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Blade and Musket: 19th Century RP (IC) (Open)

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Hanovereich
Diplomat
 
Posts: 836
Founded: Jun 24, 2021
Democratic Socialists

Blade and Musket: 19th Century RP (IC) (Open)

Postby Hanovereich » Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:21 am

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Blade and Musket: 19th Century RP




Welcome all, to Blade and Musket, a 19th Century RP! Here you take command of a nation, guide it through its history, and steer it into the future. The future looks bleak for the world. It's a new age- new countries, new leaders, new events. War seems to be right around the corner- but where? In Europe, where the balance of power is shifting and new nations are forming? In the Americas, where the new United States looks to survive from the colonial powers around them? In Africa, where European powers are already looking to for colonies? In Oceania, which is slowly being conquered by the British? Or in Asia, where the mighty Qing Empire deals with foreign powers, many different peoples and a White Lotus Rebellion, and the Tokugawa shogunate is still dividing Japan? This is the world which your nation has stepped into, and which your nation must survive.



Rules




1. The OP, and any Co-OPs, will have the final decision regarding the rules.
2. Whilst your nation can be completely made up, it must follow the history set in the OP and any other player's history.
3. All NationStates rules still apply here.
4. Regarding technology, it must be early 19th century. If your nation is very developed, either through your history or through RP, I will allow leniency- but ask first before you make, say, Gatling guns.
5. Regarding time, a target will be each post can last up to 1 IC month. It may be shorter, and it can be longer- but stay within that range.
6. If you are in something like a battle, you will decide your own nation's casualties and results. However, we can ask you to edit your post if it is a little too unrealistic.
7. You may only produce what your nation has IRL, unless your history says otherwise (with permission of the player involved, if any), or if a country gives you permission to produce some. If your nation is completely made up, I will allow you to pick one that makes sense. If you aren't sure, just ask.
8. Adding onto rule 7, I don't want you to be producing hundreds of, say, rocket artillery, even if you do have them IRL. Basically, let it fit the context and history.
9. Your nation can be anything- from Napoleonic France to the Estonian Empire. However, I will not accept applications that are too... weird.
10. Starting date is January 1800.





Last edited by Hanovereich on Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:42 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Tysoania
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1276
Founded: Mar 26, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Tysoania » Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:46 pm

January 1st, 1800

Cadiz, Spain


The docks were busy with activity that afternoon. Sailors, officers, and longshoremen all hurried to and fro along the Navy docks in the harbor of Cadiz. The city was the main port of the Spanish Navy in the Atlantic, and the harbour was always crowded with all kinds of ships, from massive ships of the line to small whalers and coastal sloops. However, today, the Navy docks were mostly empty, as most of the squadron normally there had already departed and were anchored just outside of the harbour. Only the Hermenegildo, a 112-gun warship, lay waiting for the last of her crew and supplies to be loaded.

Admiral Federico Gravina had taken the Hermenegildo when he had been assigned to command a squadron in the Mediterranean, and when he had received urgent orders to report to Cadiz for a new tasking, he had taken the Hermenegildo with him to Cadiz. Here, at the fleet headquarters near the Navy docks, Gravina had received his new assignment: he was to head west to the Indies with troops and supplies to New Spain to support Spanish expansion there. From there, he was to work towards promoting Spanish interests northwards, particularly in the area along the Pacific coast. The viceroy of New Spain would have more information once he arrived.

The Crown was particularly concerned with the frontiers of New Spain. The British expansion in the north had been checked by the successful American Revolution, but it still continued. The Americans, meanwhile, were starting to build a nation along the eastern edge of New Spain and towards La Florida, and although the area was said to be potentially rich with resources, it had not paid out nearly as well as needed to spur the development of the region. Instead, New Spain was largely empty of settlers and instead relied on cooperation with the local indigenous populations and peaceful relations with the other powers. The viceroy of New Spain had indicated in the latest communication that fur output from the far northwest was steady and increasing, and the Crown had decided to attempt to solidify this revenue stream by annexing the region. Now, it fell to Admiral Gravina to carry out that desire.

As Gravina stared out a window of his cabin, deep in thought, he reflected on the state of the Empire. He knew that the King, Charles IV, was not particularly interested in ruling, and so the Admiral assumed that this order had been approved by the Prime Minister, who was the real power behind the throne. That wasn't all bad, though, as the Prime Minister shared the Admiralty's concerns about the Empire's financial stability, and so had been attempting to repair the Empire's finances by exploiting various resources throughout the colonies. This was one of those schemes, although the use of military assets was a bit odd, considering the declining piracy in the Atlantic against Spanish shipping.

A knock at the door startled the Admiral out of his reverie. The door swung open to reveal the outline of a young junior officer.

"Sir, the captain wishes to inform you that the ship is ready to get underway."

"Very good," replied Gravina. "I'll be out in a minute. Tell the captain to slip the moorings as soon as ready."

The officer nodded and closed the door. Faintly, the admiral heard shouting out on the deck as sailors began to let go the lines holding the ship to the dock. As the admiral picked up his hat and looked out the window once again, he saw the masts of the rest of the squadron just outside the harbour. In a few minutes, the rest of those ships would be in view and then they, too, would unfurl their sails and get underway to the Americas, and in a few months, those same ships would hopefully be making the return journey to Cadiz.

That was in months, though. Right now, he had to address the senior officers gathered on the bridge. This was not the time to get distracted.

Spanish supplies and ships are heading to New Spain.
An expedition is being prepared to annex the Pacific Northwest.
The Cold War in 6 words:
Monsone wrote:the USSR is up to something

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Hanovereich
Diplomat
 
Posts: 836
Founded: Jun 24, 2021
Democratic Socialists

Postby Hanovereich » Sat Oct 16, 2021 4:01 am

The Coming War
5th of January, 1800




Gustav, Prince of Vasa, Lord High Admiral of the Swedish Empire, watched a column of his frigates slowly enter Copenhagen. He stood onboard his flagship, the Svenskund, the largest ship in the Swedish Navy. Behind him was his most trusted advisor- Carl Olof Cronsedt, Admiral of the Baltic Fleet, Quartermaster of the Royal Swedish Navy, and Privy Councillor.

"Well, Your Highness." Cronsedt murmured, after a few minutes of silence and watching the ships enter the port. "My fleet, as you can see, is still in the best shape."

"As I expect a fleet led by someone like you to be, Carl." Gustav replied. "You have done well to turn our fleet of 35 ships into a professional, armed and prepared fleet."

Cronsedt glanced at His Highness. For the past few weeks the Lord High Admiral, and heir to the Swedish throne, had continually sent letters to his commanders, checking on their preparedness and ordering more ships- 16 vessels had already been ordered, to be built in 4 months. Sweden had never been in a war that had required this many ships! And the army had been put on standby, in Finland, where the only army units were the militia.

The vessels finally stopped and lowered their anchor, whilst the Swedish ensign was raised on the flagstaff on the stern. In port the Swedish flag was raised as a salute to the ships, then the crews began to prepare to disembark.

"Carl." Gustav said suddenly. "Do you have any ships in Helsingfors?"

Helsingfors was the Navy's primary port in Finland.

"Y-yes, Your Highness." Cronsedt replied uncertainly. "I believe we have a few frigates and schooners there..."

The Prince of Vasa nodded and turned around. "Send a ship of the line there, would you?"

The Admiral of the Baltic Fleet nodded slowly, and the Prince left him to his confused thoughts. The Swedish Navy was one of the best in the world- if a little small. It had many different types of ships, one of the most modern in Europe. Sweden was a naval power. So why, at the start of a new century, was the Lord High Admiral- and almost certainly the King- building up their military?

And why in Finland?




At that moment, as ships were entering the port of Copenhagen, Swedish troops were marching through eastern Finland.

Never since the time of Charles XII had regular army units of the Royal Swedish Army been stationed in Swedish Finland. These were not just regular units- there were artillerymen, cavalry and line infantry. Leading them was Hans Henric von Essen, count and now governor of Laponia, in the north of Finland. Altogether, this force had 4,000 soldiers, supplemented and reinforced by 3,000 of the local militia, armed with whatever they could find as well as equipment from Swedish stocks- most of which were decades old.

After hours of marching, and surprising many local residents in many local villages, von Essen ordered his men to make a camp, with tents, a barricade and a wooden wall designed to delay an enemy assault. The horses would be put in a village nearby, and he sent a colonel to requisition spare supplies in small villages. His force, the so-called Karelian Army after their location, was to be Sweden's 'shield and gun', as von Essen said.

Last week, the Royal Court of Sweden had issued a secret directive, in the name of the King, to some trusted advisors- von Essen being one of them. It was a measure of its secrecy that Cronsedt, a Privy Councillor and the most senior naval officer behind the Lord High Admiral, was not told. This directive was a single sentence long- 'Sweden is to prepare for war with the Rus.'
Last edited by Hanovereich on Tue Oct 19, 2021 10:48 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
P2TM RP Mentor
 
Posts: 20589
Founded: Feb 20, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:01 am

Cittadella di Alessandria
Alessandria
Kingdom of Piedmont


Around 0600 hours

It was yet two hours before the sun would rise above the Citadel, but despite the lack of light and the biting January cold, which had covered the ground in thick snow the night before, a group of three men stood atop its southernmost bastion. The river Tanaro flowed from west to east here, right to left from their point of view. Across it, the city of Alessandria, which provided the only clear reference with the few lights that were burning, mostly inside bakeries preparing the citizens’ breakfast. The twilight provided just enough light to make out the most pronounced features in the landscape, which was why the men had been assembled there in the first place.

Tulliano Santoriello, recognisable as ever by the large burn scar across the right side of his face and the greying hairs in his unkempt beard, lowered his looking class and let out something that sounded like the mix of a groan and a cough. The veteran artillerist, promoted just recently to overall commander of the citadel’s guns, was a man of short phrases and clear-cut opinions.

“Too unclear” he posited, pointing in the direction of the city. “If this is our view at six, then you bet we can only get a clear view of the far bank at around 7, 7.30. By then, we’d have to recalibrate our cannon while the enemy is already capable of doing aimed damage. The enemy will have crossed the bridge before we loaded our first canisters”

“This supposes the city can be taken without the fort being informed” answered Guiberto Lombardi. A dashing cavalry commander, he was among the country’s most well-known tacticians, and one of the noble-born officers who had kept his position. Based on merit too, since the Lombardi family was not likely to depend on royal intercession for their commissions.

“Which I find highly unlikely. There has to be one patriotic citizen in there who…”

“If Alessandria is ever subject to a siege, god forbid, we might well be beyond patriotism” Santoriello replied firmly. “Once we conscripted every able-bodied man and boy in the town under arms, their families would probably hand us over to Satan himself”

“But to remedy that, we would have to construct a redoubt defending the bridge” Lombardi replied, pointing at the map.

“Demolishing houses, raising entirely new earthworks, partially rebuilding the bridge…”

“Wholly” Santoriello interjected “if we want it to be constructed fully into the redoubt”

“Wholly then” Lombardi replied. “That will cost us a fortune, and for what gain?”

“What good is it, building a citadel if you are not willing to properly defend it? A fortress is as strong as its weakest approach, and don’t tell me…”

“The redoubt will be constructed” the third man stated firmly. With one of his hands he held a candle to the map he was leaning over, his other hand tucked away in his grey greatcoat by which he had become so instantly recognisable on the battlefield. On his nose sat a pair of pinched reading glasses.

“Your excellency…” Lombardi attempted to interject, but the general shook his head.

“Whether it is necessary to defend against Alessandria is not my primary concern. The river Tanaro remains the main artery for ferried goods from here to our Milanese border. We cannot allow a southern invasion force to cut off our entire eastern theatre, not while Genoa remains vulnerable to invasion by sea”

The Count of Corsica folded the map back up and looked east, towards Milan and the Po valley, far beyond the horizon.

“Alessandria is our gateway to glory, gentlemen, and we cannot allow it to be risked in any way”

Santoriello nodded, but Lombardi shook his head.

“Where will we get the funding? The project is already over budget as it is”

Buonaparte nodded, pensively stroking his temples.

“I will return to Turin, and consult with the king on the matter of our finances. This was a long time coming regardless; if we want our plans to succeed, we need unlimited access to the royal treasury” he declared. Santoriello nodded again, and Lombardi made a slight bow.

“But don’t clean out my room just yet” Buonaparte added with a wry smile.

“I expect I shall return soon enough”

Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi
Outside Turin
Kingdom of Piedmont


Around 1045 hours

It was the sun filtering through the carefully opened curtains that first awoke Carlo Emanuele Ferdinando Maria from his sleep. He silently cursed his attendant who, dutifully and according to his instructions, had been tasked with preparing the king for the day. The sovereign had not been sleeping well lately, and has postponed the hour of his awakening a few times now, to no avail. Every morning, he seemed to wake up more tired than when he went to bed.

“Urbano… What’s the hour?” he asked his attendant, who was laying out the royal garb for the day.

“Almost eleven, your majesty” he replied in his friendly, servile manner. Urbano was a kind soul, and had been attending to the king for years now. Even though Charles Emmanuel had ascended to the throne but four years ago, their wordless understanding had not changed.

“Can I stay in today” the king asked, but Urbano solemnly shook his head.

“I’m afraid not, sire. You are having guests for lunch. The finance minister and his wife” he explained. Charles merely let out a groan.

“But we had dinner just three days ago! Do I need to hold his hand through the entire process, damnation!” he exclaimed as he sat upright on his bed, his whole body weighing him down. He wobbled a bit, and fought against the urge to either close his eyes, or to have the count of Cagliari, his finance minister, arrested. The latter would certainly postpone the lunch at least a day, but was impractical, and would only lead to more trouble down the line. Urbano looked at him concernedly.

“Your majesty, should I call on a doctor?” he asked, but Charles shook his head.

“No, no, there is nothing wrong with my body. But my mind…”

“There are doctors for that too, sire” Urbano replied. This made Charles wonder.

“Let us discuss this tonight. I am in no state to make decisions at the moment. Maybe after I had my coffee…” he said, and Urbano bowed deeply in response.

“Absolutely, your majesty. I will prepare some at once” the servant noted, turning on his heels and speeding out the bedroom. As he opened the opulent doors, however, he was met by a messenger. Urbano closed the door again, and turned to the king.

“Your majesty, a messenger has arrived from the Palazzo Madama. The chancellor wishes to see you” Urbano said. “Apparently, it’s urgent”

Charles was taken aback by the request, and surprised Buonaparte was in the city.

“I thought the count of Corsica was inspecting our fortification works at Alessandria” he replied, and to his horror, Urbano nodded in agreement.

“It seems he has returned for just a moment, sire. He will return to Genoa through Alessandria in the afternoon, which is why he requests you meet him urgently.

“This is…” highly irregular he wanted to say. His ministers did not invite the king for an audience, they requested an audience with him. And his staff would then look at his busy, busy schedule, and pick a time. Just as the minister of finances had done. The minister…

“Will I be back in time for lunch?” he asked, immediately regretting the boorish way in which he phrased his question.

“We will probably have to postpone lunch an hour. I will inform the minister once he arrived” Urbano said, knowing that the king would want to answer the chancellor’s invitation. The last time the king had not answered the chancellor’s summons, he had signed away the Palazzo Madama to the chancery in his absence.

“Tell him I am on my way” Charles said, defeated. “The coffee will have to wait, then”

Urbano bowed, and Charles sighed, looking out the window at his snow-covered gardens. A snow-white rabbit was prancing through the snow, hopping from evergreen bush to evergreen bush. Charles shook his head.

“You and me both, buddy…” he whispered, as Urbano started to help him dress.

Palazzo Madama
Turin
Kingdom of Piedmont

Around 1130 hours

“Your majesty”

The stablemaster bowed humbly before the king as he arrived at the Chancery. The Madama palace had over the last year been slowly turned into the personal accommodation of the chancellor. Right in the middle of Turin, Madama Palace was literally in the centre of it all. As the king arrived, he spotted and was spotted by some of the most well-known citizens of Turin, walking in and out of the palace. As chancellor, the count of Corsica had many connections among the Third Estate, but there were also members of the clergy among them. These connections, Buonaparte had explained to him once, made the practice of governance far easier, since he did not have to rely on sole repression to achieve his goals.

As the king walked up the front stairs of the palace, he spotted the Consular Guard in their signature red uniforms. These were grenadiers that had been instrumental during the Genoese campaign and the battle of the Trebia that was its conclusion, and were now a personal unit of the chancellor. In practice, though, they were loyal to the person of Buonaparte, and they did duty both during his business as chancellor and in his position as count of Corsica.

“If you will wait here, your majesty” the stablemaster said, gesturing at a chair in the waiting room.

“Wait?” the king replied, quizzically. “But…”

“The chancellor is meeting with the divisional generals” the stablemaster interjected.

“It shan’t be long” he added, and he took up his position beside the door.

It was fifteen minutes before Massimiliano Gentilcore and Abbondanzio Minotti, both divisional generals, and Guiberto Lombardi, Buonaparte’s chief of staff, left the room, discussing various matters in whispered tones, and loaded with papers. They did not notice the king sitting on the far side of the wall, probably because they were not expecting him. Charles thought about coughing to make himself known, but decided against it. It would take more time out of his schedule, and besides, the chancellor did not like being kept waiting.

“Your majesty” the stablemaster said, gesturing towards the door. Charles stood up, straightened his waistcoat, and slowly walked into the chancellor’s office. The whole room was wooden-panelled. In the middle stood a large oaken desk, and behind it roared a fire that made the room comfortably warm to work in, even though the world outside the large standing windows was snow-covered. On the left wall hung a large painting of the battle of the Trebia, with Napoleone himself directing the frontal attack that would come to decimate the enemy centre. It was his proudest moment, and the moment when Charles realised that Buonaparte’s ambition were perhaps broader than just the unification of Piedmontese lands.

The count of Corsica himself was sitting at his desk, busily scribbling notes on a few loose pieces of paper. Napoleone was, above all, a meticulous note-keeper, something that had annoyed Charles before. He did not like his every word and agreement being written down verbatim, but a lawyer’s son was no strange to intrigue, he imagined.

After Napoleone remained quiet for just too long, the king let out a small cough.

“Chancellor” he then said, prompting Buonaparte to look up in feigned surprise.

“Your majesty” he said, matter-of-factly, gesturing at the chair at the other side of his desk. Charles sat down. Again, Napoleone made a few more notes, and then collected his papers in a big bundle, wrapping them in string. His personal secretary came in to pick them up.

“You called on me” the king pressed, and finally, Buonaparte gave the king his full attention.

“Yes, sire. I shall be brief with you; during construction of the citadel at Alessandria, I discovered that the funds your minister of finance allocated to the project were insufficient for the full modernisation of the fort. Modern military thought requires the fort be fully equipped, since any fortification can only be as strong as its weakest approach”

The king nodded.

“Well, if that is all, then we can just…” he began, but Napoleone cut him off with a simple wave.

“Sire, the problem is, alas, broader than just the funding of Alessandria. The modernisation effort of the army, as well as other efforts of the chancery, require swift and decisive action on my part, and we are often held back by the slow decision-making of the bookkeepers of the royal treasury. Often, they are only concerned with balances and cost reduction. But as we discussed before, military necessity requires swift action and spending”

“What are you suggesting we do about this matter?” the king asked. He was doing his best to keep a royal façade, one of casual disinterest and benign neglect, but the energy with which Buonaparte engaged with the conversation threw him completely off-guard. He was absolutely not in control of this conversation. He resigned himself to the fact that, at one point, Buonaparte was going to ask his permission for something, and Charles would most likely accede.

“I suggest that the chancery becomes partially responsible for the treasury. The details would have to be hashed out between the chancery and the treasury, but I assume we can come to some formal understanding” Buonaparte suggested. Charles translated this vague proposal in his mind: Napoleone wanted the royal treasury to be answerable to him. Charles could stand in the way of that, of course, as sovereign. Stop the ever-expanding powers of the chancery. But Buonaparte would get what he wanted, in the end, and keeping the good general on his side was his priority.

“And you need my approval?” Charles asked, feigning ignorance. Napoleone nodded.

“Well… I suppose it makes sense for the chancery to have some say in financial matters… You have my permission to discuss this with the treasury”

“Perfect” Napoleone said, immediately grabbing another piece of paper. “I will inform…”

“No need, chancellor” the king said, standing up and dusting off his breeches. “The minister is at Stupinigi, meeting me for lunch. I will discuss the matter with him”

Napoleone looked surprised, but nodded thankfully.

“Yes, your majesty. But if you are having lunch, I suggest you return home quickly. The hour is almost up” he said, smiling a kind smile that hid so much vicious energy.

“Clearly” the king replied, as he turned to leave.
The name's James. James Usari. Well, my name is not actually James Usari, so don't bother actually looking it up, but it'll do for now.

Lack of a real name means compensation through a real face. My debt is settled


Part-time Kebab tycoon in Glasgow.

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New Kowloon Bay
Diplomat
 
Posts: 523
Founded: Jun 01, 2020
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Kowloon Bay » Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:05 am

January 3rd, 1800
Chengdu


The city was bustling with the shouts and cries of labourers and the Bannermen. Materials for watch-towers and walls were being carried along the stone roads. Chengdu was a city in a vulnerable position, with the White Lotus Rebellion seeming to be heading for it and its sister city Chongqing. In the past few days, residents of the city would be greeted with thousands of soldiers doing regular trainings and reenactments, but today many of those soldiers had already rushed to support the local militias battling scout divisions of the Rebellion in Guanyang. In terms of potential reinforcements, they had the fortune of the Plain Blue Bannermen currently distracting the bulk of the forces in Hanzhong.

According to the plan Commander Alioth Nara had received from her commander, they were to form a defense line along the Chengdu-Chongqing line with support from the Plain Blues, and attempt a pincer movement whilst the Xi'an forces would move quickly from Hanzhong, causing chaos in the traitors' lines. Unfortunately, due to the Qing's program for amnesty for deserters, they were forced to leave a hole to escape, for those deserters and defectors. But it was not the Qing's battle. It was her battle. And she would massacre every single White Lotus member there.
Set in wherever you want, usually MT=2040, PMT=2080, FT=2120s
yet another boring FT nation
NKB News: Infamous Markane pirates strike again, strand civilian spaceship|Cups of solid gold found in archeological site in Sanya|Tensions rise between the two States|New Space Base constructed on the Moon


More information here.

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Cetacea
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6469
Founded: Apr 27, 2012
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Cetacea » Sun Oct 17, 2021 3:35 am

NEW MAJAPAHIT SULTANATE:
Straits of Melaka, 1800 AD


A warm breeze danced over the river, carrying the scents of the jungle down from the mountains to mingle with the more acrid smells of the port and harbour. Emerging from the customs office and making his way down to the dockside Malik Gopi breathed in the morning air. The jungle perfume added a strange undertone to the ships and clustering humanity that gathered here, bringing with them the odors of fish and seaweed, salt and spices, wood tars and resins, rice, fruits and vegetables, cotton, porcelain and silk, precious gems, iron, tin and gold and the ever present sweat and dung.
The Straits of Melaka were the essential passage linking goods from China, Ryukyu and the Spice Islands to the coastal ports of India, the Red Sea and East Africa and ever since Sultan Parameswara had been encouraged by the sea peoples to settle on the Bertam River, the local Sultanate had maintained a tradition of hospitality, providing security and safehouses for the safe storage of goods and open trade in the markets. So it was that Merchants from India and Ceylon, Muslim Scholars from Persia, Chinese diplomats, Siamese warriors and European explorers representing both the Dutch and the British Trading Companies all gathered here to trade, linking the wealth of east and west with the local supplies of exotic spice.

"Mashallah!" Malik Gopi exclaimed as he sighted the Gujarati ships that had arrived in the port that morning "it seems our friends have arrived and all is well"
As Shahbandar of the Western Traders, he was responsible for ships coming in from India and Bengal, ensuring the crews were accommodated, their ships maintained and their cargoes assessed, warehoused with appropriate tithes and tributes paid. In the last estimate there were over 4000 annual shipments from India, a lucrative sharing of wealth and knowledge that the peoples of the New Majapahit considered foundational to their society. Malik Gopi was also a product of that society, his father a Gujarati trader who had married a local woman and though he had been born in Bintan it was in Surat that he was trained. The young Shahbandar smiled proudly as he saw that three elephants had been brought down to assist in unloading the ships. The creatures were awesome to watch and Malik Gopi always wondered how creatures so large and powerful could move with such grace and delicacy.
"let the captains know that accommodation has been arranged for his crew and that I have arranged a dinner in their honor tonight"

OPEN SEA: Deck of the Sea Raider
Still out beyond the harbour entrance Raden Jafre hauled on the tiller of the ship, bracing as he felt the surge of the deck as the craft came about, rising up on a sea swell as it maneuvered in. His was a long outrigger pangaya, fast and sleek, armed with swivel guns and perfect both for conducting coastal raids and for battling pirates on open water. For now though he was keen to get home, to wash the sea salt from his hair, gain the blessings of his father and mother and then to find good food and a beautiful woman to keep him company for the evening.
A nephew of the Laksamana Batu Gadah Raden Jafre and his crew had been commissioned by the Sultan to patrol the straits, as far north as the Bay of Bengal and south to the Java Sea. They provided protection to the Merchant fleets, suppressing piracy and ensuring that the Datu ruling in Aceh, Krabi and Dutch Batavia were at least feigning loyalty. Of course the European powers were always looking for an alternative route to China, but Raden Jafre had secured the support of Sri Rajah Tengku Utama and the pirates of Temasek and very little was needed to provoke the warriors of Sunda or Makassar.

PUKIT CINA: Chinese Quarter
Making his way up from the Shrine of Tua Pekong, Tze Chiang quickly proceeded towards the Palace of the Sultan, his path following the canal that proceeded from the seven wells of Pukit Cina which legend claimed had been established by the Admiral Zheng He himself. Two hundred years before the shrine and the hill it stood on had been a gift from the then Sultan to his Chinese bride and by extension the Chinese Emperor, a place for diplomats, scholars and merchants sent from China to settle and in time be buried with proper prayer and ceremony. The intention had always been for a permanent relationship and so far it had held, the support of the Ming being pivotal in expelling the Portuguese..
Today though the issue was not on the local Chinese settlement but rather on the situation affecting China and its new Qing Ruler.
"Tell me" the Sultan looked down on the Chinese headman who now bowed before him "My grandfathers payed tribute to the Emperor of the Ming, and we remain grateful for the support of your people in expelling the Portuguese from our lands, but tell me, what do we know of this new Emperor in China? I hear only troublesome reports of unreasonable taxes and rebellion amongst his people. But you are head of the Chinese merchants in my city and I am certain have eyes and ears to hear; What of the state of trade in Canton? Are the sealanes secure?

I would send a mission of friendship and support to the Emperor but am uncertain, so tell me good Tze Chiang, what are the rumours and gossip heard on Pukit Cina?"
Last edited by Cetacea on Sun Oct 17, 2021 4:03 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Madmunch
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 118
Founded: Apr 27, 2019
Ex-Nation

Postby Madmunch » Sun Oct 17, 2021 12:09 pm

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"I Dream of Empire"



1st of January, 1800 - Coronation Day of Henry X
The United Kingdom
London, Buckingham Palace, Royal Office of The King

It was late in the afternoon and Prime Minister William Pitt was waiting in the Royal Office for his first official meeting with the king. The coronation of Henry the Tenth had just ended a few hours ago and the prime minister had been informed by the king's manservant that His Majesty would be in attendance once he had completed his ceremonial duties. Minister Pitt understood very well how busy his new liege must be on a day like this. Which was why he was quite surprised that his first meeting was to take place just hours after the British Crown had been placed upon the head of George III's eldest son and heir. The prime minister himself had met the former Prince of Wales several times in the past and had an inkling of what kind of man now sat on the Throne of the United Kingdom.

In all appearances, Henry X is the ideal king. Unlike his father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him, Henry possessed several traits that has endeared him greatly to both the gentry and the commonfolk. The first and most noticeable trait was his good-looks. Rumors of his disdain for the wigs and make-up of the European courts were founded on the basis that their new king didn't need them. His height, athletic build, sharp eyes and clean-shaven, strong facial features, already made him stand out among most of the known gentlemen of the nobility. The second noteworthy attribute was his outgoing nature. As Prince of Wales, Henry always made it a point to spent time with his peers. He even rebelled against royal protocol and his father's authority by secretly socializing with the lower classes as well. During this time, he charmed a great many people with his intellect, generosity and modest character. Apparently, he also had an eye for talent and even gained himself a following of sorts from people he deemed capable regardless of background, race or social standing. But the most important of all of Henry's qualities was his passionate nature which was like an infectious wildfire. Even the most dullard of souls would feel compelled into action were they to simply hear or converse with their new king. That was the one ability that could make Henry X stand out as a king of kings from amongst his Georgian predecessors; For as educated and learned as they were, none of them possessed the charismatic ability and aura to inspire burning devotion through mere words and presence alone.

Yet, despite all these acclaimed features of his new liege, the elderly minister Pitt remained worried. At 20 years of age, the king was still very young and inexperienced. Couple that with a highly ambitious spirit and that could very well be a recipe of disaster for Great Britain if left unchecked and unguided. Would-be tyrants were often molded from young men in power possessing a persona like Henry X. The United Kingdom could ill-afford to face the dilemma of their monarch aspiring to be one if at all. Still, the prime minister only had a rough idea of what kind of man his new king might be. This meeting would serve to either allay his worries or prove them right.

At that moment, the doors to the Royal Office suddenly swung open and in stepped Henry the Tenth, arrayed in the full ceremonial regalia of the newly-crowned King of Great Britain. Following behind him was an attending manservant.

"I dream of empire, my Lord William."

Those were the first words the young monarch energetically said to his prime minister, as he uncloaked his long fur cape and unceremoniously tossed it to a nearby chesterfield sofa before proceeding towards his desk. "Of a world half-painted in the stripes of our Great Britain."

The prime minister bowed low to his liege, unperturbed as he replied.

"Your Majesty. It is my belief that you have already come to inherit the very empire you so dreamed."

The reply elicited a chuckle from the king, who was taking off his crown and placing it on a red velvet cushion held by the accompanying manservant. The attendant bowed deferentially and took two steps backward before collecting the discarded cape and exiting the room with the regal treasures in hand. Once they were alone, the monarch indicated to the prime minister to take a seat before responding.

"Not even close, my lord. Not even close. We may appear an empire, but when compared to Spain in it's glory days, I fear we are still somewhat lacking in the comparison. Don't you agree my lord?"

"It is as you say, Your Majesty," said the grey-haired William Pitt as he slowly took a seat before the desk of the king. "But Spain has had centuries of it's history to forge their glory. Now their time is passed and Britain is on the eve of surpassing them as we speak."

"And rightly so."

Instead of sitting down, Henry X turned around to face a large beautifully painted and carefully labeled map of the world that hung directly behind his station of work. "I believe you had the pleasure of viewing this incredible work of art. Tell me, my lord, what do you think of it?"

"Beautiful indeed." responded William, who had turned his attention accordingly to the subject at hand. "But, if you would allow me to be so blunt, I think the artist has greatly over-exaggerated the colors of our Great Britain. They have painted beyond the borders of anything we currently own and claim. Perhaps it is just patriotic enthusiasm on their part. But because of that, this map has unfortunately lost it's purpose, I'm afraid."

Laughing, the young king turned sideways to face his prime minister with a twinkle in his eyes.

"Yes you are quite right. Except, I commissioned the artist to paint this map as it is. We may not own this great expanse of painted territories, of course. But, if Great Britain wants to stand as the empire among empires, I believe possessing this much land is a necessary requirement. Whoever rules the seas, rules the world. We have accomplished the former, now it is time to complete the latter. But first, to the matter at hand."

Taking his seat, King Henry assumed a more serious disposition as he looked at the prime minister directly in the eyes.

"Before we begin conversing on matters of state, let me be clear of one thing Lord William. As Britain's newest ascendant to the throne, I do not seek to contest the will nor the power of Parliament and rule as I wish. No, I myself am a fervent believer in the equal representation of my people in the government of this great nation of ours. But, nor do I wish to see my monarchy and my heirs relegated to the side as mere symbols of national authority. I only seek equilibrium. To rule side by side with the legally appointed representatives of state. Especially, if they hold the best interests of the people and of their country at heart. Equilibrium, my lord minister. With it, Great Britain will rise as an empire united. Do you agree?"

"Wholeheartedly, Your Majesty," replied William with a smile and a slight bow of his head. He had looked into his king's eyes and there was no doubt to the certainty of his words nor the fire in them. "Your father always held the best interests of Britain at heart, but I'm afraid to say that he clashed one too many times with the esteemed members of our Parliament and caused much discord. Which is why I am most relieved to hear your words."

"Good, now to business," said King Henry, as he stood up once more before proceeding towards a small teapoy that sat against a corner of the Royal Office. While pouring and making two cups of tea, he continued. "I heard that you have a proposal regarding the French?"

"Yes, Your Majesty. As you know, we have been monitoring French activities on the continent ever since the revolutionaries deposed the monarchy and installed a republic in it's stead. Given recent events, the cabinet ministers and I feel that an increased naval presence in the Mediterranean, as well as along the borders of all French territorial waters, is a must to check any further aggression and action should there by any."

"Agreed," replied the young monarch as he politely handed the prime minister a steaming cup of hot tea along with its saucer. As the minister took it with his thanks, Henry sat back down and continued. "We need to remind not just the French, but the Spanish, the Dutch and the rest of the other powers that nothing goes amiss in Europe without Great Britain taking note of it. I believe now is a good a time as any to re-emphasize the fact that it is we who owns the seas. Thus, we will be the ones responsible for maintaining the current status quo of the European continent. Anything else my lord?"

"As of now, I believe that is all," responded the elderly minister, sipping his tea carefully. "But, I hear tell that His Majesty has a proposal of his own?"

"Quite right," said King Henry as he too sipped his cup of tea before placing it on his desk. "A few actually, but I shall begin with just one for today. One that I hope you will lend your support to when it is brought up in the next cabinet meeting."

Standing up again, Henry picked up his cup of tea before turning to the map behind him and directing the attention of his prime minister with a pointed finger.

"Once more on the topic of empire. Whilst all of Europe is distracted by their conflicts and political troubles, I believe the United Kingdom should focus the remainder of it's energy on expanding and dominating as much of the African continent as quickly as possible. From our colony in Sierra Leone we should proceed northwards and eastwards. First, sticking all along the coastline and establishing new trading ports and harbors on suitable locations of value. Once these strongpoints for our ships have been established, we then proceed inland, claiming and colonizing as much of West Africa as we can. The same should be done from our colony at the Cape of Good Hope. I believe creating suitable landings for our merchant vessels, as well as the Royal Navy, is crucial to ensuring our settlers, explorers and missionaries, spread out as far and wide and as quickly as possible. Through them the United Kingdom will claim and eventually own any and every unclaimed region from the west to the tip of Africa. Speed is the key and Great Britain must be a dominant force on the African continent before the other powers realize what is afoot and react accordingly."

Pausing to take a sip of tea, the king continued. "Your thoughts, my lord?"

Placing his teacup and saucer on the desk, the elderly prime minster pondered a moment on his liege's plan. Then he spoke.

"Firstly, I applaud Your Majesty's carefully thought-out plan concerning the future of his empire. But to further grasp the extent of His Majesty's foresight, may I ask, why Africa? why not further solidify our hold on India and increase trade relations with the Chinese? As His Majesty's Chancellor of the Exchequer and the manager of the state's finances, I know for a fact that the revenue from the Far East outstrips anything we will currently gain to benefit from by expanding in Africa."

"Yes, currently being the key point of your reasoning," replied the young king immediately without hesitation. "But remember, this is more for the future of the British Empire. For what it can be and will be rather than what it is presently. I believe the resources we will gain from Africa will eventually overwhelm all your figures of revenue from the East Indies. While I have no proof of this, I can guarantee you that whatever we harvest from Africa will remain permanently beneficial to the economy of Great Britain. More permanent than say, trade with the Chinese, or any trade for that matter, as that requires the consent and agreement of foreign governments. Entities beyond British control."

Once again, Henry paused to sip on his cup of tea before continuing. "As for India, we already have a dominant hold on the country. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before all it's regions are incorporated and the locals assimilated into our culture and society. The only thing that will be left, is the question of what their roles and rights will be under Great Britain. As colonials or full citizens of the empire? But that is a question to be answered at another time."

"Very good, Your Majesty," said William Pitt, clearly impressed. "You have my support for this proposal. However, may I make a suggestion for how we should proceed with this?"

"You may, my lord."

"For this plan to remain as invisible as His Majesty wishes and beyond the suspicion of the other European powers, I suggest we create a new royal chartered company. One through which the United Kingdom can undertake such actions without direct or official intervention on their part. Similar to the East India Company."

"Hmm..." King Henry thought for a moment, as he finished his tea and proceeded back to the teapoy to refill his cup. "I'm listening."

The prime minister himself finished his tea before continuing.

"But unlike The Company, this one will not be stock-owned and will instead be regulated by His Majesty's Government. It will be managed by a committee composed of official traders from the mainland who will be annually elected from the merchant associations here. In all appearances, they will simply be another trading company from England. However, they will be partially funded by Parliament with an annual grant and will secretly report to myself, the Admiralty and Lord William Windham, the Secretary of War."

Having poured himself another cup, the young king decided to bring the whole pot of tea with him back to his desk and refilled the prime minister's cup as he was speaking. The elderly minister thanked the king kindly as Henry replied. "Very well. I leave the specifics to you. Once the company has been formed I shall issue the royal charter. By the way, what will be the name of this new esteemed company of ours?"

"For now, lets just call it the New Company of Africa," said William before taking a sip of tea once again. "As long as they serve the purposes of His Majesty's Government, I believe such a name should suffice."

"Agreed. Oh and one more thing before we end our discussion. I have been informed of your unsettled account with my late father. Concerning the matter of emancipation for the Catholics?"

"Ah," here, the elderly prime minister paused and frowned before placing his cup down on the desk and looking up to meet his king's gaze with a solemn expression. "Yes, indeed. That was a point of great contention between myself and the late king. I was ready to resign my position over it. In fact, It was my original intent to do so at this meeting. But my conversation with Your Majesty had rendered me quite forgetful on such an important matter."

Saying that, the grey-haired prime minister anxiously reached into the folds of his black coat to produce a letter. But before he could open it and place it on Henry's desk, the young king stopped him abruptly.

"Keep it, my lord. My mother brought me up to be as strong a Protestant as any good Englishman should be. But even I have no wish to see discrimination of any form amongst those of a different faith. I approve of your emancipation and will allow its accompaniment to the Act. Besides, I still have need of your services, old man."

William was slightly started at the sudden rude nickname bestowed upon him by his liege. But, upon seeing the mischievous twinkle in Henry's eyes, he couldn't help but be amused. "There will be repercussions from members of Parliament for this decision."

The young king snorted. "When will there ever not be. In anycase, let this be my first official act as king and also a message that the reign of Henry X will begin with equality and impartiality for all. Now without further ado...."

Henry X lifted his teacup and toasted his prime minister.

"To your good health, my lord. And to dreams of an empire on which the sun never sets."
Last edited by Madmunch on Sun Oct 17, 2021 6:52 pm, edited 5 times in total.
"Money makes the world go round"

Yes, I am a worshipper of Mammon....don't judge me

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Countesia
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Posts: 1101
Founded: Oct 10, 2019
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Countesia » Sun Oct 17, 2021 2:05 pm

Hradenytsi
Odessa Oblast
Free State of Ukraine



Anton fumbled with his reigns as he took a moment to take in his surroundings. The border town of Hradenytsi was utterly unremarkable, to the point even Anton had never once heard its name until recently, yet at the same time it was a shining beacon of the cause he and hundreds of thousands of his countrymen had fought and died for. as unremarkable as it it may be, it belonged to the people who tilled its soil and tended to its crops. The countryside of Ukraine never felt the effect of the Ukrainian Revolution to the same extent its cities did, and it gave all involved in this little diplomatic mission an air of relief from the pressing issue east.

Across the border into Romania, another similarly sized party emerged into view. One of his men on horseback procured a small bugle and blew a little tune towards the approaching group, who returned with a tune of their own

"That's them, Mr President. The Moldovans" his comrade said as he stashed his bugle into his saddlebag.

Anton kicked his horse into a trot. A minute passed as both parties closed in on one another. When they were a yards from each other Anton eased his horse into a stop and dismounted from his saddle. Four officers from his entourage did the same. One took the reigns of his horse and three followed him close by. They approached the men who had themselves dismounted. He waited for them to approach him

"I assume you are the Maxim that the letter spoke of?" Anton said as he extended his hand to the lead man

"Indeed, my name is Maxim Borta, the right hand of Alexei Platon himself" The man said as he took off his riding gloves and gave the Ukranian leader a firm handshake

"Its not every day i am summoned to the border of my own nation by the leadership of the Moldovan Liberation Front" Anton replied "I can only guess that you have come to petition me for assistance in this civil war of yours?"

Maxim nodded "Yes, you are correct" he said as he stood with Anton to face the Moldovan lands "Romania is little more than a rump state. A shameful embarrassment of its former glory. Many Moldovans look to your success against the Rus and saw that old powers can be cast aside. We were once a nation in our own right, and now it is in the interest of our people to achieve that once again"

"From what I've heard, your forces haven't had much success against the Romanians" Anton said, trying to sound as sympathetic as possible to avoid offending the man

"Once again you are correct, sadly. We Moldovans are a proud people and many have flocked to our cause, but we have struggled to procure the armament to oppose the Romanian leadership at a large scale. We are relying on very old weaponry, sporting rifles and what we can scavenge from our oppressors. We lack a consistent supply line to make major inroads."

"And this is where we come in" Anton chuckled "You seek to make a secret arms deal?"

"A deal implies we can pay for it, which we cannot" Maxim said "The only currency we can provide is the everlasting gratitude of our people."

"Everlasting gratitude can't replace weaponry. I sympathise with your cause, I do, but Ukraine has its own independence to fight for. Every single rifle, every grain of gunpowder, we need to continue to ascertain our freedom."

"I feared this would be your response." Maxim said, disheartened "If our friendship can't buy Ukrainian firearms, how would Chernivtsi suffice?"

Anton raised an eyebrow at this response. His sympathies now turned to interest. "Chernivtsi?"

"You fight for all of Ukraine to be under one banner, your banner. Romania has held Chernivtsi and lorded over its three hundred thousand or so souls for decades, if I am to believe. I suspect it was too insignificant for the Rus to ever challenge Romania for it, but not for you." Maxim said, emboldened by the sudden interest of Anton "Give us what we need to secure our freedom, and we will return the entire region of Chernivtsi to its rightful rulers."

"If I were to agree to to equip your armies against Romania, I would be giving away a considerable portion of Ukraine's means to defend itself. How am I to know your esteemed leader would stay true to his word?"

Before Maxim could respond, another man in his entourage stood forward to interrupt. Anton half expected Maxim to scold the man for attempting speaking out of turn, but he surprisingly enough stood back.

"Because I will never resort to lies to achieve the independence of Moldova, Mister Vasily" The man said, incredibly boldly for someone whom Anton passed off as a subordinate

"Some people could consider not telling someone who you really are as a lie, Alexei." Anton said, grinning in response to this sudden change of events. "I cannot hide it, I did have reservations that you did not come personally"

"I needed to know what you were like. Who we would be trusting to help us." He said as he took over from Maxim, who stepped back to let his leader speak to Anton.

"I'm only considering it because it comes with the promise of land" Anton said "Some may see that a bad thing.."

"You are putting the interests of your nation first. Like any patriot worth his salt would." Alexei said as he shook hands with Anton "I wouldn't expect any less from the man who wrestled his nation straight out of the hands of the Russians. I will personally give you Chernivtsi, and you will have an ally for life."

"Alexei Platon, you are indeed a fascinating man. Let us start a fire and talk over a drink." Anton said as he gestured for all involved to follow him.

After a night of drinking, singing and rambunctious storytelling under the stars of the Ukrainian countryside, Anton and his entourage returned to Odessa to consult the Verkhovna Rada and his Minister of defence as to the secret pact he had formed with the Moldovans. Covered wagons under the guise of trading caravans would bring shipments of aging rifles and gunpowder to the Moldovan rebels, who had yet to capture any significant settlements. With the backing of Ukraine, this would certainly change.

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American Pere Housh
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Posts: 3931
Founded: Jan 12, 2019
Father Knows Best State

Postby American Pere Housh » Sun Oct 17, 2021 7:49 pm

New York City, New York, The United States of America

President John Adams stands looking out the window to his office in the President's house in New York City. His staff was rushing around preparing to move to Washington DC. The doors open to his office open up and in walks his Vice President Thomas Jefferson, his Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and his Secretary of War James McHenry. John turns away from the window to look at the three men with a raised eyebrow, "Can I help you fellows?"

Thomas was the first to speak up,"Well Mr. President, I am going concerned about what is happening in Europe. The British has a new king we know nothing about, a war between the UK and Spain, the fall of the French Monarchy, and apparently a new nation in Eastern Europe called the Ukraine. What do you say of this sir?"

John paces while rubbing his chin, "Well this new king the British have is indeed a mystery. While we indeed beat the British in the Revolutionary War with the help of the French, they are still a powerful nation. As to the war between Spain and the U.K., we will officially be neutral in the war though I will begin talks to purchase the Louisiana Territories, Texas and Florida. Currently 6 frigates are heading to Spain to begin these talks. I recently looked at a new map and noticed we now own apart of Canada. I looked at the Treaty of Paris and noticed that the Canadian territory was included as apart which means those Canadians are now Americans."

Timothy looked at the Treaty of Paris and noticed the discrepancy and smiled, "I don't how that part of of the Treaty escaped the Brits attention but it is in there and has been ratified by both us and them. James don't we have troops in that territory?"

James nodded, "We do indeed Tim. Mr. President, we have 15,000 troops in our Canadian territories."

To the President of the Ukraine
From U.S. Secretary of State Timothy Pickering
Encryption: Diplomatic


To who it may concern,

I, Timothy Pickering, would like to congratulate you and your country's recent independence. As the official representative of the United States of the International Stage, the United States officially recognizes the Ukraine as an independent nation. We would like to invite you to Washington DC as such we will be send the USS Constitution, a First Class Frigate, and 4 Second Class frigates the USS Adams, Boston, Congress and Constellation to Odessa to pick you up.
Last edited by American Pere Housh on Sun Oct 17, 2021 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Government Type:Militaristic Absolute Monarchy
Leader:King Alexander
WA Ambassador: Eliza 'Vanny' Cortez
Secretary of Defense:Hitomi Izumi
Secretary of State:Alicia Cortez
Current Year:2750
I stand with the State of Israel.
2021 RPCountry:South Korea

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Tysoania
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Posts: 1276
Founded: Mar 26, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Tysoania » Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:30 pm

New Mexico, Viceroyalty of New Spain

Viceroy's Residence

"The troops on the borders are becoming very expensive as well. And so, my lord, we will be out of funds in about three months without immediate changes."

Miguel José de Azanza, viceroy of New Spain, could not believe what he was hearing. The man sitting opposite him in the viceroy's office, New Spain's chief treasurer, was telling him that the viceroyalty had been run into the ground.

"Good God, man, why wasn't I informed earlier?" Azanza angrily asked.

"Unfortunately, we've just gotten the figures sorted out from the last administration. It seems that the previous viceroy ran a loose ship, my lord," the treasurer, a man by the name of de Soto, answered matter-of-factly.

Azanza stood up from his desk and turned to look out the window. The residence, in the center of the city of Mexico, had a good view of the government quarter, and he could troops and bureaucrats walking in the streets, with the occasional merchant passing through as well. The merchants were not to blame for this problem, as exports from New Spain had been excellent last year. Mining and agriculture continued to prop up the viceroyalty's economy, with sugar, cocoa, and tobacco being the mainstays of the export market. Although silver was still productive, it was slowly declining as it was replaced by silver exports from other regions of the Spanish Empire. Azanza had promised his superiors back in Spain that he would replace silver with another lucrative resource: fur. Fur was becoming a luxury good for consumers in Europe, with factories paying top dollar for new fur shipments. Although Spain had claimed the northwest of the American continent, it had yet to actually exploit that region or even properly annex it. Azanza planned to fix that, as soon as Admiral Gravina and his squadron arrived in New Spain.

However, the rapid development of the United States as a developed nation was beginning to trouble New Spain's prospects. That nation had recently begun expanding its agricultural base, and that meant competition for tobacco and cotton markets in Europe.

"The United States seem to be pressing south for land and resources, de Soto. Do you expect this is for the fertile land or for territory?"

De Soto thought for a second, then answered. "Well, my lord, they have a strong manufacturing base that would benefit from newly acquired agricultural lands. However, given their recent tensions with the British, I suspect that they may actually try to press north towards British North America."

And then the viceroy had a crazy idea. Thinking more on it, it began to seem less crazy and more reasonable. It could both solve the budget issue and give the Spanish an ally in North America, as well as give the viceroy a bargaining chip if he needed one. Azanza turned back to his desk and sat down.

"You said the United States has a strong manufacturing base, right?"

"Yes, my lord."

"Then we could offer to give the Americans the resources from the south that they seem to covet. American factories can buy our cotton and tobacco at reduced prices if we become their sole supplier. In exchange, we pledge to only sell cotton and tobacco to Americans. And Spaniards, of course, but at regular prices." Azanza fell silent, waiting for the treasurer's reaction.

De Soto thought for a few seconds. "Well, my lord, New Spain would certainly benefit from increased trade and improved relations with the Americans. It would benefit the United States as well, as they would have a stranglehold on exports of cotton and tobacco to Europe. However, this would stop the colony from industrializing. The Spanish market isn't big enough to justify building factories to process those resources alone."

"Improved relations would allow us to demobilize those forces on the border, though, and stop the budget shortfall," Azanza replied quickly. "If we can hold on until the Admiral gets fur production underway, that conquest should open later avenues for development in the region."

"Very good, my lord. Should I have the secretary begin drafting a letter?"

"Yes, please, as well as one requesting permission from Madrid," Azanza replied, pleased with himself. "And begin working on a price list, too. When the Americans agree to this, we should at least appear to be ready!"

To: United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs
From: Miguel José de Azanza, Viceroy of New Spain

New Spain would like to extend a warm handshake in recognition of your continued struggle against British domination. On the subject of economic matters, I am interested in striking a deal with the United States. New Spain will become the sole supplier of cotton and tobacco to processors and manufacturers throughout the United States, including domestic production, and in return, the United States will receive significantly reduced prices for those resources and the granting of a monopoly on Spanish cotton and tobacco exports from the Americas to Europe (excluding Spain). In light of the fact that New Spain is one of the largest producers of these goods in the Americas, I hope that you will appreciate the advantageous economic position this will give the United States over Great Britain and other rivals.

Yours,

Miguel José de Azanza
Viceroy of New Spain
The Cold War in 6 words:
Monsone wrote:the USSR is up to something

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Danubian Peoples
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1110
Founded: Sep 21, 2018
New York Times Democracy

Postby Danubian Peoples » Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:39 pm

January 10, 1800
Republic of Rus
Walls of Fort Alexander, City of Aleksandrgrad


Petrov stood at the walls of Fort Alexander, the star fort projecting its points into the Gulf of Finland. It was an imposing sight, artillery pieces facing the waters ready to fire into enemy ships, while sloping walls angled in just the right way created great kill zones of overlapping fire. It was an old fortress, built during the 1500s as Novgorod first began its rise, and had since received many upgrades, repairs and even complete renovations, at least one of the latter courtesy of serious damage sustained in a battle. It of course, bore the name of the great Alexander Nevsky, a Novgorodian prince who was famed for fighting Teutons at Lake Peipus to the south.

Perhaps the name ought to be changed to something... less backwards? wondered the general for a moment.

Surrounding the fortress on land was a small city. It certainly has its upsides, like a sea that doesn't freeze over nearly as much as Archangelsk's, but Aleksandrgrad has never been the greatest of Rus cities. Having sprung out of a fortress construction effort in the 1500s, its growth has been hampered by Novgorod's primacy making it little else than a port stopover for goods, and since the 1700s, Sweden's control over the Danish Belts choking out a lot of the trade in the Baltic sea. Still it remained however, which was a useful fact for General Konstantin's purposes.

But first, he leaned on the fortress walls, resting his gloved hands upon the fortress' crenellated parapets and took a moment to breathe the salty coastal air. It was frigid, yes, but it was quite refreshing as it filled the general's lungs. He contemplated the situation at hand, how the republic looked on the world stage, whether or not he was making the right call going here. He was a military man through and through, thinking more in terms of exterior threats than the political mumbo-jumbo of some of his peers. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, he reaffirmed his choice, and walked away from the fortress parapets.

Fortress Interior

The general sat in a lit room with many subordinate officers, a bright yellow-orange glow cast upon their faces. Petrov laid his hands on the warm wood of the table, and composed himself.

"I needed a moment to relax, alright?" he said, in reference to his trip to the fort walls outside. "Anyway," the general continued, "I have come here with you to commit soldiers to the defense of the Karelian front. Not against them, no, but against the Swedish. Compared to the Swedes to their west, the Karelians possess only meager forces, and should they plunge east, they are likely to capitulate quick. Any questions?"

One officer replied quickly. "Yes, sir. Why and how exactly have you come to this conclusion? Conclusion being that this is a good course of action to take, that is."

"I was hoping someone would ask that, to be honest," responded Petrov. "I have concluded that the Swedes are of the greatest threat due to the nature of the Rus foreign situation. The southern powers are unlikely to want to push past the Caucasus. Though the Circassian lands may give them a bridgehead into the region, it'll be a tough sell for their governments, invading into predominantly open steppe with far less urbanization than in the west. I wager that Cossack forces also possess a significant advantage in the fields over soldiers acquainted with mountainous Persia or hilly Anatolia."

"Siberia," continued the general, "is a land of unexploited opportunity. Keyword, unexploited. It is not very developed, and so Siberian forces, should they desire to push west, are unlikely to have significant resources on the ready to field a large enough army to pose a threat. The question of attrition is also at play. The relative lack of infrastructure, the frigid cold and the long distances, especially in the north will likely freeze or starve any invaders greatly. The so-called Free State of Ukraine appears to be mostly on the defensive. And while some voices in their ranks have deigns on lands east of the Dnieper-the city of Kyiv, cleaved in half especially, the river itself provides a fantastic defensible position. And besides, it is not like we are committing our entire force to this front only."

Breathing in and out to catch his breath, the general continued once more. "Sweden however, is unshackled. To their east lie the comparatively weak Karelians, and behind them, perhaps the richest city in the republic. And all the terrain between them and the capital being mostly taiga that their Finnish lackeys are well acquainted with. There is also their historical behavior. Even prior to their victory against the other Nordics, Sweden has always eyed the eastern territories of the old Novgorod Republic, and they have historically warred with Novgorod and its allied princedoms for power in the region. And now, with the Rus collectively off-balance in the aftermath of a costly war?"

The officer nods in agreement, and the others quickly follow. "Now, I cannot exactly man this front alone. This will require at least two commanders to think strategies and tactics. For that I have invited an acquaintance. Ruslan Maximovich Boldyrev." At the calling of his name, Ruslan's head rose, and gazed upon Konstantin with alertness and intent. Konstantin continued. "For now however, I will have to leave command of the army assembled here to him. As you may or may not know, I have, affairs to sort out with the government. I shall depart in a few hours' time, and will not return until the 20th. Until then however, we shall further elaborate on our strategies."


January 13, 1800
Republic of Rus
Provisional Council Building, City of Novgorod, Capital of the Republic


Konstantin smiled as he sat upon his seat in his office. The home stretch, he thought. This would be home stretch. The end to his tenure as leader of the nation was coming to a close. He would at last be able to return to his true calling, that of the battlefield. A confirmed patriot, Konstantin felt shackled by his position in the government, president he felt being a title better fit for someone with administrative or otherwise civilian qualifications. He could serve the nation ten times more in its defense. And besides, those 'Militarists' really ought to stop gunning for army power; what better way to dissuade them than by setting an example? When a knock sounded through his door, and an aide requesting his presence in the chambers followed suit, he stood, and shuffled to his destination with perhaps the greatest grin on his face.

Walking down the hallways, Konstantin spared glances to his left and right. What he was walking through was the former 'Palace of the High Veche and the Grand Prince,' a great building that, as the name suggested, served both as a meeting place for the High Veche, the highest legislative body of the old Novgorod Republic, and the residence of their Grand Prince. As he viewed the walls to his sides, he could see white squares and rectangles on the walls, telltale signs of recently removed paintings, stripped from the walls in an effort to purge the building of counterrevolutionary symbols.

His aide, until then silently walking by his side, then proceeded to talk as they walked. "Y'know, they're looking for more than military reports and your resignation, y'know."

"Yes?" responded the General-President, phrasing the word as a query for elaboration. His aide was quick to respond.

"Well sir, you carry a lot of weight with you. And not in that way. Since your tenure as head of state, you've become very popular amongst the soldiery, the populace and the politicians alike. Amazingly so. The things that you say have become quite respected, and will likely continue to do so until they day you die. Point is, they're looking for an endorsement. Someone, or some group with your name attached who the ballot-casters will really like as a result. Probably not enough to carry their entire platform, but enough to give them an edge."

"I see," responded Konstantin, as the pair walked down a flight of stairs. As they reached the bottom steps, he spoke again. "This, I will have to think about."

Hall of the Provisional Council

The atmosphere is rife with murmuring as dozens of councilmen shuffle into the room. Once, it was the great meeting hall for the High Veche, now it serves as the assembly for those that destroyed it. The words only intensify as Konstantin enters the room, his aide by his side. Besides the council, there were also a number of intrepid journalists and archivists looking to record the session in all its details. The General-President spared a glance to the gaggle of writers.

Certainly looks like they're awaiting an endorsement, he thinks, before turning to the speaker and quietly asking. "So, what is it on the agenda at the moment?"

"Well, right now its, lots of things. You'll see as the session goes." Konstantin nodded at the words, and gave the room to the speaker for the session to begin. He wasn't really the greatest fan of this place. Well, not exactly this place, but the group of people that occupied it. They had after all, moved from repurposed building to repurposed building some four, five times now? Last he checked, the new constitution outlined that the position of president would be one to venture into the legislature. Good call, he thought to himself. Should spare any future presidents this place.

As the General-President took the time to sit down, the speaker spoke to the Council, beginning the session.

"As well all know, this is perhaps one of the final sessions of the Provisional Council. In a few weeks time, we shall be no longer councilmen, but true representatives beholden to the people. With this aside. We begin this session of the Provisional Council. First up on the agenda..."
...

A multitude of arguments were raised as to what to do, who to send where against what forces, et cetera. Fortunately, no motions were made to overturn Konstantin's decision to focus on the Karelian front, but the voices demanding attention be put elsewhere were quite strong. Some Centralists were quite adamant about dealing with the Ukrainians with haste, citing a potential for a regionalist domino effect cascading throughout the country. To quote one Centralist voice, "Already the Ukrainians are purportedly agitating regionalist sentiments in the state of the Vlachs! By virtue of existing they provide an easy inspiration for those who wish to tear our nation apart from within. If these upstart Kyivans have their way, what's stopping their eastern neighbors in Chernihiv, or someone from Smolensk, or even Pskov from getting similar ideas?"

A Federalist quickly fired back, stating, "We are all Rus here, and so are the Ukrainians, even if they do not call themselves as such. Our shared republicanism is also quite the commonality, as is our heritage and even our faith. To demonstrate hostility towards those of the same blood and the same mind as us will surely do more to upset the national consciousness-building than any breakaway state's continued presence. We need only treat them with grace, and they will, if not join us, then at least cooperate towards shared prosperity."

Konstantin let the words of the council play over and over again in his head, as he carefully contemplated them. He had been quite silent throughout this session, leaving the talking to others in the room. He was then roused from his contemplation by the speaker calling his name. "This being, perhaps one of the final sessions, I think we ought to hear something from our very own President-General, some 'closing remarks' about the situation at hand, and words about what he'd like to see in the future of the nation."

As he rose, and put his lands upon the lectern to speak to the audience, Konstantin thought. That was code for the 'endorsement,' wasn't it? He gave himself time to think, to go through the merits of everyone in front of him, their allegiances, their policies. While not the brightest in the administrative, diplomatic or political fields, he did have some idea, enough perhaps, he hoped, to say something for the benefit of the republic. Silently, hands upon a lectern, Konstantin thought.

"Gentlemen. As I have made clear in the past," he began, the writers in the room taking notice, and scribbling furiously upon their parchments, "my resignation draws near. In a few weeks time we will be past the days of this Provisional Council, where army-men like I remain posted with their soldiers, and proper elections can be taken to give the people the voice they have demanded for so long. With this in mind, I hope that the man who will replace me will champion a strong republic, one which can defend itself from outside threats, but also a gentle republic, a kind nation that recognizes the liberty of all its citizens, a modern republic willing to look to the future and cast off relics from days past, and a moral republic that will remain close to the ideals and morals we have always strived for as a people."

Konstantin paused to give himself a moment. If this goes well, the future is secured. But only if I make the right choice. "I find these qualities best reflected, in the likes of... Stepan Pavlovych Baran and Lavr Stanislavovich Bychkov."

Murmurs rush through the hall at mention of these names. While indeed, most of them were looking and practically begging for an endorsement from the outgoing President, the fact that he was being, quite unusually partisan was still a strange sight to many. The names themselves also attracted some attention, approval from some, while disapproval from others. Stepan was a Rus from the southern lands, many of which have seceded under the Ukrainian banner. He was also quite the radical member of the Traditionalists. Religious yes, but one who took his faith in an unusual direction, championing a meek and righteous tolerance of all. While not exactly the most popular amongst his fellow, usually more orthodox Traditionalists, this did earn him praise in other circles, like the many religious and ethnic minorities living within the republic.

Lavr on the other hand was a Federalist hailing from the eastern frontier. It was out there that he honed his administrative skills, working as a diligent bureaucrat for the many different governments that occupied the land, from Cossack hosts to settler republic. It was also here that he learned the value of good, clean and democratic governance, fighting back against corrupt absolutism that he saw rear up quite a few times, unquestioned sovereigns sending more coin to their pockets than to the treasury. It was indeed also here, that he bumped into a number of Rus with backgrounds from all over, and the tensions that often flared up between them. Thus, he became quite the pan-nationalist in the east, wishing to unite the varied Rus but at the same not giving any one of them dominance over the others, lest they become decadent.

With his announcement aside, Konstantin stepped away from the lectern back to the side, allowing the speaker to conclude the session. As councilmen shuffled out of the stage, the writers jotted down perhaps one of the greatest stories to land on their laps yet. There were a number of ways they could spin this. "President-General Agitates for Federalist-Traditionalist Coalition!" "Konstantin Endorses Farmer-Priest and Frontiersman!" With eager smiles, they too left the hall.

And so Konstantin was alone in the room. The snows were still piling up outside, and the sun by now had set, leaving the sky a reddish-purple hue as it continued to cast light from below the horizon. Breathing in and out, he composed himself and left the hall, a nervous sweat beginning to form on his face.


January 15, 1800
Republic of Rus
Interior of Fort Alexander, City of Aleksandrgrad


Boldyrev looked upon a a great map of the area as he meticulously planned for a Swedish invasion. Places to position troops, fallback positions, where to expect invasions. The map itself was commissioned by the Novgorod Republic in the 1700s. Nonetheless the effort into it-three generations' worth of cartographers apparently, made it useful still in the present day.

"A copy of the Herald and a hot cup of water, sir. As per request I added some herbs from the town and boiled them with the water," said a soldier doubling as an aide. Taking both the paper and the cup, Ruslan turned first to the cup. Can never risk getting drunk in this weather, he thought. He then turned to the paper, and leafed through its pages.

"Huh," he remarked. "So old Petrov is made to get properly political again. You can't escape it, y'know. One day Council hum-drum will be reaching this fortress too, if it hasn't already." Returning to the map, he continued to brainstorm for ideas and such.

At my disposal are about 9,500 soldiers at the given moment. While I can always request more forces, and no doubt more will come should war occur, for I think it best to work with this. Of my 9,500, I have 5,000 line infantry, 2,000 artillerymen, and 2,500 of the so-called Druzhina. Strange name for northern forest fighters. I think they stopped being boyars what, some three centuries ago? They'll certainly be the best at fighting through the taiga and the cold. I'll have to begin drilling the infantry and artillery for these cold conditions, I feel they may have gotten rusty in the time since their last battle up north. It may also be beneficial to strike up an agreement with the Karelians, perhaps borrow some of their forces for a common defense. This I may have to take up with central government, though here's to hoping Petrov's doing that.

"Get me my coat!" beckoned Ruslan. "I'll be outside."

As Ruslan ventured to begin drilling his troops, his mind went back to the question of his available forces. If he felt the need to, he could always request more. Novgorod was practically less than a day's ride away from here. And of the forces he did have, the formerly Novgorodian 'Druzhina' were quite potent. Originally, Novgorod's Druzhina were a retinue of boyars made to be the elite of the army and a guard for the Grand Prince. Similar schemes were in place for other princedoms and their Druzhina. But as firearms were popularized and nobles moved away from the rank-and-file, the Druzhina as a concept declined, and many princedoms disbanded theirs. In Novgorod however, they took a turn, slowly becoming a force of forest skirmishers recruited from native Finnic populations, experts at dealing with the northern taiga.

As the fort doors swung open and Ruslan was greeting with the cold outside, he called to his soldiers. "Everyone," he beckoned. "We shall be exercising today."
Last edited by Danubian Peoples on Wed Oct 20, 2021 3:23 am, edited 5 times in total.
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This nation does not reflect my IRL views on anything.
Sorry for any mistakes I make with regards to history while roleplaying in historical RPs. Also I am not a qualified historian or academic. None of the make-believe I do is likely to stand up to academic scrutiny.

Valdez Islands is my puppet.

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American Pere Housh
Senator
 
Posts: 3931
Founded: Jan 12, 2019
Father Knows Best State

Postby American Pere Housh » Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:01 am

Tysoania wrote:New Mexico, Viceroyalty of New Spain

Viceroy's Residence

"The troops on the borders are becoming very expensive as well. And so, my lord, we will be out of funds in about three months without immediate changes."

Miguel José de Azanza, viceroy of New Spain, could not believe what he was hearing. The man sitting opposite him in the viceroy's office, New Spain's chief treasurer, was telling him that the viceroyalty had been run into the ground.

"Good God, man, why wasn't I informed earlier?" Azanza angrily asked.

"Unfortunately, we've just gotten the figures sorted out from the last administration. It seems that the previous viceroy ran a loose ship, my lord," the treasurer, a man by the name of de Soto, answered matter-of-factly.

Azanza stood up from his desk and turned to look out the window. The residence, in the center of the city of Mexico, had a good view of the government quarter, and he could troops and bureaucrats walking in the streets, with the occasional merchant passing through as well. The merchants were not to blame for this problem, as exports from New Spain had been excellent last year. Mining and agriculture continued to prop up the viceroyalty's economy, with sugar, cocoa, and tobacco being the mainstays of the export market. Although silver was still productive, it was slowly declining as it was replaced by silver exports from other regions of the Spanish Empire. Azanza had promised his superiors back in Spain that he would replace silver with another lucrative resource: fur. Fur was becoming a luxury good for consumers in Europe, with factories paying top dollar for new fur shipments. Although Spain had claimed the northwest of the American continent, it had yet to actually exploit that region or even properly annex it. Azanza planned to fix that, as soon as Admiral Gravina and his squadron arrived in New Spain.

However, the rapid development of the United States as a developed nation was beginning to trouble New Spain's prospects. That nation had recently begun expanding its agricultural base, and that meant competition for tobacco and cotton markets in Europe.

"The United States seem to be pressing south for land and resources, de Soto. Do you expect this is for the fertile land or for territory?"

De Soto thought for a second, then answered. "Well, my lord, they have a strong manufacturing base that would benefit from newly acquired agricultural lands. However, given their recent tensions with the British, I suspect that they may actually try to press north towards British North America."

And then the viceroy had a crazy idea. Thinking more on it, it began to seem less crazy and more reasonable. It could both solve the budget issue and give the Spanish an ally in North America, as well as give the viceroy a bargaining chip if he needed one. Azanza turned back to his desk and sat down.

"You said the United States has a strong manufacturing base, right?"

"Yes, my lord."

"Then we could offer to give the Americans the resources from the south that they seem to covet. American factories can buy our cotton and tobacco at reduced prices if we become their sole supplier. In exchange, we pledge to only sell cotton and tobacco to Americans. And Spaniards, of course, but at regular prices." Azanza fell silent, waiting for the treasurer's reaction.

De Soto thought for a few seconds. "Well, my lord, New Spain would certainly benefit from increased trade and improved relations with the Americans. It would benefit the United States as well, as they would have a stranglehold on exports of cotton and tobacco to Europe. However, this would stop the colony from industrializing. The Spanish market isn't big enough to justify building factories to process those resources alone."

"Improved relations would allow us to demobilize those forces on the border, though, and stop the budget shortfall," Azanza replied quickly. "If we can hold on until the Admiral gets fur production underway, that conquest should open later avenues for development in the region."

"Very good, my lord. Should I have the secretary begin drafting a letter?"

"Yes, please, as well as one requesting permission from Madrid," Azanza replied, pleased with himself. "And begin working on a price list, too. When the Americans agree to this, we should at least appear to be ready!"

To: United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs
From: Miguel José de Azanza, Viceroy of New Spain

New Spain would like to extend a warm handshake in recognition of your continued struggle against British domination. On the subject of economic matters, I am interested in striking a deal with the United States. New Spain will become the sole supplier of cotton and tobacco to processors and manufacturers throughout the United States, including domestic production, and in return, the United States will receive significantly reduced prices for those resources and the granting of a monopoly on Spanish cotton and tobacco exports from the Americas to Europe (excluding Spain). In light of the fact that New Spain is one of the largest producers of these goods in the Americas, I hope that you will appreciate the advantageous economic position this will give the United States over Great Britain and other rivals.

Yours,

Miguel José de Azanza
Viceroy of New Spain

January 24,1800
Boston, Massachusetts, the United States of America


Timothy is in Boston visiting a friend outside his home when a man walks up to him, "Are you Señor Pickering?"

Timothy looks over at man notices his tanned skin and Spanish accent, "You are speaking to him good sir. Why don't we head inside to get out of this cold if you don't mind Charles?"

The question was pointed at Timothy's friend, "I don't mind at all my friend." The three men headed inside where a warm fire was going in the fireplace. Timothy turns to the man, "So young man, what can I do for you?"

The man cleared his throat before speaking, "Well Señor Pickering, I come from the capital of New Spain with message from the Viceroy addressed to you." The man handed the letter to Tim.

Timothy opened the letter and began reading the letter. He read it three times over before looking at the man from New Spain, "Sir something like this will require approval from President Adams and to do so, we will have to travel down to New York City. If you wish, we can leave tomorrow morning as it is getting late you don't want to be caught outside during a New England winter."

The man nodded, "We can do that Señor as I am still not use to this cold weather."
Government Type:Militaristic Absolute Monarchy
Leader:King Alexander
WA Ambassador: Eliza 'Vanny' Cortez
Secretary of Defense:Hitomi Izumi
Secretary of State:Alicia Cortez
Current Year:2750
I stand with the State of Israel.
2021 RPCountry:South Korea

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Hanovereich
Diplomat
 
Posts: 836
Founded: Jun 24, 2021
Democratic Socialists

Postby Hanovereich » Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:42 am

An Empire of Kingdoms
8th of January, 1800




Lieutenant General Johannes Klingenberg Sejersted, deputy governor of Norway, entered the study of the King. Gustav IV Adolf was waiting for him, sitting at the far end of the room, with a stack of papers visible.

"Ah. Lieutenant General." the King said calmly, looking up from his papers. "You are- four minutes early." He gestured for Sejersted to sit.

"Four more minutes to answer this summoning, Your Majesty." Sejersted replied immediately, as he took a seat. "You sent for me?"

"Yes. I have here..." Gustav took out a paper, the seal of the King visible at the bottom, and handed it over. "Letters patent dated the 7th. You are to take command of the newly-formed Army of the North, with 30,000 soldiers, effective immediately. We are reorganising our military for a war."

Sejersted, who had been reading the letters patent, looked up in surprise. "A war?"

"Yes. I have already told Cronsedt this in a meeting an hour ago." Gustav pointed to another piece of paper, indicating that the Admiral of the Baltic Fleet had also received a letters patent. "Our distinguished admiral will take command of our Navy. You will be defending Norway, Iceland and Greenland. Not that Greenland and Iceland need defending- we have practically nobody there. No, your troops in Norway will be our reserve."

Sejersted mind was working rapidly. If the reserve was in the west of the Empire, that meant the enemy was coming from-

"The east." the King finished the General's thoughts. "Against the Rus, yes."

As soon as the Republic of Rus was mentioned, the distinguished Norwegian general stood up in surprise. "But- we have never been in a quarrel with the Rus!"

"Maybe not militarily." Gustav gestured for the general to sit down. "But we have always eyed Karelia and the Baltics. The Rus is the only remaining obstacle to our goals."

Sejersted sat down again, and after a few minutes of thought, he spoke. "Why me?" he asked simply.

"Because you are from Norway." the King replied, equally simply. "We have Peter, Grand Duke of Oldenburg, leading 15,000 men in Denmark. In Sweden our Lord High Constable will command 35,000 men. And in Finland 7,000 soldiers are ready, 4,000 of them in the southeast, under the governor of Laponia."

"7,000 men." Sejersted murmured. "7,000 men to attack the Rus?"

"We are still drawing up our plans." Gustav took out another piece of paper from his pile. "Here- in a month we plan to have 42,000 men from 30 infantry, 5 artillery and 5 cavalry regiments. We also have around 55,000 rotes prepared and ready." A rote was a small unit made up of two farms to supply a soldier. "On top of that, the local militia will be expanded, transferred to the military, and given a proper Swedish military training. We plan to have all of this done in two months. After that, conscription will be introduced, with any household able to pay 1,400 riksdaler exempt. The funds will be needed in a war. As for the Navy, Admiral Cronsedt has arranged for all merchant ships in our waters to be seized and turned into warships. By June we shall have at least a hundred ships."

Sejersted, however, was still doubtful. "But why, after nearly a century of peace, have we decided to go to war?"

Gustav leant back in his chair. "General," he began. "I became King 8 years ago. In my speech to the Riksdag- which, I recall, you attended- I said, if I remember correctly, 'Sweden is a Kingdom made up of Kingdoms. I shall turn Sweden into an Empire made up of Kingdoms.' My goal is to turn Sweden into a power to rival the Empires of Britain or Spain. The Rus, on our very borders, are the last obstacle. Defeat them, and we shall have a true Swedish Empire- the Baltics, Asia, south to the Balkans or west, west to Britanny."

With that, the King stood up, nodded at the general, and exited.




Hans Henric von Essen put on his winter coat and left his tent, one larger than the rest with space for a meeting with his staff. It was early morning on the 9th. A battalion of a regiment in the Third Brigade- consisting of the elite Savolak Light Infantry Regiments- was ready for his inspection. Of course, there would not be anything wrong with the Savolaks. Their uniform was neatly done, their muskets were polished and reflected the bright sunlight, and their drill was perfectly performed- marching through the camp with precision. It was a shame that he had only been given 300 of them- enough for two understrength battalions. The only unit in his army that was better than the Savolak Light Infantry were the Karelska Dragoons. Both units came from regions in Finland. The Dragoons in his army could be made into a company.

Finally there were the Life Guards- the elite royal guards of the King, with 1,000 of them, with 500 in Stockholm, 300 in Oslo, 150 in Copenhagen and 50 with von Essen's army. These Life Guards were hussars, and their primary role- at least on paper- was to guard the commander and his staff. This did not stop von Essen from immediately deciding to deploy them with the rest of his cavalry. They would be needed in any case.

After some more training (he needed his militia to be as trained as possible), the militia were inspected. Most of them came from Finland, with a few knowing some friends in the Savolak Infantry or the Karelska Dragoons. They did not have the same professionalism as their friends in the elite unites, but they were nearly ready to join the regular army. Their commander was a colonel from the vargering, the actual reserve, made up of discharged soldiers who still wanted to be part of the military, and some good militia members transferred over.

Finally, the army was paraded in front of von Essen, with every regiment being inspected. Each soldier knew their duty- their duty to serve the King, in battle and in peace.

The general then sent for his general staff. Half a dozen officers- the commanders of artillery, infantry and cavalry, plus von Essen's chief of staff, the liaison to Stockholm, and the Duke of Karelia, who was there as the army was on his land. He was also a good friend of von Essen, the two of them having been in the military together.

"Gentlemen." von Essen nodded to each of his officers as he arrived. It was outside- von Essen liked to be outside, watching his men drill around him, even if that made the staff vulnerable to some ambushes. "I have received orders from the King. We are to meet 1,500 soldiers of the 14th Infantry Regiment in Helsingfors. I asked for more artillery, but it seems that most of them are needed in Sweden and Norway. I have also requested some more Life Regiment Hussars. 200 of them will leave Oslo tomorrow. Our army is growing."

Count, Eberhard von Vegesack, von Essen's chief of staff, spoke up. "We also shall bring in 500 militiamen from Norway. All the Finnish militia units are needed to defend the border. I also requested that conscription be introduced- a necessary measure, so no need for the surprised faces, gentlemen- but the King said that he would do so when it was absolutely necessary."

The liaison in Stockholm then spoke. "His Majesty sent me a coded letter yesterday. He says that we are to not advance into any territory of the Rus, that we may enter the lands of the Karelians if we wish, that diplomacy is not being ruled out, and that any military decision from the general staff will be regarded as a royal command."

von Essen nodded. "Good. I want a letter to be sent to Admiral Cronsedt in Copenhagen, requesting vessels in Helsingfors. I also want this army to be ready to invade Karelia in two weeks. Send for some engineers if we can with equipment to build a fort here. That will be our headquarters for the Karelian Army. Also send some of our Savolaks on scouting missions near the border. The Karelians may not be a strong foe but I'm not taking any chances."

He looked at his officers. They all looked reluctant or anxious. von Essen glared at them. "Those orders have the force of royal command." he snapped. "Go!"

And with that, he turned his back on his staff, and marched off.




Image

Swedish Empire


To the President of the Free State of Ukraine,

Sir,

The Swedish Empire wishes to inform you, as head of the Free State of Ukraine, that we are pleased to recognise the Free State of Ukraine as an independent nation. We hope that this can be the start of a new, friendly alliance with Ukraine.

Regards,
Count Lars von Engeström
Secretary to the Lord High Chancellor


Image

Swedish Empire


To the Head of the Provisional Council of the Rus,

Sir,

I formally extend an invitation to you, to Helsingfors as soon as you are able to. I trust that Sweden and the Rus do not wish to have a conflict with each other. This meeting will decide the territorial borders of our two great nations, and to discuss whether we can decide on a new arrangement that will satisfy both nations.

Regards,
Count Lars von Engeström
Secretary to the Lord High Chancellor
Last edited by Hanovereich on Tue Oct 19, 2021 10:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Danubian Peoples
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1110
Founded: Sep 21, 2018
New York Times Democracy

Postby Danubian Peoples » Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:47 am

January 20, 1800
Republic of Rus
Outside Fort Alexander, City of Aleksandrgrad


The sound of horse hoof against snowy earth signaled the arrival of a large entourage. At its helm of course, was Konstantin Ivanovich Petrov, head of the Provisional Council, riding a pitch black steed clothed in a horse blanket. He'd grown fond of this one, and having it go out by way of hypothermia would be far from ideal, after all. To his left, within a carriage, was an esteemed and bespectacled diplomat, if a little gaunt, known as Ivan Vsevolodovich Shulgin. With Shulgin was another diplomat, a plumper one known as Yevgeniy Sergeyevich Prokhorov, addressed as Zhenya for short. Trailing behind them was a large number of mostly military engineers that seemed to stretch on into the horizon, and even that was not the entirety of the army being assembled. The full force is expected to conclude its arrival by early February, it being sourced primarily from the regiments stationed around Novgorod. In total, the forces being assembled, in addition to the 9,500 already present, number at 38,000.

As the fortress doors swung open, Petrov, the two diplomats, and a small entourage of aides and guards entered Fort Alexander's depths.


Fortress Interior

"At the regimental level," Konstantin declaimed to Ruslan, "our new crop of forces break down into 17 infantry regiments, each regiment at a full strength of 10 battalions of a hundred each totaling 17,000 soldiers, 6 regiments of our best dragoons, each 5 battalions of a hundred totaling 3,000, 3 regiments of artillery, 10 battalions each totaling 3,000 and 5 cavalry regiments, 10 battalions each totaling 5,000, totaling 28,000 regular regimental divisions. In additional we have 8,000 irregulars in the form of the Druzhina you specifically requested more of, and 2,000 military engineers to refurbish fortifications and construct earthworks from which we will begin our defense."

"Sounds a little, understrength," said Ruslan. "The Swedish army numbers a 100,000 strong. Considering their open diplomatic position, with no particular commitments to any front, I think they're likely to send at least three-fifths of our forces in our direction should they choose to invade."

"Well," responded Konstantin. "We're in a bit of a bind. Much of the army is still being trained to a superior standard. Indeed, these men are perhaps of the upper fourth, if not fifth in terms of quality amongst our army ranks. And besides, I think I have an idea as to how we're going to maximize their potential. That's what Shulgin here is for."

"Elaborate," is the response Ruslan gives.

"We'll be sending him to meet with the Karelians. Records point to the existence of a few fortresses in the region, established intermittently by the Novgorod Republic during the 16th through 18th centuries. Karelian authorities have reportedly kept them in decent shape. They're a far cry from Fort Alexander here, but they should be enough to serve as a foundation for our engineers to work with. The plan is to form an alliance with the Karelians and allow us Rus to use the forts in their territory. Not an annexation per se-that can wait, but an agreement for mutual cooperation against the Swedes. Once refurbished, these fortresses along with Fort Alexander will serve as good in multiplying our forces. We'll man the walls with our artillery and some infantry, some dragoons, cavalry and of course the Druzhina can be used the skirmish with and harass our foes. When they're depleted and demoralized, we'll destroy them in a decisive confrontation. The plan is to wear them out and whittle them down, then smash them."

"And what if the forts fail? If they surrender to a siege or are stormed by the enemy?"

"For that likely scenario, we fall back. Fort-building and trench-digging is not exactly dissimilar to civilian engineering. We can perhaps tap into the Karelian manpower or put up postings for construction jobs in our territories to build additional layers of defense on the way here to Aleksandrgrad. The exact date of the potential Swedish attack is not known to us, so we'll have to make haste with these constructions, use conscription possibly. While these defenses are likely to be inferior to that provided by the existing forts, they should be enough to orchestrate continued harassment and smaller skirmishes. As the Swedes push into the forests, they are likely to be broken up into smaller groups. There are a number of lakes in the region that will further this. Once they're weakened and spread out, then we'll try for decisive engagements."

"A defense-in-depth.." responded Ruslan. "A novel concept, one that I don't think is exactly common. But it could be risky. These are some of the best soldiers we have, and if this goes wrong, that's nearly 40,000 men we no longer have. And this is also predicated on the Karelians agreeing to our offer of alliance, which considering their prior relationship with the Rus I do not think is likely."

"Well for starters," responded Konstantin, "we'll use the time bought by our defenses as a means to muster a larger, and perhaps better-trained army. The layered defense and the men manning it will not be the end of our strategy. As for the Karelians, Ivan is well-trained, he knows who and what to mention with that silver tongue of his. One of these topics he expects to garner success with by the way, is you. I don't know if you've realized this, but as great commanders who've led large armies in the revolutionary war, our names have become legend in many places. I was asked to endorse some names in the Council precisely because of the weight my name carries in the ranks of the common Rus."

"And you," continued the general. "you have built up goodwill with the fighting men of Karelia. They have fought with you in the cold reaches of the north in a shared effort to take down Alexander V and his realm. Your men have marched with theirs, you have talked with their commanders, the same battles in which you came to respect the skill the Druzhina, in which you earned the reputation of a bear, the Karelian leadership have come to respect your name. This fact I have learned during my days in the political scene. It wasn't called a revolutionary alliance for nothing, after all. If you so desire, you can come along with the delegation to bolster their efforts with your presence."

At Konstantin's words Ruslan felt a bit of pride. He had not known he had such a reputation with him. In hindsight, it made a bit of sense. He had seen the high fame to which many of his peers were carried by the war, especially Konstantin, who he was sharing the room with at this very moment. He had also seen how their reputations could be used for gain, be it easing the cost of jovial celebration on the old savings, or earning a career in politics. For a moment, Ruslan thought. Then he spoke.

"No," he said. "I cannot attend. I am needed here, to drill the troops every second I have. Your schedule is unpredictable, you most likely will be called for a return to the capital to hash out some political situation again. But mine, it cannot be. I must remain here, to professionalize the army, to build upon our strategy and to keep watch for any attacks. But I will write. Something on parchment, to remind the Karelians of my supposed reputation with them."

"Then it is settled. I'll be calli-"

"Wait," says Ruslan. "What of the other diplomat?"

At this, Konstantin took a deep breath, before replying. "Well, he is to be sent to the Swedish. I don't know if you've heard, but a letter had been recently sent by the Swedes asking for an audience, with me. Hashing out some border territories and a promise of no conflict, apparently."
Image

Swedish Empire


To the Head of the Provisional Council of the Rus,

Sir,

I formally extend an invitation to you, to Helsingfors as soon as you are able to. I trust that Sweden and the Rus do not wish to have a conflict with each other. This meeting will decide the territorial borders of our two great nations, and to discuss whether we can decide on a new arrangement that will satisfy both nations.

Regards,
Count Lars von Engeström
Secretary to the Lord High Chancellor

Ruslan took a double take to process the information. "Yes, I have heard," he stated. "But I don't think I've given it too much thought. But now that you bring it up.. Are you suggesting we do not trust them? Part of me sees no reason to doubt this letter's intentions, but at the same time.. their historical behavior and their previous agitations lend credence to the idea that this offer could be a ruse, a deception, a lie."

"You share an opinion popular with a significant portion of the Provisional Council. Even the purportedly dovish Federalists have demonstrated at least some skepticism of this offer of peace. Part of why I endorsed them a few days ago, which you may have noticed in the Herald. Whatever the case, the government, whose position I find myself agreeing with, has agreed to send Zhenya and a contingent of other dignitaries in lieu of me. I've got a very busy schedule after all, which could easily be used as cover."

"Understood," responds Ruslan. "With this in mind however, I think it may be wise to construct our defenses with a degree of stealth in mind. Build only in the night, perhaps and post guards to shoo off potential scouts. Alternatively, we could use the conspicuousness of the construction to provoke an early response from the Swedes, have them invade our lands before they have mustered the full force of their military. Granted, the latter approach would mean that the Swedes will be invading without the planned defenses to slow them down.. Something to think about."


January 20, 1800
Baltic Sea
Gulf of Finland


"Quite chilly," remarked Yevgeniy Sergeyevich Prokhorov. Hands close to his body and legs shivering from the cold, he quickly moved below deck to escape the cold. "There are some things I like about you, Aleksandrgrad, but this frosty cold is not one of them and never has been!"

Below deck, he sat next to a number of shivering sailors which all mostly had the same idea he did. They weren't exactly needed above, these are quite safe waters and the weather, even with protection can be unbearable. Zhenya drew close to a lit lamp, his hands heating up as he placed them on the lamp's glass, a flickering oil flame just behind them. "Sweden will very much be worth it," he said. "Or at least, I hope it will. Hopefully they aren't right about the whole "they will invade" thing."

Looking to fill the time, he turned to one of the sailors and spoke. "Y'know, I'm not exactly a diplomat by trade. But I do have plenty of experience working with outsiders, both domestic and foreign. Turns out revolutionary movements don't produce too many of those. And I guess it also turns out that the trade of a burgher is closest to that of a foreign dignitary."

The sailor looked on with interest. There wasn't too much to do, and this guy seemed pretty interesting, after all. Inviting Zhenya to continue, the burgher-turned-diplomat went on about the details of his profession, about how he ran a sizeable farm back in his home city, how he secured a tidy profit with each harvest, and how he met up and negotiated with quite a few characters, perhaps the trait that made him attractive for the foreign affairs position. Another sailor next to this one instead rolled his eyes. He just wanted some rest, and this upper-class nitwit going on about his line of work certainly wasn't helping.

At least Sweden was only a day's voyage away.
To the Count Lars von Engeström, Secretary to the Lord High Chancellor

Sir,

Unfortunately, the President Konstantin Ivanovich Petrov is currently unavailable for any foreign meeting requests. As I hope you understand, he is indeed a very busy man currently undertaking several tasks. Rest assured however, the Rus have not neglected your invitation and have decided to send me and a delegation in his stead. We will be happy to negotiate a new border agreement between the Rus and the Swedes.

Regards,
Yevgeniy Sergeyevich Prokhorov, Diplomat



January 21, 1800
Karelian Territories
Frontier House


It was dark, and this Ivan knew. And it was also very cold, and this Ivan knew as well. He was sure it was so late into the cold night that he had some three, two hours until the 22nd rolled around. Not that it mattered, it was likely he would be sleeping in. It was only thanks to the lodge house around him and the fireplace within that he did not immediately freeze to death. Personal discomfort aside, he had been finding success with the Karelian delegation in front of him, especially after he handed him the letter from General Ruslan.

"A letter from Ruslan himself," said the Karelian. Evidently he was a commander, judging by scars that ran the length of his face. Ivan had seen similar scars in the past on many military officers. "I can't believe it. I commanded men with him in the battle for the city of Novgorod, y'know. He was a fantastic man. Generally calm, not exactly one for the bottle unlike many of his peers, and had great results on the battlefield. If he thinks it be a good idea for the Rus to come to Karelia and refurbish these fortresses you speak of, then so be it. I'll be sure to spread the word to all the other leaders 'round here. Mention of the Bear gets you quite far in our circles, I must say. A word of warning, many of us Karelians may not appreciate Rus presence here, but rest assured me and my fellow men in the leadership will try and ease such tensions."

"Then it is settled," Ivan said with approval. "I'll be sure to report back to the republic with haste. I thank you, sir, for this productive meeting."
Last edited by Danubian Peoples on Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:35 am, edited 5 times in total.
NS stats are not used.
This nation does not reflect my IRL views on anything.
Sorry for any mistakes I make with regards to history while roleplaying in historical RPs. Also I am not a qualified historian or academic. None of the make-believe I do is likely to stand up to academic scrutiny.

Valdez Islands is my puppet.

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Mifan
Minister
 
Posts: 2671
Founded: Nov 05, 2013
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Mifan » Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:01 pm

January, 1800
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia


The snow gently covered the cobbled roads throughout the city, leaving a beautiful scene. The sound of hooves were muffled slightly, as the snow softened the heavy blows. Th carriage that was being pulled belonged to Duke Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, Field Marshall of the Prussian Army. The elderly man has been appointed to his position by the late Frederick William II. Now he was being summoned by the King. The letter he had received didn't give any indication of what would be discussed, but as a noble, himself, he's used to such a thing.

The carriage stopped in front of the Berlin Palace and the Duke stepped out into the cold. He looked at the giant guards who were standing at attention. It had been sometime since he travelled the the palace that he had almost forgotten about the so called Potsdam Giants, the Royal Guard of the kings. It was a brigade of giants, numbering 5,000. He couldn't recall if the brigade had ever seen combat, but the fear factor was still there. Those men loomed over him and that alone sent a shiver down his spine.

A young servant came running towards Charles, bowing before him. "My Lord, shall I escort you to the dining room?" Charles nodded and allowed the servant into the palace. The heat inside of the building was very much needed after being in the cold for some time. He was soon ushered into the dining room, where His Majesty awaited. There was an elaborate meal on the massive table, suited for men of their stature.

"Your Majesty." Charles bowed his head.

"I'm glad you were able to make time in your busy schedule to meet with me. I'm sure you're wondering what I wished to discuss, but that can wait. Please, have a seat and enjoy the meal. I know it couldn't have been a pleasant ride in the cold." Charles and the King both began to eat, making small talk along the way. Simple discussions revolving around family and such. After some time, Frederick looked at the Duke and cleared his throat. "I wish to speak with you about the state of our Army." Charles looked up at the King after swallowing a piece of meat. He wasn't surprised, considering his position. "How would you rate our Army?"

Charles was confused by the question, but still, gave an honest answer. "As the best in the world. We're Prussians, our Army shall always be the best." Frederick sighed and looked away for a moment.

"Best? How can our Army be the best, when it's so outdated?" He looked back at the Duke. "When you walked in, tell me, what did you think about my guards?"

"They're frightening to say the least. I wouldn't wish to fight giants if I was a regular soldier." Once again, the King sighed and shook his head. "Is there a problem Your Majesty?"

"My father had no interest in the military and effectively put you in charge of it. However, you failed to point out the equipment my men have. Even with my wealth, I still outfit them with outdated equipment." The Duke frowned. "Last year I travelled around to many different units within our Army, and I'm shocked by the lack of quality." The Duke felt anger rising up within him; he wanted to fight back and defend the honor of the military. However, he wasn't a fool, speaking out of turn could have consequences for him. "Prussia is an Army with a State. I do not wish to see this Army destroyed on the field of battle." He looked over at the Duke who was fuming, and gave him permission to speak.

"Your Majesty, with all due respect, I have been in charge of the military for years. There is no enemy that will be able to defeat us. We live in a time of peace, no nation is foolish enough to even touch our glorious nation." He paused for a brief moment. "I find it appalling that you look down upon the Army. I heard about your travels and thought you were proud of the force you command."

"I look down upon it because this Army is the creation of my ancestors. Generations spent their lives trying to create an Army for this nation. However, my father let it rot and fester and now I must clean up the mess. Peace will no last forever, and I refuse to see this nation suffer because the quality of our Army dropped so low. Consider this both as a warning and order. This Army, by the time I die, will be cleaned up. It will be the powerful force that even my ancestors would be envy of. This is not 1740. This isn't 17770. The tactics Frederick the Great used no longer apply. We need to modernize or our Army is worth nothing." The Duke said nothing. "Enjoy the rest of your meal. I shall have one of the servants show you your room." With that, the King left the room, leaving the Duke flabbergasted.
Uh, they're called green hearts.

You racist.

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Countesia
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1101
Founded: Oct 10, 2019
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Countesia » Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:30 pm

Verkhovna Rada Building
City of Odessa
Free State of Ukraine



Image
Artists impression of the Verkhovna Rada Building, formerly the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre.


Back in the capital after their little sojourn to the Romanian border, Anton Vasily was elbow deep in paperwork, signing and sealing missives to be distributed to every Ukrainian held military installation detailing the collection and discreet deliveries of obsolete Rus weaponry to his newfound allies in Moldova. He almost didn't notice the knock at its door until it repeated itself, louder this time.

"Enter." Anton announced to whoever was attempting to disturb him.

His minister of Foreign Affairs Piotr Ivanov, slid into the room and shut the door behind him. He held with him two sealed letters. Anton immediately recognised the seal of the Swedish crown but the other one was new to him.

"Sorry to disturb you, Mister President. I was personally handed two letters from couriers from the Swedish and from across the Atlantic, from America."

Anton put his wax and stamp aside and looked at Piotr with interest "America? The United States?"

"Yes, Mister President. I believe this is the first ever communication between our nations." Piotr said as he handed Anton the letters.

Anton took a moment to admire the seal from the United States, he couldn't help himself but get dragged into to memories of his youth. He had only been an officer of the Kyivan Rus for three months when news of the Declaration of Independence came from across the Atlantic, of how a ragtag and disparate group of settlers were able to achieve a hard won independence from one of the most powerful nation on earth. He could remember a mixture of surprise, admiration and yet envy. It was one of the first times he had ever envisioned a free Ukraine. One of many moments that led to him to the man he was today.

"How momentous" Anton said as he smiled to himself. "Leave me to muse over them, I will summon for you when I'm ready to read a response."


To the esteemed Secretary of State Timothy Pickering

the Free State of Ukraine would like to make a formal declaration of its admiration of a fellow nation of patriots. It is absolutely in the interests of my nation to align ourselves with likeminded folks.

Your acknowledgement of our independence humbles us. And likewise, we acknowledge yours.

I humbly and with great honour accept your invitation to meet with your leadership. However I am loathe to leave my nation undefended. I will attend on the provision that at least two of your ships remain in Odessa.

I hope this communication finds you well.

Yours sincerely

President of the Provisional Government of Ukraine

Anton Vasily


To the esteemed Count Lars von Engeström, Secretary to the Lord High Chancellor

Your recognition of our nation is most appreciated. Ukraine is very interested and honoured to acquire an ally of such wealth, power and prestige.

As such, The Free State of Ukraine formally invites The Swedish Empire to send a diplomatic mission to Odessa. We look forward to discussing the intricacies of an alliance and a trade agreement.

Your Sincerely

President of The Provisional Government of Ukraine

Anton Vasily



I know the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre wasn't opened until 1810, but in this timeline it was opened a little sooner. I hope this is ok.

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Madmunch
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 118
Founded: Apr 27, 2019
Ex-Nation

Postby Madmunch » Tue Oct 19, 2021 10:46 am

Image

"The Ivory Plan" & Troubles in the Far East



Summary:

Since his first meeting with Henry X, William Pitt had given more thought to their discussed proposals and greatly expanded on the grand stratagem of his liege. Now dubbed "The Ivory Plan," the prime minister had decided that a group of official trading companies will serve as the nation's front instead of the originally planned single company. The origins of the New Conglomerate of Africa (NCA) as it was called, was made known to the public as having been formed by a party of very influential British business-owners, sharing mutual interests in the trading of Africa's wealth. On paper, it was these businessmen who had convened before their young King and propositioned the idea to pool their respective resources together to form an organization for a combined venture deep into the territories of the African continent. In reality, however, it was His Majesty's Government who had done the opposite and secretly propositioned these businessmen first on the idea. Nonetheless, to the public, it seemed that their new King was pressured into giving his support to them and bestowing a royal charter upon the New Conglomerate, giving these businessmen a full 30-year monopoly on trade with the African continent, as well as on the exportation of goods from West & South Africa specifically. The proposal for a generous annual grant to be given to the NCA was also submitted on the parliamentary floor.

As expected, the passing of the Catholic emancipation as the first act of Henry X, didn't sit well with many Protestant members of Parliament. The Protestant Tories, especially, took this as an opportunity to demand a repeal of the emancipation or stand in the way of Parliament bestowing an annual grant to the New Conglomerate. But the end result of a personal meeting between the King and Charles James Fox of the Whigs, resulted in the Whigs shockingly lending their support on the debated issues to the new Tories loyal to William Pitt's administration. The topic of emancipation repeal was reluctantly put aside for the moment, while the annual grant was accepted and the first obstacle to the secret Ivory Plan of Great Britain had been successfully overcome. The New Conglomerate was finally ready to embark on it's long venture to claim land and glory for the British Empire. Leading the charge are the merchants and newly-appointed colonial administrators, John Harland and Sir Adam Wade. Together, these two are to assume the governorships of Freetown and Capetown respectively. From there they would carefully proceed with the peaceful expansion, cultural assimilation and colonization of all regions West to South of Africa.

While the New Conglomerate may seem as independently powerful as the East India Company (EIC), that fact couldn't be further from the truth. Unlike the EIC, The NCA is heavily regulated by His Majesty's Government, with it's governors and directors secretly subject to the cabinet Board of Control which was formed in 1784 with the signing of Pitt's India Act. Learning from their mistake of giving the East India Company too much of a free handle on the governing of the Indian provinces, the Board of Control was originally setup to reign in the actions of the EIC and to ensure that Britain's new colonies did not suffer the same impoverishment and abuse their Indian colonials had under company rule. The New Conglomerate was strictly tasked to create and nurture a stable environment within the new African colonies; by introducing the wonders of modern civilization to the tribal societies while respecting the traditions, religion and rights of the indigenous populace as much as possible. One of the main aims of the Ivory Plan is to greatly enrich not only the British Empire but also it's colonial subjects, so that the other foreign powers will have nothing left to offer and tempt the loyalties of the natives with, once they began their own colonial expansion. The success of the Ivory Plan relies on the strict adherence to this protocol, as well as any and all troubling developments in Europe, which would serve as a smokescreen to blind Britain's rivals to her latest continental designs. Through the indirect control of the New Conglomerate, the United Kingdom hopes to dominate much of Africa without conspicuously alerting the other Great Powers to her imperialistic intentions.


28th of January, 1800
The United Kingdom
10 Downing Street, Cabinet Room


"-and so, according to this year-end report on the totaled assets of The East India Company," spoke Henry Dundas, the British Secretary of State for War and the current sitting president of The Board of Control. "Their combined military strength now stands at an overwhelming number of 200,000 soldiers. Majority of them being native colonial soldiers or sepoys, trained and disciplined to the standards of the British Army."

The prime minister, William Pitt, grunted grimly at what he had just heard, while William Grenville, the Foreign Secretary, gave a low whistle and shook his head. William Windham, Secretary of War and a subordinate of Henry Dundas, looked shocked and appalled at the news. Meanwhile, at the far end of the table sat John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, the First Lord of the Admiralty and older brother to the prime minister himself. Currently, his head was bowed, eyes closed and his hands clasped across his stomach, seemingly enjoying a quiet snooze.

"My God. That is twice the size of the entire British Army," gasped Windham whilst his superior placed the report back on the table, tucked his reading monocle into his pocket before sitting down. "This is quite disturbing. Are we to allow the possession of possibly one of the largest military forces in the world, to remain in Company hands?"

"Of course not," responded the prime minister calmly. "But given the current state of our finances, we can hardly spare enough to incorporate such numbers into our military and maintain them. A significant portion of the national budget has already been diverted to the funding of our African ambitions. So our only option is to cull the military arm of the EIC down to an appropriate size, one that would not arduously strain the revenues of His Majesty's Government. However, that would mean the unnecessary loss of at least half of the Company army. All professionally trained troops that we still need in order to keep the Maratha Empire in check, deal with the rebel forces of Pazhassi Raja, continue keeping the peace in the rest of the provinces, as well as maintain a dominant presence in the Eastern sphere."

At this, Lord Grenville cleared his throat and spoke.

"With respect Prime Minister, given the current level of discontent among the locals in India, I believe it unwise to continue relying on locally bred and trained soldiers to keep the peace. Not until the Eastern Delegation we have dispatched before the end of last year, has arrived to patch things up with the natives and rebuild relations with the princely states."

"My lord, with respect," replied William Pitt, looking at his Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, coolly. "Perhaps you didn't hear what I just said. Currently, the Marathas remain a threat and there are rebels that need to be dealt with before we have another full-scale revolt on our hands. The 21,250 remaining regulars stationed throughout our presidencies are insufficient to deal with these threats. I doubt even the 33rd Regiment we have dispatched with our Eastern Delegation, will be enough to fully quell these dangers to Britain's control should events escalate out of proportion. Thus, regardless of their true loyalties, we have no choice but to depend on the sepoys of the Company to do their duty."

With this, the prime minister turned to his Secretary of State for War and inquired.

"Come, Harry. As President of the Board, what are your thoughts on the situation?"

Henry Dundas tapped his finger on the surface of the meeting table and thought for awhile before speaking.

"The EIC is on the verge of exhausting their value to His Majesty's Government. So I say we slowly proceed with our plans to nationalize the East India Company and absorb what's left of its wealth and assets. Afterall, that is one of the main reasons we commissioned the Eastern Delegation and send them to the East Indies. However, we shouldn't do so immediately until we are capable of stabilizing what remains once the Company has been dissolved. For now, let the EIC run their course and continue paying for the expenditure of it's armies and assets. We shall trust Lord Mornington to help the Eastern Delegation restore order and peace in India before the worse can happen. That being said, I believe we should take further precautions and send an expeditionary force to bolster our defenses there until the situation has been dealt with."

Turning to his subordinate, Henry continued. "How many more regiments can we afford to mobilize and deploy to the Far East, my Lord Windham?"

Sighing wearily, the Secretary of War took out his monocle and began browsing through some papers that lay before him.

"Based on our current financial situation, the present deployment of all our armies and the state of our land reserves, I recommend three full regiments at the most."

"So there you have it, my Lord Pitt," said Henry Dundas turning to face his superior. "What is your decision? should we mobilize and send a new expeditionary force or nay?"

After a silent pause, the prime minister nodded his head and replied. "Yes, have them ready for deployment to India by the end of next month."

Here, the prime minister turned his attention to the still snoozing Lord Admiral and said, "John, is the Royal Navy able to spare a single fleet to ferry these reinforcements?"

Like as if he had been listening the whole time, the Lord Admiral replied promptly and clearly but with his eyes still closed. "Yes, my lord. But only one fleet. Your demands to increase the presence of the Royal Navy across the Mediterranean and around the borders of French waters, have rendered us quite sparse I'm afraid. That and among other things, of course."

"A single fleet is good enough. Give strict instructions to your admiral to return immediately to the mainland once the regiments have fully disembarked."
Last edited by Madmunch on Sat Oct 23, 2021 5:25 am, edited 10 times in total.
"Money makes the world go round"

Yes, I am a worshipper of Mammon....don't judge me

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Tysoania
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1276
Founded: Mar 26, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Tysoania » Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:55 pm

San Blas, New Spain
Captain's cabin, Santa Saturnina


Admiral Federico Gravina had only just arrived in Veracruz a week ago, and already he was setting sail again. This time, though, instead of his luxurious personal cabin onboard the warship San Hermenegildo, he was sharing a small, cramped cabin with the captain of the Santa Saturnina. The ship was an old British merchantman that had been seized by Spanish authorities for non-payment of a debt and had been since used to supply villages and missions along the Pacific coast of New Spain. It was now fulfilling a similar purpose, in that it was the lead ship of a 2-ship group sent to explore the far north of claimed Spanish territory in an attempt to expand Spanish fur trading interests in that region.

However, how he would do that, he had no idea. Although Spanish maps of the area were fairly useful in determining geographical locations, there was next to no information on local conditions, indigenous groups, and even existing settlements and trading posts, Spanish or otherwise. That was why he had asked the captain, a mid-level naval officer by the name of Jose Maria Narvaez, to help him out a bit.

"Well, sir, right here, Isla de Quadra, that's been explored a bit already," the captain explained as the two officers huddled around a map in the cramped cabin. He pointed to a large island off the coast of the mainland. "I know a few spots that would be good for anchoring to restock our freshwater supplies, but that's about the extent of it. Maybe find some fresh fruit or meat for the men there, as well."

"And what about locals?" Gravina asked. "Are they hostile? Friendly? Open to trading?"

"Afraid I don't know, sir. I've only been through that area once, and we didn't do much more than map the coasts. Didn't see any major settlements along the coast, though."

Gravina stared at the map, as if he was trying to force more information to appear on it. After a few seconds, his gaze drifted northwards from the island.

"And how about foreigners in the region?"

"No signs of significant activity. I did run across some European explorers when I was last there, but they didn't seem to be interested in establishing any trading posts or settlements," the captain replied steadily. "The British seem to be staying east of the mountains for now. All the better for it, if you ask me. This ship couldn't outrun a rock and she's got too few guns to properly challenge anyone with a mind to sink us."

"And locals? If we run into any sort of empire like you'd see back south near Panama, that could derail the entire future of New Spain."

"Again, sir, I don't really know about them. I haven't seen them in person, and there weren't any good stories about them back in San Blas."

Admiral Gravina sighed. He knew that the frontier settlements often traded with the indigenous groups, but he had no idea whether that relationship would automatically extend when they made contact. If they made contact, because Gravina also knew that they had no idea whether there were even people to trade with this far north. If there were none, that would be a disaster: no colonist would want to come this far north, where no support from the cities was possible, even if they could make a decent living from fur trading. Of course, hostilities would be even worse: denying the region to Spanish traders could hand the entire region away on a silver platter, and that would mean ruin for the planned expansion of New Spain.

At the moment, though, he could remain optimistic. There was no reason to assume the worst, and so he would assume the best.

"In keeping with orders from the viceroy, captain, take the ship into this harbour that you spoke of. From there, we will scout the region, attempt to make contact, and assess the economic viability of the region."

"Aye, sir. I'll check with the navigator on our planned arrival date." The captain saluted and quickly walked out of the cabin towards the bridge.

Acapulco, New Spain

It was early morning and the San Marcos had just left the docks of Acapulco. Loaded down with a large and heavy cargo, mainly sweet potatoes and tobacco, the captain of the San Marcos predicted that the voyage would take an extra few days than the normal 2.5 months that it would for a ship carrying lighter cargoes of china or other goods from Manila back to Acapulco. That didn't matter too much, though, as the captain knew that the cargo wasn't particularly time-sensitive. Besides, it wasn't like he could do much, anyway. Galleons weren't known for their maneuverability, particularly the massive Manila galleons.

One passenger on board was a bit annoyed, though. Juan de Anza liked to be punctual about his appointments, and he had orders to proceed as quickly as possible to Manila, so the news from the captain was offputting. De Anza had been appointed as an inspector of the Casa de Contratacion, the Spanish overseas trade regulator, and posted to Acapulco to monitor shipping between the Philippines and New Spain. Although he had done fairly well, he had put together an idea to expand Spanish trade in the Philippines, and when he received new instructions recalling him to Spain, he hurriedly presented his ideas to the viceroy of New Spain. The cash-strapped colony relied heavily on shipping between the Philippines and Spain, which had to go through New Spain, and so the viceroy had put de Anza on the first ship to Manila, promising to explain the sudden transfer to the Casa de Contratacion.

De Anza was a bit nervous about the whole enterprise, but now that he was actually on his way to Manila, he couldn't really back down. Besides, he had a letter from the viceroy to the Governor-General of the Philippines that explained the situation and promised him free passage and a meeting with the Governor-General, so de Anza would at least be able to return to New Spain if the Governor-General didn't agree with his suggestion of deregulation. Although the Casa had a legal stranglehold on shipping in the Spanish Empire and tried to prohibit many aspects of trade, many ships often underreported their cargo or simply sailed to ports with administrators that would look the other way for a small fee, and so de Anza was worried that the Governor-General might be one of those administrators and react less than pleasantly to his suggestion. De Anza's idea was simple: conduct an experiment to reduce smuggling and increase tax revenue by ending the monopoly and opening up permitted trade avenues with foreign nations. By doing so, de Anza hoped that merchants would be less willing to smuggle their goods, thus boosting tax revenue.

Of course, the Madrid-based Casa would never approve, as their power came from their control over trade. However, Manila was on the other side of the globe, and de Anza hoped that the Governor-General would be willing to take this risk. If it paid off, the colonies could all benefit immensely from both increased tax revenue and decreased corruption.

But for now, there wasn't much use in guessing. The ship still had several months until it made landfall, and until then, de Anza would not find the answer by guessing.

Spanish expedition is heading to the Pacific Northwest to assess fur-trading opportunities there and establish the frontiers of New Spain.
Spanish diplomat is heading to the Philippines to end the trade monopoly and get support for expanding trade with nearby nations.
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Hanovereich
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Hanovereich » Wed Oct 20, 2021 2:40 am

Home Affairs
11th of January, 1800




The King sat in his study, reading through a pile of correspondence. Not a large pile- he could finish them in an hour or less. These were the letters that the Palace dealt with daily- the petitions, the requests, the boasts, the threats... many of them never reached the King's study. The Palace had a system to deal with the never ending flow of letters in the mail room. First, a dozen secretaries would work through each letter. They would then either give an official reply, or send it up the hierarchy to the Governor of the Palace (usually Stockholm Palace), who would then either send an official reply or send it upwards. Through the Marshal of the Court, the Marshal of the Realm, the Secretary to the Office of His Majesty and finally, the King himself. Only a few dozen ever reached him, out of thousands and thousands of letters daily. There would always be a backlog of a few hundred letters.

These letters were from the government officials across the Empire- the Agriculture Inspector in Denmark, reporting on the latest economic output; the Governor in Norway, reporting that the militia were starting to enter the training camps; the Lord High Chancellor, detailing the latest Riksdag session.

After some more time spent reading his correspondence, the King sent for his Lord High Constable. General Carl Johan Adlercreutz had been the governor of the Port of Helsingfors before coming to the attention of Gustav III, the present King's predecessor and father, who had made him Lord High Constable. Nowadays his role included command of the army and command of the militia.

"General." the King nodded in acknowledgement, when Adlercreutz arrived. "Please take a seat."

The General bowed his head before taking a seat. "Your Majesty."

Gustav IV bowed in return. "How are the militia getting on?"

"Very well, Your Majesty. Around 10,000 out of 22,000 are currently in training, with space for 4,000 more. The rest will either have to wait or use other facilities, which we do not have."

The King thought for a moment. "I can give you facilities. What about Trondheim, in Norway?"

"I believe the space there will suffice. When can my men start training there?"

In answer, the King took out some paper with the Seal of Sweden embossed on it.

"In 5 minutes, General." Gustav IV smiled as he began writing on it. "In 5 minutes the port of Trondheim can be used."

General Adlercreutz watched as the King carefully wrote down some orders on the paper, signed it, and rolled it up. He then handed it over to the General.

"Send this to the Royal Stables immediately." the King instructed him. "Get the Master of the Horse to send a rider to Trondheim as soon as possible, and get the rider to inform the Mayor of Trondheim that, in the name of the King, the land around the port is to be used for militia training."

"Your Majesty." Adlerceutz stood up and bowed. He then turned around and left the room.




The Privy Council of Sweden was an ancient body that was not unlike a cabinet of other nations, although this Council was nominally chaired by the monarch. However, the Lord High Chancellor usually did so, when the King had other business to attend to. This day- the 12th of January- was one of those days.

The Lord High Chancellor, Frederick William von Hessenstein, was discussing a few domestic issues that were of interest to the Council. The Empire was a vast empire, with two countries- Sweden and Denmark-Norway- and four integral states- Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. There would be many topics to discuss in the supreme governing body of the state.

"...and we have a project to build 46 forts across the Empire, costing around 150 million riksdaler, over the course of three years." Hessenstein looked up. "Any questions?"

Frederick Adolf, the present King's uncle, spoke. "Lord High Chancellor, this project of yours- 150 million riksdaler is a lot, don't forget. And where will this money come from? The latest reports from the Treasury suggest that we are nearing a deficit of 400 million riksdaler. How can we afford to spend 150 million more?"

Hessenstein nodded. "I welcome His Highness' question, and thank him for asking it. I, in my position as Lord High Treasurer ex officio, have planned to raise our income by tens of millions annually. Here I have my notes on it. Firstly, the raising of the tariffs on merchant shipping in the Baltic, on which we have a monopoly on. If we raise it by the projected 10% ad valorem, we should gain 8 million riksdaler more annually. The delaying of an expedition to Africa- who even suggested this idea?- should save 15 million riksdaler. The raising of the so-called 'service exemption tax'- which, in the case of conscription, allows anybody willing to pay 1,400 riksdaler exempt from conscription- to 2,000 riksdaler should give us at least 12 million riksdaler more. Finally- and this is necessary, gentlemen- the raising of all taxes by 20%."

As soon as the raising of taxes was mentioned, a dam was broken, and the waves of protests and arguments flowed freely. The Lord High Chancellor looked unperturbed, whilst the Council argued in front of him. There were those who supported the raising of taxes, made up of the military officers trying to equip their armies with whatever funds they had, and the Treasury officials trying to support an empire with no money. And there were those who opposed the raising of taxes, with the businessmen who saw taxes as obstacles to their trade, and the politicians who feared what the public- in particular, the Riksdag of the Estates- would say. Finally it fell to von Engeström, the Secretary to the Lord High Chancellor and Clerk to the Privy Council, to shout over the voices of the Councillors and demand that they quieten down. Once they had done so, the Lord High Chancellor spoke.

"I knew that this Council would argue over this controversial act." he said. With the complete silence that had followed the thunderous argument, the entire Council could hear once of the Councillors muttering, ''Controversial' is one way to put it.' "Therefore, under the Union and Security Act of 1789, I have already proposed to the Estates this morning. They voted in favour-" Hessenstein had to stop to see whether there would be any interruption "-in favour of the raising of the taxes, which shall take force in one week."

Glancing at his colleagues to see if there would be a reaction, Hessenstein stood up, bowed to the Councillors, and left.




Four days later, on the 16th, Count Lars von Engeström, Secretary to the Lord High Chancellor, appeared at the Royal Stables. The Stables contained the horses that served as the transportation method for the Royal Family. There was the carriage, 12 horses for the Life Regiment Hussars, 5 horses reserved for the Royal Family, and 3 other horses that could be taken by anybody working in the Palace. As von Engeström was one such person, he could take one. There were only two horses- one had been taken to Trondheim to inform the Mayor of its use as a training ground.

The stable boy looked up as he saw the shadow of somebody coming up behind him.

"Hello, boy." von Engeström nodded in acknowledgement of the boy. "I require the use of a horse. Can I take that one?" He pointed to the nearest horse in front of him.

"Oh- yes, sir." the boy replied quickly. That's Gustav- you can use him. He's not very fast, though, but doesn't get tired either."

"I shall need someone like him." the Count mounted his horse. "I'm going to Finland." With that, he patted the horse, nodded again at the boy, and rode off.

Count Lars von Engeström had been given a special assignment by the King. He had been informed of the sending of a letter to the Rus, and now he would serve as the chief negotiator at the talks in Helsingfors. He still had no idea what these talks were about, but since the Rus' representatives knew, all he had to do was ask them. A team of half a dozen other negotiators- lawyers, officers, government officials- were already there. True, they had not received word from the Rus yet, but there would be no harm done by checking.

He would arrive on the 22nd.
Last edited by Hanovereich on Wed Oct 20, 2021 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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New Kowloon Bay
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Kowloon Bay » Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:08 am

January 30th.
Chengdu


It was a bitterly cold morning, and the chill could be felt in the Qingyang Palace. Once a Taoist temple, it had been refurbished to the Viceroy's needs and wants. But today, the chill was utterly overwhelmed by the burning rage and shock that the governor was feeling.

'What do you mean they're all dead?' The Governor of Chengdu was shocked. Ten of his best spies...gone to a band of untrained peasants-no, traitors? This could not be possible. The Bannermen were the most trained men of the Qing military.

'Unfortunately, yes sir. Their heads were found outside the city walls and their foreheads branded with "Red Lotus." Quite a brutal way to go. As for now, our Bannermen are searching the surrounding areas for traces of the White Lotus Rebels.' Ruffling through a stack of papers, the officer grabbed a piece of paper and started reading from it.

'Our scouts have reported movement of the White Lotus towards Deyang. I don't believe they will get through our defenses, though. After all, our Bannermen are the best troops in all of Asia. Ah yes, speaking about the Bannermen, with the Bordered Blue Banner coming to help, we have two thousand soldiers currently staying at various locations near Baihuatan. A few sections of the Green New Army, numbering five hundred have arrived.'

'Those Han...well...we'll have to work with what we've got. For now, send them for military excercises and then set defensive formations throguh Vanke Wulong to Chuangzhi. I want a full supply line set from Deyang to Chengdu in the next week.'

'Yes...sir.' The officer quickly bowed and left the room, not wanting to listen further.

'This "unbeatable" army of ours...how long will it stay that way? If we can't put down a rebellion, what can we do?' With these final utterings, the Governor left the room and went off to look at the military activities.
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Sao Nova Europa
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Sao Nova Europa » Wed Oct 20, 2021 8:42 am

Roman Empire - Constantinople


Andragoras II
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Basileus and Caliph of the Roman Empire


The Roman Empire stretched from the Balkans to the depth of Africa and from the Ionian islands to Mesopotamia. It was based on four pillars: Islamic faith, Roman political doctrine, Greek civilization and Turkic martial prowess. But such a great domain could not be ruled by a single man on his own. Hence, Basileus Andragoras II had to rely on the Council of Aristoi to aid him. Chief amongst those men was the Grand Domesticos Nikitas.

Nikitas had proved his worth in putting down separatist revolts in Sudan in 1780s and launching a punitive expedition in the deserts of the Arabian peninsula in 1791 to punish Bedouin raiders. This allowed him to rise rapidly through the tanks of the military. Eventually, he was appointed in 1796 to the office of Grand Domesticos.

In that capacity, he was in charge of appointments, promotion & demotion of military officers, maintenance of military installations and equipment, supply of the military and leadership in times of war. But in practice his influence went far beyond what his title suggested. As the second highest ranked official in the Empire, he could counsel the Basileus on domestic and foreign affairs.

Nikitas was a prudent man who opposed adventurism and expansionism. He believed the Roman Empire should focus on internal stability. He also opposed foreign influence, lest barbarian ideas spread in the Empire. His policy was one of splendid isolationism.

The two men liked to discuss matters of state in the private quarters of the Basileus. Today was no exception. They sat upon silk mats and sipped coffee brought to them by eunuch servants. The Basileus spoke first. "The Viceroy of Nubia has requested we send over 10,000 additional troops. He believes he can expand our realm further south."

"Your Majesty," Nikitas replied, "I believe we should focus on internal stability rather than expansion abroad. If however your Majesty believes we need to expand the Roman realm, then I would concur with the Viceroy that the African lands are the best place to expand our reach. We will be facing little resistance from natives, at least compared to the resistance we would face in other fronts. However, I need to warn against overextension."
Nikitas Papanikolaou
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Grand Domesticos of the Roman Empire

"I am in agreement with you in that we should not overextend ourselves, nor should we be pouring resources in Africa that could weaken our defenses in Europe and Asia. However, I do believe we can spare 10,000 troops and the benefits of a successful campaign would be immerse; we could increase substantially our supply of slaves, thus bringing much needed profits to state coffers. I am also thinking that we could grant command of those forces to some troublesome ambitious military officers, to keep them busy fighting wars instead of plotting at home."

Nikitas nodded. "That would make sense. Over the next months, I will be ordering the move of certain regiments to Nubia. I'll make sure that the expedition is well supplied and organized."

Andragoras smiled. "Good. You never disappoint me. That's why I hold you to such high esteem."

"Thank you, your Majesty, but I am just a humble servant doing my duty to the Empire."
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“In war, to keep the upper hand, you have to think two or three moves ahead of the enemy.”
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"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
- Sun Tzu

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Hanovereich
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Founded: Jun 24, 2021
Democratic Socialists

Postby Hanovereich » Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:18 am

A Meeting with Russians
22nd of January, 1800




A collaboration with Danubian Peoples.

There is a meeting between representatives of the Rus and representatives of Sweden. Primarily about spheres of influence in Karelia, the Russians make it clear that they do not want anything but peace in the region, whilst the Swedes look to expand their aggressive policies as they negotiate what seems to be a peace. During the meeting, the Swedes find out that the Karelian Army of Sweden have already started marching into Karelia. They end the meeting with inconclusive results.



Count Lars von Engeström entered the city of Helsingfors. There were merchants proudly showing their goods, soldiers patrolling the streets, officials watching daily business from their buildings. The Count had not been to this city before, but he knew exactly where to go. The section where his destination was was quieter, more dignified and- somehow, he could sense it- more expensive. He rode into Königstedt Manor, the residence of the Finnish governor, in the suburbs of Helsingfors. Outside, the famous Savolaks, the light infantry units native to Finland, stood guard. Engeström nodded at the soldiers as he dismounted and entered the Manor. His team of negotiators were waiting, as was the governor, Georg Magnus Sprengtporten.

"Good day, Governor." the Count said as he approached Sprengtporten and extened his hand. "I trust you know-"

"Yes, the talks here in the Manor with the Rus." the Governor shook his hand and bowed. "It is an honour to have somebody of your esteem here."

"The pleasure is all mine, Your Excellency." the Count bowed in return. "Now, if you'll excuse me, Your Excellency, I best be preparing my staff."

The negotiators exited together and took a carriage to the harbour. They had finally received the reply from the Rus. They therefore only had to wait for the representatives to arrive, which, since it was the 22nd, they would do soon.

Yevgeniy Sergeyevich Prokhorov, wealthy burgher turned diplomat, watched from the deck as his ship moored into the docks of Helsingfors. The weather here was much the same as it was in Aleksandrgrad, but he could take a few minutes or hours of the cold, and besides, they were due to depart anyway. With his small entourage of other dignitaries, they exited the ship, stepping onto the wood of Helsingfor's docks. With each step, Yevgeniy's boots kicked around clumps of frigid snow that had built up on the docks. As they careened into the waters below, they melted and vanished into the waves.

"Strange place," Yevgeniy muttered in his native Rus dialect, "Looks just like Aleksandrgrad and a bunch of other Baltic port towns, but at the same time, it has this, distinctly, Swedish feel to it? I've quite a few Swedes in my career, and somehow, this place feels exactly like where I might find them in the wild."

A bit befuddled and quite tired from the voyage, one of his entourage asked. "Do you even speak Swedish?" to which the response was a confident nod and a smile. "So, I guess we wait here for someone to pick us up?" said Yevgeniy in his native Rus. Taking a breath, he announced his presence. "Hello?" he said in Swedish.

The Count scanned the horizon briefly. It was a clear day, and ships were continually entering and leaving. He wondered if any of them knew that the tariffs were to be raised...

He was drifting off. The Count quickly focused his mind on his task, and began to watch each vessel. Finally his eyes landed on a ship, that was not filled with a group of tired sailors with crates of goods and bottles of beer on deck. He whispered to one of his aides (his counsel, in fact), "There it is." He hurried over to the ship as the diplomats were departing the ship.

"Hello, sir." von Engeström replied, also in Swedish. "I am Count Lars von Engeström, Secretary to the Lord High Chancellor, representing the Swedish Empire." He bowed to the diplomats, before trying to think of something else to say. The Count was not one who participated in small talk. "And you are...?"

"Yevgeniy Sergeyevich Prokhorov, sir," was the reply the Count got. "Diplomat representing the Republic of Rus. Now, I don't suppose you'll, show us they way?" he said, tone cordial.

How fortunate, he thought to himself. I was beginning to think we'd moored into the wrong port. A slight chuckle escaped his lips, but they quickly returned shut to a formal expression.

"Pleased to meet you, Herr Prokhorov." the Count nodded at the other diplomats. "Please, follow me..."

Another carriage drew up behind the first one. One of the Swedish diplomats opened the door, and gestured for the Russians to enter. The carriage was flanked by half a dozen hussars of the Life Guards, with the flag of the Rus and the flag of Sweden on it.

The Swedes then boarded the first carriage, and the procession headed to the Manor. Within a few minutes they had reached it, and the Governor of Finland, with an honour guard of the 2nd Savolak Light Infantry Regiment, waited to greet them outside the residence.

Yevgeniy and his entourage piled under the second carriage at the Count's gesture. It was a bit of a tight fit, what with the heavy clothing needed for these chilly winter days, but soon enough, all of the Rus where inside. As the door shut, the carriage rode off to the Manor. It was a bit of a bumpy ride, the occasional stone and sudden changes in the horses' temperament sometimes jostling the carriage and its occupants. Soon enough however, they had arrived. The door swung open, and the Rus stepped off.

Greeting them were a greater number of Swedish faces than before, some of them even armed. Behind them was a large building, comparable perhaps, Yevgeniy thought, to a noble villa. Whether or not that was its function however, he did not know.

"Yevgeniy Sergeyevich Prokhorov, diplomat to the Republic of Rus," he said in Swedish, tone once again cordial. "Pleasure to meet you."

"Pleased to meet you too, Herr Prokhorov." the Governor smiled and extended his hand. "I am Governor Georg Magnus Sprengtporten of Finland. I expect you must be very tired to travel from the Rus to here." He gestured to the guards. "These will be your guards for the conference. They are some of our best units in Finland. Some," the Governor smiled knowingly, "are at the border with the Karelians as we speak."

He bowed and turned around, leading the way into the manor. "This is the residence of the Governor." he explained. "Now, we have the conference prepared in the guest room- but since we expect you to be tired after your journey, we can postpone the meeting until later if you wish." The governor nodded, and left.

Count von Engeström turned to Prokhorov. "Well, it's your choice, sir. Would you like to start now, or wait until later?"

Yevgeniy Sergeyevich Prokhorov surveyed his options. For one, he could get right to the negotiating. It would be expedient, yes, but the Swede did have a point-they were feeling quite tired, and perhaps a rest, maybe an hour or so was in order. Tired minds don't tend to make the best diplomats either. On the other had, time not spent negotiating is perhaps time wasted, but it would also be nice to spend a few more minutes outside the cramped ship environment.

Personal concerns aside, Yevgeniy also considered strategy. How this might reflect on the negotiations. They had come here with comparatively little protection compared to what the Count and the Governor, and were at the mercy of the Swedes. It displayed a sort of weakness, a humble and silent acceptance of Swedish supremacy, however small. The goal of course was to negotiate for as little Swedish control of Karelia as possible, to keep a tight lid on Rus activities there and also to stymy Swedish deigns on the region in general. Whether or not the Rus got any territory out of the deal was a secondary question. After all, they had already reached a separate agreement with the Karelians. Annexation could indeed wait. Accepting the rest offer could however, perhaps make them look weak, and give the Swedes the confidence to push for greater claims. From his days a burgher making deals, Yevgeniy knew that treating guests with magnanimous grace, letting them eat of his proverbial hand went a long way in tilting negotiations in his favor.

Perhaps he was overthinking this. Turning to his entourage, he asked for their choice in his native Rus. "What do we choose? Meeting now, or later?" He couldn't know for sure, but he swore that in at least some of their heads, gears were turning just as they were in his. After a short deliberation with his entourage, Yevgeniy spoke again. "We'll be starting now," he said in clear Swedish.

The Count smiled. "Excellent, sir." He gestured to one of the guards, who marched up to the Russians, nodded, turned around and led them into the State Guest Room. Another guard followed the diplomats from behind, whilst the Swedes entered through a different door.

The Swedes sat on one side of the table, whilst they gestured for the Russians to sit on the other side. The governor had prepared the room well- apart from cups of water and a few biscuits to enjoy, there was a map of the region (Karelia, the Baltics and Eastern Finland) in question, and paper on both sides, pots of ink, and the other usual supplies. There were also Savolaks standing guard outside the room.

Once everything had settled down, and the diplomats on both sides were prepared, the Count spoke first. "Let's get to it, then. I'm sure you know why we're here. Essentially, Sweden believes that, as a dominant player in the region in question, the Republic of Rus should have a say in what happens to these regions." He waved vaguely to the map. "Oh- this general area. To speak frankly, Herr Prokhorov, we want spheres of influence in this area. We just need your... acceptance."

Yevgeniy analyzed the map with intent. It was a sizeable area, and one that, if the Rus conceded to Swedish demands regarding it, would serve to make their control over the Baltic Sea, and perhaps beyond, ironclad. That certainly wasn't an option. But the Swedish certainly weren't going to let the Rus walk away with the entire region, would they? An agreed-upon partition, certain regions going to Sweden while others to the Republic of Rus was the natural outcome.

But of course, Yevgeniy thought, they weren't going for the natural outcome.

"This, I am afraid, I have to reject on behalf of the Republic." Yevgeniy paused for a moment as he wondered what to say next. What kind of argument would he make about it, and how could he make it convincing for the Swedish. Something, ideological perhaps? He wasn't exactly the most convicted folks, but he could certainly play the part, especially with him representing a government that seemed full of conviction. Would the Swedish buy it? Its not like the goings-on in Novgorod are things they aren't privy to, and at least some of the voices there aren't exactly too self-deterministic. And if the Swedes uncovered the occurrences in Karelia?

"As firm believers in the rights of man, we cannot allow for the self-determination for the outlined peoples to be violated. The Republic has so far, not acted on its perceived historical claims in the region as successor to the old principalities, and would be pleased if the Swedes were to follow in its example, and refrain from staking claim on the Baltic and Karelian peoples. The Republic will however be happy to agree to a treaty mutually guaranteeing the sovereignty of the people in these lands." Despite his worries, Yevgeniy's Swedish remained clear.

That was a risky play, Yevgeniy thought to himself. His breathing quickened. A nervous drop of sweat formed on the right side of his head, but he brushed it aside with a towel before anyone could notice. Let's hope they take that well.

The Count barely moved as he listened to the response. Obviously he had expected something along those lines, since his reply was well thought out.

"Sir, did you consult the people in those areas before offering a treaty guaranteeing independence to those very people? After all, how would the Karelians respond if they found out that we had been negotiating whether or not they would exist, in a closed building, secretly, without their knowledge?"

He paused for a moment, as he, the skilled Swedish diplomat that he was, thought out his next move. "However, it can be noted that you have not relinquished your... what was it? Your perceived historic claims in the region. We can therefore take it that, since you show no sign of relinquishing your claims in the area, that you still hold interest in Karelia? Unless, of course, you are firm believers in the right of man...?"

Yevgeniy fell back for a moment at the Count's words. He took a moment to analyze the situation. He had been got a little good there, he thought to himself. As he rose however, he began to formulate a response.

Yevgeniy, think! Think as if your life depends on it! It probably doesn't, but it makes a good motivator, okay? And so he did, taking a pause to formulate a response, his body returned to prior composure, not one inch of his form betraying the thinking that occurred behind the eyes.

"Yes. We have indeed consulted the people in these areas about protecting their sovereignty in the past. And if that is not enough. then we shall give them knowledge. We shall tell the word of this meeting and of its results. I can make sure that the Republic makes nothing about this meeting secret. And for the record, we hold a vested interest in the Karelian and Baltic regions because they are right next to the republic. We believe that we ought to keep a close eye on these regions both for the security of their peoples and for the security of Rus itself."

Yevgeniy, finished with his words, gingerly awaited the Count's response.

The Count had to momentarily freeze to register the reply. He had confidently believed that he had trapped the Russians, that there would be no escape, that he could go to Stockholm triumphantly with new land for the Empire. Now he had to think a response.

After glancing at his colleagues, he hesitated before replying.

"Well- Sweden is also next to Karelia-" the skilled diplomat tried to punch himself in his mind. That was the worst response possible. He concentrated. "As you can understand, we also believe that what happens in the lands of the Karelians is of interest to Sweden. But why do you want to eye Karelia for- I think you said- the 'security of the people'? Surely, as independent entities, the Karelians should have a right to decide their own security?"

He paused, but did not wait for a reply. He had far more important topics to discuss. "However, in regards to this map-" he gestured to it "-we can find a settlement over whether we can split this land between our two great nations..."

Yevgeniy sat silent as he heard the Count's responses. The man seems, desperate, he thought to himself. That the Count circled back to the original topic of discussion, the map to be partitioned, seemed to further the assumption's validity. He thought about his goals for a moment. Keep Swedish eyes off the fort constructions. Any gains in territory would certainly be the end of that.

"Well sir," said Yevgeniy, "as I have previously stated, we have already discussed this sovereignty question with the Karelians in the past. And their overall tone is that they would like to remain independent, and that they have accepted Rus help in maintaining this independence. In addition, as I have also previously stated, the republic is not interested in carving Rus and Swedish spheres of influence in the region."

Yevgeniy thought to himself, that perhaps this could be the end. Of course, as the Count had previously demonstrated, he could retaliate with some point to counter Yevgeniy's. He remained composed and ready, for the possibility that the Count could come up with a response to pierce his proverbial armor. Silently, he awaited the reply.

And of course, what if the consequences of the meeting didn't go as planned? What if the Swedes took a jaunt eastwards to inspect the Karelian-Rus negotiations? This presumed agreement could maybe serve as cover for the fort constructions.. but the Swedes could also just receive it as hostility and attack.. I guess we'd have the moral high ground in that situation, perhaps? thought Yevgeniy. Eh, forget it, this is an issue for the Yevgeniy of the future.

The Count was about to reply when the governor entered the room. After excusing himself to the Russians, he whispered something in the ear of von Engeström.

"I have just received reports from our commander in the southeast." the governor whispered. "Orders from Stockholm- we are to seize Karelia immediately, whilst the Russians are distracted by the talks."

He then left. Lars von Engeström showed no emotion, and calmly continued.

"Sorry about that." he said quickly, smiling. "Now- I understand. You do not wish for Russia and Sweden to influence Karelia." That leaves more for us. "Now- you said that they have accepted Russian help? Do I take it, then, that you asked to help them, with no perceived threat to the region? Why would you offer them help now?"

He waited for the reply, as usual, but his mind was already departing to what he saw as the Swedish army marching into Karelia, as he, a Swedish government official, was negotiating precisely the opposite!

Yevgeniy looked upon the Count as he made secret talk with the Governor. And as the Count's eyes wandered and he seemed to pay no mind to Yevgeniy and his entourage, he felt that perhaps, something might be going on.

"Am I losing you? I hope I am not losing you. Anyway, Karelia. You are wrong, sir. There was indeed, a perceived threat to the region. Considering prior Swedish behavior, and that there seemed to be no real sign of any change in your direction, you'd understand, right?"

The Count snapped back to reality, and focused. True, he had only heard the last half, but that was fine. He only had to address the last half.

"Well- you remember that I said that I could see no change in the position of the Republic of the Rus, either. We are doing what you are also doing- eyeing what happens in Karelia."

He sat down, mainly to focus on his wandering mind, and another negotiator stood up. This was Admiral Cronsedt, the commander of the navy.

"Now, this is not just about Karelia. We also have an interest in the Baltics. Sweden would also be interested in an arrangement in that reason as well."

Yevgeniy thought for a moment to think. Baltics, Baltics, Baltics. How is this relevant to a border negotiation? wondered Yevgeniy. It's not like we have a border there, and last I checked, I don't think either us or them have historically had the greatest influence in the area. Eh, they don't pay me to complain.

"The Rus position in Karelia is the same position as is in the Baltic. We are perfectly willing to protect the polities there, but a partition is off the table."

"Well, I can understand your reasoning." The Admiral glanced at the Count, who was still thinking about other topics, so Cronsedt took over as the chief negotiator. "Anyway, I think that this meeting has gone on long enough. We can reconvene tomorrow, if it's appropriate to you, to discuss further matters." This wasn't done because the Swedes were tired or anything, but Cronsedt sensed that the team needed to consult with Stockholm to update themselves on developments.

He stood up. "I think we may end this session now. We have prepared rooms in the manor for you, and if you need anything, just ask."

He bowed, and led the Swedish negotiators out, where they would meet with the governor to discuss further action.

"Understood," replied Yevgeniy. His whole entourage seemed to think much the same. "We'll hang around in this manor for a bit." Turning to his entourage. Yevgeniy once again surveyed them for opinions on the offer.

Turning back to the Swedes, Yevgeniy spoke. "Here we shall rest for a few hours. But we expect to depart for Rus by the end of the day. Some of us have things to attend to, apparently."

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Madmunch
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 118
Founded: Apr 27, 2019
Ex-Nation

Postby Madmunch » Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:33 am

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"The Eastern Delegation"



30th of January, 1800
HMS Anne Victorious - Admiral's Great Cabin
Bay of Bengal, India

"Cheers to you, my boy! and to each of our successes here in the Far East!"

The exclamations of Lord Thomas Villiers, Earl of Clarendon and the designated envoy to the New Majapahit Sultanate, were accompanied by the clinking of drinking glasses before he and his peers downed their vintages with obvious satisfaction. Having departed from England several months before the end of 1799, the Eastern Delegation had finally arrived safely to the East Indies. To mark the occasion, the delegates were celebrating in the large quarters belonging to the ship's captain, who also happened to be one of the celebrants present.

"Mmm, I see your taste for the excellent and the venerable remains the same, old boy," said Lord George Spencer, smacking his lips in delight. The Earl Spencer had been selected by His Majesty's Government to be the current envoy representing the interests of the British Empire to the court of the Qing Dynasty. His praise for Lord Thomas's wine were echoed by the rest of their drinking companions. Namely, Arthur Wellesley, the young Lieutenant Colonel of the 33rd Regiment of Foot and Admiral Samuel Granston Goodall; commander of the newly-formed Indian Ocean Fleet comprising of 150 warships, as well as the owner of the vessel and cabin they now all stood celebrating in.

The HMS Anne Victorious, a 104-gunned first rate flagship of the Royal Navy, was on the verge of anchoring in the Port of Calcutta. Only the lieutenant colonel and his regiment would be disembarking however, as the fleet had orders to immediately deliver the rest of the Eastern Delegation to their respective posts. As they wouldn't be seeing each other for quite some time, the delegation decided to throw a last minute party to commemorate their friendship; a bond that had naturally been formed during their long months spent at sea together.

"Aye, the old man knows his spirits if nothing else," spoke Arthur with a sly wink and a grin. "Be sure to always keep a bottle handy eh? You might be able to put the Sultan in such a stupor that he hands to you anything you ask. Just imagine....the Straits of Malacca...conquered with a bottle of British gin. That'll be one for the history books."

"Oh please," retorted the elderly Earl Villiers, as he refilled everybody's glasses with more gin. "If there is any conquering to be done, it'll be through the good admiral and the might of the Royal Navy!"

"Hear, hear!" exclaimed Lord Spencer raising his glass up for a toast. "To the health of our gracious host, to whom we all owe our lives and safe passage to."

Admiral Goodall turned red in embarrassment, as his friends toasted wholeheartedly to his name. To cover his embarrassment, he quickly drank his gin and brought the glass down loudly on the table before speaking.

"Yes, yes. I shall miss you all too. The two of you old farts and this young whippersnapper here."

Among the entire Eastern Delegation, the admiral was the oldest, being in his early 50s. The Earls Villiers and Spencer were in their late 40s, while the lieutenant colonel was the youngest, being in his late 20s.

"Ah," continued the admiral, as he felt a familiar movement ripple throughout his ship. "I believe we have finally arrived. Alright all of you, the celebration is over. Young man, time to assemble your toy soldiers and march them out of their wooden boxes."

Port of Calcutta - 15 minutes later...

While waiting for the 33rd Regiment to fully disembark, the Eastern Delegation were greeted by an escort of sepoys led by Lord Mornington, also known as Richard Wellesley, Governor-General of India and the lieutenant colonel's older brother. William Pitt had appointed Marquess Wellesley to be in charge of all British affairs in India since 1797. He had the momentous task of remedying the damage done by the higher ups of the East India Company and as such, was utterly relieved to be able to receive some help from the mainland. Relieved even more so that the help came in the form of his trusted younger brother.

"Good to see you Arthur," said the governor-general sincerely, as the two siblings shook hands warmly. "It has been far too long and I'm glad you are here."

Turning to the earls, he continued. "My lords, you must be weary after such a long voyage. I have suitable accommodations already prepared if the both of you would follow-"

"Oh, that won't be necessary my dear Marquess," interrupted Lord Spencer with an apologetic smile. "Unfortunately, we are to leave immediately once the 33rd has disembarked. Strict orders from His Majesty's Government, you see. However, we both thank you for your kindly consideration. Now I'm sure there is some urgent business that you and your brother must attend to. So don't mind us. We will be heading back to the Admiral's ship at once."

Once their goodbyes had been said, the two earls departed towards the Anne Victorious.

"So, do you think he'll succeed," inquired Thomas Villiers to his companion, as they slowly walked. "Lieutenant Colonel Wellesley, I mean."

"Hmmm..." pondered Lord Spencer, thoughtfully. "He is a young man who attained his last two positions by manner of purchase, not by virtue of merit. Even his current assignment here is only due to his close friendship with the Prince of Wales. Thus, he has no actual military experience and training of command. Yet, he is in charge of helping to reform the Bengal Army of 80,000 natives and turning them into loyal soldiers of the British Crown. If proven successful, he is to then apply that same measure of success to the Madras and Bombay Armies. I greatly enjoy our friendship with the good lieutenant, but as it stands.......I cannot help but question the judgment of the prime minister and His Majesty in giving such an important role to someone as young, inexperienced and probably unprepared as young Wellesley."

"Perhaps they saw a hidden talent in him that we don't, my lord," replied Lord Villiers, as the two of them approached the gangway to the admiral's ship. "Besides, he is only here to help General Edward Brighton and the other commanders in charge of the presidential armies. Its not like Arthur alone is in command of the entire military commission."

"Yes...perhaps," replied George Spencer as the two earls began walking up. "Regardless, the lieutenant colonel faces quite a difficult task. We can only pray that he succeeds in his assignment. Otherwise, I shudder to think what the combined armies of the presidencies would do should their loyalties end up misplaced."

Meanwhile...
Belvedere Estate, Calcutta

"General Brighton is dead? and I am to restructure and reform the entire Bengal Army alone?"

Lieutenant Colonel Wellesley was aghast at what he was hearing. The two brothers were sitting by the patio of the Belvedere House, drinking their glasses of cool lemonade while discussing the present state of affairs and their current duties.

"Also....a 100,000 native soldiers? last I was informed, it was supposed to be 80,000!"

"That was several months ago, my dear brother," responded Lord Mornington calmly with a wry smile. "Alot of things has happened while you were at sea. First of all, the growing threat of the Marathas and of Pazhassi Raja's partisans, had pressured the late General Brighton to recruit and train en masse more levies from the local populace. Despite my objections, the general, god bless his stubborn soul, decided to do as he pleased."

Sighing, the governor-general sipped on his drink wearily.

"To be honest, I have been in a difficult position ever since I arrived two years ago. The generals of the presidential armies are all company men who have enjoyed much extended liberties and free reign under my predecessor. So, as you can expect, these would-be kings didn't take well to me doing my duty and putting them back in their places. Indeed, they have made their disdain for my presence here quite obvious. But with the death of General Brighton and your timely arrival. Things may just take a turn for the better."

"How so?" inquired Arthur, after thirstily drinking his lemonade to half-emptiness. His older brother cleared his throat before beginning his explanation.

"Currently, The Bengal Army is the largest military force on the Indian peninsular. Only the combined forces of the Madras and Bombay presidencies can hope to match it in terms of size and manpower. In other words, whoever commands the Bengal Army is the de facto commander-in-chief of all the armies of India. Now that was General Edward Brighton. However, with his death, that responsibility now falls on you."

The young lieutenant colonel almost dropped his half-empty glass at the sudden news.

"Please tell me that you jest."

Lord Mornington simply shook his head before delving deep into the folds of his coat to produce a commission with the royal seal on it. "I'm afraid not, little brother. Before I left, His Majesty, George III, and the prime minister had granted me additional powers that are not usually granted to the holders of this office. My jurisdiction now encompasses not only India but the entirety of the East Indies. Due to difficulties in maintaining constant communication with the mainland, I have been trusted to dictate any and all affairs and policies, concerning the Far East, without consulting or waiting for approval from His Majesty's government. As long as Asia is concerned, I am the will and the voice of the British Empire. To an extent, my actions and my words are to be treated as that of His Majesty himself."

Arthur Wellesley took the commission and read it's contents in shocked disbelief. As he saw the truth dawn in his younger brother's eyes, Lord Mornington continued.

"So congratulations! I am officially promoting you to the position of major-general in command of the Bengal Army, effective immediately. I know, I know....you haven't earned the position yet and you have zero experience on the battlefield etc etc. But I know you and I know what you are capable of once you've put your mind to dealing with the matter at hand. If you have ever wanted to prove yourself worthy of the station you hold, this is the perfect time and place to do so. But most importantly, I need someone I can trust right now. Someone who is able to give me every fiber of their being to help restore order and peace to this godforsaken country. So, can I count on you Arthur?"

In the face of such a desperate plea from his own blood, Arthur Wellesley could hardly stomach turning down the request. Sighing heavily, he assented to carrying this newfound burden with a nod.

"Fine. Where do we begin?"

"I am glad you asked," beamed the governor-general with a sudden wide grin that made his younger brother feel immediately uneasy. Snapping his fingers, Lord Mornington beckoned to one of his servants, who ushered in a silver tray stacked with paper documents. The servant promptly plopped the tray down on the table before politely taking his leave. Meanwhile, the governor indicated to the papers and began explaining.

"These contain all the information I've gathered as well as notes I've made during my time spent with the locals. The entire fabric of Indian society depends on the careful balancing of the different castes and ethnicities residing on the peninsular. I'm afraid you will have to spend the next couple of months to school yourself on the numerous customs, traditions, rights, beliefs and religious practices of our Indian friends. Not to mention the details of Hindu and Muslim laws. Your understanding of how society functions here will be the key in finding out where you should begin the first of your military reforms and on what in particular.

Lord Mornington felt amused as he saw a reflection of his old self in his younger brother. Like his older brother when he first arrived, the lieutenant colonel was already stressfully rubbing his forehead in anticipation of the overwhelming workload ahead. "Well, I'll leave you to it. Oh and by the way...I have arranged for an officer to liaison with you should you wish to inspect your new army. His name is Osman Singh, Native Officer of the 13th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry. You can find him at his post in the Calcutta garrison."
"Money makes the world go round"

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Hanovereich
Diplomat
 
Posts: 836
Founded: Jun 24, 2021
Democratic Socialists

Postby Hanovereich » Thu Oct 21, 2021 7:44 am

O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain
23rd of January, 1800

Across the Empire, new notices were put up on walls, doors, and posts. Leaflets were handed out by officials and soldiers. Riders from the Royal Stables carried messages to every major city in the Empire- Oslo, Helsingfors, Stockholm, Copenhagen. Each message had the seal of the Empire and the signature of the King.

Each one was short and to the point. To the esteemed Governors of the Crown. You are to mobilise all your forces and prepare for immediate conflict. The militia are to report for general training in two days. All funds will be appropriated whenever needed. God and the people. His Majesty, King of Sweden, Denmark-Norway, Grand Duke of Finland, Gustav IV Adolf.

Each governor followed the orders loyally, but, inevitably, some questioned the orders. War? Against whom? Why? Rumours were circulated around the country, but, as loyal governors of the Crown, the orders were duly completed by the 25th. Meanwhile, the posters that had been handed out to the people were even less informative. Loyal People of Sweden and the Realm! We are in a state of war. The King directs you to the military, to serve the King and the State! Long live the King! Naturally, combined with the simple orders given to the governors, only some people in Stockholm knew the truth. Not even the soldiers in Karelia knew that their target was, in fact, the Rus.




On the 24th, Hans Henric von Essen, commander of the army invading Karelia, watched on horseback as 7,750 men marched through the snowy roads of Karelia. The Swedish standard fluttered high in the wind, so that every soldier marching in that column that day, even at the very back of the line, could see the flag of the country that they served for. The cavalry followed them on all sides, flanking them- dragoons, hussars, cuirassiers and light cavalry, each one in the blue uniform of the King and the horses of the State.

The distinguished general then dismounted and headed over to a meeting of his staff. He didn't worry for his men- Eberhard von Vegesack, his chief of staff, would command them, along with the dozens of professional officers and the discipline of the individual soldier.

"Gentlemen." von Essen said, nodding to his officers. "Our progress is slow, but steady. We are quickly reaching the important town of Vyborg, which we can lay siege to by the 27th. I plan to have the siege over by the 3rd of February, and move and conquer the rest of the Karelians by the 21st of February, before marching back to Sweden before March. Reinforcements are planned on the 28th. We can have 50,000 soldiers in Karelia by the 2nd of February, I am told."

"Then let us not waste time, sir." the Duke of Karelia (the Swedish duchy) said immediately. "We can conquer smaller villages before the 27th. We have 3 days. I have planned well. On the 25th I can send 2,000 men in groups of 50 to seize small villages around our position. On the 26th that should be completed, and the groups will make their way to Vyborg whilst conquering more villages along the way."

von Essen shook his hand. "Our forces are already extended far and wide. If my reports are correct, the Russians are protecting Karelia. By February they should have gotten word, provided that movement is swift, and they shall have reached us as we are finishing the siege of Vyborg. No, my friend, concentrate on Vyborg. There are no defences in other villages. I can send for reinforcements to take them. We are moving into hostile territory. I want this army to stay together for the bigger target." He was referring to the Rus.

The Duke bowed. "As you wish, General von Essen." he replied. "I wish to send a reconnaissance force of some of our best cavalry. It is imperative that we know our landscape first."

von Essen nodded, and turned around to face his army. "Very well. We shall also need an order of battle, and a plan. If my knowledge is correct then Vyborg has a castle around it that is not poorly defended. See to it, gentlemen, that the siege be a quick and easy one."

He walked off.

On the 16th, if Count Lars von Engeström had cared to check the Royal Stables before riding to Helsingfors, he would have noticed that a horse reserved for the Royal Family was missing. In fact, that horse was taking the Prince of Vasa, Lord High Admiral Gustav, to the Swedish camp where the army was stationed. He conveyed a message from the King- Sweden needed to get the upper hand before the Rus. The army had received the message on the 21st (as Gustav had left the day prior to von Engeström), and the Prince, whilst returning to Stockholm, had stopped by the Governor's residence and had informed him of the invasion of Karelia. The governor, in turn, had informed von Engeström during the talks, and so, whilst half a dozen Swedes negotiated the safety of Karelia, the Swedish Army was invading Karelia.

The next day was the 24th. The Swedish navy had sent a ship of the line carrying supplies with them, and it stopped off at a location where no Karelian would spot. After unloading its supplies and slipping away, an advance guard of some cavalry collected the boxes and took it to the army. Then, that same day, 3,000 soldiers crossed the border and met up with von Essen. Now with over 10,000 men (the artillery, however, was in no shape for a siege), the army stopped and ambushed a few Karelians in a village. The artillery arrived on the 25th.

On the 26th, the army continued their march in the early morning. There was mist and there was fog, forcing the men to use torches reserved for the cannons. The reconnaissance party reported that they could not see Vyborg in the fog. von Essen observed, 'It is a good thing that we are not firing our guns today, for the smoke would have made it impossible to see." It was only in late morning that the mist cleared and the army could speed up. They made up for their lost ground by marching until midnight.

The next day, the 27th, as planned, they arrived at Vyborg.




Image

Swedish Empire


To the President of the Free State of Ukraine,

Sir,

We are honoured to be invited to Odessa. Naturally, as firm allies of Ukraine, we accept your offer. A delegation of senior government officials shall depart for Odessa soon.

Regards,
Frederick William von Hessenstein
Lord High Chancellor
Last edited by Hanovereich on Thu Oct 21, 2021 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Danubian Peoples
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1110
Founded: Sep 21, 2018
New York Times Democracy

Postby Danubian Peoples » Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:35 pm

January 21, 1800
Republic of Rus
Outside Fort Alexander, City of Aleksandrgrad


Resting against the great fortress walls, a soldier stopped to check out from all the training. Icy sweat dripped from his head, the droplets quickly chilling then freezing before they even left his face. It was strenuous, but it was what their superiors demanded. He knew that more men would be coming to join the cavalcade of exercises soon, so he took solace in that this struggle was not his regiment's alone. He did wonder though, what was occurring over at the capital Novgorod? He'd read the paper, the claims they've made about Konstantin's new endorsement or something, while not exactly politically knowledgeable, his mind wandered, guessing at what might've been happening there.


January 16, 1800
Republic of Rus
Albin's Restaurant, City of Novgorod


Lavr attacked his meal with his utensils, each slice careful and planned, each morsel in his mouth consumed with composure. His dining compatriot Stepan instead sat bewildered, a few bites taken out of his meal, while his mind processed the goings-on. Taking notice, Lavr stopped, swallowed, and spoke.

"Having trouble with that?" he beckoned.

"No, not exactly," Stepan replied, taking a bite of his meal. "Just.. thinking is all," he said with a full mouth, swallowing soon after. "All this is quite the surprise. You know what the newspapers are saying, right? And you certainly know what Petrov said."

"Well, yes, of course. I pulled you aside for this meal precisely so we could have some time to talk about this. Coalition seems to be the predominant interpretation of the President's words. We could ask for an elaboration, but you know how he is. Always aloof, preferring to return to his soldiers and quite frankly, tired of all us politicians. I mean, I'd feel the same after six years in the hectic revolutionary leadership. I think, however, see what he saw in the two of us. Myself I consider to be an administrator. He thinks I can supercharge the nation's revenue stream, which in this post-revolution time is something that ought to move away from appropriated noble goods and an inefficient taxation system. Not exactly corrupt, mind you, but it could use some work in places. And you, well, you're quite popular with a lot of folks. The downtrodden, the marginalized, that sort of thing. That kind of energy, and the idealism you bring along with it, is something every government ought to get some of."

"Yes, indeed, I have made quite a name for myself in many circles," replied Stepan. "It's just, well, I didn't really expect this. I was in the sidelines prior to this sudden change, not exactly leadership material for the Traditionalists. All I really had in common with them is faith, and even the direction of that, we do not share. If any of us clinched the presidency, it certainly wouldn't have been me. It would've been someone more, forgive the joke, traditional. You though, I've seen you at constitutional conventions, at council meetings. You're a take-charge type. You've put your eyes on leadership in the past. To put it one way perhaps, for you, this is a promotion, an expected advancement. For me, this is a career change. A few days ago I was doing one thing, now I am doing another. And for that, I just do not know how to feel."

"Well for starters," said Lavr, "you could, maybe cross the aisle, join the Federalists perhaps? As you've said, I'm a bit of a take-charge type. I can arrange that if need be, and any factional fellows won't be miffed one bit. You don't seem to be too pleased with the direction your fellow religionists have taken. And I mean, same, I guess. Question though. Are you even a priest? The Herald seems to think so, but judging by your manner and your dress, I doubt it."

"Simply a very godly layman, and a lot of the Traditionalists are too," responded Stepan. "As for your, defection offer, I am unsure." Taking another bite, chewing slowly and swallowing even slower, using the time to contemplate. "If it is truly Petrov's wish for us to both hold power in the government, then me joining your side sounds like me becoming subservient to you, and the other leading Federalists. If I were to remain however, well a coalition is not exactly a stable thing, and many of my not-so-pluralist peers may not exactly like cooperating with a group like your Federalists."

"Something to think about," said Lavr. "To switch gears, y'know, this place is staffed by some of the best cooks this city has to offer. Haven't bothered to check myself, but rumor has it Albin himself is apparently a noble cook who lost his job after the nobles, you know the rest."

The two unlikely acquaintances, brought together only by a surprise endorsement from a star general, continued to talk and dine for some time. As they walked out of the restaurant's doors, they did so as familiarized acquaintances. Friends, perhaps.


January 26, 1800
Republic of Rus
Outside Fort Alexander, City of Aleksandrgrad


The same soldier now watched in shock and horror as a bedraggled rider on horseback sped from the direction of Karelian lands. Right hand clenching his chest, a blood-soaked cloth wrapped around his left arm, and little dots of red trailing behind them in the snow. A tattered banner hung from the side of his similarly wounded steed, its colors muddied and torn, but nonetheless recognizable as those of the Rus flag. Using what remained of his strength, the rider yelled. "No! Don't shoot! See the flag!" Soon after, more persons emerged from the Karelian direction, some on horseback, others on foot, all tired and some injured, their steeds included.

Those on horseback dismounted, their legs nearly giving out as they landed on the snow. Now all on foot, these strange persons from Karelia grouped together and walked as fast as they could to the fortress walls. Two of them held the tattered banner aloft, the damaged flag catching wind as best it could, maintaining only the faintest wave.

Fortress Interior

"Damn!" exclaimed Konstantin Ivanovich Petrov. "All this meticulous planning, all the back-and-forth with Maximovich, and now the Swedes decide to attack here and now!? Quickly, we must muster a force! Tell me, how many men do we have, and how many can we send in the Karelian direction? If these bedraggled men are to be trusted, then the Swedes are marching towards Vyborg right this moment! I want, no, need an army marching to fight these scheming Swedes by the end of the month!" His emotions were clearly running high, a mix of shock, confusion, and anger it seemed.

The officer with him was taken aback quite literally, his legs slowly pedaling backwards from the direction of the enraged President-General. "Look," he said. "Sir, I think you need to calm down. First of course, we'll need to contact Novgorod about this, right, sir?" The officer's words halted just as his back reached the wall.

"We don't have time for Novgorod," was the only response given.
...

Heavy breaths sounded across the room. A cadre of officers, joined by General Ruslan Maximovich Boldyrev were in attendance, each one seated around a table. At the center was Konstantin himself, taking the heavy breaths, also seated. Soon however, the tension dissipated. Konstantin's breathing lightened to a normal level. With a last exasperated sigh, the President-General came to be somewhat composed.

"Alright, alright," he said. "We need to formulate a response now. How many men do we have to spare?" His tone was demanding, as if he were prepared to beat an answer out with his fists if need be.

Ruslan responded, tone like a bear's, true to his reputation. "Sir, we have so far assembled 3,000 of the Druzhina forest fighters, seven infantry regiments of 7,000, two cavalry regiments of 2,000 and two artillery regiments of 2,000, to a total of 14,000 soldiers. The remaining men assembled at Aleksandrgrad are of no use at the given moment, being from regiments still assembling here. I need warn you however, sir, that these are some of the most experienced regiments the country has to offer. If we lose, and there is a real chance we shall if we strike now, this is 14,000 of our best men we may no longer have."

"Listen, general," replied Konstantin, tone curt and somewhat aggressive. "We cannot afford to lose Vyborg now. If we allow the Swedes to continue, we allow the Swedes to continue aggregating forces. Word from these wounded men tells us the Swedes have put their entire invading army against Vyborg, and that they're forces have been steadily growing in number. If Vyborg falls, the floodgates are open for even more reinforcements to come to further the speed at which this army is growing. That I cannot, we cannot allow."

Ruslan took a moment to process this. "Understood. What do we tell Novgorod," he replied.

"We send them a message telling us that we have taken an army 14,000 strong to attack the Swedes. As President and in this time of crisis, my authority dictates my right to command an army without the need of the Council's approval." said Konstantin. "For once I am happy with this position," he added, tone perhaps vaguely comedic, though if it were, it was buried under a monotone of seriousness.

"Very well then. And I presume I am joining you on this excursion?"

A clear nod of approval was all Ruslan got in response.

Fortress Exterior

A rider on horseback ran through the snows, horse galloping away from Fort Alexander. His breathing was intense, heavy and heated breaths misting the air. He and his horse would ride until they could be seen no more by the men atop the fortress parapets, and even after that they would ride still, for on the rider's person was a letter, one addressed simply, to the Provisional Council.

Advancing in the opposite direction, was an army, thousands strong. Two generals were at its helm, their horses plodding along the snows. Trailing behind them were hoof prints, and legions of men. Their collective march shook the snow off tree branches, disturbed roosting birds, and scared beasts into their burrows. They were headed for one city in the Karelian lands. Vyborg.

They would arrive on the 29th.
Last edited by Danubian Peoples on Wed Nov 03, 2021 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
NS stats are not used.
This nation does not reflect my IRL views on anything.
Sorry for any mistakes I make with regards to history while roleplaying in historical RPs. Also I am not a qualified historian or academic. None of the make-believe I do is likely to stand up to academic scrutiny.

Valdez Islands is my puppet.

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