NATION

PASSWORD

Satori [ Open | Attn: Gholgoth ]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Automagfreek
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1098
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Satori [ Open | Attn: Gholgoth ]

Postby Automagfreek » Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:31 pm

SATORI
Vidi cuncta quæ fiunt sub sole, et ecce; universa vanitas, et afflictium spiritus


I have seen all that is done under the sun, and behold:
All is emptiness and affliction of the spirit




It had been many years since the black and crimson standard of the Freekish Empire flew above the Great Hall.

Ever since the near total destruction of the Dreadfire bloodline so many ages ago, the massive flag pole sat naked, and it had become a de-facto symbol of national mourning. Damien Dreadfire was the heart and soul of the Empire, for he had elevated a young nation that was struggling to find its place in the world into a global superpower, feared and hated by many. But not only was the Supreme Warlord the lifeblood of the Empire, he was the patriarch of the Gholgoth Regional Alliance. Once a mere conglomeration of landmasses that hardly ever interacted with each other, he poured his very essence into forging an indomitable powerhouse that would go down in world history books as once of the most fierce and formidable alliances ever created. It was his grand vision to bring those who called the Gholgoth region home together under a single banner, though each member would be equal to the next, with no one member lording over another.

But everything had changed when Damien was slain on the battlefields of Milograd, and the rest of his family killed through a variety of causes. The Gothic Alliance soon floundered, though other Lords attempted to keep it held together as valiantly as they could through both diplomacy and strength of arms alike. The Empire turned inwards and became isolationist, focusing not on grand conquests that had made it famous but instead attempting to keep its vast network of colonies in line after the demise of the Supreme Warlord. It was no easy task, and gradually the Empire's role as the guiding wind of the Alliance faded until few even remembered the name of Automagfreek. What transpired outside the boundaries of the Empire was of little concern to the Freekish people anymore.

But one Dreadfire had survived, a grandson born to his daughter Silvia who bore his name as a symbol of honor and hope. Damien Dreadfire II would never know his family, instead relying on what Imperial historians had recorded over the many decades. Growing up was lonely for the young Supreme Warlord, and the Empire was held together by various Warchiefs until he was of age to assume power. But that day had come and gone with little fanfare, and the nation continued to stumble forward blindly with no real sense of itself anymore. Bleak times indeed.

It was a cold and dreary day when the young Damien stood on the once famous balcony at the Great Hall which overlooked the now dead and decayed gardens below, their once green majesty now faded and decomposed. As his thoughts drifted to and fro and his gaze fell upon the skyline of ULE City, he was drawn to the large structure in the distance that was the Gothic Council Chambers. It had been many years since the hallowed halls were sealed permanently, but something inside him urged him to come. It was as if the former seat of Gothic power was calling to him, enticing him to leave the Great Hall and come towards it. Minutes felt like hours as he stared in a trance like state at the Council Chambers, until he could no longer resist their allure. He suddenly broke loose from his fixation and started quickly down the stairs, his various servants and bodyguards looking at each other in confusion, for Damien rarely left the grounds of the Great Hall.

My Lord, is everything alright?

His Chief of Staff and retired Warchief Vlad Shadowclaw moved quickly to try and catch up to Damien as he threw open the large oak doors of the Great Hall and started down the dirty marble steps.

I'm not sure, my thoughts are not my own. Something calls to me, and I cannot ignore it. I must go to the Chambers at once.

Vlad tried to dissuade Damien, placing his hand of the young Warlord's chest and moving in front of him to block his path.

My Lord, I think it would be best if you returned to your study, there is nothing of interest for you there. That place has been sealed for many years, so many that I cannot even recall the number myself.

Damien looked down at Vlad's hand and then slowly locked eyes with the once formidable Warchief, his gaze intense and full of determination. It was a look Vlad had not seen from his young master, and a burning intensity that he had not felt in decades. With little further protest, the two loaded up into an armored SUV and proceeded to the former Gothic Council Chambers. The ride was relatively brief, and before long the pair had disembarked the vehicle and made their way to the grand entrance to the derelict structure. The colossal stone statues that adorned either side of the massive doors were mere shadows of their former selves, with years of filth and neglect polluting their once proud and glorious facades. Damien glanced up at them, effigies of proud ancient Gothic warriors, and paid his respects before ordering Vlad to unseal the doors. The steel and wooden behemoths croaked and groaned their disapproval as the rusted hinges gave way, freeing the stagnant air inside from its prison. There was no electricity to the entire building, so Vlad ignited a torch that he had brought with him and motioned Damien forward as he took the lead.

It was like a scene from a dream. Thick layers of dust and cobwebs blanketed every surface of the once vibrant Chambers, and the corridors themselves radiated both pride and sadness. This place was once full of life and hosted the most powerful rulers on the planet, and as he approached the Inner Sanctum, Damien paused to collect his thoughts. Every urge inside him compelled him to continue forward, but he could not help but mourn a little even though he had never set foot inside of the Council Chambers. This was the house his grandfather built, and this would be a melancholy homecoming.

Through these doors lies the Inner Sanctum. This is where the Gothic Lords met and controlled the fate of billions of people. This is the crowning achievement of your grandfather, and he would be proud to see you walk these halls... though he would have given anything for it to have been under better circumstances. Are you ready?

With a slow but confident nod, Damien gave his approval and the doors to the Sanctum were opened. Sitting prominently in the center of the room was the famous round table, still adorned with chairs, computer screens, phones, and nameplates. As Vlad gave light to the various sconces that decorated the room, Damien made his way around the table. The names of Lords both present and past drew his immediate attention, and one by one he read them in his head and continued on until he found the one he was looking for.

Damien Dreadfire
Supreme Warlord of The New Gothic Empire of Automagfreek


His grandfather sat here. The young Damien stood transfixed as torchlight danced across the stone walls, Vlad finally making his way to his master's side after holstering the torch in a nearby sconce.

This was to be your birthright, my Lord. But in the absence of the Empire from Gholgoth's affairs, the Lords moved on without us. They have established a new seat of regional power, and we are shamed because of it. To be quite frank, we as a people have never recovered from the loss of House Dreadfire. Whether you loved him or hated him, your grandfather ushered in an era of unprecedented economic and military growth and prosperity. We were the envy of Gholgoth. Many wanted to emulate our success, but with the loss of our guiding light, they moved on.

Damien was drawn to his grandfather's seat, but hesitation kept him standing.

I don't know how I could ever hold a candle to Azrael, to Vladius, to Damien... I think often of abdicating the throne and turning the Empire over to the people, because I don't think they would ever follow me the way they followed those men...

Vlad exhaled deeply.

Lord Damien... how do I say this... He paused and pursed his lips momentarily, his mind attempted to navigate a minefield of uncomfortable truths and shocking secrets. You are here on this earth by the grace of the Gods. They have a plan for you, and if they truly wanted House Dreadfire scrubbed from the planet, you would not be here. There are things... things that...

Vlad stopped himself, his face tightening as he exhaled again deeply through his nose.

What, Vlad, what? I have spent my whole life in the shadow of men who came before me. I don't want any of this, it was never my destiny to be a leader.

Vlad had grown frustrated with young Damien's attitude and lack of purpose.

It was only a matter of time before you would find out the truth, and alas the day has come. I have waited many years for this, and I feared bringing you here. But something summoned you here, so it is only right that you know the truth.

He removed a picture of the elder Damien Dreadfire from his pocket, a picture that few alive had ever seen.

This has been locked in a secure place for a very long time. It is your grandfather when he was a young man, at the Sentinel manufacturing facility. "Manufacture" is a crude word, but the first generation of Sentinels were cloned, and your grandfather was the very first clone. You've seen plenty of historical pictures, so answer me this: if Damien was the first Sentinel, then how come none of the billions of Sentinels that proceeded him looked like him? They were all shorter and of a slightly lesser build, and their faces looked entire different. Think of it...

A few moments passed and Damien's mind raced as he processed the revelations he was being told.

That's because Damien came from a different stock from the rest of the Sentinels... he was manufactured... engineered... created from nothing. The High Priests say that he was an abomination, for no such being made from an unnatural creation could possibly have a soul like the rest of us. There were many rumors that his body was a conduit, an empty vessel that could be possessed by beings that have no place in the world of the living.

He paused and wiped the dust from the computer screen in front of him, the black smooth surface reflecting the faces of both men.

Look at the picture, and look at yourself.

Damien peered at his reflection and at the picture, before he ran his hand over his hair and drew it away from his face. The two were nearly identical. Damien's mouth dropped open, and he gasped ever so slightly in disbelief.

You ARE him, Damien. You were not your mother Silvia's child, she was merely a surrogate. You were created by your grandfather and kept as an insurance policy against his death. For what other purposes, I can only speculate. Perhaps if indeed he was an empty vessel, maybe he thought that his spirit could enter a new body upon his death. Who knows for certain, but you are who you are... but you are also him. And as you grow older the similarities with continue to show until we can no longer hide the truth. If it weren't for that hair of yours, hell, you would be the spitting image of him.

The whole revelation was difficult to process, but finally he had the answers he was looking for. Damien glanced at the chair of his grandfather, and after running his hand across the dust covered leather back, he slowly sat. The torchlight flickered ominously as a chill began to fill the room. He closed his eyes and drew in a deep, slow breath as Vlad looked on eagerly. For the first time in his life, the world felt right. After minutes passed and he accepted the truths he had been told, Damien drew a small but razor sharp knife from his belt, and began to run it over his dry scalp. Blood and hair began to litter the floor as the young Warlord uttered an ominous command to his subordinate...

Hoist the colors.

Vlad bowed respectfully and started for the door at a hurried pace, leaving Damien alone in the Council Chambers with nothing but his thoughts. He was not sure if what Vlad told him was true. Was he Damien Dreadfire reincarnated, or was he just a clone destined to carry on the legacy of House Dreadfire? Was it all a lie, merely serving to motivate a young leader who had no sense of purpose? These questions would be answered in time, but everything inside the young Damien told him that for the first time in his life, he was on the right path.

Back at the Great Hall, Vlad rushed frantically to the armory and retrieved the giant Freekish flag that once flew atop the Great Hall. Curious staff and guards looked on and at each other in disbelief and excitement as he then made his way upstairs, and before reaching the top be turned around and looked at the small crowed that had gathered behind him at the foot of the steps. A half smile formed on his face as he gave them a quick nod, then he continued on towards the roof. Could this really be happening?

From outside, the large floodlights on top of the roof of the Great Hall sprang to life, and soon the entire city would come to a halt as all eyes witnessed the massive standard being raised once more. It would be a message that would spread like wildfire across the Empire, and the entire Gothic continent. It was a message that was sure to not go unnoticed.

Image


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

OOC: I've been out of the game for many years, and I haven't written anything in a long time. Not my best work, but as I get back into the swing of things I will improve. Cheers, and enjoy.
Founded on March 24th, 2003
Proud founder and Lord of Gholgoth
Condemned by Security Council Resolution #82
Join the religion of war. Become a Vanmakti warrior today.

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The Charr
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 21
Founded: Jun 02, 2005
Ex-Nation

Postby The Charr » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:03 am

A little grey in one's fur was a sign of strength.

Wasn't it?

That was what Bonfaaz Burntfur had always been told, at any rate. It signified that a warrior had survived the many challenges of life, proven themselves in battle countless times over, and lived to tell the tale. So they said.

He'd certainly survived a lot over the years. While no less physically imposing now than he had been in his younger days, Burntfur's body was a mosaic of battle hymns. As if trying to live up to his pack's name, one patch of fur on his left arm was gone, scorched away by the explosion from a grenade during the last organised civil war, leaving only an unpleasant, lumpy scar in its place. His right horn was shorter than the left, after he'd had his head slammed into a wall during a particularly difficult battle not long after he'd announced human emancipation, snapping off the tip in the process. Similarly, his right ear had a large nick in it from a close encounter with a bullet, during the brief rebellion war that had resulted from that announcement. Various other nicks, slices, and abrasions had left scars all over his bulky frame.

His back ached quite a bit some days too, and he was certain he never used to grunt as much whenever he sat down, either.

Those were just the ones people could see. And today he was nursing four deep, fresh, parallel slices that ran down nearly the entire length of his snout, which would surely leave a scar as well. A young upstart, a member of the 'pure hide' movement, had challenged him earlier that day during a Council session. While the young upstart would never see grey in his fur now, Burntfur couldn't help but wonder if he was getting slow in his old age. He was a veteran of combat and a Charr'ko master, yet that young upstart, barely weened and wholly inexperienced in battle, had managed to get in a clawed strike that, had it been only a few inches higher, could have blinded him. He'd been the least worthy challenger Burntfur had ever fought, yet he'd left perhaps the most visible scar.

Burntfur had decided to blame the grey. A warrior might not make excuses publicly, but he could certainly find solace in one privately.

He knew that the vultures would be circling now, though.

That was the one good thing that grey fur provided - experience, and wisdom. Burntfur had risen from little to take power over all, and held his position for all that time. He'd led the United Clans out of the dark ages. Emancipated the humans, and given them their own clan. He'd created the system of organised civil wars that kept the Charr from destroying each other, strengthening them against their enemies in turn. He'd turned Tyria from a primitive backwater into an economic powerhouse. He'd led the country into Gholgoth, and fought off the myriad opponents who'd resisted that move.

Burntfur was not prideful, but when your own people compared you to Teerf the Liberator, the great warrior who'd liberated them all from human rule all those centuries ago, it was hard not to think that you were doing something right.

But a barely-grown pup had drawn his blood today. He knew that the 'pure hides' had far more formidable warriors than him within their ranks, who'd now sense their opportunity to take Burntfur down. He had opponents outside of that movement as well, who'd likely already be fighting among themselves to decide which of them would try to take him down first. In the past, he'd had some great cause behind which to rally the Charr, some noble reason for unity and loyalty. Today though, at the apex of an extended period of relative peace and isolation, the Charr had nothing but their baser instincts on which to dwell. Prosperity had always been the Charr's greatest foe, and Burntfur now faced its full fury alone.

"Are you going to say anything?" Viletooth asked, stirring him from his musings. His old friend sat across the room from Burntfur, both their bulky wooden chairs partially aimed at a fireplace in an otherwise darkened room.

"What?" Burntfur had, frankly, forgotten that his friend was even there.

"You called me in to talk, and you've just sat there in silence, staring at that fire for a good ten minutes," Viletooth said. "Not that there isn't wisdom to be found in silence, but this is growing to be impolite."

"I forgot you were there," Burntfur said.

"Charming," Viletooth grunted, shifting in his seat. "How's your snout?"

"Shameful," Burntfur snapped back.

"What is it the humans say? 'I wouldn't worry about it'? All competent warriors get old eventually," Viletooth said. "Besides, he's not getting back up again after what you did to him. I've not seen rage like that from you since the last civil war."

"He said I had no spine," Burntfur shrugged. "I wished to show the Council that he was a hypocrite."

"Hah," Viletooth chortled. "Speaking of ancient warriors-"

"Proceed with caution," Burntfur interrupted him with a glare.

"-have you seen the international briefing for today?" Viletooth finished, ignoring him.

"No," Burntfur said. "I have been busy. You were in the Council earlier, yes? Saw what I had to contend with?"

"Yes," Viletooth nodded, and picked up a bulky, brown-cased tablet computer from a nearby table. "But we have this miraculous thing called 'technology' now. It allows us to do more than one thing at a time in a single day. Surely even a warrior of your advanced years has heard of such a thing?"

Burntfur glared at him with his piercing yellow eyes. "How nobody has killed you yet is beyond me, my friend."

"Many have tried," Viletooth shrugged, then wrinkled his snout. "Including you, actually, if I recall correctly." He reached across the gap between their chairs with his long arm to hand Burntfur the computer. "Read this, if you can still see anything with those antique eyes of yours."

Burntfur accepted the tablet with a growl, trying not to let Viletooth see him hold the device closer to his face than might have been strictly necessary. If the muffled snorts of amusement coming from the other chair were anything to go by, he failed.

The tablet displayed a briefing about Automagfreek. There was a name that hadn't been uttered very often for a while. Burntfur's last personal interaction with them had been back before he had grey in his fur, at a meeting called by Damien Dreadfire's son - Azrael the Dishonoured, as he'd come to be known in Tyria. Burntfur still had fond memories of shouting at the Dishonoured until he left the room. He'd been sorry to hear of the plight that had befallen the Dreadfire pack since then, though pleased that Damien had died with honour. Perhaps it was just because they had the word 'fire' in their pack's name, but despite any controversy that had raged on in Tyria regarding their membership in Gholgoth over the years, the alpha of the Dreadfire pack had always been held in good esteem by the Charr. He was almost... Charr-like. Odd, for a human. Automagfreek had never quite recovered from his loss, though. The place simply... existed now.

Like a warrior with too much grey in his fur, unwilling to stand from his chair for fear of grunting in the process.

He read on, expecting to learn about some kind of event of monumental significance, something world-shattering that had put them back into public consciousness. All he could garner from the briefing, though, was that a flag had been raised above the Great Hall in ULE City, and now the human international media outlets were speculating about what that could mean. As they were wont to do.

"It says that a flag was raised in Automagfreek for the first time in a few years," Burntfur said, looking back at Viletooth. "You think to bother the Grand Clan Leader with such things?"

"Come now, Bonfaaz," Viletooth snorted in his most patronising tone. "It was a mere smattering of days ago that you yourself pointed out how attached humans are to their flags and their symbols. Is your memory fading so badly?"

"Klarr, unless you want the females to start talking because we suddenly have matching snouts..." Burntfur growled.

"To you and I, they have done nothing but attach a colourful piece of fabric to a stick," Viletooth said. "But to them…"

Burntfur nodded. Experience and wisdom. Thank you, greys.



The next day, a simple message was transmitted by the Council of Clans, in English, to whatever remained of Automagfreek's foreign affairs departments. It was addressed to nobody in particular, but signed by Bonfaaz Burntfur and all of the other clan leaders.

The blade of loyalty cannot be blunted by the hammer of time. The Charr always remember their oaths.

Welcome back.
Last edited by The Charr on Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:21 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Telros
Diplomat
 
Posts: 937
Founded: Apr 29, 2006
Democratic Socialists

Postby Telros » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:34 pm

Surprises were usually unwelcome, for they sought to hide until time sought fit to be in their favor.

That was the lesson her commander in the military had taught her, Captain Tanácsadó. Like many of the lessons he had given her over their time together, it had come true many times, proving the wisdom of the man. And making her regret even more his loss during the Duskflower Rebellions. Even as she rose as Anax of Katona, she always wished she had him to ask advice of, to seek his wisdom on all that she dealt with. But, he was gone and there was no changing that; he was with the others in the realm between the walls that girded Chaos and protected Terra, fighting the Eternal War against the demons and spirits that would harm Humanity. His lessons lived on and circled in her head once again as she viewed the diplomatic report in front of her. Curiosity and fear battled together within her, as she read over the words again and again, trying to glean some minor detail she missed that would help resolve the conflict.


ACTIVITY IN AUTOMAGFREEK DETECTED. LIGHTS IN THE GREAT HALL HAVE COME TO LIFE AND THE FREEKSIH FLAG HAS BEEN UNFURLED ONCE MORE. STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE IS NOT QUITE SURE WHAT THIS MEANS, BUT ONE THING IS KNOWN:

AUTOMAGFREEK IS AWAKENED ONCE MORE


The Freekish...that was a topic that had long been thought closed after they fell into their slumber. The past between the Compact and the Freekish was a complicated one. In ancient times, the Telrosians fought the Freekish barbarians, a low key war on the seas; never suffering invasion due to the sheer distance involved and the later Kylarnatian occupation. While they were neutral post their freedom from the Imperium, they never joined the Ghologth region's conflicts and culture in part due to the Freekish. The sheer savagery and barbarity unleashed by the Dreadfire's deterred the few supporters for greater involvement. Londinium, amongst others, ranked high in the minds of the people and the Compact government, so they never stood forward. Adon wondered as she sat back from inspecting the note again:

'What would have happened if the Freekish were still around during the Duskflower Rebellion? Would they have intervened, like the Kylarnatians, or would they have ignored us, letting us stew in our own weakness?'

But all of this was pure remembrance and speculation, what mattered now was how they were going to respond. With only a flag unveiling, all that could be guessed is that a new power had arisen in Automagfreek, and declaring itself to the entire region. It wished it to be known, that the Freekish would rise again in Gholgoth. The primary thought that arose was simple: How would this new power, Dreadfire or not, react to the new order of things in the Gothic region? The brotherhood of Lords had been broken, for some time, and the recent conflict with The Golden Throne and Scandinavians meant the principle of all Lords defending each other had been broken, with most taking one side and some the other. The Kraven Reich conflict also brought this ideal to its grave, with most if not all recognizing the threat of the nation, ideologically, economically, militarily, the Reich had few allies in the region. What would the Automagfreek resurgent feel and do once it saw these events? How would it react to the reforms and changes to the Fortresses and rules the Lords adhered by?

“It doesn't matter in the end. As the Captain said, you can muse on the what will be's until death comes and takes you. Life is what you do about in the meantime, until the future reveals itself as the present.”

Reaching over, she tapped a button, which lit up red and pulled the phone off the receiver built into her desk. Holding it up to her ear, she heard the dial tone ring a few times before the other lines picked up, the gruff voice a comfort to her twisting stomach.

”Eshmun here. What's going on, Adon? You know I'm about to take my afternoon nap.”

A chuckle. “I know, Eshmun, but I needed to run something by you since it involves the Compact. Have you received the brief from Intelligence about the Freekish?”

A beat of silence.

”I looked it over, yes. There's not much we can do about it, is there? They've announced their ending of their slumber and we now have to watch to see what they do.”

“That is true, my friend, but we are not so far away that if the Freekish are now hostile, or are hostile to the reforms and state of the region that we have dedicated ourselves to, they can come for us. While we have rebuilt, and continue to grow stronger with every reform completed, every soldier trained, every ship released from production, we are not even close to the might of the Sons of Dreadfire. And with the coming war with the Reich on the distant horizon, we cannot afford an internal war of this scale.”

A grumbling noise sounded Eshmun's discontent but agreement with her statement.

“Well, alright, you've figured out the problem. What do you say we do about it? We can't just send ambassadors to the Freekish.”

A smile broke on her face as she accepted his resignation. “Who says we can't?”

*****

A diplomatic communique would find its way to the Freekish, be it through the embassy or through proper channels (albeit with some researching done in the Gothic archives at the alliance capital), which simply stated:

OFFICIAL MESSAGE FROM ANAX'S BALDASSARE AND HIMILCO OF THE TELROSIAN COMPACT.

YOU HAVE BEEN ASLEEP FOR A VERY LONG TIME, SCIONS OF DREADFIRE. WE SEE YOUR AWAKENING AND WELCOME YOU INTO A NEW AGE. WE HAVE NOT SPOKEN MUCH OVER THE PAST DECADES, BUT WE SEE THIS AS AN ISSUE TO BE RECTIFIED WITH YOUR RETURN. THE REGION IS IN NEED OF ITS MIGHTIEST DEFENDERS, MORE THAN EVER, AND WE WISH TO REACH OUT TO YOU IN AID OF THAT PURPOSE. WHEN YOU ARE FULLY READY TO JOIN US AGAIN, SEEK US OUT AND WE WILL FORGE BONDS WORTHY OF GOTHIC LORDS.

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Automagfreek
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1098
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Automagfreek » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:46 pm

Mystery and suspense had grown in the days and weeks since the massive Freekish flag was hoisted high above the Great Hall, with reporters camped outside of the massive fortress around the clock. Everyone knew that the Dreadfire family had a flair for the dramatic, but the lack of follow up was most unusual. From what could be seen from the outside, the Great Hall was a flurry of activity. Many notable politicians and generals could be seen moving in and out on a regular basis, a telltale sign that something was afoot, even if Lord Dreadfire himself had said nothing.

Any reactions from the region, or from afar? Damien asked Vlad, though in reality he showed little interest.

After shuffling through a few papers in his hand, Vlad pursed his lips and shook his head slowly. Unfortunately we've had little response from anyone inside the region, and most certainly none from outside. It's both surprising, but yet not at the same time. The Empire laid the foundation for Gholgoth and built it up from nothing, but alas time can change many things. The truth is, my Lord, we live in a post-Freekish world now.

Damien rose from his seat inside the throne room and made his way to the large glass doors which led to the famous balcony overlooking the gardens below.

Post-Freekish world... He scoffed in disgust, but yet with a realistic acceptance. The Empire had laid dormant for far too long, and as a result one of the most formidable shaper of global events had fallen into obscurity.

I'm sure even now we're being closely watched, and those doing the watching are glued to their computer screens around the clock. Absence of reaction does not indicate absence of interest. They are waiting for us to take the next step. We've waited long enough...

Damien then stepped out onto the balcony, and before Vlad could lunge forward and stop him, the Warlord was standing before hundreds of reporters who had been waiting for this very moment. The tired throngs of press below sprang to life in an instant, bright lights and camera lenses pointed at the young Damien as they shouted and scurried about. But silence fell over the crowd as he raised his right hand, and only the sounds of rustling leaves and the howl of the west wind upon the Great Hall could be heard.

Sons and daughters of the Freekish Empire... receive me now. Rise from your slumber, o proud people, and stand once more. For far too long we have sat idly by while the world that WE built, the world that is OUR birthright, has moved forward without us. It is written in the stars that the Freeks shall lord over this planet, and those who breathe OUR air shall submit themselves to our rule! It is destiny... it is inevitable.

Billions of Freeks from across the entire Empire sat motionless in front of their TV's, computers, and smartphones while the young Damien continued his impromptu speech.

This nation, this Empire has been through great heartache and ruin in decades past, and instead of rising above it we allowed it to consume us. Never again. Never again shall we turn within and withdraw ourselves from the world. Never again will we allow lesser men to undo that which we have forged in blood and fire! The Gods have deemed our inaction unacceptable, and they demand a hefty sacrifice to stave off their judgement. Who will join me? Who will rise and take their rightful place as Kings and Queens of this world, and quench the thirst of the Gods?

Who will follow me to future glories, and share with me the spoils of many more victories to come? Who will help me right the many wrongs of the Gothic Alliance and restore us to the seat of power that WE created? By the Gods I pray you join me, and show these so called Gothic Lords that their blasphemies against the Freekish Empire will not be forgotten. They have established a false seat of power far from our lands, and congregate in their chamber of cowards while the real warriors sit, diminished and forgotten! Will you let this stand? Will you allow the exploits of our forefathers be cast into the dust bin of history? NO! This shall not come to pass!


Damien had whipped himself into a visible frenzy, his fists shaking in righteous anger and his crazed eyes reflecting the fires that raged inside him. Howls of approval and celebratory gunshots began to ring out across ULE City as the Freekish hordes embraced his call to arms.

Let us go now and smite the unworthy. Let those who are still loyal flock to our banner once more and rally behind the true seat of Gothic power! Let us restore this alliance to its true purpose, and once the deed is done, we shall turn our gaze to the entire fucking world and bring them back to where they belong... on their knees!

Vlad watched the Supreme Warlord with his mouth slightly agape, for he had not heard such rhetoric from a Freekish leader since the days of Lord Damien the Destroyer. As the raucous speech neared its conclusion, he started off towards his office inside the Great Hall. Well, THAT'S certainly going to get some attention... looks like I've got my work cut out for me... He said to himself as he glanced at his phone, the state run news app projecting images of Freeks taking to the streets donned in traditional pagan garb with rifle and torch in hand. There was great commotion in ULE City which was rapidly spreading across the entire Empire... dancing, howling, parading, fighting, and drinking. Were it not for the trappings of modern day society all around the Freekish people, one might be inclined to think they had stepped back in time 10,000 years, their cries of "Blood and Fire!" carrying far into the approaching night.
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Kylarnatia
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A Test of Endurance

Postby Kylarnatia » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:19 pm

The Fangthane Palace, Krytopia
The Ancient Empire of Kylarnatia, Gholgoth


The sun was rising in the sky, and the ancient capital of Krytopia was starting the day anew. Street cleaners both of foot and in vehicles meticulously cleaned the main bridges, promenades and streets first before moving on with perfect synchronicity onto the side streets, cleaning away all evidence of the previous nights revelry. The meglapolis roared to life as the people awoke and poured out from their massive pyramidal and spire arcologies to become the blood to the neo-imperial and monolithic structures that formed the heart of the city, going about and conducting business in the name of either the omnipotent Imperial Bureaucracy or significant private interest groups, but all in the name of the Imperium Antiquum and in service to the beatific sovereign who ruled them and whose image dominated the many spaces - both physical and digital - that formed part of their daily rhythms.

Caesar Silvier always awoke before sunrise, using the brief calm before the storm that was the days events to fit in her intense fitness regimen and then the morning prayer ritual in the Sanctorum Maternus Angelus or Sanctuary of the Motherly Angel, situated in the Imperial Family's private quarters in the Fangthane Palace, which sat upon the Palatine in the centre of the Seraphis. It was sacred earth, said to be the spot where the angel Silvier had communed with the long-forgotten Kings of Men and gifted them the Sacred Flame, cleansing them of their spiritual servitude to the Corrupt Gods of old and rallying them to her cause to depose them. This spot was the catalyst to her eventually becoming the Grand Mother, a being ascended beyond divinity: beyond the power-hungry and fiendish nature of godhood and instead one with all things in the universe, both material and immaterial, neither concerned with nor tempted by the things which gods seemed to demand in droves. She was the Caesar's namesake, for the Seers had decreed that she was Astrum Puella - a Star Child, a pure piece of the Mother's soul that echoed throughout existence and placed in mortal form. Therefore she was destined to take the name, and from then on she was assured greatness. Even so, she had fought for it, bled for it, and even lost for it: her star had grown in it's mass and burned as bright as the sun, meaning that any who flew too close would fall like Icarus.

Yet, as with all things in these immortal lands of Gholgoth, it was a test of endurance. For that was the way of these lands: all things must endure, or slowly wither and die to be consumed by something much more terrible. That was the lesson that the Caesar's of old had taken from their years of being established amongst the Gothic Lords, having passed down through the various lineages that crossed several generations of different families. The Silvanus family, descendants of the Genetrix Minerva and long-regarded as masters of warfare, had all bore witness to the terrifying greatness that was Damien Dreadfire. Silvier's forebears had been wise to answer his calls, to rally to his banner and that of Gholgoth when hailed, and had been loyal to his designs for the Alliance. Silvier herself had witnessed the man in the flesh, several times, and long respected him and in the wake of his death aimed to carry on his legacy. Yet she was not content to limit herself within his shadow, and had always intended to grow beyond it and forge her own mark on this land that would inevitably outlast them all. For again, Gholgoth must endure - Semper Certans, Gholgoth - even if that meant moving beyond Damien Dreadfire, which would inevitably have been the case even had it not been for the fate that had befallen him on the beaches of Norska. For despite all his greatness, he was just a man - albeit no ordinary man - and time inevitably claims all men.

Then the banner had risen again, and the face of Dreadfire had reappeared, albeit much younger than what Caesar last recalled. The images greeted her as she had arrived in her Private Study to receive her morning briefing with her brazen Chief of Staff, Maximus Cantius Maursus, and the ever-present sentinel being that was Hyperion, his towering form looming just behind her as she sat down to watch the broadcast that had beamed out from ULE City just mere minutes ago. "At least he had the courtesy to let me have my morning..." Caesar thought to herself as she listened, and then quickly in her head tried to calculate the ramifications. The expression on her face changed swiftly from surprise and mild bemusement to that of vexed frustration; hot off the heels of a successful summit in Citadel City, another test of endurance. One that, if they did not act quickly, might be insurmountable.

"I've got the Department of Foreign and Imperial Affairs crawling up the walls like they've been possessed, and the Dux Imperator's don't know whether to get hard-ons and start having a circlejerk at the prospect of blowing a few salvos or start digging trenches straight to the core." Maximus shot a quick glance at Hyperion, a Dux Imperator in his own right. "Sorry, chuckles." Caesar's Chief of Staff was infamous for being uncharacteristically Kylarnatian in the fact that he was pretty brutal with his words, making insults a common occurrence in his speech. The silver-haired, sharp-tongued fox was the most capable political enforcer the Fangthane had seen in recent decades, and as the Caesar's right hand, he was a man of immense influence and power. He intimidated people, and didn't allow himself to be intimidated back, for the only thing that did surpass his arrogance was his loyalty to Caesar.

"And all because we've got fucking freshman Dreadfire over here who just got Baby's First Total War Plans and can't wait to crack them open like his first Jagite wank-rag." Maximus was the son of a Kylarnatian sailor and a Mian hostess, and it showed. He was a man from very humble beginnings who - through sheer brutality and force of will - had risen to the top, and Caesar tolerated his more unsavoury nature and habits because she knew they hid a much more cool and calculated individual who lied beneath. He certainly wasn't as dismissive as he sounded; Silvier had come to learn that the more insults he fit into a sentence, the more serious he took the subject matter. In this instance, it was pretty serious.

"The timing of this is certainly...disconcerting." the ancient Dux Imperator began to chime in. Caesar's mind wandered, "Oh dear, Atticus must be livid."

"But I believe the young Dreadfire is a victim of the trauma and anger that his people have endured in the years since his predecessor's demise. They are now crawling from the void, and they want vengeance. The sooner we respond now, the less likely that void is to consume us as well." As always, the venerable Lord Hyperion provided years of valuable experience and perspective on matters such as this. Stories claimed after all, that he had bore witness to thousands of years of civilisation, even prior to the days of the original Dreadfire, for he shared the name and likeness of the Aspect of the Night, ninth son of the Grand Mother. The faithful swore by it, others merely thought it a tale to inspire fear and respect, as the name could be a title passed on from sentinel to sentinel, ever keeping vigil over the Caesar's. Who could say, but Silvier was confident in her own belief.

As for the matter at hand, the calculations in her mind had led her to only one conclusion: they would have to go to face the new Dreadfire. Time was of the essence, and the sooner and more decisively they acted the sooner they could impress upon the new Supreme Warlord of the Freeks that - far from his claims of cowardice - the new Lords were not ones to back down. The New would have to face the Old, and they would either reconcile their differences, or all succumb to the ravages of something much more terrible.

Looking to Maximus, Silvier spoke confidently and quickly. "Inform the Dux Imperator's to increase the readiness of our Armed Forces. Have Foreign and Imperial Affairs inform our Ambassador in ULE City that the Freeks should expect us, and they shall receive us at the Great Hall of the Gothic Lords. Draft a statement to inform the press, and get the Senior Staff together to be ready to head out as soon as we're ready." Her Chief of Staff pulled a sinister smile and, without question, bowed his head and got to work, pulling his smartphone from his pocket as he turned to leave and already beginning to make calls.

As she spun in her chair and stood up, Hyperion looked down to face her. "Organise a full complement of the Guard, and prepare the full regalia. Let's make this impression count."

"Your will be done, my Caesar." Hyperion pounded his chest in salute and then also departed, his heavy footsteps and thunderous voice audible even from a great distance as he began barking orders.

Now alone, the Caesar pressed a button on the intercom built-in to her desk. When a small light flashed to signify that she was being received, she spoke clearly into the microphone. "Prime Minister Atticus of Havensky and Emperor Nathan of Ghant on conference call. Now."

It took mere seconds for it to be arranged, and mere minutes for it to conclude. All three would be in ULE by day's end. The new Alliance that they had forged would endure.


ULE City
The New Gothic Empire of Automagfreek


Within less than half-an-hour of Caesar making her decision, her Ambassador to ULE City had already departed the Embassy's Grounds and made their way via armoured vehicle to the Great Hall, which they could see even from a distance was now alight and alive once more, despite the many years that had passed not having lost it's intimidating demeanour. The Embassy had called ahead to let the Freeks know to expect them, and sure enough when they arrived they were greeted by a small yet official gaggle. When offered the chance to step inside, the Ambassador politely declined, explaining that their purpose here was brief yet hugely significant. Catching the Freeks attention, the Ambassador - trying their best to keep down the nerves that the architecture of the Great Hall inspired - went on to relay the message given to them by Krytopia.

Warm greetings and salutations, a well-expressed welcome of return, and then a polite yet confidently made statement of intent: Caesar Silvier Catherina Silvanus the Fourth, Eternal Sovereign of the Ancient Empire and her people, Supreme Commander of all her Imperial Armed Forces, Pontifex Maximus of the Silvier Sacerdotium, Lord of Gholgoth and Warden of the North, Ad Infinitum...would be in ULE City within the day, and would be received here at the Great Hall by the Supreme Warlord himself. The Ambassador smiled and conducted themselves politely, but did not leave room for discussion as they then swiftly departed again, as they had been instructed to do. This would be the first signal to the young Dreadfire that this new Gholgoth was truer to the spirit of his legendary name than he had perhaps initially thought.

The stage was set.
Last edited by Kylarnatia on Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The Ancient Empire of Kylarnatia // Imperium Antiquum Kylarnatiae
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Jagada
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Founded: Feb 15, 2005
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Jagada » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:34 am

Armathaine Palace
Fostoria, Imperial Union


Fostoria, the City of the People Reborn, was unlike other cities in Gholgoth. It had been designed not by necessity or haphazardly as most ancient cities were constructed. The needs of the passing generations and the creep of technology requiring constant renovations to public transportation, infrastructure, zoning, and more. Other cities would have their downtown core shifted as economic or cultural trends changed with slums sprouting up like weeds and causing wealth to flee to more lavish and newer areas – only for the trend to reverse a generation later with the affluent buying back these older areas and tearing down historic buildings to make way for new ones. Those were problems for other people, but certainly not the People. The capital was a new city and built with all the treasure of two dozen subjugated nations. Its urban sprawl been constructed by a veritable army of urban planners working to the exacting specifications laid forth by the High Lords. The avenues were broad and made from millions of bricks and cobblestones, allowing the city to avoid the feel of the concrete jungle. The buildings were cast out of traditional construction materials, but elegant veneers were laid over. The vast gold reserves hoarded by Myriandus had been looted, melted down, and recast as one of the prolific statues of Jagite or Faithful heroes, or made as reliefs and frescos for numerous structures.

Though all of this had been built with the center piece in mind – Armathaine Palace. It too was not burdened by the passage of time and had been invented with a new mentality on the definition of palace. It was a tall and yet sprawling structure that sprawled across hundreds of acres and sat at the convergence of the Bulsong and Silver Rivers. Its central structure was domed and over six hundred feet in height with an impractical and opulent glass ceiling that provided more natural light than was necessary. At each of the four corners stood an independent tower that rose an additional two hundred feet above the glass dome. All of this was constructed out of a combination of concrete and steel with gold and silver adornments liberally worked in. A massive statue to the mythical figure of Jagada had been constructed a hundred yards from the main entrance of the Lavender Gate, and it stood just as high as the corner towers. For centuries a controversy as to the gender of Lord Jagada and so the artisans who crafted the statue made it appear both male and female depending on the angle at which it was observed. During a clear day when the sun struck Armathaine, it glittered like a thousand jewels and dazzled tourists and visitors from across the Alliance. At night the Palace would not relinquish its prominence and the lights within would cause an inverse effect. The gold and silver light which once radiated from the outer walls now poured out from the central glass dome and the Palace’s many stained-glass windows bathing the Court in its warm glow.

Armathaine Palace sat at the head of what was commonly called the Court. Engineers versed in the design and construction of other megastructures in places like Citadel City and Krytopia had been employed in its construction and even then, it had taken the tireless labor of over two dozen construction firms and a decade to complete the mega project. The concept was simple – how to make government bureaucracy visually appealing? The Collegiums had been arranged in two rows of seven structures, with equal number to each side and arrange before the Palace, and had been constructed to the whims of its respective Proctor-General. Each building took on a life of its own. Be it the bulky Collegium of War, adorned in the flags of hundred conquered foes or the elegant curves of the Collegium of Foreign Affairs, its outer walls sculpted to display the past glories of Gholgoth – the red and black banner of the Alliance flying equally as high as the Golden Lion at the top of its massive structure. Between these architectural marvels was the Amethyst Square, paved in tens of thousands of stones seized from temples and historical buildings across the Union and its Free States and inlaid as a triumph of the People’s Rebirth. By itself it took up several acres in width and stretched back as far as the eye could see. It was often used for military parades or one of the numerous carnivals or parades funded by House al’Maw for the enjoyment of the People and Faithful.

Secretary Nalur al’Maw looked down upon the Amethyst Square from his office high in the northwestern tower of the Armathaine Palace. He was the founder of the Union and its sovereign in all but name; a title stolen from him by the whims of people he now ruefully called the Faithful. It was poetic justice to be sure. He didn’t seek vengeance over them … at least not yet. Instead his morning had been occupied with the continuous affairs of state and while having no technical authority himself, did have de facto run of the High Lords. Each member of which owed their position, wealth, and privilege to him. But he hadn’t appointed fools or imbeciles to those positions and the more mundane affairs of state he left in their capable hands.

The return of House Dreadfire and the potentially calamitous awakening of Automagfreek was something he assuredly did not trust to them. He had watched the news reports that rolled out of ULE City where the Young Dreadfire had already made proclamations about abolishing the reforms of the Alliance and forcibly returning the Lords to their old headquarters within the same city. Of course, this was followed by the obligatory vows of subjugating the world, enslaving their people, undoubtedly raping their women, and all other sorts of dreadful things. It almost felt like the old days. Nalur had purposely sat out of most of the Gothic Summit and been a vocal critic of the reforms, but when the time came to vote he had sided with the bulk of the Alliance and instructed his daughter, Renuae the actual Lord, to vote in favor.

“Do we oppose him,” asked Proctor-General Elovin Valin, Collegium of Foreign Affairs.

Nalur turned and listened to the last words of Young Dreadfire’s speech “on their knees!” repeat once again on the large monitor mounted on the wall of his office. The news cycle had talked about nothing else for most of the morning.

“We owe the Freeks a debt of gratitude,” replied High Lord Zolran. The comment being especially ironic since his black hair betrayed him as not one of the People. Yet Zolran had been one of the most faithful servants of the Union since the beginning.

The People did owe Damien Dreadfire a blood debt for, indirectly, saving them from the Reich. It had been his declaration of war that had pulled the Reich’s full attention away from chasing down the fleeing remnants of the Grand Fleet from Cydonia. It had been Dreadfire who had, despite what the rules of the Alliance stated, allowed Nalur to declare his daughter one of the Gothic Lords – thereby cementing the Alliance’s protection of the People while they recovered from Kraven’s extermination. That kind of a debt could not easily be repaid.

“He is one of us,” said Nalur, his eyes fixated upon the monitor as the speech played yet again amidst proclamations of ‘Breaking News!’, “We’re not going to let this end in bloodshed.”

“That’s is very unlikely Nalur,” replied Zolran, “The Freeks don’t usually change their minds.”

“They will this time. Prepare my plane for departure. The other Lords are likely sending messages of support or congratulations but that isn’t what Dreadfire wants. If he is anything like his kin, he prefers a face to face meeting. The Skyans and Ghantish will appeal to his better humors and that is likely to get them chained or broken before him.”

“Are you sure you won’t suffer a similar fate?” asked Elovin.

“No,” said Nalur flatly, “I was an opponent of the reforms, and I’ve come around to them. Dreadfire needs to be convinced that enough of the old ways remain.”

“That is why you insisted we send a High Lord to the construction of Pax Gothica,” said Zolran thoughtfully.

Nalur smiled ruefully. It had been a gamble that they could’ve influenced the designs as much as they did and spoke to the talents of the Lord (or rather Lady) he’s appointed. It was likely to pay off now.

“Draft a message to Dreadfire, inform him of my coming to ULE City directly and request an audience with him. Man to man.”
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Havensky
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Civil Rights Lovefest

(Call Me) For Solace

Postby Havensky » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:12 pm

Prime Minister’s Residence, Citadel City

Prime Minister Lance Atticus couldn’t quite get used to it. The feeling of being on this side of the desk. It was a strange feeling almost like wearing somebody else's clothes. At one point, he had pondered having the staff switch the desk around to face the other direction. This seemed like a lot of trouble though.

It had been about a week since he had been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Havensky and about a month since the end of the Gothic Summit. The election had been cantankerous with his opposition dragging all of his past mistakes back out into the public space. However, the successful Gothic Summit had given him a lot of momentum and his party had done well.

He had almost had time to give himself a breather when the news broke. Almost as soon as Lord Dreadfire’s speech went out across the region, his office had been bombarded by reports and briefings and questions from the press.

His personal feelings on the matter and what he had said in his public remarks diverged sharply. He had said in a statement that he had welcomed the Empire’s return to regional affairs and that he looked forward to meeting with Lord Dreadfire as soon as they were able.

Of course, the news had come been personally extremely frustrating. The Skyans had, at the very beginning, reached out to the Freekish government after Kraven’s attack on the Skyan Military Academy. They received no answer. They had, again, reached out when then Secretary of State Heart had been kidnapped and Ironwing captured. No answer. After they won the war and established Citadel City and the new gothic territories they had reached out to establish relations. They had even gifted the Dreadfire's an airship. When he had planned the Gothic Reforms, he made sure that the Freeks had been informed and invited.

They hadn’t responded.

One of the biggest drivers for the reforms had been Automagfreek’s absence from the regional stage. And now, that Atticus had pushed the reforms through and gotten approval from the region and done all this work - now the Freeks had something to say.

And, it appeared, that they had to say wasn’t very friendly.

There was a knock at the door and a member of his security staff (which was civilian now) poked his head out.

“Prime Minister? it’s time sir.”

“Very well, let’s go.”

* * * *


HRA Solace of Reckoning

The Solace was one of the newer Emancipation-class airships and the personal airship of Praetor Gavin Squall. It was designed as a troopship with a hanger running down the center of it’s triple hulls that housed four Vexer-Class helijets and two Larus-class VTOL fighters. The two hundred meter airship had a set of large wings and canards with internal ducted fans that provided lift and thrust. Internal bays filled with missiles and laser weaponry denoted it’s status as a warship. The black and blue dazzle paint scheme made the vessels shape difficult to follow from a distance. However, up close and personal, the airship was quite commanding.

Atticus and Queen Heart had agreed to take the Solace rather than a more official craft for safety reasons. They were at war with the slavers and the group would make for a tempting target. The Queen’s ship, The Undaunted, would head towards Kylarnatia. The Prime Minister’s vessel, The Behest, would move south towards Ghant. Doing this would also mean that they would arrive in ULE City with the full contingent of Heartbreak Company. The unit had been moved from the Queen's Guard to Squall's command to participate in Praetor operations even as it wasn't perfectly clear what those operations would entail.

Atticus was personally thankful that the Caesar had suggested meeting Dreadfire together. The Solace was on course to rendezvous with her aircraft on the way to ULE City. In the meantime, Atticus was reading up on this history of the Freekish empire as he listened to Queen Heart and Major Squall dish about his upcoming wedding. Heart, who had served on a troop ship during the First Kraven War, seemed right at home in a way that Atticus never could.

It wasn't the airship aspect of it. Atticus had lived on The Open Hand for the better part of a decade. He turned a page and snorted. That wasn't even his ship anymore. That ship always belonged to the Skyan Secretary of State and that was Lamula now. While the Hand was adorned with every possible luxury accommodation. The Solace had a tv. The decks were metal, the bulkheads were metal, the beds were thin even in the commander's quarters. Squall and Captain Nile had opted to bunk with the rest of the officers so that the Queen and Atticus could have their own quarters. The two quarters were next to each other separated only by the smallest of hallways. Atticus had received Squall's quarters and from the look of it he hadn't had much time to decorate.

There was a picture of Edwidge on the bookcase along with a small collection of adventure books which seems to young for a man of Squall's stature. Maps of various places of interest in Shen Almaru were pinned to the walls as well as a large dry erase board with various notes on the company. Squall's new armor was in it's holster mounted to the wall.

If he was honest with himself, he was nervous about this meeting. He had never met a Dreadfire and from what he was reading it was clear they were not nice people. If Dreadfire wanted to, he could turn all the plans that him and his allies had made upside down in an instant.

Atticus flipped a page as they all flew through the air.
Last edited by Havensky on Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Peninsular
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Founded: Apr 04, 2017
New York Times Democracy

Postby The Peninsular » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:22 pm

Zneyvind Outpost
Outpost Headquarters


The Outpost Headquarters was a large room, similar to the Orbital Center in shape, being a large hexagon. However, this is where most of the similarities between the two ended. While Outpost HQ was located just a story above Orbital Control, it was not filled with consoles, and its walls were not plastered with screens. The room instead almost looked spartanic, as the important part of the room was right in its center. A low, but large in diameter, platform stood there, and on it was what resembled the CIC of a Navy warship roughly in layout. Many consoles and desks with officers and personnel sitting at them were lined up around the centerpiece, which to any onlookers would unquestionably look like a war room.

And it was a war room. The table in the middle had several gadgets, screens, and other things built into it. In front of it, a huge screen filled out the space, alongside a sort of speaker’s desk. The entire ‘room’ was separated from the things around it with soundproof glass walls.

The air inside the war room was rather cool, courtesy to the air condition. Colonel Plisker, General Glemser and a number of other officers were busy going through their own documents, either on their tablets or laptops, as another officer pushed open the door. General Glemser nodded at the new arrival. “Ah, Major.”, he said. “Now that we are all here, we can begin. So, Colonel. What have you got for us?”

Colonel Plisker stood up, walking over to the speaker’s desk at the front. Activating the screen, he cleared his throat before starting. “Alright, gentlemen. Considering this is an impromptu meeting, I will cut right to the chase. A few hours ago, ComSV sat 04 picked up… developments in the North-Eastern hemisphere of the region.” He tapped on his tablet, which was connected to the screen, and several images of the satellite’s position as well as a diagram popped up. “At exactly 17:25 MTT, ComSV-04 picked up a surge in communications, and a big one. This diagram shows it.” He pointed at the curve of the diagram, labeled ‘communications volume’. “While we were only ever able to pick up few communications in this area, coming from this island-“, he pointed at a large island on a map, “which were showing signs of civilization, this activity just exploded. Telecommunications, data streams that likely correspond to an equivalent of our SystemNet, all this.”

“Now, we weren’t unaware of there being a nation there. Our initial orbital nighttime photos had indeed revealed substantial lighting during nighttime.”, he continued, a satellite image of the island at nighttime popping up. “However, we never held it for necessary to fully survey what little communications we could pick up, given that whatever is there was not transmitting anything, and I do mean anything, to the outside world. So, our FalconEye satellite in this region was moved to keep an eye on more important areas. However, in light of this surge in activity, we have begun moving it into a position where it can fully survey the island once more. Although, saying it was only in light of the surge is wrong. We initiated it due to the surge, and something more concerning we picked up amidst this surge. Which is also why the satellite is tasked to look out for military assets specifically.”

A murmur went through the room as several officers frowned. “This would also be good time to mention again that we are in need for more FalconEye sats. We have not enough to focus on all of the areas we would like to be surveying at this moment.”, Plisker added. The General spoke up. “Colonel, would you please enlighten us as to what the… concerning thing was you mentioned?” Plisker gulped. “Certainly. Among the telecommunications, one stood out, as it was widespread transmitted all over the island. We were able to tap into their network after a bit of tinkering and record it. This was around five hours ago.”, he said, as he tapped on his tablet again, opening a video file on the screen.

-------

The faces of the officers in the room all looked grim as the heated discussion slowly came to an end. “So.”, one of the Majors said, “To summarize: We have another monarchy, some hot-headed young monarch, going all crazy about the Gothic alliance, because apparently they were the ones who built it in the first place.” He sighed. “As if we didn’t have enough problems already. Verdammte Monarchien mit ihren arroganten Herrschern.” Colonel Plisker crossed his arms. “If I may voice my personal opinion, some arrogant monarchy that apparently thinks they’re oh-so-great wouldn’t be that much of a problem. Granted, it’s annoying to put up with. But the problem here is that they’re some arrogant monarchy that thinks they’re oh-so-great that wants to bring the world to its knees. And looking at their monarch, they may actually try to do that, given how hot-headed he seems to be.” He sighed, rubbing his forehead.

Glemser leaned forward, tapping on the table. His mimic could be interpreted as very serious, with a hint of annoyance. In fact, this was the case for everyone in the room. The Federation wasn’t known to be fond of monarchies, and Peninsularians in general reacted badly to notions of people kneeling in front of others. “What could we expect, it’s a monarchy. Looking around in this galaxy, every single one we’ve met at this point except for the Eridani seems to have a tendency to be as arrogant as one can possibly be.", he murmured beneath his breath. "At this point, I have come to my decision, gentlemen. Prepare a diplomatic team. We’ll need to calm these ‘Freeks’ down. Dispatch a message to them, ask for a one-on-one meeting. No press, no anything. The message is to be non-traceable. Only mention our non-descript name. No hints for them to figure out anything else about us. We’ll see how they react to that.”

A general murmur of approval went through the room. Plisker nodded, though he still had a question. “General, Sir, who will we be sending?” Glemser turned to him and smiled. “Well, I’m going to have to run my choice by the Governor, but I am sure he will approve of my decision to send you, Colonel.”
10000 Islands

The Constitutional Federation of the Peninsular is an FT nation.

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Emperor Pudu
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Posts: 163
Founded: Aug 24, 2007
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Emperor Pudu » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:30 pm

"Do you think it wise, flying into the belly of the beast like this?" Zhao Chen, the Pudite Chancellor of State, asked his Emperor. "We have no idea of their intentions," the older man continued, his tone not betraying worry so much as a mild annoyance. Chancellor Zhao had not been eager to come on this foreign visit when the only stop was Citadel City, Havensky. Now he had spent the last month with the Emperor touring the military facilities in Drakonian Mille Mortifere and to top it off he was presently being dragged toward the Freekish capital at ULE City for what promised to be an even more tense meeting with even more dangerous men. Emperor Pudu Jilang Dengmu VII was not paying his senior diplomat much mind, however, more interested was he in the airshow going on outside the window of the massive airliner that they were all riding in at the moment. The Imperial Crane was a massive plane, more than twice as large as any conventionally powered airlifter in the Imperial Air Force. It's engines were powered by the miniature nuclear reactor aboard the aircraft which could keep them aloft for months or years at a time, provided there was some way to resupply the crew, of course. This trip would be somewhat shorter than that, though.

Outside the windows of the Crane Dengmu was watching a pair of long-range air superiority fighters that had accompanied the imperial transport from their departure point in Port Imperial, Mille Mortifere. One was now being re-fueled in the air, a process which Dengmu had never seen in person before. A second very large plane, nearly as large as the Crane and similarly powered by nuclear energy, was extending its fuel boom to meet the fighter and offload some of the millions of gallons of jet fuel that it carried in its spacious hold. With a refueler such as this one these two fighters accompanying the Crane could make the entire journey from Port Imperial to ULE City without touching the ground. As the first plane finished its refueling operation Dengmu noticed its pilot turn his head and meet his Emperor's gaze. In response the pilot offered a little waggle of his wings before he pulled up and veered over top of the much larger transport to take up position on the opposite side.

"No, Chancellor." Dengmu finally answered, "I do not think it wise, I think it necessary." His tone betrayed his impatience. "My father made this pilgrimage in his time, and now it is necessary that I do the same. The ancient Hall of Lords is the black heart of this alliance, to deny that would be a graver insult than any reform we might make. If I cannot show my face in response to the young Dreadfire's call to action then I can hardly call myself a Lord." That last sentence hung heavily in the air, even the contrarian Zhao letting it land with the significance it deserved. The Pudite emperors had always been concerned with maintaining their status among the alliance, it was why Dengmu's father Shangjun had made the long journey to ULE City even in the darkest days of the recent Abolitionist War. Some Lords could rest on their laurels, their status secure; others were by necessity more eager to prove it.

The third man in the cabin, Xian Longji the Imperial Academian, spoke next "Lord Damien, in the tradition of Freekish leaders, leaned heavily on allusions to the past in his speech. In the old days it wasn't diplomats and communiques that governed relations between the Lords, but personal diplomacy. The best course of action in my opinion, therefore, is to arrive in person and begin to forge that intimate bond. Messages and ambassadors can be brushed aside without a second thought, it is something else to turn away a head of state and Lord of Gholgoth, whether or not the younger Damien chooses to recognize Your Majesty as such."

At the point a voice came over the intercom in the cabin from the pilot, "We should be entering Freekish airspace in just under two hours." Dengmu let out a sigh and followed it with a healthy gulp of his dark brown whisky. "When we arrive I will be making the appearance alone." Dengmu said as though he had just decided it, though implicitly he included Master Chai Sang, the fourth man present in the cabin. Master Chai was Dengmu's closest servant, never in his last year of service was he ever outside of arm's reach of his Emperor and never would he be, if it was within his power. "Two civilian administrators with me may detract from the effect I hope to have." Academian Xian nodded sagely and Chancellor Zhao shrugged in disinterest. Xian spoke next, "It is too bad we can't make a more martial entrance. The Scholars would have cut a nice figure, or perhaps the more utilitarian Life Guards or Personal Cavalry. The Freeks respect strength of arms, we should emphasize that as much as possible."

"I agree," Dengmu replied, "that is why I've had my valets lay out my battle sabre with my uniform this time, a ceremonial sword may have been appropriate in Citadel City but I think a more austere blade will serve me better here." It had been more than three decades since Dengmu had swung that cold steel edge in anger, it's weight would be a welcome reminder to him of his purpose. Once again Dengmu would be appearing not in civilian attire or ceremonial court robes but in the uniform he wore as a member of the Mounted Police in his youth. It was while serving in that elite gendarme unit that he saw battle against the rebels and traitors during the calamitous period known as the Autumn Rain. "The Freek's do not style their leaders the Supreme Warlord for nothing," Xian continued, "I think your decision is wise." The memories of the Rain, that dangerous and chaotic time, had shaped Dengmu's service in government since then and would hopefully continue to be an asset to him in the meeting to come.

The next few hours aboard the Imperial Crane would pass uneasily as Dengmu and his staff prepared to make their arrival in ULE City. Before they passed into Freekish airspace a message announcing their arrival would be sent, hopefully alleviating the possibility that the plane would be shot down by Freekish air defenses, or accidentally shot down at least. The fighter air cover that had come with the large airliner would also peel off around that time and make the trip back to Mille Mortifere so as not to antagonize the already clearly quite antagonized Freekish. By the time they arrived Dengmu would be dressed in full military regalia, battle-ready sword at his hip. None aboard the craft knew just what to expect when they touched down, nor even if they were ready for whatever it might be. Denmgu knew upon the passing of the reforms in Citadel City that it was the herald of a new era of Gothic diplomacy but he had not expected that paradigm shift to come so dramatically, so quickly.

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Telros
Diplomat
 
Posts: 937
Founded: Apr 29, 2006
Democratic Socialists

Postby Telros » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:45 pm

”Sons and daughters of the Freekish Empire... receive me now. Rise from your slumber, o proud people, and stand once more. For far too long we have sat idly by while the world that WE built, the world that is OUR birthright, has moved forward without us. It is written in the stars that the Freeks shall lord over this planet, and those who breathe OUR air shall submit themselves to our rule! It is destiny... it is inevitable.”

Adon watched from her office in the Anax's Estate in the capital city, while Eshmun was likely watching from a local office in his half of the country that he still ruled, watching from where he could while he continued the wheeling and dealing of wrangling the city Councilors and Compact Senators, who were starting to go mad from the speech they were watching. As it continued, she couldn't blame them, her hands gripping tightly into the arms of her chair as her stomach crashed down into her guts and straight on through to that dark sea where fear and doubt lurked eternally. Her cellphone buzzed and she briefly glanced at it, seeing it was Eshmun:

”Will have to talk sometime after the speech; phone's ringing constantly and I'm being bombarded by requests from the peanut gallery. You're going to have to ride this bronco, Adon.

She typed out her response, dutifully ignoring how her hands slightly shook and caused her to curse at her mistakes, which the autocorrect took the opportunity to make into utter gibberish.

”Will do. Call me as soon as you're able to get free.”

The speech drew her attention back in once more as Damien appeared to be getting into his speech, his stance becoming more aggressive and animated, his voice growing louder and louder and his gaze sweeping around the room more. She had to give it to him, while he was definitely very young, he had a definite charisma about it; a holdover from the Dreadfire line or something of his own that he brought to the Freekish table? Only time could tell; conferences and announcements like these were as much photo and press ops to make one look good as genuine looks into the leaders that hosted them.

”This nation, this Empire has been through great heartache and ruin in decades past, and instead of rising above it we allowed it to consume us. Never again. Never again shall we turn within and withdraw ourselves from the world. Never again will we allow lesser men to undo that which we have forged in blood and fire! The Gods have deemed our inaction unacceptable, and they demand a hefty sacrifice to stave off their judgment. Who will join me? Who will rise and take their rightful place as Kings and Queens of this world, and quench the thirst of the Gods?”

Her inner sea roiled and frothed, the beginnings of an oncoming storm she could feel down to her bones; the throes of Chaos hammered against the walls of the Duat, the sheer possibility they contained for this begging to come forth and wash everything away, to change everything anew in a simultaneous act of creation and destruction. She resisted the thought, but she couldn't help but thinking back to one of the lectures Isteni had given her during the early days of her Anaxship:

”Gut instinct is an unreliable meter of prediction; it is often a mixture of our stubborn beliefs and instincts and expectations about the situation. But once in a while, when the stars are right and Terra is closest to Avaris and the Vessel, we gain a faintest whisper of the Mother and share existence with the universe, and that gut feeling...is the truest knowledge of the world. You can't explain it, you can't make others understand, you just know. As Anax, you will have to learn to judge the difference, for it may be what tips the Balance, one way, or another.”

I can feel it, Archpriestess. A storm is coming...whether it is the hand of the Mother guiding us to where we need to be, or the clutching greed of the Old Gods seeking to harm us once more, I cannot say.

Damien's words dripped with the bile of the Old Gods, the sheer hatred of everything not them, the arrogance of being able to claim the world and the corruption of their Gods. It had been a common theme of debate within the Sacerdotium in Telros as to how to classify the Gods of the Freekish. While only so much was known, there were no members of the religion in the Compact after the Sacerdotium's rise to dominance in the decades after independence, what they did know were powerful, hungry, vicious gods, whom punished as much as they rewarded, and their power was one that sunk deep into you, past the flesh, bone and blood, deep into the soul. Many felt these were merely extensions, shards of the Old Gods that were able to influence Terra from within their prison, masquerading as different gods. Others felt that not everything was the fault of the prisoners of Tartarus, that there was plenty of evil to go around in the world and other gods and beings existed that could fit that bill. Whatever the reality, it still left the Freekish, one of the most powerful and numerous nations on the planet at the whim of malicious and fickle beings, with everyone else paying the price.

Even so, his words of no longer remaining contained within their nation, to hide away from the world, to go out and take charge rang true within her. Had they not done the same? It took a civil war and the destruction of most of their government to do it but they had come out of their own isolationism to reconnect and do their part. While corrupted and twisted, at the heart of it, she felt this was Damien's intention and the thin line between them roiled the storm within her even more.

”Who will follow me to future glories, and share with me the spoils of many more victories to come? Who will help me right the many wrongs of the Gothic Alliance and restore us to the seat of power that WE created? By the Gods I pray you join me, and show these so called Gothic Lords that their blasphemies against the Freekish Empire will not be forgotten. They have established a false seat of power far from our lands, and congregate in their chamber of cowards while the real warriors sit, diminished and forgotten! Will you let this stand? Will you allow the exploits of our forefathers be cast into the dust bin of history? NO! This shall not come to pass! “

The storm built up, but it wasn't fear or doubt, but anger that lashed out from the clouds.

How dare he.

They may be Freekish, a stirring titan of a bygone age, but if he wanted to point fingers at those who had blasphemed, who had done wrong, then he should have included himself. When the Alliance needed its leadership the most, as the Reich's corruption threatened to spread further into the region, the Freekish turned inward, shut the doors and left the region on its own. Only with the efforts of the Skyans, Kylarnatians and others had some matter of order been achieved and a return to unity. With the ink barely being dry on the document and commitment the Lords had joined together to support, this young shit was going to come in and demand he be king, because it was some kind of...birthright to the Freekish? All the Lords and their peoples were baubles in this Young Overlords hat?

Let us go now and smite the unworthy. Let those who are still loyal flock to our banner once more and rally behind the true seat of Gothic power! Let us restore this alliance to its true purpose, and once the deed is done, we shall turn our gaze to the entire fucking world and bring them back to where they belong... on their knees!

ENOUGH

Rage pulsing in her blood, a vein standing out on her forehead, she about crushed the phone embedded into her desk, promptly the voice of her secretary.

“Yes, madam Anax?”

“Contact High Command, all available ranking officers are to come to the war room for an emergency meeting. Highest clearance only, everyone they can get. They have an hour.”

”Uh, yes ma'am, I'll get calling righ-”

“And tell the Foreign Affairs minister to get his ass down to the Estates or I will come and hunt him down. The Compact will be responding to this display of...of barbarism!”

The voice on the other line wavered as the fear of the Sons was put into her.

“Y-Yes, right away, my Anax. Do you have any other commands?”

Breathing heavily, Adon struggled to keep herself from screaming into the phone.

“Tell Eshmun to call me in the next ten minutes or I'm going to the Freekish island by myself.”

”As you command!”

Click.

“Wait, she's going to do what-”

***********

Two hours later, on board the private Compact jet heading east

“Have you gone INSANE?” Eshmun's face reddened with every word, his voice resounding across the cabin, drawing winces from their aid and the Foreign Affairs Minister, arms waving about in Adon's direction. The insane person in question was ramrod straight in her seat, staring at a screen ahead, a map of the Freekish mainland and various points of interest. A few dots would come up, she would reach out and touch one, it would flash once and then a new screen would open, detailing information to view. Her face was deathly calm, white from the strain, still white knuckling the chair as she studiously ignored Eshmun.

“You called together High Command, without asking me by the way, and issued an order to call up the reservists, to start gathering troops and doing exercises. They're announcing the ships we're pulling out of the yards to put back into active duty, for pity's sake!”

“I did what was necessary at the time. Time is of the essence, and you know that. Our satellites could pick up a Freekish fleet sailing within the week and we'd be defenseless, especially with the Fourth Fleet deployed to Shen Amaru.”

“You're on the brink of declaring WAR, Adon! This should have been a joint decision!”

Adon turned to glare at him, forcing the man to take a step back at the sheer aura she projected at him. “I am well within my rights as Anax to make the decisions as I did. If you have any other ideas, or wish to overturn them, then speak.”

The older man rubbed his hands through his hair. “I...can't fully disagree with your decisions, but I called you as soon as I could and it was to teleconference in with the meeting you were having with the HIGH COMMAND!”

“Eshmun, volume.” The quiet authority of Isteni cut through the tension, deflating the Anax and leaving him muttering to himself as he went to his seat. The Archpriestess was currently knitting, eyes focused on the stitch she was working on, but continued to speak, her intent still clear.

“Adon, if you grind your teeth anymore, you're going to break a tooth. Try and remember to breathe, dear.”

The other woman started, glancing in Isteni's direction, who made no move to react, before turning back to screen.

“I'm fine.”

“You're white as a sheet, my Anax. If you managed to find a way to live without blood, I'd find that to be a great surprise. Otherwise, you're going to pass out, hopefully before you hurt yourself.”

Adon turned away her gaze, focusing on the clouds passing with great speed, noting the forms of the aircraft of the Compact Air Force staying in formation as they accompanied them through Telrosian airspace. Relentless, the older woman continued,

“It is alright to be angry, and even more to be afraid. What you feel is shared by most if not all Telrosians, and even our allies and neighbors in the region. You are meeting this Overlord on his terms, challenging his threat and showing you are not going to cower. But you need to think clearly, not let him see that he is affecting you. Do the breathing exercises I showed you, focus on the flow and path as they carry you.”

Slowly, the Anax began to draw in breath and let it out in alternating patterns, the focus of maintaining them helping her unclench herself, and color slowly returned to her cheeks. The minister glanced around, noting the pause and coughed, drawing attention to himself.

“My Anax, speaking of this, I believe it is time to let me know your plan for this meeting so I can advise the best course of action.”

Eshmun started at this, turning from burning a hole into the wall. “You're not coming?”

“Oh, ho ho, no, I'm afraid not. What little we have gained from his psychological profile from the actions the Freekish are taking and what Overlord Dreadfire said in his speech, and how he said it. The best course of action is to have the Lord, or in our case, Lords, meet him face to face, show we respect his position, and the position, of the Freekish Empire while, as the Archpriestess stated, showing we expect the same. He knows nothing of you, while this means we have no personal relationship or reputation to draw upon, this is is an opportunity to forge one.” Reaching over, he took a sip of his tea before continuing.

“That being said, Anax Baldassare is my recommendation for the speaking role, with you playing support Eshmun. However, Damien is unpredictable, clearly, so he may challenge you or even simply speak to you, you must be prepared. I suggest you do some thinking on what your responses may be and how to say them. While the Compact's people view your...open manner with some manner of fond amusement, Damien may be angered and our people will suffer for any loose sharpness of tongue.”

The Anax seemed flabbergasted by the outright rebuke in the words and tone but the seriousness on his face indicated this was not an attack but a warning.

“I...I understand. I will. I will!”

The minister held his gaze for a moment longer before turning to Adon, who seemed to be calming down much more, and was now paying attention to the conversation.

“You are well versed in diplomacy, ma'am, and I'm sure your time as commander of the 3rd Mechanized Battalion has shown you how to navigate people to an extent. All I can say is we're letting the Caesar, the Skyan's Prime Minister and the Ghant's Executor take the lead on this, as we discussed. We're there to show respect, make introductions and show the flag for the Reforms. Beyond that, we don't need to do anything else.”

“I know, István, my duty is at the forefront of my mind.”

He grabbed and squeezed her hand once and then returned to his seat. Adon returned back to her briefings, eyes scanning over the information as she wrangled with what was to come, Eshmun stared out the window, hands working at a hole in his jacket, muttering to himself as he practiced lines and self-corrected. And Isteni had put aside her knitting for now and had brought her hands together, head bowed, mouthing words as she uttered a prayer for the blessing of the Mother on their endeavor.

A couple more hours and it would be seen if she had seen fit to answer her call.
Last edited by Telros on Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Delmonte
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1747
Founded: Oct 02, 2012
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Delmonte » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:11 pm

Ludovico nodded and glanced about his study as he listened to Dellarei. The Cardinal-Vice Chancellor was speaking about revenue streams from tithes in the Most Serene Republic's various enclaves and entrepots scattered across the world.

"... If the entrepot customs officials would show a bit of selective memory vis a vis the tithes we draw from these entrepot locations, it would greatly ease the ability of the Archdiocese to conduct its special business." Dellarei cleared his throat in that way.

"Ah, yes, that special business." Ludovico replied, stroking his beard. The Archdiocese of Delmonte acted as bank, launderer, and confidante for international criminal syndicates anywhere the Republic had an entrepot. Criminals donate money to Delmontese churches in the entrepot. The donations get funneled to the Archdiocese of Delmonte, earmarked for the poor, and donated to a charity operated by people with very similar last names to those who had donated the money to the Church in the first place. Minus a reasonable fee, obviously.

"Aside from the commerce of the realm, which is compelling, I feel that I need to be compelled just a bit more. I'm sure God would understand."

Dellarei smiled and splayed his hands. "I am not here as the Vice-Chancellor of Foreign Affairs, your deputy, but as a Cardinal and representative of Holy Mother Church."

"Of course."

"How can the Church be your friend, Chancellor?"

Ludovico gave his cigar a small puff before setting it back down to rest on the dish set aside for the purpose. "Well, first of all, there are vacancies in church offices both here and in the Vatican that need to be filled. If you were to find a list of names on your desk one day..."

A knock came at the door and two men in blue robes were quickly ushered in. Dellarei recognized Adalberto Rivolinni, whom he had attended the Mokastanan Embassy Ball with.

"Viro." Rivolinni acknowledged him with a nod. The Cardinal returned the favor. "Were we interrupting anything?"

"Just some friendliness." Ludovico waved his hand. This was a well known code phrase for underhanded dealings. "What brings two Grand Councilors to my residence? After business hours, no less."

Adalberto Rivolinni glanced at his colleague, a family member by the looks of it. "One of our less savory friends who has contacts in Gholgoth has news."

"The Scandinvans have finally decided to stop inbreeding?" Viro Dellarei responded wryly.

"Obviously not..." Adalberto chuckled. The two of them had developed a rapport during their previous interactions. "No, the Freekish Empire has resurfaced." He gave Ludovico a grave look.

Viro looked at the Foreign Chancellor as well. "You know what that means, do you not, Signore?" Ludovico gave an audible sigh and sat down in his high-backed leather chair.

"I do. Entertainment at last to break the tedium! All of you gather round. We're going to have fun with this." He produced pen and paper.

Image

The Chancellery of Foreign Nations
Of the Most Serene Republic and Grand City of Delmonte

"In Bellum Pax; Per Pax Prosperitatem."


From the Desk of Ludovico Di Canossa; Chancellor of Foreign Nations for the Most Serene Republic of Delmonte,

Addressed to Damien Dreadfire, Warlord of The New Gothic Empire of Automagfreek, Scourge of the Sane, Bane of the Literate, Dear Sir,

It has come to the attention of Il Serenissimo that your ambitions have turned from those of a petulant child to those of a bellicose petulant child. As we all know, the three main exports of Gholgoth are pointless posturing, ill-advised aggression, and Gholgothans. The recent stirrings of Gholgoth, reminiscent of a retarded chimp scratching its ass, fulfill all these categories.

1: Pointless Posturing/Announcement? Check.

2: Mobilizing before you even have a reason for war? Check.

3: Bracing millions of your citizens, none of whom have been accused of possessing remarkable intelligence, to awash the nations of the world in their offspring, noise, and endless stench.

We are glad to see your stabilizing, mock-able, and endlessly entertaining presence return to the world stage. Because we have some questions for you:

1: Why does it seem like all nations in the region of Gholgoth are pretty much the same and virtually interchangeable? It's as though every nation in the region got the idea for their form of government from a manuscript written by an edgy teenager that was rejected outright by every literary agent except for one who suggested they try and turn it into a young adult dystopian fiction novel and market it to horny teenagers. You all love the color black. You all wear black leather that's so shiny I can see my face in it (considered very low-class taste in the higher societies, I might add). You all love black boots. You all like killing for no reason. Seriously, what's the deal? It's like you all read the same cliched dystopian novel and said "Yeah, we need to be that!" whereas most of the rest of us would read it and say "How the fuck did this shit get printed?"

2: Have the Scandinvans begun to evolve their position on their mandatory inbreeding programs thinly veiled as purity regimens? I cannot stress the importance of this enough. The world is replete with the retarded offspring of Scandinvan "purity" with teeth coming out the bottom of their chins, half a brain, and eyes that point in different directions. We cannot move for the things. We had to equip our customs officials with piston guns to humanely euthanize what our scientific and religious leaders consider abominations and... well, acts against God. Fortunately, if they fall off the boats that bring them here, they immediately sink like rocks. This stems the worst of the tide as they don't seem to fully understand the implications of water, boats, writing legible communiques, or basic object permanence. To be clear, a plurality of these skills are found in monkeys, big cats, and most breeds of dogs.

3: What's with the weird fetish for rambling speeches that seem to ignore basic governance? You do realize that governing is only like 5% speeches at most, right? Do your governments even issue passports? Driver's licenses? Do they handle tariffs? Do you have parking tickets? For the life of me, I can't envision your state doing any of the normal everyday things that governments do because your entire focus seems to be exclusively upon being theatrically evil and twisting your evil little moustaches. Do you issue hunting licenses? Do you settle civil disputes in courts? Do you handle trade and customs? Besides cackling maniacally and attacking smaller nations for dumb reasons, what do you even do?

4: Can you just calm down and pour yourself a drink for the love of God? Why does everything need to be a SWORN VOW to do this or that? Or... a DECLARATION OF VENGEANCE against that and the other? Just drink a little and kick your dog or something like the rest of us when we have a bad day. Don't be like "I broke a nail, time to nuke somebody!"

5: What's the wisdom in allowing a literal child to rule the nation? Granted, at very least having a child ruler could justify many of your emotional and impulsive decisions. In fact, objection rescinded.

In conclusion I would liken you to a school of piranhas: You have insatiable hunger, but no taste. You have numbers, but not the wherewithal to use them. And your highest aspiration is to be a pain in someone's ass.

Your Loyal Friend and Confidante,
Ludovico Di Canossa
[15:35] <Tag> I have a big, heavy sealed box that I have no idea what is in side of it.
[15:35] <Tag> I can only presume it is treasure.
The Batorys wrote:The Delmontese like money, yeah, but they also like to throw down.

<Delmonte> I don't mean literally kill their family. I mean kill their metaphorical family.
<Delmonte> Metaphorically kill their metaphorical family.
Code: Select all
 [b][color=#0000FF][background=red]United in Opposition to [url=http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?t=303025]Liberate Haven[/url][/background][/color][/b]
[color=#FF0000][b]Mallorea and Riva should [url=http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=303090]resign[/url][/b][/color]

The man from Delmonte says yes.

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Yohannes
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 13079
Founded: Mar 17, 2010
Civil Rights Lovefest

Re: Satori

Postby Yohannes » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:38 am



[ Out-of-character information: This is Yohannes. Thank you for your telegram AMF. I have learnt a lot since 2012. I promise I won't let you down this time. ]

The old chancery—Embassy of Automagfreek
Kingdom of Alexandria, Yohannes


Claudia was only seven years old, but she was not afraid of the dark.

When she opened her eyes she could see nothing, but that was not what scared her. It was what lies beneath the darkness. The well, leading some say to the depths of hell, was built in tribute to the Vanmakti legends of yore. She knew who they were. She was staring down the well of souls, in the cold hall of the seven cardinal sins’ cathedral.

“This well was built to commemorate our realm’s well-established trading relationship with the Empire of Automagfreek.” Her father stood next to her, and Claudia could tell that though those kind eyes were on her, his mind was somewhere else.

The hall was empty tonight. Her father had told her that the approaching winter’s eve would be a special one, and she was not one to miss an adventure. She had been here many a time before, and she could not see how tonight would be different from any other. “Father, we’ve done this a hundred times and I think you’re just being silly?”

As she said those words the ground began to shake.

“I am the Queen of Puritania and British Londinium … please spare me … my … Lord,” there was pleading somewhere, but she could see nothing. “Please spare me … my Frekish Lord!” The pleading became a cry for help. Claudia turned her head left to right then right to left. “Father … what was that?”

Her father motioned with his hand to tell her to be silent, his eyes dully scanning their surroundings. “When dawn broke it would be the eve of the seven cardinal sins.” He turned to meet her gaze. “Rumour has it that the evil spirits of yore would come out of the well to worship the long dead Freekish Lord … Claudia, have you ever heard of that name before?”

“Damien Dreadfire the Second, Father?”

“No … the one before him. The one who had ensured that the head of an innocent queen by the name of Cecilia would sway ever so gently in the breeze atop a twenty foot pike.”

“Cecilia!” the scream became louder—this time it came from the well. Claudia was chary of believing in evil spirits lest they be tempted to visit her. She stared into the darkness, trying to think about fairy and rainbow. She knew there were two doors just north. I will run there if the evil spirits of Damien will come out to attack us, she decided. Her father gave her a piece of paper.

“Father, what’s this?”

“Just wait until it’s over,” said her father.

“What is this … Father?” she asked again.

Claudia dropped the paper as the earth began to shake harder and the voices turned quieter and quieter. The eerie silence made it unbearable for her to stay any longer. She slipped out of her irresolution and ran as fast as she could across the great hall to the nearest exit. The short silence was suddenly broken by a terrible scream. Her father, still standing next to the well, beckoned for her to come back. The great hall roared to life, as angelic choirs and devilish voices reverberated through the maze of stones and echoed in her ears.

“Automagfreek is back!”

The devilish voices overcame the angelic choirs, and there were whispers and burbles and sudden fits of rage. Loud, piercing cries that drifted in the night air, howling off into a higher pitch of laughters, sighs—she had never seen anything quite so horrible in her young life.

Then it abruptly stopped: silence.

She turned to look at her father, still standing beside the well.

“Claudia! Can you hear me now?”

“Yes, Father.”

“Good. I’m sorry to scare you.” He turned to meet her gaze.

“As one of them, we had betrayed the ancient Lords of Gholgoth in 2012. The worst kind of betrayal is one done by those who were once your own siblings.”

“Watch for the blood moon tonight, Claudia, for …”

“Winter is coming.”

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Automagfreek
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1098
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Automagfreek » Thu May 02, 2019 4:49 pm

Well, they're certainly listening now... Vlad said as he shuffled through an ever growing stack of communiques, while periodically glancing over at the large TV screen in office. The news had spoken of little else since Damien shocked the nation with his explosive speech, but he had not stopped there. ULE City was practically paralyzed by the spontaneous eruption of national pride, and the young Warlord had taken to the streets to stoke the cultural fires that raged throughout the capitol and beyond.

Bonfires burned tall and bright as the sounds of drums and other ancient instruments echoed throughout the modern backdrop of the city. Freeks dressed in tribal garb danced, chanted, and roared their approval of their young leader, who had joined in the celebrations. Feasting, drinking, fighting, whoring... Damien was right there in the middle of it all. Were it not for the trappings of an advanced society all around them, one might think they had stepped back in time 3,000 years.

Vlad and a detachment of Sentinel Stalkers had been following very closely behind, keeping tabs on his safety and making sure to update him as reactions continued to pour in from across the region.

My Lord, several of the Gothic Lords are en route as we speak. They are taking this seriously. He shouted to Damien as the young Warlord assaulted the cask of Freekish ale in front of him, its contents spilling from his tankard and down his gullet. Drunken and hallucinating on mushrooms, Damien spiked the tankard onto the ground and nodded his approval to Vlad.

Very good, they are not as foolish as I had anticipated... as I had hoped. Let us show them how we do things in the Empire... let us show them the strength that brought their forefathers to our table.

By now the Freeks surrounding him had taken notice and silenced themselves, basking in his every word.

When our... guests arrive, see to it that they receive a simple message. Let not words be spoken, but let them see it with their own eyes. I want the road from ULE International Airport to the Council Chambers lined with Sentinels. Let them see first hand that the Dread Fires have not subsided!

As the planes from the various Gothic Lords continued their approach, both sides of the main highway began to be lined with Sentinels in full combat gear, though their BDU's were tarnished with paint of tribal runes and other ancient Freekish symbols. With rifles or spears in hand, they began moving into position and standing at attention every 10 feet, while throngs of crazed, drunken Freeks began to congregate behind them. It was a spectacle worthy of Damien the Elder.

The young Warlord departed the streets of the capitol and prepared himself for the reception of his guests, though still intoxicated from the revels he had partaken in. Despite the joyous celebration that had captivated him for hours, the deep and unending rage that burned inside him bubbled back to the surface, a reflection of years of Freekish frustration with the Alliance. This would be his first true moment on the international stage, and he would have to temper the fiery anger inside of him that had become synonymous with House Dreadfire.
Founded on March 24th, 2003
Proud founder and Lord of Gholgoth
Condemned by Security Council Resolution #82
Join the religion of war. Become a Vanmakti warrior today.

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Ghant
Minister
 
Posts: 2427
Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Sat May 04, 2019 10:18 am

“The Freek Show”
ULE City,
The New Gothic Empire of Automagfreek


The new Gothic Executor, Nathan IV of Ghant, did not know the Dreadfires. He knew of them, knew people that knew them, but he himself had no personal experience dealing with them. He had his own business to attend to in Gaztelua, establishing his seat there in Gholgoth, dealing with Henoor Zaldua, Steward of Gholghant, waiting on his Praetor nomination to arrive, so on and so forth.

His plan for dealing with the new Dreadfire was to watch and wait. If enough other Gothic Lords intended on addressing the Dreadfire situation, he would too, otherwise he would continue going about his business. He had been warned against this by his advisors in Gholghant, them warning the Emperor about how dangerous the Freeks were, their lust for carnage and destruction and how capable of inflicting it they were.

Nathan didn’t understand, nor appreciate the severity of the threat however. “Perhaps if this was Damien the Elder, I’d be more worried,” the Executor shrugged to his counselors. “Yet you’d have me believe that a twenty year old boy has the power to destroy Gholgoth in its entirety?” the thought seemed strange to him, as his own son was roughly the same age as this new Dreadfire.

Eventually however, it became clear that enough of the other Gothic Lords were personally addressing the Freekish dilemma that Nathan could no longer brush it off. His presence in ULE City was now necessary, and it would behoove Nathan to take the Dreadfire as seriously as they all seemed to. “If Silvier and Atticus think this Dreadfire means business, then so shall I.” he told the Gothic Council that he had every intention of deferring to their knowledge and wisdom on matters such as this. He meant what he said.

Silvier and Atticus got Nathan in a three way video conference call, and it didn’t last very long. Nathan spoke of “keeping the young Dreadfire in the fold” and “assuring him that he has a seat at the table.” Lastly, Nathan reminded Silvier and Atticus that “this is why I named him ‘Warden of the Dreadfires,’ so that not only he’d remember that we didn’t forget about him, but also that I, as his father’s successor, wished to honor his house.’” It was agreed upon that the three of them would be in ULE by the end of the day.

Though naturally, given the distance that needed to be traveled compared to Atticus and Silvier, Nathan was the last to arrive in ULE City. The plan laid out by Silvier and Atticus consisted of the three of them arriving in ULE City separately and then converging. Once they were all together they would travel through ULE City together and meet the Dreadfire as a unified front.

Nathan was especially cautious in his plans. He did not bring any of his children, though he took note of the fact that the Dreadfire was barely twenty years old and of an age with his own children. Perhaps he could sweet talk to the Dreadfire about his own daughters, telling him about their beauty, grace and eligibility. Mayhaps he’d consider this interesting and as a result, would be more receptive to gentle persuasion. Though if not, the only hide that Nathan was risking was his own.

The Executor traveled to ULE City via a small private jet with a few advisors and retainers, though without his Praetor as she had yet to present herself at court in Gaztelua. She will in time, he conceded, and in the meantime, his Imperial Black Guards and Zinpalak Knights would have to suffice. He spent most of the flight sleeping as he did not enjoy flying, and he instructed his people to only wake him once they landed.

They did just that, and the Executor was roused upon arrival in ULE City. As per instruction, he sought out Silvier and/or Atticus at the airport. His baggage was minimal, as most of what he wanted to bring was already on his person. He dressed in black robes with white trim, bearing the white eagle of his house upon the back of his cape. He also wore a black circlet upon his brow and wearing the forged link chain made for him by the Gothic Council.

The chain consisted of a link forged in each nation of Gholgoth (or at least those that sent them, because not all of the nations did), made of different materials. The chain represented the idea that all of the nations of Gholgoth were bound together to form something greater, the many banded together as one. Nathan wore it with pride, and hoped that it would remind the Dreadfire that the Gothic Council stood as a united front, and the Dreadfire was a part of that.

In any event, the Executor looked around for his colleagues and waited to join up with them. He had many questions for them about the Freekish, about the Dreadfire and about what they were capable of, though he didn’t doubt at this point that it was anything less than great. Only a fool would underestimate the Freeks, an advisor in Gholghant told him. And I’m no fool…at least I hope not…

Freeks by nature or freeks by choice?
Louder, louder, raise your voice!
Scream until you lungs are sore!
Scream until you speak no more!

Drift into the world below
Drift into your own freek show
Hug the shadows, kiss the night
Start your world of fear and fright

Hide the stars, destroy the moon!
Silence now, the show starts soon
But first to satisfy what you crave
Blood for wine, you feast today!

Now wipe away the dripping drops
Want some more? Who would have thought?
Spotlight on the first event
An evil thing you can’t prevent

A ghost of black, an empty hole
To symbolize your growing soul
You think you have such empathy?
It’s says right here you’ve apathy

Close the curtains, we must move on
Midnight’s over before too long
The next event’s a real class act
You cannot leave! Sit down! Come back!

You paid your dues, now you must see
The freeks that you’ll turn out to be
Good, now that we’re all settled down
You’ve earned yourselves another round

But first relax, enjoy the show
The end of midnight lets you go
As I was saying, this next routine
Will make you scared and make you scream!

Enter now, my lovely freek
Show them what they came to seek
My audience, I hear you gasp
You want not this eve to last?

Oh, too late, you’re all stuck now
In hideous lives you all will drown
My beauty that’s a freek to you
Is something I know you all do

It signifies your evil minds
And what you’ll do at certain times
You laugh at those who bathe in dirt
You mock the ones who feel much hurt

You ignore their cries for help
Only want to help yourself
You look like this on the inside
Sad to say, my freek can’t hide

But it is good, for now you see
The evil things you truly be
But you, I know, look not like this
These are things I’d wish you missed

The freek, I know, looks not like you
But on it are things I’d like to do
I’d remove your eyes so you’d not see
The things at which you laugh for free

And with my knife, I’d take your tongue
You reign in hate? The end has come!
I’d leave your ears so when men talk
You’d realize you were worse than thought

My freek, you now may leave this stage
Good looks will come, just not today
And now, it’s time for you to leave!
I hope that you will leave here pleased

And don’t forget this place, oh no
I’ll see you soon in my freek show
Then you shall learn the truth you seek
That in the end, all of us are Freeks
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
Ghant
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
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The Peninsular
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 129
Founded: Apr 04, 2017
New York Times Democracy

Postby The Peninsular » Sat May 04, 2019 11:07 am

Colonel Glemser was in a bad mood. The pitch black, unadorned dropship he was in was approaching the Freekish capital city where the conference with the other Gothic lords was to take place, and had just entered Freekish airspace. The craft itself was a fully-black Peninsularian dropship, and was accompanied by a regular fighter escort.

"Freekish aerial elements have just fallen in some distance behind us.", the pilot notified him and his security detail. The interior of the aircraft was unmodified from the military dropship it was based on, apart from the fact that the half of the seatings had been removed. Instead of an IFV, most of the cargo space was occupied by two Buick Century XXI Sedans, middle-class cars imported from New Dornalia as the Federation didn't manufacture cars anymore. The vehicles had been modified to include a considerable amount of armor, but looked entirely unremarkable. The radiator mascots had been removed, the cars painted fully matte black and the hoods concealed their advanced electric engines.

"Approaching the Freekish capital now, sir. We will be landing in a minute.", the pilot remarked from the cockpit. Glemser sighed, standing up. His security detail, all in gear, was about squad strength. They were armed mainly with the Peninsularian MPSGH, and sidearms. He himself wore his regular navy blue uniform, devoid of any ornate elements or medals. The only markings on it were the silver rank insignia, and the FDF's small and simplistic insignia on his chest and the beret.

-----

As the convoy of only two cars made its way from the airport to the conference, Glemser's mood didn't better a bit. After the to say the least troubling speech made by Dreadfire, the Outpost had scraped together all the information they could find about him. During the drive, he was going through this info again.

"So, as far as I understand, he is a descendant of that other 'legendary' Dreadfire?", the Lieutenant in charge of his escort asked. "Apparently so. But that won't earn him any respect. Not from me, at least. And especially not with that speech and his general tone.", Glemser replied. The Lieutenant rolled his eyes. "Monarchies. What did we expect? It's always the same with them. 'Dreadfire'. That name already screams hubris." Glemser nodded. "Count yourself lucky that you won't have to talk to him, Lieutenant. Either way, fancy name or not, if he thinks he can tell us what to do, he can shove that idea right back up his... right back where it came from."
Last edited by The Peninsular on Sat May 04, 2019 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
10000 Islands

The Constitutional Federation of the Peninsular is an FT nation.

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Havensky
N&I RP Mentor
 
Posts: 867
Founded: Jan 01, 2008
Civil Rights Lovefest

(I'll be waiting)

Postby Havensky » Sat May 04, 2019 12:06 pm

The Solace of Reckoning flew over the crowds in ULE City before turning it’s wings and banking to port to head towards the airport. It dived low enough so that the the gold wing of the Skyan aircraft insignia were clearly visible.

As they were coming in, Prime Minister Atticus and Major Squall had joined Captain Nile on the flight bridge. The flight bridge was actually deep inside the airship rather than in a the traditional position on the bottom. It was dimly lit with streams of information showing up on consoles being manned by the crew. The large main viewscreen displayed live video of the crowds below. A picture in picture view shifted to show close ups of the Sentinels.

Squall looked non-pulsed as he sized up the Freekish troops. Major Squall had changed into his power armor. It boasted a dazzle camouflage pattern of red and black with a long cloak in the same pattern. Atticus couldn’t quite get used to the new Tempest-class armor. The dazzle pattern was confusing to look at even from close up and when Heartbreak Company was together in a group it was hard to tell them apart.

For his part, Atticus was wearing an all white suit with a Skyan gold tie. He was normally quite a bit taller than most people, but next to Squall in his power armor even he felt a few inches shorter. He glanced at Squall and frowned just slightly.

“Major, stop looking so worried. If anyone has anything to worry about it’s me.”

“Why?”, asked Captain Niles incredulously. “It’s not like you’ve done anything to annoy the Freeks. Except maybe for leading the effort to write the Gothic Reforms and change up how the whole region function breaking from centuries of tradition.”

Squall snorted, “Honestly sir, I don’t give a damn if they’re annoyed at us. How many wars have we fought in the region without a peep from up north? Milograd, Vetalia, and not to mention the slavers bombing Citadel City. Screw tradition, the status quo had to change and you’re one of the few people who could have pulled it off. The Lords voted for the reforms and construction on Pax Gothica has already begun. Things have changed.”

Squall looked at the viewscreen again.

“Though, the Freeks don’t seem very quiet at the moment.”

“So, you’re not worried. I see you sizing them up.”

Squall sighed, “Force of habit sir. If anything, I’d like see if they’d join our fight against the slavers. It would end the war a lot faster.”

“That it would Major.. That it would.”

Captain Niles picked up his microphone as the airship’s comm system let out a long whistle.

“Now here this: This is the Captain. We will be landing momentarily. All crew to jump seats. I say again, all crew to jump seats.”

* * * *


The airship flew low over the ULE airport swinging carefully into position like an impossibly graceful giant. The four wings of the tilted in reverse to slow the airship as it touched down with a barely audible thud. The whine of the electric engines slowing down as the Solace of Reckoning powered down.

The front ramp of the airship opened and Major Gavin Squall marched down the ramp first with four crimson clad Skyan Legionaries behind the Gothic Praetor carrying the flags of Heartbreak Company, Havensky, Gholgoth, and Pax Gothica.

The next pair down the ramp were Queen & Gothic Lord Jessica Heart and Skyan Prime Minister Lance Atticus. The Queen wore a white suit with golden trim that contrasted greatly with her red hair. Her crown was a simple silver circlet and she wore no other jewelry save for her wedding ring.

They were flanked on each side by four platoons of Legionaries marching five by five with their platoon leader and guidon bearer marching out in front of them. Each Legionary carried their long shield - each embolized with a broken heart - in one hand and a black sword held upright in the other.

“Heartbreak! Halt!”, shouted the First Sargent as the unit came to a halt.

The Skyans had arrived.
Last edited by Havensky on Sat May 04, 2019 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Skybound Republic of Havensky
(Pronounced Haven-Sky)

Territory held in
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Dephire
Envoy
 
Posts: 233
Founded: Sep 06, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Dephire » Sat May 04, 2019 12:40 pm

Six massive VTOL aircraft land at the airport, andt a dozen soldiers from each exited and formed a column. From the largest aircraft, a charcoal grey upon closer inspection with a ‘grim reaper’ emblem on its tail, exited a figure wearing a white robe with gold trim. The strange person’s head was concealed with by a hood that was trimmed in an elaborate gold, and his face was hidden by a pure gold mask with decorative inlays. His hands were gloved, white fabric with gold inlays. His right hand held a large staff to which he seemed to rely upon for stability while walking.

From another aircraft, of sleeker design and darker in color, exited a man wearing a white dress military uniform. His entourage of soldiers wore traditional Briskan military gear, black with red underlay trim. He bowed deeply to the man in white robes, but was ignored by the other.

“Shall we?” Adam Halsley II said to the staff man. The man he addressed ignored him and walked up to the convoy of vehicles that had pulled out of one of the aircraft. “Okay then…” Halsley followed, but the man blocked him with the staff and pointed to another car. Reluctantly, Halsley went to the other car.

The convoy disembarked from the airport to make their way to the ancient Council Chambers.

“I don’t get it. That creep seems to act like he’s better than anyone else,” Although he did not show it, the others in the vehicle could feel the displeasure in the Chancellor of Briska’s voice.

“That’s because he is better, if you believe the rumors,” one of the men joked, “Of course, they are only fairy tales, Chancellor Halsley.”

“What I’d like to know is how this Damien kid came about. Didn’t Damien die on that shore a while back?” Another soldier piped up.

“He did. This one is different, I think. We shall see soon enough.” Adam’s voice drifted as the convoy approached the chambers. The vehicles, all very humbly built SUVs, stopped to let out all the passengers. From there, the soldiers and two envoys marched towards the council chambers to meet this new Damien Dreadfire.
"My nation was forged by the blade of a sword and so it lives on through the sword." -Tristan Skragg, Emperor of Briska.

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Jagada
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 181
Founded: Feb 15, 2005
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Jagada » Fri May 17, 2019 10:16 am

ULE City,
Automagfreek


The Jagites arrived in similar style to the other parties, although Nalur was a touch dismayed to see the many aircraft, including the Skyan airship, already landed and disembarked. It couldn’t be helped though, as some of the other Gothic Lords were much closer to Automagfreek. Doing a pass over he noticed the assembled troops of the famous Heartbreak Company and of a considerable number. He saw no sign of the Kylarnatians but didn’t doubt that Silvier would appear at some point, and likely with just as many soldiers. Were they trying to impress Dreadfire with a martial display? Not the worst idea certainly but it could also backfire and make them appear unnecessarily defiant.

“Anymore and he’d probably think this was an invasion,” mused Nalur, glancing over at his traveling companion Volgus Montauk, High Lord of Engardia.

The High Lord gave a grim chuckle, “Its more likely that he expected as much. This is a king accepting the homage of his loyal vassals. Imagine if when we came out of isolation, we made a similar proclamation. Do you think the Lords would’ve scurried to us this quickly … or at all?”

It was Nalur’s turn to grimly laugh, “No … no I suspect not.”

The longer the Secretary Supreme stared at the assembling dignitaries and honor guards the truer Montauk’s words became. Vassals come to pay tribute to their liege lord, to offer shiny baubles and exultations to his honor in hopes that he would not deign to come down from his lofty throne and chastise them.

He noticed that while the Briskans made their way deeper into the city that the Skyans and Ghantish remained stationary and close together. He’d bet quite a few icons that they were waiting for Silvier. A power bloc was solidifying in this new, shiny Gholgoth – a dangerous triumvirate. Their power did not come completely without justification and certainly there were more hawkish blocs that could’ve taken control, but it was a cliché, nonetheless. He didn’t fear the Skyans turning into would be conquerors; they were far too self-righteous for that; and the Ghantish were similarly disinclined. It, of course, would be the Caesar of Kylarnatia that would become the problem down the road. A woman worshipped by billions of fanatics as the living avatar of a god that refused to be called a god. A woman defended by, if Montauk wasn’t exaggerating, a demi-god. No, thought Nalur coldly, a woman like that can only be dealt with one way. How long until she assumed a dominant role in the triumvirate? When she did how much influence would she have over the Executor … enough to enforce her will on the rest of them?

Keeping his eyes on the Skyans and Ghantish as his planes completed their final circling of the airport, “Your solution … to the Sacredotium in Engardia. How is that going?”

“Well enough, my lord. The two sides are being stirred up; it shouldn’t be too long before someone throws a match on the powder keg.”

“Good,” said Nalur flatly, sizing up the Ghantish delegation before sitting back in his seat, remembering his own solution for them.

When the Jagite plane had landed and the customary Sentinel welcoming party arrived, the lords of Gharsash made their entrance. Only a handful of soldiers had been brought and at the insistence of Nalur. The other high lords had worried that more security was needed but if he wasn’t safe in ULE City, in the heart of Gholgoth, a place so inviolate that he couldn’t recall a foe that had ever stepped on the shores of Automagfreek, much less shelled the capital – then truly there was no safe place. The soldiers that Nalur did bring were meant to show that the strength of the Jagites, though tarnished by the savaging given by the Reich, had not gone out. They marched in resplendent powered armor the color of burnished iro with a great and long crest on their helms of shock white hair, fluttering purple and crimson red cloaks on their backs. These were from Nalur’s personal unit the 24th “Ironclad” Decad infamous for their near constant involvement in the Subjugation Wars. Each soldier had the standard battle rifle slung over their shoulder but also had a falchion sheathed at their sides, the weapons more for show than actual use. The ten soldiers, plus Nalur and Montauk loaded up in three SUVs that had been brought from the Union on a separate plane. These were not reinforced, nor did they have special weapons or gadgets. Again … this was ULE City and if this Dreadfire was worth all the bluster he’d shown so far, he would never, ever allow one of the Gothic Lords to die in his capital. The shame of a such a thing.

As the small convoy departed the Secretary Supreme glanced the still assembled and waiting Heartbreak Company and idly wondered how long until they would have to be dealt with.
You must walk through the darkness to see the light ...

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Kylarnatia
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Posts: 8416
Founded: Jul 07, 2008
Left-Leaning College State

A Test of Endurance Pt. II: Strength and Respect

Postby Kylarnatia » Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:44 pm

Aboard Caesar One ("The Beast"), ULE City
The Gothic Empire of Automagfreek, Gholgoth


Caesar had been the first of her trio to arrive in ULE City, but would be the last to make an appearance, choosing to wait for her Skyan and Ghantish counterparts to make their arrivals first. In the meantime, her official Imperial Air Force aircraft waited on a clear section of the tarmac at the airport. The engines still rumbled as Caesar One sat idle, as if it were a beast in observation of its surroundings; the nuclear-powered aircraft was a literal flying fortress, designed not only to protect their immaculate sovereign but also act effectively as a means of extending her power. On board was a mobile command centre, a "residence" and small sets of offices near the front of the plane for governing, and in the bowels of its massive fuselage the cargo hold could double as a makeshift barracks for a sizeable contingent of soldiers should the need ever arise. It was designed to be flexible under both favourable circumstances and those less so, and in theory, could remain on the move indefinitely if needed. With all that in mind, it was why Silvier herself had taken to calling it "the Beast", and the name stuck among her staff and the plane's personnel.

As Caesar and her personal retinue were making their final adjustments and preparations before disembarking, Lord Hyperion had taken it upon himself to review the preparations in the barracks and cargo hold. There a full centuria of the Caesar's Guard - veteran warriors of the Caesar's Imperial Armed Forces who were hand-selected to serve as her own personal troop and guard, renowned not only for their hardened battle experience but also for their unwavering determination to protect their sovereign at all costs - were making the final adjustments to their body armour and the accompanying decor. These included the pelts of various beasts native to their homeland: lions, wolves and even crocodile were the most prominent, draped over their left pauldrons. Both their armour and the capes which hung from their waists had the tones of cool silver, with golden trim on the fabric along with the hinges and the edges of their armour also decorated gold. Their breastplates were decorated with patterns not immediately visible, but on close inspection showed the images of seraphim as warriors, preparing to do battle. Their helmets were designed to appear as a falcon's head - symbolic of the falcon that was the primary symbol of the Imperium's flag - wings outstretched from the sides as the beak, which was pronounced at the top and bottom of their visors, looked ready to snap shut. As this was still a diplomatic mission, two-thirds of the troop would be carrying their close-quarter rhomphaia pole-arm blades, the blade making up almost half of the shaft which was as tall as the user (in most cases, upwards of seven feet). Despite appearing ceremonial, they were still effective weapons, and essentially signalled doom to anyone who attempted to physically harm the Caesar's person. The other third carried heavy shields - something adopted from the Skyans - and would in actual combat carry firearms which were designed to shoot through, though in this instance would carry ceremonial gladii instead.

Within each contubernium of ten Guardsmen and women (of which there were ten in all) the commanding officer - known as the Decanus - handpicked a Guardsman or woman to act as standard-bearer, a highly prestigious honour doused in religious significance and often rewarded to those recognised as outstanding and a model to their peers, all part of what instilled such a sense of honour and duty that went beyond oneself and even one's country. The first, who was lead directly by the Centurion of the centuria and made up the most senior and decorated of the assembled Guardsmen and women, would carry the vexillum of the Caesar, a purple banner emblazoned with the golden crest of the Silvanus family and the capitalised abbreviations NOB. CAES. (meaning Noblissima Caesar, "Most Noble Caesar"), atop of which sat a golden falcon with wings outstretched. The succeeding nine that followed in the rows behind would carry the flags of the Imperium and the Gothic Alliance, as well as a standard adorned with a physical image of a warrior seraphim respectively (meaning three of each in total). It was all set to be a very colourful but also powerful display, and that wasn't even all of what was planned. Around the Guard that was assembled, vehicles were being prepared for the Caesar's retinue - which included not only her political and diplomatic staffers but her religious retainers - as well as a minibus for a small gaggle of journalists who had been cleared on short notice to accompany the mission.

Standing at the centre of all this organisation, the titan form of Hyperion towered over all of it, his own retainers putting the final touches to his appearance: a sanguine waist cape, as well as the pelt of some large yet unidentifiable beast with the appearance of flayed scales adorning his own left pauldron, the rest of his incredibly large armour the abyssal black it always was, the only other colour being the burning red eyes of his helm. In his right hand he had a firm grasp of his great axe known as the Nightbane, while in his left he held a tablet that was easily dwarfed by his figure. On the screen there were images of the route from the airport to the Great Hall of the Gothic Lords, and on it a live feed of not only the drunken Freekish rabble but the threatening forms of the legendary Freekish Sentinels that lined the roads. Hyperion was the least bit phased, though understood clearly the signal they were there to send.

"It seems our hosts are not in the most hospitable of moods." Centurion Gallio Marius, who stood beside the Dux Imperator, said half-jokingly. The veteran member of the Caesar's Guard and former operative of the Imperium's Black Cobra Special Forces carried his own helm under his right arm, revealing his battle-hardened face, his dark-skinned and bald head showing plenty of scars and blemishes, topped off with heavy-set eyes and a sharp jawline. With a muscular build and standing at seven feet and eight inches tall - not far off Hyperion's own eight foot stature - Marius was a giant of a man even for Kylarnatian standards made even larger by his power armour, which was decorated and styled in a similar fashion to the other Guardsmen and women, albeit with much darker tones and much more gold, as well as a long red cape from the shoulders instead of his waist, on which was attached a long gladius. The top of his helmet also featured a large red plume, and emblazoned on his chest plate was a large cobra ready to strike, hearkening back to his service in the Black Cobra.

"As was anticipated." Hyperion responded, ignoring the humour. "They expect us to lose our nerve."

"Bah!" Marius cackled, a loud rumble coming from his chest. "Methinks the Freeks have forgotten themselves, my Lord. Misplaced their better judgement."

"That is what is all the more concerning."

Marius checked himself, and drew a more stern and determined face, a slim yet twisted smile forming at the edge of his lips. "They will stand corrected."

Hyperion looked across at the Centurion and nodded firmly in response. Then a warm yet authoritative voice called out over to them.

"Indeed they shall, Centurion."

Both turned to immediately notice the Caesar descending the large steel steps. She was dressed in her heavily ornate golden armour which glistened under the large artificial light, decorated with all sorts of religious iconography - seraphim smiting daemons, the order of the cosmos, and the Grand Mother herself with arms outstretched on the breastplate, the sun large behind her head - which became more intricate and complex the longer one looked. From her shoulders there was not only a long purple cape adorned with the falcon crest of her family, but beneath that a set of nine angelic wings - three on each side - which stretched out to form the appearance of flapping wings. Her face, in contrast to Marius', was like a warm porcelain and perfect down to the last detail, with dark red lips and bright green eyes that seemed like an ocean when one looked into them. Atop her perfect blonde locks was a gold diadem in the shape of angel wings, and from the back stretched out diamond-shaped rays of gold, as if like sunlight. Following close behind her were her Vestals, dressed head to toe in brightly coloured robes featuring the regal colours of purple, sanguine and pink, their heads bowed and mouths speaking hushed prayers as the carried the Caesar’s cape, and further behind them were the political and diplomatic staff who were dressed the most plainly, formal yet simple business suits of various black and blue colours, with the exception of Maximus, the Caesar’s Chief of Staff, who along with his business suit wore the purple shoulder-length cape with golden chain carrying the Imperial Seal which denoted his seniority.

All those assembled in the makeshift barracks and cargo bay areas immediately stopped what they were doing and stood at attention, the civilian operators and logistics personnel bowing their bodies deeply in respect, while the Caesar’s Guard immediately formed up as if for inspection and pounded their fists against their chests in salute along with cries of “Ave, Caesar!” - Marius did the same, while Hyperion bowed his head deeply.

Caesar headed directly towards Hyperion, Marius and the Guard who let go of their salute though kept their still posture only when she had stopped advancing. “I’m told that the Skyans and Ghantish are ready to receive us. It also appears that a few other Gothic Lords and dignitaries are already on their way to the Great Hall as we speak.”

“Yeah, bunch of blue-balled wankers.” Even when Maximus tried to be quiet, his thick Mian accent betrayed him. A number of the political and diplomatic staff had to try their best to keep a straight face. Silvier didn’t acknowledge it, though when they were in private had humoured his frustration. While she did not choose to immediately resign it to a sign of kowtowing as he did, she recognised it as a distinct possibility if she and her Skyan and Ghantish counterparts did not act quickly.

“All the more reason for us to make a move, no?” She said, her signature pearly-white smile appearing across her face.





[OOC: The following was co-authored with Ghant and Havensky.]

The Executor’s arrival would prove quite uneventful, due in no small part to the Executor’s modesty. The Ghantish party arrived on a small private plane, without any of the flare or pomp of either the Skyans or Kylarnatians. When the plane landed on the tarmac, it wasn’t very long before the Executor emerged, with a small cadre of knights and retainers behind him. The Executor was wearing a simple black tunic fringed with white, complete with a cape, gloves and pauldrons connected by a silver chain. Around his neck he wore the linked chain necklace of the Executor, with its many links coming from different Gothic nations.

Meanwhile the Executor’s men were also dressed in black, though their outfits consisted of black armor. Chief among them were the Emperor’s Zinpalak knights, seven warriors appointed by the Emperor of Ghant to take up the core of his personal defense. These seven men wore custom armor and designs that were emblematic of their houses and backgrounds. Artur Ordosa’s house featured snake imagery prominently, and so his armor bore the effects of serpents. Even his helm was in the visage of a snake with its mouth open, with ruby eyes and steel fangs.

Ser Rolli, on the other hand, earned his nickname the “Knight of Ducks” because, though he was lowborn, took up the standard of a duck, and adorned his armor with their likeness. His helm was like a rubber duck, which at court was often the subject of jokes. Rolli intended on this effect however, often saying that “I don’t want to be taken seriously, because when I’m serious they won’t be prepared for that.”

The Ghantish escorts marched towards Caesar's aircraft, once the Executor realized that was the appropriate rendezvous destination. The Skyan Heartbreak Company moved in formation behind them. Prime Minister Atticus, Queen Ironheart and Praetor Squall crossed their troop lines and joined with the Executor to await the Caesar.

And at that moment, the belly of “the Beast” opened, as the large hangar door roared down and extended onto the tarmac like a ramp. Immediately the sounds of orders being barked could be heard, followed quickly by the sound of thunderous marching as the centuria of the Caesar’s Guard made their way out of the artificial light of the plane and the bright light of day, the sun dancing over the many pointed and plated edges of their armour. The men and women roared with intensity and defiance with each step, their standards carried high above them, the Caesar’s vexillum and the flags blowing in the wind and the blades of their rhomphaia glimmering. The Centurion marched on the outermost end of the front row, his voice echoing with each step as he kept a hand at the ready on his gladius, while from the very front the clearly recognisable form of Dux Imperator Hyperion led them with purpose towards the Skyan and Ghantish delegations who had been assembled outside. As he approached them, the Centurion ordered the centuria to break off and start to form a corridor with equal lines on either side between the plane ramp and the waiting delegations, with a small horde of logistics personnel scurrying out behind and unravelling a long red carpet through them.

As Hyperion came to a stop, so did everything else for a brief moment, the Caesar’s Guard letting out one final unified shout before standing deadly still and silent, like statued sentinels, the Centurion giving one last menacing look over all of them before joining the Dux Imperator and saluting the Skyans and the Ghantish with a pounding of his chest. Hyperion acknowledged them all.

“Your Majesties, Your Excellency, Major.” He bowed his head respectfully to the former two and then gave a firm nod to Squall.

“Lord Hyperion,” Executor Nathan said with a bow to the mighty Champion. He came to a stop, standing there before Hyperion while his men and retainers stood behind him, though their own discipline was disorganized. The standards of the Flag of Ghant, with its white cross on black flapped in the wind, along with the white eagle of the Imperial House. They stood silently while the Executor looked on with a blank expression on his face as he watched the scene unfold before him.

Turning to look back upon the Caesar’s Guard, he then raised Nightbane high into the air. The Guard roared once again, striking the butts of their polearms and shields to the ground three successive times. As this had all been happening, the Skyans and Ghantish likely noticed all the vehicles and other figures descending from the plane, including a small band. Once ready, they began to play a host of trumpets, drums and stringed instruments that immediately echoed out across the whole tarmac strip and likely could be heard much, much further. The Skyans and Ghantish recognised it immediately; the Caesar had officially arrived.

The last to descend from the plane, Silvier was instantly noticeable even from a far distance. Walking along the red carpet that had been prepared for her, she was quickly followed by the Vestals who carried her cape and spoke prayers, but also by Maximus, who walked with purpose behind her, his face fixed with a look of sternness that could only be held by a vexed man. As she passed the Caesar’s Guard, they pounded their chests in salute and upon the Centurion’s orders began to reform again behind her, halting themselves as she did once she arrived before her allies. Hyperion bowed his head and, after her acknowledgement, joined her by her side.

“Your Majesties, Your Excellency, Major; I’m grateful that you all agreed to join me here in ULE City, and it is lovely to see you all, despite the circumstances which bring us here.” Silvier smiled warmly at all of them. “Do excuse the pageantry; it was mostly for the benefit of our hosts who, despite their absence here before us, are no doubt still watching closely.” She remarked quietly, sure that they had also noticed that from the terminal and far beyond that they were being watched by many Freekish eyes.

“No problem at all Your Eminence, I always liked your sense of flair.”, said Queen Heart with a smile. Caesar returned the warmth; she was always glad to see Jessica.

Nathan smirked as he told Caesar that “at this point, Silvier, I’d have been more surprised if you didn’t put on a show for us.” There was a certain dryness in the Executor’s voice that indicated his lack of appreciation for pomp, though anyone that knew him would understand that this was a given. His absence from Ghantish military parades over the years had become the expectation among his countrymen.

Caesar appreciated their responses, even the Executor’s. “Glad to hear that I don’t disappoint, though the same cannot be said of our hosts. It’s a shame that they seem to have forgotten basic hospitality for their peers.” She joked. “Still, best not to keep them waiting. Shall we?”

As if on cue, the Caesar’s state car - known as “the Stallion” due to its ability to go at fast speeds despite its immense weight - rolled up slowly beside the party. Two Imperial Secret Service agents immediately stepped out of the front of the vehicle and opened the passenger doors for their passengers. Caesar was first, followed swiftly by Emperor Nathan, Queen Heart and Prime Minister Atticus. Meanwhile Hyperion and Squall joined the joint security convoy, Maximus and the Caesar’s retainers joining the civilian convoy - all of which formed part of the larger motorcade - all the while in the midst of the small parade of their troops.

It was finally time for the march to the Great Hall. The total route would be just over ten miles with the VIPs taking the Caesar’s car. As the Freeks had been kind enough to line the route with Sentinels and overhyped citizenry, Squall imagined that it was fitting for them to put on a show even as he despised dog and pony shows.

“Private First Class Ochille, it’s time. Get the Tree Flag, Private First Class Long will take the guidon.”

“Yes sir!” shouted Ochille as he rushed to take the flag of Pax Gothica. He raced back to Squall coming to attention beside him. The Skyan guidon raced to the front of Heartbreak Company as well. The Skyan gideon was a swallowtail flag in infantry blue with a pair of crossed rifles at its center. “501” was embroidered above the rifles and below was the letter H. To the left of the flag was as small broken heart. The other commanders in the group noticed the sudden movement and small waves of movement could be seen throughout the formation as word went out to get ready.

Squall took a deep breath and then shouted in a commanding voice “ALLIANCE!” and the flag of Pax Gothica was raised. He paused a few breaths while the unit commanders gave their own commands. The last syllable had not left his mouth before First Sergeant Turbeck shouted “COMPANY!” and the platoon leaders shouting “PLATOON!” after that. It was hard for Squall to pick up on, but elsewhere in the formation Centurion Marius was giving the same commands in Sepaphic and the Knight of Ducks in Ghantish.

“ATTENTION!”

There was the sound of bodies moving as the military units gathered moved to attention.

“RIGHT SHOULDER, ARMS!”

In all three units and at the very same time, each and every soldier took their weapon from a position of parade rest and moved it to their right shoulder.

“ALLIANCE, MARK TIME, MARCH!”

The sound of boots hitting the ground in perfect sync began to fill the air loud and strong. Squall’s eyed the formation before issuing this next part. They had rehearsed this separately, but this was the first and only time they would do this for real.

Turbek shouted loudly, “FIRST SQUADS, HALF STEP MARCH!”

From the center of the formation, the first row of Skyan Legionaries began to march forward at a slower speed. This was followed by the same command from Centurion Marius who began to march at normal speed from the left side of the formation from Squall’s point of view.

“RIGHT…. FACE” “LEFT…. FACE”

The first row of Caesar's guard joined the formation behind the Skyans just as the Ghantish ordered their own first row to move. The commanders repeated the commands until almost all of the alliance troops began to march in mixed formations as a single unified group. As the group caught up with the Squall and Hyperion they began to march with them at the head of the great formation.

Squall, without looking back at his formation, gave the order to “ALLIANCE, HALT!” and the great formation stopped at once.

“ALLIANCE, RIGHT FACE”

The formation turned to the right so that they were all facing the path that their commands in chief would be passing. As the Stallion passed the formation it began to pass the rear platoon, a voice could be heard saying, “PRESENT ARMS!”

The last platoon raised their weapons straight up and down in front of them. As the car passed the platoon a command was given to order arms just as the next platoon presented their rifles.

After the Stallion took it’s position at the head of the formation. Squall ordered a left face and a forward march. The great formation of allies began to head straight down the middle of the street paying no heed to the Sentinels on each side. Squall could hear the crowd react, but he was unsure if this was cheering or jeering. He decided to face it head on.

“EYES, RIGHT!”

At once, the entire formation looked to their right looking at their hosts in the eyes.

“READY, FRONT EYES, LEFT!”

Again, they looked at the other side of the street as one mass formation made of the triumvirate of nations.

“READY, FRONT”

Squall would repeat the looks at every mile, but tried to keep the commands to a minimum. It would be a long march where they would have to maintain discipline even with the noise of the crowd. The effect was made though. This was no mere collection of troops. This was a disciplined unified formation of perhaps the most lethal collection of people in all of Gholgoth.

As soon as the Stallion and the rest of the motorcade began to leave the tarmac and head towards the Great Hall, Caesar started talking, her tone immediately more serious.

“As I’m sure you’re all aware, the timing of this could not be more unfortunate. It has only been a month since the Reforms have passed and their legitimacy is already being tested. I’ve been informed that several of the Lords and representatives of the Gothic nations have gathered here in response, and will be awaiting us along with the new Dreadfire at the Great Hall. It will be a test of confidence, and while I doubt the other Gothic nations will be so quick as to abandon what has only just begun, a poor defence here would certainly weaken the Reform’s standing.”

Atticus sighed, “Yes, I had hoped to succeed in our first real challenge… the liberation of Shen.. before facing a political backlash. I suppose it might be better to deal with this now and head on then to let it simmer.”

“It never ceases to amaze me what teenagers in positions of power are capable of,” the Executor rubbed his forehead gently. “This Damien the Younger clearly feels threatened by these reforms, as though they threaten the legacy of his father or the standing of his nation in Gholgoth. I anticipated this, which was why I nominated him to be a Warden, so that the Freeks would always feel special and never forgotten. Now we have to deal with this...it almost feels like he’s biting the hand that feeds.”

“Indeed, hence why I suggested this approach.” Silvier responded. “But our display of unity is the easy part. The hard part will be confronting this young Dreadfire and testing his mettle; whether he means what he says or whether there’s something more going on beneath the surface.”

“I’ve never met a Dreadfire. The last time he called a Summit he never actually arrived.. I had a speech ready and everything. However, I think the time for that has passed. No more speeches.”

Nathan agreed with a nod, saying that “I’ve never met one either, but I’ve met plenty of people who thought they were high and mighty. This can’t be all that different, at least I wouldn’t think.”

“Yes, you’re right.” Silvier nodded, recognising Atticus’s frustration. “Words on their own will not satisfy this Dreadfire. He is a younger version of the Elder; untempered, inexperienced. He is him and yet he is not. That is what makes this all the more dangerous. Yet we cannot afford to hesitate; the Freeks respect strength above all else, and while we are here to avoid violence, there can be no appeasement. Not while he is unprepared to listen, therefore we must make him.”

Queen Heart scoffed a bit, “Do me a favor and don’t mention that to young Major Squall. He felt slightly offended by the welcome we’ve received so far. This lining up of his troops and the screaming crowds feels like he’s trying to intimidate us. Squall hates these kinds of events. He calls them dog and pony shows. His idea of demonstrating strength and skill is much more...hands on.”

“Hyperion would be inclined to agree.” Caesar allowed a small smile to appear at the edge of her mouth. “As for this welcome, I have my own grievances with that, along with many others which intend to voice with the young Dreadfire. The Elder knew better than to treat his equals like mere subjects; like a disobedient child, he must be disciplined. Fortunately, my experiences as a mother have their advantages.” She said half-jokingly, though her eye’s displayed the spark of a fire that was building inside of her.

“...I should have brought one of my daughters,” the Executor began to say with a tinge of humor in his voice. “Young men are more willing to listen to attractive young women...at least I was when I was his age.”

“Now why does that not surprise me?” Silvier quipped playfully, helping to ease some of the tension.

“I do wonder who is whispering in the young Lord’s ear. None of us have met the man before, but he seems to have a great many opinions of us.” remarked Atticus as he looked out the window to the crowds outside.

“No doubt some of his father’s advisors and favorites who intend on making sure that Gholgoth doesn’t forget about Damien the Elder’s reputation. He was the sort of man whose shadow was long and dark. Nobody in Gholgoth did anything without thinking about what that man might think.”

“The Warlord’s of the Freekish Isles are a dangerous and capricious lot. Whoever it is, we must break the young Dreadfire out of their spell, and act quickly after that. A hard reality check is what I intend to deliver to shatter his illusions; as for you both,” She looked to both Atticus and Nathan, “I trust you will be confident to provide him with better counsel?”

“I serve the realm, someone must.” remarked Atticus.

“It should be remembered that, rather unfortunately, the House of Dreadfire has been cursed with a long history of mental illness: the last Dreadfire to try and lead the Alliance, Azrael, succumbed to madness and tried to destroy the Alliance, a wound which left us reeling up till now. I would not rule out that this younger Dreadfire might also be afflicted in some way.”

The Emperor of Ghant pursed his lips as he thought. “I can relate to this young man. I was Emperor of Ghant at the age of nine after all, far younger than anyone should be in such a position of power. Whatever Damien the Younger might be, he is a young man who lost his father and got thrust into an office that he wasn’t ready for. That would be hard on anyone, and young men like that...well, it helps when they have someone to relate to, someone who understands what they’re going through. I do.”

As the group concluded the bulk of their conversation, the Stallion was on the main approach to the Great Hall. Silvier looked out of the tinted windows of her door and saw the superstructure in the distance, then took another look at the thronging crowd of drunken Freeks and then the imposing Sentinel’s who stared intently at them as they drove past. Thinking back on the recent conversation in her head, she remembered something she had said.

“...the Freeks respect strength above all else…”

She pressed a button on the armrest of her chair and suddenly a screen drew down behind the heads of Atticus and Queen Heart, allowing the passenger compartment to converse with the drivers side. The Imperial Secret Service agent in the passenger seat spoke, “My Caesar?”

“How far to the Great Hall?” She asked, still looking out of the window.

The agent took a second to judge the distance. “I’d say no farther than half-a-mile, My Caesar.”

“Hm.” She uttered. “Stop the motorcade.”

“My Caesar?” The agent turned his head to look back, a clearly stunned expression.

She said nothing, simply turning her glance over to him, but before she could he turned away, not wanting to meet her gaze, and spoke something into his wrist. Immediately, everything came to a slow stop.

A few seconds past before the large figure of Hyperion appeared at the Caesar’s door and opened it. “Is something the matter, my Caesar?”

“I suddenly have an urge to go and stretch my legs.” Silvier immediately stepped out of the Stallion and observed her surroundings, looking directly towards the Great Hall before looking back towards all the troops that had marched. She then looked at Hyperion. “First impressions count, right?”

Hyperion thought for a moment. “As you wish, my Caesar.” He then made his way back to Squall and the formation of troops and barked orders, to which they roared back in obedience. The Imperial Secret Service agent on the passenger side had stepped out and overheard the conversation, immediately understanding and relaying the information through the convoy.

Looking back into the Stallion, Silvier beckoned her fellow passengers out. “Care to join me?”

“You know, usually I’m all for strutting my stuff down the street, but couldn’t this be a little...dangerous?” The Executor asked as he climbed out of the vehicle. “We only have one Hyperion, and this isn’t exactly the land of milk and honey.”

As if on cue, eight Skyan helijets appeared in formation above the group. They had been flying two by two down the parade route since the great formation set off and when they had stopped the helijets had quickly caught up. They halted and formed a V formation around the Stallion.

Heart smiled as she followed Atticus out of the other side of the car, “Oh, I’m not worried one bit.”

Caesar grinned, always glad to have Heart’s fire on her side. “Worry not, Nathan. While we may not be crowd favourites, the Freeks are merely making a statement. Might as well make our own. If you’re uncomfortable, though, I can get Hyperion to stand closer to you.”

The Executor waved his hand with a faint smirk on his face. “No need for that, he’s your...champion, he should be close to you.” While Nathan didn’t feel the need to say it, he prided himself as being his own champion. His actual champion Ser Rolli didn’t seem to mind.

"As you wish." She responded almost playfully. Looking around them, she could see that the cameras of thousands of news outlets were focusing on them now, capturing every second. Meanwhile the Sentinels looked on unmoved, while some in the crowd behind began to react with loud jeers, albeit after a few moments of astonishment. “Lets go.”

Turning and facing confidently towards the Great Hall, Caesar - whose armour glistened under the sun and made her shine bright - began to make her way, with Heart and Atticus at her left while Nathan stood on her right. Hyperion, Praetor Squall and Ser Rolli walked behind them, and then further behind followed the motorcade and the parade. Heads held high, they were there for all to see, seemingly unafraid of any of the potential consequences of being out in the open. The implication was clear: they were here, and they would not be ignored. If it hadn’t dawned on those watching already, it was clear now that this would be a confrontation for the ages.

And so, they reached the Great Hall, and as they ascended the steps to the giant doors of this once mighty fortress and reaching the top, there was a brief pause as the four leaders looked up at the structure and at each other, before signalling for the doors to be opened. Once inside, their arrivals were announced.

Show time.
The Ancient Empire of Kylarnatia // Imperium Antiquum Kylarnatiae
Lord of Gholgoth | Factbook (Work in Progress) | Embassy & Consulate Programme
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Yugovia
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Posts: 83
Founded: Sep 29, 2018
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Yugovia » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:51 pm

Razor fragments whistled through the winds, scraping the rough fabric of the exterior layer of the tent. The scratch was maddening but exposure had numbed the denizens of the small observation post immune to the sound. A dilapidated radio sat upon a table that was as much an altar to ages past as it was a workstation. Mechanical parts that were obviously salvaged from machines designed for a myriad of tasks not related to radio communication were strewn all around the machine which crackled into life for the first time in at least a decade.

Masked faces turned to regard the machine and then each other. The Commissariat had ordered their grandfathers to hold this position and monitor for foreign transmissions, their fathers had watched the silent machine for decades, and suddenly it was speaking a garbled foreign tongue to them. They tried to communicate with the voice but either their dialect which was born of isolation was too thick or their language had since passed into the annals of history. Finally they decided to return to their settlement to report to higher and hopefully it would be taken care of from there.

The settlement was clustered around a comparably ancient bunker complex. Prefabricated buildings that were rated to last a mere decade had become multigenerational homes, strict party control had devolved to regional strongmen who had degenerated to become quasi-feudal landholders. Acrid smoke wafted over dilapidated machinery that could once provide electrical power to entire apartment blocks but now served as components in the perimeter barricade. Three figures slowly picked their way through the perimeter, dodging landmines, spike pits, and other improvised obstacles, only to be challenged by a dozen youths holding a mixture of spears, short swords, and composite bows. The three hefted their venerable kalash rifles and the sentries soon scattered, recognizing the heirlooms for what they symbolized, power.

Strong smells of cooking flesh and the chatter of the homestead were carried to them by the inhospitable wind. The small settlement was sheltered from the worst of it by a small depression, it was one of the few oases left within walking distance of the coast. Cradling their rifles the trio picked their way through the hodge-podge arrangement of dwellings to the bunker entrance.

Unlike their rifles, those aimed at them by the guards were meticulously maintained. Each sentry was clad in a full black bodysuit, modern pouches filled with magazines or equipment seemed to cover every available inch. The trio raised their hands and relayed the reason for their visit. A soft hiss that suggested an internal radio behind the emotionless lenses of the guards’ gas masks suggested that someone even more powerful was being briefed as to the situation. After a tense moment they were waived though and entered into the confines of the bunker.

Votiv candles and small shrines to long forgotten party officials dominated the corridors that the trio were guided down. Maps and reports that had long passed out of relevance were stacked in huge heaps, surrounded by bits of rusted out machinery that had surely once been considered absolutely critical. As they descended deeper into the complex they were confronted with more and more antiquated technology intermixed with soldiers cradling weapons that ranged from Kalash rifles to wickedly sharpened swords. Finally they were escorted into a claustrophobic office; they stood across a desk from an insolent looking official.

The man regarded them with unimpressed eyes, his clean skin and starched uniform suggested that he rarely had ventured beyond the confines of the bunker complex. Judging by what they had seen there was enough space to live the majority of a full life down here. Finally he gestured and the trio relayed as well as they could what the radio had said. Despite not knowing the foreign tongue the three attempted to replicate the sounds to the best of their abilities. After a moment, the official replied, “They may have returned but the Party is not fully ready. The Rectification was such a severe break with the past that the Commissariat of Contentment has only recently been able to re-establish contact with the cadre. Return to your posts and transcribe any future messages, I will send someone along to ensure that ideological orthodoxy is preserved.” With a stamp on their passports the trio departed, they did not understand the majority of what the official had said but did comprehend that in the land once known as Abruzi, forces were stirring but were not quite ready to move.
Last edited by Yugovia on Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The Peninsular
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 129
Founded: Apr 04, 2017
New York Times Democracy

Postby The Peninsular » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:37 am

After a short time, the two cars silently stopped in front of the massive building. The doors swung open, and Plisker and the soldiers exited. The cars weren't exactly thought for five people each, as they were simply middle-class sedans - even if they were modified to take autocannon fire and keep going. Luckily, they all exited on the side where the large crowd in front of the building couldn't see the small space inside.

"Alright, this is it. I assume you will be relegated to staying in a court or whatever with the others' guards for the duration of the conference, so you know the drill.", Plisker told the Lieutenant leading the guard squad. "No small talk, no information divulging. To be honest it's probably best if you just sit the whole affair out without saying a lot." "Yes, sir.", the Lieutenant answered. The soldiers were in full armor, meaning they would have no problem staying still and silent for extended periods of time. "We don't really envy you, Colonel. Having to stand still for long times may be boring, but I'd take it over having to calm down a hotheaded monarch any day." The soldiers closed their helmets, and got in formation, behind the Colonel.

The building in front, which was the location of the conference and apparently contained the "Great Hall" of the Gothic Alliance during its early decades, reminded Plisker of a picture of older castles he had seen in history books, though this one was larger than them. Almost no castle from an earlier era existed in the Federation anymore, they had either fallen to war and bombardment, or they had been destroyed in order to make space for living space after the Unification war, when the Federation had a severe shortage of land to house its growing population.

Thinking back to the speech Dreadfire had given, Plisker sighed. "Well then, let's get this sorted out. I want to be back at the Outpost by the 13th Viert."
Last edited by The Peninsular on Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
10000 Islands

The Constitutional Federation of the Peninsular is an FT nation.

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Automagfreek
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1098
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Automagfreek » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:19 am

Grandfather, are you here?

The thought was bittersweet, for Damien had no one in his life save for the ghosts of his ancestors. The entire line of House Dreadfire had nearly been extinguished some two decades ago. But by the will of the Gods, he had survived while his mother died on her birthing bed. And now, in the halls of the thirteen founders of Gholgoth, it fell to the young Damien to carry on their legacy.

There he stood in the Council Chambers, before the round table where the Lords of Gholgoth had forged the world's last regional alliance. The aged oak surface had been carefully cleaned and polished, and the mold-infested chairs had been replaced with ones of exquisite leather. The center of the table gave way to a large pit fire which had been freshly lit along with nearly three dozen wall sconces. Upon entering the room, if one did not know any better, they would have thought themselves transported back in time a thousand years ago.

The streets of ULE City had come alive as the Gothic Lords who answered the summons began to arrive, each seemingly with more pomp and pageantry than the last. Damien watched a live stream on his phone from local news as the parade of leaders departed from the airport and traveled the Sentinel lined streets. The Freeks that had turned out had greeted their regional brethren with raucous jeers, taunts, and in some cases righteous anger.

"My Lord, I trust I'm not disturbing you?" Vlad Shadowclaw said has poked his head in through the semi-opened doors to the Council Chambers.

"Not at all Vlad, come in."

"Our guests should be arriving shortly, I have made all the arrangements and accommodations required." A hesitant pause stole Vald's words before he could continue, and a grim look was written plainly across his face.

"Yes? What troubles you?" Damien replied, confused and uncertain.

"You have other guests, they arrived mere moments ago by helicopter. They have requested an immediate audience."

Dreadfire nodded his approval, and Vlad immediately withdrew. The sounds of heavy footfalls echoed throughout the hall and within moments the large doors were hastily shoved open. There he stood, Valerin Vayne, Lord Reaver of the Free Lands of Pantera. He wore a doublet of black and bronze, with a cape of crimson set across his broad shoulders. Hair of gold was pulled back into a wrist-thick braid, and upon Valerin's head sat the ancient bronze crown of his forefathers.

"Greetings, Lord Dreadfire." Valerin Vayne said in a gravelly voice, his indigo eyes burning with a fierce intensity.

"I am honored to receive you. Please, come in." Damien gestured to the Lord Reaver's seat which was positioned next to his own. "I must confess how surreal it feels to be meeting with you here, in the place where it all began."

A sudden sadness took hold of Damien Dreadfire, though he dared not show the slightest hint of weakness. His attention was drawn to the glass case on the other side of the room which contained a golden chalice. With a subtle gesturing motion of his hand, Damien beckoned Valerin to follow.

"This is one of the two chalices containing the blood of my grandfather, Damien Dreadfire the first, and your grandfather Bastien the Bronze. Here, the Blood Pact was born."

"Aye, I know the histories better than you do. Which is why I'm here." Valerin said coldly, though impressed with the young Freek's knowledge.

"Then perhaps the fates have brought our two peoples back together again for a reason. Because the truth is, there's something terribly wrong with Gholgoth these days."

A fresh flagon of ale sat idly on a nearby table, and Damien contented himself to prepare two large tankards. Full to the brim, he handed one to Valerin who toasted him in silence.

"The Reavers have cared not for the meddlings of Gholgoth. For decades we've had troubles of our own, some no thanks to your family. The Dreadfire's broke a line of Panteran succession that stretched back ten thousand years. A slight which we have not forgotten... or forgiven."

The Lord Reaver's glare burned through Damien's very soul.

"Indeed, one of our many sins." Dreadfire conceded reluctantly.

"But I would be amiss if I said that the Free Lands were content with the state of affairs in Gholgoth." Valerin said. "The core tenets our grandfathers forged have all been discarded, and the Old Ways nearly forgotten. This is not what we fought, bled and died for."

Nodding in agreement, Damien finished off his tankard and set it down firmly on the table. "Indeed it isn't. Automagfreek has always held a special place as first among equals in the Alliance, because my grandfather made it his sacred task to put our nation on the front line to protect everyone under the Gothic banner. The costs have been burdensome. Trillions of marks spent, and millions of lives lost. But the Empire never wavered in its duties, and our people were honored to be the vanguard of the Region."

The sadness in Damien's heart gave way to fiery anger, and his face turned sour with resentment.

"But when House Dreadfire fell, when we needed our brethren the most, they were nowhere to be found. Our very identity had been taken from us. Our hearts and souls had been ripped away! And how were we repaid for our thankless service to Gholgoth? Pax fucking Gothica. They dared to establish a new regional capital and forsake our honored place as host of Gholgoth." Damien's voice grew with hate and intensity. "Colonies continue to be built, and Gholgoth's members make war against each other. This is not the Alliance our peoples built."

It was then that a soft tapping sound from outside the room caught his ear. The noise was joined by the gentle pattering of footfalls, and accented by the chiming of steel mail and the crunching of armored sabatons. The doors to the Council Chambers opened wider, and two large Rigante entered into the room. Each carried large banners of burgundy and black and stood at attention on either side of the entranceway.

Perplexed, Damien looked back at Valerin Vayne as if to discern what was happening. A sinister yet amused grin formed across the Lord Reaver's face.

"Your words are fire and brimstone, young Damien. I am not the only Reaver who has taken heed of them."

A long shadow that loomed through the doorway soon diminished, and with the aid of a gnarled wooden cane, she entered. The Rigante stiffened and stood firmly at attention as she feebly tottered across the floor.

The woman was old. Not in the way that grandmothers are old, but ancient in the way mountains are ancient. Clad in a faded gown of toneless gray, her head wrapped in a tattered shawl, she appeared as if she were an apparition from a bygone era. Her legend had been spoken of throughout the Empire only in whispers, with some doubting that she even existed at all. The Crone, as she was known, was ancient, feeble, immensely powerful, and quite possibly insane. The old woman paused in front of Damien and lifted her weary head slowly. Her dry, sunken eyes were glazed over with a milky fog, so thick that the color of each iris could hardly be seen.

"She doesn't speak, at least, she hasn't for many years." Valerin Vayne said ominously as the old woman squinted and inspected Dreadfire.

Suddenly, the woman stiffened her back and stood upright as she sensed a certain familiarity in the young Warlord. Hawking her throat, she spat defiantly as if to muster some long-expired fury, and her agitation grew by the second. But her eyes were perhaps the most terrible thing, for they saw Damien Dreadfire. They saw everything.

The tense and surreal moment was interrupted by the sounds of voices echoing throughout the halls. No doubt they were the Gothic Lords, having finally arrived at the Council Chambers with their entourages. Damien looked back at the Lord Reaver with uncertainty while trying to ignore the Crone's judgement.

"So what shall it be, my brother? What do we do when these 'Lords' present themselves before us? What will we tell them?"

The Lord Reaver sneered and looked down at the old woman as she hawked and groaned like a wild animal. Her cracked, dry lips opened slowly like a tomb being unsealed, and out slipped a faint yet ominous reply.

"Blood... and Fire."
Last edited by Automagfreek on Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Founded on March 24th, 2003
Proud founder and Lord of Gholgoth
Condemned by Security Council Resolution #82
Join the religion of war. Become a Vanmakti warrior today.

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Dephire
Envoy
 
Posts: 233
Founded: Sep 06, 2005
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Dephire » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:18 am

“Blood and fire indeed,” a soft raspy voice spoke from the doorway. A figure wearing a white hooded robe with gold trim walked into the chamber. He took a long look at every feature within the room before his eyes met Damien’s and the Reavers’s. His golden mask hiding his face, but his bright purple eyes could be seen shining through the dark holes.

“Hello Damien,” He bowed as low as his frail body would allow, “My name is Samael. I wanted to greet you before those others arrived.” Samael turned to the Reavers, to which he made a gesture similar to tipping a hat. “You may be interested to hear me as well.” His eyes studied The Crone, but continued, “I have come to provide you the tribute owed to your house, Damien. Call it a debt that I shamefully have not paid for the past few centuries…” He took a long, deep breath as his gaze returned to the Lord of Lords.

“Within a few moments, one of my vessels will be arriving with enough platinum, gold, silver, and gems to purchase a reasonably sized nation. It also has on board two million souls. The final piece is this,” He reached within his robes and slowly pulled out a crown of darkness, a crown so black that light itself disappeared upon its surface. “This, Damien, is the Obsidian Crown. It’s a relic I procured from the sniveling weasel behind me,” He pointed his staff to Adam Halsley, who had just appeared outside in the hallway. “I am unaware if you know the history of this Dephirian relic, but it will grant you instant access to their Templar Archive. It is some sort of historical library containing what I can confirm is the entire history of mankind dating back some fifteen thousand years or more.”

“But you can’t give that away!” Adam protested.

“You should remain silent, Briskan.” Samael replied. “My apologies, Damien Dreadfire. He is the other reason why I have come to you. I want to help you return this region back to how things were. Everything has gone horribly amiss since the Freekish have been quiet. It’s not that I have anything against all the deaths. However, the chaos… The uncontrolled chaos happening all over. That is something which needs to be culled.” Samael paused as he heard the footsteps of many more visitors. “I believe my presentation has been cut short.” He looked to Damien and bowed once more, “Although I may not be a Gothic Lord, would you please allow me to stand in and bear witness?”
"My nation was forged by the blade of a sword and so it lives on through the sword." -Tristan Skragg, Emperor of Briska.

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The Peninsular
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 129
Founded: Apr 04, 2017
New York Times Democracy

Postby The Peninsular » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:55 pm

The clicks from Plisker's steel toed boots echoed through the hall as he kept up his pace. Some distance behind him, he could already hear other voices and steps, coming from the other lords. As he reached the massive door, he made sure his beret sat correctly, and entered.

“Colonel Johann Plisker.“, he identified himself as he snapped a short salute. “I am the authorized representative of Zneyvind AOK.“ His eyes scanned the room, identifying the Briskan chancellor, the person who had to be the young Dreadfire, and noticed several other people he did not recognize. “Chancellor Halsley. Lord Dreadfire, I presume.“, he gave each a nod. He then looked at the three other figures standing near Dreadfire. His eyepiece ran a search on one of them, identifying him as 'Lord Reaver Vayne', though the data on him was very sparse. “Lord Vayne, I believe?“
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The Constitutional Federation of the Peninsular is an FT nation.

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Automagfreek
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1098
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Automagfreek » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:22 pm

Perplexed, Damien Dreadfire watched the spectacle unfold before him, though the interruption had drawn his ire. With a curious yet stern look, he studied Samael carefully for a moment. The Supreme Warlord had little trust for the man, and the generous offer was initially met with suspicion.

"A mighty gift you have made, indeed. Though I find it curious that you would make such an offer when no 'tribute' has been requested?"

Damien's reply seemed to catch Samael off guard, but it was difficult to tell.

"You have much to learn about the Freekish Empire if you think we desire gifts of gold in exchange for, what? For our loyalty? Our protection? These are things that money cannot buy."

The Crone turned towards Samael, her agitation having diminished. Cold, glassy eyes gazed upon him briefly before she swished an aged tongue across half-rotten teeth, then arced a gobbet of spittle onto his chin and chest. She then turned away and tottered off towards a dark corner, content with her rebuke of Samael. Valerin Vayne watched with amusement and eyed the Obsidian Crown contemptuously.

"The only things we treasure here are blood and honor." The Lord Reaver said curtly.

"Indeed." Dreadfire nodded in approval. "Keep your gold, your slaves, and your crown. If you wish to stand by our side, then do so and do not waver. You say that you're no Gothic Lord, but at least you have guts, and guts are enough. Swear fealty to Gholgoth, and pay your tributes to her instead."

The conversation had been interrupted by the precession of Gothic Lords who had entered into the Chambers past the Sentinels on the outside, and the Rigante on the inside. Their chatter came to a pause as they gazed upon Damien Dreadfire, and then suspiciously at Valerin Vayne. None had seen the Lord Reaver outside of the Free Lands for nearly a generation, and his presence was sure to invoke controversy.

"Enter, and be seated." Damien's voice boomed throughout the fire-lit Chamber as the Lords cautiously found their designated chairs and sat themselves down. The Supreme Warlord and the Lord Reaver stood, however. Valerin turned towards Dreadfire and bowed his head ever so slightly, ceding the floor to his Freek host.

"I am Damien of House Dreadfire, second of my name. With me stands Valerin of House Vayne, Lord Reaver of the Free Lands of Pantera. Together, our grandfathers forged the Blood Pact, which laid the foundations for Gholgoth itself."

Damien gestured towards the glass case on the other side of the room, and the golden chalice within it.

"There lies our commitment and our allegiance to our Panteran brothers. With their very blood, our grandfathers made a sacred vow to one another to forever share the same fate. And it was that same understanding and promise that the thirteen founding Lords of Gholgoth made to one another. But the group of men I see here before me is a far cry from that legendary band of brothers."

A deep scowl had formed across the Lord Reaver's face as he scanned the Lords in attendance, though for now, he maintained silence.

"The Freekish Empire died on the beaches of Milograd the day my grandfather was slain. He died not at the hands of some foreign nation or alliance. He died by Kraven bullets. Gothic bullets. And where were any of you when Lord Dreadfire fell? Where were any of you when the Empire failed and slipped into despair? We sacrificed everything to end that war and mend this brotherhood, and all we received for our efforts was your silence. And when they buried the man who founded Gholgoth, they buried this Alliance with him." Damien leaned against his high back leather chair and dug his fingers into it.

"Since that day, all of the core tents of the Alliance have been ignored. Colonies have sprung up across the region. Foreign armies have been allowed to tread on Gothic soil without so much as a unified response. And Goths make war upon fellow Goths. The latter is perhaps the most grievous of all."

"You have lost your way." Valerin Vayne said as Damien turned away in disgust, his attentions now focused on the Blood Chalice. "No longer do you share in the vision that was once Gholgoth. Instead of reaving, raping and pillaging our enemies abroad, you have brought chaos and dishonor into our home."

Turning back towards the Lords, Damien interrupted Valerin and continued to unleash his venom.

"I'm sure you all have a long list of reasons for everything, I'm sure in your eyes it's all justified. But I'm here today to tell you that the status quo will no longer be tolerated. We will reclaim our position within the Alliance with fire and death if need be. These sacred Chambers will once more be the seat of Gothic power, not this Pax Gothica which you have so boldly built. The House that my grandfather Damien Dreadfire built will stand once more."

Sitting defiantly in the chair of his forefathers, the Supreme Warlord sneered and scowled. He was joined by Valerin Vayne who took up his seat as well.

"And you'll either stand with us, or stand against us. That choice I leave to you."
Founded on March 24th, 2003
Proud founder and Lord of Gholgoth
Condemned by Security Council Resolution #82
Join the religion of war. Become a Vanmakti warrior today.

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