NATION

PASSWORD

To Serve a Queen that's Good and Kind (DM for entrance)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Lliwiauyn
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Moralistic Democracy

To Serve a Queen that's Good and Kind (DM for entrance)

Postby Lliwiauyn » Sun May 22, 2022 9:40 pm

“There's twenty shillings on the drum
For him that with us freely comes
'Tis volunteers shall win the day
Over the hills and far away.

Come gentlemen that have a mind
To serve a queen that's good and kind
Come ‘list and enter in to pay
And go over the hills and far away”
~ Over The Hills and Far Away; trad. English (dated to the reign of Queen Anne)

(Prologue: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=517993)

She was lovely, the woman in the video, though perhaps not classically so. Her features were sharp, with wide and expressive brown eyes that seemed to focus on the viewer even through time and distance. Her hair was dark, though when the light shone correctly there was a hint of red highlights. Plump lips curled slightly upwards in a natural smile. "I am Maerian, Princess in Caer Lliw. If you are receiving this message, then I am inviting you to come to the coordinates that will be listed at the end." Her voice was high and somewhat strained, and she spoke with a curious lilt that seemed to stress each syllable equally. The only sign of her royal status was an ancient torc so worn by age that its material was hard to discern and a slightly cleaner golden circlet that held her hair in place.

She stood, and the camera took a wider angle. The woman (girl?) named Maerian had a frame to match her face, and the green dress she wore was cut tight to show it off. Her posture would have pleased even the strictest of drill instructors, and she natively held her shoulders in a way that showed both the fullness of her bosom and the strength of her arms. The Princess carried her strength easily and seemingly without much awareness of it; her right arm rested idly on a sword that was incongruously hanging on a belt that at least managed to highlight her slender waist and wide hips. Only a few centimeters of the skin of her body were revealed, between the rise of her bosom and her collarbone. She wore a cloak around her shoulders that seemed to make do the limits of the dress in concealment, but she did wear a tarnished pendant in what could be seen of the valley between her breasts. Perhaps to draw the eye from the scars. "We need..." Her expression momentarily flickered. Her eyes lost their laser focus on the camera and looked to the side. "I need... help. We face an enemy that knows no fear, knows no pain, knows no fatigue. We are at war, and it is a war we are losing."

The scars. Her face was marked with them. A great scar that narrowly missed her right eye went from her forehead along the top of her nose nearly to her ear. Two smaller ones lined her left cheek. Her nose was slightly at an angle, as if it had been broken and poorly set. Around the pendant, at the edges of the skin that was shown, were the beginnings of other scars, thick and brutal, focused largely on her left side. "We need warriors. We need resources. We need... I need... all the things that can be given. We have freed ourselves, but we cannot rebuild alone. We cannot remain free alone."

She lifted her head proudly, causing the torc to slip and revealing that at some point someone had burned the flesh of her throat with the imprint of a great hand. "But I do not ask for charity. What I ask for, I will pay for. In land. In treasure. In industry. In resources. We are a free people, unbowed." The Princess lifted her left hand to fix the collar. "If you are brave and true, if you are generous, if you are simply curious, come to me, and I will welcome you with open arms. " With that, she partly drew the sword with her right. Its metal shone almost with the light of the sun before she resheathed it. "Ac eto, mae'r ddraig yn hedfan. The dragon banner flies."

She vanished, replaced by a gold-framed flag with a golden dragon within it, evidently the dragon banner she'd spoken of. Beneath the banner, words appeared. Senedd, Tywysog a Phobl. Then came the coordinates promised.
Last edited by Lliwiauyn on Mon May 23, 2022 6:23 am, edited 4 times in total.

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The Ctan
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Postby The Ctan » Mon May 23, 2022 5:43 am

Caer Lliw was by the standards of the wider galaxy, not an important place. It was labelled on a few maps, and it was not often travelled by starships. But it was like every other one of the hundreds of billions of stars in the Great Wheel, watched at times.

The signal that Maerian sent was one that was picked up by a monitoring station in interstellar space not far from the system and routed through its ansible to the central regions of the Great Civilization within moments of its transmission.

It wasn’t the only one of course, thousands and thousands of polities existed throughout the disc, and they were judged, tabulated, and their concerns dispassionately examined. Caer Lliw was different in that respect though, for this was the first time that they had called on the outer galaxy since what could charitably be called a civilizational reset, enough to justify treating them as wholly new.

Maerian’s message was taken up for further review.

Her features and her discomfort were noticed, as was her offer to pay for aid; the calm and distant minds that made their initial study of her were almost without avarice, except in the most abstract sense of a desire to spread the influence of the civilization they embodied, but they considered this nonetheless.

And then, they reached a decision.

They called for those who lived in the slow time respiration and spoken voice, and sent Maerian’s request into that waking world. Their domain was consideration and immediate action, they had the ability if the need arose to control military responses, but the affairs of the organic were often best left to their own kind.

They did not reach out to the highest levels of the Great Civilization, nor to its strategic conclaves covering much of the galaxy. Caer Lliw was one world in the firmament, its people not particularly numerous. Instead they flashed their response back through the interstices to the nearest of the Great Civilization’s worlds.

Still, even before the first living eyes saw her message there was a decision made that Maerian might have been thankful for, or resented. The message was forwarded through Yutlink and other secure lines across the galaxy to other civilised parties who might be interested.

All this had taken a time measurable only in atomic vibrations.

Image


Caer Lliw

The silver ship looked different to the traditional necrontyr vessels. It was small by those standards, a kilometer across, with a crescent shape on its leading edge but wider points at the edges, and hangars on the aft side, reaction drive engines paired with its gravitics taking up much of its central portion.

It was startlingly modern, and sleek, with the distinctive ‘negative space’ holes that ran through its flat surface like most of its larger cousins, along with spherical bulbs of annihilation plants that gave it independent power almost equal to the Eye of the Dragon.

By the nomenclature of the Great Civilization, this was a ‘Raider,’ of the Hound class, and Ynloeth pattern, its name, blazoned in gold sine script and showing on its navigational broadcasts was Beyond Despair, or natively, Karunekar.

To those who had plenty of weapons, the exacting details of what kind of shimmering radiant death this ship carried were irrelevant. To those whose lives depended on it there would be a lot more interest, and as the ship appeared it began to display one function of that as clouds of sub-craft and insectile machines swarmed from it, forming a diffuse network in the space a hundred kilometres from it, perhaps providing sensory capacities or ready to intercept missiles.

The ship’s interior was done in the latest style common on the Scutum-Centaurus arm, gleaming silver and sea green, with jewel tones highlighting parts of its habitable space. Despite its size only a dozen decks on the forward sections and buried within the ship were inhabitable to humans, with the rest of it acres of machine space.

Emissary Mordar ita Sautekh was a tall figure who looked like a statue come to life. He had a high brow below a full head of hair and sharp cheekbones, cleft chin and curiously golden eyes that rarely blinked, terracotta skin and dark ebony hair. He wore a side buckled jacket and the riding trousers that were common as militant attire between Menelmacar and the Great Civilization, on its breast the interlaced symbol of the Diplomatic Service Introduction Instrumentality. He wore a sword and pistol on his belt, a sign of open military intention, and broad shoulders and an athletic physique suggested they could be well handled.

By his side a huge figure stood, stooped and leaning close to him, if drawn up straight the creature would tower over him despite his height and its burnished silver frame showed the scale it would have.

“What do you see?” Mordar asked, speaking not to the figure at his side, but the being that enclosed them both.

“It appears we are the first responders, there are signs of in-system conflict, we are preparing probes now,” the ship said, “scans of the planetary surface show enduring conflict signs, we will have a better conception of the task ahead if we are invited to enter orbit.”

“I see that our hopes were correct, we shall be eager to be of use,” the necron said, her taloned hand clenching and flexing in anticipation of the work she hoped to do.

“Let’s get this show on the road,” he said.

The chip had a holographic viewpoint icon appear before him, changing to green as it began to record.

“I am Mordar ita Sautekh of the Great Civilization of the C’tan, addressing Maerian, Princess in Caer Lliw. You have asked for aid and we will answer. We will be happy to speak to you of what you need and what you can offer in exchange. We value the freedom and rights of all people, and will be happy to aid you in preserving those for yourselves.”
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Nationalist Northumbria
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Postby Nationalist Northumbria » Mon May 23, 2022 5:49 am

Alvin Ashleigh arrives.
Republic of Northumbria
Bede kinnie — Catgirl appreciator

"The amazing thing is that Tony Blair being shot in the head after running a barricade for inexplicable reasons is one of the most plausible episodes in this RP,
which comes across as House of Cards by the writers of Mr. Bean."

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Kajal
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Postby Kajal » Tue May 24, 2022 4:27 pm

The various intelligences in service of the Combined Federal Services were chattering.

“Assessment?”

“Precarious. We have little solid information on the who or why of the situation thus far. Motive inferred thus far is simple survival - insufficient data for any nuanced analysis.”

“Continue.”

“Preliminary estimates are based on time-slice observation of the region. Thus far two engagements have been observed; in the first, the party identifying itself as Caer Lliw sustained losses of approximately 40% of total forces. Estimate on numbers of combatants in high tens or low hundreds, as of yet unconfirmed. Second engagement observed planet-side; no data as to number or type of combatants.”

“Anomalies?”

“One notable. Note the supplicant’s description of the enemy. ‘Knows no fear, knows no pain, knows no fatigue.’ Origin of entity is unclear. Probability matrices suggest potential outside-context invader, but results thus far inconsistent.”

“Similarities to known entities?”

“Insufficient data to make a determination at this time.”

“Recommendation?”

“Standard reconnaissance; continued time-slice observation of conflict thus far. Deploy Alar-type VDA to environs. Place standard Response Group on hot standby. Contact and Advise GC elements present of Response Group status.”

“Consular deployment?”

“Hold pending contact report by Karunekar.”
Last edited by Kajal on Tue May 24, 2022 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hobbeebia
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Postby Hobbeebia » Wed May 25, 2022 12:04 pm

Hobbeebian Imperial Unified Armed Forces Galactic Command Center- Office of Lord Admiral Dreth' Vashon Imperial Director of the Office of External Affairs


Captain Ofillion, I still do not understand the need to dedicate military resources to a situation on the far end of concerned actual space. I'm sure you are aware of how many 'Princesses' send 'We must hold the line for survival' broadcasts are sent out everyday, so I need you to explain in detail why this one matters. said Admiral Vashon as he turned from a window which looked as if it was giving a glimpse of rolling hills and tree's beyond its panes, though both Offillion and Vashon knew what was seen was merely a construct of the ambience system, for on the other sides of the window was actually the searing hot void of space in between the triplet Neutron Stars of the Aeos System in the middle of which sat the very super-structure of the Station Vashon's office was located. Not the there wasn't a fully fleshed out and living eco systems built within various portions of the super-station where one could walk for hours and still not see the other end of them, but Vashon on occasion was know to disable the system and look upon the sister stars. Captain Ofillion waited till his "eyes" met that of Vashon's before making his case.

My Lord, as you know my flotilla is assigned to tracking down and eliminating rogue Ventorie elements. The message indicated that the enemy these peoples are facing has incredible replenishment capabilities and has little need to restrict infrastructure damage. These are hallmarks of a Ventorie Drone war march. replied Ofillion

You mean to claim the Ventorie has somehow expanded that far without raising alarms? Vashon's eyes narrowed

Ofillion nodded once

Vashon rubbed his eyes while looking towards the floor, a visible tell for when Vashon knows the right call to make but doesn't want to deal with the justification meetings that are going to come about as a result. Captian Ofillion, I'm giving you conditional approval to investigate the incident as described in your report under the Ventorie Containment Provision of the Unified Forces Mission Mandate. you are to limit your interaction, and if possible keep your investigation hidden from the local populace until we can ascertain what technological tier they fall. As per protocol, you are to not share technological innovations beyond tier 3 unless direct intervention is required to save the people from a complete extinction event or threat... am I understood?

Ofillion lowered his head and placed his right hand across his chest with his feathered wings lowered in a more informal salute before raising his head once more. As he did, he gave a passive thought and the room he had once occupied began to dissolve away in a flurry of very tiny bright flecks of lights which evaporated into nothing leaving him alone in his quarters aboard his ship. Likewise, within the office of Vashon Ofillion's vestige vanished in much the same way. leaving his alone in his office to ponder the upcoming mission. With a quick thought a new display materialized to his right and began to line up the vessels assigned to Ofillion's flotilla. As his eyes danced across the information being provided the display automatically responded and shifted from page to page. Staris! (Staris is his personal A.I. assistant) Send a message to Commander Tar' Ahrya of the 4th Imperial Fleet aboard the vessel Vitallius. Encrypt message per IUFSSP regulations.

Begin message the voice responded

"Commander Tar' Ahrya. I am assigning your vessel to Captain Ofillion's Flotilla for a recon mission. You mission is to ensure if there is a Ventorie threat that all standard protocols are followed- But if you detect a new form of Class 1 threat you are to document it and retrieve samples for study. Do not alert Captain Ofillion of you mission and task. If inquired let him know that you were attached to help with assigned observations and combat support." - End message and send.

Message away. Should I forward a meeting request as well? I'm sure the Imperial High Command will want to know of this deployment since it falls directly outside of our Milky Way Galactic Zones of Influence.

No... This mission is far too small in scope to be of concern at the moment. All I can do is pray to Sypherion that This turns out to be a local planetary war or at worst a local system war. I would rather not commit expeditionary forces to intervene if at all possible.

Vashon stretched his neck and ruffled his wings to release the tension before straightening his uniform.

Staris. Make a reservation at the Citadel Lounge. I think I need a drink
Last edited by Hobbeebia on Fri May 27, 2022 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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New Dornalia
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Postby New Dornalia » Thu May 26, 2022 6:07 pm

The video circulated across the DornieNet like wildfire, and ended up on the Civil-Military Oversight Committee's official job boards after a fashion as well as other such listing sites.

Yet even among the job boards' endless solicitations for bodyguard services, private policing, and private armies, the advertisement from the land of Caer Lliw stood out to any Dornalian mercenary that reviewed it looking for a job. Maerian's plea was short, punchy, and powerful--only the most jaded men and women adapted to violence would be able to look away without emotional impact.

And so, while the Dornalian Government proper tried to investigate the signal and where it came from....the Dornalian people themselves would come knocking.

---

Van Nuys, California

Lady Gracie Kurimitsu sat in stony silence after watching the advertisement in her office. This was a rare thing for her. Those who knew Lady Gracie best knew she was normally not the lady her title suggested, but a fast talker with a heart of gold, a head interested in the thrill of a good hustle, and more than her fair share of affected argot and expletives spewed forth as she wheeled and dealt in everything from ancient bottles of cognac to the latest NORINCO-made examples of guided missiles being deployed by unguided men. One could say this was programmed into her--she was a Gracie unit after all, at heart, and thus was once a shipboard AI that later received gynoid form with Hylian ears and red hair. But those who knew her best, like the bespectacled G-man on the holographic projector sitting next to the screen on her desk dressed in a suit and tie, knew this to be too genuine to be mere whimsy.

There were no words exchanged, and the man spoke first, in calm, quiet Midwestern accent.

"What do you think?"

Lady Gracie sat back, looked at the ceiling, and then looked at the hologram, "Looks like Maerian's not bluffing." Sipping her glass of water, Lady Gracie continued, raising her eyebrows as she looked at the stoic bespectacled figure on the screen, "Now, how do I know, Bill? I know when to spot bullshit. You don't wheel and deal like I have and not learn to spot when someone's pulling more wool over your eyes than a Goddamn Scotch-Welsh-ANZAC sheep shearing bee. This shit is the exact opposite. It's genuine, she's in pain, and her whole nation is in pain." She then said, with the utmost sincerity and conviction, "And, she's got me wanting to go to those coordinates with some friends."

"Bill" smiled and said, in his Midwestern accent, "Glad to see your conscience is in good working order."

"It's kept me alive all these years--that and the use of advanced Tyrol Industries cybernetics and a fair bit of magic, but that's neither here nor there." Lady Gracie then went, "You've got me sold, Bill. It'll be good to get out into the wild, using my powers for do-gooding." She then asked "Bill" pointedly, "The Company will have my back, right?"

"You will have the full faith and backing of various other government agencies within the Colonial Republic on this one, Gracie." "Bill" said that with a smile, employing what Gracie knew to be the euphemistic way to depict any involvement from the Dornalian Intelligence Community, particularly the External Research and Intelligence Section. "You have my word on it."

"Good man, Bill. Now, we never had this chat. I'll call my people and get some shit together. "

The call having ended, Lady Gracie promptly began making calls.

"Hey, Flash? It's Gracie. Listen, I'm calling in that favor I owe you...you know, from Kansas City? Yeah. That incident. Listen...."

----

At the Coordinates in question would arrive a pair of Mercury-CAIN class battlestars. Unlike its regular Naval cousins however, it was colored only a shade of gunmetal, with a small logo resembling a lightning bolt with the letters "T", "C", and "B" on it. The other would bear a small Red Star with a symbol resembling the Greek letter "pi" in part, along with a civil registration code and the name Lu Bu II.

A simple message would be sent to Maerian's people.

"Hello. My name is Gracie Kurimitsu. Lady Gracie, as they call me. Head of Lady Gracie's Import-Export Consortium. My friends and I heard your signal, and well, we decided we couldn't stand by. We're here to do business--especially since I know people who know people who can make your situation a lot better than it currently is. In fact, I've brought some of them already. When can we talk?"
"New Dornalia, a living example of anomalous civilizations."-- Phoenix Conclave
"Your nation has always been ridiculous. But it's endearing."--Skaugra
"It's a magical place where chinese cowboys ply the star lanes to extract vast wealth from trade, where NORINCO isn't just an arms company, but an evil bond villain type conglomerate that hides in other nations. Where the apocalypse happened, and everyone went "huh, that's neat" and then got back to having catgirls and starships."-- Olimpiada
"...why am I space China, and I don't have actual magic animals, and you're space USA, and you do? This seems like a mistake." --Roania, during a discussion on wildlife.

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Lliwiauyn
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Moralistic Democracy

Postby Lliwiauyn » Sun May 29, 2022 2:06 pm

"We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. ~ The Books of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe, publication finished by 1984

"Your advertisement was a success, Your Grace." Father Hywel dusted off some of the dust that had accumulated on his robe when he had walked with the Princess through the door to the long abandoned great hall of Caer Lliw. "Would you not say so?" He looked around at the largely empty space and began making notes on his pad.

Maerian didn't answer. Instead, she wandered across the hall. It had not been aired out in at least half a century, or however long ago it had been since the Horned King had shed his mortality with his lower title and then moved across the mountain to his newly built (and since demolished) palace of Carreg Annwn. On top of the dais was an ancient structure of gold and stone, covered in the worn remnants of paint and gilt and decorated with torn and moth-eaten tapestries. Above it one could read in the stone, with some effort, the words 'Dim ond y Ddraig'. Only the barest light glinting could allow her to make out 'Solum Draconis'. She reached up a hand towards it, then drew back and shook her head. There was no value in such ancient relics of a long dead kingship.

The throne of the Prince in Caer Lliw sat at the foot of the dais. Not, she suspected, from any humility on the part of her predecessors, but because there was a real concern the rotten wood would break if it was trod upon. Her throne was made of simple yew and oak, only lightly decorated with silver and gold filigree. It was also ramrod straight. She winced at the thought of sitting upon it for even an hour, even with her perfect posture. "If that breaks when I sit on it, I shall hold you responsible, Father." She knew little of carpentry and less of cleaning, but she supposed it seemed solid enough

"That is why I recommended we test it out first, Your Grace. It would not do to have you injured merely greeting your guests. But I also did not think it was suitable for me to sit upon it myself." He bowed. "I will of course take full responsibility."

"Mm." With a sigh she lowered herself into the wood. It was hard and cold all at once, uncomfortably solid. She glanced at each armrest in some concern, but the craftmanship had not faded to the point of splinters. Slowly she put her arms on the wood. "...alright." It would be poetic to say that she felt some thrill at sitting in her throne for the first time, but she was far too practical a person for that. She had been Princess in Caer Lliw for quite some time now. Sitting on some glorified chair did not change that. Her role as Princess came from the people who followed her and the sword she carried. She sighed again and stood up. "Alright. I'll have the servants get this place shipshape, and for the love of the Divines find me some cushions. You are correct, at least. If we're going to do this damn fool thing, we may as well do it properly."

"I am gratified to hear you agree with me, though I do not believe I phrased myself in such a fashion, Your Grace." Hywel bowed slightly. "And what of the other?"

Maerian scowled up at the ancient relic. What it meant and what it represented. That/i] meant something, and she wanted no part of it. She wanted to let it rot, but its meaning was what gave [i]her meaning. Gave all of them meaning. What were they fighting for if not the Kingdom, long dead though it may have been? Her campaign to free the other worlds meant nothing if they did not mean something as a whole. Her scowl deepened. "It is far too late to have someone make estimates for the repair, and far too much trouble to hold our guests as we seek one. Arrange for someone to come and take a look, Father. Quietly. Someone you can trust to be discrete. If it is simply cosmetic damage, then we can proceed from there. But..."

"Structural damage would be demoralizing. I quite agree, Your Grace."

Maerian sighed and rubbed her forehead. She wanted to find a bottle, but it had been unduly hard that morning. The fort seemed to have gone dry for some reason, though she was fairly sure she hadn't drunk it all herself. Worse, she hadn't had time to collar someone and make them go to the wine cellar, and there had been too much work to do to go down there herself, not that she had the key. Wine wasn't her favorite, but she couldn't believe her predecessors hadn't had any spirits, and wine would do in a pitch. Well, she doubted the door would stand up to some force. "Quite so. Well, if there's nothing else, I'm..."

"Nothing else? Your Grace, we need to go over what we'll be asking our guests for. I've already convened a small Senedd, they should be arriving shortly. And of course, after that you'll need to greet them. Even if the formal reception has to wait for this morning, there's so much we need to get done."

Maerian growled under her breath. "Well..."

"I've arranged for some tea, Your Grace."

The Princess sighed.

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Lliwiauyn
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Moralistic Democracy

Postby Lliwiauyn » Sun May 29, 2022 2:19 pm

Is it not a joy to have friends coming from afar? ~ The Analects, Confucius

Lloegyr's aerospace was not busy. There was not, in fact, ordinarily enough traffic in the skies above two Caer Lliw for more than one or two traffic controllers to do more than poke their head in every so often. So it had been an inconvenience when several people needed access at once and there had been confusion, if not panic, until aged procedures were dusted off and recalled.

Of course, it had been made easier by the fact that Caer Lliw was surrounded largely by rich loam, with the major geological break being the hill they'd build the city on and the river running to the southeast. There was enough space for a whole fleet to land once the obvious questions were dealt with. And so, with some nervous obsequiousness, the natives directed their guests to arrive at points dotted around the countryside, though there was a distinct proclivity towards having them land at points where they would not see the damage done by the recent attack.

The request was made. And when they landed, they were told to gather at coordinates on a road that had been chosen for its straightness, even if its vision way through the downs to the city was limited. Of Caer Lliw itself, they would all have had some sight. A city largely of marble and brick and big black scars, all of a sameness from the air without directly overflying it, which had not been an option.

((Thank you! Go ahead and land and have your people wait a minute or two for greeting. No one's done it in character as of yet. People are still welcome to join!))

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The Ctan
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Postby The Ctan » Mon May 30, 2022 1:18 am

The planet seemed to have only the most rudimentary infrastructure, no spaceports to speak of and certainly little in the way of space defences. The landing craft chosen was a derivative of the famous Loki dropship. Membership in the Triumvirate of Yut had resulted in a genuinely obscene number of these vessels being produced, with modules for every occasion. While displacers and other bridgehead systems could have been used here, this was an option that allowed the landing party to operate without too much dependence on the ship in orbit.

A ramp of the mission adaptable mass module slipped down and a speeder with a shield projected around it, and the slab-sided form of a war barque sped out, the latter was clearly a military vehicle, marked along its slab sides with the sigils of the Necrontyr and it was studded by small remote weapons systems, while a portal at the front showed it was designed for extremely aggressive tactics.

Mordar drove the first vehicle to the road. He was clad in body armour, they had asked for warriors, and while he was not one as such, it was hardly likely they would object and the territory seemed to be dangerous enough to justify it.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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Kajal
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Postby Kajal » Mon May 30, 2022 9:58 am

For the observant or the informed, the arrival of the Alar type VDA would be quickly catalogued and noted, and for some, information would begin streaming from it immediately. The number of elements of the VDA in this region was relatively small; exactly 16 of the automated craft had been deployed to the heliopause while others were further out or in to the system as required for continued time-slice observation of the conflict thus far. Those further out would continue outwards until such a point that they were able to acquire information on the outbreak of the conflict or resolution became an issue. Those further in would cautiously approach Caer Lliw itself in the hopes of directly imaging the aggressors in the conflict.

Each craft of the VDA was painstakingly designed for minimum observability, though should one chance a close enough encounter to lay eyes upon such they would see an inky-black, needle-shaped craft bearing the twin insignia of the Federated Imperium of Kajal and the Triumvirate of Yut. Karunekar was informed in advance of their arrival, and would have full view of them via both YutLink and the VDA’s own TacNet.

Still, the in-person consular deployment would wait. The old Earth adage “too many cooks spoil the broth” was one that the Combined Federal Services often thought appropriate to situations of first contact under duress. That however did not mean that the consular ship would hold back indefinitely. In the time it took for the first parties to depart for coordinates on the surface, the CFSNV Barol Vaskas transitioned out of FTL transit at the coordinates that Karunekar and the other craft had arrived at. Similar in stature to the crescent-shaped necrontyr ship, the Kajal vessel was instead longer than it was wide, with her two underslung through-deck hangars to port and starboard easily identifying her function and abilities as contemporaneous to Karunekar’s if not quite the same. On the dorsal and ventral surfaces, the insignia of the Federated Imperium and the Triumvirate of Yut were lit and easily visible, and Barol Vaskas took up a position some 500 kilometres to the port of the necrontyr ship.

Messages were exchanged via tightbeam, notification of her presence forwarded to the ground team, and the tacnet expanded. For now, the Kajali would wait and defer to their colleagues.
"Wait, what?"
Member Nation, Second Triumvirate of Yut, VERITAS, Martian Forum.
Historical Member, First Triumvirate of Yut, Martian Defense Initiative, Martian Port Authority

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Lliwiauyn
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Posts: 15
Founded: Apr 22, 2022
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Lliwiauyn » Mon May 30, 2022 1:11 pm

(My apologies, I was able to return to the keyboard much faster than I thought I would.)

From the rocks rebounding,
Let the war cry sounding
Summon all at Cambria's call,
The haughty foe surrounding
~ Men of Harlech, eng. translation

They came up the road, the first of the Princess' men to see the foreigners. Milites pedites, the footmen of the Lloegrian army, the few and proud front line of the reborn Kingdom. Once, they would have marched in shining armor, smaller replicas of the mighty suits worn by their betters. Now, though, they largely wore simple chain and leather. Archaic on the battlefield, but well enough for the foes they faced and relatively quick to produce. What they did wear was carefully crafted and each proudly wore both the golden dragon and their own signs on their shoulders. The men (and the few women) wore their armour well and proudly as they marched. Over their shoulders the majority of them carried simple rifles, each equipped with fierce bayonets that shone in the noon light. Their helmets, perhaps the only relics of more prosperous times, covered their heads to their necks with a thick black shield covering their faces to the join of the mail.

Marching at the head of the column was a woman who wore no armor, not even a helmet to hide her hair. Over her clothes she instead wore a surcoat of varying shades of blue and green. One arm balanced a pole over her shoulder, from the top of which hung a square of white cloth on which the dragon had been embroidered. Under her other arm she carried a harp tight to the frame of her body. She was fair and well-made, her light hair shining in the sun almost as brightly as the golden dragon. She marched at the same pace as the soldiers she accompanied, though her shoes seemed as out of place as her among their thick leather boots.

Standing to the right of the column, but similarly at its front, was another figure. He stood nearly a foot above the marching soldiers, and he wore far better armour. The white armour seemed to cover nearly the entire body, and it was inlaid with countless designs that flowed from one to the other with nary a break between them. Here a great beast, there a wave crashing on some shore, and everywhere swirls and rays and starbursts in blue, green and red. Hanging from the right hip was a scabbard that, as tall as the armor was, still nearly hit the ground. The helmet was carved into a reptilian grimace, the black face mask forming its jaws. Of a gun, whether a rifle or a pistol, there was no sign.

The column stopped, and the officer and the standard bearer both stepped forward. The girl stabbed the banner into the ground. The soldiers lifted their rifles off their shoulders and pointed the bayonets in the air, then brought them back to their chests, passed them from right hand to left, and brought the butts of the rifles to the ground. Each footman then lifted their right hand to the helmet.

The officer stepped forward equal to the standard and drew their sword with their right hand. Despite the seeming inconvenience of it being on the same side, the motion was simple and practiced. The blade gleamed in the sun as the officer brought the sword up to the neck, then crossed the air with it, then brought it back down. Then the officer stepped forward one more step, tapping the side of the helmet with two fingers. The black facemask withdrew into the jaw and then the helmet retracted, revealing the scarred and weathered face of a man who looked to be in late middle age at the youngest. His face was lined with too much care for the wrinkles to be readily visible, but his hair had far more salt than pepper.

The standard bearer stepped forward again, stepping in front of the standard, and ran her delicate hands along the strings of her small harp. She played no tune, simply a pass through each note, but the wind picked up and ruffled her hair. When she spoke, she did so with a clear, loud voice that could have been heard back in the city. "I present to you the representative of Her Grace the Princess in Caer Lliw, Tristran, Champion of Her Armies." She played another few strings on her harp, and the wind grew stronger, tossing her surcoat back and forth and setting the banner fluttering. "The dragon flies!"

The soldiers dropped their and once again lifted their rifles, pointing the bayonets to the sky. "The dragon flies!"

"The dragon flies." Sir Tristran said, with a hint of amusement in his voice. "Line officers, secure arms and return to ease." The command was transmitted, and the soldiers obeyed. As they did so, the senior warrior walked forward to join the foreigners returning his sword to its scabbard. His lips curled upwards in a slight smile. "I fear I am mostly here as a delaying action. I have been advised that all is not quite in the readiness it should be on the hill. It is so difficult to meet standards in these dark days." His eyes drifted over each of the foreigners, appraising them without giving away his thoughts. He eventually bowed forward at the waist, ever so slightly. "Still. In the name of my Princess, and as her Champion, I greet you. May the Divine see to it that this meeting is fruitful."
Last edited by Lliwiauyn on Tue May 31, 2022 6:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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New Dornalia
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Posts: 1807
Founded: Apr 27, 2005
New York Times Democracy

Postby New Dornalia » Tue May 31, 2022 7:11 pm

The party the Dornalians would send was a much less organized display. Perhaps it was a bit too on the nose. But Lady Gracie would not be Lady Gracie if she didn't cut a unique impression.

The Dornalians walked at a measured, dedicated pace meant to give the impression of confidence and resolute self assurance. They walked in a loose yet organized formation, walking in time with Gracie at the head. She wore large aviator sunglasses, with her red hair flowing in the air and her pointed ears sticking out for all those in the know, mixed with looks that ostensibly betrayed East Asian origins. Her clothing bore no visible armor. Rather, Gracie wore a dark blue knee length skirt paired with a dark blue single-breasted suit jacket, a white button up shirt, and a dark crimson tie to offset the whole ensemble. Her shoes were a pair of flats, somehow ruggedized and ready for the harshest of environments. At the tie itself was that logo again--the letters "T", "C", and "B" around a lightning bolt acting as a tie pin, this time.

Gracie walked at the head of a squad that included a much more diverse array of outfits. One of them was a man in a much more conventionally military uniform, with a green jacket, a white-green button up shirt, and a green tie matching the jacket in color. He had a peaked cap, and shoulder patches with a red star with a symbol that looked like the Greek letter pi in the middle. The other was a young Asian woman that wore a much more functional green set of BDUs with a yellow scarf around her neck and her own aviator sunglasses, but with a pair of goggles and a mask hanging off of her belt alongside a helmet marked "Flash" with a stylized shark on it, and nametags that read "Fang." Still yet was another, this time a woman with wolves' ears and a tail over human features wearing a hunter-green outfit which had a Sam Browne belt, and a strange holstered cylinder on her belt. She walked with a confident stride, and if there was any magic on this world, people would be able to feel it coming off of her with some aplomb--and if not, then the symbols of the Order of the Vanguards would be all over her uniform.

Gracie addressed Sir Tristran first, with a respectful nod and a slight bow--as did the others in her party. Then, Gracie said, enthusiastically gesturing to the others as she spoke in a quick patter, "Indeed it will be. 'Lady' Gracie Kurimitsu, head of Lady Gracie's Import-Export Consortium of Van Nuys, California at your service and at the Princess's service. These are my colleagues, General Harold Li, NORINCO Security Department; Madame Geraldine "Flash" Fang of Flash Fang's Flying Circus, and Sensei Lana Aisenshtadt, Order of the Vanguards, and also commander of Mehmetovic-Aisenshtadt Empowered Security Services, Incorporated. They all bring a variety of skills to the table to help resist the foe the Princess discussed earlier, are all looking to do some interesting good deeds over the hills and far away."
Last edited by New Dornalia on Tue May 31, 2022 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"New Dornalia, a living example of anomalous civilizations."-- Phoenix Conclave
"Your nation has always been ridiculous. But it's endearing."--Skaugra
"It's a magical place where chinese cowboys ply the star lanes to extract vast wealth from trade, where NORINCO isn't just an arms company, but an evil bond villain type conglomerate that hides in other nations. Where the apocalypse happened, and everyone went "huh, that's neat" and then got back to having catgirls and starships."-- Olimpiada
"...why am I space China, and I don't have actual magic animals, and you're space USA, and you do? This seems like a mistake." --Roania, during a discussion on wildlife.

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Lliwiauyn
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Posts: 15
Founded: Apr 22, 2022
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Lliwiauyn » Sat Jun 04, 2022 1:47 pm

Ask ev'ry person if he's heard the story;
And tell it strong and clear if he has not:
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.
Camelot! Camelot!
~ Camelot, Music by Frederick Loewe, Libretto by Alan Jay Lerner

Once, long ago, there was a stone. Perhaps it had fallen from heaven, or perhaps it had risen from the earth. Perhaps it had simply been dropped there by the glaciers on their retreat or there advance.

But it had been there, standing in the hills of Lloegyr, for ages beyond reckoning. A great stone that, in the rain, shone with all the colors of the rainbow. And the people called it Carreg Lliwau, the stone of colours.

And a King, for there was a King in those days, was told that he should build upon the rock. And he did just that, building his castle from the living stone that had been laid there for that purpose, and he named it Caer Lliw, the Castle of Colour, and vowed that his heirs and their heirs would dwell there for all time. And for the ages since that time, King and Prince alike dwelled in Caer Lliw.

Walk lively down the road. Forget the fear of what may haunt those parts at night, this close to the fort and this soon after a battle there is little enough. Even though the green earth may be soft, the road is steady and firmly tamped and paved, and the marching is easy. The sun shines bright upon the downs and in the distance is the sound of the river. Crest the last stand and see the city. It rises from the green downs. From this angle, the scars of battle cannot be seen. Only the gleaming white marble and red brick, the few glints of steel and glass.

Sir Tristran had not been disposed to stay beyond the walls with the guests of the Princess. A delaying action may have been the intent of those who dispatched him, but they had no right or standing to give the old man orders. After accepting the names and greetings of everyone who came, he had ordered the pedites to march home, and home they marched with the foreigners accompanying them.

And it was on the approach to the city that the damage did become clear. At one point, perhaps comparatively recent, the arrival at Caer Lliw would have been a gradual affair. The city was old and had spread well beyond its walls. Spread beyond its own municipal boundaries, in fact, to join with other settlements that had been their own cities and had their own walls.Those walls, like its own, had been demolished over the course of time. And to build new walls is no easy feat, even with all the technology and resources available of a world at peace.

So, the inhabitants of the city had done the opposite. Grass grows quickly on the soil, but not quick enough to yet completely hide the ruins of suburbs and the foundations of demolished buildings. This was the ardal llosgedig, the burned-over district. At points across the chalk could be seen a few standing shacks and sheds. More frequently were there the men patrolling between them in huddled knots.

The city itself now loomed up suddenly; it was an improvised fortress but a fortress, nonetheless. Windows that had once looked upon the green were bricked over or filled in with concrete. Streets that had once led through houses and businesses now gone were barricaded and blocked off. The highway they walked on led to a checkpoint, one made from ruined vehicles and crumbling brick and wood and one idling bulldozer. "Hoy the city!" Came a cry from the front ranks. A few minutes later, someone came down and drove the bulldozer out of the way.

And now the mercenaries were inside the city. It was, for the most part, the same as any city. Some few people had turned out to watch the march, but most people seemed to be streaming back and forth on their own business. Ahead of them on the highway was an actual gate, one that seemed to lead up into the mount. The soldiers marched in that direction. Tristran and the bard fell back to join the mercenaries, the girl passing her banner to a soldier as she did. "Welcome to Caer Lliw." Tristran said after he once more removed his helmet. "There's the usual guff. The mayor wants to greet you all at the guildhall, the church wants to bless you, and my colleagues... well, forget them for the time being. It is up to you, of course. I assume you are all free men, and thus free to decide."

The girl rolled her eyes and brushed her hair back. "Of course you forget, father, that the Princess wishes to see their officers."

"The Princess wishes for many things, but I command here and I command her armies when she is not present, and I would like to hear what our guests would like to do. I would say we should square them away, first, but perhaps they would enjoy the daylight."
Last edited by Lliwiauyn on Tue Jun 07, 2022 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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New Dornalia
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1807
Founded: Apr 27, 2005
New York Times Democracy

Postby New Dornalia » Tue Jun 14, 2022 6:17 pm

Lady Gracie for her part nodded at the city and the devastation left over. It was a strange contrast, really. On the one hand, war had its grip on the city--improvised fortifications were a give away that this was a city under proverbial siege. A checkpoint made of ruined vehicles. The ruins of suburbs not fully reclaimed by nature. On the other hand, the city continued to thrive, war having not quite dampened the locals' lust for life. It was encouraging for the most part, though Gracie wondered what was going on and spoke first.

"Well, we should visit the Princess to talk business, but I don't personally have any issues doing a bit of urban exploration and maybe meeting some local luminaries. I'll go with whatever the flow suggests, to use a Dornalian colloquialism. Though my colleagues and I wouldn't mind taking care of business before we see the sights." She then added, "Say, sir--what happened to those suburbs outside the city?" Gracie asked with a tone that treaded carefully--she had a feeling she wasn't going to like the answer. But it had to be asked.
"New Dornalia, a living example of anomalous civilizations."-- Phoenix Conclave
"Your nation has always been ridiculous. But it's endearing."--Skaugra
"It's a magical place where chinese cowboys ply the star lanes to extract vast wealth from trade, where NORINCO isn't just an arms company, but an evil bond villain type conglomerate that hides in other nations. Where the apocalypse happened, and everyone went "huh, that's neat" and then got back to having catgirls and starships."-- Olimpiada
"...why am I space China, and I don't have actual magic animals, and you're space USA, and you do? This seems like a mistake." --Roania, during a discussion on wildlife.


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