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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

Winter of 1756

1st of December

Far from the chaos of Europe, India has been gripped by it's own war. As tensions between The Viswan Empire and The Kingdom of Kehsi show no signs of cooling, blood shed by both sides, the recently arrived colonists of The Empire of Grimhout find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict they have no involvement in. Baptiste Crevier, the man tasked with establishing a foothold for Grimhout in India, finds himself with a difficult choice to make. Although Kehsi are already preparing to retaliate again Viswan for the loss of Fort Ivars, Baptiste carries the seal of Arch-Duke Jean-Baptise Dervau, given the full authority of Grimhout's ruler, and he reaches his own decision. Rather than tying themselves too closely to the abrasive colonists of Kehsi, Baptiste leads his followers north, intending to settle unspoiled lands, away from the brewing war against Viswan.

3rd of December

The marriage between Salma Al Sadat and Arcadius Koromelas has done much to bring a sense of order to the province of Aegyptus, but as time has passed, the initial joy of the marriage has waned. The rich families of the province, most hailing from The Kingdom of Komentiolos, or at least tracing their family line back to the illustrious history of the kingdom, have welcomed the move, yet this influence does not extend far beyond the lavish villas of these great families. Unrest has plagued the tendrils of Komentiolos that dare to stray too far into the desert, and that unrest has only gathered momentum. The province is defended by a respectable garrison, but they are thinly stretched, and it is almost impossible to fight an enemy that seems to dissapear into the sands. Not only that, but it is becoming increasingly clear that these rebellious nomads are not acting alone. Weapons of war have been smuggled into the province, and there seems to be some uniting power amongst the various tribes that call the shifting sands home. Accusations understandably fly towards The Empire of Khazaria, but for now, reports continue to reach Arcadius, and in turn, his brother, King Nikolaos II, and they make for grim reading.

5th of December

Winter continues to close in on the province of Kavatsona, and perhaps a less experienced commander would lower their guard, expecting no army to try and push through the biting chill and frozen ground. The Kingdom of Komentiolos is fortunate then, that Marcian Augustus is far from a less experienced commander. Even as the snow begins to fall, Marcian continues to drill his troops, ever strengthening his defensive lines for the assault that he knows in his bones will come. And as the makes a rare appearance through the clouds, that assault comes. The armies of Komentiolos and The Empire of Reria have been careful to use the very terrain of the province as their first line of defence, and in truth, there was always one point through which the inevitable attack was likely to flow. The Gelesos Pass is a narrow break in the mountains, and it is around this pass that Marcian has ensured his defences are strongest. Considering the considerable reputation of the assembled leaders that the enemy has gathered, Marcian may have wondered about the validity of such an obvious advance, but for all of his grit and experience, Marcian Augustus is not an imaginative man, and he will always fight the enemy in front of him, and he moves ot take command of the defence personally. As the very ground rumbles beneath marching feet, the roar of cannon-fire from both armies signals the beginning of The Battle of Gelesos Pass. The conscripts of Komentiolos have swollen the defensive lines, tens of thousands of young men valiantly pledging to defend their nation, their numbers only limited by the number of weapons that Komentiolos could provide, and entrenched behind their fortifications, morale is high. The gathered force of The Empire of Khazaria, The Kingdom of Teclav and The Kingdom of Paranas is formidable in their own right, but they face an enemy that has dug in, and refuses to be dislodged. Assault after assault is beaten back by massed musket fire, and the roar of cannon, and Marcian commits his reserves to shore up the line wherever it threatens to buckle. Finally, after hours of this bloody cycle, and as the sun begins to fade, the assault ends as quickly as it began, and celebrations erupt all along the Komentiolos and Reria line. The savages have been sent scurrying back, Komentiolos has won an impressive victory, and the conscripts have tasted battle and emerged triumphant. There is only one man who does not celebrate, Marcian Augustus. As the grizzled veteran surveys the carnage of war, he cannot ignore the feeling in his gut. The famed cavalry of Khazaria did not ride through the pass, and for all the supposed brilliance of the Khazaria commanders, surely this attack was always doomed to fail? Regardless, reports are sent back to Komentiolos and Reria, and celebrations continue into the night.

6th of December

It does not take long for The Empire of Khazaria to play it's hand. Thousands of soldiers of Khazaria, The Kingdom of Paranas and The Kingdom of Teclav have sacrificed their lives in the Gelesos Pass in order to provide the opportunity for one gambit. To the east, miles away from the pass, shadows descend from the mountains. Kavatsona was Paranas land, and it is still the men and woman of Paranas that know it's secrets. During the night, a host of Khazaria and her allies have moved along half-forgotten paths through the hills, and an hour before dawn breaks, when the air is still bitingly cold, chaos erupts along the defensive lines of The Kingdom of Komentiolos. Although thousands of civilians fled before the invasion of Komentiolos, there are still mean and woman of Paranas that did not flee, and in the shadows of the night, as the conscripts celebrate the victory to the west, these men and woman have moved silently towards the Komentiolos lines, leaving the nearby village of Drarama. Fires break out amongst the tents, barricades are torn down, and while the soldiers of Komentiolos and The Empire of Reria are still in disarray, the gathered host charges. The ground is littered with caltrops, so it is the massed infantry that leads the charge, descending upon the defensive lines. The battle is bloody and confined, men often fighting hand-to-hand in the darkness and the chaos, and every inch that Khazaria, Teclav and Paranas advance is watered with blood, but as dawn finally begins to break, the line buckles. A path is quickly cleared through the fortifications with brute force, and as the infantry continues to beat back the reeling defenders, the cavalry of Alp Tarkhan can finally ride to war. The line of Komentiolos has been breached, and as word reached Marcian Augustus to the west, the grizzled veteran realises with a heavy heart that he has been played. The Battle of Drarama has been won by Khazaria and her allies, and now that the line is breached, Alp Tarkhan is free to run riot once more.

7th of December

Marcian Augustus is an accomplished commander, a man who has looked into the face of death and stood defiant, but he cannot be everywhere at once. The massed army of The Empire of Khazaria, The Kingdom of Teclav and The Kingdom of Paranas advances through the Gelesos Pass once more, while the army to the east continues to push deeper into Kavatsona itself. The news of the defeat has almost broken the morale of the conscript soldiers that line the remaining defences, and Marcian quickly realises that The Second Battle of Gelesos Pass will be a very different affair from the first. Reports continue to flood in of the vast advances that Alp Tarkhan and his riders are making, and as he stands over a map of the province, Marcian quickly realises how fragile his position has suddenly become. The claws of the pincer are closing by the hour, and despite the iron will of Marcian, he knows that only death awaits his men if he hesitates. The main battle lines of The Kingdom of Komentiolos and The Empire of Reria are lost, but there is a second line, close to the coast, and it is to these that Marcian signals the retreat. A valiant rearguard remains to try and hold back the enemy pushing from the north, while Marcian rallies the remaining survivors and pushes south with all haste. The day is surprisingly clear, and that quickly proves to be both a blessing, and a curse. The retreat makes good progress, but the mild temperature suits the riders of Alp Tarkhan, and it is not long before the massed cavalry of Khazaria and her allies descends upon Marcian Augustus and his men. Faced with riders drawn straight from nightmares, the morale of the remaining conscripts finally shatters, and their ordered retreat becomes a frantic flight. Against organised defences, and a wall of dug in defenders, even the famed cavalry of Khazaria is a blunt weapon, but on open ground, against fleeing and panicked men, they become a barbers razor, and under the legendary command of Alp Tarkhan, that razor's blade becomes wicked indeed. The fleeing conscripts are cut down with a ruthless and brutal joy, but in their deaths, they do buy Marcian precious time, and finally, the surviving defenders of Kavatsona reach the second line, built around the provincial capital of Byzantion. With the sea at their back, Marcian does not allow his men a moment's respite, ordering them to man the defences, and prepare to sell their lives to hold the line, but the assault never comes. As the massed infantry of the enemy, under the capable command of Yitzhak ha-Sangari, continues it's steady advance, Alp Tarkhan and his riders occupy themselves with cutting down the last straggling deserters, rather than attempt to break the Komentiolos lines. For now, Komentiolos has survived, but they have been dealt a sickeningly bloody blow, and their control of Kavatsona has been beaten back to the coast. Marcian can only pray that the weather turns, and makes any assault impossible, but with Komentiolos just across the strait, Marcian will not retreat a step further. This is where he will hold the line, until the last soldier of Komentiolos has been cut down.

8th of December

News of the bloody battles between the allied armies under The Kingdom of Komentiolos and The Empire of Khazaria are read with an almost morbid curiosity by nations all across Europe, but one of Khazaria's former enemies, The Kingdom of Dorist, has it's own issues to handle. The powerful noble families of Dorist have been plotting against General Albert Riechsand for weeks, but they have been betrayed. In the darkness of the night, soldiers of Dorist, all across the nation, burst into lavish manors and drag nobleman from their beds. The self-proclaimed leaders of the plot are executed with brutal efficiency, with their followers thrown into prison. Younger noble families, who had no love for the older, established families, are all too happy to take the places of their predecessors, and they are wise enough to pledge their loyalty to Albert Riechsand. Overnight, the young general has all but seized control of the nation, and it quickly becomes clear that the royal family has become a mere figurehead, allowed to keep their title and position only due to the whim of Albert. Wolfgang Draton looks on, doing nothing to challenge his young peer, but the other military leader of Dorist does not sit so idly by. However if Admiral Karl Young wanted to challenge Albert, then he is quickly foiled. Seized by his own men, and arrested for treason, Karl is accused of leading the disastrous naval action against The Kingdom of Stevata of his own will, acting against Dorist, and against his king. His protest falls on deaf ears, and a message is sent north, to The Kingdom of Fosbak, to offer the disgraced admiral as a peace offering between the two nations.

10th of December

Even as their allies are swept away, the soldiers of The Republic of Kalseran watch nervously on. General Bettino Gianni has been ordered to hold the line, and he has constructed formidable fortifications all along the border between Kalseran and The Kingdom of Paranas, preparing for the offensive that he thought was inevitable. After all, the Kalseran line was stretched thinner than that of The Kingdom of Komentiolos and The Empire of Reria, and yet The Empire of Khazaria has already played it's hand, pushing south rather than west with almost shocking success. Kalseran suddenly finds itself holding an even longer line, rushing to plug the hole in the defences in the province of Helensa. For now though, as the weather continues to deteriorate, Bettino can only continue to dig in. The foothold that Komentiolos and Reria has forged has been all but wiped away, and with their allies almost shattered, Kalseran suddenly find's it's own position to be increasingly precarious. All too aware of this, Luisa A'Dera writes to her brother, Isidoro, and implores him to ask for even greater aid from his father-in-law, Emperor Clarenzio III. Reria blood has been spilt, but as the entire region seems to teeter on the brink, Kalseran calls for more sons to be sent to war. With a heavy heart, even as chaotic and damning reports continue to flow in, Clarenzio agrees, and soldiers of Reria travel to the Kalseran lines. After all, if Kalseran should fall, then Reria would be the one with the most to lose.

13th of December

Tsesarevich Petya Barinov has been a guest of The Kingdom of Fosbak for weeks, and in truth, Petya seems to have found a kindred spirit in Queen Marta II. Despite the age difference between the two, they have quickly become fond friends, sharing similar interests in music and the arts. This bond seems to reflect the solidarity that is felt between Fosbak and The Empire of Stabuga, two nations that find themselves in very similar situations. New power blocs are emerging all across Europe, and it seems to be quickly becoming a race for the remaining nations to choose sides. Fosbak did not interfere in the war just south of it's borders, despite lobbying from both sides of the line, but that has all but severed what bonds Fosbak did hold with the south, and with The Kingdom of Kehsi continuing to align itself with The Empire of Grimhout, and even the historical ally of The Kingdom of Orvag seeming to be drawn to the increasingly powerful alliance of The Kingdom of Teclav, The Kingdom of Stevata and The Empire of Khazaria, Fosbak is in need of friends. In Stabuga, Queen Marta seems to see that, and treaties are drawn up on both trade and friendship. The murmurs of a potential alliance in the future is warmly greeted, and it is with a heavy heart that Petya finally embarks on his journey home, promising to write to Marta before long. The heir to the empire has not only proven himself a capable diplomat, but he has also made a very valuable friend.

14th of December

Winter has truly arrived with vengeance, and even as temperatures plummet, and most of eastern Europe is buried beneath snow and ice, Marcian Augustus allows himself a silent prayer of thanks. The advance of The Empire of Khazaria and it's allies at the start of the month was a surprising move, and the soldiers no doubt paid a price for the effort of pushing through the bleak weather, but in these hellish conditions, even the hardy men of Khazaria cannot hope to mount any significant assault. Fate has apparently intervened, and until the weather clears, the line of The Kingdom of Komentiolos and The Empire of Reria will hold. The winter storms have swept across the Black Sea, sending ships of all nations scattering to the safety of their own harbours, and in the howling wind, there is a brief moment of peace.

16th of December

Despite the aid of their allies, The Republic of Kalseran and The Empire of Reria, the fleet of The Kingdom of Komentiolos has been all but wiped out, the wrecks littering the coastline of the Bosporus, but King Nikolaos II clearly wants to try and salvage something from the defeat. The surviving cannons are rescued from these wrecks, and dragged to the front lines in Kavatsona, the sailors that survived the bloodshed given muskets, and sent to bolster the defending army. The numbers are meagre, and few guns can really be salvaged from the wrecks, but it is still the first bit of good news to reach the beleaguered defenders, and any boost to morale is welcomed by General Marcian Augustus, the man ordered to hold the line.

19th of December

While the east continues to descend into chaos and bloodshed, The Empire of Grimhout continues to serve as a paragon of peace in the west. With The Principality of Asmont and The Kingdom of Kehsi already brought into the fold, influence growing in The Kingdom of Arhan by the day, and treaties delivered to The Kingdom of Hispalis, Grimhout turns it's attention to the west once more, and The Kingdom of Genstadt. Queen Margriet I is accustomed to finding herself caught in the middle, but as unrest grips Dorist to the east, and Asmont is already benefiting from it's new bond with Grimhout to the south, the young queen finds it hard to argue against the case put forward by the Grimhout diplomats. It is only the silence from Hispalis that gives Margriet cause for hesitation, and for now, no treaties are signed. Both Grimhout and Genstadt turn to Hispalis again, as the wait for a response continues to grow. However, Grimhout is not idle in the shadows either. Rumours have always circulated of the network of spies and informants that have operated under 'Monsieur Pierre', and as chaos continues to bleed from the east like a cancer, shadowy figures move to the courts of Dorist, and The Kingdom of Altenten, keeping a watchful eye on the tumultuous situation that both nation's are currently in the grips of.

21st of December

Finally, The Kingdom of Hispalis breaks it's silence. As the development of the Vera Engine continues to revolutionise the very fabric of the nation, the diplomatic party of The Empire of Grimhout embarks homewards. When they finally arrive at the court of Arch-Duke Jean-Baptise Dervau, the news they bring is just as revolutionary as the engine. Jean-Baptiste had implored for peace, and clearly that note has struck true with King Charles XII, and treaties have been signed that will shape western Europe for generations. The two historic rivals have not only settled their differences, but have effectively become allies, and as the momentum of this groundbreaking revelation sweeps through Grimhout and it's neighbours, The Kingdom of Genstadt quickly falls in line, and the influence over The Kingdom of Arhan see's another nation flock to this new testament of peace and brotherhood. Trade routes are drawn all across the west, and while the east continues to war, the powers of Grimhout, Hispalis, The Kingdom of Kehsi, The Principality of Asmont, Arhan and Genstadt have united under a single banner of peace.

22nd of December

As the wind continues to howl over Kavatsona, the disparity between the east and west of Europe has never been more obvious. While the nations of the west unite, the nations of the east continue to engage in bloody war. The soldiers of The Kingdom of Komentiolos and The Empire of Reria that still hold the line are ragged, and bloodied. They have seen war, they have seen their brothers and friends cut down beside them, and frozen corpses litter the province. What advantage the conscripted soldiers gave has been all but lost, and the storm has blunted the strength of the combined fleet. The that will come, the weather will clear, and when it does, Marcian Augustus knows that he will be facing the combined strength of The Empire of Khazaria, The Kingdom of Teclav and The Kingdom of Paranas yet again, and despite his own grit, Marcian knows that holding the line will be bloody, but he cannot break. If the line breaks here, then Komentiolos itself will be open to the savages, and that cannot be allowed.

23rd of December

Unaware of the great strides that his home nation has made in Europe, Baptiste Crevier makes his own strides in the name of The Empire of Grimhout. In the northern reaches of India, a colony of Grimhout is finally established, a humble trading port and rudimentary fort now, but Baptiste has ambition, and with the rich trade that the new alliance of western Europe will inevitably bring, the colony of Grimhout will only grow. However, Baptiste is not the only leader with grand designs for India. Even while The Republic of Kalseran braces itself for war, a ship has sailed west, carrying most precious cargo. The wishes of Maria Toleas have been granted, and the noblewoman has been granted almost total authority of the republic's own colonies in India, and although she has been issued with a stern warning that she is of the republic and for the republic, the bloodshed for The Kingdom of Kehsi has already proven how cumbersome it is for the powers of Europe to try and control their colonies directly. With Maria and Baptiste attempting to carry out their own ambitious schemes, and Kehsi preparing to seek vengeance against The Viswan Empire, India is a powder keg, just waiting for someone to strike a match.

26th of December

The alliance that has emerged in western Europe may well champion peace, but it boasts a formidable military strength. The combined fleets of The Empire of Grimhout, The Kingdom of Hispalis, The Kingdom of Kehsi, The Kingdom of Arhan and The Kingdom of Genstadt simply dwarfs anything that other nations of Europe can produce, and yet it quickly becomes clear that Grimhout is not willing to rest on these laurels. The shipyards along the empire's coast come to life, and work begins on almost a dozen new ships of the line. It will be months, if not years, before these ships can sail under the Grimhout flag, and who knows what they will face when they do, but it is still a clear sign of intent, and perhaps even a warning to the rest of Europe, that this new alliance is all too aware that the greatest symbol for peace, is military strength.

27th of December

In less than a month, the situation in the province of Kavatsona has been upended. The armies of The Kingdom of Komentiolos and The Empire of Reria have been broken, driven back almost into the sea itself, and the defensive line of The Republic of Kalseran is stretched precariously thin, even with the welcomed re-enforcement from Reria. Of Kalseran's twin strengths, the formidable fleet has been forced to seek safe harbour as the tempest continues to rage, but the Seaguard is still a formidable weapon. Perhaps in simple recognition of the fact that the generals of Komentiolos are more accomplished than those of the republic, this weapon is effectively placed in the hands of Komentiolos. While their allies no doubt decide what to accomplish with these elite soldiers, Kalseran does not rest idle, and General Sotiris Manilo begins work on a task that for now, is spoken about only in hushed whispers, and murmurs in the shadows.

28th of December

The sailors of The Kingdom of Hispalis that left their home nation months ago to settle a trading port on the western coast of Africa will scarcely recognise the face of Europe now, and as the first reports and traders reach the newly established port, they certainly make for surprising reading. Beneficial service is offered to the ships of The Kingdom of Kehsi and The Empire of Grimhout that pass the port, sailing back and forth between Europe and the rich bounty of India, and as the port continues to grow in influence and prosperity, it serves as an open reminder of the fact that the western alliance commands influence in not only Europe, but Africa, India and the Americas. The treaties that have been signed by the five nations has created what has to be considered the first truly global power.

30th of December

Anna Koromelas has seen her entire life change in just a year. Her marriage to King Nikolaos II seems like a lifetime ago, and as she stands in the narrow window of the Cyprus villa that has served as her home for the last weeks, heavily pregnant with the heir of The Kingdom of Komentiolos, she allows herself a moment of calm. Anna is a bright young woman, and she has not been ignorant to the slew of reports and letters that her husband has been receiving. She is all too aware that the war against The Empire of Khazaria has faltered, that Komentiolos blood has been shed, just as she it all too aware of the problems that her own home nation faces. So significant is the child that she bears, that she was unable to safely attend her own father's funeral, but in the aftermath, she can easily read between the lines of her sister's letters. She knows how meek her younger brother is, and she knows that there will be those who enforce their own will on his. But from this narrow window, what can she do? Pulling her coat tighter around her against the chill that has descended even over the Mediterranean, Anna wonders, not for the first time, what kind of world her child will be born into.

I'll shamelessly bump this for a first and final time, but if there's no interest, then there's no interest.
"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

Welcome one and all to the second iteration of 'Pro Patria Mori'. Now is the time for you to take on the role of a nation's proud leader, and carve out your people's place in a changing world. The year is 1756, and the world is shifting, old powers suddenly finding themselves rubbing shoulders with new and growing nations. Greedy eyes have turned towards the riches of foreign lands, even while the threat of war still hangs over Europe like a dark cloud. The decisions that you make will decide how the coming years will be remembered; whether you lead your nation into a golden age, or plunge into the maelstrom of war, is entirely in your hands.

This is an interest check/recruitment check for this roleplay. We have unfortunately had a few players that have had to drop out, and as we come towards the end of the first year, it is an ideal time for any new players to jump onboard!

If you've found your way here, I'd appreciate anyone who goes and peruses the roleplay so far, and maybe even sees something they like! If you are interested in taking part, don't hesitate to get in touch, either by posting here, or by sending me a PM, and we can work out how to get you involved. Whether you're interested in political intrigue, careful diplomatic manoeuvring, or the strategy of war, there is a place waiting for you.
"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

Winter of 1756

1st of November

The fleet of The Republic of Kalseran in the Black Sea seems to have calmed the actions of The Empire of Khazaria, the two nations still yet to officially go to war, but only a fool would think that the ruthless ambition of Khazaria could be blunted for too long. In the darkness, shadows move across the waters, approaching the Kalseran fleet. Merchant vessels, commandeered by the Khazaria navy, and specially refitted, are manned by only a skeleton crew, and they move with a dark intent. They are quickly spotted by the Kalseran fleet, and from the wood piled on the deck, they are identified as fire-ships. Surprised that Khazaria would attempt such an old-fashioned trick, a handful of the Kalseran ships approach these 'fireships', looking to extinguish them before they can even be lit. And then the night lights up. Beneath the decks of these 'fireships', were barrels of gunpowder, and at some unseen signal, the true purpose of these ships are revealed. Erupting into a wild glare of flame and fire, the 'fireships' vanish in an instant, taking with them the approaching Kalseran ships, as well as the hundreds of souls on board, the air filled with splintered wood, and the grisly remains of those unfortunate men. Shock-waves are sent across the Kalseran fleet, and as more Khazaria ships emerge from the darkness, panic begins to set in to the Kalseran fleet. Admiral Dionisio Giorgino, the commander of the Kalseran fleet, is himself thrown to the ground by the sheer force of the explosions, the helmsman beside him struck dead by the blast of air that spread across the whole of the Black Sea. As Dionisio clambers to hit feet, attempting to make sense of the chaos, and to regain control of his fleet, the Khazaria ships descend. IN truth, the Khazaria plan is a brilliant one, sow chaos with these 'hellburners', and then seize the superior Kalseran warships to bolster their own forces. It is brilliant, but it has one fatal flaw. While other nations have studied the art of war on land, drilling their armies into well-oiled machines, Kalseran has focused on the sea, and the Khazaria sailors that clamber onto the Kalseran warships find themselves facing the masters of war on the seas, the Seaguard. Elite soldiers, trained to fight with the deck rolling beneath their feet, these men of Kalseran, even though they are temporarily dazed by the explosions, fall upon the boarders with a macabre delight. In truth, it is a bloodbath, and on nearly every Kalseran vessel, the Seaguard cast the enemy back into the sea. As Dionisio begins to regain control, the cannons of Kalseran also roar into life, supported by the remaining vessels of The Kingdom of Komentiolos, and the Khazaria fleet is quickly sent scurrying away in retreat. In the ensuing aftermath, as survivors are fished from the water, war is officially declared between Khazaria and Kalseran. A blow has been struck, but it is far from the decisive one that Khazaria intended.

2nd of November

King Leonard II is dead. Perhaps it was the stress of the war with The Kingdom of Dorist, or the stress of losing control of his court, or perhaps it was simply his time, but the king of The Kingdom of Altenten has died in the night. The event itself is significant, the mantle of rule falling onto the shoulders of Leonard's only son, a young man of not yet twenty, but it also sends ripples all across Europe. Leonard was always a vocal advocate in support of the cultural ties that bonded his nation with Dorist, but with his death, perhaps there is an opportunity for other nations to pry apart that bond. Perhaps best placed are the nations of The Kingdom of Paranas and The Kingdom of Komentiolos, the two dynasties that are married into the royal family of Altenten, and the two nations that even now are locked in bitter war. Even while Altenten prepares for the coronation of King Niklas IV, there is no doubt that courts across Europe will be paying careful attention to the nation at the heart of Europe.

4th of November

Diplomatic delegations representing both The Empire of Reria and The Kingdom of Arhan gather in the Imperial Palace of Rivierberg, in the capital city of The Empire of Grimhout, and peace talks begin, albeit tentatively. The shadow of The Kingdom of Komentiolos hangs over the gathering like a cloud, but it is fortunate that Reria does not attempt to exploit this position of power, although whether this comes from genuine goodwill of Emperor Clarenzio III, or the emperor simply not wishing to be drawn into another war, only Reria can know. Although the peace talks start slowly, they gather momentum quickly, and it seems like a certainty that an agreement will be reached in a matter of days.

7th of November

As The Kingdom of Komentiolos continues to dig in, intending to hold the province of Kavatsona against the inevitable retaliation of The Empire of Khazaria, The Kingdom of Paranas and The Kingdom of Teclav, Komentiolos do not stand alone either. Neither The Republic of Kalseran or The Empire of Reria boast formidable armies, their strength instead found in their navies, but both nations have still committed soldiers to the cause, and as the days pass, more and more of the newly raised conscript soldiers of Komentiolos cross the narrow strait and take up defensive positions in Kavatsona. General Marcian Augustus is a more than capable commander, a grizzled veteran of countless skirmishes and battles, but he knows that he will soon face the might of the army gathering across the newly drawn border. The reports warn that Alp Tarkhan and his horde of cavalry, fresh from shattering the army of The Kingdom of Dorist, have bolstered the forces of Khazaria already preparing to assault the Komentiolos lines, and Marcian is all too aware that those lines will be tested in the coming weeks.

8th of November

Ships of The Empire of Grimhout finally reach India, guided by sailors of The Kingdom of Kehsi who know the waters. When they arrive into a Kehsi port, they find that grave news has already preceded their arrival. The Viswan Empire has shattered the Kehsi influence on the mainland, driving the colonists back to the island that the kingdom still controls. All too aware of the coming war, the colonists of Kehsi have been whipped into a militia, preparing themselves for when the Viswan Empire crosses the narrow sea. The Grimhout would-be colonists find themselves faced with a scene that is far from the idyllic paradise that they were promised, and for now they hesitate, staying as guests to the Kehsi colony, a testament to the two nation's growing bond. The Grimhout party is headed by an intrepid nobleman by the name of Baptiste Crevier, and he already finds himself faced with a difficult decision. Attempt to colonise the land recently lost by Kehsi, supported by their new allies, but risking the ire of the Viswan Empire, or instead sail further up the coast, finding unspoiled territory but also moving further away from the support of Kehsi.

11th of November

In the aftermath of the surrender of The Kingdom of Dorist, the nation is slowly attempting to pick up the pieces. The province of Shardvul is lost, and thousands of soldiers have been slaughtered for no gain. Whatever the true reason for the war, it is clear that King Freud has been defeated. A certain calm has fallen over the court, the nobles of Dorist simply going through the motions. The army, bloodied by King Freud's reckless orders, seem to have separated themselves from the traditional command structure, and as General Wolfgang Draton recovers from the horrors of the Siege of Kronik with his men, General Albert Riechsand has assumed near total control over the kingdom's army. Although their ranks have been considerably thinned, Dorist still boasts a formidable army, and while the rest of the kingdom recovers, soldiers loyal to Albert begin to take up command all across the remaining provinces of Dorist. The palace remains eerily quiet throughout all of this, but there is the unmistakable feel of change in the air, even as the winds turn cold, and winter begins to close in.

14th of November

The winter is already proving itself to be a harsh one, and The Kingdom of Komentiolos clearly does not want to be left at the mercy of the elements. Winter gear is distributed to the men that are deployed in the province of Bithynia, and their camps are carefully restructured to hold back the worst of the biting chill. As temperatures continue to drop, the soldiers of Komentiolos do not sit idle. Under the ever watchful gaze of General Marcian Augustus, a man who truly understands what it means to hold the line, defensive fortifications continue to be constructed, even as the frozen ground makes the sappers work even more difficult. Not only that, but the forests that once belonged to The Kingdom of Paranas are stripped almost bare, the wood used to construct countless stakes that line the Komentiolos lines. It is a well-known fact that the greatest strength of The Empire of Khazaria lies in their cavalry, the wild steppe-riders that bring ruin to any commander foolish enough to meet them on an open field, and it quickly becomes clear that General Marcian is determined not to repeat the bloody mistakes of his counterparts from The Kingdom of Dorist. When the inevitable thunder of hooves descends, it will find itself facing an army that is prepared to face them, and despite all of the brilliance of Alp Tarkhan, there is the definite sense of hope amongst the Komentiolos forces. Whatever happens in the coming war, the province of Bithynia may well bear witness to the most decisive battles that Europe has seen in living memory. Two great powers have poured their forces into a choke-point, and only one can emerge victorious, the other dealt a bloody blow.

15th of November

His father mourned, King Niklas IV is officially crowned as the new king of The Kingdom of Altenten. The situation that the young king faces is a bleak one, attempting to repair severely damaged relations with the neighbours to the east, while also attempting to navigate the influence of the power blocs that are emerging across Europe, caught between The Kingdom of Paranas, The Kingdom of Komentiolos, and even The Empire of Grimhout to the west. To compound the difficult situation, Niklas is far from a strong king, a meek child that never expected the crown to be thrust upon him so soon, and rarely involved himself in court life. While the neighbouring nations are already circling like sharks, attempting to force their own influence on the apparently rudderless country, there is someone far closer to home that is quick to exploit the situation. Niklas lacks ambition, the youngest of three children, and he always felt he had little in common with his father, preferring instead to hide behind the skirts of his mother. In the aftermath of his father's death, and his subsequent coronation, he has been increasingly turning to his mother for guidance, and in turn, his mother has turned to the man that she has long held favour for, her son-in-law, Phillip Lehner, the same man that steered Altenten away from open war. Phillip possesses all of the ambition that Niklas lacks, and he still holds the support of much of the Altenten nobility. In the following days, Phillip's power and influence only continues to grow, and the whispers at court quickly begin to suggest that the true power of Altenten now rests in the hands of Phillip, rather than the king.

16th of November

Political intrigue is not a craft uniquely practised by The Kingdom of Altenten. To the north, The Kingdom of Dorist is gripped by intrigue of it's own. While the palace seems ignorant, wilfully or otherwise, to the workings of General Albert Riechsand, the great noble families of Dorist are not so likely to turn a blind eye. Albert has noble blood of his own, but the great families of Dorist see the weakening of the crown's influence as an opportunity for themselves, not for some jumped up former hussar. They are all too aware of the easy charisma and charm of Albert, and of the formidable commanders that have already aligned themselves with the young general, and will King Freud continues to do nothing, these great families turn to the only other man that could possibly topple Albert's growing influence. General Wolfgang Draton. Wolfgang has no noble lineage, but he is a soldier, a veteran of countless wars, and the kind of leader whose men would die for him without a second thought. More importantly than that, he is renowned for his almost fanatical loyalty to Dorist, and the great families are relying on that loyalty being enough to see him stand against his comrade. For now, Wolfgang does little, still recovering from the ordeal of the Siege of Kronik, but he is no doubt aware of the murmurings, although there are few who can guess what the grizzled veteran is thinking. Perhaps Wolfgang will stand against Albert, or perhaps Wolfgang's loyalty is to Dorist herself, not to the bickering nobles, or the weak king, and in Albert Riechsand, he may see a kindred spirit.

17th of November

Perhaps seeking sanctuary from the war, or perhaps simply looking to enjoy a more relaxing climate, King Nikolaos II and his pregnant wife, Anna, travel to the small island of Cypris. The ruler of The Kingdom of Komentiolos is shortly joined by his brother, Arcadius, and his new sister-in-law, Salma. If it were not for the war continuing to wage just across the sea, it could almost be considered a gentle holiday for the two couples. Nikolaos and his brother are the most powerful figures in Komentiolos, one ruling over Komentiolos proper, while the other controls the newly reclaimed province of Aegyptus, but the baby that Anna is carrying is likely to usurp it's uncle in the power order, taking it's place as the heir apparent of Komentiolos, yet if Arcadius feels any bitterness about this fact, he does not show it, warmly greeting his brother. Arcadius does not travel to Cypris alone, instead he arrives accompanied by a reminder of the nature of Aegyptus, and a testament to the influence that his marriage has granted him. The small band of desert natives are armed with jezails, traditional weapons of the sands that are ornately decorated and family heirlooms in their own right, and Nikolaos is quickly impressed by the skill of these desert folk. With the king's blessing granted, this band of marksman from the east travel west, looking to join up with the Komentiolos army already gathering in Kavatsona.

18th of November

With The Empire of Grimhout serving as mediator, the tensions between The Kingdom of Arhan and The Empire of Reria are officially brought back under control. The name of Lord Favre is still murmured in the shadows, but the true fate of the noble is still known only to Arhan, and the actions of The Kingdom of Komentiolos have shifted the balance so heavily against Arhan that it is clear that Queen Ameline I no longer wishes to pursue the root of the conspiracy that sought to remove her from her throne, or at least not pursue through war. As the two diplomatic delegations begin their journeys homeward, Grimhout can look back on the ordeal as a glowing success. Not only did they stave off war on their own doorstep, but they have continued to serve as the champion for peace, and with The Kingdom of Hispalis seeming to stall, Grimhout has willingly filled the vacuum of power left behind in Arhan, once again increasing the influence they have over their immediate neighbours.

20th of November

The fleet of The Republic of Kalseran is still licking it's wounds from it's first encounter with the ships of The Empire of Khazaria, but Admiral Dionisio Giorgino is not the kind of man to sit idle for long. Boasting no noble name, Dionisio has risen through the ranks of the republic's navy with a stead hand and sound judgement, but no man is immune to the temptress of vengeance. Not only did Khazaria attempt to use tricks to cripple the Kalseran fleet, but they attempted to seize the republic's ships, and that is a slight that Dionisio is not willing to forget. With not only the strength of Kalseran at his back, but also the remaining ships of The Kingdom of Komentiolos, and the newly arrived force of The Empire of Reria, Dionisio commands a formidable fleet, and as the sun rises over the Black Sea, he sails to war. However, Dionisio does not sail alone. General Sotiris Manlio, taking command of the increasingly notorious Seaguard, also joins the fleet, and just as Komentiolos did months before, Kalseran descends upon the ports and harbours of Khazaria like wraiths. And again, just as before, Khazaria sails out to meet their foe. The combined fleet of Khazaria and The Kingdom of Paranas stands against the amassed strength of Kalseran, Komentiolos and Reria, and what follows is one of the largest naval battles that Europe has ever bore witness to. The roar of cannon-fire can be heard for miles around, and as the two fleets collide, what little strategy the commanders had envisioned quickly descends into chaos. The air fills with choking smoke, and the noise is deafening, orders lost in the roar, every ships fighting their own individual battle to survive the hellscape. For the first time, Khazaria and Paranas face more than frigates and sloops, and not only that, the ships of Kalseran are all feats of impressive naval design, their crews the masters of their vessels, and slowly but surely, a victor begins to emerge from the smoke. The Khazaria ships begin to break first, quickly followed by the Paranas fleet as the battle begins to swing against them, and before long, the chaos of battle becomes frenzied fleeing. Not content with a single victory, Dionisio Giorgino rallies the ships under his command and gives chase. The Paranas and Khazaria fleet splits in two, fleeing to their respective safe harbours, and the ships of Kalseran, Komentiolos and Reria hound them every step of the way. The beleaguered survivors that do reach the relative safety of their naval fortifications are ragged and bloodied, and there can be little doubt that the fleet of Khazaria and Paranas has been all but defeated, and the alliance that stands against them has claimed a crucial victory, wresting effective control of the Black Sea. However the victory did come at a cost, and all of the fleets involved in the titanic battle have been bloodied, mangled corpses washing up on the shore of the Black Sea for weeks, and the water clogged with splintered wood. For now though, there can be celebration for some, and anguish for others.

23rd of November

With the fleets of The Empire of Khazaria and The Kingdom of Paranas broken, the ships of The Empire of Reria limp homewards, but the soldiers of Reria are yet to taste the bitterness of war. As the nights continue to draw in, Kavatsona has been turned into a fortress of winding defensive lines, carefully placed fortifications and thousands upon thousands of men, drawn from The Kingdom of Komentiolos, Reria, and even Aegyptus to the far east. The tension in the air is not lessened by the bitter chill, and although the news of the great naval victory in the Black Sea brings some merriment to the waiting soldiers, it does not last for long. Despite the formidable force gathered to hold the province, every day the reports tell of the great host gathered to attempt to take it. The stories of Alp Tarkhan bringing ruin to The Kingdom of Dorist is already passing into legend, and the news of great general of The Empire of Khazaria arriving to the north has set the defenders on edge. The attack will come, Komentiolos can only pray that they have prepared enough to withstand it.

24th of November

With King Niklas IV newly crowned, talk quickly turns to the matter of an heir. After all, the young king is not yet twenty, and should disaster strike, the ensuing fallout could tear The Kingdom of Altenten apart. With that in mind, and as yet another move to secure his own power, the king's brother-in-law, Phillip, presents a wife for the young king. Mira Franz is Phillip's cousin, and while she is undoubtedly a beautiful young woman in her own right, she also share's her cousins ambitions. At the advice of his mother, and with the support of the nobles rallied around Phillip, the engagement is officially announced, the wedding set to be held in the coming weeks, and Niklas unwittingly falls further into the power of Phillip. Even as war consumes the rest of Europe, there are always those who look to seize upon opportunities, and Phillip has seen his fortunes skyrocket almost overnight.

25th of November

It is not only The Kingdom of Komentiolos that is bracing itself for the wrath of The Empire of Khazaria. As General Sotiris Manlio continues to raid the coastline of Khazaria, the other commander of The Republic of Kalseran, Bettino Gianni, has been ordered to prepare defensive lines of his own along the sizeable border that Kalseran shares with The Kingdom of Paranas. Most believe that when Khazaria push, it will be against Komentiolos, but as news continues to spread of the bloody carnage that the ships of Kalseran have dealt, perhaps Khazaria will instead look to the west. After all, Kalseran's strength lies in it's navy, and although Bettino has put his men to work preparing to defend, he simply does not boast the strength that Komentiolos does. No doubt aware of the situation, Luisa A'Dera begins looking for new weapon designers, looking for any kind of edge, and thanks to no small portion of good fortune, the republic see's almost immediate results. Kalseran has bled alongside The Empire of Reria, and the bond between the two nations has only strengthened. Following the open invitation of Luisa, Silvio Luciani travels to the city of Kalseran, and presents the 'Luciani Ratio' to The Grand Lady of the Republic. Although it will not overcome the numbers of Khazaria alone, and it will take time for the ratio to be truly put to use, any advantage is a welcome one, and Luisa is quick to embrace this innovation.

26th of November

General Albert Riechsand is not ignorant of the great noble families of The Kingdom of Dorist attempting to turn General Wolfgang Draton against him, but perhaps Albert understands his counterpart better than these powerful nobles, and he makes no attempt to persuade Wolfgang to join his cause. After continuing to recover with his men, fellow survivors of the Siege of Kronik, Wolfgang finally seems to come to a decision. Or rather, he doesn't. Instead, Wolfgang simple reiterates his loyalty to Dorist, and returns to his home, a quiet village in the province of Brundwig. In reality, the lack of a decision is a decision in itself. Wolfgang will not stand against Albert, and he has withdrawn from the power struggle. Not to be dissuaded by this blow, the nobles prepare to challenge Albert himself, but with Wolfgang standing aside, even more support within the Dorist army flocks to Albert. And still, the crown says nothing, perhaps resigning itself to its coming fate.

28th of November

The soldiers of The Kingdom of Teclav have marched to support the forces of The Empire of Khazaria, and that in itself is testament to the bond that exists between the two unlikely allies. The two nations have been triumphant in one war already, but despite the formidable strength that has gathered to support The Kingdom of Paranas, there is little doubt that this war against The Kingdom of Komentiolos will not be so simple an affair. With every day that passes, the nights grow darker, the wind more chilling, and yet the order to advance still does not arrive. Yet it will, and when it does, tens of thousands of brother, husbands and sons will march to war, and thousands of them will never see their homes again, destined to die on a frozen battlefield. The fate of Europe is at stake, and neither side can afford to back down.

"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

Winter of 1756

2nd of October

General Albert Riechsand has sat by for too long. With every day that passes, more men of The Kingdom of Dorist are killed defending a city that they cannot possibly hold. And every day, the court of Dorist continues to offer no answers. Finally, the patience of the man reaches an end. Leaving General Tilman Grohl in command of the defensive lines, General Riechsand rides through the night until he arrives at the Royal Palace of Talfist. Although some of the courtiers attempt to turn the general back, Albert's influence is formidable, and the fire burning in his eyes cowers those who do stand in his way. The general demands an almost unprecedented private audience with King Fred Thumer, and no-one but the two men know what was discussed in that room, although the servants do whisper of raised voices being heard. Whatever was said, when General Albert Riechsand leaves the palace, he clutches a handful of orders, and wastes no time in executing them. The conscripted soldiers, raised only weeks before, are disbanded, sent home to help with the harvest, while General Riechsand rides for the city of Kronik, a royal decree in his hand.

3rd of October

The arrival of the ships of The Republic of Kalseran have been a blessing for The Kingdom of Komentiolos, and a major thorn in the side of The Empire of Khazaria and The Kingdom of Paranas. Paranas and Khazaria had stood on the precipice of total naval victory, only for Kalseran to snatch it away. Unsurprisingly, Komentiolos strive to be gracious hosts for their unexpected saviours. The last remains of the kingdom's own fleet is brought north to join the Kalseran warships, and it is quickly made clear that all of the Kalseran's needs will be met by Komentiolos, a small token of their appreciation, but a welcome one nonetheless. The bond between the two nation, formed largely at the State Dinner of The Kingdom of Dorist, has proven to be a strong one, and with Khazaria and Paranas rushing to react, it is a bond that will no doubt be tested again in the coming months.

4th of October

In a move that is testament to the strength of the alliance between the two nations, The Empire of Khazaria does not leave The Kingdom of Paranas to fight alone. As newly raised regiments are diverted away from the border with The Kingdom of Komentiolos to help the defence of Paranas, there is another action that causes even more of a stir. General Yitzhak ha-Sangari is a brilliant commander, the student of military strategy from all across Europe, and as the sun rises, he arrives in the heart of the beleaguered Paranas army. The following conversations are brief, and before mid-day, Yitzhak ha-Sangari has taken personal command of the defence of Paranas. It may take some time for the gold-clad commander to truly leave his mark in the defence, but overnight, the armies of Paranas have become a more formidable weapon, now that a master is wielding them.

6th of October

While The Kingdom of Hispalis continues to buzz about the invention of the 'Vera Engine', it is quickly apparent that innovation is not limited to the Iberian Peninsula. On the island of Pesana, there is a surprising figure that is destined to carve their name into history. Silvio Luciani is a gunsmith, making his trade out of a humble workshop in one of the island's handful of towns, mainly supplying the local garrison of The Empire of Reria, but it is Silvio's wife, Arabella who will prove herself to be the more inventive of the two. Passing the time by experimenting with the left-over powder that Silvio's workshop always seems to have lying around, Arabella stumbles across what will quickly come to be known as 'The Luciani Ratio'. Gunpowder is simply a combination of saltpetre, charcoal and sulphur, but the ratio that is discovered on a lazy afternoon in the late autumn sun not only produces high-quality, potent powder, but it also opens the doors for more potent weapons. The news is slow to get going, Silvio himself unsure of what his wife has really discovered, but it is not long before the Empire itself turns its attention towards this humble workshop, and the rest of Europe is sure to follow. After all, death has long been the most attractive trade.

7th of October

As the army of The Kingdom of Paranas finally starts to recover from the first blow, the line is withdrawn from the province of Kavatsona. With a heavy heart, the Paranas soldiers abandon the province to The Kingdom of Komentiolos, preferring instead to draw new battle lines defending their capital of Alirgos under the careful guidance of General Yitzhak ha-Sangari. Pockets of resistance do still exist within the province, but the land has effectively been lost, and Komentiolos has claimed an impressive victory. However, rather than pushing the advantage, the commander of the Komentiolos invasion, General Marcian Augustus, seems content with consolidating his position. Perhaps it is the news of the enemy being bolstered by The Empire of Khazaria, or perhaps it is simply a case of following orders, but for now, the Komentiolos advance grinds to halt, and the army busies itself with taking up defensive positions of their own. Winter is beginning to set in all across Europe, and it looks as if it will be a harsh one. If the snow does fall, then there will be little movement, and for now, both armies lick their wounds and prepare for the next battle, whenever that may come.

10th of October

There were some who believed that The Republic of Kalseran would try and avoid outright war in the east, that their naval presence in the Black Sea was more of a warning than an actual threat, but as dawn breaks, the sound of marching boots echo across the republic, and there can be little doubt that Kalseran means for war. Fresh from helping to bring about the downfall of the short-lived 'Calassa Rebellion', General Bettino Gianni marshals the army of the republic and marches east, taking up defensive positions along the border with The Kingdom of Paranas. The strength of the republic has long rested in it's navy, but it's army is still something that Paranas cannot afford to ignore, and more importantly, it opens another theatre of war from Paranas, and indeed their commander, General Yitzhak ha-Sangari, to contend with. Not content with simply holding the line, the Grand Lady of the Republic orders her commanders to draw up her own plans of invasion. As of yet, war has not been declared, but there can be little doubt that Kalseran intends to not only sail to the aid of The Kingdom of Komentiolos, but to march as well.

13th of October

It is only the iron will of General Wolfgang Draton that has stopped the city of Kronik from falling. Supplies have all but run out, and corpses are piled high on nearly every street, the gutters stained red with blood. When General Albert Riechsand finally lays eyes upon the city, he can scarcely believe that the scorched husk was once a proud city of The Kingdom of Dorist. Flying a flag of truce, Albert is granted another audience with the commanders of The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Teclav, General Jozef Motycka and General Luka Volodin. With the kings authority, Albert officially presents the surrender of Dorist. Official apologies are offered for all offences, and the province of Shardvul is surrendered, the land returned to Stevata. Stevata and Teclav have been bloodied in this war, and the siege has been draining their supplies as well, so the two commanders agree to these terms. Albert then approaches the city of Kronik itself, and is granted a begrudging audience with Wolfgang, but only after presenting the royal decree. The soldiers that hold the city are gaunt, uniforms torn and bloody, and a thousand blank eyes watch Albert as he moves through the city to the half-ruined church that Wolfgang has been using as a base of operations. Albert has seen war, he has known death, but the stench of the city turns his stomach, the reek of decay thick in the air. Wolfgang himself is a shadow of his former self, his clothes hanging off him like rags, and a long ugly scar across his face from one of countless skirmishes in the streets, but his eyes still burn with defiance. It might be pure grit that has kept Wolfgang going, but he still values loyalty above all else, and he does not argue when the order is placed in front of him. Gathering his remaining officers around him, and holding his head high, General Wolfgang Draton abandons the city of Kronik, flanked by the rag-tag remains of his army. Those who can walk carry those who cannot, and the besieging armies of Stevata, Teclav and The Empire of Khazaria part before them. Even Alp Tarkhan arrives to watch this strange procession, and his riders form a surreal honour guard for the bedraggled army, trailing them until they reach the new border of Dorist. The legend of Wolfgang has only grown, and although the siege has ended with bloody defeat, Alp Tarkhan has been greatly impressed by the sheer steel of the Dorist soldiers, his warriors already singing songs of the man from the west. For now though, the province of Shardvul is lost, and it will take Dorist years to recover from the loss, let alone honour the countless dead that litter the province.

14th of October

The tensions between The Kingdom of Arhan and The Empire of Reria have almost reached boiling point, and while The Kingdom of Hispalis seems unsure as to how to react to the pleas of Queen Ameline I for them to join the seemingly inevitable war, The Empire of Grimhout has no such qualms. Grimhout has been making impressive strides in diplomacy over the recent months, and they clearly hope to continue this run of good fortune. A diplomatic party is sent south, and a clear message is presented to Queen Ameline. Whether it is fuelled by a desire to strengthen it's influence over it's neighbour, or by a genuine belief in peace, Grimhout implores Arhan to turn away from war, to cool tensions. Even going so far as to volunteer as a neutral mediator, Grimhout points to the devastation that war has already wreaked across Europe, and the argument proves to be compelling enough to cause Queen Ameline to pause. Perhaps the tensions have already gone too far, and war is indeed inevitable, but if the drums can be kept quiet for a while longer, perhaps they can be silenced for good.

15th of October

News has only just begun to spread surrounding the surrender of The Kingdom of Dorist, but already The Empire of Khazaria reacts. The orders that reach Alp Tarkhan call for him to send half of his reserves south, to the aid of The Kingdom of Paranas, with the rest of his forces following once the siege of Kronik is broken. But with the city already in the hands of The Kingdom of Stevata, Alp Tarkhan is free to muster his entire host, and march at once. Khazaria blood has been spilt for the province of Shardvul, but Alp is always hungry for war, and he still commands a formidable force. The riders of Khazaria have grown impatient over the last few weeks, with little part to play in the siege, but now that they have the promise for most glorious battle, Alp Tarkhan leads them ahead of the main force, leaving the Infantry and Artillery to follow in their wake while the thunder of hooves bears down on Paranas, and The Kingdom of Komentiolos beyond.

17th of October

Just as the soldiers of The Empire of Khazaria march homewards, the war against The Kingdom of Dorist won, their mission achieved and the province of Shardvul returned to the hands of The Kingdom of Stevata, the surviving defenders of 'The Second Siege of Kronik' finally return to their own homeland. As they pass through the defensive lines arranged along the new border, an eerie silence descends. The survivors look like ghosts, bones stretching deathly pale skin, stares blank and empty, shaking hands clutching battered and rusting muskets. Some of the men in the two groups know each other, but if the survivors have any recognition of the men that approach to greet them, they do not show it. General Albert Riechsand rides at the head of this strange procession, flanked by General Wolfgang Draton, looking just as haggard as his men, and as the survivors march, a slow clap begins to build, until a thunder of applause follows the procession as it continues towards the beds and doctors prepared for them. If any of them even hear the applause, they do not raise their heads, simply looking straight on and continuing to march in rigid file. Fathers, brothers and sons had marched into the city of Kronik, but only soldiers had marched out. With a heavy heart, General Albert announces the surrender of Dorist to the remaining soldiers of the kingdom's proud army, and after months of bloodshed, a strange sense of calm seems to descend. Whatever the cost, the kingdom of Dorist has survived, and now is the time to mourn those who did not.

20th of October

The rush to war between The Kingdom of Arhan and The Empire of Reria seems to have faltered, although whether it is due to the lack of intervention by The Kingdom of Hispalis, the intervention of The Empire of Grimhout, or a combination of the two, only Queen Ameline I can know for sure. Whatever the reason, as a ship sails into the harbour of Cappes, the Arhan capital, it quickly becomes clear that there is yet another incentive for peace. The two sons of Emperor Clarenzio III are bonded through marriage with sisters of King Nikolaos Andreas Koromelas II, and the two nations have always enjoyed a friendly relationship, but with The Kingdom of Komentiolos going to war with The Empire of Khazaria, Komentiolos has called in it's favour, and officially declared itself a military ally of Reria. The message is clear, and with Arhan lacking the ally it hoped to have in Hispalis, the balance of the conflict suddenly swings in favour of Reria. Queen Ameline I is not a fool, and she sends word to Grimhout that she accepts their offer of acting as a mediator. The dove of peace has triumphed over war, at least for now.

22nd of October

As news reaches The Empire of Stabuga regarding the surrender of The Kingdom of Dorist, Tsar Viktor Barinov will no doubt be keeping a careful eye on the increasingly powerful alliance that all but surrounds his own borders. After all, the bond between The Kingdom of Stevata, The Kingdom of Teclav and The Empire of Khazaria has been tested in the flames of war, and only grown stronger in the process. It is perhaps a sign of how seriously the Tsar is taking the situation that when he does send out a diplomatic delegation, it is led by his only son, Tsesarevich Petya Barinov. With wolves gathering at the gates, this delegation makes for a safe harbour, The Kingdom of Orvag. The two nations have a long history together, both bloody and peaceful, but both are nations that understand the frozen north, and in that there is a certain kinship. Petya offers the condolences of Stabuga for the loss of Fridrik, and the gesture is appreciated by the ageing King Valterri IV. Orvag has long been looking to free itself from the influence of The Kingdom of Fosbak, and with the attentions of both Teclav and Stabuga, they have never found themselves so in demand. Petya proves himself a talented diplomat, and Orvag agree to a series of trade agreements, as well as a declaration of friendship between the two nations, but he can also sense that Teclav, and the alliance behind it, is always at the back of King Valterri's mind, and his attempts to push for a deeper bond between the nations are deflected at every turn. Undeterred, Petya re-boards his ship, and embarks on the long voyage for Elhavn, and the palace of Queen Marta II.

24th of October

Tsar Viktor Barinov was right to cast a wary glance over the strengthening alliance of The Empire of Khazaria, The Kingdom of Teclav and The Kingdom of Stevata. Just as the hordes of Khazaria rode to the aid of Stevata against The Kingdom of Dorist, now that Khazaria and The Kingdom of Paranas find themselves under attack, Stevata and Teclav do not sit idly by. While Stevata is largely occupied by restoring it's control over the province of Shardvul, and keeping its guard up in case Dorist has a change of heart, Teclav is able to send a considerable force to march to the aid of Paranas, following the host of Khazaria that is already on the march. The weather is beginning to turn, slowing the journey, but when the winter does pass, Paranas will find it's own meagre army bolstered by soldiers of both Khazaria and Teclav, and The Kingdom of Komentiolos will find it's second campaign far more difficult.

26th of October

Even while his son looks to the west, Tsar Viktor Barinov turns his own attention back to the east, beyond the borders of The Empire of Stabuga. The land is sparse and barren, the ground bare and the best of times, and frozen at the worst, but there is still potential. General Desya Sorokin is ordered to oversee the construction of a string of forts and outposts, reaching out into the east like a thin sliver of civilisation in the wilderness. Desya commands a small contingent of soldiers, but he does not wish to muscle his way into the cold, and he is careful not to tread on the toes of those hardy tribes that do call the frozen east their home, instead attempting to make contact with these tribes, with the aid of those men of Stabuga that also stray beyond the border. The Sorokin family is a powerful one, and Desya is a capable diplomat, but these tribes do not know the careful social dance that the nobility of Stabuga perform, so the first encounters are difficult, but with the weight of the empire at his back, Desya perseveres, and the first outpost, Fort Barinov, is established, and the first hardy settlers make the journey east.

27th of October

Word is yet to reach Europe of the events in India, but that is no respite for those that are attempting to carve out a life in the far east. The messengers of The Kingdom of Kehsi find that their appeals for aid from the colonies of The Republic of Kalseran fall on deaf ears. After all, there is no love lost between the two nations, and Kalseran can only benefit from Kehsi losing influence in the region. Stein Fehn has played his ace, and as reports tell of The Viswan Empire mustering another army, he realises that he is out of options. Despite the Kalseran forts offering no aid, Stein gambles on their humanity, and sends the woman and children of the fort in their direction while he prepares to make a desperate last stand. When the Viswan army does approach the fort, Stein marches out to meet them alone, under a flag of surrender. The Viswan commander has his orders, and although there is perhaps a level of respect between the two soldiers, Stein is beheaded before the front gates of Fort Ivars, and the fort itself is burned to the ground. When the ships of Kehsi and The Empire of Grimhout do reach India, they will find a charred husk, and the head of the man who defied the Viswan Empire mounted on a spike above the gates.

30th of October

As the defending army under the command of General Yitzhak ha-Sangari continues to be swollen by soldiers under the banner of both The Empire of Khazaria and The Kingdom of Teclav, the two great commanders of Khazaria meet. The two men cannot be more different, representing the two sides of the coin that Khazaria, the cultured modernity of the west, and the savage wildness of the east. Despite the internal turmoil that the two men represent, they have always managed to maintain a civil relationship. After all, for his wild brilliance, Alp knows that he has little interest in holding the line, and Yitzhak is all too aware of what a formidable weapon his compatriot can be. The two men greet each other, and Alp does not challenge for the command of the defence, instead he simply sets up his tent with his riders, behind the main defensive lines, and waits. Battle will come, and glory with it, but even Alp Tarkhan needs to rest sometimes, and he knows that Yitzhak will not deprive him of a fight. The battle lines are drawn, and while Dorist struggled alone against the combined might of Khazaria, Teclav and Stevata, the war that is brewing in Paranas could well dwarf that struggle. Khazaria, Teclav and Paranas look across the narrow gap between the front lines, and even through the early snows, they can see the banners of The Kingdom of Komentiolos, The Republic of Kalseran and The Empire of Reria. The rivers will run red with blood, and men will carve their names into legend. Few doubt that the coming events will echo in eternity.

Just here to announce my tentative interest. I've been missing an RP fix, and this looks really interesting. I'll have a deeper think tomorrow and see what I can come up with!
"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

Autumn of 1756

1st of September

The commander of The Empire of Khazaria ships, the man simply known as 'Barjik', is a deeply unsettling figure. Something about his presence sends shivers down the spine of even the hardiest sailors under his command, but despite this, Barjik seems to ooze an almost animalistic charisma, some deeper calling driving his men on, even if the 'Admiral' seems to have little grasp of naval strategy. Before now, Khazaria's fleet has used his size and weight to batter and bludgeon the smaller fleet of The Kingdom of Komentiolos with a brutal effectiveness. Now that the ships of The Kingdom of Paranas have joined the fray, another commander has come to the fore. The Paranas admiral, Alis Macrelis, has none of the raw charm that Barjik possesses, but he understands strategy, and he can see that Komentiolos is on the ropes, and it is always important to push the advantage. While the fleet of Komentiolos has retreated to lick it's wounds, Admiral Macrelis gathers the joint fleet of Paranas and Khazaria, and prepares to sail to war once more.

2nd of September

The west of Europe has been largely untroubled by the strife of war, and almost as if to represent this, the marriage between Princess Juliette Dervaux of The Empire of Grimhout and Prince Alexandre Asmont of The Principality of Asmont draws closer by the day. While the nations of the east wage bloody war, the love-struck couple deliberates over who to invite to their wedding. Perhaps it is that same warring that stops the couple from sending invitations to the great families of Europe, and for now, the wedding stands to be a modest, if still lavish, affair, with the two families coming together in the Asmont capital of Aarborn in the coming days.

5th of September

The joyful day arrives at last, and the two dynasties of The Empire of Grimhout and The Principality of Asmont are officially joined in marriage. The day itself passes without a hitch, the two families celebrating together, and there is even time for the two rulers, Arch-Duke Jean-Baptise Dervau and Prince William Asmont, to share a quiet drink and discuss grander matters. When the marriage finally draws to a close, the two families go their separate ways, but they are now bonded closer than ever, and it is clear that from this day forward, the two nations paths will be intrinsically linked. Perhaps inspired by the joyous occasion, or perhaps simply looking to continue strengthening their position, a diplomatic party of Grimhout is sent to both The Kingdom of Arhan and The Kingdom of Hispalis.

6th of September

Where there is joy and new beginnings, there is also sorrow and death. Fridrik Sidorov, named after his uncle, Grand Prince Fridrik Sidorov of The Kingdom of Teclav, has always been a sickly child, and he finally succumbs to the consumption that has plagued him for much of his short life. Although Fridrik was sickly, he was well-loved in the capital of Lebin, and his death prompts mourning all across the city, as well as Teclav as a whole. It does not only bring sadness to Teclav, but also to The Kingdom of Orvag, his mother's nation. Perhaps the death will bring the two nations closer, but for now, both countries are draped in black for a boy who never grew into a man.

7th of September

The rebellion that has gripped The Republic of Kalseran for months seems to be grinding to a stalemate. General Bettino Gianni, armed with the olive branch of peace, has done impressive work in weakening the rebellion, drawing the power and support away until it is only the iron will of Maria Toleas that remains. In a move that surprises some, the Grand Lady Luisa A'Dera accepts the offer of an audience with the other woman, and while she declines the invitation of travelling to the city of Calassa itself, the two women agree to meet in the city of Palysos, the provincial capital of Helensa, and the only city in the region which has not been blighted by rebellion. Maria accepts the suggestion, and finally leaves the city of Calassa behind her, travelling to the north, just as Luisa A'Dera travels south.

9th of September

Under the cover of night, dark shapes descend upon the city of Calassa. Even as the blockade of The Republic of Kalseran is relaxed around the coastal city, shadows move in the darkness. General Sotiris Manlio has sat impatiently for long enough, and now that the hounds have finally been unchained, he takes to his task with relish. The troops of the republic, the feared Seaguard, descend upon the forts of the rebellion all across the city. Some of the forts fall without a shot being fired, and those few that are able to put up a fight are quickly silenced by the far more experienced soldiers that they face. By the time dawn breaks over the city, the flag of the A'dera flies above the city once more, and the last pockets of rebellion are brought to heel as more troops land in the city. Without Maria Toleas to unite it, the city falls with little bloodshed, and even as news travels to the rest of the republic, the Grand Lady of the republic meets Maria, a leader who suddenly has nothing to lead.

10th of September

War is not a craft known only to Europe. To the east, the vast beast of The Viswan Empire has stirred, and it descends upon Fort Ivars, a trading port of The Kingdom of Kehsi. The port is only defended by a few hundred men, drawn from the local population, as well as the more adventurous traders, but they are led by Stein Fehn, a man whose ruthlessness does not require translation. Although the soldiers of Viswan are experienced soldiers in their own right, and outnumber the men of Kehsi by more than four to one, Stein Fehn has not been sitting idle. Cannons, 'volunteered' by the frigates and sloops that patrol the waters around the port, line the fort's modest walls, and they unleash death and ruin against the approaching Viswan forces. Stein has thrust a musket into the hands of every man that can hold one, and takes his own position on the line, roaring out orders even above the cacophony of cannon fire. Although their ammunition is in scarce supply, Stein is careful to keep that fact from the Viswan, and the hail of cannon and musket fire sends the Viswan soldiers scurrying for safety. The paw of the great beast has been bloodied, and for now, the Viswan Empire pulls back. But the Kehsi fort has played it's ace, and although messengers are making all haste back to Kehsi proper, it will still be months before aid arrives. Word is quickly sent to The Republic of Kalseran, the other power in the region, attempting to find help closer to home.

11th of September

The diplomats of The Kingdom of Altenten are given an audience with the young king, King Oswald IV, and are quick to implore peace between Stevata and The Kingdom of Stevata. It is the dream of a new age that saw Altenten turn away from war, and it is this same dream that burns in the heart of Oswald. Perhaps there is still hope for peace in Europe after all... No blood has been spilt in the short war between the two, and Oswald agrees to the offer of peace. A slew of treaties follow, but Oswald is careful not to slap the hand of Altenten too harshly. After all, peace should not provide fuel for the flames of war, and when the diplomats return to Altenten, the peace is official. The war between Altenten and Stevata has drawn to a close, and The Kingdom of Dorist stands even more alone.

13th of September

It continues to be a fruitful season for The Empire of Grimhout, as triumphant reports begin to return from their diplomats in The Empire of Stabuga. The empires have found common ground, and an official declaration of friendship is made between the two nations, as well as a trade agreement. The two nations also agree to establishing embassies in the respective capitals of Monsk and Rivierberg, thereby opening the doors to further diplomatic activity. It appears that the gamble of the Arch-Duke has paid off, as another powerful nation aligns itself with Grimhout. While other nations march to war, Grimhout continues to strengthen itself with diplomacy, and Stabuga has begun to awaken, and take an interest in events beyond their own frozen borders.

15th of September

There has always been a certain duality between life and death, and even while The Kingdom of Orvag mourns the death of Fridrik Sidorov, a new life is brought into the world. Born to the second son of King Valterri IV, there is little debate over what the baby boy should be called. Fridrik Kotka is born a healthy child, and this small gesture resonates between the nations of Orvag and The Kingdom of Teclav. Just as the death of a child brought the two nations closer together, this birth of another continues to strengthen that bond. This new connection represents a shift in the region, as the historical ally of The Kingdom of Fosbak begins to learn east rather than west, and this new development will not have escaped the attention of the young Queen Marta II.

18th of September

Even while some nations innovate, there are still nations of Europe that are still deeply linked with their traditional roots. Just as The Empire of Khazaria has turned to the nomadic horseman to bolster their armies, The Empire of Stabuga has recalled the folklore of their own. The lands beyond Stabuga's eastern reaches has long been an uncharted wilderness, but Tsar Viktor Barinov has heard the stories of when Stabuga still held some sway there, and he is determined to restore that influence. Employing the services of those who still roam beyond the eastern frontier, the Tsar begins to explore the possibility of expanding to the east, reclaiming the wilderness that has been lost.

19th of September

Admiral Alis Macrelis has poured over charts and strategy for long enough. It is time for The Kingdom of Paranas and The Empire of Khazaria to sail to war once more. In the previous two sprawling battles between the fleets of Khazaria, Paranas and The Kingdom of Komentiolos, it has been Komentiolos that has initiated the battle, but now, it is the turn of Komentiolos to have to react. There have been a handful of small skirmishes in the past weeks, but now, the full strength of Khazaria and Paranas sails forth. The shipyards of Komentiolos are the target, and with only a splintered fleet left to defend them, there are some who write the operation off as a victory before the ships have even set sail. However, King Nikolaos Andreas Koromelas II still has a few cards in his hand, and as the warships bear down on shipyards, an almost forgotten art is brought forth. 'Greek Fire' has been known by many names throughout the ages, it's very existence a closely guarded secret, but it is Greek Fire that pours forth from the Komentiolos defenders. In truth, the mastery of the art has perhaps been lost in time, the flames that dance across the water temperamental to say the least, but the sheer shock of this weapon sends ripples throughout the fleet of Paranas and Khazaria. Any ships that are touched by the flames are quickly engulfed, but the sheer charisma of Barjik drives his men into the fire, and warships still make it into the harbours. Once they are through the flames, the ships of Paranas and Khazaria waste no time in laying ruin. Any ships being constructed are turned to splinters, and the bedraggled surviving fleet of Komentiolos is dealt another heavy blow. The 'battle', if it can even be called that, is a whirlwind of chaos and flame, but as the ships of Khazaria and Paranas limp back to the safety of their own docks, they leave ruin and death in their wake, and the fleet of Komentiolos has been all but wiped out. Sifting through the chaos, there are some that will take note of the fact that some of the half-constructed ships that were destroyed were destined to fly under the flag of The Kingdom of Hispalis.

21st of September

The city of Kronik still stands, but it's position grows more hopeless with every day that passes. The combined armies of The Kingdom of Teclav, The Kingdom of Stevata and The Empire of Khazaria still encircle the city, but they have ceased their bombardment of it's defences. After all, General Wolfgang has proven that he is still able to hold whatever breaches their artillery make in the walls, and as time becomes increasingly in their favour, the combined force does not deem it necessary to waste their ammunition. After all, fresh supplies arrive from the east every day, keeping the besieging armies well-fed and content, while the situation within the city for The Kingdom of Dorist is far from as secure. Supplies are running dangerously low, the wells are drying up, and it is only with an iron fist that General Wolfgang has been able to stop his men from deserting their posts. The Royal regiments within the city still maintain order, but the rest of the Dorist army has little morale remaining, and still no relief force marches. The remainder of the Dorist army, with no orders from their king, simply sit by and watch, waiting for the city to fall. With almost no allies, and facing overwhelming odds, it seems a certainty that Kronik will fall, and that the province of Shardvul will once again fly the flag of Stevata. It is only the dogged, almost suicidal, determination of General Wolfgang that is staving off the inevitable, and even he cannot defend a city with ghosts.

22nd of September

Perhaps there is still a glimmer of hope for The Kingdom of Dorist. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and orders go out to rally a new force of soldiers, conscripted from every corner of the kingdom. These men receive little training, the majority armed with only basic muskets, and the rest forced to make do with whatever they can get their hands on, but the manpower of Dorist is still formidable, and nearly eighty thousand soldiers of Dorist are raised. With no orders beyond their raising, General Albert Riechsand takes de facto command of this new army, gathering them along the defensive lines he has already begun preparing for when Shardvul should fall to The Kingdom of Stevata. Although simply having more bodies to hold the line is a welcome boost, the harvest is just around the corner, and the hands that now hold muskets will be missed from their scythes. Growing increasingly desperate for allies, the diplomatic party of Dorist finally reaches The Empire of Stabuga, but if they were expecting the same warm welcome that greeted the diplomats of The Empire of Grimhout, they are bitterly disappointed. Tsar Viktor Barinov quickly makes it clear that Stabuga has no interest in joining the Dorist cause, and the diplomats begin their homeward journey with empty hands.

24th of September

Not wanting to be outdone in diplomacy by The Empire of Grimhout, the diplomats of The Kingdom of Hispalis have been hard at work, and as the month draws to a close, their efforts begin to grow fruit. The party of The Kingdom of Komentiolos has been warmly hosted for some time, hushed conversations had between lavish banquets and functions, but the diplomats from the east finally begin their journey home. For now, Hispalis makes it clear that they have no interest in joining the wars of Komentiolos, but a friendship begins to blossom nonetheless, and a Hispalis observer travels with the Komentiolos party when they leave. Closer to home, the issues are less transparent. Tensions between The Kingdom of Arhan and The Empire of Reria have been escalating, and perhaps understandably wary of the accusations that Arhan have levelled against their neighbours, the Hispalis diplomats have attempted to glean the truth from the fiction, although with little success. Evidence is hard to come by, and the court of Arhan is still murky, but as war becomes increasingly likely, Queen Ameline I urges Hispalis to join her fight against Reria, doubling down on her accusations.

26th of September

The formidable strength of The Kingdom of Fosbak has ensured that the war between The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist does not spill out into the Baltic Sea, but that uneasy control has finally been broken. Perhaps out of sheer desperation, or perhaps simply out of impatience, but the navy of Dorist takes to the sea. Admiral Karl Young is far from the most capable commander, but he takes to his task with a disturbing relish. The warships of Stevata are largely in harbour, so it is the civilian trade ships and fishing vessels that the Dorist ships instead target. Unsurprisingly, it is a bloodbath, even for the little-experienced vessels of Dorist. Before Stevata can even respond with their own fleet, ships of Fosbak descend upon the scene. Although no shots are fired, it is quickly clear that Fosbak are unwilling to allow the Dorist fleet to continue, and although Karl is brash, he is not suicidal, and he does not attempt to challenge the far more powerful fleet of Fosbak, returning to harbour with his tail between his legs. The act of reckless defiance and violence sends shock-waves through the court of Fosbak, and Queen Ameline quickly finds herself surrounded by those that clamour for war...

27th of September

Even with it's fleet crippled, The Kingdom of Komentiolos do not sit idly by. Grand plans are put into play, and the next step is one that few saw coming. The border between Komentiolos and The Empire of Khazaria has been teetering on the brink of open conflict for months, but it is not here that Komentiolos makes its play, it is instead to the west, towards The Kingdom of Paranas. Known as 'Operation Vulcan', the invasion of Paranas is an impressive feat, and the army of Paranas is sent reeling. Komentiolos attempt to use their warships in tandem with their land invasion, but the shattered remains of their fleet are picked off by the still formidable fleet of Paranas before they can be brought to bear. Despite this, the soldiers of Komentiolos still push west, shattering the unprepared defenders of Paranas. General Makis Anastas commands the defence as best he can, but he is far outclassed by the commander of the Komentiolos forces, General Marcian Augustus, as well as heavily outnumbered, and the line continues to be pushed back. The province of Kavatsona is almost lost before Paranas can even fully react, and as Paranas scramble to respond, frenzied messengers sent to Khazaria, few believe that this invading army can be stopped before it has seized the province. Unsatisfied with this taste of victory, Komentiolos send diplomats ot The Empire of Reria, calling on them to join the war, as well as issuing orders of conscription from all across Komentiolos. The conscription will take time, but Komentiolos has already established an impressive foothold, salvaging some victory after the naval defeats they have suffered.

28th of September

Even as the first news begins to reach The Empire of Khazaria of the actions of The Kingdom of Komentiolos, the soldiers that the empire has raised over the past months begin to be put to use. Although a large portion of these new troops are sent to re-enforce the armies of Alp Tarkhan against The Kingdom of Dorist, several new regiments march to re-enforce the border with Komentiolos. Frenzied conversations are had in the court of Khazaria, but one fact seems to be raised more than any other. Komentiolos still boasts a formidable army, but in a matter of months, their fleet has been all but wiped out, leaving their ports exposed, and their trade routes undefended. Perhaps Khazaria will revisit their raiding roots once more...

29th of September

The Kingdom of Hispalis sends a diplomatic party to The Kingdom of Kehsi, with orders to discuss the Americas, and the tensions between Kehsi and The Empire of Grimhout, yet the diplomats quickly find that they have been caught cold. Not only has the tensions in the Americas cooled, but relations between Kehsi and Grimhout have reached an all-time high, and while Kehsi may have leapt at the opportunity of strengthening ties with Hispalis only a few months ago, that need has greatly diminished. The diplomats of Hispalis find that they are still graciously welcomed, but it is made clear that the ambitions of Hispalis to establish a colony in the Americas is now a matter to discuss with both Kehsi and Grimhout. Thankfully, for Hispalis at least, there is better news closer to home. Always looking to strengthen his nation, King Charles XII announces sweeping plans to improve both the meagre cavalry arm of the Hispalis army, as well as looking to stimulate the training and recruitment of engineers, fired up by the revolutionary 'Vera Engine'.

30th of September

Despite the chaos that has been gripping the rest of the Europe, in the city of Palysos there has been a remarkable level of civility. Luisa A'Dera, representing the strength of The Republic of Kalseran, has played host to Maria Toleas for weeks. Despite news of the republic retaking the city of Calassa, and the rebellion losing the last of it's strength, neither of the two women have addressed this development, instead seeming to genuinely enjoy each other's company. Both women have accumulated power and influence for themselves in a mans world, but there is more than that bonding the pair. For now, the two seem content to spend their time conversing, with rumours already spiralling of the positions that Maria may be granted once their meeting does draw to a close, but even while the Grand Lady rests, the republic does not. A small fleet of Kalseran has been travelling east, passing into the Black Sea unchallenged as The Kingdom of Komentiolos continues to strengthen their hold in the region. Although they travelled under the guise of securing trade routes, once this fleet has made harbour in the Black Sea, this ruse is dropped, the ships pledging themselves to the service of Komentiolos. The navy of Kalseran is formidable, the pride of the republic, and Komentiolos suddenly finds itself defended by a powerful ally, the combined fleet of The Kingdom of Paranas and The Empire of Khazaria suddenly seeing the balance in the region shift...

"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

Autumn of 1756

3rd of August

The palace of Queen Marta II has proven to be a tempting location to many diplomatic parties, and it is the representatives of The Kingdom of Hispalis that are the latest to call for audience with the young queen of The Kingdom of Fosbak. Just as with The Kingdom of Genstadt, the delegation of Hispalis, led by the king's brother, Philip, offers a defensive coalition to the queen. Fosbak has been a nation caught in the middle ever since the outbreak of war between The Kingdom of Dorist and The Kingdom of Stevata, and these new arrivals are greeted warily. After all, the two nations have little tie to each other, and with war practically on her doorstep, the queen is largely occupied with matters closer to home. Regardless, only a fool would ignore the economic boom that is currently occurring within Hispalis, and Queen Marta is no fool. Formal introductions are made, and the foundations of future relations are laid in place, trade routes drawn up and diplomats prepared, but for now, Fosbak will not tie itself to another nation.

4th of August

It is not only The Kingdom of Hispalis that has been practising diplomacy while others practice war. The diplomatic delegation of The Empire of Grimhout in The Kingdom of Kehsi is joined by none other than Arch-Duke Jean-Baptise Dervau himself, and after months of frenzied work, a breakthrough is finally made. The two nations have been warring for centuries, their hatred for one another written into the history books with blood, but this new generation has achieved what none before them could. King Janek II is a young man still, but with the steadying hand of his mother, Karoline, he has quickly grown into a popular and wise king. For the first time, King meets Arch-Duke, and the two men find common ground. A peace agreement, signed by both parties, is officially written up, followed by a flurry of other treaties. The three most significant amongst these treaties not only carry implications for the rest of Europe, but they will have consequences for the whole world. The first treaty represents not only a trade agreement with each other, but also a de facto declaration of friendship, while the second details the dividing up of territory in the Americas. The third treaty is perhaps the most significant, as it represents the pledge of Kehsi to aid Grimhout's establishment of a colony in India. The tensions between the two nations have been all but cooled, and the two men, the weight of nations resting on their shoulders, part as friends. Already, news will have reached The Kingdom of Hispalis, and how Kehsi's other friends will react to this announcement still stands to be seen.

6th of August

Almost as if to commemorate the historic peace between The Kingdom of Kehsi and The Empire of Grimhout, a new princess is born. With her father, Marc-Antoine, already returning from the Kehsi capital with groundbreaking treaties on board, Ève Dervaux is born into a new world of hope and peace. A new age is dawning for the Empire of Grimhout, and for the rest of her life, Ève's birthday will coincide with one of the crowning achievement's of her uncle's reign.

8th of August

For now, the winds of fate continue to blow in the direction of The Empire of Grimhout. While great strides are taken in relations with the nation to the north, it is not only there that Grimhout is finding success. In The Principality of Asmont, Juliette, the daughter of Arch-Duke Jean-Baptise Dervau, has been a guest of Prince William Asmont for months, and her charm and grace have evidently bore fruit. Her relationship with the Asmont heir, Alexandre, has blossomed in recent weeks, and an official announcement of their engagement sparks joy in the courts of both Asmont and Grimhout. While this causes some headaches amongst the officials, with Juliette becoming the sister-in-law of her uncle, it is a clear sign of intent, the two families joining again, and signalling that Asmont will have a Grimhout queen. Fresh treaties are drawn up, and the two nations solidify their status as allies while preparations for a grand marriage get underway. For Grimhout, the month is already proving to be a joyful one, despite the horrors of war that are consuming other parts of Europe.

9th of August

Despite the reports of resounding victories that are starting to filter back to The Empire of Khazaria from the west, there are still those within the empire who do not celebrate. The nomadic tribes of Khazaria have been settled by the grand feast, whipped into a frenzy of war, and sent to war, but now that the ancient enemy The Kingdom of Komentiolos is once more at the gates, there are murmurings that the young emperor has let his ambition get ahead of him. After all, the vast bulk of Khazaria's armies are now fighting far from home, dying in a war which will likely yield little spoils, while Komentiolos is the far closer threat. While the Khazaria navy has held it own, if Komentiolos test the defences of the border, there are some among the tribes who believe that the line will buckle, and make those beliefs well known. While these murmurings are only in the background for now, it would be wise for the young emperor to not ignore them entirely.

12th of August

While events within Europe continue to escalate, there are still those who cast their eyes further afield. With the promise of their wealth honeying their words, the missionaries of The Kingdom of Hispalis have seen great success in welcoming the natives of their holdings in Africa into the fold. Making use of this new-found labour, as well as fulfilling the first of their promises, Hispalis begins working on a series of commercial farms. Work is quick, and welcome. Yet more of the natives flock to the settlements of Hispalis, embracing this new age, and the prosperity of the colonies continues to boom, a river of gold running between Africa and Hispalis.

13th of August

The Kingdom of Paranas has remained neutral in the war between The Kingdom of Dorist and The Kingdom of Stevata, but now that war has come to his own shores, King Markus I can not ignore it. Markus is not known as a strong king, but even he cannot ignore an alliance. The Kingdom of Komentiolos has declared war against The Empire of Khazaria, and when Khazaria calls for aid, Paranas answers, declaring war against Komentiolos. With Paranas lending it's navy to Khazaria's own strength, the frigates and sloops of Komentiolos find themselves even more outnumbered. Unswayed by this development, the forces of Komentiolos begin working on their next move, soldiers boarding merchant vessels and preparing to raid the Khazaria coast.

16th of August

The fleet of The Empire of Khazaria has long been an anomaly in the patchwork of the empire, a glimmer of the modern within a nation so entrenched in tradition, but in the waters of the Black Sea, the fleet has been tested, and it has not been found wanting. Although the Ships of the Line that Khazaria commands are a shadow of the craftsmanship and quality that defines the ships of The Kingdom of Komentiolos, the sheer size of these warships has proven to be a formidable weapon in it's own right. The shipyards of Khazaria come to life, and work is begun on a string of new ships for the navy. Although it will be months, and in some cases years, before these ships can sail to war, it is a clear sign of intent that the ancient empire is truly starting to embrace the weapons of this new age.

18th of August

The soldiers of The Kingdom of Komentiolos take to the water, and descend upon the first port of The Empire of Khazaria that they reach. The town is pillaged, it's buildings set ablaze, and before the forces of Khazaria can react, the soldiers of Komentiolos take to the sea and are gone. For the second coastal town, it is the same story, chaos emerging from the water and then fading away just as quickly, leaving flame and ruin in their wake. By the time these raiding ships reach the third port, the beast of Khazaria has awoken. Fresh from licking their wounds, the remaining navy of Khazaria sails to war for a second times, with ships of Paranas at their back. Once again, the frigates and sloops of Komentiolos find themselves hopelessly outnumbered, but once again, they do not fade away in the face of such overwhelming odds. Armed with chain-shot, the sloops buzz around the Ships of War like flies around a great beast, and almost routinely, the masts of the Khazaria ships are toppled. However the numbers are too great, and while Admiral Basiliscus Verina commands his ships like a master conductor, his orchestra playing some great symphony, he cannot achieve the un-achievable, and one by one, the Komentiolos ships are stricken. A great leader can recognise when hope is lost, and as he watches his fleet diminish minute by minute, Admiral Verina signals the retreat. The raiding ships, poorly armed merchant vessels, are shielded as best they can be by the other Komentiolos ships, but several are sunk in the crossfire, the survivors either lost at sea, or scooped from the water by Khazaria ships. The two fleets have fought each other to a stalemate again, but the Komentiolos fleet had less ships to lose to begin with, and they can ill-afford another bloody battle.

21st of August

The colonies of The Kingdom of Kehsi in India have been flaunting their power in the region, and although The Viswan Empire is a wounded beast, it is a wounded beast that is the most dangerous. While the colonists of The Republic of Kalseran have been more subtle in their strengthening, Kehsi have been flagrant, and Viswan cannot leave it unchallenged. The army of the empire is still vast, dwarfing even the largest armies of Europe, and although they are ill-equipped compared to the muskets and cannons of the Kehsi soldiers, numbers alone are still a powerful weapon. It quickly becomes clear that the Viswan forces are preparing for war, the demands that Kehsi cease their militaristic expansion falling on deaf ears. While it would take close to a year for word to be sent back to the young King Janek II, and orders returned, the Governor of the Kehsi colonies in India, an ambitious man by the name of Stein Fehn, carries the authority of the crown, and prepares for war in kind. This brewing conflict has implications for the whole region, as well as threatening the possibility of a The Empire of Grimhout colony almost before plans are even drawn up.

22nd of August

Even beneath the dark shadow of war that has shrouded Europe, the 'Vera Engine', born in the heart of The Kingdom of Hispalis is perhaps the most ground-breaking development, and it may well prove to be the defining moment of the decade, if not the century. While news of it's invention is still only beginning to filter out to the rest of Europe, King Charles XII is quick to realise the potential of this new engine. With Julio Vera remaining at the helm, the young inventor is provided with the resources of the crown, and work is quickly begun in producing more engines of Vera's design, as well as constructing rudimentary factories to assess the viability of the engine in industry, and changes made to the very fabric of the Hispalis labour force in preparation of the changes that this new machine could bring. The early signs are encouraging to say the least, the engines already proving a more than capable blowing engine, signalling a drastic change in the iron industry.

24th of August

The act of embracing the colony of Aegyptus into The Kingdom of Komentiolos proper sparked celebration across Komentiolos, but there were still murmurs of discontent amongst those who did not look so fondly upon the union, and those voices have only grown louder over time. In recent weeks, these rebellious groups seem to have become more organised, as if there was some greater power pulling the strings from behind the scenes. Not only that, but the string of raids that have been carried out against the most far-flung outposts have been undeniably more planned, with dark figures, armed with muskets, emerging from the sands and falling upon these isolated pockets of Komentiolos in the desert. For now, these raids remain only on the fringes, Arcadius assuring his brother, King Nikolaos Andreas Koromelas II, that he can handle the troublemakers himself. What is quickly becoming clear however, is that even if Komentiolos call the colony a part of their kingdom, they cannot hope to control the shifting sands, or those who dwell within them.

26th of August

As news of the resounding defeats that The Kingdom of Dorist has suffered reaches The Kingdom of Altenten, the tensions of the court finally come to a head. Phillip has rallied the nobles behind him, and as the balance of the conflict seemingly swinging more in favour of The Kingdom of Stevata by the day, King Leonard II finds that he has few choices left. With the overwhelming support that his son-in-law has rallied, the unspoken threat of civil war quickly becomes evident, and despite his reservations, the king ceases his own defiance. Diplomats are sent to the east, looking to sue for peace, and it quickly becomes clear that the armies of Altenten will not be marching to the aid of Dorist. For Dorist, the situation is increasingly dire. The bedraggled remains of the armies under General Albert Riechsand and General Tilman Grohl stagger back to the relative safety of the Dorist main lines, and the province of Shardvul is lost, except from the dogged defiance of the city of Kronik. With a formidable army at his command, and having already proved himself to be a more than capable defender, General Wolfgang continues to fend off the combined forces of Stevata, The Empire of Khazaria and The Kingdom of Teclav. For now, both sides seem content to sit and wait, the invaders hoping to outlast the supplies of the grand city, and the defender defending simply because he does not know the meaning of the word 'surrender'. For now, the sheer weight of General Wolfgang's name is re-enforcing his soldiers nerve, but as supplies diminish, and no rescuing army appears, that morale may begin to wane...

28th of August

For now, the rebellion in the province of Helensa seems to be losing momentum. With General Bettino Gianni carefully navigating the social conflict, more and more nobles return to the fold of The Republic of Kalseran. Few are surprised when Antoni Viscovi abandons the cause, going so far as to work with his childhood friend to bring this rebellion to an end. Sicuro Donati is trickier, but it is carefully made clear to him that his ambition would be far better served as a friend of the republic, rather than it's foe. Before long, the influence of the rebellion barely reaches beyond the walls of Calassa, and only Maria Toleas still stands defiant. General Bettino is an experienced diplomat, as well as a capable commander, but faced with the razor sharp wit and guile of Maria, he is outmatched. For a few days, she continues to meet with Bettino, but it quickly becomes clear that she is only entertaining him for her own amusement, like a cat playing with a mouse, and eventually, she seems to grow tired of even this. In her last meeting, she presents her closing statement. Although her co-conspirators have fallen at the wayside, falling victim to honeyed words and veiled threats, she has no intention of following suit. If the republic wishes to convince her otherwise, then it is to the republic that she wishes to speak. All that General Bettino can do is relay her request. An audience with Grand Lady Luisa A'Dera herself.

29th of August

With The Kingdom of Altenten refusing to march to war, and The Republic of Kalseran more occupied with internal issues, The Kingdom of Dorist seems to be looking for aid from elsewhere. Clearly aware of the underlying tensions between The Kingdom of Fosbak and The Kingdom of Orvag, a diplomatic delegation embarks for the Orvag capital of Ekda. Dorist are becoming increasingly desperate, a string of military defeats draining not only their resources, but also their morale, and yet they do not receive the reply from Orvag that they would have liked. Perhaps if this offer had come earlier, the ageing King Valterri IV might have been tempted, but King Valterri has no interest in betting on a losing horse, and although the Dorist diplomats are hosted warmly enough, it is made clear that they will find no joy. Not dissuaded, another diplomatic party begins it's journey for The Empire of Stabuga, hoping, pleading, for better luck.

"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

Autumn of 1756

1st of July

The horseman of war continues to ride across Europe, accompanied by it's constant companion, the pale horse of death. In the province of Shardvul, the ground continues to be watered by the blood of The Kingdom of Dorist. The army that is intended to break the siege of Kronik continues it's grinding advance. The baggage train alone stretches back for miles, and Alp Tarkhan is quickly finding that perhaps this strange land to the west is not so different from the rolling steppes of his childhood. After all, a bandit is a bandit wherever he is, and he knows a rich offering when he sees one. With the riders of The Empire of Khazaria at his back, Alp continues to terrorise this supply chain, striking from the shadows and then fading into the darkness before the Dorist forces can mount a counter-attack. While General Albert Riechsand inspires the men under his command, the other arm of the attack, under the lesser command of a General Tilman Grohl, begins to falter. Frantic messages cross the province, but Dorist soon finds that no matter how fast their messenger horses can ride, the stallions from the steppes seem to ride like the wind, and as communication begins to deteriorate, it is only around the two leading Generals of Dorist that the soldiers rally. Albert continues to grind onwards, while General Wolfgang Draton continues to hold the city of Kronik itself, withstanding the siege from The Kingdom of Stevata with a grim indifference.

4th of July

Kronik was built by Stevatan hands, and The Kingdom of Stevata has not forgotten that fact. It may have been more than two decades since the flag of Stevata flew over Kronik, but the sprawling city has changed little in that time, and with old city maps spread out before them, the commanders of Stevata prepare to strike. In the darkness of the night, with clouds obscuring the moon and casting long shadows across the city, dark figures go to work. Moving through tunnels and sewers that have largely been forgotten even by the population above, the soldiers of Stevata make their way beneath the imposing walls, and emerge in a dozen cellars scattered across the city. A lesser commander would have been caught totally off guard by this move, their defence crumbling as the enemy appears from within. The Kingdom of Dorist are lucky that General Wolfgang Draton is not a lesser commander. Wolfgang was careful to study those same city maps when he took command of the city, and Royal Guard soldiers of Dorist are stationed at every tunnel mouth, falling upon the Stevata men, and butchering them in the confined spaces. The victory brings a much needed morale boost to the Dorist defenders, but Wolfgang does not celebrate. He has heard the reports of the relief force faltering in the face of The Empire of Khazaria, but more concerning than that, he has also received word that the army of The Kingdom of Teclav has reached Shardvul, and the Dorist defenders are now convincingly outnumbered.

5th of July

Rebellion has spread through the province of Helensa like a sickness, and The Republic of Kalseran finally looks to rid itself of this plague. In a rare public court, the Grand Lady of the Republic dispatches General Bettino Gianni as her representative in the south, to bring the troublesome nobles back into the fold. Bettino is an experienced and well-respected figure in the Republic, noble blood running in his own veins, and he travels with the strength of the Republic at his back. Before he can even arrive, the message from Luisa A'Dera already begins to have an effect. Several of the weaker noble families, caught up in the excitement of the rebellion rather than dedicated to the cause, are quick to take the extended hand from the Republic, and pledge loyalty again. However the coastal city of Calassa has become a de-facto capital of the rebellion, and there the flames of unrest still burn.

7th of July

The Empire of Khazaria commits even more soldiers to the war against The Kingdom of Dorist. Perhaps smelling the blood in the water, or perhaps simply keen to finish the war off quickly, the young emperor seems content with allowing Alp Tarkhan to run free. Although some orders are dispatched, they are little more than suggestions for the savage brilliance that is the bandit rider. A lifetime of preying on others has honed Alp's instincts, and he almost seems to sense that the army under General Tilman Grohl is faltering. As soldiers of The Kingdom of Teclav continue to arrive in the province, further re-enforcing The Kingdom of Stevata siege on the city of Kronik, Alp gathers a great host around himself and rides to war. While Tilman Grohl does not boast the dashing charisma of General Albert Riechsand, or the dogged grit of General Wolfgang Draton, he is still a capable commander. For the first time since war broke out, an army of Khazaria prepares to meet an army of Dorist in open battle.

8th of July

On the outskirts of an unremarkable village called Bavin, almost within sight of Kronik itself, The Empire of Khazaria and The Kingdom of Dorist meet. The forces of Dorist have taken up defensive positions, but they are still outnumbered by the advancing Khazaria army by more than two to one. However, there is a sliver of hope. Alp Tarkhan is a brilliant commander, but he is reckless, and in his rush to the fight, he has left more than half of his field artillery behind, and the infantry under his command are tired from the forced march. Just after dawn, battle breaks out. Alp sends a series of feints against the Dorist positions with his cavalry, testing the strength of his enemy, and probing for any weakness. The morale of the Dorist soldiers has been battered by the long march into Shardvul, but they are all of them well-trained, and they find their steel when faced with the enemy. Several thousand men under General Tilman's command can claim Stevata heritage, and perhaps if it was Stevata soldiers who stood before them, their nerve might break, but the nomadic 'savages' of Khazaria are as strange to Stevata as they are to Dorist. Growing impatient, Alp finally commits his forces. While his infantry advance through the centre, enduring the cannon fire of the Dorist artillery, the amassed cavalry of Khazaria test the flanks. The Dorist army is formidable, and in open battle, there are few who can rival it, but the cavalry of Khazaria is a powerful force in it's own right, and under command of Alp Tarkhan, that weapon is wielded by a master. Around General Tilman, and his regiment of Royal Guard, the Dorist hold their position, but on the flanks, resolve begins to crumble. The line begins to buckle and strain, and the cavalry of Khazaria throws itself into these gaps with an almost fanatical fury. Some attempt to flee, but they are quickly cut down. The Dorist batteries fall to Khazaria, the guns falling silent, until it is only General Tilman, and the men standing shoulder to shoulder with him, that still stand, rallying around their regiment colours. As if in recognition of another warrior, Alp Tarkhan suddenly breaks off his attack, withdrawing his forces and allowing Tilman and the other bloodied survivors to withdraw back towards Dorist. There can be little doubt that the Battle of Bavin was won by Khazaria, one pincer of the Dorist relief force blunted and turned back, but Khazaria has been bloodied, and perhaps with a greater force, Dorist could beat back the horse-lords...

9th of July

The West Indies have been little plundered by the powers of Europe, but that does not mean they have been lying idle. The handful of traders that do make the long journey west have recently begun returning with stories of a great power rising in the region, an empire that is beginning to unite the weaker kingdoms under a single banner. Any European powers that were eyeing the riches of the West Indies may now have cause to think again. After all, establishing a colony becomes a far more difficult task if those that already claim the land can back up that claim with force.

12th of July

Where there is death, there is also life. Far from the battlefields of the east, a baby boy is born in The Kingdom of Genstadt. And yet it is not a child of Genstadt, or at least not entirely. The baby is named Charles, in honour of it's uncle, King Charles XII of The Kingdom of Hispalis. It is a joyous coincidence that the baby is born in the homeland of it's mother, and Queen Margriet I of Genstadt is quick to meet her new niece. Perhaps the innocence of the new-born softens the queen, or perhaps it simply serves as a timely reminder of the importance of family, but whatever the reason, Queen Margriet quickly proves to be more accommodating to the offers of Hispalis. For now, she cannot sign a treaty dependent on her nations neutrality in the war to the west, as already traders of The Kingdom of Dorist are making use of her ports, but she invites her sister to visit again on their return, as the envoy pushes north towards The Kingdom of Fosbak.

13th of July

The nations of The Kingdom of Teclav and The Kingdom of Stevata have long been friendly with each other, but marching to war together against The Kingdom of Dorist has only strengthened those bonds. In a grand announcement, the two nations arrange the future marriage between Marita Soridov of Teclav and Marcin Kusiak of Stevata. Both are still children, and the marriage is planned to take place when Marita turns sixteen years old, some three years from now, but both are important figures in their respective royal families, and this move is a clear sign of intent. Marita undertakes the journey to meet her future husband for the first time, and it is a time of joy and celebration across both nations.

15th of July

General Bettino Gianni has been deep in conversation with the rebel leaders in Helensa for almost a week, and slowly, progress is being made. Perhaps to help ease the conversation, or perhaps as a visual reminder of the republic's power, a group of warships under the flag of The Republic of Kalseran have appeared just off the coast of Calassa, creating an uneasy standoff between the coastal batteries of the city, and the cannons of the warships. The rebellion has offered up it's own negotiators in the form of three powerful nobles, and all three bring their own demands and expectations. The first is the most moderate of the three, an ageing nobleman by the name of Antoni Viscovi who is simply looking to protect his vast personal wealth from the rigid taxes of the republic. In a frankly incredible stroke of luck, Antoni grew up with Bettino, and the two men have been sharing nostalgic drinks with each other, reminiscing about their glory days. The second figure is trickier, a young and highly ambitious nobleman called Sicuro Donati, a man who sees the rebellion as a chance to greatly increase his own fortunes, but Bettino's reports suggest that the young man's greed far outweighs his commitment to the cause. It is the third figure that troubles Bettino the most though, and for good reason. Maria Toleas is the rebellion, just as the rebellion is forged in her image. It was her townhouse that saw the first skirmish, it was her men that tore down the flags of the republic, and it is her that holds the real power in the region. Her demands, from what Bettino can tell, are for the A'Dera family to release their grip of iron, the province of Helensa to effectively self-govern, owing loyalty to the republic only in name. Until her demands are met, Maria shows no sign of standing down.

17th of July

The tensions between The Kingdom of Arhan and The Empire of Reria have been steadily climbing ever since the discovery of the plot to overthrow Queen Ameline I, and whether they chose to or not, The Kingdom of Hispalis has found itself caught between the two. The intentions of Reria to colonise North Africa was clearly something that Hispalis could not ignore, and it posed a difficult diplomatic situation for King Charles XII to navigate. Ultimately, the solution came from his wife, Luisa, and Hispalis suggested that Reria should focus it's colonial ambitions further to the east, so as to not disturb the lands Hispalis already have their own ambitions for. Reria accepted this suggestion, and their colonists have already begun their work. Although this move could suggest some leniency towards Reria from Hispalis, the Iberian kingdom is already moving to try and secure a defensive alliance with Arhan. The diplomatic envoy is allowed an audience with the Queen, if a little begrudgingly, but it is quickly made clear that the offer of a defensive alliance holds little sway. In fact, from what the diplomats report back, the Queen seems to be pushing for a more serious agreement, Arhan seemingly preparing for war. Although it is not explicitly stated, the reports that reach King Charles seem to suggest that if a military alliance is offered, or at least an agreement to side with Arhan over Reria, the Queen may prove to be more accommodating.

19th of July

In the court of The Kingdom of Altenten, there is chaos. The tensions surrounding the kingdom's involvement in the war between The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist threaten to erupt into outright conflict, as two power bases begin to emerge. King Leonard II still calls for his people to support their new allies, to seek retribution in blood for the ugly events of Siege of Velerra, but there are many within his court who know of the siege only as folklore, and history has perhaps muddied the actions of both sides. In a surprising move, the loudest voice that emerges to condemn the war is Leonard's son-in-law, Philipp, the husband of his eldest daughter. Philipp is a powerful noble in his own right, and he begins to openly oppose the words of his father-in-law. With Dorist already faltering, why should Altenten be dragged into war? Why should Philipp's young daughter Elina, the king's own granddaughter, have to grow up amongst the horrors of war? It is not Altenten that started this war, and now Dorist calls on Altenten to protect Dorist land, as if Altenten is a mere hound to be ordered? Altenten continues to hesitate, and as support begins to flock to Philipp, things are looking increasingly bleak for Dorist. With one arm of the pincer movement beaten back, the increasingly demoralised army under General Albert Riechsand finally arrive before the city of Kronik. But with no supporting army to complete the encirclement, the full host of The Empire of Khazaria, Stevata and The Kingdom of Teclav are free to turn their attentions towards this bedraggled 'relief' force. In a bitter twist of irony, the forced march has only served to isolate Albert's force, as they are not beset on every side. With little choice, the Dorist soldiers dig in, and prepare for the inevitable. Despite being almost with touching distance of Kronik itself, the defensive lines of the besieging army cut off the two great Dorist generals from each other, and General Wolfgang can only watch the beleaguered force from atop the city walls.

21st of July

General Albert Riechsand is a brilliant leader of men and a gifted commander, but he is not a fool. He has heard the reports of the Battle of Bavin, and he knows that even the strength of The Kingdom of Dorist soldiers is not unbreakable, and he is not blind to the fact that he is almost ludicrously outnumbered by the gathered forces of The Empire of Khazaria, The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Teclav. His orders were clear, to encircle the besieging army and crush them between the two armies of Dorist, but looking around him, he can see how comical the idea is in reality. Besides, communications with the rest of Dorist have been all but cut off, and he has no more recent orders. In a move that is tantamount to desertion were it not for the seniority of the man making it, Albert rides out to meet the commanders of his enemy under a white flag of truce. Although Alp Tarkhan is a wild man, with little time for diplomacy, he is still licking his wounds from the Battle of Bavin, and General Albert is instead met by the respective leaders of Stevata and Teclav, men who are far more open to reason. General Jozef Motycka is the commander of the Stevata forces in the region, while the re-enforcing Teclav army is led by General Luka Volodin. Both men are civil to the Dorist general, but clear in their stance. The war against Dorist is in response to attacks against Stevata civilians, and the open insults levelled against their joint allies Khazaria. The war will only come to a close if King Freud Thumer issues an official apology for all offences, and returns the province of Shardvul to Stevata as reparation for the blood already spilt. Albert attempts to make contact with General Wolfgang, but his messengers are spat at as traitors and sent back without any chance of an audience. It is clear that Wolfgang will continue to hold the city, but Albert gathers his army and marches west, refusing to spill his men's blood for nothing, and carrying a message for his king.

23rd of July

Far to the east, the Americas have become a proxy battleground for The Empire of Grimhout and The Kingdom of Kehsi, but there is now a potential end in sight. The negotiations between the two nations have dragged on for weeks, both side keen not to appear weak to their historical rivals, but there is still common ground to be found. Great charts are drawn out and discussed in detail, lines drawn and redrawn, discussions lasting long into the night, but finally, a conclusions seems to be reached. The ships and troops that have been gathering in the docks of both nations are largely stood down, and preparations are made to reduce both nation's military presence in the Americas. While no official treaty has emerged yet, it appears as if the two nations have remarkably cooled the tensions between them.

25th of July

As the economy of The Kingdom of Hispalis continues to boom, things continue to look bright for the nation. In the capital of Toletum, from an unassuming and slightly worse-for-wear workshop, a young man by the name of Julio Vera finally emerges into the sunlight and announces that he has created what he was already self-dubbed as 'The Vera Engine'. In essence, the engine is an improved design for a steam engine, and it does not take long for the important figures of Hispalis to take notice. The possibilities of this new engine, particularly in industry, are far-reaching, and it's invention represents a breakthrough in technology that could well nudge Hispalis closer to a new age.

26th of July

While the forces of The Empire of Khazaria continues to run rampant against the armies of The Kingdom of Dorist to the west, the gathered soldiers of The Kingdom of Komentiolos continue to hold their ground. From the reports that make it back to the court of King Nikolaos Andreas Koromelas II, Khazaria has committed a great host to it's war in the west. Surely only a handful of men remain to hold the border, and yet Komentiolos still sit idle? The military leaders of the kingdom are mysteriously tight-lipped, but the other nobles begin to murmur their discontent. Khazaria are the ancient enemy, and never before have they looked so vulnerable to the armies of Komentiolos. These nobles are not yet brave enough to voice their disapproval too loudly, but the ongoing situation in The Republic of Kalseran stands as a stark reminder of the power that angered nobles still hold, despite Komentiolos barring all non-military travel from Kalseran, and sending their own diplomats to try and ease the peace talks.

29th of July

The nobles of The Kingdom of Komentiolos quickly find that they were perhaps too hasty in their condemnation of their rulers inaction. The fleet of Komentiolos sails forth, and the tension that was building between Komentiolos and The Empire of Khazaria finally breaks. A declaration of war is issued against Khazaria, and the message is barely received before the reality of war arrives. The Black Sea was always going to see action in the conflict between the tow nations, and it in those waters that the first blood of the new war is shed. The Khazaria navy has been patrolling the Black Sea with squadrons, and it is one of these squadrons that meets the amassed Komentiolos fleet. The patrol is vastly outnumbered, and the ships are torn apart by cannon-fire, but they have already fulfilled their role. News travels quickly amongst the Khazaria fleet, and as the other patrols flee back to the relative safety of their ports, the Ships of the Line raise their anchor. The Komentiolos fleet is formidable, but it is made up of Frigates and Sloops-of-War, while Khazaria's close relationship with The Kingdom of Paranas has allowed the previously weak navy of Khazaria to be bolstered with formidable warships. Nearly thirty of these Ships of the Line, supported by Khazaria's own Frigates and Sloops, sail to meet the Komentiolos fleet, and what follows quickly comes to be known as the First Battle of the Black Sea. The Frigates of Komentiolos are masterfully built, their crews experienced, and the commander of the fleet, Admiral Basiliscus Verina is an exceptional strategist, but the ships of Khazaria dwarf those of Komentiolos, and although the Khazaria commander, the strange figure of Admiral Barjik, is no great tactician, he understands that overwhelming firepower tend to win battles. The battle would perhaps be better described as a dance, the larger, more cumbersome ships of Khazaria attempting to bring their devastating broadsides to bear, while the lighter ships of Komentiolos use their better agility to stay just out of reach. Some are not quick enough, and some Khazaria ships eventually succumb to the massed broadsides, until eventually both fleets signal a retreat, fishing the survivors from the water and salvaging what ships they can. Ultimately, while both sides may claim a victory, the First Battle of the Black Sea is largely inclusive. Komentiolos may have beaten Khazaria back, but they have far from removed their presence from the Black Sea, and while Khazaria may have proven their strength, they have also shown that they are outclassed by Komentiolos, even if they are not outgunned. No matter what the outcome, another was has broken out, and blood will be spilt.

31st of July

The sleeping giant of The Empire of Stabuga seems to finally stir, turning it's attention towards the war that continues to rage to the west. Keeping a close eye on the unfolding war, Tsar Viktor Barinov sends messengers to The Kingdom of Stevata, The Kingdom of Teclav and The Kingdom of Dorist with a request for Stabuga observers to be allowed to accompany the various armies in play. The omission of The Empire of Khazaria is perhaps wise, for once Alp Tarkhan has slipped his chain, it is safer to not risk getting in his way. Even now, General Wolfgang continues to hold the city of Kronik, ingraining his name further into the folklore of Dorist, his men holding the line with a grim determination, the rest of the Dorist army seemingly shattered.

"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 June

The drums of war beat ever louder. The war between The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist escalates even further as more nations join the fray. In a move that takes few by surprise, The Empire of Khazaria officially declares war against Dorist, it's army already gathering on the Stevata border. Honouring their defensive alliance, The Kingdom of Altenten joins Dorist, declaring war against Khazaria, Stevata and The Kingdom of Teclav. The State Dinner of Dorist also proves to have been fruitful, as The Republic of Kalseran joins the war as well, pledging to provide supplies to the hungry war machine of Dorist. The Kingdom of Genstadt also draws up a treaty to allow Dorist trade to continue flowing as The Kingdom of FOsbak all but seal the Baltic Sea. For Dorist, the scales are looking considerably less desolate, but their attempts to see The Kingdom of Komentiolos join their cause is unsuccessful, at least for now. With armies amassing across Europe, few doubt that first blood will be shed sooner rather than later.

4th of June

Although they are yet to officially join the growing war, The Kingdom of Komentiolos are certainly not resting upon their laurels. Tension along the border with The Empire of Khazaria only continues to increase, and Komentiolos is making no attempt to cool them. Yet more troops are deployed along the heavily fortified border, but it is in the waters of the Black Sea that the most action is seen. As the shipyards of Komentiolos begin work on new frigates and sloops to swell the kingdoms navy, ships are brought up from the south to further re-enforce the Komentiolos presence in the highly contested waters. Privateers are issued with a letter of marquee that instructs them to raid Khazaria trade, and the promise of gold sees several ships flock to the offer. The squadrons of Khazaria frigates that are patrolling the Black Sea make raiding a difficult task however, and there are a string of skirmishes. Although the privateers do not fly the Komentiolos flag, Khazaria is under no illusions, and the tension between the two nations continues to escalate, building quickly towards the inevitable conclusion.

5th of June

Following the clear declaration of neutrality issued by The Kingdom of Fosbak, many assumed that the historical allies of Fosbak, The Kingdom of Orvag, would follow suit. The two nations have long been the naval powers in the Baltic Sea, but King Valterri IV is an old and bitter man, and he is loathe to meekly follow the actions of a queen young enough to be his daughter. The shipyards of Orvag begin work on new ships for the Orvag navy, and rumours quickly begin to swirl. These new ships could simply be an effort to protect Orvag from the collateral damage of war, but some are already speculating that Orvag could be dragged into the war itself, even if only to spite Fosbak and it's young queen. Whatever the reasoning, this development will no doubt have caught the attention of The Kingdom of Stevata and The Kingdom of Dorist.

7th of June

Even though they are yet to act upon it, the declaration of war by The Republic of Kalseran has sent shock-waves throughout the republic, and several of the noble families finally reach a breaking point. With their personal fortunes being stripped away by rigid new trade regulations, and now with their homeland dragged into a war that it seemingly has no ties to, these nobles openly curse the A'Dera family. Power has seemingly languished too long with one family, and it is becoming increasingly clear, at least to these nobles, that the 'Grand Lady of the Republic' is an A'Dera first, and a member of the republic second. Perhaps buoyed by their relative distance from the seat of the A'Dera power in the capital, or perhaps already on edge due to the rising tensions just beyond their waters, it is the noble families of Helensa that act first. In a symbolic act, the Kalseran flag that flies above the main docks is torn down, and the tax-collectors of the A'Dera are dragged from their beds. The garrison of the province is quickly mobilised, but by the time they are brought to bear, the nobles dissapear into the shadows again. In a moment that is already passing into folklore, it is the coastal city of Stenias that witnesses what comes to be known as 'The Skirmish at Toleas Manor'. Soldiers of the republic attempted to storm the impressive townhouse of a powerful noble family, and conflict broke out between these soldiers and the private guards of the nobles. The skirmish was short, but it left half a dozen men dead on both sides, and signalled the first of a number of such skirmishes all across the province.

9th of June

In the north of Helensa, in the area surrounding the provincial capital of Palysos, an uneasy sense of order is still maintained, but in the southern cities, control has well and truly been wrested away from The Republic of Kalseran. The nobles have whipped the common folk into a fervour, accusing A'Dera of corruption, of plunging Kalseran into a war for their own selfish purposes. The garrisons of these cities are drafted from the local population, and it is difficult to convince soldiers to fire upon the enemy when the enemy are brothers and sisters. It is only the more experienced soldiers of the republic's army proper that holds it's nerve, but they have almost entirely retreated to the provincial capital. A string of desperate messages are sent to the other provinces of the republic, and it quickly becomes clear that Kalseran needs to act, and act quickly. The republic's nose has been bloodied, and that means the A'Dera nose has been bloodied. Any hesitation or indecisiveness could be seen as weakness, and lead even more of the republic into open rebellion.

12th of June

Far away from the growing conflict that is threatening to engulf, a fairly unassuming group of ships is slowly making its way east. The journey ahead of the settlers is a daunting one, but they carry with them the ambitions of The Kingdom of Hispalis. For some time, Hispalis has been looking to expand it's territory beyond Europe and North Africa, and the relatively un-plundered riches of the East Indies present an opportunity that is too good to be ignored. Yet the journey to the East Indies is a gruelling one, and for now, Hispalis seem content with turning their attentions closer to home. The ships of the kingdom instead sail south, along the west coast of Africa, with the intention of establishing a trading post. The coastline of Africa is still little explored, so it may take some time for the sailors to find a suitable site, but they are determined, and there are plenty of traders that would appreciate a safe harbour for the long journey east.

13th of June

The State Dinner of The Kingdom of Dorist officially draws to a close, although in truth it has been finished in all but name since the official declaration of war between Dorist and The Kingdom of Stevata. The respective leaders and diplomats have returned to their homelands, and the Dorist capital, Talfist, would be almost quiet, were it not for the frenzied war preparation. Rumours run rife, the most extreme claim that even now, the armies of Stevata are burning and pillaging their way across the province of Shardvul. The population of the capital believe that Dorist can triumph in the coming battles, but news of the amassing armies of The Kingdom of Teclav and The Empire of Khazaria strikes fear into even the most patriotic heart. Blood will soak the earth of Europe before this war is done, and Dorist will inevitably have to pay it's share.

15th of June

With the recent diplomatic delegation making the short journey between the two nations, there are many who tentatively believed that tensions before The Kingdom of Kehsi and The Empire of Grimhout were cooling, but whatever discussions are being had behind closed doors in the Kehsi capital of Sabica, no treaties are yet to emerge. Across the Atlantic, in the colonies of the Americas, the mood between the two nations continues to sour. Grimhout has long held sway on the continent proper, while Kehsi is content with the islands, an uneasy understanding existing between the two. But the influx of new ships from both nations has shifted the balance of power. Ships of Grimhout are sent west, along the coastline. With the guidance of a handful of paid locals, these ships begin to establish a new settlement, strengthening their hold on the continent, and almost goading Kehsi to challenge them.

16th of June

The soldiers along the border of The Kingdom of Dorist have been bracing themselves for weeks, preparing for what they see as the inevitable advance of the The Kingdom of Stevata, but there has been nothing. As dawn breaks, all of this changes. The uneasy silence is broken by the thunder of hooves, and a vast horde of riders appears on the horizon. But it is not the flag of Stevata the flutters in the morning breeze, it is the standard of The Empire of Khazaria. Alp Tarkhan is not a man who understands the meaning of patience, and ever since the outbreak of war, he has pushed his host forwards. Crossing the territory of Stevata, it is the horseman of the east that form the spearhead of Stevata's assault. Much of the Dorist army in Shardvul has been withdrawn to the cities, preparing for a traditional siege, but the rearguard remains to delay the advance of the enemy. Expecting the Stevata army, the Dorist forces is unprepared for the massed cavalry of Khazaria, and with Alp leading from the front, Khazaria shatters the rearguard, running down those who try and flee. First blood has been drawn by Khazaria, and with the line broken, the combined forces of Khazaria and Stevata flock into the province of Shardvul, as the remaining Dorist brace themselves behind city walls.

19th of June

Perhaps it is something in the air, for tensions continue to rise all across Europe. The uneasy peace between The Kingdom of Arhan and The Empire of Reria is more strained than ever, and rumours are already beginning to leak out concerning the cause. Lord Favre, a name still only mentioned in hushed whispers, hails from the southern province of Colveil, as did the other nobles named in the plot. There are some who believe that Reria was pulling the strings behind the apparently foiled rebellion, and that the ageing Emperor Clarenzio III was the true power behind Lord Favre. Whatever the reason, relations between the two nations has still soured, the two fleets regularly testing each other's limits. Reria is not focused entirely on their neighbours to the north however, and a handful of ships are sent to the south. The empire has long had cultural ties with the people of North Africa, and it quickly becomes clear that they are looking to establish a colony. The move immediately puts them at odds with the presence of The Kingdom of Hispalis already established in the area, but Reria seems largely unphased by this.

21st of June

Alp Tarkhan is a bandit, a savage, and with the strength of The Empire of Khazaria at his back, he is doing what he does best. The province of Shardvul boasts a formidable garrison, more than forty thousand soldiers, but they have been ordered to retreat to the provincial capital of Kronik, leaving vast swathes of the province virtually undefended. The cavalry of Khazaria cuts through the province like a spear thrust, effectively severing a large part of the province away from the rest of The Kingdom of Dorist. The city of Halldorf, already only defended by less than a thousand men, is cut off from re-enforcement's overnight. Alp has little interest in taking cities, so he instead occupies himself with chasing the straggling remains of the Dorist army that are yet to retreat to the relative safety of the capital. It is the soldiers of The Kingdom of Stevata that besiege the Halldorf, but in truth, it could hardly be called a siege. Cut off, poorly garrisoned and seemingly abandoned by the main Dorist army, the soldiers who have been tasked with holding the city already have low morale. Faced with overwhelming numbers, and quickly realising that the population of the city are largely Stevata descendants, the city surrenders before dusk.

22nd of June

Even while The Empire of Khazaria wages war further west than the hordes have ever reached, it would be a mistake to believe that the empire had forgotten far more familiar battle grounds. While the border between Khazaria and The Kingdom of Komentiolos continues to balance on a knife edge, the waters between the two ambitious nations has quickly become a second front. While the privateers of Komentiolos continue to harass trade ships in the Black Sea, the frigates of Khazaria do not sit by and watch, even as the ships of Komentiolos continue to show their own strength with patrols. The navy is perhaps the closest tie between Khazaria and The Kingdom of Paranas, the alliance with Paranas transforming the rag-tag fleet of glorified fishing vessels into a fairly formidable naval force, and this force is put to the test as a frantic game of cat and mouse breaks out. Privateer pursues trader, and then in turn, cruisers pursue privateers. The tension between Khazaria and Komentiolos has always been high, and with the drums of war already beating elsewhere, it seems as if it is only a matter of time before old rivalries bleed fresh.

24th of June

The unrest in Helensa has continued, the soldiers of The Republic of Kalseran seemingly unsure of how to respond to the rebellion that has gripped the southern regions of the province. The nobles have effectively seized control of the coastal cities, driving out those sympathetic to the A'Dera family, and enforcing their own law and order. As this breakaway republic emerges, there are many other nobles that are casting their eyes south. The A'Dera family has long since ruled with an iron fist and a velvet glove, but the glove has been wearing thin of late, and there are many powerful families that are all too welcome to the idea of ruling the roost yet again.

27th of June

The cavalry of The Empire of Khazaria continues to terrorise the province of Shardvul, but it is the massed infantry of Khazaria and The Kingdom of Stevata that is making the greatest gains. Halldorf has already fallen, and with a meagre garrison, the city of Genlor quickly follows suit. The only foothold that The Kingdom of Dorist still holds in the province is the capital of Kronik, but Kronik is unlikely to be as soft as Halldorf and Genlor. Not only do forty thousand men of the Dorist army hold the city, seven regiments of those men are highly trained and fiercely loyal members of the Royal Guard. Yet the greatest weapon in the Dorist defence is a single man, General Wolfgang Draton. Wolfgang is the brutal reality of war, a veteran of endless conflicts, and he is a highly effective leader of men. Not only that, but Wolfgang was there when Kronik fell to Dorist two decades ago, and he knows better than anyone what it takes to break the city, and what it takes to hold it. And yet still the enemy come. The combined forces of Khazaria and Stevata begin the siege of the city, the roar of guns becoming almost a constant background.

28th of June

While war has truly broken out between The Kingdom of Dorist and The Kingdom of Stevata, the conflict between Stevata and The Kingdom of Altenten is more luke-warm. Both nations seem tentative of making the first move, and both seem content to simple watch each other across their short border. There is no love lost between the two nations, but rumours continue to swirl about the true cause of the war, and with the only other ally of Dorist, The Republic of Kalseran, struggling with a rebellion, Altenten is wary of committing to a war in which it is already outnumbered. The older generations of Altenten still remember the dark days of the Siege of Velerra, and bay for Stevata blood, calling for King Leonard II to honour the defensive treaty, but the younger generation is less eager to be dragged into a bloody war. For now, the border is almost eerily quiet.

29th of June

While the forces in Kronik dig in, there is still a glimmer of hope. Another army of The Kingdom of Dorist has gathered to the west of Shardvul, commanded by the dashing and charismatic General Albert Riechsand. As the forces of The Kingdom of Stevata and The Empire of Khazaria continue to seize the territory of Shardvul, all but cutting off Kronik from supplies, this army begins to march east. Splitting into two, this fresh army begins to push into Shardvul itself, encircling the very army that is in turn encircling Kronik. A series of skirmishes break out all across the advance, but the men of Dorist are hardened soldiers, and they continue to push. The cavalry of Khazaria, with Alp at it's head, take to this new threat with relish, overjoyed to finally face an army on open ground, and they begin a series of hit and run rains against the advancing forces. Progress is made though, slow and bloody, but progress nonetheless.

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