NATION

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The Thin Line Between Bondage and Freedom

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The Macabees
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The Thin Line Between Bondage and Freedom

Postby The Macabees » Tue Jul 26, 2022 8:52 am

NORTH VANGUAT SEA

HIM B75 prowled the seas at a depth of around 300 meters. It had received short instructions via secure SATCOM, during a brief sting at periscope depth, to move north from its typical patrol route and reinforce other imperial SSNs in the North Vanguat Sea. For now, it was to avoid detection and simply follow a new patrol route intended to offer protection for imperial shipping lanes in case of an all-out shooting war with FRCP. However, if orders were received, the boat should be fully prepared to engage FRCP military and commercial vessels.

Around the same time, and unbeknownst to the crew of HIM B75, a formal diplomatic message was sent to the government of the FRCP:

From: Diplomatic Corps of the Golden Throne, Palace of Nepotas, Fedala

To: FRCP Department of Foreign Relations

Your hostile actions against imperial commercial shipping in international waters will not be tolerated. Cease all activity of this nature or face immediate hostilities with the Golden Throne.

Signed,

His Imperial Majesty Fedor I


Back in Fedala, FRCP interference with imperial trade in the North Vanguat Sea had struck a chord. That kind of activity as a means of pushing certain countries' ships out of your own waters was one thing, but interfering with imperial trade in international waters was quite another. And if a government like FRCP's could get away with that sort of activity, what other state would try it? The Imperial Bureaucracy, led by an emperor who felt victorious in every war he had fought since his ascension, prepared itself for military operations.

It sent out another secure cable simultaneous to the one delivered to the FRCP.

From: Diplomatic Corps of the Golden Throne, Palace of Nepotas, Fedala

To: Embassy of Eitoan, Fedala

FRCP's campaign against imperial shipping in the North Vanguat Sea has gone too far. The Golden Throne cannot send a message of ambivalence when it regards interference against its own trade in international waters. We will commence military hostilities upon the next interception action committed by FRCP ships. Intention will be to clear the North Vanguat Sea of all FRCP military and commercial ships.

We request an audience between representatives of Eitoan and Jogornos Antonio Filero, the head of the imperial diplomatic mission to Eitoan. Imperial embassy can host; we are open to alternative sites.

Signed,

His Imperial Majesty Fedor I




MATAGALPA, NICARO, PREFECTURE OF FIRMADOR

Derego Frogeder's jet touched down in Matagalpa, the capital city of the Satrapy of Nicaro, early morning the day after his audience with the emperor. As prestigious as being recalled to Fedala for a private conversation with Him and His advisors was, they were draining affairs that left even the boldest man shook. The emperor was clear in his final instructions and demanded results. And, delivering the results He expected was never a straightforward thing, especially in Nicaro.

The country had changed a lot since the capital's namesake treaty, which formally integrated Nicaro into the imperial federation of the Golden Throne. Cities like Matagalpa, Sandino, and even Managua in the far south, had been transformed and were still in that process. They were all being reformed in the imperial image, with a broad central boulevard decorated with triumphal arches, great fountains topped by statues and scenes made of marble and bronze, and monumental buildings that were a mix of baroque and modern styles. Even the residential buildings behind them were beginning to change, as façades were updated — sometimes on the imperial dime — to keep pace with the beautification of the core urban areas. It was all part of the investment the Imperial Bureaucracy made in its subjects, an investment made to symbolize the empire's commitment to justice, prosperity, and peace. Although for the majority of Nicaroans this wealth had yet to trickle down, it was undeniable that the country's civil war had ended, most of the militias had been disarmed, and that peace from armed violence had descended beneath the curtain of imperial oversight.

All the same, in many ways it was the same country, made up of the same people. Despite the 20 million veteran settlers now streaming into the satrapy, Nicaro never suffered the same depopulation that many of the eastern territories did, and so the veterans would remain in the minority for some time. Walking down any given street, you were more likely to hear Nicaroan — a dialect of Zarbian — rather than Díenstadi, the vast majority of food shops still catered to local tastes, and if you asked the average person where they were from they'd still name their city or their prefecture. Aside from the superstructure, the imperial identity had not yet set in here. Not to mention, all of the satrapy's civil administration posts were filled by Nicaroans. In other words, change in this country was still done on Nicaroan terms, even if they had their arm twisted by the imperial eagle.

Despite Derego's forewarnings, the Imperial Bureaucracy had learned of Nicaro's spirit of independence the hard way during its broad anti-corruption campaign in the satrapy. Many, if not most, of the arrested politicians were popular among their constituents, largely because they were known for distributing their illicitly gained wealth back to the people. This drove many of the targeted people underground, especially to the insurgency still raging around Managua. Tens of thousands of their able-bodied supporters and their families went with them, bolstering the guerrilla factions still resisting the garrisoning of the country. And the Macabéan-approved politicians that replaced their predecessors were neither all honest nor well-liked, so improvements to the satrapy's administration had been marginal at best. Of course, the Imperial Bureaucracy's response was to double down. Enough shake-ups, so the theory went, and eventually all the pieces would land in the right place.

Derego knew almost all the important players in Nicaro, from the satrapical to the city levels. It was a benefit of having served as Prefect of Firmador, the northern prefecture of the satrapy. Natural, then, his recent promotion to jogornos. As jogornos, he was the head of the entire Macabéan civil administrative presence here, putatively a diplomatic mission. But, as head diplomat that gave him direct access to the satrap. And he who controlled the satrap, controlled the country.

Satrap Gustavo Sabaté was waiting for him on the tarmac. Derego had requested his presence before departing from Fedala. As the jogornos walked down the staircase he handed his coat to an aid. Gustavo stepped up toward him and the two clasped hands. "Your Excellency," said Gustavo.

"Satrap Sabaté, good to see you," replied Derego.

"Likewise," said Gustavo. "How is Fedala this time of the year?"

Gustavo had not yet had an audience with His Imperial Majesty and so hadn't traveled to the imperial capital, Derego realized. He hadn't advocated for such an audience to the emperor, either. That would have to be rectified the next time the jogornos was recalled. Gustavo had proven to be a loyal, trusted ally in Nicaro so far, not complaining beyond the reasonable toward any of the imperial policies that were reshaping his nation. Of course, satraps were directly appointed by the emperor and could be replaced at any moment, so a degree of acquiescence and subservience was expected.

"The spring winds still blow, but the days are getting longer and hotter. It will be a matter of time before the capital gets scorched beneath the sun." He wiped a few droplets of sweat that had begun to form on his forehead. "Of course, I'll always prefer that to the humidity here. Come, let's get inside where there's air conditioning. I trust you made time for me today."

The satrap nodded and smiled. "Of course, jogornos."

Both of them entered the same sports utility vehicle, with a driver and co-pilot in the front seats. Otherwise, they were alone. Once inside, the tone of their conversation changed. The satrap asked, "How did it go?"

"Like any audience with the emperor goes," replied the jogornos. "You sit there nerve-wracked, answer a series of questions, and then get told what you do. If you're lucky, you get to give your opinion on those instructions. If you have a solid reservation, He might listen. Otherwise, it's best to keep your mouth shut. This time, I opted for the latter. It seems He's pretty deadset on leveraging this kerfuffle over the Ice States to the empire's advantage."

"Hm, how so?" wondered Gustavo.

Derego opened a small ice chest on the back-end of the center console, revealing two small glasses and a bottle of liquor. He handed one glass to his counterpart and filled it, then filled his own. Glass in hand, he answered, "The blockade is isolating the Ice States diplomatically and commercially. While there are some doubts about doing business with a slaver state, the emperor and his advisors seem sure that, as the pressure mounts, TIS will agree to certain terms in exchange for additional support from the Golden Throne. Which terms? They'd like for me to negotiate an at least superficially end to their practice of slavery and some other economic terms. The empire will then come out the hero, will have gained a local ally, and will prove to the world once again that its way of doing business produces results."

"And for Nicaro?" asked the Nicaroan. He took a sip from his own glass, then added, "You know, with this blockade, I'm worried of unwanted attention on us again. Peace has been good to us. At least, in the north."

The jogornos took another drink. "If all goes as intended, Nicaro will benefit greatly. Assuming TIS' representatives are open-minded to cooperation, I will be offering an increase in overland trade between Nicaro and TIS as a means of skirting the blockade. TIS' imports will need to be carried by neutral ships and brought to Nicaroan docks, probably Quitiruzú. And, if they accept our recommendations, then that trade volume is only set to grow. Nicaroans stand to benefit directly, especially in the south."

"Quitiruzú?" blurted the satrap. "Quitiruzú is little more than a fishing town."

"Exactly, Gustavo," replied Derego. "The Kríerlord Kuncil has approved a budget for the expansion of Quitiruzú's wharf facilities. They will be turned into a proper commercial port, with a military port to go alongside it. Those facilities will need labor, which will be hired from among the locals. In a few years, Quitiruzú will be a bustling port city with strategic importance. It is a great investment for the Nicaroans, if you ask me."

Gustavo did not seem entirely suaded. "The town is in the middle of rebel-dominated territory!"

Derego shrugged. He then realized that he had emptied his glass, so he poured himself another dram of whisky and took another sip. He refilled the satrap's glass, as well. "Obviously, the Ejermacht will have to shift some of its assets in Komsektor VI to increase security around Quitiruzú. Also partly why a military port will be built, although that takes secondary priority over the commercial port and probably has as much to do with the expansion of the Kríermada in the area."

"This plan will have to be approved by the Nicaroan legislature," said the satrap, who finished the contents of his glass in one long swig.

The jogornos moved to refill it as soon as Gustavo had put it back on the small table atop the rear end of the center console. "That's why I'm telling you first," he answered. "His Imperial Majesty trusts that you will take care of making sure the proposal passes."

"Of course he does," said the satrap, who took another long swig. When he gulped it down, he added, "I trust that your office will send a finished copy of the proposed bill when you're ready for me to present it?"

Derego nodded. "Correct. All the details will be in there. Permissions to negotiate with local authorities over land requisitioning, compensations, et cetera. Just have your people thoroughly edit the language. It's important that it sounds like it's coming from you as much as from the Imperial Bureaucracy. His Imperial Majesty is excited about your backing and wants that support to be authentic."

"Yes, authentic," was all Gustavo said.

The jogornos arched an eyebrow, but let the comment go. He pointed to their glasses. "Another round?"

"One more," answered the satrap. "We're almost at your residence."

They drank the rest of the drive without further comment on Derego's audience with the emperor. Some things were said about local happenings and a little was spoken about their personal lives, but the conversation was done for the most part. The jogornos' residence was in the same walled compound as the embassy. It was heavily protected but was dressed up to look opulent. An AI-guided machinegun post tracked them as they approached the rear-entrance to the compound, but immediately broke off as soon as it read the vehicle's plates. They were greeted by a human guard at the gate and waved through. Once inside, they proceeded to the residence's main study, where photos and a video of a prearranged conversation were taken for PR purposes. After, they shook hands and smiled at the camera for some additional photographs. They'd be released to the press and published the next day. The contents of their conversation would be kept secret, of course. For the public, a statement regarding discussions on Nicaro's bright future would be released with the photos and the video. A little bit of smoke and a few mirrors went a long way.


Same day...

FEDORÍA, NICARO, PREFECTURE OF NICARO

"Yea, I saw the orders yesterday, Your Excellency," said Admiránt Petre Kassinger. "We're already working on execution."

He put the phone down and sighed. He had hoped to soak up the sun on the beach outside of the city, now with the armistice between the Reich and the empire in full force. This was a reminder that he'd probably never get to enjoy a true day of leisure until he retired. The Golden Throne was always involved in something. This time, the confrontation was with the Federal Republic of Czaslyudian Peoples. Their obstinacy is the pursuit of their seizure and search policy against imperial trade vessels — in international waters, at that! — had irked someone back at the capital, possibly the emperor Himself, and Fedala wanted to up the ante. Kríergrup 'Samarasta's' tour wasn't enough, apparently. Tit-for-tat demanded his new orders.

Kassinger, as commander of Kríergrup 'Nicaro,' was to oversee the enforcement of a new ban on all FRCP shipping in what the Imperial Bureaucracy called its "interior waters." This meant that commercial FRCP ships were to be excluded from all shipping lanes that passed through central Greater Díenstad, from as far north as Arcaenia to as far south as United Gordonopia. Kríergrup 'Nicaro' was responsible for the sector corresponding to the waters between itself, Kassaran, and the Timocratic Republic — essentially, almost to the very eastern limits of the North Vanguat Sea itself. To accomplish this, the admiral had already dispatched orders that same morning for three raid squadrons to deploy out from Fedoría — the locals still sometimes called it Chinadenga —, San Carlos, and Liberia. South of the Sea of Ordena, they would be able to count on a couple of squadrons dispatched by Kríergrup 'Targul Frumos.' Imperial warships were under strict orders to avoid outright sinking any commercial vessels belonging to the FRCP and, instead, physically impede them from sailing further into central Greater Díenstad and force them to turn around.

The admiral steeled himself and then called his wife, telling her to take the kids to the beach without him. He had work to do.

In three days' time, operations to clear the "interior waters" from all commercial ships belonging to the FRCP would commence. He hoped that the FRCP saw reason and backed down.



Days later...

MAGECASTLE, THE ICE STATES

Derego flew out to TIS two days after arriving at Matagalpa. He left with Hiram Jelelope, a Frommian who had just been promoted to the rank of jogornos within the diplomatic corps. Hiram was to be the head of the diplomatic mission to TIS, but Derego was instructed to go with him and lead the initial conversations due to this experience and knowledge of the region. Once a formal embassy was established in TIS, Hiram would take over and Derego could focus on the Nicaro-side of things. Their plane skirted around southern Nicaro, there was always the fear of a rebel MANPAD aiming for them, and then entered TIS airspace from the northeast. They flew directly to Magecastle, where all of TIS' foreign embassies were hosted. Derego and Hiram were told that they'd be meeting with representatives of TIS' emperor of significance. The discussions were to be high level and they were not to promise anything concrete without some sort of early concession in return.

"I suppose you'll take the lead this time?" asked Hiram, as they started their descent.

The other diplomat nodded. "Aye, that's the plan. At least for the first round of talks. I suspect you'll be handling the rest of them on your own."

Hiram looked down toward his lap. "This is my first major posting with this sort of responsibility," he said.

They each had a small glass with a few ounces of dark brown liquor in them. Derego took a sip. He said, "Peaty on the palette, with a nice spice on the finish. Good stuff. Imported from Paquat, New Empire. It's amazing the things we have access to these days. Whiskeys from New Empire, wine and cheeses from Guffingford, Indran hams... The list is almost infinite. Think about that. Almost everything we want is at our fingertips. And that entire network is managed by the imperial administration, including hundreds of people just like us. I guess my point is that you're in good company. Just remember that we are the Golden Throne and that most states would love to be on our good side. Don't be arrogant, just be assured that you are backed by a history of success, and you'll be fine." He patted the other man on the back.

"Thanks," muttered Hiram. He downed the rest of the liquor in the glass just as the flight attendant came over to ask them to clear the table and prepare for landing.

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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Tue Jul 26, 2022 3:00 pm

The Ice States had sent a diplomatic mission led by Jeramy Vliet himself, the Duke of Magecastle. The eight-person mission consisted of the Duke, as well as the Emperor, Divine Scribe, and several bureaucrats and staffers. They were to meet a mission from The Golden Throne, and negotiate talks that would hopefully help secure aid from the ongoing blockade.

The mission remained in the atrium at A1, where they were to meet the mission of The Golden Throne. When TGT's mission arrived, the Emperor of TIS shook hands with TGT's emperor, and told him _

"Welcome to Magecastle, ambassador! The negotiations will occur in A3. I also see that TGT has already sent in an embassy application, which has been accepted! We are working on preparing a site at B2 for TGT's mission to settle in, which will be finished by the time the negotiations are completed."

Emperor Sotolo then escorted TGT's mission to the negotiation room at A3. He set out the chairs at the round negotiation table, with a map of Greater Dienstad at the centre of the table, and said _

"Please make yourself comfortable -- we can commence negotiations when easiest for you."
Last edited by The Ice States on Tue Jul 26, 2022 4:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Population: 60,264,000. Ice Calendar year: 1416.

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The Macabees
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Postby The Macabees » Fri Jul 29, 2022 12:35 pm

MAGECASTLE, THE ICE STATES

Hiram conceded the initial introductions to Derego, who very naturally extended his arm out to shake Emperor Sotolo's hand. Hiram wondered how many emperors', kings', and leaders' hands Derego had shaken throughout his career, with a flash of healthy jealousy. One day, he'd be able to boast of the same. The networking, connections, and plain 'ol braggin' rights were major reasons Hiram had gone into the diplomatic corps to begin with. But, he had just been promoted to jogornos and understood his place for the time being.

"Your Imperial Majesty, it's an honor," said Derego. As they made their way to the meeting room, he continued, "My name is Jogornos Frogeder, I am head of the Golden Throne's diplomatic corps in Nicaro. My main role is leading communication between the Imperial Bureaucracy and the satrapical government of Nicaro. Jogornos Jelelope" — who stuck out his arm to shake the emperor's — "will lead the embassy here in the Ice States, once the embassy is ready for us to move in. I'll be here to make sure our relationship starts smoothly, as I've been working in the region for a number of years now, and eventually Mr. Jelelope will fully handle the diplomatic relationship with your government. Know, Your Imperial Majesty, that we speak for the emperor of the Golden Throne and, in fact, I have just come from an audience with Him in Fedala. Once our discussions are at a more advanced stage, He would like to meet with you personally."

When they arrived at the conference room, they each took their seats around the table. After Emperor Sotolo permitted the Macabéan diplomatic team to open the discussion, Derego again took the lead. "First, Your Majesty, I think we should see this as a discussion rather than a negotiation. We don't represent the blockaders. In fact, as you may already know, we are not particularly fond of the Ordenite Reich, having just recently ended a major war with them. Our relationship with the FRCP is newer, but it hasn't started out positively either. We are allies of Holy Marsh, but their choice to target your commercial shipping at sea is their own. Rather, our purpose here is, first, to further the relationship between the Golden Throne and the Ice States. There is huge commercial potential between our states, since we share an international border and, of course, our mainland sits right across the ocean from you. Secondarily, and relatedly, I think it would behoove us to discuss the blockade, its long-run impact on your government and economy, and some solutions to overcoming it. I would love to hear your thoughts on this so far, Your Majesty. And, I would appreciate insight on you are looking to get out of these discussions."

While Derego was speaking, Hiram took the garafe of water on the table and poured each of them a glass, starting with the emperor.



Elsewhere, as it relates to the FRCP...

KRÍERSTATÓN 'POTTHAN,' MOUTH OF THE RIVER DYKK

The cable sitting on his desk was destined to Admiránt Jago Miral. The admiral broke the seal on the envelope and pulled out the transcript inside. He already knew the general direction of its contents. Besides the debrief he had just held with the fleet group's top commanders, Jago had traveled to Tongolosi, Samarasta, where one of his squadrons had been posted to fill the gap before the arrival of Kríergrup 'Samarasta.' In Tongolosi, he had met with Admiránt Gregor Koloso, Koronel Nicolae Mitu, and Jogornos Artur Belakap. The latter had been recalled to Fedala the previous days, where he had received instructions directly from His Imperial Majesty and His advisors, and then returned to Tongolosi to communicate these to Jago. Suffice to say, everyone who had to know already knew what would go down by the next week at the latest.

'Samarasta,' then approaching Targul Frumos on the fatherland, was due to continue its voyage north and then west. With the probability of hostilities against the FRCP at an all-time high, how 'Samarasta's' plans had changed was something between its commanders and the Imperial Bureaucracy. Jago guessed that its approach into the North Vanguat Sea would be more cautious now, to get a better read on what kind of naval assets were available to the FRCP. While 'Samarasta' would approach from an east to west vector, Jago had been instructed to prepare an operational plan for his own fleet group, 'Potthan,' to deploy some of its assets north. Specifically, the plan was to use some of his raid and carrier squadrons to block entry into the Bay of Chains from the Great Inland Sea, and further to regulate and harass FRCP commercial shipping using those sea lanes.

Flipping through the document, it basically confirmed what he already knew with some additional minor details. He was somewhat vexed that it did not mention any concrete plans regarding reinforcements beyond 'Samarasta.' It was understandable that the Kríermada wanted to get a better understanding of the size and strength of the FRCP's fleet, but regardless deploying a significant portion of 'Potthan' north would strip assets available for a hypothetical defense of Kríerstatón 'Potthan' and Samarasta. He had requested at least one additional fleet group in the Bay of Chains as a defensive precaution.

What Jago was unaware of was that the Kríermada had already issued separate, and confidential, orders to three additional fleet groups in Theohuanacu. They did not yet have orders to set sail for the west but were told to keep their ships and crews on alert, for the order could come any day. These were insurance against the possibility of facing more resistance from the FRCP than expected, and against the possibility of an invasion of Samarasta by the Reich or as of yet unidentified enemy.

Not being fully aware of the plans the imperial navy was making for the conduct of the potential upcoming war, Jago made his plans based on the information he had, all the while worried and anxious about whether back-up was on the way.

Why has the Kríermada's planning so tentative? Perhaps, there were still many who hoped the FRCP saw sense before a shooting war began. Why sacrifice its conflict with a slaver state to go to war with an empire that had no modern history of slavery, or directly participating in the slave trade, and had in fact just recently come out of a long war with a major international slave-trading and slave-owning empire?

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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Fri Jul 29, 2022 2:18 pm

"Thank you, Jogornos", replied the Duke to Mr. Frogeder. "Currently, our economy is indeed being harmed by the ongoing blockade, and we are seeing vast inflation rates vis a vis the Ice guinea. We intend to fend off the Marshite and Ordenite attackers with military force, and if necessary, directly retaliate against the invasion. We thus would strongly appreciate your assistance in the same."

"If the blockade can be fended off, we would certainly accept a free trade agreement with The Golden Throne, with both of us fully eliminating tariffs and other barriers to free trade between our nation. However, this would necessitate the full removal of the ongoing blockade of The Ice States."

"On the other hand, we are aware that your nation would seek reduction of slavery under our jurisdiction. To be clear, slavery is a very important sector of our domestic economy, and so we cannot fully abolish slavery as-is, especially with the blockade on The Ice States, wait a second..."

The Duke goes to the screen control panel attached to the wall of the room, and after a few seconds of flickering, the map at the centre of the negotiation table changes to a chart of the nation's GDP.

The Emperor then says, whilst the Duke returns to the table to sit down, "As you can see, the slavery industry makes up 16% of our GDP, and full abolition would be very devastating to our economy. However, we are content to enact restrictive measures on the slavery industry, for example prohibiting public slavery, prohibiting The Ice States from participating in the international slave trade, or enacting a quota to slowly reduce the prevalence of slavery to eventually fully end the practice. We will discuss these possible measures to decide what steps we shall take to reduce and possibly eventually end slavery, depending on the demands of TGT. We would also need the blockade on TIS to end, as otherwise the effects on our economy of such measures would be too devastating."
Last edited by The Ice States on Fri Jul 29, 2022 2:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby The Macabees » Fri Jul 29, 2022 4:17 pm

MAGECASTLE, THE ICE STATES

As Hiram poured him a glass of water, Derego nodded and whispered, "Thank you."

He took a sip as the Duke explained the costs of the blockade and the Ice States' intentions. Internally, he was surprised that the Duke expected to negotiate for the Golden Throne's military intervention against the blockade. Externally, he showed no emotions whatsoever as the Duke of Magecastle spoke. His reaction to the transition to a discussion on slavery was similar. The jogornos of Nicaro had no intention to broach this matter in this round of talks. Slavery was always an important economic institution in every country it existed in, especially countries known for their export of raw materials and commodities. If the Ice States was to reconsider the legality of slavery, the benefits of ending the blockade would have to outweigh the costs of upending a labor system. Derego was unsure that that point had been reached since the blockade was still young and was, in a way, handicapped by the FRCP's insistence on antagonizing the Golden Throne, rather than focus its efforts on punishing the Ice States for its slave trade and use of slave labor. Still, if the Reich and Holy Marsh continued their efforts to restrict Ice States trade, the economic equation was bound to shift.

It was, at least, reassuring that the Duke understood the long-term economic consequences of the blockade. When he finished, there was a brief pause of silence to make sure that no one else in the Ice States' party had something to add — the last thing anyone wanted to do was to interrupt an emperor —. Then, Derego said, "I understand your predicament as it regards the institution of slavery and the costs of emancipation. An economy structured around an enslaved labor force would have to adapt to a world of abolition."

Hiram coughed lightly as if clearing his throat. Derego paused, turned his head to look at him, and nodded for him to speak up.

The future jogornos of the Ice States said, "You are likely to know of the Golden Throne's recent past. While slavery has not been practiced on imperial soil since its refounding, the slave trade did exist beneath our nose. Theohuanacu-based pirates traded human stock to Nicaro and then to the western extremes of the region or abroad. It was this slave trade that the Theohuanacan pirates leveraged to persuade the Gothic empire of Scandiva to support their rebellion and it was this slave trade that was subsequently abolished during the war. Contemporaneously, tensions with the slave-owning and -trading Ralkovian Empire were coming to a climax and we also intervened in Potthan, a one-time Ralkovian vassal. Suffice to say, the Golden Throne's recent history is one of anti-slavery." As Hiram spoke, Derego anxiously wondered where he was going with this. Was this the time to make the empire look like an anti-slavery crusader state? Hiram seemed not to notice as he continued. "Obviously, we are willing to work with slaver states in a limited fashion, thus TOCAIF and our being here today. Anyway, the reason I mention all of this is not to pontificate our righteousness, we are an empire of practical politics and foreign policy, but because these recent events have been core to my training as a diplomat. Before I was promoted to my current position, I served at the Palace of Nipotas in Fedala to inform on our foreign policy. Given the nature of the times, the bulk of my studies and research have focused on slavery, its history, and its abolition. In most, if not all, regions that depended on a slave labor force the economic transition has always been favorable to the slave-owner. As a result, I think that I can offer some wisdom with regards to what a transition away from slavery that doesn't uproot the balance of your economy and the welfare of its property owners and elites may look like."

Derego showed no hint of a response, but only added, "Perhaps we should explore that because I don't think the blockade can end through military means. The Ordenite Kriegsmarine has suffered as a result of our last war, so perhaps you feel inclined to test your mettle against them. That is fair. Likewise, the FRCP will find themselves hardpressed to join in on the blockade as long as they continue to harass our commercial ships off their waters. The Marshites, on the other hand, will put as many resources as necessary toward sinking your ships on the high seas. And if you retaliate, they are liable to increase the scale of their warfare against you. The Marshites also have many allies, and not just the other members of the Romani-Marsh Union, but allies across Greater Díenstad that may answer their call should they feel the need to strengthen their efforts against you. The Marshites are also our allies, and I am confident that our government can persuade them to disengage from the blockade if the Ice States show a commitment to transitioning away from slavery. You don't need to make a decision now, but perhaps it behooves us to listen to Mr. Jelelope."

Both Macabéan diplomats took a sip of water, their throats dry. The discussion was moving more quickly than anticipated. They waited to see if their hosts were interested.

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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Fri Jul 29, 2022 9:28 pm

"Thank you, ambassador." replied the Duke. "Vis a vis slavery, your wisdom and insight is appreciated. Once again, we are open to abolishing slavery in the long-term, but we cannot do so in the short-term, and certainly cannot do so with the ongoing blockade on the nation. Perhaps, I wonder if The Golden Throne would accept a prohibition on the further enslavement of any persons, so that the slave industry slowly dies away, and a further prohibition on any slaves being purcahsed from or to other nations? Further, if needed we are content to take additional measures to reduce slavery."

"If The Golden Throne would be able to encourage the Marshites to withdraw from their blockade of The Ice States, as you said you could", said the Emperor to Frogeder, "that would be strongly appreciated. We would only directly take military action or retaliation against either the Marshites or the Ordenite Reich if necessary to coerce cessation of hostilities by blockade, and would indeed hope to avoid must resorting to such."
For Klyprer, Conquest, And Riches!


Population: 60,264,000. Ice Calendar year: 1416.

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Eitoan
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Postby Eitoan » Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:07 pm

Eitoan Embassy
Fedala, The Golden Throne


It was in the early evening, around 6:30 or 7:00 PM in Fedala. Ambassador P’rav Binaymin was chatting away with three young foreign service officers, one in country only a month, when his secretary alerted him, handing him a notice to sign on immediately. Binaymin excused himself and went to the adjacent small office, clicking on his tablet, navigating to the official communication queue, then selecting the message in bold, highlighted in red.

From: Diplomatic Corps of the Golden Throne, Palace of Nepotas, Fedala

To: Embassy of Eitoan, Fedala

FRCP's campaign against imperial shipping in the North Vanguat Sea has gone too far. The Golden Throne cannot send a message of ambivalence when it regards interference against its own trade in international waters. We will commence military hostilities upon the next interception action committed by FRCP ships. Intention will be to clear the North Vanguat Sea of all FRCP military and commercial ships.

We request an audience between representatives of Eitoan and Jogornos Antonio Filero, the head of the imperial diplomatic mission to Eitoan. Imperial embassy can host; we are open to alternative sites.

Signed,

His Imperial Majesty Fedor I


P’rav considered the missive for a brief thought, then reread it. There had been no inkling of such a statement around Fedala. The statement origin was from the TGT Diplomatic Corps, but as it was signed by His Imperial Majesty P’rav had to follow standard instructions, regardless of the gravity of the contents. He composed a standard forwarding container, so much diplomatic boilerplate, and selected the “Origin: Head of State” category, and off it went to Vladarsik.


Stickney, Eitoan

Secretary of Foreign Affairs Andrew Falkowski was playing happily with his two year old grandson in the vast living room of his son’s upscale suite in the trendy Upper Stickney neighborhood that warm Sunday afternoon. Little Nikola had pretty well worn out grandpa, but still had plenty of vigor when Andrew got the ringtone. Seldom used, his first impulse was to ignore it, but second thoughts kicked in. The routing algorithms at Foreign Affairs picked up on the factors of head of state, ally, and hostilities. He couldn’t ignore this.

“Rick, Nikky, grandpa has to talk to some one.”

“Sure dad”, Rick Falkowski assured. Nikola protested.

Andy came over and gave the toddler a hug. “Grandpa will play with you after your nap.” He kissed Nikola on the forehead. Nikola protested.

Falkowski retreated to the guest suite and switched to his tablet, under more stringent security than his phone. Fedor’s message, unadorned by any commentary from Binyamin or the Vladarsik staff was at the top of the queue, highlighted in red. The Secretary sighed, and pushed the tablet aside. Naval war in the Northern Vanguat Sea was unwelcome, and he was sure President Shrdlu would not be happy to see this. Still, if Fedor was determined to drain the Northern Vanguat sea of all Czaslyudian ships, this was going to happen. The sea power was entirely asymetric. What on earth was the Principle Chairman thinking? Was he even in charge? Eitoan diplomats in Sevyich had been working mightily to fathom the rash statements coming from the aged Anzelm Silarz, a man nobody knew. By contrast the visit of Pavlo Tarasyuk, the Czaslyudian Chairman-Minister of Foreign Relations to Aga had gone well, even cordially, this with the public knowledge of Agarese accession to the Northwest Mutual Assistance Agreement. And dome Czaslyudian observers had alluded to some kind of quiet agreement with the Kriermada. So he looked on the note with some trepidation, and considered an appropriate response. He switched to the video communication application, and found the contact for President Shrdlu. Drawing a breath, he pressed the button.

The calling signal flashed three times on Falkowski’s phone. The President picked up on the third signal.

President Shrdlu appeared on the screen, relaxed, in an open collared green shirt. It looked like he was in the main living room of the Executive Residence in Vladarsik. “Yes, Andy, what is it?”

Falkowski started in slowly. “Ephriam, I’m sending a note to you from our embassy in Fedala. I want you to read through it, and we need to talk about this right now. It was from their Diplomatic Corps and delivered through regular channels, but Fedor has signed it. The main gist is that the next move by the FRPC against any Golden Throne shipping will end the Czaslyudian Navy, and all their shipping. It’s pretty blunt. And they want us to meet with Jogornos Filero here. They have requested to meet in their embassy. We need to get together with them, soon. Of course Binyamin has acknowledged receipt of their note and it’s forwarding, but I haven’t instructed him yet to go beyond that. I hope this isn’t too much of surprise to you. It’s a bit of a surprise to me.”

The President stood up. Then he sat down. “It is a surprise, Andy. I don’t think anyone anticipated this turn of events, although of course we always prepare for contingencies. Well, since this is a request from Nepotas Palace, we’re going to have to address it at the highest level. His plans for naval action are pretty clear. We need to identify what his expectations are from us and the NMAA allies. We also have to get an assessment of any collateral damage at home from this, and any spillover of the conflict across the border. What happened with the Jin River proposals? Did we ever get any feedback from Sevyich about those?”

“Not much” answered Falkowski. “I don’t think anyone in Sevyich has taken our offers to pick up the tab for border river improvements and a possible free trade zone seriously. Besides Loren Masters over at Trade thinks WUR Co. is giving all of that the brush off. Maybe holding out for more, I don’t know. But look, if this thing is going down, we need to cover both what we need to do at home, how far we can go under the NMAA treaty to support The Golden Throne, and any remaining opportunities we can offer to Fedor to negotiate with Silarz. Mr. President, do you think you can keep this from racking the presidential election?”

The President’s brow furrowed. “I think we can tamp down the heat at home, barring any aggressive response across the border. Curtis and Haan are pretty solid when it comes down to it. The Socialists and Civic Platform both acknowledge that The Golden Throne is here to stay. The commies and that goose stepping moron Elear, well, they can rant and rave all they want, and they will, but in the end they’ll collect the usual malcontents. Um, for now, let’s continue the weekly updates with you and Trade and Defense. It’s still important to keep that going at least until the torpedoes fly. What approach do you want to take to a meeting with Filero”.

Falkowski looked at some notes. “Here’s my thoughts, Mr. President. I want to meet with Filero and his people at Foreign Affairs here. Since there’s a whiff of war at the border, I want all resources available. Fedor’s letter demands a quick and informed response, so I want everything the department can provide available. We have to have defense at the meeting, preferably Navy but Intelligence if necessary. Masters can send someone from Trade. I want him to continue his efforts in Czaslyudia, but someone from Trade should be available. And above all, let’s keep any preparations, at the border or in the Northern Vanguat quiet. We don’t need another fuse on this bomb!”

Shrdlu chuckled. “Most certainly not! I want you to go ahead and invite Filero to Foreign Affairs. Pick your team, have someone from Defense on the team. We can keep Trade in the background, we can bring them in if needed. Oh, and keep the face to face attendance on the low side. Maybe 4 to 7 on our side. Go ahead, send an invite.





Image

The Republic of Eitoan
Department of Foreign Affairs
Vladarsik, Eitoan

To: The Embassy of The Golden Throne
Vladarsik, Eitoan
Jogornos Antonio Filero



We are in receipt of the recent note of His Imperial Majesty to the Department of Foreign Affairs and look forward to discussions with you and your staff regarding the current situation in the Northern Vanguat Sea. Our preference would be to meet with the representatives of The Golden Throne at The Department of Foreign Affairs in Vladarsik. President Shrdlu and I view this matter as a topmost priority, and invite you to bring all staff you need to make clear the position of The Golden Throne on this vital matter.

With respect and regards,

Andrew Falkowski
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
The Republic of Eitoan
Last edited by Eitoan on Mon Aug 01, 2022 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Macabees
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Postby The Macabees » Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:33 am

MAGECASTLE, THE ICE STATES

Derego mulled over the Duke's words in his heads, tilting his head from one side to the other as if he were physically juggling the ideas around. Their hosts had certainly responded favorably to Hiram's thoughts, which were not delivered as smoothly as perhaps Derego would have liked. But, as long as things stayed their course, it looked as if these discussions would have a favorable ending. After a short stint of silence, he said, "Personally, I think that is a generous offer. I could not tell you at this moment whether the Marshites would be willing to loosen their side of the blockade in response to an end to the purchase of slaves and the enslavement of new peoples, but I think any reasonable government would see it as major evidence of goodwill. I will communicate the offer back to Fedala and they will handle discussions with Holy Marsh. We are in a good place. Hiram, did you have anything to add?"

The other Macabéan diplomat perked up. "I agree with Derego that you are showing very good will and a willingness to cooperate with the international community. I'd be surprised if the Marshites responded to the offer negatively, although we will have to see. Their moral strictures are different to ours in some respects, but they abide by them like the law of the gods and seldom deviate. Best to wait and see before we make plans beyond where we are now."

"That being said," he continued, "I did want to share my thoughts. I think that we'll have some time to mull them over in private. Historically, it is rare for a country to emancipate its slaves in one go. In the past, most states have promised emancipation after a period of time, whether ten to twenty years, all of it written in law. However, the details of the process is always dictated by the times, and we live in very different times. Modern morality demands a different sort of progress and a faster form of pace. With that in mind, I propose that over the next few days and weeks we think about ways of lessening the short-term impact of emancipation on your political economy. First, slaveowners must be compensated. That will protect your government from political instability. Typically, your government would take out a loan and have the taxpayer compensate the slaveowner at a pre-set price per ex-slave, with different slaves commanding different values. The old are obviously worth less than the young. Strong males are worth more than weak males. That scale can be determined by your government. Secondly, what to do with the freed peoples? How to reintegrate them into the economy? Almost in all cases, except in cases where slaves have earned their own emancipation through revolution, the solution has been to tie them to the land as tenants of their old slaveowners or other property owners. What does that mean? It means that they are technically working for their former masters and earning an income. If they are tenant farmers, they earn an income through their production. If they are tenant workers, like apprentices, they earn a wage or salary. A portion of their production is owed back to their former master because they do not own the land, shop, or factory they work in, but rent it instead. The former master can then recapture the rest of that income by forcing the tenant to purchase from specific stores, bars, restaurants, what have you. And, for the cherry on top, the cost to the former master is typically less than before, because the former master is no longer responsible for their health or wellbeing. But, legally, they are free people and earn compensation for their labor, and so can no longer be considered slaves. These arrangements evolve over time and, eventually, they will earn more money or be able to command more of their income the way they want, but this change is always slow. In some countries, it has required mass migrations to achieve. It will give your landowners the time they need to adapt, and at the same time it will allow your government and legal code to meet the demands of the international community."

Hiram paused for a moment, knowing that he had just said a mouthful. Then, after his hosts had some time to digest that information, the diplomat added, "My recommendation is to accelerate the emancipation period. Make the international community happy and end slavery, truly end it, as soon as possible. Not within 20 years, not 10, but give slaves the status of freemen as quickly as you think economical. But tie emancipation with a new set of labor laws for the freed, turning them into tenants and apprentices. Tie them to the land, shop, or factory for a set number of years, 10 or 20, to compensate their former masters. And after that let them move with their feet, but that will give you a generation's worth of time to adapt to a world of truly free labor."

"We have a lot to think about," Derego said, afterward. "I suggest we adjourn this discussion and agree to meet again once we have word from the Marshites."


MAR'SI, HOLY MARSH

A secured transmission was sent out from the imperial embassy in Mar'si:

From:
Jogornos Naxos Jesi
Embassy of the Golden Throne

To: Arch-Bishop Luboski

Divine Arch Bishop Luboski, Blessed Be Your Name, I write to you with authority from His Imperial Majesty Fedor I in Fedala.

The Golden Throne wholeheartedly supports your ongoing naval efforts against the commercial shipping of the Ice States. Without stepping over already trodden ground, our objectives regarding TIS are one and the same. Our diplomats in Nicaro have returned from the first in a series of discussions with the leadership of TIS and have reported good progress. This motivates my cable to you today.

While TIS has not yet agreed to full abolition of slavery, although discussions to that end are progressing favorably, they have made an offer to show good faith. First, they have offered to end their purchasing of foreign slaves, ending their participation in the international slave trade. Second, they have offered to put a pause on all new enslavement of persons, freezing their slave population. In exchange, they ask for alleviation of your naval campaign against their commercial ships.

I have been instructed to ask for an in-person meeting with you or your representatives. We think this discussion would be best held before a response to TIS is delivered.

Signed,

Jogornos Naxos Jesi



VLADARSIK, EITOAN

As jogornos, like all diplomats of his status, Antonio Filero was responsible to a kríerlord. His patron was none other than the famous Ger Venamenud. Venamenud was one the four kríerlords who had negotiated the reunification of the United City States' senate and thus paved the way for New Empire's incorporation into the empire under the status of a satrapy. He had been transferred to oversee imperial interests in the far northwest of Greater Díenstad thereafter. Whereas a year or two ago the kríerlord's focus may have been Ralkovia and its containment, since that empire's dismemberment by Eitoan it was now Eitoan that commanded most of the kríerlord's attention. Eitoan had become a leading power in the northwest on its own rights and it was considered the Golden Throne's most important ally in the sector. Natural, then, for Antonio to be joined by Kríerlord Venamenud before leaving for the central building of the Eitoani Department of Foreign Affairs.

Ger was punctual as always, arriving at the Golden Throne's embassy in Vladarsik that same morning, just after landing at the international airport. The kríerlord had had an audience with His Imperial Majesty the day before and so had come from Fedala, stopping for a quick layover in Nicaro along the way. "Jogornos Filero," he said, when the two first saw each other, "it's good to see you. You have been doing a great job here in Eitoan."

"Thank you, Kríerelord Venamenud," replied Antonio. "It is an honor to receive your praise."

Ger smiled. "Of course, it is well deserved. Not to hurry us but, with the meeting approaching quickly, I think we shouldn't waste any time and ought to debrief. Shall we do that in your study or on the way?"

"On the way is better, I think. The traffic is usually heavy in the mornings," answered Antonio.

A black SUV with tinted windows and two imperial flags on either side of the hood was waiting for them in the embassy's underground staff parking lot. Kríerlord and jogornos stepped into the back, while a bodyguard took up the front right seat with another one driving. Wheels squealed as they snaked their way up the twisting exit ramp, out of the parking lot, and into the bright white light of the Vladarsik morning. As soon as they were out on the street and into the urban gridlock traffic, Antonio opened the small refrigerator compartment on the backside of the center console. It revealed a bottle of whisky and two chilled lowball glasses. Pulling down the armrest between the two of them, he placed the two glasses on the cupholders sitting on the end of the armrest and poured them each a dram-and-a-half. Now they could talk business.

"Thank you," said Ger, taking a sip before diving into the discussion. "As you probably know, His Imperial Majesty is livid. The FRCP's actions have come as something as an unexpected shock. Everyone in Fedala was looking forward to at least a couple years of peace, you know. Now we have this annoyance on our hands and it has the potential to grow into something much more than an annoyance. If it explodes into a full-scale war, who knows how expensive it will get."

"Has there been any thought of some sort of diplomatic meeting with the FRCP?" asked Antonio, after taking a long sip from his glass.

The Kríerlord sighed, and replied, "Yes and no. A diplomatic solution is preferred, but the way the FRCP has gone about this has simply been quite insulting. They have shown no interest in educating themselves on foreign affairs or the role of the Golden Throne in the struggle for peace and stability in central Greater Díenstad. His Imperial Majesty and nearly the entirety of the kuncil see them as bad faith actors and therefore there is little interest in extending them the olive branch. Besides, those idiots in the FRCP keep on escalating the issue. There is a growing consensus that they are looking for a war."

Antonio nodded. "But, there must be some sort of hope left in a diplomatic solution."

Ger shrugged. "Maybe some, but not much. We've already decided to vigorously pursue the embargo on the FRCP and the general ban on all FRCP shipping in central Greater Díenstad. We have not received any sort of signal on how this changes opinions in the FRCP. If the FRCP continues with their belligerence against our ships in the North Vanguat Sea, our military response will be immediate. All of their military and commercial shipping, as well as the infrastructure they rely on, will be considered to be legitimate targets, and it will be open season for the Kríermada's surface and subsurface assets. The expectation is that this is the most likely outcome, so we've already placed three additional kríergrups in Theohaunacu on high alert. If the armistice with the Reich holds, we will be able to apply our entire strength against the FRCP and the objective will be to totally eliminate them as a military force in the northwest of the region."

The jogornos nodded again. This next sip was much larger. It seemed as if the kríerlord had little hope in a diplomatic solution, and if the kuncil and the emperor had their minds set on an outcome it usually came out that way. Antonio would have to manage the diplomatic end of a major war ⁠— an important opportunity in a diplomat's career, but also the cause of much stress, anxiety, and insomnia. He said, "So, what are we looking for out of this meeting with the Eitoanis?"

"First," started Ger, "if there is a diplomatic solution, we believe Eitoan holds the key. Eitoan is a powerbroker in the northwest and their star has only risen higher since their second victory over Regime Ralkovia. They've even managed to persuade His Imperial Majesty on developing diplomatic ties with Federal Ralkovia, with the usual economic carrots, of course. Because Eitoan leads a major alliance of northwestern states, it can help put additional economic, political, and military pressure on the FRCP. With luck, we can at least persuade them to embargo the FRCP and pressure other NMAA members to do the same. Second, all of this becomes more important in the event of a war. War or not, we want to negotiate an expansion to our port usage rights for submarine resupply and, at a minimum, include surface ships in the deal. If we're lucky, perhaps we can get a permanent basing deal. But, if there's war, persuading the NMAA to economically and politically isolate the FRCP will be important. This war will cost a lot, both directly and indirectly. They will need to be heavily punished to deter similar behavior in the future. We hope the Eitoanis will see it like this, as well."

"Where do I fit in all of this?" asked Antonio.

"You know this country best, jogornos," answered Ger. "I am relying on you to back me with the right arguments if and when they push back."

Antonio shook his head from side to side, as if thinking. "The Eitoanis value their alliance with us, kríerlord. But, they will push back on at least some of our requests. They are the center of a delicate diplomatic balance in the northwest and I think they will see any war as a major stumbling block for their construction of a stable commercial trade bloc in their sector of the region. I also don't know to what extent the other NMAA allies would back us."

"We shall see," replied the kríerlord, "but it's important to position the FRCP as the greatest existing threat to that order of peace and commerce. The Golden Throne is the most important trade partner in the region. We sit in the middle and our holdings extend from west to east. We have one of the, if not the, largest gross domestic product in Greater Díenstad and GDP is like mass. The bigger the mass, the more its force of gravity. If our trade is disrupted, everyone's trade is disrupted. It behooves our allies to follow us in our struggle to protect our trade routes. Because ultimately our trade routes are everyone's trade routes."

"Agreed," was all Antonio said to that.

"Good," said Ger, with a smile. "Let's talk of other matters. Tell me, how is work at the embassy? Do you have all the resources you need?..."

Their conversation took another turn as the drive continued. But, as soon they entered the grounds of the Eitoani Department of Foreign Affairs their discussion died and the two of them put their game faces on. Whether resolved by war or diplomacy, this meeting with the Eitoanis would be crucial to the interests of the Golden Throne. There had been some things Ger hadn't mentioned to the jogornos, including some carrots His Imperial Majesty had approved for dangling. It was time to see how far they went.
Last edited by The Macabees on Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The Ice States
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Founded: Jun 23, 2022
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby The Ice States » Wed Aug 03, 2022 7:31 pm

ooc warning: contains isic profanities :twisted:

While the Macabean Ambassadors spoke, each of the mission remained quiet, patiently sitting at the desk. When the diplomats had finished, the Emperor stood up, holding his cane to the ground. "Thank you, Ambassador. Should you succeed in your negotiations with the Marshites, we will immediately end our participation, albeit currently minor, in the international slave trade, and fully end the enslavement of natural persons. Furthermore, The Ice States will, upon the end of this blockade, work to impose laws to end domestic slavery as soon as economically practical. We will certainly do so in good faith, but these measures will require a period of preparation and organisation within our government."

The Divine Scribe, who had previously remained silent throughout the negotiations, then spoke, "Klyprer gives his full approval to all measures just spoken by the Emperor, and wishes us good luck."

After a brief silence, the Duke of Magecastle added, "Thank you for participating in these negotiations, and we are indeed glad to be able to work to strengthen ties between our nations and end, or at least reduce, the economic crisis we are currently facing. I look forward to meeting with your mission again. With regards to your embassy, its preparation for your mission to settle in has been complete, and your mission may settle in now or at any time you wish.". He shook hands with the Jogornos Jelelope, wished the Macabean mission good luck, and following their departure from the negotiation room, each travelled to their own residencies, except the Duke of Magecastle, who still had to go to the World Assembly Mission room for a project that had been worked on by the mission.



The Emperor had a restless night that day -- cf the Duke of Magecastle, who was already quite tired that night -- failing to sleep, instead thinking the early half of the night about the negotiations and the removal of slavery. He had concluded that the only way to truly get rid of slavery would be to take different abolition steps, which would have to involve buying as many slaves as possible, and then beginning to regulate the actions of slaveowners vis a vis their slaves so as to eventually proscribe all slavery while emancipating public slaves.

The next day, after the Emperor had breakfast at his royal castle in Stonegrad at noon, he consulted with the Divine Scribe. He asked the Scribe, "I had thought throughout the night how to end slavery. My conclusion was that slavery could be facilitated by the state by buying as many slaves as possible, eventually emancipating it, but then regulating private slavery so that slaveownership has absolutely no incentives -- owning a slave can then be prosecuted. What does Klyprer believe on this?"

The Divine Scribe, however, stated that Klyprer "wishes instead that there be no restrictions on the actions of slave-owners, with the state only not recognising slaves as legitimate property."

The Emperor quickly turned angry... "What? How-" and is interrupted by the religious leader _

"Remember economic freedom? We cannot punish anyone for doing anything with their slaves! Slavery exists because it is legitimised and enforced by the government, which gives people property privileges over slaves. Klyprer believes that these privileges need to be abolished, rather than punishing slave owners, but the state can indeed purchase slaves, and as they serve no purpose and have been nonbelievers and sinners, may as well execute them. The aim of the slave purchase must remain covert to all for as long as practically possible, known only to those who need to know."

The Emperor replied, "Understood... I suppose we will do this solely because that is how the Lord of the Cosmos demands we can end slavery. But Klyprer, we will still end slavery because that is what our ally demanded and is necessary to end this fu-" and gets interrupted by shouts from the Scribe _

"DO NOT CURSE THE LORD!". The Scribe shortly after continues, "Klyprer forgives as the curse was not completed, and indeed agrees that it is prudent to end slavery. But he requires that the steps he commands are used."

The Emperor sighs, and replies, "Very well".
Last edited by The Ice States on Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:37 pm, edited 4 times in total.
For Klyprer, Conquest, And Riches!


Population: 60,264,000. Ice Calendar year: 1416.

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Mokastana
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Mokastana » Thu Aug 04, 2022 9:47 am

Central Defense Council,
Motokata City, Motokata
People's Unified Federation


Generalissimo Minor Nakata was sipping on fresh tea while working on his preparations for a phone call. State Holder Oda had requested a report on the readiness of the Motokatan ground forces, and he planned on delivering it to her soon.

Although the Motokatan Army had been a professional fighting force before unification, the Federation required conscription for Federal Citizenship. The older generations were granted citizenship upon joining per the unification treaty, but anyone under 18 was required to earn it. These past few years had required Motokatan teenagers to travel to other Federal Nations to partake in their “required service”. It was by far the largest change, sending potential recruits East, while converting the local army to be able to organize and command conscripts. It was all part of the eventual intergration into the Federal Army structure. It was why Nakata was now a Generalissimo Minor, instead of Supreme Commander. It was why his former ceremonial uniform was replaced with plain but practical army fatigues. Sure, he still hung his medals and other ceremonial aspects from it, but the base uniform was changed to match the new flag. Life for most of Motokata had not changed much in these past few years, but for military life, everything was still new and different.

Under his direct command was the Motokata City Military District, now known as the 21st Federal Army. Military Districts were now “Armies”, and the Federation wanted a million men in each, including conscripts. Northern and Southern Military Districts were currently disorganized, as the first waves of conscripts were put into service, but his district, the 21st Army, was still the professional Core. At least the Federation was providing uniforms, weapons and vehicles to help supply and arm the large conscripted forces.

The intercom on his desk crackled to life: “Generalissimo Minor Nataka, General Wei is here to see you.”


“Send him in.”

The Generalissimo Minor stood up as the Anuien commanding officer walked in and bowed deeply, Nataka returned a slight one before offering the General a seat in front of his desk.
“Welcome General, I am told you are the commander of the Federation forces being sent to help us protect our borders.”

“Affirmative Generalissimo Minor, As Commander of the 4th Corps of the 17th Army, I am at your command.”


“My reports say that your Corps has 200,000 men in the country, how many of them are professional soldiers?”

“Just over half”

“So you brought me 100,000 soldiers, and 100,000 children.”

“The Federal System trains effective conscripts, and the professionals are in command and mixed in with them. They are a force multiplier.”

“I still do not trust how much the Federation relies on conscripts.”

“I can only speak of mine, but my Corps led conscripts into battle during the Fascists War and they performed well. We have new blood, yes, but many veterans as well."

"Veterans are appreciated, I shall trust they can lead the inexperienced."

"It is my understanding that six divisions of the Naval Infantry are also stationed in Motokata. Is this true?”

“Yes. They mostly keep to their newly built naval stations. It's one thing to deal with Mokan tourists, it's another when they command entire divisions in your country."

“I acknowledge that they do not have customs similar to ours, but the Federation’s Naval Infantry are good spearheads for strategic operations.”

“Have you fought with them before?”


“I witnessed the results they brought in combat. When I was a Major, I served in the Anuien Front in Castille de Italia. The Naval Infantry were attached to our front as the combat spearhead unit.”


The Generalissimo Minor took a second to think. The Federation was tied up along the Morridane-Mokan Border, invading New Garrack and watching Krasnova implode yet once more. Resources were stretched thin, and he had been expecting the Federation to call upon his armies if things got worse, but so far they had not. They were integrating Motokatan conscripts into Federal armies out east, but Juventud Island was giving him the time he needed to restructure his army in their image. Even if he despised that image.

He also despised how little support they had sent. A twenty million strong army and they sent 260,000 soldiers in the form of a Corps and a few odd divisions, many conscripts. Yet he couldn't argue with their logic. He had attended the briefings, the Morridane crisis was a shooting conflict with Federal Troops occupying New Garrack, and more waiting at the Mokan-Morridane border for more. The Anuiens were pulling forces from their own island defenses to send him a Corps. The Wellovians were promising another Corps from their homeland, but there were only so many troops the Federation could move at once. Still if the blockades of The Ice States turned into a shooting war, the Federation would certainly get dragged into it in time.

“The Naval Infantry, and your Corps, are both valued assets in the defense of Motokata. Please, give me the detailed summary of your units and then you are dismissed. I will need to contact the State Holder with my assessment."

"Yes Generalissimo Minor." General Wei pulled a folder out of his case and set it on Nakata's desk. Then he stood and bowed to the superior officer before making his way out of the office.

Nakata stood and returned the bow before sitting back down and reading the folder. The Federation was reliant on their mechanized and motorized infantry, which would be good for border security, but they would need more firepower if war actually broke out. Sure, there were negotiations under way to avoid that, but Krasnova and Nicaro showed how well those could go. Still he had one other option to suggest….





30 minutes later
Phone call from Central Defense Council, to Office of the State Holder,
Motokata City, Motokata
People's Unified Federation



"State Holder Oda, the Oligarchy's ground forces are in a more capable situation than we were in six months ago. Both Southern and Northern military commands have been drilling the recruits and integrating the Federal assets per the expected timetables. Motokata District remains capable of offensive and defensive operations along the border.

I have reached out to the Federal Navy Infantry, and proposed combined military exercises near the border to better familiarize our military with Federal assets. The inclusion of the Anuien Corps on loan to us will be an asset in practicing coordination between all forces. The Federation's support has been most welcome, especially given their conflicts and commitments back east.

As we work to coordinate with our Federal Allies, I would like to bring in the Marshite military, as they have been a loyal ally since before we joined this Federation, and have experience in working with the Federation in intense combat. Their expertise will be most welcome as we work to secure our borders and ensure peace upon the continent. "






2 hours after phone call
Letter hand delivered to the Theocratic Matriarchy Embassy in Motokata City, Motokata
People's Unified Federation

TO: Embassy of the The Theocratic Matriarchy of Holy Marsh
FROM: Deputy Foreign Minister Ramil Mayuga, People's Unified Federation

Greetings,

Given the situation in the nation of The Ice States, including slavery and the international blockade, State Holder Oda, by recommendation of the Central Defense Council, proposes the following.

By exercising the Right to Localized Foreign Relations, per our unification treaty with the People's Unified Federation, and by recognizing the history between Motokata, The People's Unified Federation, and The Theocratic Matriarchy, the Oligarchy of Motokata would like to invite the Marshite Army to perform joint military exercises along the Ice State Border, as well as advise and support current security operations.

It is not expected at this time for conflict to arise, but one does not wait until hunger to plant rice.

If the Theocratic Matriarchy is interested in partaking, direct communication with the Central Defense Council is welcome to coordinate deployments and activities.

Thank you for your time,
Deputy Foreign Minister Ramil Mayuga, PUF Foreign Ministry of Motokata
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Czaslyudian Peoples
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Posts: 16
Founded: Apr 14, 2022
Corporate Police State

Postby Czaslyudian Peoples » Sun Aug 07, 2022 12:47 pm

Flight MP1305
20:42 hours, CESTZ
Somewhere over the Northern Vanguat Sea



The blazing sun had hung low in the sky, blazing its final glories over the clouded heavens and across the innumerable crests of waves before it finally melted, its warmth just barely felt by a corner of the receding blue sky. Cold winds struck from the north, as they had in this region for millennia, whipping seawater from the many monoliths of oceanic swells. It was characteristically inhospitable of the Vanguat– a rough sea, the area had long been personified as a cruel mistress or a callous undertaker by those who sailed across it. Its seafloor, only mapped out for the bare minimum of its subterranean geography and only from the safety of modern maritime science, certainly bears proof of its danger and malice from the litters of shipwrecks, both from antiquity timber and industrial coppers and irons. Even in the summer the air temperature, aided by the wind and mass of cold water currents below, dropped to chilly levels during some cooler days and virtually all nights.

The cabin shuddered as the aircraft was swatted by a gust of aggrieved sea air, a futile attempt by the Vanguat to keep the prying eyes of man away from its secrets. The four turboprop engines of the KB-14 rumbled through the disturbance undeterred, rattling away their typical grumbling rhythm. Gripping rails that lined the passageways in the aircraft and chattering away a complementary rhythm to that of the engines with his teeth, Lieutenant Second Rate Sych felt a rush of gratitude to his commanders for supplying their airmen with active headsets as the subdued engines roared on. It was not often that they got something right.

Sych entered the cockpit and took his seat next to his superior, situating himself at the controls. They were three hours flight from Velychko Air Base, broken off from their usual patrol to intercept a vessel that had slipped past the nearest patrol vessel, engaged in another interception forty nautical miles east. As the Lieutenant looked at his navigational display, he smirked as he saw the Dotychna-- his father’s command– around the same position. They were flying low, which even with the turbulence minimization grafted into their aircraft made keeping it steady a chore.

“So, what’s the word?” Lieutenant First Rate Polyakov rumbled, taking a careful sip of coffee with a hand steadied by thousands of flying hours. Sych had flown with Polyakov for nearly two years now, first as a tactical officer in the ‘cage’ then after his promotion, a co-pilot. He considered it a privilege to fly with the man, as the forty-one year-old; older than the Border Patrol itself; had become a familiar icon among the airmen at Velychko Air Base, notorious for his constant presence at bars and heckling of newcomers.

“Panas says St. Lushenko beat LFA five-to-two.” Sych said, bracing himself. Polyakov’s face contorted with effort as he gently placed the plane into autopilot and swinging his armrests down.

“Fucking cows!” Polyakov exploded, abusing the armrests. “That bastard Symonenko doesn’t know how to run a team! First giving away Cheban, then fucking throwing their best goalie on the bench!” Sighing heavily, Polyakov flung the armrests back up and resumed control of the aircraft. “Who on Lymannatrava scored?” Sych shrugged, and Polyakov fiddled with his headset to switch to the internal radio system.

“Savenko, you worm; who the fuck on LFA scored?” Sych heard the voice echo on the radio system.

“Numbers eighty-two and fifteen, el-tee.” Replied their communications officer, the staticky engine noise coming through stronger on their end.

“Eighty-two, eh?” Ruminated Polyakov. “A defender, Prokopenko, I think! Well, that’s not too bad!”

“You know, if LFA can’t put their shit together, they’re going to be bumped down a league.” Sych commented.

Polyakov scoffed. “Yeah, serves us right! With that eastern pig at the wheel– no offense intended Serhij Arturovych–” the pilot glanced over apologetically, “-- we’ll be run into the ground and sold for peanuts, and all because the owners wanted some preppy out-of-district number cruncher to run the team. It’s just typical, just typical.”

“Don’t get too upset, Misha Viktorovych; I hear St. Lushenko isn’t going to make the playoffs either. Weren’t half their offense in some kind of mess with drug abuse?”

Polyakov grunted. “Yes, heroin or something. But it’s not going to stop them, though. These victories always follow the money. You remember that last game between New Krasnoyarsk and Nova Basan? New Krasnoyarsk had just got a contract for some new aspartame factory or something-or-another while the uryad kicked a bunch of Company freaks out of the ports. Anyways, the game comes around and the referees give New Krasnoyarsk, already two points ahead, four– four– penalty kicks. Each time it was always something like, ‘Oh, this guy tapped the other,’ or ‘Oh, there was an attempt to kick another player,’ or some bullshit like that. Kicking the Nova Basan Football Union while it was down. No wonder the refs are dressed like crooks!”

“And what does St. Lushenko have that brings in money like that?” Sych asked.

The pilot shrugged. “Fuck if I know. Maybe the Company is making a new brothel– doesn’t matter, these fuckwits are ruining our game! Back when I had just enlisted, they–”

The radio crackled to life as the tactical officer was halfway through a sentence. “– to interrupt, el-tee, but radar has contact, bearing one-one-seven. I repeat, radar has a contact on bearing one-one-seven, range three-five miles, over.”

Polyakov sighed. “Well, unlike those clowns running the league, we have real jobs.” He toggled his radio. “Roger roger, adjusting course to one-fifteen, airspeed three-four-zero knots, over.”

“Time to intercept approx three minutes, over.”

“Roger, TAC. Comms, get the radio ready, over.”

“Acknowledged, el-tee, over.”

“TAC clear.” “Comms clear.” “Mission command clear.”

The KB-14 swung about its heading to intercept the contact, which showed on the radar screen as a significant blip. The crew knew the drill: belts on and eyes on their equipment. Sych had many times compared their duty to being on traffic duty in a police car– only on a much more expensive car, going much faster, and in the air. It at least made the job more interesting.

“Hold her steady.” Polyakov said, and Sych grabbed his instruments as the control of the aircraft was transferred to him. Polyakov himself produced a pair of high-power binoculars and began to sweep the horizon.

“Ah! There it is, one o’clock! What a fat fucker of a boat that is!”

“Mission command, is that the official designation of the ship, sir?” Radioed the Comms officer.

Polyakov chuckled. “No, Comms, though a man can hope. Radio them– let them know the whole deal, and that we’ll have to make an ID pass, clear.”

“Understood, MC. Comms officer clear.”

The First Rate Lieutenant gestured for control to be returned to him and Sych took the opportunity to look out the cockpit at their quarry through the binoculars. It was a commercial ship– a wide body held standardized cargo containers on its deck stacked precariously high, threatening to obscure the forward vision of the bridge whose superstructure, illuminated by harsh white lights, was like that of a small apartment complex. In sea state four, Sych could not imagine the crew was having a good time even if the boat weighed several tens of thousands of tons. Sych adjusted his headset as he listened in on the outgoing transmission to the vessel.

“Civilian vessel, this is a Czaslyudian military aircraft. You are entering the waters of an ongoing military operation. Identify yourself and reduce speed to five knots, over.” Recited the Comms officer in accented Stevidian. The reply was only heard by Comms. “Understood, Constelación de San Carlos , however, you will need to reduce speed.” Then, after a response from the ship and on the craft’s interior radio, “That wasn’t a very nice thing to say.” Comms continued the assault while Sych’s attention was drawn back to flying. They were now circling around the cargo vessel at four-hundred meter’s altitude, but the twinkle in Polyakov’s eye said that wouldn’t last.

“Comms, let them know we’re going to make a pass.” Polyakov said, easing the aircraft’s nose down before pulling across towards the Constelación de San Carlos at such a height that Sych could have spotted a beach ball amongst the dark swells. The KB-14 began to seriously rattle as it battled the thicker air, while the massive steel structure of the Constelación closed in.

“4200 meters . . . 4100 meters . . .” Sych noted from the navigational readout.

“Comms to mission command; they’re asking us to avert course, over.”

“Mission command says that we know our orders. ‘To discourage, in lieu of rejection of, passage into the operating area . . .’”

“2900 meters . . . 2800 meters . . .”

“‘ . . . by which means are at the discretion of the commanding officer.’ Besides, a little frisky flying never hurt nobody . . .”

“1900 meters . . .”

“Mission command, they are adamant.”

“And anyhow, I’m just going to ruffle their feathers a little bit.” Polyakov began to pull at the controls, and the aircraft grudgingly complied. Eyeing the pilot, Sych readied his hands on his set of instruments.

“1500 meters.” Sych chided. The fly-by pass could probably be aborted at that point– they were so close to the vessel that they could count each porthole below the bridge. The ship’s name was in bright white letters etched into the black-green hull as big as a man, lit by the LEDs lining the deck’s railing.

“Mission command, they are screaming.”

“Alright, alright, pulling up.” Polyakov said.

The maritime patrol aircraft strained as her pilot pulled up, bringing the aircraft’s altitude to thirty meters’ height, then fifty all while banking to port: the bow of the Constelación rushed towards the craft before disappearing under the KB-14’s nose with only a slight spike in the craft’s shuddering to mark its passage. The KB-14 began to climb yet again, swinging away with its payload racks of anti-shipping missiles and torpedoes exposed to the ship down below. Lieutenant Sych opened his mouth to question his superior, but thought against it and instead clenched his clammy hands against controls of the aircraft. The entire craft was silent as they gained altitude once again. It was Polyakov who broke it.

“Did– did you see their name?” The mission commander asked, a mischievous ring in their voice. “I didn’t. Comms, tell them to prepare for another pass.”

Sotnik Polyakov, don’t you think they’ve gotten the point?”

Khorunzhy Sych, remember our mission orders. I am the commanding officer.”

“Misha, this is reckless and stupid!” Sych exclaimed.

“I’ll not have you question my command, damn it! Now quiet!”

Sych took off his headset, wincing at the sudden blast of volume from the aircraft’s engines. This drew a glance, if nothing else, from Polyakov. Sych saw the craft being taken once again to bear against the Golden Throne cargo vessel, but this time, the KB-14 sailed comfortably at one-hundred twenty meters above sea level, again receiving complaints from the Constelación for the act. The encounter ended with another stern warning and instructions to change their course to bearing oh-eight-four, where a patrol vessel, the Dotychna, would meet them and give them the now-routine shakedown.

The Constelación would continue on course that night, and flight “Moroz-Palac” would return from their patrol, setting down Velychko Air Base, just south of Korf. Their debrief would take place in the morning, as it was late; the mission commander offered to buy the crew drinks, but Sych decided against joining them. His eyelids were as heavy as stones and his muscles ached. He would need rest, and some time to himself. Things had changed, after all.

07:44 CESTZ
Sevyich, FRCP



The sun shone through the canopy, leaving beams of lazy light of the morning sun to rest on patches of green grass and beaten dirt paths. The breeze, which washed through the area like a wave, felt like cool water from a well to a parched man, and breathing in, one was greeted by the piney odor of the forests. The foothills of the Zaphorozhian Cordillera were a different country. Leagues of forests spanned over the land that man had deemed unusable, giving way to the Cordillera becoming something of a safe haven for wildlife for many centuries, far from human habitation or ambition. It was a shame, however, that at some point within a single lifetime the want for vast stretches of land outgrew man’s value for nature, and the foothills came under attack. Lumber companies, unregulated and unchecked, ravaged the foothills as the appetite for timber skyrocketed. Those that pushed back, the rural folk who lived on and understood the worth of the land, were ignored or silenced. The gears of frantic industrialization and worship of mass production replaced the hearts of man, who, after all, were merely guests in nature’s majestic presence. Flora receded and fauna became scarce– it was only in recent years that the push to keep the mountains secure gained traction, and only because of the misfortune of it being one of the last major wildlife habitats unspoiled by human expansion. A veritable ecological purge caused purely because of apathy and greed, and narrowly averted only in the face of irreversible consequences.

Regret rose up in Anzelm Silarz. It was certainly warranted as it had been he who, for those many years, had in some capacity overseen the logging and the development, the erection of the smokestacks and the generators, the rerouting of rivers and the messy extraction of the toxic chemicals that seep through the rock layers to the freshwater veins of nature. Ecologies changed by his action and, likewise, inaction, and the scars on nature were wrought by his hand just the same as his predecessor. But what was to be done? The machine would have run its course, no matter what a lowly politician had to say. The machine was powerful, and all encompassing– ripping off one head would have at least meant self-sacrifice, for who knew if two more grew in its place. No: to resist the machine, all there was to do was to bide time, comply, shake the hand of the enemy, and wait for an opportunity. After seventy years, the opportunity had come.

But had it come too late? The streets of Korf were filled with smog. There probably was not an animal population near New Krasnoyarsk that was not decimated as a result of chemical weapons attacks. The once unique ecologies of the Biliporozny Wastes were now just that– wastelands, dotted with power lines and paved roads, long grass cover burned away for agriculture or so-called ‘development’ now fifteen years in the making.

Silarz took a deep breath of the resinous fresh air and looked intently through his binoculars. Eighty meters away, perched on a limb of a gnarled oak, a Shalhubrichka red-browed warbler began its disconcerted passage amongst the natural symphony of birdcall. No, there was still a chance.

But some things were, unfortunately, of more immediate priority.

“I don’t know who looks more out of place,” Came a voice behind Anzelm, “me, five kilometers into the backwoods dressed in a suit, or none other than the Principle Chairman dressed in . . . that.” Silarz swiveled around to see Ilya Markov, idly leaning on a polished cane while squinting through the light to the forest beyond. The Principle Chairman glanced at their many-pocketed camouflage dungarees and boonie hat and back at his younger colleague. Silarz was a gangly figure of blotched, geriatric skin hung loosely around the bone, who held themselves perpetually in a relaxed posture. His head of white hair came to a peak of bald scalp at the crown of his head, an imperfection he had never the care to comb over or obscure.

“Iliusha Afanasovych, I would not have expected you of all people to suddenly care about appearances!” Silarz responded lightly, his face bright.

Markov airily sighed. “Ah, but times change, tovarysh.” And the middle-aged man showed it; a young man’s head of hair now had shocks of grey running through it, and life had taken its toll on his face. The bright and energetic field officer whom Silarz had befriended many years ago had slipped through his fingers and somehow been transformed. Markov’s eyes narrowed. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

Silarz gave Markov an amused, puzzled look. “What would that be?”

Markov smiled wryly. “Apparently, you asked for Chairman Davydenko to come to your office first thing in the morning. Your secretary says he’s been waiting for two hours now,” the Premier said, crouching down to examine a leaf. “You ought to stop wandering off like this; at your age, certain parties are looking for any excuse to declare you dead. I reckon they’re already printing off the ‘missing’ posters.”

The old man chuckled. “‘First thing in the morning’ means doing something as the first order of business, not beating the sun to work– I hope that man didn’t skip breakfast. But look– here, take these.” Silarz took the small pair of binoculars from around his neck and gave it to Markov, then pointed up into the trees.

“Ah! An oriole, I presume?” Markov said with practiced enthusiasm.

Disheartened, Silarz took back the binoculars. “Kulish’s reed warbler, but close enough. Isn’t it a fine creature?”

Markov ignored the question. “How is it that after you’ve pissed off one of the largest trade powers on the face of the globe you find the time to do this?” The younger man gestured to the woods; his politeness had begun to wear thin.

“Although we have important issues to tend to, we can’t forget about the little things. If we do, we’re definitely going to miss them after they’re gone, no?” Silarz said. “This here, Ilya, is my legacy regardless of what comes of the next few weeks. There’s a saying I remember; ‘A bird sings even after the storm’. I just think it’s nice.”

Markov made a sour face and shifted his weight on his cane. “If you’re trying to relate that aphorism to the present situation, I don’t think the storm has really hit yet.”

Shrugging and returning his gaze to the wilderness, Silarz said, “Still, there’s some truth in it somewhere.”

Markov looked as if holding himself back from saying something. After a while, he flatly said, “The government will be waiting. Take your time.” He turned to go, carefully placing his limping steps through the dew-ridden grass.

“I’ll be right behind you,” Silarz called. As Markov’s steps receded, Silarz once again looked towards where their feathered friend had perched, only to discover it vacant. He sighed wearily, his cheer drained from his face. I’ll be damned if I lose this.

* * *


The former seat of power of the Federal Republic was the infamous New Krasnoyarsk Capitol Complex, an astounding feat of engineering: 415 acres of land inhabited by five hulking stories of uniform concrete, glass, and steel, sitting squat in the center of the city, like an ancient keep built for the modern day. It had housed every department and function of higher government, as well as keeping digital and paper records of all of its dealings; it represented the centralization of the power of the Second Federal Republic, and it represented it well. When the bombs began to drop, it found itself a prime target. Within the first week of the war, it found itself reduced to two usable floors, as well as seen by both sides as neither usable as a fortified position nor cover enough to advance under: as such, it found itself left relatively untouched for the rest of the war. After the war, when it was time to pick up the pieces, the new Third Federal Republic (which was, ironically, merely the administration before the last) made sure to distance themselves with the old government, moving out from the overfull-with-ash fire ring that was New Krasnoyarsk and to the more central location of Sevyich, a relatively small city based near the mountains. Here, in the less urban environment, the strapped-for-cash Bezukhov administration hastily constructed not a complex, but a campus: the Sevyich Federal Adminstrative Zone comprises eleven buildings considerably separated by walkways and green areas. Its security was often criticized, and up until the knife attack there hadn’t been armed patrols between the various buildings.

The buildings themselves were also starkly different than the ones they replaced: instead of brutalist masses of concrete, many of the buildings were merely brick and mortar, a simple, rustic style that only furthered the resemblance between the seat of government and a place of academia. Silarz found himself in the humble structure allocated for the use of the Principle Chairman within the wide office still cluttered with the trinkets left behind from his predecessor. On the Fusteran rosewood executive desk was a scattering of manila folders and official papers, bound tightly by paperclips and failing that, cotton twine or rubber bands. Standing tall next to an under-watered pot of succulents, a lamp arched over the table, illuminating the small reading glasses of the Principle Chairman in such a way to make them opaque to the outside observer.

“And this is the ledger for last year’s commercial activity?” Silarz asked, squinting at the paper.

“As far as I can tell.” Responded Danylo Kozak, portly Chairman of the Department of Commerce. “The war disrupted things, but most shipping was shut down anyway, so there’s not much to catalog. Beforehand, I can tell you that about seventy, eighty percent of our merchant vessels traveled through those waters. Fiscal year 2020, about forty-three trillion bills flowed through those waters. That’s around . . .” Kozak froze mid-sentence, calculating. “About sixty-five trillion at present Bill valuation.”

“You said earlier you had a suggestion?” Silarz drawled, turning his gaze to the Chairman.

They nodded and began, “There’s not a lot of ways to come out of this unscathed. We could easily just order our outbound traffic to skirt around the north as well as the south of their ‘interior waters’, which they have no entitlement to deny maritime traffic outright, but the delay to some of our importers, particularly over things like LNG are going to cause supply disruptions as the new routes take hold. Meanwhile, the importers are going to have two options: either ditch us temporarily or otherwise for another source, or wait till our producers can catch them up in our shipments to offset their shortage. Which if we’re unable to do, may look bad on us for the long run.

“The other option is to shift our trade. In the long term, if we are unable to reconcile our…” Kozak wet his lips as he searched for the proper words, “differences with the Golden Throne, we should make more of our trade partners on this side of the region. The developing economies of our southern neighbors shouldn’t be too averse to the idea.”

Silarz gave a thoughtful mmph and slid the paper he examined into a random pile of papers. “I don’t think we should cut ourselves off with our central and western partners in the region yet; let’s wait to see how things turn out. Meanwhile, I would like you to put feelers out for your second proposition; it’s never too late to gain any potential allies in the west. Now, Chairman Tarasyuk, I believe you had something to say on our diplomatic response?”

“Yes, Principle Chairman.” Pavlo Tarasyuk, Chairman (FoRel), sat up in his seat, glancing over at his colleagues to ensure they were done. “Simply put, we’re dancing on the blade of a knife. We need to be extremely careful with not only our words but–” A sidelong glance to Chairman, Department of War, before continuing, “– our actions too. I can have a statement for your review by the afternoon. What I feel we need to reiterate, in order to not weaken our position, is that we have not been warmongering. Our defense in regards to our engagement of their commercial vessels is that they are policing, and not significantly hindering their passage should they cooperate or leave promptly. It makes their complete and total blockade of ‘their’ waters seem unreasonable. At this point in time, that’s the best we can do by just shouting across the ocean. I’d recommend getting a line of dialogue with Fedala in order to make our intentions clear.”

Silarz nodded. “I’ll review them then. Thank you, Chairman-Minister.” Silarz brought his attention to the third man; Davydenko, Chairman of the Department of War.

Davydenko spoke up first. “Principle Chairman, I would believe it wise if we spoke within a more secure setting.”

Silarz murmured his agreement, and dismissed the other officials in his presence. Paranoia of information leakage, even with the services of the vaunted Department of Internal Security, ran deep in the Federal Republic. At a tortuously slow pace, Davydenko followed the Principle Chairman out of the office, down an elevator, and into the tight, sparsely-furnished confines of the imposingly-named Strategic Federal Command Center. In reality, it was a rushed construction of a bunker that would hold important people such as themselves to coordinate the country in safety should the need arise. The bunker was a mere hallway that led to several small rooms; they chose a board room, with a long metal table and harsh white LED lights.

Crinkling his nose at the ozone-smelling filtered air, Silarz asked, “What exactly about our situation in the Vanguat requires that we move to this horrible place to speak?”

“My apologies, Principle Chairman, but when we talk about the movements and nature of our armed forces, with their fates tied to our decisions, I think it’s safer when we can be sure even the devil isn’t listening.” Davydenko said in a measured tone.

“I understand that; so let’s get to it. What’s the rundown?” Silarz said, sliding down into a seat at the table and motioning for the Chairman to do the same.

“As it stands, any direct confrontation outside our effective air cover is ill-fated for our navy. If we are to engage in hostilities with the Golden Throne, it cannot be from the full extent of the Northern Vanguat Sea. I suggest we withdraw any capital-grade warship to a posting no more than a one-and-a-half thousand kilometer distance from our shores.”

Silarz gave a short, mirthless laugh. “What’s wrong, Hetman, finding yourself with cold feet?”

Davydenko sneered. “No, I am merely stating the best course of action, which I was previously unable to do because of some serious underestimations of Macabean response by our academic Foreign Relations department.”

“Underestimations, I might add, are something you are prone to making as well, correct, Chairman?” Silarz questioned.

“Comrade Principle Chairman, my occupation as a soldier requires that I don’t deal in estimations; I deal in possibilities. Such as it is a possibility that a state of war will erupt between our nation and another power, and that because we have the means to deal significant damage to their fleets, such a war may be either costly enough in the short-term for the Golden Throne to cede to us or prolonged enough to make any further conflict hopeless. Their carriers can be sunk, their aircraft repelled from our airspace, and satellites swatted away for years to come.” Davydenko sighed. “But there is also the possibility that our navies may fail us if a war comes. And I say let them come! Four million armed and capable Czaslyudians await them at the beaches, with millions more able-bodied reservists behind them.”

“Do you reject the possibility of a less bloody outcome of this situation?” Silarz asked.

“No, comrade Principle Chairman, I do not. Only that it lies outside of my purview in the Department of War.” Davydenko shook his head. “Do you, even after Fedor’s belligerence, expect a peaceful resolution?”

“I am pursuing many lines of action– but that, too, lies outside your purview. However, earlier I considered consulting you for potential representatives to man a form of delegation; a discreet one.”

Davydenko frowned. “Why not? The ‘delegation’– if it is for the intended purpose I think it is for– will need to have observers versed in military thought, not those birdbrained FoRel twats.”

“I know– it already has one.”

The Chairman (DOW) narrowed his eyes. “Tovarysh, I understand your position is superior to mine, but the Department of War and the armed forces are still mine to run; if you have gone over my head on–”

“But this one is outside your jurisdiction, tovarysh Davydenko,” Silarz interrupted, matching his associate’s shift into informality with gusto, “But nonetheless perfectly qualified, I think. I believe you two are familiar.”

The general froze. “I don’t think I know who you’re referring to, comrade Principle Chairman.” He said slowly.

“Why, Sara Lysiak, of course.” Silarz said relaxedly.

Davydenko shot up from his seat. “You cannot be serious, sir!” He sputtered. “After what she did-- you honestly want that suka to–”

“Language, please.”

“She belongs in a fucking prison cell, far from being able to fuck anything else up!” Davydenko bellowed. Then, after a deep breath and a brief pause, he went on in a steadier tone, tinged with disgust. “With all due respect, sir, I cannot begin to understand your reasoning behind this decision.”

The Principle Chairman shrugged. “Despite her actions that day, I know Lysiak as a perceptive actor, and though it was for the best she be removed from her position after what happened, it does not degrade my respect for her. After all, I believe in second chances.”

Davydenko shook his head slowly. “You senile old bastard,” he said, and turned to leave. Silarz watched the Chairman go, a distracted, pensive smile on his face. Perhaps it had been quite naïve of him to think Davydenko would accept the decision; but leadership never did involve making everyone happy. Lysiak was almost as taboo a name as Smirnov, and understandably so considering how fate crossed their paths together. Once a hero, and still one in certain circles, Lysiak fell from the grace of the renewed Bezukhov administration despite it being the one she helped to install. Once an unofficial Marshal, generalissimo of the Czaslyudian Federal Opposition Bloc, Lysiak stood at the head of their movement and fought against what they saw as injustice and tyranny. Once a friend, to Silarz and many others, now an outcast for putting a bullet into a mass murderer’s head. Had it been right, she had asked him; and Silarz gained an insight into the tormented soul of Sara Arkadijevna Lysiak. He staked his soul on her being right, and now Silarz reaped the benefits while she remained in the gutter. That wasn’t right. But he would make it right. It was odd, Silarz mused, that he intended since the beginning of the Civil War for Lysiak to replace Bezukhov, yet here he was instead. Seeing how things were, Silarz’s hopes seemed more and more implausible, but it would be nice to do good by old friends and at least see his position through its crisis before he retired. And how desirable retirement seemed at his age.

Later that day, the message to be sent to the Golden Throne was drafted and relayed to the office of the Principle Chairman, whose secretary gave it the green light upon Silarz’s orders. Further non-vital appointments for the Principle Chairman were put off as he had more important ‘business’ to attend to, with boonie hat and binoculars in hand.


Image


FRCP Official Dispatch


From: FRCP Department of Foreign Relations,
Sevyich, FRCP

To: Diplomatic Corps of the Golden Throne
Fedala, TGT


We hope our previous communique was well-received within the illustrious halls of our comrade-in-arms, Fedor I. It is a sign of maturity in a nation-state when communication is properly utilized in order to better serve their international partners and the global community as a whole.

Which is why the terseness; if that is the term that pleases His Majesty; of your most recent communication to our sovereign nation concerns us more than its content or your nation’s provocative actions against the FRCP. Throughout our wholly unnecessary standoff in the Northern Vanguat, the FRCP has made clear its intentions: to combat slavery with political and commercial action. We have not deviated from this purpose, and have intercepted a total of 86 ships with intent to seize ships used for human trafficking; as of weeks into this operation, no innocents were harmed and the exercise remains successful in dissuading such immoral practices in the Northern Vanguat. Meanwhile, His Majesty Fedor I does business with the slavers and reacts violently when opposed. It seems we need to remind those who have palaces and crowns that the Federal Republic has not been warlike with your vessels; our operation is tantamount to a policing action, and what is the FRCP to think of those who resist this, except that they are guilty? How typical of an autocratic regime to attempt to bully democratic systems like the FRCP into submission; your threats will have no avail in loosening our resolve.

If the bloodthirsty Emperor of the Golden Throne wishes war with the FRCP, then we can see no better cause than over slavery. If the childish butcher wishes war, then we will let them fire the first shots, to affirm their imperialistic hypocrisy and taste for blood. But remind yourselves of what this is over– the minor inconveniences of ships at sea for the cause of antislavery, ships at sea which remain on course and arrive on time. If the Golden Throne truly holds disdain for the institution of human trafficking, why then do they threaten those that oppose it? The Federal Republic washes their hands of this issue: we will stand by our convictions, defend them if necessary, and let the cards fall where they may.

Signed,

__Pavlo Tarasyuk_
Chairman-Minister of Foreign Relations, FRCP

_Anzelm___Silarz
Principle Chairman of the Third Federal Republic of Czaslyudian Peoples

. . .


Eastern Fleet Command Headquarters
13:12 CESTZ
Korf, Korf Autonomous Republic, FRCP



Hundreds of miles above the sea, streaking across the outer edges of the atmosphere at an inhuman Mach 22, was a plain, small satellite with a sheath of solar panels around its cubic structure. It trailed high over the orbit of the planet, scrutinizing the face of the mountains and the seas with a radar transmitter and then shipping off the data to a separate satellite that hung in a higher orbit, before that was later handing off the data to a ground control station. This particular satellite swung by the Greater Dienstad region for a full forty-five seconds, scouring the waves for any signal returns of interest. It found many– but after several passes by itself and many satellites like it, the picture became clear. Separated from the chaff of usual maritime trade, a formation of radar contacts became known, numbering in the dozens. An imaging satellite confirmed they were warships, and a human observer inferred they were “Track 14”, or the Naval Combat Networking Command’s designator for the fleet of Golden Throne warships bound for the Northern Vanguat Sea. Their position and approximate trajectory was noted and replaced their previous marker, as Track 14 drew closer and closer to their nation.

The entire process took no more than ninety minutes, though effectively one-hundred and two for a printer to be fixed and finally produce the copies of the data and its analyses that Commander Omelyan Rud held in his hands. It had been a short drive from the Networking Command’s (COMNETCOM) facility a dozen kilometers north of the KAR to the Eastern Fleet Command’s HQ; a drive which the Commander squinted his eyes through to adjust from the dark, electronics-filled holds of the satellite control facility. His vehicle, an old service sedan from before the relegalization of private automobiles, was stopped just long enough for him to step out with his belongings before jetting off again, swerving out of the parking lot. Rud stepped through security with his briefcase in hand, and made his way to the office of an admiral.

Vice Admiral Kucher, Deputy Commander of the Czaslyudian Sea Forces, sat at his desk with his hands steepled together, meditatively poring over a pile of collated papers through a pair of thick eyeglasses. The Admiral looked up as Commander Rud knocked, then entered, and maintained focus on the man for only long enough to shake his hand and send him away. The new set of papers on his desk took quiet precedence over his other work, but still the Admiral finished what he was doing and tossed them away. Readiness reports, though half of them were fudged, still gave Kucher a valuable insight into how the Czaslyudian navy was being run. Patrol vessels and their groupings were, of course, filled to the brim with the dredges of the Armed Forces’ officer class, and gave either starkly honest reports of how they were disfunctional or deluded reports of perfect service, complete with commendations of crew. But with the ships that mattered to the Admiral, namely submarines and capital ships, it was harder to discern the grain from the chaff. Kucher’s former position was the Commander of the Eastern Fleet, and he trusted many of his subordinates there well; he also understood the certain atmosphere of camaraderie that surface vessels concocted in absence of proper discipline. The Czaslyudian Navy had not had a major naval exercise since the end of the Civil War, and it seemed as if they were paying for it. Of the approximately 1200 ships in the navy, Kucher estimated that only about twenty percent of the surface ships had competent and ready crews, while sixty percent of the submarines were capable. And this was only including ships with crews ready to serve, not whether the ships themselves were ready to set out to sea this instant. Many of the destroyers, frigates, and corvettes that Kucher had seen into service were down for maintenance, only further complicating the situation.

The situation being his superior, the Admiral-of-the-Fleet, had asked for an assessment of their forces in anticipation for hostilities with a far superior foe. Damned politicians, Kucher thought to himself, and don’t forget their rat advisors, too. Giving over-optimistic pictures for everything. On any other day, the Vice Admiral would relay his protests about the situation to the Admiral-of-the-Fleet but with war looming on the horizon he knew it wise to keep his reservations to himself.

The new packet of intelligence now had its turn. Another update, this time with a definite number of Golden Throne ships and a fair approximation of their composition based on visual analysis. Cloud cover had denied them the ability to make determinations on all of their ships, but from previous observations and near-consistent radar coverage this did not significantly affect things. Dozens upon dozens of vessels, made up of carriers, destroyers, and the like. Kucher knew the Czaslyudian Sea Forces’ long-standing mission was to protect the waters of Czaslyudiya and protect their vessels and faraway territories, such as in Craxx and the Richting Islands; in that mission, power projection was not valued as high as sea denial. As such, they had no aircraft carriers, only smaller helicopter carriers meant primarily for moving soldiers and equipment to shore. In open waters, the Czaslyudian Sea Forces could only contest, not truly own the seas. Which is why entire groups of carriers swinging into their proverbial neighborhood was worrying. The Vice Admiral had no delusions about the efficacy of submarines in modern naval combat, but they had only so many submarines; meanwhile, the Golden Throne nearly had the ability to put a carrier group on every corner of the globe. Even with their three-hundred sixty-one diesel submarines staffed by aggressive, cunning commanders, Kucher doubted they could truly withstand Macabean sea power in the long run.

Those damned politicians! Kucher swore to himself again. They were playing in the short-run; thinking if they dealt enough damage quickly, the massive empire would run with its tail between its legs. But things didn’t work like that– it took weeks for ships to move around, and Admirals were a patient type. He made notes on the intelligence packet and attached it to a larger briefing he would give to the Chief of Staff and Admiral-of-the-Fleet. They would see this information, and hopefully act wisely enough in response.

* * *


Admiral-of-the-Fleet Butenko murmured as he read the annotations to the intelligence briefing to himself. The Chief of Staff of the Czaslyudian Sea Forces sat, legs in dress slacks crossed, waiting for his superior to finish. Finding an article of interest, Butenko released a high hmph! and continued reading. Finally, the papers were tossed helter-skelter into the Chief of Staff’s lap.

“We can’t sit on our asses like this,” Butenko remarked. “Fyodor has just entered the Vanguat, and all we’ve done is sit on our hands and give them a shit-eating grin. We’re the goddamn navy, not a tool for Sevyich’s drama!”

“Our orders from the Chairman are clear– we need to keep our ships within arms’ length.” The Chief of Staff responded.

“So they can play with our outward patrol vessels before they sink them?” Butenko shook his head. “This doesn’t sit right with me. We need to defend our own, and that means having our boats alongside our patrol ships!”

“Admiral, I know you can see the political implications as well as I of keeping our ships out there. It’s a de-escalation by moving them back, and we can better protect them. It’s the best bad option.”

“Well, then I want to make sure they’re really getting what they deserve. I want every naval aviation squadron on high alert, and in the air as long as possible. If shit goes south, I want our MPAs hurling rockets at the bastards. Ready up the coastal defense battalions too– they’ll think twice about getting in too close. We need a plan of action.”

The Chief of Staff nodded. “That’s why we’re here.”

FRCPN Serhij Korzh
17:27 hours, Iskra Time
Sea of Faith, south of the Ice States



The assault of rain and wind on the unbending reinforced windows of the bridge at least gave Counter Admiral Myron Yurchenko something to occupy his mind over. Night had seemingly come several hours early as dark, foreboding clouds gathered over the sea, streaking towards the continent to the north. There was no point in avoiding it; the 3rd Surface Action Group was stationary and their mission meant that they could not leave these waters for any purpose. The winds grounded half their aircraft temporarily, which was a nuisance as the radar-equipped early warning helicopters that lifted from the Serhij Korzh’s deck formed the sole bit of over-the-horizon radar coverage that did not come from a satellite.

But Yurchenko did not concern himself with worrying– there was a job to do, and though the weather made it difficult, it was still within his ability. His ships were two days on their station, patrolling an area of choppy waters that stretched from the rocky coasts of the Ice States to two hundred kilometers off their soil. To their west, Marshite vessels– to their northeast, across the isthmus, Ordenites. What odd bedfellows indeed. The 3rd Surface Action Group (Chevray), with supporting elements from other groups, numbered forty-six ships; three destroyer squadrons accompanying a specially configured expeditionary assault squadron, which the Admiral used to base his aerial support for the operation. They also had a complement of ten submarines, which presently drifted silently underneath the churning surface of the sea. Together, they would prevent any sea or air traffic from escaping the Ice States, ready to fire upon any ships that sought to circumvent the blockade. Operation Growler, as their mission was now called, had begun.
Last edited by Czaslyudian Peoples on Sat Aug 13, 2022 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

"You give a monkey a stick, inevitably he’ll beat another monkey to death with it."
— Sadavir Errinwright, Expanse S2E12
"Вечнасць для Czaslyudiya!"

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The Ice States
Envoy
 
Posts: 247
Founded: Jun 23, 2022
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby The Ice States » Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:15 pm

At the coast of Southport...

It was another regular morning for the 24th division of the Ice Navy. The Commander of Unit 17, Chris Hisako, called on half of the unit to begin to station as their shift began; "Roger", I replied along with a few other members of the unit, and chants of "Yes, sir!" could also be heard. We left the bedroom on the ship and went to active duty. I, as a Unit Corporal, had to directly engage in ship-to-ship combat by manual rifle-based warfare. Our unit was stationed at the very edge of Ice territorial waters.

When the unit had been stationed, I peered through my binoculars, and saw an FRCP ship coming. Per procedure, I alerted, "FRCP enemy ship incoming". Another replied, turning to the Division commander, who also happened to be the Unit commander, "Sir, there's a whole fleet of the blockader nation!" The fleet stopped just in front of Ice territorial waters, but their intent was clear -- to support the blockade.

The Division Commander then through the loudspeaker, announced, "Stay on your ships and directly shoot the FRCP vessels with the cannons and missiles, one unit at a time. I repeat, stay on your ships and directly shoot the FRCP vessels with the cannons and missiles, one unit at a time." He then turned on his remote communication device and addressed the General of the Ice Military. It was indeed rare that a Lieutenant would carry out a military operation without General approval, or directly contact the General as opposed to a direct superior, but this was an emergency situation, and this was required _

"Who is this?"

Somehow, the engineers who had managed to figure out how to make lead out of literal air could not make this remote communication say who a message is even from. "Sir, I'm Division Commander Hisako. I have an emergency. The FRCP is directly blockading us in Southport and is just ourside of our sovereign territory. Per military procedures, I have commanded a direct military response to the FRCP, but we need further help. This is possibly our only free port we are losing to the crusaders."

"Yes. I will discuss with Klyprer but hope that further aid will arrive soon. Please stand by."

"Thank you," the Division Commander said, and he turned off his device.

Our unit’s commander then drove us directly towards one of the FRCP ships. The enemy ship began deploying anti-ship missiles against us, which we barely missed but blew off most of our flagpole, while we deployed two anti-ship fire missiles in return at the enemy ship, and two others at other two ships. As we approached, our Unit Commander of our ship yelled, “Cannon!”, and the cannonman replied, “Yes, sir.”. The cannon promptly fired at the ship. The cannonman then reloaded the cannon, just as an enemy cannon hit us. It directly hit and penetrated the deck of our ship, and the ship was about to sink. Panic was copious, and the Commander ordered "Fire!", possibly as his final order. I complied, and aimed at a member of the enemy crew, and pulled the trigger, while the Commander again deployed a missile at the ship. I said what I thought would be my last words -- a prayer to Klyprer. My dreams to be a cannonman were ostensibly crushed, but I will still fight for Klyprer, Conquest and Riches _

“Please, Klyprer,
These non-believers are coming to invade us.
We are fighting for you, and we need your help.
Please, let us win this.”

Just as I finished, two ships came along. One, on its way to our ship, bit the dust, completely sinking after being hit directly in the hull by a missile. The other avoided nearly all fire, and rushed us as well as the other unfortunate unit into their ship.

"Unit 21, at your service", said the commander of the ship.

As hugs and celebrations were given in the ship, the Commander yelled "Fire!", and in the spirit of vengeance, I shot at a member of the opposing ship with my long-distance rifle. We were also shot by an FRCP missile, which had damaged the top of our accommodation, but only caused mild damage overall.

Just as I shot, true pandemonium was occuring throughout the waters. The sound of guns and missiles and artillery from both our ship and the entire sea could almost deafen. Cannons from Ice submarines flew into the sky when they missed enemy vessels, and losses of Ice submarines were unknown. One Ice ship was in fact wholly lost to friendly fire. The Air Force was relentlessly firebombing enemy vessels, whilst four AF planes had already been wholly shot down by the FRCP -- three of which were unmanned...

In the royal castle at Stonegrad...

I went straight to the royal castle after I received the message from the Division Commander. I knocked at the door.

"Come in", replied a servant of the Emperor, when she recognised me and opened the door.

"I need to speak with the Emperor and Divine Scribe now."

"Emperor? Divine Scribe?", the servant exclaimed, "The General wants to speak with you urgently."

When they both arrived, the Emperor said, "Hello, Lionel. How can I help?"

"The FRCP has joined the blockade in Southport, blocking possibly our only free port from the blockade. remaining just outside of our water territory. The Air Force and Navy are working to counter the act of war, but we need help. Does Klyprer give his approval to full military hostilities against the FRCP, and possibly also the Ordenan Reich, including activation of at least a third of the reserves?"

The Divine Scribe remained silent for a few seconds, and then spoke. "Yes. He does."

"Good," I replied. "May there also be a meeting held with The Golden Throne to discuss this? From my knowledge, the FRCP has also been antagonising them, and their large military will certainly provide important aid should they accept"

"Yes, ask the Duke of Magecastle to do so." replied the Emperor. "Thanks for letting me know. I also give my full approval to all measures you need to take to counter this act of war!"

I saluted, and then left for Magecastle.

At Magecastle...

After a productive conversation with the General, I sent a classifed communication to the embassy of The Golden Throne at The Ice States _

From: Jeramy Vliet
To: Embassy of The Golden Throne

To whom it may concern _

The FRCP -- which I understand remains in hostility towards The Golden Throne -- has begun sending warships to our territory, specifically in Southport, to blockade us. They remain just outside of Ice waters and are blocking the only means of free passage. The Ice border security forces have directly begun shooting FRCP vessels on sight, and are working on containing the situation, and the Ice military is working to deploy greater personnel should the situation escalate or necessitate more personnel as is more than likely.

We are seeking your assistance, as we understand the FRCP's current antagonism towards TGT, and we will take whichever measures you want for you to help us get through this dire situation -- which, if you truly seek in good faith, is to include taking halting and eventually ending all of TIS' participation in slavery, as well as deploying our military to support you against the crusader state. If it is sought by TGT, I am happy to organise an emergency meeting with your embassy to discuss this.

Yours sincerely,
~Jeramy Vliet,
Duke of Magecastle and WA Ambassador,
The Empire of The Ice States
Last edited by The Ice States on Thu Aug 11, 2022 7:24 pm, edited 24 times in total.
For Klyprer, Conquest, And Riches!


Population: 60,264,000. Ice Calendar year: 1416.

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Holy Marsh
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5535
Founded: Nov 09, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Holy Marsh » Sun Aug 07, 2022 11:02 pm

The situation in the Sea of Faith was the same as it ever was. Ships bound for Ice States were unwelcome in their entirety from the eastern entry point in the Exanos Straits next to the Marshite islands into the sea and from the south through the Romandeos Path. As the blockades in the Northern Vanglorikan Seas continued, and additional forces this time were involved. FCRP and Ordenite vessels enjoined themselves now. The Marshites, for whatever else was happening, had the same orders they have had since the sin of slavery was discovered to have been present in the Empire of Ice: Any vessel known to have business with the Ice States was an available and legal target. Nothing that had happened recently had changed that fact. Indeed, the only real change was the allowance of non-RMU naval vessels to transit the Sea. The FCRP were allowed to do as they pleased, even given permission to pass through the mass exclusions zones that covered the Sea. The Ordenites? Not entirely. The Matriarchy did not trust them and while they were allowed transit, they had far less freedom of movement.

In any case, for the moment the 33rd and 74th Tactical Fleets, as well as the 21st and 90th Tactical Submarine Groups, were the main elements in the area. Several other fleets called the Sea home but were uninvolved. The Matriarchy considered itself at war with the Empire of Ice, but since its slavery was purely internal it was not a high-value target. There were hundreds of nations of greater import in terms of fighting slavery due to that very reason. As such, while all citizens, representatives, vessels, aircraft, soldiers, cultural exports, foodstuffs, and other associated materials were considered games for capture and death, it wasn't a priority. The Theocracy would have drawn up and evolved plans for a more direct military strike against the Empire, but it was seen as unnecessary.

The kerfuffle that followed the Macabean deal was interesting, to say the least. And somewhat of a black eye. This slaver state was not far from the Theocracy, within striking distance of even RMU-based paratroopers, let alone ground forces and amphibious army groups. Hell, nothing really stopped a division from simply driving their way there. So why had it been allowed to exist? There were good reasons for it. Ralkovia was a powerful slave-trading state, and others as well- large threats requiring large expenditures. A state that for the most kept to its own business, as evil as that business may be, did not require the same attention. There were other reasons, reasons the Theocracy was not as willing to admit, but in any case there was an undercurrent of disbelief and even snarky bemusement among many.

The Church would respond.

********************
The response to the ambassador of the Golden Throne was swift.

"To: Representative of the Sona Emperor, Ambassador Jogornos Naxos Jesi

From the Desk of the Arch-Bishop:

A meeting with Arch-Bishop Luboski regarding the Ice Slavers has been approved for zero-nine-zero-zero tomorrow morning at the Eldara Immigration Engagement Center in the Eldara district of Mar'si.
May you work in the Shade of the Holy She.

Cordially,
Stersala Hei'cha
Resal of the Arch-Bishop"


In this message was a mix of positive and negative signals. A meeting with the Arch-Bishop on short notice rather than one of her dignitaries was on its own merit good. She was always beyond busy- the Arch-Bishop received less rest and respite than the factory worker and soldier, as it should be- and her duties of granting Marshite citizenship to new converts was a holy work she was proud to do.
'The Shade of the Holy She' was both an ominous warning and a well-wishing measure. It was a common phrase in Marshism, meaning that one's work had drawn the eye of the Holy Marsh. The Shade was a warning to those in the wrong, and a well-meaning correction to those in the right. It had many variants, but any ambassador versed in Marshism would know its meaning, and understand the intent. To receive a message from a Resal- one of the innumerable aides to the Arch-Bishop, raised from birth to be a divine office manager if one were to be honest- would;d be a slight enough insult. Of course, considering the Golden Throne had consorted with slavers, such a slight was to be expected, as was the terseness of the message.

********************

It did not take long for the Central Defense Council to get a response either.

"To: Central Defense Council

From the Desk of the Arch-Bishop:

Military exercise has been approved, pending transit discussions with Mahdah. Attached are two forms related to exercise deployment. Forces will begin arriving within twenty-four hours of Mahdahian transit approval (Form A), forty-eight hours (Form B) if not.
May Her Sun Shine.

Respectfully,
Biycan Dae
Fenne of the Arch-Bishop"

The first form included a Crusade-sized ground deployment with appropriate air cover, while Form B was an amphibious Crusade. Both would provide ample forces for a wargames exercise, which was very clearly the intent. May Her Sun Shine was a modern turn of phrase with deep meaning. It was often used as code for 'Maut'Maranam Hol Sula Sine', which was an old Pushanian phrase reminding one of the inevitability of the death of all things, except for the glory undimmed of the Holy Marsh. It was often invoked at funerals as part of the celebrations or when preparing for war, and was a favorite at a Sun Shrine service.
A Fenne was a close advisor or friend of the Arch-Bishop who occupied a more informal position in her orbit. To be sent a missive from one in the Arch-Bishop's name was a sign that the letter had been discussed and readied for some time; an eventuality that had come to pass.


********************
Naval Base Ahastan
Ixana, Holy Marsh
Sea of Faith


The closest island to the Ice States also hosted the second largest naval base in the Faith islands, and also the newest. Constructed swiftly by a labor force of several dozen thousand local Muslims. With the end of their Sultanate and the instability that threatened them afterwards, Colonel Sinasa Onstaban didn't doubt that a well-paying construction job was responsible for the exploding cluster of decent housing outside the military zone. The conflict that was to follow now that Marshite immigrants had arrived en masse on new Marshite territory and the previous Sultanate could no longer protect them? The Colonel didn't envy them. Then again, she envied little. She had tasted the bitter blood of battle since her earliest days and was hungry to taste some more.

Her helicopter landed deep into the base, a hum of activity. Most of it was normal. Marshite bases were always hectic- a Romandean observer once called them a hornet's nest even when everyone was asleep. And NB Ahastan was busier than usual. The usual compliment of Marines had been increased to a division, with two more arriving in due time. The naval fleets stationed in the area had been reinforced to real battle strength, and air forces likewise had seen a bump. Other military facilities on Ixana, Tarvencore, and Shesarlie had likewise seen large bumps in activity. Colonel Onstaban could easily make a note of this as she moved into one of the many command and control facilities for a briefing.

And more importantly, she was seen.

Marshite deployments were by design hard to track at times. The Marshite news media rarely reported on them in any detail, as forces were expected to move around and be deployed- it would be like reporting extensively on the Arch-Bishop breathing oxygen! And with so many billions under arms transitting through the Marshite lands under the banner of the RMU and with so many wars being waged, it was always hard to pin down what exactly the Marshites were planning. Hard to track tears in rain. But this time, things were different. Colonel Onstaban had won multiple awards for bravery and viciousness in combat, from the outskirts of Tuktar, to the bloody sands of Masada and the great choking ruins of Razmaki. Most famously, from hundreds of anti-piracy and anti-slaver boarding actions on the high seas. Her regiment had earned a bloody reputation, and when local reports would come out that she and her regiment were spotted transiting to the base closest to the Ice Empire, it would be clear what was being planned.
Last edited by Holy Marsh on Sun Aug 07, 2022 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Holy Marsh is ranked 1st in Nova (Greysteel) and 571st (477th) in the world for Largest Defense Forces.
Holy Marsh is ranked 2,723rd in the world and 1st in Greater Dienstad for Most Inclusive.
The Shift: An Update on Holy Marsh
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The Technocratic Syndicalists
Minister
 
Posts: 2084
Founded: May 27, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Technocratic Syndicalists » Tue Aug 09, 2022 7:49 pm

Royal Palace
Isenstadt, Kingdom of Arcaenia


The Arcaenian reaction to the FRCP's annoucement of a blockade against the Golden Throne was one of pure bewilderment. Although it seemed conceivable that some states would issue a diplomatic protest over the Golden throne's signing of a frontier treaty with a slaver state, the FRCP's accouncemnt of a total blockade against the Ice States and the Golden Throne, perhaps the preeminent colonial and military power in all of Greater Dienstad, was utter suicidal lunacy. Although Arcaenia, which had itself recently fought two brutal wars against the Ordenites and Rallkovians in succession, had no intention of involving itself in another full blown conflict such a brazen and unprovoked move against a Triumvirate ally demanded retaliation.

In his palace in the Arcaenian capital of Isenstadt King Frederick IV had summoned Chancellow Sebastian von Sydow and the rest of the Arceanian cabinet to discuss the Arcaenian response to the crisis.

"Our Ambassador has arrived" spoke Von Sydow, referring to Arcaenia's ambassador to the Golden Throne who along with Sydow's cabinet had arrived from Arcaenia's embassy in Fedala for an emergency meeting with the King.

"We've made our position to the Golden Throne clear" began the King. "Although Arcaenia is not particularly enthusiastic about the Golden Throne's treaty with The Ice States we consider the FRCP's blockade a gross and blatant aggression against a fellow Triumvirate Ally which we will not tolerate. Effective immediately the Arcaenian Königsmarine will deploy to jointly enforce the Golden Throne's counter-blockade against the FRCP in all territorial waters of the Golden Throne in Greater Dienstad. The Luftwehr and our antisatellite forces will also be put on immediate combat alert. I can only hope this overwhelming show of force will convince them to come to their senses"

"Who do these people think they are?" interjected Admiral Gerhard von Hohenhausen, the chief of the Arcaenian Konigsmarine. "Let us tell the Golden Throne we should engage them immediately and annihilate them as a warning to the rest of the Region"

"Careful Admiral" replied the King, clearly annoyed by the Admiral's interruption. "The Arcaenian people have tolerated our last two wars of aggression, I don't think they have the appetite for a third. While we should prepare for the worst there's no reason not to believe that cooler heads, those unlike yours Admiral, will prevail in this situation"

"Agreed" replied Johan Lindman, the Arcaenian Minister of War. "Although our military forces did not experience particularly severe casualties our stocks of missiles, munitions, and other war supplies have been severely depleted by our last two military adventures. At our current production rates it will take several years before we can return to pre-war stocks, not to mention the majority of the units we sent to fight in Krasnova and Ralkovian are currently at peacetime levels of manning and would require several months of buildup to be combat ready. A protracted conflict would thus not be in our immediate interest"

"Nevertheless we will abide by our treaty obligations to the Golden Throne" continued the King. Should the FRCP initiate hostilities against the Golden Throne we will immediately declare war on the FRCP. Maybe they should consult with some Ralkovians and see what fate potentially awaits them"


100 meters below the surface
Somewhere in the North Vanguat Sea


Silent predators lurking in the deep...


Although the KMS Sjölejon was truly monstrous vessel for an attack submarine at over 140 meters in length and over 15,000 tonnes in submerged displacement with the ship's advanced pressurized water reactor operating purely through natural convection and a leisurely cruising speed of some 20 knots the Hydra class submarine of the Arcaenian Königsmarine was essentially imperceptible amongst the background ocean noise. Along with several dozen other Arcaenian submarines the ship had been assigned to shadow any FRCP shipping that entered the North Vanguat Sea.

"Got a new contact. Moving at 23 knots with a bearing of 270 degrees, range of 200,000 meters, 2 screws, possible frigate acoustic signature match" announced of the sonar station operators in the ship's combat information center.

"Confirmed, maintain current heading and depth" replied the ship's captain. At a depth of 100 meters the ship was in a position to immediately launch its full compliment of RBS 95 supersonic anti ship missiles any surface targets detected by its long range passive sonar systems.

"incoming laser satellite transmission" announced one of the other console operators. Arcaenia was perhaps unique amongst Greater Dienstad states by its use of a network of blue-green laser satellites placed in geostationary to communicate with its submerged submarines. Although the wide area data transmission was not particularly impressive, equivalent to perhaps a typical text message every couple of minutes, the system had the advantages of being essentially unjammable, undetectable to electronic intelligence sensors, and allowed Arcaenian submarines to retain completely submerged at tactical depths while receiving orders or situational updates.

"It's telling us its expanding our patrol zone. Inputting the coordinates to the ship's mission computer"

For now the Arcaenian submarine's orders were not to engage, only to monitor and follow FRCP vessels in the area. For the FRCP's sake one could only hope those orders didn't suddenly change...
SDI AG
Arcaenian Military Factbook
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OOC: Call me Techno for Short
IC: The Kingdom of Arcaenia

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The Macabees
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Postby The Macabees » Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:11 am

WATERS SOUTH OF TARGUL FRUMOS

The ocean is a vast place and even for all-seeing satellites, finding a war fleet within the blue expanse was much more difficult than the movies made it seem. As such, it wasn't a satellite that alerted the Kríermada to the inbound presence of an FRCP fleet, it was Holy Marsh. The Golden Throne's ally, using its vast naval and intelligence assets shared among the Romani-Marsh Union, had tracked the FRCP fleet rounding their coastline and alerted the Macabéan embassy. The embassy, in turn, passed the intelligence back to Fedala.

As the FRCP fleet made its way north, toward the waters just off the coast of TIS, a fleet group in Targul Frumos received orders to deploy two of its raid squadrons to intercept the FRCP fleet at a point parallel to the southernmost tip of Safehaven. These two squadrons were not to impede the passage of the FRCP fleet nor to harass it, but rather were given orders to shadow the blockading force and escort it. As the two fleets, the FRCP blockading force and the two escorting squadrons, continued north, the escorts were to be further supported by aerial components based in Levante. Specifically, three air wings of AEJ 36 Seraph stealth fighters were to join in on the shadowing of FRCP naval forces. Given the distance involved, they would be refueled in mid-air for the return portion of their flight. As the FRCP fleet continued north, these three air wings would be disengaged and three air wings based in Beda Fromm would take over their duties.

All the while, Kríergrup 'Nicaro' was instructed to put the majority of its assets out to sea. They would soon receive orders to establish a 'battle line' — a series of picketts, combat air patrols, and a fleet disposition in depth — in the Sea of Ordena, oriented toward the south. Out of Macabea, and other nearby harbors, Kríergrup 'Díenstad' was issued orders to deploy just west of Arras — the island off the northwestern coast of the Macabéan mainland — to reinforce 'Nicaro' in the event of a war.

Kríergrup 'Samarasta,' which had already left the Targul Frumos area days earlier, was by now in the area just north of Nicaro. It was ordered to cease its journey westward toward Eitoan and instead establish a 'battle line' covering the sea between Kassaran and the Timocratic Republic, and then wait for further orders. The Kríermada wanted to limit 'Samarasta's' exposure to enemy fire in case a war with the FRCP broke out. Instead, it would hold tight and enter the North Vanguat Sea only once the situation was further clarified.

From harbors under dark, cloudy skies in the north to the sun-baked harbors adjacent to the tranquil Bay of Targul Frumos, hundreds of ships gradually made out to sea with the help of an army of diesel-engined tugs that looked like tiny ants compared to the frigates, guided-missile cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers around them. Quietly under the waves, as the surface fleets deployed, lurked a number of diesel-electric submarines that had orders to act independently to ambush the FRCP blockading force if hostilities broke out.



FEDOROGODA, ZARBIA

It was unusual for the Kríerlord Kunsil to meet outside of Fedala, but the emperor was traveling more than usual these days. His empire was larger than ever and He felt it important to make a presence among all of his subjects. Besides, Fedorogoda was still in the process of being built and no doubt His Imperial Majesty wanted to inspect the progress of his namesake city in the territory of Zarbia. And since the Kríerlord Kunsil came to Him, today they came to Zarbia.

Fedorogoda was already showing the grandiosity its name inspired. Fedor I had arrived by car, already on a tour of the Havenic territories with his new, and second, wife Cassandra. After sending her back to Levante, He passed through from Viñera to Zarbia; it was the first time a modern ruler of the Golden Throne had made the road trip. Even two years ago, it would have been considered unwise and unsafe, but Zarbia and Nuevo León were now almost entirely pacified except for a small group of rebel holdouts in the far southeastern extreme of the latter Pan-Zarbian territory. But, after six years of occupation, land reform, and heavy federal economic investment — not to mention the demand boost of immigration from the west and veteran settlements —, the situation in Pan-Zarbia had finally normalized. It was a political 'miracle' and 'proof' of the Golden Throne's role in the stabilization and uplifting of the impoverished central Greater Díenstadi peoples. Zarbia was on its way to being a lynchpin of the 'Macabéan Burden' mythos. The meeting of the Kríerlord Kunsil in Fedorogoda would undoubtedly be publicized in the coming days as evidence of just that.

All of the kríerlords had been recalled. From Gholgoth came Rikjaard Johansen, the once-jogornos who so masterfully leveraged local alliances to make the invasion of the Scandinvan Empire possible. So came the useless Roland Peskual, the man who had negotiated the useless non-aggression pact in Krasnova on the eve of the Second Krasnovan War, now more philosopher of the ego than anything else. Young Fourier Vereda, responsible for overall diplomacy in southwestern Greater Díenstad, came from his permanent residence in Fedala, as did Lana Surr. Kríerlord Surr was responsible for the oversight of Nicaro, as well as overall diplomacy on the northern half of that same continent — her presence was especially relevant given current events. From New Empire came the team of Kríerlords needed to oversee that mess of a "country," including Garnér Bíank, Migalo Kor, and Jakal Níelsen. Jaso Barenka, once a junior member of the New Imperial team, came from Fedala along with His Imperial Majesty's spokesman, the elderly Daryl Novelle. Angiko Bas arrived from new his permanent residence in the 'new city' of Fedorohuacán. Dedaelus Marco Serón, overseeing the empire's space program, was there too, as were Ana Fávela and other lesser lords. Only Ger Venamenud was missing, as his conference with the Eitoani leadership took precedence. They all found their own way to the new imperial 'summer palace' in central Fedorogoda, built on the outcrop known locally as the Cerro Pavelaso.

On a southwestern corner of the palatial grounds extended vast gardens which ended in a sort of lookout from which they could see the city around them. Fedorogoda was being built in the usual style of the 'new cities,' with a broad central boulevard that extended from one side to the other, flanked by opulent buildings for the city's administrative headquarters, and decorated by numerous triumphal arches, statues, and fountains made from marble and bronze. To either side extended the greater city. The closer one was to the central boulevard, the neater the planning and construction. These were the neighborhoods of the rich and the veteran settlers. Beyond these neighborhoods were the less organized neighborhoods that 'belonged' to the locals. Although the central boulevard and its immediate surroundings were still under construction, it was exceedingly obvious that Fedorogoda was rapidly growing into a large, important city.

Just beside this perch stood a theater-like structure made of concrete, steel, and marble. It was a semi-circle of successive rows of seating, with cushions for the convenience and comfort of the kríerlords. At the foot of the theater, what could be called the 'stage,' sat the empty throne of His Imperial Majesty. Made of, or at least plated with, gold, it sparkled intensely beneath the beating sun.

"Beautiful, although I wonder just how often His Imperial Majesty intends for us to meet here," said Migalo to Garnér. The two of them were standing together along with Jakal, apart from the other kríerlords. The three of them had grown quite close over the years, given their common posting to New Empire, and had formed their own clique of sorts. "I can only imagine the expense of this palace."

Garnér huffed. "Chances are this is the first and last time. But, His Imperial Majesty must always reside in style, right?"

Beside them, Jakal chuckled. "Come on now, do you expect Him to live in squalor?"

"No, but perhaps he has enough palaces as it is," replied Garnér.

Laughing again, Jakal answered, "You know better than that, Garnér." He took a sip from the spirit he was holding in one hand. "Besides, these palaces have a purpose beyond his residency. They can be seen by all who live in the city below and all who visit. They are a testament, like the rest of this city, to the grandeur and wealth of the empire. An inspiration to loyalty, and more than loyalty to the ambition of rising along with the empire to even greater heights."

Migalo said, "Garnér is just bitter that instead of building palaces in New Empire, He rather build eastern cities for the Shiekhists." He said the last word with some resentment. The repopulation of eastern New Empire with Scythians deported from Ordena was not popular among all of Fedor's advisors, least of all the three kríerlords who oversaw the execution of imperial policy in that very satrapy.

Just then, a loud voice interrupted. It was old man Daryl Novelle. "His Imperial Majesty arrives! Take your seats!"

The members of the kunsil scurried to their places on the steps of the theater, arraying themselves from bottom to top according to their relative seniority. As they found their places, they left their drinks at a small bar that had been set up, which very quickly packed up and left. Once the setting was right, Kríerlord Novelle stood from his own seat on the bottom row and announced, "His Imperial Majesty!" The entire kunsil rose and stood as He entered and took His seat on the throne.

Fedor spoke first, his blue-eyed gaze intense and his voice grave and steady. "Events to our immediate west and beyond are moving quickly. Thank you all for meeting with me here on such short notice, it was important that all kríerlords could attend as I value each and every one of your opinions. As you all know, we are on the razor's edge vis-a-vis the FRCP. Reports from the far northwest show that they are getting more aggressive with their harassment of our cargo ships. I am sure you have all heard of events concerning the Havenic ship, the Constelación de San Carlos. One of their fleets has entered our interior waters to blockade the Ice States. And, their latest diplomatic communique fails to show the smallest hint of remorse for intervening against our trade in international waters. Related, though separate in ways, the blockade against TIS has spilled into open war. Against the recommendations of our diplomats, their leadership has decided to strike at the blockading FRCP fleet. Their position is excusable, they see the blockade as an act of war. We would have done the same. Nevertheless, it is a shame because our negotiations were proceeding so well. Regardless, the Golden Throne is now on the precipice of joining another war. Our next steps must be taken carefully and I have brought you all here to discuss just what these next steps ought to be. That said, I open the floor to the kunsil and will reserve my own opinion for the very end." He scanned the kríerlords before him, wondering who would speak first.

Jakal Níelson stood. "Your Imperial Majesty, first, I think we all agree that the latest dispatch from Sevyich is a joke. Their approach is either from a position of bad faith or utter ignorance, for there is no reason under the sun to accuse the Golden Throne of participating in the slave trade. Their treatment of our ships is an explicit accusation, despite all the evidence to the opposite. It is difficult to not assume that the FRCP uses anti-slavery as a mere curtain to cover deeper, more sinister intentions."

"But, they have not boarded or physically intervened against any of our ships since the ultimatum," interjected Lara Surr, standing before speaking.

"True," replied Jakal, "but all the same, my point remains that our approach toward the FRCP should be cautious. We should make no concession that implies any degree of justification to their actions against the Golden Throne." Jakal sat down, as did Lara.

Rikjaard Johansen, the 'new man,' stood next. Always the diplomat, he asked, "Have all diplomatic avenues been exhausted?"

Daryl Novelle stood to respond. "The current opinion is that further direct communication with the FRCP should cease, for reasons alluded to by Kríerlord Níelson. However, as long as the FRCP remains beneath the threshold specified in our ultimatum, the Golden Throne remains at peace with them and will continue looking for alternative ways of persuading their government that an alternative approach to us would behoove them. In that vein, Jogornos Naxos Jesi is meeting with Arch-Bishop Luboski in Holy Marsh. Aside from updating the Marshites on the progress of the talks with TIS, Jesi will be requesting Holy Marsh and the Romani-Marsh Union to join in on the embargo against the FRCP. Kríerlord Venamenud is currently in Eitoan, making the same request. Our intention is to leverage our partnerships across the region to isolate the FRCP economically."

"Sensible," said Rikjaard. "That is a reasonable policy. All the same, I am compelled to recommend against ending communication with the FRCP. We can be terse and direct without conceding anything to them."

"Did you speak with the Scandinvans during the war there?" shot Angiko Bas.

Rikjaard turned to look at the man responsible for overseeing imperial policy in Theohauancu, Holy Panooly, and Indras. "May I remind Kríerlord Bas that thanks to diplomacy we have ended the war with a marriage between the two ruling aristocracies, tying our states by blood and guaranteeing that the Scandinvans will not seek future retribution. They may not be allies, but we turned an enemy into something much closer to a friend."

"After a war," replied Angiko.

"There will be no war with the FRCP unless they step beyond the threshold we set for them," interjected Daryl Novelle.

"Then I say we remain in contact with their government until that threshold is overstepped," said Rikjaard, sitting down after saying his peace.

Lara Surr, the kríerlord perhaps closest to events directly southeast of Nicaro, stood next. "Although I am always for a diplomatic solution over war, we shouldn't forget that the FRCP fleet's arrival off the coast of TIS is a direct violation of our ban on their shipping from the interior waters. However we respond to that, it will certainly push tensions further toward their breaking point."

"Indeed," followed Roland Peskual, standing. "I would like to remind everyone here that the same FRCP fleet has not intervened against the Kríermada's own policy of physically impeding FRCP commercial shipping along the sea lanes traversing our interior waters. That shows some care on their government's side, to avoid antagonizing us in that sense. We would not show the same restraint—"

"We are the Golden Throne!" shouted Garner Bíank from his seat, without rising.

Roland sighed. "I remind Kríerlord Bíank that one must first rise to speak."

"Oh, shut up! You rather speak like a woman than act like a man!" replied Garner.

Lara Surr rose again, with Ana Fávela standing to support her. Surr, sternly, said, "I remind Kríerlord Bíank that he is in the presence of women. Women of the same rank as he. I suggest to him that he choose his words more carefully next time. Furthermore, I remind him that the ocean between Nicaro and the mainland is teeming with our commercial shipping and that of our trade partners. The value of this trade is incalculably large. Should we put it all at risk because the FRCP damages the ego of fragile men such as the Kríerlord who speaks without respect for His Imperial Majesty's rules?"

Garner remained quiet at that, although all could see that he was quietly steaming, his cheeks red. After Lara and Ana sat back down, Roland continued, "The FRCP's fleet is a sore sight, for certain. All the same, for the time being, I see no reason to go beyond our current response of shadowing them with our own fleet groups and aircraft. I am sure the FRCP is well aware that their current position is infinitely risky, surrounded on two sides by the Golden Throne and sure to be trapped, and destroyed, in case of open war between our two states. They have played their cards directly to our benefit and there is no reason to move too quickly, risk everything, and know that there was another way out of this mess we are in. Surely, the majority of us here agree."

There was then a rustle of voices, as kríerlords agreed or disagreed. Migalo Kor stood, then. He said, "In defense of my friend, Kríerlord Bíank, I think it's fair to point to Kríerlord Peskual's record with peace. Was it not him who negotiated the Ordenite guarantee of non-aggression across the old Krasnovan Frontier? And did that agreement not fall apart months, weeks, later with the commencement of a Mokan invasion? Kríerlord Peskual asks us to wait our twiddle our thumbs while the enemy places a fleet under our nose."

On the top row, Rikjaard stood again. "I agree with Kríerlord Peskual. And this is not the same situation as Krasnova then. Then, we were negotiating between two other states. This time, we are the other half of the equation and exercise greater control over the course of events. Besides, he is correct, if a war begins then that FRCP fleet will surely be the first to pay the price."

A lesser kríerlord toward the back stood. It was Fourier Vereda. His responsibilities were southwestern Greater Díenstad, not only overseeing imperial policy in Samarasta but also all diplomacy with southwestern states. This area, until recently, was one of the least important to Macabéan foreign policy. But, events in Istoloa and its former colonies, of which included Samarasta, put Fourier under a spotlight, and perhaps because of this he had earned a certain air of confidence. "The person who best knows what we have to lose, Kríerlord Venamenud, is not here. But, I too know something of the far west and what we are building there. Our trade relations are greater than ever. Our cargo ships travel to Samarasta, Potthan, and up the River Dykk to Federal Ralkovia in greater volume than ever before. We benefit from more and more trade with Eitoan and the rest of the Northwest Mutual Military Alliance, not to mention our northern routes to Federal Ralkovia. All the while, the FRCP is recently out of a civil war, its economy is in shambles, and its international trade is essentially nascent and only now beginning to grow to its previous levels. We have our reasons for war but, in the short-run, it will be us who suffer more greatly than them."

Lara stood, once again, to follow up. "Kríerlord Vereda makes an excellent point and I do not disagree. All the same, I bring the discussion back to the FRCP fleet off our shores. By now we have all read the news. As His Imperial Majesty said, the Ice States have already started a war. Diplomacy, trade, and all of that is good and all, but the storm clouds of violence are already here. And while some of you may think that I am arguing in favor of eliminating the FRCP fleet, that is actually not my intention. As you all know, two of my diplomats, Jogornos' Derego Frogeder and Hiram Jelelope have recently completed the first round of discussions with the leadership of the Ice States. Those discussions have been fruitful. Pending our meeting with Holy Marsh, we are on the cusp of a major step forward. TIS has agreed to end its participation in the international slave trade, as well as as the further enslavement of domestic individuals, meaning it will freeze the size of its slave stock. It is not the end result we want, but it is a major step forward. The opening of the conflict between TIS and the FRCP threatens to undermine these negotiations completely—"

"It's as if the FRCP is intent on protecting the institution of slavery by undermining the countries that have the most experience in ending it," interrupted Jakal, who stood and sat quickly.

Lara gave him a sharp look. "I ask Kríerlord Níelson to avoid interrupting me again," she said, curtly. "My diplomats recommended that TIS avoid responding to the Ordenite and, in particular, the Marshite blockades with force. They obviously did not extend that recommendation to the FRCP. This obviously complicates our negotiations, because TIS is likely to require the cessation of the FRCP's blockade and hostilities toward them before they agree to a full abolition strategy. Given that our relationship with the FRCP is extremely poor, meeting such a requirement will obviously be a challenge for us. It may also put us in a position of weakness vis-a-vis the FRCP. It is for that reason that, in the spirit of Kríerlord Johansen, I too recommend that we remain in open communication with the government of the FRCP. Specifically, we need to inform them of our diplomatic progress with TIS."

When Lara finished, Migalo rose. "With all due to respect for Kríerlord Surr, as Kríerlord Níelson has already said, how can we expect the FRCP to work with us, even if we include them in the negotiations if they act in bad faith?"

Rikjaard stood to take on that question. "We must give them the chance," he said.

Debate broke out amongst the kríerlords as the discussion lost its structure. Neighboring kríerlords argued with each other, agreeing on some points but not on others. For a while, Fedor allowed it to go on and it became progressively more heated. Still, He did not interrupt. He only listened. Whatever decision He made in the end, some would be inevitably displeased, while others would be happy. It was the nature of these things. All that Fedor could do was mull over the words that had been spoken, and so He did while the rest of them argued. The discussion got louder and louder. Some kríerlords stood and shook their fingers at each other menancingly. Others were so frustrated that they had ceased talking at all, and instead sat with their arms folded and their faces twisted in a frown.

Finally, He raised his right arm. "Quiet!" He boomed.

Those in the seats fell silent almost immediately.

Still seated, Fedor said, "You all have made valuable points today. I have reached my decision. We will continue our policy of commercially isolating the FRCP. As long as they antagonize us and fail to recognize our status, we will work to strangle them economically. Their war-torn economy will not rise as long as they continue their farce against us. But, as long as they do not break the terms of our ultimatum, we shall not go to war with them. The conflict between TIS and the FRCP will be allowed to continue without our intervention, and I put the responsibility on all of you to make sure the war doesn't extend to the Ordenites, Marshites, or anyone else. The bigger it becomes, the more difficult the diplomatic task at hand. I give my permission to share the progress of our TIS negotiations with the FRCP. We must give them a reason to agree to a cease-fire when the time comes. All the same, our fleets are to position themselves in such a way that the FRCP blockading force is isolated from its logistics and reinforcements in the case of a war between us. Kríergrup 'Nicaro' will be reinforced with another fleet group out of Macabea. 'Samarasta' is to continue north to Nicaro, where it will wait for further instruction before continuing into the North Vanguat Sea. Two fleet groups from Targul Frumos will cut the FRCP blockading force off from the south. They will know that if a war starts between our two countries, the blockading force is as good as lost to them."

"Furthermore," he continued, after a short pause, "we will communicate our stance to TIS clearly. We will not go to war with the FRCP unless the FRCP gives us a reason to. Otherwise, we have no stake in the conflict between their two states. We need to communicate that the war only makes the negotiations over the abolition of slavery in TIS all the more urgent. However, as a show of good faith and in our efforts to build rapport with the TIS government, we shall make them two offers. First, we will offer them Nicaroan harbors as a way to circumvent the blockade. FRCP intervention against trade flowing directly to the territory of the Golden Throne will be taken as a declaration of war. However, TIS must agree to carry all such trade, whether imports or exports, on third-party commercial vessels, preferably our own. These vessels will be under the protection of our fleet; FRCP warships will not be allowed near them. We will also not accept any wares in the form of human stock. Should any of the like be declared, that stock is to be immediately set free and offered a compensation package to facilitate their asylum within the Golden Throne. Second, we will offer TIS military intelligence. They will have precise coordinates as to the placement of FRCP naval vessels to improve the effectiveness of their anti-shipping missiles. This intelligence will be shared through private, encrypted channels only. It must be made absolutely clear to TIS that any breach in the secrecy of this data will lead to an immediate cessation of our friendly relations with their country."

"Finally, it is of the utmost importance that our negotiations with allies over the extension of the trade embargo against the FRCP go our way. I implore all of you to leverage all the tools at your disposal to persuade our allies and other friendly states to join us. If this includes urging them to blockade TIS all the same, so be it. TIS should know that there is only one way to permanently end the blockade, and that is the abolition of slavery in their country." Fedor's gaze swept over them all. Then, he said, "Dismissed."

Per custom, as he stood the kríerlords stood simultaneously. They first let him leave, accompanied by Kríerlord Daryl Novelle, and only then did they make their way out.



SEVYICH, FRCP

Later that same day, an official communiqué was delivered to the FRCP's Department of Foreign Relations. Although written by a staff of diplomats, it was first sent to the emperor for approval, signed by Him, and only then delivered.

From: Diplomatic Corps of the Golden Throne, Palace of Nepotas, Fedala

To: FRCP Department of Foreign Relations

Current global tensions over freedom of trade, unrelated to the slave trade except for a baseless claim that goes against all evidence, put the objective of curtailing true slavery at risk. Your government damages its own, as well as background diplomatic, efforts to abolish slavery in the Ice States.

Noting your government's efforts to avoid outright war between our two states, we nevertheless beseech you to show goodwill and end harassment of cargo and other merchant shipping flying the flag of the Golden Throne, or any flag of its constituent federal members. Acquiesence to this request will help deescalate tensions unrelated to the slave trade between the FRCP, the Golden Throne, and the Golden Throne's military and trade allies. If there is a verbal and written agreement, the Golden Throne will end its ban on FRCP trade in central Greater Díenstad effective immediately.

Regards,

His Imperial Majesty Fedor I




MAR'SI, HOLY MARSH

Naxos understood that the Marshites were doing the Golden Throne a great favor. The Marshites were not known for their patience when the situation included slavers or people of their own faith. Yet, the Arch-Bishop had agreed to meet with him over the bold request to temporarily loosen the Marshite elements of the blockade as a sign of good faith in the continuing negotiations with the Ice States. If the Marshites went along with the Golden Throne's political strategy, the Golden Throne would owe Holy Marsh.

The jogornos was driven from his embassy to the Eldara Immigration Engagement Center, where the meeting with the Arch-Bishop was to take place. There was a mass service for new converts to Marshism and new citizens of the country, which the Arch-Bishop was attending. Naxos was led to the meeting room dedicated to the Artist Shrine, the dominant Marshite shrine in the Golden Throne. Naxos had seen photos of the temples that the Macabéan Marshites were building up and down the coastline of Levante, but he had not yet seen them in person. Perhaps he could correct that oversight soon, coupling it with a vacation to the Levante beaches with his family. Maybe after this kerfuffle with TIS and the FRCP was over. Although, something new always seemed to pop up at the most inopportune time. He put those thoughts aside as he awaited the arrival of the Arch-Bishop.



VLADARSIK, EITOAN

Kríerlord Ger Venamenud and Jogornos Antonio Filero were greeted by Secretary of Foreign Affairs Andrew Falkowski, Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Marilyn Stegman, Assistant Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for Alliance Relations Neilan Linn, and Vice Admiral Gilmer Cleary. The five of them exchanged the necessary handshakes and said the necessary pleasantries, as waiters prepared the table with glasses of water before leaving the room.

Ger opened the conversation, "Thank you for hosting this meeting on such short notice, His Imperial Majesty Fedor I appreciates Eitoan's attentiveness and willingness to speak. It goes without saying that He, and the Kunsil as a whole, see Eitoan as the Golden Throne's most important ally in the west. We are mightly impressed by your two victories over the Ralkovians and it's thanks to you that there is an improving relationship between the Golden Throne and Ralkovia at all, albeit with Federal Ralkovia and not their counterpart the Regime. And be reassured that we, myself, Jogornos Filero, and the Imperial Bureaucracy as a whole, do not kid ourselves and understand Eitoan's leadership role in this part of the region. It's both because of our alliance and Eitoan's leadership that we are here today."

The kríerlord took a sip of water before continuing. "The situation with the FRCP is at a critical mass. Plus, we've received word from Fedala, and the news in general, that a shooting war has started between them and TIS. It seems the TIS leadership is a little trigger-happy. Apparently, our diplomats recommended against it, but it seems TIS' patience has worn thin with the piling up of blockading assets. Whatever, no love lost for slavers, right? The problem is that we've made a good deal of progress with them, according to internal memos issued by the diplomatic mission in Nicaro. TIS has agreed to end its participation in the international slave trade and also to freeze any further domestic enslavements in return for a loosening of the blockade. I think we can get the Marshites to agree to play ball for a short amount of time. The Ordenites...well, as you know, we're not on speaking terms with them and I think TIS' government accepts that. Which leaves the FRCP. This war might put a big dent in our attempts to abolish slavery in TIS through peaceful means. This leads me to my point: my intention here is to persuade your government to help us put economic pressure on the FRCP so they are inclined to cooperate with us. The way we do that is by having Eitoan join a general embargo of all FRCP trade. The FRCP might not have a lot of trade going on at the moment, but they are certainly looking to grow it, especially if they have any plans to rebuild after their civil war."

"As an extension," continued the kríerlord, "I propose that Eitoan also embargo all TIS trade, if it hasn't already. That way we separate ourselves from that hot mess and clarify that the embargo against the FRCP has to do with their infringement on the free trading rights of a neutral state in international waters, and not with whatever issue they have with TIS. Anything I forgot, jogornos?"

Antonio shook his head. "I don't think so."

"Okay," said Ger, opening the floor to the Eitoanis. "Let's talk business."



MAGECASTLE, THE ICE STATES

It seemed as if Derego was given a minute to enjoy Matagalpa before receiving a copy of the emergency cable sent by Duke Vliet. He rang Hiram and told him to come to the embassy the next morning, and that the two of them would leave for the airport together. By early afternoon next day, the two of them were in Magecastle again. On the flight, Derego reviewed a packet of classified material sent from Fedala to help guide the meeting. The diplomats were made aware of the two offers that His Imperial Majesty had authorized, but also that they were to make clear that the Golden Throne had no intention of entering the war against the FRCP unless the FRCP broke the terms of the ultimatum. It was with all of this at the top of their mind that Derego and Hiram shook hands with the Duke once again and sat around the negotiating table.

"It's unfortunate that we have to meet again so shortly and under these circumstances," said Derego. "We have not yet received word from how the meeting with Holy Marsh went, although we remain hopeful. Anyway, we are here on a different sort of business, aren't we?"

He exchanged glances with Hiram while listening to the Duke open the discussion. He hoped that this meeting would end as well as the first one.

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Holy Marsh
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Postby Holy Marsh » Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:19 am

Mar'si, Holy Marsh
Eldara Immigration Engagement Center


Luboski had her mind divided, which was part of the job if she was being honest. The Arch-Bishop was constantly spinning a thousand plates in the air, and could only keep so many from crashing. At least today she got to participate in one of the better events that dotted her calendar. Today was a special day for these thirty thousand new converts. Many had thrown off the shackles of their old faith to embrace Marshism, moving to the Theocracy to join their sisters and brothers in glory and faith. Others had come here first and were about to enjoy the fruits of citizenship that came with conversion. Arranged by Shrine, each new Chosen was sponsored and mentored to reach this day. The ceremony would be broadcast to Shrines in the Matriarchy herself as well as abroad, with untold millions being given the fruits of their faith. But these thirty thousand, they got to see her up close. She had arrived around two in the morning and met with clergy and sponsors and took as much time to meet with the converted as she could. There was never enough time, and soon she was starting the ceremony.

It started with a short service calling them to their new lives as Marshites, followed by a dedication for the masses and a joint pronouncement of their Faith in the Holy Marsh, their desire to follow Her Laws and Edicts, their fealty to Her Karda*, their fealty to Her Arsi El'Kon*, and their devotion to their fellow Chosen. After this she would call all new adherents to a given Shrine and bid them rise. When they had done so, she would join them in a short, Shrine-appropriate call and answer before stepping aside and allowing that Shrine's representative to formally induct them into the Shrine with the required oaths. One by one, the more than fifty Shrines of Marshism were given their time. The end was a short service, welcoming them and then releasing them into their service as Marshites.

The ceremony started at five and ended nine, at which point she then turned her attention to the other pressing matter of the day, her meeting with a representative of the Sona Emperor and the Golden Throne in regards to the current situation regarding the Ice Slavers. She had sent Fedor a personal letter at the start of the kerfuffle-

"Honored Fedor I, Sona Emperor of the Golden Throne and Master of the Center,

I write to you today in response to the Treaty of Inter-Frontier Cooperation. First, let it be stated that we acknowledge the Throne's dedication to the eradication of evil, and your personal efforts in improving the lives of the people of the Dien-Stad. Few nations in the entirety of our shared region can boast so proudly of what they have done to stop the slave trade. Few nations can share so gloriously the stories of their generational martyrdom in defiance of the great evil of slavery. Few nations can share in the grim financial burden of the Ever-War against evil. Few nations can boast of the free and the dead in equal measure being released as well as the Throne. Few nations are like the Throne, and fewer still are them that can in opposition propose their glories.

It was Macabean blood that reddened the shores, the hills, the valleys, the streets, the mountains of the Sc'ah-delia and their rueful slave empire in Gholgoth. Was it not your influence which has helped pass multiple large-scale international pieces of legislation opposing the trade? Have you not been honored for these efforts? Billions more know the Throne as the chainbreaker, freeing them from the Reich, the Ralkovians, the Sc'ah-delia. A chorus of free voices sing the praises of their saviors across the heavy waters of this world's oceans. Your nation has given much and helped many, and in doing so, have earned for yourself a knowingly beloved position in both this world and the next. Your eternal glory is reflected in a brave man's faded eyes and in the cry of every free newborn of former slaves.

You are honored for this and a litany of ten thousand other acts of greatness opposed to the evil of slavery. Let any creature or nation that besmirches your values, or those of your Empire's, be known as the fools they are. You and your people are soldiers in the Ever-War, Honored Fedor, Sona Emperor of the Golden Throne and Master of the Imperial Armies.

This Ever-War does not come without cost. The burden of such a conflict weighs heavily. Marshites know this cost as well as a people could know. In that context, we understand your pragmatic need for such a deal. You have sacrificed much in the way of Blood and Treasure and both are finite, but the problems that face the Righteously Aligned are seemingly infinite. Every decision you make comes with a cost and as the possibilities shrink the temptations of pragmatic solutions involving moral ambiguities become grander. It is with acknowledgement that we move to the agreement itself.

This TOCAIF does not force you into any form of an alliance. You are not protecting them from harm, nor are you shielding them from their proper justice. You are protecting members of a religion and helping their security apparatus in order to try and solve a security issue of your own, one that is draining your blood, emptying your treasury. We understand the pragmatic desire for this agreement, and also acknowledge that it does tie you into a morally bankrupt nationstate to any appreciable degree.

Despite all that I have said, however, I write to inform you that we reject this agreement as morally repugnant and incapable of finding common ground in Marshism. Any deal made, no matter how pragmatically aligned and how slight the support given, is refused outright. There are no pragmatic allowances when the moral crime of slavery is invoked. Indeed, many interpretations of doctrine would go so far as to say that any support given to any slave state no matter the circumstance makes one a supporter of slavery, and therefore an enemy of the Theocracy. I do not subscribe to this theory wholeheartedly, and do not consider the Golden Throne a supporter of slavery, nor do I consider you, the Sona Emperor, a Slave Master.

I consider you the Master of a Thousand Tongues, who must speak with one. Like all men you are liable to be in moral error and this agreement puts you in it. We therefore must condemn this agreement in strong terms, and I personally express my disappointment that your pragmatic concerns have overridden the strong moral code that I know you possess. I hope to see the situation develop so that your moral code may once again come to primacy, for the Sona Emperor who walks hand in hand with his soul is eternally blessed. I have approved clerical plans in the lands of the Golden Throne for organized, law-abiding protests in opposition. I will also inform you that the Matriarchy is still in a state of war with the slave state in question, and associated military actions against them will progress as they normally do.

Beyond that, however, we will take no further action. The Golden Throne is virulently anti-slavery, and you are indeed a worthy Sona Emperor whose name will surely be remembered bathed in the glories of a life well led. We still consider Marshites and the Golden Peoples united in a broader front against evil, and will share with you the further glories and burdens of the Ever-War and the brighter tomorrow for which we all strive.

With the Blessings of the Holy Marsh,

Arch-Bishop Sasha Luboski

Post-Script- Give my personal blessings to both your wives, and may your children grow well and strong."


- And now it was time for an official meeting. Other moves were already being made to apply pressure, but little would change until the meeting. Ice ships would still be targteted in open waters, the blockade would run hot and cold, and forces would move into position. However, they were showing extreme restraint by not throwing in a much greater weight behind the blockading forces. It had everything to do with Luboski's belief in the goodwill of the Sona Emperor and a belief in working with them on matters such as this.

She entered one of the innumerable rooms dedicated to meetings and conferences for the various Shrines. It was here that in the last few days the new converts were given their final preparations. Indeed, despite the day's activities, thousands more would be streaming in for just that reason. In a few days the ceremony would begin again, though whether it was the Arch-Bishop who led it or another functionary was up for debate. Luboski liked to do involve herself only a few times a year, lest it becomes rote. The room she entered was the one dedicated to the Artist Shrine. Every single item was hand-crafted to perfection and the walls and ceilings were marked with beautiful murals. The work of a thousand years of a hundred thousand craftspeople echoed through every pane of glass, even the creak of the wood below. It was fitting to meet here. The Artist Shrine was currently the largest Shrine in the Golden Throne, which made it the best choice for this meeting.

She entered with her many functionaries who she soon dispersed, leaving only a small collection to watch the meeting.

"Greetings, Ambassador. I hope you were not waiting long?"

* Old Pushanian term for the religious institution.
** Old Pushanian title for the Arch-Bishop.
Last edited by Holy Marsh on Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Holy Marsh is ranked 1st in Nova (Greysteel) and 571st (477th) in the world for Largest Defense Forces.
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The Ice States
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Founded: Jun 23, 2022
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby The Ice States » Wed Aug 10, 2022 2:54 pm

At Cruxhampton, Isborgir, The Ice States...

I was about to go to bed when my smartphone rang. It was General Lionel Burkes himself. What now? Was I fired from the reserves??

"To all Ice soldiers, you must attend an emergency training session next morning. An emergency deployment is likely to occur soon, and you are likely to be deployed imminently. This session will occur at 09:00 at your nearest reserve training session."

Phew! Well, as a faithful soldier, I would comply and fight for the proud nation, but also would have wanted this to occur later -- I had planned to go to a theme park with my family tomorrow.

The next day, my alarm clock sounded at 07:20. After I had breakfast and put on my military uniform etc, I got into my car, and I drove across roads rough and long before arriving at the carpark at 08:55.

The bell rang, and the reserves entered the training hall. After the usual introduction, the Division Commander in charge of running the session spoke _

"As you may know, we are currently in a state of emergency as we are effectively at war with The Federal Republic of Czaslyudian Peoples. The situation is likely to need further reserves to be activated", he says, turning to the reserves, and then turnes to the other forces, "and active personnel deployed."

"This training session has been called to facilitate your deployment in our war against the FRCP. During the next hour, each Force is to set up a training challenge for another Force. These challenges must be approved personally be me, and I will be responsible for overseeing them. Each Force shall deploy in their respective challenges. The reserves are to perform all of the challenges for one hour each. Reservists are to perform shooting exercises with me shortly whilst the Forces complete starting their challenges."

Chants of "Yes, sir" were heard in response.

"Dismissed", the Commander then said.

We then waited in the hall as the Commander finished approving each challenge. We were second-class, it seems, but it doesn't matter.

The Commander then escorted the reserves to the shooting targets. He asked us to line up, and provided us each with a pistol for shooting. The first reservist aimed, pulled the trigger, and hit right in the centre of the target! "Next up," the commander said. The next missed, and was followed by another, who also barely missed. The next shot right out of the target into a nearby tree, the same as the next. After four more personnel shot, the annoyed commander then asked me to go up. I hit right in the bullseye. The Commander patted me on the back and then called "Next up. Can I trust you all to be safe here whilst I manage the other Forces?"

"Yes sir", was the clear reply.

Once I finished the target shooting -- hitting three of the five targets -- I waited at the back for the others to finish.

The bell shortly after rang, and we all went back to the Hall. Once everyone was assembled, the Commander spoke _

"Kudos on finishing the exercises. Now, we will begin. You are to each find your respective challenges and perform them. The Reservists are to start with the Navy exercises, and then Air and then Land. Dismissed."

We complied, going to the Navy exercise. The exercise was the naval shooting of unmanned ships in a large lake. We each got into small two-person ships.

Once we all were ready, "Cannon!" ordered the Unit Commander. We complied, and I successfully hit one ship, which sunk. In total, twelve of the 100 ships were sunk.

Once the ship cannons were each again loaded, he again ordered, "Cannon!". This time I missed hard, but 41 unmanned ships were sunk, with 53 sunk in total. On the next order, the remaining 47 were successfully sunk, and I hit one. And the bell rang a few seconds after each of the unmanned ships were sunk. Time flies!

We then moved over to the Air exercise, which entailed driving manned aircraft as to circle all Cruxhampton. So we got on one-per-person aircraft, and I was the navigator. We drove above countless parts of Cruxhampton before we landed back in the training centre in about 40 minutes. We then waited for about 10 minutes before the bell rang. It was now time for the Land exercise.

The land exercise was forest-based sniping of AIs. I shot from behind a bush and wholly missed the AI, which ran as I again shot. Again I missed, but I then went and pursued the target, hitting it right in the chest. I then went over to another part of the forest, waited for an AI, and fired, with the AI falling back deactivated. However, I was not succesful with the next AI. The next one directly saw me as I tried to hide, and when I shot, dodged the bullet completely. By the time I had shot again, the bot was out of sight. When another AI came running by, however, I hit on my first shot. I shot two more bots before the bell rang.

The session had ended, but a surprise came.

"Now, many during these training exercises, despite coming on short notice, truly showed exceptional skill and demonstrated ability to lead and participate skilfully in combat."

The Commander read various names, announcing their promotion to Corporal, and then Sergeant.

"Sergeant Carlise"

I went up to the front, and shook hands with the Commander, who gave me Military Lieutenant and Force Major badges. Really?

And then the Commander announced, after listing a few more names, "You are each promoted to Military Lieutenant and Force Major." I smiled, and we then went back to the assembly...

At Magecastle Embassy Building A3...

The Duke spoke. "Indeed. In current circumstances at Southport,"

While the Duke speaks, Sotolo presses a few buttons on the desk, and the screen at the centre of the desk flickers before changing to an image of a naval battle.

The Duke continues, "the FRCP is just outside of our territorial waters. The relevant Naval and Air Force border security divisions are working to shoot FRCP ships at the moment. As we speak, we are conducting an emergency military training session for those likely to be deployed soon, as we in effect are in a state of war with the FRCP."

"Currently, the relevant divisions are doing a successful job at Southport, but we loathe to consider the large fleet the FRCP may bring soon. I mean, we will fight them and will try the best we can to beat them, but we would need outside foreign assistance to be certain that our aim to kick the FRCP's butt in Southport will succeed."

The Divine Scribe adds, "Furthermore, I had consulted with Klyprer after our first meeting about what we should do to end slavery. He gave his explicit approval to the halting of slavery, but demanded that the end of slavery be done wisely. In fact, he gave us a number of steps we need to take to end slavery."

"We, at any time regardless of the blockade, are content to end the enslavement of all further persons and our albeit limited participation in the international slave trade. The Lord declared that to end slavery, we would purchase as many slaves as we can, cease their slave status, and eventually cease recognition of slaves as property to provide a further incentive to sell us their slaves. This would be able to be completed within five years, but we will only begin these measures once the crusaders withdraw from TIS. The damage to our economy of having to spend our money to purchase slaves will, while certainly manageable without the blockade, be too burdensome on our economy to be safe to perform during the blockade."

The Duke then continues, "We are indeed content to freeze our slave population now, if it can procure TGT's assistance. We would also promise to take steps to end slavery within five years once the blockade is over, and provide annual updates to your empire on progress. Further, since the Ice Military is already quite prepared, we will be willing to deploy divisions of TIS' military to deploy under TGT's command against the FRCP crusaders antagonising your empire."
Last edited by The Ice States on Thu Aug 11, 2022 7:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
For Klyprer, Conquest, And Riches!


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The Macabees
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Postby The Macabees » Mon Aug 15, 2022 12:53 pm

MAGECASTLE, THE ICE STATES

Derego mulled over the Duke's words. The general situation had become much more complicated than it was days ago when he had first visited Magecastle. Now it was no longer a question of ending an embargo, but of ending a war between the FRCP and TIS. Furthermore, although early probes of Marshite opinion had found them amenable to cooperation against FRCP with respect to the trade situation, the picture concerning Marshite relations with TIS was not so clear. Well, if there was any clarity in the latter, it was that the Marshites intended to pursue their military actions against TIS until this country fully abided by the demands to abolish slavery. A quick, clean diplomatic situation that gave some breathing space to TIS seemed less and less likely with every passing day. Finally, the equation was changing for the Golden Throne. The question was: how far did it make sense for the Golden Throne to stick its neck out for TIS? To what extent did it behoove the empire to seek a diplomatic resolution as opposed to allowing the war to play itself out? Derego understood that some of these questions were above his paygrade, but they were also directly relevant to his negotiations with TIS and what he could offer them in exchange for cooperation.

Unaware of the Arch-Bishop's letter to His Imperial Majesty Fedor, Derego did not have hard evidence of Marshite bellicosity. But, the relationship with Holy Marsh was not new and their attitudes were known, especially their relentlessness in pursuing ends that they saw as morally unnegotiable. The world had seen as much in Tupenga. It made sense, then, for Derego to start there in his response to the Duke. He opened, "As you can imagine, the war complicates things. Depending on how it's managed, there is a distinct possibility that Holy Marsh, an ally of the Golden Throne, will expand its own military operations against you. With all due respect, and acknowledging your country's military capabilities, a full-scale war with Holy Marsh is inadvisable. You will find yourself alone against them and their virtually limitless resources."

"It," he continued," therefore makes sense to find a resolution to the conflict as soon as possible. Before I go down that route, I did want to discuss two steps that I am authorized to offer you. First, we are willing to reroute whatever portion of your imports and exports through Nicaroan ports. If we are to go ahead with this, we would essentially purchase your imports for you and export them to you ourselves. Inversely, we would buy your exports and sell them to your importers ourselves. The purpose is, effectively, an accounting trick to hide the trade as our own. These goods and wares would have to travel on commercial ships flying the flag of the Golden Throne or any of its federal subordinates. This scheme will allow you to partially circumvent the blockade. Second, our military is willing to share intelligence on the FRCP fleet off your shore, including and especially targeting data for your guided missiles, to increase the accuracy of your attacks on their ships. If these two offers sound attractive, our request is for your country to immediately freeze its, admittedly limited, participation in the slave trade and freeze its domestic slave trade. Although our talks with the Marshites are occurring concurrently, and our diplomats will ask them to deescalate their military campaign against you, these two actions will have to be done before any agreement from the Marshites. Again, you would gain a circumvention to the blockade and invaluable military intelligence."

He moved on to the threat the Marshites posed if quicker action was not taken to appease them. "We can perhaps get the Marshites to temporarily agree to lifting their actions against your trade ships, actions which are probably dwindling anyway since the physical presence of Ordenite and FRCP fleets are likely making it impossible for your trade ships to leave or enter your ports. Our military intelligence, however, has noticed increased activity in Motokata directly along your mutual border. The Mokans and Marshites have a history of military cooperation and I fear a ground invasion of your country. I suppose my point is, being as candid as possible, and without intending to offend, that slavery is likely to be abolished in your country one way or another. What I recommend is that you do it on your own terms, but to do that you need to act now."

"Because our talks with Holy Marsh have not yet concluded," continued Derego, handing everyone in the room a document packet, "I am not sure what their exact expectations are. We will have to speculate. In the packet I just distributed, you'll see our first proposition. We recommend the immediate abolition of slavery. Slaveowners should be compensated at a price per head, the price being higher the healthier and prime-aged the slave is. This will be expensive, as such we have already worked with Díenbank to offer you a thirty-year loan to cover the expenses at an interest rate of 1.5 percent. Your government can of course roll this debt over at the end of thirty years. Emancipated slaves will go through a 5-year apprenticeship stage and must be provided a wage, perhaps a below-market price wage but a wage nonetheless. We assure you that former slaveowners will be smart enough to force those apprentices to spend those wages on stores and services owned by them, directly and indirectly, so the wages will flow back to them regardless. The purpose of the apprenticeship period, furthermore, is to guarantee the structure of the existing labor market as to not disrupt its productivity. Anyway, given the trajectory of most emancipations throughout history, we expect a tenant system to replace slavery in the short term and for that tenant system to gradually dissipate as a result of market forces. In the medium to long run, we believe that emancipation will benefit your economy because it will incentivize landowners to mechanize their farming, rather than rely on the less efficient and older tradition of mass manual labor. This process will push former slaves into the cities and expand your urban economies."

"To accommodate this economic transition, we further recommend" — he turned to the right page in the report and pointed to the page number so that all could see — "a trade and capital flow agreement between our two countries. At the conclusion of the present conflict, the Golden Throne, or its multitude of multinationals, entrepreneurs, capitalists, banks, investors, et cetera, is in a position to invest heavily in the Ice States' economy. Free trade is not necessarily what we seek. We don't want to flood your market with Macabéan-manufactured tractors, for example. We want to assemble them in your country and hire your labor — a great opportunity to soak up a sudden increase in free labor, I might add. It's not a free trade agreement, it would be a free capital flow agreement."

Derego wrapped up his pitch. "We understand the predicament you are in. We understand that emancipation will have economic consequences and we want to help cushion the blow. There are great economic gains for us from this, to be perfectly candid. All the same, there are great economic and political gains for you, as well. I am compelled to reiterate that, if we don't act quickly, the situation is likely to worsen and the negotiation is likely to escape our control. If you are invaded, the invader will have a say over your future. That eventuality can only be avoided by making the choice now, before we get to that point. We believe the Marshites will be amenable to this emancipation plan, stopping an expanding war before it starts. We believe it will persuade the Ordenites to disengage from the blockade, as well. Then, we can focus on the FRCP and ending your war with them, which is another matter altogether now that their fleets have been attacked. But, the FRCP will be more isolated than ever if so, swinging the odds in your favor."

"Besides," he finished, "if we do not move to resolve the situation resolutely now, we may need to include the FRCP in the future negotiating table. Better to block them out, elevate TIS' stance among the international community, and isolate the FRCP as a nuisance."



MAR'SI, HOLY MARSH
Written jointly with Holy Marsh.

Naxos stood as the Arch-Bishop walked in, and to her opening comment, he replied, "Not at all, Your Holiness, not at all. Any wait to meet with you is worthwhile."

"I am glad to hear. Time is of the essence and I would hate for this to be delayed any longer. So, how is this kerfuffle with the FCRP going?" She asked with a smile, comfortable with Naxos. She liked him, and most of the other ambassadors she had dealt with over the years from the Golden Throne. They did well representing the interests of the Sona Emperor.

Letting out a long sigh, the jogornos answered, "Let's just say that the situation with the Ice States would be a lot simpler to handle if the FRCP had any sense at all and was able to focus on their objective without muddling it by starting a confrontation with us. I think there is enough sense in Fedala to seek a diplomatic solution, but there are a lot of forces urging for war, including outside the Golden Throne. And, obviously, we aren't going to stand for any unjustified intervention against our commercial shipping — give someone an inch and they'll end up taking a mile."

The Arch-Bishop nodded. "We agree broadly on this as well. We have our own missives currently with the FRCP and hope they will see reason. While we have some strong moral objections to any dealing with a slave state, we believe it is ignorant and foolish to be so base and disagreeable with the Golden Throne. Your history on the subject is strong, even if we are disappointed in the deal that was made," Sasha said as she drank from a cup that was offered to her. "I feel as though it is important to inform you that this ongoing tension has dramatically raised the calls for a more direct assault on the Ice States from within the Theocracy itself, as well. I am currently finding little cause to deny them, as warring against slavers is only ever the righteous thing to do."

"Aye," said Naxos, "I think the Golden Throne's diplomatic corps assumes that it's only a matter of time. TIS will need to see reason in anticipating Holy Marsh and emancipating its slaves before such an invasion occurs. It's on that topic, actually, that I have some news for you, Your Holiness. The emperor of TIS has agreed to, as a first step, end both its domestic and international slave trade. It is not full emancipation yet, but our diplomats in Nicaro and TIS are strongly confident that it's only a matter of time. In exchange for this first step, TIS has requested that Holy Marsh end its persecution of TIS shipping. For what it's worth, I think this is an easy concession to make because the physical blockade of TIS ports by the Ordenites and the FRCP will make it so that there is very little TIS shipping to sink. But, I think it would be a symbolic concession and show mutual goodwill, as long as TIS is willing to continue the negotiations towards the ultimate objective of full emancipation. As such, any failure on their part to continue the discussions in that direction, and show progress thereof, would be responded to by reimposition of military action. Safe to say, failure to make progress would justify your invasion of their country. What better case is there for immediate emancipation than the prospective invasion of one's country by Holy Marsh?"

She thought about it for a few moments. "I can agree to this, under the assumption that this slow movement towards freedom will be made public, and with the understanding that we reserve the right to reactivate our aggression should progress cease. We will still involve ourselves in preparation and exercises. I will give the Mer'icia Extrema decree that shall lift the state of war that exists as part of this agreement."

After a silent breath of relief, Naxos replied, "Excellent. The Golden Throne appreciates your patience, we know how difficult this decision is. Let's hope that TIS makes good of this opportunity. Although, if they don't, it will be they who pay the price."

"There is an additional matter, Your Holiness," continued the jogornos. "There seems to be a certain irrationality affecting the government of the FRCP. Perhaps they don't want to lose face but, even so, their messaging has not changed and they insist on this theory of diverting — and prior to our ultimatum, boarding — our ships on the basis of monitoring the slave trade. All of this without a single shred of evidence of our involvement, except for a border security agreement with TIS. It's hard not to think that either the FRCP government is irrational or that it is acting in bad faith. Either way, a diplomatic solution will require maximizing the amount of non-military pressure on them. They are an economy that has just left a civil war, desperate for growth and improvement in the standard of living of its members. The Golden Throne believes that the best pressure we can apply is of the economic kind, namely by closing their access to foreign trade. I know the data shows that trade between Holy Marsh and the FRCP is limited anyway, but I humbly request that you consider joining the embargo against the FRCP, even if for purely symbolic purposes. In the same vein, I am curious as to whether Holy Marsh can ask or pressure any of the other constituents of the Romani-Marsh Union to do the same. Only to the length necessary to force the FRCP to remit on its illegal intervention against our trade."

The Arch-Bishop thought on it for a few moments longer than normal, lingering on the right words for her response. "We will decline to join an embargo of the FRCP at this time. Their vessels are currently in the Sea of Faith and I think it would raise the possibility of an accidental military event by some degree. We concur with the concept that they are trying to save face, which also means we have great doubts that they would commit to real military action against the Sona Emperor and the Throne. Hard to save face when you're a smoking crater, which is what they would be if they were to engage in warfare against you and your many allies- including us. We have faith that if there is a public announcement regarding the changes to the slave sin of the Ice States, it will give them the space to pull back."

"You are correct in saying that our trade is minimal with them and the move is symbolic, but that is precisely the issue: The symbolism of the move would anger many of the Chosen. The FRCP is being foolish, but it is being foolish in reaction to the cruelties of a great sin. The Chosen do support the Golden Throne and the Honored Sona Emperor and if the FRCP were to engage in fighting we would no doubt become involved in your defense, but until either the Ice States gives me cause to issue the Mer'icia Extrema or the FRCP opens fire on you, we cannot make moves against a nation seen agitating against slavery- especially when we are being accused in some quarters of not doing enough. A concept that I myself do not fully disagree with. Our current state of targeting their shipping as we see fit and the ongoing state of war without a more direct attack on them is already incredibly lenient. Moving against a nation blinded by righteousness as the FCRP is right now without a just cause? The Holy Marsh condemns such thoughts. "

The Arch-Bishop allowed that to settle before she added a final note.

"However, the same does not hold true of the other members of the Union. I will speak to them, but tell the Sona Emperor to expect the Union to issue an embargo signed by most of its member states within the next twenty-four hours."

Sasha allowed the news to settle. It was true what she said about the Holy Marsh condemning actions against the FRCP at the moment. She had sought the Holy Word, prayed on it, and worked it over in her mind and soul. The Czaslyudian Peoples were biting off more than they could chew, but they were not in the moral wrong. Fools, yes, but moral fools. The Sona Emperor and His Throne were Blessed in Her Eyes and so the alliance would remain Ever-Strong, true. But they had made a moral error and to side with them against a noble cause without there be an inciting cause would be impossible.

They would have to fire on the Throne first. In doing so, they would be striking at the Sona Emperor. If they did so, then they would be attacking that which was Blessed in Her Eyes and would be crossing the moral line. At that point, the Chosen would be obligated to respond. If Sasha was given leave to issue the Mer'icia Extrema and the FCRP were to continue their aggression against the Throne, then their actions would lose their moral backing and it would be responsible for Sasha to correct their fault.

Until then, the Theocracy would be forced to work both sides of the issue since they shared the favor of the Holy Marsh in their own way. The FRCP was working to stop slavery and was willing to stand against a power greater than itself to do so, something that spoke to an inherent (if misguided) nobility of spirit. The Sona Emperor was Blessed and the Throne bled mightily in actions aimed at ending sin. The FRCP erred in its bullishness, the Throne in its pragmatism, but both in the end worked to further the aims and truth of Marshism. Luboski needed to make sure that remained true.

"That is disappointing," replied Naxos. "There is an opportunity here to help draw a line in international law between righteous militant action, that against slaver states, and illegal militant action, that against non-slaver state naval traffic in international waters. And that pursuing the latter does not make the former okay. Setting this example early would help guide future situations, making them much less dangerous and volatile. I suppose that I didn't foresee Holy Marsh being unable to distinguish that line in its own messaging. All the same, since it would be a symbolic gesture I suppose that ultimately it doesn't matter. I will report your responses to Fedala and Matagalpa. You will receive word on the progress of talks with TIS. From our reports, we are sure that they will swing toward reason. If may necessitate us agreeing to defend them in case the FRCP doesn't end its blockade on the announcement of full abolition and emancipation."

"We acknowledge your frustration with this decision, Ambassador. We know that your discussions with the Ice States will bear the appropriate fruit- and once we have a public acknowledgment of such, you can expect the Mer'icia Extrema to be issued with near immediacy. At which point I will have much greater leave to join in a symbolic gesture against the FRCP," the Arch-Bishop responded, taking a moment.

"Ensure that the Sona Emperor remembers that should their actions escalate into conflict, we will of course stand with you against them. And in that same vein, there is one offer we wanted to make. This has been discussed before the current issues began, but we believe it may be a signal to the FRCP and others about our greater allegiances."

Nodding, Naxos replied, "I will pass that on, as well. I think that will help reassure Fedala that we are on the same page. It was an honor to have your time and attention, Your Holiness."

Image
The Experience Shrine in Lanzarote, Territory of Levante.
His eyes brightened then, remembering that he had brought something for the Arch-Bishop. He reached down into a bag at his feet and pulled a small stone. Handing it over, he said, "This is a gift from His Imperial Majesty and Cassandra. It is a marble-and-bronze glazed stone from the recently built temple for the Experience Shrine in Lanzarote. It is from the shrine building itself, which sits at the top of the stepped monument. It is signed by the principal architects and builders from the Marshites who live in the city. May it serve as everlasting evidence of the common responsibilities, duties, and interests of our two governments."

The Arch-Bishop took the gift into her hands gently, inspecting it as the amabassador spoke. It was indeed a wonderfully symbolic gift, and one she would be proud to receive. "It shall have a place of honor, and the meaning is well received. Thank you, ambassador," the Arch-Bishop replied as she laid it gently down on the table. An aide came and collected it with a genlt clothe while another aide laid a parchment, hidden and protected behind glass, on the table.

"To the Sona Emperor and as evidence of our affection, I give the original copy of the tenth passage of the tenth book in the tenth scripture, known as the Sona Macabean Infikhi, which solidifies the Macabean Emperor's divine rights, and details the processes by which they are blessed by the Holy Marsh Herself. It was nearly destroyed in the ninth century when its place of holding was nearly overrun. It was nearly lost at sea while being transported. It was present at the Seventh Battle of Khafesar and the Humbling of Arch-Bishop Usaiah. It was saved from nuclear fire in the mid twentieth century. It has survived all that and more, just as the Sona Emperor and His People shall survive all challenges and all brutalizations lodged against them."

Another aide stepped forward and placed another gift on the table. This one was a necklace with an edged, brilliant shine. "And for you, Ambassador, I give this necklace made out of stones from the Hitlion Mountains, whose unique gemstones are reputed to bring mindfulness and peace. It has been crafted by artisans whose work decorate the First Cathedral Itself, and I hope that in times of darkness and strife it is a remin of the light that shines within you."

Both gifts were extraordinary. Naxos took care to carefully package the first gift in his bag, saying, "His Imperial Majesty and Cassandra will undoubtedly be deeply moved by the gift. Although I could never speak for Him, I know that He intends to build a new palace in Lanzarote to accompany the shrine and there are well-founded rumors that the palace will contain public quarters, including a public museum dedicated to the shared history and legacy of the Marshite and Macabéan people. The history of Marshism deserves to be showcased in the heartland of Marshism in the Golden Throne."

Once the first gift was properly stowed away, he took the second and placed it around his neck. "It is stunningly beautiful, Your Holiness. I could not possibly put the right words together to express my eternal gratitude. Thank you, Your Holiness. Today has been a blessing."

Naxos stood and bowed.

At the meeting's end, he took his leave and returned to the imperial embassy. There, he diligently typed up his notes, commentaries, and insights, delivering a full copy to Fedala and a tailored copy to Matagalpa. The former included all information. The latter included only that pertinent to the ongoing negotiations with TIS. That time was of the essence was communicated with severe stress. It needed to be made cleared to TIS that Holy Marsh would not make the same mistake of showing goodwill toward them if TIS failed to follow up with a grand gesture of its own, which would ultimately have to end in the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of the existing slave stock. Nothing short of this would be acceptable in the medium run. Of course, the Marshite and Mokan military buildup in Motokata would drive the truth of this home.
Last edited by The Macabees on Mon Aug 15, 2022 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Eitoan
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Founded: Jan 04, 2018
Anarchy

Postby Eitoan » Mon Aug 15, 2022 1:47 pm

Z’nedya Naval Base, Eitoan
3 Days Earlier


The morning fog rolled in over the harbor at Z’nedya, thirty five miles south of Berwyn and headquarters of the Eitoan Navy Home Waters Operations Group (HWOG). Vice Admiral Gilmer Cleary had settled into his morning routine, reviewing deployments in Eitoan’s territorial waters, the adjacent Northern Vanguat up to 350 nautical miles from shore, and along border waterways. He briefly glanced at the summary of repairs at Z’nedya, and other facilities along the Eitoan littoral. All seemed in order. His boss, Admiral Jon Mason appeared at the door, and caught his attention.

“What can I do for you Jon? What’s on your mind?” Cleary inquired.

Mason walked over to his desk, pulled up the chair on the left across from Cleary, and casually shoved a thin red folder under the Vice Admiral’s nose. “Here. You’re wanted in Vladarsik, by Foreign Affairs. Secretary Falkowski is going to be meeting with visitors from The Golden Throne. Jogornos Filero and a Krierlord, Ger Venamendud.”

Cleary’s eyebrows arched. He’d never been to Foreign Affairs before, and generally avoided Vladarsik, general dislike of politicians. So he was puzzled why he’d been chosen for this honor. “A Krierlord? An ambassador? Have you ever met one Jon”

Mason was unperturbed. “A couple of times, Relica, Tupioca. The usual kickoff to joint exercises. But of course, never a Krierlord. And never at Foreign Affairs.”

Cleary What could they want?

Cleary flipped open the folder

Mason There’s going to be a discussion about the dust-up between Fedor and our friends north of the border. They seem to think Home Waters could have the best insight on our readiness.

Cleary Readiness? Readiness for what? We’ve got no beef with Sevyich. Why don’t the get someone from Northern Vanguat Operations Group. They’ve got the heavy equipment.

Mason Well, that’s what Foreign Affairs wants. Go up there and listen and learn. You can give your assessment as far as HWOG, but whatever we say won’t be official. The CNO will need a full report from you after this powwow. Oh, business attire for this one. This is cabinet level and Krierlord status, so a display of ribbons and salad won’t impress anyone. Catch a flight to Vladarsik this afternoon or early evening. Foreign Affairs has all the arrangements in the folder.



Vladarsik, Eitoan
Department of Foreign Affairs


Lanky Andrew Falkowski, Secretary for Foreign Affairs loped down the long corridor, deep in thought. He’d had many meetings with Jogornos Antonio Filero, and a few meetings with Krierlord Ger Venamendud since before acceding to his office, under Secretary Randall Field. Field had initiated the stormy but ultimately successful separation of Eitoan from their former Ralkovian master and toward an alliance with other western democracies. Falkowski was chosen to succeed Field to navigate the now important waters of big power relations. Following close behind Falkowski was his Undersecretary, Marilyn Stegman, up and coming in the Department of Foreign Affairs, actually his understudy. Behind her at a distance, chatting about the meeting were Assistant Undersecretary for Alliance Relations Neilan Linn and Vice Admiral Gilmer Cleary.

After greeting the visiting dignitaries, all were seated, as the Golden Throne delegation opened the discussion. Venamendud presented his case

"The situation with the FRCP is at a critical mass. Plus, we've received word from Fedala, and the news in general, that a shooting war has started between them and TIS. It seems the TIS leadership is a little trigger-happy. Apparently, our diplomats recommended against it, but it seems TIS' patience has worn thin with the piling up of blockading assets. Whatever, no love lost for slavers, right? The problem is that we've made a good deal of progress with them, according to internal memos issued by the diplomatic mission in Nicaro. TIS has agreed to end its participation in the international slave trade and also to freeze any further domestic enslavements in return for a loosening of the blockade. I think we can get the Marshites to agree to play ball for a short amount of time. The Ordenites...well, as you know, we're not on speaking terms with them and I think TIS' government accepts that. Which leaves the FRCP. This war might put a big dent in our attempts to abolish slavery in TIS through peaceful means. This leads me to my point: my intention here is to persuade your government to help us put economic pressure on the FRCP so they are inclined to cooperate with us. The way we do that is by having Eitoan join a general embargo of all FRCP trade. The FRCP might not have a lot of trade going on at the moment, but they are certainly looking to grow it, especially if they have any plans to rebuild after their civil war."

"As an extension," continued the kríerlord, "I propose that Eitoan also embargo all TIS trade, if it hasn't already. That way we separate ourselves from that hot mess and clarify that the embargo against the FRCP has to do with their infringement on the free trading rights of a neutral state in international waters, and not with whatever issue they have with TIS. Anything I forgot, jogornos?"

Antonio shook his head. "I don't think so."

"Okay," said Ger, opening the floor to the Eitoanis. "Let's talk business."


Falkowski leaned back in his chair and considered what the Krierlord said for a moment. His response was guarded. "To get to the point, we can certainly embargo The Ice States. We have barely any trade with them, given Eitoan’s prohibition on the import of goods and services produced by slave labor. If I recall correctly, the last shipment from The Ice States may have been five years ago, and the company making the purchase was fined so heavily they were near bankruptcy. We don’t maintain an embassy there, only a consulate in their capital. Your report on progress in discouraging slavery in The Ice States looks good. You got them to back off of international slave trading, so that should signal Ordena and Silarz good faith that you are supporting the cause. Getting the Marshites on board is a good move too. It is best to avoid the possibility of a fracture in the west. An embargo of Czaslyudia at this time is a very serious matter. If we propose an embargo, this would require President Shrdlu to take the lead. The timing for The President is bad. The election is three months away. The leftists will moan, but overall the Socialist in the race, Ken Curtis is on board with the general consensus on foreign policy. But the left could hold onto objections after the election, and the president’s Free Democrats depend of Socialist cooperation in the Ghastak to secure a majority in most cases. How important is a FRCP embargo? Was this requested by the emperor himself?

If you don’t mind, I’d like to discuss some actions we can offer at this time. But first, Vice Admiral, is a naval embargo even feasible?"

Cleary Yes. We can do it. Silarz has gotten in way over his head, and even be challenged

Linn Would a naval embargo be effective? We have very little trade with Czaslyudia. How will that put pressure on them?

Falkowski Embargoing seagoing commerce may be ineffective, but what about overland trade? We don’t deal much with Czaslyudian goods, but a lot of their business goes overland, through traffic on trucks and rail here. How would we do that?

Linn There is considerable overland traffic, to Agar-Na, through Tupioca and points south. There are a number of ways we can turn the spigot on that. How subtle should we be?

Stegman There are a
There are a number of arrangements we could make. This doesn’t need to be immediately obvious. And they can be staged as a series of unfortuate events. So far Silarz has rebuffed our offers for Jin River port improvements. We’ve offered to pick up the tab for bridge repairs, even port upgrades on his side. We could reverse course on that such as unilateral, Jin River bridge improvements and their subsequent traffic bottlenecks, delays for customs inspection to choke back what they’re sending south.

Falkowski Something for you to consider, Krierlord Venamendud, is that what we offered Silarz was limited. There’s only so much we can do. But The Golden Throne has more resources, a bigger pool of capital than we can offer. Can you boost our offers to Silarz with some carrots? That may be productive.

Linn Can we inform Sevyich about your request for an embargo? That might move them along.

Stegman Here’s another thought. Secretary Falkowski will be in Agar soon, for signing Agar-Na and Federal Ralkovia into the NMAA. If the Emperor would entertain it, his attendance there would send a very powerful message to Sevyich, that there’s no way he can avoid being hemmed in on the continent. Of course, if the Emperor ttended, President Shrdlu would also. It would be a very powerful statement. I’m certain Prince Harold would oblige in hosting.

Linn Agar-Na is a much bigger trade partner with the FRCP than we are. Can we get them to cut down on that trade? They also are a big component of FRPC overland shipping.

Stegman We may not need to go that far. With their joining the NMAA someone there, not necessarily the government could float the idea of following up the treaty with trade measures favoring the NMAA members. That should give Sevyich something to think about. They’re hurting as it is. They've been able to move into the Agarese market after the first war in Ralkovia opened an opportunity for FRCP goods, but Federal Ralkovia is making a comeback, and this could cut into Czaslyudian business in the Principality. Also, a big, flashy purchase by a Golden Throne interests in Agar-Na could also send a message, perhaps some major landmark real estate purchase in Agar, or investment in leading Agarese financial institutions.

Falkowski These are all good ideas. Well, the time is running on, and I’m sure all of us could use some lunch. Krierlord, Jogornos, let’s do that. I’ll have them bring it up. We can discuss this informally.
Last edited by Eitoan on Thu Sep 15, 2022 4:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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The Ice States
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Founded: Jun 23, 2022
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby The Ice States » Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:17 pm

At Magecastle Embassy Building A3, The Ice States

"We indeed do not seek war with Holy Marsh", replied the Duke, "which is why we would prefer the crusader state peacefully withdrawing. We are currently limiting military hostility to the FRCP". He then turned to the Divine Scribe, who nodded in return. He continued, "As to trading via Nicaro and military intelligence on the FRCP, we are certainly willing to accept such a deal. I had already offered the end of further enslavement and our participation in the international slave trade, and I speak for all of The Ice States' government when I say that I still stand by this. We are willing to do this immediately once these talks conclude."

The Divine Scribe, after reading the proposition when the Duke was speaking, then added, "As to fully ending slavery, we were commanded by Klyprer how to do so, and we cannot violate his word. If we did, he will punish us and The Ice States will, perhaps permanently, lose its divinely-favoured status. This does not mean that we will not end slavery, it simply needs to be in the way Klyprer said. He accepts this process: Immediately upon these talks concluding, we will freeze our slave population and ban participation in the international slave trade. Further, once trade routes via Nicaro are established, we will announce that all slaves will be automatically emancipated within two years, and establish a program for slaveowners to sell their slaves to the state at a reasonable price -- which will be higher the earlier slaves are sold. We will train slaves we purchase in paid labour, so that they are ready to find labour within the five years since the emancipation process began. Ex-slaves will be required to spend money gained during their apprenticeship not spent for basic necessities only on businesses owned by their former masters, on threat of withholding pay. This will ensure that we do not restrict our economy while encouraging slaveowners to send their slaves to training, as the other option would be losing ownership over slaves entirely without compensation."

The Emperor continued in turn, "However, we would only do so upon two conditions. First is the establishment of a long-term trade and capital free flow agreement between The Ice States and The Golden Throne -- which we seek to be in the Ice guinea. Second, we would like a mutual defense agreement, such that the Ice Military is to assist The Golden Throne in fighting the FRCP's blockade, and in return, The Golden Throne shall support The Ice States in combatting the FRCP should their blockade continue even after we commence the end of slavery. Not only would the economic burden would be too great otherwise, but, with all due respect, it would otherwise be a very one-sided agreement, and we do not consider coercion from Holy Marsh and the FRCP to be good reason to end a long-term, established practise -- however, we do consider the growth of relations with and assistance from a nearby nation to be good reason to do so, and," he turns to the Divine Scribe, who continues the Emperor's sentence, "Klyprer gives his blessing to the end of slavery in such a case."

The Duke then continued. "With regards to Motokata, I thank you for the information. The PUF in fact retains embassies with The Ice States, and we are still engaging in trade with Motokata. They have sworn an oath that they would accept the legitimacy of the Empire of The Ice States, and do seek to establish good faith relations with the nation. That is a matter for the government -- in particular the General -- to decide, and we will consider increasing military presence along the Oldwitch frontier. In addition, I will send a message to their embassy reminding them, that while they have the right to engage in military exercises in their territory, military or economic hostility will result in termination of the embassy. We would prefer to avoid hostility with the PUF where possible."

At Magecastle Embassy Buliding A2, The Ice States

After negotiations with The Golden Throne were complete, a secured transmission was sent to the embassy of the People's United Federation at Magecastle _

From: Duke Jeramy Vliet
To: Embassy of the PUF

To whom it may concern _

We have been informed that military training has been performed near our border. It is well within your right to conduct military training exercises under your jurisdiction, and I sincerely hope that they went well.

However, as the PUF remains holding an embassy with TIS, I would like to remind your nation that military and/or economic hostilities will result in the termination of your embassy, the withholding of future relations and trade with the PUF. Our diplomatic relations are important to us, and would hope for and indeed seek the growth of relations with your nation -- thus, while we have no problem with the People's Federal Army training in Motokata or indeed anywhere under your jurisdiction, we urge Motokata and the PUF to refrain from performing military hostilities against TIS.

~Jeramy Vliet,
Duke of Magecastle and WA Ambassador,
The Empire of The Ice States


At Valenpool, The Ice States

An emergency meeting had been held between the leadership of the Ice Military at Valenpool. Present were the General, each Force Commander, and their Colonels. After they each ate at the snack bar, General Burkes rang the bell, and commenced the meeting.

"I have called this meeting to discuss the situation at the Southport coast. For those not aware, the FRCP has begun sending warships to the coast to blockade us. They have closed our only free sea port -- previously, we were able to engage in some trade via Southport, as Holy Marsh's main targets were in Oldwitch whilst Ormont and Isborgir were blocked by the Ordenan Reich. The tribes on our south-east border won't let anyone, let alone traders, enter their territory."

"Border security divisions are fighting the FRCP's blockade as of now, but I have received no update from the relevant Division Commanders on progress -- however, the images sent by Air Force planes have indicated that seven Air Force vessels -- of 38 deployed -- have been destroyed, while only eight of the 25 naval ships have survived -- nine of whose units have kicked the bucket too. While the relevant divisions are still working, it seems that Commander Hisako has done an exceedingly poor job at commanding the Naval divisions... It was a surprise attack, but that is not an excuse. At least Commander Segreto has done a decent job at leading the relevant Air Force divisions. In any case, I have asked Hisako to order Ice ships to cease going up to FRCP ships to target them with rifles, but I think the damage has been done. The question is, what we do next."

The screen changed from a photograph of the battle to a map of the relevant section of Southport _

Image


"As you can see, our only free port has now been completely occupied by FRCP forces. While not all of our trade has been lost -- as we can still trade through and with our land-based nations -- we have still lost all of our direct sea-based trade, and even some of our land-based trade, due to harassment of our ships in international waters. Not only that, but the FRCP is the only one of the blockaders to be interfering in our EEZ."

"So, what should we do should we lose the ongoing battle? Well, I am proposing what is to be called, 'Operation Sand Mouth'. It goes without saying, that this is a secret plan. Do not leak any part of this plan to anyone not present in this meeting without my explicit approval."

"Now, the operation will begin by stationing divisions of our military around the southern extremity of Southport -- two divisions of each force."

The screen again changed _

Image


"We will claim that we are stationed here solely for defensive purposes, in case the FRCP opts to launch a land-based invasion. And indeed, should the FRCP decide to engage in a land-based invasion, they would have to brave artillery from deployed naval units and the border security force, as well as anti-ship missiles deployed from land and air. However, eventually, once we have been present for a long enough period to convince the FRCP we are only there for defensive purposes, we will surprise-attack them with anti-ship missiles to decimate their fleets. The naval vessels deployed would send interceptors to shoot down any Czaslyudian or allied missiles before they reach the land, while the Air Force can help firebomb FRCP ships. Ships within range to use artillery would have to brave our artillery, deployed from land and Ice ships."

"To prevent the FRCP from bringing in new ships, we would take advantage on The Golden Throne's blockade on the FRCP, and support the blockade to prevent all FRCP ships from escaping, let alone travelling to The Ice States. We must block any existing ports that the FRCP could use."

"Now, I am aware that negotiations are underway with The Golden Throne to secure assistance. Indeed, should they agree, they may also assist by deploying fleets and land forces to support us in Operation Sand Mouth."

"Any questions?"

A Colonel then stood up, and spoke, "This is an excellent plan, sir. However, I do question how we will decide where to target FRCP vessels. They could have retreated by the time that we are ready to fire upon them, or they could have swapped locations with the Marshite vessels, or whatever else. Accidentally targetting Marshite vessels would likely provo-"

He was interrupted by another Colonel, "Maybe we could send an EIS falsely flagged as Ordenite or Czaslyudian to monitor the movement of their vessels?"

The General then spoke. "Indeed, we would send a boarded or model Czaslyudian EIS to monitor their ships. Any more questions?" The room remained silent. "Well, let the mission commence. Emersteadian Land Force Divisions 162 and 163, Air Force Divisions 45 and 79, and Naval Force Divisions 120 and 121, are to each deploy at the coast. Each Force Commander, order their deployment. You are all dismissed."

At Emerstead, The Ice States

I was practicing target shooting when the Division Commander rang the bell. I checked my clock, and it was only 3:07 PM? We assembled, and the commander spoke _

"Attention. Divisions 162 and 163 are to get deployed in an emergency shortly. The rest of you can return. Deployed divisions, wait at the bus outside. Dismissed."

So I went, with my divisions. Huh. Was it something to do with the FRCP war? I'd imagine so, but who knows. Maybe we were going to a new war, but if so, wouldn't there be more divisions deployed? But it's two entire divisions. Fifty units, of just one force. Over 1000 personnel. When the commanders of Divisions 162 and 163 went into the bus, we followed, and put on our seatbelts, as the bus began to drive...
Last edited by The Ice States on Tue Aug 16, 2022 6:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.
For Klyprer, Conquest, And Riches!


Population: 60,264,000. Ice Calendar year: 1416.

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Czaslyudian Peoples
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Founded: Apr 14, 2022
Corporate Police State

Postby Czaslyudian Peoples » Tue Aug 16, 2022 5:23 am

FRCPN Serhij Korzh, 3rd SAG
18:37 hours, Iskra Time
Sea of Faith, south of the Ice States



Lunacy.

The 3rd Surface Action Group had settled into their assigned post, having properly articulated their 190-kilometer wide formation across the Sinboro Channel, blocking the way out into the larger Sea of Faith. Their submarine escorts formed the silent periphery, monitoring the acoustic environment for any indication of trouble to their responsibility. The storm had since cleared, and the waters were unusually placid, so more radar helicopters were sent up from the deck of the Serhij Korzh to join the few that trailed above the formation. The first contact was spotted, as a testament of skill to the operator, by a early-warning helicopter at approximately 250 klicks prowling towards their battle line from the Icer mainland to the north. It was a small contact; barely sticking out of the waves, what amounted to a dinghy by the Czaslyudian navy’s book; but it was soon joined by others along the same heading. It was assumed to be dedicated fishermen, although at this time of year in this weather it was unlikely. Nevertheless, their situation here was tricky so anything could be a threat– Yurchenko had the groupings of radar contacts pegged as unknown on their tactical charts. The number of detected ships grew from handfuls to dozens, all while suspicion of their purpose mounted. It was when an aircraft alert was sounded by the 3rd Surface Action Group’s Air Warfare Controller, the FRCPN Sladkoye, that the other penny dropped.

Serhij Korzh, be advised, exercise caution in operating area.” Came the warning from the Sladkoye. It had the mission-relevant code word for them to look for information passed on by a more secure datalink. Piped in from nearly three dozen kilometers away came the telemetry from the powerful air-search radar of the FRCPN Sladkoye, showing multiple aircraft heading straight towards them and closing fast at 380 kilometers; it was with this that the captain of the Serhij Korzh declared,

“All hands, general quarters!”

The message was relayed to the rest of the 3rd Surface Action Group, again, in the form of a coded message.

“Waves are getting rough, be advised.”

It was what they had been trained for– aircraft posed more of a threat to a modern navy than its adversary surface fleet, and as such the Czaslyudian Sea Forces prepared to ward off air attacks since its inception. Thousands of hours of training, countless back-and-forth doctrinal battles fought in the Department of War, and billions of Czaslyudian bills spent hedging their navy’s bets with defenses went into this moment. Across the fleet, ships readied their arsenals, from their targeting radars to their countermeasures; their point defenses to their deck-loads of surface-to-air missiles. Targeting locks were made on the Icer aircraft, and all were ready for a confrontation when Yurchenko issued a warning, as much as he would’ve liked to do otherwise.

“Unidentified aircraft, this is a vessel of the Czaslyudian Sea Forces. Turn away now or you will be fired upon. Unidentified vessels, this is a vessel of the Czaslyudian Sea Forces. Turn away now or you will be fired upon. I repeat…”

There was no response, and the aircraft came twenty kilometers closer and the ships approached at a fraction of that. If this was an attempt at intimidation, the Counter Admiral was about to commend them for their ability before the first launch was detected.

Raketa! Raketa! Bearing oh-five-four! Speed approx 600 knots!” Hollered a tactical officer. This wasn’t intimidation– this was an attack. The magnitude of the offense did not even have a chance to sink in. Yurchenko wheeled over to the tactical station, taking in the red pieces on the screen placed by their radars, the swift green dots that represented the hostile payloads, and the blue blips identified as other members of the fleet. His next command did not even need to be said.

Without delay, million-dollar silver bullets they called SAMs erupted from the vertical launch systems of the Czaslyudian ships, burning long enough to set themselves up at optimal speed and on course of their targets some hundred kilometers away before dropping off their booster stage and gliding the remaining part of their journey. There was no time to watch them complete their course– the Icer missiles closed in ever nearer. On the Serhij Korzh’s screens, the positions of eighteen bright radar blips were updated several times a second as they streaked towards Czaslyudian ships; meanwhile, the radar screen went up in static as the outlying Harsk, Rozhnivanyy, and Tsvetkov-Class warships lit up their EWAR suites, saturating the air with frantic and confused radio waves underlined by purposeful modulations to throw off even peer-level radar-guided missiles. Interceptors were launched at 58 kilometers, and fourteen of the incoming missiles dropped off the map. More volleys were prepared, but there wasn’t time. It came down to the combined missile and gun point defense of Czaslyudian vessels to defend themselves– tracer-lined magazines were flung from their constituent autocannons with abandon, accompanied by simple-minded surface-to-air missiles, to strike down their foe. It almost succeeded. Just 80 kilometers away to the northeast, the FRCPN Natalia Denisov’s steel superstructure rocked as the anti-ship missile penetrated, then detonated, within the holds of the destroyer.

“Sir, the Natalia Denisov reports they are taking on water; fighting fire, too, though they report it is contained.”

“Radio all squadrons to withdraw to these coordinates–”

“Sir, the Zavzyattya reports it has made visual contact with hostile vessels and is under attack!” Called the radio operator.

“What?” Yurchenko blurted. Their ships couldn’t have been that fast…

It did not matter. If the 3rd was within range of their aircraft, they were too close to the Ice States. They were lucky their defenses stopped a majority of that first volley of missiles and only had one hit, but they had not enough ships to keep that up sustainably. Withdrawing to a point deeper into the Sinboro Channel would grant them safety– as well as time.

Jetting out from one of the angled containers on the tower-side deck of the Korzh was one of the amphibious assault ship’s few anti-surface warfare tools; the PRVD-808 “Marzanna” missile. With the fleet’s close proximity, nearly every ship available could support the other’s defense, both with anti-ship missiles and surface-to-air missiles; it was a veritable hornet’s nest for their attackers. As their eastern flank was assaulted, their attackers were pelted with a hail of anti-ship missiles from the rest of the fleet, each with big enough of a warhead to sink or cripple the ship it was sent from– never mind these marauders in their boats. Still, the swiftness of their enemy’s vessels allowed them to close the distance between them and the Zavzyattya, a corvette acting as a picket, firing their guns just as soon as they were within range. The Zavzyattya returned fire with its autoloaded 100mm gun, as well as popping chaff and flare rockets in a frantic display to protect itself. Icer naval artillery raked the Zavzyattya’s hull, but not without her comrades-in-arms taking a vengeance on the horde of small ships.

As the 3rd Surface Action Group fought a furious rearguard action, surfaced submarines began to emerge from the waves– the submarines, even while vulnerable on the surface, were targets of the destroyers’ extensive anti-submarine arsenal. Torpedoes seemed to rain from the heavens as they were deployed from Kachka anti-submarine missiles. This was madness; even with the Czaslyudian’s own lack of naval tradition, this was far too easy. Still, thought dealing out murderous losses, fatal blows were still struck against Czaslyudian vessels. In the confused environment, Icer missiles slipped through the rings of air defense of peripheral vessels, knocking them out of the fight at the very least. The corvette Zavzyattya was joined by the Lyuti, sunk more or less immediately as the smaller vessels were overwhelmed, and the destroyer Natalia Denisov by the frigate Nide, stricken, but still sailing. To cover their retreat, there was still one last nail in the coffin; their subsurface companions that until now, merely observed the carnage. No more.

Via the submarine tender and resupply ship Ambroziya’s antennas, a message using the low-frequency command codes they shared with the ten Fyodor Sergeyev-Class nuclear submarines was transmitted in the typical monosyballic way.

The machines in the Czaslyudian submarines emitted a mute chatter as they printed off the code, its complexity aided by the proximity of the transmitter. The Marshal Panas Kryvenko’s signals lieutenant brought the spool of paper closer to the light in the cramped space of his post; the captain was already there by the time the lieutenant read the code for Captain’s Eyes Only.

C - 018 - 183 - 017 - 139 - 045 - 169 - 022 - 32 - 098 - 152 - P - W - T - W - Z - B

The captain of the Kryvenko grumbled as he fumbled through his belongings in his quarters. The first letter of the message, Chlib, designated the type of decoder he would need– and to be scrounging around his cramped bedroom for an outdated dictionary while Timofeyevich-knows-what is going on up on the surface! Pulling it from under a pile of polymer nautical maps, he cracked it open and began to flip through the book with one hand while using a pen in the other to lay out the message. The strings of three digit numbers corresponded to pages within the book, from which he could mark the second letter of the first word on the page to relate to a different decryption key; after those, there was the two-digit numeral that conveyed the designated heading– there could not be any confusion or mixups allowed with what the previous segment conveyed to the captain. The final groupings were simple enough; the remaining three digit numbers designated the decrypter, and from the letters designating “Palac - Wapno - Teper - Wapno - Zerno - Babusia” his mission orders were complete.

In two minutes the captain strode back into the control room of the 14,000 ton submarine and relayed the orders he had been given. It was news to many that they would be going to war that day. The Kryvenko was positioned on the 3rd Surface Action Group’s northeast flank, joined by the Aizat Udalenko and Taras Bodnar, but was also the closest to the soil of the Ice States than any other Czaslyudian vessel that day: just thirty kilometers from the start of now-enemy territory. It was risky being so close in so shallow of waters– just eighty meters of water total, leaving thirty-two below their keel– but the nearby seafloor and rough overhead waters complicated sonar operations, leaving the Kryvenko and its pump-jet propulsor a mere murmur above the ambient water noise. But from their position they were best suited for a direct strike into Icer territory– fifty meters under the water they could strike the cities of Southport City, Valenpool, Redwell, and Sandford– and when utilizing the twenty-eight cylindrical cruise missile silos built into their hull, stealth became something of a secondary priority. The Marshal Panas Kryvenko had been ordered to expend all munitions on designated Icer airbases within range; that meant a total of one-hundred forty MBC-909PC cruise missiles, or what was called the Sokyra-- the hatchet. On a good day, the Sokyra had been shown to overwhelm the revered Kirilov-Hadjuk CIWS system with just three missiles approaching near-simultaneously; one hundred forty of them, vectored to three different targets within range, meant devastation followed. Once every one and a half seconds, a cruise missile burst from the surface of the water and rocketed away, clearing the air for their successor. Seventy-five kilometers away, they were joined by the Viktor Babenko with ninety-five cruise missiles, and one-hundred thirty kilometers away, the Denys Chornyj with one-hundred five. Their combined goal was to knock out every working runway within range to alleviate the air attacks on the SAG; secondary to that, to destroy any grounded aircraft as a different mean to the same end.

The FRCPN Taras Bodnar, however, had a different mission. As the easternmost part of the submarine screen, they had observed the assault coming from a distance; they had let it pass over them like wind through the grass. But mission orders received on their low-frequency radio buoy declared they now do the opposite. The captain called for general quarters– his ship had not yet been lashed by enemy sonar, despite the ruckus up above– and the ship was combat ready within moments. The nearest target, heading towards their position from the east, would nearly be mistaken for a torpedo based on its speed alone, heading some seventy knots, but the Bodnar’s computer noticed its screw and flow noise was atypical for a fish; no torpedo the captain had ever heard of skipped across the waves and came down with a woomf like that. At heading oh-eight-eight, range forty-thousand meters, it was well within range of a torpedo. As the sonar plotted the noisy contact’s approach, the Taras Bodnar gradually flooded its torpedo tubes, careful not to alert the enemy to their presence. By the time they were ready, tube one allowed one Oseter torpedo to escape, using tiny electric motors to minimize noise as it left the vicinity. With the target, Haczok-14, now only fourteen thousand meters away, the torpedo received the command through its trailing fiber-optic cable and kicked its speed up to sixty knots, approaching the ship head-on. The next target, more of a suggestion of a target as they had only obtained a bearing from the (presumed) ship due to the distance, was to their southeast and at fifty-thousand meters. It was unengagable, unless they wanted to unduly reveal their position with a single cruise missile. But there was a smattering of faraway sonar contacts, no doubt another group swinging west from Southport City, that were viable targets. Opening up two of the hatches to the Bodnar’s cruise missile silos, and with a subtle hiss of a gas charge, discharged the cylindrical magazines themselves as they slowly raised themselves upwards in the water. Once the two silos were clear, the Bodnar dove down to around one-hundred eighty meters depth, taking advantage of the deeper water in the center of the Sinboro Channel, and made to leave the vicinity of their launch. The water around the now buoyed silos, after prescribed five minutes on its internal watch, then erupted with sound as the launch commenced. Ten missiles streaked out of the water before fixing themselves along the bearing selected by the tactical officers of the Taras Bodnar, turning on their active radar seekers after a while to seek out and kill enemy ships.

Back on the Serhij Korzh, the bridge was in chaos. Officers scrambled from station to station, frantically obtaining and relaying information in a whirlpool of like-minded uniformed men and women. Reports of submarine attacks dwindled as successful kills mounted, and reports of their own submarine’s activity increased as the sub driver’s covered their escape and hunted down the pursuers. After two hours, the three destroyer squadrons were finally pulled south from that dangerous crossroads of the Sinboro Channel, forming a tight-knit cluster around the expeditionary squadron as AEW aircraft and air-search radars vigilantly searched the night sky. What those under Counter-Admiral Yurchenko’s command had experienced had been the first naval battle the Czaslyudian Sea Forces had with a near-peer equivalent since the military organization’s inception.

Yurchenko sighed wearily. He briefly recalled how monumental this was: his homeland, his Czaslyudiya, had come under attack. In effect, his homeland was now in a state of war, though the political motions had yet to come. And regardless of their performance, the Czaslyudians had bled. They had lost two helicopters, whose surveillance of the battlefield was instrumental. But more importantly, they had lost capital-grade warships: the Zavzyattya, the Lyuti, and though they had managed to withdraw from the battle the Natalia Denisov was ultimately scuttled. The crew of the Denisov, or those that remained, were flown over to the holds of the too-full Serhij Korzh-- Yurchenko saw the sullen faces of the crew filing past, the medical teams rushing stretcher-bound injured across the deck, and the dismayed, distracted expression of the Captain, 1st Rate without a second officer. The count, preliminary as it was, was one-hundred twenty lives. The way these things went, Yurchenko knew, was that the count was always skewed low– there were still checks to be done, and those who were missing-in-action sometimes were never discovered.

Yurchenko irritatedly turned over his thoughts. All this, for what? The ‘right’ to have slaves in the Ice States, and to ship them away like property? The ‘right’ to shoot first, lash out like a wounded animal when their misdeeds are exposed? No, there was a reason for all this, Yurchenko thought. He would not have been sent here without a reason; and how well did chance, or fate, favor him. They were there to punish the Icers. They had the means, and all they needed was for their government to back them up so they could go all the way, Yurchenko reflected. That couldn’t come soon enough.

Eastern Fleet Command Headquarters
16:37 hours, CESTZ / Echo Time
Korf, Korf Autonomous Republic, FRCP



Halfway across the region, standing at the perimeter of the headquarters of one of the largest military institutions for thousands of kilometers, one could hardly tell that war had broken out. But that was, for now, intentional. The secret– the big one-- was wrestled down in every corridor, every room across the Federal Republic. The state medias reported nothing (as they were regularly supposed to), the private ones were equally in the dark, much of the military and government were unaware, and all the while the big one was delicately tossed from the top levels of military and government to decide what was to be done. Thankfully, they often were one and the same.

Readiness reports were tossed out of the way as a select group of very important men entered Vice Admiral Kucher’s office, and for a moment Kucher thought that if that room had any more old things with medals it would have constituted a military parade. The Admiral of the Fleet, the General of the Marine Guard, the Chief of Staff, the Commander, Eastern Fleet, Vanguat, as well as the less notable Commander, Western Fleet, Inland Sea, all swept into the room.

“I hope you’ll excuse us for using your office, Rostiya Lyubomyrovych, but I needed to stretch my legs. The ventilation here isn’t half as bad, either.” The Admiral-of-the-Fleet said casually. The discussion started without ceremony.

“I believe we all know our situation out east,” the Chief of Staff began, glancing at the aloof expression of the Naval Infantryman, “and our roles in how this goes forth.” Getting silent nods, he went on. “I’ve already discussed this with the Admiral-of-the-Fleet, and we are in agreement that we will need to transfer portions of the Western Fleet under the Eastern Fleet Command, at least temporarily.” The commander of the Western Fleet scowled. “The 1st Amphibious Task Force will, of course, be transferred over; as will many surface-action formations and submarine squadrons. Admiral Soroka, you will be tasked with fitting out and integrating these formations into your chain of command. You’ll receive all the help you need, as well.”

“Thank you, sir.” Soroka responded curtly.

“If I may, gentlemen, may I inquire for the betterment of everyone here what exactly are our orders regarding this?”

The Admiral-of-the-Fleet nodded. “I have it from on high that our orders are to immediately suppress the threat from the Ice States and retaliate for their unlawful attack on our vessels, as well as to secure the surrounding seas as per our original mission with the corollary of preparing– as the Chairman of the DOW put it– an incursion into Icer territory to end the threat, if necessary.” The superior’s pause turned into the group’s collective silence. “In short, gentlemen, our blockade operation will be turned into an invasion.”

“But–” Vice Admiral Siroko started cautiously, “-- what about our operations in the Vanguat? We’ve got a wall of carriers a week out from sweeping us to the shore, and we’re going to be shipping half our combat-ready fleet off to the far side of the world?”

“I’ve been told, Vice Admiral, from our benevolent aparatnyk overlords that the Macabeans are a reduced priority for the time being.”

The General of the Marine Guard, in his deep baritone, spoke up. “This is absurd! The dogs are at the gate and they want to invite us to a dinner party in the Ice States!” He blurted.

“There is still a sense to it, Hetman, as there always is with the Principle Chairman.” Coolly stated the Chief of Staff. “The Golden Throne wouldn’t want to disrupt trade with war unless they needed to. And what have we been doing these past couple days but weaning their ships out from under our boots? They won’t attack unprovoked– they’re imperialists, to be sure, but they don’t act in any way like the Ice States.”

“False flag attacks notwithstanding,” snorted the Naval Infantryman.

“Nevertheless, tovaryshi, we have much work left to do in regards to our current adversaries, and after that I can get to your orders. Now…”

FRCP Embassy Building
20:27 hours, CESTZ
Vladarsik, Eitoan



It felt almost insulting to be back, though it was her goal for these many years. Her last encounter with the faces she knew had been a brief one; the end of the war left many things to be resolved, and she had found one to wrap up. It had been a cold January day, with an undulating overhead cover of bright white clouds, through which the sun shined indiscriminately on the rubble of the former Czaslyudian capital. By most metrics it had been a good day; the vestiges of the Smirnov government were on the run, and day-to-day casualties had never been lower. Morale had surged as the Principle Chairman, Vadimir Bezukhov, returned to New Krasnoyarsk in stride as control of the city was cemented by two hundred kilometers of advances to the south. Even more, a crack CFOB unit had taken advantage of the rout of Smirnov’s forces and slipped behind the frontlines with a plastun and captured Harsk, with it the treacherous usurper himself; Afonasei Smirnov. But the problem took root there. Even imprisoned, Smirnov was a threat; proving the point, while in captivity, loyalists attempted to spring Smirnov and brought him halfway across the city proper before being stopped dead by CFOB forces. But more importantly, as long as he lived, he would have supporters that backed his forked-tongued, power-hungry, and fascistic-in-all-but-name plans. There would obviously be no trial worth a damn– with the country still divided, such an affair would be overly contentious and dispense with the actual value of a trial in place of political soapbox antics and showmanship– and the Bezukhov government would be too busy making concessions to try and hold the nation together rather than pursue justice. So Sara Arkadijevna Lysiak, de facto Marshal of the Czaslyudian Federal Opposition Bloc, put an eleven-millimeter hole into the head of Smirnov herself. And despite the good it did, everyone hated her for it. Lysiak was a persona non grata of the FRCP for years. Forcibly, though still honorably, discharged from her post, she was at the very least given a bare pension to live a meager existence on. Attempts to contact her former comrades were all but exhausted. She was shunned by nearly everyone; Davydenko, Markov, even Kutznetzov would not see her; all but the one who had comforted her in that cell as she awaited judgement on that cloudy day. Lysiak had spent her time in her exile writing on, critiquing, and examining the new government, the government she helped build, that sprung up without her. Lysiak saw the National Assembly as too party-minded and as such too corruptible, the Premier useless, and the creation of the Department of Internal Security as a non-solution to the problem that brought about Smirnov in the first place. Largely, she was ignored, something the Bezukhov administration took special care of arranging should she have said something of note. Instead, she kept in frequent touch with her sole friend in the government: Anzelm Silarz.

Flown south of the border on a jet abound with diplomatic packages, the seven members of the Czaslyudian delegation arrived in Vladarsik and were greeted by the resident ambassador. Kostyantyn Morozov, Ambassador of the Czaslyudian diplomatic mission to Eitoan, greeted them briefly at the airport before having all of them ushered swiftly into the three cars available to the FRCP embassy’s motor pool. As soon as they were off, Morozov turned to his fellow passengers.

“Apologies, tovaryshi, for all that. I take the security of my diplomatic guests very seriously; especially in times like these.” Morozov said, letting his tone drop for the last phrase. Lysiak sat in the seat directly behind the Ambassador; next to her was a quiet, stone-faced woman. “I am Kostyantyn Morozov– call me Kostya.”

“Nadiya Avramenko,” The quiet woman introduced herself as, “at your service.”

Morozov raised his brows. “Avramenko– I understand you are going to be leading the negotiations, no?”

Avramenko nodded brusquely. “That is correct.” She said plainly.

Pausing for an uncomfortable moment, as if waiting for an elaboration, the ambassador then shifted his attention to Lysiak. “And you, tovarysh? I don't believe we’ve been acquainted.”

Shaking the man’s hand was physically awkward. “I’m Sara Lysiak, ambassador. I’m acting as an advisor for the negotiations.” Lysiak saw Morozov’s eyes go wide as he heard the name before settling back into the meek, unperturbed expression of a handshaker.

The quiet one chuckled. “It’s funny– we don’t even know if we have an audience yet, and we’re already expecting we’ll sit across from them.”

“If I learned nothing from what little briefing I had on this, it would be that it would be best to keep this interaction under wraps, no?” Morozov mused, still eyeing Lysiak with an uneasy expression. It would be an embarrassment, Lysiak thought, but if it helped clear things up before the FRCP found itself in two wars such an embarrassment might be outweighed by the benefits.

“Yes, ambassador. It is important to the Federal Republic that our meetings happen in secrecy.” Avramenko said.

Lysiak turned to her fellow passenger with a quizzical look. “If you don’t mind my asking, what exactly are your qualifications to lead the negotiations?”

Avramenko gave a patient sigh. “I am head of the Department of Internal Security’s inozemni division; as this is a matter involving foreign interaction and requiring great sensitivity in both the negotiations themselves and information leakage, your superiors thought it best handled by me rather than a conventional diplomat, whose absence might be noticed by intelligence operators.” The woman stated flatly. “This is the degree that Sevyich wants this under wraps: and that is why you, Ambassador Morozov, will merely be hosting us and not attending the talks themselves.”

Morozov gave Avremenko a downcast glance. “Am I still able to discuss the matters with you?”

“You are cleared to, but let’s try to keep it within secure areas.” Avramenko said with an unexpected lilt at the end. Amusement? Condescension? Lysiak had no way of knowing.

“Mrs. Avramenko,” Lysiak began slowly, “as my expertise lies in the military, can you tell me what our offer means for our mission in the Vanguat?” She asked, using the word mission-- the declaration of the Federal Republic had, somewhere down the line, culminated in a more official Czaslyudian Anti-Slavery Mission to the Northern Vanguat Sea (CASMiNVaS), formalizing their operations there.

From the gleam of a passing streetlight, Lysiak could make out the woman’s thoughtful expression. “With our predicament with the Ice States, every politician in Sevyich in the know is calling for blood. That means drawing ships from areas that have them, including the Vanguat. As of right now, nobody in the government cares about the Golden Throne; and hopefully, it stays that way. We’re to work out how to defuse the situation between us and the Golden Throne so as to allow us to focus our efforts in the Sea of Faith. That is our priority.”
“We’re stepping down?” Lysiak repeated.

“It doesn’t seem all that palatable to me, either, but that’s the word from on high.”

“It’s got nothing to do with personal taste; but what if through all this the Golden Throne finds itself just obliged enough to defend– through a certain treaty I won’t name here– a neighbor who we are on a course to wage a war with?”

Avramenko nodded. “That’s your angle. You see, this discussion we’re going to have isn’t just going to be about the Golden Throne and the Federal Republic– it’s going to be about them, and the Icers.”

The cars pulled into the fenced compound of the FRCP’s embassy, a plain concrete structure some three stories high, dispensing their passengers before speeding back into the motor pool. Morozov took the delegation swiftly past the doors of the building proper before loosening up. They were shown their accommodations, meant for adjutants and attaches rather than honored guests, but while the other members of the delegation tried to catch some sleep, Lysiak stayed awake, pacing while submerged in her thoughts.


That evening, delivered by hand from an embassy aide to the gate of Vladarsik’s Golden Throne Embassy was a diplomatic request for an audience as soon as possible in order to discuss matters of ‘utmost importance’.

Department of War Building
22:50 hours, CESTZ
Sevyich, FRCP



It was not supposed to go this way. Political and military posturing was a staple of Czaslyudian diplomacy, and usually served its purpose. It had kept them free and sovereign for decades as well as keeping their neighbors wary. But that tended to go out the window when a state actor went too far. And now, against Silarz’s will, they were at war.

He had been roused from his dacha outside Sevyich and begrudgingly allowed himself to be driven to the seat of government when news reached every top-level government official simultaneously. The Ice States had launched an unprovoked assault on Czaslyudian ships in international waters. Though a flash of anger swept through Silarz like most upon hearing this news, the old man steeled himself: cool heads prevailed. For once, Silarz met Davydenko on time.

The hour that they met meant that the rooms and hallways of the building were barely lit or not at all. Still, groggily piling in through the doorway, assembled before Silarz was the war-making faculty of the FRCP nearly in its entirety; the Chairman of the Department of War, the Starosta Council, and select high-ranking generals, admirals, and aparatnyk.

Tovaryshi, good evening.” Silarz yawned. “I would like to discuss our options regarding our… war with the Ice States.” The words felt funny coming from his mouth. War was the last thing he wanted– and now, with the hounds released, he would be the overseer of this one whether he liked it or not.

“Comrade Principle Chairman, may I first make a full report on our forces overseas?” Spoke up the Admiral-of-the-Fleet, flown in from Korf. Silarz nodded his assent, and the Admiral-of-the-Fleet began. “For now, the position of the 3rd Surface Action Group appears to be stable. Despite being taken by surprise and nearly overwhelmed with numbers, Admiral Yurchenko has managed the situation well in his position. On my authority, orders were transmitted to put distance between the Ice States’ territory and their ships, as well as to make cruise missile strikes on enemy airbases from Southport City to Redwell. This will likely slow their air operations to a point that our ships will have breathing room. We have sustained three losses and have damaged two vessels, bringing the thirty-six surface vessels to thirty-three. No submarine losses have been reported yet; as it stands, the ten nuclear submarines attached to the SAG have been acting as a barrier between Icer ships and our own. The situation is listed as stable, for now, as our sub drivers can hunt for as long as possible before jogging south to replenish armament. Already they’ve had to completely restock three submarines’ missile silos.

“An updated tally marks our casualties as of this moment to one-hundred eighty-three sailors and aircrew, mostly as a result of cruise missile strikes. From the reports we’ve gotten, it seems our ships fared admirably against Icer counterparts. Thank you.” The Admiral-of-the-Fleet sat down.

“They’re going to regret that,” growled the Chairman (DoW). “Tovaryshi,” Davydenko beckoned, “This bloody, useless escalation requires a response. If the godless bastards want to commit acts of war, then I say they’ll get a war.”

“Chairman, that is not the rhetoric I’ll allow here.” Silarz admonished. “This situation is infuriating, but we cannot allow our passions to run loose.”

“But still, comrade Principle Chairman–” Davydenko waved his hands exasperatedly, “you must see that we now exist in a state of war. We cannot allow this to go unanswered lest every backwards proto-state start diplomacy with us by sinking our ships. At the very least, we must reciprocate to help them understand their situation. Or, at the bare minimum, we send more ships to reinforce that surface action group that was not ever meant to fight a war by itself.”

“I agree, Chairman, that this warrants a grave response, but we cannot be rash. There are still political considerations to be made.” Silarz responded.

“The Macabeans? They’ve yet to fulfill their promise on entering the Vanguat. Why should they even be considered now?” A member of the Starosta Council interceded.

“Because, comrade, through the Golden Throne comes a stringy mess of alliances and allegiances; if we were to leave things unresolved, we would make things harder for us in the long run.” Silarz answered tiredly. “Chairman Davydenko, you have my permission to assemble a force to bolster our presence in the Sea of Faith, but know that I do not sanction a full-scale invasion of the Ice States. We will retaliate, but we will retaliate in kind. Understood?”

Davydenko stood and straightened his olive-green uniform. “We have already begun to make transfers for such a fleet. Is that all?”

Silarz looked over the countenances of the men in the room, considering some unseen variable before their eyes. Was this going to be his legacy? Not the secretive efforts of his entire life, but this? War consumed his only son, and would it now rob him of even the tiniest piece of peace of mind? As usual, there was nothing more to say.

“Yes, Chairman, that is all.” Silarz said, still too engrossed in his thoughts. Davydenko looked over to the generals and the admirals and nodded respectfully.

“Good hunting,” the Chairman of the Department of War said as they left the room and went out into the night.

"You give a monkey a stick, inevitably he’ll beat another monkey to death with it."
— Sadavir Errinwright, Expanse S2E12
"Вечнасць для Czaslyudiya!"

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The Ice States
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Founded: Jun 23, 2022
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby The Ice States » Tue Aug 16, 2022 4:36 pm

At Magecastle, The Ice States

A secured transmission was sent to the Diplomatic Offices of the FRCP _

From: Duke Jeramy Vliet
To: Diplomatic Offices of the FRCP

To whom it may concern _

Military hostilities were opened against the Federal Republic of Crusading Peoples due to your incursion into our contiguous zone to blockade the Empire. Cease all armed hostility or you will face further deadly force.

~Jeramy Vliet,
Duke of Magecastle,
The Empire of The Ice States


At Wintercourt, The Ice States

A new publication was released by the Ice Herald surrounding the ongoing battle _

War With The FRCP

By reporter Tommie Taul

This morning, ships from the Federal Republic of Czaslyudian Peoples (FRCP) had been deployed into the seas near The Ice States to join on the blockade. Whilst their aim to oppose our divinely-favoured regime was heinous in itself, their vessels then entered our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and contiguous zone, over which we have rights to sole jurisdiction on economic matters. The FRCP vessels were met with deadly force from Naval and Air border security divisions of The Ice Military.

This battle began when the ships incursed into Ice territory. They were immediately shot on sight as they entered our contiguous zone, as they had previously announced their intent to support their blockade, and their nature as warships made their intentions obvious. Air Force units would work on firebombing Czaslyudian ships, while they were also fired upon with missiles and naval artillery.

The battle remains in an effective stalemate, with Southport -- which previously held the only area usable for marine trade -- now being completely blockaded, but the Czaslyudian forces retreating and leaving the contiguous zone and EEZ. The FRCP's response has been to fire upon our air stations, while a defensive deployment is being stationed to defend a high-risk area of Southport from potential land-based invasion and to prevent the FRCP's reentry into Ice waters or its EEZ. The Duke of Magecastle, Jeramy Vliet, has sent a communication to the FRCP's diplomatic offices notifying them that further armed hostility would be met with deadly force. No response has yet been received.

This is an escalation of a previous conflict between The Ice States and various crusader states, which have been engaging in a naval blockade of the Empire. This blockade led to the lifting of The Ice Military to a state of emergency, allowing the General to activate the Reserves or deploy personnel at any time without seeking permission from the Emperor, so long as assent is received from Klyprer via the Divine Scribe. The FRCP, dubbed by some Icers as the "Federal Republic of Crusading Peoples", has also been targetting ships from The Golden Throne, leading to a counter-blockade being conducted against the FRCP.

A lot of questions are still unanswered. Will TIS fight off the Czaslyudian attackers? How will our economy cope? And what will the FRCP's response be? However, two things remain certain: The FRCP has just demonstrated its loathsome sinful and crusader tendencies that go against all in the name of Klyprer, and no coercion or attempt at coercion will force The Ice States to abolish slavery.

Further updates will be provided by The Ice Herald as this situation develops.

For Klyprer, Conquest, And Riches!


At the seas of Southport, The Ice States

We were driven away from the ship we were targetting, apparently as we had been ordered to cease going up to ships. But it doesn't matter. Most of our ships had been lost. Our object at this battle had failed, and there was no way for us to free the port in this battle. When we went away from the ship, most of the crew did not have to do anything besides sit and watch the battle go down. However, when the Czaslyudian vessels were driven away and retreated, we were asked to stay where we were until further notice, but fire upon FRCP vessels if they returned to our contiguous zone.

At the coast of Southport, The Ice States

As we arrived following our long trip, the Division Commander then spoke. "You are being deployed in the war against the FRCP." Chatter then began throughout the bus, until the Commander shouted, "Silence!". He got silence, and then continued "When your name is called, you are to leave the bus and remain right where the bus stops. You will be given a tray containing everything you will need during the deployment -- containing a set of three fire missiles, a cannon, a set of binoculars, a tent, food, a radio, a large container of water, and replacement uniforms. You are to put up your tent, set up the missile systems using the manuals in the tray, and set up the cannons. Do not deploy the missile systems or cannons unless either commanded to do so by your Division or Unit Commander, or if there is an FRCP ship that your telescope does not note as a friendly ship. Do I make myself clear?" Affirmative replies were heard. "Good."

Then came the first stop. "Corporal Conrad Hackman", the Commander called. Conrad left, and we could see a tray automatically exit from the end-carriage of the bus and go to where the Corporal was. Great, 500 or however more to go. After about an hour, the Commander finally called, "Lieutenant Roland McGraw". I left the bus, and out came the tray from the bus. The bus then left, and I got the manual. I set up the missile system, which was really just removing the tray walls and rolling the missile system down to the ground. The same happened with the cannon. I then took out the tent bag, and started setting up the tent, peg after peg, stick after stick.

Through my binoculars, I could also see Ice ships being set up at the bottom. A long set of ships connected together, and each ship would break off at some point. They were full-on warships, with their cannons and in-built missile systems. On the sky, however, things were not going so smoothly. Most of the air bases had been destroyed by FRCP ships, and aircraft could not be deployed there.

In the bus where AF personnel would be transported, the Division Commander received a message. "This is Force Commander Paswaters. The air base has been destroyed by FRCP ships. The only way to arrive in time would be to go to the Emerstead Air Base." "The fuck? Yes, sir", was the reply. Returning the bus would take a while, as it was a ten-carriage bus. Eventually, the bus had turned, and gone to the Emerstead Air Base. There, personnel went into their aircraft, and flew all the way back to the deployment area. This would be a waste of fuel for the aircraft, but whatever. As would usually occur, the air vessels were ordered to fly in a circular formation around the area the Ice military was covering. They were "only" five hours late, after all.
Last edited by The Ice States on Tue Aug 16, 2022 9:02 pm, edited 11 times in total.
For Klyprer, Conquest, And Riches!


Population: 60,264,000. Ice Calendar year: 1416.

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The Macabees
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Postby The Macabees » Thu Aug 18, 2022 10:12 am

VLADARSIK, EITOAN
Talks with Eitoan...

Kríerlord Ger Venamenud nodded at the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Andrew Falkowski, and said, "Very well, I think we'd be amenable to working out an economic deal with Agar-Na. Depending on the country's port infrastructure, investing in expand commercial port facilities on the Great Inland Sea might be seen with good eyes back home. Our trade in the Great Inland Sea is minimal, Agar-Na might be the key to the sea's rise as an important commercial waterway. In any case, let's agree to mull these concepts over and meet again, this time in Agar."

"As for His Imperial Majesty's attendance," the kríerlord continued, "I cannot speak for him, although I will inform him of the request tonight and upon my arrival back at Fedala tomorrow afternoon. Jogornos Filero's office here will keep you informed of His Imperial Majesty's decision. He has kept himself busy traveling throughout the territories, but I am sure that He is itching to return to the international scene. The principal complication that I anticipate is the fragile security situation in the North Vanguat. The situation with the FRCP is slowly improving, but I would not call it improved or in a good state. We think that additional economic pressure, like an embargo expansion, is necessary to force them to play ball by the rules. Anyway and either way, I will have Jogornos Filero confirm whether or not He plans to attend the meeting as soon as I have that information myself."

Days later, it was confirmed that Fedor would fly to Agar via His private hypersonic passenger aircraft.

Still in the present, Antonio — the jogornos — said, "Before we go to lunch, there is an additional matter that we hoped to discuss with you all today. It regards the expansion of our basing rights. Currently, as we all know, our nuclear submarines have certain rest, refit, and resupply privileges granted by your government to allow them to make the patrol route from Nicaro to the North Vanguat Sea, and from there either south to Potthan or north to the Bay of Slaves. This treaty has proven invaluable and is the cornerstone to our naval patrolling of far northwestern Greater Díenstad. Originally, our intentions were related to Ralkovia more than anything else, but the Ralkovian threat is no more since then. Congratulations on your recent victory. Now we are focused on patrolling against Kravenite slave ship, other military, and commercial incursions into the region, as well as the broader and more complicated task of protecting our trade routes and those of our allies. We would like to take on more of these protection responsibilities by complementing our submarine patrols with surface patrols. This is complicated by the lack of a base in the area. We hoped to discuss with you the possibilities of a base rental agreement in Eitoan, even if it requires us to make the major investment of building a new harbor and the port facilities so as to not crowd your own navy. Not something you need to decide on now, of course. But, I wanted to make sure the request for consideration was placed before we left."

"Ah yes," followed the kríerlord, "thank you Jogornos Filero. The situation with the FRCP has reminded us all of how fragile our seaborne trade networks truly are. A physical base in the North Vanguat Sea would give us more flexibility not just in protecting our own trade, but also that of the entire NMAA. We can discuss other investments that perhaps we can package in a base lease agreement, such as rail expansion or new energy infrastructure. A new harbor will require all of that anyway, and our sailors will demand Eitoani goods and services. There would be good economic benefits."

Ger finished with, "Mull these things over. Our teams can hammer out all the details formally once we have a broad agreement. Now that you said lunch, I feel my stomach rumbling."

Although Ger didn't yet know it, Eitoan wasn't the only country to pump the brakes on the Golden Throne's strategy of expanding its embargo on FRCP trade. Holy Marsh had also declined, at least until the Ice States agreed to ending the institution of slavery in its country. While both countries had very minimal trade with the FRCP, both were leaders of their own alliance networks and could influence these partners to join the embargo themselves. Without them, the project of expanding the embargo teetered on the edge of failure. It was a lesson to the Golden Throne, which would have to take steps in the coming months to bolster the security of its international trade flows. It needed a more robust agreement-based mechanism to enforce sanctions on third parties. From this experience was born the future Greater Díenstadi Trade Organization (GDTO).

And, aside from the embargo, the conversations being had these days were helping to enhance the Golden Throne's commercial presence in the far northwest of Greater Díenstad. Only a few years ago, it had been restricted by the presence of a powerful Ralkovian slave-trading state. Now, the prospects of growing Macabéan business in Agar-Na were good and the gears were turning in the effort to further bolster the security of new trade routes to Federal Ralkovia. The short-run setback was eclipsed by long-run gains.



MAGECASTLE, THE ICE STATES
Talks with TIS...

The religious variable in the equation was suboptimal, but Derego understood that it was something he had to grapple with regardless. Turning to the Divine Scribe, he said, "Very well. The decision to end participation in the international slave trade and to ban the further internal slave trade is a powerful gesture, regardless. Once these two policy changes are announced internationally, we'll begin the next steps of putting together a more general framework for a 5-year emancipation and abolition program. I think the timeframe will be considered non-ideal, but we will work with what we have. Perhaps Klyprer can be persuaded to accept a shorter timeframe?" he half-joked. Then, "More seriously, to persuade the crusader states, I recommend we establish some sort of international monitoring organization led by the Golden Throne to oversee the abolition and emancipation program, measure its progress, and communicate the adherence of the Ice States to its agreements. I recommend having Marshite monitors on the team. That might be enough to 'suade them in favor of this approach."

"Regarding the loan offer to help cover the costs of the emancipation program," he continued, turning to the emperor, "I think Dienbank would agree to terms anchored to the Ice Guinea. They will usually work in some sort of inflation guard, indexing the principal to the value of the Ice Guinea. If defining the terms of the loan in Ice Guineas helps to protect you against inflation-related challenges to repayment, Díenbank will be looking for some sort of quid pro quo, and indexing the principal to the value of your currency would do the trick."

"While we're on economic matters," Derego went on, "we'll get the gears turning regarding blockade evasion. Once your companies divert their exports to Nicaro, they can be sold to our wholesalers and distributors there who will then handle the re-sell. Likewise, they will purchase your imports in their name and sell them back to you, importing them into TIS through the Nicaroan international border. This should help to alleviate some of the pressure from the blockade."

He turned to the more difficult topic of a mutual defense pact. "Assuming the Marshites accept the emancipation plan and their end of the blockade is lifted, in conjunction with TGT-TIS free trade and capital agreements, we would feel confident enough to sign a mutual defense agreement. This agreement would have to be tied to progress in the emancipation program. We must also first try to negotiate a ceasefire with the FRCP, then we can bring them to the peace table. Only should they refuse will we go to war. An attempt at a peaceful resolution should be made first. All the same, the Golden Throne will be prepared for such an eventuality. I'm not a general, but I would expect a number of Macabéan armies to deploy to what we call the Nicaroan Frontier over the coming days and weeks. When the final agreement is reached, Klyprer willing, the Macabéan army can cross into TIS under both the guise of monitoring the progress of the emancipation program, but also to protect TIS while it sees its emancipation and abolition plan through. In the meantime, perhaps your military could prepare us some bases and have these ready — the more infrastructure is prepared for us early, the more prepared we will be for your immediate defense. Hopefully, the presence of the Ejermacht will dissuade countries like the FRCP from invading you altogether."

"If all of this is acceptable," finished the jogornos, "I will immediately report to Fedala, which will pass on relevant information to Holy Marsh. I trust that you will have your people announce the immediate end to the international slave trade in TIS as well as the cessation of all domestic enslavement, along with the outline of the 5-year emancipation plan. In the meantime, we'll send down an advisory team to coordinate the flow of intelligence to your military and prepare for a large-scale deployment of ground and air forces in your defense in anticipation of the final treaty agreement."



VLADARSIK, EITOAN
Talks with FRCP...

When the FRCP's request for a meeting arrived at the Golden Throne's embassy in Vladarsik, it was immediately forwarded to Fedala. There was some surprise, as so far the conversation between the two governments — if it could be called a conversation — had been rather terse. All the same, there was some relief, as it implied progress was being made in the de-escalation in the North Vanguat Sea. The situation around TIS was also getting more complicated by the hour, between the coming slave trade abolition and slave emancipation agreement with TIS and the latter's freshly launched war with the FRCP. Together with possible commitments being made to TIS over its defense, in the case of an acceptable outcome to the negotiations over the status of slavery, and the economic prospects of market expansion into Nicaro's southern neighbor, it seemed that the stars were not aligning in a way conducive to peace between the Federal Republic and the Macabéan empire. If there was a time to talk before everything unraveled again it was now. Fedala took note of the FRCP's initiative in reaching out for formal talks, it was a gesture worth rewarding.

The prevailing attitude in Fedala regarding the situation in the North Vanguat was that peace was better than war. After the end of the Gothic War the previous year and the conclusion of the Second Macabéan-Ordenite War earlier this same year, there was an acute awareness of the fiscal advantages to peace. Fedala and the military expected renewed conflict with the Reich in a matter of years and rebuilding the treasury for this eventuality was the top priority. Furthermore, it was generally understood that it would be imperial trade that would suffer the most from a war with the FRCP, since the Golden Throne's trade volume in the area was just so much greater than the FRCP's if simply due to the fact that the latter had just come out of a civil war. Thus, if peace could be sustained, all for the better.

On the other hand, the warmongerers were not a small minority. There was also a broad sentiment of indignation against the FRCP for having so boldly accused the Golden Throne of participating in the international slave trade since that's what the targeting of its commercial ships implied. Some were wary of making any sort of diplomatic concession in case it ended up vindicating that government's choices. Even those seeking peace understood that some way or another, FRCP had to be 'punished.'

A tangled web of emotions and diplomatic initiatives set the stage, then. The Golden Throne wanted peace, but not peace that elevated the FRCP's international status after this country had confronted the empire. The Golden Throne wanted peace, but it also wanted to grow its share of the economic spoils and a good opportunity was arising in TIS, assuming the diplomatic negotiations proceeded positively. With the intention of untangling all of these disparate and exclusive threads, Jogornos Antonio Filero was instructed to meet with representatives of the Federal Republic of the Czaslyudian People. The same Jogornos Filero returned a message to the Czaslyudian embassy in Vladarsik, saying that he would be responsible for leading the Macabéan side. A note was also dispatched to the Eitoani Department of Foreign Affairs to make them aware of the talks.

In the early morning, soon after the Czaslyudian message had first been delivered, an FRCP diplomatic team quietly arrived through a back gate to the embassy grounds. They were ushered in without much fanfare and eventually led to an air-conditioned conference room in the main embassy building. A table in the middle had been prepared with water for all of the guests, as well as a bottle of whisky. Macabéans believed in the good health of speaking on complicated matters over a dram of whisky. Against the back wall, a smaller table was covered by a white tablecloth and several platters of fruit. People picked at these while they waited for the formal discussion to take place. After chatting informally for a bit — a practice which the Macabéans thought conducive to the success of subsequent formal talks —, Jogornos Filero took his place at the head of the table and invited the Czaslyudian guests to sit down.

"Thank you for meeting at our embassy on such short notice," he started. "I believe this is the first formal discussion between our two governments. While perhaps circumstances could have been better, alas, they are what they are. For the sake of providing a simple agenda for today, I think there are three main topics. First, the precarious situation in the North Vanguat Sea. Second, the end goal regarding the Ice States and the ongoing negotiations between TIS and TGT, on which I will have to fill you in. Third, your war with TIS. I separate two and three because our diplomats in TIS are keen on the successful conclusion to the current negotiation process. I am sure that you have heard TIS' announcement of the end of their participation in the international slave trade, as well as the immediate freezing of their domestic slave trade.* This is the first step in a larger plan to abolish the institution of slavery in TIS altogether. If this arrangement is concluded successfully, the open question is will the FRCP agree to a ceasefire with TIS?"

* Since, temporally, this happens after the above section set in Magecastle, I'm assuming that TIS made the public announcement.

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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Thu Aug 18, 2022 6:32 pm

At Magecastle, The Ice States

While the Macabean diplomats spoke, the Duke began typing on the keyboard below the desk, while still listening keenly. He then spoke after the Macabean diplomats finished _

"Thank you for your openness to cooperation, and indeed, the productive talks today. We will commence the process to end slavery immediately after these talks conclude, as well as setting up bases for the Ejermacht to enter, assuming that The Golden Throne will do its part in our agreement from today and we can mutually assist each other against the Czaslyudian threat."

"I don't think such an agreement needs to be conditional on the Marshites -- I would propose an ad hoc agreement specifically against the FRCP, while also intending for good faith future military agreements. I have written up a treaty given the consensus we have come to in this and the previous talks, but obviously is open to change etc.", and the screen at the centre of the table immediately changed to a large document _

The Treaty Of Liberation

WE, THE SIGNATORIES OF THE EMPIRE OF THE GOLDEN THRONE AND THE EMPIRE OF THE ICE STATES DECLARE AS FOLLOWS _

Article I: The End Of Slavery

  • The Ice States is to immediately proscribe its participation in the international slave trade. Thus, The Ice States is to refrain from allowing the purchase or sale of slaves from under its jurisdiction to any other jurisdiction.

  • The Ice States is to refrain from allowing or directing the enslavement of any person not currently enslaved as of the signing of this agreement.

  • The Ice States is to set up a plan to end slavery within five years. This plan shall be the following, subject to future mutual agreement by both signatories _

    • The Ice States is to set up a program allowing any slaveowner to sell their slaves to the state at a reasonable price proportionate to the utility of the slave and the time of sale, as to reasonably entice early sale of slaves to the state. This program may not be unduly restricted or obstructed by onerous bureaucracy. This program must remain in operation until two years since the signing of this agreement, after which all slaves not already sold to the state will be automatically emancipated but still required to undergo training per below.

    • Slaves sold to the state or automatically emancipated after two years are to be transferred to a training course. This training course is to allow ex-slaves to find natural employment after participation in these training courses, which may not last longer than five years after the emancipation process began. Slaves in such a course are to receive a wage, which shall at least be sufficient to allow that slave to purchase basic necessities.

    • After the training course process concludes, all ex-slaves must be removed from the training course and allowed to freely find a new job. The Ice States may not interfere with the ability of an ex-slave to find natural employment.

  • Dienbank is to provide a 30 year loan, of a 1.5% interest rate, anchored to the value of the Ice Guinea, to be used by The Ice States to the minimal extent necessary to quell any severe burden on The Ice States' finances posed by compliance with this article, where the need for funding did not arise due to deliberate diversion of existing or loaned funds.

  • The Ice States is to provide annual updates to The Golden Throne on the progress of efforts to end slavery. Should an event or circumstance obstruct compliance with these mandates, The Ice States is to inform The Golden Throne on this event or circumstance and how it is obstructing compliance.

  • The Golden Throne may send a mission containing members of its choosing to supervise the progress of efforts to end slavery in The Ice States for the duration of these efforts. All participants in this mission are to be subject to diplomatic immunity, and may not be discriminated against in such immunity or by the nation, including for requiring the deportation of a member of the mission. Accordingly, The Ice States is to, except to the minimal extent necessary to protect national security, fully cooperate with supervision of emancipation efforts by this mission.

Article II: Ad Hoc Provisions

  • Ice goods and wares transferred to Nicaro but where Nicaro is not their final destination are to be flagged as originating from The Golden Throne, and may not be indicated as originating from The Ice States, when in international waters. The Golden Throne is to strive to have these goods and wares arrive via Macabean vessels at their intended destination port as speedily as possible.

  • Should the Federal Republic of Czaslyudian Peoples -- hereinafter the FRCP -- reject peaceful end to the conflicts between the FRCP and both signatories, and perform or be to imminently perform military hostilities against either signatory, the other signatory is to support military efforts by the victim signatory to coerce or otherwise procure cessation of the FRCP's military hostilities against that signatory to the best of the supporting signatory's ability.

  • The Ice States and The Golden Throne shall work to jointly enforce a blockade of the FRCP, as to prevent the exit of as many Czaslyudian vessels and vehicles as practicable from the FRCP, unless peaceful end to the conflicts between the FRCP and both signatories is accepted by the FRCP.

  • The Ice States and The Golden Throne may, upon joint agreement, perform joint military training exercises to prepare for the above two mandates.

  • Each signatory to share all relevant intelligence they have maintain access to surrounding threats to the sovereignty or security of the other signatory originating from the FRCP, except to the minimal extent necessary to protect vital interests in the security of the signatory with access to such intelligence.
  • The first section of this article is to apply for the duration of the blockade on The Ice States, and the second, third, and fourth sections are each to apply until the cessation of all Czaslyudian hostilities against both The Ice States and The Golden Throne. The fifth section is to apply until five years after full acceptance of the cessation of all military hostilities against both signatories by the FRCP.

Article III: Long Term Provisions

  • Neither signatory may perform, assist, or wilfully incite military or economic hostilities against the other signatory.

  • Each signatory is to refrain from enforcing restrictions or other barriers to the free flow of capital between the signatories, except to the minimal extent necessary to forestall a balance of payments crisis or protect vital national security interests.

  • The signatories are to strive to improve military, diplomatic, and economic cooperation with each other beyond the mandates of this treaty over the long term.

Article IV: Miscellaneous

  • Should either signatory violate their duties under this treaty in letter or in spirit, this treaty may be terminated by the other signatory.

  • This treaty may also be dissolved or amended upon mutual and uncoerced consent by both parties.


"Once this treaty is finalised, I believe we would indeed conclude these talks."

Stonegrad Royal Castle, The Ice States

A statement was published by the Emperor upon conclusion of talks between The Ice States and The Golden Throne _

Statement On The Federal Republic Of Crusading Peoples

Recently, The Federal Republic of Crusading Peoples released an outrageous and disgraceful statement not only condemning The Ice States, but attacking the very existence and power of the almighty Lord of the Cosmos, Klyprer. It referred to The Ice States as "cowardly", "revolting", and "an eccentric and bumbling tyranny posing as a theocracy", while attacking Klyprer as a "myth-deity [whose] patience will run thin". The Holy Book of Klyprer specifically declares that "[the Lord's] commands are not arbitrary, capricious, inoperative, unnecessary, malevolent, or dictatorial", and "they are to ensure that the world remains home to an orderly, benevolent, clean, devotional, and positive society".

As expected from any other non-believer sinful crusader state, the statement was merely an attempt at coercion of The Ice States, demanding "the complete abolition of human trafficking in the Ice States and a reduction in the size of the armed forces of the Ice States, willing or otherwise, for perpetuity", which, as indicated by an article by the Korf Enquirer, was under threat of "a full-on assault, if short of an invasion, on the Ice States". Had the FRCP attempted peaceful means to end slavery, we would have complied with their demands -- and in fact, a process has been initiated to end slavery following talks with a friendly nation. However, coercion is not and will not ever be a reason that we would do anything.

Also, let's debunk the assertion that we "have violated and muddled the very meaning of territorial and economic waters by confusing the area where it is a nation-state’s privilege to fish in with its own possessions". They have not only entered our EEZ, wherein their presence indeed obstructs our ability to use and regulate use of natural resources -- cf "Law Of The Seas"' -- but they have entered our contiguous zone, over which we have authority to enforce sovereignty for the purpose of enforcing trade regulations. Of course, making twisted claims like this is not at all surprising from a state as hypocritical and sinful as the FRCP. In addition, while we did indeed target the FRCP ships in an act of war, interference with our rights over our EEZ and contiguous zone is, in itself, an act of war. Combine this with their actions against shipping of The Golden Throne in international waters? It was not The Ice States who begun this war. However, as long as the FRCP continues crusading like they are right now, we will prosecute this war until the end.

The FRCP's response to us demanding the cessation of their hostilities against the nation is releasing a biased and deluded statement condemning both our nation and the Lord of the Cosmos is this? Seriously? We reiterate our demand: The FRCP is to cease all armed hostility against both The Ice States and The Golden Throne, or they will be met with deadly force.
Last edited by The Ice States on Thu Aug 18, 2022 8:35 pm, edited 15 times in total.
For Klyprer, Conquest, And Riches!


Population: 60,264,000. Ice Calendar year: 1416.

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Holy Marsh
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Holy Marsh » Thu Aug 18, 2022 11:45 pm

Sea of Faith

If there was one thing the Theocracy had perfected after several millennia of ceaseless conflict, it was pivoting without any noticeable change from their normal behaviours.

And the situation in the Sea of Faith had most certainly developed, to be sure. The 33rd Tactical Fleet had only a few of its vessels in the area under the 33-9 and 33-2 task force headings. That changed. Since the start of the standoff between the FRCP and Golden Throne, the 33rd had called its various task forces together from around the Sea of Faith and in time it would all be accounted for. The same held true of the 74th Tactical Fleet, as well as the two Submarine Groups in the area. As hostilities continued between the Ice States and the FRCP, the two tactical fleets and both submarine groups were transferred over to the closest operational commander, Admiral-Mistress Sakashkan Aldun of the 3rd Strategic Fleet. These were just some of the naval vessels in the Sea of Faith as a total of a full Strategic Fleet- ten tactical fleets in total- were on station, as well as half of a Strategic Submarine Group and more than two dozen other more specialized Tactical Fleets.

It was decided that these forces would enact a more vigorous blockade of the Sea of Faith. As such, they were split up into five task forces. The first task force, Exanos, was the smallest and was made up of forces designed to block the eastern entrance into the Sea of Faith. Their goal was, if the proclamation was given, to completely close the entrance to all non-RMU naval traffic. The second task force, Romandeos Path, was designed to block the entrance from the south. The third task force, Damaa, was to be placed in a blocking position along the coasts of Ixana, the narrow strip of water that connected the Ice States to the broader ocean ways in the Damaa Strait. It was a heavier combat group that would be expected to smash any opposition that tried to force its way in our out of the Ice States. The fourth task force, Ahastan, was the largest and was expected to shut down the entrance to the seas around Southport. The final task force under the Admiral-Mistresses control, Ixana, was placed to the west of the island and spread out the farthest. It would still take time for the full weight of these forces to come to bear, but the clock had begun to turn. At the moment they did nothing that they weren't doing before- perhaps the order to start the operation would never be given.

The TMAF did not shirk its own duty. Several air wings had been deployed to the islands of Ixana, Shesarlie, and Tarvencore and these were bolstered for specific duties. From the Theocratic Matriarchy itself, three air crusades were pinpointed for special duties- the 50th Fighter, 17th Bomber, and 20th Multimission, each one supported by their logistics support arms. Their primary goals were to close the air traffic over the Sea of Faith entirely should the call come in and maintain a devastating strike capability. Of course, more than two dozen other Air Crusades were kept on tap for possible deployment to the area should the need arise.

The ground component of the buildup also continued. Unlike the other elements, large and very much an attempt to overmatch any opposition, the ground forces were insignificant. The Motokata army exercises would include only one Corp of around one-hundred thousand, the 300th Mechanized Crusade Corp, a powerful formation in its own right but in no way the sort of force the Theocracy would send as an invasion force. The islands would soon be home to six Marine Raider Regiments, crack soldiers with a speciality in high seas boarding operations and deadly close-quarter fighting, not to mention other special operations and direct action. The 109th Raiders- the famed and bloody-handed "Huntresses" led by Colonel Sinasa Onstaban- was the most well-known of the bunch, but by no means alone.

Forces outside of the Sea of Faith started moving into their new positions as well. The 91st Tactical fleet, alongside two Submarine Groups, a Tactical Carrier Assault Fleet, and three Tactical Support Fleets would start to make their movements more well known in the Northern Vanglorikan Sea. To the east of the Ice States, three Tactical Submarine Groups and the 11th Tactical Fleet would in time take their positions. These military movements were supported by the Damocles satellite system and the intelligence apparatus of the Romani-Mars'i Union- the members of which currently were not deploying any forces of their own into the area, at least no more than usual.

As befitted their current stance, the Theocratic Matriarchy spoke of no greater deployment or cause at the moment. These forces were assembled with the usual swiftness and silence that was normative Marshite standards. Unless one was looking for it and had the resources to do so, it could be missed. However, they did not hide these developments from the Golden Throne, nor make moves to do so. What the Throne chose to do with that information was, of course, up to them.

**********************
Northern Vanglorikan (North Vanguat) Sea
Longsword Supercapital Ship Martyr-Saint Lainika


Admiral-Chieftain Erashkak Valacankask was in charge of the newly formed Second Vanglorikan Naval Crusade, made up of the majority of the 91st Tactical Fleet and elements from a number of others. It was a powerful war-making fleet that he would love to send into the testy waters of an adversary again soon, but for now was being assembled for a mission he was not yet fully aware of. He simply had to have the faith. This faith would endure as he waited for his mission in the cavernous command nerve center of the Longsword, and it would certainly have to endure after he received the mission from up on high. It came to hime as did all communications of import through the Citizen Cluster Diomasa's secure transmission service, which he ran through twice more to ensure that what he had received was indeed true.

Within two minutes, the Second Vanglorikan Naval Crusade would split up as they ventured deeper and more aggressively into the seas.

**********************
Mar'si, Holy Marsh


It was a normal news day for the citizens of the Theocratic Matriarchy. As usual, most of it was dominated by coverage of various religious festivals, dissertations, and services, with a sprinkling of sports here and there. The multiple crusades and wars that the Theocracy involved itself in, a reading of daily martyrs, and even more religious services and debates. It was only tucked away somewhere late in the evening, as most Marshites were switching their living shifts, that it was announced that the Arch-Bishop had planned to make a speech the following night. The content of it was not revealed.

*************************************************


ORBAT (Note: The ORBAT that follows will evolve, with the first number being the number of total forces allocated and the number in parenthesis being the number currently in the area of operations. As time goes on, these numbers will update. Additionally, this will not include vessels currently assigned to non-combat duties such as the 4th Strategic Coastal Defense Fleet or the 1st Strategic Logistics Support Fleet. nor does it include Theocratic Matriarchy Air Force, Army, or Marine Forces. Additionally, the 80th, 45th, and 99th Tactical Amphibious Support/Invasion Fleet, 4th, 65th, 67th, and 68th Tactical Carrier Assault Fleets, four Tactical Submarine Hunter Groups, and more than two dozen Coastal Defense Fleets are currently in the Sea of Faith but at the moment are completely uninvolved at the moment and thus are not reflected.)

Operation: Tin Hawk
33rd and 74th Tactical Fleets.
21st, 90th, 51st, and 59th Tactical Submarine Groups.
3rd Tactical Submarine Hunting Group.
6th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 21st Tactical Coastal Defense Fleets.
Organized under Admiral-Mistress Sakashkan Aldun under the First Sea of Faith Crusade.

Task Force Ahastan- 20 (14), 118 (81), 32 (22). 170 (117)
1 x Longsword-class Supercapital Ship *The Sorrow of Peace* Flagship (1)
3 x MTD Type-115 Anubis-class Arsenal Ships(1)
6 x Pijl-class Arsenal Ships (4)
4 x Luna-class Fleet Carriers (3)
6 x Kazatlan-class Escort Carriers (5)
38 x Lacto-class CGNs (25)
40 x Lamia-class DDGN (27)
20 x Libertas-class Multi-Role Frigate (15)
20 x FAC-36 Crocodile (14)
15 x LA-601 Xiphos class SSN (9)
13 x LA-602 Kukri class AIP SSK (11)
4 x LA-603 Dadao class SSBN/SSGN (2)
500 Aircraft (MAF-50 Pegasus, MAF-50S Silent Pegasus, MAF-52 Griffon, E-20A Pontus) (390)
136 Helicopters (Mix of SV-22A, EV-22, and LA-214 'Molior') (92)

Task Force Damaa- 17(11). 120(93). 34(22). 171(99)
1 x Longsword-class Supercapital Ship (1)
3 x MTD Type-115 Anubis-class Arsenal Ships (1)
6 x Pijl-class Arsenal Ships (4)
3 x Luna class Fleet Carriers (2)
4 x Kazatlan-class Escort Carriers (3)
20 x Lacto class CGNs (17)
30 x Lamia-class DDGNs (20)
30 x Libertas Class Multi-Role Frigate (23)
40 x FAC-36 Crocodile (33)
15 x LA-601 Xiphos class SSN (9)
15 x LA-602 Kukri class AIP SSK (10)
4 x LA-603 Dadao class SSBN/SSGN (3)
360 Aircraft (MAF-50 Pegasus, MAF-50S Silent Pegasus, MAF-52 Griffon, E-20A Pontus) (250)
100 Helicopters (Mix of SV-22A, EV-22, and LA-214 'Molior') (51)

Task Force Ixana- 16(9). 85(46). 27(19). 128(74)
3 x MTD Type-115 Anubis-class Arsenal Ships (2)
6 x Pijl-class Arsenal Ships (5)
3 x Luna class Fleet Carrier Supercarriers (0)
4 x Kazatlan-class Escort Carriers (2)
25 x Lacto class CGN (15)
25 x Lamia-class DDGN (12)
15 x Libertas Class Multi-Role Frigate (10)
20 x FAC-36 Crocodile (9)
15 x LA-601 Xiphos class SSN (7)
10 x LA-602 Kukri class AIP SSK (10)
2 x LA-603 Dadao class SSBN/SSGN (2)
360 Aircraft (MAF-50 Pegasus, LY910 Shadowhawk, MAF-52 Griffon, E-20A Pontus) (60)
90 Helicopters (Mix of SV-22A, EV-22, and LA-214 'Molior') (52)

Task Force Exanos- 7(4). 85(40). 56(35). 148(79).
2 x Pijl-class Arsenal Ships (1)
1 x Luna-class Fleet Carrier (1)
4 x Kazatlan-class Escort Carriers (2)
10 x Lacto class CGN (5)
20 x Lamia-class DDGN (10)
25 x Libertas Class Multi-Role Frigates (10)
30 x FAC-36 Crocodile (15)
32 x LA-601 Xiphos class SSN (21)
20 x LA-602 Kukri class AIP SSK (13)
4 x LA-603 Dadao class SSBN/SSGN (1)
200 Aircraft (MAF-50 Pegasus, LY910 Shadowhawk, MAF-52 Griffon, E-20A Pontus) (140)
65 Helicopters (Mix of SV-22A, EV-22, and LA-214 'Molior') (30)

Task Force Romandean Path- 6(3). 100(49). 53(34). 159(86).
1 x MTD Type-115 Anubis-class Arsenal Ships (0)
1 x Luna-class Fleet Carrier (0)
4 x Kazatlan-class Escort Carriers (3)
15 x Lacto class CGN (10)
20 x Lamia-class DDGN (15)
20 x Libertas Class Multi-Role Frigates (7)
45 x FAC-36 Crocodile (17)
31 x LA-601 Xiphos class SSN (16)
18 x LA-602 Kukri class AIP SSK (14)
4 x LA-603 Dadao class SSBN/SSGN (4)
200 Aircraft (MAF-50 Pegasus, MAF-50S Silent Pegasus, MAF-52 Griffon, E-20A Pontus) (90)
70 Helicopters (Mix of SV-22A, EV-22, and LA-214 'Molior') (42)
Last edited by Holy Marsh on Mon Aug 22, 2022 8:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Holy Marsh is ranked 1st in Nova (Greysteel) and 571st (477th) in the world for Largest Defense Forces.
Holy Marsh is ranked 2,723rd in the world and 1st in Greater Dienstad for Most Inclusive.
The Shift: An Update on Holy Marsh
"...an exercise in sadomasochistic futility," - Engaging in warfare against the Union
United World Order was unjustly deleted.

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