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1905: Alternative Divergence [AH][IC-OPEN]

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Alt Div Admin
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 171
Founded: Dec 15, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

1905: Alternative Divergence [AH][IC-OPEN]

Postby Alt Div Admin » Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:35 am

1905: Alternative Divergence

IC THREAD







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“Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please.”

– Karl Marx


But for the sake of argument, what if we could?

Be it a point of divergence or a whole new nation, what if we could make history EXACTLY at the point that we wish?





Hello and welcome to another Alternative Divergence, an alternative history RP where the world is yours to do whatever you wish. For the sake of continuity, the time now is 1905 C.E.. Europe is teetering on the brink of a war, as the rising tides of nationalism, militarism, and imperialism are threatening to drown the continent in blood and steel. In Asia, two dynasties are claiming the legacy of the Middle Kingdom, while other realms are competing with the Europeans for colonial supremacy. All while in America, tensions are rising between the descendants of colonists and the nations of natives, and the specter of colonialism is about to deeply pierce Africa's heart in a race for land and resources. What would be your vision of a world shaped by a nation that you call your own?





House rules for dispute settlement


If it is not in the app or in a prior post, it isn’t real
Do not make wild assumptions that aren’t based in facts, ask before assuming things.

Uniqueness = strength
We are not saying that you should throw ducks at people and call it unique, but clever tactics will be awarded. Throwing men at the issue like the Qing dynasty did in real life, or throwing money at it like the Americans would have will not always work. We should try to roleplay interesting events, not to play a game of Risk, after all.

Timeskips are announced by OP
The OP will decide the current year of the IC posts. It will be updated in yearly intervals, but the chronology of posts can be somewhat flexible if needed.

Assume that the situation is as in real life unless otherwise stated
Alternative histories can be difficult to follow, and paradoxes can appear. This is compounded by the lack of player nations in some areas of the map. Unless it is mentioned in an accepted application or by the OP or the CO-OP’s, assume that the history is as in real life at the earliest possible point. As an example, no Ottomans would lead to Egypt having to be still led by the Mamluks, no colonization would mean that the natives still exist, and so on.

Annexation Rules
  • When attacking a NPC nation without anyone's intervention, direct the OP or one of the CO-OPs to the post in question after one IC page has passed since your occupation post
  • you can claim up to five map provinces at once in this way
  • Should you be challenged before that one page has passed, the standard procedure for war and negotiations begins.

Roleplaying Battles
There are a few things that should be kept in mind when fighting with other players:
  • In all seriousness, battles should be planned rather than spontaneous. However, there is no rule against having spontaneous battles, but battles planned between players tend to be better written.
  • Tactics > Troop size. This applies regardless of size difference. Realism will still rule supreme, but as proven many times on many battlefields, numbers are an advantage only in some situations.
  • Admitting defeat will stack in your favor. No one likes people who refuse to accept that they are defeated.

Unless the outcome of the war is predetermined OOCly between the players, the OP and the CO-OP’s will jointly decide who the winner is.

That being said... there are factors that will influence who wins and who loses.

This is in the order of significance... from the primary factor to less important factors.
  1. Diplomacy: An alliance can lead less attrition. Your supply lines are better established, your troops have higher morale due to there being an ally fighting on their side, and your navy isn't as overstretched covering all your colonies. Real life principles apply here, more participants leads to higher chances of victory.
  2. Military Strength/Weaknesses: We believe that everyone knows that this is important.. right? The OP and CO-OP's will be making a separate resource of everyone's military strengths and weaknesses from their apps. The system will work like this - the way in which you use your strength to your advantage and how you cover your weaknesses will work to your benefit.
  3. Previous Precedence: This is for fairness. If you lost a war/battle before, that will be stacked towards your advantage. Therefore, a clever tactician can lose smaller battles to prepare for a decisive battle that is to come. Similarly, a clever tactician can gobble up as much victory as possible, then make peace before they'd lose.
  4. Quality of Posts: As mentioned, quality will play an important role. Of course, quantity does not mean quality, so be careful not to overwrite when a few well-placed sentences would do. The quality that we are referring to is how clever your tactics are and how well they are described ... how you use your terrain, alliances, your own military, etc. to your advantage.
Last edited by Alt Div Admin on Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:46 pm, edited 7 times in total.


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Alt Div Admin
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Posts: 171
Founded: Dec 15, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Alt Div Admin » Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:36 am

Current Events in Progress - Updated 15.06.2021

N//A
Last edited by Alt Div Admin on Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Northern Socialist Council Republics
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Posts: 1265
Founded: Dec 13, 2020
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Northern Socialist Council Republics » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:34 am

Tønder, Region South Jutland, Danish Republic,
Tuesday, 17th January 1905


"Who stands before me," asks a bored clerk, for perhaps the hundredth time that afternoon, "ready to cast their ballot?"

In the polling stations of the Northern Commonwealth, one can sometimes find something that is often not considered part of the democratic process in other free nations: children.

"I, Sigrun, daughter of Bjørn," a young voice splits the air, "of Albersdorf, born the first of May in 1888, come to cast my ballot!"

With right must necessarily come responsibility, the heart of Northern society went, and with responsibility must necessarily come right. Of what use, in the end, is there in separating legal citizens from permanent residents, in separating men from women, and in separating children from adults before that most sacred symbol of revolutionary democracy: the ballot box? Thirty-five years after the Socialist Constitution, some men were still wealthier than others, some more powerful than others, and of course some called this country their homeland while others were and would always be outsiders. Perhaps, Sigrun conceded in her mind, this was inevitable, a fact of human nature - after all, what law can make people truly equal, when human beings came in unequal intelligence, unequal physical strength, unequal personality and ambition? But when people stood before the State, before the law, and before the ballot box, then at least for a few moments all could be equal - and all should be equal.

The clerk ticks another checkbox in the sprawling booklet before him and passes to the young lady a slip of white paper, folded in half to conceal the contents within. Listed within in it are all the parties contesting the South Jutland Regional Council in this Year 1905 of the Continental Calendar. She accepts it gratefully with all the enthusiasm of a first-time voter and moves behind the screen to the table where a stamp has been prepared for her. The shade behind the screen is a space of thought and consideration, but Sigrun needs no time to contemplate. Her decision was already made, poring over newspapers and posters many days before she so much as stepped foot in the polling station. She marks the candidate list of her choice in blue, and places another blue mark besides the fifth name on that list. An unremarkable centrist of an Autonomist, someone that she hoped would restore some much-needed sanity and calm in the chaos that was South Jutland politics.

In Norden's revolutionary democracy, if you held a baccalaureate from one of the country's many high institutions of learning or was married to someone who did, your contribution to the intellectual and scientific advancement of the nation was recognised and you were a voter; if you had served in the Armed Forces or was married to someone who did, your contribution to the strength and security of the nation was recognised and you were a voter; most relevantly for young Sigrun of Albersdorf, if you laboured to the sweat of your brow or the ink of your pen and paid tax to the Commonwealth out of the value of your work, or was married to someone who did, then your contribution to the prosperity and wealth of the country, too, was recognised and you, too, were a voter. Northern electoral law did not care who you were. It had no use for silly registrations of citizens or voting age laws. If you contributed to the welfare of the country, then even if you were a country girl who moved to the country two years ago, your presence was welcome before the ballot box. If you were a lazy layabout, then it didn't matter how accent-free your Scandinavian, how long the length of your life: those who bore no responsibilities were also given no rights.

Her ballot now sitting comfortably inside the metal box, Sigrun leaves the polling station behind, yet another repetitive and bored cry of "who stands before me" trailing after her. In the open streets, somewhere far off and muffled by the distance, a different noise grows to fill her ears. It's an angry shout, then another, followed by a sharp noise that was hopefully and probably broken furniture but just maybe could also have been the report of a gun. Tensions in this Region have been constantly simmering ever since the Saxons failed to gain recognition as a Northern language and a Northern culture when the Finns gained theirs in 1870, but in the past few years political violence in South Jutland had flared up even higher still.

After all, what the law said and what reality was on the ground could sometimes be very different things and the lofty ideals of laws passed down from Copenhagen weren't any kind of panacea to the... enthusiasm, shall we say, of the more radical nationalists. While the city constabulary looked the other way, vigilante organisations harassed Germans trying to make their way to the polling stations; the polling stations that could sometimes be quite far from their homes and their places of work, that is, because the city had cut down on the number of stations set up in the Saxon-speaking quarter of the town due to 'budgetary concerns'. And of course, no matter what some colourful propagandists might say, the Germans were hardly sheep; snub them enough times and they start to punch back.

It was why Sigrun, too, often avoided mentioning her childhood origins. Her native tongue was Danish, her name Scandinavian, and her papers Northern - it wasn't necessary for anyone to know that she was born and grew up in the Duchy. It was also why she loitered around the polling station instead of immediately returning home. The streets were apparently starting to heat up already and she'd much prefer to walk back to her side of town in the safety that came with a larger group. Considering the number of other women shuffling nervously around the junior school that was their polling station, she wasn't alone in that thought either. And this in Tønder! She heard that things were worse in the border counties to the south where Saxons heavily outnumbered Scandinavians: much, much worse.

Nobody wanted to see a repeat of the riots that followed the 1902 Regional Council elections, which ended in blood as armed guards moved in to restore order. Well, nobody except a handful of nationalistic fringe radicals, that was, and Sigrun definitely did not count herself among that number. It was a sad but true adage that the words that were most clearly heard were not those of the largest number of voices; rather, tragically often, what was heard were the words shouted from the loudest and rudest throats. It was a disgrace, these enthusiastic vigilantes on both sides splattering an ugly and distasteful crimson stain upon the election, this celebration of the nation's freedom, heedless of how they stampeded over the quiet mass of people who stood between them and wanted merely to be left in peace to get on with their lives.

This, Sigrun thought, can't possibly go on forever. Sooner or later something has to break.

She merely hoped that she would not be among those who would be left broken in the coming inevitable reckoning.
Last edited by Northern Socialist Council Republics on Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
Call me "Russ" if you're referring to me the out-of-character poster or "NSRS" if you're referring to me the in-character nation.
Previously on Plzen. NationStates-er since 2014.

Social-democrat and hardline secularist.
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Sao Nova Europa
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Founded: Apr 20, 2019
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Sao Nova Europa » Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:44 am

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Asia's Most Popular Paper

Infrastructure Project Announced by Government

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- Dimitrios Gounaris, Minister of Finance


The Minister of Finance, the honorable Dimitrios Gounaris, has announced that the government will be investing ₯20bn over the next six years in a series of infrastructure projects. Those projects will include the construction of new paved roads, new railway lines in the east of the country - in the Satrapies of Bactria, Transoxiana and India -, and the expansion of commercial ports to accommodate the increased volume of international trade. The Minister stated, "our wish is to transform Asia into the facilitator of commerce between East and West. Goods moving from West to East, and the reverse, will be moving through our Empire. By investing into our infrastructure, we ensure that the volume of goods moved through our lands will multiply."

The Minister also stated that those projects will benefit local communities. "The money invested into infrastructure will not simply benefit international commerce, they will also benefit greatly the local communities. Transport and travel will become easier and faster for the locals. Thousands of new jobs shall be created to undertake those projects, most of which will be filled by local workers. The increased commerce that will be brought at the completion of this ambitious project will create additional jobs and further enrich the local communities. That is the number one objective of our government; to create prosperity and jobs."


Constitutional Reform Promulgated by Government

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- Eleftherios Venizelos, Prime Minister


The honorable Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos has announced the formation of a 'Constitutional Committee', comprised of twenty Constitutional Law academics, to reform the constitution. While the Prime Minister has not specified which parts of the Constitution would be reformed, our sources indicate that the reform will move in the direction of strengthening the executive branch, reforming the National Assembly from a unicameral chamber to a bicameral one, and reforming the electoral law.

"Today I announce," the Prime Minister said, "the formation of a Constitutional Committee comprised by twenty of our most bright Constitutional Law academics. The Committee will come up with a draft for a reform of our Constitution. Unfortunately, as the gridlock of the past years has shown, our current Constitution is a flawed document that cannot keep up with the challenges of the future. We need a new Constitution for a new century, one that of course respects the democratic liberties of the Asian people. I am fairly certain that our reformist agenda will be embraced by all Asians."


Opposition Welcomes Reform, Demands Decentralization

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- Theodoros Diligiannis, Leader of New Party


Theodoros Diligiannis, Leader of New Party, welcomed the news of constitutional reform but demanded that the new Constitution move in the direction of decentralization of governmental authority to the Satrapies. "I welcome the announcement of the Prime Minister," Mr. Diligiannis stated. "For years, I've firmly held the belief that the Constitution needed to be reformed. However, I believe that for any reform to be effective and beneficial for the Asian people, it must move to the direction of decentralizing governmental authority to the Satrapies. Local governments are better suited to addressing local problems than the central government in Persepolis. I hope that the Prime Minister will abandon his obsession with centralization and accept this reality."

Imperial Address

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- His Imperial Majesty, Basileus Alexandros XXVIII


His Imperial Majesty, the Great and Majestic Basileus Alexandros, addressed the people of the Empire about the Constitutional reforms. "My Imperial Majesty had a discussion with the Honorable Prime Minister on the announced reform of the Constitution. My Imperial Majesty, as Guardian of the Constitutional Order, will oversee the process closely and ensure that the liberties and rights of My subjects shall be protected. My Imperial Majesty hopes that the proposed reforms will be to the benefit of the Empire."
Signature:

"I’ve just bitten a snake. Never mind me, I’ve got business to look after."
- Guo Jing ‘The Brave Archer’.

“In war, to keep the upper hand, you have to think two or three moves ahead of the enemy.”
- Char Aznable

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
- Sun Tzu

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Greater Redosia
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Posts: 3425
Founded: Aug 01, 2016
Authoritarian Democracy

Postby Greater Redosia » Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:57 pm

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A painting of a past, mirror to the present.


Karthago, Port of Karthage
January 16th, 1905


Looking out upon the port, the artist sighed as he finished his painting. Though it was something from ancient Carthage from what his books had told him about, with Roman style buildings and the large round port in the center, it was beautiful. Looking out what was there today, it has changed quite heavily. The Port of Carthage was larger than any other now, the great wall that once sat near the water's edge long been decayed or torn down to make way for more room for a lighthouse and greater access to the sea. The rotunda was enlarge by twice the size with a greater gap at the mouth near the entrance to allow more ships in, and the individual gaps in the walls long replaced with cranes and crew members. The central portion turned into a fortress with a mortar and cannons that outlooked the sea, the sight of guards impressing fear upon foreign ships that entered harbor, at least what the Kingdom hoped to do.

"A lovely doodle you made, my student." The artist turned to where the voice spoke from, before settling down and smiling realizing it was his master from the local artist guild. One of the only few guilds that didn't get replaced by machines, or left out to the deserts where they couldn't get more materials.

"Thank you, Master. I have been working on it for the past couple weeks, too much if you ask me to try and get a ship tall enough to allow me to sketch up there before working on the painting itself. And trying to see the old buildings? The factories didn't help, nor the sheer size of the port itself." The artist was annoyed, he was relieved but the reminder of what he had to go through brought those feelings back to the front of his mind, at least until his master rested a hand on his shoulder which caused him to relax. "It has been a long day, but I am happy to of been able to finish."

With a smile, the master removed his hand from the apprentices shoulder, before looking out at Carthage's harbor. Before letting out a sigh, "Sadly, this will not last forever you know."

Confused by the sudden seriousness in his voice, the artist got up and stood next to his master, "What do you mean by that?" This question caused a small chuckle from the older man.

"Times are changing, as you saw yourself. The port has changed from back then, factories now dot portions of the cities as they make goods faster than man ever could alone. Now the world itself is changing, the question is can our nation change fast enough with it. Our Kingdom, across Northern Africa stands between two powerful nations and here we are, her people who make ourselves forget it. Well. At least we get to enjoy things like this for a short time before it is changed again." Picking up the painting, he let out a sigh, then carefully carrying it away with him as he motioned for his apprentice to follow. "Come on, lets hang this in the guild hall once it dries. We got more than just ports and the ocean to be painting in the next coming weeks, I heard the King wants someone from the guild to paint a portrait of himself."

The artist laughed in response, "Is he sure that he doesn't want a painting of the Governors instead? I think it would be more fitting." The two smiled at the irony of it, before laughing as they walked their way back to the guild. Going down the streets of the city, where merchants and citizens walked up and down the sidewalks as horse and wagon marched down the streets and one of the city's cable cars went down the center as it let off and picked up passengers who decided to get off. The two artists quickly jumped onto the next cable car that was heading their way as they went up the street quickly. Those who were on the car itself impressed with the painting, the master of course giving credit to where it was due to his apprentice. Deciding to give a brush and small jar of Roman Purple to his apprentice, where he quickly signed the corner of it to ensure that everyone knew it was his. With a smile, the two finally found themselves where they needed to be and got off. Letting the cable car go by, they found themselves in front of the artist guild once more. They marched forward and entered, leaving the world behind for a short time once more.
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Speyland
Diplomat
 
Posts: 602
Founded: May 19, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Speyland » Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:16 pm

Alim Palace, Alim, Ha Emirate
January, 1905

1905 has arrived. Emir Moussa II isn't expecting a foreign visitor to appear within the nation's borders, and that foreign visitor is the Mughal Empire which appeared much earlier than expected. It also includes the United Kingdom of Albion, Moussa II's main rival, and the Exarchate of Egypt, his less threatening rival. He laid claims on the coast of Tanzania, which Albion actually owns. The Ha Emirate can take over that claim by force. Still, it's impossible to start an invasion because Albion has better military equipment, and Moussa II doesn't want to risk seeing his nation in ruins. Fortunately for him, both the Ha Emirate and the Mughal Empire practices Islam but the latter practice a different form of Islam. However, there's nothing wrong with befriending a nation with the same but different style of religion. What matters to Moussa II is by trying to form a closer relationship with the Mughal Empire.

Considering that the Ha Emirate and the Mughal Empire have something in common, Moussa II plans to form a future alliance with them to repel the increasing Christian threat. Sure, the Mughal Empire owns colonies along the coast of Tanzania, but it benefits from the dangers of not teaming up with a nation of the same religion that the Ha Emirate follows. Like Albion, the Mughal Empire has better military equipment in terms of morale and condition, but the Ha Emirate has ineffective military equipment and barely good enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the Ha Emirate has no navy while the Mughal Empire does. Without a Muslim comrade in hand, the Ha Emirate would be at a slight disadvantage.

But first, Moussa II must form a non-aggression pact with the Mughal Empire and then start a military alliance if things go well. Besides a military alliance, he must also constitute a free trade agreement to further strengthen relations with the Muslim nation. Moussa II hopes for the best, and even though it's somewhat unlikely to happen, he won't pull himself back in trying to form a friendship with his Muslim colonial neighbor. He wrote a letter to a Mughal diplomat.

From: Emir Moussa II
To: Mughal diplomat

My dear Muslim friend, I've been looking forward to contacting you about establishing our friendship based on ourselves sharing the same religion. We may not speak the same language unless Arabic is spoken there, but our religious bond should be appropriate and benign. With my proposal in mind, the Ha Emirate proposes to form a non-aggression pact to lessen the tension amongst ourselves. Let's not fight each other and consider ourselves Muslim brothers. Are you willing to accept this proposal?
Last edited by Speyland on Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Intermountain States
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Posts: 1924
Founded: Oct 12, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Intermountain States » Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:03 pm

January 1905
Yeosun Port (formerly known as Lushun Port)
Empire of Korea


The port city of Yeosun was bustling with activities early morning with scenes of civilians walking about, shopkeepers opening stores or putting up decorations, policemen, few on horses, patrolling the streets to keep the peace, and men and boys delivering items to people. Just in time for the Lunar New Years celebration. Although the Korean Empire had officially switched to a solar calendar under the reign of the Geonyang Emperor Cheoljong in 1868 and had already celebrated the New Years based on the solar Gregorian calendar, many people in the country still celebrate the Lunar New Years and the imperial government made no attempt to stop the celebration. This holds true for the Chinese majority city of Yeosun Port, a former Qing port city ceded to Korea in 1846 in the aftermath of the Sino-Korean War. In the almost 60 years of Korean rule, the Korean government had made efforts to Koreanize the city to an extent. The use of hangul and the Korean language was used in official documents and the inhabitants were encouraged to convert their Chinese names to Korean. An increase of migrations from ethnic Koreans and Korean-speaking citizens from Korea's overseas territories in the East Indies and Africa also saw further efforts at Koreanizing the Chinese city. Despite all of this, the city administrators were very careful to not alienate the Chinese majority too much when enforcing Korean laws and regulations and the public still uses Mandarin and Hanzi in non-official use.

While the Lunar New Years celebration wouldn't happen until early February, people have already put up decorations and offered New Years sales on commercial items. Some shops in the city run by Christians still kept their prior holiday decorations since Christmas, finding the idea of putting down and putting back up decorations for three successive holidays with less than a month apart to be too bothersome.

Zhao Yang (or Cho Yang) looked around the busy streets during his patrols, his distinctive black and blue uniforms and hat of the Yeosun police standing out to the public. He rubbed on his hands and rubbed them together, he could see his own breath out in the cold morning. Yang's been patrolling for a few hours now and his stomach begins to grumble, having only eaten a rice porridge hours before he started his work. He spotted a street vender frying up some pancakes. Yang checked his pocket watch for the time, the shorter hand pointed at the number 10 and the longer hand touched the number 19. There is enough time for a quick hot snack and he made his way to the vender.

"Welcome, good sir," the vender said in Mandarin as Yang approached his cart. "1 sweet pancake for 200 won." Yang forked over some coins and after a few seconds, the vender held out a freshly fried pancake resting on a paper plate to the policeman

"Enjoy your hot pancake," he said while Yang thanked him for the food. The hot pancake was crispy on the outside while tender and crunchy on the inside filled with peanuts and honey. After scarfing down the pancake, Yang was satisfied and went back to his job of patrolling the port city, the hot sweet pancake has given him a sugar boost and kept him warm in the cold.
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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25043
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tracian Empire » Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:34 pm

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Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων
Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn
The Empire of the Romans

Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων
Basileía Rhōmaíōn
The Roman Empire

Η βασιλεύς Σύγκλητος και ο Λαός της Ρώμης
I Basileus Sýnklitos kai o Laós tis Rómis
The Emperor, Senate and People of Rome


Σταυρὲ βασιλέως βασιλέων βασιλεύων βασίλευε
Staurè Basileùs Basiléon Basileúon Basíleue
Cross of the King of Kings, rule in reigning





Μέγα Παλάτιον
Palatium Magnum


The room was dark, but some of the rays of the sun still managed to get through the brocade curtains, announcing the end of the night and the beginning of the day. A tall, oaken door was opened, allowing a servant to enter the room, a man wearing a golden necklace, with a medallion decorated with the emblem of the Palaiologos family. With solemn gestures, the servant raised the curtains, allowing the light to enter, revealing the green marble columns behind him. At the same time, another servant, one who had been in the room all this time, sitting on a chair right next to the large bed, stood up, leaning over a nearby table, initiating the mechanism of a small, bronze tree, and the mechanical canaries on its branches started to sing. In the bed, a young man slowly opened his eyes. But he was more than just a man. He was the Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans, the ruler of an empire that had lasted for more than two millennia and which still sprawled over three continents, he was the successor of Augustus, of Constantine the Great and Justinian the Restorer. And he was also very tired, as he had only gone to sleep a couple of hours before - as he had to spend most of the night in a banquet with a large group of important nobles - a really complicated and rather unpleasant affair that was however quite necessary. The senatorial aristocracy was quite glad to have a new Emperor that they could look up to, a young Emperor that they hoped could still be influenced. But he.. he was probably never going to get used to this again. It was pretty weird.. how two years could change a man that much. He should have been used to this, most of his childhood had been the same, strict ceremonies in a court that moved like clockwork. But the military expeditions in which his father had sent him had truly changed him. Life was short.. frail.. and precious..and as the man instinctively touched the small scar on his chest.. he thought that all of these ceremonials and rules surrounding the court life in Constantinople were.. rather ridiculous. He respected them, of course, they were traditions, passed along from generations gone, but they were still slow, and cumbersome.

Still, there was nothing he could do about that. He sat up from the bed, slowly walking into the adjacent room, were a porphyry pool with lukewarm water was waiting for him. Like well, a lot of the Roman citizens in the middle and upper classes, Michael loved to have baths, but not only because of the near compulsive obsession of the Roman culture with being clean. He loved to bathe, water always calmed him down, cleared his mind, and took the fatigue away. And yet, as he was climbing down the stairs of the pool, plunging into the water sprinkled with the essence of roses and lilies, with perfume from Tarsos and Metopion, he couldn't help but think if he would one day share the destiny of so many of his ancient imperial predecessors, who had died drowned as enemies held their heads under the water until life had completely left their bodies. A pretty morbid thought - and a ridiculous one, as his brother Constantine would say. He had to ask the court historian to make a list, but he was pretty certain that up to the establishment of the Palaiologos dynasty - way more than half of the Roman Emperors had died in shady ways, poisoned, drowned, mutilated, or suffocated. The Empire had long ago abandoned that dark past - for the past centuries, the sacrosanctity of the Emperor's person had been pretty firmly established. The state, the dynasty, and the succession were all safe, even with the developing unrest of the popular masses, and as such, Michael had lower chances to die assassinated than the other eight Emperors who had worn the same name. Still, the statistic only strengthened the basic idea that lied at the heart of being an Emperor. Wearing the imperial mantle was a duty, not a pleasure. And that was something he was never going to forget.

As he left the bath, Michael covered himself in a silk robe, the one he only wore in his apartments, before he walked out on the terrace, to fill his lungs with some fresh air. From there, he was able to see a scenery so beautiful that it seemed forever new. The waters of the Golden Horn were always changing, blue as the clear sky, green as the emerald, grey as the clouds that brought the rain, or sometimes vaguely purple, like an imperial mantle. And next to it, on both sides of the Bosporus, he was able to see the always living grand sight of Constantinople. Michael looked at the domes of the churches, at the towers of the palaces, at the great Hippodrome, at the many monuments and buildings, at the houses, at the trees, and the columns, the forums, the gardens.. And of course, what better way to end this short pleasure than by looking at the great Church of the Divine Wisdom, the Hagia Sophia? As beautiful as when it was built, the center of Orthodoxy. Constantinople was truly the most beautiful city on the Earth.

The Basileus then returned to his room, where his breakfast was waiting for him. It was of course, a day of fasting, so the breakfast was pretty frugal by certain standards, but he had no problem with it. Some fasting helped both the mind and the spirit. Once he stood up from the table, Michael's entire persona changed. The simple and friendly man from before immediately transformed, taking on the proud and cold look of the Emperor and Autocrat of the oldest empire in Europe. The steward announced the arrival of the Grand Logothete and of course, the arrival of many other important dignitaries of the court, those who had the honor of witnessing the morning routine of the Emperor. Many other servants, wearing sumptuous liveries, brought the clothes and other articles that their sovereign had to wear in that morning. Michael put on a long, white tunic, and then the servants wrapped his feet with purple bands before they put on crimson red shoes, embroidered with the imperial eagle. They then helped him put on the so called "sakkos", a long and rather rigid purple robe, with large and puffed sleeves, girding it with a belt decorated with pearls and diamonds. They placed the imperial mantle above the robe, fastening it on his left shoulder with a filigree fibula. Michael then made the sign of the cross before he kissed the miracle performing icon in the corner of the room, and then he placed the imperial crown on his head, the golden one, decorated with diamonds, sapphires, amethysts and rubies. He then took the scepter and the globe in his hands, before looking at himself in the mirror. Taking a deep breath, the Basileus then left his room, followed by the officials and the servants, eventually entering a balcony that was overlooking one of the palace's many courtyards, where a small regiment of the Scholae had been gathered to perform their morning cheers in the presence of the Emperor.

Wearing their ceremonial red and golden uniforms, the Scholarians were standing at attention, their officers ready for a ceremony that was as old as Constantinople itself. The officers were leading the cheering, only for the soldiers to respond by shouting three times. "Our mighty augustoi!", the first officer, an older man, began, "May you be victorious! May you be victorious! May you be victorious!", the soldiers all shouted at once. "Heavenly Emperor!", the cry began, "Crown our emperor with victories! Crown our emperor with victories! Crown our emperor with victories!" "Son of God..", the officers began. "Rule together with him! Rule together with him! Rule together with him!" Each chant was punctuated with the sound of metal hitting stone, as the officer holding the banner was hitting the ground with the lower end of the shaft. "Divinely appointed one..", it began, "Imitate God's love for mankind!", it was shouted thrice, all with the Emperor watching. "We, oh armies, how shall we defeat the enemy?", it was asked, and the soldiers shouted back. "By guarding the faith in God, and our ruler's prudence!" And then, the entire force shouted together, soldier and officer alike. "May God make your emperor strong, yes Lord, for many years, for many years, for many years!"
Last edited by Tracian Empire on Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Northern Socialist Council Republics
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1265
Founded: Dec 13, 2020
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Northern Socialist Council Republics » Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:36 am

The Honourable
KANSLERGADE ASSOCIATION FOR CONSTRUCTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
is recruiting
MEN and WOMEN at least SIXTEEN years of age with
CARPENTING and WOODWORKING experience
at a weekly rate of
Kr. 1 AND 17-6
for
45 HOURS of work and
12d 1/2 PER HOUR overtime
State Minister's Office, Palace of the Nations,
Copenhagen, Region Danish Isles, Danish Republic,
Monday, 23rd January 1905


The secret to politics, Dag felt, was ultimately very simple. Keep the stomach of the people full, keep their spines warm in the winter, make sure everyone knew who was to be credited for that, and no election will ever trouble the government.

This was why the State Minister, arguably the most powerful politician in all of the Northern Commonwealth, began every working day with several newspapers in hand. In the absence of being able to create a spy network in his own country, it was a good way of putting his fingers on the beating pulse of the nation's society. Advertisements for technological knickknacks in workingmen's papers were good; they meant that manufacturers of such luxuries felt that their products could be bought on a workingman's wage. Articles about petty domestic crimes or revenge murders were, perhaps counter-intuitively, good; they meant that nothing more sensational was going on and that organised crime was keeping quiet. And obviously, desperate-sounding hiring notices declaring wage increases were very, very good news.

Almost two crowns a week for manual labour, Dag considered with a mental chuckle. The union must be knee-deep in work to offer that.

Of course, just because life was good here, in Copenhagen, at the heart of the Northern revolutionary society, didn't necessarily mean that it was good everywhere. Indeed, the people's desire to fix that very problem was exactly what propelled him to one of the highest offices of the land. Case in point, the Regional Council elections in South Jutland just last week, which ended in violence. Again. At least it wasn't as bad as 1902.

The results were in and while the government formation talks down in Flensborg were nominally still underway, it was a foregone conclusion and everybody knew it. Since 1890 there has only been one winning government coalition in Region South Jutland: a moderate coalition of the four centrist parties working together to try and keep the enthusiastically nationalistic Dannebrog Party, part of the Isolationist bloc, and the rapidly growing German Interest Party, with separatist overtones, from throwing the Region into a bloodbath fighting each other. Any policies that might make any headway at mollifying one simply incensed the other, returning the situation to square one. Going back and forth on a policy issue, like the Danish Republican government has been doing on whether schools are permitted to teach in Saxon German, was even worse, getting both sides worked up in arms.

Maybe if I ignore the problem hard enough it will just go away, Dag humorously mused. A man can hope, at least.

It wasn't, technically speaking, his problem either with Region South Jutland and the Danish Republic both loudly insisting that this was a local problem and that the Commonwealth administration should just keep its nose out of the entire issue. As if the blame wasn't going to fall on his poor head if they messed up and the whole house of cards came crashing down.

The entire mess was a veritable Sword of Damocles hanging over the careers of everyone even remotely involved in that growing crisis. Dag still hoped, however, that the same solution that applied everywhere would also apply there. Fill the stomachs, heat the spines, and surely the people will forget why they hate each other so much... right? The State Minister really was hoping for better this year... he reviewed the numbers on wages and unemployment in that Region personally when the Statistics Bureau compiled them last year. They were good, with improvements not significantly smaller than those seen elsewhere in Denmark. And yet... and yet his hopes of a violence-free 1905 Regional Council elections were dashed when roughed-up Scandinavians ended up in clinics and hospitals across the German-dominated border towns.

Maybe the Isolationists have a point, Dag contemplated. Just turn the Danevirke into a hard cultural boundary by moving Danes out of the Duchy and moving Germans into it.

...I can't believe I'm even considering that ridiculous proposal.

With a sigh, the State Minister examined the reports coming from the other end of his country. Connecting the Swedish railway network to the Finnish was an important step towards spreading the wealth of the Scandinavian core outwards towards the north and the east and while he fully felt that the benefits were well worth the costs when he presented the project to the People's Assembly, it did mean building nearly three hundred kilometres of new railroads to connect Boden to Tuira, completely at the expense of the Commonwealth because there was no demand for rail transport in that region.

'Build it and they will come' was all well and good, but what that also meant was that nobody in the private sector was willing to foot the bill for building it until after it was already built.

At least that side of things seemed to be progressing well without him having to stare at the issue too closely. The project seemed to be, as far as he can tell, on time and on budget. He'd leave reviewing the details to his staff; there were more pressing issues that demanded his time.

The final set of reports gracing his desk this morning did succeed in restoring the good cheer that the previous two had undermined. As the preeminent revolutionary nation in Europe - self-claimed, anyways, the Poles might disagree - it fell on the Northern Commonwealth to host this year's regular meeting of the world's anti-monarchic politicians. Despite what the Social-Revolutionaries often claimed, Dag was firm in his belief that the Northern Commonwealth had too many problems at home, so much that needed doing within its own borders, to pursue a policy of their precious International Revolution, not to mention what a disaster for the Commonwealth's trade and defensive security the pursuit of such a foreign policy was guaranteed to be.

But it didn't hurt to meet the republicans doing good work trying to undermine the Albionic or the Roman monarchies and give them a few words in moral support once or twice every few years. The very thought of giving some other statesmen in other countries headaches instead of dealing with his own brought a smile to his face.

Invitations had to be sent, venues had to be reserved, transportation arranged, accommodation found... there was a lot of work that went into hosting an event like this. Of course, as the State Minister he wouldn't really even see most of that work, let alone have to do it himself, but that didn't mean that he was completely free of his duties as a host to international dignitaries.

Setting pen to paper, the State Minister went to work.

SECRETARIAT OF THE PROGRESSIVE AND SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL
COPENHAGEN, COMMONWEALTH OF NORTHERN SOCIALIST COUNCIL REPUBLICS

Sirs and Madams,

On behalf of the Secretariat of the Progressive and Socialist International, I present my compliments, give notice that the Sixth Congress of the Progressive and Socialist International will be taking place from the 24th to 28th of April 1905 in Næstved, and invites with heartfelt pleasure all forwards-thinking liberal, socialist, anti-monarchic, or progressive statesmen across the world to this event.

Please find enclosed the necessary details regarding the itinerary of the Congress and accommodations that have been made for delegates.

I, on behalf of the Secretariat of the Progressive and Socialist International, avail myself of this opportunity to reaffirm our strongest commitment towards international solidarity between the constituent Parties and Organisations of this International.

Signed,
Sven, son of Rune, of Stockholm-Bromma,
Secretary of Communications for the Progressive and Socialist International and
General Secretary of the Northern Autonomist Alliance,

On this day the 25th of January, 1905 E.t.
Last edited by Northern Socialist Council Republics on Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:36 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Draos
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Founded: May 25, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Draos » Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:46 pm

January 7th,Viceroyalty of Uruguay port of Montevideo
At noon in the docks of the colonial capital a ramp was lowered from a large ship with the seal of the Catalan Crown, greeted by raucous cheering from the onlooking crowd. The first people to depart from the ship was a column of golden uniformed soldiers of the royal guards' corps followed by some advisors, and then the person the crowd had come to see the King himself on his first official visit to the colony the first of any Catalan king. King Daniel I of the Kingdom of Catalonia made his way down the ramp as the cheers of the crowd increased in both loudness and fervor.

Daniel smiled and waved at his subjects as he made his way to the waiting car. Greeting the Colonial viceroy who was already sitting there, he motioned for the driver to take him to the viewing area for the parade. Sighing internally from the nerves he knew what this visit meant to the Uruguayans and the wider Catalan realm as a whole, to show the unity of the Kingdom and the Rei still holds the power. The past 10 years had been challenging for him as he tried to modernize and heal his nation, The bloody civil war that weakened the nobility had ruined the country financially and ended many young lives.

His thoughts were interrupted thirty minutes later by the car stopping at the parade grounds, putting on a smile to mask his worries he exited the vehicle. The noise from the assembled crowds was ear-splittingly loud shaking the Reis already fragile nerves. In an attempt to calm himself he absentmindedly messed with one of the medals on his chest before steeling himself this speech was important for the future of Catalan rule of the region, as it could sour the perception of the crown to the people it was beholden to. Taking one last deep breath he strode to the podium after being introduced by the viceroy to uproarious applause, but before he could speak a shot rang out and the king dropped to the ground as the bullet flew past his left shoulder,as the crowd went into hysterics.

The would-be assassin was a local landowner who had supported and fought for the nobility against the crown ten years earlier, attempting to flee he was quickly grabbed by enraged attendees who threw him down to the ground and began to stomp on him before the local police and soldiers of the guardia could apprehend him. While the assaliant was being dealt with the rei was rushed away from the venue and to a safe location as more assailants could be waiting for him at the docks. Over the next few days as blind panic swept over the city martial law was imposed as the guardia systematicalley searched the city,rounding up any potential allies in the assassination attempt. Finally 5 days later the king was taken to his ship in complete secrecy a shame compared to the gracious welcome he had recieved upon his arrival not even a week earlier.
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Kisinger
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Founded: Oct 26, 2014
Father Knows Best State

Postby Kisinger » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:24 pm

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French Republic
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité ou la Mort
1905 January 1 | Paris, Île-de-France, France

Petain sat calmly as his carriage bounced ever so slightly going down a cobblestone road. In front of his carriage rode four dragoons, and behind him as well rode four more dragoons dressed in full ceremonial uniforms and polished breastplates and helmets. He peered out the window onto the Champ de Mars as several companies of soldiers and new cadets seemed to march across the greenspace while others received various different types of instruction across of a variety of subjects ranging from basic military drill and tactics to basic weapons training.

The carriage steadily pulled up to the front of the central building of the École militaire as the dragoons split off from escorting the carriage. The carriage pulled to a stop and as his driver went to open his door he was reminded of another similar carriage ride almost over twenty years ago now...

....

Colonel Phillippe Pétain sat silently in his carriage as he was being taken into Brest passing by many small bakeries, butchers, restaurants and cafes, eventually passing by the City Hall, “Place de la Liberté”, as his carriage took him to the Harbor itself before following along the river towards the Château de Brest passing by the naval guns batteries overlooking the river and harbor itself.

The carriage soon pulled in front of the imposing stone castle as Petain’s driver opened the door allowing him to collect himself and put on his cap and began walking towards the entrance pondering the reason why he had been summoned from his garrison at Cherbourg by the Admiral. Two marine guards standing in their double breasted bright blue coats and ornate kepis came to attention and quickly saluted, which Petain promptly returned, outside opened the door for him.

Upon entering the castle he was greeted by the great hall which had been transformed to the Headquarters of the Atlantic Fleet of the French Navy and was bustling with the taps of typewriters and the coming and going of telegrams following throughout the hall along with the low roar of the three hundred or so staff working diligently and communicating in their eye pleasing solid white dress uniforms.

He was soon grabbed by a standing attendant and ushered through towards a back hallway leaving the great hall, “This way monsieur, the first door you’ll encounter.” The attendant said directing up a grand flight of wooden stairs into a tower before rushing off to carry out some other menial task assigned to them for that day.

Petain soon began climbing up the stairs, walking up them passing by beautifully decorated walls ordained with priceless paintings broken up by even betters views through the slits in the castle walls showcasing astounding views of the city, harbor, and the open waves themself. Climbing the stairs proved an easy task but one that caused Petain’s knees to ache as he finally reached the first door.

Leaning into to hear as he heard several voices streaming in from the room though unable to discern he briskly knocked on the door as the voices fell silent. Waiting a moment a tall young lieutenant opened the door, “Afternoon Colonel,” the officer looked to the Admiral.

“If you will excuse me gentleman we can carry this on after this very important meeting.” Admiral Louis Napoleon Bonoparte, an aging man of nearly seventy with silver hair and thick tufts of hair under his nose with sagging eyes sat in his chair and watched as the Lieutenant and his two fellow Marine officers left and began walking downstairs.

“Colonel Petain, welcome to Brest!” The Admiral smiled, opening and reaching into a drawer in his desk as Petain looked around the room, decorated just as outside with the exception of innumerable books on shelves and stacked in corners with an aging writing station sat in a corner in a disorganized mess. The sound of wine was poured into two simple but elegant wine glasses. “This is a Breton red wine from the year of the grand revolution, seventeen-eightynine.” The Admiral held up one of the glasses to Petain, “Please take a seat, would you like anything to eat?”

“Gladly, the road from Cherbourg wasn’t long but it was tiring,” Petain forced a laugh but the Admiral seemed to genuinely chuckle. Before tapping a button underneath his buzz emitting two sharp buzzes.

“Dinner will be served shortly, however there is a very pressing matter that I brought you here to discuss Colonel.” The Admiral sipped on his wine as his entire body language and facial expression seemed to change.

“Ah yes I was wondering why you did indeed invite me here for Admiral, especially under such calls for the utmost speed.” Petain lightly swirled before sipping at the wine, sipping at the wine rather enjoying the taste of the aged Breton wine.

“Colonel, where do the loyalties of you and your men lie?”


....

Petain stepped down from the carriage and was escorted by his driver up the stairs to the middle set of three sets of large wooden doors. Two guards stood by the doors and opened them saluting with their rifles as Petain passed by them and walked ever so carefully up two more flights of stairs with his driver and took a right down the hall and to the office of Petain's close friend and former colleague from campaigns in Burma and the current Marshal of France, Hubert Lyautey.

Hubert stood as Petain walked up to him and quickly stuck his hand out, "My friend, how are you?" Petain quickly took it and shook it vigorously smiling profusely.

"Good my friend, been a little busy but nothing I can't handle." HE chuckled slightly thinking of the recent changes to the Status of the Canadian overseas territory and it paving it's way for more autonomy. "How have you been, running the Army?"

Hubert chuckled with him and sat further back in his office chair, "Good, receiving interesting reports from our Burmese colonial commanders and the new cadre of officers graduating are interesting to say the least but all in good time. So what brings you here?" Hubert looked at Petain with a half smirk on his face.

"Just checking on my friend and how everything has been panning out for the time being, I suspect the communards are up to something and there's been rumors of monarchists plotting across the nation and I fear many tire of my rule so we shall see." Petain spoke so quickly Hubert stared at him processing it.

"Interesting, I have heard some minor grumbles regarding the monarchists especially some Regiments in the Vendee, but otherwise I haven't heard much I will keep looking into it." Hubert rubbed his chin leaning further back almost rocking back and forth on his foot.

"Thank you I appreciate it. Would you like to come to Versailles for lunch sometime?" Petain asked.

"Yes, I'll send a letter when there is a time open for me." Petain stood nodding and waving saying goodbye before returning to his normal busy schedule that was running the French Empire.
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Krugmar
Minister
 
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Founded: May 06, 2012
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Krugmar » Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:19 pm

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The Grand Admiralty
la Grande amirauté


15 January 1905
Tientsin Leased Territory


The hall had filled up nicely, though Chen had expected no less. Tientsin was filled to the brim with exiles from the Qing and Taiping regimes, both literal and self-imposed. Their opposition to said regimes was, however, where the similarities ended. They all belonged to the Tongmenhui, the Chinese United League, an organisation dedicated to restoring a united China under a republican government. What exactly said republican government entailed was the question.

Chen belonged to the federalist faction, or rather he led it. Though he preferred viewed himself as a first among equals, he knew that his stance would quickly be adopted by his compatriots. They were quite sincere in their beliefs though, knowing that China was too vast to be governed from its centre. Its strength lay in the provinces. Each province was a miniature China, rich in manpower and resources, but unique in many ways. Only state governments would be able to tap into that uniqueness and bring prosperity to their province. And with every province in prosperity, China would prosper.

There were others who thought differently. Chen Qimei led the larger faction of the unitarists, the right-nationalists. In Chen's mind they would simply seek to replace the Manchu Emperor with a Han President. Though that was perhaps unduly harsh, for although they put forward a far too powerful executive, their system was far more workable than the current Frankenstein the Qing called a government, or the zealot autocracy of the Taiping.

The other side of the coin were the left-nationalists led by Wang Jingwei. They were a new faction, having coalesced around the charismatic young man after his return from studies in Korea. Chen thought more highly of their motives and plans, knowing that they would be more amiable to compromise for a more federal model for China.

Beyond that the factions were more ad-hoc, small cliques centred around ideologues which could be relatively neatly aligned to the three main factions. Then there were the positions not based upon political ideology, but more practical concerns. Do they target the ailing Qing first, or do they seek to bring down the Taiping and in so doing gain control of a far better position? Chen had not yet made up his own mind. The Qing would be far easier to topple, and French support could be facilitated fairly easily, though the Koreans would pose a problem particularly in the Northeastern Provinces. The Taiping were on paper very strong, but a series of succession crises and their religious zealotry presented the possibility for a small revolution to cascade into something larger.

There was also the possibility that a revolution in one would beget a revolution in another.

This discussion would likely bring no answers, no firm solution to their dilemma, but it was one step further. And they had invited several Franks of reputable note, agents for the Grand Admiral who would keep him updated, and in so doing update the Marshal back at the Metropole. If they could win French support, then working out a governmental system would have to wait. They would have their hands full planning a revolution.
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Old Tyrannia
Retired Moderator
 
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Founded: Aug 11, 2009
Father Knows Best State

Postby Old Tyrannia » Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:48 pm

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4th January 1905
Year 6 of the Shōshō Era (正昌六年)
Jurakudai (聚楽第), Kyoto (京都)
Yamatokoku (大和国)


It was a cloudy winter day, but no snow had fallen on Kyoto. The sun was approaching its peak and people were busily going about their daily business in the winding roads and alleyways of the Yamatokoku's capital, whilst behind the walls of the Jurakudai, servants and officials teemed about the corridors like ants. For three hundred years, this sprawling network of halls and courtyards had served as the primary residence of Japan's ruling family, the Toyotomi clan, as well as the supreme seat of government. For just over three centuries, the master of this palace complex- originally built by the second of Japan's great unifiers, the legendary Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and expanded and renovated over the years by each of his successors- had also been the master of the whole Japanese Empire, both the terrestrial Yamatokoku and the Kaikoku, Japan's sprawling overseas dominions. But that was no longer the case, for recently something had changed. For the first time in its modern history, Japan had no master, but a mistress. Toyotomi Hinami was the 16th kampaku, or imperial regent, from the Toyotomi family, a direct descendant of Hideyoshi, and the first woman ever to hold that office. For five years she had steered the ship of state, resisting the pressure from traditionalists who baulked at the concept of a female ruler.

In a garden within one of the Jurakudai's many courtyards, Lord Tamura Kyōjurō- recently appointed Secretary of Martial Affairs in the Kaikoku-seifu- looked down from atop the bridge he was stood on, into the clear waters of the pool beneath him, with a small smile and a look of deep interest etched into his face. His eyes followed the beautifully coloured koi carp that swam around the pool in circles, occasionally surfacing, their mouths gaping open and closed- perhaps hoping their guest would have some food for them. His companions stood a little way away from him, most of them observing him out of the corner of their eyes with a feeling of bafflement. It was a cold day, and they were dressed in thick winter clothing, but some were still shivering even with all their layers of clothing and a substantial layer of body fat on top of that to keep them warm. Tamura's distinguished companions included some of the most powerful men in Japan. Amongst their number were Orihara Masanari, the Kaikoku-seifu's Secretary of External Relations, a man of relatively humble birth who had worked his way up to high office in a relatively short time, and held the confidence of the regent; Konoe Kyosuke, a member of the illustrious Konoe family and the head of the traditionalist faction in Kyoto, who had been granted the lofty court title of Dainagon, or counselor of the first rank, in large part as a courtesy so that he might be able to attend meetings such as this one as the closest thing Japan had to an official leader of the opposition; Ichijō Takao, Daijō-daijin or Chancellor of the Yamatokoku-seifu; and last but certainly not least, the lady of the house herself.

Lady Toyotomi Hinami, imperial regent of Japan, was resplendently dressed in a black kimono decorated with red-crowned cranes and the emblem of her clan. Over this she wore a white Western-style mink fur coat. Her years in power had not detracted greatly from her beauty. It was she who had introduced these "walking meetings." After spending many a long day sat uncomfortably through meeting after meeting, she had devised the idea of attending to important business with her ministers whilst walking through the courtyards and gardens of her palace, allowing her to stretch her legs, breathe fresh air and enjoy some diversity of scenery. The new practice had certainly done wonders for the physical fitness of her officials, although it had proven hard on those who were tasked with taking minutes of each meeting. The group were escorted through the palace by a small delegation of guards who at all times kept their distance from the party, out of earshot lest they overhear something of a classified nature, and saw to it that everyone else did the same. Now she spoke, her tone and pace measured and even, about matters of trade and foreign policy whilst the ruling elites of the Japanese Empire listened respectfully, even as they politely admired the beauty of the garden (much reduced as it was at this time of year).

"Have any of you ever considered," interjected Lord Tamura loudly as the regent concluded the prior discussion, "that we humans are like koi carp? That the world is like a pond, beyond which we cannot see, whilst gods and spirits look down upon us as we look down upon the koi in the pond?"

There was a flurry of confused and alarmed looks exchanged amongst the other officials at this strange and unexpected interruption. Only Lord Orihara and Lord Konoe seemed unflustered, the former barely concealing a smile whilst the latter's face was as inscrutable as ever. Lady Hinami, too, seemed unfazed, and swiftly deflected the strange remark with quick-witted response.

"Is the lot of the koi so loathsome, Lord Tamura? It is no bad thing to be contented with one's own world. Is true mastery not achieved by overcoming one's own self, rather than the world?"

This prompted a cacophony of agreeing murmurs and "ah, sou desu ne" from the rest of the group, as if the regent's remark was a profound philosophical statement, rather than mere pretty words strung together. Hinami herself, however, had immediately caught the true meaning of Tamura's seemingly random comment- he was expressing his desire to dispense with the unimportant talk of trade and minor diplomacy and move on to the true purpose of the afternoon's meeting. Deciding to oblige him, the regent elegantly gestured for most of the party, including various aides, adjutants and scribes, to remain behind as she moved on from the bridge, walking towards the centre of the garden. The most important of her entourage- Tamura, Orihara, Konoe and Ichijō- followed her. They were the only ones who needed to be included in the next discussion.

"Let us move on to the main business of today's meeting," the regent said in a low voice once they were a sufficient distance from the lesser officials. "Each of you are aware of Lord Orihara's suggestion to seek a covert alliance with the so-called 'Taiping Heavenly Kingdom' against the French."

"Yes, Your Excellency," responded Konoe Kyosuke. "And you are aware of the objections that I have raised against this proposed alliance."

"I share your reservations, Lord Konoe," interjected Tamura. "Not only are the Taiping dangerous radicals, but the secrecy and duplicity involved in such an action does not sit well with me. I do not wish for Japan's honour to be tarnished. Even so, I understand Lord Orihara's thinking from a strategic perspective. Currently we are faced with two significant challenges in East Asia. Firstly, we are faced with the Taiping revolutionaries, and secondly, we are faced with the influence of the French barbarians. Each threatens to overturn the order that has prevailed in this part of the world for centuries. Each will have to be dealt with if we are to preserve order under Heaven and fulfil our ambitions as a great power. But we must consider which threat is the greater of the two..."

"I do not dispute your analysis, Lord Tamura," Konoe answered. "But consider, the French barbarians presently pose no direct threat to us. They are content with the status quo as it has been since the regrettable defeat of our empire sixty years ago. Should the barbarians be expelled from the Far East, however, what is to stop the Qing remnants from falling to the Taiping? China reunified under a revolutionary regime would pose a direct threat to Korea and in time to ourselves. Do we dare to hope for a repeat of the divine winds that delivered us from the Mongols should a resurgent China seek to cross the Sea of Japan? Such a threat would greatly exceed that presently posed by the Westerners."

"You argue well, Lord Konoe! But, is it not written, 'there is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment, therefore live being true to the single purpose of the moment?' If we fear to act then the moment of our greatness will surely pass us by," replied Tamura. Orihara Masanari, quiet up until this moment, now entered the conversation before Konoe could counter Tamura's argument.

"Lord Tamura speaks well, as do you, Lord Konoe," he began, his friendly tone belied by the calculating look in his eyes. "But my position is settled. I have already considered the variables, including the risks. Lord Tamura sees that this is the time to move quickly and strike, not to sit in contemplation. If we remain satisfied with the status quo and continue to uphold the cordon around the Taiping along with France and Korea, then we will never have an opportunity to regain the pre-eminence that the Kaikoku enjoyed in the past. Is the Japanese spirit to be content with such an outcome? Would the great Hideyoshi or Hideyori be content with it? The chronicles say of the first emperor, that he sought to cover the eight directions and make them his abode- I say that we take up that ambition. Let us not be content until our empire stands first amongst all the nations of the world! But such an undertaking cannot be pursued without risk, and so risks we must take."

"Your patriotism is most remarkable, Lord Orihara." Konoe's response was laced with subtle sarcasm. "But you are still young, and perhaps too readily excited by the prospect of conflict and instability in the world. Opportunities for honour are always accompanied by the threat of great sorrow..."

"That is true, my lord. But if you might permit me to make a small correction, you are not much older than I am. And great sorrow will come to us whether we take risks in life or not. The same is rarely true of opportunity, is it not?"

Further conversation was stymied by Lady Hinami raising a hand. She had listened with interest to her senior advisors, although she had guessed with great accuracy where each of them would fall prior to the meeting. Konoe was cautious by nature, adverse to change and unpredictability, and he and the other traditionalist nobility in Kyoto were particularly staunch in their opposition to the Taiping whom they saw as an ideological as well as physical threat. The greatest fear of the conservative element in Japan's ruling elite was the Taiping revolution repeating itself in the Kaikoku, or even the Yamatokoku itself, overthrowing the prevailing Neo-Confucian order and stripping the old elite of their power. On the other hand, Tamura Kyōjurō, a samurai from the Ichinoseki Domain, was proud and bold. He would be the most enchanted by the idea of Japan being restored to its old glory, though his boldness stopped short of recklessness. And finally there was Orihara Masanari; for all his patriotic arguments, the only thing Orihara really cared about was making life interesting. He excelled at diplomacy because he excelled at understanding and predicting human behaviour, and he relished a challenge. Stability bored him, and it was just like him to propose a diplomatic move that could upturn the whole post-Taiping Rebellion diplomatic order in the Far East. But he would not have brought his proposal to the regent if it didn't offer real rewards for Japan. Finally, there was Ichijō Takao- the only one who had not raised his voice; a capable administrator, but a man with little presence or ambition. Hinami liked him- she liked all men who got on with their jobs efficiently and without complaint- but she knew he would have little of interest to say on a matter such as this.

"Each of you have made well-argued points. Lord Konoe, your concerns are understood, but Lord Orihara and Lord Tamura speak the truth when they say that simply maintaining the status quo indefinitely offers no real future for our empire. I believe we should take the risk of aligning with the Taiping against the Western barbarians. The prospect of retaking our lost territories in the Spice Islands and liberating Vietnam from French occupation offers more than sufficient motivation to take such a risk. However, Lord Tamura and Lord Orihara, Lord Konoe's concerns are valid ones deserving of careful consideration. Merely invoking patriotism and the Japanese spirit is insufficient; living for the single purpose of the present moment may be appropriate for sages, but not for rulers of great nations. If we are to move ahead with this scheme then we must carefully plan for all of the consequences that may arise from it. This includes the possibility of a Taiping invasion of the Qing remnants."

"We must also consider that Korea may opt to intervene on the side of France, given their fear of seeing China reunified under a single government," cautioned Konoe, once he was certain the regent had finished speaking.

"A well-raised point, Lord Konoe. But, I think that I may have a strategy in mind that may keep Korea out of the war- or, at least, ensure that should they enter the war that they engage only the Taiping forces and not our own, which would be the optimum outcome from our perspective," replied Orihara. This piqued Konoe's interest, but Orihara seemed unready to volunteer further information, and the regent didn't press him which implied she was already privy to his plans. Lady Hinami now turned back to Tamura.

"Lord Tamura, if war should break out between us and the French, it will be of the utmost importance that our naval forces are prepared. As it stands, our fleet is as large or larger than those of our regional rivals, but many of our ships are quite outdated."

"I understand, Lady Regent. I assure you that modernisation of our navy is well underway. The first of our new class of battleships, the Shuten-dōji, is already under construction in Hiroshima. It is to be the lead ship of a class of at least three, and will be the largest ship ever constructed for the Imperial Navy. We expect it to be completed within two years. In addition, we have ordered construction of three new armoured cruisers in the Shinano-class in Osaka, and twenty combined torpedo boats and destroyers in Nagasaki, all of which should be completed within two to three years. By then we will more or less have achieved parity with our major regional rivals."

"What of the experimental craft that operated beneath the waves?"

"Ah, you mean our sensuikan, our submarine! Our first five prototypes, based on non-military craft acquired from the Western powers, are already at the testing phase. If they are found to be of military value, we should be able to begin producing them in large numbers by early next year. Urashima has been recommended by the Secretariat as the name for the lead ship of the class, pending Your Excellency's approval."

"An appropriate name. We must endeavour to remain on par with our rivals in military terms, particularly if war is likely in the near future." Hinami then turned back to Orihara. "Which leaves it to you to present a convincing strategy to deal with the Taiping in the event that they should attempt to reunite China following a successful joint campaign against the French. As well as to secure us a guarantee against the possibility of Korean intervention. It is my preference to avoid a conflict with the other major East Asian power; such a conflict would only benefit the Western barbarians and others who seek to extend their influence in the region. Provided that these conditions can be met, I approve your proposal to send a delegation in secret to the Taiping."

Seeing that his objections had been overruled, Konoe said nothing more. The discussion now ended, Lady Hinami gestured for the minor officialdom to once again join the party. They moved on and out of the garden, into a minimalistic but fashionably decorated hall where the lady of the Jurakudai formally bid her guests goodbye, the official meeting now concluded. Whilst she retired to her private chambers to relax, they departed from the Jurakudai in their new state-of-the-art cars or, in the case of the traditionalists, their exquisitely decorated lacquered norimono, or palanquins; some ignorant of the weight of the afternoon's discussions, others pondering them gravely, and yet others with a sense of elation.

The slumbering Japanese spirit had been awakened, and it was readying for war.




25th January 1905
Year 6 of the Shōshō Era (正昌六年)
Suzhou Harbour, Jiangsu Province
Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace


At the docks of one of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom's largest port cities, Tagomi Seitaro and his five companions were disembarking from an unassuming ship that had previously set sail from the port city of Iroiro, in the territories of the Nippon Kaikoku, Japan's maritime empire. With him was his interpreter, a young ethnically Chinese man named Cao Jie who had grown up as an immigrant worker in the Kaikoku but still retained his grasp of Mandarin; two bodyguards drawn from the military police corps, the Tokkeitai; and his assistant negotiator, Katsura Junpei, a sullen but reliable aide. The last member of Tagomi's party was an official from the Secretariat for Martial Affairs, a man named Fujisaki Kōji who clearly came from a military background himself judging by his build and demeanour. His presence was unusual, and a clear sign of discord between the Secretariat of External Relations and that of Martial Affairs. Perhaps Lord Tamura had pushed for one of his underlings to accompany the covert diplomatic team because he wanted to make sure that he would receive a full report of everything discussed and agreed in the negotiations, fearing Lord Orihara might attempt to conceal some details from him that he deemed it unnecessary for Martial Affairs to know.

For his part, Tagomi didn't care much for the interdepartmental feuds of the Kaikoku-seifu. All things considered, he would rather not be here. He had always considered it the principal job of any diplomat to seek to uphold peace and improve the understanding between nations, but here he was, laying the foundations for a war that threatened to engulf the whole region. But it was not for him to question his duty. That was the burden laid on any public servant, to yield to the powers above them and carry out whatever task was placed upon them to the best of their ability, without permitting their personal feelings to interfere. That was how any complex organisation, be it a government, army or private corporation, functioned- the individual's prerogative sacrificed for the smooth functioning of the whole machine; because no man could stand alone in the world, not for any length of time at least.

There was a party of officials from the Taiping awaiting them at the docks. Cao Jie approached them, and following a series of bows exchanged some words- a previously agreed code, necessary given the highly clandestine nature of the negotiations they had come to carry out- and finally a sealed envelope was handed over to their hosts. After the envelope was unsealed and their letters of introduction checked (they had others that were to be presented to their real hosts in Tianjing), the Chinese all bowed to Tagomi, more deeply than they had to the interpreter, and through Cao invited him and his companions to accompany them. They were to be taken from here to the capital of the nation that called itself the Heavenly Kingdom, where they would meet with the representatives of the Heavenly King himself to discuss an agreement that would have grave implications for the balance of power in the region. Tagomi only hoped that his old bones could bear the weight of the burden he had accepted upon himself.




大日本海国外交事務局
SECRETARIAT OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS OF
THE GREAT JAPANESE MARITIME STATE


TO: Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace (太平天囯)
RE: Diplomatic Credentials

To the Court of the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace,
On behalf of Their Imperial Majesties the Emperors of the Northern and Southern Courts, and Her Excellency the Imperial Regent, greetings. I have entrusted this letter to my honourable subordinate, Tagomi Seitaro, as proof that he comes as representative of the Kaikoku-seifu. He has been tasked with negotiating a mutual defence pact between our nations, to maintain peace and order in the region and enable us to better resist the influence of the Western barbarians who threaten us both. I wish to impress upon you the utmost importance of maintaining secrecy in these negotiations, for fear that we may concede a great advantage to our mutual enemies. I hope that the negotiations are concluded swiftly and with results favourable to both nations.
May the blessings of the gods and buddhas be upon you.

Your humble servant,
折 正
原 就

Orihara Masanari, Secretary for External Relations of the Great Japanese Maritime State


大日本海国外交事務局
SECRETARIAT OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS OF
THE GREAT JAPANESE MARITIME STATE


TO: His Majesty the High King of Albion
RE: Renewal of Friendship and Formal Alliance

Your Majesty,
On behalf of Their Imperial Majesties the Emperors of the Northern and Southern Courts, and Her Excellency the Imperial Regent, I convey convey greetings to Your Majesty. Long has the relationship between the Kaikoku and the United Kingdom of Albion been one of peace and mutual prospering. In light of a changing world, and out of an earnest desire that our friendship may continue to grow, I humbly propose a summit between our nations to review our current agreements for economic and military cooperation and to make whatever adjustments may be deemed necessary in light of the modern international situation. I eagerly await your response.
May the blessings of the gods and buddhas be upon you.

I remain, sire, Your Majesty's humble and obedient servant,
折 正
原 就

Orihara Masanari, Secretary for External Relations of the Great Japanese Maritime State
Signed and approved,
豊 日
臣 南

Toyotomi Hinami, Regent of the Great Japanese Maritime State
Whisky-loving Anglican monarchist and one time moderator.
"It is spiritless to think that you cannot attain to that which you have seen and heard the masters attain. The masters are men. You are also a man. If you think that you will be inferior in doing something, you will be on that road very soon."
- Yamamoto Tsunetomo

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Speyland
Diplomat
 
Posts: 602
Founded: May 19, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Speyland » Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:11 pm

Alim Palace, Alim, Ha Emirate
January, 1905

Emir Moussa II was met with a bigger problem. Slavery is commonplace in the Ha Emirate, and numbers are increasing by the time of this date. Since the foundation of Buha, slavery wasn't abolished before then. The issue has become worse since the dissolution of Buha and the establishment of the Ha Emirate. Slaves were being used to take part in a workforce to improve the economy, and they have been classified as unpaid workers because of it. As a result, he saw it as an opportunity to bring beneficial changes to the nation. However, some government officials were against the idea of slavery being abolished, and they tend to lean more on the conservative side of the political spectrum. On the downside, Moussa II is against the idea of a person engaging in a same-sex relationship, whether it'll be a man or a woman, considering it's against the religion of Islam as it is deemed taboo. Whatever the case, Moussa II ignored the government officials being concerned about him executing a controversial decision.

The reason why he wanted to abolish slavery is because of crime being prevalent throughout the Ha Emirate. The Ha government hasn't decided to assimilate conquered ethnic groups into Ha culture like the Hutu, Hangaza, and Bembe. Without it, the government's stability will worsen. Economic poverty is also prevalent within the Ha Emirate despite being a semi-tribal nation, but it's yet to improve as time goes on.

The following week, Moussa II had made an official decree to abolish slavery for the sake of progressively reducing crime and improving welfare for his people. Unfortunately, the legislation was meant for the Ha people and not other ethnicities, marking the slavery issue for the whole people unresolved. Government officials were pleased about Moussa II's decision to abolish slavery for the Ha people and not those of Ha origin. To make matters worse, this political action is seen as a form of Ha nationalism and racism, prompting other ethnicities to break away from the Ha Emirate, but no local rebellions occurred as of right now. Since the decree, Moussa II has written a letter to a Roman diplomat, expressing the odium of the Christian faith.

From: Emir Moussa II
To: Roman diplomat

I would like to let you know that we consider you a threat to Islam due to our religious differences. Another reason is that we have claimed over what is rightfully ours, which is the coast of Tanganyika. We will remain rivals for the time being. Infidels will not be tolerated.

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Northern Socialist Council Republics
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1265
Founded: Dec 13, 2020
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Northern Socialist Council Republics » Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:45 pm

Crimson Rose (Bar, Inn, and Tea House),
Concessionary Port of Macao,
Saturday, 04th February 1905


Smiling Lasse, as I am now known, is the sometimes kind, sometimes stern owner and manager of one of the most notorious tea houses in Macao. Notorious, primarily, in its seemingly supernatural ability to remain independent of the various Chinese gangs that sometimes ran the city more effectively than the actual City Council did.

Few could guess, seeing me hand out candy to the neighbourhood urchins and boring young men with unwanted life advice, that I once went by a very different name.

Junior General Lars Haakonsen of Narvik, known to his enemies as ‘the Butcher of Saimaa’.

Legend has it that in the cold winter of 1874-1875, my 19th Rifle was a wraith haunting the forests, appearing where I was most unwelcome and disappearing into smoke when chased, draining the Khazarians’ Russian infantry and painting the lake red with their blood. So widespread and terrifying was this legend that one of the concessions that the Khazarians demanded in the resulting peace negotiations in exchange for not supporting the Poles’ extensive Baltic territorial claims was my immediate and dishonourable discharge.

As the actual man in the centre of it all, I can assure you that this is one of those legends that you shouldn’t take too seriously. It’s one-quarter exaggeration and the other three-quarters outright lies.

The fact was, the Khazarians pushing a large army into the roadless North Karelian wilderness was never going to end well for them. That they tried anyways was proof that their high command was quite willing to spend Russian lives like water to achieve a quick victory and thereby prevent us from throwing another unexpected variable into what was a war they had already basically won. In those circumstances, any half-competent Second Lieutenant fresh out of the Academy could have pulled off my so-called ‘miracle’ of bleeding the Russians a bit.

Do you know what it felt like to be the ‘hero of the war’? It was constant guilt, sending the cream of the nation’s youth to disappear into the woods knowing that their mission was hopeless and that you’d not be seeing them again. It was also terror, when the artillery shells started to fall and I immediately forgot about the men I just sent to die because I was worrying about whether anyone was going to see me again. It was comforting dying men with lies, brazen lies, and transparent lies as I listened to their screams. It was marching through soot-covered bodies in one razed village after another, as the Russians preyed on the civilian population hoping to draw me and my men out of the woods.

Imagine my rage, then, when after finally getting home from that hell ready to forget and move on, I find that my country’s ignorant politicians, who sent me and my men into that green and white quagmire in the first place with misguided dreams of glory and pride, only ever wanted to meet me to talk about all my ‘achievements’ in the war. Coincidentally always in the sight of the journalists’ cameras.

I was sick of it all. So I moved to the furthest corner of the world I could possibly reach while still remaining within the Northern Commonwealth and called in a few favours I was owed from my old friends in the Armed Forces to set myself a new life here. That bright spring day in 1890 is when I stopped being Lars Haakonsen and started being Smiling Lasse.

The uncounted and uncountable number of bodies we buried in the snow that war did not, I believed, die in vain. Their sacrifices taught the new Commonwealth a valuable lesson, and it taught it so well that even the new Social-Revolutionaries quickly stopped talking about invading our neighbours to spread the revolution again.

But memories fade with time. The men and women who suffered the hardships of war are starting to grow old, as I have done myself. And it seemed that some of the more excitable members of the younger generation were eager to have that lesson taught to them all over again.

Exactly what was happening was not clear to me. I could hardly dig up national secrets from the newspapers, after all, nor was I privy to military intelligence since my dishonourable discharge. But between the tense rumours that filtered through my little tea house and notices of some suspiciously poorly explained changes in the policies of neighbouring states, something was clearly brewing in this corner of the world. If the Northern Commonwealth, with this Concessionary Port right in the heart of the region, wanted to stay out of it then it would have to play and keep playing its cards with a deft hand.

A deft hand, that is, of the kind of which the idiot jabbering in front of me clearly did not have a single bone!

Qing absolutism this, Toyotomi parasites that... nothing I’ve not heard before. Really, what was with youth and optimism? What did this kid seriously think that he could do about it all that the thousands upon thousands of much more competent politicians, bureaucrats, soldiers, and diplomats that went before him haven’t already tried?

I started seeing the likes of him perhaps three or four years ago. Just a couple or so a year, but considering how many notable tea houses other than my own there were throughout this city that probably meant a few dozen or maybe even a hundred a year all told. Their particular ambitions varied. Some wanted to offer what help they could to the illegal radicals in Korea or Japan. Some went off to the Taiping to spread their views - dangerous work, that, and this coming from a former soldier - or to help them against the Qing. Some just ended up roaming various tea- and coffee-houses discussing pure fantasies with their fellow ‘intellectuals’.

Although frankly I considered that last group the least idiotic of them all. At least they weren’t that likely to end up as a ditchside corpse one day. I consider myself as good a revolutionary as any other Northerner, but of all the ills of Northern society that the Socialist Constitution addressed, a national overabundance of heirs with more money than sense clearly is not one of them.

Since the kid was now going on about the Chinese revolution this and women’s rights that, I assumed that he belonged to that second group. And seeing how he has, with self-confident pride I cannot begin to understand, told me that he doesn’t have much experience in anything except being a thug, I assumed he wanted to join the Taiping Army.

I could tell him, as an old Macao hand to a newcomer, that the Taiping Revolution was nothing like our own. That if he went into it expecting to see another Northern Commonwealth in the making then he was likely to be sorely disappointed. I could point out that the Taiping was currently at peace, that the revolution here was not spreading by arms any more than the one back home was. I could also tell him, as an old soldier to a young recruit, that the barracks and the battlefields were places of misery and deprivation, not glory and renown. That his reward for fighting whatever he felt was a good fight was going to be hard bread and a mud hole to sleep in.

But why would I? Had he enough sense to listen to my words, he’d never have come this far in the first place.

I just took his coins and wished him the best of luck. If he somehow succeeds in digging himself out of his own mistakes, perhaps we’d commiserate as fellow veterans one day.

Heh. Yeah, as if that would ever happen.
Call me "Russ" if you're referring to me the out-of-character poster or "NSRS" if you're referring to me the in-character nation.
Previously on Plzen. NationStates-er since 2014.

Social-democrat and hardline secularist.
Come roleplay with us. We have cookies.

User avatar
Axis Asteroid
Diplomat
 
Posts: 800
Founded: Oct 22, 2015
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Axis Asteroid » Sat Jun 26, 2021 12:00 pm

Threadmark: 1.01
1.01


14th, January 1905




"Have you made your choice?"

She felt the ends of her lips twitch in the beginnings of a smile, though that was quickly squashed in its infancy when a familiar pair of wizened hands grasped her shoulders from behind, her expression betraying nothing to their owner, knowing full well that her father was no stranger to paternal affection when it suited him. Only when it suited him. She reminded herself, humming noncommittally as if ruminating on her response, though her mind was made up long ago.

Can't appear too eager.

Amber orbs swept through cities, mountains, and oceans as she stared up at an imposing map of the world, which hung from the far wall of the War Room situated near the base of the palace. Unlike a traditional map, this one was notable for presenting the political reality, the truth of the world, rather than mere geographical fact. While her focus was kept mostly on the section of map concerning the Far East and Orient, she was hard-pressed to ignore how the Tienkuo was naturally depicted as the largest country on the globe, no doubt by design, though the Japanese and Koreans were also of a respectable size proportional to their respective power. In contrast, the Manchu dynasty had shrunk to half its size, while the frozen wastelands of Siberia under its control and beyond were minimized to the point of blending into the border decorations. An unfortunate amount of China was still in demonic hands at the end of the day, but that would be resolved in due time, hopefully by her own hand.

"I am taking the cross, naturally." Her response was slow, deliberate. "The only question left is whether my sword is better used on land or at sea."

"Both would suit your talents well enough." Came the gravely voice of her father. "The better question is which option best serves our Heavenly Kingdom." And me. The thought was left unsaid, but the implication hung in the air.

"The better answer is obvious then." She inclined her head in a light nod, fully aware that her father was trying to nudge her in a certain direction. Fortunately, it just so happened that her designs aligned with his goals in this instance. "While the churning tides might promise a great future for our nation given time, my mind has long been occupied with matters closer to home, concerning the here and now that I feel we have let slip from our attention for far too long."

She spared a brief glance to the side, catching him in her peripheral vision. "I speak of our troublesome neighbors to the north of course. Though they have turned aside our excursions and raids time and again, the demons have yet to face the full might of the Tienkuo since the revolution." A gloved hand gestured at the map. "Let me try my hand against our great foe. Once the Devil's Den is laid low, then perhaps I can turn my focus towards aiding my dear sister in her endeavors at sea."

"You choose the army over the navy." Her father remained stoic, though she heard the approval in his tone. "Very well. Let it be so."

Though she knew better, the affirmation lifted her heart nonetheless, a smile parting her lips. "I will not fail you, father."

"Of course not." His reply was terse, but not without warmth. "Indeed, it is long overdue for us to realize a dream of reunification long deferred, but it will be some time yet before the chance to have Beiping restored to its true name falls in your lap."

Hopefully sooner rather than later. She thought, but replied with something more deferential. "I will endeavor to close the gap with my siblings."

"If only your brother shared the same drive."

"Well..." Her father was not above pitting his children against each other, and she was not above indulging him when it suited her, but there was a time and place for everything. "Brother is too busy with other things." Like burying his nose in books, while his sisters do the fighting.

She didn't realize she vocalized her last thought aloud.

Her father was quick to make her realize her mistake however. "There is no shame in choosing the cloth over the sword."

The admonition made her jump, though she was more upset at herself for letting idle thoughts run away from her. Heedless of her distress, her father pressed on. "To join the clergy is a noble calling. The great failing of your brother is not his chosen profession, but his lack of motivation."

If only that was his only issue. She was careful not to let her thoughts betray her this time.

"If you recall from your lessons, my father was a scholar, while my sister was the muscle." Though she could not see his face, she could feel the smirk. "The Hakka have never been bound by convention, and the Tienkuo made in our image is no different."

I know this already. She resisted the urge to frown. No doubt he was already aware that she agreed with the sentiments expressed for the most part, so she could only guess that he saw this as an opportunity to chastise, if not dissuade her of the notion that her annoying brother was no longer in the running, possibly to keep her on her toes. In any case, she bore with it for the sake of her maintaining her own standing with her father.

"Apologies. I misspoke."

"I know." His hands retreated, literally lifting a weight from her shoulders. "Come, let us retire for supper while the night is still young."

She did not move from her position. "You mean breakfast?"

No response came, though she waited several seconds expecting one. Only after the silence grew uncomfortably long did she turn halfway, watching as her father made his way towards the exit with a sidelong glance. Something isn't right.

"Wait."

She grabbed an arm covered in embroidered sleeves with her dextral hand, stopping the old monarch right in his tracks.

"What is the meaning of this?"

She ignored the frown she received. "How can we have supper when we have yet to break our fast?"

Dark eyes narrowed back at her. "Unhand me."

"This isn't how I remember it." She mumbled, heedless of her father's growing ire. "No, we had this conversation before. Early in the morning. I'm sure of it."

A glint of light drew her attention away from his face. There was nothing unusual to be found at first, merely a ring on the hand connected to the arm in her grip, but as she scrutinized the offending item more closely, she noticed abnormalities on the exposed skin around it. While easy to miss at a glance, the fingers in particular were not quite the right shape and expected color upon closer inspection, resulting in something close to the real ting, but not quite. At once, her mind whirled with doubts and suspicions.

"Enough of this."

Her head snapped back up at the sound of her father's voice, and found something amiss almost right away. There was a bead of sweat that ran down her fath—this person's face, as if an elaborate ruse was on the brink of falling apart. She did not believe it was possible to witness someone visibly gulp if she had not seen it for herself just now. Most disconcerting however was the nervous expression that stared back at her, completely alien to anything she knew about the Heavenly King.

Father does not fear his children. It was the other way around. Always.

"You are mistaken." He spoke more forcefully, but his denial rang hollow rang hollow in her ears.

She hardly registered the words as her free hand gripped the pommel of her sword, a move that immediately earned an alarmed look.

"No." Amber eyes narrowed, her tone measured and even. "I don't think I am."

Time stood still, the tension thick enough to cut with a knife as the truth stared the lie in the eye and the lie stared back.

"You're right." The lie blinked first. "I am not your father. In fact—"

She didn't let him finish.

Her scabbard struck his temple, sending him sprawling back with an audible crack. The imposter had yet to impact the floor before she lunged forward with with her sheathed blade bearing down from an overhead swing, tracing a clean arc from its lofty position right towards the base of her foe's skull. Before the blow could connect however, she felt something cut her feet out from under her, sending her tumbling forward as the impetus of her charge turned against her.

Shit.

She broke her fall with a roll as she hit the ground, her boots skidding off the floor to bleed off some momentum. Not a second was spared before she pivoted on her heel and came to a stand, weapon at the ready. Though she expected the worst, the honed reflexes drilled into her from months of military training and a lifetime of courtly intrigue ultimately proved unnecessary when she saw her opponent crouched to floor, clutching his head with a groan and obviously struggling to stand. Despite the risk, she took the opportunity to take in her surroundings with greater scrutiny during the slight reprieve. Other discrepancies soon became apparent such as the lack of leftovers Christmas ornaments around the pillars and furnishings, as well as the dead quiet that settled in the hall.

What is going on? A groan interrupted her thoughts.

"Christ. You pack quite the punch."

A wary look was directed at the imposter as he rose to a stand on shaky legs, pitiful enough at a glance. Yet he managed to send me tumbling. She wasn't sure if it was a matter of luck or if he purposely managed to sweep her legs out mid—swing after his head was bashed to the side, but she would find out soon enough. A healthy dose of caution prevented her from moving in right away, though she felt enough of an urge to toss that aside and take her chances, driven in part by the adrenaline that coursed through her veins, matched only by the hammering of her heart in intensity.

"Who the hell are you?"

When no response was forthcoming, her patience ran dry, spurring her to draw her sword free from its confines, or at least, she tried to. Instead of the familiar rasp of a blade sliding from its scabbard, she was only met with a slight nudging sound as her sword refused to budge. When subsequent attempts proved equally fruitless, she let out a frustrated growl as her hand went for the holster at her side. She expected familiar embrace of cold steel against her fingertips, but ended up grasping air, much to her confusion.

"Looking for this?"

The sight of the imposter mockingly waving her pistol in air greeted her when she looked up. Did he grab it when he tripped me? Biting back a curse, she prepared for the worst, which he answered by doing something unexpected.

"There."

The word had scarcely left his mouth before the sidearm was tossed aside, its black profile clattering uselessly across the floor.

"Your sword is stuck and you are bereft of a firearm. Now, let us talk like civilized human beings."

Stupid move. She bit her lip, glancing at her scabbard, then back, while contemplating her options. "I can still beat you to death."

The silence stretched uncomfortably as the implications of her words sank in. Just when the seconds stretched a bit too long and she considered following up on her threat was the quiet broken by a pained chuckle.

"As lively as ever I see." Despite the threat, his looked at her fondly with a wistful smile, as reuniting with an old friend. "Time has been kind to you, Reiné."

"Reiné?"

Her confusion must have been evident as the imposter merely chuckled mirthlessly. "Forgive me. I know that name was not meant to last, but I have always been fond of Reiné. I believe Xuanjiao is more appropriate in this case?"

"No." Her voice was hoarse, something she was unused to. "You are thinking of my grandaunt. Tianjiao is my name."

"How time flies. Jiao it is then."

Well, Jiao was her nickname at least.

Tianjiao furrowed her brow, finding herself at a loss for words. She should not even indulge this false creature, but he seemed to know so many things about her, while she knew so little of him. Despite that, he felt familiar enough for her to indulge in conversation when she should have went for the kill right away. Before she conjure a proper response, much less ask the right question that didn't involve swinging her sword, a sudden dizziness overcame her.

"Our time runs short it seems." He no longer looked like her father, though it was hard to tell. His eyes faded and his smile blurred, though it was just as likely that her own vision was failing her at this point.

He turned. "We shall meet again."

"Wait."

"I have waited long enough. I can wait a little bit longer."

She grit her teeth through the haze. "Damn you! Wait—"

"Your Highness!"

Tianjiao awoke with a start, eyes blinking rapidly to adjust to the light. A wave of relief washed over as she took in her familiar surroundings, which she immediately recognized as the interior compartment of a train, spacious enough to fit four, perhaps even six people on the cushioned seats facing parallel to each other right beside the window, yet entirely reserved for her alone for the duration of the trip.

A soft knocking drew her attention to the door, which slid open with a slight squeal.

"Your Highness."

A young woman stood at the entrance, dressed in a similar fashion to the princess she was addressing. She had long, ebon hair tied in a braid, draping over her neck and back. Shadows played upon her narrow eyes in the dim light, shrouding an olive canvas from which thin red lips pressed into a slight frown. Her uniform consisted of a blood—red blouse that reached slightly above the knees with an ornamental black belt tied at the waist, overlapping with blue trousers that bridged the gap to her boots.

The model Taiping soldier in other words.

"Lieutenant Chiang." Tianjiao acknowledged her subordinate, idly reaching up with her dextral hand to brush a stray, raven lock behind her ear. Anything to put her mind off that strange dream. "Have you come bearing news?"

"Indeed." The other woman bowed in the revolutionary style with both hands joined together, the right clenched into a fist, covered by the left palm. "Our destination draws near."

"Good." Tianjiao's gaze wandered to the rifled barrel of the Hanyang 88, which protruded from behind the lieutenant's shoulder, where the the firearm slung around the back, ready to be drawn at a moment's notice. Perhaps I should start carrying one regularly.

"Your Highness?" Chiang interrupted her ponderings, her brows furrowed with a look of concern. "Pardon my boldness, but you seem out of sorts. Is something the matter?"

The princess schooled her expression. Despite her best efforts, her thoughts had wandered back to her dream, which must have shown on her face. "Nothing. Just a dream."

If she hoped to dissuade her subordinate, it ended up having the opposite effect. "Divine Revelation then?" Chiang shot her a knowing look, eyes shimmering with fanatical zeal. "You might take after your grandfather. There is great power in dreams and prophesy."

Tianjiao suppressed the urge to frown as she contemplated dismissing the woman, but her own anxiety and strangely enough, curiosity won out. "My father—" The real one. "—once said the same thing."

"The Heavenly King is wise."

"It was a dream that begat the revolution. Only look outside to witness the power of visions." Tianjiao recalled his words from a past conversation, the implications of which unsettled her. It was not a dream in the metaphorical sense. She reminded herself. Neither was it a "dream" that referred to an aspiration or ambition, but a literal dream that visited Hong Xiuquan during his sleep and changed the world when morning came.

That conversation was a long time ago, a different place, a different time. Yet seemingly all the more relevant now.

Heedless of her ponderings, the lieutenant was quick to add. "Likely, it is a vision sent to you directly by the Shangdi."

Is that truly the case? The princess kept her response vague, mind reeling. "Perhaps."

Before Chiang could respond, no doubt to wax poetic about the subject even further, she dismissed the woman.

"Apologies. My mouth ran away with me." Her subordinate's expression reverted to its natural frown as she reached the door, though a conspiratorial glimmer remained in her eyes. "I will be standing guard outside in the hall if you have need of me."

Tianjiao slumped in her seat after the audible click of the sliding door closing reached her ears, soon replaced by the sound of the wheels chugging along the tracks that filled the void. A yawn escaped her lips, eyelids drooping.

Reiné...

As the night filled her vision, she thought heard someone call out to her.

Reiné...

But it was only the sound of her own voice.

She slept soundly.
National Factbook: History, Economy, Military etc.
(Significantly inspired by Zeon from Gundam.)

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The Traansval
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Postby The Traansval » Sun Jun 27, 2021 11:00 am

Chamber of Deputies, Milan. January 12th, 1905.
Lombardy, Kingdom of Italy.


Oscar Borelli believed today to be the day he died.

He didn’t think trampling by a crowd was a very dignified way to die.

Normally observing a meeting of the Chamber of Deputies was a boring but necessary part of his job as a journalist, but today he might just give his life merely attempting to reach the gallery used for spectators. So many people had gathered that one could scarcely breathe as the mass of humanity shifted and flowed towards the grand stairs leading up to the second floor.

Borelli felt a hand grab his arm and he was pulled to the side, out of the crowd and into a hallway guarded by members of the Corazzieri. The journalist righted himself for a moment and then looked to the face of the man who had saved his life.

“Benito!” He said as he hugged the man before him. Benito Mussolini had been a journalist for the local Socialist newspaper but had abandoned journalism for politics by being elected to the Chamber in the last election. While Borelli wasn’t a Socialist, there was a certain comradeship among fellow Journalists.

“I couldn’t let you die, or else Italy would have no news,” Mussolini said, chuckling.

Borelli brushed himself off a bit, “Is there another way onto the gallery from here?” He asked.

Mussolini shook his head, “This way is onto the Chamber floor. Here, follow me, I’ll say you're an aide.” He said, laughing.

Borelli followed him down the hallway, eventually exiting through a door onto the Chamber floor. Mussolini took a seat with the other Chambermen of the Socialist Party while Borelli slunk back towards the wall, taking a seat with some of the aides, pulling out a paper pad and pencil from his jacket.

The Chamber was packed, as it was currently in joint session with the Senate. The gallery above had people practically spilling off the balcony; everyone was here to hear the words of the new King, Galeazzo VII. It was customary for the King to address the joint houses of Parliament every year, giving his opinion on the state of the Kingdom and often using the moment to influence the policy of the Chamber. This address was special, however, as Galeazzo VII had spent much of his early rule under a regency due to his young age, a regency that had only ended last year upon his 18th birthday. This year's address would be the King’s first, and Borelli knew his words would outline the King’s policy for his reign.

The collective sound of hundreds of whispers was deafening but shushed when the Speaker ascended to the desk in front of the circular floor. He banged the gavel in front of him once, silencing the room.

“Gentlemen, Peers, People of Italia! May you all rise for our Sovereign and King, Galeazzo the Seventh!” He said, rousing a chorus of cheers and clapping as the assembled parliament and spectators stood.

The young King emerged on the right side, dressed in his Army uniform complete with medals, sash, and royal regalia. He was surrounded by Corazzieri whose breastplates shined in the light of the gas lamps, carbines on their shoulders. He strode with a neat and confident gait up the steps to the top of the speaking platform, and the Speaker banged his gavel once more to quiet the cheering crowd. When the King reached the platform he looked out and motioned with his hand for the people to sit.

“Thank you, Mister Speaker, I am glad I can appear before the assembled bodies of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate to perform my constitutional duty.” He said as his gaze swept the rows of men before him.

“I speak to this assembled parliament not only as King but as representative of the people of this nation, including those held under foreign dominion. I speak for the merchant, for the soldier, for the farmer, for the metal worker, for the sailor, and for the weaver. I speak for those under our flag and for those under a foreign banner.”

The King’s words earned a hushed murmur, as people became surprised by its tone.

“We cannot remain insensitive to the cry of pain that rises towards us from so many parts of Italy!” The King said, his voice rising with his words, “The cry of the Italians of the south under the Greek boot. Italy is torn in two; she bleeds from a gaping wound as a dying Empire of old, which has lost all identity except that of its Despot, clutches onto its last territory with a death grip.”

He paused for a moment to catch his breath; Borelli was in a fervor writing down the King’s words, shocked at its rabid tone and nationalist words.

“Italia cannot live when its limbs are torn from it. There is no cooperation, no tolerance, no coexistence with a foreign occupying power. For Italia to come to conflict with the Greeks is as foretold as the fight between David and Goliath. We must rise to our destiny and drive the foreign power from the land of our people and throw them into the sea!” The King spoke, ending with a rising cry of cheers from the audience. The Chamber rose to its feet as a nationalistic fervor flew over the assembly. Borelli found himself on his feet, pencil, and paper in hand, as he sketched the King’s triumphant pose. He looked in front of him to find the Socialists seated, looks of disdain upon their face, except for a lone Mussolini who stood cheering along with the rest of the chamber.

An aide slid into the chamber and came over towards the seats. He had in his hand a telegram and bumped into Borelli first.

“Can you pass this onto Mister Turati?” The aide said to Borelli, who simply nodded and took the note. He unfolded it in his hand, his eyes widening at its contents. It was a report by one of the local Socialist party officials relaying orders published by the Council of State; the army was mobilized for maneuvers on the southern border, and the militias were being called up for active service.

Borelli looked up towards the King, surrounded by the roaring applause of the chamber, and then back towards the telegram, and gulped.

Under the cover of night off the coast of Les Sables-d'Olonne.
Vendee, Republic of France. Spring, 1905.


A half-moon offered very little light, and so instead the dark waters of the port were illuminated by the street lights of Les Sables-D'Olonne. It was a fishing town, boasting a modest port where many small vessels not unlike the one currently on the waters. This ship was modest in size, constructed of wood, and although it boasted sails these were currently down as her crew utilized oars to bring her in. Like most fishing vessels her above decks were sparse while boasting a fat underbelly to carry the day's catch.

While most of the crew were lax, having made this same trip hundreds of times, one man sat reclined but tense, his eyes sweeping around the harbor. As he did, his mind drifted back to the meeting that put him here…

Within Royal Naval Base Livorno, several months earlier.

Marcello Di Buono, Royal Navy lieutenant and son of minor Italian nobles from Mantua, sat with his officer's cap in his lap, his right leg bouncing slightly as he stared up at the ceiling of the hallway. He had been raised an aristocrat with the expectation that he’d enter politics or business the same way his father had but surprised his family with his insistence on joining the Kingdom’s armed forces. He was a young man caught up in the irredentist and nationalist rhetoric of the age, driving him to service for King and Country. His father managed to convince him to enlist in the Regia Marina, where his father’s political connections secured for Marcello a position in the Supreme Command after he graduated from the Academy. Marcello spent a few years involved in logistics but requested a transfer when a new Information Service was established in 1900; his enthusiasm and experience with logistics were recognized and Marcello was assigned to Naples where he spent his time sending back reports on the strength of the Roman Navy in Italy.

The door in front of Marcello opened, admitting Vessel Captain Pompeo Aloisi, chief of the Information Service. Aloisi looked him up and down, then said,

“Come in, Lieutenant.”

He rose to his feet, placed his cap on his head, then followed Aloisi, who had already turned to return to the room. Past the door, Marcello entered the office of the Chief of Staff of the Regia Marina, Paolo Thaon di Revel, who was seated now behind a desk, looking at the young lieutenant. Also seated along the sides of the room were multiple men in Navy and Army uniforms, and a few in suits.

Aloisi took a seat on Marcello’s left next to some aides in Navy uniforms; Marcello came to a halt in the middle of the room and snapped to attention.

“At ease Lieutenant.” Spoke Thaon, who gestured towards a seat in front of him, inviting him to rest, and invitation Marcello took, removing his cap as he sat.

“Captain Aloisi has told me your work has been excellent. He says that we owe our current knowledge on the Roman Fleet based in Napoli to you.” Thaon said, his hands interlaced before him on his desk as his eyes bored into Marcello.

The young Lieutenant chuckled, “I have simply done what has been asked of me, Admiral.”

“Modesty is not what we need Di Buono, what we need is a capable operative.” Said a man in an Army uniform on Marcello’s right.

Thaon sat back a bit, “Lieutenant, this is Major General Vincenzo Garioni of Office I. He is responsible for Army information gathering, and he has come to the Navy for collaboration between our branches.” He explained.

Garioni nodded his head towards Marcello, but the Lieutenant's gaze drifted from Garioni to three men in suits sitting next to the standing General. Marcello did not recognize the men but they wore suits common among the political class he had been ingrained with while living with his father, and so it wasn’t too far of a leap to make an educated guess.

“And what interest does the Chancellery have in military information?” He asked, staring at the men in suits.

Garioni smirked, then looked towards Thaon, “Perhaps he is acceptable,” he said.

The Admiral cleared his throat, gaining Marcello’s attention; he then picked up and handed a file to Marcello, who accepted and opened it, looking over its contents.

“There are those in France who find its current government unsatisfactory. The Vendee has been a stronghold for those loyal to the Bourbon monarchy. Agents of the Army have made contact with men preparing an armed campaign; we know you have connections within the commercial shipping industry from your time in Napoli, so we need you to assist the Army.” Thaon said.

Marcello flipped through the file, landing on a piece of correspondence from the French Royalists, listing requests.

“Guns? You want me to smuggle guns?” He asked, looking up from the file towards Garioni.

“They have the men, all they need are the Rifles and the Bullets,” Garioni responded.

Back to the Present

Marcello was aroused from his recollection by the sound of movement. The boat had come upon a beach, sitting in water where her bottom was mere feet from the sand below. The anchor had been dropped and the men were now signaling to shore with a light. Marcello stood up, fixing the fisherman's cap that had slanted on his head, and picking up the Colt revolver he had bought in Rome, tucking it behind his back. The boat was silent except for the sound of the signaling lanterns' metal shutter moving. After a moment, a return signal came from the land, and Marcello felt relief.

A rowboat came alongside the boat with two Frenchmen piloting it. Marcello and several of the crew got to work immediately, lifting up a false floor where the fish were normally kept, revealing crates of Italian rifles which they now began lifting onto the deck. Marcello climbed on board the rowboat and helped lower several crates onto the boat, and when they were sure no more could be carried they pushed off for shore. They’d need to make several more trips, but Marcello needed to get ashore.

The dark night and the silence of the sea unnerved Marcello, who was used to the hustle of Napoli’s port. When the rowboat came ashore he saw multiple local men huddled among a grassy patch on the beach, set on the side of a large dune which ultimately led to a slope up to the grassy land behind the beach. They came rushing forward to grab the crates while Marcello jumped out into the ankle-deep water. One of the men came forward and shook his hand; this was “Pierre”, his designated contact as had been set up by the Army.

“Bonjour, Bonjour.” Marcello said, greeting the man.

“Ah, Bonjour. Welcome to France Monsieur M.” Pierre said, using Marcello’s codename. “We have taken care of accommodations for you, you’ll be staying in an Inn owned by a friend of the Cause.” He said.

“Bene, Bene. I mean Bien. Where will you store the Rifles?” Marcello asked as they walked towards a dune, where Marcello could now see they had a hand cart hidden under some green tarps.

Pierre waved his hand, “There is a warehouse used by the Fishery. It is used to preserve the fish, we will hide them there.” He said.

When the last of the rifles were loaded the rowboat pushed off to get more. The tarp was thrown off and the crates were loaded onto the handcart.

A light swept across the beach in front of them, startling Marcello and the Frenchmen. Pierre grabbed the tarp, throwing it over the cart as they all crouched behind it. Above them on the dune, a pair of police officers carrying lanterns were walking. Marcello reached behind him, pulling out the Colt revolver.

The policemen walked calmly, lanterns swinging in their hands, making idle chatter. They stood just meters above them, their eyes facing forwards, not seeing the men huddled beneath them. Marcello breathed a sigh of relief as they passed, lowering the revolver and closing his eyes, glad they hadn’t noticed them.

Then came the sound of wood upon the sand, as the rowboat returned. The policemen's heads snapped to the side as they saw the boat, lifting their lanterns and calling out. The men in the boat froze in panic, and Marcello reacted quickly.

He lifted his revolver and aimed at the policeman on the left. He leveled the sight, pulled the hammer back with his thumb, then squeezed the trigger, sending the trigger down upon the cartridge. The policeman buckled, startling his counterpart who quickly dropped his lantern and reached for his holster. Marcello pulled the hammer back again and aimed at the policeman, firing again, this time missing. The policeman now had his pistol out and leveled aim at the rowboat, believing that to be the source of the shooting, firing off a shot. Marcello pulled the trigger through, firing his third shot, this time hitting the policeman in the abdomen, sending him tumbling down the dune.

Marcello ran over towards the policemen. The first was clearly dead, shot through the chest, but the second was in a ball moaning. Marcello stood over him, leveled his revolver, and squeezed the trigger again. Pierre stood next to him, shock on his face.

“We need to dump them in the ocean quickly,” Marcello said to Pierre, who simply nodded.

The rifles were unloaded and the two policemen’s bodies quickly loaded onto the rowboat. The fishing boat would head back out to sea and dump them, hopefully, the tide bringing them out into the Atlantic and not back to France. Half the rifles were still on the ship but Marcello thought it was too risky to stay with the shots, and so he, Pierre, and the other French men made for the town under the cover of night, beginning Marcello’s new assignment.

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Alaroma » Sun Jun 27, 2021 5:41 pm

The Aksuni Empire



Image


The town of Port Kaleb was a relatively older Aksuni settlement, being around 200 years old. It’s purpose was to play the role of Nubia’s main port, and in doing so, the main Aksuni presence on the coast. It was meant to replace another port, 50 km to its south. In recognition of its importance, Empress Iris was making an appearance in the city. She was wishing the next Expedition into Sudan a fond farewell.

She was also accompanied by Chancellor Kaleb. Now the settlement was named after the old King, and not the Chancellor, but one could certainly argue he deserved the honor. The town was built in a modern style, with the local churches in the style of those in Eritrea. It’s inhabitants were also for the most part settlers from Aksum. Some lived there long prior to the Nubian Wars, others had smelled opportunity. Entrepreneurs who think this enterprise would be worth something in the near future.

The Empress, along with multiple other high ranking officials, stood on a platform. This platform was decorated with furniture, and umbrellas to cover the heads of the people on the platform. Imperial Guardsmen milled around the platform, or stood at the platform’s stairways. From the platform, you could see the new town’s buildings fairly easily. The Aksuni banner flew from every building in the city, or at least it looked like every building. You would also be able to see the railroad leading out the city into the countryside, along with the port in the process of expansion.

“It’s a quaint town, I won’t lie. Really gives you a feeling of frontier life, doesn’t it?” Empress Iris, watching as Imperial Guardsmen assembled into formation. They were assembling for her of course, but also for the Chancellor.

“Oh, this is nothing. I assure you, you don’t want to see the real frontier, your majesty. Thankfully, these young lads do. They will go, and they will leave civilization behind.” Chancellor Kaleb said, before coughing. The older man, now in his 70s, was more than old enough to be the Empress’s father. For all intents and purposes, many young Aksuni haven’t seen an Aksum where he wasn’t at the helm.

“Perhaps I don’t. Nothing wrong with pretending, though.” Iris replied, taking note as the Imperial Guard’s officers inspected their troops. Roman Advisors in white uniforms also followed closely behind.

“I will tell you the truth, your majesty. I think my time as Chancellor is coming close to an end.” Kaleb said, which caused the Empress to twitch slightly.

“I can’t blame you, I suppose. You served my father well, and the nation well. We’d be asking too much from you, to keep you any longer.” She said, sighing.

“I’m not sure exactly, but I’m feeling it will be within the next two years.” Kaleb replied, giving Iris a small smile. “We’ve got some good people in the government, you don’t need an old man like me. I’ll be dedicating my last years to charity, and God. That said, if you ever need any advise, I’ll always be at your call.”

“Thank you, Kaleb…….” she said, before looking out to assembling soldiers. In the corner of her eye, one of the Roman advisors who were accompanying them was apparently trying to get her attention. Signaling to one of her guards, the Roman was permitted to accompany the two high ranking Aksuni.

“Her Imperial Majesty, Emperor of Aksum, thank you for allowing me to take a moment of your time.” The officer said, before making a bow of his head.

“Hello there, Sir Barlas. I hear you’ve made a journey from the interior recently. I hope the trip has been kind to you.” Iris said, smiling at the older man. Barlas was a retired officer from the Roman military, and apparently not ready to stop his life’s adventures, took the chance to help the Aksuni Military.

“Addis Betelihemi is quite secure, I can assure you. Nubia’s governor has really got to work in making a city worthy of the Aksuni Empire. I look forward to seeing what can be done when the railways in the region are complete.” The officer said, though it seemed like he was making conversation partially.

“So, how goes the efforts of the Military?” Kaleb asked.

“Well, as per performance of the Aksuni Military, I have no real complaints. Over the past two decades, the military has really developed into something worthy of a modern state……...that said, there are still raids I’m afraid. That said, I think we can reasonably go forward with the plan to move 300,000 settlers in. After the……tragic loss of life during the Nubian wars, many places once inhabited are open for settlement. If we go forward with the fort plans, I think we can get a reasonably safe arrangement going. There’s a good deal of veterans who would like land, yes?” Officer Barlas noted.

“Yes, men who gave much in the efforts to pacify this rebellious land. Their reward for their service being the land. Of course, we’re still lining up some investors to aid that effort. That all said, I assume you’re going with the Imperial Guard to begin construction of some forts along the nile?” Kaleb asked.

“Yes, of course. That said, the region can only truthfully be secured when the rail networks have been solidified. Accomplish that, and I think the region will just need time after that.” The officer noted.

His report given, the Roman went back to join the Imperial Guard once more. As the ceremonies continued, it wouldn’t be long before the Imperial Guard made its way into the hinterlands, beginning their latest deployment to the region. As for the Chancellor and Emperor, they made their way back to Aksum soon after.

Indeed, Aksum was planning all sorts of things for the region. It was lining up investors from inside Rome, and places like Scandinavia, which the state had deduced generally wanted Aksum to develop. With this in mind, a campaign to increase the awareness of opportunities for a new life in Nubia for the Aksuni poor.

The plans were more widespread than that, but for practical reasons, couldn’t be implemented immediately. That said, the drastic drop in the population still opened many opportunities for the region’s development. The creation of cities like Addis Betelihemi was indicative of that. Formerly just the main administrative center, it’s been rehabilitated into a growing center of Aksuni settlers and civil servants. A major contrast to the usual state of affairs, Aksuni power being most present on the coast.

More than anything, Aksum was pioneering a model it hoped to use again. It was also a model that it’s allies seemed interested in studying. The state couldn’t say anything for certain, but it speculated the powers of the world were circling around Africa, like vultures.
"Yeah, you're right. You got lucky this time. If there were Dutch people there, you would be facing so many rebels!"
-Nuverkikstan

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Elysian Kentarchy
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Postby Elysian Kentarchy » Tue Jun 29, 2021 7:50 am

Center of Neapolis, January 6th, 1905

It is rare for there to be a public execution on this scale, let alone one with the Despot himself in attendance, but this is for a notable man, Bardo Ganides, the anarchist who assassinated the previous Despot two months ago. Sitting on a throne overseeing things is the current Despot, Athanasios, and next to his throne is the dowager Despotissa along with a couple of his sisters and brother. And on the platform above them a vacant throne sits, to symbolize both the Basileus in Constantinople and God.

Eventually the condemned is led out followed by an officer and the men selected to serve as his firing squad. When they reach the center the officer begins to speak.

"Bardo Ganides, you have been found guilty of the murder of his excellency, Despot Basil of Italia, and the court has determined your guilt." The official is cut off by the shouting of the crowd. Much of it being organic anger from the crowd towards the condemned but plain clothes officers of the State Defense Service have mixed into the crowd for security purposes and also to encourage opinion to go the right way, the way in support of the Komenoi family's rule, so their influence is also at play. The charges are continued after the crowd calms down, last words are said, and the condemned is bound and blindfolded with the firing squad taking up position. The Despot raises his hand and, with a chopping motion, brings it down into his open palm. Gunshots promptly ring out and the anarchist's life is brought to an end to the cheers of the crowd.

Later

"I worry Petros." The Despot remarks to his younger brother as they ride along in their carriage, reserved for the two of them as the women have their own.

"Worry?"

"Part of me cannot help but feel that the murder of our father is merely a foreshadowing, a sign of something to come."

"The only threat I can imagine us facing would be the Milanese to the north."

"Yes, a threat that is always pressing. Of course with God and Constantinople at our backs nothing can stop us."

"Per reports from the State Defense Service war with the north would not be the most unpopular decision we could do. The press also has ensured that the potential is presented in a favorable light."

"In the Catepanate certainly, but in the court of Constantinople it would not be. So it is best to dig in, to let the Milanese spend their war chest on a large fleet of battleships and colonies while we prepare for the land war. Wait for them to come to us."

"Speaking of which, what is the word on those battleships we ordered?"

"They should be coming into service in May. I do have it planned to visit France to review them around then."

"Excellent to hear. The State Defense Service has also made their report on where most of the Milanese navy seems to be concentrated, additional agents will be dispatched before the week is out to confirm what we can. Operation Bari is capable of proceeding without it but the more info we have the better."

"If we are spying on the Milanese I imagine they are also spying on us." The Despot remarks almost casually.

"Most likely yes, but there are too many gaps to secure everything, especially with the things that can be seen by the average man with functioning eyeballs, for now the State Defense Service is making sure the family servants and those with access to classified information are loyal to us."

"It will be the best that we can do then."

January 22nd, home of a State Defense Service agent by the border with the Kingdom of Italy

One could say that Alexios Gounariadis has one of the most boring yet interesting jobs the State Defense Service can offer, monitoring the border with the Milanese and coordinating the agents sent over along with compiling the information they hear. Most of the time it is merely gossip of villagers, entertaining certainly, but, most of the time useless. This time however the report caused him to accidentally knock over his morning coffee onto some documents.

"Are you sure?" He asks his agent.

"For now I haven't found much proof beyond hearsay and gossip but it has been pretty consistent, militias are being called up on the other side of the border and, per our usual observations, this does not match up with their usual training drills."

Alexios drums his fingers on his desk in thought, perhaps it is nothing but if it isn't there is a problem that needs an immediate reaction. There is a chance it is nothing, they could have just changed their routines suddenly or something, but, if there is one thing the State Defense Service does not allow for, especially in light of the death of the previous Despot, it is for chances to be taken. "Head to Fort Charisius and use the telegraph there to send word to Neapolis immediately, high priority and for the eyes of the Despot, the Overseer of the SDS, and the General Staff. After that return to the other side of the border and keep watch for more proof or news."

Fort Charisius, named for the gate in Constantinople, being a large fort constructed along the most obvious line of potential Milanese invasion and thus it has received obvious improvements and enhancements over the years to withstand a modern attack. It is one of lynchpins in the defense of their lands from Milanese aggression and is armed to the teeth with a full time garrison.


Celivaia wrote:"Today is a great day. Recently, we completed a project that will greatly help the Salarian Union in it's fight, and while I cannot divulge information about this project, I am pleased to announce that this project was no small feat, and for his dedication, work, and pure, brilliant genius, we have a special award for this Salarian. We cannot divulge the name of this operative, but we have given him a special award, the "Star of the Union," and as an added bonus, we have decided to rename this, our home planet, after him. As of this moment, you are now standing on Solus'Kesh."

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The Industrial States of Columbia
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Founded: Feb 28, 2014
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Industrial States of Columbia » Wed Jun 30, 2021 8:06 am

Missives of the Empire of Hindustan, January 25th, 1905


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Addressed the Honored Representatives of the Ha Emirate

We greet our brothers on the African Continent with amity and open arms. We would advise, spite our full intentions of amiability and fraternity, Hindustan cannot commit to a pact of non-aggresion at this time. We would be fully willing to host a delegation from your people in our local center of power in Fort Owain. Hindustan looks forward to the reply from her friends in the Ha.


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Addressed to the Honored Representatives of the Commonwealth of Northern Socialist Council Republics

We hope this missive finds you well. As you know, Hindustan considers herself protector of the peoples of the upper sub-continent, and has undertaken measures to ensure the security and wellbeing of her peoples throughout the ages and in more recent times. While we appreciate the care you have taken in the attempted stewardship of our lands, we are happy to inform you that said suzerainship is no longer needed. The Empire is willing to compensate the Commonwealth generously for her many years of loyal service to the people of Serampore. In the persuance of the settling of this situation with terms that are favorable to the Commonwealth, we are prepared to host your diplomats in Dhaka within a week. We look forward to favorable correspondance with Commonwealth representatives shortly.


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Addressed to the Honored Representatives of the French Republic

We hope this missive finds you well. The government of Hindustan feels that France is an honorable nation host to an honorable people, and as such, she would seek closer ties with your republic. Hindustan requests that a delegation be accepted in Paris to discuss the furthering of amity and cooperation between our two great nations. We look forward to your reply.


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Addressed to the Honored Representatives of the Empire of Korea

Hindustan would seek the furtherance of amicable relations with the Empire of Korea. As such, she is prepared to attend discussions at a location of your choosing towards these ends. Korea and Hindustan have long maintained friendly relations, and we look forward with great anticipation to your reply.

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Addressed to the Honored Representatives of the Empire of Asia

Hindustan considers amity with her neighbors that share common custom and tradition to be in the greater interest of her people. As such, she wishs that as neighbors, Hindustan and Asia might be friends. Our delegation in Persepolis has been instructed to deliver this missive, which we hope you will find most auspicious. Further discussion is hoped to be conducted by our two great nations towards the furtherance of said proposed friendship. We await your reply in earnest.
Last edited by The Industrial States of Columbia on Wed Jun 30, 2021 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Intermountain States
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Intermountain States » Thu Jul 01, 2021 11:37 pm

January 1905
Imperial Palace, Hanseong
Empire of Korea


It was a snowy day at the capital city of the Korean Empire. Roofs were covered with snow and most people braved to the cold to find warmth inside of a building, their winter clothing providing any resistance from the snow and the cold. Despite the cold and the snow, people went on their busy lives with minor annoyance at the weather. A few street vendors set up shop to offer hot eats to folks who want a bit of inner warmth such as tea, skewers, spicy tteokbooki and fish ball soup.

Guards outside of the Imperial Palace stood in the cold with their winter coats and their kettle hats protecting them from the falling snow. A few rubbed their gloves together while others walked around with their rifles. They held on to their rifles and tried their best to ignore the low temperatures until they're relieved by the next shift where they retreat to their heated barracks and refreshments. Inside the palace was warm in comparison with heated floors and a nine course meal served to Emperor Gwangmu and his family for breakfast.

At nine in the morning, a horse drawn carriage arrived at the front gate of the main palace. The driver got off of the carriage and opened the passenger door. The Prime Minister of Korea, Yu Kil-chun, stepped out from the carriage. Recognizing his face, the guard at the gate let him through the entrance. Three minutes later, another carriage stopped and out came Defense Minister Wang Yul. He entered through the gate. Foreign Minister Yang An-chuk arrived five minutes later. He was also let in and inside the palace, the Foreign Minister joins with the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, and the Emperor at his office.

"Very good of you to join us, Minister Yang," Emperor Gwangmu greeted An-chuk. "Would you care for some tea?" The Foreign Minister bowed in response.

"I would be grateful to be served one of the Emperor's tea," he replied. A court attendant poured Minister Yang a cup of tea and left the room. The Emperor chuckled.

"Nothing fancy, really. Just regular tea purchased from the Namdaemun Market," he said. "I don't necessarily care for the extravagant things and I felt that the simpler things connects me more with the citizenry."

"Still, the fact that your Imperial Majesty offered gives me honor enough," Minister Yang replied. After a few exchange of pleasantry, the topic moved to official business as the three men read the missive sent from the Hindustani Consulate in favor of the meeting.

"Korea and Hindustan have enjoyed amicable relations for decades," the Prime Minister said. "If the meeting goes well, then Hindustan can be a valuable ally in the affairs of Southeast Asia along with France against any enemies, rivals, and competitors."

"Our position in this world is tenuous at best," the Foreign Minister said. "Our holdings in Africa is small and no doubt desired by some powers in Africa. With France already an ally and if Hindustan backs us, we wouldn't have too much to worry about in Africa, unless we experience some major hostilities with the Romans or Aksum.

"Relations with Taiping is not the greatest right now and although Korea, Qing, and Japan share a common concern against Taiping, Japan is a rival that we've fought with many times throughout our history. No doubt that they might still hold some grudges against us for the War of 1846."

"There is a concern in the military that Japan would see France as a major enemy and would seek cooperation with other great powers with holdings in the Southeast to counter the Franco-Korean Alliance, especially a European one," the Defense Minister chimed in.

"It may be possible for Japan, even with its distrustful views of outsiders not of East Asian cultures, to practice realpolitik," Prime Minister Ku said. "While we are still hoping that Japan would remain as a partner against Taiping, who knows what path they would take regarding realpolitik and their own self-interest."

"Japan is a deeply Confucian state, alarmed by the violent revolution of the Christian Taiping," Emperor Gwangmu started. "Even many liberal Christians withdrew public support for Taiping when news reached of their atrocities. Surely they wouldn't even consider such a thing."

"We don't know for sure but we can only prepare for any contingencies in this changing world," Minister Wang answered. "Right now it seems preposterous for Japan to ally with Taiping but not with Albion, the Romans, or Catalonia. These are western powers of their own rights with holdings in Southeast Asia. It seems more likely for them to seek a partnership with Albion than with Taiping."

"Our current efforts in supporting Qing against Taiping takes precedent to prevent a unified China that could threaten the regional balance of power," the Defense Minister said before taking a sip of tea from his own cup. "However, we shouldn't ignore potential rivals that could affect our holdings in Southeast Asia. That could be Albion, the Nords, Catalonia, or even possibly Japan. Our best bet is to increase cordial relations with countries that could be either possible rivals or potential partners. It is out of question with the Nords due to their relations with Taiping and with radical rhetoric."

"A conference with Hindustan is a first step due to their strong presence in the subcontinent," Minister Yang added. "They can be a strong counter to not only Taiping, but also perhaps the Nords. A Stronger India at the cost of a weaker Scandinavia would be better for Korea for now."

"Very well, we should prepare for a conference with Hindustan," the Emperor said. "Our next topic should be wear the meeting between the two great empires should take place. We've certainly been given the liberty of our choosing by their representatives."

Addressed to the Honorable Representatives of the Empire of Hindustan

The furtherance of amicable relations between the two prosperous and great nations of Hindustan and Korea would benefit the world. As a result, the imperial government of Korea invites your representatives to Korea's capital city, Hanseong, for continued discussion in international cooperation, trade, and military partnerships.

From the Foreign Minister Yang An-Chuk,
On behalf of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Gwangmu of Korea and her realms, by the Grace of Heaven, Protector of all Faiths, Greatest King of Samhan, Guardian of the Heaven East of the Sea.
I find my grammatical mistakes after I finish posting
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If you try to blame me, I will laugh in your face. I'm glad she lost. I got half my wish. :)
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Novacom
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Posts: 2082
Founded: Feb 24, 2005
Democratic Socialists

Postby Novacom » Sat Jul 03, 2021 4:15 pm

Tenochtitlan, one of the oldest cities in the Americas sat like a radiant jewel upon the glittering vast surface of Lake Texcoco, it had over the centuries given birth to a nation that would dominate it’s surroundings. Giving rise to it’s own culture and ideals. The lake and it’s surrounds having changed greatly with the times having expanded greatly both by demand and by nature’s will, the settlements around the lake rather than sinking beneath the seas had in part become like the great city at the heart of the lake.

The city was well organised and lain out in a grid pattern surrounded by a large number of artificial islands for various purposes, many Agricultural sustaining the many Gardens and Chinampa’s that the Aztek’s were famed for whose bountiful product helped ensure the rampant population growth of the Aztecs could be further fuelled. Others could almost be considered small settlements in themselves serving various purposes, with several larger clusters to the north of the city, while several were simply tall towers or lone structures rising from the gentle surface.

Between these were a steady scattering off boats of varying sizes, the merest pearls upon the sapphire surface, travelling to and from and in some cases just sitting upon the surface, meanwhile peoples made similar treks across the three great causeways connecting the city to the shore, raised up high above the surface and broad they supported wide highways, mainly for use by the people and train tracks.

The city itself was vast every building pristine and well kept, even those near factories seemed unmarred by the touch of pollution and other products of industry, twice weekly the city was cleaned, alternating so that an area was constantly being tended to. Wide open plazas with dwellings and places of business surrounding them, filled with the hustle and bustle of a busy people and the laughter of small children, in others were played loud and vigorous ball games by the surrounding schools with cheering and roaring and triumphant shouts.

Near the heart of the city rose a number of great ziggurats, some simply pyramidal, others broader and more vast, surrounding the largest of plazas, yet despite this, it was still filled with hustle and bustle of a city alive and well. The largest of these vast structures had served the dual purpose of Palace and centre of government, but in more recent times it served simply as the latter and on a normal day would be something of a dense hive of activity, today however in the aftermath of recent elections, it was relatively quiet.

This owed in no small part to an emerging tradition the Tzonquizcayotl'iccen Tlatolli, or the End of Term Consultations, in which a continuation would be held publicly in the Tecpan'Tlatolli, where delegates who would not be continuing in their position were dismissed by their successor, or those who were continuing would commiserate the candidate who came second. It was suffice it to say, something of a long and drawn out proceedings, but on this case, there was some enthusiasm, at least for one particular dismissal.

"I know it's poor form to gloat, but the look on Tecoh's face was priceless!" Iutil returned supressing a grin, as she leaned back gently, one arm resting against the balustrade half an eye cast over the great lake the other eyeing up the small gathering, it had emerged as a tradition for the Chairman's representative residence, that being the residence they were entitled to as a representative, in addition to the one they were entitled to as Speaker, would also act as an informal headquarters for their co-platformists. Xiya's especially served both that purpose and that of his residence, as despite both him as Chairman, and herself as Speaker being allowed to maintain residence's in the Tecpan'Tlatolli, the old Imperial Palace complex, they rarely utilised them unless a session lasted long into the early hours of the morning, which admittedly it had at times.

"Oh I don't think anybody will begrudge you Iutil, I know you and Xiya long suffered from his and his platform's antics when they knew they were going to be decisively outvoted and they fundamentally disagreed with what was being presented, especially when they had refused attempts at compromise, I don't think he's going to be missed by many, even on his side," chipped in Zicatl Olmtlchi-tli, albeit a touch on the loud side as he swirled his drink around in it's large mug, the man was a somewhat recent addition to the delegation but was already being mooted for the nomination to the recently reformed Sciences and Education Commissariat, known for his quick mind and even quicker wit, he had observed the maelstrom in the assembly with some trepidation.

"No you're right, I certainly agree," replied Xiya waving two hands downwards in an almost calming gesture, "It did indeed get grating near the end, I do wonder who will emerge as the frontrunner amongst the Iron Totalists, I did get on quite well with a fair few members of their delegation, in some cases it was through bypassing Tecoh that we managed to get somethings through!" with a wide grin as he sat down to close his eyes and breathe in deeply before looking around the assembled again.

As he did so he noticed something of a disturbance, Yatez Litia'li, the foremost representative of the Flaxen Communalists had arrived with Pilne Ilan'zō in tow, the presence of a member of another platform at this point of the year in what could arguably called the territory of another platform was something of a rarity and had an almost immediate chilling effect on the various conversations as she approached Xiya, "My apologies, but the Foreign Affairs Commissariat had this arrive and while I can imagine what the collective opinion is, I'd rather not presume, especially given current circumstance," her words soft and gentle.

Xiya briefly skimmed the proferred missive before passing it to Iutil, in nigh disgust, a sentiment evidently shared several moments later as she almost forcefully placed the letter down upon the table disturbing her own glass of iced fruit pulp as she did so
Last edited by Novacom on Mon Jul 26, 2021 4:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Oscalantine
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Founded: Apr 17, 2008
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Oscalantine » Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:50 am

January 1905,
House of Commons, Palace of Tintern


“… and I believe that it is in this House’s best interest, Mr. Speaker, I believe that it is in this House’s best interest to beseech His Imperial Majesty as to this scandalous behavior of the Minister of Foreign Affairs that he had last week in the streets of London! His behavior was not only adulterous for his wife, who is crying herself to sleep last I heard, but also unprofessional in such way that he has accepted bribery from the Australian Steel Company to continue this tax write-off that this company has enjoyed for years!”

Even before the Leader of the Opposition could even finish his sentence, the House of Commons was already at an uproar. To the right of the Speaker where the His Majesty’s Majority sat, there angered accusations being thrown with plenty of “boo’s” and “nay’s” roaring across to the Speaker’s left, where most of the seat was taken by His Most Loyal Opposition sat, who were cheering on the Leader of the Opposition with fierce claps and equally loud accusatory shouts across the room for being a capitalist pig. It was clear that Bard McIntyre, the Speaker of the House of Commons, clearly lost control of the House even as he was speaking through his megaphone to stop the debate that was raging in the Palace of Tintern. This certainly wasn’t the first day that this had happened: the Leader of the Opposition was not about to sit on this juicy “scandal” for a week after it has been discovered. And unfortunately, this wasn’t the first this that it has happened. Ever since the Syndicalist Party has won roughly 35% of the seats of the House of Commons, it has been fiercely questioning the connections that some Ministers had with the leaders of large corporations, particularly those connected to the Military Industrial Complex of Albion in Winchester. The Minister of Foreign Affairs was merely another one in the string of officers who were challenged and brought to questioning by the House of Commons, which was quite frustrating to the House of Lords who were unable to pass any legislative procedure for seemingly months.

While the uncontrollable uproar continued downstairs, a small group of men sat upstairs in a dim light overlooking the House of Commons. Two were suited similarly to those below: gentlemen in suits befitting their position as the member of House of Lords. The three others, however, were fitted with attire that echoed their predecessor’s knightly armor in a more ceremonial manner that would not tire them out easily. The five watched wordlessly as the Speaker’s assistant shouted as hard as his vocal cords could carry across the room filled with uncontrollable men that were just barely restrained by the Palace Guards from leaping across the Hall to blunt their opposing party with a fist or a cane.

“Mr. Davis, you say that this has been common for last week?” the leader of the knights calmly questioned one of the gentlemen who remained standing to watch the procession downstairs.

“Yes, quite so, my lord Kay, poor McIntyre did not get the chance to recover from the last debate two weeks ago.”

“And he has been burning through the number of interns that he has hired this past few days.” Another member of the House of Lords sighed.

“Alistair, this has gone on far too long. The telegraphy has come from the Dominion of Australia for a good week now. Any longer and we risk losing our position of favor with the Japanese.” One of the knights sitting next to the Alistair spat as he looked on towards the clamor downstairs with disgust, “House of Ector and Claudin has already supported our cause in the Round Table, and many others agree that the House of Commons must be taught a lesson in expediency and proper etiquette when requesting matters to Camelot.”

“Unfortunate as the situation calls for it, Alistair, Sir Kynan Kay has already discussed the importance of this matter with the other major Houses and a need to call for a recess of the House of Commons. All that matters is your willingness to speak to the House of Lords directly about this matter.”

Sir Alistair of House of Kay sat unresponsive. Born from the colonies, he has grown fond of republicanism whilst studying abroad in Scandinavia during his youth. He believed more than anyone the need of due process and checks and balances of the government. However, at the same time, the very barbarism that was roaring downstairs showed how incapable Albionian Syndicalism was in caring for the matters of state, seeking instead on what Alistair could only describe as “petty things” to discredit His Majesty’s Majority and the Court of Camelot as a whole. Alistair stood up wordlessly, and his knightly peers followed suit, bidding the two members of the House of Lords farewell, they left the Palace of Tintern and rode out in their horses for Camelot.




The Caerwent Tribune was completely sold out as the Round Table Mandates called for the recess of the House of Commons what seemed like months of uproar. While the Syndicalist Party Leader Tom Mann harshly criticized the tyranny of the Round Table, but his and many other disapproving voices from the House of Commons quickly were extinguished when Bard McIntyre was diagnosed with critical vocal cord inflammation alongside many of his secretaries and interns for shouting over the uproar that has happened in last few months. The House of Lords spoke in support of the Mandate given by the Round Table, stating that there were several matters of state such as the humanitarian crisis occurring the Dominion of Australia concerning the collapsed iron ore mine owned by the Australian Steel Company, trapping some dozens of laborers who were still waiting to be rescued.

To the Mandate, the Court of Camelot immediately responded, putting the House of Commons in recess for five months, at which time the House of Lords will immediately pass the needs of the Dominions directly to the Court of Camelot. Meanwhile, the Minister of Houses Archer Jones with the assistance from the House of Percival will conduct investigations on the issues concerning not only on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but also on the members of the House of Commons on what was seemingly a massive filibuster that paralyzed the due-process of the two Houses.

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Speyland
Diplomat
 
Posts: 602
Founded: May 19, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Speyland » Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:42 am

Events
February, 1905

Bembe Genocide Issue
In the Ha Emirate, the Bembe people face discrimination every week due to their refusal to assimilate into Ha culture. Another issue is that the Bembe people are under the threat of genocide, getting massacred by Ha soldiers for disobeying the assimilation law. Emir Moussa II ignored this issue, making the situation worse. However, some government officials feared a possible Bembe revolt in the future if Moussa II so wishes to ignore it for so long. Currently, approximately 50,000 of Bembe descent are killed.

Manyema Insurgencies Underway
Manyema, a powerful and warlike Bantu people in the Ha Emirate, are seeking to forge their land against the Ha government to break away from them. Ha society viewed these people as uncivilized and that they should convert into Ha culture and Islam. The insurgencies usually occur in villages and rainforests, making it a little difficult for Ha soldiers to hunt for them. Disappointingly, the Manyema's weapons are ineffective and outdated, guaranteeing an unsuccessful rebellion. As of right now, there are 4,000 Manyema rebels against 7,000 Ha soldiers.

From: Emir Moussa II
To: Mughal diplomat

A delegation would be much appreciated. We seek to trade with Hindustan for the sake of nurturing our understanding. We hope you accept this opportunity.

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