Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Romero
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"If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud. Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, my friend, you would not tell with such high zest to children ardent for some desperate glory, the old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori." -Wilfred Owen

Spring of 1756




2nd of January

The new year dawns over a continent on edge, as across Europe, tensions continue to build. The border between The Kingdom of Dorist and The Kingdom of Stevata is heavily garrisoned by both sides, as it has been for months, the bloody events of the Siege of Kronik still fresh for the two proud nations, while The Empire of Grimhout and The Kingdom of Fosbak, those old enemies, warily watch each other from across the channel. Europe has known war for countless centuries, and despite all of the promise of these changing times, there are few that believe the continent will not see war again.

3rd of January

The recent marriage between King Nikolaos II and Princess Anna Rainer represents a new bond between The Kingdom of Komentiolos and The Kingdom of Altenten. A country who's history has long been tied more to Africa, and their immediate neighbours, than to the rest of Europe could this marriage represent Komentiolos turning it's attention elsewhere? Only time will tell, as delegates of half a dozen nations begin making their way to the city of Tarsus to witness the marriage.

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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by LordZell
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[Kingdom of Dorist, 1756, Talfist

As the court finished with their biggerings and conversations on the state of the nation, King Freud smiled and pushed his seat back as he stood up. “My lords, I thank you as always for your service and we shall convene in a few days once I have decided upon my course of action for these issues. Do enjoy the next few days.” The King then turned and headed to his study and looked over the respondents and maps vigorously.

Over the next few days the King was rarely seen and when he was it was with his family to have quality time. Finally a week had passed and the King called his court together once more.As the guests all took their seats the King stood up. “Welcome back everyone, I hope you all had a fine time. But while you all relaxed I moved the pieces of this kingdom and today I wish to announce what I have done so that we may prepare our next step. First I have sent Lord Castor Belvon to the Kingdom of Altenten to arrange a military alignment in case of war with the Kingdom of Stevata, stating we wish to mutually insure we would help one another in case of war.

Furthermore, I have sent word to General Draton and to the people in Shardvul both of Dorist or non-dorist descent that the lands along the border with Stevata our actually ours and that the General would send 10,000 soldiers whom are of Primarily Non-Dorist descent to protect these new villages and farms, as they would begin to setup watchtowers to ensure their safety.

Finally, I’ve spoken to Rudolf Smitt who assure me they have something promising in the works which will improve our military significantly.But he offers no time of when they will have a working model. Now I believe that addressed most of your concerns. The rest of which I hope to answer here for you. Let the questions begin.”

The room cheers mostly in agreement with the King’s actions after which the King calmed them down and begined answering whatever concerns the few pessimists had.

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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Murtox
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The coastal wind drove a multitude of smells alongside the fresh smell of the air from the sea and for a long time, such smells had never before been experimented by the people of Khazaria. At least, not by its ancestors that didn't know of the sea but rather of the vast expanses of the steppes filled with grass and the company of the Sun and the Moon in their long travels to find land to call their own. But for the modern Khazar, the smell of the sea was like that of any other. The fact that so many cities were now built next to it represented this fact the most.

Now, there were few Khazars who had not seen the Black Sea and Şahin Macar was amongst those who knew of the sea just as well as they knew the saddle of a horse. Truly, the sea was intriguing and a vast new unexplored ground for the Khazarians. A new world to be explored for the young emperor and for many more Khazars willing to make a living on the sea through trade and adventure. Was that the reason for his aunt's decisiveness of approving the construction of the large vessel that transported him to the city of Mel-Izar.

Mel-Izar was the jewel of the province of Kumbag. A city filled with foreigners and one of the main trading ports of the Empire. Şahin Macar knew pretty well the reason for his voyage to the city. It was to visit his aunt on the Winter Court of the Empire, for while the rest of the Empire braced themselves for the cold. The peninsulae of Kumbag remained a warm place to say and a comfortable one, no wonder his aunt when she was the regent stayed there most of the time and many began to notice that it was sort of the second capital of the Empire.

It would indeed be a nice place to stay for the rest of the winter, too bad that the summer vacations of the past wouldn't repeat once again. For now, Emperor Şahin Macar had holy duties towards his people and ancestors, and most importantly to himself. It would be bad to let his aunt do all the job herself of the managing of the whole empire looked bad on him and the wouldn't improve the health of his aging aunt.

Perhaps, that was the reason his Aunt had called him from the capital of Itil to the city of Mel-Izar. Truly reasons would soon be known as the Emperor when he disembarked on the city. One thing he picked up before returning to his quarters on the ship was the number of ships going and coming from various directions if it was a sign of something it was probably a sign of a prosperous nation. A true nation befitting of the Emperor's title. He could even see how some captains bowed from their decks to the ship when they saw the Imperial's Dynasty Sigil and Emblem painted on the ship's sails.

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A few days later at the city of Mel-Izar

Truly, the summer palace was something worthy of an emperor or in this case an emperor's regent. The painted columns made of a bright mix of yellow and orange, alongside exotic carpets decorated every wall of the massive palace that sat next to the shore. It had four tall towers and several more living quarters where the servants of the Emperor and regent slept and ate. Truly, a magnificent sight to most kings and commoners.

Şahin though was rather bothered though. He was a young mind that wasn't used to waiting in a room for his Aunt to finish speaking to the Stevatan ambassador. He was an emperor and perhaps even a spoiled one at that, perhaps a result of his aunt wishing to keep him away from the political intrigue of the court by sending off hunting and traveling with the pretext of knowing the Empire, but certainly now that he had him right next to her things would have to change if she wished to maintain a certain level of decorum.

A few more minutes passed before Şahin received approval to enter the massive hall of the summer palace. At the center, he saw the European looking ambassador and his entourage of advisors and men. Their caucasian features all too clear for Şahin to recognize them, their hard defined features had become a usual sight throughout various cities in the Empire, a result of the rise of trade coming from north, south, west, and east that had the Empire at its center.

They modestly bowed to the Emperor dressed in his bright golden clothes and hailed him as Şahin walked through towards his aunt, who dressed in a similar colored dress look at both the Ambassador and his nephew from above. The throne of the regent sitting at the top of a tall pyramid-like structure that allowed however sat at its top a clear view over the whole hall.

"My emperor, it is a pleasure to have you here, I was just finishing talking to our honorable Stevatan guest" said Sevil Macar, regent in interregnum and matriarch of the imperial dynasty. "We were just about to finish, your imperial highness." Replied Ambassador Landon Jameson an old hand but experienced and competent, one that had seen to it that trade with Khazaria continued to increase over the past decade in a swift and continuous manner. Sahin though still looked a bit bothered but tried to hide in front of the honored guest, not knowing whether or not he successfully managed to hide the emotions inside of him. He nodded at the ambassador and replied to him in a calm tone. "As always, any Stevatan envoy and diplomat are welcome to our palaces if he wishes to discuss matters that concern both of our nations...now, I do wonder what kind of talks have been going between our most esteemed guest and the Imperial Regent."

For a moment, a tense atmosphere formed up around the Emperor and the Regent. The request of the Emperor seemingly out of the blue and out of the ordinary, but nonetheless a valid one that regent Sevil was more than willing to grant to his imperial majesty. "We were just discussing a basic matter of arranging an imperial visit to the Stevatan capital send our finest riders and gifts to the king of Stevata will be a sign of respect to the King. It is about time don't you think, your majesty?"

Sahin thought about it for a moment, but he nonetheless gave a rapid answer agreeing with his aunt like many times before."Well, you are right, lest we forget that not so many moons the Stevatan king had sent his finest horse as a gift to my mother and father when they got married. We should return the favor now that I am emperor, I do not wish for the King of Stevata to think of me as an impudent ruler that forgets so easily about past signs of friendship."

The Stevatan ambassador smiled and Sevil did as well. Almost as a sort silent "well said" or "well done" kind of response. "Indeed your majesty, I knew you would approve of this and as such, I have already sent a messenger to Alp Tarkhan to select five hundred of his finest raiders to make the voyage. We are still descendants of the great Nursultan and we must show it to the world. Anyways, Ambassador Landon I think we are done for now. If you wish to discuss any other matter, you are more than welcome to send the Emperor a missive and we can arrange another visit for you and your entourage." Replied Sevil to the Ambassador, her long nails seemingly waving towards the guards to escort the ambassador outside.

"As you say, imperial regent. We will be keeping contact and your imperial majesty, it is always a pleasure to see you. You are truly young and healthy, how I envy you. Truly the spitting image of your father, I am deeply sorry that he wasn't able to see his son grow up to become such a fine man and emperor too." The ambassador excused himself and made his way to the entrance of the Palace, escorted by two guards in full ornamental armor that while fashionable and expensive was too heavy and impractical for anything beyond the ceremonial walkings. Perhaps, another thing that had changed for the Khazars was their change of practical things for more luxurious stuff, but this had slowly ingrained itself in the nobility and as such, few pay much mind to it. Except for those from the provinces that were also part of the house of notables, they wore a mix of modern and ancient armor. Practical to the brim and not good looking at all, but it also was a way of showing that they had not lost their ways unlike the rest of the notables.

"Now your grace, we can finally talk without the ears of foreigners listening to us. Please, come here I want to look at you closely my precious nephew." Sahin acknowledged his aunt's request and stepped forward as he climbed the steps towards the throne of the Imperial Regent with every step, the figure of his aunt looked less imposing and more fragile yet her imposing aura only grew stronger and stronger. Perhaps, age had made her frail but not stupid or any less frightening to her enemies, yet Sahin didn't fear his aunt or at least he had yet to find a reason to and as such moved forward with tranquility unknown to many of Sevil's closer advisors. "Truly, just like the Ambassador said. You are your father's son, I remembered his face when he was but a young teenage boy like you. Same face and same impatience, if it hadn't been for your mother I doubt someone would have put him in his place." Sevil replied reminiscing a past time and era one that she knew too well to forget.

"I know Aunt, but I didn't expect that an Emperor would have to wait out on his own meetings with foreign ambassadors and envoys." Replied Sahin to his aunt. "Well that is right, but the talks with the Stevatan ambassador were worrying, to say the least. I needed to figure out the true intentions of the ambassador, first of all, to know if he spoke the truth and see if his information could be corroborated with my informants." Sahin's face seemed to get sour, the mask he put out before seemingly broken at the words that his aunt spoke to him. "I am the emperor, I would have known how to deal with it regardless." Unlike Sahin, Sevil's face remained as calm as ever her voice unbroken or her tone not changing in the slightest. "I know, but just like your father, you are too brave but also reckless. The matter is as follows, the Stevatans are worried that the Kingdom of Dorist may take another attempt at their lands soon and whilst they have failed once already, they aren't willing to do so again. This time they will be prepared, but as prepared as they can be. The Kingdom of Dorist remains the stronger country and they require friends, you surely know about the Thousand Saddle Marches, don't you. Just like them now, we once also required friends and allies to defeat the great Bujir horde, it is time to repay the favor. But of course, favors don't come for free and a simple show of respect and friendship will be enough to tell the world that the Khazarians don't forget their neighbors. Five hundred raiders will suffice."

The face of Sahin was lighting up red just like a young kid feeling treated like someone younger. "That's it's not true, I would have done the same, but I would have sent our troops to the neighboring province just to be sure...those from the Kingdom of Dorist and perfidious, and their tongues do nothing but spill lies about us, I bet we could show them a real lesson in the plains of the Stevatan kingdom."

"See, this is why I didn't want to have here before. You still have much to learn my young emperor, it is better I continue to stay by your side to advise you well..." Sevil was interrupted by the sudden entrance of the second Marshall of Khazaria, Yitzhak ha-Sangari. A man who preferred wearing the "Sobkhata" a mix of western and Khazarian uniform, but more western than Khazarian. He came with several of his close advisors all dressed in similar uniforms and with a strange-looking face as was typical of him. "Imperial regent. Your imperial highness." He bowed to both before addressing them. "You will have to excuse me for interrupting your discussions, but I heard rumors that the Azhil and Telphal clans are preparing to engage in ritual combat in the outskirts of the city. I request your permission to take men from the palace to put an end to the violation of the public of order."

"Men from the palace? Aren't the soldiers of the city guard and the barracks enough to deal with this?" Asked Sevil, putting on a much more authoritarian tone than the one she was using with Sahir. "Normally, Yes. But the Azhil and Telphal clans are particularly aggressive and numerous, they also lead a host of minor clans who came from the east and if they begin fighting then the other vassal clans will fight too. I need a large enough force to dissuade them from such...and restore public order. I beg your forgiveness, I should have instructed the city guard to have put a stop to any altercation before it came to this." Yitzhak ha-Sangari kneeled and his face looking downwards towards the ground a sign of subservience to the regent and Emperor.

"Do as you please, Yitzhak but this better not repeat itself. The safety of the Emperor and his council should come first at all times, not the squabbling of commoners and peasants." Sevil replied showing anger but in her mind, she knew well of the situation of the Azhil and Telphal clans, but this time it was another sign that sooner or later she and the Emperor would have to tackle this issue of the incoming waves of nomads from the east. In ancient times, she would have considered them brothers and sisters but now they were more like unwashed cousins of the like that cause more trouble than benefit. Regardless, this played to her hand anyways and a little reprimand to the Marshall helped the Emperor understand that from his position, he was to be superior to everyone and bow to none. Not even on the of the mightiest generals of the continent.

"Before I go, your imperial highness. I did hear about the riders you requested for Stevata, I must advise you that repositioning our troops should be commendable should you truly wish to invest in our relationships with Stevata. The Kingdom of Dorist is no weak foe as you already know, I traveled there and I must say I am envious of their common soldier. Far better disciplined than one of ours, we must treat with caution if our path clashes with theirs. No precaution will be too much to take." Yitzhak then bid his farewells and went on to work once again.

"I didn't expect Yitzhak to have big ears out of everyone in the court, but whatever. He is right and I believe this will prove an important decision for you as well, but we shall discuss in detail later. But remember what I told to you, don't be too reckless but neither too trusting of our neighbors, believe me, I don't like the Dorist either. They are even more stone-faced than the Stevatans, but matters that involve the whole region. Precaution is key." And just like that, the Emperor was left to his own devices once again. Later on, he would take a peek at the intervention of Yitzhak from the wall of the city with a telescope, watching just how large the hosts of the Azhil and Telphal clans were. Truly, only someone of the caliber of Yitzhak could have put them both in the position to just go away and leave fields with no blood on either side.

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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Heyitsjiwon
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The Old Guard of Hispalis was perhaps one of the oldest royal guard units in the continent or even the world. Tracing its lineage to the personal bodyguards of Hispalis tribal chieftains, the Old Guard were formally established during the reign of King Theo I and continued to guard the royal family for the past millennia with distinction and fidelity. Today, the Old Guard welcomed via an honor guard, a delegate from the Kingdom of Kehsi, a bit of an odd sight since the island nation had little to do with the matters of the continent typically. Yet, King Charles XII Philip in the back of his head suspected that the Kingdom sought a continent ally to deter any aggression from the Empire of Grimhout. King Charles didn't want to wantonly join in a pointless war that would only harm the Kingdom of Hispalis. The Kingdom of Kehsi, without a doubt, only sought to protect their holdings in the New World and desired to have a continental ally to split any aggression between the colonies and the mainland, yet it was obvious that the mainland was more dangerous and that war on the continent, more deadly. However, complete neutrality on the matter would only leave the Kingdom of Hispalis isolated in the international stage.

King Charles XII, with measured circumstance, welcomed the delegate to his court. The Kingdom of Kehsi, despite their self-interested demeanor, was a helpful ally to have in order to secure the seas and particularly the Strait. The Kingdom of Kehsi likely understood that Hispalis control over the strait could be a major boon to them in the great game of Empire. Between Hispalis army units and coastal forts, and the Kehsi navy... any attempt at seizing the strait would be a daunting challenge. Thus, King Charles XII and his statesmen would soon work diligently to propose a suitable agreement to the Kingdom of Kehsi with the end goal of continued peace and prosperity in mind.

Yet, the Kingdom of Kehsi was not the only nation that the Kingdom of Hispalis wished to improve relations with. King Charles XII also sent a delegation to the Kingdom of Arhan to speak with the Queen. The two Kingdoms had long been entwined since history with many Hispalis and Arhan natives having relatives and shared heritage. Long ago, the lands around the northern mountains were a part of the Hispalis domain, yet circumstances would see those lands drift as their remoteness and sheer distance made it impossible to govern effectively while being permanently threatened by the Caliphate. Yet, that did not mean that the two peoples could not get along now and join together in fraternity. Thus, with the goal of furthering relations, the delegate was sent to see if a treaty could be made with the Arhan as well.

Beyond the affairs of diplomacy and foreign relations, the Kingdom of Hispalis saw a surge of activity in the bay of Cadiz where the port had been ordered to be expanded by order of King Charles XII. It had become obvious that the Kingdom sought to expand their own naval capabilities, and was working on the facilities and infrastructure to support a larger and more modern navy. With the recent treaties and marriages, King Charles hoped to leverage them to attract talent to help expand the Hispalis navy, and indeed the nation as a whole as the Kingdom focused on civil research to expand the capabilities of the Kingdom. Regardless, one thing was clear, progress required time and money. Two things that the Kingdom of Hispalis would diligently labor to obtain if they did not have enough already.

---

King Charles XII watched the parade grounds of the newly founded Royal Artillery Academy and watched the procession of the first class of students. As they finished marching into formation, the class were soon addressed by a speaker. Speaking to this class was General Fernandez, an eclectic man, who was, without a doubt, one of the best to oversee the founding of this Academy. Behind General Fernandez was General Michael, a dashing figure, who was accompanied by several other officers, likely some of the new assistants and staff officers. Today seemed to be a calm and rather cheerful day until a messenger arrived with a report. Tensions between the Kingdom of Dorist and their eastern neighbor, the Kingdom of Stevata, seemed to be escalating. Not surprising, yet war was always an ugly matter. The Kingdom of Hispalis didn't have any reason to get involved in the conflict as none of its interests were represented by either side. Thus, opting to remain neutral on the matter, the Kingdom would not offer an official statement on the conflict other than offering to serve as a neutral mediator in any arbitration, urging the two sides to come to peaceful terms.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Abefroeman
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Tarsus, Royal Palace, King's Private Garden


The sun had just begun to rise, cresting over the lands far to the East. Sighing, King Nikolaos made his way over to his prized vegetable garden, quietly humming to himself as he watered each and every plant. Taking great care in making sure they all received ample water, he ran his callused hands over the leaves, before rubbing the soil between his fingers. The onions were growing healthily, perhaps his most prized plants, though he could not linger on them alone for too long. His newest planter required his fullest attention, a bed of flowers hailing from the far flung corners of the realm, ready to be enjoyed by his soon to be new wife. Movement off to the side caught the King's chocolate brown eyes, as he turned to see who had come to visit him.

"Valentinian, my friend, what brings you up here so early in the morning? I haven't lost track of time watering my garden again, have I?" The king asked mirthfully, his teeth beaming through his smile.

"No your grace, certainly not, you're doing just fine on time. I must apologize, but there is something that begs of your attention, if you don't mind the intrusion." The middle aged man bowed, his attire denoting his role as an advisor to the king. He looked tired and worn, but returned the king's smile. "I promise to be quick, and then you can return to the future Queen's garden."

"Of course Valentinian, please, sit and have some tea with me, it will do you good, and promise me, you'll take a nap before today's wedding ceremonies." The king set down the watering container, making his way over to a regal looking table, oddly out of place compared to his advisors attire, being garbed in what could amount to commoners clothing than that of a king.

Valentinian quickly made his way to the table, graciously accepting the hotly poured tea offered to him, before sitting down and setting before the king a mixture of military dispatches and personal correspondence. Taking a measured sip, the advisor set the cup down. "General Flavius has sent his reports and updates detailing the progress of the Northern border defenses. They are almost complete with the Eastern fortifications, however, General Flavius requests an additional thousand men to help with construction."

"Give him two thousand, and let him know he is to ensure those filthy Khazarian dogs aren't to cross into our lands anymore. I'm tired of receiving dispatches of their meddlesome raids. I don't care if that ponce of an emperor denys his hand in it, however, if it continues, we'll need to contact Admiral Verina and let him loose among those floundering twits and their little trade ships." The king drank deeply from his tea, before placing his seal upon the hastily written command.

"Next, your grace, is from your brother, who wishes you well and love in your marriage. He sends word that the efforts to bring Aegyptus into the dominion of your kingdom are progressing well, all things considered. The expeditionary forces and the colonial militia have maintained order, even with the occasional Bedouin raids, and the usual malcontents. He sends word that the trade routes overland have been fortified, with garrisons ensuring the free flow of trade. Last, he sends word of negotiations between him and the local nobility, of which may change the balance of power into our favor, and away from the deposed pretender king." Valentinian set the letter down, enjoying his tea while the king read the letter himself.

"Good, good. He has done well thus far, may the gods bless him with more good fortune. I'll write him personally when time permits, for now, send my warmest thanks to him, and let him know he is instrumental in bringing Aegyptus back into the realm."

The last was a letter from Kyrios Rousombladadiotes, the wise ruler of the Theme of Cyzicus. A proud patriot none could doubt, however, he was the leader of the isolationist faction within Komentiolos, and he voiced what many worried about, being drug into a Western European conflict. "Your grace, your favorite Kyrios has written to you again, wishing to speak with you on matters concerning our involvement with Altenten. He is nervous as usual, complaining how such an endeavor could lead us to being drug into war. His usual list of worries." Valentinian signed, setting his cup down, now empty of tea.

"Send him, and the rest of the Kyrios and Kyrias, that I shall convene an open council in one weeks time. Tell them they are formally invited to speak their minds, and see what is to be made of this concern of Western nations." Nikolaos smiled, finishing his tea in turn.

"Valentinian, let's enjoy my wedding day without further matters of state. You should enjoy yourself too. Rest, eat, and drink. This is a joyous day, and I will not let some worrywarts rain upon the celebration. Go, I'll be down in a little, I must finish watering my wife's surprise." The king laughed softly, standing up to his full height, before biding Valentinian goodbye.

"May the Gods bless your marriage, your grace." Valentinian bowed deeply, before departing, leaving the king alone with his garden.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Romero
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"If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud. Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, my friend, you would not tell with such high zest to children ardent for some desperate glory, the old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori." -Wilfred Owen

Spring of 1756




7th of January

The tensions between The Kingdom of Dorist and The Kingdom of Stevata only continue to intensify. Like moths to the flame, other nations find themselves drawn to this seemingly inevitable conflict. Perhaps emboldened by their recent bond with The Kingdom of Komentiolos, persuaded by their neighbours to the north, or simply looking to settle old scores, few are surprised when The Kingdom of Altenten begins moving it's own forces to the border with Stevata. But the development that will be most concerning to the Dorist ruler, King Freud, is the rumours that The Empire of Khazaria is keeping a watchful eye over the developing tensions. There is no love lost between the nations of Dorist and Khazaria, and Khazaria enjoys a close relationship with Stevata. This re-ignition of old rivalries is already threatening to consume Europe, and other nations will no doubt have to decide which side of the line they stand on.

8th of January

The two nations of The Empire of Grimhout and The Kingdom of Hispalis have long fought a battle of influence over The Kingdom of Arhan, and that battle has only grown more furious as time has passed. Queen Ameline I has ruled capably since the death of her husband, King Michel IV, but she has not remarried, and the pair only sired one child. That child, Marie, has not only grown into a charming and graceful young lady, but she stands as the sole heir of Arhan. It is perhaps no accident then that both nations have recently sent delegates to the Queen's Royal Palace. The Empire of Grimhout has drawn first blood though, as their delegate was accompanied by the Empire's own heir, the dashing young Christophe, and he has already made his introduction to both the Queen and her daughter. The Hispalis heir remains in the capital of Toletum, although it would not be surprising if his own journey to Arhan was not being quickly arranged.

14th of January

The conflicts that are growing between the European nations are not limited to the continent, and far to the west, in the Americas, the tension between The Empire of Grimhout and The Kingdom of Kehsi has spilled into their colonies. Grimhout sends a small fleet across the Atlantic, moving to re-enforce the already sizeable navy that currently resides in the empire's trading posts of the region. While it is not an outright move of an aggression, the Kehsi colonists are quickly uncomfortably aware of the fact that they are not outnumbered in the region, and that this shift of power does not bode well for Kehsi's own aspirations.

17th of January

Unsurprisingly, The Kingdom of Kehsi send's it's own fleet towards the Americas, no doubt in a direct reaction to The Empire of Grimhout. This increasing of tension is made even worse as the news breaks that Kehsi has signed a treaty with The Kingdom of Hispalis, including a defensive pact. Grimhout and Hispalis have long been rivals over The Kingdom of Arhan, but this symbolises the rivalry becoming something else entirely. Whether this treaty will prevent the outbreak of war, or whether it will instead accelerate it's arrival, still stands to be seen.

23rd of January

The fears of The Kingdom of Dorist are fanned yet further, as The Empire of Khazaria seemingly confirms it's support of The Kingdom of Stevata. A caravan of gifts, escorted by Khazaria's finest riders, begins the journey to the Stevata capital of Ravoza, but perhaps more concerning are the rumours that quickly begin to swirl, rumours that Khazaria has begun moving forces to the empire's border with Stevata, perhaps preparing to re-enforce Stevata in the case of war.

26th of January

More nations continue to be drawn into the conflict. The Kingdom of Stevata has few friends in Europe, but that does not mean that they are entirely without them. The treaty between Stevata and The Kingdom of Teclav has long been considered the crowning achievement of the young King Oswald IV, and indeed it was one of his first actions after his father's sudden death. Teclav do not stand idle, and issue an official declaration that they will honour the treaty, and that Teclav men will march to defend Stevata territory is war does come to Europe. The two sides are finally poised, but some begin to believe that now they they face the combined strength of Stevata, Teclav and The Empire of Khazaria, it may be time for The Kingdom of Dorist to start looking for more allies of their own.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by urukhai
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The sounds of the waking city danced through the halls of the Grand Palace of Kalseran, twisting with the dawning sunlight across the antique paintings, however this morning both would not find Luisa sleeping. For instead of her bed the light and sound of the burgeoning day would find her in her study as she poured over several stack of paper, seated in front of the large fireplace that had long sense burned out. Various attendants milled about the room, waiting for the Lady's command, most stood at attention but others were letting their eyes wander about the myriad of books that lined the room. Luisa shifted the papers and held out her hand towards a servant who rushed forward to fill it with a earthenware cup, filled with the warm, dark, bitter brew the Lady had become fond of in recent years. Bringing it to her lips she drank deeply as she read the latest report from her northern neighbors.

"I will never understand these northerners obsession with shooting each other" she mused to herself as she handed the mug back to the servant, who once more retreated to the periphery of the room. Yet, as far as the potential war may seem she could not help but reread the report and cast a glance to the large embroidered map that hung over the fireplace. If war were to come, in it most certainly would, it would only be so long before it had the potential to threaten the Republics outlying provinces, not to mention the potential profit loss if it did not go the way of Dorist and Altenten. Both of which could prove troublesome if the noble families kept grumbling they way they had been in recent days.

Setting the report down, Luisa pushed herself up from her chair, with every attendant suddenly jumping to a more attentive position as fast as they could move. Quietly she strode over to one of the large windows, her light dress making a sort of slithering sound as its hem slid across the carpets and hard wood. As she came to the window she cast a glance to the guard that was nearby, a member of the fearsome Seagaurd dressed in the traditional uniform, which was dyed a deep almost black black, like the depths themselves. She couldn't help but consider the tall youth before her, as they were both symbols, both faces to a nameless power that lay behind them, and both beholden to the belief in said symbol. Her mind drifted to the grumblings of the families, they were not yet bold enough to move their pieces on the board, but it would be foolish to ignore their part in the great game of the Republic and yet, perhaps their part could be useful.

Giving the guard, who at this point was beginning to grow slightly worried by the intense silence of the grand Lady before him, a brief smile Luisa finally broke the silence and tension that was beginning to mount in the room. "My good man, would you be so kind as to open the window for me?" Her question was innocent enough, yet was said with the underlying tone of authority. The guard quickly turned to part the curtain and open the window for Luisa, who simply offered another smile as she stepped forward to look down at the public square below.

Even though it was still early, the square was abuzz with the movement of the people. Couriers ran here and there, some ate together, while others simply talked and walked along side each other, hashing out deals, plans, and pleasantries. The wind carried the sounds of the dock-side market a few blocks away, where undoubtedly the vast bulk of the early morning crowds had gathered to buy food and goods from across the Mediterranean and far away places, including goods from the ports in India. Turning she looked upon the assembled attendants, most of whom were indirectly profiting from said market in some way.

"Gentlemen, Ladies" She began to address the assembly "I have a question for you. What is the lifeblood of the Republic? What allows us to enjoy this cool morning, and allows us sip fine drink at night?"

The attendants began to murmur between themselves before an older lord, Giacomo she believed his name to be, finally spoke up. "Trade your ladyship. The movement of Aquans from hand to hand."

"Good, good. A very good answer, I am happy to accept. Even if it half right." She will answer back before glancing once more to look out the window before turning back and walking back into the room, towards the great map "To that end I want messengers sent to the courts of Dorist and Altenten. Tell them we are willing to renegotiate tariff prices on items such as food and weapons, we are not joining their war, but we may still lessen any loss of networks from it. In the same vein we must plan for any eventuality so I want messengers dispatched to General Bettino Gianni. He is to preform a full inspection of our combat readiness, should the need arise, after which he will confer with General Sotiris on how to patch any holes and deliver the full report to me. With that you are all dismissed until the evening meeting, Have a pleasant day."

As the nobles began to shuffle out Luisa beckoned on of the young ladies to stay behind, a young lady by the name of Paulina, who she had often called upon for tasks that needed discretion "Paulina, of you i need more. Set ears about the city, I want to know the names of those who have become discontented with me, take no actions other than information. Stay quiet, stay unnoticed, understood?"

Paulina nods quietly "Yes my lady. By your command I will give you their names."

Luisa will smile and pat Paulina's hand "Thank you my dear, now go, enjoy your day as you please."

With Paulina's departure Luisa will sigh and return to the window, becoming the servant to bring her her drink once more, taking another drink she observes her city once more. Musing to herself that whatever the gods have in store for the coming times, at least it wont be boring.
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Somewhere deep within the heart of the Imperial Palace in Rivierberg, a candle was burning into the night. The room itself was modest, and in truth, few people even knew how to find it amongst the winding corridors of the palace, but it had once served as a playroom for the same three men that now sat within it. Arch-Duke Jean-Baptise Dervau glanced up from his cards and allowed himself a slight smile. The three brothers had played cards often in their youth, but as they grew older, and their respective responsibilities continued to grow, it was rare for them all to find themselves in the capital at the same time.

Charles spent most of his time in the province of Eeksen, or even in his wife's home of Asmont, and he had a young family of his own now, but he had taken the opportunity to personally accompany the recent delegate from Asmont, arriving the night before. Marc-Antoine on the other hand had just returned from his tour of the empire's colonies in Americas. But it was arguably the fourth figure sitting around the table that made Jean-Baptiste smile the most. On another night, it would have been his son, Christophe, who took the final chair, but he had already set off for Arhan. Instead, it was Juliette, his daughter, who joined them as their game continued into the night. She met his gaze and smiled in return. She was winning. Easily.

Charles laughed as he threw his cards down on the table, shaking his head in disbelief.

"I would much rather we were playing your brother, Juliette. He was never any good at cards."

Juliette smiled as Jean-Baptiste also threw down his cards, before Marc-Antoine reluctantly followed suit. The young woman collected the discarded cards, shuffling them with a practised ease.

"I am sorry to disappoint you, uncle. Another hand?"

Jean-Baptiste glanced over his shoulder at the grand clock that stood in the corner of the room. He was surprised to see how late it already was, the evening seeming to have dissapeared in the blink of an eye. He turned back to the table in time to see Charles stifling a yawn, and the Arch-Duke smiled again.

"I think not. Besides, you have a long journey ahead of you tomorrow, and plenty more time to beat your uncle at cards."

Charles audibly groaned, holding his head in his hands for a moment at the thought, before a smile broke across his face. The four figures rose to their feet, saying their goodbyes before making their way towards the door. Before he could leave though, Jean-Baptiste caught the shoulder of his youngest brother.

"A quick word?"

Marc-Antoine nodded as the other two filed out. Juliette turned at the door, before giving her father a knowing nod and pulling it closed behind her. Now that they were alone, Jean-Baptiste gestured for his brother to take his seat again, before making his way over to the small cabinet that stood against the wall by the door. Reaching inside, he withdrew a bottle of wine and two glasses, taking them over to the table before sitting down himself.

"I'm sure you don't need me to tell you what I wanted to talk to you about, brother. I trust you have what we discussed...

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"If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud. Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, my friend, you would not tell with such high zest to children ardent for some desperate glory, the old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori." -Wilfred Owen

Spring of 1756




1st of February

Perhaps in preparation for a coming war, or perhaps simply the beginning of a long-planned project, but The Kingdom of Hispalis begins a wide-scale refitting of it's shipyards in the province of Malaca. The docks there have long been the heart of the kingdom's navy, due in no small part to it's close proximity to the vital strait into the Mediterranean. This new project will take time, but it is a crucial sign of intent. For years, Hispalis has relied on other nations for it's naval strength, but control over the strait has seen bountiful gold flow into the kingdom's coffers, and it is clearly high time for Hispalis to claim it's own place as a naval power.

3rd of February

While the news of The Kingdom of Hispalis looking to expand their shipyards is still making it's way across Europe, Hispalis does not rest on its laurels. Envoys are dispatched to The Kingdom of Komentiolos and The Republic of Kalseran, two nations that have established themselves as naval powers in their own right. The envoys carry with them a proposed deal, as well as not insubstantial payment. The negotiations are short, and when the envoys return to Hispalis, they are not alone. Not only are they accompanied by shipwrights of Komentiolos, they are also carry with them the promise of warships from Kalseran. This is another clear sign of intent, and the Hispalis navy is beginning to benefit from the kingdom's wealth.

7th of February

While the heir of The Empire of Grimhout works on 'diplomatic' relations to the south, the other child of Arch-Duke Jean-Baptise Dervau is also not sitting idle. Travelling east to The Principality of Asmont, Juliette is welcomed into the palace of her uncle's father-in-law, Prince William Asmont. The rumours quickly begin to circulate through the court's of Europe that it is not William that Juliette has arrived to spend time with, but rather his son and heir, Alexandre. The young prince is recently widowed, with no children, and it is thought that Grimhout are looking to further strengthen their ties with their neighbours to the east. Whether Juliette is able to mend a broken heart, only time will tell.

8th of February

In recent history, The Empire of Khazaria has been a nation struggling to find an identity for itself. While it's close relationship with The Kingdom of Paranas has seen the nation take great leaps of progress forwards, large parts of the empire still cling to their nomadic and tribal roots. It is in the rich and quickly expanding coastal cities that these tensions threaten to flare up. The young emperor is not oblivious to the plight of his people, and he announces a great feast in the province of Kumbag, with the intention of bringing the great tribes of his empire together, and of finding a solution to this growing problem. Some of the most powerful chieftains still live as nomads in the eastern reaches of the empire, but sure enough, the great tribes begin to gather.

11th of February

Not satisfied with simply signing a treaty with The Kingdom of Kehsi, and perhaps spurned on by the growing influence of The Empire of Grimhout in The Kingdom of Arhan, The Kingdom of Hispalis sends a military envoy to Kehsi, led by one of the kingdom's most important admirals. Although their role appears to simply be one of observation, learning the art of naval warfare from a nation with a long and decorated history of it, it is still a symbol that the relationship between the two nations is growing, and that inevitably steers Hispalis towards more conflict with Grimhout, even if the tensions between the two still leans more towards a war fought in the shadows than on the battlefield.

13th of February

While one conflict continues to gain momentum to the east, the war further west threatens to reach terminal velocity. Perhaps realising that the balance of the coming war is not quite as in their favour as it once was, The Kingdom of Dorist appears to be a nation that is attempting to move all it's pieces onto the board. Emissaries are dispatched to The Kingdom of Komentiolos, The Kingdom of Fosbak and The Republic of Kalseran, treaties in hand. Whether any of those treaties bear fruition is yet to be seen, for now, as negotiations are understandably prolonged.

17th of February

The Kingdom of Stevata is also a nation that is preparing for war. With an ally to the east, a potential ally to the south, and an enemy to the west, it is unsurprising that they look to the north. Their own envoy to The Kingdom of Fosbak arrives mere days after that of The Kingdom of Dorist, and it creates a tense situation within the Royal Palace of Elhavn. Many believe that as Queen Marta is the sister-in-law of King Freud, Fosbak will lean towards Dorist, but no queen wants to lead her people to war, and for now, the negotiations continue back-and-forth, often running long into the night.

18th of February

While other nations consider which side of the line they stand upon, some nations do not have that luxury. The Kingdom of Paranas not only has a close alliance with The Empire of Khazaria, but also a connection with The Kingdom of Altenten through marriage. They find themselves torn between two sides that seem hell-bent on driving towards war, and all across the kingdom, the debate is raging regarding what action Paranas should take if that war arrives. For now, King Markus is silent on the matter, but it is very difficult for a nation to remain truly impartial in war, and there are supporters of both side within his nation's borders. A decision will have to be made, even if that decision is to make no decision at all.

21st of February

Finally, the heir of The Kingdom of Hispalis arrives at the Royal Palace of The Kingdom of Arhan to attempt to court some favour in the northern neighbours. It is unfortunate that he arrives more than a month after the heir of The Empire of Grimhout, but he still takes to his task with enthusiasm. While the rest of Europe seems to be hurtling towards war, in the luxurious surroundings of the palace, two young men compete for the affection of a young woman. It is a tale as old as time, in perhaps slightly unorthodox surroundings.

25th of February

The two nations of The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist are truly teetering on the brink. With armies amassed on their shared border, it would only take a spark to ignite the powder-keg, as the saying goes. The problem with this gathering of soldiers, and this whipping up of patriotic fervour, is that the spark does not always come with orders, sometimes it comes from a man wanting to be a hero, and then war can begin before it is called for by either side. Perhaps wary of this, Queen Marta begins taking a personal hand. While the negotiations within her palace are aimed towards ultimately bringing The Kingdom of Fosbak into the war, Marta begins pushing the talks instead towards preventing war entirely. Whether this can be achieved, or whether the tensions between the two nations have already turned too sour, only time will tell.

28th of February

War is not a commodity unique to Europe, and far to the east, India is a nation that has seen it's fair share of bloodshed. While the exceedingly powerful Viswan Empire has ruled over much of the sub-continent for centuries, their grip is beginning to weaken. The nations that already have colonies in the region, The Kingdom of Kehsi and The Republic of Kalseran, are already beginning to flex their muscles more than before, an opportunity to increase their influence in their area seeming to present itself. The steady crumbling of Viswan Empire also opens the door to other European powers who may be casting their gaze towards the riches that the sub-continent promise.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Murtox
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At the Winter Palace of the city of Mel-Izar in Kumbag

The times had changed and the merchants on the streets knew it very well. Their supplies of gunpowder and iron being sold to the army rather than to hunters and blacksmiths. They knew far better what this meant than many others, for war was coming to the empire of Khazaria and every time there was an increase in the demand of gunpowder there was a chance of war coming. The army may not be big compared to the rest of the other countries but it could certainly be made bigger at any time if necessary and the empire showed its capabilities to do so, as entire caravans and ships began to load up on materials and supplies to increase the size of the army.

Meanwhile, while the economic gears of the city of Mel-Izar went to full throttle, the Emperor, the regent, and Yitzhak ha-Sangari discussed in the map's room. The new developments of the issue between Stevata and Dorist. The complications of war and much more regarding the position of the Empire of Khazaria and how to best expand its influence over its immediate neighbors, while also reviewing the army's capabilities to endure such a conflict with the kingdom of Dorist.

The Regent and the Emperor, Sevil and Sahin were next to each other in one of the sides of a big detailed map of the continent. One of the newest acquisitions and finished works of a famous cartographer in the city of Mel-Izar, the map itself had taken him years to finish and it showed. It was adorned and it had an almost carpet-like feeling due to the quality of the paper used and the length of the map. It showed the world from Hispalis to the lands further east of Khazaria and it also served to plan and visualize better the possible enemies of the empire.

Meanwhile, Yitzhak ha-Sangari was on another side of the map. Looking it at with a hand on his chin, clearly thinking about how to best maximize the use of his soldiers for unlike Alp Tarkhan he crunched the numbers every time it was time to fight. That was the way he had been able to solve the issues between the two clans last time and how he managed to rise so rapidly through the ranks of the imperial military to the point that he was now speaking face to face with the Emperor and Regent, a privilege that few had the honour of ever receiving in their lives.

From the perspective of Yitzhak, the emperor was but a boy and while he was only two decades older than him. Somehow he reminded him of himself, back when his younger self showed a passion and fire on his eyes that few could have matched, but that fire on his eyes was quite different from Alp Tarkhan, who had bloodlust. Instead, it was a curiosity and a desire to learn more than the great general saw in the eyes of the Emperor, but he could never look at the emperor in the eye for too long for soon the frozen gaze of the regent would haunt him, for this reason, he kept his eyes on the map. Thinking and thinking, until the regent spoke to him again in that soft yet frightening tone she learned to use so well to control the court and the house of notables with words alone.

"Marshall Yitzhak, I think you have had enough time to think. Can we resume what we were discussing earlier?" She said, her gaze clearly aiming at the eyes of the Marshall. He could try to avert her gaze but that couldn't be done, it would only make her angry at him perhaps further than she already was due to their previous encounter. "Of course, imperial regent. I am done with thinking, you must forgive me for taking so long but the situation is not very favorable to us at the moment." He replied, no fear in his voice of telling the things as they were and without any single touch to make it lesser, perhaps that was one of the reasons the imperial regent hadn't gotten rid of him?

The young emperor spoke, his voice still on the way to become that of a man but his voice's pitch still sounded like that of a boy. It didn't bother Yitzhak but it didn't comfort him either. "Not favorable? How can that be so! The Kingdom of Teclav is even willing to help us and our armies are marshaling properly. Is there something, we must be afraid of?" There was no sight of fear but the Emperor didn't speak of experience even his confidence was clear as water.

"Indeed, but my initial proposition was to scare off the kingdom of Dorist from further sending troops to the border. It doesn't to work and I doubt it will work with their ambitious king. I have no doubt that for the time being, they seek even more allies than before. We must guard our southern border as well as we look to the west, one never knows what's to come from the Kingdom of Kommentiolos either. Dividing up our forces will do us no good and not guarding our seas will do us no good either. Emperor, I don't think we are fairly prepared for any war at the moment and preparing for one will take some time, if you indeed wish to help our brothers in Stevata and Teclav. Then we must waste no further time." Yitzhak spoke directly and confidently. There was no way for the empire to be engaged in a war on the west without its southern border secured, the northern one was well enough but should the coastal cities fall. The whole economy of the Empire of Khazaria would fall with them too, Yitzhak didn't believe himself charismatic enough to deter the Emperor from war either and it seemed that the Regent had other plans in mind for supporting the Emperor's advances on the west. All he had to do was present the things as they were and present solutions to the Empire and the regent. That's all he could do for the moment.

"We don't have enough soldiers? How can that be, I have seen hundreds of thousands in our cities. The shipping lines as busy as ever, yet you say we don't have enough soldiers, how come our people aren't doing their duty to their emperor?" The Emperor asked, but this time the regent spoke first without allowing the Marshall to let his opinion be heard. "Well, it is quite simple your highness. The peace in our borders has kept us, let's say content with the current status quo and the wealth of our nation has attracted many indeed, but those who come often do so not to fight but to find a home and a good quality of life. Instead of fighting they find themselves with better opportunities, in the cities and sometimes even the countryside, because of that and our current laws it is harder for our recruiters to compete for recruits. As such, the numbers of our regiments have decreased and while the financials of that have helped our treasury. However, we can easily...change this all and even turn it around for our own benefit. It is very well that you did I as told you and invited the chiefs of the tribes from the east, the nomads may be a bit harsh at first and but they can be dealt with."

Suddenly Yitzhak had the urge to speak and advise the Emperor to do otherwise, allowing the nomads to join the military was a valid idea but it would simply take too long for them to be fully integrated into the military that Yitzhak had been building for years. He would much rather have a professional army like those in Europe than allow a ragtag of horse-riding nomads to become the vanguard of his new army. Yet, he also knew that it was far better not to interrupt the regent while she spoke with the Emperor. Sahin indeed, the boy that controlled a massive empire yet was still controlled by his aunt. The emperor needed advisors not simply puppeteers, that is what Yitzhak thought about the whispers to the regent to the emperor.

"I invited, yes. But I did so to keep them content and to avoid further conflict with them within our lands. It is better for them to come all here and speak to me, recognize me as their authority rather than have them wandering around shepherded by our garrisons so that they don't cause any trouble. If we can use their men though, would that help tip off the balance on our favor?" The Emperor asked Yitzhak and he sighed in relief. Finally, he was able to give his advice to the Emperor and perhaps lead him away from ruining the structured army that he had built with so much effort over the years.

"Your imperial highness, the nomad problem is indeed an important issue to tackle. But I doubt that a bunch of ragtag soldiers will do us any help. Their cavalry may be good but they will be disorganized, they will just cannon fodder for the forces of Dorist if they were to fight them. I propose instead that we begin to pour funds into our recruitment efforts, let recruiting sergeants get bigger bonuses and larger purses so that they can attract more into the army. The clans we used to recruit from are no longer at their full strength, it is time to begin a recruitment effort to begin to increase the strength of our forces." Yitzhak looked at the Emperor in the eye but once again the gaze of the regent made him avert his gaze, the emperor clearly didn't show any signs of refuting his proposal but neither did he approve of it just yet. But unlike other times, he just asked Yitzhak to be sure.

"Indeed, marshall but it is about time that we put to use all the nomads. We can't forget them, letting them go wild or integrating them into the civil populace will take a long time, let them earn their stay here in the Empire through the force of their arms. If we integrate them into our cavalry forces, we can surely increase the size of our army considerably while also earning ourselves fewer troubles. In the long term, they will have to be a part of our country if we wish to pacify the eastern steppes. So taking this step is now considerably better than waiting for the steppes to continue to wander around our lands. We have once forged ties by iron and blood with our neighbors, we can do so again with our eastern brothers and sisters." Answered the emperor, the regent and Yitzhak look at each other for the moment, it seemed that the Emperor had indeed listened to both rather to only the regent alone. Perhaps, he wasn't as controlled by Sevil as he thought he was?

The tension was quickly brought to an end by the speak of Yitzhak towards the emperor. "Then it shall be so, I only require for the authorization to begin the recruitment efforts. Muskets, uniforms, the logistics of it all will cost money, which I believe the empire has plenty." Sevil looked at Yitzhak with a smile on her face, of course, a sly smile. "Of course, the empire's coffers are filled but don't forget that the money is to be used for the good of the empire and there should be no over expenses." She replied.

"Indeed, Marshall Yatzhik you may begin the marshaling efforts. I would rather be prepared than be caught with our pants down, let it be so. I will seal the orders later on." No more words were needed and Yatzhik's presence soon faded away as he left for the imperial barracks. Meanwhile, Emperor Sahin and Regent Sevil continued to look at the map on the floor. Their sights set on the kingdoms surrounding Stevata and then to Paranas. "Our Paranan friends will have some trouble coming to our aid, won't they?" The Emperor asked the regent, in his voice, it was clear that the news of the conflict within Paranas had reached his ears.

"It is true, the kingdom of Paranas has friends in both Altenten and in our country. The ties of blood are strong but let's not forget that our ancestral ties are stronger. Paranas won't forget a friend so easily.." The regent replied, knowing full well that Paranas would rather choose neutrality than ever picking a fight with their northern neighbors. Not because they couldn't but because they would lose decades of a working relationship that was beneficial to both countries. "Indeed, but I cannot force their king to make a decision. It wouldn't be fair of me as an ally, I will send a messenger with a latter of mine to the King of Paranas. Make him know that he is free to choose neutrality. Besides, this will calm their minds and well, it is better not to open another front if we are to fight against the Dorist. If the conflict gets larger, then we may require their aid. But until then, we will soon be prepared and further escalation is not needed." The Emperor said. The regent would nod and their discussion would be put to an end by the sudden arrival of the tea time, an ancient tradition in Khazaria. Too much political discussion had been had and it was time to rest for the ruler and unspoken ruler of Khazaria.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Heyitsjiwon
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Toletum - Noon

King Charles XII sat in his office with a stack of reports. He sighed as some concerning reports came in recently that would shape the continent in the coming months... more importantly the events would shape the continent in ways that King Charles XII Phillip would harm the Kingdom and its peoples. He looked up from the reports and looked at the two guards on duty that stood by the door. Charles XII called out "Corporal, tell me. Our soldiers are known throughout the continent for their abilities. What do you think makes our army different from the others?" The more senior soldier snapped to attention and saluted when he was called. Taking a second to think, the soldier replied "Our officers and traditions, My Majesty." Charles XII replied "How so, Corporal?" The Corporal paused for a few seconds once more to consider his words. "If I may tell you a story, My Majesty?" Charles nodded in approval.

"Majesty, when I was in training as a fresh volunteer to join the Hispalis Army, one of the other volunteers was caught one day by the camp's Commandant. The volunteer was on night watch duty, but was found asleep by the Commandant. Normally, most other armies would have the man whipped for his failure as punishment and a painful lesson, but that could potentially cripple even a young man. The Commandant instead woke up the volunteer and told him that if they were at war then the volunteer would be dead and the camp raided by the enemy. Thus, since the volunteer was a dead man, the Commandant ordered him to cover his head with a white blanket and become a ghost at midnight then walk through the barracks, making ghost noises and shaking everyone awake. For a month, me and the other recruits woke up in the middle of the night because of that volunteer. The Commandant made the point clear. The volunteer let himself down and his brothers in arms down, and the shame and humiliation stung more than a whip. At the same time, it taught us all a lesson and that moment remains both one of my hated and favorite memories from training, My Majesty."

Charles XII stifled a laugh as he imagined a grown man pretending to be a ghost in white sheets. Yet, the point was clear. The Commandant likely experienced something similar himself when he was younger and in training. It was the long military tradition of Hispalis in its centuries of constant conflict that had slowly formed a unique, collective memory in the Hispalis Army. A memory that has been passed down for generations and taught officers and soldiers what was effective. Charles XII replied "A very insightful story, Corporal. You may carry on." The Corporal saluted and returned to his former position as Charles XII returned to his reports with confidence, not just in himself but in the traditions and memories of the Kingdom.
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Jean-Baptiste watched the ship through the telescope, frowning slightly as he saw the Hispalis flag flying from the mast. From where he was standing, on the tip of Dilmonde, he could easily see the ships that sailed through the channel, normally headed for the Kehsi capital. On a clear day, he could even glimpse the shoreline of Kehsi itself from here. Perhaps that is why the two nations had such a bloody history. They could never forget each other. The Kingdom of Hispalis getting involved did make things more... complicated.

The Arch-Duke felt rather than heard the presence behind him, and lowered the telescope as he turned. He wasn't surprised to see Pierre standing a few paces away, and Jean-Baptiste nodded his head in greeting at the other man. Pierre dutifully half-bowed before stepping forwards slightly. Jean-Baptiste had enjoyed adventure stories when he was a boy, tales of swashbuckling pirates and dastardly villains, and perhaps that is why Pierre's appearance always seemed slightly disappointing. A man like Pierre should have an eye-patch, or at least some sinister facial hair, but the other man had neither, in fact, he was entirely unremarkable. Pierre had the kind of face that you wouldn't look twice at, that could blend in amongst a crowd, and that was probably the very reason he was so talented at what he did.

Aware that Pierre was watching him with a mask of no emotion, Jean-Baptiste smiled slightly as he turned back towards the channel.

"It is good to see you again, Monsieur Pierre. I take it you received my letter?"

Pierre stepped forward again to join the Arch-Duke at the edge of the promenade. Jean-Baptiste had almost forgotten what his voice sounded like, even though he had seen the other man less than a month ago.

"I was already on my way back, your grace. I am afraid there have been some disturbing developments."

Jean-Baptiste frowned again as he looked out across the water. Matters to the east had been developing quickly, and from what reports he had seen, war seemed to be an increasingly likely reality. Perhaps it was time for Grimhout to stop glancing to the north and the south, and instead turn it's attentions towards it's neighbours in the continent. Turning back to the other man, the Arch-Duke nodded slightly.

"Go ahead, Monsieur Pierre. Tell me what you know..."
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Romero
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"If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud. Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, my friend, you would not tell with such high zest to children ardent for some desperate glory, the old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori." -Wilfred Owen

Spring of 1756




2nd of March

The news of the weakening grip that The Viswan Empire has over the Indian subcontinent has still only freshly arrived in Europe, but already there is a reaction. The Empire of Grimhout already has colonial holdings in the Americas, but perhaps their attention now turn towards the east. A trade delegation is assembled and sent on their way, and many believe that if this delegation finds safe harbour, more will surely follow. While this move may well be seen as a threat by The Republic of Kalseran, it also does little to sweeten the sour relations between Grimhout and The Kingdom of Kehsi.

6th of March

As war becomes increasingly likely, The Empire of Khazaria begins swelling it's army. Not only does the empire begin raising more soldiers of the line, Khazaria also begins drafting the nomadic tribes into their ranks. These nomads are a callback to the hordes of Khazaria that were once the scourge of eastern Europe, and although they are perhaps relics of a bygone age now that powder and cannon-fire rule the battlefield, they are still a frightening sight, and they are more than willing to achieve a glorious death for Khazaria.

7th of March

The Kingdom of Arhan has been the staging ground for a complex wrestle for influence between The Kingdom of Hispalis and The Empire of Grimhout, and for the last few weeks, the air has felt electric, like the calm before the storm. Just after dawn, the storm finally breaks. The Hispalis diplomat in Arhan, Julio Cotilla, requests an audience with Queen Ameline, and reports on a plot that threatens to plunge Arhan into a civil war. Julio claims that a group of nobles, led by a 'Lord Favre', are planning to place a usurper on the Arhan throne. Even while this announcement causes shock waves to roll through the Arhan court, Julio continues. The diplomat lays clear the intent of Hispalis to form a dynastic union with Arhan, marrying Prince Adrian to Princess Marie. Despite the chaos already ensuing through the rest of the court, Queen Ameline remains calm, thanking Julio for his report, and retreating to meet with her most important advisors.

8th of March

The Kingdom of Arhan issues orders for the arrest of Lord Favre and a number of other prominent nobles from the southern province of Colveil. Rumours are already swirling that Lord Favre has fled back to Colveil, others claim he has retreated to sympathisers in The Empire of Reria, while some even suggest that he has raised an army in Colveil and prepared for war. As is often the case, reality is far more bland than fiction. Lord Favre walks to the gates of the palace and surrenders himself. He is dragged before the inner court, and while the diplomats of both The Kingdom of Hispalis and The Empire of Grimhout attempt to be present for what follows, their requests are politely but firmly denied.

11th of March

While the dramatic events within The Kingdom of Arhan continue to unfold, the rest of Europe does not sit idle. The Kingdom of Paranas has been internally struggling, caught between The Kingdom of Altenten and The Empire of Khazaria, but finally they find some respite. All too aware of their allies quandary, Khazaria officially announce that they will honour the neutrality of Paranas. No doubt inspired by this, Altenten make a similar declaration, and for now at least, Paranas can relax. However this move also favours The Kingdom of Stevata, at least temporarily, as their potential front-line narrows yet further.

13th of March

The trial of Lord Favre and his companions in The Kingdom of Arhan has dragged on, and despite the best efforts of The Kingdom of Hispalis and The Empire of Grimhout, their representatives have largely been kept in the dark regarding the proceedings. In fact, both delegations report back to their superiors that they have been carefully and subtly restricted to certain areas of the palace and its ground, and it is becoming increasingly obvious that while their presence is not yet unwelcome, it is also no longer 'required'. Rumours also continue to swirl that the kingdom's forces in Colveil have been mobilised, ensuring that their presence is felt by the local population. All throughout this, The Empire of Reria is watching warily on. Reria and Arhan have rarely seen eye-to-eye, and this potential weakness may encourage the empire to be more bold.

17th of March

Even while relations deteriorate to the west, an attempt is made to perhaps mend the relations of the east. The Kingdom of Dorist announces the holding of an elaborate state dinner. Invites are sent to the nations of The Kingdom of Fosbak , The Kingdom of Altenten, The Kingdom of Stevata, The Kingdom of Teclav, The Kingdom of Paranas, The Republic of Kalseran and The Kingdom of Komentiolos. With the attempts of Fosbak to steer Dorist and Stevata towards peace largely grinding to a halt, this is clearly a state dinner that is intended to act as a staging ground to resolve the conflict. However The Empire of Khazaria is a noticeable exception, and behind the hope that the news of this summit brings, there rides a darker rumour. Reports tell of King Freud himself describing Khazaria as 'a land of savages', and in one fell swoop, all the good intentions falls apart. Stevata refuse to attend unless an apology is issued, and Khazaria are invited to any future summits. Teclav unsurprisingly follows the example of their ally, as Paranas also refuse, citing their self-imposed neutrality, although few believe that they take the words of the Dorist king lightly. The state dinner may well still go ahead, but it will be without Stevata, and so little progress will be made towards resolving the tensions. In fact, this seems to reignite the conflict, as Stevata resume the heavy patrolling of their border.

19th of March

While their attempts to improve relations to the south appear to have been scuppered by the conspiracy unearthed within The Kingdom of Arhan, there is more success to be found elsewhere for The Empire of Grimhout. The empire has long enjoyed good relations with The Principality of Asmont, and the charm of Princess Juliette is only helping their cause. But it is not only to the near east that Grimhout are looking. In a somewhat rogue move that few expected, a diplomatic delegation is sent on the long journey to The Empire of Stabuga. The two empires have little history with each other, but Grimhout clearly hope to find some middle ground. Perhaps it is reading too much into it, but Stabuga have strong cultural ties with Teclav, and therefore with Stevata. Is another nation announcing which side of the line they stand upon, or is Grimhout simply looking for a potential new opportunity in the cold north?

22nd of March

The Kingdom of Arhan finally breaks their silence. The official declaration is intentionally vague on the results of the trial, but the message is still clear. Arhan has been caught in a rug-of-war for too long, and Queen Ameline is tired of other nations treating her kingdom like a plaything. The nobility of Arhan closes ranks, and the delegates of the various nations that currently hold residence in the royal palace, The Kingdom of Hispalis and The Empire of Grimhout among them, are quickly left with the distinct impression that they would be advised to return to their respective nations sooner rather than later. For now, the kingdom of Arhan is closing it's doors, and rumours are already swirling of a purge amongst the ruling class, and perhaps even a drastic change in the nation's direction.

23rd of March

Even as the trade ships of The Empire of Grimhout make the long journey towards India to capitalise on the crumbling of The Viswan Empire, those who are already there are not laying idle either. The Republic of Kalseran begins a wide-scale project on improving their colonies in the region, expanding their already impressive trade routes and looking to improve relations with the locals. The colonists have no way of knowing that other European powers have turned their attention towards the subcontinent, but they are already working to accommodate the shift of power in the region.

26th of March

While the feast of The Kingdom of Dorist seems to be falling apart, the feast of The Empire of Khazaria is a roaring success. Intended to bring the major tribes together in one place, the feast last days and nights, many great stories being shared between the tribes. It is rare for these nomadic tribes to gather together, and it has served as a reminder of how much they have in common with one another. There is violence, but it is largely brawls over 'honour', whether it is the honour of a woman, a man, a tribe or a horse, and the brawls all end in laughter and shared merriment. Not only does this feast unite the tribes, it also unites them behind Khazaria, and even more fresh recruits flock to the recruiting call of the empire's army.

28th of March

Far to the west, the tension in the Americas between the colonies of The Empire of Grimhout and The Kingdom of Kehsi refuses to dissipate. The colonies of Grimhout begin a public display of training procedures for their militia units, no doubt intended to serve as both a display of strength, and a sign of intent. While few think Grimhout will be bold enough to launch any direct action against Kehsi, the various tribes that populate the un-colonised reaches of America may be wise to keep a wary eye on their European neighbours.
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Tarsus, Royal Palace, King's Private Garden - Sunrise with the Queen.


His lovely wife lay nestled against him, herself lightly dozing, enjoying the warmth and comfort of her husband. He smiled, kissing the top of her head, before looking out at the world, gazing at the sea to his south, and to the horizon of the east. She'd told him that she was pregnant, no longer did she bleed, and that they'd finally conceived a child. He was so overjoyed, yet, here he sat, his mind moving like a storm against the brilliance of such information. He sighed quietly, holding his wife closer, feeling her form against his own in the embrace, stilling the storm for a moment, before turning course, and heading headlong into it. Later today, he'd have to helm the ship of his nation's future.

The Generals and their officer had completed their readiness inspections, going over the entire nations forces twice, before informing King Nikolaos that they had fifty thousand active duty troops, with perhaps many more in reserve status, though most if not all those extra men had gotten back to their lives, farming, sailing, mending, being civilians. They would be rusty, even considering their mandatory military service in their youth, and the occasional regional call ups and drills. Would fifty thousand be enough, if Europe turned into an unfettered war? The border between Komentiolos and Khazaria had been heavily fortified, the length of the mountain passes spiked, dugout, caltroped, and evened featured Fougasses, which he was told was an improvised mortar dug into the ground and filled with gunpowder and projectiles. In short, if the horse devils dared to march south overland, they'd be slowed down heavily to allow for more troops to be deployed to the region. He did not trust that boy emperor, and much to the annoyance of other commands, thirty of the nations field guns were attached to the regional defense forces, on top of all their permanent gun emplacement.

For now, he pondered to himself as his wife stirred, let the troops drill and train, as well as the artillery corps. Let them enjoy going home to their families at the end of the day. He'd let Valentinian know to inform local Kyrios and Kyrias to inform their militias to train as well, and prepare dispatches to reservists to report in for monthly drills. His main concern however was the disposition of his naval forces. So much coast line to defend, and of course, enemy coasts to attack if it came to that. Twenty seven frigates and seventy five sloops, formidable and numerous, but not enough. He and his advisors had debated for days, even weeks, but the matter was settled, build the nation's navy up, to at least forty five frigates, and at least one hundred and thirty sloops. This of course in conjunction with the outside orders for ships from Hispalis. The logistics of it had been frustrating, not to include an organized strike by workers, which almost lead into an all-out riot, if not for the intervention of the Queen and the men's wives, who had peacefully worked things out. They were scared and tired, hungry and overworked. Nikolaos kissed his wife, before watching the sun barely begin to crest the horizon. Better provisions, as well as using prison labor to construct the new dock yards and slips to build the expanded navy, to help lessen the strain on his skilled labor. What a day that had been, though even that was in the past now.

Time was short, he smiled, looking down at his wife while she moved again, snuggling closer to her husband. Hand atop her belly, he made up his mind for now, so that he could get back to enjoying time with Queen Anna. He himself, along with an honor guard larger than normal, would attend the state dinner of King Freud, and hear what he had to say and propose. Let the savages know who all stood against them and their unchecked aggression. He was sure the Kyrios and Kyrias for war would be pleased, but this was not for them alone, he himself had grown tired of hearing how the mongrels of the north raided with impunity. King Freud appeared to be an honorable man, and Nikolaos planned to closer their relations through this dinner, via trade, non-aggression towards one another, and perhaps, even a defensive alliance. Of course, the two nations alliance depended on if the Kalseran leader would allow for military access to her nation, in order to allow for Komentilian troops to not have to make the extensive naval voyage all the way around continental Europe. Her nation held a much closer path to meet up with the potential Dorist allies.

Lastly, he would have to plan a dispatch to the Kingdom of Hispalis and to Aegyptus, to first hopefully further strengthen relations to those who controlled the narrow straights leading out into the greater world, and of course, could reduce the flow of trade. While second, to answer his brother's request to formally marry the daughter of the most powerful noble family in the colony, which both the family and his brother said, would allow for the proper turnover of the colony into a true and rightful part of Komentiolos once again, as it had been before the dreadful civil war that fractured the Eastern Diorite Empire. The Theme of Aegyptus, it certainly sounded nice. He kissed his wife once more, and held her close as together, they watched the sun finally rise across their Kingdom.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Murtox
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The stories of the great ballads and dances of the past were all true and the young emperor saw it with his own two eyes. The massive principal hall of the Winter Palace had been filled up to the brim with tables, wine, and food of all sorts for the guests that had come from the far reaches of the Empire. The guests who dressed in all sorts of manners from colorful green silk dresses from the richest of nomads to the simple greyish and brown styles of those who didn't have the same wealth. Many didn't know what to expect when the Emperor invited such a massive host of nomads to the city of Mel-Izar.

Hundreds of servants had to be hired and the whole city was basically put entirely to work to prepare for the incoming horde of guests. Food was shipped from various ports in the empire and the entire city was even more active than before. Indeed, this showed that if it was the will of the emperor, many things could be achieved. Parcels outside of the city were set aside for camping nomads and an entire section of the outskirts of the city had been prepared to accommodate a festival of sorts for the commoners, while the leaders of the tribes feasted alongside the emperor in the winter palace.

The tribes arrived at the city of Mel-Izar in droves and waves, most of the time escorted by the cavalry of the Empire as it had been planned. Many of them clearly showed signs that they had been going through a long journey to get here. After all, many of the nomads had settled in various provinces of the empire but mostly on the eastern side and suffice to say that it was quite vast already. Many farmers complained due to the horses eating their plants or grass and scaring the sheep away. But the provincial governors often found their uses to such nomads, hiring them as bodyguards or to hunt other bandit tribes in the countryside. Due to this, it was quite easy to send invitations and organize the feast instead of having to make contact with each one of the tribes that had come.

Also, one must not forget that it was an open invitation to any nomad tribe and of course, many of the traditional Khazar warrior clans also joined up. Many came with large retinues and many servants, the warrior clans of old had become quite rich after all. But not all of the warrior clans had come to the feast, for those who sided with the more modern faction of the house notables didn't see well the arrival of so many uncivilized nomads into their lands and while polite still saw the tribes as undesirables.

Perhaps, their opinion would change after the swelling of the ranks of the army. A much-needed fact in these unknown times, where any single spark may set ablaze the kingdoms and empires of Europe. Truly, one can't ever truly be prepared for such things, except for the unity of the people. If there is unity then all can be overcome, this was one of the ideals of the forebearers of Sahin Marcar. But now, it wasn't time to reminisce it was time for the festivities to begin and for them to begin, there was a need to do an opening ceremony and what better way than with the ceremony of three crowns. The nomad tribes remember very well this ceremony, it is one where the leader of the tribe begins his rule or is seeking the approval of the rest of his tribe to engage in a future action.

For the Khazarians, it is now but a forgotten custom, but one that Sahin did well in remembering from his cousins to the east. Sevil and Yitzhak didn't know this about this at all, for it was planned in secrecy with Alp Tarkhan, who had returned from his travel to Stevata. This was truly a matter of honor, prestige, and legitimacy. The ceremony consisted of taking up a bow and only three arrows and hitting three targets each far away from each other and each representing, the crown of earth, sky, and water. The crowns of the three major gods of the Nomadic religions of the east.

Succeeding or failing in this ceremonial act could have consequences for the development of the ceremony and when Sevil realized what Sahin was about to do, she felt the tension in the air as she prepared to watch her nephew take up a recurve bow. One that had been crafted to precision by the finest bowmaker in Mel-Izar and then three fires were lit up on the wall that Sahin was facing. The entire host of guests gazed upon the emperor, drink on their hands and eyes set upon the young emperor's stance. He first drew an arrow and then aimed. A few tense moments and he released the arrow and he closed his eyes, when he opened he had hit the target. The same happened with the other targets and the guests after a moment of silence began cheering, as the Emperor returned to his seat at the top of the dinner hall. Once this was done, the festivities began in earnest.

A thousand stories would be told and made in the next days, all due to the magnanimity of the great emperor of Khazaria. And as such, in one stroke the Emperor had managed not only to unify his people but also to secure an army to protect the interests of the empire abroad. There was clearly still much more to do, but this step had been done well and it secured the Empire from within and also from without. Now, it was time to prepare for the next steps of the Emperor and his young career as a ruler, which seemed to only begin now.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by LordZell
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Kingdom of Dorist, Summer 1756, Talfist


The king’s palace while large and impressive was also quiet and empty, especially as last night was the final night of a relatively unsuccessful state dinner. The King laid in bed late into the night awake thinking while his wife laid asleep next to him oblivious of what was going on. His enemies have grown stronger, while he and his allies grew weaker. While he had little doubt his armies could easily take on stevata he didn’t want to be seen as the aggressors to the world at large. So he must bide his time and wait for something to happen so that he and his Dorist people look like the heroes of this historical tale. He smiled as the sun began to rise and a plan began to swell within his mind.

The next day King Freud after meeting with his council he sends word to his admiral Karl Young to prepare the fleet for deployment. He sent word to his diplomat in Komentiolos saying if war should come, he would prefer they stay out until needed instead only offering pressure to the Khazarian southern front and perhaps if they felt so bold to halt trading traffic through the strait with warring nations. Word is sent to General Wolfgang, he is to prepare his men for a large siege, he is to pull back all forces from the border and instead use his cavalry forces to Scout the enemy positions and whatever defenses they may have . Word is then sent to General Albert, of the reserve forces, he to prepare them for readiness and to move at a moment's notice. Finally, word is sent to the allies in Altenten, that they should prepare their forces as there is a belief in the air that war will start soon and all must be ready.

The King then calls for a meeting with Rudolf smitt and asks him what he needs and how long so that a suitable prototype can be made in case war does come.
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Romero
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"If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud. Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, my friend, you would not tell with such high zest to children ardent for some desperate glory, the old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori." -Wilfred Owen

Summer of 1756




1st of April

Following in the footsteps of The Kingdom of Paranas, The Principality of Asmont is the second nation to declare it's intended neutrality, if war should break out between The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist, as many believe it will. Asmont shares a cultural history with Dorist, but in more recent history, their attentions have instead turned towards the west, and there are already rumours that perhaps the neutrality of Asmont is a symbol of how their neighbours, The Empire of Grimhout and The Kingdom of Arhan, will react to this coming war.

3rd of April

In a move that very few saw coming, a delegation is sent across the narrow channel between The Empire of Grimhout and The Kingdom of Kehsi. The delegation travels under the official seal of Arch-Duke Jean-Baptise Dervau, and seem to take Kehsi as much by surprise as anyone else. Regardless of their past hostilities, and the tension that has been steadily growing between the nations, there are still diplomatic etiquette to be observed, and the delegation is given lodgings in the Kehsi capital of Sabica. An audience with the young king is requested, but what is discussed remains a closely guarded secret.

4th of April

While one pair of ancient enemies appear to be potentially looking to build bridges, across Europe another pair seem to have no such intentions. The Kingdom of Komentiolos move a sizeable force of field guns to re-enforce the already heavily fortified border with The Empire of Khazaria, heating tensions that have not cooled for generations. While those within Komentiolos itself see this as a defensive move, looking to protect themselves from the war-hawks of the empire, Khazaria could well see this as a sign of intent. Khazaria now finds its attention split between their enemy to the west and their enemy to the south. Focus too much on one, and the other will no doubt seize the opportunity.

6th of April

Perhaps in reaction to the recent actions of The Kingdom of Komentiolos, or perhaps simply as a part of routine improvements, the The Empire of Khazaria begins a series of improvements. Large areas of the empire are still sparsely populated, and should war come to the borders of Khazaria itself, supply lines can easily become overstretched and vulnerable. With this thought no doubt in mind, Khazaria begins improving the supply of it's troops, as well as drawing up grand logistical plans for the armies operation. It is a slow and laborious process, but it is a start, and just another step towards modernising the traditional practices of the empires forces.

9th of April

Ever since the effective closing of their court in the ensuing chaos of the conspiracy allegations, The Kingdom of Arhan has been a closed book to even their closest neighbours. The great noble families have come together in the capital, and there has been an apparent changing of the guard. Still no news has escaped the kingdom's borders on the fate of Lord Favre, but some rumours still escape. Arhan has long had a rivalry with The Empire of Reria, and it seems that the rivalry is only continuing. Reria merchants are reporting that they have been turned away from Arhan ports, and the narrow border between the two nations has been all but closed.

11th of April

With their neutrality loosely secured, and their relations with The Kingdom of Altenten and The Empire of Khazaria still intact, it appears as if The Kingdom of Paranas hes developed a taste for diplomacy. A delegation is sent to The Republic of Kalseran, looking to improve their relations with their neighbours. While some nations in Europe are collecting enemies, Paranas seems to be doing quite the opposite.

14th of April

Perhaps spooked by the prospect of war elsewhere in Europe, or perhaps simply looking to make use of their impressive coffers, The Kingdom of Hispalis begin rewriting their logistical plans, and working to improve their armies access to supplies. Fresh equipment is distributed amongst the troops, and it is readily welcomed. All across Europe, war seems to be hanging in the air, and nations are beginning to move pieces into place.

15th of April

While The Kingdom of Hispalis begins work on one side of the Strait of Gibraltar, they are not resting idle across the strait either. Missionaries are dispatched to the far reaches of the colonies influence, spreading not only the faith, but also the language and culture of Hispalis. The missionaries find natives with their own rich culture and history, but they are also natives that have seen the riches that Hispalis can bring, and are willing to welcome the missionaries. It is a slow process, but the colonies influence is steadily growing through peaceful means, and that in itself is admirable.

17th of April

The diplomatic party of The Empire of Grimhout encounters remarkable success in The Empire of Stabuga. They are welcomed with open arms, and quickly find that the frozen north boasts great riches. The Imperial Palace of Monsk is a grand building, and the delegation is invited to feast with the ageing Tsar, Viktor Barinov, a man who they quickly find possesses an incredibly sharp mind. The Tsar is fascinated with the tales of the diplomats homeland, and invites them to stay as long as they wish. For now he avoids talk of possible treaties, but a man as sharp as the Tsar is no doubt aware of the coming war close to his borders. That is not to say that Stabuga is in need of help, for the Grimhout diplomats see no shortage of soldiers during their stay, and Stabuga boast impressive natural defences as well as military ones.

20th of April

As the power of The Viswan Empire continues to crumble, it is not only The Republic of Kalseran that is looking to strengthen their own hold. The colony of The Kingdom of Kehsi begins what can only be conceived as aggressive expansion. The colony is garrisoned by a militia force, but Kehsi begins training more soldiers, and improving the defences of their ports. This is an act o defiance against the Viswan Empire, and even though the Empire is starting to crumble, it is still immensely powerful. Cogs are beginning to turn, and even as Kehsi begin to prepare themselves, the slow beast of the Empire is starting to turn it's attention towards them.

22nd of April

The Kingdom of Genstadt is the third nation to declare it's effective neutrality should their neighbours to the east go to war. Although Genstadt shares a common history with The Kingdom of Dorist, much like The Principality of Asmont, the strength of Genstadt stems from it's navy, and while The Kingdom of Fosbak continues to look at the potential war between The Kingdom of Stevata and Dorist with barely disguised disdain, it is unlikely that Genstadt would be permitted to navigate their fleet into a position in which they could contribute to the war. Dorist seems to quickly be running out of friends.

23rd of April

While other nations look towards war, The Kingdom of Hispalis seems to have other things on mind. Hispalis already boasts an impressive treasury, largely drawn from trade across Europe, and their vice-like control of the vital Strait into the Mediterranean, but clearly the kingdom is not yet satisfied. They announce the founding of a rudimentary stock exchange in the capital, Toletum, intended to act as a tool to encourage ventures by the kingdom's businessmen. The news is greeted by the elite, but it is an enterprise largely lost on the masses. Hispalis, like the rest of Europe, is an agrarian economy, and it is only the rich that are currently looking to make themselves even richer.

26th of April

As tensions continue to rise with their ancient enemies, The Empire of Khazaria, the actions of The Kingdom of Komentiolos continue to do nothing to mend relations. Orders are issued to the soldiers of the kingdom's army, and training begins in earnest. Even the reserve forces are brought in and trained. The air seems to crackle in anticipation of... something, but whatever it is, Komentiolos obviously intends to be ready for it.

28th of April

Even while the two nations of The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist seem to be hurtling towards war, the border between the two nations had recently taken on an almost surreal air. Dorist has stationed soldiers along the border who can easily trace their ancestry to Stevata itself, and there are even cases of cousins standing on opposite sides of the border. Considering the two sides were effectively countrymen, there were numerous reports of soldiers crossing the border to share a fire and a drink on particularly cold nights. This sense of merriment is abruptly extinguished. The Dorist Infantry is pulled back from the border, and suddenly reports begin flooding in of dark riders crossing the border and harassing the people of Stevata. These riders wear no uniform, and disappear before Stevata can mount a response. They leave chaos and panic in their wake, knocking down men, women and children with the flats of their sabre. King Oswald IV is a young man still, but he summons his advisors, and war quickly seems all but a certainty.

29th of April

War is one wrong move away. The Kingdom of Stevata accuse The Kingdom of Dorist of sending their cavalry across the border and attacking the Stevata people. Civilians are move back from the border, and yet more soldiers take their place. Stevata demand a public apology from Dorist, or they will have no choice but declare war on their neighbours to protect their people. In the wake of this declaration, The Kingdom of Teclav echoes their ally, condemning the actions of Dorist as barbaric and preparing their own forces to march to the aid of Stevata. The news is still making it's way across Europe, but one way or another, this accusation will have serious consequences. Many are already looking towards the reactions of The Empire of Khazaria, and The Kingdom of Komentiolos. By chance, King Nikolaos II is a guest of King Freud, as part of the state banquet, and has been pushing for closer relations with Dorist. This recent development may well put those improving relations to the test.

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"...Khazaria borders many nations as it is nature in the center of the Black Sea. It borders the nations of the North, the descendants of the Rosky Brothers and to the east, their cousins and brothers whom once upon a time were enemies and allies, they once had great khanates but their empire shave since then fallen into disarray and been disunited due to infighting. Only through change was the Empire of Khazaria able to remain as a cohesive nation and an empire that was deserving of great respect.

That respect had not been won out of simple shows of strength but rather out of the endurance of its people and rulers in all kinds of crises. From plagues, famines and the horrendous crusades that caused much bloodshed in the empire. But through defeat and victory, all remains the same for the people of Khazaria. For it is them and them alone, who will continue their legacy through the ages no matter who dares oppose them.

An oppose them, many nations will do and have done. The pieces on the board have begun moving like crows trying to find a weak side to the great empire of Khazaria. The movements of the Dorist and their allies have not gone unnoticed, their soldiers and generals too prideful to realize that they are about to fight the descendants of legends and heroes. Kommentiolos always seeking an opportunity to undermine the trade and influence of Khazaria. We cannot let our guard down and our soldiers will have to man every position, but if the emperor gives the order it shall be done.

It will a thousand more wars and a thousand more famines to put an end to our Empire. For the sky and land are our allies, as they shall always be so and never abandon us. The Great Riders of the Black Sea shall show their foes their true might..." - Imperial War Poems of the Court of Khazaria 1756
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Theodorable
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Kingdom of Genstadt



King Freud Thumer,
I hope this spring finds you well. There are a great many things afoot in Europe these past many months. It has been several long years since we last spoke, but know that my love for you and Dorist has always remained. I am writing you and praying this document finds you in time. Word has reached me that Genstadt, under Foreign Ambassador Klaas-Jan Groot Koerkamp made a declaration of neutrality in regards to Dorist and Stevata. He has since found leave to the vilayets of Schulenburg and will no longer be available for arraignments and dictates in the Genstadter Embassy in Talfist. Instead, know that Genstadt has chosen it's own path, a new path.

The Kingdom of Genstadt, as witnessed by God, declares today and forever a friend of the Kingdom of Dorist and will instead request a Dorist delegation be sent to the Genstadter vilayet of Kluugen, near the Dorist border, to discuss further details of this political arrangement. The Genstadt state hopes that in lieu of war, concessions and agreements can be discovered that will be mutual to every involved party. I am dispatching a new Foreign Ambassador Karst-Jan Rijntjes to Talfist to be at your service. He is well qualified, having been a member of the Genstadter Eerste Kamer (State Senate) since the 1730's and speaks quite fluent Dorist.

With love,
Queen Margriet I of Genstadt






Griffioen Bank dur Genstadt, est. 1756


To Jan Anthonie Bruijn,
As we embark into this new year, we know that you go with Genstadt and God in this journey. The establishment of the Griffioen Bank dur Genstadt will ensure a more stable financing and commission of currency in Genstadt and surrounding nations. This letter is also affirming the confirmation in two hundred and fifty million Gens in promissory notes for immediate issuing and lending backed by Genstadt bullion.

As Head of the Griffioen Bank dur Genstadt, your responsibilities will be to ensure the continued solvency and positive financial operations of the newly charted facility. Your tenure will last sixty seasons under which the Office of the Ministry of Finance and the Crown will jointly revenue your history and make a determination as to the continuation of your role there.

Domestic issuance can occur at any vilayet or municipality level without question submitted via the Crown, foreign issuance must run pursuance at the request of the Office of the Ministry of Finance and to be submitted to an inquiry direct to the Minister of Finance and the Queen herself. Should either party find hesitation in any issuance, then the Crown finds itself in proper authority to deny such an issuance from being declared. In lieu of any confusion, return post haste a letter marked by the seal of the Griffioen Bank dur Genstadt to the Ministry of Finance. We look forward to working alongside you.

Minister of Finance,
Jan Elias Nicolaas Schimmelpenninck van der Oye





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Romero Prince of Darkness

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"If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud. Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, my friend, you would not tell with such high zest to children ardent for some desperate glory, the old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori." -Wilfred Owen

Summer of 1756




2nd of May

With war looming on the horizon, the shipyards of The Empire of Khazaria come to life. Under the close tutelage of The Kingdom of Paranas, the shipwrights of Khazaria have advanced leaps and bounds in recent years, and it is the coastal cities of the empire that have seen the greatest modernisation. Designs are drawn out for more than two dozen new Frigates for the empires navy, and work quickly gets underway. Although it will be months before any of these ships can set sail, it is still a clear sign of intent from Khazaria, as any increase in naval power puts them even more at odds with The Kingdom of Komentiolos to the south.

5th of May

The border between The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist is still a powder keg, and it quickly becomes clear that Dorist has no intentions of apologising for the civilian attacks along the border, or even taking responsibility. King Freud Thumer finally breaks the tense silence, and issues a declaration of his own. The Kingdom of Dorist is greatly offended by the accusation levied against them, and when this response reaches the Stevata capital of Ravoza, it causes outrage. The Stevata king is still a young man, but he is not naive. With a heavy heart, he gathers his most trusted advisors around him, and rumours quickly begin circling. War, the horseman of the apocalypse, has mounted it's fiery steed.

6th of May

Before news of the declaration from The Kingdom of Dorist can even spread across Europe, The Empire of Khazaria seems to react. Perhaps it is a lucky coincidence, or perhaps the old trickster, Fate, has taken an interest in events. Whatever the reason, Khazaria echoes with the sound of marching feet as the empires armies prepare for war. A vast host marches west to the border with The Kingdom of Stevata, establishing a logistical headquarters as they prepare to cross the border and march to the aid of their ally. Rumours begin to swirl that none other than Alp Tarkhan marches at the head of this host, a near-mythical commander of men that embodies the wild savagery of the Khazarian tribes. Perhaps history will see this as a poetic irony, that it is a savage that leads the armies that Dorist has dubbed as 'uncivilised', but Alp has no time for poetry, and he will not waver from his task.

7th of May

Even as soldiers of The Empire of Khazaria march to the west, the empires young ruler is clearly still wary of the ancient enemy to the south, The Kingdom of Komentiolos. Field guns are deployed along the already heavily fortified border between the two nations, and on a clear day, the two forces can glimpse each other across the border, seemingly locked in a standoff as both nations watch for the other to act. All the while, news continues to filter out from the border between The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist. All of Europe seems to be holding their breath as they wait for the seemingly inevitable, as the Royal Palace of Stevata continues to be a hive of frenzied activity.

9th of May

"Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the dogs of war." With no choice before them, The Kingdom of Stevata officially declares war against The Kingdom of Dorist. Orders are quickly dispatched all across Stevata, and with their flanks largely protected, Stevata is free to bring the vast bulk of it's army to the border with Dorist. Although they do not cross the border yet, it quickly becomes clear that Stevata intends to reclaim their territory of Shardvul, a move that would seriously dent the morale of Dorist, as well as shrinking the border they need to defend. On the other side of the border, Dorist is also quick to prepare itself for war.

11th of May

Even while other nation's of Europe march to war, The Kingdom of Hispalis continues to be more interested in strengthening their already impressive economy. To encourage the masses to make use of their still burgeoning stock exchange, Hispalis announces a series of loans and grants. The process of bringing the lower and middle class into this evolving economic structure is a slow one, but it is happening, and as the shadow of war continues to spread across the rest of Europe, there are already those who are being drawn to the shining light of Hispalis.

12th of May

As war is made official between The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist, more nations are drawn into the conflict. The first to announce their allegiance is The Kingdom of Teclav, unsurprisingly joining Stevata in declaring war against Dorist. The forces of Teclav that had already gathered on the Stevata border now cross into their allies territory, and begins the march towards Dorist. Few doubt that The Empire of Khazaria will also lend it's strength Stevata, a considerable force of Khazaria gathered on the border already, but for Dorist, the landscape is looking more bleak. As rumours continue to swirl regarding the dark riders that attacked the civilians of Stevata, The Kingdom of Altenten is noticeably hesitant in pledging it's support for Dorist.

14th of May

Perhaps drawn to the growing strength of The Kingdom of Hispalis, or perhaps simply looking for new allies, The Kingdom of Komentiolos sends a delegation across the Mediterranean. The move is seen by many as a sign that Komentiolos is starting to turn it's attentions further afield. If ships of Komentiolos are to venture beyond the Mediterranean, then it certainly makes sense to curry favour with the gatekeepers.

17th of May

Even as one diplomatic mission continues it's journey, The Kingdom of Komentiolos does not rest idle. The youngest brother of King Nikolaos Andreas Koromelas II, Arcadius, has served well as ruler of the Komentiolos colony of Aegyptus, and he has been working to strengthen further the ties between Komentiolos and the colony. With his brother's blessing, Arcadius marries the daughter of the colonies most powerful noble family, Salma Al Sadat. The marriage is an important gesture, and Aegyptus is welcomed back into the fold, recognised as a part of the kingdom proper, rather than a colony. The news is tentatively accepted by most, largely the rich that will no doubt benefit from this move, but in the further reaches of the colony, there are discernible murmurings of discontent.

18th of May

The Kingdom of Fosbak officially expels the diplomats of The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist. Queen Marta condemns the war that has broken out between the two nations, vowing that Fosbak will play no part in the conflict, and issuing a stark warning towards any that might think of bringing war into the waters of Fosbak. With Fosbak controlling the straits, it quickly becomes apparent that the Baltic Sea is effectively sealed off. Neither Dorist or Stevata will see any aid arriving by sea, unless someone can present a convincing argument to the young queen.

20th of May

Under the guidance of shipwrights from The Republic of Kalseran, the shipyards of The Kingdom of Hispalis officially begin their work. Orders are officially placed for two Ships of the Line, and the craftsman take to their tasks with a relish. Although the ships will likely not set sail for months, it is still an important sign of the kingdom's intent of strengthening their naval power. With war already erupting in Europe, this news is greeted warmly by the people of Hispalis. Who knows how soon war could darken the kingdoms own shores?

22nd of May

The Grand State Dinner of The Kingdom of Dorist has morphed into something else entirely. The dinner was symbolically attended by The Kingdom of Altenten, The Kingdom of Komentiolos and The Republic of Kalseran, and signified the solidification of the burgeoning alliance between the four nations, but before any ink could be put to paper, war came. The dinner has now morphed into a thinly-veiled attempt by Dorist to convince the other nations to join them in war. Whether these attempts will be successful, still stands to be seen, but it is becoming increasingly crucial for Dorist to re-balance the scales that are quickly tilting against them. With The Kingdom of Teclav and The Empire of Khazaria already standing shoulder-to-shoulder, Dorist is in desperate need of friends.

23rd of May

Even as their shipyards continue their work, The Kingdom of Hispalis also looks to strengthen their natural assets. The coastal defences and batteries that line the Strait of Gibraltar are largely outdated, some of them not having seen service since the conquest of Duarte. General Fernandez de Malaca is a man who hears music in the roar of cannon fire, and he takes to this task with a relish, modernising the existing defences as well as drawing out designs for new ones, the strait becoming a deadly maze of crossfire for any fleet that may attempt to pass through the strait without permission from Hispalis. The kingdom has long held the strategic position of the strait, and it is clear that they are not willing to relax that grip.

25th of May

There have long been murmurings of discontent in the heart of The Republic of Kalseran, powerful nobles who believe that the A'Dera family has held power for too long. Unsurprisingly, Luisa A'Dera is not willing to allow these murmurings to continue, and she has already begun work in the shadows to purge the rot before it can take root. Gathering the noble families before her, Luisa issues a stark warning, and it is quickly clear that Kalseran is a republic in name alone. To drive her point home, agents move in the shadows to attack the nobles where they are most vulnerable, their coin-purses. Sweeping new trade measures come in that chip away at the assets of the nobles, weakening their source of strength and funnelling more gold into the A'Dera families own purses. The action works to quell the moderate rebels, but it stokes a fire within the heart of the more extreme families, and the ones that are bold enough to risk the wrath of the A'Dera murmur even louder.

26th of May

Wary of war, or perhaps simply looking for new trade avenues, The Kingdom of Hispalis sends out a diplomatic delegation. Led by the king's own brother, Philip, the delegation is ordered to travel to The Kingdom of Genstadt and The Kingdom of Fosbak, looking to potentially establish a defensive coalition, or simply improve relations. Philip's wife, Kristien, is the sister of Queen Margriet, and it is clearly hoped that this well help to grease the wheels of diplomacy, but it seems as if the bird has flown before they even arrive. Rumours swirl of a letter sent from Queen Margriet to the east looking to cement a friendship with The Kingdom of Dorist. If the rumours are true, then any attempt to align Hispalis with Genstadt could well drag Hispalis into war. Philip urgently writes back to his brother, requesting guidance before he presents any treaties to Genstadt, and before he pushes onto Fosbak.

27th of May

Even with the threat of war almost literally at the gates, word begins to spread across The Republic of Kalseran of a festival, intended to celebrate the Republic, and the A'Dera family. Tensions in Europe are more volatile than ever, and the state dinner of The Kingdom of Dorist that this festival was set to follow is quickly descending into a war council, so news of this festival is unexpected. Whether or not such a celebration goes ahead, the message is clear. It is the A'Dera family that is the strength behind the republic, and despite the discontent amongst some of the noble families, the A'Dera still wield the biggest stick.

29th of May

The border between The Kingdom of Komentiolos and The Empire of Khazaria is teetering on the brink of outright war, but that tension is no longer limited simply to the border. Squadrons of Khazaria frigates set sail and begin to patrol the Black Sea like packs of wolves, watchful and wary of Komentiolos launching a naval action of their own. The shadow of war continues to spread, and it quickly becoming clear that this conflict is unlikely to sputter out, the great powers already whipping it into an inferno that threatens to consume all of Europe.

30th of May

Following the relative success of their missionaries, The Kingdom of Hispalis looks to capitalise on it's gains. The missionaries continue their work of integrating the natives into the colony, but now they do it with a renewed purpose. These religious men are visionaries, and they see the task of bringing these savages into the light as their calling. With the backing of Hispalis behind them, the missionaries begin bringing the natives into the fold. The colonies influence continues to grow without a hitch, but while the natives that have witnessed the strength of Hispalis first-hand are keen to fall in line, there are still those deeper into Africa who still remember a time when the Caliphate looked down upon Hispalis.

31st of May

The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist both boast formidable war machines, but they are war machines that are slow to fire. It is almost a month after the declaration of war before the two nations are ready for open battle, but now that they are ready, conflict seems inevitable. The Siege of Kronik, the bloody battle that saw Shardvul fall into Dorist hands, is still in living memory for the veterans of both armies, and both sides are looking for vengeance. With the armies of The Kingdom of Teclav already marching to the aid of Stevata, and a formidable force of The Empire of Khazaria also standing by, and the potential allies of Dorist still hesitating to commit, perhaps it is time for Dorist to draw first blood, while Stevata waits for it's own numbers to swell?



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