NATION

PASSWORD

Side Tales(Closed)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Royal Frankia
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Side Tales(Closed)

Postby Royal Frankia » Fri May 01, 2020 11:25 am

Saal's banks

The main market had been established along the estuary of the Saal River by Order of the Committee during the tenure of Urstfann vra Krell. Twenty cycles later, it had prospered despite the widespread disappearance of menfolk for the conflicts beyond the frontier. Women gossiped with aged shopkeeps as their children roamed free across the stalls. Yngtanna was one of them, savoring the sights and smells of late spring. Flowers were in bloom, and the leaves had returned to the trees once more.

She caught sight of a group of children her age, running after their vessels as they darted upon the Saal. Wagers had been made, on which one would pass below the great bridge that connected the islands of Jonna and Urstfa. Such antics were not unusual, though a patrolman kept a close eye upon the youths in the chance they might resolve a lost bet with a brawl.

Yngtanna knew that they dare not bet Wulffigs, such were hard to come by on the developing worlds. Pffenigs, still, were plenty and valued as a medium of exchange for homemade cakes or a cup of chai. Her mother's own cakes were known to fetch a price worth their weight, though that was because of the scarcity of honey and other basic ingredients upon Desma. Still, scarcity was sure to hit certain worlds harder than other, with price controls being perceived as merely pricing out the competition against the Sector's monopoly on Erstaz goods.

She heard a burst of laughter from the river bank.

"Kravil, did you remember to nail your planks together?"

"Shut up, Jek. I did!"

"Ah, well I'm not going to blame the nails for shoddy workmanship."

Yngtanna headed away before she heard the clash of fists and the lament of mothers. Such fights were common upon a youth raised with only their mothers, even though they did their best to belt them whenever they could.

Ahead of her was a stall that sold fine pelts and cloaks at a fair price, something that was altogether rare.

Yngtanna perused the stall, selecting a velvet shawl that had been homespun. If there was one thing that the war had brought about for the folk, it was the revival of cottage industries at the expense of guildshops that had been converted to production of military hardware. She exchanged a few pfennigs with the shopkeep, a former veteran from the days before the First Clash.

The shopkeep's attention was fixed on the children near the river and the rush of patrolman. He smiled, and then fixed his eyes on the girl before him.

"Should you not be with your friends?"

"I am not good at sailing, ser."

He ran his fingers through his salt and pepper beard.

"I'm sure all you require is time, young lass. Take my shop, it took nearly a cycle of quarreling with the magistrate to obtain my permit."

"My mother heard you put up a hard fight."

"By the Mater Most High, aye. There were fewer bureaucrats in my time than there are now.. A useless bunch that lord over mothers, children, and those lucky to see old age."

The shopkeep spat, and Yngtanna could not help but agree.

She left him a foul mood, a mood she had noticed upon many a face of her elders. While there was word of great prosperity within Guildier enterprises, such prosperity had not extended to the outlying population in a generation. Too much had been lost, too many children were without fathers. The wars, ever consuming in goods and blood, had hardened all faces that remained. There was the occasional toast to the Monarch, who was perceived as lacking a clear say in the Clashes that had come, but a widespread damning of the Magistrum.

As Yngtanna passed countless stalls and workshops she noticed a squad of Iron Youth. These hardy pioneers had been put to work by the Magistrate, to put idle, young hands to work on public projects. She nodded as they passed on their way, their faces glossed in sweat from the morning work. Fortunately, they were not of age yet to take up arms in the wars with the damned foreigners abroad... Yet.

Underneath a willow, she took her afternoon rest and glanced at the farms that dotted the horizon. She produced a book, bound in leather, and set to picking up where she had left off. She could not focus, for her mind was elsewhere. On her father, on her mother, on her future.

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Royal Frankia
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Postby Royal Frankia » Fri May 01, 2020 12:02 pm

Ringing of Bells

The world of the Vasatra had been riven by conflict between the free laborers and the guildiers, the latter who sought to stop the formation of independent guilds that would reduce their privileges. Though the alliance between guild and throne had been harmonious, such could not be said between those industries that lay outside the sanctioned guilds that were, in essence, dominated industries tied to defense. With the call for the expansion of the workforce, many of those that lay outside Vasatra's sanctioned unions had been compelled to join.

Such a compulsion had been met with resistance, and then by rough handling by the District Police. Sabotage had grown, as well as absences from shifts that had impacted overall production of essential hardware. Foreman reported such absences to the Police, who responded with their typical brutality. Those that ought to have been free, by the King's law, were held without being brought before a Royal Magistrate and lashed in public squares. The Governor condemned such actions, but there was little that he could do to stop the Guilds from grounding the dissenters to powder.

His inaction, unfortunately, led to the events of Bloody Donnstag..

Workmen in green scarves and red caps flooded Vastra's chief town with their families, in what in essence a general strike against the guild foundries. They were unarmed, and many carried the Rammenflieg that many had bled for in the past. Incendiary banners bore proclamations, such as "WE ARE NOT SLAVES!" and "NO RIGHTS, NO WORK!" In the distance, the District Police marshaled their forces and awaited the course of events.

An Atkanite Triarch was amongst the crowd, attempting to steer it towards a non-violent course. His Seer, Antiokos, had reservations against such demonstrations, but he sensed that the Triarch might restore sense to the mob. A mob of children passed him, heading to be blessed by the Triarch. The laboring caste held respect for the Faith, while confidence in the Mater Most High had slipped amongst those within the upper caste of Frankian society.

The Triarch smiled and blessed the children in the name of the Mater Atkane. He then stood atop a barrel and spoke these words to the crowd.

Brothers and sisters, the Mater Most High has seen and heard your plight. Do not be afraid, for your cause is just. Those on high have forgotten that which is just, and seek to right in blood which can only be righted in good work...

Antiokos heard a rumbling in the distance and turned.

Armored lorries rumbled in the distance, with armed police keeping pace with them.

The Triarch continued speaking...

Stand firm in the Faith of your ancestors... Hold fast and bear that which has been foretold.

A quad suddenly roared in the distance, followed by screams and the slumping of bodies. One shell caught the Triarch dead center, rendering him in half. Antiokos ducked and gathered up a child, crying for his mother. The menfolk attempted to stand in the way of the oncoming rounds while their families made for cover.

Unarmed, they could not resist the slaughter that was to unfold. The Armored Lorries rumbled over the dead and the living, while the DPs set out in the grim work of summary execution. Panic swept all in the Citadel, while the Sept's bells rang in the distance.

A greater slaughter would have ensued had it not been for the intervention of the Royal Army's garrison, though it was outnumbered by a great margin. Great anger had incited those who had bled for the Crown and the rights it had brought to the folk, who now saw bureaucratic oppression and brutality sweep all such sacrifices away. Sallying forth, the Regulars made their way to the main square with great speed and daring, escorting any of the workmen to secure locations.

The Governor, seeing the situation as truly desperate, gave sanction for Royal Intervention against those forces of the Great Guilds... He observed on his holotable the general slaughter, with the Greenclad, in their rage, taking no prisoners of those that dare massacre the Mater's lambs. Blood flowed through the streets that day, and many a ward was burned as supporters of one faction or another attempted to wipe out one another.

Antiokos took no note of the significance, he had run through countless wards engulfed in flame with a child upon his back. He stopped and caught his breath, thanking the Mater Most High for her intercession upon his behalf. He stopped and looked for the first time... It was then that he noticed the child he carried was dead, struck by shrapnel by one side or the other.

He placed the child on the paved street and collapsed... Burning tears stung his eyes as he muttered prayers for the soul of a child whose name he did not know.

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Postby Royal Frankia » Fri May 15, 2020 7:32 am

An Occasion

Despite the conflict, the Feast of Norva was to be celebrated with all pomp and circumstance. Chattel was led to the groves, the groves which their their blood would drench. Cooks and Seers worked alongside one another, ensuring that the portions of the beast offered to the masses was not a profane portion.

The towns had emptied, with many crossing over many a weary league to reach the Shrine of Her Most High's Daughter. Many had brought wreaths, others had brought strong drink and their children with them. As the blood of the beasts sated the hunger of the gods, fine smoke and smell ascended to the heavens. Many licked their lips, others told of apparent sightings that had taken place in their lifetimes.

Seer Kravik and his retinue were assigned the task of overseeing the great benches where the masses would sit. In the distance, he heard the performance of the liturgy and the chanting of the faithful. Thousands had gathered, with more ascending from the green valleys.

All would be hungry and thirsty...

The wine cellars of the great had been opened to the poor, with mobile ovens erected on the outskirts of the Sacred Groves to supply the many with dark bread. Still, there were some notable shortages as the flour was much coarser and the offerings were much scrawnier than in peace. As the seasons changed and the war persisted, many of the less fortunate were required to rely on the Faith's charities that had not been compelled to contribute the war effort.

This might be the first time that many had tasted meat in a quarter cycle, as the animals that produced dairy were forbidden to be slaughtered by the Mater's decree.

Let their milk nurture you and strengthen your spirit.

If it had not been the preference for the vine, then milk itself might have been considered the sacred drink. Still, wine kept better and could be diluted for the sake of the masses. Swine herders, therefore, were fortunate that their hardy animals were often in constant demand.. Many had grown quite prosperous with contracts with the Central Government, and had kept many of their swine hidden from the Central Planners when requisitioning with "compensation" had taken place in the outer territories.

A child came, a smile upon her face.

She set a white rose before an icon depicting Norva in battle array, a slain beast at her feet.

Johanna, come here. The meat is hot and ready, dear!

The girl smiled and rushed back to the bench where her family sat, though he noticed that there were not many menfolk amongst them.

Gone to the wars... Far, far away.

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Postby Royal Frankia » Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:40 am

Gerwannia

Inner Periphery

Over the cycles since the last conflict the force had been reconstructed and strengthened as the Realm's economic power was slowly restored. Barren systems had first been named, then terraformed, and at last settled by the multiple refugees of NS-1. Blossoming forth, these systems bore forth good crops and fine sons for the service of Throne and Realm.

The first cycles had been hard, with the rumor of further conflict in the air. Even entering the tenth cycle since the last war, there was still an eye kept on the frontier in case enemies of old might desire to ravage the worlds of the Atkanites. Ynga's fleets and soldiers stood at the ready, hardened by conflicts with raiders that had come from within PW-1 and beyond.

Novorondons stood watch aboard the DKS Mater's Might in her great hall, peering through the dignitaries that had been assembled before their Sovereignness. The Hammer of the Mater Most High was emblazoned upon their breastplates surrounded by her great owls. Around was great feasting and drinking, as usually accompanied such events of martial splendor. Not a drop for those that guarded the Dynasty, those that had sallied forth with Feylor to certain death.

Dux Jannis vra Krell was making the rounds, glass of wine in hand. He bowed to one of the numerous Princes, whose name he forgot as he greeted the Grand Triarch of Gerwannia. This portly Avatar of the Faith smiled and raised his glass in salute. Forgetting himself, he had forgotten to bless the Dux as was customary.

Krell thought nothing of it.

Another cousin... How the royal purse manages such broods was beyond him.

The dedication of the Atlanna Shipyard, a colossal orbital yard that even now was producing warships for order had brought forth the whole Realm. Unlike her guests, who were attired in rich robes or tunics, the Dread Sovereignness of the Realm was arrayed in fur and buckskin. Beneath such was armor, useful for either big game or in the melee that she enjoyed participating in.

Her servant, Jotanna, sought such sport unsuitable for a crowned head.

They will never give you a fair fight, my Sovereignness.

Ynga had taken her sport further afield, often taking part in events under a pseudonym. She lost more than she won, but with loss she had learned and did better... Even though she had to hide the bruises from the blunt swords.

There was little need for silverware around the Sovereignness' table, it being regarded as a sign of softness for those in her company. Crackling meat, dark bread, and ample pinard were gathered to those that sat with the descendant of Wulfius. Some were suitors to her hand, though they knew such a thing was likely not to be forthcoming.

Jotanna, my first husband died in battle..

She did have children, the delight of her eye. Kept apart from their mother by her royal duties, they had spent time with a Seer of the Faith and a secular tutor. Her youngest, by tradition, would succeed her when the time came for Ynga to stand before Mater Atkana.

Not yet, Mater.. Not yet. When the time comes I will stand before you and accept that is your will like I were a commoner.

Upon the second goblet, Ynga bade the Oracle to speak of the events before and the events to come. Such Oracles were common, as were sorcerers and sorceresses that were licensed by the Crown. The Oracle smiled, speaking of a time before anyone here gathered could have lived.

There was a sovereign that desired to destroy those primitives that stood not a chance... Great and mighty was this power, whose soldiers came from their black ships to plunder and enslave. One day, the soldiers of this sovereign took part in a campaign against primitives who were armed with but spears and shields... Trebuchets and castles..

Aye, was this on the frontier Oracle?

The Oracle turned her gaze toward the drunk and shook her head.

Before your time, before the time of our folk. Before the Axis, before Barlat..

The drunk quieted down upon the scornful glance of his Sovereignness.

The Oracle continued.

They came down, spreading death and chaos throughout these realms.. The primitives awaited their chance and attacked them in a mountain pass.. In close quarters, these soldiers that thought themselves gods were slaughtered by those they thought insects..

Does this have any meaning for our future, Oracle?

The past, it is true, might repeat itself in the future. It is the nature of the Cosmos that at certain time certain entities rise again in another place.

The first a concern, a second a farce.

You know the proverb, my Sovereignness.

Aye, when I have been waiting for the great elk in the wood I have read your Scripturas.

Such tolerance for other faiths was uncommon amongst your Frankish ancestors, your Majesty. They warred with one another over iotas until they virtually annihilated one another.

My ancestors had the habit of uniting, breaking apart, and reuniting.. Even the Clovidians could not stem their arbitrariness streak.

Perhaps that streak continued, into the present. There had been some within the defunct UDI that had sought to form an alliance with the Ishii and bring fire to Tnem-Fragg.. Still, even if the Pords had been crushed it would have guaranteed that those nations which had looked to the brave Pords would have looked to the decadent Ishii. A new Barlat might have risen from the ashes of GESO and the UMS, to challenge Neustria then and Gerwannia now.

No... True enemies, enemies that can only be reasoned with the sword, are a greater threat than rivals merely in arms and territory.

Ever since Ynga was a girl, she had been lectured by her father on the fundamental difference between the different viewpoints.

There are some, girl, that believe it is their moral obligation to wage war over the internal constitutions of others. Some would say this is noble, but behind such noble intentions lurks the desire to plunder and enslave those that are to be liberated. They may not be actual chattel, but the yoke is upon the "liberated' masses that are brought into align with the morals of the conqueror.

After a third goblet of wine Ynga bade her guests retire to their chambers, to rest for the coming festivities that would mark the Ascension of Norva. Some required assistance to do so while the Sovereignness reclined in her chair. She placed a boot on the cleared table and thought..

A servant brought her a pipe of tobacco to aid her in her ponderings. She smiled and struck a match.

She sat for some time, the smoke billowing to the top of the wood paneling above.

She mumbled a song she had recalled since girlhood.

Night is the time for gazing,
Gazing at the stars above.
Countless realms, countless worlds.
All makeup Atkana's mantle.

On one, a woman waits.
For him that went away.
Nearly an age has passed,
But still she waits.

O Norvana, why do you wait?
For him that will never return?
Is he lost at Yamsai?
Is he lost at Septimania?

The woman smiles.
He will return to me.
Clad in green,
Shall we be wed.

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Postby Royal Frankia » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:04 am

Trivial Matters

The Royal Justices sat at a bench in the center, their assistances on their right and left. The latter were taking notes on the cases brought before them, and cross examining the reports submitted from Gevanna police force. The eyes of the judges were fixed on the plantif and the defendant, who were both joined by wedlock in the eyes of the Faith.

The former, a man of some years spoke.

Honored sirs, I am a free man and joined with this woman in the pact of marriage... However, I have found fault in my partner and desire a certificate of divorce. She has ruined my many chances of employment in the higher offices by her lack of culture... She tends to nothing but the children and our hearth... Never once I saw her pick up a book.

One of the Justices interjected.

Is this true?

The defendant nodded.

Aye, noble sir, it is. I do my duty assigned to me by the Mater and do such diligently.

But you are quite ignorant, no?

Aye, sir. Such matters as such do not pertain to the household and the children I am not.

The Justice nodded, turning to the man.

She might be ignorant, but she does her duty. I do not find your economic interests, even though they might pinch your pocketbook, enough to justify any formal separation.

The Justice paused, casting a dark glance upon the plantiff.

Have you some other mistress that you desire than the mother of your children?

The man gulped, knowing the price for adultery. It was common to see adulterers punished with a public lashing, with a worse fate reserved for those that absconded from a marriage to wed again.

The Justices conferred with one another, before one raised his gavel.

We find your case, Sir Astann vra Wendricks, to be without cause or justice. You have sworn an oath to this woman before the Mater Most High.. This suit is an affront to her honor, and we are empowered to have you lashed in the public square as a suitable punishment for your insolence. If news of your having a mistress beyond your wedded wife reaches this court, we shall have both of you flogged for eight leagues for offenses against the institution of holy matrimony... Go in peace, and may we not see you again.

The man withdrew, his wife shortly following after him.

Justice Jevik vra Krell shook his head, speaking to Justice Henderson to his left.

It would appear that our men are much bolder when it comes to this sort of thing than our women folk.

Aye, they always are in the false Patriarchies. The rights of the wife are trampled upon for the sake of the pleasure of the men.

It would be more fitting to string up all absconders and those that partake in this treachery.

Aye, a rat is owed his due. In some societies, a woman can be put to death for this sort of business while the man escapes scot free.

No, if you violate a high oath then it must be that one's neck should be snapped on the gallows high.

Justice Krell nodded.

Of course, such a punishment would not be suitable to this occasion. A public reprimand, even if it might not draw blood, is likely more suitable than a pair of corpses.


The Justices nodded, before another series of petitioners appeared before them. Something about labor owed by one peasant to the guild lands...

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Postby Royal Frankia » Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:20 am

Great Things Ahead

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The 10 Cycle Plan had not been going to plan, for the adjustment of the frontier had not been followed adequately by their sustained development. Governors were replaced with those that were more effective towards raising living and productivity standards to rates demanded by the Economic Planning Bureau. Outlying realms under the Emerald Pact’s protection would be called upon to contribute manpower and resources for the great projects that were to fortify the Realm against external foes.

The same old, same old, as the Fleet Planning Bureau and the Economic Planning Bureau vied with one another for authority. It was through the Throne that both sides were reconciled, and the former’s ambitious projects were scaled down for the immediate present. The Frankian Realm at present was capable of defending itself against potential adversaries in PW1-1, while those in NS-1 were too distant or battered to intervene in areas of the Frankian sphere.

The Economic Planning Bureau envisioned an expansion of the total output of goods and services throughout the Realm, even if the Guilds were to be brought into line through the sanctioning of new guilds. Competition within labor representation and their cooperation with the Plan could assist in achieving this aim. The Seal of Rammenheim raised on comment for Guild Leaders, who understood that the situation at present required extraordinary measures.

Wulffigs were funneled into new methods of ship construction, with the hope that a strong merchant marine could dominate the surrounding Void. With the developing powers under the Rammenflieg, a monopoly granted to the Frankian Merchant Guild would enable vast profits to be reaped at the expense of a few worthless trinkets. A glut of resources and indentured servants would help check state investments in other sectors of the economy.

Technicians and specialists were highly sought, with education being regarded as a priority. The Higher Education Bureau would be invested with funds to establish a curricula that would obtain the sharpest minds for the great task at hand. There was some danger that such a new caste might endanger the Old Order, but to reach the Sovereignness’ Plan would ensure that, though highly favored with bonuses and titles, would not rise through the ranks of the Fleet.

Difficulties

Director Hans vra Vrus, head of the Economic Planning Bureau, saw the development of the outlying systems of the Core Systems as vital. Internal trade between the center and the outlying band would result in the reduction of dissidence and interconnection. Vrus noted, however, that the Core Systems would still be able to maintain their vast reserves of necessities and productive capacity despite what such might bring to market.

On this he had squared off with his counterpart in the Fleet Planning Bureau, and surprisingly, even the Grand Marshal of the Army. Multiple holo conferences and frantic communiques had resulted in bitter animosity between all three factions.
The Fleet must have its yards and its warehouses… We must be able to stockpile our surpluses in the event of war.

What wars we fight now do not require such squandering of resources that could strengthen the overall Realm.

Director, the Economy might be the priority in peace, but in a time of war it is subject to the demands of the state. The state must be prepared, or else it will not be at the ready to mobilize the resources at hand. In fact, the Economic Planning Bureau through such frugalness might lead to a mobilization that would destabilize our economic output.


Grand Marshal, we have taken such consideration into our long-term plans… Strategic resources are still being stockpiled, and most of what the Economic Planning Bureau has decided has been at the expense of the Fleet.

At this the Director of the Fleet Planning Bureau spat out a curse.

By the Mater Atkana’s Throne, I have informed you time and time again that the Fleet must receive the bulk of defense spending.


Vrus snorted.

It has for 1,200 cycles and has managed to lose an entire universe. Twice it has vied with the Great Powers, and failed.

At this the Grand Marshal chimed in.

If the Army had received what it sought, I doubt that Neustria would have fallen so quickly.

The Fleet was bound to limit its total size, which at that time required us to adhere to that limit. What we could muster when the Pords assailed us was by scattering our forces across our system to allow us to bring them to one key, decisive point. Had the Plan not called for our withdrawal to PW-1 the Fleet might have fought multiple indecisive actions that would have done nothing but prolong the inevitable.


At this Vrus nodded.

By measures of economy, the future might hold bright for a revitalized Fleet. Reconstruction, improvement, and research requires the application of vast resources. When we have finished strengthening ourselves, then we might consider it of some value to restore our power in NS-1. We must lay a foundation, by the Mater Atkana.
Last edited by Royal Frankia on Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Royal Frankia » Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:32 am

Exercises

Image

It was a sight to behold, the great Armadas of the Frankians squaring against one another in the Void within the Araliana District. For the subjects of Araliana, this was a sight to behold of ranks bristling with power and might rarely seen in these more peaceful days. What barbarri could withstand the disciplined ranks of their Sovereignness?

It was not some barbarri chieftain along the frontier that trouble the Dux of Texcoco, but rather the notion that a Great Power could one day desire a stronger presence in PW-1. Vrantrille's answer to the Magistrum on that threat had been simple. but off the cuff.

We must keep men and ships at the ready through constant exercises. We must get rid of the deadwood, rationalize our formations, and revolutionize our theory.

The great Atkana Dreadnoughts belched forth fire and smoke, a sight to behold as they were rarely deployed so far forward or fear of their loss. Traditional theory had supported massing their ranks and sending them forth to hammer their way through the enemy ranks with the support of sallying formations. Vrantrille had read the reports of such actions off Legacy, and had favored their being dispersed to reduce the risk of the enemy being able to concentrate their firepower upon ships that were hard for a nation to replace.

Analysis of the "battle" seemed to prove that the firepower of the forward lines was greatly enhanced, though Vrantrille still thought the super heavies within the Fleet could definitely be slimmed down. Anything to increase speed and survivability was necessary, for the hit and run battles that Vrantrille wished to wage against potential adversaries who wished to win a war in a few days.

Beyond the position of the Third and Fourth Armadas there was 700 au of nothing, beyond that two systems that were declared bastions by the Defense Ministry. With what resources the Dux of Texcoco had at his disposal he knew that holding those bastions would not be viable for long. If a foe were to come on in strength such bastions could serve as a means for the foe to funnel Frankian forces into a killing ground.

The 29th Corps drove back the 35th Corps some several stellar leagues, though such was an exception to the rule. The squadrons were maneuvering their craft to prevent headlong, costly engagements. As the 35th was driven back the reserves of her sister Corps maneuvered to fire upon the advancing craft that had been bloodied by nearly a day of fighting. Within a couple hours, the work of an entire day was rendered moot as the 29th now turned and attempted to escape the tightening ranks of batteryfire.

The Dux of Texcoco made a note to scold the Magister of the Third for allowing his Corps Commander to make such a gamble without proper support. Communication was necessary, and he wanted his Magisters to make the best use of the resources they had on hand rather than relying on foreign dregs or green lads. Still, he would commend the crews and Shiplords for their performance in such a situation which might delay the foe if all hope was lost.

Vrantrille lit his cigarillo and paced the deck of the DKS Ironside, his mind focused on the latest dispatch from the Magistrum. There would be a shift away from shock and superior firepower towards a more balanced approach that stressed the need to actually triumph. Present defensive systems would be reassessed, new weapons platforms would come online, and entire craft would soon be gutted and renovated for the coming conflict.

The Dux had been appointed as acting Magister Navigum of the Dread Fleet, though he only secure such a position by results. This was a major step into the unknown, for the Fleet had always had one of the blood of Wylus at the helm. To the critics Ynga had scoffed and said that the blood of Wylus had cost the nation dearly. Vrantrille knew he had a difficult task, though he had been given some leeway from the Economic Planning Bureau towards making present defenses cost effective.

Dispatch #123.232.145

It is in the interest of the Fleet and the Realm that we ought to consider making a fleet conducive to our needs. With the great factions a thing of the past, the engagements we might see in the future will be drastically different. We went to war against the Ingenious with the notion that another coalition could arise, but it did not. Rather, it was beset by the Pords without the assistance of their allies at a time we the Realm had not planned another conflict with such a power so soon.

Henceforth, the Economic Planning Bureau will release the necessary resources that you require for your task. However, do not expect a single Wulffig to contribute to the expansion of a Fleet that is costly enough as it is. By the Mater Atkana and the Throne, I hope you succeed in rejuvenating our great Realm.

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Postby Royal Frankia » Thu May 06, 2021 8:03 pm

By Sheer Will

Image

The Cosmic Brotherhood had been established to undermine the Universal Guild of Miners shortly before the reigniting of the Frankian-Pordish conflict. As the center grew at an alarming rate to meet the great Pordish threat to its dominions, the Cosmic Brotherhood curried favor with key figures in the Frankian bureaucracy. Kings and Magisters come and go, but the bureaucracy had proven itself as long lived as the Kirk of the Faithful.

Contracts had been awarded to the guildiers of the Cosmic Brotherhood at the expense of other guilds, with great projects within the Dresda Quadrant arising from the dexterity of their hands. Megaprojects, such as the Great Yards of the Mater or the Works of Norva, were all the rage with economic planners who thought to maximize productive capacity. Workmen were brought from across the Realm to build what the Economic Planning Bureau declared to be an Urlann risen from the ashes, though even the EPB noted that it would be some stretch to accomplish in 20 cycles what had taken several hundred cycles to bring into being.

The Grand Guildier of the Cosmic Brotherhood had stirred up unrest in regards to blatant militarism, which the guild regarded as a waste of resources that could to improving the livelihood of building up National Syndicalism. What use were 500 million warships, should they not allow a folk that has long sacrificed to enjoy sufficient prosperity? It is better that Frankia's sons and daughters should be usefully employed, than sent off to die in conflicts that did not concern her.

Director Vrus could count on a militarized labor movement devoted to peace, which if the Magistrum attempted to act without the approval of the Sovereignness could lead to a general strike of the laboring caste. With this in his arsenal, the EPB's attempted to overcome her rivals through careful planning and industrial output. It was through positive figures that the EPB's, rather than the gloomy forecasts of the Magistrum, that national pride was to be awakened.

From Austrasia, Astarra, and Gerwannia came forth entire families to establish a new home at a substantial state subsidy, with the notion that their surplus value ought to cover this long-term project over the coming cycles. Capital investment was monopolized by the state, with the occasional Patriotic Fellowship chipping in to support the great project of the state. If the Fleet watched the frontier for signs of trouble, the EPB kept a close eye on the Dresda as a father outside a waiting room expecting the birth of a child.

Broadcast from the Ministry of Truth

The conquest of Dresda must be made, this great battle must be won for true civilization at all costs. All castes are called upon to do their duty in this sacred war! Remember those lost in the Void to treachery, remember those that have given their life's blood upon the fields of Neustria and Grand Feylorium! Your effort here shall ensure that they shall be avenged, that our Realm shall remain be able to withstand whatever the Cosmos might hurl against us!

Look to your own hands, trust in them. Upon them rests the fate of our Great Realm! Others have sunk into the abyss, through either decadence or by foreign predation! By our labor, the Dread Realm shall once more blossom forth. As this not been prophesized in our Scripturas, that through trial and tribulation shall a Realm endure?


Once declared as a world to be brought into the Realm, shuttle traffic became nonstop as settlers were disgorged upon a world terraformed by Royal Engineers. Green plains and snowcapped mountains greeted the newcomers, as though they had never truly left their own homelands. Communes were erected at state expense and fields cultivated with great care were gifted to migrants mainly from Austrasia and Astarra.

A great host remained in orbit, to work on the projects that would bring living standards of those Dresdan territories close to the core systems. Colossal orbital plants, shipyards, battle stations, and refining facilities were constructed at a grueling pace. Members of the Magistrum toured these worksites, noting their progress in their reports back to the Magister Navigum.

Seers of the Faith blessed all that labored on the task in the name of the Mater Atkana, and took up tools alongside the workmen. Shepherds worked alongside their flock, in conditions that at times were truly abysmal. While fabricators accomplished most of the work, there was some work that required the tenacity of a disciplined workforce.

Competition between the guilds was fierce, with the promise of future contracts and communes for those that met their quota for the Plan. There was no greater service to the Realm than that of meeting the Plan, as was declared by the Ministry of Truth. Only the best were allowed to work upon what was declared the Sovereignness’ crown jewel.

Wanderings

The Esthel clan had pushed through mountain trails and the foul marshes to reach the gentle valley, where most Frankians desired to reside. The creaking of wagon wheels could be heard for several leagues as the peasants made their way on foot across what was to them paradise. Occasional obstacles, such as fallen trees or rockslides, greeted the hardy pioneers who were to bring the plow and the Scripturas to virgin land.

Atop the lead wagon fluttered the Rammenflieg, in somewhat poor shape. Esthel lore claimed it had been rescued by their great-grandfather from the flames when the order was given to stand down upon Grand Feylorium. The banner might have returned, but the man himself had been sent to the wars in the Urlann which had laid low many a Frankian.

Maurice vra Esthel counted his fortune that he had yet to serve in a Great War, one that had sent many of their clan to the Mater’s Hall. Other of his kinsmen that had volunteered had returned either disfigured or scarred, with some having been forever lost to expand the dominion of the Sovereignness’ scepter.

Vra Esthel lit a cigarillo and glanced at the horizon, his eyes occasionally darting back to the team of oxana. In the distance he noted the Commune of Astarges, which was some thirty leagues from the site of his homestead. Peering back, he noted that the rest of the train were proceeding without incident.

The Vra Esthels could have opted for journey via rail, but this was the not the way of those who clung to the old ways more so than their neighbors. Perhaps if there was a great land rush, had had happened in the territories of less civilized realms, damned hover cars and other abominations might cause havoc to the tranquility so thoroughly preserved.

At five leagues from Astarges Commune, a party of communitards greeted the wagoneers in the attire of the Terrestrial Brotherhood. On horseback they came, a score dressed in crimson red and earthly brown. Maurice noted that the communitards were at least fair riders, even if they rarely came to the surface.

Hail, Vra Esthel clan. We of the Astarges Commune bid thee welcome, may you forever walk in the Mater’s light.


Maurice nodded.

Which of you is the Meister?


A one eyed man raised his scepter.


I am, good man.


Maurice nodded.

Meister, how is the industry of Astarges? From the looks of it you have only those from the Terrestrial Brotherhood to call your burghers, not those of a reputable guild.

At that there were multiple curses and shouts.

One guildier reached for his pistol, before the Meister broke his scepter atop his head. Toppling from horseback, the poor soul was nearly trampled as his horse galloped off. His fellows dismounted and proceeded to drag the man away, while others attempted to rein in his wayward mount.

The Meister wiped his blood from his scepter.

I apologize, Vra Esthel, these youngsters know nothing of your clan…

Or its service to the Realm since the days of Wylus.

Aye, good sir. Since those days their descendants have always found warmth and shelter in the halls of our Sovereigns.


One of the guildiers, more finely attired than the others, steadied his mount.

Such blatant mistreatment of the laborers of our Realm will not be tolerated…

The Meister looked what Maurice took to be the guild rep square in the eye, before looking at his scepter.

The Terrestrial Brotherhood’s influence at court… What is it?

The guild rep cursed.

The Meister looked on him scornfully.

It is less than the Cosmic Brotherhood, is it not? And the International Brotherhood of Shipworkers? Or the Great Guild of Machinists?

The guild rep summoned his courage.

It is greater than some damned Meister.. You forget who constructed all that is here on the surface and all that lies below!

But you know the penalty of drawing arms against one of the folk, even in the event of scorn.

The guild rep nodded, knowing the law that called for flogging in the public square. Whatever tension might exist between peasant and tradesmen, they were all of the folk. Frankian laws favored corporal punishment of stints in prison, save for major offenses in which forced labor was required to isolate wayward folk from the lawful.

Vra Esthel shook his head.

As the aggrieved party, I beg thee Meister that your blow upon his head was enough. I do not wish to see the blood of our folk shed further, for enough has been shed to suit justice.


At that the Meister nodded, bidding the guild rep to attend to the stricken fellow. The guild rep and his own retinue kicked up dust as they rode off, leaving the Meister and his retinue before the Vra Esthel train. The Meister reached into his pocket and pulled out two cigars. He offered one to Maurice, before biting off the end of his.

Lighting he, he pointed east where the distant Emfeld valley lay.

That is good ground, but beware the guildiers who frown upon those of the peasantry of the old line. Such sons and daughters of our noble workingman have no respect for those who toil in the fields and meet our field under the light of the Mater Atkana..

Vra Esthel shrugged.

To do or die is to do or die.. Be in the void or on the field, we do not know where the Fates will deposit our remains.


The Meister nodded, and rode off with what of the party that had remained.

The wagons of the Vra Esthels made their way through the cobbled streets of Astarges, receiving cold glances from those from the guild who knew what had transpired. Others, namely members of the Iron Youth, greeted the newcomers with wreaths and called upon the clan to build up National Syndiclaism within the countryside. This was something that the peasantry were not interested in in the slightest, only that their rights and ways might be safeguarded from the Economic Planning Bureau.

Still, Maurice humored those who followed the works of Vra Marras as they did the Scripturas.

Long live the National Syndicalist revolution! Long may the rights of the laboring caste and the peanstry be safeguarded! May our Sovereignness reign a thousand cycles!

As this the Iron Youth let out a shout, offering to lend their assistance in the taming of the wilderness. Maurice declined, noting that there those of his clan he had brought with were sufficient. However, he pointed to the arms that they habitually carried and were drilled with by their Youth Master.

Are you lads any good?

Aye, according to Master Jevik.

Good, shooting allows one to concentrate on what matters in life. To let go present obstacles, and to focus on the target.

As well as to fend off barbarri raiders.

Damned son of a zek, there hasn’t been a barbarri fleet seen in these parts since they were driven out.

Aye, but knowing the Fleet that they might well return… Then Novoronda will need all her sons.

They shan’t stand a chance against our troop.

Aye, barbarri lack as much discipline under fire as our Dread Fleet.

One of the Iron Youth scowled.

Sir, my father perished off Neustria in its defense… The Home Fleet held until it could not, against the onslaught of the Pordish juggernaut. Even the Royal Army could not save what was once the chief citadel of this Realm.

Maurice paused, though he was not surprised. There were many Frankians in this generation who had lost father or mother in the wars before. Maurice took a swig from his flak and offered it to the Youth.

A drink, to our lost comrades who await us in Atkane’s Hall. May their names never die.

The Youth lifted the flask and drank, grimacing at the brandy’s bite.

Maurice tucked the flask into his cloak and bade his oxana forward, followed by the Vra Esthel train. His mind thought of the young lad without a father, thinking how this generation would be fortunate to have not suffered yet from another Great War.

The train passed the Kirk of the Mater Most High, a great domed structure that towered over most buildings within the Commune. Within, Maurice knew a fire blazed that was kept lit, no matter what might occur beyond the walls of the Kirk. It was here that the communitards gathered in prayer, though Maurice’s peasant soul preferred the simple shrine.

A High Triarch of the Faith appeared with his brothers and sisters, watching the procession of wagons with some interest. If a Dux ruled a system by the command of the Sovereignness, an Archtriarch shepherded the souls of the Faithful by the command of Atkane. Maurice bid his oxana halt, reaching into his bag where a bottle of fine brandy was stored.

Turning to his son, Tymaeus, he pointed to the one arrayed in the simplest of robes.

Bring him this humble gift, by all the gods that heed Mater Atkana’s scepter.

Tymaeus leaped out of the wagon and knelt before the Grand Triarch.

Grand Triarch, I bestow upon you this gift from my father. We are simple folk, that toil in the fields and know the soil as our Mater would intend. Bless us, in all our endeavors.

I bless thee in the name of the Mater Atkana, by her daughter Norva that swings the great hammer, and by all the gods of the Pantheon. Arise, Tymaeus vra Esthel, and do honor to your clan and Sovereignness.

The youth did not rise.. He sputtered.

Grand Triarch, how did you know of my name and clan?

I have glimpsed this in the sacred fire..

The Grand Triarch made the sign of the Mater and bade the Youth rise once more.

Return to your father and study the Scripturas… And give me the bottle.

The youth nodded and made the sign of the Mater, before rising and returning to the wagon.

His father scowled.

What did he say to you?

Study the Scripturas..

Hmm.
Last edited by Royal Frankia on Thu May 06, 2021 8:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Royal Frankia » Thu May 20, 2021 10:38 am

In the beginning our folk were scattered,
Innumerable wars we fought with ferocity.
Empires we had won and lost,
Riches we sought, glory we thought high.
O Mater Most High, how you dispelled such notions.
How you laid low the great burghers and petty Kings,
And gave us peace that shall reign forever.
When you walked among our folk,
And bestowed your wisdom upon your children.
Greater to possess thy wisdom than a thousand fortunes.
Greater to be honorable in thy sight than to bound a foe in irons.
-Scripturas 5:12- Hymns to the Mater Most High in the time of Gerwann II


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The Ostanna Sanctuary of Our Mother had been constructed by labor called up from the estates of the Kirk, even though it lay at a summit several terrestrial leagues above seal level. Ancestral tools and methods were employed, with materials brought up either by rugged trails or by utilizing nearby resources. Sweat and blood was required, with the occasional accident sending a worker to the gods in the knowledge of his grace before the eyes of the Mater Atkana.

Sculptors wrought from stone the very gods themselves, before painters sought to give them a vibrant color. The sculpture of the Mater Atkana was so lifelike that it was said that her green eyes followed one as they passed. This was not surprising, as the Kirk sought the best of the best. The Kirk had ensured that the artist guilds had not disappeared entirely after the Proclamation, and had maintained the primary employer of said guilds for nearly a thousand cycles.

The Archtriarch Estann gazed down upon the workers and their beasts of burden from atop the Pillar of Wisdom. Thousands had been summoned here to do the great work of the gods. Youths and old men had come from the communes below, even upon a day allocated to their rest by the Faith. Hot tears came down an old face as he saw high and low set to pious work.

The dome was nearing completion, though within the Archtriarch knew it would be a matter of months before its interior would boast murals depicting events in the Scripturas: the Creation of the Cosmos by the Mater Atkana, her bestowing a spark of the divine upon all folk, her agony at the daemons desiring to upend her Law, and the birth of Norva who had banished the Dark Ones into the abyss. Murals were employed more to honor the gods than to instruct the faithful, but for those folk who had not come upon true enlightenment they might sow the seeds that might bear fruit a thousand fold.

In the days of his youth, the Archtriarch had walked the Cosmos as a simple Seer. He had seen much of NS-1 and PW-1, and had come across multiple notions of thought. He had supped with barbarri chieftains and had argued for the rights of the workmen against unscrupulous guilds, the latter at times less civilized than the former. When workmen were fired upon by their guild he had shielded many from indiscriminate shells and shards, with some speaking of such as the Miracle of Vasatra.

Others had come to distrust the intentions of this Seer and his intentions, with his pro-labor message to the exploited folk in all nations resulting in subsequent investigations. Some thought he was connected to the National Syndicalist International, utilizing religion as a cloak for subverting subjects from orthodox strands of leftist thought. Barons of capital were called upon by the Archtriarch in days of yore to abandon their wealth to their chieftain, and to accept a station in life that was truly worthy.

Strikes and labor riots were said to have begun upon his recitation of the Scripturas, calling upon the overthrow of the usurers and those barons who looted the people. Some reports from the UDI hinted that known usurers, loan sharks, share holders, and other agents of Capital were often the victim of these outbreaks of Green fury. Shackled in irons, they were often deported to their nation of origin or set to hard labor for the benefit of a community that was now cleansed.

What is the work of your hands,
Is forever yours.
No lord that does not acknowledge this,
Shall be brought low by the Mater Most High.
What profits you gain in this life,
I shall make you repay in the next.
In the eternal fire you shall be cast,
To be cleansed of the taint of mammon.
So I have decreed, so it is written.


The Archtriarch had retired from the ideological conflict, preferring the peace that the holy life brought. This often brought him to examine closely figures and revenues of the Kirklands, namely how such could be employed in the service of the Faith and the maintenance of the Faithful. This Sanctuary and others planned worried him on that, but any resource devoted to the service of the gods might require calling forth loans made a tad early. Even if that set the Kirk against the State, who had increasingly plowed Kirk loans into long-term infrastructure projects whose payoff was several cycles away.

This would be the first likely row between the Faith and the Crown, with matters of monies at the heart of the problem. With the Bank of Atkos dissolved, the Faith's predominance had only grown with the passing cycles. While the Faith condemned usury against brethren, it engaged in it to Sovereigns in whose interest it was to bind closer to the interests of the Kirk. Ynga II had respected the Faith and had promoted it, but the Archtriarch had noted she wasn't insistent on repaying the debts run up by her father in his ruinous wars.

The next day the Archtriarch met with a council of Seers and Curators, discussing what was to be extracted from the state. Political Atkanism was out of the question, though the laws enforced within Frankian society aligned closely to the policy of the Kirk. No, what must be extracted from the state must be a cut of the tolls charged on the metic nations, such would enable the realistic repayment of the original loans a few times over. Other measures to bilk the state were spoken of, such as monopolies on goods that were absolutely demanded by the state's long-term projects that would plow Wulffigs into the Kirk's coffers.

Archtriarch, the economic planners will be rueful to see the cost of the infrastructure projects that they sold the Sovereignness multiplied by such an amount.

The old man smiled.

The economic planners must realize that what we accomplish in this life requires sacrifice, be it of time or of resources. Our Faith has blessed the state, while the state has not sought to bless the Cosmos with the true Faith. To end a war, they sacrificed our lambs to the cruel gods of others. Many a martyr has gone to the Mater Most High with harsh words for the Throne on his lips.

A Curator paused in the midst of his calculations.

Archtriarch, the funds raised through such gifts from the state might enable us to maintain a force to rival it.. And to protect our brethren that remain scattered and..

I prefer lending the funds either to the state or to emerging powers that we can maintain in our pocket forever.. If a chieftain or even a small state should seek to escape the demands of our Grand Triarch, then I can envision a Corps ultimately deciding the matter. There is also a great deal of speculation, that if wisely handled, can be quite profitable.

Such talk of great profits and screwing over the state was held between those attired plainly, in the garb of the Faith. What was seen would not go to great Manses, but to the Mater Most High that shall reign forever and ever alongside her daughter Norva. Time would tell, whether the fruits of such dogmatic loopholes might bear forth fruit a thousand fold.
Last edited by Royal Frankia on Thu May 20, 2021 6:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Royal Frankia » Thu May 27, 2021 10:41 am

Greater Duties

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The Court was abuzz with word of the forthcoming Assembly of the Nationalities and its impact on affairs of state. Such as Assembly would be dominated by the various metic races, often kept separate by state policy and the preference for each species to live separately. Some of the old guard thought this was an innovation based on lunacy, to give the metics a national body to list their grievances with Gerwannia. There was some sense in that, but the weight of Vrus' word in the matter had silenced them.

What mattered more than tradition was the potential economic benefits that could be extracted from minor concessions. While this new Assembly, with the endorsement of the Crown would hear mostly grievances against the Frankian authority, such grievances were less likely to be heard. Ranks bequeathed to the Assemblymen, unlike those in the Frankian Assemblies, would be based primarily on their rank within their metic realm. These titles would be passed down through the generations, giving the Frankian authority in these Realms an expanded base of support.

The Dread Sovereignness regarded such as preferable and cheaper to the occasional policing actions required to suppress sedition. Expulsions to beyond the frontier, as done in the days of old, were regarded as an increasing threat to the security of the Realm. It was cheaper to eliminate sources of dissent and distributing whatever they possessed to the Frankian faction upon these worlds in the event of a rising. Ynga, the Protectoress of the True Faith, had continued the tradition of gaining the support of the clergy of alien faiths to ensure that the faithful would not be called to rise by militant priests.

The expansion of the Realm Security Service, a new organization founded on the ruins of the United Department of Intelligence, had been given priority. RSS personnel were expected to work in support of the Frankian Polizei within these Realms, and to interfere directly to prevent both espionage and sedition. The RSS reported to the Ministry of the Interior, which was under the virtual control of Vrus since the latest reshuffling of portfolios with the appointment of his cousin.

The RSS operated in the shadows, often employing the Polizei to do most of the legwork. Roundups, upon the dissembling of a plot, could be frequent occurrences in a troublesome metic realm. As the men on the ground for the EPB, the RSS could call upon the Authority on a world to adopt a policy that was either enlightened or draconian. The Economic Planners were looking to poach on the territory of the Legions, and saw in the abhorrent metropolises of the metic realms an opportunity.

Conference of Jetvana

Imagine, if you will, what could be done for the Dread Realm, should these territories bequeathed to us by our ancestors should be truly exploited for the benefit of their descendants.

What you propose is slavery, and a violation of the rights of the metics. We have signed treaties and have kept faithful, only punishing those folk guilty of rising against the Crown.

This is so, but it is not slavery to impose upon the troublesome realms just punishment. It is our right as their guardians.. Expulsion is time consuming and often punishes the innocent with the guilty. No, terms of service in the labor brigades to pay off a fine owed to the Authority is by far preferable.

You are suggesting that numbers innumerable be dispatched to the mines and the combines?

No, but a fixed percentage of the population of those metic realms condemned by the RSS. After a major rising, if twenty-five percent of the working population should be relocated upon the restoration of order to the public works.. The metic realm in question singled out, as well as those that attempt to join in against us, would be required to maintain good behavior for the well-being of their folk abroad. Should they rise again greater extractions could be made, which would imperil the fortunes of those whom we expect to maintain the good behavior of the common folk.

I notice that you do not wish to conscript the metics into the Legions...

No, that would undermine their capabilities as fighting formations. Service in the Legions must be seen as lucrative, not a sentence for the sins of their forefathers.

The Minister nodded.

But Vrus, certainly we cannot expect such a sentence to last for eternity.

No, I propose that if a metic realm should expect a punishment to the third generation... Or the sixth, depending on the species. Those folk that are not completely humanoid might be required to serve a hundred cycles, or so, given how that might impact the ability of their hives.

I take it that the RSS is to supervise these guest workers..

They are not to mix with the Guilds, even the Penal ones... They are to be kept in orbit or below for the duration of their sentences, depending on what is that they are sentenced to do. Basic subsistence will be guaranteed for those under the charge of the RSS, but incentives are to be offered to labor brigades and to individuals who meet the plan. Shock workers in the Corvee should be able to obtain greater luxuries, freedoms, and the ability to obtain a substitute for the sentence imposed. The rank and file must see that compliance will bear fruit, while rebellion will bear the lash.


The Minister of the Interior thought for a moment.

Should the RSS face a rising that gets out of hand?

It can be easily crushed, the matter is restoring productivity. The rank and file in such a rising will we merely tack an additional five cycles to their sentence, but the ringleaders will be reeducated. Torture is to be utilized against the condemned until he or she breaks, with what we have as a remnant remolded to suit our interests.

The Minister made the sign of the Mater.

A broken will can never be mended... They could never return to the rank and file.

A life sentence in the prison paper ought to be enough, as well as rations that are luxurious. The stray sheep is to be made a Saint of Labor by the EPB following his or her death in our service.


By the will of the Mater.
Last edited by Royal Frankia on Thu May 27, 2021 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Royal Frankia » Thu May 27, 2021 6:52 pm

Order from Chaos

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On the fringes of the frontier, where the only thing certain was uncertainty, the Dread Fleet had begun the great task of bringing order to the Void. Far from Gerwannia, the Magistrum favored a loose grip on her commanders to foster initiative. With great battles rare, the only thing to break the routine of patrol and training was the imposing the Pax upon the Barbarri through policing actions. Those that resisted were put down swiftly by the decree of Gerwannia, with those facing occupation expected to abide by the Occupation Authority for a period of six generations.

Though the Magistrum on the Frontier did not wish to admit it, substantial revenues were squeezed from the occupied zones into the coffers. With these funds improvements were made on the fortifications of the formal Realm, with Greater Frankia subsidizing this development through greater levies upon their resources. In exchange the Frankian Authority brought the wonders of civilization to the barbarri who had risen against Gerwannia, with direct reforms implemented in order to ensure that so long as the Rammenflieg flew such worlds would be pillars of stability.

Sith Realms were troubling additions, such occupied zones being treated far harsher than those who had risen for gain or revenge. Being more prone to maintaining great standing armies of clones, such demobilization of these forces was taken with great care to put such abominations to some use. The lot of the clones was often better than their masters, whose fate was often not recorded in the official archives. Whispers of punishment most cruel for those who embraced the forces of Darkness leaked back to Gerwannia, but Sith Lords aroused little sympathy at Court.

Princes of the Blood were periodically appointed Protectors of an occupied region, and subsequently allowed to maintain standing retinues upon their worlds. Such Princes of Afar often quarreled with the Authority on manners of policy and upliftment, with the Dux du Vresmark sending a dispatch to his royal cousin that such a policy on Vesdann were lunacy. Dispatches of this sort raised headaches, especially when news of rampant corruption in these unofficial territories leaked back to the all powerful Economic Planning Bureau.

Quarrels with the Faith arose also, if a barbarri territory embraced Atkanism by the decree of their Assembly. This conversion spelled greater trouble in restoring the autonomy of the barbarri territory, as how could the Protector of the Faith allow Atkane's children to perish? Wherever the Sanctuaries of the Mater were found, the Fetters imposed by the Authority were often kept with their garrisons until said territory was formally incorporated.

Who was to possess authority here, the Kirk or the Crown, was often a point of discussion. To offset the great interest imposed on the national debt, the Crown often exchanged a reduction for the transfer of territories to the Grand Triarch. Much to the fury of the likes of Vrus or Her Sovereignness' Government, such additions to the Kirk often were followed by greater loans to the state to repeat the process.

Director Vrus scoffed.

It is not the folk to gain when a new system is added to our Great Realm, but the Kirk! We guard their estates and offer our life's blood for these Princes of the Mater Most High!

Other nuisances often arose should these territories embrace a truer version of National Syndicalism than the Economic Planning Bureau had implemented. When barbarri guildiers called a general strike against the EPB's Gateway, which would have allowed for closer monitoring of internal traffic within the Marches, the Economic Planners could only grit their teeth. Appeals to the Crown by barbarri dignitaries won sympathy at Court, forcing the technocrats to focus only on the Plan within the formal territories.

Descent from on High

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The March of the Archtiarch of the Osbek had called for the intervention of the Dread Fleet, following several heretical risings against the authorities of the Faith. Sanctuaries were destroyed, the Fetters of the Oskek besieged, and the Archtriarch was in fear for his life. The followers of Urstann and those that had maintained their Sithery in secret had mobilized the population to imperil the Authority in this far off province.

Dux Dreggten vra Lorrann could only meet this threat with dispatching of the 84th Fleet Regiment and her accompanying Marins Detachment. Cruisers and destroyers darted across the Void, making their way through a tremendous amount of fire that the barbarri fleets often sent their way. Photons, kinetics, and other manners of ordinance were dispatched at incredibly long-range.

Several hundred craft proceeded dead ahead, with a reserve force maintaining close contact with the Supply Column and the Engineers. The farthest vessels, the Second Contingent under Graaf Resdrick vra Markeus, dispersed its squadrons to maintain an overlapping field of fire. Despite their loose order, the Frankian craft were able to support one another as soon as Lorrann gave the order to the general advance. The First and Third would join in the great thrust to restore order to the Osbek and win renown at the Court of the Frontier Magistrum.

The Frankian craft returned fire, their batteries discharging death at sublight at a steady rate. Sweat trickled down from the brows of the gunners as they worked like automatons rather than organic lifeforms. They had done this so many times that they had lost count, let alone the number of the enemy craft that they destroyed.

Targeting computers honed in on the larger capital craft the insurgents had managed to acquire, with additional scans fed by the Voltigeur Formations. These formations were the most suicidal of the Dread Fleet, known for their tenacity in coming to grips with the enemy before the main formations entered the fray. As the fleet of the foe darted forward, the VACs of the 15th opened fire with a volley of torpedoes and kinetic fire that came on like the hounds of the Abyss. This was a fight to the death, where each second bought allowed the looming danger to the insurgents to coalesce.

On came the might of the Dread Sovereignness, the bearer of the arms of the folk into the Void. The ships of Markeus and those of the other Contingent commanders maintained what was a steady rate of advance. Disjointed by the tenacity of the Voltigeurs and their difficulty in killing, the insurgent commanders hesitated as their craft that were clustered closely together met the withering storm of fire. Casualties mounted at an appalling pace, as the craft groaned under the weight of fire and tremendous fires swept the merchantmen converted for war. Markeus did not allow his quarry to escape his wrath, even as he some of his craft limping back by a chance hit.

Persistence marked the Frankian drive, as casualties they largely accepted in order to maintain what was the overall direction of the battle. Cooperation was close, as the insurgent fleet attempted to enter close quarters range or simply overwhelm one of the Contingents within the wedge. While the Frankians buckled, they did not break unless an order to withdrawal by recoil was given. The Voltigeurs that had regrouped would be sent back into the fray to support the rearguard in this action, maneuvering swiftly and dealing death indiscriminately. Training their sole 1.2km battery, a VAC was able to meet its adversary with the capability of doing some mischief.

An enemy dreadnought, her hull nearly rent asunder, attempted to disengage from ships of the 2nd Contingent. VAC 194 saw her distress, and bade VAC 105 and VAC 143 to maneuver into firing position. Even as death rained indiscriminately, the VAC commander of the 194th eyed his prey. Perhaps tens of thousands were aboard this craft, her batteries were a warped ruin. Only her projectors kept firing, but they were too focused on the 2nd Contingent's cruisers to pay much attention to the scythes of the Void.

Feuer.

The VAC buckled under the discharge of her battery.

Missed.

The other two craft in his command reported likewise.

The craft maneuvered as the dreadnought focused her fire upon them.

Feuer.

Again, nothing.


VAC 143 brewed up upon a direct hit, scattering her hull and her crew into the Void.

By the Mater Most High!

The commander of VAC 194 scowled.

Feuer.

The remaining VACs belched fire and smoke, sending their shells hurtling into the Void.

Hit!

How bad?

Left deck badly warped... Hull is intact.

By the gods!


Aboard the deck all was chaos, with rescue teams attempting to save those that could from the compromised compartments of the dreadnought. Youths were carried by stretcher bearers, most badly burned from the incendiaries used by the Dread Fleet. Their captains attempted to steel the nerves of the barbarri, who knew that if they reached the Yard the ship could be put back in good order.

They never would get the chance. Seeing the plight of the Voltigeurs, the DKS Estann sallied forth with death bristling from her guns. Estann was a saint in the Scripturas, who had rescued the Sacred Fire from extinguishment by the unbelievers. DKS Estann maneuvered, aiming to snuff out the lives of those that had dared defy the Frankian Authority in the Void.

The great guns were joined by gridfire and an avalanche of expendable ordinance as the heavy cruiser set to work. For a moment, the captains aboard the enemy dreadnought were ignorant of what was to come. Then the light shone forth brightly... The enemy craft's emergency lights came on as her defenses and armor gave way under the weight of the Frankian assault.

Evacuate, evacuate! Abandon craft!

The barbarri raced to their lifeboats, saving those that could as compartment after compartment was obliterated. The dreadnought split into two, that which remained being pummeled into an unrecognizable mass of scrap. What had remained of the crew aboard this craft were few in number, most of their comrades now being brought before their gods by the will of the Mater Most High.

The DKS Estann sent forth her Marauders to gather up those souls that had remained, so that they might be brought to the prison craft to be interred for the remainder of the operation. Quarter was usually given to those that laid down their arms and marched into the captivity of the Dread Realm, with war regarded as a conflict between nations rather than between folk. It was customary for a Prince of the Blood to proclaim such foreigners under his protection, as though he were upon his own fief rather in the middle of a warzone.

Dux Lorann noted his losses and the growing disarray in the enemy host. It was only a matter of time, though he did not wish to proceed with undue caution. A corner animal will fight to the death for its life, so must the shiplords aboard the enemy craft. So far he had kept to his timetable, and knew that the Fetters should be able to hold for a few more days. The forces of the enemy attempted to withdrawal, leaving what they could as a rearguard to meet the gradual Frankian advance. Pressure was felt on all sides now by the foe, with virtual decimation of the foe being noted by the Voltigeurs.

The Dux grimaced, before pouring himself another scotch. He raised a toast to the fallen, alongside his staff. The price for maintaining the Pax on the frontier, a price paid in blood.

Through scrap and fire the vessels of the Dread Fleet made their way, leaving behind many a stricken craft or a prize for the Annals. The Rammenflieg was raised high aboard the lead vessels in triumph, though some thought this was premature. This engagement had decimated the foe, but had not broken his spirit. His hasty fortifications remained unconquered, their commanders still withdrew their forces in good order, and his men were still willing to die for their notion of liberty.

The Archtriarch's would be expected to fund the cost of this intervention, with some estates or positions given to those assembled here who were retiring.
Last edited by Royal Frankia on Thu May 27, 2021 6:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Royal Frankia » Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:14 pm

A Grand Occasion

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Gerwannia

The great realm, bequeathed to the line of Wylus of the Mater Most High, had embarked on matters more practical than ascetic. Artists and superb craftsmen had been neglected, as instruments of utility were preferred to those of arts. Prince Estann Ynngtonius Wulfius sought to change this, using his royal status to embark on a policy to build up lordly manses for those that had served the Realm.

The greatest project lay in the Palais du Volk, or the Palace of the People, to celebrate their achievements over the course of a thousand cycles. Rising from the abyss, they had challenged the Neo-Barlatist interests and brought down factions that had sought to enslave the whole folk of this Universe. It would be the greatest project upon Gerwannia, its spires reaching to the tips of the very mountains.

It was to be decorated with the skulls of captured Sith Lords, loot from conquered worlds, and portraits depicting the Sovereigns and Sovereignnesses who had led the Realm to greatness. No expense was spared, for the Dynasty wished to bequeath to the folk a palace that would rival those of the greatest lords in the Cosmos. It was the folk, whose sweat and blood, had ensured that despite the will of the Fates the Realm had endured.

The bronze of Gerwann II, or Gerwann the Pious, dominated the Hall of Sovereigns. He was not mounted on a charger, this ruler who had expanded the Realm greatly in his age, but upon his knees in prayer. Before him, the first copy of the Scripturas lay displayed for all that might pass, where legend said the first Sovereign Wylus had read aloud before his coronation.

Nearby, the Hall of Liberty depicted the abolition of wage slavery and the wholesale expulsion of the usurers. Capital, or mammon, was forever condemned to the Abyss by the Lords of the High Mountains. With the support of the Kirk, the National Syndicalist Revolution spread from Austrasia to encompass the whole Realm to sweep aside the captains of capital.

Those that had once forced men and women to work for their interests were sent to the mines to work for the interests of the folk. The poor and exploited were brought into the royal halls and blessed by the Grand Triarch. Land was taken from the rich who did not till the land, and bequeathed to the folk under the protection of the royal sword.

Shall we allow the moneyed interests to reign over us, those who do not labor? Those who would send our sons and daughters to die in their wars? Our blood is precious, our blood is sacred. It will not be spilled for gain, but for honor. Without honor, our folk would be no different than the rabble.

A Sanctuary of the Mater Most High was at the center, surpassing the other Halls of the Palais in splendor. Atkanism, the faith of the forefathers, had maintained the folk throughout the cycles. A statue of the Mater Most High loomed eight stories high over her adherents, depicting a face of mercy rather than the stern face of the Origin of All. The Sovereignness of the Eternal Gods, the Maintainer of the Cosmic Pax that had existed since the very beginning.

Attan vra Saal took in the structure and the atmosphere created by the incense which was constantly burned. Some say this was from the world where the Mater Most High had made her presence known, others said it was where the gods had laid down their arms before the Atta and the Zett. The Kirk kept its secrets well, even to a Seer of the Faith. Wherever it came from, it must have cost a fortune.

The emerald eyes of the Mater Most Eye had been brought from a Universe that was on the brink of death, where those powers in the Chronicles had once breathed life. They looked down on those in attendance, who basked in the light of the Eternal Flame. Around him supplicants went on their knees and offered their hands on high, not praying to the statue which was but a physical representation, but upon her that was form without form and beginning without end.

Saal sensed something. He looked away from the statue and turned his eyes on the Sacred Hammer of Ashara. It seemed to glow, though none of the other worshipers seemed to notice it.

Legend had it that the hammer had been brought to the first Atkanite monarch, to wield against the daemons who were prevalent at that time. Daughter Norvana, Norva the Righteous One, had forbid that it be used against those who were of the cosmic dust and ether. Why should it glow now, with the daemons but a distant memory?

It was then that the daughter of the Most High appeared miraculously, levitating over that instrument which had sent many of the unholy to the Abyss.

Peace be upon you, Seer of the Light.

Her armor glowed, her great cape of white seemed to blow in a wind that Saal could not feel. He did not say anything, but stared.

I have come from the Great Hall of the Most High, from the peak that transcends time and decay. I have come to inform you of a great calamity that shall befall the Kirk of the Elect. The time will come when a foul pretender will arise, who shall gain a great following among him. Those gods and goddesses who acknowledge the Scepter of the Most High will find their Sanctuaries at the mercy of the apostates. Many will fall by their swords, many orphans will be created by their wrath.

None shall be spared, be they of the righteous or the wicked in this time. They will take up the sword against the merciful, they shall split the skulls of the thieves. They shall drench your lands in blood, from the frontier to the very heart of your Realm...In time, they shall fall to your efforts, but this is just the beginning.

A Kingdom will rise beyond the frontier that shall bring the barbarri under its sway. Your [b]cousins
who testify only to mammon shall join his ranks, as with those who presently acknowledge your Sovereignness' Scepter. Then they shall come to this world, to offer the children of the Mater Most High to the Great Lie...

The Fates have decreed that this shall come to pass... But not yet... Not until your children are grown shall the false prophet arise.

Peace upon you Seer, and upon the children of the Mater Most High!


Before Saal could say a word in reply, Norvana vanished before his eyes. He made the sign of the Mater Most High and then gazed in the Eternal Flame, where his craft said that what the Fates had decided would be for the Elect to see. Such visions only hinted at what could come to pass, not what would truly come to pass.

He saw nothing as he looked on. Saal unsheathed his knife and sliced his palm, closing it and muttering a prayer to the Mater Atkana. His blood was evaporated in the flame, whereupon he saw something that he could not grasp... At last, he realized it was a world gone mad.
Last edited by Royal Frankia on Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Royal Frankia » Thu Jul 29, 2021 5:01 pm

Hammer From On High


The Sith are to be destroyed, not one is to be left alive by decree of the High Kirk. No quarter, no mercy. Their palaces shall be pulled down, their heads should mount our spikes! The Mater Most High is with us, who shall stand against us?
-Gerwann II before the Battle of Nystra

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Many observations had been made of the Sith Scourge, with only the fool believing that they could be converted to the Path of Righteousness. Had not the Mater On High given steel in the hands of her followers for a reason? The Sith were parasites upon the Cosmos and threatened the Cosmic Order on high, their fate had been sealed when they drew power that could only arise from the Abyss.

While the other Great Powers had seemed to tolerate this abomination, the Dread Realm had sent forth her fleets to wipe out one by one those haunts of the Sith which still emerged. Upon stumbling upon the Great Sith Realm of Triskel, which had manipulated the other realms of the UMS, the Magistrum had decided that a war against all the powers was on the horizon. Had the Triskelli not vanished, perhaps brought on by the wrath of the gods on high, the bulk of Frankian energy would have been directed against their citadels than those of the Pords which had never fallen.

Death and destruction would be brought by the 23rd Corps, which had embarked from Gerwannia with the blessing of the Sovereignness. Though no war monger, the daughter of Feylor recognized the importance of removing the weeds that cropped up in the Mater's garden.

Aboard the DKS Mater's Fury the Duxess Attana vra Nordwynd peered at the holochart, noting the borders of the Sith Realm which had expanded greatly since the last cycle. Realms favorable to the Dread Throne were marked in green, though the Duxess thought that their primary purpose would be for ports of call. She had no faith in their fleets or armies, and doubted that they were prepared for the work that must be done. A campaign on this order required a surgical strike and rapid decapitation of the Sith Authority, or else she would be forced to call upon her allies in this sector as reinforcements from home were unlikely.

The Sith of the Kesvyr had a fleet that numbered in the hundreds of thousands of craft, but they had overextended themselves as all Sith have been observed over the course of a thousand cycles. Their pride would be their downfall, with the Kesvyr system likely not ready for a fight against a determined foe. Nordwynd look at the charts depicting what was known of this system, this heart of the abyss which must soon the Mater's Light.

There was no doubt that the main systems leading to Kesvyr itself would have to be besieged and stormed, a lengthy operation which would take patience. She suspected that if the Sith were truly foolish, they would attempt to break the siege by launching uncoordinated assaults which would allow her commanders to thin the ranks of the foe. Cooperation must be assured between the Regiments, with the Heavy Companies capable of maneuvering from one hot spot to the next in rapid succession.

Or this was the opinion of the Magistrum-in-the-void, with her commanders sharing their thoughts and opinions though awaiting word from the Corps Commander. Feedback of this sort was often given, though it was not the officers who bore the final responsibility for the outcome of an engagement but the Commander. Should the losses incurred against those of the enemy be truly abhorrent, Nordwynd could face examination by the board of the Magistrum which could result in either her dismissal or her exile.

Nordwynd did not desire a fate, which was often worse than a swift death in the Void for one bound to one's ancestral home and hearth. Should she succeed, she knew that the loot gathered would beautify the Sanctuary in which she had been initiated as a child. She remembered how the fire had wafted over her, but had done her no harm, as the Triarch read from the Scripturas on the Eternal Light that lay beyond present conception.

Her subordinates, meanwhile, busied themselves with the task at hand. They prepared themselves for the battles that were to come, those which must be fought so that the Cosmic Order might not be brought crashing down. Entry into the Mater's Hall was guaranteed for all those who fell in such holy struggle, which knew no end for the Faithful.

The warships of the Dread Sovereignness had undergone many modifications to improve their lethality and survivability, though a warship was only as good as its crew. Training was constant, with the crew expected to take on multiple tasks should the need arise within their ward. Only the best were capable of this, with those volunteers to the colors who were useful in dying in manning the bare minimum kept back from the service. The Fleet had no need for strong backs, such were suited for the Battle for Production upon whose fruits the Realm should gain a permanent lead over the other powers.

Nordwynd's Regiment commanders reviewed their orders once more time, before ordering the regimental banners to be raised alongside the Rammenflieg. The 23rd Corps was going into battle, with the last blessing of the ships that were to take part in this holy action. A welcome reassurance for the crews and captains, for the craft had not been blessed by the Kirk in those wars which were already entering legend.

Hans vra Estann was a youth of thirteen cycles, who had elected to serve as a Cadet in order to obtain acceptance into a Fleet Academy. He was mostly charged with cooking meals for the enlisted men, but he had gained popularity with his singing. He knew most of the Ballads and the Scripturas by heart, and it was from the latter that his comrades desired him to sing. As the Corps made ready for the final trek, young Estann opened a battered book and looked for what was dubbed the Sailor's Psalm.


As the heavens crash around us,
And shells dart through the Void.
Mater Atkana,
Give us strength.

As our enemies descend from shuttles on high,
Bearing fire and steel in their hands.
Mater Atkana,
Protect us!

You, who created all that is,
And all that ever shall be.
Mater Atkana,
Honor us!

Foul lords and treacherous Realms,
Spring forth like so many weeds.
Mater Atkana,
Aid us!

The Captain calls,
We must obey.
To the front against the foe.
Mater Atkana,
​Give us strength.
Last edited by Royal Frankia on Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:45 am, edited 4 times in total.


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