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The Sun Never Sets (Alt History RP) IC REBOOT

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Imperialisium
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The Sun Never Sets (Alt History RP) IC REBOOT

Postby Imperialisium » Sat Jun 25, 2022 3:38 pm

OOC

“The whole world is divided for me into two parts: one is she, and there is all happiness, hope, light; the other is where she is not, and there is dejection and darkness...”-Tolstoy, War & Peace


January 13th, of the Year Seventeen and Ninety-One of Our Lord,

The Land of the Finns is cold and frigid as the ice's of Arkangelsk, and through every passing morn' I yearn for the fire side back home. I write to you, knowing that by courier it will take more than a fortnight for this dispatch to reach you in Nizhny Novgorod, that the memory of your smile warms me during these chilled nights. The rebels have held up in a place called Vaasan kaupunki, a town on the Gulf of Bothnia, my little Sergey will know of it from his lessons under Father Pyotr. I only hope this will be our last engagement for our Emperor has called a Diet of the Finnish nobility. To formalize this realm's integration and autonomy within Great Russia. If only it had come sooner, and I could not be beside you both. I carry the sketches done by your sister, of Sergey and you, with me at all times. Love everlasting for you both, Georgy.


The scratching of pen on parchment ended as a horn sounded. Only then did the writer turn his head to his surroundings as the morning sun gazed upon white fields and heavy snow laden forests. Emerging from wooden dugouts and canvas covered dirt hovels men in heavy coats, furs, and the characteristic green uniforms of the Imperial Russian Army came into view. Heavy hats lined with fur and facial coverings covered all but their eyes. Others had wisely donned any form of visor or eye protection they could contrive to shield them from any icy glare as the Sun's lancing light bore through from the East. The fighting men of Russia were accustomed to the bitter cold, and they took too such an environment with typical sardonic stoicism. Tucking the letter into a coat pocket the writer set out.

Ahead of them, surrounded by the earthworks and trenches of the Russians, was the town of Vaasa. Vaasan kaupunki, Vaasanstad to the Swedes, but to the Russians that first, simple name, was what stuck. The horn blared again thrice and was swiftly followed by the dull barking roar of rumbling cannon. Swiftly becoming a tidal wave of thunder as plumes of dirt and snow burst like geysers into the air. Marking were the shot fell among the rebel trenchworks and ensconces. Vaasa was not walled. But it sported its own defensive earthworks erected by the Finnish rebels. Their last holdout from a campaign over a yearlong in the making as the Imperials hunted them through wood and field. Farm and town. Systematically having to use multiple tactics in succession to force the surviving rebels into this corner. Not that it was just Finns, there was an entire Swedish loyalist battalion present within the city. Their blue uniforms and banners marking their own positions.

The Russian lines ringed the city and enclosed even some adjacent woodlands that nestled right up to the Northern outbuildings of the town. Off in the waters of Bothnia, a pair of Imperial Navy frigates sat in wait for any who would seek to flee across those icy waters for the Kingdom of Sweden.

Moving off into the trenchworks, bicorne in hand, Georgy wore the livery of a Captain in the Nizhny Novgorod Light Infantry Regiment. Though fully capable of participating in line combat with the heavier foot regiments if the situation demanded, the Light Infantry were much more an immediacy force. More punching power than the skirmishers of the Imperial Jaeger Corps but lacking the sledgehammer weight of the heavier foot formations. Their edge was that these men represented those of high initiative and ability to operate in small squad and platoon sized tactics. Operating autonomously in flanking, harassing, skirmishing, and support of other units.

Moving along the trenches, several of the men in matching facings of the Nizhny Light filed in behind. Ducking their heads as a stray retaliatory shot from the Finno-Swedish guns crashed into their trench embankment. Kicking up dirt, snow, and ice. Luckily, the earth was frozen and so they did not suffer wetness-of-foot as they moved through the trench line into the woods. Here, the trench was broken up into a series of shallow slit trenches and dug outs reinforced by birch and heavier woods. There, several more sections of Nizhny Light filed in behind the captain as they moved into a small dug out were other officers of the regiment deployed here had gathered. Colonel Petrovsky drew lines in the dirt as he began to speak.

"The rebels have provisions for another month. The reason being is this bridge here, in the density of the forest. It is a small makeshift bridge used by trappers moving into the Northern wilderness between Vaasa and the villages along the coast. We are to take this bridge, at which point we will have an elevated position over the northern outbuildings in which to breach the enemy perimeter. At which point the 5th Moscow Musketeers are to follow on and push into the city proper. A rocket will be launched to signal success in this endeavor. In doing so this will signal the two regiments ringing the city to conduct their assault. The rebels will be forced to either surrender or face destruction when pushed up against the Vaasa harbor, our frigates will open fire upon them if such an event comes to pass."

Nods from the men as they warmed their hands in their fingered mittens. A few more minutes going over several other details and the Light Infantry was creeping through the woods towards the supposed location of the bridge. Truly, a break in the lines between sentry stations that the rebels had been secretly bringing supplies from abroad within. Georgy crept forward, snow slowly crumping under boot, as he moved with pistol and saber. He had learned from veteran officers that the cold could cause the blade to stick in its scabbard, and so it was better to have it out and ready when the time for killing came.

Moving forward the man in the front, an expert hunter named Mikhail, suddenly ducked behind a birch tree. Gesturing for the Light to sink to their knees or hide behind the trees. Georgy crept forward to the man and Mikhail pointed. Voices in the distance! Swedish voices. Squinting into the white gloom shapes could be made among the trees and fallen logs. Georgy gave the signal for a cautionary advance and the hunters and trappers of the Nizhny Light crept. Sections instinctively fanning out in ambush tactics. There, moving across the bridge, was a small column of three wagons and a platoon of Swedes in their characteristic blue uniforms.

The Light Infantry fanned out with an intrepid platoon by Lieutenant Nevskayov using a dip in the path to mask a crossing to the other side. Arcing around to now have the Swedes surrounded. Georgy readied his pistol, the men around him readying their own long arms. A few carried rifles, most carried either rifled muskets or regular smoothbore. In truth, at a distance under three hundred meters with the enemy largely bunched together it made no significant difference. Georgy pulled the trigger, the hammer sparked, snap-crack!

His pistols shot was joined by a cacophony of thunder as the three platoons of Light Infantry deployed with him opened up on the Swedish convoy. Three mules died and seven Swedes crumpled into the snow oozing crimson. Two more were winged and fell to the ground, one clutching his side, the other his shoulder. The Swedes returned fire, but it was unorganized and chaotic. One, a driver of the lead wagon, made to run down the path and was downed by an expert shot to the middle of his back from one of Nevskayov's men. Georgy beckoned the men of Nizhny Novogord forth as they fired and advanced on the surviving Swedes held up around the path and between the wagons. White smoke of gunpowder mixing with the frosty air.

Georgy took the time to cradle his blade and reload his piece, bounding from birch wood tree to birch wood tree. A whizzing smack and wood splinters doused him from a close impact. But there was little hope for the Swedish convoy as they fell about the convoy bleeding maroon, red onto the virgin snow.

Georgy moved onto the path as Lieutenant Nevskayov came up from the opposite. Georgy knelt down and rolled over a Swedish corpse. Still warm and spewing steamy air from the man's cooling body. A gorget. Georgy tilted it so he could see the Swedish writing and heraldry on the throat gorget. Swedish Royal Regiment of Turku. Man was a sergeant. In a way Georgy understood the Swedish soldier's plight in this conflict. The Kingdom of Sweden had more or less given up Finland in exchange for piece but in its hurry to do so several units with their recruiting grounds in Finland had been stranded. Those that sought to leave had been allowed to make for ports and thence transit to Sweden across the Gulf of Bothnia. Yet, others had chosen to stay and fight for either an independent Finland or in the hopes of repelling the Russians and Sweden retaking the land back into its own fold. Georgy closed the man's eyes and muttered a small prayer for the newly departed souls.

Nevskayov made the sign of the Orthodox Cross, as did several others of the men, before they began to move to the South. Going parallel along the path. "The Rebels will be expecting that convoy," said Nevskayov as he grunted with the exertion. Wispy cloudy breath exhaling from his lips as he moved briskly.

"We must keep the element of surprise," responded Georgy. The men moved until they began to mount a small slope which would overlook the town. Frost clinging to their coats and stockings as they moved. Coming to a crashing halt as they went prone on the ground to mask their arrival. Going prone in the snow would have been foolish for the regular infantry. But the men of the Nizhny Light like other specialist formations adept at Winter warfare had wisely ensured their powder was kept in sealskin. Keeping it dry from the encroaching moisture of the snow.

Below them a column of at least forty rebels was moving towards them along the path. Double timing it. No doubt they had heard the shots of the ambush and were mobilizing to assist the convoy. Beyond them Vaasa was a hub of enemy activity as rebels moved into the trench works or moved between houses to deploy elsewhere. Some even towards them as two companies of Finnish Foot formed between houses among the outbuildings in two-deep lines.

"Make ready!" Shouted Georgy, the time for surprise was past. The men of the Nizhny Light readied their arms. Rising to kneeling firing or standing positions. Several rested their weapons against tree branches or crooks in the trunks for firing support.

"Fire!"

All three platoons opened fire on the advancing forty rebels. Eleven fell to the snow still or groaning in pain. The rebel officer gave the order to return fire and advance. Seeking to rush the Light positions. Evidently, believing that the convoy could still be saved. The rebel front ranks opened fire in a volley while the rear ranks fanned out to begin firing and advance.

Snow and wood showered where enemy shots fell. Hollering and screaming of commands from Nevskayov, sergeants, and corporals abounded. Georgy looked to his rear and saw that the Moscow Musketeers were marching down the path, right on time.

"Come on lads, keep the fire on em!" urged Georgy as he raised his sword. More booming cracks and soon a withering flurry of rolling booms signaled the Moscow Musketeers coming within effective firing range of the enemy. The Musketeers front ranks unleashing a torrent on the march as they passed through the slopes via the path and began to fan out before the Light infantry. Off to the rear a Sergeant and Corporal erected a small firing tripod, slotted in the small rocket, and lit the fuse. Moving away as it sparked upwards to the priming powder. Launching the rocket into the sky to burst with pink flame.

Drums and fife from the trenches as entire companies, entire battalions, moved forth. Forming disciplined lines as they slowly picked up speed to rush the enemy trenches. The final fight for Vaasa was under way and the rebels were now facing fire assault from all sides. For indeed, the captains of the Frigates had taken their own initiative and moved in close, gun decks ready, and delivered devastating barrages onto the enemy from the Sea. It was these barrages that struck the rebel headquarters in the middle of Vaasa. Killing much of the rebel leadership and collapsing half of the three-story building that was their improvised headquarters which led to a surrender. Leaderless and communications between units broken. The Finns surrendered while the Swedes at first tried to pull back into the town for a last-ditch defense. Only to be avoided by a courier under the flag of truce arriving mid-morning to deliver terms of honorable surrender for the Swedes. Who would be allowed to return to Sweden unmolested if they surrendered today. An offer which was duly taken.

Saint Petersburg, Winter Palace
January 16th, 1791


"Vaasa was not to be shelled unless it was necessary," voiced the Emperor to General Suvorov, the old General merely taking the comment with passive expression. Neutral and professional.

"I assure you the action of my Navy brethren was to spare lives," voiced Suvorov once the Emperor remained silent. Alexander, youthful and with rosy cheeks, looked out the window at the freshly falling snow.

"The Diet is for February, and I hope this will be the last of rebellious sentiment in Finland. I cannot afford to be seen as a violent tyrant by my new subjects."

Suvorov silently nodded and bowed at the speechless dismissal. He knew when to take his leave and was of such standing that even the Emperor of All-Russia wouldn't dare have hands put on the aging General. Lest he want half the Imperial Army to rebel against him.

As such the Emperor turned to a large map on the wall opposite the long-paneled windows of the Winter Palace. He had designs in Central Asia. The Caucasus was still a troublesome hotspot that would take years to pacify. But Central Asia posed an opportunity. Khiva was the first on his list of planned acquisitions. A declaration of Russian Protection over Khiva. An expedition into it and a deal with the ruler of that barbaric land to bow to the might of Third Rome in exchange for keeping his throne. In reality it posed a more important geographic aim. Securing vast farmlands and settlement opportunities. Bringing Russia closer to the trade routes of Iran and the bazaars of Great Shun's western provinces. The latter an old empire that Russia was now in an intense diplomatic dance with due to recent settlements and conquests in the Far East.

Then of course there was the matter of France and its chaos. The Emperor moved to take a seat, reached for a decanter, and poured himself a glass of vodka. He had much to think about.
Last edited by Imperialisium on Sat Jun 25, 2022 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sao Nova Europa » Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:06 pm

January 1791



Great Shun - Beijing - Prince Jing's Manor

Yang Kang
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Chancellor of the Great Shun

Prince Jing
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Imperial Prince of Shun

Chancellor Yang Kang was waiting in the courtyard of Prince Jing's Manor. With plants, rocks, and flowers, the courtyard was like a garden. It was a place that offered peace and quite to the Prince. Yang Kang was only thirty-two years old, yet he was already the most powerful man in the vast Shun Empire. Yang Kang owed his rapid rise to his silver tongue that allowed him to befriend Empress Chen. The young eunuch made full use of his connections to rise through the ranks, on the way using his accumulated wealth to buy the loyalty of important men. With the Xianfeng Emperor listening closely to the advices given to him by Empress Chen, it was easy for Yang Kang to become Chancellor. The man was shrewd and intelligent after all, seemed like a perfect man for the office. Those who underestimated his abilities paid it with their lives in a series of supposedly 'anti-corruption purges', which allowed the cunning eunuch to establish tight control over the government.

"Chancellor," Prince Jing bowed slightly out of courtesy when he arrived to the courtyard. "Forgive me for making you wait."

"You needn't worry about that, your Highness," Yang Kang laughed it off as he too bowed.

Prince Jing was in many ways a total opposite of the Chancellor. Whereas the Chancellor had a silver tongue, the Prince was known for his honesty and frank manners. His filial piety, deep sense of personal honor and bravery had earned him widespread admiration. Prince Jing also refrained from participating in political affairs, having a deep dislike for the scheming and intrigues of the Imperial Court. He preferred to spend his time writing poetry and practicing his swordsmanship, which was renowned in the entire Empire.

"Chancellor, if you will excuse my frankness, I would like to know the reason for your visit. I assume this isn't a social call."

"It indeed is not. I fear that His Imperial Majesty, may He reign ten thousand years, is being misled by Consort Bai. This young girl has too much influence over His Imperial Majesty, and His Imperial Majesty has more than once made political decisions based on her advice. This is dangerous. We cannot let a girl rule the Empire."

"Oh yes, it would be far better if my brother allowed you to rule the Empire. Are you afraid your undisputed control over the government is coming to an end?"

The eunuch chuckled. "Since you are frank, I will be so too. I may be a scheming and corrupt individual, but I am a competent one. Even those who hate me admit as much. Would you rather I influence the Emperor or a young girl with no political experience whatever?"

Prince Jing remained silent for a few seconds. "I do not involved myself in Court affairs."

"You are a Prince of the Shun Dynasty. Would you let your Great House be led into decline? Would you disappoint your ancestors? The Empire is at a critical point. The Russian barbarians are threatening our very integrity. We cannot afford weak leadership."

"Very well. I shall talk to my brother about it. Hopefully he will listen to me. But you have to understand that I am not doing this for you. I am doing this for the Empire."

"As do we all," Yang Kang smiled.



Great Shun - Viet Nam - Phú Xuân

Tự Đức
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King of Viet Nam

Ren Ping
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Grand Marshal of Viet Nam


Tự Đức was in his personal study, sipping a cup of hot tea. He had ascended the throne of Viet Nam less than a month ago, in a grand public ceremony. Tự Đức had never believed he would be in this position: he was the fourth son of his father, and so far away from succession nominally. But a series of unfortunate incidents changed all this: his eldest brother was killed in a hunting accident, his second brother was poisoned by his third brother, who in turn was executed by their father for his devious schemes. And so, all of the sudden, Tự Đức became the Crown Prince. Before he could have a chance to adapt to his new role, his father died from a heart stroke. Now, aged only twenty-five, he was the Wang of Viet Nam.

Ren Ping, the Han Chinese sitting opposite of him, was equally young. A scion of one of the most influential aristocratic families of the Shun, who had produced a great many number of military commanders and imperial ministers, he had managed to become Grand Marshal in his mid-thirties. In that position, he was the Imperial Court's agent in Viet Nam, responsible for ensuring that the King complied with the wishes of the Son of Heaven.

"Your Royal Majesty," Ren Ping said, "I came here to talk with you about a planned expedition."

Tự Đức was silent for a brief moment, unsure on how to reply. "I..." he mustered all the confidence he could, "what expedition?"

"His Imperial Majesty, may He reign ten thousand years, wishes to subjugate the Khmer. His Imperial Majesty has requested that your Royal Majesty undertake a campaign to impose imperial rule over the Khmer."

"This would require great mobilization. And you very well know that the Thais are also interested in Cambodia. They may attempt to intervene if we invade."

"I am certain your Royal Majesty's army can beat back any Thai expedition."

The King simply nodded approvingly.



Great Shun - Shandong - Jinan

Zhang Guoliang
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Governor of Shandong

Bai Zihua
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Taoist Priest

Zhang Guoliang was in his office, reading a decree detailing the response of the Imperial Court to his request for greater investment in Shandong's shipyards. He suddenly heard a knock on the door. "Come in!" he exclaimed and Mo Yan, his personal secretary, entered. He bowed slightly before his superior, showing his respects.

"What is it?" Zhang asked. He wasn't one for small talk.

"Your Excellency, Bai Zihua has arrived," Mo replied.

Bai Zihua was a name that was heard a lot in the past years. A young Taoist priest, he was known for his wisdom, wit and excellent swordsmanship. He would regularly advice high ranking officials on state affairs and lecture them when he felt they were behaving immorally. He had managed to defeat many famous swordsmen in duels and he was nicknamed 'Wind Swordsman' due to his speed and ferocity.

"Send him in!"

Mo Yan obliged at once. Bai Zihua was a tall, handsome man in his thirties. He was dressed in a long white gown. He exuded a sense of calm and peace.

"Governor," Bai said while bowing slightly, "I am most pleased to meet you."

Zhang sized him up carefully. "Hmm... I expected someone more impressive."

"Why? I am but a humble priest. Why would you expect me to be impressive?"

Zhang laughed, his laughter echoing across the room. "Oh yes, I forgot, you've got maintain the act of the humble priest. Deep inside, though, you do know you are famous across the Middle Kingdom. You've recently defeated in a duel my nephew, Zhang Xuanlang."

"He was the one who challenged me. I simply obliged his request."

"I know. He told me about you. Apparently you made quite the impression."

"Governor, I don't think you asked me to come to your office to talk about my swordsmanship."

"Indeed. I will skip the formalities and go directly to the point. You've been criticizing me before state officials. You know this is an offense, right?"

"I wasn't criticizing your Excellency. I was simply stating the faults of Legalism."

"Don't beat around the bush, please. We both know what you meant."

"I believe that the harshness with which your Excellency applies the laws creates more criminals than a benevolent administration would. People are inherently good. Good behavior can occur spontaneously and naturally without the threat of canning."

"People are inherently evil. Without strict laws, there will be anarchy and chaos."

"Strict laws create criminals out of the slightest deviation. They oppress the populace and lead to revolts and anarchy."

"Without laws, people will act out their evil urges. Murder, theft, rapes and all manners of evil will become commonplace."

"Without laws, most people would still behave in an orderly manner because people are by nature good and virtuous."

"Shandong has not had a revolt in quite some time and has lower crime rates than other provinces."

"Shandong also has more supposed criminals in jails."

"You are naïve."

"You are cynical."

Zhang chuckled. "You are indeed as good a talker as they say. But are you equally good with the sword? Mo Yan, my secretary, served in the army and is a capable swordsman. Would you care to come with me to the courtyard to face him?"

"Your Excellency has ignored the points I've made and instead you challenge me to a sword duel. What good would that do? I came here to persuade you to see the errors in your ways. How would defeating your secretary serve that purpose?"

"It would not but it would please me and convince me not to fill my prisons with one more person."

Bai sighed. "Very well. I shall oblige, your Excellency."



Image


Bai Zihua and Mo Yan were in the courtyard of Governor Zhang. A garden full of peach blossom trees, it provided the perfect place for a sword duel. While the literati of Shun society preferred to solve their differences through poem contests and witty remarks, warriors with knowledge of China's traditional martial arts were known to duke out in duels. A whole informal martial culture had evolved, with its own rules of conduct and ethos, partly influenced by the Tatar tribal martial ethos that encouraged men to solve their differences through combat.

Zhang watched as Bai and Mo prepared for the duel. Mo unsheathed his sword. The blade of the sword was emitting a blue light and Mo's face reflected upon it. The blade was so clear that it was like a mirror. On the other hand, Bai's sword was old, rusty and covered with dust. That sword was also scarred, a sign that it had fought many battles. One would expect a more refined sword considering the fame of Bai. This sword looked like a cheap sabre which anyone with a modest income could buy.

Yet, in the eyes of a great swordsman, the difference between Mo and Bai and their respective swords was already clear. Mo was a man holding a sword. Bai had become one with his sword.
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Bai Zihua

In a split of a second, the two swords had collided. A loud clang sound was heard and it seemed like the earth shook. Mo lunged forward and struck at Bai with vicious and quick attacks. Bai parried the attacks with ease, still smiling and absolutely calm. Mo grew agitated, his attacks becoming ever furious, while Bai retained his calmness and was content with blocking the blows.

Mo struck once more, this time his sword smashing a branch of a nearby peach blossom tree. The sky was briefly obscured by a shower of peach blossoms fluttering to the ground. Bai used the obstruction to strike. Unlike Mo, Bai's strikes were elegant, dance-like and precise. He was like a surgeon, picking the exact right places. His sword slashed Mo's arm, chest and right leg. Despite bleeding and his gown being thrashed, Mo did not give up.

The swordsman pointed his sword at Bai and thrust it forward. As the sword sped forward, a loud sound was heard, revealing the strength behind the thrust. Bai did not even move his feet. His sword flickered and stabbed Mo's shoulder. Mo let out a cry and let his sword fall on the ground.

Bai sheathed his sword and bowed slightly. "You were a most masterful opponent. Thank you for showing me your skills."

Governor Zhang clapped. "You've impressed me. You are indeed as good a swordsman as my nephew said. You are both eloquent and a martial hero. A true scholar-warrior. You are free to go."

Bai bowed slightly before the Governor. "Thank you for your magnanimity. I hope that you shall extend it to everyone in Shandong."
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"I’ve just bitten a snake. Never mind me, I’ve got business to look after."
- Guo Jing ‘The Brave Archer’.

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

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

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Antimersia » Sun Jun 26, 2022 12:39 pm

January 1791

The Triumvirate of Rome; the Kingdom of Naples, the Republic of Venice, and the Papal State, unified together under joint rule. Marching under one flag. Standing as The shimmering return of the Catholic
Rome from which many European nations spawned. For nearly five decades, the Triumvirate has ruled Italians lands from the groves of Sicily to the canals of Venice. And while the Protestant leanings of the northern Venetians, still leads to clashes with the Southern Catholics, there is an uneasy stability in the nation for the first time in its young history. Thanks in part to the King of Naples, with help of the Triumvirate Parliament, expelling the Jesuits from the nation. One fewer religion to cause upheaval, as he justified it. Though this has caused fears among the Venetian Protestants that they could very well be next, despite King Ferdinand’s assurances to the contrary.

One might hold concern over the power the King of Naples has over the Triumvirate. He controls the bulk of their military, as well as a plurality within the Parliament that has yet to be overcome by any form of coalition. Even the Doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin, and His Holiness the Pope Pius VI, cannot agree for long enough to fight the King’s power due to their religious differences. As much as the Triumvirate is equal on paper, the King of Naples is the de facto head of state. And the people, rightly know this throughout all of Rome. So when Kind Ferdinand publicly declared the Triumvirate’s claims on Parma, Tuscany, Genoa, Milan, and Corsica, the people of Rome knew that war was likely just over the horizon. And the soldier of the Triumvirate’s primary Army, La Legione, began mobilizing and fortifying positions near the Roman-Parma border over the course of the month, the suspicions of the people were confirmed. It was only a matter of time.



January 6th, 1791
Three Kings Day/Epiphany
St. Peter’s Basilica
The City of Rome


Thrice a year, the three heads of the Triumvirate, meet together in the Basilica in Rome to discuss issues of importance to the nation. The three men are locked securely in the Pope’s private chambers, guarded by Vatican guards from Le Spade Di Cristo. The sworn defenders of Rome are always tasked with this mission. Doge Manin, Pope Pius VI, and King Ferdinand sit at a table together, discussing their ideals and hopes for the Triumvirates future. The King of Naples being particularly boisterous in his words.

“These claims are hardly founded. We have no legal claim to Genoa or Milan than we do to Kent in England. The days of the Roman Empire are long since past. Do you truly seek to attempt to rebuild it?” Doge Manin asks incredulously. The Doge of Venice is a vain yet intelligent man. He adorns himself with fine leathers and furs, trimmed with gold. As well as a gold inlaid Corno Ducale. Yet, he acts with a rationality that does not befit a man wearing such garish cloths.

“I do not. The Roman Empire failed. There is no sense in rebuilding a failed attempt at an empire. I desire to build a new empire. Sharing a name with the previous one is where the commonalities shall end. I do not, yet, attempt claims on land beyond what is rightly Italian. True descendants of Rome in blood as much as clay. If we claim to be Rome, how can we stand by while they claim to not be.” Ferdinand replied. His self indulgent and smarmy voice could pull curses from even a pious man. Ferdinand has an air of self granted, unearned superiority around him that one cannot help but notice.

“We are not an empire, we are a Triumvirate. Three states, together as a nation. Your father understood that. You seem unwilling to accept this. I pray to the Father that you do not let this misunderstanding drive you to act rashly.” Pope Pius VI interjects. He is softspoken, though sure in his words. Pius often is described as quiet and contemplative. Choosing to speak only when it is necessary.

“I am unwilling to accept that duchies and kingdoms within Italian land are somehow excluded from the Triumvirate. If we are to claim ourselves as Rome, all that is undeniably Roman, is within our imperative to lay claim. Although, if we cannot agree on this, I am of course willing to bring this issue before the Parliament.” Ferdinand’s words were smug and sharp. Ludovico and Pius both recoil at the thought. The King’s power within the Parliament was all but absolute. They are always better to attempt to convince Ferdinand in person than defeat him through parliamentary measures. Their folly, is in the Protestant Doge’s and the Catholic Pope’s inability to coalesce.

“No such thing will be required. If you want the support of Venice to launch warfare against these other lands you will not have it. Although, we will not stand against you pressing the claim.” Ludovico replies.

“Terrific. Then I presume you won’t have issue with my proposal then?” Ferdinand smiles smugly, turning his attention back and forth between the Doge and Pope.

“You have Papal support.” Pius replies softly, making eye contact with Ferdinand in a defiant manner.

“I will not agree that such a proposed alliance will be beneficial in the long term. But the short term merits are acceptable. You have Venetian support.” Manin replies with reluctance.

“Fantastic, I shall instruct messengers to deliver the offer to the President of France post haste. With that settled, I suggest we move on to the next topic I wish to propose. The expulsion of Islam.”



January, 1791

The meeting of the Triumvirate has yielded three noteworthy reforms to the nation of Rome. The first, and most immediate, being the expulsion of Islam and all of its followers from the nation. Similar to the expulsion of the Jesuits years prior, the Islamic Minority in the lands of Naples, Venice, and the Papacy reject Islamic iconography as well as public worship. Known followers are driven from their homes and expelled from Roman lands. Or, if they refuse, killed.

The second reform is that of the Roman Military. A conscription order to double the forces of La Legione as well as build no fewer than fifty new ships for the Roman navy, by the end of the decade, are both placed in immediate effect.

The third and final reform, exists in the form of an offer to the Republic of France. The offer letter presents conditions as stated. France and Rome will enter into a full, offensive and defensive military alliance. A mutual agreement of safe harbor for heads of state. Joint naval protection agreements for merchants from both nations. A recognition by Rome, of French rightful claims of Northern Milanese lands. A recognition by France, of Rome’s rightful claims on Parma, Tuscany, Southern Milanese, and Genoan Clay. A transfer of the island of Corsica to Roman rule. And a full excuse of all tariffs for French Merchants trading in Roman ports. All to take effect on the moment of signing by both parties, if agreed upon by France.

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Postby St George Territory » Sun Jun 26, 2022 8:15 pm

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The combat deepens. On, ye brave,
Who rush to glory, or the grave!
Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave!
And charge with all thy chivalry!
-Part of Hohenlinden by Thomas Campbell



Schloß Nymphenburg, Munich, The Grand Electorate of Bavaria
January 12, 1791 Feast day of St. Tatiana of Rome




A light snow fell upon Munich, covering the many roofs of the Bavarian capital, one of them being the Nymphenburg palace, an astounding complex designed to bring feelings of Versailles, but the copy could never bring the feelings of the original. The fountains were frozen, the gardens smothered as the half frozen Bavarian guards in their heavy winter coats breathed into their gloved hands to bring about a small sense of warmth, cursing their comrades who were most likely drinking in the local beer halls, enjoying a fire and conversation with the girls of Munich. Soldat Karl Bülling felt this very way, he felt a number of things as he lit his pipe, filled with the sweet American tobacco. Most nights brought him back to 1789, two years ago, but to him felt like it was yesterday when he signed up for the army and was sent with the Kurfürstgarde to France, it was a different land, yet parts reminded him of home. He couldn't help but remind himself whenever he saw the dancing snowflakes of it, the marching songs and tunes, his brother Michael, a Korporal in the garde himself, how proud he was, how happy he was when they were but in a stones toss from Paris. His life changed at Provins, he still bore the scar of a French round that proved more superficial, but he left behind quite a few brothers that day. "All good here, soldat?" Was the only thing that broke him from his concentration, the cheerful voice of Oberleutnant von Wildenstein, a young man like Bülling, but a true leader.

Bülling stood at attention and saluted the officer, to which he received a chuckle, "More worried about this cold, Herr Oberleutnant. That, and could go for a beer." The young soldier relaxed, leaning on his musket and continued to puff on his pipe, the Oberleutnant joining him.

"It's important we do this. Damn Frenchman may have spies throughout the continent, infesting the land with their ideals, you know the story." Both men chuckled, enjoying the respite as they stood in the cold, "I have something for you." von Wildenstein reached into his coat and took out a flask and handed it to Bülling, who happily took a sip. "Still thinking about Provins?" von Wildenstein asked, the figure of Gerfreiter Kapfelmann approached, similarly breather into his hands.

"It was a pretty little town." Bülling looked off at Nymphenburg, the warmth of the palace but a wall away, so pleasantly lit and inviting, compared to his hovel. He took another sip, handing it to Kapfelmann, who happily partook. "Happened quickly, from Mannheim to Provins, couldn't believe they could've fought so hard."

Laughing, von Wildenstein retorted, "We'll beat them again, my dear Bülling, I have a cousin with von Deroy in the Palatinate, he says they may be pushing into France again, talks of Royalist support, but I don't know how much I'd believe it."

"Maybe an army of headless men?" Kapfelmann butted in, "You saw it, seems like they've done a good job of destroying their own country, maybe we should just leave 'em to it." He took another sip, glancing around the darkened grounds of the palace grounds.

"I would've thought a man like you, Kapfelmann, would have a little more patriotism." von Wildenstein replied, "Their ideas infest the minds of the simple folk, so I'll be keeping an eye on you." He laughed and smacked Kapfelmann's shoulder. Turning back to Bülling he said, "We'll have our revenge, this time the Prussian's will fight a little harder..."

"They did what they could." Bülling retorted, "Herr Kaiser could've fought harder. I just still hear those damn cannons, boom, boom, boom." he mimicked, "Like damned clockwork, the bastards ran well."

Pausing, von Wildenstein put his hand on Bülling's shoulder and sighed, "Don't worry lad, we'll get our chance, soon enough, we'll be parading in Versailles before you know it. You're relief will be here soon, stay vigilant." Bülling nodded to the Oberleutnant, as he made his exit with Kapfelmann, who was uncharacteristically quiet.



SALON OF THE ELECTOR, NYMPHENBURG PALACE, MUNICH, THE GRAND BAVARIAN ELECTORATE




Elector Karl Theodor, gazed outside the window, warmed by the fireplace nearby, snow stuck to the windowsill, he could count himself glad to be inside today. That was not exactly the truth, as he was expecting visitors, Field Marshall von Deroy and Generalmajor von Wrede and Hügel, the Württemberger. It was most likely going to be another conversation about the failings of the army, ever since Provins it was always that, von Deroy and him had a yelling match outside of Metz, thankfully away from the Prussians and most of the higher Bavarian officer corps, the supposedly stable army had failed, taking Metz was what saved von Deroy in the eyes of Karl Theodor, although even he recognised he couldn't have sacked his version of Suvorov.

Glancing away from the window he returned to his table, made of Italian maple, an more importantly his glass of French wine, an even rarer commodity nowadays, he sat thinking, taking sips slowly, it was a finer commodity than anything one could find in the Electorate, looted from Metz as well. Sometimes, the story of an item could make it taste all the sweeter when he found that wine cellar in the little- "Your Highness, Generalfeldmarschall von Deroy and Generalmajors von Wrede and Hügel have arrived and are requesting your attendance, shall I send them away for tomorrow?" The attendant broke the Electors concentration on the finer arts of acquiring wine.

Sighing heavily, Karl Theodor turned to the man and waved his finger, "Like pulling out a tooth, it is important that one get it done quickly, show them in at once."

"As you wish, your Highness." The man bowed and exited the room, returning shortly with the door opened to reveal the three finely dressed men, von Deroy took charge of the situation, entering first and bowing with the two others who made there way to sit near the fireplace. The attendant exited and closed the door.

"Awful cold out there. Not as bad as Mannheim, mind you, your Highness." von Deroy said first, in an attempt at small talk.

"I assume this visit wasn't just about the weather?" Karl Theodor said coldly, placing three glasses in front of the Fieldmarshal.

"Sadly not, we're preparing defensive's throughout the Palatinate, but rumour is abound that the French are preparing their army, I fear that there may be some truth in it as they are preparing some reforms that may make them a serious threat, I believe it's either we gather support and try to finish them off again, or we attempt to negotiate with them, you can imagine which side I'm on, Hügel and von Wrede are in the same camp."

The Elector put his head in his hands, "The Austrians are too cowardly, the British hide on their island, I don't even know about the Triumvirate, his holiness seems under the thumb of their King." The room was quiet in contemplation.

"Building up the army is a necessity, your Highness." von Wrede said, "The Prussians will assist like they've done time and time again, these, revolutionaries must be dealt with, by bayonet preferably until they join the ranks of civilised society once more. Konig Frederick William II will come, your Highness, we believe there are kindred spirits in there officer corps, of a greater spirit of Germany."

"If only someone could rid me of that Kaiser in Vienna." The Elector muttered. "von Deroy, what is the state of the Electorate in your eyes?"

von Deroy coughed into his hand and responded, "We've had to hang quite a few revolutionaries, the situation is not great in the West, I'm not sure I can trust the Badeners as far as I can throw them, and stamping out French spies is an herculean task. It is the belief of the officer corps that we must reach out to Potsdam, they are our only option here your Highness, we are all behind you, but the French are numerous and seemingly unstoppable. Write the letter, threaten to speak with Vienna or Naples, that should get them thinking."

Karl Theodor smiled, "I'll keep that in mind. It's rather late now, I'll have rooms prepared for you."
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Segmentia
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Postby Segmentia » Mon Jun 27, 2022 6:24 pm

Luxembourg Palace, Paris, Republic of France
January 3rd, 1791, Year III of the Revolutionary Calendar


Walking from the Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Luxembourg Palace, the current seat of government for the Republic of France, was usually a calming time for Théodore Boutet, one of the five Directors of the Republic. A nice peaceful walk surrounded by the sounds of the city coming alive in the early morning. He was a religious man, thankful that he no longer had to hide his belief lest political opponents use that as a means to send him to the guillotine, but he still had a special arrangement with the Archbishop. He would arrive early in the morning for Confession, wishing to air his sins and seek forgiveness for them before going to work and creating a whole new list of them. After all, he was a Director of the Republic, an ardent believer in the revolution, or at least most of what it stood for, and he had a duty to France and the French people.

Théodore stopped at a bakery and exchanged a few polite words with the owner as he bought a pound of fresh bread, as he did every morning. He was about to leave when he decided to buy three pounds. Handing the paper money to the owner, he tucked the bundle under his arm and resumed his walk. Normally he would be worried about carrying just a single pound of bread, and three pounds would make him a target for any thief, beggar, or hungry citizen, but he wasn’t too terribly concerned. The uniform fall of heavy boots behind him were an annoyance, but also reassuring in their own way. Six men in uniform military dress followed behind Director Boutet, a security detail that had become standard for members of the Directory, after one of Robespierre’s fanatics tried to murder fellow Director Jordan Donnet. Almost two years dead and the man was still causing problems, typical.

Reaching the Palace he was quickly ushered in past the gates and guards, though his own guards stuck close behind him even here. Nowhere was really safe in the new political situation, not for those in either of the Councils or the Directors themselves. Donnet would probably be plotting someone's removal and even death once he was recovered. Theodore had his own plans for Jordan as well, truth be told, they just weren’t in motion yet, he was just waiting for proof of the man's corruption. For that is what Theodore did best, rooted out corruption from the highest halls of the government down to the seediest price gouger on the streets. It was his belief that corruption was the greatest threat to the revolution, and to France itself. He was methodical, ruthless, but just.

Reaching his suite of offices he turned to the soldiers following him, taking two of the bread loafs from under his arm. “I’ll be in here all day, so you might as well make yourselves comfortable.” He said, handing the two loaves to the sergeant of the squad. “I’ll have some pitchers of water brought.” He finished as the sergeant took the bread with a grateful nod, before Theodore turned and opened the heavy wooden door, frowning as he found it unlocked. He entered and closed the door behind him, locking it as he took off his coat and hung it on a hook.

“Auguste!” He called, the sounds of his staff in anterooms lowering to a hush. The hurried, but measured steps announced the arrival of his chief aide before he rounded the corner. Auguste was a tall and powerfully built man, quite intimidating to most, but not to Theodore, even though his aide was a clear foot taller than him.

“Director?” Auguste asked, standing ready.

“The door was unlocked.” Theodore said simply, and he saw Auguste's face pale a bit and drop slightly. Security and professionalism went hand in hand in Theodores mind, and when ones job was rooting out corruption at all levels, it did not pay to have the door leading to literal heaps of incriminating information unlocked. And as chief aide, it was Auguste's job to ensure it was locked when Theodore was out of the office.

“I shall surrender three days wages, sir, and it shan't happen again.” Auguste said, lowering his gaze to the floor. Theodore nodded. Harsh, but just.

“See that it doesn’t, I would hate to dismiss you over a door.” Theodore said, walking down one of the halls, Auguste following. “Have some water brought to the soldiers, and some chairs. It will be a long day for them.” He said, reaching his office and seeing a fresh pile of papers and unopened letters. He stopped himself from sighing and simply frowned a bit deeper as he walked around his desk and sat down, setting the remaining loaf of bread down on a tray on the left side of his desk. “And send a message to the other Directors that I won’t be able to attend the Council meeting today. I have far more important matters to attend to rather than that ridiculous calendar nonsense.” Theodore dismissed Auguste as he reached for his letter opener and the first sealed letter, popping the wax seal off as Auguste bowed his head in a nod and departed.

Luxembourg Palace, Paris, Republic of France, Council Chambers

“We’ve abolished slavery and extended the rights of citizens to women, how are those less radical then this proposal?” A voice demanded in the large chamber.

“Those were less of a headache!” Another voice called back, getting a round of laughter from around the Council Chamber. The first speaker waved his hands dismissively and sat back down. The clamor of dozens, if not hundreds, of murmured conversations filled the room. Looking over the document of the proposal one last time, Director Jean-Pierre Carrel sighed and lifted a hand up to his face, rubbing his eyes. It wasn’t even noon yet and he was indeed already getting a headache. What mad man thought a ten day week was smart? He understood the idea of changing the names of months, to rid as much of Chrsitianity from the common spaces as possible, but a ten day week? Decimal time? Madness.

“There is no reason to throw the citizens of the nation into confusion over some as fundamental as the keeping of time, let alone the confusion this would lead to in terms of diplomacy.” Jean-Pierre said. He was an older man, though not to where his mind and body were weakening, his gravelly voice carrying wisdom and amused sarcasm.

The man from before, who had sat down in annoyance, stood up, raising an arm dramatically, a pamphlet crumpled up in his hand. “Does Director Carrel doubt the education of the French people?!” He demanded. Such wearisome dramatics.

“Of course not, though I may be starting too, as I am told the man who proposed this is supposedly a man of much education.” Carrel rebuked, another wave of laughter erupting across the chambers, louder and longer this time than before. Genuine amusement.

The theatrical man went red in the face this time, and instead of sitting back down he threw down the crumpled pamphlet and whirled around, leaving his bench and walking down the steps, heading for the door. His sign of dignified anger and defiance was ruined as his foot caught on the leg of a bunch and he stumbled, nearly falling to the ground. The laughter this time was uproarious, and chased the man as he fled the council chambers.

Jean-Pierre even allowed himself a small smile at the man's embarrassment, but he was careful not to laugh. He had a reputation to uphold, after all. The laughter eventually died down, and Jean-Pierre raised a hand for attention.

“While our esteemed fellow is perhaps overly ambitious, the renaming of months at least carries merit of its own. Not the changing of when these months would start and end, of course, but it is perhaps worth further discussion at a later time. We shall make note of this for the next meeting of the Council.” He said, the Council Clerk taking note of it with a magnificently large quill pen. With that the day's meeting came to an end. Jean-Pierre was the last one to leave the chamber, leaving from a side door that was exclusively for the Directors. Normally there would be at least two, or even three Directors sitting in sessions of Council, but there was much to do and sometimes attentions must be divided.

Théodore Boutet was busy working on his anti-corruption campaign and managing the more secret actions both within and out of France. Jordan Donnet was more or less still recovering from his assassination attempt. Gauthier D'Aboville was off on the business of Army reform and procurement, perhaps the most important business of all. Fernand Millet was primarily focused on the economy and diplomacy, the man had aged ten years in the span of one. And Jean-Pierre himself was dealing with the Council and trying to bring about stability.

All of these things were interconnected, of course, and perhaps more than one man could handle alone. Thus was the purpose of the Directors. To work in unison, but also separately.
Weekly, and sometimes even daily meetings, between the Directors were held, where things were discussed and decided. The course set and corrected as needed. It was a fine system that worked…for the most part. Sitting down in his office, Jean-Pierre again picked up the series of letters that had been delivered to him, from an unknown but trusted source. Thedore was not the only one with agents and spies, after all. Sighing heavily, he began reading the first lines again, carefully reading and rereading the coded letter.

‘I do not make this claim lightly, but all my investigations have led me to a simple conclusion. His Excellency, Director Jordan Donnet is a traitor to the revolution, the republic, and France itself….’

Outside Reims, France, Revolutionary Army training camp

The snap-crackle of massed musketry was, in Director Gauthier D'Aboville’s opinion, nothing short of a disgrace. It was not the roar of a well timed volley, not even the rolling crackle of a not so well timed or organized volley. He swore he could hear the individual crack of each musket as they were fired. The roar of rage from the sergeants was more impressive. There were cries as men were struck with hand, sometimes even the stock of a musket as sergeants went down the line and instilled some discipline into the recruits. Three weeks of training and they still couldn’t fire anything close to a solid volley. The cold and snow was no excuse, of course. Gauthier watched from atop his horse as in another company a man fell over, fainting. He certainly hadn’t fainted from heat exhaustion.

“Locked his knees.” Gauthier mused. A novice mistake. Turning his horse aside, Gauthier moved along. The training camp was extensive, and thousands of soldiers were being trained. The War of the Bavarian Coalition had shown the glaring weaknesses of the French army. Not just in battle, either. Discipline had been poor, with some officers being killed by soldiers who refused to fight, or regiments voting on if to join battle or not. Totally unacceptable in a military, even within the ideals of the Republic. An army required discipline and obedience, and by God, he would beat it into this rabble even if he had to do it himself. Thankfully he didn’t need to, however. A multitude of officers had seen the same glaring flaws, and the Army Reform Commission had been established even before the war had ended. It had been staffed by young and enterprising officers, as well as seasoned veterans, and already some of its fruits were blooming.

Halting his horse, Gauthier wanted as a regiment marched past, the drum beating a marching tune, the soldiers entirely in step even in the muddy ground. By God, they even all had muskets, and matching uniforms as well! Gauthier hadn’t been sold on the Shakos at first, but he had to admit they did look fairly dashing in person.

They were not the first regiment to be trained under the new Army Reform Commission, but there was still much work to do. The Revolutionary Army was immense, and growing every month. Supply shortages would need to be dealt with, there was talk of some regiments not even having a single firearm in their inventory. Production was ramping up, certainly, but would it be fast enough? Would the monarchs of Europe strike out against France again? They would find it bloody going regardless.

The regiment passed by and Gauthier urged his horse forward, heading for the large farmhouse that acted as this camp's command center. A stablehand took the reins of his horse as he swung down from it, not minding as his boots sunk into mud. Gauthier had been a soldier, a sworn soldier of the King of France, a distant noble relative having secured him a position as a captain. He had fought in America against the British, and upon the end of that war he had been promptly cashiered upon returning home, his ideas and theories on the effect of the Americans' skirmishing warfare seen as dishonorable. He had used those ideas and theories to great effect during the Revolution and resulting civil war. And now he was the power behind the Reform Commission, though he had left most of the work to the officers who had fought in the war and come to some degree of prominence.

Walking into the farmhouse, cleaning his boots off as best he could before walking inside, Gauthier made his way to a stuffy, but not uncomfortable room where several well dressed officers sat. Some were smoking, some sitting, others leaning over a table, but all were busy reading dispatches and reports. They stood to attention upon his entry, and he waved them off.

“I saw one of the new regiments. I do not usually say this, but I was impressed. Veterans?” He asked. An officer with dark reddish-blonde hair spoke up.

“Of course, Your Excellency. We decided it was best to whip the veterans of the war into shape first and foremost. They shall form the core of our efforts, something for the new recruits to aspire to. Something of an Old Guard, if you will.” The officer smiled, coming before Gauthier and holding out a hand.

Gauthier took it and shook. “An excellent idea, General…?”

“Bonaparte, Your Excellency.” The man replied.

“Napoleon Bonaparte, the hero of Provins and savior of the Republic?” Gauthier asked, a little surprised. Bonaparte smiled a tad shyly.

“That is what the people say, anyway.” He said, with a nod. “I was simply doing my duty to France, and I happen to be a fine commander of artillery.” It would have been bragging if it hadn’t been true, so Gauthier decided to not humble the man. Well, not entirely anyway.

“Don’t let it go to your head. A victory never belongs to a single man, remember that. If I recall our skirmishers did well, and the cavalry, what little of it there was, likewise distinguished itself.” The mans face fell a little, but he scrunched his eyebrows and nodded. If he would take the lesson to heart Gauthier couldn’t tell.

Allowing a grin to form on his lips, he patted Bonaparte on the shoulder. “But I have always enjoyed the sound of French cannon shattering an enemy line, and I am sure you shall make the revolution proud again before too long. The vultures of Europe circle what they think is a dying nation, my soldiers, and we must make the army ready to drive them off. Come, show me some other ideas you young fellows have come up with.” Gautier said, gesturing to the table.

JANUARY, 1791
Paris, France


“Outrageous!” Roared Director Gauthier D’Aboville, his chair clattering to the ground as he sharply rose to his feet. “Simply outrageous!”

Jean-Pierre Carrel didn’t sigh, but he frowned at the theatrics. Though with Gauthier’s temper, he was fairly certain it was a genuine reaction. Especially since there was no audience to play to.

Fernand Millet was frowning in thought. “The relaxation of tariffs would certainly help our financial situation a small amount, but to give up French land and be shackled to these ambitious Italians?” He shook his head and leaned back in his chair.

Theodore Boutet was frowning. He was a religious man but none doubted his commitment to the revolution and the republic. “I agree with Fernand, but I am worried about the Pope-” He was just off mid-sentence by Gauthier.

“Worried about the Pope? The Pope?! How many regiments does he have, hm?” The soldier bellowed as he turned from where he had been pacing. Theodoes frown deepened.

“I was going to say that I am worried about the Pope being used for such things, to bring his Papal authority to bear on petty claims of land? It simply isn’t right. It shows the rot for all to see.” Theodore finished.

The tension was still in the air, and Jordan Donnet sat silent, nursing a headache. Or perhaps faking one. Jean-Pierre watched him discreetly, but decided the tension needed some easing.

“The Pope, a king, and a noble send a missive to revolutionary France. It almost sounds like the start of a joke the corner peddlers would tell.” Jean-Pierre mused with his usual sarcastic amusement. The other Directors looked at him for a moment, and then Gauthier laughed. The others followed suit, even the usually dour Fernand smiled and laughed.

“Needless to say, I think we reject this…treaty in its entirety?” Jean-Pierra asked, and after a round of agreements, with Jordan being a bit slow in his answer, it was agreed. A scathing reply would be returned to the Triumvirate, outright rejecting the idea of any transfer of French land or citizens.
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Postby The V O I D » Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:33 pm

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Cordoba
Cordoba Province
The Emirate of Cordoba

al-Ithnayn, 11 Jumadā al-ʾŪlā, 1205 H
(Monday, 16 January, 1791 Common Era)





The city of Cordoba was, thankfully, not very cold as it was now midday. There was some activities across the city; some going to the Grand Mosque, some going to the central market after the days of rest even still.


But that was not the focus of Abdullah, the Sultan and Amir al-Umara of this grand emirate and kingdom. No; his focus was in dealing with the Council of Scholars who oversaw the University, whom he was sat with in one of the University's small study rooms.


“Your Majesty, we wish to once again thank you for your infinite generosity,” one of the Councilmen said.


“Of course, I am generous; this fine institution stands as one of our greatest accomplishments. The scholars who come here to contribute or debate or learn what cannot be learned elsewhere... they can, and do, make all the contributions worthwhile,” Abdullah replied, nodding his head, “indeed, with the opening of the Second Library, I expect - despite the winter - that news will spread elsewhere. When summer comes, I believe we shall see more scholars than in the past few years.”


“We will be prepared to receive them, Your Majesty, and to ensure that Your Majesty's contributions continue to be worthwhile,” another Councilman said, “to do otherwise would be to betray Your Majesty's trust in us.”


“Indeed,” Abdullah affirmed, “now, good Scholars, I am afraid I must depart - for I need to announce this grand opening in the Assembly Square at the Palace. Please do inform my most trusted Vizier if there are any promising acolytes that may yet become particularly well-learned in subjects of use.”


“As you command, Your Majesty,” the Councilmen said as one, moving to kneel before the Sultan as Abdullah stood.


With a slight nod, permitting them to rise, the Sultan left the study room with his personal guards to head to the Palace.




“It is my greatest pleasure to announce that our very own University shall be opening a Second Library, due to the number of tomes and other informative and educational materials that it has translated and added to its collection,” Abdullah said to the crowd of those who came to the Assembly Square when news spread of the Sultan having an announcement. All were wearing slightly thicker clothing, since while it wasn't very cold, it was not particularly warm either.


The crowd applauded and cheered at the news, as it was well known that the University often attracted scholars and other visitors from across the world's other Universities or the particularly wealthy; that wealth was often spent at the local markets in great amounts during the stays of such scholars. Abdullah raised his hand, silencing the crowd.


“While this is something to celebrate, I also bring grave news,” the Sultan said, tone grim, “for the Romans of Italy have begun to expel our brothers and sisters who follow the teachings of the Prophet, peace-be-upon-him - a situation that I believe is untenable. But fear not: for I have told my Vizier to send forth a message to the King of those Romans, to beseech him to avoid needless harm to our brothers and sisters. I shall send my prayers to Allah, ar-Rahmaan, to beseech Him to allow our brothers and sisters a safe journey here, as I intend to gift them refuge.”


There were murmurs at first, but then there was a ferocious roar of approval shortly thereafter. Abdullah smiled, satisfied, raising his hands to calm the crowd.




To the King of Naples, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Doge of Venice,

I offer my greetings on behalf of His Majesty, Abdullah IV ibn Abbad, the Sultan and Amir al-Umara of Cordoba. It has come to His Majesty's attention that there has been a recent proclamation in which your Kingdoms have decided to expel those who follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

His Majesty is greatly concerned for those who are our comrades and fellows, and beseeches you all to consider a more nonviolent solution; and thus, His Majesty hopes you are agreeable to a treaty to this effect.

His Majesty's terms would be for those who follow the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)'s teachings to be paid for their land and property such that they shall be able to afford a journey into the Emirate's territories and to receive new property and find new works to commit their lives to, with His Majesty paying for merchants and traders from the Emirate to ensure safe passage for all such peoples so removed from your lands.

In return for your agreement on this matter, His Majesty offers a favorable lowering of all tariffs for goods from the Triumvirate's lands into those of the Emirate's until such time as the cost imposed upon you is repaid from the trade revenues generated by such an endeavor. If this is not entirely agreeable on its own, His Majesty wishes to request that one of His Majesty's advisers or ministers be permitted to enter your Kingdoms in order to negotiate a treaty that is more agreeable; elsewise, His Majesty has offered an invitation for a minister or adviser to the Triumvirate into the Emirate to negotiate instead.

With sincere regards,
Ibrahim Nejem, the Grand Vizier and Most Humble Servant of His Majesty, Abdullah IV ibn Abbad, Sultan and Amir al-Umara of the Emirate of Cordoba

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Postby Imperialisium » Fri Jul 01, 2022 2:19 pm

February, 1791

January had been a typical cold month for Russia. One its people were well accustomed too. And for the majority of the Empire's population there was little concern for anything beyond their villages and towns. While those that called Saint Petersburg and Moscow home, the twin metropoles of the Empire, there was the international gossip. In addition to the never-ending rumors and intrigue of the upper class. Family members of faraway governors spoke in hushed tones about the conversations of grand balls, merchants made deals in sums greater than the average Moscovite could dream of, while the nobility enjoyed the life of leisure. People walked on the cobbled streets amid carriages and sleighs.

January had, for the population of the Empire, been peaceful. The suppression of the Finnish Revolt was to be subsequently resolved, at least the Russian government hoped, by a Diet called for Mid-February. In which the Emperor planned to numerate the rights and privileges of the Finnish nobility, and the place the territory would have in the Empire, with gossip about the former Swedish territory being made into a Grand Duchy, as a semi-autonomous component of the Empire. Conjecture at this point. But there was a possibility. Alexander had grown up in a time of social shifts. The court was not as unilaterally conservative and government officials from the lower nobility and middling bourgoisie advocated for increasingly liberal policies. Causing odds to be drawn with the staunchly conversative and traditionalist minded upper nobility. The ancient families of Russia that could trace their lineages back to before the Time of Troubles and the reigns of Ivan III and IV.

The Emperor himself had been reclusive in thought, only leaving the Winter Palace for sojourns every Sunday to prayer and receive sermons. Evidently, the decision of what to do with Finland was a calculated move on his part. But the news from abroad bore heavily on the monarchs mind. Confidantes spoke of the Emperor's rants about the dangers of France and the uneasy situation in Central Europe. That perhaps Russia would have to send some limited force to shore up old allies and forge new ones.

Things closer to home were of course priority. The vastness of Russia meant the frontiers of the Empire were always of earnest concern. Less so things happening several hundred kilometers beyond it. The Emperor planned to diplomatically arrange the subjugation of Khiva and Bukhara. With a military expedition having been ordered, but not expected to be underway till May, from forces in Central Asia. While Suvorov was being dispatched in March to take command of Russian forces in the South-West for a planned campaign to annex Bessarabia. Shoring up the South-Western frontier with the old ally of the Habsburg monarchy. What grand designs the Emperor had were not yet clear, but it was apparent the old enemy of the Ottomans was a prime target.

So as time moved into February the Armies in the South-West, numbering thirty-five thousand infantry drawn from forty Regiments of Foot, backed by sixty cannon, and three thousand cavalry; to be joined by over a thousand mounted Cossacks, was to make for a rapid campaign to isolate and conquer Bessarabia by seizing the pivotal fortresses in the South of the country and prop up Orthodox nobility as the interim administration. At least, that was the plan, and with Suvorov in command the Emperor hoped it would make for a highly successful Spring Campaign against the Old Enemy of the Empire. The Ottomans.
Last edited by Imperialisium on Fri Jul 01, 2022 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Antimersia » Sat Jul 02, 2022 9:07 am

February, 1791
A message, to the people of Europe


I, Kind Ferdinand I of Naples, Member state of the Triumvirate of Rome, and true follower of the words of Christ our lord and savior, wish to extend a warning of grave warning to you the people. My words need not be limited to the ears of my people. But rather, I pray they reach the ears of every man woman and child who calls Europe their home.

The Triumvirate of Rome recently extended an offer of alliance and peace, to the revolutionary government of France. We did so in the hopes that our shared Republican nature would breed fellowship and unity throughout the lands. They spat in our face with their unscrupulous reply. They denounce the nobility, and the monarchies throughout Europe as fools! Such insults are levied against even his Holiness the Pope! These cannot rightly be allowed to stand.

Make no mistake, these condemnations are made to all peoples under a rightful king. They are made even against all of Christendom! All children of Christ are in danger from these radical secularist detractors. I fear they wish harm upon our Great Triumvirate. More so, I fear they wish harm upon every monarchy across this continent. I pray to our lord that the great catholic people of France see the error of their ways. You need not restore your king to remove such anti-Catholic heretics from their ill-gotten power!

We, the Triumvirate of Rome, hereby call upon every monarch throughout Europe to condemn these vile words spewed by the Revolutionary government of France. And we pray that you take action. For we should all be sure to make no mistake in this single truth. Such vile sentiments will not halt at Rome. France will force their spread until they attempt to dismantle every monarchy on the continent. This, we can all be sure of. And I pray that reason, and faith, overcome.

This message, in parchment form, was tasked by His Holiness the Pope to be disseminated to churches and parishes across all of Europe. Meant to be read at Sunday mass to the peoples.

The V O I D wrote:[align=center](Image)
To the King of Naples, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Doge of Venice,

I offer my greetings on behalf of His Majesty, Abdullah IV ibn Abbad, the Sultan and Amir al-Umara of Cordoba. It has come to His Majesty's attention that there has been a recent proclamation in which your Kingdoms have decided to expel those who follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

His Majesty is greatly concerned for those who are our comrades and fellows, and beseeches you all to consider a more nonviolent solution; and thus, His Majesty hopes you are agreeable to a treaty to this effect.

His Majesty's terms would be for those who follow the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)'s teachings to be paid for their land and property such that they shall be able to afford a journey into the Emirate's territories and to receive new property and find new works to commit their lives to, with His Majesty paying for merchants and traders from the Emirate to ensure safe passage for all such peoples so removed from your lands.

In return for your agreement on this matter, His Majesty offers a favorable lowering of all tariffs for goods from the Triumvirate's lands into those of the Emirate's until such time as the cost imposed upon you is repaid from the trade revenues generated by such an endeavor. If this is not entirely agreeable on its own, His Majesty wishes to request that one of His Majesty's advisers or ministers be permitted to enter your Kingdoms in order to negotiate a treaty that is more agreeable; elsewise, His Majesty has offered an invitation for a minister or adviser to the Triumvirate into the Emirate to negotiate instead.

With sincere regards,
Ibrahim Nejem, the Grand Vizier and Most Humble Servant of His Majesty, Abdullah IV ibn Abbad, Sultan and Amir al-Umara of the Emirate of Cordoba


With news of the correspondence from the Sultan of the Emirate of Cordoba, the Triumvirate call themselves back to Rome for a impromptu session to discuss the happenings of the past few weeks.

“The Iberian Sultan is a black mark on Europe’s great Catholic history. You besmirch yourself, by suggesting cooperation with him.” Pope Pius VI snaps indignantly toward Doge Ludovico.

“I suggest cooperation with anyone willing to come to the table, your Holiness. Europe’s Catholic history has been eroding ever more since the fall of the first Roman Empire. More than half of this continent no longer follows the Catholic teachings. And the countries that do seem to be filled with people who remain faithful, also seem to be led by secularists. It is not the great crime to stand against the Pope as it once was. And in times as such, it benefits us both, to have capable allies. Even if those allies are of less than desirable ilk.” The Doge argues with a smug rationality.

“I will not vote in favor of this. I will not agree to pay for the removal of heretics from Roman lands!” The Pope states defiantly.

“Your vote is not needed, Pius.” Ferdinand I interjects, as he stands at the window, staring out of the Basilica and looking upon the Capital City of the Triumvirate. “We shall send a counter proposal to the Sultan. We have all agreed that the secularists that have corrupted France and turned it so needless hostile, threaten us all. I’m sure the Sultan can agree to this being a threat to himself as well.” He turns to the Pope and Doge, both sitting at a table across from one another. The marble, gold inlaid table being as opulent as befitting the Pope, is covered in fresh fruits and caprese. Ferdinand I looks at the spread, taking a metal two pronged fork and stabbing the fresh mozzerella and tomato, lifting it to his mouth and savoring the flavor of it as he chews. The Pope and Doge stare at him with a hint of contempt as they wait for him to continue. The Pope becoming the impatient one and intejecting.

“French Secularists do not speak for the Catholic majority of the nation. I’m certain that our missive will be read by the priests, and the people will fight against the wills of such heretics.” The Pope states emphatically.

“And if they don’t?” Ferdinand replies, after swallowing his food. “More so, if they did, do you believe that would be of any concern for the revolutionary government? These secularists like to think themselves better than kings and emperors. But they rule to the displeasure of their people just the same. They speak of themselves as the voice of the people. Yet if the people rose up against them, the same arms that the kings of France used to fight the revolution, would be turned against the next revolution just the same.”

“Then we must be prepared to defend the Catholics of France by any and all means!” The Pope shouts.

“We can barely be certain of our own defense against a force as large as France’s.” The Doge notes. “injecting ourselves into an internal conflict would come at a loss to our own defense with no guarantee of success.”

“Do you suggest we do nothing? Lay down and allow the faithful to be trampled?”

“No, I suggest we put aside our pride and align ourselves with others that might make us formidable in a conflict with a nation such as France. As such seem inevitable at this time.” The Doge stands, staring down the Pope, clearly annoyed by his pious posturing.

“I agree with you, Ludovico. More so, I believe we should not limit ourselves to the Emirate. France threatens the sovereignty of every king and emperor on this continent. Should we not appeal to every king and emperor on this continent?” Ferdinand I asks leadingly.

“I pray to the father you are not suggesting what I think you are.” The Pope replies agitated.

“Britain views themselves as the rulers of the waves. And France aims to make waves. What better ally could we ask for?” Ferdinand I answers.

“I would prefer to work with the Orthodox Tsar than ever even acknowledge an Anglican king!” The Pope snaps.

“If you don’t learn to work with those you despise, Pius, you’ll end up beheaded just like the kings of France. Besides, the Tsar has no love for Rome. He aims to expand his own empire, based on what we have heard out of the land of Finland. Aiding others grow would be counter intuitive for him. No, the path forward lies with The Sultan, and the King of England, being our allies. If that means buying the land of the Islamists, then I’m more than certain that our pockets are deep enough. I presume I have your vote on this as well, Ludovico?” Ferdinand I asks, expectantly.

“You do.” The Doge replies.

“We will all burn in Hell for this.” The Pope replies.

“Then pray for our souls, Pius. As I’d believe defending Rome, at any cost, would look good in the lord’s judgment.” Ferdidnand I retorts. “Please write up the counter offer to the Sutlan, as well as the offer to England. Our military will continue to grow, and with their aid, defense of Roman lands is likely to be secured.”

“I shall.” Ludovico replies, annoyed by being ordered around. But follows through regardless. Within a days time, the messages are independently sent to both parties.


To Ibrahim Nejem, the Grand Vizier and Most Humble Servant of His Majesty, Abdullah IV ibn Abbad, Sultan and Amir al-Umara of the Emirate of Cordoba,

The Triumvirate has read over the requests you have made, and while we are amenable to them, we have some requests of our own. First and foremost, would be reciprocity. Should Christians and Catholics desire to return to Catholic lands of Rome, they must be given the same guarantee of safe passage as your Muslim peoples shall. And second, we suggest a military alliance. In light of the actions of the French revolutionaries, it seems that the legitimate rule of all monarchs, even those engaged in Republican practices, are targets of aggression by the secularists of these revolutionaries. And considering the proximity both of our nations have to this revolutionary nation, We the Triumvirate have found it mutually beneficial to guarantee each other’s sovereignty should such attacks occur to either of us.

If these conditions are agreeable, The Triumvirate requests that the Sultan meet with the Pope, the Doge, and the King, in the city of Palermo Sicily. Palermo being suggested, as with its proximity to Muslim lands, as well as its Muslim history, could be seen as neutral ground between both of our nation’s and faiths. Neutral ground we were might cement this agreement in wiritng.

With regards,

The Triumvirate of Rome, Dictated by Ludovico Manin, the Doge of Venice



To his Majesty George III of England,

We, the Triumvirate of Rome, wish to invite the king as well as his Prime Minister the Duke of Portland, to Rome’s Vatican City for the purposes of discussing a potential military alliance between our great nations. The revolutionary secularists of France threaten all legitimate monarchs of Europe, and it is the opinion of the Triumvirate that an alliance between the British Empire, and Rome, could be mutually beneficial in the defense of both nations from such violent and heretical faction.

With kind regards,

The Triumvirate of Rome, dictated by Ludovico Manin, the Doge of Venice

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Postby St George Territory » Mon Jul 04, 2022 5:24 pm

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SCHLIENGEN, LORDSHIP OF RÖTTELN, DUCHY OF BAVARIA, THE GRAND BAVARIAN ELECTORATE
FEBRUARY 12, 1791





It had been a hard few days of marching from Munich to Schliengen for Soldat Karl Bülling, he remembered fondly seeing his beloved Maria at her Father's inn, she was far too good for him. It was memories of her that pushed him forward as Kapfelmann teased him, all in good fun, he assured Karl constantly, but he cared little as he reread the piece of parchment that she had handed him, folded several times, it was a small message 'Please come back safely Karl - Mitzi.' It was a short message, but Karl knew that it got the message across, as he saved a part of his pay to offer to marry her, it provided a small bit of warmth in these winter months, campaigning far from home. The Kurfürstgarde had been moved with von Deroy to Rötteln, there was great fear that the French were going to attack, as rumours were abound that their army had begun to be a force to be reckoned with, the Bavarian armies were just catching up.

The Army of the Electorate and the Elector’s army of Württemburg were chasing to catch up with them, with troops from Baden and the free cities marching daily to shore up the defences along the massive border shared between France and Bavaria. They had made camp at Schloss Bürgeln Schliengen, a modest estate of the local Count, a portly man by the name of Maximilian von Hohenheim, he seemed grateful to have the increased security in his estate as far as Karl could tell, although the man refused to speak with the common soldier, but was quite friendly with the officer class. He reckoned it may have been that his once finely manicured gardens had been taken over for what now resembled a caravan camp, hundreds of tents with untold numbers of fires and troops now calling his sleepy village their home for the time.

It was at his tent, situated not far from the palace that Karl sat next to a campfire, playing cards with Kapfelmann, Hartl Fößel, Florian Meyerhofer and Georg Wutz, it was a nice distraction from the cold, they had just gotten back from the practicing drills and shooting, exhausting as it was under the watchful eye of von Wildenstein and the Hessian watchman Hauptmann Hans von Münzenburg, although Karl could never fault the man, he was a hard taskmaster, instilled with some Prussian spirit that never let the men make an error, Kapfelmann was his biggest foe in this field. Clean muskets, polished boots and buttons, even one's raupenshelm’s horse hair had better stand at attention, lest you be prepared to have all hell rain down on you.

“You cheating bastard!” Meyerhofer exclaimed as we put down our cards, remarking on Fößel’s strange habit of good fortune.

“Don’t be mad, you don’t know how to play Flore. I’m simply the better man here.” Hartl laughed to himself as he collected his pfennigs. “Tell you what, I’ll buy you a beer next time we’re at the pub.”

“I hope so, you’ve stolen all my drinking money.” Florian retorted, anger still consuming him. “Can’t wait to get out of this damn town, it always feels like someone’s walking over my grave.”

Georg lit his tobacco pipe and leaned back in his seat, “I wouldn’t say anything like that my friend, the French just might make that a reality, you are an easy target after all… or they may just kidnap and keep you around for the humour of it.” Kapfelmann, Fößel and Wutz laughed as Florian had a glum expression, out of the group he was the only one yet to fight the French, joining the Kurfürstgarde after the peace of November 2nd, an act that some mocked him for. Between the laughs, Karl couldn’t blame the boy, he was too young to be playing soldier, he didn’t know what war even was.

“I wish you’d stop saying things like that.” Florian said after the laughs had died down, looking at his boots.

“He’s one of us boys, leave him alone. Think of how many others are at home while we’re in this hellhole.” Karl stated matter of factly, glaring at Wutz. “I think I remember you led the retreat at Provins, eh Georg?”

Banging his hand on the table Wutz responded, “Is that what Obbach is saying? That schwienhund. I’ll teach him to be spreading rumours, just you watch Karl, then maybe you’re next.”

Grinning, Karl responded, “Relax Georg, I’m joking, not like anyone would believe Obbach anyway, always a strange cat that one.” The others nodded in agreement. Karl lit his pipe in quiet contemplation, as the others bickered amongst themselves, Karl couldn’t help but notice an uptick in commotion among the camp. von Wildenstein and the Hessian approached the lollygagging group, he was gathered with a number of Badener landwehr soldiers, recognizable only for the cloth wrapped on their civilian clothing.

“Up you lot get.” von Münzenburg said in his raspy voice, “We have a treat for you, the Archbishop of Munich has come down to tell you all of King Ferdinand’s puppet's words.” The words took a moment for the men to realize, but once they did they slowly got up and made their way to the church, where the Archbishop spoke to as many men as the small building would allow. The Hauptmann was a man from the North, a protestant, but a man of great talent.

The walk to the church was short, but once inside was very packed as every available bit of space was utilised to allow the Archbishop to speak to as many men as possible, in the warmth of course. “Soldiers of Christ, soldiers of the Electorate. A letter has been handed down from Rome to be read to all Catholics of the continent, from the King of Naples, as a Catholic I am ordered to read this letter from his holiness, our Pope Pius VI. It goes as follows…” The archbishop reiterated the letter from the King of Naples in a none too enthused voice, one couldn’t tell if it was the contents of the letter or the amount of reiterations that he had to tell it. “I pray to the Lord for salvation from these Frenchmen, my fellow Bavarians, go with God as you embark upon your holy crusade to defend our homeland, not just the Triumvirate.” It was a short message, as the men were taken out of the church, for another group to take their place and hear the message.

von Wildenstein walked with the group, meeting back up with von Münzenburg at their tent line. “I’ve been called to Stettner to discuss possible partisans in Egisholz, apparently a Badener regiment has been listening to revolutionary thought, I’ll discuss more with you later, but for the time being you are dismissed.” The Hauptmann said as the men saluted the Hessian.

Once the Hessian was safely out of earshot the men, now with von Wildenstein, sat down next to their fire and table. “Some service.” Hartl said.

“Seems we all have to die for some King in Naples.” Kapfelmann said in agreement, “Didn’t vote for no King in Naples.”

“I reckon that’s the point of a King, Herr Kapfelmann.” von Wildenstein said chuckling, “Protecting the Triumvirate, where were they at Provins?” The men sat in silence for a moment, Karl blowing smoke from his pipe.

“Bet it's warm down there.” Karl said, “Only went so far south as Venice in my life, it was nice, not sure I’d want to die for it.” The other men smiled. “Beautiful canals and old buildings, you could still see a bit of the war there.”

“Wouldn’t mind seeing Rome.” Meyerhofer said, “After all this is done. Hope there’ll still be some of it left.”

“I’m sure we’ll all see it one day.” von Wildenstein responded, warming his hands to the fire.
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Mother Knows Best State

Postby Segmentia » Wed Jul 06, 2022 6:16 pm

Luxembourg Palace, Paris, Republic of France

“Have you seen this nonsense from Italy!?” Director Gauthier D’Aboville raged as he entered the Director meeting chamber, a pamphlet rolled up and crumpled in his hand, the door swiftly being closed behind him. Always trust D’Aboville’s anger, Jean-Pierre mused as he sipped as his coffee.

“It is one of the reasons we have gathered, my dear Gauthier.” Jean-Pierre said as he set his cup down. The military man stopped in his tracks, no doubt debating if he would once again pace the room, or sit down. He pulled a chair from the table and sat.

“The National Guard and Interior Office had to put down riots in the south after some idiot pastors actually read the damned thing to their flocks.” Theodore Boutet said, not looking up from a large leather bound book that he was scribbling in.

“Riots against the Revolution? Spurred on by this…inarticulate drivel?” Gautheir hissed. Theodore looked up from his book at that, face showing no emotion other than a small frown.

“No, riots against the Churches. I’ve dispatched agents to get a full report, but from early accounts there have been five churches burned to the ground, and several dozen men of the cloth, and nuns, killed. I have also taken steps to ensure this is not read again in any church, and the Archbishop of Notre Dame has assured me that not a single word of it will be preached in Paris, on his own orders. It would be a shame to see the cathedral set ablaze.” He said, then turned back to his book. “My agents abroad say it's making its way across the Continent.” He added before he started writing again.

“These Italians are beginning to try my patience. It seems to me that Kind Ferdinand has the Pope as little more than a puppet, who is he to speak for the Pope? Not the first time the Pope has been a puppet I suppose.” Gauthier said, having taken up a quill pen and began writing himself.

Jean-Pierre shared a look with Fernand Millet and then shrugged. “It is to be expected, I suppose. It was only a matter of time before the tyrants of Europe would seek to destroy us, after the Bavarian Coalition failed to do so.” Jean-Pierre said.

“Then like before, we must move to protect ourselves first!” Gauthier said, rising from his seat. He marched over to a map of Europe hung on the wall. “The Iberian Kingdoms still rely on us for protection from the Moors, but we should take steps to reassure them that we will continue to extend this protection, so long as they do not seek to harm the Republic.” He said, gesturing to the map. The other present Directors looked on in interest.

“If we were to establish Sister Republics to our east, we would create a buffer there just as we have to the south. Northern Italy is a prime area for this, since the Triumvirate seems quite intent on angering us, we might as well give them a proper reason instead of just the bruised ego of a petty King.

Switzerland as well, they are relatively weak, and the terrain is a natural bulwark against the Austrians. They would be forced to march through Northern Italy, which would be ours, or north through the other German states, which may cause the Emperor some headaches…though if we could bring Bavaria into the fold…” Gauthier mused, looking at the map for a silent minute, before turning and addressing the other Directors.

“I believe we must choose this course of action, if we wish for our Republic to survive, for the revolution to survive, we must secure our borders with more than just soldiers and cannon. Allied states give the benefit of a physical buffer, but also their own forces.”

“The nations of North Italy I can see, even Switzerland. But Bavaria? They had the pull to bring a Coalition against us before, I think we would all like to avoid that again for now.” Millet said, rubbing a thumb and index finger together in an act of thinking and nervousness.

“Agreed, but that does not mean we won’t take precautions, in case they seek to invade us once more while we have forces busy elsewhere.” Jean-Pierre spoke. “I suggest we reinforce the Army of the Rhine, while the Army of Var and the Army of the Alps prepare their forces and supplies for invasion.” He said, looking around for support.

“Agreed.” Millet said quickly, and all eyes turned to Theodore. It took him several long moments to look up from his book, looking at his fellow Directors in turn. “I agree with Jean-Pierre.” He said simply.

“Merde!” Gauthier cursed, then sighed. “It will be so. But I do have one more question. Where is Jordan Donnet? Should he not at least be here to hear all of this?” He asked, and it was time for Jean-Pierre to have all eyes on him. He sighed and leaned back, reaching into his coat.

“About our dear comrade, I am afraid I have some unfortunate news.” He said, pulling out the letter he had received from his informant. Theodore would need to have it all double checked and confirmed before things moved forward in regards to the possible traitor, but it was best to start that now, with war in the near future.


Hambourg, France, Armée du Rhin, 9e Régiment d'Infanterie, night of February 12th

Caporal Émile Gallois stifled a yawn as he warmed his hands over a fire. It was bastardly cold, thanks to a persistent breeze that seemed to ignore the heavy coat and gloves he wore. Fighting off another yawn he decided that a walk in the cold would at least wake him up. Rubbing his hands one last time, he readjusted his musket and walked away from the light and warmth of the fire.

“Baptiste, Alban, let's go.” He said to two of the soldiers under his command. There was a mutter of curses as they quickly downed the last dregs of their coffee, grabbing their muskets and chasing after the corporal, Alban with a piece of bread and a small chunk of cheese in one hand as he struggled with his musket.

‘Thank the Lord I didn’t have him load it.’ Emile mused, not stopping to wait for the two men to catch up.

“Bastard Bavarians, making us march out here to this cold hell.” Baptiste grumbled. He was a short, young man, used to working on his family farm down near Nice, and also one of the best shots in the regiment. He had got caught up in the fervor of revolution and joined the revolutionary army before the War of the Bavarian Coalition. They had served together in that war, their regiment distinguishing itself enough simply by not breaking and running, and for that simple act they had been one of the first regiments to undergo the Army Reforms. Their uniforms were fresher, all the men of the regiment had arms and ammunition, and they all had these new Shakos. Emile couldn’t complain about them, at least, they were fairly warm.

“You’re only complaining because that woman in Mulhouse turned you down.” Alban said, finally catching up, his cheeks filled with bread and cheese, like a mouse or hamster. Baptiste turned and gave the younger man a glare, but Emile laughed.

Walking towards the river on their patrol they passed other small groups of French soldiers also on their own patrols. It seemed nothing was afoot, though there had been some insults yelled across the river, as the Bavarians patrolled their own side as well. Picket fires were alight on both sides of the Rhine, and as they approached one of the area bridges, Emile could see a whole company of his comrades settled in around quick makeshift defenses in their side. Two officers sat atop horses, speaking between themselves, but Emile overheard one of them saying that if the Bavarians forced the bridge, the troops wouldn’t be able to hold it.

It was all rather grim, considering there wasn’t even an official state of war yet, but there was a tension in the air, like there had been in the days leading up to the storming of the Bastille. Emile didn’t like it. With two armies in such close proximity, and with such tension and recent hostilities…he shook his head. He was a soldier, and his soldats needed him to be the guiding veteran. This he would do. The patrol lasted another hour, and once they returned to their billet Emile was glad to find that the wind had died down, and he could actually get warm. He went about making sure the eight men he was charged with got to sleep at a decent hour, and didn’t get too drunk either. The colonel would have them doing drills in the morning, he knew. Drills, he hoped, that would see most of them survive in the coming wars that he felt in his bones.

Outside Mulhouse, France, Armée du Rhin, February 13th

Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Marshal of France and overall commander of the Armée du Nord, which the Armée du Rhin was attached to, sat atop his mare, gently rubbing her neck. Around him other officers, from Majors to Generals, likewise sat and hunched against the cold, conversing lightly with themselves. It was mid-morning and it was still cold, though the temperature was rising.

He was an old man, eighty years old, but military service had seen his body remain strong, and he sat proudly as he looked out over the river, his lips turned down in a frown. His orders had been to simply assemble the Armée du Rhin, and any other of his forces he thought would be needed to defend the border, a border that stretched for a hundred miles or so. He had concentrated those forces into three areas.

His right wing was here in the Mulhouse area, his center was in Strasbourg, and his right wing was in the Roppenheim area, with his reserves being split into two, with each group sitting between his center and his wings. It was a bastard of a front. To the south Saint-Louise nestled up against both the Bavarian and Swiss borders, and beyond the river there was barely ten miles, at most, of relatively flat ground before a rise of hills rose up and spanned damned near the entire border. Certainly ground that favored the defender, and if the Bavarians had any sense they would be working to fortify those heights. It’s what he would do. Of course this was all, for now, just speculation. There was no war…yet.

“Unless the Bavarians go on the offensive, it would be a real bloody business to chase them from those hills.” de Vimeur said, lifting his hand and gesturing, not that the younger officers around him needed to be shown. “From here all the way up to Karlsruhe, more or less.” He mused. A bloody business indeed. The Army Reforms were far from complete, and while he had the lion's share of the reformed regiments, the rest of his forces were plagued with some of the same problems they had had in the Bavaria War. Discipline had been reinstated for the most part, but he had entire regiments with only a handful of muskets to their ranks, forced to use spears and clubs, or their own hands. These units were obviously in reserve, and he was putting them to use on fortifications and other menial tasks, but he could hardly throw such men into Bavarian guns on the heights, if it came down to it.

Seventy thousand men to cover a hundred miles, against a larger force. He would have to work defensively, not something he was fond of. Giving the enemy the initiative, especially when there was also the Swiss to consider. He could find the rear of his army threatened if the Armée des Alpes failed to pin the Swiss. Not an enviable position, and he made a mental note to try and muster another twenty or thirty thousand men from other armies to direct here.

De Vimeur turned his mare and looked at his subordinates, all veteran commanders but some were quite young. There was Bonaparte, in command of the Left Wing, and Dumas his second. General Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine, had command of the Right Wing, here in Mulhouse. General Armel Haillet would have command of the Center, though de Vimeur would also have his headquarters with the Center.

“A bloody business, gentlemen. Hopefully one that does not come to pass.” Jean-Baptiste said simply, spurring his mare forward, back towards Mulhouse.
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Postby Sao Nova Europa » Fri Jul 08, 2022 12:47 pm

February 1791

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More than 37,000 men had been assembled: 10,000 of them had been sent by the central government to Vietnam while 27,000 had been raised by the Vietnam itself. The large force was under the command of Grand Marshal Ren Ping, who was seated on horseback and riding in front of the assembled men. "Today we march for the glory of the Emperor!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. "We shall put an end to the insolent Khmer princedom that dares insult the Son of Heaven!".

The invasion of Cambodia would take months, and Ren Ping was ready for a long campaign. Even after the campaign itself had been formally completed, he understood very well that it would take years for the situation to be stabilized. He also understood that there was a very high chance of the Siamese intervening in the war as they considered Cambodia to be in their sphere of influence; nevertheless, he was confident that he was up to the task and that he would not bring shame to his ancestors.

The logistical preparations for the campaign were extensive. Almost 3000 officials were tasked with ensuring that the army would be supplied properly, and local peasants were drafted to repair roads along the invasion route and ensure a proper supply trail. Ren Ping understood that in war logistics are everything. Of course getting supplies through the thick jungles of Cambodia could be tricky, so the Shun army would pillage the locals when necessary to sustain itself.

In late February the Shun army crossed the border. Instead of the entire army moving as one column, Ren Ping divided it into five groups invading from different directions. As the Shun enjoyed numerical superiority, they could afford splitting up their forces to cover a wider front and relieve supply efforts. The first targets were Quang Bien, Nam Ninh, Binh Xiem and Can Che. Those frontier cities would be vital for the control of eastern Cambodia, which in turn could be used as a launchpad for the invasion of the western part of the country and a base of operations to supply the Shun army.

The first battles were brutal. As the thick jungles made cavalry combat near impossible, most of the fight was between infantry on both sides. The Khmer would fight fiercely, but the Shun would be able to push them back thanks to sheer numerical advantage. Ren Ping - unlike other Shun commanders and despite fears of how his death could affect the war effort - was leading from the front and directing in person his forces in the battlefields.

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

“In war, to keep the upper hand, you have to think two or three moves ahead of the enemy.”
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"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
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Ovstylap
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Founded: Jun 26, 2018
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Ovstylap » Fri Jul 08, 2022 1:50 pm

Five miles south of Potsdam, February 21, 1791

Clods of earth were thrown up into the air by the cantering hooves of a chestnut horse, falling to the ground to find new places to rest momentarily, before once again being cast into the air, or trampled and packed into the dirt track by the passing of a several horses a dozen seconds later. A slight spray of moisture coated the undergrowth by the side of the route, representing the passing of the thin layer of snow that had crusted the ground that morning. Up above the sun vainly struggled to break through the overcast skies, occaisonally its rays piercing through the grey, and sometimes even breaking through the overlapping canopy of trees that covered the track.

Seated upon the chestnut horse was His Majesty, King of Prussia, and First Elector of the The Confederation of Reformed North German States, or Der Bund Reformierter Norddeutscher Staaten, Koenig Frederick William II. Feeling his moderate age, he slowed his horse down to a trot, frowning at the tightness of his thighs and the muscles of his lower back, not to mention the soreness of his rear. Perhaps an additional saddle blanket was in order. Regardless, he would have to have words with his doctor to see about improving his health. His escort, noticing their king slow down, did the same, maintaining a respectful, but wise distance.

With all that was going on in the continent, what with the French gathering strength beyond what was necessary for the defence of their borders, as well as an ascendant Russia in the East, which had recently secured Finland, the last thing the Koenig needed was ill health, or any semblance of weakness. Thinking of the Russians, he pondered to himself about some sort of diplomatic visit in the Spring, perhaps he could travel east if he were in good health, or he could send one of his trusted advisors. Either way, it would be good to know that there was little to worry about to the East, meaning that the North Germans could focus on the growing tensions to the South and West.

It was thoughts like these which sometimes were best attained whilst out riding, Frederick thought to himself. When he was in the Palace, he was distracted by matters of family, or of the administrative running of the state, and he rarely found himself able to process his own thoughts without the constant advice of those around him. Of course it was necessary to listen to, and discern sound counsel, but to be able to know ones own will in a sea of information and opinion was in his view vital to wise decision making.

He couldn't help but be concerned at the prospect of a renewed conflict with the French. Their military, according to rumour and informants, was undergoing extensive reforms, whilst his own likely allies, the Bavarians, were finding themselves having to deal with the occasional revolutionary or republican thought. The only good things about the debacle at Provins had been the subsequent capture of Metz, and its slight neutering, but even then that had gone poorly in the end. Where there was some bright news was in the encouragement of reforms to training and drill for the North German forces. As usual, the Prussian officer class, and the Hessian contingents had taken up the spirit of a remilitarization with considerable enthusiasm, though the smaller states of the Confederation, and the Free States, remained more concerned with tariffs, taxes, and the state of their coffers, than with any serious consideration of another war.

Members of the Hanseatic League had been particularly upset with the end of business as usual in Finland following its recent occupation, and there was growing pressure to reach a new trading arrangement with Russia, in order to allow the Hanseatic League to still have fair access to Baltic timber, tar, and rope, rather than facing increased prices from the Swedes and Norwegians. The British as ever were always hungry for resources to be used by the Royal Navy, and coin from that Protestant friend had always been an important source of revenue for the North German economy. Indeed, it looked like Russia would have to be placated to bolster the economy, but for now the most pressing hand was the tensions between Bavaria and France.

Over the winter, both countries had increasingly stationed more of their forces on the border, and though there was no diplomatic crisis, Frederick knew well from his father's teaching that the difference between calm and crisis could be as little as a misinterpreted letter, or an accidental discharge from a cannon. Hopefully by the Spring, there would be political consensus on a path forward. Some were considering signing a full defensive alliance with the Bavarians, if they wanted one, whilst others wanted to send several regiments of troops to the Bavarian-French border, to train Bavarian forces, and deter a French attack, though others argued that either of these would encourage a French pre-emptive attack if they saw this as a reforming of the Bavarian Coalition. Much would happen in the coming months.

So then. Bavaria, and Russia. The two main areas that deserved his attention abroad, Frederick thought to himself. Over the coming month he would arrange through his Cabinet and Parliament what proposals would be made to these nations, in the hope of having them as secure and stable partners in the event of any coming conflict with the French. And then there were the Austrians. What were they up to? To many North Germans dismay, a large portion of their spy network seemed to have been ripped apart over the past year, and so there was little more to go on then court gossip, and the rumours of traders. Still, it was better than nothing. Frederick could only hope that they wouldn't launch their own machinations in Southern Germany whilst the French were still considered a major threat.

Still, at least it was a somewhat pleasant day for a winter's ride, Frederick thought to himself as he again increased his horse's pace to a canter.
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Imperialisium
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Founded: Apr 17, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby Imperialisium » Sat Jul 09, 2022 3:06 pm

February 23rd, 1791

Near the Russo-Moldavian border. The Principality of Moldova was ruled by an Orthodox Hospodar Princeling. As had Wallachia and its Romanian neighbor. However, all three were under the suzerain rule of the Ottoman Empire. The Sultan of Constantinople as overlord for such territories and had been for centuries. Something that Russia, in the Spirit of Third Rome and Defender of the Orthodox Church, could not abide if at all actionable. The wars of Catherine the Great had significantly weakened the Ottoman Empire. The conflicts from 1768 through 1787 saw direct rule thrown off and the installation of Orthodox Princelings. Had seen the loss of the Crimean Khanate and ejection of Ottoman influence from the Caucasus till Anapa. Most importantly, the devastation of Ottoman pride and prestige at this string of failures.

Now, under Catherine's heir, Emperor Alexander I was moving the Imperial Russian Army and Navy to strike at the Ottoman Empire once more. The casus given by Alexander was the fact that Ottoman movements spoke to re-annex the Balkan Princedoms and remove Orthodox Hospodar rule and establish control over New Russia once more. This was not entirely unwarranted given the presence of significant Ottoman defenses in the region and the sixty thousand strong army in the vicinity of Silistra.

As a result, with plans laid out in January and early February, the Imperial Russian Navy would be the first to move. A squadron under Commodore Dmitry Senyavin comprising ten battleships and a frigate, complimented with marines, would make for Tenedos and seize the island by surprise by Early. As the Spring thaw began; but not so much as to muddy the ground till April; in the north in time for the forces under Suvorov and Prozorovsky would conduct a parallel march into Bessarabia. Prozorovsky would command the Southern column and seek to block the crossings of the Danube. Gathering the Orthodox forces of Moldova and Romania to his colours. Suvorov would take a more circuitous route of securing Prozorovsky's flank and wheel south-west to Rusube and the crossings into the middle of Bulgaria. The main force of the Black Sea Fleet including the Imperial Marines under Admiral Ushakov would slip their moorings at Sevastopol and make for the Straits of the Bosphorus while a detachment would sail down the coast near Anapa and Trebizond to strike opportunistic targets.

In the Caucasus the Principality of the Mingrelians and other Orthodox rulers such as that of Georgia and Armenia, would receive Russian envoys by the end of February to assist. In return they'd become part of an Orthodox Empire with the promise of returning land taken from the Muslims. The Caucasus campaign was much more limited. Seeking to tie down Ottoman forces and eject Ottoman influence from Anapa back to Trebizond.

Russian Disposition of Forces:
-Thirty-Five thousand infantry across forty Regiments under Field Marshal Prozorovsky in New Russia. Supported by three thousand cavalry and thirty guns (13 12ib and 17 6ib). One thousand Cossacks from the Zaporizhian Host.

-En Route under General Suvorov
Fifteen Thousand infantry and four thousand cavalry supported by thirty-six guns of 12 and 6 pounder calibre.

-Caucasus Army
Twenty-two thousand infantry supported by one thousand cavalry, seven thousand Kuban Cossacks and six thousand Black Sea Cossacks. Twenty-four guns (6ib).

Black Sea Fleet:
-Senyavin's Squadron
10 Third Rates, 1 Sixth Rate Frigate

Ushakov and the Black Sea Fleet
-3 First Rate Ships
2 Second Rate Ships
21 Third Rate
41 Fourth rates
19 Frigates
11 Sloops
20 Brigs

-Raiding Detachment
10 fourth rates


March 4th

"Drop sail and ready to make way!" The calls of officers aboard the Third-Rate ship Krasnodar filled the air as Senyavin paced the deck of the warship. The harbors of Sevastopol filled with swaying masts and the ant like industry of its sailors. Senyavin looked to his left out at the activity before him as he crossed in front of steerage. A trained helmsman holding the wheel as he maneuvered the lead ship of the column slowly gaining knots out of the harbors of the Black Sea Fleet. One by one the anchors raised, and ships slipped their moorings. Sailors removing gang planks and stowing the last of their stores. Others secured cannon and powder. Quartermasters kept tabulations and the black uniformed Marines of the Emperor practiced drills with their muskets.

Senyavin looked out at the sea with his green eyes. Tinged with hints of brown. The watery depths like a mirror surface of shimmering glass. More hollering and Senyavin felt the urge as he had when a young officer training under the likes of Ushakov in years past. Moving to the rigging he began to climb. The lips of his tricorne shifted slightly, and he fixed a hand to squash it down as a way of providing a more secure purchase on his scalp.

"Top sails away, clear!" came a call below but Senyavin ignored it as more sail was unfurled. His coat tails swaying in the breeze as he reached the crow's nest. There a teenage boy clutched a brass spy glass in his hands. Turning to snap to attention as the officer appeared beside him. Sliding into the small wooden bucket that more or less was the crow's nest.

"What do you see?" asked Senyavin.

"I see open water, tradesmen, sir?" responded the young sailor.

"I see glory," grinned Senyavin he stared out at the Sunlight reflecting waves. Slowly becoming more disturbed as wind picked up and the ships began a slow tack to adjust. Behind the duo eleven other shops formed a loose formation as they moved in a Southerly direction into the Black Sea. Aiming to slip between the Dardenelles and take up position until the desired date. A little more than a week away. Lurch, and the sails filled with a Westerly wind. Propelling the ships of the Imperial Navy forward to their destiny.
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Antimersia
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 463
Founded: Mar 04, 2020
Father Knows Best State

Postby Antimersia » Sat Jul 09, 2022 6:48 pm

Sao Nova Europa wrote:
February 1791

(Image)


More than 37,000 men had been assembled: 10,000 of them had been sent by the central government to Vietnam while 27,000 had been raised by the Vietnam itself. The large force was under the command of Grand Marshal Ren Ping, who was seated on horseback and riding in front of the assembled men. "Today we march for the glory of the Emperor!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. "We shall put an end to the insolent Khmer princedom that dares insult the Son of Heaven!".

The invasion of Cambodia would take months, and Ren Ping was ready for a long campaign. Even after the campaign itself had been formally completed, he understood very well that it would take years for the situation to be stabilized. He also understood that there was a very high chance of the Siamese intervening in the war as they considered Cambodia to be in their sphere of influence; nevertheless, he was confident that he was up to the task and that he would not bring shame to his ancestors.

The logistical preparations for the campaign were extensive. Almost 3000 officials were tasked with ensuring that the army would be supplied properly, and local peasants were drafted to repair roads along the invasion route and ensure a proper supply trail. Ren Ping understood that in war logistics are everything. Of course getting supplies through the thick jungles of Cambodia could be tricky, so the Shun army would pillage the locals when necessary to sustain itself.

In late February the Shun army crossed the border. Instead of the entire army moving as one column, Ren Ping divided it into five groups invading from different directions. As the Shun enjoyed numerical superiority, they could afford splitting up their forces to cover a wider front and relieve supply efforts. The first targets were Quang Bien, Nam Ninh, Binh Xiem and Can Che. Those frontier cities would be vital for the control of eastern Cambodia, which in turn could be used as a launchpad for the invasion of the western part of the country and a base of operations to supply the Shun army.

The first battles were brutal. As the thick jungles made cavalry combat near impossible, most of the fight was between infantry on both sides. The Khmer would fight fiercely, but the Shun would be able to push them back thanks to sheer numerical advantage. Ren Ping - unlike other Shun commanders and despite fears of how his death could affect the war effort - was leading from the front and directing in person his forces in the battlefields.

The war of Cambodia has truly began...



Cambodia

Image

Neareay Reachea III, Cambodia's king received news of the eastern invasion by the Great Shun. The cities of Quang Bien, Nam Ninh, Binh Xiem and Can Che all came under siege within hours of one another. He called for his advisors to meet with him with haste. Phraya Yommerat, Neareay's Chief Officer and most trusted advisor, was given lead of defense of the kingdom. And his advice to the King was as simple as follows. With the Shun's numbers and technological superiority, meeting them in an open battle is suicidal. So the Chief Officer recommends a full retreat of all peoples from the eastern cities, allowing them to regroup within the jungles. Further suggesting that they destroy bridges and block roadways as much as possible during the retreat. The small but proud military of Cambodia are mobilized. They have little in the way of technological prowess. Still using bows, swords, and spears as their primary weaponry. But, what they lack in numbers and technology, they try to make up for with the advantage of the terrain.

People from everywhere east of the Mekong river are made to evacuate west. Bridges along the river are destroyed, and some rare traps are laid along the shores. Bowmen take spread out sporadic positions near shorelines on the wester side of the Mekong river. Ready to take aim at any group that attempts to cross or rebuild the bridges. They hide in the thick brush several yards in from the shore. Just far enough back to not be seen with ease, yet still be in range with their bows. The rest of the forces spend their time booby trapping the jungle, as well as any paths cutting through. Making it so nearly anyone who would attempt to pass would do so with peril. Spike pits, using carved bamboo spears lodged at the bottom of deep pits covered with a thin layer of leaves and brush, are by far the most common form of trap laid. Spearmen also bury themselves, becoming living traps to spring on anyone that attempts to march by them.

King Neareay know that alone he has little to no hope of repelling this invasion. And thus, he sends word to the only nation who might aid the Kingdom of Cambodia in this battle against the Great Shun. The Kingdom of Siam, and their King Rama I. Neareay penned a letter, asking for help from the great king of Siam, sending it to him post haste. He had no doubt that much of his nation would be lost before Siam could ever arrive. But he hoped that by this time, their underhanded tactics and jungle terrain familiarity will thin the herd enough to make Siam's presence the factor needed for victory.

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Antimersia
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Father Knows Best State

Cowrite with the Void

Postby Antimersia » Wed Jul 13, 2022 7:30 pm

February 20th-21st, 1791

Palermo, a proud Sicilian city within the Triumvirate of Rome, under the dominion of the King of Naples. It has a long history of changing hands. Between the Roman Empire of old, to the Germanic rule post Roman collapse, to the Emirate of Sicily, to its eventual reunification with Naples and the rest of Italy. It is the capital city on the largest island in the Mediterranean, and the meeting place where representatives of the Sultan of Cordoba, as well as the Triumvirate of Rome shall meet to solidify the terms of their potential alliance.

Rodrigo Salazzo, the Roman representative, stands proudly at the end of the dock. He is tall, his skin the typical olive complexion of the Sicilian peoples. His black hair is oiled and combed taught. Age lines on his face make him look deceptively old despite being under forty. He is wearing traditional Neapolitan clothes, with a cape adorned with the flag of the Triumvirate stitched into it. Were it not February, these clothes would have Rodrigo sweating through them. Yet he stands there at the edge, watching as a ship with the flag of the Emirate enters the Palermo port.

The ship, called Shield of Murcia, was of a small diplomatic ship; perhaps just under the size of a sloop, except without cannons, as it instead was escorted from Cordoba’s waters to Rome’s own. As it completed docking, some crew helped to tie the ship to the dock.

The Grand Vizier is wearing standard Cordoban dress robes, albeit slightly thicker due to the chillier weather, along with wearing a kufi atop his head. Ibrahim was from Tanja, but due to his father’s influence as a Sidi, eventually became one of Sultan Abdullah III’s Viziers at a young age, and befriended the Crown Prince Abdullah IV.

When the Crown Prince became Sultan, that friendship allowed Ibrahim to become Grand Vizier, whilst his younger brother served as Sidi of Tanja. Ibrahim noted the Roman representative’s wear, but walked only to where the plank to walk off the ship onto the dock was being locked into place.

“Buone notizie, and welcome to Rome.” Rodrigo said with a small respectful bow of his head. “I am Rodrigo Salazzo. Come, follow me, if you’d please. We shall speak on the way to the Palazzo dei Normanni.” He said, gesturing forth and walking beside Ibrahim through the crowded city streets. “Everything is set there for you to enjoy your own private quarters for the duration of your stay in Palermo. I trust that your travels went well?”

“Thank you for your welcome, Representative Salazzo,” Ibrahim said in return as they began walking, his Italian having an accent to it, “It is an honor that your leaders have invited me here. As to my travels, yes, they were quite smooth. I have high hopes that our meeting will be very productive; His Majesty, the Sultan, has entrusted me with seeing to it. I am His Majesty’s Grand Vizier, Ibrahim Nejem.”

“It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Grand Vizier Nejem. The Triumvirate, His majesty the King of Naples, His Holiness the Pope, and His Eminence the Doge have similarly relayed their desires unto me, and have entrusted me with ensuring that your safety, as well as the safety of this proposed alliance, is perfectly secured.” Rodrigo replied. The pair travel along, reaching the Palazzo in short order. Rodrigo leads Ibrahim to the room prepared for him. A rather large suite that has a small balcony overlooking the sea. “I shall leave you to get settled in. If you need anything at all, simply inform one of the guards posted at the door to your room. Or tell any servant that you see, and almost any accommodation will be met for you. If it is acceptable for you, we shall meet in the morning, ten sharp, to finalize the terms of this agreement.”

“I understand, and thank you, Representative Salazzo,” Ibrahim replied, “my Head Guardsman, Rashid, shall cooperate with your own; he is able to speak some Italian. My Chief Servant, Amalu, will cooperate as well.”

As the Grand Vizier spoke, Amalu and a few other servants were bringing in chests that were full of Ibrahim’s clothing along with other items of import; whilst Rashid stood dutifully at his side, offering a respectful nod of his head to the Roman representative.

The night went by swiftly, and the cool Mediterranean sea breeze marked the beginning of the following morning. Rodrigo had a meeting room prepared. A stack of parchment no less than fifty pieces tall. Quills with full jars of ink, as well as a third sealed jar if reserves are needed. A large golden plate, filled with pastries and breads such as cornetto and biscotti adorn a table near the entrance. A second smaller plate is filled with fruits, cheeses, and spreads. And finally two jugs, one filled with water and the other with wine, round out the offerings for the morning meals. Rodrigo takes a slice of bread, a grape spread, and some slices of Parmigiano Reggiano. He pours himself a goblet of wine, and sits at the table, eating as he awaits the Grand Vizier’s arrival.

Ibrahim entered the room, dressed in slightly different dress robes, and peers at the food and drink, preparing something for himself before walking to sit across from the Roman representative.

“Good morning,” Ibrahim offered, “shall we begin?”

“If you are ready, then let us.” Rodrigo replies. He reaches for a piece of the parchment, pulling it off the pile and placing it before himself. He pulls a quill from the jar and dabs the excess ink away, preparing to write. “I believe something that has already been agreed upon is a full military alliance. With the hostile sentiments of the new France threatening us both, should either of us come under threat, the other shall come to aid post haste. Agreed?” He asks, preparing to write down the most baser of agreement at the top of the page.


“Yes, that is something that His Majesty, the Sultan, is extremely interested in assuring,” Ibrahim replied, smiling, before moving onto, “and another thing His Majesty is interested in assuring, of course, is that those who follow our faith who are now… let us say… unwelcome, in your lands, to be compensated in some way to allow them to buy available new housing in our own. His Majesty still assures that he is willing to lower tariffs on Roman imports into the Emirate to increase profits of trade between our lands to you until such compensation is repaid. I understand that there was something that your King, the Bishop of Rome, and the Doge of Venice wished to expand on these terms?”

Rodrigo took a second, feeling odd for having heard His Holiness referred only by his title as Bishop. He wrote down that the Emirate shall lessen tariffs so long as compensation is paid to the Muslim people who are being expelled from Roman Lands. “Yes, The King of Naples himself suggested a bilateral removal of all tarifs, under the agreement that all peoples of the Muslim faith, removed from Roman land shall be paid for their property so they are not stolen from and they might thrive in other lands. On the further condition that the same right be afforded to those of the Christian and Catholic faiths within the lands of the Emirate.” Rodrigo dips his pen in the inkwell preparing to write more.

“That could be agreeable to the Sultan,” Ibrahim said, tone considering, “but the Emirate has always tried to maintain good relations with the dhimmi - er, the People of the Book. Catholics in Valencia and even Murcia are allowed to follow their faith and holidays, and I am sure the Bishop of Valencia and the Cardinals from Cordoba can assure you that we have treated them quite well indeed. The Church is even allowed to enforce Catholic law on the Catholic subjects of the Emirate, if it is requested of them by other Catholic subjects.”

Ibrahim paused to take a drink of his wine, a slight sip. Left unsaid was that this was also true for Jewish subjects that often migrated to Granada, but for their Rabbis to enforce Jewish law for Jewish citizens.

“I can understand why the equal term is requested, though, and so I assure you the Sultan would accept it,” Ibrahim finally decided, though he added, “I am uncertain how many would take advantage of this, however. There have been very few cases indeed where someone found the Emirate’s more secular laws disagreeable, and fewer still are the Sultans who ever interfered in matters of faith. But it is no matter: this equality clause can be in the treaty, I have no doubts of the Sultan’s willing agreement to it.”

“That is wonderful to hear. Now, The Triumvirate has two further suggestions for this treaty. The first, is that of a mutual recognition of claims. Rome has made public their claim as rightful rulers over the Duchy of Parma, Corsica, Sardinia, Milan, and Tuscany. The Triumvirate desires that the Sultan publicly recognize these claims as rightful and true. And in return, the Triumvirate is willing to equally acknowledge claims made by the Emirate.” Rodrigo pauses for a moment before continuing. “I should note… that the following request is one that was made by His Holiness Pope Pius VI himself. I will not mince words with you, I do not believe the Triumvirate expects such a thing to be acquiesced, but His Holiness request that the Sultan formally disavow the actions of Atsiz Ibn Uwaq, and acknowledge Islamic blame for the oppression of Christians in the Holy Land of Jerusalem, that led to the first Crusade.” Rodrigo let the two requests hang, and allowed Ibrahim to think on them as long as he needed.

“The Sultan can, indeed, recognize all lands rightfully claimed by the Triumvirate,” Ibrahim said, “and in turn, I am certain the Sultan would ask that the Triumvirate, when the time comes, recognize the eventual end of the French puppet-kingdom of Castille, and the establishment of a new Taifa in Aragon.”

Ibrahim took another sip of wine, considering the other term.

“As to the other term, the Abbadid rulers of Cordoba – and their predecessors in the Umayyads – hold no relation to the Seljuks and their descendants, unless you go back to the Prophet Himself,” Ibrahim finally said, as a reminder that such a relation was the only way such dynasties could claim the status of Caliph, “and just as I am sure you would not accept a request to be acknowledged as responsible for all of the actions of the First Rome, nor Byzantium’s, I think you will understand the Sultan’s hesitance to accept responsibility for actions that he nor his dynasty had nothing to do with.”

The Grand Vizier paused once more, taking one final sip.

“In order to accept such a term, the Sultan would at the very least require recognition by the Triumvirate as the Caliph of our faithful,” Ibrahim continued, “and accept shared custody of the Holy Land, if you seek to reclaim it, whilst we deal with the other claimants to such a title. Even then, I sincerely doubt the Sultan’s willingness to agree to such a term, but this is the very least that would be required that might be able to convince him.”

“To be more clear, His Holiness does not seek the Sultan’s claim of responsibility. But rather he seeks a condemnation. He wishes for a statement to be made, simply that as you yourself have stated, that the Emirate had no role in these attacks and oppressions. And that they condemn these actions in totality. As for the Holy Land of Jerusalem, I do not have any such permissions to make deals on its ownership at this time. But, I will inform you of whispers that I have heard. The Pope has desires to see it as a free city. Owned by no man. Dominion held only by the Father.” Rodrigo replied. “But, to stay on track, should no condemnation be agreeable, it shall not stall this agreement. As the Triumvirate will agree to recognize claims over Aragon.”

“And what of the fate of Castille? The Triumvirate will approve of the dissolution of that puppet kingdom of the French, as the Emirate will claim it?” Ibrahim pressed the question.

“Castille as well, Although, we respectfully request that you allow the catholic rulers currently in power, to find safe harbor either in France or in Rome. It would look poor for the Pope to favor Muslim claims over that of Catholics without negotiating for their safety in the least.” Rodrigo explains.

“If the Crown of Castille surrenders their crowns, the Sultan may be convinced to allow them to remain integrated into the Sidi system as Sidi themselves – that is, local governors – as long as they pay fealty and jizya as is expected of other non-Muslim subjects, and otherwise not much else would change beyond their lack of true sovereignty,” Ibrahim replied, “whereas Aragon would remain nominally independent as a Taifa. I suspect, especially after any such conflict with them that might ensure we have our claims fully recognized by all, that the French would not appreciate directly bordering the Emirate; but puppets are puppets, no matter their master.”

Ibrahim finished his drink, and decided to wait until thirsty again to request more.

“If the Crown of Castille does not surrender, we would… prefer that Rome take them in as… honored guests,” Ibrahim said slowly, the implication clear, “to avoid any chance at the French attempting to ‘restore’ them, and we will still integrate the former kingdom but break it apart into multiple Sidis, though we may take that course regardless, and they shall enjoy the same respect and tolerance that the other Catholic Sidis do in the Emirate.”

“To this the Triumvirate can agree.” Rodrigo replied, “Although, I think we can both agree that the dealings and fates of the Catholic Castillians should be left out of the public version of this document. But, unless the Sultan has more he desires, I believe this alliance is agreed upon in principle.”

“Yes, I agree; the public version of this treaty shall omit the clauses related to the future fate of Castille and Aragon, even if in truth we know what shall happen,” the Grand Vizier said with a nod, “and as to the Sultan’s desires, there is one final point.”

Ibrahim paused to clear his throat slightly.

“As you may know, the Sultan is rather… invested in scholarly pursuits, as the University of Cordoba has recently expanded. Perhaps this may best be settled in a future treaty after some more correspondence between His Majesty and the Triumvirate,” Ibrahim continued, “but I believe he would be interested in… shall we say… mutual endorsements, for scholars of Cordoba to study and perhaps translate texts in Roman Universities, and perhaps allowing Roman scholars to come to the University of Cordoba to do the same.”

“This… Would be something that I must inquire about with the Triumvirate before I could agree to. Specifically His Holiness. I don’t foresee there being a great issue with such an allowance. But, His Holiness is something of a traditionalist. I cannot say how well he would take to the translation of Roman Texts. But, I can assure you that I will bring the request to him, and such a topic can be discussed further at a later date.” Rodrigo stands, and extends his hand to Ibrahim, “It has been a pleasure discussing this with you Grand Vizier Ibrahim. Please enjoy the hospitality of Palermo as long as you need. I will be returning to Roma tomorrow. So I believe this will be goodbye, Sir.”

“I understand completely, and will discuss it with His Majesty as well” Ibrahim replied, also standing when the Roman representative did, and shaking the man’s hand, “and it has, indeed, been a pleasure. I hope this is the beginning of a prosperous relationship for both our nations. I will also likely depart sometime tomorrow; perhaps we shall see one another again at the signing ceremony.”

With that said, Ibrahim departed as the other man did.

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Democratic Socialists

Postby St George Territory » Thu Jul 14, 2022 2:18 pm

FEBRUARY 27th 1789 2100hrs
WEIL AM RHEIN, PRINCIPALITY OF BREISGAU, DUCHY OF BADEN, GRAND ELECTORATE OF BAVARIA





The drinks were flowing freely among the men of the 1st Alps Jaegers, their North German officers had been called to Schliengen urgently to ‘speak’ with Feldmarshal von Deroy, leaving them with the instructions of sitting still and watching the border against the ever present threat of the French troops situated but a stone’s throw on the other side of the Rhine. At the dimly lit inn the jaegers drank their pay away, none more than their commanding officer, Col. Ratzlaff, who sat with his subordinates, fidgeting with his knife as he awaited the tavern girl to fetch him another round. He was a feared man, earning his commission through his sheer brutality on the field, his face lined with scars from many a duel that had gone in his favour. “You heard his Holiness, these Frenchmen have to pay dearly for what they have done.” He sloppily said, his lackey officers nodding their heads in agreement. “I wonder how much the Venetians would pay for the head of a director? Those Romans have gold, dealing with the Moors has its rewards.” He sloppily laughed with his men.

“They’re soft, Herr Ratzlaff.” A younger Oberleutnant by the name of Eichler said, “They’re scared we’ll hit them again, the cowards would run and hide all the way to Paris.”

Chuckling to himself, Ratzlaff took another swig from his pint, “You’ll be an Hauptmann yet, Eichler. I miss the fight, oh Metz, that was the time to be in the army!” He stopped for a moment, reminiscing of the war, what was to stop him from going again? The North Germans had left to Schliengen urgently to speak with von Deroy, Nitschmann and Schmitt were cowards, afraid of him, Reinhard was probably off gambling on some dice game, the stage was set.

Major Preiss coughed into his hand, “We have the men for it, mein Oberst, the boys all want to get at those Frenchmen.” He said the last word as if it were a swear. “Oberst Gutmann and Oberstleutnant Molitor have been skimming from the Schopfheim supplies, they’re with us, pretty stringent Catholics, those men.”

“A fair bit of treason all around, kamerads.” Hauptmann Baumann laughed, raising his tankard, “Too the Oberst!” He bellowed out.

“The Oberst!” Echoed throughout the hall, the tables immediately returning to their drinks.

“Good, good. Shame they can’t join in on killing some revolutionaries, but more glory to us.” The old colonel smiled, then snapped out of it turning to Maj. Preiss, “Oh what to do with that Reinhard… I’ve heard from Hecker that his boys are restless for some action, old Johann has to beat them to keep them from crossing the Rhine!” Both men laughed.

“Good kamerads all around, good Catholics I presume?” Preiss responded.

“No, a couple of Italians in his command is the rumour, half Italian maybe, It doesn’t matter, if we get rid of Reinhard I hold the forces. If this all falls apart we run to the Swiss, they’re an understanding bunch.” He added with a wave of his hand.

“Rebels in Wehr threatening Schopfheim might move him, if we can drag him out of whatever gambling hall he’s assuredly nested in.” Preiss began to write on a piece of parchment. “He’s always looking to impress the Prussian King so much, I’ll promise that it’ll make him look good.”

“If we make it out the other end, I’ll make sure of it that we escape to somewhere exotic, they’ll hang us in Munich, no matter if we’re saving the Electorate.” He paused for a moment, “Cuba, good German land with nice weather.”

“I think that might be planning a bit ahead, mein Herr.” Hauptmann Köhler stated coolly, “I’ll count my francs when they’re in my pocket, and if my vote counts, it would be America; no British.” The men laughed at this and continued to drink heavily.

“Good idea Köhler.” Ratzlaff replied, “Fencing it might be tough, but we’ll get there. Köhler, take the letter to Reinhard, inform him that it is of great importance, you hear?” He said pointing to Preiss’ finished letter, which had just been stamped.

“Javohl.” Köhler said, saluting with the wrong hand, which brought another round of laughs from the table, he took the letter and departed immediately.

“Now to get the men together, no better night than this, very little moon, no Prussians, we have the advantage.” Ratzlaff said, “Wait until Köhler’s return with good news then we move. Gentlemen, tonight we create history!” He said, raising his glass.

FEBRUARY 27th 1789 2130 hrs
HEADQUARTERS OF THE SIXTH KUFURSTGARDE, WEIL AM RHEIN





Another late day for Oberstleutnant Reinhard, as he sat at his desk, head in his hands. He was resting his writing hand after another set of correspondence to a lender with the Hanseatic league, times were tough after his land had yet to provide enough to stave off the moneychanger from Hamburg, whose letters were proving more and more threatening. The minimum payments were never enough; if it wasn’t the lender, it was his wife. He felt his face, the stress of the matter had caused him to lose considerable weight, but he knew the death of him would be Ratzlaff, that fool. His command had almost killed him more times then he could count, as his band of barbarians patrolled the land in search of loot, abandoning most real objectives.

Another sip of liquor calmed his nerves, as he continued his letters, occasionally stopping, but never for too long, his concentration only breaking when he heard his name. “Oberstleutnant Reinhard, Oberst Ratzlaff has sent one of his men to deliver a message to you, he says you need to read it right away.” The young leutnant said, unsure of himself in every syllable.

“Damn Ratzlaff, does he know what time it is?” He angrily uttered under his breath, looking at his pocket watch, “Well, don’t just stand there, send him in, I want to hear what he has to say!”

“At once, Sir.” The young officer said as he scurried away to fetch the unwelcomed visitor, who made his way in and sat at the cushioned chair in front of Reinhard’s desk, his uniform black as night with silver and gold details, cradled in his arm was his shako, a new adoption from the Prussians.

“Sir, thank you for taking the time to speak with me, I’m aware that it is quite late.” Köhler said dishonestly, “But I do come with an important message from Oberst Ratzlaff, for your eyes only.” He extended his hand with the letter, to which Reinhard grabbed it with disgust.

“Important enough to write it from whatever tavern he happens to be in tonight? Surely it is then.” Reinhard scanned the letter, breathing a heavy sigh, “Wehr? One hundred confirmed at least what he’s saying?”

Köhler responded with a nod, “Held up in Strahlbrusch, nasty bunch from the reports that we’ve received, we’re required to remain here, but Oberst Ratzlaff believes it of the highest importance that you are to move the sixth posthaste to Wehr and move from there after linking with local militia, Gutmann will also provide you with some men, it should be a small band of highway robbers, with near ancient muskets, surely it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Reinhard rubbed his eyes, “Of course not, can we not wait for the Northerners to return from Feldmarshal von Deroy to head out?”

Köhler remained resolute, “‘Fraid not, this must be dealt with immediately, as per Ratzlaff’s orders, we can’t allow possible revolutionaries to pop up behind our lines, he’s quite clear on that matter. He has stated you’ll be allowed any loot you find on them, as an act of goodwill.”

Reinhard sighed once more, “Always mocking me. Go and tell your master that we’ll be off at once, I’m not sure what he’s up to, may the Lord help me if he has anything sinister planned.”

“Defence of the Fatherland, Sir, protecting our Electorate is the duty of every good Bavarian, I assure you.” Köhler stated, remaining in character.

“I’ll take your word for that then, on your head.” Reinhard placed his quil in the jar and stood up, taking his hat, making his way to the barracks, to move the troops to Wehr. Köhler followed, and once pleased, he made his way back to the inn to announce the good news, stopping along the way to get Hecker, Schmitt and Nichtsmann, all of whom exhausted from having been woken up from their rest.

FEBRUARY 27th 1789 2200hrs
THE GREAT RHINE INN, WEIL AM RHEIN





The festivities had yet to halt as Köhler made his way through the doors with his entourage to the joy of Ratzlaff, “Sit down, my friends, we have much to discuss with so little time.” Ratzlaff glanced down at his stop watch and motioned for drinks to be brought for the newly arrived. “Good to see you Johann, especially at this hour.”

“I hope this is good Ratzlaff, I was dreaming of a boat trip I took on the Elbe.” Johann remarked, despite his ragged appearance his uniform looked immaculate, a reminder of a foregone era.

“Of course, I’m going to get to the point, we are taking on the French. I will not wait while they amass their forces across the Rhine, threatening good Germans and Catholics everywhere, if we hit them now we can build momentum.” Ratzlaff said confidently, keeping eye contact with Hecker.

“von Deroy’s opinion on this plan?” Hecker quickly rebutted, glancing at the other senior officers, who were looking at their feet as they sipped from their tankards.

“Command of the area falls on me, you know I am to be made a generalmajor in a short time. Independent thought and action, if we see a chance we must take it!” Ratzlaff smacked the table, never failing to maintain his gaze of Hecker. “With rebels in Wehr, we must burn the rats' nest across the Rhine!”

“This is against orders of holding still, mein Oberst, I’m sure you spoke with Herr Massoni and Erdmann, I’ll be sure to whip them for their insolence.” Old Johann said, pointing his finger at Ratzlaff.

“I’ve spoken to them all, they all want one last fight, this is it, we hit the French now and we will win, Herr Hecker, it’d be wise to be with us.” Ratzlaff said, rather coldly.

Hecker lowered his finger and sat down, touching his moustache, and sighed. “One last fight. You have my men.” He then took a drink from his tankard, thinking to himself; ‘you’ve damned us all.’

“I always appreciated your realistic outlook, Johann, I knew I could trust in you.” He laughed to himself, “You’ll fight with us, Nitschmann?”

“You have my guns, Ratzlaff, I’ll have the men ready themselves.” Nitschmann said in his usual monotone. Ratzlaff nodded, and pointed at Schmitt.

“The seventh is behind you.” Schmitt stood up, “I’ll rally the boys to the fight.”

“I like to hear that, remember, the signal is seven rings of the St. Gallus bell, when that hits, we’re in for a hell of a fight gentlemen.”

The three officers nodded and made their exit, once they left, Ratzlaff motioned to Köhler, “You and Preiss shall gather the men, tell them we’re going on a hunt, and there'll be plenty of coin in it.” Both men saluted Ratzlaff and made their way out the door, Ratzlaff putting his booted feet on the table and leaned back, it was going to be a long night.

FEBRUARY 27th 1789 MIDNIGHT
BY THE RHINE RIVER, CLOSE TO THE OLD BRIDGE, WEIL AM RHEIN





Compared to last week, there was very little moonlight tonight, yet still the occasional ripples of the Rhine reflected the lamp of the sky. Taking few precautions as they continued their patrol along the eastern bank, the small contingent of nine Hessian troops, led by their Sergeant, Tobi Wexner, had darkened their faces with smears of campfire ash and dirt. Their boots had been dulled, and their bayonets were unattached, to reduce the chance of any light reflecting from them. None of them were wearing their bicornes, those had all been left in their tents, lest the shape be a distinctive silhouette. A couple wore their own woolen hats, whilst the others enviously wished they had ones of their own as a cool breeze from upriver picked up.

Tobi Wexner was walking at the front, with his friend of five years, Gefreiter Lennard Schmeichel, who had shot a French horseman moments before his sabre cleaved through Wexner’s skull during the retreat from Provins in 1789. Instead, the flat of the limply held sabre had knocked his shako to one side. Around once a month, Wexner would get his friend a couple of strong pints as a dankeschun, as he had done for well over a year.

“Major Sendler wasn’t all too pleased to be invited to the ball with our Bavarian paymasters was he, eh Schmeichel?” Wexner said quietly. Lennard grinned, his teeth white compared to his grey face.
“Certainly much less happy than Hauptmann Wasser. Do you think he really has fallen in love with the quarter-master general’s daughter?”
Wexner paused for a moment and pondered. “Perhaps, but I’ve told the lads to quit talking about it, otherwise they might go spilling that information to our Bavarian friends. Before you know it, Ratzclaff will have wind of it and you know how much he wants to get rid of us Northerners advising him on what to do.”
Lennard smirked.

Overhearing them, Jan Ettlinger, who had been demoted back to being a soldat five times that Wexner knew of, increased his pace to join in. The man was anywhere between thirty or fifty, nobody seemed to know, but he was the only man who had ever fired five rounds and been part loaded on the sixth within a minute that the Sergeant had ever seen. “Maybe if the Bavarians had pushed through a little bit of grape at Provins we wouldn’t have to be babysitting them. Or rather, doing shitty patrols like this whilst our officers attend balls when they’re meant to be advising the Bavarian officers instead.”

Wexner turned on Ettlinger. “Oh do give it a rest Ettlinger. I don’t seem to recall you rushing down any French cannons at Provins?”
“That’s because I was shooting five rounds a minute at the French skirmishers in the house across the street from us whilst you were unable to persuade anyone to cross it.”
Reaching an impasse, Wexner shrugged and continued.

To be fair, Ettlinger had a point, as he always did, even if it wasn’t always professionally put across. The bulk of the regular soldiers and guys in the supply train attached to aid the Bavarians and their less willing Badener friends were Hessians, by nature of its proximity to the Electorate, but the officers assigned were predominantly Prussian. And just yesterday, they had been invited to some ball away from the front. Never one to want inactivity, Sendler had sent them on a patrol to go and make sure the French weren’t up to no good, and more importantly, that the Bavarians were attending their own sentry duties properly. They had already almost been shot by a couple of edgy Badeners after having got within twenty meteres of their position.

Motioning the others to carry on, Wexner stood to one side and counted his men past. His nine men were spread out over around 30 metres depending on the light level by the bank, and he wanted to make sure no one had got separated. When he got to eight, and didn’t see anyone else, he went after the man at the back, a fresh soldier from the depot called Jonas Gutheil, a quite simple farmer’s son, and asked where their rifleman was.
“Karl stopped for a shit, said he’d catch up.”
“Ah crap, he should have stopped us or kept you with him.”
“I did wait, he said he can’t shit if people can hear.”

“Right, you lot get to the hamlet half a mile up from here, by the bridge, I’ll go back for him.”

The patrol continued, and Wexner thought to himself at least something eventful was happening that night, unlike every other patrol, where the most that happened was he took a few Bavarian names for being drunk or asleep on sentry, to give them over to their sergeant majors the next morning. If only he could give them a good whipping himself, Wexner considered.

Soldiers of the 1st Alps Jaegers stealthily hid behind trees, stone walls and the guard house, awaiting the signal, with the sixth Kufurstgarde and the Northern officers out of the picture, the way was set to commence the attack on the French, unfortunately for the two soldats of the sixth who had been assigned sentry duty that night, they had been killed and stripped of their uniform, to keep up any appearances that all was still good on post. Gerfreiter Peter Heimsoth and soldat Ernst Ehmann waited in their poorly fitting stolen uniforms, having drawn the short straw. “I miss spring.” Heimsoth said shakily, blowing into his hands. “Could have at least had some tea made.”

“‘Spose they weren’t expecting visitors,” Ehmann laughed, balancing on his heel. “Bad luck on their end, but loose ends should be tied up.” To which Heimsoth nodded.

“Wonder where Wexner and his band ended up, would love to give him the bayonet, got me docked a week's wages a month ago, that lout.” Heimsoth spit on the ground as he gazed over the bridge, his concentration only being broken by the noise of advancing men. “I think that’ll be them.”

Ehmann cocked his musket and nodded, giving a whistle to the jaegers lying in wait, “Good time to start the slaughter, eh Peter?” To which he received a nod.

Once the band of men had gotten close enough to identify, Heimsoth stepped forward, “Bad luck tonight boys, should’ve stayed in Hesse!” Met with momentary confusion, he turned and yelled to the awaiting Jaegers, who popped up and began to give a volley for the Hessians.

It was a short fight, with one of the Hessians managing to find cover and drop three of the Jaegers in a blink of an eye, before the distance was closed and a dagger made short work of him. Hauptmann Köhler ran to the position, the noise was sure to have drawn some attention, the French would surely be suspicious of it he knew, walking over to the bodies of Ehmann and Heimsoth, he nudged their corpses with his boot, both had been shot in the head. “Damn fine marksmen, those Hessians.” He whispered to himself, afterwards directing the men to hide the bodies and maintain discipline to await the signal that Ratzlaff was to send at any moment.

Bong, bong, bong went the old church bell, marking seven times. The attack was on, the men were ready to enter the pages of history to fight the French foe, they quickly stood up and made their way running across the bridge as Nitschmann’s artillery fired its first volley of the night, lighting up the darkness, the seventh and the Rhine jaegers quickly following behind the Alps jaegers in their mad dash across the bridge, ready to attack any Frenchmen that they came across.
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Segmentia
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Postby Segmentia » Thu Jul 14, 2022 7:26 pm

FEBRUARY 28th 1789 0100hrs
DEPARTMENT OF BAS-RHIN, SAINT LOUIS, REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE





Chef de brigade Ghislain Fournier poured himself another large helping of hot coffee, letting the cup heat his hands before he downed the whole thing in one go. Something had woken him a few minutes before, probably a draft in the room he was staying in. The town of Saint-Louis was fairly small, but finely built for the most part, the town having gotten fairly well off thanks to trade from Switzerland and Bavaria, though now most trade that came from those nations had slowed to little more than a trickle, and most of it was black market. Even that had dried up as the armies had arrived on the border though, not even the greediest smuggler trusting their luck against the extra searches and checks and potentially being caught and hanged.

Pulling on his boots, Ghislain could hear his aide stirring, no doubt awakened by his movements. There was a soft knock at the door and a moment later it opened slightly, revealing the tired and hastily dressed form of Sous-lieutenant Lou Hauet, his aide. “Sir?” the bookish man inquired. Ghislain stood and reached for his officer's sabre and pistol, placing the pistol in its holster and sliding his sabre into its scabbard.

“Can’t sleep, Lou, figured I would wake up and make sure the sentires aren’t slacking.” Ghislain said. He pulled on his coat and grabbed his shako. He made his way down the stairs as quietly as he could, Lou taking a few moments to gather his own effects and following after him. Ghislain reached the door of the inn, and walked out into the cold night. Braced against it thanks to his coat and a belly full of coffee, he carefully placed his shako on his head. Even without the tall hat Ghislain cut an intimidating figure, tall, broad, and powerfully built, he had been a military man since his young teen years and had seen his fair share of wars in that time, the most recent ones being the American War for Independence, the Revolution, and of course the War of the Bavarian Coalition. He had earned distinction around Provins when his line infantry had held, refusing to break and run like seemingly the rest of the army. And for that he had been rewarded with a mixed demi-brigade. He only had a single battalion of proper infantry, taken and retrained in the grand Army Reforms. His second battalion? Disheveled National Guard. His third battalion? Even more disheveled volunteers, most lacking weapons, training, and everything else one might associate with a soldier. He had set them to work, fixing some roads.

“Your horse, sir.” Lou said, coming around the corner of the inn, leading two horses. One was a massive gray Boulonnais warhorse, named Jacques. Ghislain smiled as he took the reins, rubbing Jacques’ forehead for a few moments before walking to his side and expertly hoisting himself up into the saddle. Not for the first time, Ghislain thought he would have made a magnificent cavalryman.

Waiting for Lou to mount, he would set off with Jacques at a slow trot, heading for the main road of the town. While he wanted to review the sentries he didn’t want to rush. The Chef de brigade rushing around to the sentry posts might put the soldiers on edge, and while he wanted them to be vigilant, he didn’t want them to be jumpy, especially not this close to the border of two potentially hostile nations.

The town was mostly silent. There were a few soldiers about, who saluted, some more sharpley than others, as he passed by. He stopped and made some light conversation with a few of them, even recognized some of them. They were mostly National Guard troops, though a few wore the shakos of the reformed infantry battalion. He had placed that battalion just outside the town proper, near the artillery company that overlooked Saint-Louis. Were he a more naive man, he would have slept soundly under the watch of those guns, but as much of a boon as a company of proper French field guns were, he could potentially be facing a battle on two borders, should the worst come to pass.

Ghislain and Lou were just reaching the fork in the main road, one way curving to the east towards the border with Bavaria, and the other curving a little to the south towards Switzerland, where he heard a distant volley of fire. Instinctively bringing Jaques into a faster trot, he moved towards the bridge. The volley hadn’t been close enough to be at the single bridge across the Rhine, but it had been close. There were only a few cracks of fire that followed, so not an engagement.

“Lou, go rouse the infantry battalion! And put the battery on alert!” Ghislain called to his aide, who dutifully saluted and pulled his horse back the way they had come, breaking into a gallop. Ghislain was nearing the bridge when he heard…church bells? Followed very shortly by the booming of artillery. He knew the sound well enough.

Ghislain reached the bridge as Bavarian troops were halfway across. He saw his sentries, most were standing there, dumbfounded by the sudden attack, but he could see the thinning smoke of musketry fire. Pulling his sword from his scabbard, he rode up behind the dozen or so men. Raising his sword into the air, cut a dashing figure in the now flicker of cannon fire. There were sounds of panic behind him, civilians roused from their sleep and the smart one running.

“Form a line! Form a line!” Ghislain bellowed, cuffing a National Guard soldier who was about to run with the flat of his sabre. “You will give me a proper volley, or I’ll cut you down myself!” The soldiers quickly formed a single line. It certainly wasn’t the best he had seen, but it would do. They were nervous, but they were holding.

Before he could usher a command, there was another series of artillery fire, this time coming from the French guns. He was sure that most of the guns were aiming for the Bavarian guns, though an artillery duel in the dark was essentially a waste of ammunition, but there was a loud splash, and the charging Bavarian soldiers were splashed with water from a cannon ball that narrowly missed the bridge and had landed in the Rhine.

“Apprêtez-vos armes!” Ghislain shouted. The slap of hands on muskets, barrels pointed up, bayonets gleaming as they caught the light of fires.

“En joue!” The barrels lowered. The Bavarians rushed onward. They were still some distance away, the Rhine was a wide river after all, but these Bavarian dogs had had surprise on their side and they hadn’t wasted it. Ghislain waited a few moments more.

“Feu!” The rattle of the musketry was poor. Certainly not a proper volley, but he saw two Bavarians fall and heard cries, some in pain, others in surprise, and yet more in anger.

“L’arme – a Gauche!” Ghislain shouted, and the men hesitated for only a moment before they started to reload.. “One more volley, men, then we fall back.” He assured them. Their loading was sloppy and rushed, but eventually they all held up their arms. There was no time for extra orders.

“En joue!...Feu!” The snaps were sharper this time, satisfactory, if only just. “Go! Fall back, help the civilians!” Ghislain ordered his men. They didn’t need to be told twice. He had seen more Bavarians fall, but it certainly wasn’t enough to stop this attack. He pulled his pistol and fired off a shot, another Bavarian fell. He wheeled Jacques around, hating to show his back to the Bavarians, but he had to assemble the defense. He nearly collided with another horse as he reached the split in the road again, and he could see it was one of his majors, Jean-Marc De Villepin.

“Chef de brigade?! Wha-” The younger man began.

“The Bavarians are attacking! I’m ordering you to ride to Mulhouse, you must inform Général de division Comte de Custine that we are under attack. I’m sure they can hear the cannon from here, but you must make sure he knows. This could be the beginning of a wider attack. I don’t hear anything from the Swiss border, but it’s possible they could also attack. Now go!” Ghislain ordered him. The younger man didn’t even bother to salute as he wheeled his horse around and took off into the night, heading north with all speed.

Ghislain watched as families fled west, and north, but he could help them the most by getting his proper infantry into the fight. Cursing under his breath, he spurred Jaques onwards, towards the now lively encampment just outside the town.
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Postby Parcia » Fri Jul 15, 2022 3:45 am

Office of the President
Philadelphia



It was late in to the night as he worked. Quill to paper, lit only by the soft orange glow of a few candles. He was drafting a letter, one written personally by him to his fellow statesmen. It dictated a few changes he had made his plantation revolving around the treatment of his slaves. Or, as since he had granted most their freedom and only kept those too elderly to move on, his workers. Mount Vernon hadn't made him much money in the time since his return in 1787, but his steady work, the unsuspected success in his breeding the Spanish Jack he received from Spain and a loan, no, a gift of some several hundred pounds of Spanish Reals from an individual he could only identify as one "Samuel Clemmons".

That name still struck his mind something strange. He knew the name, a distant foggy memory from his time commanding the Regiment of Virginia during the French and Indian war, a name he recalled that had something to do with a story of an aged pirate, roaming the Caribbean. He shook the tiredness away with a sigh and put the quill down. The letter was almost finished, a final draft before he would have it copied and sent to his friends.

Virginia was still a slave state, by law, but he owned his own lands in Virginia and the Ohio territory and could do what he pleased with him. He had, over the years and especially during the war, grown to change his views on the matter. To put it simply in his mind, he was a good, godly man, not free of sin, but full of righteous mirth and reptentious for his sins. Yet he ruled over and owned fellow men, women, children even who fallowed his same faith, the faith of Abraham, of Jesus, the faith that out right forbade the shackling of fellow Christian men in chain and iron collar.

It simply did not sit right with him and he wished to share his views with his fellow statesmen as it was their duties, their moral prerogative as fathers of this young nation to show them the light.

He sighed once more, realizing he was getting deeper and deeper in to his thoughts and the whirlwind that often occupied his mind these days. He needed rest, and he would have it. Taking a moment to gather and shuffle the many drafts and papers on his desk, he would lock them in his desk before snuffing out the lights and heading to bed.

George had yet more work to do, and the world would feel the changes this work would bring.



Boston
Green Dragon Lane
The Green Dragon


"....Earl-iy in the moorning!"

The sounds of merriment and song carried down out the doors and down the street on the crisp January as, by both chance and arrangement, several dozen old sailors had gathered at a place that had become quite possibly the most famous tavern in the young nation. The Green Dragon was seldom closed to its most senior cliental and at the moment a loud, boisterous, and vary intoxicated Samuel Adams led most of the former sons of liberty in song.

They were through their 3rd reiteration of the immortal cant when the door opened and one fellow walked through. Dressed in the distinctive cap of a United State Navy Captain. He walked with a dignified gait yet held a wild look in his eye and his stone face quickly fell in to a wile smile. Turning to the barkeep, he produced a small bag of fine British Silver Pounds sterling and declared in a loud tone "3 rounds for the crowed, on the tab of John Paul Jones, Captain of the USS America!"

A moment of silence was fallowed by the sudden standing of Mr. Adams who, doing his best not to stumble, approached the famous captain and stared the taller man down. The pause continued only for a moment further before breaking out in to a laugh and grasping the man by the shoulder. "Aye, three rounds on captain Jones, hero of the navy!"

The Fallowing chorus of cheers and jeers was said to be able to heard all the way to the port, mirrored by Jones's own crew who took part of the stock of grog on the ship.
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
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Imperialisium
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Imperialisium » Fri Jul 15, 2022 7:17 pm

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UKAZ


By Proclamation of the Emperor of All-Russia, Alexander I of the House of Romanov, anointed by God and Protector of the Holy Synod of Christ, on this day of March 8th, Seventeen and Ninety-One of Our Lord. Proclaim that the territory and Lands of the Finnish People shall be self-ruling and self-determination in all matters of internal governance, taxation, and piety. By appointment of His Imperial Majesty, a President of the Finnish Senate shall be created and held for no more than six years per term and oversee the legislative and executive exercises of government within the territory. The territory herewith shall be known as the Grand Duchy of Finland via investiture of our Tsar with the title of Grand Duke of Finland. In accordance with this Decree the Imperial Government shall retain its rights and privileges to arbitrate foreign, commercial, and protective interests within the Grand Duchy of Finland. In accordance with this Decree, and the legislation of the First Finnish Senatorial Session of February 28th, Seventeen and Ninety-One, the following articles are to be respected and only amended by the Emperor with consultation of the Finnish Senate.

Article 1. Taxation within the Grand Duchy of Finland shall be governed by the legislations of the Senate with the exception of foreign goods entering the territory. Importation of goods is to be taxed by Imperial assessors on behalf of His Majesty's Government. Exportation taxes are to be held by the Finnish Government and added to the Finnish treasury.

Article 2. Internal Self-Rule shall not be infringed by the Imperial Government unless at such times of national emergency or invasion. Finland shall be ruled by governors and mayoral officials appointed by the Finnish Ducal Government with the full assent and trust of the Grand Duke.

Article 3. The Lutheran Church of Finland shall not be repressed or infringed in the pursuit of their services and religious activities. This freedom shall be enforced by the Will of the Tsar and the Finnish gendarmes organized and provided by the Finnish Ducal Government.

Article 4. The Defense of the Territory of Finland is to be orchestrated by the Imperial Government. The Financial burden shall be shared between Finland and Russia with the former in charge of maintenance of standing forces, providing equipment for irregular forces, and standing of fortifications for the defense of the territory and its people. The Imperial Government shall bear the cost of arming and training along with the cost of naval facilities in the service of The Imperial Navy.

Article 5. In Accordance with the Conscription Laws of the Empire and Impressment. The Law of Impressment is to be enforced. Vagabonds, landless nobility, and children of landed nobility; unless sole male heir; are to be subject to enlistment in the service of His Majesty's Army & Navy. Impressed individuals shall be supplied with no less than Sixty Rubles of Pay per Annum and One and Half barrels of Rye at no cost of their own. Supplementary wages are to be provided for combat, siege, and hardship in the territory's northern extremities. In addition to Impressment of the above social classes the Finnish Ducal Government is to raise either via voluntary or conscription no less than three Regiments of Foot and three Rifle Battalions for the defense of the territory. Voluntary enlistees in His Majesty's Service will receive immediate bounty pay of no less than Five Hundred Rubles or a Grant of One Hectare of Land at the prudence of His Majesty's Government. Voluntary enlistees will be entitled to additional pay for combat and service in foreign theatres alongside a daily allowance of One-point-five-nine Kopecks to be paid in either Kopeck or Polushkas. Retirement for voluntary enlistees is to be after twenty years of service or honorable discharge in which the veteran is to be awarded five thousand Rubles (or one hundred for every year of service if less than twenty years) or six hectares of land at the prudence of His Majesty's government. Enlistment in His Majesty's Navy is to be voluntary or impressed with voluntary to receive twice the bounty pay and discharge pay of conscripts.

Article 6. Commerce within the territory is to be administrated and government by the internal Finnish Ducal Government. Foreign trade shall be reserved as a privilege of His Majesty's Government.


Nizhny Novgorod
March 11th, 1791


The sleigh moved through the still snow clogged avenues of the Nagornaya chast or 'Mountainous Part' of the city. The name for the Upper Half of the city that sits along the hilly Eastern bank of the Oka River. Bound by the Volga to the North. On the opposite, Western, side of the Oka sat the Lower City. Curiously, there were no bridges adjoining the two halves and so ferry was the only way across until the Winter Months. When the river froze solid enough to drive sleighs across, or walk.

Georgy, wrapped in furs, snapped at the reins as the horse trotted through the snow. Rounding a corner to stop at a quaint home on the Eastern edges of the district. Pulling into a narrow courtyard entrance his eyes met other steeds in a sheltered stable. There he stopped, hopped into the ground with a squish of white under booted soles. In the corner a denizen of another home which ringed the courtyard smiled and waved. Busying himself to shovel snow into piles on the edges of the courtyard. Here, Georgy went to the task of unclasping the harness and walking his family's horse over to the stable. The sleigh parked by a row of others used by the six other families which lived in the string of homes around this courtyard.

He could have hailed a cab driver. One of the many commercial wheeled or sleigh driven transporters who plied their trade in cities. But Georgy liked the freedom of going where he won't without having to pay for fare. At least if he could. Moving inside, kicking the snow off his boots, he was greeted by the warmth of a fire crackling in a traditional Russian oven. There, the red haired and fair skinned wife of Captain Georgy of the Nizhny Novgorod Light Infantry Regiment worked over the stove.

"Rah!" came a cry as a little boy wielding a wooden saber, dressed in an oversized yet still miniature tricorne, swung into view. Slashing at Georgy's hamstring the older man fell with mock cries for mercy. Mercy from the fearsome and merciless General Sergey Georgeiovich! Swiftly turning into a deep hug as the boy acknowledged his father's return for the day. Georgy moved over to a rocking chair that he himself made three winters back and eased himself down. He was not old, yet no longer possessed the boundless energy of his young son. Who swiftly hopped up onto another chair by the fire.

"Will Lieutenant Nevskayov and his sister be joining us tonight?" asked the wife.

"No, Katerine, I had asked before leaving the market down on Melitopolskaya street. But Anatoli and Severine had their own plans."

"So formal a response to me. The Army does do wonders for a man's manners," she said with a wink. Sergey adopted a facial expression that one could simply put as 'gross,' at seeing this parental affection.

A bang was heard from outside and Georgy winced. A bead of sweat forming on his brow as he stared forward with emotionless eyes. "Papa?" Georgy snapped out of the momentary trance at his son's voice. Look of confusion on the little boy's face. Georgy shook himself and nestled down by the fire once more. Katerine walking over to peek outside. "Oh, just Old Valukov and that ghastly driving skills of his. He hit the side of the stable again. His daughter ought to forbid him from going out on his own, the man must be pushing near seventy winters!"

"Ah, but you'll merely invite argu-,"

"Yes, yes, Valukov and his service under three Empresses. Seen more battles than some men have been alive. Yes, yes, he is quite happy to remind everyone around him."

"Sometimes I wonder if I'll be like him someday."

"Oh please, Georgy, hardly. I can barely get you to speak at officer balls let alone share stories. Took your cousin Dmitri hours to get you to recount your service in the Turkish War of our late Empress." The late Empress being Catherine 'The Great', former Imperious Monarch of the current Tsar. At the mention of that war Georgy seemingly, instinctively, reached down and rubbed his hip. The scar of where a musket ball had to be excised from his bone still there. The tingling hotnes of that wound, the heat of the lead ball, flaring to life by memory alone. Georgy could still hear it, the crackling of musketry, the boom swoosh of cannon, the acrid smell and burning haze of gunpowder smoke, the cries of the dead and wounded. Faces contorted in pain and men covered in the guts of their comrades it was all too much to flood back into his mind! Georgy lunged forward with a cry as he remembered, like he was still there, the shouts of his then commanding officer before his torso exploded by a Turkish cannon shot. Of charging forth and grappling with a man he never knew. Never hated beyond only that he was Turkish and Georgy was Russian. The feeling of a man's croaking gasps as Georgy plunged his blade through a man's chest. The key in lock feeling of steel between ribs. Those brown eyes, those eyes, looking up at him! Looking up at,--"

"Georgy, Georgy!" Katerine was grasping her husband as he was on his knees. Having collapsed from the chair in mental panic. Hugging him from behind as she held him up. Dabbing his head with a warm towel. Cradling his head against her own soft skin. Unweathered from the harshness of campaign like his own. Her loving touch relaxing her husband slowly as he came too. "There, there, you are not there anymore. You are here with Sergey and I." Katerine had heard about it from other wives of soldiers. The night terrors and momentary losses of reality brought on by experiences in war. She remembered all too clearly the time Georgy came home in 1787 and for a whole month, like clockwork, would awake in the dead of the night screaming as if he was still in battle. Like he had never left. Perhaps soldiers never did leave war.

March 12th, 1791
Nizhny Novgorod


The morning of the twelfth of March was a sunny one in Nizhny. Georgy Valentinskov and his wife, Katerine Valentinskova, had ridden to market with little Sergey in the care of the elderly neighbor Anna Sherbatov. The widow of a former officer in Georgy's regiment that had served in the Seven Year's War. There they had been joined by several members of the regiment and their respective wives or family members. Carousing the shops and bakeries. Indulging in the trundling commerce coming in and out of the city. Colonel Prevensky, commanding officer of the Regiment, was holding a gathering at his home in the evening of which the whole Regiment was invited. As such Georgy had made sure to purchase a suitable dress for his wife, and luckily for his purse she had simple tastes.

The day passing with merriment as the group dined for lunch at a local establishment before readying for the evening festivities. The Dacha of the Colonel Prevensky was on the outskirts of the city in some quaint woodland. As such arrangements were made for transport and several sleighs ferried the invitees over to the small estate. The building itself was a squat two story building with a front facing balcony over the double doors of wood hewn from these very woods. The snow carpeted what would have been a small lawn manicured by a family living on the grounds of the Dacha. However, with the Winter cold still not entirely gone said family had doubled as groundskeepers and retainers. Assisting in the dacha's kitchens in preparation for the gathering. Which, despite the invite being for the whole regiment only a fraction showed. As some had to remain on duty, others at barracks, others took the time to be with their own families or elsewhere. As such it was several dozen individuals, mainly officers and non-commissioned, who arrived. Enjoying appetizers of smoked meats and cheeses. Relishing in a delightful dish cooked by Prevensky's own small coterie of servants, supervised by his hawkish wife, Kleopatrina. Her name a derivative of the ancient Egyptian Queen from when her father, a staff officer, had journeyed to Egypt.

Katerine had been dressed in a pleasant and warm red dress. The gold necklace purchased by Georgy some six years prior adorned her neck. It was nice in the simplicity. Rather than the necklace, earring, and embroidered outfit of Kleopatrina. But such was the difference between men of earned station and the minor nobility. The men merely wore their uniforms clean and pressed. It was a pleasant time, a warm time, one which also involved Georgy and Nevskayov engaging in a cheerful drinking match. Downing more than two bottles of vodka each over the course of the night. The hilarity of this result being both men subject to the chastisement of wife and sister respectively on the drives home in the late hours of the night.

March 14th, 1791
European Front
Russo-Bessarabian Border


March 14th dawned with the Russian military breaking camp and moving rapidly across the border into Bessarabia. Moving along the coast from just North-West of Odessa they crossed moving West and then South-West. By then the official declaration of war issued by the Russian Tsar had reached Constantinople on March 17th. Just as Field Marshal Prozorovsky's army maneuvered through Galati on the Western bank of the Danube. Suvorov's smaller army wheeled along the flank and gathered the Orthodox, technically traitorous forces to the Sultan, of Moldavia-Romania to his banner which added several thousand men and a battalion of cavalry to his ranks; before sharply wheeling southwards to the fortress of Izmail.

Izmail, which had been taken in the previous Russo-Turkish War of Catherine The Great had been stormed in 1788. The Ottoman Sultan, Selim III, had immediately ordered it be rebuilt and reinforced extensively. Becoming one of the most formidable fortresses in the Balkans and deemed 'impregnable' by Selim himself. A powerful boast.

March 15th, The Tenedos Landing

Off Tenedos the island with its coastal fortress and naval harbor came under a sudden and swift assault from the landward side. The squadron of Commodore Senyavin, having passed through the Dardanelles without harassment had sailed out seemingly to sea before countering back to Tenedos. Expert tacking allowed them to make swift progress and on the night of the 14th land Imperial Marines on the island before sailing outside of cannon range around to the harbor. There, the Ottoman garrison was greeted by an assault from the land in which the black clad marines of the Tsar stormed with ladders and mortars the fort. Which, once the fort was embattled, they were joined by the squadron sailing forth and disembarking their sailors to join in the attack. Storming the fort with negligible losses against the unprepared garrison.

March 18th-March 20th

The Ottoman forces under Grand Vizier Yusuf Ziya Pasha had been concentrated around Silistra in the event of renewed Russo-Turkish hostilities. Which was keen foreshadowing on the part of the Ottomans and as a result sixty-thousand Ottoman troops moved East. Intending on pinning the Russians between the fortresses at Izmail and Sulina and his own army. Yusuf was an experienced statesman and military commander though by no means the senior officer on the European side of the Ottoman empire. He was however competent, and despite of Georgian origin was loyal to the Sultan in the previous war where he served in a more junior capacity. In truth, his army was meant to hold the Russians so that reinforcements, another twenty thousand including the Sultan's Janissaries, could join under Janissary Chief Warder Laz Aziz Pasha. There, the might of the Ottoman Empire would overwhelm the Russians and force either a truce or a favorable treaty.

This would be brought to contest on the actions of March 22nd. The day Suvorov arrived in front of Izmail and launched an immediate bombardment of the fort with all his cannon. While the main army of Field Marshal Alexander Prozorovsky crossed through Galati and encountered the vanguard of Ziya Pasha's forces at Braila.

Action at Baldovinesti, 0830 Hours, March 22nd
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Field Marshal Prozorovsky

The hamlet of Baldovinesti was settled by no more than half a dozen families primarily plying trade in dairy and orchards. There the main Russian Army's vanguard columns had passed from Galati down to swing by Braila en route for flanking the approaching Ottoman Army approaching from the South-West. Here, the extreme left of Yusuf Ziya Pasha's army, which was primarily on the East Bank of the Danube, clashed with the Russians in the vicinity of Baldovinesti.

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A brigade of Ottoman provincial cavalry armed with lances, shields, and sabers had approached Baldovinesti and into the view of the Russian 6th Odessan Dragoons that had stopped and dismounted in the hamlet. The Dragoons unleashed a chaotic series of carbine fire which startled the Ottoman horsemen. Causing them to fall back as the Dragoons mounted and sounded the clarion to signal the enemy was upon them. The Regiment moved to a defensive posture facing South by Southwest with Baldovinesti anchoring their centre position. Dispatch riders having been sent back to Galati and to the adjacent Russian columns. Not that that was entirely needed as the 7th Jaegers heard the exchange of fire from neighboring Baldovinesti and moved to the edge of the woods they had been transiting through. The light and swift footed soldiers of the 7th Imperial Jaegers moved to the edge of the woods to the Pietrolu Farm.

There, they gave a volley at the rapidly approaching Sipahi cavalry in Brigade strength approaching to reinforce the reforming Ottoman Provincial (eyalet) horse. The Sipahi, realizing the situation that they had stumbled upon the vanguard, organized a rapid charge forward with the Eyalet cavalry. A charge which would founder at the volleys from the Dragoons and Jaegers in conjunction with the rapid flanking charge of the oncoming Tambov Hussars. The commanding officer of the 10th Tambov Hussars having witnessed the Jaeger volley from afar and swiftly organized a charge in conjunction with a dispatch to the Line Infantry column adjacent to him.

Fight for Silistea Village and Street Fighting in Braila. 0945 Hours, March 22nd.

By 0945 Hours on the morning of March 22nd the opposing armies had come to the conclusion of each other's whereabouts in the general sense. The Ottomans however were pressed with a problem. They would have to either cross into Braila or double back South along the Danube to find a suitable crossing or ferry point. Which would take all day to bring sizable contingents over. As a result, Yusuf Ziya Pasha elected to move into Braila across its narrow stone bridge.

Field Marshal Prozorovsky, aware of the tactical situation, ordered his army to prioritize the seizure of Braila while ordering two brigades organized under General Potemkin-Zaidunsky to sweep the Ottoman's western bank forces away.

The first engagement of which began at around 1020 Hours with the Fighting for Silistea Village. A small hamlet of a dozen families directly North-West of Braila city. There, three entire brigades of Ottoman Provincial Infantry assaulted the Russian defenders comprising the 52nd Line of Foot, 37th Tambov Fusiliers, and the 11th Line of Foot. Intending to prevent a Russian encirclement of Braila and its vital bridge by ejecting them back to the North-East. The Ottomans managed to have a single battalion come into bayonet range of the Russian troops before retreating. With General Potemkin-Zaidunsky, a veteran of the Wars of Catherine the Great, ordering his brigade comprising the 13th Line, 14th Light, and 41st Line supported by the oncoming 8th Artillery Company to go behind his infantry screen. The Ottomans did not have artillery on this side of the river and thus the only danger was the Ottoman cavalry regrouping in the vicinity of Cazasu.

The situation in Braila itself was more complex. The 20th 'Kurskaya' Line of Foot Regiment charged and ejected the surprised Ottoman cavalry that had made it into the city. Using the buildings and streets to corral and then drive the Ottoman horse to the South. The Ottoman cavalry losing two entire companies worth of horse in the process. The next stage which began to span throughout the late morning was the urban battle for Braila. The proper battle for Braila. As the Russian infantry moving several thousand men into the city and surrounding area to engage with the crossing forces of Yusuf Ziya Pasha.

The Battle for Braila would prove to be a struggle of momentum as the Russians clashed with the Ottomans in the city for the greater part of four hours, with Russian and Ottoman cannon shelling the city in support of their own forces. The actual advantage of each side's artillery could arguably be seen as negligible given the imprecise nature of the guns itself. As such Prozorovsky ordered the artillery into the city. Supporting infantry columns by joining their battle lines and blasting the Ottomans at close range. On more than one occasion, as the fighting reached the city centre and bridge around noon, engaging at point blank range with grapeshot. Slowly the Russians clawed their way through the city towards the bridgehead and realizing it was too late to move his own artillery in to counter. Ordered the retreat. The Ottoman forces in the West Banks would likewise make a hasty retreat to the Southwest.

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The result of Braila was a Russian victory in the tactical sense. But strategically a stalemate. The Russians would have to spend the rest of the day to reorganize and rest the units involved before resuming their march. While Yusuf Ziya Pasha had suffered disproportionate losses and conceded the closest crossings of the Danube west of Izmail. Russian losses amounted to 111 dead and wounded, primarily in the fighting within Braila, while the Ottomans lost 741 across all engagements. Braila itself was heavily damaged and the civilian casualties according to a hasty Russian tally amounted to several hundred dead and wounded. With significant damage to the city's riverside district.

March 23rd, The Storming of Izmail (Tuchkov)

On the morning of March 23rd General Suvorov ordered the storming of Izmail in a sudden dawn attack. Assault groups of grenadiers and local Moldavian troops that knew the fortress infiltrated the battlements and ramparts. Allowing the Russo-Moldavian forces access in addition to the breaches made by the bombardment of the Russian artillery. Storming the fortress and town in a single day of bloody house to house, street by street, rampart by rampart struggle. At the end of the day on the evening of the 23rd the Russian flag was raised over the battlements of Izmail. There, the Ottoman garrison of 20,000 suffered 16,000 killed with the rest wounded or captured. The attacking Russians suffering 422 dead and another 571 wounded. The civilian population of the town was devastated and Suvorov, typically stoic in the matter of war, was said to have returned to his tent and wept alone at the destruction wrought under his command. A clear remembrance to the previous and grander siege of Izmail that had occurred during the wars of Catherine the Great where the Ottoman Garrison, twice the number it was today, had been annihilated while the Russians lost over four thousand dead and wounded.
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Of the Quendi
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Of the Quendi » Sat Jul 16, 2022 3:24 am

Windsor Castle, Berkshire
March 9, 1791


"We ... Do not understand" His Britannic Majesty spoke slowly and softly, resting his hand ponderously on the letter from the Doge of Venice and the proclamation of King Ferdinand, before falling silent, lost in his own thoughts. The silence allowed Father Giuseppe to observe his Sovereign. Father Giuseppe had last seen the King five years ago when he was still the Duke of York. The subsequent years had aged the now Henry IX, King of England, Scotland and Ireland. At sixty one the Duke of York had still been a man in good health yet at sixty six it was clear Henry IX was ailing. The king sat uneasily on his chair and the speech impediment that he had allegedly suffered from in youth seemed to be reasserting itself in the deliberate, almost excessive articulation of his speech. It was said that he was ruled entirely by his ministers and by the Prince of Wales.

"This ..." Henry IX spoke, tapping the documents with a lightly trembling hand; "this ... Neapolitan king ... He plots the seizure of the lands of the princes and republics of northern Italy openly without even the pretense of justification ... He ... Open boasts of his attempt to align himself with the ... With the regicides ... With the ... The guillotinists ... The ... The men who slew his own cousin; Guilty men! Only to denounce them in this ... This shameful manner ... When they refuse to embrace him. He makes His Holiness ... No ... We shan't even speak of that." Said the old and new king, shaking his head in sadness and something that, to Father Giuseppe, looked a lot like disgust. "And then!" Henry IX exclaimed; "he has the audacity to let his ... His serf; the Doge, propose an alliance with Our kingdoms. Gentlemen ... Why in the name of all that is holy should We even consider to align Ourself with this ... This ... Mercenary!" The king said with visible anger.

In the silence that followed this forceful denunciation of the King of Naples and Sicily Father Giuseppe couldn't quite conceal a smile. Slow spoken and apparently not without a temper the king seemed did not seem without a keenness of mind. Viscount Dillion, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs cleared his throat. "Your Majesty ... That Ferdinand IV and III is a distasteful individual cannot be disputed. However ..." The viscount spoke, being interrupted by the king who nodded enthusiastically. "Distasteful ... Venal ... Grasping; and We could think of worse to say of that ... Of that man" declared the king.

The viscount nodded politely "quite" he replied with a grimace at the interruption. "Nevertheless mister Pitt feels that this offer simply cannot be rejected out of hand ... The king of Naples is changeable and prickly but for the time being it seemed his interest might align with our own. France must be restrained and for as long as the Triumvirate ..."

"We recognize no such state, good sir." Henry IX haughtily interrupted his minister. Exasperated the viscount shook his head; "As long as the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, the Papal States and the Most Serene Republic may be relied upon to stand up to the revolutionaries, it must at least be considered." The foreign secretary insisted. Henry IX shook his head. "Surely ... Surely there are other options. The King of Prussia has a mighty army, Emperor Leopold an even larger one. If we can convince them to form an alliance surely they will be able to prevail without that odious man." The king insisted.

The viscount nodded respectfully; shaking ones head violent at the King was after all not an option Father Giuseppe thought. "Your Majesty's assessment of Prussia and the Empire is correct but mister Pitt fears that the Emperor is in no great hurry to ally with his rebellious vassals; and furthermore mister Pitt worries about Russia's move against the Sultan and hopes that the King of Prussia might be employed to lead a coalition able to encourage some moderation in the Tsar's excesses towards the Turks ... Or the Finns."

Henry IX pondered that for a moment. Father Giuseppe was no expert on foreign policy except as it related to the state known as the Triumvirate but he could appreciate the immense burden that lay on the Pitt ministry. Of all the powers of Europe not a one could be trusted to uphold the old order, busy as they where vying for dominion over one another. Who could honestly say that Ferdinand of Naples was an aberration rather than just the most shameless example of a self-serving malice that gripped the continent. Keeping peace, trying to establish a balance of power on the continent seemed an almost insurmountable task for a sixty six year old king and his thirty one year old minister.

The king sighed. "We trust ... That mister Pitt has only the best intentions ..." Said the king reluctantly. But then he suddenly turned to Father Giuseppe looking him into the eyes. "You have been to Rome father ... Tell Us ... Tell Us of the Bishop of Rome ... Can he surely stand ... Stand by this ... By the Neapolitan?" Henry IX inquired. Father Giuseppe bowed respectfully before the sovereign. "Pope Pius VII is not the master of his own state, Your Majesty, no more than his predecessors were. He may rage against Ferdinand IV and III's policies but he has not the will to challenge his master nor has the Doge of Venice. As Your Majesty said; they are indeed ... Serfs." Father Giuseppe proffered his opinion.

Henry IX looked at him and for a moment it seemed to Father Giuseppe that the old man was about to break into tears. He noticed the rosary that lay on the king's desk and how his hand still trembled as it momentarily tapped on King Ferdinand's 'Message to the people of Europe'. The king collected himself and turned once more to Dillion. "What does Our government propose with regards to this offer of an alliance from ... From Naples?" The king asked calmly.

The viscount took a step towards the sovereign with a respectful nod. "Your Majesty's government has prepared this diplomatic missive to be sent to His Serene Highness, and if it is pleasing to Your Majesty requests Your Majesty's seal and signature. We will then open negotiations with the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, the Papal States and the Most Serene Republic about a possible alliance against the French." Said the viscount handing the king the letter. "Of course we will not have committed to anything by beginning negotiations." He added reassuringly.

Henry IX nodded ponderously, reading the rather brief letter to himself. He found a pen somewhere on his desk and toyed with it a bit but made no alterations to the letter. "It will serve We expect." He said with a sigh. Then he signed the letter.

To His Serene Highness Monsignor Ludovico Manin, Doge of Venice

His Britannic Majesty's government regrets to inform Your Serene Highness that neither His Britannic Majesty nor his first minister Mr. William Pitt are presently able to undertake so long and arduous a journey as a trip to Rome for any purpose as His Britannic Majesty's age and health could not possible justify such a course of action and as Mr. Pitt is needed in London.

Having however received the offer to discuss the potential for a military alliance between His Britannic Majesty's United Kingdoms and the Papal States, the Most Serene Republic and the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily with great interest His Britannic Majesty's government is eager to engage in such a discussion and should be glad to receive a delegation representing Your Serene Highness, His Holiness and His Majesty in London at any time to discuss any plans to end the threat of the French Revolution to civilized states.

Sincerely yours,
Theobald Dillion, 12th Viscount Dillion, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
On behalf of
His Britannic Majesty Henry IX, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, Ireland and France, Defender of the Faith etc.
Nation RP name
Arda i Eruhíni (short form)
Alcarinqua ar Meneldëa Arda i Eruhíni i sé Amanaranyë ar Aramanaranyë (long form)

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Segmentia
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Mother Knows Best State

Postby Segmentia » Sat Jul 16, 2022 11:58 am

March 1st, 1791

Upon secondary meetings, the Directors had decided to at least attempt a diplomatic approach to some of their neighbors. A few of the nations of Northern Italy had always been friendly to France, and though there was much upheaval of the Old Order since the revolution, not all bridges had been burned down. Not to mention with the Triumvirate also obviously seeking conquest, it put those states in a tricky situation. And so at the behest of Director Jean-Pierre Carrel, a man whose reputation as being fairly moderate and fair had no doubt spread over the years of the Revolution, diplomats were dispatched to the nations of Northern Italy, Switzerland, and the Catholic Iberian kingdoms.

For the North Italians and the Swiss the diplomats were very much the carrot before the stick, as the armies assembling on the borders were an obvious sign of other intentions should diplomacy fail. These diplomatic missions would last until March 20th.

For the Iberian Kingdoms, whose very survival had been guaranteed by France for centuries against the Andalusians, continued guarantees of France's support. To Navarre and Aragon specifically, requests were made for them to allow French soldiers to quarter in their nation, to bolster their border defenses against Andalusia.

January - March, Colonies in the Americas

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen had taken a bit longer to implement in the American colonies than in France proper, but freshly arrived soldiers at the turn of the year had seen the stubborn plantation owners brought to heel, by threat of force, and in a few cases, the direct application of force. The situation, especially on the major Caribbean islands, was still tense and there had been a few riots that were put down, but as the year marched on things began to settle. The plantation owners that were still active now simply had to pay their workers, and while they could not work them to death and had to pay them, their profits would still be exceptional, and the risk of death or imprisonment wasn’t worth it.

In the Louisiana Territory the city of New Orleans was likewise brought into compliance, with the governor and garrison commander having to be replaced. Not much would change in the Louisiana Territory, though new surveyors would be sent into the vast territory, seeking locations for further settlement, as minor as it may be. This was in part thanks to the more traditional aims of France in North America, seeking more to trade with the Natives rather than to settle, though there was some conversation in the upper echelons and military circles of the French American holdings of expeditions further north and west.

January - March, French India

In India, the French East India Company was likewise busy. While the revolution had worried the company in the past few years, they had found a fair amount of support for their efforts in the new government. Trade and profits were never to be discarded, nor was trying to combat the British in any theater that could be managed. At the start of the new year, representatives from the Company and the French government itself would enter into a series of diplomatic efforts with the various nations and princedoms of Southern and Central India, with the primary goal being to ‘link’ their existing holdings on the east and west coasts, either though alliances, treaties, or direct ownership if need be. The small but professional military force of the French East India Company also worked to bolster itself with local troops, seeking to back up French diplomacy with French arms, if need be.
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Antimersia
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 463
Founded: Mar 04, 2020
Father Knows Best State

Postby Antimersia » Sun Jul 17, 2022 7:48 am

March, 1791


Far and wide across the three states of the Triumvirate, newly recruited and conscripted men are brought to forts and training grounds to ready them for battle. Since the order was given in January, the Triumvirate has managed to nearly succeed in their efforts to double their military might. The soldiers have only just begun their training, but the enlisted numbers are nearing the original goal of doubling their previous enlisted manpower. The current projections, are that these newly enlisted soldiers should be ready by the end of May, or the beginning of June. With that in mind, the already trained and prepared troops of La Legione are being briefed on new orders they have been given. The Triumvirate has decided that it is time to make their move on their rightful lands. Starting with the Tuscan and Florentine lands directly to their north. Conquest is the most likely course of action that Rome must take. But it will not be taken without exhausting diplomatic attempts. A Catholic nation should always strive for diplomacy over bloodshed. More so when said nation is partly ruled by the Pope himself. Although, Tuscan and Roman relations are not strong. And so hopes of a peaceful unification are slim if even reasonably able to be considered possible. Thus, the border between the two nations will soon have several battalions of soldiers from La Legione standing ready to advance.

The total number of deployed troops to the border counts at eight thousand infantry, one thousand cavalry, and one thousand artillery. Four battalions of infantry, and one of cavalry will be stationed near the town of Riminino, and four battalions of infantry together with one artillery, will be stationed near the village of Petrignano. Here they shall await orders for their advance through the mountainous terrains of Tuscany, with their final goal being the capitulation of the Capital city of Firenze.

But in the meantime, a letter is sent to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. A seemingly futile, but just and peaceful attempt at unification without fighting.

To the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand III of Firenze

We, the Triumvirate of Rome; consisting of His Holiness the Pope, Ferdinand I the king of Naples, and Ludovico Manin the Doge of Venice, wish to extend an offer of peaceful reconciliation and unity. In the wake of the dangers that the Revolutionary government of France poses, it is plain to see that the best course four the continued survival of the Italian sovereignty is through unification. Once more, should the Italian lands unite, under God, under one banner, our self determination shall be able to be preserved. And the great era of a Roman renaissance can begin.

With such a stated goal, we the Triumvirate hereby extend the following proposal. The lands of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, shall henceforth reunite with the lands of the Triumvirate of Rome. Formally coming under the direct rule of the Papal state. The Grand Duke, Ferdinand III, shall be given a seat on a newly expanded Triumvirate parliament. We hope that such an offer is agreeable the Grand Duchy. As The Triumvirate wishes to make it clear, that we hope to prevent bloodshed of any Italians, caused by any source.

Signed, The Triumvirate of Rome

His Holiness, Pope Pius VI
Ludovico Manin, the Doge of Venice
Ferdinand I, King of Naples

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Ovstylap
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Founded: Jun 26, 2018
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Ovstylap » Sun Jul 17, 2022 10:04 am

A co-write with St George Territory.

February 27, 1791 2230hrs
SCHLIENGEN OPERA HALL, SCHLIENGEN, DUCHY OF BADEN, BAVARIA





An opulent hall of marble and oak stood oddly between the simple style of the surrounding buildings, within it stood the who’s-who of the Bavarian army, while Raglovich and von Wrede were absent, von Deroy sat next to his most trusted officers, as well as several Prussians. These included Major Heinrich Sendler, and Hauptmann Tilmann Wasser, guests of the senior Prussian liaison officer, Oberst Ronald von Storch. On the billet for today was a once big time composer who had fallen upon hard times, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with a new performance called the ‘Magic Flute.’ Truth be told, it was a nice distraction from the troubles at the front for many of the military men. Feldmarshal von Deroy tapped along with the orchestra on his leg, having played a little in his youth, but unfortunately with the trouble on the border, there never seemed to be any time for his piano.

Several Bavarian soldiers stood sentry on the sides, watching the performance as well, it was quite the showing of talent and skill. Karl Bülling among them, he had always wondered what it would be like to play an instrument in front of the most prestigious members of the land. Alas, he was but a simple soldier. It wasn’t the most polished piece, apparently being trialled for the Vienna scene, so showing what they did have in this small Bavarian hall was a treat. Looking out to the crowd, Karl was nearly blinded by the medals from the men in the crowd, from Hessian, Prussian to Bavarian, it was a sight to behold. From what he could understand that it was Act 2 Scene 3, the garden, it was a lovely performance all around. Karl’s main thoughts however were on his dear Mitzi, who he was already missing.

After the performance, von Deroy and a number of senior officers, Bavarian, Hessian, and Prussians amongst them, retired to a tavern nearby the Opera House, where the Prussians would be staying. They stayed there until nearly two in the morning, having paid the innkeep to keep serving for longer. Having had a few drinks, the Prussians retired to bed, and the Bavarians headed to their own lodgings. They had no idea what had transpired at the front.

St George Territory wrote:
FEBRUARY 27th 1791 2100hrs
WEIL AM RHEIN, PRINCIPALITY OF BREISGAU, DUCHY OF BADEN, GRAND ELECTORATE OF BAVARIA


Once the band of men had gotten close enough to identify, Heimsoth stepped forward, “Bad luck tonight boys, should’ve stayed in Hesse!” Met with momentary confusion, he turned and yelled to the awaiting Jaegers, who popped up and began to give a volley for the Hessians.

It was a short fight, with one of the Hessians managing to find cover and drop three of the Jaegers in a blink of an eye, before the distance was closed and a dagger made short work of him. Hauptmann Köhler ran to the position, the noise was sure to have drawn some attention, the French would surely be suspicious of it he knew, walking over to the bodies of Ehmann and Heimsoth, he nudged their corpses with his boot, both had been shot in the head. “Damn fine marksmen, those Hessians.” He whispered to himself, afterwards directing the men to hide the bodies and maintain discipline to await the signal that Ratzlaff was to send at any moment.

Bong, bong, bong went the old church bell, marking seven times. The attack was on, the men were ready to enter the pages of history to fight the French foe, they quickly stood up and made their way running across the bridge as Nitschmann’s artillery fired its first volley of the night, lighting up the darkness, the seventh and the Rhine jaegers quickly following behind the Alps jaegers in their mad dash across the bridge, ready to attack any Frenchmen that they came across.


Flight

Wexner had decided to head back along the route of the patrol, looking for Yannik, stopping every now and then to listen out for him. After a couple of minutes, he was beginning to worry, when he heard a sudden rushed movement out of the undergrowth and then heard a familiar voice. “Hullo Sergeant.” Yannik spoke with his usual slow voice, chewing on some tobacco. Wexner grinned, realising that Yannik was of course always a master of keeping himself hidden.
“Hello Yannik, went for a shit did we? I thought you had deserted with how far back I had to come to find you, you should have just said something.”
“Ah sorry, I couldn’t stop, must have not cooked that rabbit for long enough yesterday. To be honest, I was waiting a while as I heard you at least a hundred paces away, and wondered if you were a French spy or a Bavarian deserter.”
Wexner smiled at Yannik’s attentiveness. It wasn’t going to be too long before they were back where Wexner had counted the rest of the patrol by, and from there it was a short walk to the hamlet.

A distant shouted voice could be heard on the wind, coming from further upriver. Wexner was beginning to wonder if his patrol had startled the hamlet. Distant flashes.
A sudden disjointed volley of fire broke the night’s atmosphere. A few shots in reply. All on the Bavarian side of the Rhine. “What the hell?” Yannik muttered, assuming that some edgy sentry had fired on a unit conducting a night move. A flash from the river side in the distance. A few moments later the first shots returned, from the track near the hamlet. A last shot from the river side. Silence. A dozen seconds later a couple of quiter bangs could be heard, presumably from pistols, or muskets pushed against bodies.

Yannik and Wexner looked at one another, their faces slowly dawning with realisation. Their patrol had just been killed. Whether it was a case of mistaken identity, but even then surely not? Only Ettlinger could have fired three rounds off that fast.
Church bells started ringing, when the night sky up ahead, above the slight glow of the campfires of the hamlet exploded with flashes of light, followed a couple of seconds later with great booms. Wexner and Yannik were still crouching on the trail, and could hear the distant shouting of German voices, as well as French shouts of alarm carrying across the river, just slightly. Torches were emerging from the hamlet when it became apparent that the Bavarians were rushing the bridge!

“Yannik, the fucking rumours were true! The Catholics listened to the proclamation! Our patrol must have just bumped into them as they were about to attack.” Booms from the other side of the river, the French had returned fire. Yannik was frowning, as a Silesian who had migrated to Hesse, he himself was a Catholic, but he understood what Wexner was saying. “We need to get this to Sendler and Wasser. Now.”
Yannik nodded and gestured to the forest, and immediately stood from his crouch and started to sprint. Wexner swore and took off in pursuit, crushing undergrowth underfoot. The sound of distant musketry soon receded as they ran through the forest, aiming to hit the road which led to the bridge at least a mile away from the Hamlet. As they ran through a clearing, Yannik stopped, and stowed his webbing and rifle by a fallen tree, and took a swig from his canteen. “We can get these later.” Wexner nodded, and drank from his own canteen before ditching his own webbing, but kept his own musket.

Lungs screaming, legs burning, they reached the road, and encountered a cart drawn by two horses being driven away from the Rhine by a panicked looking man. Yannik ran in front, and Wexner ran alongside the cart, throwing his musket up into it. Fearing for his life, the civilian froze, and slowed the horses. The Hessians climbed up into the cart, and told him: Schliengen.

The cart was driven there quickly, and various units encamped alongside the roads, and inns, were being raised to arms, and hastily assembled. NCOs were swearing and collaring their men into ranks, as everyone wondered what on earth was going on. Cannon fire continued in the distance. Already the first riders were heading down to the Rhine to see what was going on.
Not trusting the Bavarians, Wexner and Yannik stayed low, until they arrived at Schliengen, by which time it was four in the morning.

Nearby the Opera House was an inn popular with the Prussian staff, according to what Wexner had been told by a drunk Bavarian Sergeant a couple of days ago. Jumping out of the cart, the now calm civilian asked for money, but Wexner had left his coins in his webbing, and had to apologise to the man. Before long, Yannik was having to prevent an argument breaking out.

A Prussian ensign approached them, noting the disheveled appearance of the two Hessians, as well as their lack of equipment.
“You two drunks had better get back to your- excuse me what ON EART-” Wexner had strode up to the Ensign and grabbed him. “Now you listen to me, Sir.” Wexner spat the word. “You get in the innl, nice and calmly, and you get the Major Sendler and Hauptmann Wesser, and you bring them outside, nice and calmly. There’s fighting at the front. We know what’s going on, everyone’s in a state all the way back from the front. Get them. Now.” The Ensign, startled, opened and closed his mouth uselessly. “Sendler and Wesser!” The young officer nodded, nervously. “Nice and calmly mind you, tell them it’s Sergeant Wexner.

Within several minutes, the officers emerged, and listened intently, with slightly throbbing heads, to the report. Major Sendler appeared quite concerned, whilst Hauptmann Wesser appeared more irritated, realising what was next. Major Sendler soon sent him on his way to gather von Deroy and a number of other senior officers to meet outside the opera house as soon as possible. Sendler wanted officers to be sent to Munich right away, but believed that he should await his commanding officer, or for von Deroy to know the news.

The Report

It was already half five in the morning by the time the officers could all be found, roused, and assembled, with some of them quite groggy. Fieldmarshal von Deroy however appeared quite composed, and joined Major Sendler, who promptly gave an order to Wexner.

“Now repeat again what you thought you saw in Weil am Rhin

“Sir! Sergeant Wexner of the 5th Hessian Regiment of Foot, currently attached under the command of Major Sendler, and Hauptmann Wesser to the North German contribution to our Bavarian friends.” Wexner paused for breath, having almost spat the word friends. Yannick stood completely stark to attention.
“Sir, the units at Weil am Rhin opened fire on a Hessian patrol which encountered them, and have launched an attack across the bridge, supported by their own artillery. It was all planned, the church bells were ringing. I have no idea of the situation now at the front, but my men were murdered, and Sir it’s an abso-”
“Enough, Wexner.” Hauptmann Wesser snarled, before he insulted a Fieldmarshal and saw himself stripped of rank. The Prussian officers looked to von Deroy.

Feldmarshal von Deroy clenched his fist in anger, that madman Ratzlaff. “This is not good. That idiot Ratzlaff, it’s good you two came straight here, I’ll see to it he’s broken at the wheel for this.” He looked to Wesser and Sendler, attempting to gauge their reaction to the dire news. Wesser himself was watching Major Sendler, who was chewing his bottom lip in thought. “Wesser, riders to Munich.”
“Sir” Wesser saluted smartly at the Fieldmarshal, and turned and ran towards the nearby stables. He would make his way with due haste to where the Prussian aides and ensigns who hadn’t made it to the Opera were quartered. He would find someone, no, at least three people, who could ride to Munich as fast as possible to let Generalmajor Konstantin Falck know the roughest outline of events, and that further riders would arrive with more news.

Major Sendler himself nodded as he finished processing what was going on. He was vastly outranked by Field Marshal von Deroy, and was wondering where Oberst von Storch was. “Sir, I can’t say anymore without my commanding officer, but we need to have a picture of what is going on at the front, to see if Ratzlaff’s men can be brought under control. Whether we push the attack or form up loyal units to give volleys to any of Ratzlaff’s men when they try and return across the bridge is a Bavarian decision, a political decision. If you want a war with the French, Ratzlaff may have just given you one.” He deliberately didn’t use the man’s rank, and his nose twitched at the name. He knew Ratzlaff didn’t truly deserve his rank, but didn’t think him such a complete fool.

“What he has done has damned us all here. von Hohenheim, send riders to Raglovich and von Wrede to inform them of the situation, likewise that more information is to follow.” To which von Hohenheim clicked his heels and saluted. “Gentlemen, I have three battalions of cavalrymen that I can spare, I fear anything more and I risk the front. I fear that he may go unpunished here. Maybe a French musket ball will hit him, God only knows.”

Oberst von Storch cantered on a black horse into the courtyard, and sharply pulled his reigns, turning his horse by the nearby group of officers as Major Sendler instinctively moved to calm the horse. “Gentlemen. Sir.” He saluted von Deroy, having just overheard the last moments of the conversation. “Apologies I was late, I went for a late night ride with my aide, since I would be up early in the morning and had already lost my sleep for the night, and returned to a very important letter. It turns out my wife has just given birth to twins, now, what have I missed, what’s this about French musket balls?” The man was completely jubilant, and had barely registered the glowering faces of his fellow Prussians, and not least of von Deroy himself, but realised he had interrupted something. “What’s going on?” he asked, a frown burrowing into his forehead.

“War, my young man.” von Deroy said solemnly, “Congratulations on your twins.” He turned to Major Sendler, “Twenty-five some thousand men facing seventy thousand Frenchmen, I hope his Holiness is pleased with himself.” Oberst von Storch’s partial smile subsided. He nodded, frowning again as he accepted the new situation. Major Sendler nodded to the Field Marshal, and turned to his senior officer, now a father of five, as far as he was aware. “Oberst Ratzlaff has attacked the French, killing one of our patrols which presumably tried to stop them crossing the bridge at Weil am Rhin. Sergeant Wexner, and one of our few riflemen, over there” he gestured to where the two men were sitting and cautiously taking offered wine from a Bavarian grenadier; “were the only survivors, and brought the news immediately.”

Von Storch nodded, and looked to von Deroy. “Politically, I cannot tell you what the reaction of my countrymen will be. Our men will happily help you get a grip of the situation’s happening, I’m not having my men going over the Rhine though. Sendler, get riders to Falck, he can inform Potsdam as the situation develops.”
“Already done that, Sir, Wesser went.”
“Good, well done.” He looked to von Deroy again. “What will it be, Sir?”

“I can only pray that His Majesty Frederick William does not burn down Munich, but save that we are to hold out and await reinforcements to plug the hole Ratzlaff has so generously created. I don’t imagine he’ll get very far, but now we await what Herr d'Aboville next move is.” He moved closer to von Storch, out of earshot from the noncommissioned men. “I pray you don’t believe that such an order could ever come from my desk.”

“I imagine if you had intended to have us shot you would have done it after the Opera, not part way through, and after telling us so much.” Von Storch had already gone from the gleeful attitude of a man in his forties being surprised to have new children, back to his traditional Prussian black humour. Von Storch turned to Major Sendler, and couldn’t help but smile. “Depending how this goes, Herr Major, we may be commanding our own units right here in this very countryside within a month or two.” Major Sendler nodded, letting out a big sigh as he considered that once again, there may be a full on war with the French, and this time, by all accounts, the French were somewhat less likely to break, following their reforms after their near defeat at Provins. If only they had run out of shot for their artillery. Breaking his thoughts, he listened in as von Deroy spoke again.

“Wouldn’t have wanted to have you miss the ending, I’m not nearly that cruel.” von Deroy gave a half smile. “I believe that the reforms that we have enacted after Provins for ourselves will bear fruit, while Ratzlaff was a wildcard, my other Officers are far more trustworthy and capable men, the men of Germany will be ready, I’m sure of it.”
Last edited by Ovstylap on Sun Jul 17, 2022 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Imperialisium
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 12604
Founded: Apr 17, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby Imperialisium » Sun Jul 17, 2022 7:11 pm

Antimersia wrote:
March, 1791


Far and wide across the three states of the Triumvirate, newly recruited and conscripted men are brought to forts and training grounds to ready them for battle. Since the order was given in January, the Triumvirate has managed to nearly succeed in their efforts to double their military might. The soldiers have only just begun their training, but the enlisted numbers are nearing the original goal of doubling their previous enlisted manpower. The current projections, are that these newly enlisted soldiers should be ready by the end of May, or the beginning of June. With that in mind, the already trained and prepared troops of La Legione are being briefed on new orders they have been given. The Triumvirate has decided that it is time to make their move on their rightful lands. Starting with the Tuscan and Florentine lands directly to their north. Conquest is the most likely course of action that Rome must take. But it will not be taken without exhausting diplomatic attempts. A Catholic nation should always strive for diplomacy over bloodshed. More so when said nation is partly ruled by the Pope himself. Although, Tuscan and Roman relations are not strong. And so hopes of a peaceful unification are slim if even reasonably able to be considered possible. Thus, the border between the two nations will soon have several battalions of soldiers from La Legione standing ready to advance.

The total number of deployed troops to the border counts at eight thousand infantry, one thousand cavalry, and one thousand artillery. Four battalions of infantry, and one of cavalry will be stationed near the town of Riminino, and four battalions of infantry together with one artillery, will be stationed near the village of Petrignano. Here they shall await orders for their advance through the mountainous terrains of Tuscany, with their final goal being the capitulation of the Capital city of Firenze.

But in the meantime, a letter is sent to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. A seemingly futile, but just and peaceful attempt at unification without fighting.

To the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand III of Firenze

We, the Triumvirate of Rome; consisting of His Holiness the Pope, Ferdinand I the king of Naples, and Ludovico Manin the Doge of Venice, wish to extend an offer of peaceful reconciliation and unity. In the wake of the dangers that the Revolutionary government of France poses, it is plain to see that the best course four the continued survival of the Italian sovereignty is through unification. Once more, should the Italian lands unite, under God, under one banner, our self determination shall be able to be preserved. And the great era of a Roman renaissance can begin.

With such a stated goal, we the Triumvirate hereby extend the following proposal. The lands of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, shall henceforth reunite with the lands of the Triumvirate of Rome. Formally coming under the direct rule of the Papal state. The Grand Duke, Ferdinand III, shall be given a seat on a newly expanded Triumvirate parliament. We hope that such an offer is agreeable the Grand Duchy. As The Triumvirate wishes to make it clear, that we hope to prevent bloodshed of any Italians, caused by any source.

Signed, The Triumvirate of Rome

His Holiness, Pope Pius VI
Ludovico Manin, the Doge of Venice
Ferdinand I, King of Naples


The Grand Duchy of Tuscany's leadership, especially Ferdinand III, was alarmed at the prospect of an invasion by the Triumvirate. However, with the abrupt and loathed proclamation by the Papacy of late. The Grand Duchy could scarcely be surprised that the Neapolitan King and the Doge of Venice would not utilize the Popes mouth to justify their geopolitical aims. That being said Ferdinand III, upon receiving the missive from the Triumvirate, and his advisors aptly reading between the lines, and knowing his own military could not fend off a determined Triumvirate invasion, ordered his family to flee to North to Austrian Tyrol. Intending to skirt into Milan and thence into the South-Western border of Austrian Tyrol. But not before sending a team of riders ahead of time to Vienna to beseech the Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia and Apostolic King of Hungary, Archduke of Austria, Leopold II von Habsburg-Lorraine to intervene on their behalf. Of course, the only thing Tuscany could offer was trading conquerors yoke for a voluntary one. Yet, to be ruled by one's relative was better than the mercenary of a foreign King.

The riders would leave on March 9th and arrive in Vienna in the morning of the 12th, due to the circuitous and mountainous route they had to take, while the family of Ferdinand III departed on March 13th for the Duchy of Milan and thence to Tyrol. Ferdinand, however, would remain in Firenze until the last possible moment. Returning a reply to the Triumvirate that followed:

I, Grand Duke of Tuscany and scion of Emperor's, hereby state that the governance of Tuscany is of the utmost import to myself and my Ducal government. As a result of your dispatch and statement to the fate of the territories of the Tuscan state. I ask that the Triumvirate abstain from military force and bloodshed until such a time as a decision has been made. The date of this decision shall be no later than April the 5th, at which point a formal declaration to your letter shall be sent.

Signed,
Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany


Image


The Austrians and the ruler of the Habsburg lands, was not to pass up regaining the dominant position in Northern Italy, long since lost since the time of his forebears Friedrich III and Maximilian I. As a result, the Holy Roman Emperor sent a dispatch to the Doge of Venice with the intent of it being disseminated among the Triumvirate's ostensible peers. All the while, as of March 12th, ordering the gathering of an army under the command of Ferdinand Karl, Archduke of Austria-Este. Son of Holy Roman Emperor Franz I and Maria Theresa of Austria.

Image
Ferdinand Karl


The Emperor Leopold II was the father of the current Grand Duke of Tuscany, having ruled the Duchy himself till the 22nd of July, 1790. Further, The Emperor was firm in his upholding of the statue of Placetum Regium.No Papal Bull or authoritative promulgation could be published in his dominions without his consent. As a result, the Pope's proclamation was never put into circulation, and the agents of Leopold swiftly scoured to destroy wayward copies or arrest those seeking to promote what was, in the legality of the Habsburg empire, an illegal document. This current missive, handed off to him by riders from Firenze, put Leopold in a rage. For four hours the Emperor raged in the presence of his councilors against the Triumvirate, its King, its Doge, and its farcical Pope. The ending of this rage only soothed by his wife, the Infanta Maria Luisa of Aragon. The Emperor would take matters directly into his hands and would not besmirch a foreign king to take lands long since possessions of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.

Forty-thousand men would muster under Ferdinand Karl at Vicenza with another twenty thousand mustering at Trieste under Jakob Marchese Botta d'Attorno. The army of Ferdinand Karl, designated the Imperial Army of Lombardy would account for 34,000 infantry across fifty Regiments including a two thousand strong contingent drawn from the Guard. Supported by five thousand cavalry of primarily Hussars and Lancers. While the artillery accounted for seventy-two guns of twenty-eight 12ib pieces, sixteen 6ib pieces, and the rest being 3ib battalion guns. The Army of Istria under Jakob Marchese would be fifteen thousand infantry complimented by three thousand cavalry of primarily Hussar and Cuirassier squadrons. Supported by eighty-eight guns of thirty 12ib, forty 6ib, and the rest being smaller 3ib battalion guns.

The Austrians would wait till April the 1st before sending a formal declaration of war to Venice.
Resident Fox lover

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Of the Quendi
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 15285
Founded: Mar 18, 2010
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Of the Quendi » Tue Jul 19, 2022 9:51 am

Marlborough House, London
March 15, 1791


"We should have never given up that island if you ask me." The First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Howe growled cantankerously. "We had the naval power to keep it, Fox could have just refused and Louis XVI would have been in no position to take it" the admiral protested, pacing the Duke of Marlborough's study. Viscount Dillon shrugged. He sympathized fully with the goal of establishing a naval base in the Mediterranean but could mobilize little nostalgia about Menorca. To him it was just a place like any other. "No doubt you are right, but here we are. Menorca has been restored to the King of Aragon, this is the reality which we must live with." Said the viscount, taking a sip of his port.

Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe, paced the room for a moment more still rilled by his tirade against the injustice of the Foxites parting with his favorite island. "Well ..." the First Lord said portentously. "It needn't necessarily be that way, viscount." He suggested, taking a chair next to Dillon, eyeing the viscount conspiratorially .

That made viscount Dillon, who had payed almost as much attention to the sounds of the orchestra coming from the Duchess of Marlborough's ballroom as his interlocutor's tirades about Menorca, sit up straight. He took the First Lord's meaning at once and was alarmed by it. The viscount's youngest son was a cadet in the Royal Navy and his younger brother had died at the Saintes, bravely commanding HMS Europe in a duel with Ville de Paris itself, so the Foreign Secretary was no stranger to the navy and its ways of thinking. Nor could he dismiss the First Lord's ominous suggestion completely. The Royal Navy needed a mediterranean port and Menorca was ideally suited for the task; so far the murmurs in the admiralty was correct. It also could not be denied that taking Menorca was a brisk days work with next to no risk of failure and little prospect of significant international opprobrium over it. The French might wish to defend Aragon but war with France seemed increasingly like a question of when not if. If taking Menorca provoked a French declaration of war that was hardly a disaster. Yet still the viscount could not countenance the First Lord's unspoken suggestion. The United Kingdoms was an honorable state. It did not pray on those states weaker than itself for gain or glory. The United Kingdoms was not the revolutionaries in France nor the grasping Russian Tsar. Even less that mercurial King of Naples.

The thought of King Ferdinand momentarily distracted Dillon from Menorca. Almost a week since the letter had been sent. Had it arrived already? If not it surely would soon. What, Dillon wondered, would be the response of Europe's most unpredictable monarch? Would he react favorably to the British response, or might he turn as quickly on His Majesty's government as he had on the Directorate in France? Impossible to predict. Frustratingly so.

The viscount shook his head, dispelling thoughts of Naples, from which an answer would surely soon enough come, to the more immediate concern about the naval base. "My lord." The viscount said in a firm and deciding tone. "His Majesty, and Mr. Pitt, is of one mind regarding this matter. The King of Aragon is the lawful sovereign over Menorca. His rights and prerogatives cannot be questioned and must not be infringed upon." Viscount Dillon declared and seeing the frustration in the First Lord's eyes he raised his hand; "the king; insists upon it."

Lord Howe growled a bit but then seemed to let the matter drop. For a moment the two men fell silent and the only room that could be heard in the Duke of Marlborough's study was the sound of an adagio and the quiet murmuring of conversations coming from the ballroom. He gestured for his secretary. The young man at once sprang into action, presenting the First Lord of the Admiralty with a letter. As Howe received the missive Dillon explained. "Mr. Pitt has asked me to issue a formal offer to His Royal Highness the King of Aragon arranging for the lawful establishment of British naval base at Port Mahon." The viscount declared, emphasizing the word lawful. "If you have no objections, this draft proposal for an offer can be presented to His Majesty by Mr. Pitt the day after tomorrow and dispatched immediately after securing his Majesty's assent."

Lord Howe read the letter and shrugged. "A fine enough letter no doubt, but Aragon may refuse it nevertheless, no such chance if we ... Took more immediate action. We need that port." Said the First Lord. But the Foreign Secretary shook his head. "With all due respect for the naval expertise we need a port. Mahon would be ideal but others could be imagined." Dillon declared. He was about to continue but was interrupted by an enthusiastic nod from Howe. "Aye that's true." The First Lord declared. "We should have taken Corsica the moment the bastards killed Louis XVI; that fellow Paoli is very keen on it and I don't mind saying it, so am I. Teach those bloody regicides a lesson." The First Lord declared, rising from his chair as if about the march out and muster the navy for an assault on Corsica that very moment. "Well ..." Dillon remarked, beckoning for the admiral to resume his seat, finding his martial jumpiness mildly amusing. "And option to be sure" he, noncommittally declared, as Howe sat down. "But I will remind you that France and Britain is not presently at war and that the French are not likely to give Corsica up through negotiations." Dillon said, waving his hand as Howe was clearly about to jump up again and interrupt, no doubt with something very militant about the French. "The time may come!" Dillon assured, his voice raised over the imminent protest of the First Lord; "when we can take action with regards to Corsica; but when I asked you for this talk it was to consider different options which may prove satisfactory to the admiralty if the King of Aragon proves ... Uncooperative."

Once more Dillon waved at his secretary who, to the distant tunes of the Allegro Moderato of Mozart's Sonata in C Major if Dillon was not very much mistaken, presented Lord Howe with a large map of the Mediterranean. Dillon rose from his seat, walking over to stand beside the First Lord. "Now." He said. "If Aragon should be disinclined to accept an offer perhaps some of the major ports of Italy might prove useful. Genoa, Lucca, Piombino, Pisa or some other Tuscan port city. Would these ports serve?" He asked. Howe nodded. "Aye, as good as port as Genoa one would struggle to find and as for the others I suppose they may work. Trouble is they are land based. What happens if the French should demand these ports closed to us? At sea we can withstand the French but on land it's a different story. I doubt very much that Genoa would refuse a French ultimatum. As for Tuscany, well maybe Ferdinand III may dare it if his brother supports him. Maybe." Said Howe.

Then the First Lord pointed his finger at Sardinia. "Now there's a port. From Cagliari we could rule the Mediterranean." He said, almost dreamily. Dillon nodded ponderously. "His Majesty is very fond of his cousin the King of Sardinia and I believe it is mutual. Perhaps there is a deal to be had." He mused. For a moment Howe contemplated it but then, with a reluctant sigh, he shrugged his head. "But it's the same problem as with the others, except worse. Sardinia's mainland is far too vulnerable to the French. If the buggers ever invade Sardinia we may spirit Charles Emmanuel to Sardinia and use it against the French, but as long as he has his mainland to worry about I doubt he would allow us the use of his port. And on that note, Aragon may refuse even a very favorable offer for the same reason." Said the First Lord. Dillon nodded, no stranger to the idea that small land based powers might not permit the Royal Navy use of their ports for fear of France. "In other words we need either an island country that doesn't have to worry about the French when guarded by the Royal Navy, or a state that is bold enough to challenge France." He concluded.

Lord Howe nodded. "Aye that's the gist of it I expect." He agreed. Dillon nodded ponderously. Once more his thoughts went to the Triumvirate. Naples, Palermo, Malta, even Venice; there was no shortage of useful ports. But only if an alliance was struck with the Triumvirate. And even then; could the mercurial ruler of Naples be trusted. It would be a disaster if the Royal Navy secured some lease of a port on his territory, invested in the establishment of a base only for the king to then change his mind and his policies on a whim. Dillon sighed. For the time being it seemed Menorca was the option. Hopefully Aragon would be amenable, if not the topic would have to be revisited. "Well, I will see to it that His Majesty is presented with this overture to Aragon, and in the meantime I suggest we both consider options if the offer is rejected. For now may I suggest we rejoin the party. I am sure Her Grace is anxious for our company."

To his Royal Highness, XXX, the King of Aragon and Mallorca, Prince of Catalonia and Count of Barcelona and his Government in the aforementioned states,

Your Royal Highness,

His Britannic Majesty hopes that this letter reaches your royal person and all your kith and kin, your states and your peoples in the very best of circumstances, extending his best wishes to Your Royal Highness.

His Britannic Majesty's government has proceeded to draft this missive in the hope of reaching with Your Royal Highness an accord permitting the Royal Navy full usage of the Port of Mahon upon Your Royal Highness' island of Menorca, that the Royal Navy may there base its Mediterranean Fleet. If Your Royal Highness is amenable to such a proposal His Britannic Majesty's government is prepared to provide a generous annual fee for the use of the Port of Mahon and enter into a defensive alliance with Your Royal Highness to ensure the safety of Your Royal Highness' states in general and Menorca in particular, from any adversaries that may threaten or challenge Your Royal Highness' realm. His Britannic Majesty's government are further willing to discuss commercial and economical offers in furtherance of Your Royal Highness' agreement to a treaty on the basis of the offer herein made.

Your Humble Servant
Theobald Dillon, 12th Viscount Dillon, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
On behalf of
His Britannic Majesty Henry IX, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, Ireland and France, Defender of the Faith etc.




OOC: The events in this post takes place before the British government has learned of the impending war between Tuscany, the Emperor and the Triumvirate.
Nation RP name
Arda i Eruhíni (short form)
Alcarinqua ar Meneldëa Arda i Eruhíni i sé Amanaranyë ar Aramanaranyë (long form)

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