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About Frankia

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  • Leader Name
    Dread King
  • Nation Name
    Greater Frankia
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  1. Right Bank, Ajem Surrounded, outnumbered, and outgunned the Frankian position at Ajem was dire; only their training kept them from collapsing outright as the Zunnis came on them again and again and again. The roar of far off guns they barely registered, save when it was doing a number on the Zunnis who were attempting to ford the stream on the right bank. As mechs and men alike screamed the Frankians pounced upon them with a savage fury; hurling grenades, directing their 20mm autoturrets to unload a wall of ammunition to block their path, and firing brief bursts of scare ammunition into their midst. Samuelson could scarce count thirty men of Snyder's Company here, but the Zunnis below were at least five hundred strong. Shellfire and sustained fire would likely halve that number, but then they would come charging with a cry of Zun on High that would shake the very earth itself. Samuelson gave a Zunni a sharp ping before relocating to another position. The men around him were a mixture of Army white and FLI green, but now they were stained in the dark brown of Ajem's atrocious mud that they all looked alike. They paid no attention to Samuelson, more focused on the Zunnis who would soon be upon them to avenge their comrades. ZUN ON HIGH! ZUN ON HIGH! ZUN ON HIGH! The response to that was the fixing of bayonets, the crack of rifles, and quiet prayers to Atkane that they might not die this day. On they came, darting through shell and shot with the banner of their bloodied battalion. Samuelson had cross a half a league before he heard the shrieks and the roar of the chainsaw bayonet. He fixed his scope on the carnage, and saw that the Frankians there were on the verge of being overwhelmed. An FLI man knocked a Zunni flat on his ass and drove the spike at the end of his rifle butt into the man's skull. As a Zunni came on him Private Zekiel Harper blew her head clean off before being knocked to the ground by a blast from a Zunni cannonade. ZUN ON HIGH! ZUN ON HIGH! ZUN ON HIGH! Ping after ping after ping Samuelson could hear, though what good it would do in driving the Zunnis back he could not see. The Zunni holding the banner of his battalion fell, though it was quickly picked up by another and then another. Samuelson did not shoot at those given such a high honor, though exploding shells were less discriminate. A whole platoon o seemed to lay down by command as the Frankians took heart and fought to desperately drive them off. As the minutes seemed to stretch into ages the Zunnis at last gave way, though they did not route. They knew they would be back again,and that the next time they would carry the day based on the amount of the damage they had done. The remaining Frankians saw them off without firing a shot; glimpsing on the horizon at the Zunni hosts that would soon come in greater numbers than before. In the mud Frankians and Zunnis lay intertwined; locked in the embrace of death. It was all over... For now. Lieutenant Mark Henderson's armor was stained with the blood of the Zunni lads that he had sent to their Zun, but it was better to be covered in their damn blood than the damn mud as far as he was concerned. The lot he had commanded had held, despite the FLI men showing little respect towards his army stripes. Insolent bastards, but they had made a solid impression on him. A tragedy that so few of them now remained, a disaster that they had suffered such appalling losses. He took no note of the Zunnis that lie dead or dying around him; for each Zunni they had killed two would spring from the earth to take up their arms against the Frankians at Ajem. Funny, enemy propaganda was seldom loaded with truth. Hadn't it been the Ishii who had claimed to be the Multiversal cop on the block after leveling Panthera? The thought made him smile before Henderson was knocked down by a Zunni sniper. Take cover!!! HERE THEY COME AGAIN!!! Samuelson could see the Zunnis had reformed, and were coming on with fresh troops eager to shed the blood of Atkane's children. He noticed that a Frankian over than Henderson was rallying the men, but the few that remained were already going to the task of meeting the upcoming wave. Zunni shellfire came down upon them with a fury, and some were blown above the barbed wire into the craters that Frankian shells had made. Some were still alive when a Zunni stuck a bayonet into their ribs and cried ZUN ON HIGH. Through his scope he could see some of the Zunnis were carrying rafts, and he pinged his rifle so hard that it was beginning to grow too hot for him to handle. Regardless, he trained his fire on those burdened with the rafts; if the Zunnis were to take them across the stream they would fall upon the Frankians in good order. The last wave had crossed the stream with the water up to their armpits, and had been so delayed that the Frankians had managed to sufficiently sap their strength. This would not be the case now, despite Samuelson's best efforts. Frankian shellfire, autoturrets, and riflefire could send as many Zunnis to their god as they like but the Zunnis were determined to go on. Argh. Samuelson threw down his PML, and drew his pistol even though it would be inaccurate at this range. The francisca at his side he had not thought to use when he had been stranded here two days before. Now he grasped it in his left hand, and knew that it would soon be stained red with gore. On they came, crossing the stream and shouting Zun on High. Despite the best Frankian replies to that tired shout, the first Zunni rafts hit the beach. The few Frankians that remained lobbed grenades, and came on them led by their officer whose ceremonial francisca had been drawn. As Samuelson darted across the craters and corpses he saw that the officer had already split the skull of a Zunni lad before plunging his sword into the belly of another. A suicidal charge, but some would be taken prisoner when all was said and done. Samuelson, seemingly abandoned by Atkane, was not destined to be one of them. --- HQ "The Right Bank has fallen, Captain." Snyder reacted to that with a sigh, and marked it on a board which showed a steadily shrinking Frankian island being submerged underneath a native sea. His position was now threatened; they would be here within half an hour after they had brushed aside the forces that stood between them and here. Not steady troops, fliers; nothing to really expect much of them outside of their fancy craft. He had shifted his reserves to prop up the left bank, but the main Zunni assault had come on the right . The lads he had left under his command were soon approaching the end of their tether, though surrender was the furthest thing from his mind. We shall hold until our relief arrives at last. Fliers made rifles "!@#$ing Snyder, where are our reinforcements?" Lieutenant Shorne looked at the smattering of Flier blues and yellows that had been formed as a rifle platoon as soon as they had parachuted from the skies. ZUN ON HIGH! ZUN ON HIGH! ZUN ON HIGH! "!@#$ing Zunnis," Shorne said as he hit a mortar and hurled it in a nearby crater. The horrifying shriek that followed the explosion made Shorne wince; he was not used to combat of this sort. Mech fire from half a league made him duck, though the man beside him was blown apart. ZUN ON HIGH! ZUN ON HIGH! ZUN ON HIGH! !@#$ this, one of the fliers shouted as the Zunni shells came raining down upon them. A couple of them bolted, only to be gunned down by a mech autoturret. !@#$!! !@#$!!! Shorne shouted as he primed another mortar and sent it hurling at a mech that was making his way towards his crater. It whined as though in pain, and let loose a burst of turret fire in reply. Shorne gripped his left hand, it was no longer there. He fell back into his crater and tried to bandage himself as the Frankians around him gave way. He could hear Zunni feet approaching, and he reached for his pistol. One loomed over his trench and pointed his rifle at the wound Frankian; Shorne fired as the lad squeezed the trigger. Shorne grunted as the Zunni rolled into the crater, and gripped his side which had ripped open. MEDIC!!! MEDIC!!! A handful of Zunnis approached him, and he pointed his pistol at them. He saw that they wore the markings that seemed to be of the Red Cross, and he lowed his piece. They took a moment to glimpse at their dead compatriot, and said a prayer for him that seemed to stretch into ages. Shorne was steadily losing consciousness as the Zunnis lifted him and told him that everything was going to be all right.
  2. Lithim listened quietly to all that was said, and took note that internal division within the ranks of the UMS was seemingly stronger than previously thought back on Neustria. The argument made by the Triskelli Empress he thought to be superfluous; even the very gods themselves bleed. As he pondered how such an petulant child could head a great state he took in the heart of B'alam's reply, and found nothing to disagree with in the notion that Chernigov could surpass the Triskelli Realm if she were uplifted by any of the great multiversal powers. Though the notion that the Alterrans were such a thing once would strike Lithim as odd; Frankian archives generally regarded the Alterrans as being superb diplomats who were more inclined to having the worlds of their allies burn than actually entering the fray. Of course, the Archives that remained from the time of FB-1 were horribly skewed in favor of the Laptevist viewpoint and he felt that he would have to inquire if subsequent revisions could be made now that Laptev was nothing more than a distant memory. Lithim gathered his thoughts as he rose; clearing his throat with a guttural claargh., Lithim then spake these words in the King's Frankian which, though the official dialect, was not spoken by the majority of the Realm as a whole. If such a task-force were created Frankia would be willing to join, even though at present she is not a member of the UMS or has interest in the affairs revolving around Orbis IV. Gerwannia and Aralia serve us well at present, but we have eyed further territorial acquisitions that Neustria feels that she shall successfully colonize or seize control of by Atkane's decree. He cast a sharp glance at the natives who remained and then spake these words. I wish to make clear that Frankia is willing to share technology that is beneficial to your internal development, but she will not share technology that will lead to your destruction. It is not in my uncle's interest that we should gift you a Pandora's box that your societies are not possibly ready for; my own knew much strife and dislocation because we rose too rapidly in our level of technology out of military necessity. I will give you this advice; know that there is no shame in bending the knee, for a nation that bends the knee at present can swiftly rise again. Frankia was but a displaced race travelling the stars when she found it necessary to bend the knee to Discworld; she then rose in time to become an Empire in her own right and a member of a great faction known as Laptev. The Prince then cocked his head to nam-Kalzhak, clicked his heels, and slammed a fist to his breastplate. The Frankians that had remained seat rose and repeated their Prince's salute to their host. It has been an honor and a privilege, Admiral nam-Kalzhak. With that the Frankians quickly filed out of the Summit to board a shuttle bound for Samarkand.
  3. Lithim let out a soft chuckle at the Cenna Emperor's expense, and wondered if anything else out of the ordinary might disrupt this summit as he went to join his men. He recalled his father mentioning how the Fraconian delegate had pulled a blade on the Terran named Shore at the last summit the Frankians had attended back when his grandfather still reigned. They are the blood of old Neustrasia, his father had explained, and will not let a slight, no matter how trivial, pass them by without the shedding of blood. Frankians and Fraconians had not gotten along well since the Commonwealth had preyed on a then divided Frankia; they were cousins, aye, but cousins who had fallen to the darkness. They knew not Atkane or Severus or Wulfrum, they knew only vain pleasures and a growing appetite for slaves. Besides nomadic fleets, rogue Atkan corporations, and the Sigiberts of Talestria it was the damn Commonwealth that had been a pain in Frankia's side for some five hundred cycles. No peace in the Urlann. As Lithim took his seat next to Major Anderson he felt relief that the Summit should begin without the usual formalities. Best sort this matter out quickly and be done with it, he thought. He checked his PCD for any word from Grand Magister Mars on how the Gerwannians who had flocked to the colors at Neustria's call were shaping up in boot shipside. Those that eventually made it through would have to go through further training on Orbis; their baptism of fire would not be long in coming. Lithim spoke not a word as his retinue drank and began chatting of matters not concerning the summit at hand in the Army Frankian that he had trouble following. He could sense that some were awed at their surroundings; so strange, yet so beautiful. Frankians only visited other realms as diplomats, as soldiers, as missionaries, and as mourners; though not necessarily in that order. He had recalled reading at the Academy how some Frankian families before the fall were still taking the long trek to Deutsches Reich to lay wreaths on the graves of those who fell in the Caedis Wars. The Frankians and the Pords had ground that Sith Realm to a fine powder alongside the Mri and Givious, and as he looked at the Chernigovian Emperor he felt as though history might repeat itself. That conflict had forever scarred Frankia after the Realm had been driven into exile with the loss of their homeworld. The young Realm had had its revenge in the end after the Sith Lord had been captured by a Frankian patrol in flight from his dying world. That Sith Lord's end had not been quick; the Magister Navigum had seen to that.Drawn, quartered, blinded with molten silver, he had at last been thrown into a hog pen to be devoured alive by hogs that did not care that their feed this day screamed. Hog fodder, that's the only thing force users are good for.
  4. Oberon Lithim's shuttle arrived without the fanfare that had welcomed him in New Wylus some while before; a good omen. Out would emerge the Prince and his retinue in furs that they had thought fitting to bring with them upon hearing of the Pords hosting a grand ding while bound for Samarkand. Neustria had not thought it worth the trouble of sending a diplomat fresh from Neustria when a prince of the royal blood, a son of the current Magister Navigum of whom the Pords were somewhat familiar with, would certainly suffice. The extreme of Oberon's clime would be thought most well-suited for the Pords by all as they made their way to the summit on foot; taking in the sights and overall atmosphere. No banners would be flown, nor would a herald announce their arrival as they entered the summit refreshed from a brisk walk. One of the Frankians stumbled and cursed; his prosthetic right leg let out a sharp whine as it gave way. Lithim caught him before he hit the floor, and steered him towards a nearby seat where the Frankians were congregating. The man gave Lithim his thanks, and apologized for seemingly disturbing the summit. Lithim said there was no need. Those that have bled for the Realm shall I be forever indebted to. As the Prince approached nam-Kalzhak he gave his apologies for his tardiness, and produced from one of the armored compartments on his powered armor several boxes of Atkan cigars that only the unofficial upper class of Frankian society could afford. From our Governor Clarence Van Houwten's own collection, I must say. He has a fine taste for cigars, though I am forever wedded to my pipe. As the Prince spake the Frankians proceeded to make themselves comfortable; producing flasks full of best brandy to fight off the cold, cigars of a more common sort, and pipes that they had loaded on the way to the summit. Captain Alexander Sinclair took an uncomfortable note that his fellow countrymen were largely ordering Pordish cuisine as he requested iced coffee with tapioca and kimchi mixed with pork and brown rice. Major Felix Anderson noted his subordinate's concern as he gulped down a pint of strong stout, and quickly put in a request for another. Drinking one another under the table was something the Frankians were known for while off-duty, though they were, for the most part, prone to keeping to themselves while Atkane's joy flowed through their veins. He eyed Danica with approval, though he was convinced from national pride that fair Queen Gendelyn was far more radiant than she. A sharp pain made Anderson wince; his leg was giving him trouble again. Faith forbade the growing of a replacement; cloning was an abomination in the eyes of the gods. Not that Anderson chose to care what they thought, but Army regulation certainly did. Army regulation was the Almighty in Anderson's eyes; the only god worth trying to placate.
  5. New Wylus, Gerwannia Never before had such a crowd turned out in such numbers, but never before had their city been visited by a prince of the royal blood. Lithim Dreggtonius Wulfius scanned the horizon of a never ending see of dark green, white, and gold; the national colors of the Realm. As he rode beside the High Triarch of the Gerwannia District on horseback he felt pride in what dexterity of hands and patience had raised here. Here was a world as fine as any that might be found in the Core Worlds, and not nearly as troublesome to his Kingly uncle's council as Aralia was at present. A young Frankian lady offered him a bouquet of white roses as the procession made its way down the Trek Into the Void. Lithim gladly accepted the roses, and raised the girl on high to sit before him as he led the procession towards its final destination. The High Assembly of Gerwannia could be seen in the distance; a massive domed structure that had been raised as much by the sweat of guildiers as by twelve year bonds issued by the District's treasury. An antiquated style, but it possessed its own merits as well as adequate facilities for a Prince of the Blood. The Governor of the Gerwannia District stepped forward; taking Lithim's horse by the reins and calling for some of his servants to assist the Prince and the girl he had wrapped about the waist off the Prince's noble destrier. There was no need as Lithim waved them off; if a Frankian, let alone a Prince of the Blood, ever needed lackeys for anything that he couldn't do himself he was no better than a hedonistic sponge from old Neustrasia. A crier whipped the gathered throng into a frenzy. Hosannah for the King's own nephew! The cry rose to the heavens as did the sudden singing of the Frankian anthem by those that the Post de Royalle had referred to as the Realm's iron Youth. Long live Wulfius I Long live our valiant king The Dread Sovereign With the three talents Of drinking, fighting And adultery! To hell with wars And enmity, and spouses Let us all together Sing as true friends Clink the glasses The Fleetlords and Guildiers Let us sing the refrain That we will sing in a thousand ages: May Atkane maintain Her children in peace Until we take Tnem Fragg with our teeth Long live Frankia Long live our good King Wulfius To Austrasia we dance Singing as they do in Neustria Long live Frankia Long live the Dread King! Long live the Realm! The girl, after having had the honor of riding with a Wulfid, asked that she might have permission to return to her kin who eyed her with some concern that she might make a mockery of their family. Lithim nodded with apparent disinterest, as though the question was superfluous. Divided into numerous classes, such class division was not as apt as in others to lead to abuse. Folk solidarity was as prized to the folk of Frankia, be they Kings or paupers, as much as dexterity of labor, of skill in arms, or the very notion of monarchy itself. A female Guildier is as much a Queen as the Queen herself. The Governor, the Assemblymen, and all that had gathered on this glorious day bent the knee before rising with Lithim's permission. He had never been fond of that ancient custom, but the common folk were as likely to kneel to any bastard cousin of his as they were to the King himself. Lithim's family had grown to be loved after reuniting the Realm through warships and broadsides; since then, they had maintained a policy of domestic tranquility at home while keeping Frankia's commitments abroad sufficiently limited. Lithim recalled how many great nations had perished, while nations such as his own had survived into the present age. Historians were still debating one another over what had exactly transpired in the home 'Verse, long since lost to the darkness that had consumed it many cycles before the founder of Lithim's line had breathed his first breath. The High Triarch had a simple answer to what had exactly caused the fall of FB-1. Septimus came, Septimus saw, Septimus devoured. Lithim considered the pious explanation, and thought it possessed some weight. The city fathers gathered around him, and conversed with him freely on matters that they thought ought to be brought to his attention. Lithim listened as he was led on a tour of the Gerwannian High Assembly; lost in considerations of a more pressing sort. His arrival had not been just to perk up morale in this trouble Verse, he had come with steady troops and an Armada of warships to press his Uncle's claims on Orbis and beyond. He had seen posters scattered across New Wylus during the procession calling for volunteers to swell the ranks of the Territorials, supposedly to deal with what the press had dubbed as the Ajem Crisis. Lithim knew the truth for the call-up at present, though secrecy of forthcoming operations had been made clear absolutely clear when he had heard it from his very own father. The time for being the hermit of Orbis, the Elder Prince said then, is over. DKS Cargott's Slight In the sky above the royal procession the warships of the 9th Armada loomed on high. Fleetlords, their subordinates, and enlisted men busied themselves with routine tasks such maintenance and the occasional drill. The Grand Magister's flagship would strike some as odd; it was not the fastest or most heavily gunned within the fleet, but it had been in the Grand Magister's family for generations. Mars liked to claim that the ship was as much a cousin to him as those back on Austrasia, and he meant it. A hologram appeared before Mars on a secure line as he lit a pipe loaded with tobacco from his native Austrasia. The young Admiral of the 87th Fleet seemed shaken when he caught the Grand Magister apparently in an uncompromising position. Gods damn the moral crusaders in the Department of Health and their anti-smoking campaign. I am most sorry, Grand Magister. I did not know you were indisposed at this time. It's not opium, Admiral Harkins, that would be against the King's Regulations. Proceed. Sir, it appears that Chernigov, a native space empire of this Verse, has fallen to a coalition of other space empires. Why should that be of of any concern of ours? The Chernigovians are a stone's throw away from Aralia, our chief territory on the planet. If they should fall to a more capable foreign power there could be a serious threat of a two front conflict in which the colony could be lost. Yes, Admiral, though it is not as likely as it seems. Some folk are more trouble lording over than they're worth. True, though Chernigov's current control of the Ukraine and the Golden Horn should be sufficient to attract foreign troublemakers nevertheless. The Technovikings have not been spotted for ages, Admirals, nor are there as many nomadic fleets here as back in NS-1. Aye, but there are competitors here all the same. Pacts forged in blood are not often kept when mammon or Realpolitik are concerned. Grand Magister Mars paused to contemplate the rapid changes that had been made in this Verse; here, as with MS-1 or FB-1 of old, there was much potential for conflict. He would have to operate differently here where the survival of Frankian settlements for another three cycles was really left up in the air. Is that all? No, Samarkand sends word that they have started the construction of the Jewel of the Gulf, the Jewel of Aral, and another Jewel that should see first work begun on it within a week. What is the name of the last one, Admiral? Why, Grand Magister, the Jewel of the Golden Horn.
  6. Ajem Such a serene landscape might offer more than graves for the Afghans and the Frankians alike, but fate, neglectful of what could be, had decided that they must slaughter each other in these lofty mountains. The crack of rifles and the roar of cannon could be heard several leagues away from the carnage. Though initially scattered and bloodied badly, Snyder's Light Company had managed to regroup near the relatively prosperous village of Ajem. Here, the artillery of the Zunnis concentrated with a dreadful fury. Portable pdl lasers had done what they could, but in the distance Snyder could hear a shriek to be followed by an exploding shell. Frankian blood was being spilled here as an unblemished ram's might to the eternal gods. May their reign be eternal. He had heard such shrieks before, but never in this position where escape was an uncertain thing. Squads were holding off repeated assaults by entire companies, and word had spread that they would soon run out of munitions before the cavalry arrived. 30mm turrets could do little to blunt their damn mechs and the damn Zunnis who were inching meter by meter towards his position. Snyder felt a slight bit of fear and shame knowing that the Zunnis had gotten them into this position, but as a soldier of the Dread Sovereign, he had sworn to stand his ground regardless of the hostile host facing him. Duty took hold; and orders had been dispatched by runners to steady the line held by scattered infantry squads. From above, the first artillery from leagues away had begun to rain down; this time, on the enemy. Few shrieks could be heard, and in the distance Snyder could see what seemed like multiple pdl laser arrays.Word would have to be sent to the arty that their shit munitions were having shit results, but then Snyder's comms had been cut off several hours after word had been sent to HQ of his company's position. Bastards had set a trap.. That became evident when the initial wave of Killercraft escorting the relief column had been horribly mauled. Snyder's company had been strengthened from the remnants of other companies and downed fliers; barely enough men to make a full company. No more lads had been forthcoming since the first wave, though Snyder felt in his gut that some action on the ground must be being attempted at this moment. That would mark the first major incursion of the Frankians into Zunni territory, though many back home had hoped not to be drawn into a long, bitter fought conflict in this barbarous land. As Snyder scribbled a note to be sent by runner to the force on the left commanded by Lieutenant Hex First Sergeant Drekmall entered with what looked to be several captured Zunnis. Their armor distinguished them from the typical Zunni grunts; wearing powered armor embedded with stones that they had thought somehow precious. No matter, as he eyed them now he could tell that, armor or no armor, they would fight for a thousand ages had they the longevity. Smirking, Snyder ordered that each be given a drink from the Company's spirit store. As they took the brandy with some suspicion, their faces beamed as the best brandy found for 20 leagues coursed through their bodies. You have drunk the King's brandy, will you not accept the King's Peace? He is not our King. Snyder looked at the one who had spoken such insolence, and then made note of his features if he should ever find him ion a field of battle again. Tall, thin, brown eyes, and possessing curly hair which flowed passed his shoulders; the Zunni looked as though his father had been of godly stock. Regardless, Snyder lifted his glass in a mock toast and had each of them paroled for the duration of the conflict. Guards, unfortunately, were too costly to be used to guard men whose flame had not burnt out. The Frankians, who were some several hundred yards from Snyder's position, were fighting a holding action until, hopefully, reinforcements in force arrived to save their skins. Zunni mechs had nearly shattered them like a hammer breaking glass, but the Light Company had made them pay for each meter of ground they conquered. Bodies of Zunnis and Frankians lay side by side; to be scorched in death, as in life, by an unforgiving sun. Trained rifle fire and autoturrets had not proved as lethal in close quarters as the chainsaw bayonet; a hark back to a less refined period in Frankian history. How many Zunnis Private Hark Samuelson had killed this day he did not know, but he had found himself pushed to the breaking point. Samuelson prayed for the souls of those who returned to Mother Atkane, before sending more to face her judgement with the sharp ping of his PML; a concentrated laser that had was as good at expanding mine shafts as it was at shedding blood. A leading Zunni rose from the most forward position his folk held; a ping from Samuelson's PML gave him a brief moment to reconsider his bravado before it put him flat on his back. His lads had more sense, and paused to allow their arty to flush out the dreaded marksman. Time to relocate. As Samuelson crawled swiftly from his position the shells began to fall; not all, of course, on his position. But some were so damn near close that Samuelson's life could be owed by nothing more than luck. Luck was a fragile thing, and if he had relied on it solely he would not be breathing air forever denied to lost comrades. What would be would be, and on this day there was not much that could be done but fight to the finish. Suddenly a shot could be heard that broke the serene peace of the mist which had enveloped the battlefield. "Who goes there?" Samuelson paused, he knew the man's name and rank as soon as he had spake. Septimanians were few to be found in the army, what the devil they were doing in the FLI only the gods knew. "Stop shooting at me, Macherr!" "Samuelson?" "Aye." "Proceed." Samuelson crawled the rest of the way until he knelt beside the big Septimanian who had been assigned sentry duty. "Get any of the bastards?" "A few." Looking over the horizon Macherr let out a casual grunt. "Not enough by my reckoning." Samuelson trained his sights on the nearest Zunni he could make out; a young lad who appeared about 17 of Orbis' years. He pulled the trigger without hesitation; the Zunni fell to be swallowed by the earth of his forebears. As Samuelson looked for another target Macherr opened up on the lot with his DKAR; after a few minutes of firing Samuelson felt as though he had been deafened. "Where's the rest of your squad?!" Macherr had no chance to register that as a Zunni marksman blew the top of his head off from a distance of at least a hundred yards. Samuelson cursed, and pawed through his belongings as fast as experience had made him; rations and ammo were not something the dead needed any longer. As he was about to relocate he heard overhead the sharp whistle of inbound munitions, and then cries from the Zunni side. Gods guide the daft pilots. In the distance he could see his countrymen picking their way through craters and corpses towards his position. Apparently, his countrymen still had blood enough to play the bleeding game. As he looked over his shoulder he could see a Zunni mech brew up in the distance after a burst shell apparently had torn apart its reactor. The mech's crew were aflame for a brief thirty seconds before they were mowed down by an autoturret. Air defenses or no air defenses defenses, the Killercraft above Samuelson were strafing and bombing as best as they could to support the Frankians who had wound up holed up in Ajem. Lieutenant Mark Katarr's Francisca had barely escaped whatever the Zunnis were hurling up to blunt the sortie by the 902nd Squadron. Sighting a flurry of Zunnis to his left, he dove to perform a strafing run. The roar of the 30mm quadcannon and the wisps of Phoenix missiles would be all that the Zunnis would hear before Katarr's Francisca rose as quickly as it had descended. Suddenly, a Zunni mech rose to the heavens and made due course to intercept Katarr's Killercraft. Katarr slammed hard on his stick, and rose into the atmosphere where the mech would surely follow. The two raced until the battle low could no longer be visible. Come on baby, hold together. His pursuer, Martiq Qatar, had been a shepherd boy once who thought he would never see the stars. Yet, as he rose and Orbis below sank into obscurity, his childhood fancies took a backseat. The Frankian craft ahead had done its fair share of black work, and he would be damn sure to make this Frankian pay with interest. The 25cm gun thumped, and concentrated laser fire raced just ahead of the Killercraft in a bid to hit it on the run. Suddenly, the Frankian dove and seemed to fly through multiple munitions that had before had sent countless Frankian pilots to Orbis via escape pod. Qatar cursed, and swung hard on his stick in pursuit, but as he did so his scanner picked up what seemed like a wall of munitions coming his way. Damage reports were flashing before his eyes in moments as shells and missiles burst all around him. His mech's left leg gave way, and fell towards Orbis to land where some lucky scrappers might turn their fortunes around. Shields held, despite having been drained severely, and Qatar decided to retire from the chase after being so badly mauled. His attempt to flee, however, was made futile as the Francisca appeared from below to strafe the belly of his dying mech. Qatar cursed as he hastily ejected, and prayed to the Almighty Zun that he would not land in the cursed seas where the water tasted foul. Katarr watched from afar as the Zunni's pod seemed to be heading towards Iceland, and prayed that the locals there would tend to any injuries that he might sustain on the way down. Turning back towards the battle he hoped that enough of his squadron would have escaped the carnage that they would not need to fill the gaps with kids fresh out of the Royal Air Academy. A damn shame, as the number allotted never was enough; the Fleet and the Army were the branches of the Royal Defense Force everyone wanted to join, not the goddamn Fliers. Persian-Frankian Frontier All was quiet as Hell was breaking loose at Ajem; the only thing here that would disturb the peace would be the occasional roar of Killercraft bound for Afghanistan. Campbell hadn't had a wink of sleep since news game that the 89th was being rapidly redeployed to the Afghan border with all due haste. Lorries and shuttles were busier than usual, moving not only his division but a good deal of heavy equipment to support the forthcoming offensive. Footage from Ajem had not given a good outlook on the chances of rescuing Snyder's lost company; resupply and reinforcement from the air had come up a cropper as the Zunnis had somehow amassed a far more comprehensive anti-airship array than Army Intelligence had initially thought incapable of possessing. No matter, what Army Intelligence officers had mucked up the Frankian soldier would sort out on the ground with the end of a bayonet. As Campbell headed to the officer's mess for a cup of Frankian kaffee he noticed a column of Frankian Light Infantrymen pass his way in good order. Tough lads with hard expressions on their faces; he noticed that they bore the insignia of the 8th Brigade of which the trapped company in Ajem was a part of. In the corner of his eye he could see a troop of Frankian sisters run up to the approaching FLI column bearing an array of refreshments and words of encouragement to men, like Campbell, were bound for Hell itself. Entering the mess, he encountered a smattering of regular and territorial officers; they were all glued to the holotable which was reporting the latest news from Ajem. Unlike certain nations, the Frankians had never been fond of censorship. If a folk could not handle the truth in a time of strife then how it could be expected to handle it in a time of peace? Exploding shells, the roar of autoturrets, and the shrieks of Zunni and Frankian alike were almost deafening. A few of the officers made the mark of Atkane across their chests, and said a prayer to the goddess for the souls of the fallen. Persepolis Ikhman Uhtar's office was unique in that it had not as of yet felt the touch of the Shah's modernization program. A fitting irony, as Uhtar had been the primary force behind the rapid economic and arms build-up since Multiversal travelers had first set foot on Orbis several cycles back. Such policies had met with as much resistance now as Shah Akhtar's campaign to fend off privations from the more technology advanced empires of the East and West some two hundred years ago. Yet, such necessary improvements had come at a profound cost; the national debt had skyrocketed, the peasantry had been beaten into academic discipline, the armed forces had been purged of preservationist swine, and, despite much lamentation across the empire,more and more land had passed under the control of foreign congolmerates. Fundamentalists of all stripes had risen time and time again, only to be crushed by a Royal Guard whose first loyalty was to the Shah. Uhtar did not think of the black work done in reprisal, he thought only of the future. A future where Persia would rise to become a key player on the Orbis stage, and be able to carve out an empire of her own against the warring states. That would come as soon as her rival to the north had been humbled; Aralia. Shah Ijzet had accepted the Frankian Governor's initial offer, but soon word reached him of their desire to incorporate his domain into their realm. The future of Shia Islam and the Middle East as a whole would find itself threatened by a theocratic state that somehow possessed an apparent technological lead. Ijzet had sat on his hands when the Frankians grabbed much of Central Asia, now, his unwillingness to assist his fellow Muhammadans had opened his realm to the possibility of immediate invasion. The Shah needed men like Uhtar, and Uhtar, though believing that the future might lie with an elected monarchy, accepted that he would have to sacrifice his principles to save his fatherland. Uhtar, busy with a transcript, looked up to gaze at at a holophoto that had been taken a quarter of a Frankian cycle ago. It showed Uhtar then as an up and coming tycoon surrounded by his three grown sons; his wife had passed away from cancer just prior to the Frankian landing to the north. Out of the three, only Iksal still lived; the rest had been killed in combat. Just then he heard a knock at his door. Sighing, he set his stylist on his desk and pressed a button which would allow the corporate envoy from beyond the stars the clear to enter his office.
  7. Aral Through initiative by Frankian colonists and capital from Neustria, the Aralian project was edging closer and closer to the requirements of Grand Duxdom of the Realm. Such a solid base of support would allow the Frankians to wage war on either nature or on their neighbors on the cheap. However, the Samarkandian Assembly of Guildiers had proved reluctant to vote for the latter, save when it dealt with the matter of the Persian Realm to the south. Persia had long been coveted by settlers since the arrival of the colonization fleet, even more so than did the great mountains of Afghanistan. Here was a region with great promise, and would grant the Aralian Colony an outlet to the sea for the export of finished wares produced by the great workshops scattered across the colony. Finished wool, holorecords, books, hardy alloys, high grade munitions, solid furniture, children's toys, manufacturing equipment, mining stations, and the like could be exported in exchange for wares demanded by the dexterous hands of Frankian guildiers. Territorial divisions had been stationed to the south to shield Aral from the potential of a rising Persian state to the south, now they were being steadily reinforced with regulars fresh from the Neustrian-Gerwannian interversal route. The territorials were in for a culture shock as they were roused from their beds by officers of the regular army, and given over to drill after drill to guarantee their dexterity in arms. Some had written the Soldier's Guild and the Governor to protest, but their pleas would get nowhere with army brass whose oaths had been made to the King and the Realm. In time, the stragglers would be weeded out and the Frankian force on the Aralian-Persian border would be shaped into a proper fighting force if ever the Frankians should cross the border. Such a prospect seemed to be becoming more and more likely as armor and the grand batteries of the army were brought up in ever increasing number. Wylus Campbell, an officer in the 89th Territorial Division, sincerely hoped that such an order were not to be given in his life-time; the Persians were a fine folk, despite their adherence to a lowly Arab prophet. As he looked over his shoulder as a squadron of Francisca killercraft flew overhead he felt a certain uneasiness. Their markings were too far away to make out which squadron they belonged, but he had seen many of their like on the newsreels pounding the hell out of the Afghans in retaliation for their raids against colonials. Afghanistan Captain Grex Snyder lit a cigar as his dropship lifted off from the tarmac and ascended into the heavens. The initial jolt had shaken the new lads in his unit; lads that had come to replace old hands that had died in the lofty mountains of Afghanistan. One of the new faces coughed as Snyder's rich cigar smoke filled the shuttle; a bad sign, as most in the company indulged in much heartier strains of tobacco than their commanding officer. First Sergeant Drekmall offered the lad a drink; naturally, the lad refused as army regulations, unlike the Fleet, had cracked down on the consumption of spirits over the last ten cycles. Such regulations were for the army, not the Frankian Light Infantry that he had pledged his body and soul to. Drekmall looked in disgust, and then took a quick swig of what Snyder presumed to be brandy. Over the intercom the shuttle pilot's voice came over the air. Ladies and gents, we have penetrated Afghan airspace... Man shouldn't have bothered to announce that; one could tell one had left Aral by just looking out the window. From orderly pastures, farms, forts, and Drietarchs that they had passed along the frontier they had entered a barren, primitive wasteland. How anyone could eek at a living here boggled Snyder at first; he had been fresh out of the Academy and assumed that the natives would be expending more energy on making ends meet than proving a nuisance to the prosperous colony. He had been wrong; hard climes brought forth hard men. He had seen that on countless raids meant to give these fanatical Zunnis a taste of the King's Justice; no matter how hard the FLI knocked them down they always sprung back up to try again. Some in Samarkand had recommended a xenocide to solve the problem once and for all, but they had been dismissed once word had reached brass. Xenocide was the coward's way out, and brought nothing but eternal shame for all who perpetuated it. Yet, Snyder had come to wonder whether the entire conflict was an elaborate scheme by the Grand Shah to direct Frankian resources elsewhere. Studies had shown that Persian Muhammadans and Zunist Afghans were not particularly fond of one another, but weapons of Persian or foreign sort had turned up in ever increasing number. A recent investigation of what had been known as the Abdalar incident had shown that a Francisca Killercraft had been shot out of the skies from weaponry that was definitely not of Orbis make. Where the Hell had they gotten it? Suddenly, the pilot's voice came up over the intercom; excitement and panic gripped his voice. Inbound munitions at 70 meters! The Jektarr shuttle jerked upward, and then swung itself hard to escape another Abdalar. PDLs and gattling turrets came up at once, but the munitions were not something they could easily be shot down. Snyder heard the grotesque sound of the impact; the ship's hull had been breached. By what, he did not know; but he saw many of the men that he had fought with for years be either torn apart or blown out of the Jektarr as though a strong gust had caught a pile of fallen leaves. Training took over as he raced towards escape pods; it would only be a matter of time before the NM Drive of the aged Jektarr erupted with Atkane's fury. The survivors of the 87th Royal Light Company followed; they had been halved in number in a microsecond. More still would likely perish from grotesque wounds by nightfall; that is, if they chanced to live that long. Already, the Jektarr's scans were feeding him reports of growing Zunni activity in the area; mechs, artillery, and hordes of fierce tribesmen that thirsted for Frankian blood. A nasty business awaited them down there on the surface, but then that was what the job usually was. As the escape pods ejected one by one from the dying Jektarr Snyder made the sign of Atkane and sat beside by the aged First Sergeant Drekmall. Blood trickled down his beard, but he seemed as lively as usual. The young lads around him were shaken, but Drekmall had doled out Frankian courage somewhat liberally to them while Snyder was making his way. Captain, seems those gods of yours only answer the damn Zunnis. Fate will be what it will, but Atkane's light forever guides me. Drekmall chuckled at that, and relayed to his superior the condition of his squad. They had sufficient rations for two days, enough ammo to put down as many Zunni dogs that might come round to try them, and some equipment salvaged from their engineering detachment for them to dig proper fortifications. Enough to give them a chance; even though it was precariously slim.
  8. Samarkand The news that Chernigov had accepted the offer was met with sublime satisfaction by the Aralian Fellowship which proceeded to spend lavishly on the embassy's construction. Guildiers from Guild 2910 were contracted for the project after clearance had been granted by the Samarkand Construction Commission. Such a contract was bound to make or break a Guild's reputation to future contractors, and thus, the skilled workmen went about their business to guarantee that Guild 2910's might not be sullied by shoddy work. The Chernigovian embassy rose quickly within the Wissgarr Quarter without disturbing nearby commuters who might inundate city hall with complaints about traffic delays or excessive noise. The embassy was built by the book; with a focus on requisite guaranteeing space and plush accommodations for those Chernivogivians assigned to staff the embassy. The Chernigovians would find themselves wanting for nothing in regards to entertainment; a recreation center, access to a vast digital library, and a great hall stocked with the finest liquors that might be required for visits by Frankian officials if they should choose to stop in for official business. Though little was known of Chernigovian religious practices, a wing of the embassy had been designated for religious purposes in the event that the Chernigovian ambassador should prove affectionate to whatever gods that he might fancy. With all this would come diplomatic immunity and the right for the Chernigovians to partake in certain activities that were excluded to the non-privileged orders of the city. Kiev The shuttle trip to Kiev had been proven to be a dull affair to Marlek as he looked over the Foreign Affairs' report on Chernigov with a key eye on the details. Their political institutions seemed tolerable by his standards, though Marlek, like most Frankians, had a certain bias for monarchy. Over the intercom he could hear the pilot radio the Chernigovian civil authority to notify them of their arrival. This is DKS Laura; we request clearance to land in a designated zone, over.
  9. Gerwannia System The fact that little, if anything, happened in the PW-1 Verse to throw a wrench in the Economic Planning Department's calculations made its overall development far more rapid than other troubled Verses. When the Frankians had arrived initially they had relied on their own resources; through much effort and much faith the colonials were able to reach living standards as required for a chartered colony. Though a success from an engineering perspective, the Gerwannia System was viewed by the board of the Gerwannia Fellowship to return earnings required to satisfy investors back home. As such, and much to the annoyance of metics who had found themselves become overnight subjects of the Dread King, the Gerwannia Fellowship and the Gerwannian Assembly of Guildiers allotted certain monopolies and trades to wet the appetites of investors back home. This meant a rise in the price of everyday necessities for the large metic community as well as meeting the growing tax burden forced upon them to prop up both the warfare and welfare state. Governor Vaux Drekmall has made promised that with the passing of time this bastion of Frankia on the edge of back of beyond is destined to become as important in this Verse as Neustria is in the NS-Verse. Such talk might sway Fleetlords who have invested part of their savings in the project, but the Assembly has called for more ambitious public works programs to stimulate an economy bereft of Neustria's trade network. So far, the initial hope of Gerwannia becoming an important trade hub or an export leader have been dashed with the lack of native interest in Frankian goods. With trade stagnant in this Verse, newly chartered Colonial Fellowships have been chartered to develop the Verse further so that it might be able to export goods and rents to sure up colonies in more dire straights. Metic couple contemplating their increased tax burden. Though Gerwannia is slowly drawing further colonists from the Empire as a whole; here, unlike in the rather fractious NS-Verse, the peace is found to be reassuring to those who seek to live in peace. The rise of a Verse carved up by great powers or factions has not yet taken place, and the presence of ancient allies of the Empire has guaranteed increased investor confidence back home. Gerwannian bonds are holding at a steady rate of return at 12%, and as overall investment in production continues more Fellowships are expected to be drawn to the Verse to diversify their holdings in case incidents might arise on those that might prove to run a cropper at some point.
  10. Samarkand Leroy Marlek had been on the Aral Fellowship Board from the beginning of Frankian settlement on Orbis; his investment had played a large part in constructing the much needed infrastructure to meet Imperial regulations for a chartered colony. Now, he would serve the colony in another way; by being selected by the Assembly with the Governor's approval to serve as an envoy to the Chernigovian holding in the Ukraine. True enough, relations between the two powers had not always been peachy; a war had nearly begun sometime before which would have likely found Frankia alone against the great powers of this world. Fortunately, Governor Wylanna's had called for the stand down order which save the colony from obliteration. Peaceful cooperation and exchange with her neighbors was the order of the day in the Governor's council, and no greater project had been thought possible than the establishment of a canal that might link the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. Such a project would require the Chernigovian government's cooperation as well as the allowance of Royal Engineers the right to enter their territory. Investment capital for the project had been approved by the Grand Aralian Assembly of Guildiers that saw such in the canal the chance for a public works program that would boost the economic might of both Frankia and her neighbors through peaceful cooperation. Before Marlek's arrival the Frankian government would of course announce its intentions, as well as a request to establish an embassy in Kiev to discuss matters relating to economic or regional issues that might arise in the future. The Chernigovians, despite their partaking in certain heresies that certain Fleetlords might not approve of, would find an offer for them to establish an embassy in Samarkand at the Aralian Fellowship's expense.
  11. ooc:I've largely been left out of the loop of the Organic RP due to work, sleep, and being without internet access from time to time. In hindsight, I should have elaborated more on my tech as it appears to come off as gm and I wasn't aware of consent being required on here as forums of old I was on we had a universal cannon. Therefore, under those circumstances, I'm retconning the entire post and I offer an apology ooc on behalf of my fellow migrants from other forums. Also, the wall was a late addition as I assumed Russia was unstable due to the civil war which could pose a problem to the security of the colony's borders. Samarkand As the Colonials were on the brink of war, the Governor decided that diplomacy would be preferable to a conflict which would not be of the best interests to the colony at this point in time. An official apology was granted to the Russian Federation with which, besides the issue of the Central Asians, the Frankians did not have any serious qualms with. To the Governor and the Ministry of Colonial Affairs, a strong Russia to the west would guarantee that the colony could set its eyes to future expansion to the south. Memories of prior conflicts where the Frankian Defense Force had not fared well were constant reminders that the Colony's future security might depend more on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs than the Imperial Fleet or the Army. Foreign Minister Marlek, seeing that things had gotten quite out of hand before his arrival, offered to meet with his Russian counterpart to discuss the possibility of an exchange of embassies, the sharing of technology that would strengthen both nations, a common alliance against Communism, and the agreement on removing any trade barriers that might exist between the Ram and the Bear.
  12. Across Russian Border The Russian-Frankian conflict would begin with sudden blasts from below the earth as ST-88 fighting craft emerged from beneath the earth. As they rose they began hitting the Russian positions with long bursts from Hypergridinfusion Projectors and rapid cannonade of skaatershot meant to rip apart machines and flesh. As the Russians, certainly stunned by such an attack, made their response the ST-88s submerged. What followed in their wake was the loud shriek of the Marleeni host; made only hungered by the smell of freshly spilled blood. The Russians would look on in horror as the Marleeni emerged in swarms and began descending upon the Russians as a cat pouncing on a mass. While all this was going on, the 48th and 83rd Shock Armies delivered the main blow; unleashing a hellstorm of an artillery bombardment directed against the now battered Russians who were now set upon by an enemy who did not extend mercy to prey. The craft of the Imperial Engineers advanced head of the main armored spear head; aiming to clear a path for the armored vehicles as Imperial Protocol dictated. Metic Legionnaires fired at any Russians that dared bothered the Engineers in their meticulous task, and bore on them with fierce cannonades from their DKA-97B Kinetic Rifles which would rip apart man and armor as a hot knife cuts through snow. Above, the 345th and 995th Squadrons began escorting the Assault Craft of the FLI to designated landing zones behind enemy lines; some of the Killercraft would break off to pursue other objections. Namely, the obliteration of the Russian Air Force and the smashing of Russian tank columns that would certainly be attempting to reach the front. Rapid autocannon fire and a hail of DK-32 Burrower munitions would be the standard response as both were cheap and expendable against a native contingent. The latter would emerge upon their targets from the very ground and detonate with a powerful blast as negamatter mixed with matter. Above Orbis The ships of the 89th Dread Armada began a saturated EMT of every major Russian city to disrupt communications and cause general havoc amongst the Russian populace based on their technological level. With news that other natives who possessed spacefaring powers had decided to conspire with the Russian government the Frankians began targeting their vessels and unleashing a devastating cannonade from 1,600km Mass Accelerated Cannons that had not been fired in anger for ages. Hypergridinfusion projectors and a torrent of DSK-32 missiles would belch forth from the Neustrian Dreadnoughts in an ever growing ferocity at UDAC warships.
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