why, I have a penchant for combat and no small talent for war, so I shall offer my services to the Mareylanders. I reckon they could use a captain and some mates and officers, given that half of theirs just deserted their flag and pointed their cannons at their capital. Although…” He grimaced, with much theatrics, and spit on the ground. “…I loathe having to work with an unfamiliar and unproven crew. Tssk.”

Some took the bait. Not all, of course. But some did, for now. It was a calculated risk by Hildwicker. And he did sneak a few trusted crewmembers here and there to strategically volunteer and convince the crew. As well as a few of the hotheads. And, and he did feel a bit guilty about it, he had some of the more desperate and poorer sailours in the front rows as well.

“But, skipper! To cheat on us!”

“Cheat on you?! I’d love you lot under my command, crumpling that dastardly Wenzlau’s forces under our cannon fire for ruining a perfectly good deal and fouling our relations. I’d be delighted.”

“If half their captains switched sides, so did half their crews!”

“Yeah!”

The ‘yeah’-s got repeated a few times by several voices. Hildwicker stroked his chin, again theatrically, pondering the implication, or rather pretending to ponder the possibility.

“Nah, friends. I can’t ask that of you, and I’d need the whole crew for that. All of you. We don’t have the funds nor the backing of the Mareylanders for both. We’d have to split the coins if any would dissent in either direction. Fairs and fair, and no, I will not allow you to intimidate one another into either choice—payout or fighting for Mareyland, with me. Hm…”

He paused, dramatically. He nodded his head, then added in the bare minimum volume that could pass for a sotto voce:

But there is the option for prize money… should we capture even one of their ships… even one of their much older and compared to the ‘Sonnenhetzer’ much inferior ships. Hm…” He then quickly shook his head. “No, no, no, I can’t ask you. It would be too much.”

The crewmen started the yell and heckle, many in favour, some opposed, most quiet for now. This was expected. The captain gave them two minutes, making a mental note of who was opposed and willing to voice it. Almost all of them were crewmembers he would have suspected of such. And a few of the new blood. This was fine. He snapped his finger, signaling Hageler to shout them down. His voice bellowed, like a dragon from a mountain. Hildwicker thanked him, then continued, his tone much firmer and far more serious.

“This is how we do it. We’ll have ourselves a nice fair vote. If the majority agrees to go to war under Mareylands flag, I’ll sign you up with the purser and you’ll be eligible for payment at Mareylands expense, can remain on the ‘Sonnenhetzer’ with you friends and mates and countrymen, and you’ll have the opportunity for a share in any prize we capture. Any and all. But! We’re handling this as a full military endeavor! You fight when it’s time to fight, you drill whenever you’re not fighting or resting. I shall tolerate no dissent nor disorder then. Same rules apply as if you’d be fighting for our pernicious Prutenia! Exact same!

However, if the majority agrees to part ways and share what coin we have at hand, no ill feelings then, no bad blood, no shaming is to take place. You can’t blame a lad for not risking his life for some outlander cause… or not being keen on prize money. There’s no duty to uphold nor call to leave unanswered nor obligation to shirk—if you’re staying and fighting, you do so of your own volition. Now think about it, thoroughly. Stay and fight if you can use the money and want to help out our hosts as well as yourself and your families. Or try your luck and dodge the local gaol. Either way, stand still until we organise the vote. I mean it, no one move!”

For the most part they didn’t move, much. They didn’t dare. They did turn around and looked for their close friends and acquaintances, but the captain had their cliques dispersed a bit so they couldn’t conspire. He needed them to follow the majority and he needed the majority to vote his way. After about ten minutes of preparation, everyone was handed a piece of bread about half the size of their thumbs and a single nut of the metal fastener kind, which would usually be used in conjunction with a bolt but here it would serve as a ballot. Hildwicker then pointed towards a big bucket on a table above and inside of which a large funnel was installed.

“Here’s how it will go. You’ll place in one hand the piece of bread, and in the other hand the steel nut. Hopefully no one will confuse them. Pick the bread if you want to fight that recreant Wenzlau and his cronies, who brought us this misfortune. Pick the steel nut if you want to skip the fight and want to try your luck to avoid a fate behind iron bars. Then approach the bucket, place you hand in the funnel so that no one sees what you’ve picked, and drop it. After everyone is done, we’ll kick over the bucket and count the bread pieces and nuts. Majority wins, easy as that. And the ballot is completely secret. Everyone clear? Everyone ready? Excellent.”

He instructed them to go one by one. Of course he had the first twenty or so people be the ones he knew would cast their vote for war. One by one, they got to the bucket, they stuck their hand into the funnel, and they dropped their bread. And no one was the wiser. But then it was a known cantankerous crewman’s turn. He trundled to the table, annoyed, got both hands out of his pocket, stared at them for a moment, rolled his eyes, and demonstratively ‘punched’ his fist into the funnel to drop it’s contents.

And then the metal nut made a lot of noise as it banged against the metal funnel into the metal bucket.

He was pale in an instant. He didn’t even retract his hand, he was just standing there, unmoving, sweating. Everyone, everyone heard he voted to leave, voted for the cowardly option.

“Something wrong, Igzorn?”

Igzorn looked at the skipper, who was smiling with affection.

“I… eh…”

“Igzorn, if you’re done, I need you to move along. It’s rude to keep the others waiting.”

“Yes, of course… I just…”

The captain positively beamed. “Yes? Just what?”

“I think… I confused my hands, skipper.”

“Oh…”

“Yeah… yeah, it happens. See, skipper, it’s cuz I’m on land, yes. I know my portside and starboard, since I love my work and want to be on the ship. I just confuse my left and rights when I’m on land, is all.”

“I’m sure it’s going to be fine. Don’t worry about it.”

“Ye… yeah, skipper. I’ll… I’ll… I hope I’ll be on the ship again soon, where I never confuse port and starboard, mhm. Never!”

Calculated risk. About three hundred and twenty crewmen, only five more banging noises were heard from the funnel and bucket. Six if you count Igzorn. A good chunk of them couldn’t handle the pressure of being heard taking the more prudent if more cowardly option. A small majority seemed keen on fighting, maybe around 180. Another hundred where on the fence, but remained out of lack of other options and because they didn’t want to abandon their friends and mates, which they ‘heard’ taking the war option. The rest were forced along one way or another. Hildwicker made a note of who they were, and Hageler was to corroborate his observations later. The captain didn’t mind, and the trick he used was rather wicked. But he had their consent now, and they all were volunteering to fight. Of course they were, the bucket was full of bread. Sweaty, stale, squeezed pieces of bread. The cowards Hildwicker intended to banish to the engine room and related posts; he didn’t need them to fight if they were so unwilling, but he didn’t mind them shoveling for their lives.

About an hour later everything was settled. Everyone had calmed down, and they started to bond over this. They even started to lift each other’s spirits. Meanwhile Hildwicker had a little talk with Frau Grönheid.

“Dearest, would you pen a letter in my name and their language to our newest friend Stanton and their office of naval affairs or admiralty or however they call it, that they have a trained and willing crew of volunteers at disposal, to man their most modern warship, and to fight their most notorious traitor and ex-president?”

“Of course, skipper.”

“But make it pretty!”

“Oh, but I always do!”

“And ask them for supplies. Food, ammo, rifles, sabres. Anything they can spare. I need the crew fed, and I need to start them drilling as soon as tomorrow come dawn.”

“I’ll let them know.”

*Approximate Prut pronunciation of Mareylander terms/names, as they are speaking in Low Prut, e.g. Wenzlau = Winslow, Eddasson = Addison, Jorwicken = Eureka

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Mareyland
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Founded: May 26, 2021
Right-wing Utopia

Postby Mareyland » Tue Nov 30, 2021 7:17 pm

Neo Prutenia wrote:About an hour later everything was settled. Everyone had calmed down, and they started to bond over this. They even started to lift each other’s spirits. Meanwhile Hildwicker had a little talk with Frau Grönheid.

“Dearest, would you pen a letter in my name and their language to our newest friend Stanton and their office of naval affairs or admiralty or however they call it, that they have a trained and willing crew of volunteers at disposal, to man their most modern warship, and to fight their most notorious traitor and ex-president?”

“Of course, skipper.”

“But make it pretty!”

“Oh, but I always do!”

“And ask them for supplies. Food, ammo, rifles, sabres. Anything they can spare. I need the crew fed, and I need to start them drilling as soon as tomorrow come dawn.”

“I’ll let them know.”

The letter from the captain of the Sonnehetzer received an enthusiastic response from the Mareyland Department of the Navy. Secretary of the Navy James Stanton sent over a small ream of legal paperwork - all the documentation necessary to arrange for the transfer of the warship to the Commonwealth Navy and the enlisting of its crew under the terms outlined during the meeting between Captain Hildwicker and the Navy Secretary. Supplies began to arrive not long afterwards. Enough rail lines were running, either because strikes had been suppressed or the strikers had been accommodated by Liberal Republican administrations, that getting food into the capital was still possible.

Weapons and ammunition were a bit trickier. Most of the armories in and around Eureka had been emptied to equip the growing army gathering to defend the city. Meeting the needs of a foreign warship crew was not especially high on the priority list of General Dewey’s quartermaster corps. So the Pruts received a few crates of old lever-action repeating rifles from the Navy arsenals.

The Navy was already working on how to best utilize the Sonnehetzer in upcoming operations. It was generally agreed that the state of Pavonia, the lone bastion of National Union Party control north of the Carter River, would need to be secured. A warship like the Prut ironclad would be a powerful asset in taking the state capital of Amityville. But before the Addison administration could think too much about future campaigns, they first had to see to the defense of Eureka itself.

***

General Adolph Vernon had put his plan for the recapture of the capital into motion, and the army which had been gathering outside New Penzance was on the move. From their camps around the city, the long columns of troops marched along the turnpike heading northwest towards the town of McLean. The hilly countryside between New Penzance and McLean would shield the movement from the Senate troops who would no doubt be watching from Woodbury Heights. The vanguard of the army was a composite force under the command of Brigadier General Martin Shaw, made up of the best of the Parthenia and Garland state militia troops as evaluated by General Vernon.

Colonel Edward Arlington’s regiment was among those selected as worthy of inclusion. The colonel rode at the head of his men, feeling pride and anticipation duel in his chest. To be chosen by General Vernon for assignment to the vanguard brigade was a mark of high esteem, and it reflected well on both his own skill as a leader and the men for whom he was responsible. On the other hand, this was not a march into Madawaska to punish raiding savages and rebels. He was going, very likely, to fight against his own countrymen. Unlike some of his compatriots in this army, who spoke with anticipation of putting the Liberal Republicans down, Edward felt that such talk had been exactly what had inflamed the situation to the point of civil war.

“The men seem in good spirits,” his aide, Solomon Allen, remarked as the town of McLean grew larger on the horizon. “Happy to get out of camp and be done with drilling.”

“They might be wishing for boredom pretty soon,” Arlington replied. That had been him, only a few years ago. Eager for battle, hungry for glory, and chafing at the orders of superiors who insisted on spending more time preparing. Then he had experienced battle firsthand. Afterwards, the idea of glory was substantially less alluring. But few of the men in his militia regiment had been part of the volunteer infantry he had commanded in Madawaska. They had heard about the heroic assault at the Battle of Blackberry, or the valiant stand at Auglades where the great villain Chief Soaring Hawk had met his death. But stories in newspapers were poor preparation for marching into combat.

At McLean, the army made a sharp turn off the turnpike and onto Sharpe Road, now headed north-northeast towards the town of Stevensville. The people of McLean nervously watched the army move through their streets, unsure of what it portended for their usually calm lives. General Vernon came up and made his field headquarters outside the city while the vanguard continued forward. From McLean they planned to march past two prominent elevations, Madison Hill and Monroe Hill, and then through Stevensville. From there it was a turn east and a short advance to the bridge.

From atop Monroe Hill, the Liberal Republican troops under the overall command of Colonel Joseph Wheatley could see the column of grey-clad militiamen heading their way. Couriers had already been sent galloping back towards Eureka, announcing the sighting of a major force and urgently requesting reinforcements. But that would take time, and that was perhaps the resource of which Colonel Wheatley could spare the least amount.

“They’re coming this way,” Major Hudson said, somewhat unnecessarily, as he handed back the field glasses. “Looks like a brigade stacked up on the road, at least. Probably more behind them. Just like you said, Colonel.”

“Yeah.” Wheatley sighed. “Wish I had been wrong.” He peered through the field glasses once more, taking in the advancing troops. State militia, just like his men. Swap the state flags fluttering as they marched and they could be Delmarva or Pavonia men. “We’ve gotta force them to deploy. Buy time for Dewey to shift reinforcements up.” Wheatley put the field glasses away and took a deep breath. “Alright. Let’s give them a warm welcome.”


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