The Karasian War (MATURE, NOCTUR ONLY)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The Karasian War (MATURE, NOCTUR ONLY)

Postby Zanzes » Wed May 25, 2016 11:09 am

There are events that will live in infamy. These events stood the test of time, lasting generations and being echoed in the lore of the cultures which witnessed them. The Zanze could speak of these events, and often did, with the limited visitors that visited Zanzes being amused and perplexed by the Zanzean story of "the Fall of Heaven".

Nuzul alsamma'e, in the Zanzeanic language.

It had been over a century ago, perhaps almost two centuries now. The once mighty-Zanzeanic empire had been engaged in a two-front war with major colonial holdings to its east and west. Him'si Tim'si, or as the rest of Noctur now knew it, Higgins and Brown, had put up a surprising show against Zanzes in a bloody battle for independence. Nar'ha-tal, which Noctur now knew as Nui-ta and Hadin, had not been faring as well; though they would be far more persistent in their efforts for independence, winning the war by defending themselves admirably in a long, brutal siege.

Nar-ha'tal would certainly not have done as well had it not been for the Fall of Heaven. First, a massive earthquake rocked the capital city of Zanzibar, destroying much of the infrastructure, killing the incumbent queen, and forcing a succession unto a very young woman. The earthquake was followed by a massive rainstorm, which flooded the cracks made by the quake, and pushed water through levees that were now broken and beyond repair. Crops were ruined, cities that had survived the quake were suddenly swept underwater (it didn't help that most of their cities at the time were built in valleys, to use the mountains as fortification), and Zanzes was swept into an apocalypse.

Many of the southern survivors fled further south, to Demonlonde --- but in that time where no planes existed, and railway technologies were still limited, the northern and central survivors were trapped. Some could go further north to places like Rango Mango; given the recentness of the wars to the east and west, Him'si-Tim'si and Nar-ha'tal were out of the question. Some went anyway.

Many others remained, trying to capture a bit of the life that they'd once enjoyed as one of Noctur's most powerful civilizations. The Zanzeanic Empire's power was now obviously a thing of the past, however, and as the remnants of Zanzes struggled to survive at the founding levels of civilization, isolated by unforgiving mountains, desert, and dense forestation --- the rest of the world was swept into an age of technological marvels.

Fast forward to the modern day: Nui-ta's curiosity had restored contact between Zanzes and the outside world, and the now powerful Nui-tans (who'd have thought?) watched Zanzes rebuild from a group of undeveloped, post-apocalyptic settlements, to a somewhat proper city. It was beautiful in the eyes of the Zanze that Nui-ta did not seek to claim revenge and colonize Zanzes. Measures of diplomacy were enacted instead, with Nui-ta and Zanzes signing the Zannui Deal a few years ago, bolstering trade, offering mutual military support, and respecting the sovereignty of each other's nations --- something which the modern Zanze learned was not a common thing in today's Noctur: a world far more massive than the Zanze had ever realized.

Zanzes had regained some of its internal self. Dilapidated rail lines from steam-engine technology, outdated by decades, had been replaced by Nui-tan contractors and engineers with proper electric rails. Wide-spread plumbing and architectural work had been begun. The major cities, like Zanzibar, had yet to see skyscrapers, and cars were still few and far between (and mostly Nui-tan), but the restored levees had been heavily reinforced as well. Thus, Zanzes witnessed the triumph of man over nature.

There were also a couple military bases within Zanzes, San Di're and San Sayf. These were Zanzeanic military bases, despite the Nui-tan designation of "San" to their names, and despite being stocked with Nui-tan equipment, where Zanzean men went to learn the modern military arts under Nui-tan military personnel. It was interesting that Nui-ta was just giving all of this aide to Zanzes --- although higher-ups in Zanzeanic society knew that this was because Nui-ta itself was afraid of a massive thread abroad, and gave these many gifts in exchange for a proximal ally. It would seem that Nui-ta's other allies were much farther away, while its enemies were strangely close.

Nar-ha'tal and its many problems.

The new event that would live in infamy was at San Di're, as a matter of fact. Ka'fi Marat Zahan, who would have been known internationally as Zahan Marat1 was the first witness to the event, watching the metal birds --- "planes", according to the Nui-tans, built of metal and controlled by men, landing on Zanzeanic soil, near the coast, not far from San Di're. There were ships as well --- despite a Radiatian blockade, they couldn't surround everything, and the thin inlet between Hadin and northern Zanzes was perhaps one of the few places that Hadin's ships could still navigate with less annoyance.

It was also far enough up north to be difficult for the Nui-tans, on their southern island to detect. It didn't help that international events involving a downed Radiatian plane and problems with Hadinian ships pushing their limits at the naval border between Nui-ta and Hadin were keeping Nui-ta well-distracted.

These ships and planes were not carrying the Nui-tan banner which the Zanzeans had become so familiar with. The banner was red and yellow, with the yellow marking being similar to legends Zahan could remember being told as a little Maj'ni boy2, from his peasant parents, about a fanatical group of pale-skinned freaks in the northern portion of ancient Nar'ha-tal, blessed with strength and cursed with evil in the name of their own twisted god.

Suddenly, raising the alarm, Ka'fi Marat Zahan knew that this was not an ally. This was perhaps the very thing the Nui-tans and Zanze had been afraid off -- nations with less-than-well intentions coming to Zanzes for evil purposes.

They weren't coming, in fact. They were here.

From the distance, through his binoculars, Zahan couldn't see the distinctive eyes of the men. All he could see was the many soldiers disembarking, setting up a camp not far from San Di're --- where they really shouldn't have been.

A troupe of Zanzeanic soldiers were made aware of the incident immediately --- Nui-tan military authorities were conveniently rotated out to San Sayf on this day. The Zanzeanic troupe went to go see the presumed invaders, and give them one chance to explain their presence and their actions.

Unfortunately, Zanzes did not know what it was dealing with. The troupe failed to make a timely return, and a small Hadinian plane soon flew over the base of San Di're, dropping something small within the walls of the base for the Zanzeanic populace to look at.

The decapitated head of the Zanzeanic troupe leader, with the Septimist seal of Bruno Altimara3 drawn in gold paint on the forehead.

An act of war, the Zanze began arming themselves, while alerting the Nui-tans that something terrible was happening. It only got worse that night when the Hadinians began producing rocket launchers, in the dead of night, and firing into the walls of San Di're. By the time the Nui-tans got the Zanzeanic distress signal, it had only been a couple hours, and yet San Di're was already under Hadinian control.

So began the newest calamity, the young Ka'fi mused to himself that night, tied to a chair, refusing to reveal military information to the Hadinians --- before the sharpened Hadinian blade quickly severed his head from his neck.

1 Zanzeanic nomenclature goes "title, last name, first name", so the title is "Ka'fi" (a high-ranking Zanzeanic soldier), the surname is "Marat", and the first name is "Zahan". Internationally, he'd simply be known as Zahan Marat.

2 A "maj'ni" is a young child in Zanzeanic culture, who has not yet been assigned a title. Unlike other countries *cough*Nui-ta*cough*, class titles are not hereditary in Zanzes, and are instead conferred upon adulthood depending on the child's abilities. Children are thus "maj'ni" --- the unranked. Those who are too young to hold social responibility.

3 Bruno Altimara is a Septimist saint; specifically, the patron saint of soldiers and warfare. Unlike most other Septimists saints, who are known for preaching humility and subservience to God, Bruno was hailed for his undying wrath against any threats to the Septimist religion, and his willingness to kill and die on its behalf. (This is where many Hadinian soldiers get their fanaticism from).

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Postby Hadin » Sun May 29, 2016 12:00 pm

The decision to annex northeast Zanzes had not been as easily executed as Nico Hass had hoped for it to have been.

There were fears rising in the Hadinian populace ---the position of Hass had become less and less stable in the two years for which he'd help office. Originally thought of as a solid choice over his counterpart Fiete Nikastro, Nico was losing ground among even the more conservative elements of Hadinian society now.

The Radiatians refused to yield on their blockade, which had started after Hadin's entry into the Third Algrabadi War. Nico Hass was aware that this giant fuck you from the Radiatian government was a thinly-veiled show of dominance by the heathen Radiatians, attempted to be passed off as a show of defense for the Radiatian ally of Nui-ta.

Nui-ta had never entered the Third Algrabadi War, other than the deployment of a few private Nui-tan mercenaries, who operated under the sanction of private industry, rather than the Nui-tan government. Hate the Nui-tans though he did, Hass could respect that at least they knew a losing battle when they saw one. Radiatia, on the other hand, had fueled Higgins-Brownite resolve with a forgiveness of debts and a lend-lease bill --- an economic investment into foreign military ventures which saw Radiatia be humiliated.

Though even the Radiatians alone couldn't completely choke Hadin, their blockade had now been long-standing enough to significantly eat into Hadin's resources. The Hadinians had only survived this long by self-sufficiency (many of their resources were self-produced) and a bit of luck --- more time spent under the blockade would be the kick-start to an economic crisis.

Nico Hass had never been popular with the liberals in Hadin to start with, although legalizing increases in education and work opportunities for women had helped him but a little in this regard. Fiete Nikastro simply commanded too much of the liberal faction of Hadinian politics to allow Nico Hass any avenue to tap into substancial support --- and the increasing feud between Nikastro and Hass was becoming a problem. Political dissent in southwestern Hadin (where Nikastro was from) was becoming more obvious, and it did not help that Nikastro actually believed in "freedom of assembly".

Nikastro would have been executed by now, had the other Envoys not thrown their support behind keeping him on the Envoyship. This was an especially dangerous gesture towards Hass --- his power over the other Envoys was sliding. Nico had thought about using Nikastro's wife and son as collateral against Nikastro, only to find out that Nikastro himself had already moved his family deep into the heart of Salutem --- far from Nico's reach.

The conservatives in Hadin had originally loved Nico, but the threat of economic collapse was pushing them away. It didn't help that, not too long ago, Nico Hass had attempted to stalemate Nui-ta into yielding from their stance to protect a Hadinian ex-pat --- Marcellino Vespa --- only to have all of Nico's threats be dismantled by a Hadinian-Radiatian woman who'd somehow gotten a-hold of classified Hadinian military information and then leaked all of it to the entire world, forcing Nico to stand down and push the Vespa issue no further. Nui-ta had now been instilled with a backbone against Nico Hass --- and Nico promised himself that if he ever got the chance, he would find this Kiana, throw her into the deepest, darkest jail cell in Kopurauth, and make her scream out wishes that she'd never been born.

Foreign policy had been Nikastro's from the start, and domestic policy was increasingly swinging towards his favor. With only the possibility of the economy being re-vitalized to save him now, Nico Hass turned to the easiest place to avoid the Radiatian blockade, besides Hadin's own island, which was already near-exhaustion.

Northeastern Zanzes was easily accessible, even with the blockade. Initial troops could be flown by planes. Ships travelling in that direction had less distance to travel, than if they were to go anywhere else (barring a full-scale invasion of northern Nui-ta), and the waters that separated Zanzes and Hadin were far narrower, and less accessible to Radiatia.

Most importantly, Zanzean military technology was very under-developed. Zanzes hadn't been at the top of the military rankings list for hundreds of years --- it had barely moved from the technological development index at all in that time as well, barring support from the only ally that Zanzes had --- Nui-ta.

By the time Zanzes even knew what was going on, Nico Hass simply planned to ensure that Hadin would have too much of a foothold in place for Nui-ta to really be able to do anything about it. The Zanze were just wasting their lands anyway. Hadin could do far better with all of those untapped resources. More importantly, Segland and Algrabad were also interested in all of the untapped potential that lay within Zanzes, and the total annexation of Zanzes by either Hadin or Algrabad would cut Nui-ta off from the global stage almost entirely.

It would be quite interesting to one-up Radiatia by having UNCA hold its "little sister state" hostage.

In order for this plan to work, there needed to be a distraction against the Nui-tans. They were a people who learned fast: but maybe one well placed cyber-security breach wouldn't hurt. To add to the commotion, Hass purposely had a couple of ships breach the 17th parallel, distracting Nui-ta further over the sanctity of their precious naval border.

All according to plan, the Hadinians were able to set up a foot-hold by San Di're. All that remained now was to take as much of Zanzes as possible before the inevitable action of Nui-ta or Radiatia.
Just so you know, this nation, in character, is a highly sexist, highly theocratic, and highly authoritarian state. (Though under the new guy, it seems to be improving a little).

I disagree with a lot of what this nation stands for. It was invented for its intrigue and ample opportunities for satire, not for its ideals.

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Segland » Tue May 31, 2016 1:41 pm

Studio 5, Segland Premier Television HQ

"Aaand now, let's give a warm welcome to the eminent visionary of modern Seglandic film: Luther Lambertiel!"

Raucous applause erupts from the live studio audience as a white-bearded man, frail of appearance but only 50-odd years old, saunters onto the stage followed by a bevy of beautiful women. He seats himself at the sofa center-stage and is immediately encapsulated by his entourage, half of whom stand behind the sofa massaging him.

Amid the audience's laughs and clapping, "Ever the ladies' man, isn't that right, Luther?" teases the host.

"Ahem, Julian Verre Marmelian, I do believe I spied you at, ah, Korkaloon-Zirtsch1 the other night with quite the female assemblage of your own," Luther replies with a wink.

Julian reddens at his guest's announcement. "Not Korkaloon-Zirtsch... alas, I've been too involved in the remaking of Salon New Verdona to indulge in that kind of thing lately," he says, alluding to K-Z's Rorschist2 practices.

"Salon New Verdona? A real tragedy right there -- but at least with Nirgenfreud getting his stupid ass killed, you get this prime time show," Luther declares, inducing guffaws from the audience.3

"A death gives rise to a thousand opportunities," declaims Julian solemnly, but then he grins. "I just hope this show isn't cursed."

"Oh, I'm sure it's not," Luther mutters as he caresses a curvy brunette seated next to him.

"But something that certainly is cursed, or at least seems like it, is the creepy environment of your upcoming movie, The Jungle."

The filmmaker perks up at the mention of his creation, a certain gleam coming into his eyes. "Yes, it's a movie of epic scope, arriving in theaters on June 18, by the way. Ever since that pact was signed between Zanzes and Nui-ta, I've been perfused with a fascination for the geopolitical oddity that is Zanzes. It's an almost religious thing for me.

"Tomorrow, in fact, I'll be flying into a Hadin-held part of Zanzes -- no, don't worry, I will have SRA4 security -- to do LSD in the jungle. First I made The Jungle, now I must experience the jungle," he finishes enigmatically.

Julian stares at him for a few seconds. "I have no idea what the hell you're talking about," he says with a chuckle, "but I wish you good luck in your travels."

"On the topic of LSD," Julian continues, "all of your films that I've seen in the past, like To Proverbial Justice5, have kind of been...well, it seems that you were on some heavy drugs when you were directing them."

"Yes, yes, and I may or may not be on some heavy drugs right now," ripostes Luther. "You know, I believe man is a spiritual animal, I truly do. Religion, of course, is an utterly misguided approach to accessing that spiritual element. Nimitz was right in erasing it from our society 50 years ago6. But one of the many great things about our country is the availability of any narcotic you can dream of. These drugs, even though some of them can irreversibly affect your body, allow us to become positively in tune with ourselves. Organized religions, however, only destroy," he says, wagging his finger at the audience as if they were his pupils.

"And it's because of the lack of conflicting religions that Segland has been able to so quickly advance from civil war to one of the most prosperous nations in Noctur," Julian states his daily Demarchist Party aphorism.

"Oh, but we have to make clear," Luther quickly interposes, "that we fully accept the worldviews of our friends like the Septimist Hadinians. They did nothing to contribute to the societal collapse during the Crisis, after all." He stops suddenly, having gotten in his own Demarchist platitude.

The audience applauds loudly to these statements. To the viewer unversed in Seglandic propaganda techniques, such a rapid transition from a discussion of drugs to the political dangers of religion would seem bizarre, but so well is the Demarchist ideology (if it can be called that) embedded in the average Seglander's mind that the entire discourse proceeds totally naturally.

"We have to take a break now, folks, but we'll be back in a few for more stimulating conversation with this living legend," says Julian as he cedes to the oncoming wave of commercials.

Unfortunately, Luther Lambertiel would not be living much longer, and his suspiciously timely demise would set in motion a course of events that would send the Karasian conflict careening in the trajectory of a world war.

1 Korkaloon-Zirtsch Joint Pleasure Society in full; one of the most infamously hedonistic salons in Segland

2 A model for salons developed in the early 2000s by entertainment guru Jakoby Rorsch which advocates for the cathartic properties of mind-altering drugs, massive orgies, and other forms of debauchery

3 In Seglandic society, the dead are not respected as they are in most other world societies. Luther Lambertiel abuses Nirgenfreud, the host who preceded Julian Marmelian, as he would if the man was still alive. Sociologists speculate that the mass casualties of the Seglandic Civil War imbued Seglanders with a curiously irreverent attitude towards death and the dead.

4 Seglandic Republic Army; the ground force of the Seglandic military

5 A 2007 sci-fi western film directed by Luther Lambertiel; seen as one of the greatest westerns ever made, alongside The Efficient, the Inefficient, and the Unattractive. Renowned for its LSD-like visuals.

6 Religious groups were heavily persecuted in the early days of Hugo Nimitz's chancellorship, starting with the 1965 ban on all organized religion. These groups, especially Christians, were blamed for being part of a conspiracy that destroyed the Seglandic Empire and instigated the Civil War for their own personal gain. Although the ban is still essentially in place, certain exceptions are now made, such as the allowance for Septimism.
The Seglandic Republic | Seglender Respublik
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Postby Nui-ta » Tue May 31, 2016 4:59 pm

NNN - Nui-tan News Network


Nui-ta Declares War On Hadin Under Zannui Pact Provisions

BREAKING: SAN KALISTO, NEW ZANZES, 12:35 NST/11:35 NZT, May 31st, AN 135 [LET 59]

The NNV Ul'thara, has been sent en route to the Bay of Zanzes.

Following an unsolicited Hadinian invasion and take-over of the Zanzean military installation of San Di're, Nui-ta has declared war on Hadin, citing the mutual defense provisions of the A.N 132 Zannui Pact.

48 hours ago, Nui-tan authorities in Zanzes received distress calls from San Di're, citing hostile activity by an unknown enemy against Zanzean forces stationed there. Several leaders of the Zanzeanic military base were either forced to abandon the base or killed by what has since been revealed as Hadinian military troops working under the sanction of High-Envoy Nico Hass. The actions of the government of Hadin in Zanzes have reportedly been attributed to internal fears of economic collapse, following the long-standing Radiatian blockade of Hadin since the Third Algrabadi War, as well as UNCA-led interest in the resource-rich country, and military advantages of an UNCA-dominated Zanzes against first-world Noctur, and Nui-ta in particular.

Problems at home for Nui-ta, including skirmishes with Hadinian naval ships crossing the 17th parallel (now believed to have been a diversionary tactic) made it difficult to immediately verify and respond to the potential of Hadinian military activity in Zanzes. With the Hadinian government removing all doubt regarding the incident by claiming responsibility for the attack on San Di're, Hadin's annexation of San Di're and northeastern Zanzes has resulted in a valid casus belli.

Parliament's approval for the declaration of war, made by the Emperor earlier this morning against the Hadinian Theocracy, was not necessary, as Nui-ta is acting in accordance with mutual defense provisions enacted by the Zannui Deal. A bi-partisan bill to bolster troops and funds towards the war effort, spear-headed by Prime Minister Paolo Medici and Derch Party Leader Avalonia Haria, is expected to pass into law with full support. Deputy Prime Minister Talia Dehran has already confirmed that Central Party MPs are also expected to support the legislation.

"When both the left and the right can look past political differences and support Nui-ta's actions in standing up for Zanzes, this is not about domestic or international politics anymore. This is about doing the right thing, and facing a very real threat in the form of Hadin and the UNCA before the futures of Zanzes and Nui-ta are irreparably altered forever," said a statement from the DPM's office.

As Nui-ta is entering the war without having been attacked, mutual defense agreements between Nui-ta, Radiatia, Poldania, and even the isolationist Detectatia (which has not been seen on the world stage in some time, and is sorely missed) are not in effect. Although the Ministry of Defense has stated that it wishes to seek logistical support from Nui-ta's allies, there is "no real expectation or justification" for Nui-ta's other allies to enter the war.

"This is a Karasian War," said a MoD spokesperson, "and the only way for Noctur to avoid that powder-keg of world war now is to keep this war Karasian. Although the government and state have found this truth to be painful, inconvenient, and difficult, it is still a truth that must be understood in the interest of containment. We never wished, and will never advocate for, a world war".

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In Other News
  • Nico Hass's Failing Administration
  • The Nui-tan Victims of RA227
  • Angela Pavlovic's Recent Visit To Nui-ta, In Pictures
Someone cares? Okay then. Economic Left/Right: -2.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.85

INFP-T personality, quite heavy on the I,P, and T.

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Founded: Feb 17, 2015

Postby Varisea » Tue May 31, 2016 6:06 pm

Ft. Blackshale, Yelesia, 11:22 NST, May 31st, AN 135.

Corporal Adrian Hodge took drag of his cigar before exhaling, watching wearily as the smoke rose up and disappeared in the night sky. This far away from the city, if one could call it that, which gave the rest of the Administrative Zone its name the stars could be clearly seen, lighting up the night sky with their brilliance. While Hodge was technically on duty, having been given the extremely important task of standing on the roof of the base and watching for attackers, he was still new to the Ground Security Force, having transferred only recently from the Territorial Guard. Besides everyone knew that there was no one to be watching out for. To that end he had decided to relax and enjoy the view, his helmet, heavy flak jacket, and rifle long forgotten.

“This sucks.” A voice whispered into his ear.

Hodge jumped nearly a foot into the air as his heart nearly burst out of his chest. Spying his rifle where it lean against the wall he grabbed it and spun around. As the barrel swung towards the source of the voice Hodge finally saw their face and relaxed, marginally. The rifle’s trajectory changed as Hodge swung it over his right shoulder, where its strap allowed it to hang behind him.

“You stupid Paja1, I could have taken your head off!”

The other soldier giggled before walking up to the metal railing and leaning their back against it, fixing Hodge with a brilliant smile. Private Sandra Aliyeva was his platoon’s marksmen (markswomen?) and the most notorious practical joker in Gamma Company; even the Sergeants weren’t spared from her attentions. The Lieutenant tolerated it mostly because she was still a pretty good soldier, and because her mother was the Minister of Finance. Equality for all was good and well, but when it came to the family of important government officials... some were just more equal than others. Sandra laughed as she took in Hodge’s ramshackle appearance.

“Oh please, you don’t even know how to turn off your safety.”

Hodge, who had finally gotten his heart rate down to a sustainable level, glared at her before grudgingly reaching down to pick up his grey helmet. It would have been too much to ask for her to have forgotten that particular incident. In Hodge’s defense, it had been his first day.

“So, did you want something in particular?” Hodge asked, his tone warmer now that he had calmed down. While she did have an unfortunate tendency to replace shaving cream with sneezing powder, Sandra was still one of the only women in Gamma Company. That she was a very attractive woman from a wealthy and powerful family was even better. Sandra, for her part, suddenly looked nervous as she spoke.

“You don’t think they’ll actually send us out, do you? To war, I mean?”

Hodge smiled, partly to alleviate his own nervousness, before shaking his head. The same question was running through everyone’s minds after the Battalion was placed on heightened alert that morning.

“No, of course not,” Hodge replied, trying to convince himself as much as her. “There would be stuff on the news if we were. But all their talking about is that treaty with UNCA.”

“What if that’s why we’re on alert?” Sandra pressed, her expression more serious than Hodge had ever remembered seeing. “What if UNCA is going to start a war, and they ask us to help them fight it?”

Hodge snorted in disbelief, “Peterson will tell them to go to hell. Besides, isn’t that treaty a defense pact? How do you start a defensive war?”
Sandra started to respond, but didn’t manage to get in a single word before being interrupted by a third voice.

Chief Executive Peterson, soldier.” Hodge straightened out and saluted, swallowing nervously as the massive bulk of Sergeant Hurst walked towards them. Like them Sgt. Hurst was clad in the standard green on grey battle dress of the Ground Security Force. Unlike the two of them, Hurst was born in Mordia and was a soldier to the core. From the very first moment he had looked at the two of them, both born from wealthy Sedian families, Hurst had made it his personal mission to either mold the two of them into real soldiers or to grind them into dirt. Seeing as Sandra could get him fired for harassing her, the good sergeant was left with only one target for his wrath. At this point, Hodge probably knew Hurst better than the Lieutenant did.

“Now, normally I would be screaming at you two lovebirds get back to… I don’t know, doing your FUCKING JOB! Private.” Sandra barely
restrained herself from rolling her eyes. Hurst only ever referred to her by her rank, apparently out of the belief that it would be good for her to learn what it’s like for people without important family members. “But there has been a change of plan. The National Defense Alert Level has been lowered to 3. As per protocol this base, along with Scorpio Battalion, is being mobilized. You are to follow me to your quarters and prepare for possible deployment.” Hurst looked them over, and for once he didn’t look angry. There was a long, stunned silence before Sandra spoke.

“Mobilization? Deployment? Wher-why-how?” Hurst just turned around before walking away, the two of them hot on his heels. As they walked the base’s intercom system blared an immediate mobilization alert, causing the base to spring to life. For the first time in living memory, Scorpio Battalion was preparing for war. They weren’t alone.

1: Paja is roughly equivalent to bitch
I am assuming that this takes place after Varisea joins UNCA, and that Peterson is home safe and sound. Varisea has no intention of jumping face first into this mess, but is starting to quietly mobilize its forces just in case. Given that Varisea is essentially on the opposite side of the world from Nui-ta, and assuming that 12:35 means noon, this takes place late at night for us.
Higgins and Brown: "Time to Purge Var, time to purge."
Napkiraly wrote:Still too violent. Rocks and scissors can encourage violent competitive behaviour and reinforce toxic masculinity.

USS Monitor wrote:I think this thread is already an RP. It's so disconnected from reality.

Luna Amore wrote:That title makes me want to vomit with rage.

The first Galactic Republic wrote: When you mentioned patriarchy out of nowhere, I realized that the human process had been lost.
Economic Left/Right: -1.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.67
Libertarian (Center) Leftist, Secular Humanist
More than you ever wanted to know about america's foreign policy

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The Arthurian Isles
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Founded: Feb 26, 2016

Postby The Arthurian Isles » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:49 am


Sports is a problem in Arthuria. It is located at one of the most inconvenient positions in Noctur, far to the south of Terra Oriens such that almost two-thirds of its landmass falls below the Antarctic Circle. Poets would say that fate had placed it there to shine in solitude, acting as an example to other countries precisely because it was isolated from them. Realists would say that it was there simply because it was at that point that the Antarctic Ridge intercepted a mantle plume, causing the oceanic crust to form a subaerial volcanic archipelago. Nowadays there tended to be more realists about than poets. Nevertheless, whichever explanation one takes for Arthuria's geographical location it is evident that having over half of the country covered in mountains of ice and snow makes conventional sports difficult to foster amongst the population. Hence the rise of unconventional sports, both a blessing and a curse to Arthuria. It was a curse for obvious reasons: Arthuria was unable to send teams to many international sporting events, and those that it did attend tended to result in catastrophic losses. Perhaps worse than that, Arthurians could not discuss sports with utlandmaður1, depriving them of one of the universal languages. The blessings did make up for these problems though. For one, when Arthuria did compete in events such as skiing (both downhill and cross-country), ice hockey, husky sledding and ulfurløb2 it almost always did well. For another, these sports were fun, and that is their point. The enjoyment derived from fresh air, exercise and challenge is what drew Runær Arnaadotar and Andriður Jonsen to a mountain range in the central belt of the country. As you may remember from their involvement in previous stories, this lady and gentleman are, respectively, the Federal Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Defence and by chance both love cross-country skiing. At this moment in time, they were trudging their way across a fairly easy ledge between two peaks, headed to a popular alpine bar which served some of the best hæðen væn - hot wine - in Arthuria3.

"Timing is not on our side." Andri said, breaking the silence between them. They had been going for a few hours by this point and had spent the last twenty minutes of that focusing on climbing up to the ridge. Naturally, very little breath was left for talking.

"What do you mean?"

"War. Just as the referendum is coming."

The referendum was the central feature of Arthurian politics at the present time. Whether or not the country would unilaterally abandon nuclear weapons would be decided by the people in a national vote in just a week. Strategically it was an unwise move, only softened by Arthuria's neutrality, but it had been forced upon the government by a Popular Initiative. For all that democracy provided to Arthuria, it was sometimes difficult to navigate.

"Yes." Runær said. She was quiet for a few seconds, repeating the same mechanical motion with her arms and legs as she covered ground on her skis. "The war will affect the vote, certainly. But I feel that neither foreign wars nor our own disarmament will truly threaten this country."

Andri grinned. "Do you not? You have done more than anyone else to involve us in global affairs." He was referring here to the Vestmannaeyjar Accords primarily, though Runær had also spearheaded the diplomatic responses towards Hadin, Nui-ta and Poldania. "That may have been achieved through hands of peace, but we are now under the attention of other countries. Those countries are not as free of enemies as we are. They are threatened and therefore they are fearful; and when a people are motivated by fear, they are less likely to respond to peace. All I say is that you cannot practise globalisation without defending against its more disturbing consequences."

"And what consequences might those be? Your responsibility requires you be paranoid, Andri, but not this much."

"And perhaps you should be less complacent. The consequences are obvious to those who look for them. With Nui-ta at war we already risk shortages in imports and increased inflation. If the war expands, that problem will worsen. Free trade will counteract those problems only marginally, and we are unfortunate that the only respondents to those Accords happened to be those of the first world. However much you assure others of Arthurian neutrality, our image appears to be far more closely aligned to Pol-Nui-Ra than to the Axis."

Runær laughed. She and Andri were always getting into debates (only naturally, considering they hailed from opposing parties in the Folkting) but still possessed one of the closest working relationships within the Storting. Though it was nominally a directorial head-of-government with all its members equal, human nature dictated that those with the strongest characters held more sway in meetings. Andri and Runær were the power couple of the Storting, though Hildur Manus was a rising star in her own right.

"Andri, as I said, you are being paranoid. In times of war we have always weathered the economic storm better than most. Our banks stand while others are cut off from the markets of their wartime enemies; our industries provide the arms which others need to sustain their conflicts; and our economy remains undamaged while others are battered." She looked Andri straight in the eyes. "But most importantly, however the world sees us, our deeds prove them wrong. We seek free trade with all, not just the first world. And if all else fails we have our neutrality, guaranteed by law and respected by Noctur."

"You place too much hope in that declaration. It deters no one. What keeps potential enemies at bay is our strategic insignificance backed by our military capabilities. We have compromised the first for the worthy goal of ending our self-imposed isolation. To restore balance, we must bolster the second. That is why this referendum is ill-timed."

"We have compromised nothing." Runær retorted.

"We deal far more with the first world than we do with the third. The Axis will not appreciate that, and now they have an agent directly to our north."

"If Varisea joins the war then you can start warning me Andri. Until that day, this conflict is of no threat to us. It is the concern of an area that has suffered many wars, none of which have harmed Arthuria."

"Things change, Runær."

"Wait." Runær stopped. Andri swiftly followed suit. She turned to face him, as he did to her. "Why are you warning me of this Andri? What good does this debate do?"

He was silent. His gaze was drawn to the ground, as it was inclined to do when he thought. Eventually he looked back up at Runær. "I don't know what Forkom4 are recommending yet. But whatever they say, I think that we should ready Forsvaren Makt5."


"This feels as though it could be much larger than before. It will expand, and may consume our neutrality with it. You must remember that that neutrality comes with qualifiers: it is permanent and armed. Do not neglect the latter if you wish to ensure the former."

Runær stood still. It was her time for thought. Unlike Andri she did not affix her gaze to the ground but allowed it to wander, taking in the scenery around her. From their viewpoint on the ridge they could see down into a deep valley which sheltered a sizeable stream. Its volume had prevented it from freezing over yet, and some resilient shrubs had even managed to stay alive in the snow, standing proud out of the vast white wilderness. With the sun high in the sky, it was a beautiful sight.

"Look at this country, Andri." He did as she said. He too could appreciate the greatness of nature. "Despite what you might think, I argue for my policies because I believe that this land is too beautiful to be touched by the rivalries of humanity. I do think you are too paranoid, but perhaps in this matter you can enlighten the rest of us. We have shown Noctur that we seek peace. Once in our careers, though, we may need to convince them that if war dares to come to these Isles, we are ready for it."

"Lekar. I will speak with the others. We can increase the readiness of the regulars. But we must be clear: this is the smallest military step we can take; it will barely register on the radars of others. Therefore we should accompany it with a reaffirmation of Arthurian neutrality. It is the show of preparedness - the show of strength - that can extinguish any threat before it ever turns its eye on us."

"Time may still look out for us after all."

"Eh?" Andri responded as the two of them started back up on their trek.

"Well. Repulse '066 starts next week. If you want a show of strength, there is nothing greater."

1 Utlandmaður are non-native Arthurians. The term applies to non-naturalised migrants and refugees as well as foreigners. In English, it translates as 'outlanders' or 'strangers'.

2 Ulfurløb is a sport which in English translates as 'wolf-running'. It involves running away from a pack of wolves through a forest, crossing an icy river, staring down a bear, and then completing a full game of croquet on a snow-covered lawn. It is extremely fun...if you can survive.

3 The secret ingredient of 'the best hæðen væn in Arthuria' is the love and affection of the bartender.

4 Forkom is the shortened form of 'Forbinden Komand', which translates in English as 'Joint Command'. It is the Arthurian equivalent of a joint chiefs of staff.

5 Forsvaren Makt translates as 'the Self-Defence Forces'. They are Arthuria's military, made up of the Ground SDF, Maritime SDF, Air SDF and Information SDF. In Arthurian, these are respectively Grundforsvaren Makt, Marinforsvaren Makt, Luftforsvaren Makt, and Upniretningforsvaren Makt.

6 Repulse '06 refers to Exercise Repulse, the annual military-wide exercise that simulates an invasion of the Arthurian Isles. It involves both conscripts and regulars from all four self-defence forces and lasts for two weeks, including live-fire sections. The '06 refers to the year in Arthurian Reckoning, which is currently 1106 A.R.
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Postby Segland » Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:49 pm

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SRA marines secure a beach in Zanzes.

Only a few weeks before the set release date of his epic adventure film The Jungle, renowned director Luther Lambertiel has been slain by natives during a visit to Zanzes.

Sources close to the director report that he intended to go on a pilgrimage deep into the rainforests of Hadinian Zanzes in order to "experience the spiritualism of nature" that inspired him to produce The Jungle. Lambertiel was accompanied by a security detail of several SRA regulars, but evidently, he deliberately escaped from them and wandered off into the Zanzeanic wilderness on his own. The soldiers accompanying him immediately launched a frantic search, knowing full well the dangers of the Zanze. Alas, it was already too late.

The soldiers discovered Lambertiel's corpse, a poison dart embedded in his neck. In the effort to transport his body to the nearest friendly town, the troops walked into an ambush, resulting in two of their deaths -- gladly, all of the cowardly Zanze attackers were then dispatched with maximum ruthlessness.

Finally, after making it to a Hadinian-held town, the remaining soldiers were able to contact the military authorities in our North Hadin Base, relaying the news of Lambertiel's tragic murder to the highest levels of the government.

Chancellor Haussmann, who met with the members of the National Military Commission for two hours, announced that all Seglandic citizens in Zanzes are clearly in danger and must be given full protection by the Seglandic Republic Armed Forces. Since Zanzes is not recognized as a country, no declaration of war is necessary to inundate their barbaric lands with the technological wonders of the Seglandic military machine.

"I must stress that our forthcoming entry into the Zanzeanic territories should not be construed as an act of war against Nui-ta or any other local authorities," Haussmann clarified in an official statement. "Rather, we are endeavoring to protect our citizens who happen to be residing or visiting in the Zanzeanic territories. I regard the safety of my people with the utmost concern, therefore I am using all means at my disposal to eliminate threats in the Zanzeanic territories, including by using the assistance of our Hadinian allies who are already there."

Military leaders will be coordinating with Hadin and other UNCA allies to bring about the most effective possible protection for Seglandic citizens in Zanzes. Colonel General Rochus Blumstevn said, "The First Army Group, which is based in northern Hadin, is now deploying to the Zanzeanic territories. Our naval counterparts are also mobilizing."

The First Army Group that Col. Gen. Blumstevn mentioned has been stationed in Hadin since soon after the formation of UNCA, and it consists of roughly 30,000 soldiers. These soldiers have been training in the tropical environment of Hadin and are thus well-prepared for the strange environment of Zanzes. Furthermore, their technological superiority will no doubt give them quite the edge over the indigenous savages.

Of course, it is clear from the totally unprovoked slaying of Lambertiel and one of the soldiers on his protective detail that the Zanze are being trained as partisan warriors by the Nui-tans, who invaded Zanzes months ago. Such manipulation is unprecedented, and it was out of sheer and admirable restraint that Chancellor Haussmann managed to not declare war on Nui-ta.

More updates on this unfortunate situation will be added as they become available.

In Other News:
  • Social network VSecheni sees major boost in stock and increased foreign participation
  • EDITORIAL: Angela Pavlovic, the embodiment of why we don't let women govern
  • Arthurians head to polls for referendum on nuclear disarmament

6 hours before publishing of above article

Alexei Haussmann stared out of his office at the fountains of the chancellor's estate, recently upgraded at his instruction -- now belching water out to heights of 250 feet instead of a shameful 200.

Many other things in the Estate of the Republic had changed as well. Although the exterior detailing remained the same, much of the building's inside had been scrapped and redesigned to be more in line with the philosophical asceticism and practicality that Haussmann espoused (fountains be damned; water features had to be looked after!). He was disgusted when a thorough sweep of the place had turned up multiple stashes of drugs, hidden away where only a consistent resident would know to look. Mueller had surely been complicit in this.

Haussmann had also seen to it that a number of new human resources were added to his estate. In the opposite wing of the building, there were now offices for representatives from the Ministry of Liaison, the Ministry of Publicity and Culture, and the Relmsenat, among other organizations. The government could be more efficiently run, he figured, if he could establish a nucleus of executive activity that he directed. And on the topic of directing:

"Herr Kansler, I've just received word from Pellerin1 that our unwitting director is fini," reported a pale, heavy-set man with squarish glasses as he cruised unannounced into the chancellor's office. Such was the way of Koriolanus Toht, the new head of the GHB: an individual known since childhood by Haussmann, an individual whose combined brutality and cleverness made him the ideal person to spearhead the new age of international Seglandic espionage.

"And the true nature of the killing has been concealed?" Haussmann asked without turning from his view of the fountains.

"As far as we know. But the operation didn't go off without a hitch..."

The chancellor whirled around in his chair, now looking Toht in the eye. "Oh? What happened?"

"It seems that one of the men suddenly developed the conscience," Toht replied, cracking a slight smile. "When the others were preparing to dart Lambertiel (who was not in the immediate environs), our heroic soldier opened fire on them and succeeded in killing one before he himself was shot. Lambertiel, seeing nothing and apparently thinking it was a firefight with Nui-tans or Zanze, sped back to his guards. They proceeded to complete the mission objective... so, all in all, not too shabby a performance."

"We lost two of our best! Those were special forces operatives, not some privates recruited from secondary school. For Adrianus' sake, anything other than perfection in operations like these is unacceptable," Haussmann ranted.

"Look, our psychologists vetted those men," said Toht, assuming a more placatory tone. "What happened was completely unpredictable, and frankly, we're lucky the objective was even completed. We'll feed the media some alternate details... hey, it might even work out better than before."

"Then go do it," said Haussmann more calmly. "I need to meet with the Commission2. War is on the horizon, my old friend."

As he said those words, the chancellor had an ominous hunch that the two unplanned deaths did not augur well...not for Segland, and not for the world.

1 Turoc Pellerin, chief of the Wihrforrse Aparat (WA, Seglandic military intelligence)
2 That is, the National Military Commission
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Postby Radiatia » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:46 am

It was a fact that every Radiatian President had a part of the job they detested.

Derro Vahnsehn famously hated dealing with world leaders. Keldon Silviu's battles with the legislature were legendary. And of course Gregori Fyoderov hated the media. And half his Cabinet. And his Vice President. And the legislature. And his wife. And, well... Gregori Fyoderov wasn't exactly a people person and his impeachment was probably for the best.

For Angela Pavlovic, it was dealing with the military.

There was nothing and nowhere she hated more than spending time in the War Room - located somewhere underneath Federation Square, so hidden away by a labyrinth of underground passages that she didn't know where she was. It was said that this room was built to withstand a nuclear bomb blast, though Angela dreaded the thought of having to spend more than a few hours here, let alone possibly being confined here for an entire year.

Everything about it was unfriendly and claustrophobic, not least the dim lights which hung over the round table in front of the world map and other screens showing vital information.

Despite the fact that her husband, the First Gentleman Arkadi Pavlovic, had once been the Federal Minister of Defence under Soden Larssen, she could tell that each and every one of the Generals, advisers and officials sitting at the table despised her, had no respect for her and felt that she had no right to be the Radiatian Federation's commander-in-chief.

Half of the Generals - the males particularly - looked upon her lecherously, like she was a piece of meat rather than a President. The other half simply had disdain for this woman from a privileged background with no military experience telling the military what to do,

And ever since that goddamn hi-jacking she'd had to spend almost waking minute down in this godforsaken dungeon of gloom.

"Madam President, satellite pictures show quite conclusively that Hadinian warships have moved towards the narrow straits between Zanzes and Hadin," Said Gervas Anselm, the director of the newly created Radiatian Military Intelligence Department (R-MID), one of R-SOD's successors.

"Where are our ships? Why have they breached the blockade?"

"Carrier group Lena Toriah is the closest to the straits, but we've known from day one that this was the hardest point to defend," Said Commander-General Radomir Neumann, Chief of Staff of the Radiatian Federal Sea Force. "What we never anticipated was that the Hadinians would be stupid enough to launch an invasion of Zanzes. And I think they counted on that fact too. It's basically a suicide mission."

"Niko Hass has gone insane. Sources indicate that his own people are turning against him." Agreed Anselm.

The President sighed. "Okay. What do we do about Hass?"

"Option One is a covert operation - land special operations forces in Hadin and attempt to capture him."

Angela looked unimpressed. "What else have you got?"

"We're looking at potential drone strikes, but this is as risky as Option One - we need to be absolutely certain of his location or else we risk civilian casualties and setting off a more massive diplomatic incident than this already is."

"We'll continue to monitor the situation. We have sources in Hadin who suggest that Fiete Nikastro may well depose Hass on his own."

"That's all fine and well," Said Pavlovic. "But I want him captured. Alive. And brought to the Radiatian Federation where he can stand trial for the 55 Radiatians he murdered. And I will be going public with this order too, so you'd better find a way to deliver."

She hated being a bitch - it had already earned her the "PMS Pavlovic" nickname - but sometimes it was the only way to get results.

"There are two operations that need to be carried out," She said, louder, making the Generals look down. "Hadin is one aspect. But now we have Zanzes to deal with. As we speak Parliament is voting on legislation to authorise military action to defend Zanzes, and I'm prepared to carry that out.

"I'd prefer to hold back on Hadin for now just in case there is a less violent means of extracting Niko Hass."

At this point David Muldoon, the President's Chief of Staff entered the War Room carrying a briefcase and a piece of paper.

"Madam President, the War Powers Act has been passed and is presented for your signature."

The President made a point of looking into the eyes of the Chiefs of Staffs as she signed A.J. Res 74 - the resolution guaranteeing her authority - into law.

With a slight smile she then proceeded to give her first order.

"Take us to Code Orange," She said before turning to Commander-General Vergil Levitt of the RFAF. "I hereby authorise the Radiatian Federal Air Force to strike UNCA military targets in Zanzes and do what is necessary to ensure air superiority."

"Yes Madam President." Said the General.

"I also authorise the Sea Force to attack and sink any enemy vessel it encounters in the region... and get me General Milo Fujikoka on the line. I was RFSOUTHCOM mobilised and I want another strike group in the area!"

"Yes Madam President!" Chanted the Generals as she and they stood.

She knew she'd be back by day's end, but for now she needed some fresh air and sunlight and wanted to be back on Level 101.



June 4th LET 59 Last updated 01:10 Exegrad Standard Time

The Radiatian Federal Parliament has overwhelmingly granted President Angela Pavlovic authorisation to wage war against Hadin if necessary, with both the Senate and Federal Assembly voting decisively in favour of the "War Powers Act".

President Pavlovic has authorised airstrikes in Zanzes against UNCA targets and warned that Hadin itself could be next

The Social Democrat-controlled Senate effectively handed President Pavlovic a blank cheque, after voting 64-10 in favour of the Resolution, which was passed yesterday by the Federal Assembly by 382-27 - and landslide majority, which saw MPs and Senators put aside partisan differences to support military action against Hadin - for the first time since the Hadinian War 25 years ago.

While the Resolution was not a Declaration of War in and of itself, the Act effectively delegated the authority to declare war and order the mobilisation of Radiatian military forces to the President at her discretion.

"This vote means that the Radiatian Federation has spoken with one voice," Said the President. "Hadin and her allies in the UNCA pose a threat to the region, to the world and to the Radiatian Federation. Inaction is no longer an option. They must be stopped. They will be stopped."

Pavlovic then delivered a final ultimatum against Hadin.

"Hadin must immediately surrender Niko Hass to the Radiatian Federation where he will stand trial for terrorism and murder, following the state-sanctioned act of terrorism against the Radiatian Federation.

"Hadin and her allies must immediately cease all acts of aggression and hostility against Zanzes.

"Failure to do so will result in action by the Radiatian Federation. I have mobilised Radiatian Federal Southern Command and ordered it to prepare for a full scale invasion of Hadin if necessary, to ensure that Niko Hass is brought to justice. I promised the Radiatian people that justice would be efficient, and I intend to deliver.

"I have also ordered the Radiatian Federal Air Force to attack UNCA targets in Zanzes and to establish a no-fly zone in the area. The Radiatian Federal Sea Force, following Hadin's continued recalcitrance against our blockade, to sink any Hadinian vessel it comes in contact with in the straits between Hadin and Zanzes."

The President has stated that although the Air Force will be carrying out operations in Zanzes, she will not be committing boots to the ground at this stage. No strikes against Hadin directly have been authorised, although it is expected that should the Hadinians fail to heed the ultimatum, this will be the next logical step.

Meanwhile Radiatia has been placed on Code Orange - the highest military alert level since LET 48.



Man333 (Clode Spires, Clode)
Looks like the world is learning why we call her PMS Pavlovic... never upset her!!


Expen$ive (Das Engel, Amentra)
Urgh who cares about wars and foreigners, I want to know more important things like who won Radiatia's Next Topless Model!?


TruthTellar (Kriga, Eldura)
I knew the Totalitarian-Anarchists were plotting WAR but you didn't listen and now look we have WAR and soon there will be FAMINE and DEATH!

In Other News:

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  • Country music star Scruffy Walters found dead in Das Engel from drug overdose
  • Top 10 celebrity sideboobs!

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Postby Nui-ta » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:44 am

Emperor Rowan di-Amori was a man who detested war.

This was an unusual thought, considering that he was commander of the armed forces of his country. It was unusual still to consider that it was another war --- the Partition --- that had put him into such a position 28 years ago. Orphaned by the civil war as a toddler, his birth family's noble ties had caused him to be adopted by the Royal Family itself. No one had expected that the line of succession would fall in such a way as to push Rowan to the throne --- but there he was.

Some would have envied Rowan to be swept in such a manner into such a position of power, prestige, and authority, and so young too --- Rowan was only 30. He'd become Emperor upon reaching the age of majority at 16, making him one of the youngest ever. Rowan had basically grown up commanding the military though --- and it was something he very much feared.

The animosity that came towards the Radiatian President from her generals was very different from the respect seen from Rowan's men towards him. Rowan's succession, however unusual, was still legitimate. He was the embodiment of centuries of feudal allegiance and cultural tradition, even in this age where class ties no longer bound the less-privileged to service.

He was a symbol of Nui-ta itself. And while he was sometimes pitied and under-estimated, he was not disdained.

This "symbol" for Nui-ta was very fitting, with his platitudes showing the collective thoughts of an entire nation. At the news that Segland was entering the war, baiting Nui-ta further by not declaring war and instead invading its ally to the west, Rowan felt his heart sink. There was a strange mixture of anger and fear.

He'd once had a nightmare that Segland had pelted the city of Haroush with cruise missiles1. It was a dream, though --- not something true to this reality. In this reality, Rowan intended to make sure that Segland did not get the chance to bully Nui-ta so easily. It was trying quite hard too.

Attacking Segland outright would cause more of a diplomatic bru-ha-ha within Noctur, and with both Radiatia and Segland getting involved, as well as a war between Hadin and Nui-ta already bubbling, that diplomatic bru-ha-ha would be the blast that shook the walls of Noctur itself. Yet, to not attack Segland would be to sacrifice Zanzes on the altar of the barbaric UNCA.

The Zannui Pact forbade that. It recognized Nui-ta's solemn vows to make peace with the Zanze, who'd once oppressed Nui-ta --- it was a sign that the two countries would recognize each other's shared interests and work to each other's defenses.

With help, the Zanze could handle Hadin --- hell, Nui-ta could handle Hadin on its own, so long as Nui-ta proceeded with caution. Segland, on the other hand, was a challenge for the Monarchy's forces. The Zanze against that same enemy were all but doomed, even with the military armaments built up in Zanzes by Nui-ta.2

Nui-ta was expecting help from other sources too --- diplomatic back-channels had informed Rowan that Poldania was watching Segland carefully. Meanwhile, Zanzes's neighbor to the south, Demonlonde, had assisted Nui-ta in controlling the damage done by a recent Hadinian cyber-warfare attack. As an UNCA-controlled Zanzes had the potential to threaten Demonlonde as well, the Monarchy and the Pambasileia could hopefully come to some sort of understanding.

It all went back to the Zannui Pact anyway --- in it, Nui-ta swore to recognize Zanzes as a sovereign nation. It was a nation totally incapable of defending itself, but a nation. Not a jungle wasteland filled with brutes, as the Seglanders would have had their people believe --- Rowan doubted the legitimacy of the Seglandic film-maker's death anyway. The tearful calls of the Zanzeanic ku'in, El'fi Haki'im Rawiya, had made this clear enough to him, as she asked him why these people from the far-east were insinuating that her men had killed the Seglander --- with a poison dart, no less.

San Kalisto, New Zanzes

Nui-tan ships were bulking up their presence in the straits between Zanzes and the archipelago. On the northern end, this was an additional deterrent to the Hadinian presence there. Radiatia alone was obviously not enough to ward off Hadin, and until now, Nui-ta had been careful not to cross the 17th Parallel, to avoid looking like the aggressors.

Nui-ta simply didn't care anymore, as ships carrying the NNV (Nui-tan Naval Vessel) and the naval ensign of the Nui-tan Monarchy cruised past the Radiatian strike group into Zanzean waters. Some would double-back and join with the Radiatian group. A few others went further north or south, and a few still carried into the bay, heading for San Kalisto.

The first order of business to take Zanzes back from the war was to form a Nui-tan base of operations in Zanzeanic territory. This base would intake troops from Nui-ta, relay with Nui-ta's own San Kalisto and the Zanzean San Sayf. It was to be designated: San Vat'suri, and would be jointly controlled by Nui-ta and the Zanze. San Vat'suri would be far enough away from San Kalisto (and close enough to the straits) to launch assaults on incoming Hadinian ships. It was unlikely that the Seglanders would be seen here, instead likely flying towards San Di're. Should they breach the waters, San Vat'suri was ordered not to spare any ammunition.

Seglanders be damned, Rowan ultimately decided --- attacking Zanzes was akin to attacking Nui-ta, and Nui-tans did not deal with attackers kindly.

While the navy handled this, San Kalisto began fueling up the bombers. There were no ordinary missiles going into the cargo here --- this was something special. The Nui-tan government did not wish for a protracted war, and no matter what the cost, the Air Force had been given shady orders to put a death-stroke to Hadin's insanity as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the army bolstered up its numbers near key Zanzeanic locations. Zanzibar, around the ku'in, further past San Di're (to prevent the Septimist plague from spreading) --- and even some numbers of Army and Elite forces along the western portions of Zanzes (though these would take time to get there) in an attempt to dissuade countries like Algrabad.

Hadin played a long war --- Nui-ta began moving the chess-pieces to cut these dreams short with a Blitzkrieg.

1 Even though it's retconned, the Tressian War of Noctur was quite pivotal and interesting (thanks Seggy). Sometimes I like to make the Nui-tans have "nightmares" about that alternate reality where Nui-ta fell into chaos as a result of Segland's attacks.

2 One of the provisions of the Zannui Pact was that Nui-ta would help Zanzes modernize itself. Although the 2-3 years that Nui-ta and Zanzes have been in co-operation have allowed some modernizations, they have so far been more infrastructure based than militarily based. That's not to say that Nui-ta hasn't been trying, but a nation which basically experienced an apocalypse 200 years ago, and has been stuck in the middle of the jungle ever since... is going to take more than 2-3 years to catch up to the rest of Noctur --- hence why some Zanze are running around with Nui-tan machine guns, but unable to do anything but cower against Hadinian "metal birds".
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Postby Demonlonde » Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:36 pm

The Daimonioi had not been long in Nui-ta, and their arrival had been more than a little rushed. Following the Protodiangelos Theanthê's visit to Kopurauth, diplomatic relations with Nui-ta had been initiated immediately, and a military exchange program rammed through the diplomatic and legislative hoops of both countries.

The Stratia Basilikê1 was the deadly flower of over a thousand years of sustained martial tradition in Demonland, with a pedigree to justly swell the hearts of every Demon of past and present. Having forged scores of warring tribes and petty kingdoms into a unified state, the Daimonic pezhetairoi and their sarathai commanders had thrown back even the mighty Zanzeanic Empire in bloody defeat. More recently, the Stratia had emerged victorious from civil war as a thoroughly modernized and forward-looking fighting force. But despite all its well-earned sanguinary glory, the Strategikon was keenly aware of its own limitations. A millennium of sustained military science had produced a force well capable and accustomed to fighting on its own turf; beyond the high mountains and cold seas of Demonland itself, the Stratia lacked both the power projection and the deep familiarity from which it drew both its effectiveness and its esprit de corps.

Accordingly, the Strategikon2 had become highly interested in establishing military training programs with foreign nations, which could expand the Stratia's experience and know-how across a far wider range of terrains, climates, and operational scenarios. Daimonic military doctrine stressed the critical necessity of testing method against unfavorable or unfamiliar conditions. As highly developed as its strategies and methods were -- so far as they had been vitiated within the Daimonic operational context -- they were of suspect effectiveness so long as they had not been applied against the foreign and the unknown.

Hence, Nui-ta. The Strategikon needed a laboratory; Nui-ta needed allies, and though the God-king had not committed the Pambasileia to outright military support, the military focus of the deal was a deliberately significant hint in that direction. Also suggestive was its immediate transfer of a (in theory) combat-ready mixed infantry battalion to the San Talsankir base outside Rahku City, whence it had begun conducting field maneuvers to acclimate its soldiers to the tropical climate. The Strategikon believed in the full simulation of combat readiness for training purposes, so the force commander, one Strategos Hegesander Akanthios, explained.

The relatively new operational field of cyber warfare was equally prominent in the Strategikon's experimental arsenal of force multipliers -- being the latest extension of the venerable axiom of winning conflicts by bypassing conventional fields of attack and defense. As the world grew ever more computerized and networked, the viability of harnessing those networks as weapons grew in parallel. The exchange deal with Nui-ta had therefore included permission for a cyber warfare section from Panoptikon, the Daimonic military intelligence agency, to upgrade Nui-ta's cyber security to protect its most vital civil and military networks from hostile activity -- and in the process, to test the latest batch of nasties that the military hackers had cooked up. With perhaps a little hubris -- assuming that their division was at the global forefront of such research -- their reasoning was that if they could protect Nui-ta from themselves, then it should be safe from everyone else -- for the time being. That attitude had been vindicated by the neutralizing of a Hadinian DoS attack at the start of the war. The offending Hadinian IP had been identified, but the section leader had decided against an immediate counterattack, as Demonland was still officially neutral in the conflict.

Segland's and Radiatia's entrances, more or less expected, escalated the situation to the next level. New orders, following further high-level conferrals between Nui-ta and the Basilikon, authorized the Panoptikon section to carry out cyber operations against Hadinian targets as a gesture of solidarity and cooperation, with full coordination and cooperation with Nui-tan high command. The parameters of the laboratory had been greatly expanded. Where the Hadinians had employed rhizomachia3 as a singular, diversionary measure, ancillary to the "true" fields of war involving the mass movement of men and machines, the Demons had adopted it as a continuous field of combat no less relevant than land, sea, or air -- though precisely which doctrines would be proven as exemplary of good "cyber generalship" was still rather in the air.

That question would be settled by the military colleges. At the moment, there was only the application of specific operations to accomplish specific strategic and tactical goals, as decided by the Nui-tan commanders. One such operation, which the section leader offered to the Nui-tans as an augmentation to a particular planned air strike mission, involved the takeover of Hadinian air defense radar sensors with malicious software, with which the Daimonic operators could either simply direct the sensors away from the Nui-tan flight path, or delete the Nui-tan signatures from Hadinian displays entirely.

With Nui-tan sanction, a second task group began another project, which they hoped would lay the foundations for a goodly amount of future mayhem. It involved surreptitiously suborning unsecured machines within Hadin, roping them into dummy networks from which DDoS attacks and further malware could be launched. It was in essence a false flag operation; by cutting the network loose after commanding it to launch a particular attack, it would (ideally) appear as if the attacks were the work of dissidents within Hadin itself. The operation was believed to have a two-fold benefit; in short-term strategic terms, through the immediate effects of hamstringing Hadin's capabilities, and in longer-term psycho-political terms, to the extent that the illusion might trigger Hass' paranoid and overcompensatory tendencies and provoke further justifications for internal regime change.


1. The Royal Army, the Pambasileia's armed forces.
2. Daimonic high command, composed of a council of Epistrategoi commanding the Stratia's major divisions (somata). Headed by the Polemarchos (war-master), the military commander-in-chief of the Pambasileia, who represents the military in the Basilikon (Royal Council).
3. Daimonioi derive their computer network-related terminology from the word rhizoma or "mass of roots," rather than kybernetes (pilot), from which English gets its term "cyber." Thus rhizomachia is a Daimonic neologism equivalent to "cyber warfare," but translating literally to "root-fighting."

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Founded: Feb 19, 2012

Postby Hadin » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:17 pm

Salutem, Hadin

Sure, the Hadinian military was well-equipped to handle the difficulties that war would bring. The increase of Radiatian and Nui-tan ships meant little for the Hadinian ships which had already breached the blockade. The Hadinians had been smart enough to bring non-renewable items and building supplies first, putting less (but still, some) priority on things like wood or stone because these things were available in abundance anyway within Zanzes. The take-over of San Di're had meant that further fortifications and ammunition were now within Hadinian possession.

Sure, the Radiatian Federal Air Force was now attempting to establish a no-fly zone and to bomb strategic targets within Zanzes --- but the dense brush of Zanzes's jungles would make Radiatia's job difficult. The wintry giant would no doubt be unfamiliar with jungle warfare. The Zanze, meanwhile, were so reliant on the jungles that to remove them would be perhaps more troublesome to Zanzes than Hadin. San Di're's exact location was compromised by its prior notation in Nui-tan intelligence reports, so the Hadinians there were ordered to take everything they could and move just far enough to throw off the RFAF. In the jungles, Hadin had the operational advantage, being able to out-fly the larger Radiatian aircrafts, and hide from them just as easy.

Furthermore, the western portions of Zanzes were as yet overlooked by everyone. The Hadinians had only officially infiltrated the northeast corner of the nation, and the Seglanders, though very helpful, were travelling an awful long way to help handle only a corner of Zanzes.

There was Algrabad, however. The Hadinians and Seglanders found Algrabad, a country separated only by a stretch of land from much of Zanzes, to be in their debts after the Algrabadi War. The Axis treaty required mutual support, and Nico Hass had already called the Hadinian ambassador to Algrabad and made sure to inform this ambassador of his duties to remind the Algrabadis of their...obligations to the Axis which had already given much for them. If Algrabad entered the war, it would surely be enough of a shock tactic for even Radiatia and Nui-ta to help Hadin cinch much of more the nation, making this war "worthwhile" for Hass.


He was so interested in Zanzes, Fiete Nikastro mused, that he'd now forgotten about the consequences to his own nation. The Radiatian blockade had been laughable at first, but their refusal to remove the blockade after the war had meant that time had strengthened their actions. Oil stores were declining rapidly. The less agricultural states were starting to run low on food. Civil unrest was rising.

Although he doubted there would be a full-scale civil war, the seeds of turmoil had been planted by Hass within the nation, and an inevitable foul harvest was impending for them all. In the likely confusion, Fiete was aware that there was a massive target on his back.

That target would only get larger if he were to intervene against Hass's idiocy. The consequences of not intervening, and to allow Hadin to suffer under the High-Envoy's insanity, were even more damning.

He knew full well he had no other choice.

He also did not wish to see his loved ones suffer for his impending sins. Should his plan fail, Hass would certainly have the means to execute Nikastro and everything connected to him, and so...

"Listen, Cecilia, this is the safest place for you and Alexei right now, so just...I'm sorry".

Fiete's wife was sitting on an arm-chair, one hand holding an empty trash can. The UMBRA safe-house was underground, in the well-fortified store-room of a brewery. Behind Fiete and Cecilia, little Alexei played with a small puppy --- the offspring of the brewery owner's guard dog.

The location of the Salutem missile silos had long been leaked to Nui-ta by Fiete, using some help from an UMBRA operative slated for execution. Although Fiete did not particularly like the underground group, he understood that their concerns were reasonable in the wake of the Hass administration. They had also been a nasty thorn in the High-Envoy's side since the days of Rosario Labriolla himself...this made them valuable allies, if Fiete could assure that they would not cause future problems for the government.

A deal had been made between UMBRA, Fiete, and several Envoys and Councilmen within the ranks of the Patricians that should Hass prove too volatile of a leader --- like he was doing right now --- there would be measures enacted to remove him from office legally. A forced coup d'etat by Radiatia would only push the Hadinians further into revolution. No matter how much the Hadinians hated Hass, they had even less respect for the nation of the black and gold banner, for the constant warfare and starvation that had been wrought upon Hadin in the past and present.

The coup had to be Hadinian-based, or it would ultimately be rejected. This had been what happened to the "democratic" government, installed by Radiatia in Hadin after the Hadinian War, only to fall shortly after. Further, while Fiete was aware of the necessity of offering some placation to Radiatia, Nui-ta's placation was far more important. So was the continued placation of Segland. While blowing Radiatian planes out of the sky, or starting wars with the "Sleeping Giant" was not on Fiete's list, neither was kissing Radiatian ass.

Fiete's faction of Patricians would help leverage the necessary legal leverage to invoke the only possible scenario which allowed the removal of a High-Envoy --- a unanimous decision by all other Envoys. If muscle was needed, UMBRA would get involved. In exchange for this, and a few concessions in the realms of civil and political rights, UMBRA was to stop its more violent anarchist behavior.

And if Fiete should fail, UMBRA was to remove Hass in his place --- but this was a last resort.

As a show of support, and perhaps the exchange of some collateral by Fiete to UMBRA, Cecilia Nikastro and her little brother Alexei were put under the protection of UMBRA's underground. A similar situation was on-going with Fiete's other relatives. This way, in the event of failure, Fiete's head would be the only one in his family's to roll.

He looked back at his wife's face. She hadn't been talking much. In a chauvinistic society where men dominated the lives and decisions of women, love was rare...but it was here. Their relationship had been very different than the standard Hadinian marriage. For the first time in her life, Cecilia had been treated as an equal, rather than a blind doll or puppet for the manipulation and sympathies of her male relatives. Her husband made it clear that he respected her from day one, saving her from an alternative suitor with a clearly abusive streak. Instead of being routinely exploited on a physical, mental, and sexual level like most married Hadinian women, Cecilia had been protected, respected, and allowed her freedom.

It still shocked him one night when she told him she loved him --- really loved him. That this had become more than just a marriage of convenience, done to financially help her family, while bettering Fiete's image in a country where bachelors were ill-received. Deep down, he felt the same way --- there was a very deep love now, not just a mild concern for their combined affairs. He couldn't help admitting it to her, even though the ill-timed romance, followed quickly by their impending separation, was killing him.

Killing them both. In the back of his mind were a million apologies, assuming he made it back to her alive --- but those would have to wait.

It was even more of a pity (and a guilt-trip) that she'd been sick lately. Everything she ate refused to stay down. Fatigue was kicking in. The worst thing was that she'd been getting dizzy spells. Given that she was also blind, the loss of a sense of balance was worrisome. She'd already clipped her hand once on the side of a cabinet while attempting to remain standing.

A doctor who worked for UMBRA would be by later to check on her. Fiete had figured, and tried to re-assure her, that it was likely just a stomach bug that brought on the nausea. Being unable to keep anything down while fighting off presumable stomach flu was likely instigating fatigue and dizziness. Her inability to see just made it worse.


"I'll be home soon. I pro--....I hope".

"You're an ass".

Fiete recoiled. Some residual patriarchial expectations in him made it difficult to believe that his wife had really just cursed at him. That a woman had cursed at all.

"That..." he meant to say is unbecoming, but found himself in no position to argue. He was leaving her and her baby brother --- while she was sick --- in the hands of an underground resistance, so he could go depose a tyrant, despite the high likelihood of getting himself killed and leaving her a widow.

"'re right. I am. I'm sorry".

"I'll forgive you if you come back".

"That's more than fair," he laughed a little. "Personally I wouldn't be half so forgiving..."

"I wouldn't either...but you're a nice man, Fiete. The nicest man I've ever met. So you deserve a little bit more than just fair".

He could see her face go a bit green. Rather than recoil, he pushed the trash-can to her.

"The doctor will probably give you an IV," he said. "Have you had one before?"


"Okay...just rest".

He sighed. "I...I wish I could stay".

"I know you can't," Cecilia nodded. "'d better come back alive".

"With a nation blessed with one less tyrant, my dear," he nodded. She was right --- after everything he was putting them through, failure was not an option.

He got up. "I have to go".

Bending down a moment to give her a kiss on the forehead, he turned to get to business. The puppy suddenly began barking at him, prompting Alexei to run over to him.

"Puppy!" Alexei squeaked.

"Yes, I know. You like the puppy". Fiete pointed at Cecilia, while looking at Alexei.

"Take care of your sister, alright?"


He smiled at Alexei. "Good boy. I'll be back soon".

The next words that Alexei spoke shook Fiete to his core.

"Where you go, Pater?"

Fiete froze. Even Cecilia could be heard gasping a little. Although one of the conditions of the marital agreement between Fiete and Cecilia had been that Alexei be a ward of the couple, Fiete had never actually even considered that Alexei would call him father.

I am not your father. I am your brother-in-law. Seneca Patrocia is your father Fiete told himself in his mind. He moved to speak the same words to Alexei aloud, only to hear Cecilia say audibly, "Pater habet prohibere un homini malus".

Father has to stop a bad man.

"I'm not..." he mumbled.

"You are," Cecilia dead-panned. "Now go do your job".

As he left --- on the technical orders of a woman, he laughed --- he couldn't help but shed a single tear.

Kopurauth, Hadin, not long after

"The cyber attack on Nui-ta's naval radar systems was a success," said Envoy Leonard Agriosi of Oedos. "My region's cyber-warfare division reported that they were successful in removing Hadinian signatures from Nui-tan naval radar records. This has been pivotal in the initial breach of the blockade by our western fleet into Zanzes".

"Unfortunately, since then, a counter-attack by an unknown entity has made continued breaches difficult. Something new has entered unto the cyber battlefield".

"I figured the Nui-tans would catch on quickly to the cyber-warfare tactic. That's why I authorized only a few strikes," Nico Hass nodded.

"As expected, it appears that Nui-ta has upgraded its cyber-security systems. They likely had help from Radiatia," Envoy Agriosi continued. He was partially right --- the Nui-tans had upgraded. Radiatia, however, had not been the nation to come to their assistance on this regard.

"Fucking Radiatians, interfering as always," Nico droned. "They fail to realize they only damn themselves further to the Hadinian populace".

Some of the Envoys looked at him funny as he spoke of "damnation by the Hadinian populace". It was known by now to much of the Council of Patricians, both Envoys and Councilmen, that Nico himself was starting to get some strange looks. He seemed to be totally ignoring it.

"I couldn't agree with you more," said another Envoy. The source of the voice was surprising, as all of the Envoys turned to face Fiete Nikastro, who had been absent on what they could only assume was personal business within his home state.

"Well, maybe your little vacation did you some good, Fiete. We actually agree on something," Nico smiled. "What brings up this response?"

"Think about it, High-Envoy. The Radiatians are too interventionist. Their primary conflict with the world is Segland, and yet Hadin is targeted frequently simply for seeking resources to feed starving people in a time of crisis --- a crisis brought up by the Radiatian blockade, no less, which was in turn fostered by the Algrabadi War. Radiatia attacked Hadin without warrant, failing to acknowledge that Hadin was treaty-bound to Algrabad during the war. Now, Nui-ta declares war on us, citing a treaty, and the Radiatians somehow say once again that we're the ones at fault. Meanwhile the blockade persists, and people starve and die in the streets".

"Sheriff of Noctur, they say, riding in on a dark horse to save the people of Noctur --- from everything except themselves, I should say".

"Note to self, give Fiete a break for that Salutem air every now and again," Nico was laughing now. "My thoughts exactly".

"I'm not finished," Fiete mentioned. "The recent situation involving Radiatia begs a few questions, High-Envoy, regarding our responses".

Fiete looked over at a couple of the other Envoys. Aelia's Envoy Salucci, Suile-Blan's Envoy Di Pascari, and Laetirae's Envoy Winter were all gearing up to assist him. On the political battleground, this was Fiete's first offensive strike.

He surveyed the room further for his opponents. High-Envoy Hass of Unare was the obvious target. He would likely be assisted by Envoy Vacario of Beliti, Envoy Palladino of Korvicci, and Envoy Radmaker of Jannusi.

The other Envoys, Leonard Agriosi of Oedos, Nevio Ciro-Virani of Kopur, Teodor Abate of Tristicco, and Lennart Lippi of Fueccia, were not as easy to gauge as far as their political affiliations. Fueccia's geographical cut-off by Salutem and Aelia to the rest of Hadin would make it somewhat easy for Salucci and Nikastro to gang up on Lennart Lippi, should they need to.

The same course of action could likely be taken by Di Pascari and Winter against Teodor Abate. Agriosi and Ciro-Virani were unpredictable.

The more Envoys he could turn against Hass, the better. A unanimous motion of non-confidence would push Hass out of the favor of the Patricians. Among the Vir Consilili, who were not present, Fiete and a couple others had already begun pressing Councilmen of unaffiliated states to put pressure on the dissenting Envoys until they relented.

"By Septima, Fiete, I should hope these questions don't make me take back my high opinion of you thus far".

"Actually, High-Envoy," Matfei Di Pascari said, "I also have some of the same questions".

"As do I," said Sergei Salucci, before adding, "a few of us have been looking at the news lately, and we'd all like to be on the same page regarding some interesting political developments, is all".

"Like?" Nico Hass asked.

Go for it, Fiete's mind echoed, as he spoke, "I am dismayed and shocked by the Radiatian demand by President Pavlovic that you should be extradited to Radiatia and tried for charges of state sanctioned terrorism. I for one do not hold the state at fault, considering that I'm also a part of the state, and I don't remember signing off on anything that sanctioned the RA227 tragedy in Radiatia. I therefore wonder how it could be considered 'state-sanctioned'".

"Radiatia is, however, not worth ignoring when they demand such swift responses," said Sergei Salucci, picking up the slack. "So we were wondering, what is the High-Envoy's response to the President?"

Nico chuckled. "Well, you think I would really turn myself over to those brutes?"

"I would never expect you to," Fiete said. "Yet I can't help but worry about the consequences of a negative response".

"What are you getting at, Nikastro?"

"I'm saying that the Radiatians are brutes, who are very likely to bomb Kopurauth a second time if their demands are not met. You don't need to tell us you won't be turning yourself over to Radiatia --- we already know that. What I want to know now is, what will be done to protect the state of Kopur from Radiatia's wrath?"

Fiete's eyes shot out at Envoy Nevio Ciro-Virani, who could suddenly be seen growing nervous at the table. In another Envoy, the seeds of doubt were planted.

"We needn't worry about that," Nico smiled. "Such acts would be considered terrorism and warmongering by the Radiatian people. The Axis Treaty's mutual defense provisions would kick in, and Radiatia would face the full power of the Axis".

Everyone was silent. Fiete intended to let Nevio's nervousness do the talking for him, and it did, when Nevio broke the silence by saying sheepishly...

"...High Envoy...such a course of action would come at the deaths of hundreds of Kopur's citizens. I-is there another way?"

"Of course. Angela Pavlovic gets off of her rag and realizes that her actions are an act of war".

"Given the brutishness of Radiatia, that is unlikely to happen," Fiete said. "There must be another way to solve this, and I'd like to know what that is".

"Really, Fiete? Another way? Name it".

"As I said before, I myself can attest that there was never any state-sanctioned allowance for the HFL to get on a Radiatian plane and bomb it. The same goes for the near-miss incident in Nui-ta. This therefore, in my mind, denies the HFL any state-sanction. They acted of their own accord. They should reap the "benefits" of that behavior, namely to stand trial in Radiatia for their actions, not ours".

"The only reason they have yet to do so is because the High-Envoy's government offers them sanctuary in Hadin. This is a move I blatantly objected to in the beginning. I now ask you to remove these sanctuary laws and send the HFL to their fate, for the betterment of the country".

"You would ask me to put the lives of freedom-fighters in Hadin at stake to placate Radiatia, Nikastro?!" Nico roared. The battle was now in full heat. "Such an action could be read as treason!"

"I'm not asking you to placate Radiatia. I'm asking you to let nature take its course and send those responsible --- namely, not us, to their justified fate. Failure to do so puts innocent Hadinian lives in terrible danger".

"The Hadinian Liberation Front has state sanctuary here in Hadin, per executive order, may I remind you --- or would you doubt the will of the High-Envoy?"

"They blew up a god-damned civilian aircraft. You speak of them as if they were defending us from an invasion, but all they really did was target un-involved men, women, and children. That's murder. This is an affront to God himself".

"Fiete Nikastro has a point, High-Envoy". It was Envoy Saturnas Winter who was speaking now --- Fiete's ally from the region of Laetirae. "If the HFL have such interest in retaliating against the Radiatian blockade, then why did they not target the ships themselves? Why go all the way to Radiatia just to make a point?"

"The Hadinian Liberation Front does not have military authority," said another Envoy. An acolyte of Hass --- Envoy Anastasio Vacario of Beliti had entered the fray. "I should remind you that those of you accusing the HFL of misdirection of their energies now were the same ones who argued against giving them military authority in the first place. What would you have Nico Hass do, assign them all to a naval squadron against Radiatian ships, more than capable of outgunning them?"

"Naval abilities shouldn't be too far out of the question by Nico Hass's logic, considering that the High-Envoyship has already granted them state sanctuary by executive order., undermining the rest of us. And this is where the Radiatians can attack us over "state-sponsorship", even though the executive order makes this decision the sole responsibility of the High-Envoy," Fiete argued.

"Are you insinuating that the Radiatians have a right to demand Nico's head on a platter?" Vacario yelled.

"Only if he does not reverse his policies regarding sanctuary. I am not cow-towing to the Radiatians by sending Nico Hass to Angela Pavlovic," Fiete said. "However, I cannot promise that any of us can realistically save you, should you fail to distance yourself from the true perpetrators of this crime".

"A man who cannot honestly understand that his continued, fanatical insistence to protect terrorists amounts to state-terrorism, does not deserve to say that he has this country's best interests at heart. Nico Hass, I'm asking you up front to prove to us --- prove to this nation --- that you do have the best interests of Hadin in order, and that you do understand why the HFL needs to be cut loose, as I've been trying to tell you for ages".

"Such inso--" Another Envoy, Bronislav Palladino of Korvicci, stood upright to issue a fervent condemnation of Fiete Nikastro. It was Nico Hass who stopped him.

The hatred in the air was thick, as Fiete and Nico stared at each other intensely. The only sound in the air within the chambers of the Envoyship was a small, timid gulp from Aelia's Envoy Sergei Salucci.

"Fiete," Nico said, very quietly. "...if I am hearing you correctly, you are issuing this argument as an alternative to my being turned over to the Radiatian government". A genuine alternative, rather than some sort of ill-thought attack against me".

"That's correct, High-Envoy".

Half-correct. Fiete wanted two things from this: to shake confidence in the clearly insipid Hass, and to avoid the fall-out scenario of Radiatia bombing the crap out of Kopurauth again. The fact that this alternative's existence was one way to go about these goals was just sheer convenience.

"Do you honestly believe that, if we, say...turn over the HFL's leader right now to Bitchlovic, that the Radiatian scum would stop their attacks on Hadin?"

"I can say that if they were to continue their rampage after that, it would be ill-advised. The HFL was responsible for the murder. The HFL should be sufficient".

Fiete added quickly, "honestly, I'd like to add in the stipulation that governments of Poldania, Nui-ta, and Arthuria also saw losses of life to their civilians as a result of the incident. It makes more sense to hold a trial with an international tribunal, especially considering the HFL also accepted responsibility for the failed attack on Rahku City".

He looked around at the others. "I'm interested in setting things right for everyone involved, including Hadin, which may I remind you all stands to suffer severely for the HFL's actions if these actions are not addressed. I am not interested in cow-towing to Radiatia's attempt at a show trial".

"And if we are attacked by Radiatia regardless?" Nico asked. Fiete smiled.

"Then the situation will take more of a defensive turn on our part, and we will have the full might of the Axis to assist us..."

Fiete sighed. "Now, I propose we either vote on the issue immediately, or seeing how tensions have flared a bit --- take a 10 minute leave before we reconvene". Everyone consented to the latter option, with Nico dismissing almost everyone for a short recess.

"That man has got to go," Nico Hass muttered later to his closest Envoys. "Fiete Nikastro has become a threat to the sovereignty of Hadin itself".

Nico had kept the Envoys in the room whom he perceived to be closest to him. These were mainly the same as those whom Fiete had singled out in his mind as "persons to convince" against Hass.

Bronislav Palladino of Korvicci.

Dimitri Radmaker of Jaanusi.

Anastasio Vacario of Belitii --- his personal favorite.

And last, the nervous (but thus far allegiant) Nevio Ciro-Virani of Kopur.

"You are absolutely right, High-Envoy," Vacario agreed. "Did you see the way he dared to question you about the sanctity of the Hadinian Liberation Front? He's as clueless as it gets".

"Without a force such as them willing to push our interests abroad," Radmaker agreed, "Hadin will never be truly mighty. The doctrine of Bruno Altimaria holds true to this day. Bleeding hearts like him don't see it".

"He's a menace," Vacario agreed. "A threat to our government itself. He clearly means to depose you. You all saw the way he tried to turn Nevio against you, didn't we? I can tell it didn't work though, did it Envoy Ciro-Virani?"

Nevio Ciro-Virani held his tongue. Secretly, Fiete had convinced him that Hass did not have Hadin's best interests at heart, whether that lack of best interest was out of selfishness or sheer blindness. Ciro-Virani also knew a wasp's nest when he saw one though, and pretended to remain loyal.

"I hear he's got a very nice wife at home. Young. Pretty. Blind and helpless --- maybe she could be useful".

"Please, the woman isn't the problem --- it would be much better to put a bullet in his back and be done with it. Besides, Mrs. Nikastro would be useful to us as a sobbing widow. She could garner some sympathy among the populace. I hear there's talk about some of the regions not wanting to send their populaces to war --- the "unfortunate" murder of an Envoy by our enemies would rally them towards us again. The Algrabadis act innocent, but we all know how well that worked for them with their President".

"That's not a bad idea, Dimitri," Nico Hass smiled. "The bullet, I mean. Perhaps the wife and boy would be extra insurance if the bullet fails, but what if we made it look like an accident? A terrorist attack by the Radiatians, for example?"

"We could pull the defensive interests of Segland and the Axis, as Fiete mentioned, only without ever needing to argue for a defensive war or surrender the HFL's leader".

"The vote in ten minutes? How do we get that to work?"

"Simple, vote against the HFL's turnover to Bitchlovic. If everyone in this room votes against Fiete, he'll be rendered powerless. I know that Salucci, Di Pascari, and maybe Winter want to side with Nikastro. The others I'm not too certain about...but I suspect that the only other Envoy we've lost is Lippi. This puts us at a majority".

"After the vote fails?"

"We'll adjourn for the day. Then we'll just send for Nikastro later --- and we'll put an end to this nonsense before it gets too far out of hand".

The Envoys all smiled knowingly, except one in particular who maintained a poker-face. There was an end to the shady meeting, and the recess of the other Envoys ended within a few minutes.

Everyone gathered back into the room, and Fiete took a deep breath.

"Well then, now that we've all had some time to calm down, I'd like to go through with that vote".

"Of course," Nico smiled. "All in favor of surrendering the HFL's leader to international authorities".

Fiete Nikastro raised his hand. So did Sergei Salucci, Saturnas Winter, Matfei Di Pascari, and surprisingly, Lennart Lippi of Fueccia.

"All opposed?" Nico asked. He raised his own hand. The hands of Vacario, Palladino, Radmaker, and the previously undecided hand of Teodor Abate of Tristicco.

One hand remained. Everyone looked at Nevio Ciro-Virani.

"Are you falling asleep, Envoy Ciro-Virani? Raise your hand".


Nevio felt his heart jump into his chest. He hated the Radiatians deeply. The thought of turning anything over to them was unforgivable to him. His eyes glanced over to an ignorant Fiete Nikastro though, who seemingly had no idea what would be waiting for him after this session's end.

There was something respectable about the points Fiete was making. There was something admirable.

This was not a man whom Nevio wished to see killed for the selfish interest of an incompetent Envoy. He slowly raised his hand.

"Ah, good," Nico smiled. "5 in favor, 6 opposed".

"I'm raising my hand in favor," Nevio elaborated. The jaws of everyone else in the room dropped.


"I move in favor of the resolution to surrender the leader of the HFL to Bitchlo--- I mean, President Angela Pavlovic's authorities in Radiatia".

He nodded in Fiete's direction. "...I think this is in the best interest of us all. Not just us...everyone".

There was a soft smile coming from Fiete. Nico Hass, on the other hand, was visibly seething.

"The motion is 6 to 5, in favor of the surrender of the HFL's leader. He should be summoned immediately to Kopurauth. Notify the Radiatians".

"YOU CANNOT DO SUCH A THING," Nico roared, visibly losing it.

"Yes, I can. It is within the constitutional rights of the Envoyship to move forward as a unit based on a majority vote".


"Oh, shut your mouth," Fiete snapped. "You may be the Highest among us...but you are very ignorant to believe yourself as God among us. Keep in mind that this is a theocracy. The will of Septima rules us all --- and Septima was clearly not with you, today".

The Envoy of Belitti moved to speak in Nico's favor, only to be superceded by Teodor Abate, who just moments ago, had voted in favor of Nico's decision.

"The motion was put forward and our side was defeated, High-Envoy. The Hass Doctrine itself dictates that a valid majority of Envoys creates a legislative decision, unless the Envoyship fails to put forth a majority such as --- say --- in the event of Fiete's recent absence and his inability to cast a tie-breaking vote at that time. Those are our laws --- your laws. We must respect them. The decision should stand and we must move forward with war planning".

"Nui-ta has increased its naval presence substantially within the straits near the Bay of Zanzes. Radiatia threatens to take military action against us after the RA227 incident, although our response to this has already been said. Moreover, they wish for us to stop our actions in Zanzes. Our original cause of entry into Zanzes was to alleviate the crisis which Radiatia itself caused during the blockade, but if Radiatia relents in the face of our turnover of the HFL's leadership and the obvious removal of sanctuary laws which will happen to ensure this --- then this will no longer be workable".

"We therefore have two options --- we exit Zanzes, or we continue in the name of a different conquest. Segland's own citizens were recently attacked, and we could press onwards claiming defensive war against the Zanze in the name of co-operation with Segland".

"I suggest the latter. Certainly, if there is no reason to push forward yet, there is also yet no reason to fall back. However, I think our nerves are all frayed today. I suggest an early reprieve from the day".

The chamber opened, releasing the Envoys, with Fiete perhaps being aware of what was happening next and excusing himself from the presence of Nico Hass. The other Envoys were beginning to talk now --- Hass had just attempted to overturn his own legal decision, now that the rules were working against him.

Hass felt his paranoia return again. Fiete was becoming a serious problem.

Luckily for Hass, he was aware of Fiete's every move. He would have to go back to his office to fetch a few things before darting off to...whereever.

Calling for two soldiers to get up to the Nikastro office and watch Fiete's every move, Hass knew that the only way to not have to surrender ANYTHING to Radiatia now, was to break the will of the Envoyship to enforce the resolution they had just passed against him.

He needed to ensure that any moves against the HFL, and against him more importantly, were met with an unwelcome end. And as he fantasized about the end that was drawing near towards Fiete, he contacted authorities at San Di're to co-ordinate with Segland and push further west, into the dense jungles where even Nui-ta and Radiatia had yet to go. Only the Zanze would be there to stand between them and a land bridge to Algrabad --- and the Zanze were assuredly no match for Hadinian steel.
Just so you know, this nation, in character, is a highly sexist, highly theocratic, and highly authoritarian state. (Though under the new guy, it seems to be improving a little).

I disagree with a lot of what this nation stands for. It was invented for its intrigue and ample opportunities for satire, not for its ideals.

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Founded: Sep 01, 2013

Of Light and Shadow, Part IV: The Despair of Do’Ana

Postby Algrabad » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:18 am

The laughing General had been transferred by the time Loujain was due to leave herself. Up, down, or into exile, she couldn’t be sure. The decision to help with the invasion of Zanzes had clearly been the divisive catalyst for all of the recent problems in Al-Miki.

That was now a million miles from her mind, however. Once in the field, the focus can only be on the mission. Lying in the muck, wrapped in a white plastic coverall likely to be used by forensic examiners, she awaited her mark. A handcar-propelled open carriage rolled along the train track in front of them. It consisted of three four-seater booths attached to a handcar upon which 8 brutes worked furiously at pivot levers. The front- and back-booths were occupied by guards and Ze’lal aides, the middle booth was occupied by Loujain’s main target, the woman whose identity she was about to steal – an El’fi of minor seniority. The El’fi was seven years younger than Loujain, and her name known far and wide. But she had only recently acceded to the position in society she now held, and if the report wasn’t fiction, she was now travelling somewhere where no-one had ever actually met her before, to a special regional council called to co-ordinate food and healthcare supply on the homefront. For those two reasons, El’fi Ali Munab would die today.

Munab was reading from what appeared to be papyrus script, while a personal aide was mumbling to her that the hidden secret soldiers could not make out. Her Ka’fi was a middle-aged man sitting in the carriage behind, his rank obvious from his dress and general manner. He was first to go, judged by the attackers to be the biggest risk to the operation. AA trademark 8mm bullets cut through the jungle flora ahead of the quiet blowing sound their silenced weapons made. Four, including El’fi Ali Munab, survived the initial volley, but the element of surprise was not the only advantage the Algrabadi insurgents had, and a smoke grenade utterly confused things further for the surviving defenders. To Loujain’s annoyance, one of the Zanze let of a shot with his own pistol before being knifed in the smoke. From the sound, she could tell he had fired in the air, but no doubt the crack would have been heard for miles around.

For some minutes, she spoke with the woman whose party was dead, in the local language. Loujain’s own command of it was adequate, but she needed to get a feel for the woman’s local dialect. They led her to believe she was being taken as a prisoner of war. Munab’s sturdy character was clear to see, and she barely winced at the massacre of her colleagues – a show of strength Loujain could relate to. After making a show of attempting to get information from her, and believing she would now be able to mimick the colloquial style, Loujain shot the El’fi in the back of the head without notice. Better that she not know she is about to die, Loujain reasoned. I know I wouldn’t want to.

The El’fi and Ka’fi were buried deep in the soil and covered over. The others were dragged away from the rail, out of sight from passing carriages. But really, no one would walk through here for months in all likelihood, and the lower-class dead would not be recognised.

Loujain boarded the train and did away with the plastic coverall to reveal her own upper echelon Zanzeanic dress. She assumed the role of El’fi Ali Munab. Her 12 apostles assumed their own identities, and loaded the carriage with much needed supplies. The larger men dutifully operating the handcar, moving the party on to their destination, the town of Do’ana. Some of them removed their shirts, for authenticity, and she decided to sit facing the back of the carriage to watch them work.
The timeline they had was very tight. This regional meeting would precede a delegation travelling to Zanzibar itself. She was to arrive with as little fanfare as possible, and let her crew mingle among the lower classes. She would mingle among the oppressors (as she saw it) and, within a day or two, a plot by some of the town’s own would be unearthed by her people. Hopefully they could whip the locals into a frenzy, and hopefully her own demand to take the place of another El’fi on the trip to Zanzibar would be accepted on foot of the distrust they would have sown.

It was an Algrabadi plan for an Algrabadi society, and in reality things took much longer. Though many things were similar between Zanzes and Algrabad, the levels of suspicion were not. Her group were treated without suspicion, and she was not grilled on any details that she had studied in the short period before going into the field. The concept of espionage seemed not to factor in the minds of the townspeople, even though several El’fi and their parties had arrived from around the region. They knew there was a war on, and that they must work hard to support themselves while their armies (and several other armies) defended them, but the Zanze simply didn’t consider the idea that covert operations might be taking place among them.

Loujain wondered how much history these people knew themselves – whether they were aware of Algrabad anymore. Certainly, she and her party were a bit light-skinned, but only slightly more different than any two Zanzeans might be from each other. It was possible no-one in a town this small realised that Algrabadis might look and sound a bit like them. It was a happy thought, as it was essentially proof that the fondness for Zanzes among some non-revolutionary Algrabadis was utterly unreciprocated.1

They were delayed also by the seemingly relaxed approach to time itself by the natives. The council didn’t meet until 5 days after it was due to, as members were still turning up. Once it did, Loujain soon realised that she would have to be fairly blunt with them to sew any suspicion, or even to keep them on-topic. More than once, she began to think there was little point infiltrating a society so ripe for destruction by military force alone – this little meeting might still be discussing the easiest way to carry milk when the tanks roll in.

Once more, she found herself speaking publicly in a language other than her own, this time with pure deception in mind. She told them stories of spies in her own town, who had been caught working among her own staff, poisoning food and the local water supply. Be on the lookout for anyone spending too long preparing food, she said. Those who are responsible for water should also be monitored. She told them of how markings had been left on the top of trees, so the planes (“metal birds”) knew where to drop their fires. Thus, anyone climbing trees should be suspected. She even claimed that an aspiring young man of the Ka’fi class had been lured by the promise of riches from foreigners, and he in turn had persuaded a weak young El’fi woman with whom he was smitten, to betray their own people and work for the enemy.

Once Loujain realised how primitive the local understanding of technology was, she inflated the story – the metal birds were able to kidnap Zanzeans in their talons and replace them with evil lookalikes. She contemplated giving the lookalikes special powers, but stopped short. Instead they were just very evil, with all manner of small tell-tale signs, such as the sudden death of livestock, or the theft of jewellery. She tried to work every petty crime or anti-social act into her story, so as to widen the scope of suspicion. At any rate, the council lapped it up, and soon the rumours flying around the town were just as fanciful as anything Loujain had actually told them. After 4 days, the first accusation was made. It was from the male barracks. The cook there was accused of making bad food to weaken the men – in particular the soup was very watery. He was soon imprisoned. More men were to follow him.

So it was, for two weeks, in the town of Do’ana, that the levels of suspicion and fear that had permeated the halls of power in Algrabad for some months were brought to bear upon an otherwise sensible people. It took that long for the accusations to reach a member of the upper class. Many council members had actually left, abandoning the place to go and spread the message of fear and suspicion in their home areas. Loujain and her team felt quietly pleased that they had turned a small part of their mission into a highly successful propaganda campaign.

The El’fi accused was named Assaf Husniyah. Loujain’s group had engineered her downfall due to her being due to travel to Zanzibar with Ku’an’s own leading El’fi as soon as the council was finished, where she might meet with Ku’in Haki'im Rawiya. Husniyah defended herself vociferously, but Loujain, as El’fi Ali Munab, was able to swing the others around to the view that the accused planned to murder them all and seize the town, as head of a large network of spies. To add weight to her allegations, one of her own group, posing as a lower class soldier, staged an attempt to kill her in public. Upon arrest, he admitted to being an Algrabadi spy, and told the town he had come to assassinate El’fi Ali Munab, in revenge for her routing out Algrabadis in her own area. In a late reveal, straight out of the Socialist Revolutionary show trial playbook, he named El’fi Assaf Husniyah as his senior.

To an Algrabadi, it was all a bit obvious what was going on. But the Zanze were hooked on frenzied suspicion. The escape from custody of one the Algrabadi spies didn’t surprise anyone, such was their ruthlessness and cunning. Soon, Loujain found herself on the road to Zanzibar. The journey would take them several days.

1 Pre-revolutionary Algrabad retained much of Zanzean culture, and opponents of the revolution have long clung to this, some still referring to themselves as "West Zanzeans". Algrabad used to be known as West Zanzes, or in arabic, Zanze Al'Gharab. In the western Buffer Zone, many anti-revolutionary Algrabadis had lived there since before the revolution, calling themselves Zanzeans.
Last edited by Algrabad on Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:50 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Of Light and Shadow, Part VI: To Kill a Ku’in

Postby Algrabad » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:18 am

Several of Loujain Al-Sadah’s staff had joined her on the journey, as had the news of spies. She became friendly with the senior El’fi of Do’ana, El’fi Sayegh Alima. They were due to spend 3 weeks in Zanzibar before returning to their own region to oversee home front management. Loujain knew that Alima was hoping for appointment to an office of high responsibility, so that she might spend the war in Zanzibar, rather than Do’ana, where she was now thoroughly convinced she would be assassinated before long.

The word of spies had reached Zanzibar, where it was treated with considerably more critical analysis than in Do’ana. Indeed, some spiritual leaders were furious that distrust among Zanzeans had been allowed to manifest itself in such trying times. In the narrow streets and open spaces, people addressed passers-by from atop wooden boxes, appealing for calm and trust in one another and the Ku’in, El’fi Haki'im Rawiya.

The court of the Ku’in of Zanzes was a spectacle of primitive communism, in Loujain’s mind. The city had been built without a plan or a design. It was odd and mildly alarming to Loujain, who had grown up in a new town, built after the revolution according to national standards. There, every bathtub was the same size, and every street had the same number of identical residential buildings on it. Here, there were barely streets. The court, however, was different. The Ku’in wasn’t there when she arrived, but many El’fi and a few Ka’fi were mingling. A great square – by Zanzeanic standards – was laid out before a beautiful building, adorned with carvings of leaders past. Religious iconography littered the edges of the square, and a great monument to the first leader commanded the space, opposite the palatial residence.

The thing to do here was apparently lie on cushions on the stone and gossip while the servile classes moved in and out serving various fruits, nuts and beverages. Something Loujain had worried about was the currency she had brought with her, but it soon became apparent that pieces of gold and other metals were accepted based on their weight by many merchants, even if coinage was easier. She had thus decided to hold back her coins unless she absolutely needed to use them, for fear that they might be spotted as false currency. She allowed a young Ka’fi to flirt with her, viewing it as the most harmless conversation she could have, and in other ways possibly the most productive. For the entire day, the Ku’in did not appear in the square once, and the flirting eventually paid off for both of them.

The next day it was the same. El’fi Sayegh Alima confirmed to her that they might wait some days. Indeed, that appeared to be what every other noble was doing. Frustrated, and not at all in the mood to spend so much of her money on expensive fruit, Loujain wondered through the streets with one of her Algrabadi group, Riyadh, who was posing as her Ka’fi. He had heard that the Ku’in would not be appearing in public for 2 more days at least, due to illness. They both lamented that they might have made the trip all the way, simply for the target to die of some easily curable condition. It was ungenerous of them, though, as they had seen no evidence of bad healthcare.

On the afternoon of the next day, El’fi Sayegh Alima scored an appointment with the Ku’in’s chief assistant, who went by a title Loujain couldn’t quite pronounce, and so didn’t attempt. The two of them were admitted to a small hall, richly decorated, inside the residence. Loujain dressed in gold and white, with a matching headdress, and gold and silver linked jewellery covered her body. She practiced her best theological references to make in addressing the woman with the peculiar title. Her name was El’fi Handal Sahlah, and Loujain appended a local version of Your Excellency to that, in order to get around the official title. Handal was dressed in more formal attire than Loujain had expected, but she supposed that not everyone here went about their business dressed like an ancient oligarch.

The meeting was somewhat productive, with Alima detailing the real problems facing her home region, and the numbers of men committed to the fighting from the various settlements under her stewardship. For her part, Loujain, as El’fi Ali Munab, recounted less radical versions of the tales of the spies and espionage, being careful to report it as a general problem in the area, not something she had personally been one of the first to discover. El’fi Handal Sahlah did not take the stories well. While they were leaving, Alima received an invitation to meet the Ku’in herself the day after. Loujain’s character received no such invitation.

That night, she and Riyadh dutifully shared a bed. It was necessary, in the living conditions of Zanzibar, to play the part occasionally. They hatched a plan that night for assassination as soon as the Ku’in appeared in public again – it was clear that Loujain would not get a personal meeting now. The very tactic that had been so successful in getting her into the capital, had secured the disapproval of her character among the ruling elites. After a few games of backgammon on the large bed, and partly out of boredom and frustration, they succumbed to the parts they were playing and took each other. She found him frustratingly worrisome the next day, as if they might have become too attached. Not for the first time, she pondered if they wouldn’t just be better farming the men back home, as they seemed to do in the villages of Zanzes.
A full two weeks later, the square fell silent as a crier of some description announced the appearance of the Ku’in. Those of every rank in the square fell to their knees in her honour as she emerged from the front of the residence, standing on a plinth before those who had come to see her. The merchants spilled their fruits and nuts and barbequed meats as they fell dutifully before her grace.

She was a stunningly beautiful woman, even at the age of 57 – if the AA report was not fiction. Darker skinned than most, she displayed orange and gold hair to her waist, braided. She had a smile that lifted those who looked upon her, and under a modest crown of gold, accessorised with a satin shawl that hung down one side, her brown eyes beamed, and she seemed to embody at once the dogged determination of a leader, the experience and caution of an elder, and the mete-humanity and mystique of a religious icon. The satin shawl was a bright gold, and her dress was full length but sleeveless. It was more complicated than the usual El’fi dress, with several layers wrapped around her, giving it the appearance of a toga almost - the gold was joined by blue and green, somewhere in the folds.

The crowd hailed her, applauded her, and eventually, fell silent for her. Many brought forward offerings, and laid them at her feet. Flowers, jewels, carvings, fruits, some very strange local varieties, brought by El’fi and Ka’fi from far-off places. She smiled upon those who had presented gifts, and they felt blessed.

She began a powerful speech. One she had prepared for some time. She was to detail the reason for her seclusion, the attempt to draw inspiration from the first leader, and her conclusions. The premonition of victory would be strong fuel for the Zanzeanic stomach, and she could put to bed the rumblings of spies and infiltrators that had so occupied her people to their detriment, if reports were to be believed. Poets would have recreated the speech for generations to come. Playwrights would have wished they were there to hear it.

But the magical moment was ruined utterly when a basket of fruits exploded into flame. Riyadh’s white phosphorous grenade spread flames over the plinth, engulfing the Ku’in completely. The screaming crowds looked away as their leader, the spiritual head of their society, was eaten away by the horrific chemical reaction, spots of the flame digging deep into her body, eating away at the pretty skin and the bloody flesh below. Her gleaming eyes turned red, her broad smile rotted away. The beautiful dress fell in pieces as its host was consumed. Several close bystanders were suffering too – collateral damage to the perpetrators. The body of the Ku’in of the Zanze was lifeless before it fell off the plinth.

Loujain was not the only one to flee the city that night. Those in the square had witnessed a blasphemy, and the very worst omen. A deep terror took hold of all who had seen it happen, and soon it spread to all in the city, and before long, the nation at large.

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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Poldania » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:39 pm

"Perfect opportunities do not exist." This was the first thing Poldanian officer candidates read in their handbooks; memorization was mandatory.

Every president of Poldania had memorized the line at one of the academies, as well as the second point, "A perfect opportunity is a trap."

And so Robert Cesare found himself with the uneasy feeling that he was being presented with a perfect opportunity to invade Segland.

The military was already in place on the border and geared up for war after pacifying Merrina. That much he'd planned all along. Every planner in DOD had seen a full Nui-ra/UNCA conflict coming, and manning the border had become something of a priority. At the time those plans were made, though, Poldania had no treaty obligations to Nui-ta, so any attack on Poldania by Segland would have been shakily justifiable, if at all. If Segland did attack though (maybe with some light provocation) Cesare had already decided Poldania would counterattack and cripple the Demarchists, all for his dream of a unified East (led, of course, by his Union). And he'd accepted the risk of facing heavy Seglandic resistance, expecting the western side of the border to be fortified against the massing Poldanian force. The army had taken pains to look like they were just garrisoning the area in case of Merrinan insurgency (which was true to an extent) and appear unprepared for an attack from the west. Finally, he had accepted that a war with Segland might just never happen, and the UNCA powerhouse would have to be brought down through slower means.

But for all the planning and scheming how exactly to tickle the dragon, Cesare had found himself looking at a virtually undefended Seglandic border, a mutual defense treaty with a nation now at war with UNCA, Seglandic troops being sent to the other side of the world, and nearly a million Poldanians sitting armed and ready. Not to mention the navy was already committed to a blockade.

His training said there was some trick. His advisors said it was just luck.

Either way, there was no turning back -- the orders had been sent hours ago, and the president at his desk now faced the cameras for a second time in six months. The teleprompters flashed a countdown. Robert took a breath.

"Citizens of Poldania, good morning."

Army crosses border, navy ordered to tighten blockade

June 29, 2059

VERDONA - President Cesare announced this morning that Poldanian forces in Merrina had launched an invasion of Segland.

Field Army West, 360,000-strong, crossed the northern part of the border at dawn. FA South, manning the border nearest the Seglandic capital of Ryutsvaag, consists of nearly half a million men and women, but is not reported to be involved in the operation at this time. FA North will continue peacekeeping and reconstruction work in Merrina, according to an army statement.

Planes stationed in freshly-repaired airbases in the south are flying over eastern Segland. The air force would not disclose details of any ongoing operations.

The ongoing blockade of Segland has been expanded: in addition to hunting enemy vessels, the navy is now authorized to capture or sink any civilian vessel attempting to enter or leave Seglandic waters.

In a short speech broadcast nationwide, the president said Poldania was bound to defend Nui-tan and Zanzeanic sovereignty. Parts of Zanzes have come under occupation by Hadinian and Seglandic forces, leading to a Nui-tan declaration of war on Hadin.

While Segland and Nui-ta have not declared war against each other, the government considers Segland's invasion of Zanzes an act of war against Zanzes and, through the Zannui treaty, Nui-ta. "No one can pretend," said the president, "in either Hadin or Segland, that an attack on Zanzes is not an act of war against Nui-ta."

No mention was made of the Radiatian parliament's vote to authorize potential military action against Hadin.

The president concluded by proclaiming "unwavering solidarity" with Nui-ta and Zanzes.

Both houses of parliament are meeting in emergency session today.

In other news:
  • Will Radiatia join the war?
  • Investors flock to Arthurian bonds
  • First TOTAL conference may be postponed
Official name: The Poldanian Union
Language: Livretan
President: Robert Cesare (U)
Prime Minister: Antoine Schmidt (U)

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Founded: Jun 26, 2012

Postby Zanzes » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:05 pm

The Zanze had been living in the jungles, surviving off of the ruins of infrastructure that had fallen 200 years prior. The remnants of steam-powered railways had given way to the use of hand-car propelled carriages. Cobblestone roads had gone into disrepair for the use of bull-driven carriages, though their dusty remains still dotted the landscape enough to allow them to exist as semi-navigable footpaths for the populace. In areas which had been larger cities, shanty towns had sprung up and rebuilt shacks, grottoes, and some workshops. In the largest cities, like Zanzibar, they had even managed to restore the buildings in the city to working order. Zanzibar was perhaps the least derelict of all the cities, towns, and villages in Zanzes --- the closest still to what Zanzes had once been, because Zanzibar had retained much of its knowledge.

When the Fall of Heaven1 occurred, 200 years prior, the devastation yielded to Zanzibar had been like a heart attack for the once proud nation. The capital was lucky to have retained much of their scientific scripts from before the Fall. The loss of connection to the rest of the nation for a long period of time, however, had allowed the rest of the nation to fall into further decay. Some of the furthest portions, like a the southeastern province of Al'aklaman, were abandoned completely. Oddly enough, the Nui-tans had annexed a portion of abandoned Al'aklaman a few years prior to the Karasian War --- they called it New Zanzes. Authentic Zanze who had been lucky enough to visit New Zanzes marveled at how advanced the Nui-tans had made the place in such a short amount of time. The Nui-tan section featured an airport (a gathering place, one was told, for the "metal birds" controlled by the Nui-tans) and a large port for ships.

The houses were not of wood and metal, but concrete and steel. Some towered far beyond the horizon in the capital city of Jogh'ba2, while the Nui-tans also boasted, near the border of New Zanzes and Zanzes proper, a very advanced military base by the name of San Kalisto3.

Meanwhile, in Zanzes, repairs and re-connections by rail and road were still underway when the Zannui Pact was made. In Zanzibar, the two years after the signing of the Zannui Pact had led to some major structural renovations in the capital city. Although the city had yet to cross over into modern architecture, the buildings looked a lot sturdier --- and a lot less like ruins --- after the Nui-tans came through and dusted up the place. The only modern building in the entire city was, of course, the Nui-tan embassy to Zanzes, a two story building which seemed to match the "old-world" building style of the rest of Zanzes, but with bullet-proof glass, military posts, and modernized furnishings which, to the Zanze, were quite futuristic looking.

Out in Do'ana, such revolutions were yet to occur. The rural Zanze had only heard of the modern Nui-tans, once a subjugated colony of Zanze, now a developed nation and even a budding first-world power. The local El'fi couldn't wait for the day such Nui-tan marvels would come out to Do'ana, far into the future as that day seemed to be.

The arrival of El'fi Ali Munab (the one who was thought to be her, at least), was lauded in true rural Zanzeanic fashion. The "El'fi" was not questioned, but offered gifts and bowed down to as if she were the ku'in herself. As a visiting high-class delegate from a different portion of the country, the lower and middle classes dared not to question her. All El'fi and Ka'fi had of course proven themselves at the end of their Maj'ni days4, and their status in society and subsequent veneration were thus wholly deserved by Zanzeanic social code. So it was that El'fi Ali Munab, secretly known as Loujain, slipped through the seams of Zanzeanic culture with little difficulty --- the real Munab would likely not be found until long after the war was over.

The false Munab, in the meanwhile, had managed to cause a ripple effect among the Zanzeanic populace. As the primary mode of information transmission within Zanzes was via "word of mouth", the fantastical stories sown by Loujain were as embers to dry brush in a field. The Algrabadi, Hadinian, and Seglandic forces were all forces which the Zanze did not truly understand, and a misunderstanding of their true nature only fanned the flames of terror, suspicion, and confusion. Some of the more educated and wisened Zanze were able to laugh off the more outlandish claims, such as the idea of "metal birds"5, but among the majority, the damage was done. Loose lips sunk ships, after all.

The Zanzeanic ship was definitely sinking. The holes punched into the frame of said metaphorical ships began flooding with water and sending the ship to the bottom of the sea after one well-placed phosphorous grenade ended the life of the ku'in in spectacularly gruesome fashion. Normally, the next high-ranking El'fi in the area would have been put forward to continue the duties of El'fi Haki'im Rawiya --- but now, fear had gripped the nation. The Zanze could simply not believe that the Algrabadi forces had infiltrated the nation and ended the life of their esteemed leader, nevermind with such force and destruction. The white flames had left almost nothing recognizable of the El'fi, and their unearthly appearance had begun sparking rumors that the assassination of the El'fi was a bad omen. No matter how brave the El'fi women had proven themselves during the Maj'ni trials, none were willing to be the next target of such aggression.

Without a leader to guide them, the Zanze began to break apart. The once unified leadership, primitive as it was, that at least kept orders flowing from one commander down to the subordinates efficiently, was now gone. As command fell into disarray, so to did their defenses, and before the Zanze knew it, the Algrabadi and Hadinian forces were knocking on their western and northern edges. The Zanze had already lost the war, in the eyes of the world. The only saving grace against UNCA now, in Southern Terra Occidens, was the fact that the Hadinians were soon to cross the 17th Parallel6. The moment they did that, they would be pushing Nui-ta into a corner, boxing the Nui-tans in from the west and north, with only neutral waters to greet the Nui-tans on the south and east.

What Zanzes could only count on now was the fact that a cornered animal was the most dangerous.

1 The Fall of Heaven, mentioned early in the first post, was the event which brought the Zanzeanic Empire to its knees. A massive earthquake in the city of Zanzibar had dismantled much of the infrastructure. The earthquake also caused aftershocks in the less developed outskirt cities around Zanzibar, essentially cutting Zanzibar off from the rest of the nation and causing the unified nation to fall into disrepair. Further, the ku'in at the time in Zanzibar was killed during the devastation, causing the succession to be forced unto a very young El'fi, who wasn't equipped to handle the drought, famine, and disrepair that followed.

The nation essentially fell apart, and has been surviving in the ruins of itself since its fall, in a form of Dark Age.

2Jogh'ba is the capital of New Zanzes, and features several skyscrapers. For someone from old Zanzes, the very notion of a skyscraper is mind-boggling. Then again, so are airplanes and electric trains. New Zanzes is a Nui-tan state, annexed for expansion purposes after Nui-ta could prove that the area had been utterly abandoned by Zanzes to a Humanitarian League tribunal, and has been since A.N 126. The Zannui Deal was signed and ratified in A.N 133, and the Karassian War breaks out in A.N 135.

For the newer members, Humanitarian League is an international union which was spearheaded by Aazeronia. One could fall it the predecessor to entities like UNCA, RICH, or TOTAL. The League doesn't really do anything anymore, given that Aazeronia has left the world stage. Radiatia was a former member which left during the Rexit referrendum, while several other Nocturian nations still possess membership. The Humanitarian League isn't an alliance, though, unlike UNCA, RICH, or TOTAL --- it's more like the United Nations, allowing membership from pretty much any sovereign state in the interest of maintaining and promoting international co-operation.

3San Kalisto is the main Nui-tan military base of New Zanzes. Every Nui-tan state has a central hub of military operations which is known to the public. All military installations in Nui-ta are officially designated with "San". Zanzes has picked that tradition up from Nui-ta, as you can see with San Di're.

4The class system in Zanzes is very different from that of Nui-ta or other systems with a nobility, because in Zanzes, being a noble is not a hereditary thing. All children, regardless of whom they are born to, are considered Maj'ni, which means "un-ranked". From the time they can run independently, young Maj'ni children are segregated by gender and live in either the women's or men's section of town, and are raised by the entirety of the community there. Once they hit puberty, they are subjected to "the trials", a series of physical and intellectual evaluations which allow the governing elders to determine the child's aptitude, and where they will be ranked in society for the rest of their lives. While it is typical that children will wind up in the same rank as their parents, it is by no means an absolute rule. Instances of children being ranked less than high-ranking parents are quite common, while instances of children rising up from the status of their lower-ranking parents is rarer, but by no means unheard of.

5Having been isolated from global society for 200 years, and only having one major diplomatic relationship today, the Zanze have a limited understanding of modern technology, outside of a privileged few who have gotten the opportunity to work with Nui-tan authorities after the inception of the Zannui Deal. In rural areas, this technological ignorance is so high that a Zanzeanic village made headlines for throwing spears at a Radiatian civilian aircraft, not out of malignant intent but because the Zanze literally thought they were under attack by a metal bird. Since the Zannui Deal, exchange of information with Nui-ta has resulted in many Zanze becoming more familiar with modern infrastructure, automatic weaponry, and the concepts of rail and aerospace travel...but it will still take time before they become familiar enough to go beyond thinking that the Nui-tans are simply very gifted sorcerers, who are making all of this stuff up.

6The 17th Parallel is a longitudinal line which divides the naval claims of Hadin and Nui-ta via an agreement reached a few years back. Past the waters surrounding Hadin and Nui-ta, an extended 17th Parallel falls on firmly Zanzeanic land, but at the same time is not particularly far north from the Nui-tan state of New Zanzes (which is more around the 14th or 15th Parallel). Indeed, while the Hadinians invading Zanzes was already viewed by the Nui-tans as being bad enough, for them to cross the 17th Parallel comes especially "close to home" --- it is a dangerous last step between invading a Nui-tan ally, and invading Nui-ta itself.

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Postby Nui-ta » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:32 pm

The United Nocturian Co-Operation Axis had succeeded in a primary objective: weakening Zanzes past the point of stability.

Despite the best efforts of Nui-tan External Affairs authorities, the government could only watch as the successful assassination of the Zanzeanic ku'in washed over the mainland country. They were afraid of this sort of thing from the very beginning --- after almost 200 years of isolation from the rest of the world, the Zanze did not have the geopolitical or technological understanding necessary to fight back against the far superior UNCA.

The assassination of the head of state was bad enough. Reports from Nui-tan intelligence quickly surfaced that Algrabadi authorities, apparently acting in the interest of "payment" for Hadinian involvement in Higgins and Brown, had undertaken the infiltration mission which lead to the death of the ku'in. During the time in which the spies were there, they'd managed to sow enough fear into the general Zanzeanic populace about the capabilities of UNCA, leveraging the ignorance of the Zanze to believe such nonsense as "the metal birds would eat them" or "the UNCA could replace innocent Zanze with duplicates".

In Nui-ta, that sort of business would never have worked. The fact that it did work in Zanzes resulted in worries and condemnation for the Zannui Pact. Sure, the whole point of the Zannui Pact was to placate and entice Zanzes into aligning with the Nui-Ra sphere, or at least away from UNCA...but Zanzes had fallen anyway.

This was to Nui-ta what Higgins and Brown was with Radiatia.

There were some differences, though. While the under-performance of the Higgins and Brownites equipped with superior Radiatian funds and firepower had been downright unexpected and distressing, it was known among Nui-tans from the start that the Zanze would still be relatively helpless even in the best outcome. It would have taken years for the Zanze to acclimate to the modern age, even with Nui-ta's help. So long as they were a stand-alone entity, the Zanze would be slow to adapt --- and this posed a problem for Nui-ta, which relied on Zanzes ability to resist UNCA as the last stand between Nui-ta and a geographical "UNCA cage".

At the same time, annexing Zanzes outright was flatly opposed by both Emperor Rowan di-Amori and Prime Minister Paolo Medici. Medici, who'd once been a colonist himself in the days when Hadin was a colony of Nui-ta, did not believe that the idea of colonization was ethical in the slightest, while the Emperor worried that refusing to acknowledge Zanzean sovereignty would push Zanzes voluntarily into the arms of UNCA. The Emperor had been right to think that, given that the government of Zanze who'd signed off on the Zannui Pact stressed from the beginning that above all, Zanzes wished to stay free. It had been clear that Hadin would not have afforded the Zanze this luxury, hence the decision to work with Nui-ta.

None of that mattered now, though. With the death of the ku'in via white phosphorus grenade, no new leader had stepped up in Zanzes to take the place of the deceased. There were even rumors going around that the Zanze thought that the death of the ku'in in the fashion of which she died was some sort of divine punishment from deceased leaders of the past --- and even the Nui-tans with their widespread beliefs in gods and spirits knew that the success of these rumors in Zanzes showed how backwards the nation really was. As sad as many were to admit it, the nation of Zanzes simply had no future. The Hadinians had won the first of the two battles they'd wished for, and everyone with a basic understanding of Nui-Had relations knew that Nico Hass intended to put an end to Nui-ta, or at least severely cripple it for years to come, if he got the chance. The current geopolitical climate was such where Hass was now most likely to strike, and with Hadin and UNCA being successful in both Higgins and Brown and Zanzes, the biggest worry now was that Nui-ta would be the next country to fall --- after all, the UNCA had been on quite the winning streak.

Nui-ta would no doubt have been a valuable target if it did fall, as the most influential of the countries attacked by UNCA thus-far. Higgins and Brown and Zanze were "third-world" countries (although Higgins and Brown was certainly still civilized), and their entrapment by UNCA had strengthened the second-world UNCA, but done nothing to explicitly weaken the first. If the UNCA claimed dominance over a first-world country; even a small country like Nui-ta, which had been an unknown until the last quarter-century to the rest of Noctur, it would be a whole other thing entirely. The Nui-tans couldn't boast a large economy, even though the Nui-tan economy had grown past the point of being that of a developing country...but it could boast valuable trade agreements, military alliances, and a formidable military-industrial complex in its society that would be "out of the way" if UNCA ever decided to turn its attention to even more powerful countries like Radiatia or Poldania...or worse, perhaps harnessed by UNCA itself if Nui-ta were to become a Higgins and Brown-like puppet-state.

These fears weighed heavily on the collective minds of the Nui-tan people as the news came that Hadinian forces had swept through much of Zanzes and were approaching the 17th Parallel --- the dividing longitudinal line between the spheres of influence of Hadin and Nui-ta. The Nui-tan state of New Zanzes was further away, close to the 15th parallel at its northernmost point --- but the very thought of Hadinian forces going anywhere near these lines was even more of a shock.

The bodyguard assigned to the Prime Minister found it soothing and yet somewhat concerning that Paolo Medici could function with virtually no personal time set aside for himself.

Veteran guards used to chit-chat about, outside of the most urgent calls, Evan Isaci was never to be disturbed between the hours of 01:00 to 06:00 --- this was the time in which he refused to do anything except sleep. Trenta i-Harendo had been a lot more agreeable to work with during her "off-hours", but restrictions were still placed to allow her time to rest in order to avoid exacerbation of her asthma --- and no one dared call Ultimus Renton on a Saturday, even with important news.

The bodyguard in question, Tam'ra Kalshwa, had been around long enough to remember the last couple of Renton Administration years -- specifically, how sour of a mood Ultimus Renton had been in despite a Saturday call being made to discuss the urgent affairs of Hadinian/Nui-tan naval border issues.

And so, Tam'ra couldn't help but relax a little the first time she heard the phone ring at 2 am in Anixi Villa. There was no yelling, cursing, or angry stomping around --- only a slight yawn and a couple of small taps from Medici's hand reaching up to search for his cell phone before answering politely. The grumpiest entity in the house during these calls was not Paolo, but his dog Sigma, who'd let out a slight whine upon hearing the ringtone which Medici assigned just for the Emperor.

Many late-night calls in, Medici had gotten a lot better at finding his phone quicker, and Sigma had learned to stop making those little annoying whines. This current call, made at 2:45 am, was answered in the span of only two chirps.

"Ave?"1 Paolo Medici could be heard saying, sleepily.

A pause. Medici was listening to the Emperor. Whatever was being said could not be heard by Tam'ra, given that the phone was not on speaker.

Whatever Rowan di-Amori had said to Paolo Medici, it must have been something big. Tam'ra could hear Medici gasp a little --- the Prime Minister also switched over immediately into a more alert tone, and into the Melodian language.

"When did this happen? Two hours ago? Why didn't you say something sooner?"

More silence, and then...

"Absolute confirmation, you say. So, you're not speculating. What now?"

Another pause.


"...A-are...Are you sure?"

"Your Highness...there's got to be another way..."

"You can't possibly say that we've exhausted all of our other options. Listen, I know as the Prime Minister it isn't really my business to discuss the military dealings of Nui-ta but...I mean..."

"We can push them back. We have the capabilities. Hell, back in my day we got rid of the PAF-PZF with a lot less firepower".

"...yes, I know. But a lot less lives will be lost if we actually use our military on the ground instead of --- yeah I know they aren't Nui-tan lives! But...what the Commandants are proposing, you aren't actually planning to go through it with it...what do you mean their original idea was a lot worse?"

"...well, at least your idea is a lot more humane. To a point, anyway. Yeah, I know war isn't really all that humane".

"Anyway, you've obviously already made up your mind. The only question that remains now is what you want me to do about it while you issue the order".

"...they want WHAT?"

"...that's the most desperate thing I've ever seen on the geopolitical stage, and I had to listen to the Higgins and Brownite Foreign Minister grovel for hours to try and get Nui-tan boots on the ground for a suicidal war against the UNCA".

"...yeah, there probably will be some backlash. UNCA already like to call us aristocratic and war-mongery, and this wouldn't help anything. Even if the remnants of Zanzes decide that they're stuck being a dependent country, and they'd prefer us over Hadin, that's still that colonization crap that I was warning against..."

"...well that's a really nice alternative, actually. I think the saner parts of the world could understand that. UNCA won't, but when does UNCA understand anything?"

"...well, I really hope this shuts up UNCA for a while. If this doesn't, I don't know what will...and I don't like it, so that's all the more reason I hope it pays off. Otherwise, it'll be a shit move for no gain at all".

"I doubt I'll be sleeping for the next week. I'll see you in the War Room whenever you're ready to tell the Cabinet".

Tam'ra heard one small beep as Paolo hung up the phone. There was no discernible noise afterwards, besides a couple of sad whines from Sigma. When Sigma quieted down a little, Tam'ra did her best to listen a little closer, and suddenly realized that there was another sound coming from behind the door.

Paolo Medici was...crying.

Perhaps another sign that the Nui-tans had advanced further than they'd ever dreamed they would was the unknown presence of a stealth bomber, flying above the Zanzeanic landscape, not far from where the Hadinian forces were closing in on the southern-most portion of Zanzes.

Whether or not the Hadinians would actually be crazy enough to attempt to cross the border, or just stop at the edges of Zanzes and call it a day didn't matter. As far as the Nui-tan Air Force was concerned, the Hadinians had gone more than far enough already into the southern Karasian lands --- Zanzes wasn't technically part of the archipelago, being a mainland country, but it was close enough to be considered a part of greater Karas anyway.

This was overkill by the Hadinian forces, and it was to be met with overkill by Nui-ta. The bomber had been given a very specific target: one far enough away from Zanzeanic towns to minimize civilian casualties, even if those towns were now controlled by the enemy. It was a gift to both Zanzes and Hadin that Nui-ta was, by choice, a non-nuclear state, or else such minimization of civilian causalities would likely have been logistically impossible.

Whether or not this alternative was much better, though, was yet to be truly determined. It had been saved in the deepest, darkest vaults of some of the most secretive Nui-tan armories, only seeing the light of day once during the Partition during the Battle of Kaurizil. Its very existence, though somewhat mythical and definitely very, very classified, had been as an alternative form of nuclear deterrent. Given that Hadin was now capable of launching nuclear missiles, but that Nui-ta remained opposed to being nuclear itself, there had to be something else --- and this was it.

The two Air Force personnel within the cockpit --- the only two living things on the bomber, felt a sense of nervousness overwhelm them as they engaged their targets. Almost immediately below them now was a large force of Septimist fanatics. A bit south of them was the border between Zanzes and Nui-ta, and behind that border were many nervous Nui-tan soldiers. All of them were ready to fight for the Monarchy, but many of them were young people who were increasingly replacing the war-tested veterans of the Partition and Hadinian War. Many of these new soldiers were conscripts --- nervous conscripts. Although Nui-ta had done its best to put the volunteer force in combat and the conscripts to the sidelines, there was no doubt in wartime that conscription did have a huge downfall, mainly in that the new kids were jittery and far more prone to errors.

This operation was meant to be the alternative --- a quick, decisive strike that would hit a major portion of the Hadinian forces and cripple any Hadinian hope for furthering their southern assault. If the Nui-tans were really successful, they would possibly even push the Hadinians back far enough to regain some order in southern Zanzes, opening up the possibility of salvaging at least a portion of the country. Even if the survivors below decided to push onwards, they'd be thinned out enough for the conscripts to capably do the rest --- and perhaps, finally deal a vengeful blow against the theocratic thugs who'd become the primary henchmen of Segland's great Axis.

The pilot steadied the controls as the stealth bomber reached its target, so that the payload could fall with maximum accuracy. The mission commander audibly felt his heart skip a beat as he said quietly to the pilot, "Mal de'sira apera eza".

May the Gods forgive us.

And then, one singular command --- release the payload.

The "bombs" were actually specialized artillery shells filled with sarin --- two pallet's worth, down from the original recommendation by the Elite Corps Commandant of six pallets. When dropped upon the Hadinian forces, the initial impact resulted in several casualties --- but what would really put nail down the lid to many of the coffins was the after-effects, as the Hadinians below began inhaling the gas. The pilot was already cringing as he imagined the faces of many Hadinian men below, watching their fellow soldiers suffocate as the agent stopped the body's nerves from being able to regulate the muscles responsible for the act of breathing.

There was no doubt that many would die. The final number turned out to be a couple hundred, with many more escaping death but suffering permanent injury. Still, the relatively low number of pallets would mean that the attack radius would be relatively small, while the psychological factor would cause many others to flee. The action would very likely not be taken well by the rest of the world, as it was a sharp turn from the lack of aggressive action by the Polnuira bloc against UNCA...but someone had to do it.

Hadin and UNCA had insisted so much on caging Nui-ta into a box --- the whole time, they'd forgotten that the most dangerous beasts in the world were the ones trapped in cages.

1 Ave: Pronounced "a-vay", the Hadinian Latin word for "hello". Being born and raised as a Hadinian colonist in Nui-ta, Paolo Medici's first language is Latin, rather than Melodian.

2 Sarin is a nerve gas, classified as a chemical weapon. The Nui-tans had gone the route of chemical weaponry since before the Partition, although the gas was used on a very, very small scale during the Partition. This event constitutes the most wide-scale use of the chemical agent ever by Nui-ta (as well as the first time Nui-ta bombed a country other than...well...Nui-ta, with it), and may also be the largest chemical warfare event that Noctur has ever seen. You can read more about sarin here.
Someone cares? Okay then. Economic Left/Right: -2.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.85

INFP-T personality, quite heavy on the I,P, and T.

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Founded: Feb 19, 2012

Postby Hadin » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:29 pm

Some movements begin not with a bang, but with mere whispers.

The whispers in question were early in the morning, on one of the back-streets of the city of Lederata. This city was the largest city of the province of Unare, from which High Envoy Hass hailed from. As the favorite son of Unare, High-Envoy Hass enjoyed a wealth of propaganda and political influence that he couldn't command in any other part of Hadin, despite being the Head of State.

It was on the back-streets of Lederata, at the break of dawn, that a small group of Hadinian women chit-chatted about everything from their daily lives to world news. The women were of various ages and somewhat differentiated backgrounds, with their common connection being that all of them lived on the same block, and were a sort of communal support system for each other, given the harsh lives of Hadinian women in provinces as conservative and misogynistic as Unare.

The leader among them was Nikalina Norkut, a woman in her mid-fifties. The platinum blonde hair which most Hadinians were known for had long turned silver for Nikalina, and her pale skin gave way to several wrinkles. She was larger and uglier than most of the other women --- one might even use the word "dumpy" --- the graces of youth had long passed her by. What Nikalina received in return for this twisted transaction was an acute wit. Her husband, the average Hadinian male, neither too brutish nor too kind to his wife or children, either did not notice this wit, or did not care. Her friends, on the other hand, knew Nikalina to be the pragmatic soul of the group.

Through all the pains and sorrows of their lives, she led the women, posing as a clueless housewife despite really being what they considered as an angel. When one young woman was caught between marrying a richer man at the behest of her parents, or a less reputable one whom she loved, Nikalina inspired her to marry the lover, then leverage the emotional ties between them to force her husband to make a better name for himself.

When a woman in the group --- nearly all of them, at some point --- had reached the end of a pregnancy and found it difficult to keep up with the housekeeping, Nikalina had rallied the other women to pitch in.

When one young woman even showed up attempting to cover several bruises, Nikalina took any action she could. Protections against domestic abuse in Unare had long been almost non-existent, but Nikalina and a couple of other women managed to pressure their husbands into confronting the abuser.

It was her firm belief that in such a society as theirs, which favored the male, Hadinian women needed to protect each other. There was no denying that they all had duties to fill as wives, mothers, and homemakers, but they would be damned if they were not appreciated, or at least allowed to live quietly, in exchange for the fulfillment of the domestic servitude expected from them. Sometimes, such servitude required a mental escape, and these morning conversations were the route by which this escape occurred.

"Did you hear that our Liberation Army might be crossing the 17th Parallel?"

It was still just past daybreak. Most of the stores had not yet opened. The men were inside their various houses, taking showers, shaving, or doing other such activities before work. The children were mostly still asleep. Alone in the street were the women, enjoying their free-time while the meals they'd slaved over earlier in the morning waited to be eaten. Most of them were setting up wire for the day, to hang the laundry later.

"I wonder what the Nui-tans will do about that".

"I hear from my husband they probably won't do anything. They're too busy defending the Zanzeanic brutes to fight us off".

"Your husband is a fool, Valentina. I'd imagine they'd get quite upset about that. Besides, with Zanzes fallen, there's very little left for Nui-ta to defend besides themselves".

"Oh, you're not a soldier, Nikalina. What would you know of warfare?"

"Maybe we ought to change the subject to something more pleasant. Imagine what our husbands would say coming out and hearing us speculate about the affairs of the world".

"Ceslova, you're selling us all quite short. We cook and clean for them. We can talk about what we damn well please".

"Well what do you think about this, Greta? Back before the Rosario Doctrine1, didn't you used to be a military nurse?"

"T-That was a long time ago..."

"Well, these days we're living in a more civilized society now, aren't we? Given the changes brought about by the Hass Doctrine. All of us are doing our part to continue keeping the nation as strong as it can be -- that's the whole reason that High-Envoy Hass has changed so many things, isn't it?"

"It had better be as strong as it can be, given all that we have given up," Nikalina mused. "Our careers, our livelihoods, and even our freedom and our children. I really hope that it's all worth it".

"I can't imagine what Hadin would face if all this turned out for nothing".

"By Septima, this is really happening".

Among the battalion of men sent along this particular march into Southern Zanzes was a man by the name of Ignatio Herst. Ignatio, who'd just celebrated his 24th birthday, was a Lieutenant in charge of ground reconnaissance. His job, as well as the job of those assigned to him, had been to pour over maps extensively and scout ahead of the main forces for information regarding the best ways to advance into enemy territory.

This was an odd task to expect of someone like Herst, a very pale-skinned man with a few bits of Oriens heritage interspersed among his predominantly Hadinian bloodline. He wasn't sure what particular country the "foreigner" in him was from --- given his Germanic appearances, he liked to think he was Seglandic or at least Crataan or Aazeronian.

The Seglander, Crataan, or Aazeronian wasn't helping him blend in, though. It was obvious, in a sea of dark faces stained forever by the ancestral genes and sunny climate, that Herst was a part of the invading force. For that reason, he spent most of his time only slightly ahead of the main force, with the leading battalion, while a couple of underlings of his with far more ethnic appearances strayed farther ahead. He'd known a couple of young men who'd immigrated to Hadin and joined the military from Algrabad, most of them coming in through the UNCA-related "Hadinian/Algrabadi Exchange Program"2. There was also one young man, a Sergeant, who'd boasted some Nui-tan lineage, but was born and raised in Kopurauth.

These men, who were far more capable of blending in, returned to him with stories of how far the capital had fallen since the assassination of the ku'in. Unlike civilized countries, no leadership had overtaken the country to direct it after the death of their last leader. The ruling men and women --- the military and spiritual leaders of Zanzes --- had abandoned their posts and their cult-state. Many had fled south to avoid the incoming UNCA forces. Some had stayed behind and awaited their ultimate fate. The lack of resistance to the invaders was mind-boggling for Herst to consider --- this was very different from what he'd imagined.

He'd imagined watching the Hadinian combatants storm the city and have a fight to the last Zanzeanic foot-soldier. There was a part of him that had been anxious, or at least curious, to hear them lash out in defense, or at least to hear the lamentations of their women as UNCA asserted itself as the dominant power. There was something disconcerting about watching their quarry roll back idly and simply let UNCA do as it wished.

It made the cause seem far less glorious. It made Herst think, perhaps for a moment, that everything that they were doing was overkill --- after all, here they were invading a nation which was 200 years behind technologically, and all in the name of resources and global dominance. When they went through the city, no one stood up to them --- the Nui-tans weren't there, and the Zanze who remained seemed to have already accepted their fate.

Marching further south, they encountered little resistance. A few, more resilient Zanze began attacking, often with spears --- spears, but occasionally with machine guns and grenades, but these were quickly put down by the superiority of the Hadinian force. The worst the Zanze gave the Hadinain force as the Hadinians neared the 17th Parallel was an idiot who managed to fire one RPG at the side of the group and make a direct hit on the back-most APC. Everyone in the car had died, but the RPG's wielder had been hit by a sharp-shooter before he'd managed to re-load a third missile.

The second missile had missed.

"By Septima, this is really happening," Herst laughed to himself, realizing that the Hadinians had cut through everything Zanze had to offer. They'd dominated a much larger nation --- or more accurately, what was left of it. Regardless, Zanzes had fallen, and Nui-ta's state of New Zanzes was now not far from where the Hadinian lines rested. Although the battalion had orders not to advance further, a few scouts couldn't help but climb some nearby hills and look down upon their long-hated adversary.

They were careful to do this in the dead of night. Although the invasion of Nui-ta was, as yet, still a pipe-dream, the Hadinians still didn't wish to have their positions revealed. Today, they were here to claim Zanzes. Nui-ta would have to wait. They gazed calmly down at the still somewhat far-away Nui-tan guard towers, encircling the border check-points. They could do nothing but chuckle a little as they returned to the dense forest cover and disappeared from sight, heading back down to their camp. The border was now closed --- the Nui-tans were aware that the Hadinians were quite close. If only they knew how close.

If only they knew how close, indeed...

Herst was in a hospital now. The march down to the border had been weeks ago, and the time between then and now was hazy and undefined, like the letters on a page presented to one with poor visual acuity.

"Lieutenant Ignatio Herst?"

Herst turned both of his eyes in the direction of the voice, and saw a man in full ceremonial dress. This was likely a Colonel or General --- his own vision was fuzzy, and he couldn't make out the rank insignia. One of Herst's eyes was bandaged over.

"Y-yes?" He said weakly.

"Do you know where you are?"

" Where?"

"You're in northern Zanzes. Don't worry, Lieutenant. We're firmly behind Hadinian territory. There are Seglanders and Hadinian troops all over this place. Nothing can get you now".

"What happened?" Herst asked, struggling to talk, "last I remem...remem...something fell..."

"Something fell?"

" wasn't a bomb".

"It was...and wasn't".

The uniformed man sighed. "Well, Lieutenant, let me formally introduce myself. I'm Vir Consilli3 Manucchi Tartav, of the Council of Patricians. It's nice to meet you".

"Lieutenant, I'm here to ask you what happened in South Zanzes. Just try to think back and tell me everything you remember".

"We were...progressing down towards...a point near the border".

"We s-stopped several miles ahead of the border. There are some...huge hills...scouts were able to progress to the t-top and look down. We did this at the d-dead of night". Herst gritted his teeth as he tried to talk. The pain was excructiating.

"And then?"

"Quiet night when t-they came back. The next morning something...something fell from the sky...a bomb?"

He looked down at his arms and legs. They were bandaged, and he could feel pain, but they were all there. Explosives were unlikely --- or perhaps he was merely lucky enough to escape intact. The wounds underneath hurt more than any burn he could remember sustaining in his life, though.

"There was no noise, though. No planes..."

"That verifies the idea that the Nui-tans used stealth bombers".

"H-how many died?"

Silence, before the Councilman answered: "...most".

"How bad was the bomb blast?"

"We...believe the weapons were of a chemical nature. You sustained some chemical burns but you're one of the lucky ones. The doctors suspect you'll make a full recovery".

"How long...d-do I stay here?"

"A few weeks. Maybe it's for the best, Lieutenant. Everything is going to shit at home. Perhaps it's best I not bother you further, Lieutenant. If that's all you remember, I'll move unto the next. You have a peaceful recovery, now. May Septima bless you with better health".

The Councilman pulled back the privacy curtain to excuse himself, and as he did, Herst saw the briefest glimpse of one of his room-mates, another soldier whom he recognized --- a Corporal of his, actually.

The Corporal's bandages were off --- a doctor and two nurses had just unwrapped his face to change the dressings, and forgotten to close the curtain around the Corporal, leaving his ordeal fully visible to the Lieutenant. The Corporal had been burned badly by the chemical, with huge, fluid-filled boils across his face. The doctor was in the middle of removing dead tissue from the wound, while the nurses were holding the Corporal still. One nurse was trying very hard to re-assure the Corporal, while he muttered, over and over again, I can't breathe, I can't breathe, I can't breathe.

As soon as the Lieutenant heard those words, he suddenly remembered everything. The bombs that had gone off were full of some kind of chemical gas --- the Lieutenant had been lucky enough to cover his face and mouth, but the shit had still gotten into his eyes and blurred his vision. While his eyes were burning, he watched several of his men collapse --- whatever toxins the Nui-tans had dropped on them were causing many of them men to go into seizures or respiratory failure. A few of them had stopped breathing very quickly --- others resisted, and suffered for it as their bodies hung between life and death. In areas where the gas had been particularly concentrated, it had burned the skin off of several soldiers nearby. It was running from this madness and hellish scene, that the Lieutenant could remember dropping to the floor as everything went black. Someone must have saved his life in the midst of it all, scooping him up and bringing him out of harm's way, and eventually, here.

He wondered if it had been the Corporal who was now suffering in the bed next to him. Turning away and closing his eyes, attempting to shut out said Corporal's screams, he wondered how he'd yet to soil his sheets. He'd once been told that fighting for the just Septimist cause would assure him an entrance into heaven upon his death. Right now, he was assured that he was as far from that heaven as he could possibly had been. He'd dreamt, after all, of a glorious last-stand between the Zanze and the Hadinians. Instead, he watched them be sorely out-gunned to the point of complacency as they were invaded.

And now, one well-performed bombing by Nui-ta had been enough to shake all of his morale. There wasn't a heaven after all, he thought. But there was certainly a hell, and he was there.

It was another morning on the streets of Lederata, but it was not a quiet one. Nikalina Norkut did all she could to hold her tongue as she listened, for the third day in a row now, to the wailing of her neighbor. Gerta Jalsov had lost two sons in the Nui-tan bombing. She'd been inconsolable since two officers of the Hadinian People's Army had shown up at her door and informed her of the news. Nikalina had seen the whole thing from just over the fence which separated her yard from Gerta's.

The women of the neighborhood had again picked up the slack for Gerta, cooking extra food and bringing it to Mr. Jalsov, who seemed just as inconsolable. One of them had even picked up some laundry. A couple had gone over to the house to see if they could sit with Gerta for a while and attempt to console her --- but they'd been shut out completely.

Given that the Jalsov family had lost two children to the war effort, the gossip around the neighborhood was that a Patrician would be coming to visit them. It would likely not be someone as high-up as Nico Hass, but it would be someone. The gossip was proven true when a mid-ranking Vir Consilli had shown up at the door, security entourage and all, to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Jalsov and preach to them about how their sons had died doing "God's Work".

Nikalina knew full well that there was now a stunning hatred in the air for Nico Hass --- although Hadin and UNCA had succeeded in taking a good portion of Zanzes under UNCA control, they'd now pushed the Nui-tans into a much more aggressive foreign policy, and thus far, this move was costing the Hadinian people their husbands, brothers, and children. Although said hatred for the High-Envoy had been around for some time now, it was silenced by the fact that the High-Envoy was considered an emissary of Septima himself. To defy him, no matter the level of hatred, was to turn one's back on God itself, and it was a lack of willingness to do the latter which caused Hadinians to comply with the former.

Nikalina also slowly realized now that more and more, Hadinians were viewing Nico Hass as less than a God. Even here in Unare, where Nico Hass was from, she began to see the posters and propaganda of a pro-Hass Envoyship torn down. Officially, this was credited to a rising UMBRA4 presence in Unare, but Nikalina doubted that it was true. If anything, UMBRA was merely a scapegoat for the Envoyship to increase surveillance by the government around the area as public distaste for Nico Hass grew. Something was changing in Hadin.

The loss of resources, as Nico Hass's actions caused a Radiatian trade blockade. The rise of enemies, as more and more countries allied against Hadin and UNCA. The loss of people, as more and more were sacrificed to the war effort. People were getting fed up.

The tell-tale sign of it all was when Nikalina saw, from her kitchen window, as the visiting Vir Consilli stumbled out of the Jalsov residence with a huge burn mark on his face. Either Gerta or her husband had thrown a tea kettle at him. The neighborhood was on lock-down the entire day, as Mr. Jalsov was escorted in shackles into a government vehicle. Nikalina never saw him again. She saw Gerta for the last time, in person, leave the home one last time a few days after the incident, walking away from everyone and everything in Lederata.

A few days later, at a massive televised protest in the nearby city of Vinci, Nikalina saw Gerta step in front of several armed riot police, holding a sign. The camera never panned towards what the sign said. Instead it cut off right as Nikalina saw smoke erupt from the barrels of the guns of the riot police. As the news cut off and the government censorship began, she knew that Gerta was dead --- and so was Hass's time as the undisputed Head of State.

All of the Envoys were again sitting at the table. The doors were locked, and a few security staff were present within the chamber. There was absolute silence; a thing of beauty as Hadin became noisier and more chaotic with each passing day. The people were demanding blood.

"Ever since the sarin incident, and the decimation of nearly an entire battalion of Hadinian troops, Hadin has lost a significant amount of ground in Zanzes," Nico Hass said quietly. This was the last issue of the day, and everyone was eager to discuss it.

"Nui-tan troops have advanced from the border after our own, and we've reached a stalemate just south of the city of Zanzibar. Now, I know most of you are concerned about the continued threat of Nui-tan aggression. I also know that something has to be done about this problem if we wish to maintain a hold on Zanzes".

"Explain to me why we're fighting this war again," one of the Envoy's said. Nico held his tongue, getting ready to admonish Nikastro for asking such a stupid question. He hadn't held his tongue to keep the peace; he'd held it because, contrary to his expectations, it was someone else who'd opened their mouth this time. Fiete Nikastro had been silent.

"Would you like to explain to me why you don't know the answer to that question yourself, after all this time, Envoy Radmaker?"

"I have no explanation, High-Envoy. I can't explain anything anymore. Hence, I have asked you to explain for me".

"The investment of effort into Zanzes will be a considerable wealth of assets in regards to natural resources and land for Hadin and UNCA. The people of Zanzes could also do with some civilizing. They aren't doing much with their land, so why not let us work with it?"

"That didn't answer my question, High-Envoy. I asked to have you explain to me why we're fighting this war".

"I agree," said Envoy Salucci. "We've been good and faithful partners, perhaps even servants, to Segland and UNCA. We've supported Algrabadi efforts in Higgins and Brown, sacrificed dozens of our own men in Colgerugh, or Colergerhae, or whatever that place is...we've participated in a ridiculous amount of diplomatic outreach towards other UNCA members --- hell, we single-handedly recruited Varisea. There's no reason for us to continue on in the interest of UNCA. We don't owe them anything. The war with Zanzes can no longer be justified against the purposes of the Axis. We've already given up too much".

"Hadin has lost the most since the Axis began," Envoy Winter added. "The building-up of the Axis has been a joint-venture by all involved, though I daresay the work has not been evenly split...and yet Hadin continues to be the nation which gets the most aggressive treatment from the rest of the world. In Poldania, I hear they say we should be re-colonized by Nui-ta. Here at home, we've been blockaded by Radiatia longer and with more severity than Poldania has been blockading Segland. We were better off before the whole Zanzes venture, and you refuse to admit it because you have some far-fetched idea that you'll still be tickling the fancy of a now-deposed Chancellor Mueller".

"Wake up, High-Envoy," another Envoy added. This time, it was Envoy Palladino of Korvicci, a man who'd previously been one of Hass's strongest supporters. "Chancellor Mueller is gone. In his place sits Chancellor Haussman, a man who has been holding his tongue but certainly seems to think you're insane. I fear you've cost us much for the sake of the Axis, and yet you're also the biggest threat to our standing in the Axis. I'm quite convinced that Haussman has half a mind to push you to the wolves at the first chance he gets".

"Radiatia has been calling for your head on a platter," Envoy Radmaker added in, speaking a second time. "You gave them the leader of the HLF instead, and somewhat reluctantly. That has solved nothing --- it might have slightly pacified Angela Pavlovic, but we've got a bigger threat to us now that we've gone and pissed off Emperor di-Amori. Pavlovic may have nukes, unlike the Emperor, but the Emperor has actually used his claws at this point. That makes him a bigger threat".

"Then we simply push back against the Emperor," Nico Hass chirped. The other Envoys all looked at him as though he'd sprouted a third leg.

"Are you serious?" Now it was Envoy Lennart Lippi that was speaking --- a normally reserved man. His outspokenness, as well as Nikastro's unusual silence, were both very worrisome. Nico Hass could feel a bead of sweat go down the back of his neck.

"The last time we pushed against the Emperor, he pushed back with chemical weapons. There are undoubtedly numerous sanctions that Nui-ta could face for such a move, and the country that has until now been quite mindful of not pissing off its allies is no longer waiting for their action to strike against us. The fact of the matter is that Nui-ta and the Emperor no longer care what they have to do to us to get rid of you, and so far, they've done a considerable amount of damage with nothing more than one aircraft and some gas. I find it ridiculous that you want to goad them further into establishing aerial superiority".

It was Envoy Ciro-Virani who spoke next, "no one here likes Nui-ta. I don't like having to concede that we can't afford to continue fighting off those imperialists any longer --- but we've now created a situation in which they could justify annexing South Zanzes, and if they do that, it's lost to us forever --- hell, it's probably already lost now. We may have kept the northern part of the nation but we've created a stalemate in the process, and as much as I hate to say it, I'd rather we keep the stalemate than create a more problematic war: one we're quite likely to lose".

Finally, the next voice --- one Nico had been waiting for, was Fiete Nikastro's.

"Now, now...I think you're all being a bit harsh".

"What?! Fiete, you can't be serious".

"Just think about this for a moment. UNCA has done a great deal for Hadin. Just as Nui-ta has become so powerful because of a quarter-century's co-operation with its allies, so too could we become quite powerful by continued relations with our own. I've never been a warmonger, but there was nothing unjustifiable about helping Algrabad fight off Higgins and Brown, nor was there anything unjustifiable about expanding our horizons in the interest of international development."

"The only problem here has been that Nico Hass's reach has far extended his grasp. You've sacrificed so much of our nation's worth and personal resources in the interest of maintaining a fragile war-front. In doing so, the nation hates you so much now that each of our regions have reports of widespread political unrest. People are calling for your head --- and not people who are outsiders like Angela Pavlovic. Hadinian people, who no longer want to continue paying for the international ventures you insist on purchasing with their blood".

"You've done an awful lot to expand the horizons of this great nation, Nico. Personally, I applaud you for thinking we could be more than we were when you started. You've also done a lot to ruin us. So much, in fact, that there are those even among the UNCA circles who question your ability to continue leading this country. Now what do you intend to do to fix it?"

"I don't intend to be held up to your kangaroo court. I'm the Emissary of God after all, and what I say goes".

Nico was oblivious, but a few of the security staff could be seen looking at each other and raising eyebrows.

"I agree. The provisions in the Hass Doctrine stand. They also allow for a procedure in which the unanimous vote of the other Envoys to remove you would stand. Now, I don't care about the fact that we disagree on policy. I don't care about the fact that you're a militaristic bastard who'd put a gun in the hand of every man and send them off to suicide missions for the sake of whatever holy war you envision. I don't even care that you've been having the military spy on me --- on quite a few of us --- thinking they'd eliminate me or anyone else if we got to be too troublesome for you. What I do care about is the fact that you're about to ruin this entire country, and I therefore don't think you're fit to lead it," Fiete sighed.

"You mean to get rid of me. You're proposing treason".

Fiete looked at the soldiers. "Oh, I know damn well that it would be treasonous. A dead High-Envoy and a change of leadership would look really suspicious to an already distrustful populace. I have no intention of proposing that you step down, High-Envoy. Even though I'm confident I would currently succeed in a motion to remove you from power, I think I'm better off simply proposing this: I plan to immediately contact the nations of the world to put a diplomatic end to this war as one unit, UNCA or otherwise. They will have answers. I motion that you will be the one sent to answer for them".

"And what makes you think you can get them to agree to such a meeting?"

"Because I already have," Fiete smiled, reaching into one of the folders in front of him and producing an envelope. It was marked with the seal of the Nui-tan Emperor.

TO: His Royal Highness, Emperor Rowan di-Amori
FROM: His Eminence, Envoy Fiete Gianmarco Nikastro of Salutem
ENCRYPTION: Hand Delivery Only
SUBJECT: Armistice Proposal

Your Highness,

I know full well that given the sour relations between the two of our nations that you may have difficulty agreeing with or even listening to me. I'm going to implore you to listen to me anyway, because I believe that this goes far beyond the war that we are facing right now.

The struggle between Hadin and Nui-ta has been a long and bloody one, marked with hatred and distrust. I would not be telling you the truth if I told you that I did not hate and distrust your country myself. After years of colonial abuses, I'm afraid I simply can't hold other feelings towards the Monarchy. Given your relative youth (and I address it factually, not condescendingly), you probably don't remember the colonial era. I do. It was unpleasant.

However, I'm quite certain that what you do remember are a serious of wars waged by Hadin in retaliation against Nui-ta. There have been numerous conflicts. There has been an ungodly amount of bloodshed. The Hadinian people have always prized their freedom and sovereignty, and that is why we have been justified on our end. Under the same thought process, the Nui-tan people have always prized, as far as I can see, their security and strength. This justifies your ends, in your mind.

Nevertheless, I'm not writing this to argue about who is right or wrong. My point is that the sources of this long, undying conflict we have faced span long before either of our lifespans. The effort to determine who was right, or wrong, if either of us at all, will likely take longer than our lifespans as well.

I have many disagreements with you. I don't intend to like you, and I have my reasons not to. Regardless, I believe I am a man of some integrity. I can't idly stand by any longer and watch as the fanatical, insane High-Envoy sacrifices innocent Hadinian lives in the interest of some sort of twisted war. I imagine that you are also a man of some integrity, who would prefer not to sacrifice the lives of your own subjects while you defend yourselves or your allies in this war.

It is with this, that despite our distrust and hatred, I wish to ask for a different approach. No matter what we disagree on, I'm sure we both agree that Nico Hass has a lot of international crimes to answer for. I want to see him removed from the seat of power before he destroys Hadin completely, and I'm sure you want him to face the consequences of the war he has waged. Some time ago, President Angela Pavlovic ordered the Hadinian government into an ultimatum, demanding that we either turn over Nico Hass or face serious consequences. I refused, not to defend Nico Hass, but because I don't think he should answer to Radiatia. I think he should answer to all of Noctur for his insanity.

If he were to be removed from power peacefully, it would take the world's condemnation. All of UNCA and all of Polnuira/the first world would have to renounce him for Hadin to continue on its path without destroying itself. Anything less would see this nation collapse. The collapse of this nation would likely provide more ammunition for his supporters to rise up and demonize Nui-ta yet again. The cycle would continue.

If you and I were to mutually condemn him, and to seek international condemnation from the rest of the world --- your "first world" and my "second world", as they say...then perhaps the outcome would be better for us all. To this end, I am willing to negotiate a peace deal. I'd further be willing to establish a non-aggression pact with Nui-ta --- a diplomatic approach to solving the many disagreements and problems between us. I highly doubt that UNCA and Polnuira will ever be friends, but just as Nui-ta and Hadin's intense hatred of each other defined the aggression between UNCA and Polnuira, so too, I think, could Nui-ta and Hadin pave a way for the two worlds to stop fighting and exist independently of each other.

If I sound condescending or disrespectful, forgive me. I never imagined I'd be appealing to the Emperor of Nui-ta for a thawing of international relations. I hope you understand that my actions are for a greater motive than either of our nations: they are for peace.

Fiete Gianmarco Nikastro

1 The Rosario Doctrine was the founding executive order by Hadin's first High-Envoy, Rosario Labriolla, issued four years after Hadin's independence from Nui-ta. After an attempt to stage elections to replace the government installed by Nui-ta and Radiatia on behalf of the DFHI (a democratic Hadinian political party which no longer exists) failed, a near civil uprising was averted by the rise of Rosario, a conservative clergy member who advocated for the church to take over the affairs of the government. The Rosario Doctrine espoused the ideals of traditional Septimism (the most conservative branch of the religion), enshrining them into law and putting the current theocratic government into place.

One of the many notable societal changes in the Rosario Doctrine was the removal of women from any position in the Hadinian military, as well as legislation which led to mandatory conscription of males in Hadin for five years, from age 14 to age 19.

2 The "Hadinian-Algrabadi Exchange Program" is an initiative between the governments of Hadin and Algrabad to re-appropriate citizens to each other's countries, in an effort to provide certain citizens with more opportunities than they would have in their country of origin. Specifically, Algrabad is a matriarchy where men have limited rights and limited work opportunities outside of the military, and Hadin is a patriarchy where women have limited rights and almost no work opportunities outside of the home. Sometimes this leads to instances where men in Algrabad (or women in Hadin) rebel against the status quo.

In order to combat this problem, the two governments created an exchange program in which Algrabadi men or Hadinian women can switch countries. The terms of eligibility vary between the two countries, but in Hadin, unmarried adult women with no criminal records can typically seek entry into Algrabad through the program.

Hadin typically grants more entries from Algrabad than grants to leave Hadin --- many Algrabadi men are known to travel to Hadin seeking better education and vocational opportunities --- if they complete a term of military service, convert to Septimism, and maintain a clean record, they can even become citizens.

3Although the Envoyship holds a huge amount of power within Hadin, there is a lesser house of Patricians that handles domestic affairs and reports to the Envoyship. These men are known as Vir Consilli, literally meaning Councilman.

4 Meaning "shadow", UMBRA is a well-known Hadinian political underground, consisting mainly of democrats, feminists, and those seeking greater human and political rights within Hadin.
Just so you know, this nation, in character, is a highly sexist, highly theocratic, and highly authoritarian state. (Though under the new guy, it seems to be improving a little).

I disagree with a lot of what this nation stands for. It was invented for its intrigue and ample opportunities for satire, not for its ideals.

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Posts: 7963
Founded: Oct 25, 2011

Postby Radiatia » Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:21 am

"Madam President!"

Gervas Anselm, head of the Radiatian Military Intelligence Division (R-MID) burst into the War Room brandishing a piece of paper.

"We've just received intelligence that Poldania has declared war on Segland and is planning on crossing the border!"

The last few weeks had been so surreal that Angela Pavlovic was barely surprised by the, ostensibly, good news.

"If your intelligence came from the recent Poldanian government press release, then if I were you I'd consider tending your resignation." She said, staring Anselm coldly in the eye.

"N-no, Madam President, this, ugh, this came from satellite... photos.. showing... Poldanians, ugh, massing on the border." Said Anselm quickly hiding the Poldanian newspaper he was carrying behind his back.

"Cesare is a madman." Said National Security Advisor Isaac Lichtenberg.

"Madman? He's a genius!" Said Commander-General Mykhalia Falk. "Madam President, we need to be in on this. Think about it - if we wipe out Segland, then Nui-ta will take care of Hadin, and everyone from Zanzes to Ryutsvaag will be eating Greasy Joe's in peace by the end of the week! It's a golden opportunity!"

"No, no, no!" Said Lichtenberg. "Think about - why would Poldania invade Segland? What do they gain? I'll tell you what they gain - leverage. Leverage over who, exactly? Well maybe leverage over the country they consider to be their biggest rival and threat: Us."

The President said nothing, watching the debate unfold instead between her top diplomat and her top military officer until finally speaking.

"I need to talk to Robert Cesare myself," She said. "Get him on the line. At once!"

Several aides left the room, returning a few minutes later.

"Robert Cesare is on the line, Madam President."

Pavlovic picked up the receiver. "Hello there. This is President Angela Pavlovic of the Radiatian Federation."

"This is Robert Cesare," Said the voice on the other end. "What is your order?"

President Pavlovic paused. Since when had the Poldanians - of all people - been so eager to take orders from the Radiatians?

"Well, I need to know more about what you're doing first."

"Yes of course," Said Cesare. "Well, we here at Cesare's Pizza Palace use only the finest ingredients and our traditional methods are how we've been consistently ranked the top pizza outlet in Venya, Tuvea!"

"This is Robert Cesare, right?" Asked the President.

"Yes, this is Robert Cesare. This is a family business!" Said the man on the other end. "Now can I take your order?"

"Ugh..." Angela was lost for words. "Do you do delivery?"

"Sure, where are you located?"

"In Xerconia..."

"I'm sorry Ma'am, but Cesare's Pizza Palace don't do delivery outside of a 10km radius from our store here in Venya. But if you're ever on this side of the country, please check us out!"

"Thank you for your time, Mr. Cesare. You sound like a very efficient pizza outlet." Said the President and hung up.

There was an awkward silence in the War Room, with a number of the Generals actively having to suppress their laughter.

Pavlovic scowled.

"Get me Robert Cesare on the line, now!" She screeched. "And this time I mean the President of Poldania!"

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The Arthurian Isles
Posts: 280
Founded: Feb 26, 2016

Postby The Arthurian Isles » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:27 am


Due to a peculiarly warm day in Vestmanaeyjar the windows of the Storting's chamber were open, allowing the sounds of chanting to waft in from Kurstoberjartrejplat. A sizeable protest had been arranged there requesting that the government condemn the use of chemical weapons by the Nui-tans in Karas.

"Rowan vær Hasser!" was heard at regular intervals. The protestors were comparing Rowan di-Amori to Hass; the two were, to their minds, equally as brutal as the other. Pacifism demonstrated in this way was increasingly common in Arthuria, causing troubles for Forsvaren Makt who had for the first time in half a century posted a significant decline in the number of conscripts for the past year. Individual morality was beginning to creep its way into a society which had previously been ready to accept the necessity of realpolitik in so uncaring a world as this one. So far it had been confined to a minority of hard-left groups, but to hear certain Grønen Parðil Folkmaður arguing for a relaxation in neutrality laws was certainly unnerving for the more traditional majority of the Arthurian public.

Much to the chagrin of the Logreglan outside the Altinghusið, a second (and larger) demonstration had formed to shout down their more pacifistic brethren. Separated by a line of unarmed Logreglanmaður and some temporary metal barricades, the two groups hurled quadrosyllabic chants in a battle of rhetoric that condensed complex political and moral philosophies into simplistic phrases which did not stand up to scrutiny. Beyond them, the Storting gathered. Their burden was great, and with their responsibility came a more sober appreciation of Arthuria's reality. The unexpectedness at the news of a chemical weapons attack still hung palpably in the air, however, testing the nerve of these nine embodiments of the Arthurian people. As the Federal Ministers took their seats, they did so in a silence unusual for this gathering place. Even more unusually, they were joined by a uniformed lady adorned with the off-white beret of the Upniretningforsvaren Makt1 and rank insignia of a Grupforing.

"Let us begin." Andri, in his role as President-Stormaður, called the room to attention, not that this was needed; all eyes were already trained on him, eager to start proceedings. "Today's extraordinary session is concerned with the war in Karas. To inform us of the developments there, I introduce Group Captain Freyjar Anderdotar, the I-SDF's officer commanding the Odin network2."

He seemed at ease with the presence of the soldier. As Federal Minister of Defence he was expectedly more involved with Arthuria's military and knew their ways better than most of the other politicians in the room. Though they had all done their conscription in their youth, the years had dulled their memory of the military lifestyle and when faced with a career soldier each Federal Minister shrunk slightly at Freyjar's natural authority. Or perhaps their noticeable perspiration was because as a country which had enjoyed peace for nearly two centuries, Arthuria's corridors of power were not accustomed to hosting servicepeople whose job it was, partly, to direct the response of the civilian government. The Storting was at least secure enough in its civil authority to be able to interact with Forsvaren Makt sans fear. The fact was, however, that a uniform in the Altinghusið was, as an abstract concept, uncomfortable for those who had dedicated their lives to Arthuria's continued peaceful existence.

"Federal Ministers," said she, "this briefing will be short." Freyjar did not move from her seat. "You will have seen this story broken in the morning's papers already. My job is to corroborate the facts contained therein. Yesterday at 21:35 in our time zone, the FSDS Munin3, one of the M-SDF's4 Odin-networked SIGINT vessels, transmitted a message to Forkom5. That message contained another which had been intercepted at the point of weakness at which a Nui-tan vessel was communicating with a Radiatian vessel, using different encryption systems. It gave warning of chemical residue in the area of Southern Zanzes, just to the north of New Zanzes and the Nui-tan border but did not provide any explanation. Upon receiving this message we adapted our search algorithms; we thought this precaution best, knowing of no chemical processing plants in that area and believing the Hadinian line to be extending to that part of Karas. Subsequent transmissions were intercepted from the Hadinians, Daimons and Seglanders. All alluded to a chemical strike taking place in Southern Zanzes, perpetrated by the Nui-tans using some sort of aerial delivery system - we do not know what. Neither can we confirm the type of chemical used or the number of casualties at this moment. From the intercepted Hadinian communication we can garner nothing more than its psychological effect on their advance, which even in this short time has proven quite dramatic. They have halted."

The procedural simplicity of Freyjar's briefing had at least one result: the mood in the room was not entirely despondent. Some two or three of the Federal Ministers still retained a sense of sadness or disgust about them, but the rest were unequivocally straight-faced. As horrific as the strike had no doubt been, the detachment of several thousands of kilometres was more than just spacial - it was an Arthurian's blessing and their curse to be emotionally cut off from the sufferings of the rest of Noctur.

Not surprisingly, Runær was the first to speak up. She was also the single person around the table who looked most angry at the information to which she had just been party.

"It is barbaric. I am not fool enough to publicly censure them, but we must communicate our displeasure to the Nui-tan government in some way."

"Your reaction is rash. It is already logically incoherent." Lief Kierkegard said, almost mechanically. His gaze went far beyond the room out to the blue skies above Vestmanaeyjar, his face creased in thought.

"How so?" Runær inquired.

"You would condemn the Nui-tan's methods as though the ends do not justify the means. And yet you would put on the mask of indifference in public, betraying your conscience by using unsavoury and secretive means in order to achieve the end which you believe justifies them."

"So you would have authorised such a strike were you in their position?"

"I cannot say." Lief turned his gaze onto Runær. "I was not."

"Enough prevaricating, Lief. Spare us your logic and provide us with your response." Thor, usually to be found supporting Runær's cause in a debate, did not break from form. Nor did he back down from his reputation for practicality.

"My response is to do nothing."

"Again," said Runær, "I must ask how you can do such a thing."

"We have all grown up knowing one thing: that so long as this country maintains its neutrality we shall be secure. We have therefore forfeited the right to judge others but in return have gained a far greater prize; Arthuria is free to live according to its own collective conscience, unimpeded by the machinations of others. If this means that we must stay silent against the mistakes of others - to do nothing - then so be it. What right, at any rate, do we have to call their actions mistakes? Only time can do so - for now we must treat the Nui-tan strike for what it is: an act of war which it is their sovereign right to conduct."

"I must agree with Lief, as much as it offends my individual beliefs." Spoke Hildur Manus. "We must put the morality of the state above the morality of our own hearts, for what are we but individuals set against the entire Arthurian people to whom our responsibility rests. We cannot compromise our neutrality and, on a more practical level, we must not risk offending the relations which we have striven so hard to build over the past year. The power of others to interfere in our little country is far greater than ours is to thwart their plans."

"If that is so then we are not independent but beholden to the whims of larger countries, and in that scenario our neutrality protects nothing but our servitude." Thor interjected. "Better that we stand for our beliefs and prove ourselves to be our own country than to lie down and let the world fall to the lows of human nature."

"You yourself said so, Thor." Lief remarked rather pointedly from across the room. "War has virtue. You also said that we must restrict its totality and abate its brutality. I could not agree more. But it is a farce to look at this chemical strike and call it an act of total war." Lief looked around the room for anyone who would interrupt, but none moved. They waited patiently for his explanation.

"War can be total in four ways: in the first, as believed by Douhet, the entire population and all of its resources are dedicated solely towards the war effort. Aside from the very possibility of there ever being a perfect example of such a phenomenon, I can see no evidence that the countries of Hadin or Nui-ta even approached this point. It is true that Zanzes felt the touch of war far more than any other, but the conflict was so fast and their society so inefficient as to make total mobilisation of the population impossible. And so we reach the second definition of total war, the idea of Ludendorff that war reaches totality when it requires a totalitarian political-military dictator to oversee its exercise. Specifically, this calls for a break of continuity from the pre-war political systems of the belligerents, which was not evidenced in Hadin or Nui-ta, and the poor people of Zanzes actually regressed in their political unity upon the assassination of their leader. Thirdly, a total war can be so because the targets of military action are not necessarily an opponent's military forces but its economic potential. This was not seen to be so in Karas, where neither the Hadinian or Nui-tan economic centres were touched, and where targets were almost entirely military in nature. In this respect, the Karasian War is a traditional one, and the chemical strike simply a means of that traditional warfighting practice.

"Finally, a total war can be such when the entire civil and military apparatus is mobilised in order to apply all possible means to the destruction of enemy combatants and non-combatants without limitation. Here, surely, we have found a definition for the Karasian War? No. As I have explained, the targets of this war, excepting the leader of the Zanze, have been almost entirely military, and what non-combatants have died have been either collateral - for want of a more humane term - or the subjects of individual atrocities rather than a pre-ordained strategy. Chemical weapons, you might respond, are surely an example of 'any possible means' being applied to a conflict. I would say not; they are notoriously unreliable and ineffective as tools of force. Their effect requires perfect weather conditions - an overcast day with no wind and a temperature not exceeding twenty-five degrees - and even then they disperse incredibly quickly, requiring huge quantities to cause any significant casualties. The Nui-tans had both of these factors on their side, certainly, but the fact that they targeted only one battalion, and one which was so close to penetrating their own sovereign border, is not an example of 'all possible means'. They did not authorise any further strikes, they did not target Hadinian territory, they did not target any of the occupied cities of Zanzes where civilian deaths would be high, and they did not use far more destructive military means such as, well, conventional bombs.

"Your disgust at the use of chemical weapons is purely because our society has created a conversation surrounding them which vilifies their use. A soldier shot in the abdomen with a conventional round will struggle to breath as much as any victim of chemical warfare, and will likely endure the pain for longer before succumbing. The flesh of soldiers caught in bombing runs will be seared off in the flames, while the smoke will choke them as any nasty chemical would."

There was some uncomfortable shuffling in the room.

"My point is this. Chemical weapons are as destructive to our humanity as any other weapon. They may actually be less so if one accounts for their inefficiency. If you are to recoil at their use then you must object to the use of every weapon, from the humble knife to the atomic bomb. To censure Nui-ta would not make this world more humane; it would, however, cause harm to this country. When there are no good paths to travel, one does nothing."

Runær and Thor glanced at one another. They were uncomfortable, that much was evident to the rest of the room. In that, they were joined by some other Federal Ministers. What was uncomfortable was not the controversy embodied by Lief's argument so much as the fact that they couldn't think of a response. It went against the intuition of the more internationalist members to let something so horrific as a chemical strike pass unchecked, but what Lief said made perfect sense to them. The silence reverberating around the room was the moment at which they were to come to terms with that fact.

Tentatively, Andri spoke. "As hard as it is to say, I must agree with Lief." Runær snapped her neck up to meet Andri's gaze. He continued, almost ashamed to look at her. "From what experience has taught me, war is nought but a duel, that is to say an awful game. The victor is the belligerent who compels the other to do their will, and the means by which they achieve that is force. In this way, as Clausewitz says, war is the continuation of policy by other means. All that this strike has shown us is that the Nui-tans were able to use force without compunction, while the Hadinians refrained. In doing so, they lost the upper hand and have forfeited the game.

"However, I believe there is hope for our friends." Andri gestured towards Thor and Runær. "Precisely because war is policy by other means, it will never approach the totality which Lief has described. I fear your understanding of war," again he pointed to the two outspoken critics of the Nui-tans, "has created the impression in your minds that military hostilities could not be ended until one side had been roundly defeated - until their armies had been annihilated. This is war in its purest, most absolute form, and is what we would observe were war to carried to its logical conclusion. But it is not, for standing in the way of total war is the huge array of factors, outside forces and pre-existing conditions in national affairs which are affected by war. The logic of war cannot progress through that quagmire without being unalterably twisted. War is not coherent; it is confused, inconsistent and ambiguous. There is not the energy to overcome these barriers - the domestic strife that would ensue in pursuing a total war would be too great and the cost of failure too abominable - and so when a state wages war it does so in pursuit of more limited objectives - its policy is correlated with its government's self-belief, strength of will and abilities. In this way, belligerents are compelled to adopt the middle course, using no greater force and setting themselves no greater military aim than would be sufficient to achieve their political objective. Recognising this, states have renounced the possibility of or need for absolute success in any war.

"War is thus deprived of its most dangerous feature - its tendency towards the extreme, and the whole chain of unknown possibilities which would follow."

The problem with meetings of the Storting, it appeared, was that they very quickly departed the real world and entered into abstract discussion. Happily, in this particular case the discussion was heavily weighted towards the realists, who had smothered the objections of their internationalist colleagues. The final move, the checkmate, was now to offer what appeared to be a compromise to Runær and Thor who were, at this point, sullenly silent.

Hildur Manus, a Federal Minister who never fully came out in support of one side in a debate so as to better exercise her leverage, dealt this last blow.

"Listen." From outside, the chanting of the protestors continued as the soundtrack to their meeting. "The world can see that Arthurians disapprove of what the Nui-tans have done. They know that we are not warmongers; it was only a month ago that we voted to disarm our nuclear stockpile. The world sees this and believes that it has another ally in its condemnation of chemical weapons. We do not need to make it explicit. The Nui-tans have suffered shame enough for using those weapons. A great many of them believe themselves to have done wrong. Do not pile on the ignominy of judgement, especially during a war which we cannot pretend to understand."

The realists had won the day. So much talk had, as usual, led to nothing.

1 Upniretningforsvaren Makt, translated as 'the Information Self-Defence Force', is the fourth branch of Forsvaren Makt. It is responsible for signals intelligence, strategic communications and cyber-warfare.

2 Odin is a monitoring system that intercepts civil and military communications carried by satellite, including telephone, fax and internet traffic. It uses a keyword filter system to record data of interest, though the choice of keywords must be approved by an independent parliamentary body. Odin cannot be used to monitor internal communications; it is only permitted for use against transnational communications.

3 'FSDS' is the prenominal given to any military ships of the Arthurian government. It stands for 'Federal Self-Defence Ship'. Non-military government-owned vessels are given the prenominal 'FS', meaning 'Federal Ship'.

4 The M-SDF is the Maritime Self-Defence Force, Arthuria's navy. In Arthurian it is called Marinforsvaren Makt.

5 Forkom is the shortened form of 'Forbinden Komand', which translates in English as 'Joint Command'. It is the Arthurian equivalent of a joint chiefs of staff and, simultaneously, the permanent joint headquarters of Forsvaren Makt.
Last edited by The Arthurian Isles on Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:17 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Poldania » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:44 pm

"Your Majesty!"

Elisa Danielles, secretary of the environment and recently-appointed war councilor for responsible for intelligence (no one was quite sure why), burst into the War Room brandishing a cell phone.

"We've just--" Elisa stopped, experiencing a feeling that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike deja-vu. She looked around the empty room for a minute. "Oh, right..."

The last council meeting had decided that war council meetings would no longer be held in the War Room because recent renovations of the imperial palace had revealed that an m had worn off the sign -- full restoration of the Warm Room to its former glory was scheduled for "some time after the war".

"It does explain that jacuzzi in the corner," the president had pointed out.

In the present, Secretary Danielles pulled open the door to the cabinet war office, next door to the Warm Room. Cesare was searching through a pile of maps and folders with the help of the secretary of defense. He looked up.

"Ah, Elisa, good to see you. Do you know where the--"

"Sir, you're about to receive a call from Angela Pavlovic."

"About to?"

"Well, yes, you see NIS--"

"Hold on, I thought she died... What does a diner in Livreta have to do with the war anyway?"

Secretary Boucher whispered something in the president's ear.

"Oh! You mean president Angela Pavlovic! Apologies, my mind was on food. Haven't had lunch yet."

Elisa glanced at her watch. "Majesty, it's six in the morning."

"So it is." Cesare sat and eyed the multicolored bank of phones on his desk warily. "Tell me again: how did you say you managed to divine the intentions of a Radiatian president?"

"NIS got a tip a while back about a pizza restaurant in Xerconia," the secretary began. Probably best to leave out the details... "It's run by a man named Robert Cesare, so--"

"Ha, that's how they pronounce it in Radiatian?"

"--so the short version is NIS bugged his phones. Just in case. The president's office called today and almost ordered delivery. We assume they meant to call you, but it's Radiatia so it's still possible they might just be hungry."

The yellow phone rang. Cesare watched the antiquated thing shake.

"Well, Your Excellencies, I think I'll take this call in private. Tcarles, if you wouldn't mind bothering the kitchen for me, I think we could use some lun-- breakfast in here once this is over. Thank you both."

The president picked up the phone.

"This is Robert Cesare."

Both secretaries headed out the door.

"May I take your order?"
Official name: The Poldanian Union
Language: Livretan
President: Robert Cesare (U)
Prime Minister: Antoine Schmidt (U)

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Segland » Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:56 pm

Warning: This post contains some gore and violence.


A conflict of epic proportions has erupted as the Poldanian Union attacks its fascist neighbor, the Seglandic Republic. Even before the end of the Karasian War, an unprecedented invasion force of a million Poldanian soldiers crosses the border into the eastern states of Segland, overwhelming the relatively meager defenders.

The Seglandic officers whose foolishness permitted a buildup of Poldanian troops on the border to be dismissed as mere posturing have been court-martialed and now await their death by hanging, the preferred method of execution in Segland. Hadin and Varisea are unable or unwilling, respectively, to send appreciable help. The only foreign relief is a division of Algrabadi soldiers who are primarily operating in the border state of Merren. The situation looks grim, and the Seglanders have been caught with a foot off the ground.

As the invaders pivot north and attempt to capture the Tressian Gulf states in a bid to encircle Ryutsvaag, the bulk of SRARM1 is hunkering down in a massive defensive formation which the generals are calling the Ryutsvaag Line. Countless layers of infantry, armored brigades, and a thick mesh of aerial support all cushion the Demarchist capital city. To demonstrate his confidence and loyalty, Chancellor Haussmann has elected to remain in Ryutsvaag despite the encroaching Poldanian threat.

General Leif Fenklaus and his Sixth Army are receiving the brunt of the invaders' assault as they fight to keep possession of Segland's second-largest city, Der Arkangel, a cosmopolitan metropolis and port on the Gulf. The regime's hopes for a swift end to the war all rest on Fenklaus.

If Der Arkangel falls, then surely Ryutsvaag will be next.

Der Arkangel, Tressia

The procession of Kchirus main battle tanks along Mihail's Boulevard was an unusual sight indeed for the thousands of residents peering downwards from their high-rises. Periodically the foreboding cry and thud of a howitzer would awaken them to the fact that there was a pitched battle taking place immediately outside their city, but until now there had been little sign of military activity within the metropolis itself.

Some had gone up to the rooftops with telescopes or binoculars to get a better view of the action, only to be disappointed that the fighting was taking place beyond the horizon. It may well be better, though, that the pampered urbanites were spared the sight of such unencumbered brutality. After all, veterans of the devastating Seglandic Civil War were already drawing comparisons between the two wars...

The engagement was centered on the Der Arkangel suburb of Randesten. The Poldanian force, under a certain Colonel Lasalle, was working to set up an artillery battery to compensate for the lack of naval bombardment, given that a fleet of Seglandic ships had made it into the Tressian Gulf and was now assailing the enemy blockaders. In response a brigade of Seglanders was working its way through the city to find Lasalle and his artillery engineers and to stop their project.

A head popped out one of the tanks entering Randesten, nearly colliding with a low-hanging oak branch that reached over the street. "Shit," said the tankman, rubbing his helmet protectively.

He scanned the residential road with a pair of infrared binoculars. There was the possibility of Poldanians hiding in or nearby homes, ready to ambush incoming Seglandic armored convoys.

"All looks cle--" he began to say before his brains splattered against the open hatch and a split second later the crack of a sniper rifle sent the tank commanders into a frenzy.

"POL SNIPER AT 12 O'CLOCK," Reinhard Lerde, now the leader of his tank crew, shouted into a radio. They fired off a few suppressing MG shots, but the proximity of Seglandic civilians precluded use of the main gun. The neutralization of the sniper would be left to the general infantry groups who had been trailing the tanks in their APCs.

Two sergeants were leading their squads in a flanking maneuver toward the house on the far end of the street. The tanks were continuing their roll forward to cover the advancing infantry. Every half-minute or so, fighter jets would flash by overhead -- it was impossible to tell which side they were on, but the booms of powerful explosions in the distance meant that somebody was finding out. Regardless, the background noise helped the infantrymen.

The two squads reached the target house at the same time. Through hand signals, they organized one group in surrounding the house, and after a silent countdown the door was kicked down.

A thumbs-up was given, indicating that the first room was safe. The rest of the squad stormed the house and proceeded cautiously into the next room.

They were met there by a shaking teenage girl with a camouflaged arm around her neck and a pistol jammed into her temple.

"I FUCKING WILL SHOOTS HER, I SWEAR!" screamed a Poldanian man in rough, accented Seschespek as he backed up rapidly to a corner.

"Come here, now; let's behave like civilized people," cooed the Seglandic sergeant with as nonaggressive a tone as he could manage. He slowly put down his rifle, while his men maintained their aim.

"What civilized mean?" said the Poldanian, having calmed ever so slightly. "Yous bastards started ALL THE SHIT in our Merrina, and Hitzig kicksed me and family outs town and deport us."

"Hell are you talkin' about, man?" asked the genuinely confused sergeant.

"I said it you Germanics the ones who try to cut off Merrina from homeland and forced me and family out our old home," the Poldanian replied as he tightened his stranglehold on the girl.

The sergeant glared at the cornered man. "Look, buddy, none of us had shit to do with either Merrinan war, if that's what you're rambling about," he said slowly and deliberately.

"NO, YOU LIE!" the soldier snarled. He pulled the trigger on his pistol before taking aim for the Seglanders, but they were much quicker, and his body was riddled with bullets by the time it crumpled to the floor. The men rushed to the fallen girl, and another group of soldiers came in from an adjoining room, having already cleared the rest of the house.

"She's still got a pulse," said one man crouched over the girl's lithe form. "Fucker shot too low to be fatal, but blood loss is still a problem."

"Corporal Lendowski, call in a medic," the sergeant coolly ordered his radioman. "Rest of you, get back to your vehicles. We're pushing forward."

His squad obeyed without delay, but the other officer walked up and whispered something in his ear. "Fuck you mean, they found it but they can't bomb it?" he queried in response to the whispered news.

"Airspace above us is too hot. Look, I'm as pissed about it as you, but command was clear. We've gotta get to Lasalle and take him out ourselves."

"Damn right we do. Let's get a move on, then." The two men left the room just as a medic and group of soldiers bearing a stretcher rushed in, hastening to remove the gravely injured girl.

The officer's news had been simple. Seglandic reconnaissance located Colonel Lasalle and his forces at a shopping mall in the west of Randesten. His men were making progress in the parking lot with setting up their big guns, and recon had good reason to believe they were taking mass numbers of hostages inside the mall itself.

Henning Traugott, sergeant of the Seglandic Republic Army, shook his head in cynical anticipation as he clambered down into his tank, ready to lead the assault.

1 English acronym for Seglandic Republic Armed Forces, known in Seschespek as Stredmahr Respubliki Sechlendischi.
The Seglandic Republic | Seglender Respublik
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