Scraps of Roleplaying


Factbook Addict
TNP Nation
OOC: Have you ever had a character who is interesting and important, but for some reason you just haven’t found a way to use them in RP? Perhaps you want to explore a character that just isn’t main character material. Or maybe you want to see how two characters might interact, even if you have no reason to put them together in the first place.

That’s what this thread is about: exploring characters. Go ahead and post a short story here and show off those people who just haven’t gotten their chance to shine. It can be a canon or non-canon post. It’s up to you. Just show off those cool characters you’ve got.

Without any more ado...​


Factbook Addict
TNP Nation
Algon Chopra walked around the city square, gazing at the statues and art on display and pretending, quite well, that he actually cared. Bostegfrith had now been under Austalgothan governance for over a year, and while things had gone smooth enough, it was best not to insult the city. Like Lamidath, the city had that mix of Hastfradic and Syrixian architecture that dominated the cities of the Saerim and Adorlands.

The people were friendly enough and the Seraegnek population were happy to be ruled over by one of their own instead of a Hastfrad from Sarjuleg. And while this was unpopular with some Hastfrads, they were in the minority even among their own. He’d seen a couple anti-Syrixian protests as he’d travelled through the city, but the local government had kept them away from the plaza, and the art festival.

Still, Algon could deal with racists. They were just reactionaries after all. And the people here showing off their culture were quite happy to meet the Grand Vizier, who was a very good guest and liberally gave out compliments. Overall he was having a pleasant time.

“And here’s one of you,” said his guide, the cities mayor Gyurt Aeldriksen.

Algon looked at it and nearly burst out laughing. He managed to keep his composure and pretended to study it as he fought down the laughter.

It was him. It truly was. But he had been painted sitting on the Jade Throne, dressed as if he was Rajesh himself. It was so culturally inappropriate and if seen by the emperor might even cause an international incident. Algon found it so damn funny.

He looked up at the artist with a mischievous grin. She was an old woman, wrinkled from the Icenian sun. “It’s quite flattering,” he said, “but the Emperor would probably not think so.”

She just shrugged. “The emperor doesn’t rule over me.”

“No, he doesn’t does he.” Algon laughed and squeezed the woman’s shoulder firmly. “Well I absolutely love it. It’s a very fine painting.”

The woman absolutely beamed at the compliment. As they walked away Algon turned to his aide. “I want you to buy that painting. And put it in my private bathroom. It’d be perfect.” He was starting to warm to the city.
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TNP Nation
Nasıım runs his fingers across the keyboard in swift, calculated motions. The white and orange lights of the Dötînî Baie skyline shine into his apartment, but the pale glow of the desktop monitor radiates even more. “The Theory of Giaṣ,” says centered text in serif font. Lengthy paragraphs follow, spanning altogether eight pages long.

Three loud knocks on his door makes Nasıım jump in his chair. He grabs his M1911 and turns off his monitor. He then sneaks to the front door, pressing against the wall. He waits in silence. Knocks resound thrice more, but Nasıım doesn’t answer. It could be a Somi bounty hunter for all he knew.

“It’s me! Pastor Matadi,” a voice behind the door spoke.

“Jerome?” Nasıım murmurs. Though reluctant, he slowly unlocks the door and turns it knob. He stops midway. “Do you have any friends with you?”

“Eskender is waiting outside for you.” Nasıım moves to the window and looks outside; Eskender’s red jalopy waits in the empty parking lot. “No, there aren’t any hunters tailing me. We’re waiting for you back at the church. Come out.”

Nasıım sighs of relief, and opens the door. The pastor’s dressed in black robes he seems to wear every day. Of course, no one is behind him. “I’m so glad it’s just you,” Nasıım says. Both kiss each other once on the cheek, then twice more on the opposite side.

Jerome looks down at the M1911 in Nasıım’s hand. “You know, I’m pretty sure the Holy Book has something to say about those who wave their guns around,” he chuckles.

“Animists have little use for Holy Books, Pastor,” Nasıım responds.

“Ah, that’s one of the things I dislike about pagans.” Nasıım steps into the hallway, closing and locking the door behind him. “Shall we get going?”

“How big is the audience?”

“They’re filling the top gallery now.”

“Wow,” Nasıım says as they head down carpeted stairs.
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"So you're leaving us, sister?" The old father dressed in brown and green asked as he lit the candles along the altar as his voice echoed through the immense and quiet halls of the Hill Temple.

"Yes father, I don't feel welcome here anymore." Emilia replied with a shaky voice.

"A shame, the gardens love you, they will miss your love. And the halls will miss your laughter. Do you really have to go?" the old man lit the last candle and slowly turned around to face her.

"All of my brothers and sisters know now. Everyone I have come to see as my family hates me now. It hurts, I am not what they think I am, I am not cursed; I am not a demon... " Emilia continued with a growingly pained voice.

The old man slowly shuffled his way to Emilia using the podium in front of him as leverage, when he got to her he would wrap her in a loving hug.
"No, you're not. They do not hate you, there is uncertainty because they do not know the facts, but they can never hate you... I love you like my own, and I am sad to see you go. I am sorry that even after all this time misconceptions have robbed you of the home you so very much deserve..." after a moment of holding the tender hug he broke it with a wet trail running from his eye.

"I don't know what to do. the Hill is all I know, but I feel surrounded here." Emilia stated even as the old priest reached into the inner pocket of his robes and pulled out a sealed letter, bearing the Temple hills seal.

"I have an alternative for you as the gods have willed it. I am old as are the other priests and priestesses, and soon youth will rise to become the new priests and priestesses. You are the most senior Sister on this hill and a beacon of virtue, I have tutored and mentored you since you first came here. You know all of my responsibilities. You know how to execute them well and you hold yourself steadfast and devout. I would like you to go to Astissa, and become the first High Priestess in the new Government." he raised his arm extending the sealed envelope to Emilia.

"What of the others? Won't they protest my appointment? what of the crown? Doesn't the Crown enforce atheism?" Emilia took the envelope in hand as the old priest laughed a bit.

"The Crown has changed a lot. The new Queen has even embraced the Title of Lady Protector of the Faith, been a long time since we had a protector. I suppose the temple grounds need more access to television or better cell service, we seem a bit isolated. You already have Assent from the Crown and my choice of appointment, as for the others, you let me take care of them, as I always have."


Factbook Addict
TNP Nation
Gaelen turned his head, sniffing as the wind came blowing out of the west. He could smell the grass and flowers of the steppe, the scent of a herd of horses, and perhaps a handful of dogs. He couldn’t gauge how far away they were, but knew they weren’t likely to cross the border.

Someone coughed impatiently. Gaelen turned back a little sheepishly, realizing how it must have looked. Like a dog, sniffing at the air.l, his nose going up and down with each deep breath.

“Carry on, please,” he said politely. They stood atop a hill of crumbling concrete fortifications, surrounded by the grasslands of the Vesticgrad, the edge of Arrandal and Essalanea.

The foreman cleared throat before continuing. “The six month timetable is too ambitious. There’s twenty-seven towers along the frontier, not including the dikes and embankments. And there’s not nearly enough workers to restore it all in that time.”

Pushing down irritation at all of this, Gaelen just sighed. “Of course it’s ambitious,” he said, “it was drawn up by politicians who’ve never worked. That’s why I’m here talking to you. I need a more realistic timetable.”

The foreman scrunched his face in thought and made a show of pretending to calculate. Gaelen waited for the response, which he’d have to reject.

“I can’t see how we’d get it done in less than three years.”

Gaelen was so angered by the number he involuntarily growled at the man. The man stepped back, eye’s going wide at the bared teeth (a little too canine in shape). Gaelen breathed out, and then composed himself. “Unacceptable,” he said.

“Well, perhaps I exaggerated how long construction will...”

“Perhaps you did,” Gaelen interrupted. He was now irritated with himself. Losing his temper like that. The Wolf always seemed to be there, right near the surface, ready to howl. Perhaps it was because of his age. Were werewolves meant to live so long and maintain their humanity?

“The fighting in Essalanea has mostly stopped, so the imminent need for these defenses no longer matter. At this point it’s all a glorified horse fence. The only the three main towers need immediate attention.” Jadzia only wanted it restored as a means to create jobs for the Arrandis living in poverty.

The foreman, now over his shock, looked at the Grand Duke with some appreciation, realizing Gaelen knew what he was talking about.

“With those objectives I don’t see it taking more than eight, nine months, tops.”

Gaelen nodded, and then dismissed him. He’d write up a revised plan and present it to the King and the Waiczyn. He’d need to justify only restoring three towers, but doubted that that would be hard.

Gaelen looked out to the west. This wall, really just a tall mound of dirt and rocks, ran the length of the border they shared with the Steppe. Periodically there was a tower, to be manned by soldiers to defend the west. It was called the Czestok Obraczka, the Palisade Ring, and had been built long ago and maintained until the Vampiric Rebellions. Since then it had fallen into disrepair.

Rebuilding it now was just a public relations project. The wall would stop an invasion on horseback, but the Essalaneans were modernizing and open to friendly relations. A memorial to a bygone era. The wall would no longer keep horse lords out, only mark the edge of their realm.
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The Voice of the People didn't have much power.

Alpinea's former Democratic Dictator, the late Orville Zimmer, had proposed the system after public outcry at a bad decision had seen his approval plummet. While he managed to survive the vote which occurred every three months (less than 50% of the population voted to remove him from power), he had vocally complained that he would rather quit than try to continue as Democratic Dictator. This was not an option, due to the strong anti-corruption measures around being a Democratic Dictator, so instead he wrote up a new system and showed it directly to the people instead of trying to make it happen within the existing government.

The people, surprisingly, liked the idea. A couple years later, the government of Alpinea had become a digital democracy, where you could vote using any computer on the many issues that would come up. These issues would be run through a Digital Senate, who could point out critical flaws in any and all of the popular results, and the flaws in question would be voted on by the Digital Democracy. Once the flaws had been highlighted, the proposals would be sent back to the Digital Democracy again. This would continue until the Senate couldn't convince the public of any flaws in the proposed changes. Most issues would pass back and forth 3 or 4 times, all in the span of a week, before being approved by the voters and Senate.

The Voice of the People was the person whose job it was to announce the changes and represent the nation of Alpinea on the international stage. Technically, the Voice was the leader, but in truth the job consisted of a lot of mediating between the public, the Senate, corporations and foreign nations (in that order of importance from most to least). The Voice would spend a large portion of their life at a computer, typing out responses toward various parties, and kept anonymous by a user handle.

But this story isn't about the Voice. It's about how Orville Zimmer was human like everyone, and how humans make mistakes.​

"I gave my life to this country! I devoted myself to making Alpinea a better place, a place where everyone might want to live. And what do I get?!" Orville complained.

His aide tried to remind him of the delicate situation. "Sir, it might not be a good idea to be heard shout-"​

"I KNOW!" he shouted. After a few awkward seconds, he spoke in a much quieter voice. "I know. I don't expect to be rewarded, but I damn well don't want to lose everything I have over a mistake. You know that's what it was, right? I didn't intend to cost 20,000 people their jobs. I feel horrible knowing I did. So why do the people think I deserve to be treated like a criminal?"

"Sir..." the aide sighed. "Orville. Alpinea hasn't always been what you made of it, or what Jessica made of it before you. People still remember when the reason we had such strict penalties to being the leader of Alpinea was because of people like Thompson, or Rilkov, or Hendtler. People who wanted your job to make themselves above the people, not to help them."

"I know, but I've tried my best, and apparently that's not good enough." Orville responded.

"The people want choice. Once they have choice, they want convenience. I've heard foreign leaders say people only want the illusion of choice, but the reason I know that's not true is that without choice, a person is a slave living in fear. I know you know that too. The people are scared that they're going to lose choice in favor of you making it look like they still have choice. Maybe it's time to do something about it."

"Like what?"

"I voted for you because you promised things that my family needed, but I was going to vote for your opposition. I changed my mind because of your speech. You promised more than just what I needed or even wanted. You promised self-sacrifice and modesty. What I'm trying to say is, I don't know what you should do, but I think you're a great enough leader to figure that out for yourself."

"...thank you. I think I'll sleep on that, and see what I can come up with in the morning." Orville said.​


Some say Orville had a dream that night, which gave him the idea for the Digital Democracy. Others say he was just that good. Others still say that foreign influence had something to do with it, for better or for worse. What is known is that when the system was put in place, people became much more active in government affairs than they previously had been.
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Similar to Andy's "Scraps of Worldbuilding" thread, this is a thread for one-off RP posts that don't warrant a thread of their own.

Feel free to post anything you feel qualifies.


Adam Lagarde looked at the floor in utter disbelief. The television set which glowed in front of him projected text onto his plain white carpet: "Liberals build winning coalition, Social Democrats to become Opposition party." When he was elected by the Social Democrats of Callise, he made a promise. Dupont will be a one-term State Director. Now, in a dark room with hushed donors and party officials, he was being forced to watch his failure unfurl on live television.

I knew I should have attacked Dupont on trade, thought Lagarde, who foolishly agreed to approve the Liberal decision to join the Association of Economic Communities on Craviter. But he had to, it had been a core part of their party doctrine for decades. He couldn't betray party ideals like that, especially not when the same individuals who had made massive wealth in international trade had padded the coffers of his party.

Lagarde's train of thought is suddenly broken as a Breaking News announcement flashes across the television screen. Oh great, he thought, Let me guess, the Social Crediters flipped another Senate seat. He couldn't bare to even look at the television screen. But instead of hearing hushed whispers and sighs of exhaust, this development was greeted with cheers from the entire room. Lagarde looked up disoriented, only to have his confusion to turn to horror. "Baseau Principal holds for Social Democrats, Cédric Battier wins Lanester County Senate race in a landslid." Before he could even begin to express his disgust, the television interrupted with his victory speech.

"Today we win a victory for everday Calliseans! People tired of the oligopoly of corporate control in politics! And as we head into the 2020-2025 session of the General Court, I promise to be your voice in government and finally take a stand for those issues that truly matter to working people!"

The celebrations in the room were abruptly cut short by the buzz of Lagarde's phone. Drawing it from his pocket, he sighs as the name "Cédric Battier" flashes on the screen.

He answers. "Hello?"

"Evening, Adam," Battier said, before getting to the point, "Listen, you fucked up. Real bad."

There was no response, just the frustrated sigh of the disgruntled Leader of the Opposition.

"And I mean, real bad. Dupont almost started a war with the Fussians, betrayed the most important member of their coalition. Everything was going right for us."

"And everything did!" Lagarde protested, "We have won a net Senate seat and expanded our share of seats in the Assembly..."

"I won you that Senate seat," Battier retorted, "And we gained, what, all of 3 more seats? Yeah, I'm sure that's going to earn us Chauveau's mandate to rule."

"I don't know what you wanted me to do!" cried a visibly frustrated Lagarde, "Just backpedal on several decades of Social Democrat promises?"

"It would have been a good start," Battier said, with a chuckle, "Listen. Here's the bottom line. I'm calling a convention to hold an election for Party Leader. I will be challenging you. If you step down, I'll allow you to remain Leader of the Opposition til 2025. But if you stand to challenge me? Not only will you not find a place on our 2025 list, you'll barely be a member of our party for the next five years."

"Listen here you arrogant shit," Lagarde responded, several people in the room letting out gasps and uncomfortable laughter, "I will not have my political future dictated to me by some upstart from Lanester who was a roadie not even ten years ago."

"Suit yourself. I'll see you in March."
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Minister of You
TNP Nation
Darrow, Prydania
21 March 2020

Davorin could not contain his excitement as he ushered in the many tourists in his group into the leather shop. He was a guide. Had been for all of a year and a half. Many opportunities to be had helping people understand the cultural differences of people and history. "Right this way good folks," he said in Fussian. "You won't get a chance to see such remarkable history and craftsmanship anywhere else in Pyrdania."

Many of the group split off to look around the quaint store. The smell of old leather and oil was ever present. Some would say it's a reassuring smell. One of the earth. To Davorin however it meant something else entirely. Far in the back an middle aged man stood at a clerk's desk. His beard was a wispy grey and his clothes rather old fashioned. The man had warmness to him, a slight smile as if that he was merely glad that people were appreciating his work. At least that's what the customers would think.

"And if you have any questions please ask! Our good friend here will be more than willing to assist in anyway," Davorin added as he too paced the store watching. Most of them obviously would not get anything. Few did. But only a few were necessary. One young man had already taken an interest to of the fleece lined bomber jackets. A good choice Davorin thought. All the bomber jackets were hand stitched. Premium quality. Davorin had one too back at the hotel he and tourists were staying at. He wore it on occasion to cement the idea in their minds. Not today though. It would come off across as... disingenuous.

"Do you think I could get this one?," the young man asked, his eyes glued to his prize. Like he was already dreaming of showing off his fashion back home in Fuss. His comrades would be jealous beyond compare. Perfect thought Davorin.

"Of course of course, now I must warn you, Björn here is an experienced haggler," Davorin said as he patted the young lad on the back. The man showed a second of doubt before putting on a brave face as he approached old Björn.

"Excuse me, Sir?," the young man asked as he tried to get old Prydanian's attention. The elderly gentlemen grunted in response. "I was just wondered how mu-"

"One hundred forty thousand kross," Björn replied bluntly.

"One hundre-! No way will I ever-"

"One hundred thirty thousand kross"

"One twenty!"

"One twenty five thousand kross"

"One twenty three!"

"Deal," the bearded leather worker said with a finality that almost pinned the young man to the ground. The youngin' smiled thinking he negotiated well until he pulled out his billfold to count the money. His smile sank into a frown. But the greed in his eyes still burned bright.

"That's....That's all I have."

"Lucky for you my jackets are for life."

The young man begrudgingly handed the stack of bills across to Björn. After he received his receipt he immediately put on the jacket and was showing it off to other tourists in the group. While they all talked and admired the craftsmanship, Davorin made his way to Björn. "600% mark up eh? Must be the best jacket on the planet" he commented in Prydanian giving a side glance to the old bearded man. Björn let out a single wheezed laugh.

"Ever since 1639...comrade"
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Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
5 April 2020
6:19 am
On a Sunday
, Prydania

You could just make out the rising sun over the horizon, a bit of orange peaking through the darkness of early morning.
Magnus was sipping a cup of coffee in the Cabinet Chamber of the Haraldvígi, the results of the Saintonian META referendum flickering across the screen of the television at the far end.
"Well that's that" he said cheerfully, if a bit exhausted. The cabinet- and King- had been up all night. Tobias though, he looked out of it. He was exhausted, and just at the head of the table, leaning back in his chair, his eyes turned upwards. He wasn't asleep but he hadn't said much since the bickering amongst the Cabinet had begun early into the night's proceedings.

"I'm telling you, this is bad Magnus" Asger Dam, Minister of Work and Pensions, replied as the 50.11% flashed on the screen.
"You're looking at a decrease in YEECA funding, you're looking at a decrease in foreign aid, you're looking at our people over there essentially hung out to dry..."

"Just shut up" Marianne Toft, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, shot back. She'd been bickering with Asger all night, and now as morning approached and the chance to leave and go home was nearing? She didn't want to have to re-litigate every dispute.
"You have no idea what you're talking about. You're assuming the worst case scenarios in every..."

"Worst case scenarios from YOUR Ministry!" Dam shot back.

"Yeah, as a hypothetical scenario! My ministry produces reports for nearly every possibility. You can't just cherrypick something like this and..."

"The way you cherrypicked your past to get elected?" Asger growled. Marianne was about to explode, before Magnus' rarely heard thunderous tone rocked the conversation.

"Enough! The both of you! I think I speak for all of us when I say we are TIRED of hearing you go at it all night. It's been worse then the bloody referendum lead switching every few minutes!" he bellowed as he gestured towards the tv.
The room settled and Magnus looked across the table.

"Asger" he continued.
"Your concerns are noted, and Marianne's inquired as to them. While valid she has said these concerns are overblown and should not represent a fundamental shift in Prydanian/Saintonian relations. That's the Cabinet working together. You two just need to starting acting like it!"

"I'm just saying that...what was his name...Nicholas-Martin Delerestraint...mentioned 'Saintonge's foreign policy will gravitate away from Craviter/Collandris/Gothis...thus Prydania.' You can't believe Toft when she says that these are overblown..."

"You really don't trust me, do you?" Marianne asked shaking her head.

"I do" Magnus continued.
"I trust every one of you, and you should all should trust each other. For God's sake. Mr. Delerestraint is a corespondent. He's a not a government official."

"I could still have him knocked off" Max Hveiti, Chief of the ÖSU, replied, sitting unassumingly at the left corner on the far end of the table, the late (or early) hour not effecting the grin on his face.

"You're not assassinating a man who just did his job in answering a question on the news" Brandt replied, his thumb and index fingers rubbing his temples.

"Why not?" Hveiti asked with a grin that conveyed he wasn't being serious.
"He looks like a smug bastard."

"You're legitimately terrifying" Magnus said with a sigh.

"Yeah, probably. Just be grateful I'm on your side" he chuckled as he got up to leave.

"Where are you going?" Brandt asked, as no one else had gotten up to leave.

"I know more than he does" Hveiti replied, pointing to Asger.
"And her" he added, pointing to Marianne.
"And everyone else here. Because that's my job. To know things that are of interest to the Realm. So now that this...whatever official sounding name you want to call this viewing over? I'm going to bed."

"Enlighten us, before you leave" Magnus said, his voice tinged with a faux chipper attitude.
"If you know more than all of us, should we be worried?"

"We're going to be fucking fine" Hveiti answered.
"META was formed to standardize G-ddamn electrical sockets on Meterra. Yes, it's expanded greatly since then, but it's not a fucking bubble of protectionist bullshittery. The world's getting more interconnected every day. META included. The idea that Saintonge is going to pull out of commitments outside of META is ludicrous. Now if that's all? I'm going home."

"What about the people?"

Hveiti, who was halfway out the door, turned around. It was the King who spoke. The first time he'd spoken in hours. He'd shaken his head a bit, to wash out the cobwebs. He leaned forward a bit one elbow on the table.

"Money this, money that, aid, YEECA. Everyone's so convinced friendly relations between people has to be about money. I don't care, I really don't. Not after hearing everyone bicker all night. What I want to know, Max, concerns our people over there. Who fled there. There are a lot of Prydanians over there who came over during the War, who have attained Saintonian citizenship, yes?"

"Yes, Your Majesty."

"And they voted against joining META, broadly speaking."

"Yes again, along with Saintionian citizens of Hessunlander extraction."

"And I gather they did this because they fear Saintonge joining META will push Prydanian refugees still trying to get Saintonian citizenship further down the que."

"That's the general feeling among the Prydanian community in Saintonge, yes Your Majesty."

"So the only thing I really want to know, Max, is this. Are their fears justified?"

"With all due respect Your Majesty, YEECA and general foreign aid are things we have a vested stake in. What Saintonge does with their own immigration procedures frankly isn't our business."

"These are Prydanians. They were displaced in part because my uncle made it easy for Syndicalists to seize power in this country. They were displaced in part because of a war partially waged in my name. I don't care if they're in Saintonge. I'm choosing to be responsible for them. Tell me Max, do I have reason to believe that this is something I should be concerned about?"

Max tilted his head a bit as he thought about what the King was saying. His feet were tired. His eyes were tired, He felt like he needed to get his glasses off of face. He could even feel the weight of the Skandan shirt he had on. Still, his mind was focused.
"Maybe, but not really. It's a legitimate concern because it could happen, but given the way the Saintonian government operates? Something like that happening, at least on a wide scale, is unlikely. Fact is our people there good hands." Tobias nodded, standing up.

"Going to bed sounds like a good idea Max. I suggest we all follow your lead."

"Are you saying..." Asger spoke up, before Tobias cut him off.

"I'm saying ladies, gentlemen? Go home."

Magnus chuckled to himself, grabbing his cane as he stood up. Ultimately the Saintonian META referendum wasn't going to effect Prydania much, if at all. Still? He now knew where various factions of the cabinet were at, broadly speaking. And why. That was important. For the future of the Free Democratic Party, and possibly Prydania as a whole.

ALONE by Jonathan Young & Lee Albrecht, 3:53
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Commit to Me
7 May 2020
23:00 - Bank of Oclusia Stadium

"I am the kid..." he said to himself as his teammate passed him the ball. He bumped it off his chest. He dribbled it along the sideline and edged himself closer. Tyreece passed it on a line to Christian, who headed it right back to him. Tyreece took control, and he had a sudden realization. "I don't have an option for college..." he said to himself, "Everyone else is playing ball, but not me..." He shook off his own thoughts and tried to go for the goal. He powered forward and launched the ball right into the back of the net. He threw his hands in the air as his emotions came. The referee blew the whistle signifying the end of the game and Tyreece ran around the stadium gaining high-fives from the small stadium. He was on top of the moon and ran to midfield. Then, it hit. "This was my last..."

He sank to his knees as the celebration roared. Fans were crazy, the team was crazy, and his family was over the moon. But not him. This was his last game. He placed his hands over his head as he took a look at the grass. The team didn't notice him. They just ran back to the locker room. The visitors did the same. The fans filed out. The families waited outside of the players' entrance. He hugged his knees and looked around the stadium. Never before has a field been so big to him. Never before had he been hit with so much grief. He held a ball that was at midfield. He stared at the white and black sphere that he held. He traced the outline and put his fingers on the logo that said, "Official Oclusi Amateur Union".

He rose to his feet and looked around once more. He looked at the goals. He looked at the lights. He looked at the seats. Signs had his own name on it. He climbed up the railing as if he was about to embrace someone in the crowd. When he got down, he gathered himself together and he turned to the locker room. He had to celebrate his teammates, who were all going to college to play football. Just not him. He then felt a light tap on his shoulder. "Son..." He turned around and looked at a man.

"Hello, sir," he said,

"I saw you play. You played great!" the man said,

"Oh, thank you. It was a one-time th-"

"No, it wasn't. Sit..." the man urged.

They walked over to the dugout. Tyreece looked at the official-looking man. "So, what do you mean by, 'It wasn't'?" he asked him. The man smiled lightly and looked Tyreece right in the eyes. "Your coach recommended you to us," he said, "We have been watching you for the past two years," the man said looking Tyreece right in the eyes, "And we like what we see in our academy." Tyreece nodded. "What school are you?" he asked the man drawing a laugh from the scout. "Son, you're not understanding me. My name is Heiko Haeberle, and I'm from the Academy of Club Alexandria." Tyreece's eyes widened.

"You mean... the Club Alexandria?" he asked in shock,

Haeberle smiled, "Tyreece, I want you to come to play for our Academy... Your future is bright if you get the right coaching... Colleges won't suit you. We think we are ready. So, are you up for it?"

Tyreece's eyes widened like a child who got a new gaming system for Christmas. He was speechless. He held his hands in his lap before he extended them towards Heiko Haeberle. "Sir, I won't let you down..." he said as they shook hands. They both smiled until the coach spoke. "I hope to see you in the summer! I'll tell the head coach that you accepted our offer!" he said as he patted him on the back and they went their separate ways. Tyreece opened the double doors to the locker room and came in with nobody in. He went to his locker and saw a note from his teammates that said, "Turn around". He did as the note said and behind him were his coaches, teammates, and friends from school. "Congratulations, Ty!" they shouted. His eyes widened. "We found out about you getting the professional offer right after the game!" Tyreece jumped right into a long embrace with his teammates, friends, and then he walked over to his coach. He shook his hand. "Why me, sir?" he asked. The coach glanced at him like he had asked the dumbest question. "Son, we are asked from professional teams about who the best guys are on this team. Nobody stood out to me as you did. As soon as the right team came around, we recommended you in a heartbeat. You're going to do some great things with Club Alexandria, Tyreece."


Minister of You
TNP Nation
May 31, 2020
11:23 a.m.
Arunum, Epiphani

Finn Boelter unscrewed the top off his thermos to pour himself some tea. He was sitting comfortable in his camping chair in the shade of his bright yellow Sjellheim Kleinbjørn. Not that he much minded the heat of the sun in the cold Ferrum mountains, but his skin wasn’t exactly the most sunburn resistant. After taking a couple tentative sips he set his cup down in an arm holster and put his feet up on the fat tires of his plane as he watched the amusing sight before him.

A young woman was saying her goodbyes to her family and also her entire town since it was composed of only thirty people maximum. The lovely town of Arunum. The young woman, Theodora, was pregnant. Extremely pregnant. Finn snorted slightly at the thought of trying to get her to fit into the damned plane. They would manage somehow. He always did. It had already been a year since the start of his employment as a pilot, here in the Epiphani. He took another sip of his tea. These people needed him. It felt good to be needed. They had raised the funds to take this young lady to a fancy hospital in the city some three hundred miles away. Who was he to turn down their money and love for this woman.

Finn was pulled out of his introspective moment by some commotion happening near the group of townsfolk. He looked over to see the young woman was clutching her back and that many of the townspeople had panicked expressions. He froze mid sip when he finally saw the large wet stain going down the woman’s skirt.

“Oh,” he uttered, “Oh shit. Oh shit!”

Finn lurched to standing so quickly he had spilled all his tea all over himself. It did not matter though. He was too busy running around the yellow plane rushing to get it ready for flying. Quickly he tossed his fold up chair and thermos into the back of the open plane before rushing over to the woman. She was crying slightly and muttering things in Umbral. He responded by cursing repeatedly in Yalkaner. Instead of patiently guiding her, Finn opted to pick the lady up in the arms. He grimaced slightly as he tried to ignore the wetness against his right arm. He then ran, the lady in arms, to the plane’s cockpit. Each step, a new curse was manifested.

After he finally managed to get the woman into her seat he climbed in himself. Quickly checking all his gauges, he then flipped the fours switches necessary to prep and start the small aircraft. The small engine roared to life as the propeller in front of him started to spin rapidly. He turned to the lady sitting right behind him and asked in broken Umbral if she was going to be alright. He received a punch on the shoulder in response. A blunt woman. With that he nodded and handed her a headset. Only seconds after getting his own headset on and closing the door he pushed the throttle to maximum, letting off the wheel brakes. The plane was already lifting off the ground as if the wind was carrying it away. He prayed to the gods that she could hold it in. That’s how it worked right?
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Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
OOC Note: Please read this post and then this post before reading this one. Thank you.


Býkonsviði, Prydania

Absalonhöll was quiet. The ticking of an old clock was the only sound that filled the King's office. Tobias sat at his desk, tapping a pen on the desktop. Magnus Brandt sat across from him. Rylond Jórvík sat beside the Prime Minister, both unsure what to say for different reasons.

Brandt was unused to Rylond being there. He was the son of the Thane of Jórvík, and the King's best friend. They'd grown up together, during the war. He was His Majesty's best man at his wedding. And he was not a politician. Magnus wasn't here for strictly political matters. It was a personal issue to be sure, but a King's personal matters are always political to a degree.
Rylond was nervous. Tobias never asked for his advice on anything official. The last time he asked him for help on something not beer or football-related was when he asked him how he should tell Alycia how he felt about her.

Tobias tapped his pen against the desk again. The clock ticked.
"Over two hundred on one hand, 8 billion on the other" he remarked.

Rylond looked at his friend, and then to Magnus. He was utterly confused. Magnus had a sense to what the numbers mean but he wasn't sure what the King was getting at.
"Pardon us, Your Majesty?" he asked.

"Over two hundred new schools across Prydania are going to be open come September. Rural communities that were bombed to hell. I've seen so many caved in school houses I can't even keep track of how many. But we're going to have two hundred new ones, staffed, in time for the next school year."

"Yes Your Majesty but I'm..."
The King interrupted him.

"And we had an 8 billion IBU trade surplus for our agricultural goods last year. Two years after the War ended, and we had farms that were flooded, burnt, overgrown, or filled with landmines. And just two years later we're growing more food than we're importing."

The room was quiet again as both Rylond and Magnus both took in what the King was saying. It was becoming obvious, but it was also clear Tobias wasn't done yet. He had a point to make.
"And this..." Tobias almost said something harsher than what he meant, "...Deputy wants to say quote 'I would’ve thought that the Kingdom of Prydania would rather focus its resources on rebuilding the country...has the Kingdom of Prydania just resigned to bleeding itself dry until the oceans turn red?'"

"He can come back home, if he likes" the King continued, raising his voice but not quite yelling.
"He can come back home if he likes, and talk to the people of Kiojaleit. See if everyone in his home town feels like the funds that paid for their new school and roads and cell towers, the Saintonian livre that helped pay to reclaim the farms...see if they feel like that money was misspent. He can come home and see for himself if he wants." His voice had lowered by the end.

"And as for bleeding the oceans red..." he shook his head...
"I killed people. I personally killed people" he breathed deep, keeping himself calm.
"I killed people because I had to. I spilt some of that blood. I spilt blood, personally, to fight the people who killed his family and took their livelihood" his voice was raised again, but he remained calm.
"And he wants to say these things about my government. I didn't object to sending troops Magnus. Because I thought it was right. Sad, but right. And he has the nerve to say this."

"Your Majesty" Magnus tried to say.
"Thorbjörn Höjsleth is..."

"I met Thorbjörn Höjsleth" Tobias said, once again cutting his Prime Minister off. Magnus was beginning to feel like he was just here to be someone for Tobias to vent at.
"On my honeymoon. I met him. Why wouldn't I? He's probably the single most high profile Prydanian refugee in the country. He was nice. Pleasant." He shook his head.

"Whatever his reasons" Magnus began, waiting to see if Tobias would cut him off. He didn't seem like he would.
"Thorbjörn Höjsleth is saying what he believes in. I don't believe he meant to denigrate you, our country, or even the good work we've done. He's not happy with the war we're in. Fine. You of all people should understand why."

"It was your idea to send soldiers" Tobias replied.

"Yes, yes it was" Magnus answered. "And I'll tell Thorbjörn Höjsleth or anyone else why I made that decision and I'll defend it until I'm blue in the face" he stated firmly.
"But I understand" he continued, "why he feels that way. And again, I know you do too. War's taken a lot from all of us. It's never easy to decide it's the proper thing to do again. We simply arrived at a different conclusion than someone else did. And that someone else happens to have the Saintonian National Assembly as a soapbox."

"I..." Tobias began. What he wanted to say was stuck in his head. Like he words weren't "right." He thought for a moment.
"I wanted to be a King for all Prydanians. I wanted to prove to people, people who didn't necessarily want me to be King, that I would rule this country justly. And I have. I was scared for a long time that I would surrender to my worst impulses but I learnt I didn't have to be afraid of that. I learnt that in Saintonge, actually." He sighed.
"But I wanted to be a King for Prydanians elsewhere too. I knew a lot fled. I wanted...I don't know. It's silly I know, but I wanted to be able to say 'the war is over, the fighting is over. You don't have to come back, but just know your country is ok.' I wanted to be that sort of King. And I Saintonge, during the Messianic League crisis, that I was that. But I guess not. I guess I'm just another fucking warmonger."

Magnus began to speak, but it was Rylond who managed to speak first.

"Toby" he said softly. Magnus was a bit taken aback by the informal attitude Rylond had towards addressing the King, but he was a personal friend. And it was just the three of them.
"Buddy, listen. You gotta let it go."

Magnus was shocked. First that Rylond Jórvík of all people would be so level-headed. And secondly that Tobias seemed as shocked as he was. It became clear to the Prime Minister that the King had wanted them both here, to get different perspectives. And Rylond had shocked not just Magnus, but the King as well by agreeing with the Prime Minister.

"You met this Thorbjörn Höjsleth fellow, yeah? Seemed like a nice guy right? Look. King or not. He could have told you where to go if he thought you were doing a bad job. He's standing up for their beliefs. You can't fault a man for that."
"So he doesn't agree with the war. It's a war. No one ever agrees with a war. What? You're worried about fallout? Magnus has it handled. You meet with Saintonians regularly, right?"

"Yes" Magnus answered, a bit taken aback by Rylond's way of getting a point across.

"He's got people on it. So what. You show them the books, it's not a problem" Rylond continued.
"But Toby, you gotta listen to me. You bled for this country. You bled to fight the bastards who drove most of those refugees out. That was you, that was everyone we fought with. For all those years. You think Höjsleth over in Saintonge doesn't know that? Of course he does, but this is something else. Look, am I gonna say he picked his words perfectly? No, but has an opinion. And that's all it is. An opinion on a war. He's not the first, won't be the last. Don't let it get to you, or think it degrades what you, and everyone else in this country, has built. It doesn't."

Tobias sat there, listening to his friend. Rylond had a way of was like an ocean current. It rose and dropped, but never suddenly. Even if he was being deadly serious, it just flowed in such a way that you couldn't help but be overtaken by it. Rylond Jórvík was no politician, but maybe he should be.
A million thoughts flew through his mind, but in that split second? Only one stood out.

"Thanks Ry" he said softly.
"I um...I guess I needed that. Look...can you, can you give the Prime Minister and myself a moment?"

"You're not gonna say anything stupid?"

Tobias smiled meekly.
"No. But we'll catch up later."

"Alright. Take care Toby" he said before standing to shake the Prime Minister's hand before leaving.

"I told you same thing" Magnus replied with a jovial chuckle.

"I know...I'm too dense for my own good" Tobias said softly.

"Well you're passionate. Your mother was passionate. I suppose you come by it honestly."

"Yeah" Tobias said, again softly.

"Thorbjörn Höjsleth lost his parents and a sibling to war. I lost my parents, and my family, to it. We're not unique among Prydanians."

"No, Your Majesty. Sadly, you are not."

"I wanted people to look back on my reign. And see that it was peaceful. I haven't even been King for five years, and we're in a war."

"Life is like that Your Majesty. Sometimes the best plans, the best intentions, don't shape out. It's no one's fault that the Andrennian parliament was bombed, no one's fault except the terrorists that bombed it. Life happens like that. Sometimes we just do our best to respond to the world around us. Beyond that though..." Magnus chuckled.
"You're not even five years into your reign. God willing you have many years to go, Your Majesty. And call me a hypocrite if you must for pushing for soldiers in Ducrijeka, but I do hope that when it's all said and done? People look back on your reign as an era of peace. We all deserve that."

"Do you think we made a mistake? Sending soldiers in."

"Like I said, I will defend the decision. I made it, thinking it was the right choice. I still believe that, but history will have the final word, I gather. Rylond is right though. A disagreement over the war is not denigrating anything else we've done."

Tobias nodded. There was something inside of him, a gut reaction of anger to the whole affair. Yet Queen Mélisende was right when she had spoken to him months ago. There was no good that came from holding onto those feelings. Talking to his Prime Minister and his friend had helped. He’d let that gut feeling go.

"Please Your Majesty, don't put so much on yourself. I don't think you realize how much you've meant already. To Prydanians. Everywhere. It's best not to beat yourself up unnecessarily."

Tobias nodded again. It still have that idea thrust on him, that he actually meant something positive to the Prydanian community abroad. He'd met enough Prydanians in Saintonge to know there was some truth to it though. Thorbjörn Höjsleth was among them, ironically enough. Perhaps that's why he had taken this as hard as he had.
"I'll leave it in your hands, Magnus. Thank you."

"I'm happy to help, Your Majesty" he said softly as he stood before leaving. Tobias just sat back in his chair.

"Over the hills and far away, over the hills and back again" he said to himself. It was an old Prydanian saying. About going to war, and coming home. Whatever he or anyone else thought, he hoped as many Prydanians in Ducrijeka made it back over the hills.
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Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
12:43 pm
Skógurheorot, Prydania

Queen Alexandria sipped her coffee as the birds chirped. It was always good to come out to the Skógurland* and escape the bustle and politics of the capital. She always enjoyed coming here. This time, however, the sublime sounds of the forest were being disturbed. She looked over from her table. That damn foolish son of hers, Harald. He and his younger brother Roger and youngest sister Embla, and all of the children and grandchildren, were marvelling over what Asleif had sent. She just wanted them to leave the blasted machine alone. The noise was disturbing the birds.

"This is incredible father" Harald's son Rikard exclaimed as he took his turn driving this automobile.

"Yes, it truly is, I haven't seen anything like it" the Crown Prince and Grand Thane of Stormurholmr replied, still amazed. He and his family, save for his mother, had travelled to Saintonge for his granddaughter Asleif's marriage to Archambault, Crown Prince of Saintonge. Alexandria, always one to adore Asleif, had wished to attend. Sadly the long-reigning Queen of Prydania was simply unable to due to health.

Asleif had therefore begged her husband that this marvellous "Luxe 1 automobile" gifted by Duke Ardouin V of the Pouilles for the ceremony be sent back to Prydania for her great-grandmother to marvel at. Archambault had needed some convincing, but Asleif's charms were too much to resist. A joyous Asleif had told her grandfather Harald and her father Richard that something special would be closely following them to Prydania, though she coyly refused to say what.

Harald, Roger, Embla, and their children and grandchildren had been blown away by the invention. Indeed they had heard of it while in Saintonge for the wedding, but had never seen one. And here one was. In the middle of the Prydanian Skógurland.

"You look very dashing Richard" Embla remarked as she stood by her brothers.

"Thank you Aunt Embla" Richard chuckled.
"But I fear that we'd need more suitable clothing if we were going to take this thing on the country roads."

Embla's youngest grandson Óttarr, just having turned seventeen, ran up to his great-grandmother. He'd yet to get a turn driving the contraption, and his excitement was palpable.
"Langamma, you really must have a look! It's marvellous. It moves under its own power."

"Yes I can see" the Queen replied.
"Though I wonder, dear boy, why I would trust the carriage without the horse. It seems to me that the part of the equation with a brain has been removed."

Óttarr wasn't sure what to say, and so he just returned to praising the machine.
"I think you'll see it's extraordinary."

"I fear I won't be able to hear the birds if I get any closer" Alexandria remarked.
"It's already hard enough with that thing going on."

Óttarr just sighed to return to the rest of his family.

"The younger people and their trends...must they impose them on the rest of us?" Alexandria thought.

Harald, however, had been watching.
"She doesn't seem impressed" Óttarr remarked to his great-uncle.

To say Harald had a distant relationship with his mother was incorrect. The death of his father had actually brought them closer together. Still, his mother tended to regard him as "not serious enough" for his role as Crown Prince. He tried to understand his mother, truly. Someone never destined to rule. A younger sibling and a woman at that. And yet fate had placed her on the throne. She'd navigated male dominated Court politics with a steely personality and unbending will. She expected that from Harald, who was instead far more personable and affable. He'd had to deal with her criticism for his supposed lack of seriousness all of his life.
He never went out of his way to needle her per se, but sometimes....well Harald would try to get her to enjoy herself. Especially in her old age.

"Mother" he remarked as he approached the Queen, "isn't dear Asleif's surprise a sight?"

"I suppose that's one way of putting it."

"You know" Harald remarked, "we'd heard of such contraptions in Saintonge. Some were saying they are the future. I didn't give it much mind but now that I see one I find it hard to argue."

"Well Harald, I shan't detract from your folly. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, however outlandish."

"I was just thinking, perhaps the roads of Stormurholmr could be redone to better accommodate contraptions such as this."

"I trust you're not asking me for the funds."

"Never mother" Harald chuckled.
"I know how you feel about my projects."

"Well we all learn at different paces. I am happy you got there eventually, my boy."

Harald might have gotten upset over something like this in his younger years, but he'd long ago stopped letting things like this bother him.
"You know" he said raising an eyebrow, "the note Asleif sent mentioned that she sent the automobile for you. She wishes for you to see it, seeing as you are sadly unable to make the voyage to Saintonge."

"Oh my Asleif said that did she?"

Harald chuckled. His mother had a soft spot for her great grand-daughter.
"Oh she did mother, she wanted you to see this marvel."

"I suppose I can indulge in the trends of the youth for a moment" she said, slowly rising to her feet, and holding a hand up to stop a Knight of the Storm in his place as he moved to assist her. Harald walked along side her, in case she needed help, but she seemed rather capable today.

"Richard, are you still driving that thing?" she asked as her grandson pulled up in front of the castle.

"I'm afraid it's quite the rush grandmother. Would you like a ride?"

"Oh I'm quite close enough, thank you. I'm still not sure I trust a carriage with the living creatures removed."

"It's really not dangerous mother" Embla remarked.

"I'm sure dear, but at this point in my life I am rather interested in seeing it out until the end. And not to get cut short just before by an accident with a machine. Still..." the Queen had to admit that the vehicle, close was rather intriguing.

"Óttarr" Richard called out to his younger cousin.
"Come onboard, we'll take a drive around the grounds."

"Well only if Langamma is unsure..."

"Go, go" Alexandria waved her youngest great-grandson off.
"Enjoy my dears."

Richard and Óttarr drove off and Harald smiled at his mother.
"Imagine, no horses to feed to worry about overwork. Ploughs could be next too. Can you imagine what that would do for the countryside?"

"I suppose" Alexandria remarked.
"May I see the letter from my Asleif?"

"Certainly mother" Roger remarked.

Langamma* Alexandria,

Archambault and I missed you deeply at the wedding, but we felt your love. I hope that, above all else, this finds you well.
Uncle Ardouin gifted us the most amazing contraption! He calls it a "Luxe 1 automobile," and claims it will revolutionize the world! Many here seem to agree. I, for one, am amazed such a machine can exist. I wish for you to be able to see this vision of the future before you pass, so that you can see how wonderful the world will be for generations to come. You are an extraordinary woman who has accomplished much in her own right Langamma, and I only wish to share a great marvel with you while I still can. I imagine father, afi* Harald, Uncle Roger, and Aunt Embla will enjoy it tremendously, not to mention the boys! I wish I was there to see you all with it, but I am sure it will be a wonderful outing!

With much love, your langömmustelpa*,


The Queen smiled slightly, folding the letter up, but hanging on to it.
"I suppose such a machine could be beneficial. I just worry that too much time will be spent on fleeting fancies."

"Well we shall see, mother. The world is changing faster then ever it seems."

"Change" Alexandria repeated before thinking for a moment.
"Harald, may I be frank?"

"Always mother."

"Whatever else, don't fear change. If this 'automobile' is truly what they say it is, embrace it. And anything else. Tradition is only worth something if it means something to the world. Never let yourself- or us- fall behind."

"Us mother?"

"As I said Harald, I am interested in seeing my life through by this point. When I am done, God help us all, you will represent us. Cherish that, and never let us fall behind" she repeated.

Harald just nodded.
"Of course mother."

"Now if you don't mind I will return to my table. I wish to hear the birds some more before Richard and Óttarr scare them all away again."

Harald watched as his mother returned to the small table set up for her, where an attendant refilled her coffee. His mother had the strangest ways of imparting lessons onto him, but he'd learned one thing above all else. It was how she showed she cared. He was curious what the letter said, to have changed her mind so much, but he knew better than to ask for it. He'd have to write Asleif and thank her. For now though, he was waiting for his son and nephew to return. He wanted another go.

*Skógurland= the name for Prydania's vast forests that cover the southern and eastern parts of the country. The Royal Family's Skógurheorot retreat is located in the heart of it.
*Langamma= great-grandmother
* afi= grandfather
*langömmustelpa= great-granddaughter

OOC Note: Written to reference events described by @Kyle here.
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Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
Astissa, Norsos

Tobias knocked on Hael's door, pushing it in slightly.

"You home?"

"Yeah dad" the boy said, sitting up in his bed. It was unusual. Baldr and Hael were at that age where they actively resisted being tucked in by their parents. And yet Hael wanted to see his father.

"Well what's the matter?" Tobias asked as he took a chair from the corner of the room and sat it down next to his son's bed.

"I was wondering. You know the story of you having a sword fight with the Syndicalist in the crypts of Stormurholmr? Did that actually happen?"

Tobias was shocked. This came out of nowhere. Still, he answered truthfully.
"Yeah, it happened. I was just a few years older than you actually" he said, thinking back. Clutching Veiðiblað as he stared down Kaleb Stahl. Heh. What the kids would say if they knew the Syndicalist he fought that night was Uncle Kaleb.
"I can show you sometime. We'll go to Stormurholmr together. Some of the sword marks from the fight might still be in the bricks and pillars."

"I guess...four years will be a long wait though" Hael replied, his head slumping to his knees as he pulled his legs to his chest.

"What makes you think you have to wait four years to go to Stormurholmr?" Tobias asked, sounding genuinely confused.

"I'm going to Saintonge" he replied listlessly.
"I won't be back for four years."

Tobias chuckled.
"Is this what this is about? You're sad about going to Saintonge?"
Hael nodded.


"I'm going to miss you and mom and...Anya and all of my friends" he said softly. Tobias just smiled. He's mentioned Anya separately.

"You're going to love it, I promise. Your cousins can't wait to see you either. And imagine. Coming home and sweeping Anya off her feet when you speak fluent Santonian!"

"Dad..." Hael whined but Tobias just chuckled a bit more.

"It's a big deal, but it's going to be good for you and your brother" Tobias continued.
"Your mother and I never had chances like this. To explore the world at your age. To learn in another country. You'll be better for it, I promise. You'll probably even come back smarter than your old man."

"Heh" Hael chuckled. "Maybe..."
He paused for a moment before looking up at his father.
"Were you scared when you fought that Syndicalist?"

Tobias was caught off guard again and thought back to that night. The sounds of swords clashing, his own body shaking with each attack.
"Yeah, I was scared. Why?"

"Well I don't think I've ever seen you scared."

"I've been scared plenty" Tobias said softly as he pat his son his shoulder. "And it's ok to be scared. But you also need to overcome it.

"Ok dad."

"You'll have your brother. And Cuthbert and Kilian, and Uncle Thibault and Uncle Timothèe. You'll be ok, right?"

"I guess."

"Ok. Besides. You won't need to wait four years. You'll come home on holidays all the time. Pretty soon you'll probably be looking forward to getting away from your mother and me. So sleep well. You have a long plane ride tomorrow."

The young prince nodded and let his father kiss him on his head.
"Sleep well" Tobias said softly as he left the room.

"Goodnight Dad..." Hael replied. He fell to his side clutching his pillow, more reassured after speaking with his father. He did have a busy day ahead of him. Right now though? He just wanted to enjoy the last few moments in his own bed.

OOC note: Posted with the permission of @Zyvun , @Kyle , and @Felis
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Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
see here

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Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
Garlief Rustad banked right. This motherfucker. He'd had him! It was that damn F-35. It could just turn on a time. His brain felt like it was going into overdrive just to dodge von Aachen's fire. Every instinct had to be right. His Harrier II wasn't going to keep up otherwise.

On some level Rustad considered conceding. He'd put up a good fight so far. Outlasting the estimates. No one could say he'd embarrassed himself or his country. Jörgun von Aachen though, he was a piece of work. Such an entitled piece of shit for a guy whose combat record was limited to bombing Ducrijekens. Rustad, on the other hand, was taught to fly during the Civil War. He'd fought Syndie pilots head on.

That experience was the only thing saving him right now. The amo wasn't live, to be sure. Prydania and their ally were conducting joint military drills as part of Luscovo Pact commitments. This exercise was partially to see by how much the new F-35s outclassed the Harrier. And Rustad, partially thanks to von Aachen being a cocky shit, was determined to draw this "sure thing" out as long as possible. He banked right and pulled up...he'd had a spur of the moment idea. He'd had trouble locking on, the damn thing was designed to be stealthy. Still...he threw his jet up at a wild angle, crossing across von Aachen's rear. He had one shot... and the sensors lit up! The missile had hit!

"What the fuck was that?" a voice called over the coms. It was Stig Eiderwig, Chief of the Prydanian General Staff who was with the top Prydanian and allied brass to observe this demonstration.
"Rustad, you just downed him!"

"Looks like it Sir" Rustad replied...he didn't know quite what to do next...von Aachen just descended and headed back to the runway so he followed suit.

"How the hell did you hit me?" von Aachen exclaimed.

"Please don't mention the Flight Academy" Rustad thought before von Aachen continued.

"The F-35 is state of the art! It's the pinnacle of stealth technology!" he asserted angrily as pilots and officers from both militaries met the two pilots.

"I got lucky I guess. Luck and combat experience, what can I say?" he replied with a shrug before turning to some Prydanian pilots who had come to meet him.
"I didn't know it was supposed to be invisible" he said with a smile in Prydanian, eliciting a few laughs before Stig Eiderwig gave him a stern look.

Rustad quickly shut up. He had no idea if what had just happened would impact the Prydanian military's decision on purchasing Griefs or not but whatever the case may be? He was proud he proved his old Harrier had some juice left in her.
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The rhythmic chopping of a sharp Skandan knife against an antique bamboo cutting board thumped quietly like a heartbeat. A spectrum of white and green, sliced into perfect little circles. Green onion was a ubiquitous garnish for ramen. Takeshi preferred to garnish using the green part of the onion, but the white part wouldn’t go to waste either. He’d use it for a vegetable soup stock. The shiitake mushrooms were sliced in half next. This wasn’t some high-scale restaurant in downtown Kuhena, though. No, no this was Takeshi’s favorite place in the world. His ramen shop. His ramen shop. No one else’s. A small kitchen on the corner of a quiet street deep in the real heart of Kuhena, with a few stools against the counter and a simplistic banner that said ‘OPEN’ on one side and ‘CLOSED’ on the other. Though the OPEN side had a little chibi cat painted on by his daughter. Kuhena Hirei Ramen was a place of peace and calm in a world that seemed to get ever more troublesome day by day. It was open every day except Sunday from 11 A.M. to 1 A.M. and Takeshi loved every minute of his work. Dozens of folk had told him he could upscale to a much larger restaurant, that if he wanted to, he could run one of the greatest ramen restaurants on Eras-- But that’s not what he wanted. Money wasn’t his goal. It never was and it never would be.

Everything here was made by scratch or bought as fresh as possible. The broth, the noodles, the vegetables, and especially the meat and protein. Takeshi was the only employee there except his daughter, who helped manage finances. He was never particularly good at math. Ramen was their specialty, of course, but they served dumplings and tea too. A gentle breeze brushed the back of Takeshi’s neck as he cut two rectangles from a larger sheet of nori, brushed his knife against a clean towel, and then sliced a single piece of kamaboko from it’s pink and white log. He wiped his Ōkonoto Bohi* knife again, set it aside, and grabbed his larger Ihikiruniki** so that he could start cutting the last of the night’s chashu pork belly into thin but delicious slices. It’d been marinating all day. In fact the late night chashu was, in Takeshi’s opinion, superior in every way because it had been marinating longer. Not everyone knew that though.

The vegetables were finished steaming. How did Takeshi know? He just did. With enough practice Takeshi had memorized the time needed to steam every single vegetable he uses. This bowl of ramen called for corn, bean sprouts, and bamboo shoots. Right before assembling, Takeshi popped open his fridge to grab a single egg which he immediately but carefully dropped into already boiling water on the stovetop. He had two minutes to prepare the rest of the bowl. First he poured in a tablespoon of soy sauce and exactly two drops of mirin. He mixed it in the bowl. He poured a tablespoon his typical aromatic oil; a mix of green onion and ginger. Next, oddly, a single tablespoon of lard. It was gross to foreigners but every Skandan knew that you needed fat in your ramen because it gave it more flavor.

He ladled in his miso broth-- a bit of a stretching was needed to reach his ladle and then his stock pot, but he managed just fine. The old man moved the bowl over to the noodles, which had been strained just prior to him chopping the vegetables. Chopsticks worked just fine to pick the noodles up and carefully layer them in the bowl. Finally it was time for everything else. The steamed corn, bean sprouts, and bamboo shoots were placed with love and care throughout the bowl of soup, the egg was brought out at the exact time Takeshi wanted it out, cut in half, and laid on top of the noodles. A perfect, runny yolk as yellow as the sun. Mushrooms next, and then the kamaboko “fish cake”. The chashu slices were placed along the edge of the bowl, stacked atop each other like playing cards. Last but not least, the green onions he had cut earlier were carefully sprinkled over the top of the bowl of now complete ramen. Takeshi carefully hoisted the bowl up, carrying it to the waiting customer at the counter. He quickly turned around, grabbing a ceramic soup soon and a pair of chopsticks, which he placed on either side of the bowl. Just another moment later he was pouring the customer green tea into a small, traditional, ceramic cup. It was placed to the right of the bowl as he spoke.

“Please, enjoy your meal.”

Takeshi bowed shallowly and turned to step back into his shop and wash his hands. Kuhena at night was so different from the daytime. The typically bustling streets were dead, and the glow of bright neon and the harsh white and yellow street lights clashed against black asphalt, monotone, white buildings, and dark stone walls. This ancient city had seen so much. It had so many stories to tell. Takeshi’s life was only one of many. He ran his fingers through his grey hair. What was left of it, anyways. An equally grey, stubbly goatee complimented the balding look rather well, actually. His brown eyes gazed deep into the now tranquil streets of the city. He untied his apron from around his waist, turned around to stare at one of the photos on the shelf above him for a moment. Shekufia, Iraelia, 1977. A photo taken with a great man that did not survive past that year. Takeshi missed him every day. He closed his eyes for a moment and with a quiet sigh, hung his apron up next to it and began to clean up the mess he’d made in his shop throughout the day. He had another lovely day of preparing good food and tea and making people’s days brighter ahead of him tomorrow.

* Skandan vegetable knife.
** Skandan butchering knife.
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Minister of You
TNP Nation
July 20, 2020
Ceskile Border Crossing 17

Pak tapped his finger on the steering wheel impatiently. The Oclusian border guard was inspecting his vehicle’s cargo. They were only on the second trailer. Only four more to go. Usually this would not be so bad. This time Pak had the added company of some hired compatriots. Parked in front of him were two military looking trucks. Pak smirked, sure they were decked out in black and looked like they had plates of armor, but he figured they were still the same ol’ rigs as his underneath. All a show. Their presence had made this routine inspection take much longer. That’s what happens when you try to cross the border with armed men.

Pak rolled down his window and hocked a fat loogie. He checked the laptop he had next to him on the passenger seat. Going through the itinerary again, he knew he was still on schedule. His route was along the northern coast before dipping down to where the smelting plant was. Usually a five hour journey. Seven now. However the afforded extra hour and half for border crossing was starting to dry up. He tapped his finger faster.

Why management saw it necessary to hire security was beyond Pak’s reasoning. Something about pirate risks and terrorism. There was a whole seminar. He slept through it. Seemed like a waste of money to him. He glanced at the old pump shotgun that was holstered behind the passenger seat. Fat chance someone was going to rob him. Even if they did rob him. Take his load. What could thieves do with over a hundred tons of iron and rock? Where do you even hide it?

Pak looked back to the security detail in front of his rig. Some of the men were standing outside of their trucks. They seemed as enthused about this whole affair as he was. Well at least we’re all making money Pak thought to himself. He wondered how much they were getting paid to just hang around. Probably more than him Pak guessed. He spit out the window again. He looked at his mirror again to check if progress was being made. The border guards had made it to the third trailer. Messiah’s mercy this is purgatory isn’t it Pak thought.


Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
25 July 2020
9:45 pm
On a Saturday
Pataliputra, Syrixia

Peter Bach clutched the game ball to his chest on the locker room floor, crying softly. He didn't even care if the cameras were on him. He just lay there, gripping the ball for a few moments before he pulled himself up off the floor, eyes red from tears.

"Peter, you must be feeling overwhelmed..." a Lodestar News reporter asked.

"It was for my mom" he replied in Mercanti, smiling softly despite the tears.
"She was taken from my dad and I during the War, but I know...I know she was there today. Up there. To watch us. I'm..." he began to cry again...
"I'm sorry...I just...thank you mom. For your sacrifice" he gasped.
"I love you, and I love my country."

4 August 2020

12:02 pm
On a Tuesday

Hadden, Prydania

Dr. Kristbjörg Rosett sat in her office as Peter Bach settled into the couch opposite her. He seemed less tense. Calmer. Happy.
"Today seems like a good day" she said, hopeful.

"It is, yeah. Not feeling too down or anything."

"You're not feeling overwhelmed? I can imagine a lot of people want a piece of you after that gold medal win" she replied. Peter chuckled.

"There's been some of that I guess...but it doesn't bother me. I'm either depressed or not regardless of what other people do."

Kristbjörg smiled softly.
"Tell me, how did it feel to win?"

"It was emotional when it happened. We went up 1-0 and it's like, ok. This is good. Keep it up. 2-0 was like we can do this, we just need to push a bit harder....once it was 3-0 we was like a dream. It wasn't until I was in the locker room that it dawned on me what we did."

"I wanted to hug you, seeing you like that" Kristbjörg said with a smile.
"After the game. On the floor." Peter laughed softly.

"I just let my emotions get the best of me there. I didn't know what I was feeling, aside from sheer happiness and missing my mom. And relief. So much relief. Imagine if that game...that Saintonge game, had been for nothing?"

"Pardon?" Kristbjörg asked. Peter again chuckled.

"I keep forgetting you're not a sports person" Peter laughed.

"Oh I've been trying since we started our sessions" Kristbjörg replied.
"But what does the Saintonge game have to do with this one?"

"I've been playing football a long time" Peter replied.
"It was a game I could play because we couldn't afford hockey equipment. During the Syndicalist era. And after mom died..." he paused.
" was a way to get my mind off of that. So...I've played a lot of football. That game against Saintonge was the best game I've ever played in. If we had lost to Demescia or Skanda after that game, it would have been utterly devastating. If you look at how the tournament panned out after the Quarterfinals then you see that the game we had against Saintonge was the real gold medal game."

"That game, the Saintonge game, seems to weigh heavily on your mind. You beat them. You guys didn't allow a goal in your next two games."

"It was the real gold medal game, like I said. The two best teams. I've never played a game like that. Where I was utterly exhausted by the end but I felt nothing holding me back. I could just keep going because the energy of that game, of that stadium, it was electric. And..." he stopped himself.

"What?" Kristbjörg asked, curiously.

"I..." Peter thought for a moment.
"They gave me the captaincy at nineteen. We played the Santonians a year later. The 2019 World Cup. You have no idea how angry I was."

"Angry?" Kristbjörg asked.
"About what?"

"Everything and everyone. The whole world really. Jonathan Jeandupeaux, the Santonian captain, told me he didn't want me taking out his boys. And I...I guess I wanted to tell him this, but I didn't. You're the only person I'm probably ever going to tell this to."

Kristbjörg nodded a bit. She noticed Peter had bent over, his elbows on his thighs.
"You can tell me anything. This is a safe space, Peter."

"I know" he sighed.
"I was...angry at the whole world. I lost mom in the Harrying of Hadden. And then the 2017 World Cup happened and we weren't supposed to get that far, but we did. I was just a rookie on that team, but it felt so powerful. I thought we proved something. But then the 2019 World Cup started and they...the media I mean...they treated us like charity cases. Prydania had done what no one thought we could do and come within a penalty kick of winning the 2017 Cup, and now in 2019 they treated us like we were this pathetic group. 'Oh the war was so hard, but they're here, that's good enough.' None of these people knew how hard the War was. No one writing those stories knew what it was like..." he closed his eyes tight.
"I was angry. I wanted to prove something. I think Jonathan thinks I intentionally went after his guys in 2019. And it wasn't like that. I didn't have anything against Saintonge. I had something against everyone. I wanted to prove to everyone that we weren't going to roll over and just be happy being there. That we could be proud of ourselves. I thought I had a responsibility to make sure Prydanians could be proud of themselves in some way. So I went out and started playing rough and confrontational. I started playing angry. Not because it was Saintonge, but because they were just the first team on our schedule. I was angry at the whole world, and they were just the part of the whole world that got put in front of me first."

"I believe you won that game though" Kristbjörg replied.
"That had to feel good."

"It was fleeing" Peter replied.
"Everyone wanted to talk about my aggressive play, calling it dirty. Looking back...I wish I had been more humble. I was just too mad though, at everyone. Especially the media from elsewhere. So I doubled down. They wanted to treat us like we were pathetic? They wanted to call me dirty? Ok. I would be defiant and make them deal with me. And then...we lost. We went out in the first round of the tournament. All that talk. All that aggressive play. Those Santonian players I hurt. For what? What point did I prove? We were just the pathetic poor kids from the wartorn country after all. I fucking hated myself. I wanted to make Prydanians proud. And I ended up...just being a loud asshole who hurt people."
He breathed deep. He'd run that through his mind over and over again. This was the first time he'd every said it out loud to someone though.

"Why can't you tell anyone else that?" Kristbjörg asked.

"Because I'm not good at talking to other people, unless I'm being brash" he said softly.

"You just told me" Kristbjörg smiled.

"You're my therapist. It's different."

"How so?"

"Say I tried to tell Johnathan this..."

"Jonathan Jeandupeaux?"

"Yeah. What if I tried to tell him this? Maybe he'd listen. Maybe he'd be dismissive. Maybe he'd laugh at me. I don't know. And I'm...I don't think I can be that open with people. I don't like the idea that something I'm open about, that means a lot to me, will be dismissed or laughed at or something."

"People are generally pretty understanding when you are upfront with them, and speak from the heart. Good people are anyway."

"The person I trusted the most was mom. And she's gone...but that's why I can't stop thinking about the Saintonge game from the Odinspyl. I had a chance to show people something. Maybe I can't tell people all of this, but I can show something. I let go of being angry. I just thought I'd play the best football I could play. And see what happened. And it was the best game I ever played. We won. And I...I didn't have to hurt anyone. Or scream at reporters. I proved to Johnathan I wasn't this asshole out to hurt people. I proved to myself I was good enough, and I...I don't know. I like to think that that game, and then later with the gold medal, I helped proved that Prydanians could achieve something. Even if it's as pointless as football."

"Football isn't pointless" Kristbjörg remarked.

"You didn't even watch it until you got me as a patient" Peter chuckled.

"That's true" Kristbjörg replied with a smile.
"Look at what it's done for you. It helped you deal with the loss of your mother. And it helped us find something to be hopeful about right after the War. People rallied around you guys in 2019. I don't know what the foreign media said, but the media here was so proud of you. Even after you were eliminated. And there were people partying in the streets after you won that gold medal. Football means a lot to you personally Peter, I know that. And it ended up meaning a lot to this country. You said you wanted to give Prydanians a reason to feel proud. You did. You're right, I don't watch much sports. But I'm proud of what you did. As are A LOT of other people, who are proud to be Prydanian in part thanks to you."

Peter sat there, head down, feeling his body tremble ever so lightly. It felt good to get that all out. And it felt good to hear Dr. Rosett say that.

"I have a question though" Kristbjörg continued.


"That game. When you talked to Hugberg Steenstrup. You said afterwards that not everything between two players needed to be reported. I am just curious, given what this game seems to mean to you, if there was anything else that was said that you'd like to share with someone?"

"Well..." Peter began, "I told him his old home was proud of him, and that idiots are just idiots, and he shouldn't listen to them. And I told him he had a hell of a goal. Which he did! Beautiful long ball. But beyond that..." Peter blushed a bit.
"I told him that if he ever needed to talk about anything like that, you know, drama from home, he could call me. We've all had to deal with the fallout of the SoComms and Syndies. I don't know how many of his teammates could understand. So I just said he could call and talk if he was ever being bothered by it."

Kristbjörg smiled.
"Look at you Peter. You're in therapy and you're also offering it to other people!"

"I know what's wrong with me Doc" Peter smiled with a deeper blush.
"I'm nervous around people, so I act out because it's the only way I can project confidence. The person I felt the most safe talking to got taken away from me as a teenager, and that means I have trouble opening up. I'm afraid that even if I could I would sound silly and stupid, which I know is mostly in my head but the feels are very real. And I know I'm desperately insecure about myself and so I put too much pressure on myself because overcoming something like that is the only way to really feel secure. I shouldn't have to win a gold fucking medal to feel ok in my own skin, but it's what it took. I know all of this. It's fixing it that's hard, and scary...but if I can recognize it in me then maybe I can give someone else some good advice. Just because I'm too scared to fix my own issues doesn't mean they will be. So maybe I'm good at giving advice. Just not following it."

"You're scared Peter, I know that, but you're not hopeless. Step one is opening up. And not letting these thoughts fester. I'm proud of you, for opening up today."

"Thanks Doc" Peter replied. He did feel better. Not as tense. Not as...pent up. He leaned back on the couch and and sighed with a soft smile.


Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
OOC note: This is meant to be a sort of compliment to the above post.


26 July 2020
Hello Mr. Peter Bach,
My name is Nóri Teigland and I am eight years old. I watched every game you played in the Odinspyl and was really happy to see you win a gold medal for Prydania. I play football too and I hope that one day I can win for Prydania like you did. We even have a new field at school!

my regards,
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TNP Nation
July 2001, Danstad, Goyanean South Iteria

The rain pounded on the glass. The pitter-patter was delightful, perfect sleeping noise. But Hanmei wasn’t planning on sleeping (just yet). She sat in her car staring at the distant skyline of Danstad. The lights all blended together, yellow, red, blue, green, they all came across the dark and rainy bay. The little overlook off of Highway 1 in a more affluent suburb of town was a gem not many knew about. Usually there were some senior high kids making out in a car there too, but there were none out tonight. To be fair it was a Tuesday night in July but that would never stop a pair of excited teenagers.

Her phone rang, the little screen on her flip phone reading “Yiduan Deng.” Deng was her boyfriend. She let the phone ring, it sat helplessly on the passenger seat. When the phone stopped ringing she pulled out a little tin of mints from the glove compartment, although there were no mints inside. Just joints. She took one, held it in her lips, and lit up.

The compartment was still open, glowing a yellowy-orange light, she took out a cassette of her favorite band and popped it in. Now she was set. She turned off the headlights, the orange glow of the gauge cluster being the only light left in the car. The grainy analog sound of the cassette playing psychedelic rock filled her ears. Hanmei made sure the volume wouldn’t drown out the rain though. She liked hearing both.

Sure enough, she fell asleep with the car on, full of her “herbal” smoke. The sunrise was truly a sight to behold. The sky went from purple to orange to blue, the ocean looking like a sea of orange juice. Hanmei still had enough gas in her ’98 Vereignt hatchback by the looks of it. She tossed out the contents of her ashtray from the window. Maybe the smell would get out, but instead the smell of low tide filled the car. Rotten fish and seagrass filled her nostrils, and she cranked up her window faster than anyone with power windows could.

She put the car in gear, and drove off. A small dry spot on the road where her car shielded the road from the rain was the only sign she had been there. Just as the rain came, it too left.


The New Aleman - Prediciean contact line.
No Mans Land
August 10th 2020

"We'll set the guns here and there, set down the ammo, we're going to run these guns out. Be prepared to pack and scoot." The battery commander called. The guns unpacked quickly and ranged the targets. A Predicean outpost and an artillery battery. Hopefully the quick deployment of these howitzers would finally provide an effective counter battery to the counter batteries. The commanders called out "Load!" the 82mm magazine fed howitzers were loaded. there was almost enough shells here alone to top the record set on the 8th, two days ago. "Fire at will!" the group of four guns started to fire as fast as their crews could allow, the constant thunking of the guns blending into each other for a solid five minutes. Only lulling and quickly stopping when the sounds of counter fire could be heard. The crews started to scramble to pack back up. an artillery round flattened a nearby dilapidated house and the scramble to pack up and leave turned into the scramble to find cover just as another shell scored a direct hit blowing a gun apart and killing its crew and wounding many others.


Tank Commander Adelar walked down the column line of tanks and climbed onto his own tank as two wings of strike craft quickly screamed over his head and towards the contact line. They were escorted by another wing of fighters. In the past three days the situation had escalated quickly and it was starting to seem like all out war was imminent. The loudspeakers in the area were echoing with the battalion commanders voice. "Yesterday the enemy invaded into our sovereign territory with air land forces, destroying an important installation and dragging our comrades away from their homes. The oppressive government in Predice would see our Predicean brothers and sisters crushed and our revolution undone! They would see us returned back to squalor and despair! They think they can bully us into submission; that we'd give way and fall! Today we will show them that New Aleman bows to no one! Today we will show them the might of the revolution! Today we break through the bulwark of oppression! Get to your vehicles, today the Revolution goes to battle!"


Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
reposted here

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Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
Nuevo Antofagosta, Predice

Hael rolled his eyes as Baldr flirted with the Predician girl in the marketplace. His brother already had a girlfriend back at school in Saintonge. He returned to his book as he sat next to a fountain. Both he and his brother had come to Predice while on holiday from school with their Santonian cousins.

“What’s up?” Baldr said as he sat next to him, the girl he was talking to was gone.

“Reading...getting ahead in literature class. It’s actually really good once you…”

“Come on bro, look around. It’s so cool here. Get out there, live a little.”

“Like you picking up numbers?”

“Hey you look just like me. You could too!”

“No thanks. Besides, don’t you have a girlfriend? What about Marie-Claire?”

“Marie’s back in Saintonge. That was just some fun. Here, you have it. Give that Predician girl a call. You can tell her you’re me!”

Hael just rolled his eyes.

“Come on,” Baldr insisted, slumping in his chair.
“What is it? You…” Baldr’s voice got quieter.
“You not into girls?”

“What? No!” Hael insisted, finally forced to put his book down.
“I’m just…” he shrugged. He looked like his brother. He got along with his brother. They even managed to do that thing where they could complete each other’s sentences that people expected from twins. Baldr though, he was always the more outgoing one.
“I donno...I…”

“Just like some peace and quiet?” Baldr replied with a smile.

“So why are you bugging me if you know?” Hael asked.

“Because bro, I want you to be happy. I joked about it, but you can’t be so mopey. I know you miss home but…”

“It’s not that. I like the school and Saintonge. It’s neat.”

“So what is it?”

Hael looked at his brother, and raised an eyebrow. They could be as in-sync as people expected twins to be one minute and on different wavelengths the next.
“How have you not figured it out?”

“Figured what out?” Baldr asked.

“I…” he blushed a bit. It was a bit embarrassing to admit. Even to his brother.
“Anya. I like Anya.”

“Anya?” Badlr asked.


“Bro” Baldr replied.
“She’s an older girl. She doesn’t have time for us.”

“Only by a year!” Hael protested.
“I donno. I just like her, ok?”

“Yeah but...she’s in Korova. We’re in Saintonge for four years. Find a girlfriend, have some fun, and hook up with Anya in four years if you and her are single.”

“But...what if I only want to be with her?” Hael asked quietly. He was obviously very skittish to be talking about this, even with his brother.

“That’s so lame” Baldr replied, teasing his brother.

“What? Pabbi*’s only ever wanted to be with Maminka*.”

“Pabbi’s boring” Baldr replied with a chuckle.

“He fought in the Civil War though.”

“Yeah, and that was what? Thirty years ago? Now he’s boring.”

“Whatever. Look, I like Anya.”

“Ok, cool. Like Anya. You can like other girls too though”

“Like you?”

“Yeah, what?”

“How many girls have you been with?”

“I know a lot of girls” Baldr insisted in that panicked insistence teenagers manage.

“I don’t mean ‘know.’ How many girls have you been with?” Hael asked with a smile. Being the more soft-spoken one meant that he was often on the other end of his brother’s teasing. Sometimes though, like now, he could extract some revenge.

“Lots” Baldr replied, insistently.



“Ok” Hael replied, in a way where he conceded the point yet nonetheless made it clear he didn’t believe his brother.

Baldr was about to respond when their Santonian older cousin Kilian called out.
“Hael, Baldr, come on! We’re heading out.”

Both of them perked up. They were heading to visit the Dogaressa of Predice. And her father, Vittorio. Who had promised one thing; firecrackers.

*Pabbi- Prydanian for "dad"
*Maminka- Norsian for "mom"

OOC note: posted with approval and help from @Predice @Kyle @Zyvun and @Felis
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Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
Býkonsviði, Prydania

Baldr stirred awake. It was his first full day back in Craviter for summer vacation, and it was 11 am in the morning. He'd been up all night playing video games. He yawned and shuffled out of his room. It was his second summer break since being sent to school in Saintonge, and he had to admit he appreciated being back home in Prydania and Norsia. Not that he didn't enjoy his friends in Saintonge but...home was home. The fifteen year old prince was barely awake right now though, making his way through the halls of Absalonhöll. He wondered where Hael and Hanna were. Probably with maminka and pabbi...he began to head down to a spot overlooking the river his parents were fond of and where he was sure they would be getting ready for lunch when a familiar voice called out.

"Your Highness."
Baldr perked up and looked over his shoulder. It was Lord General Laurids Hummel of the Knights of the Storm, Royal Executor and one his father's closest confidants.

"Lord General," Baldr replied a bit shocked.
"Sorry, you startled me."

"Well my apologies," Laurids replied.
"I'm just happy to see you finally among the living."

"Hehe yeah..." Baldr replied with a slight blush.
"Late night...say you wouldn't know where mother, father, Hael, and Hanna are?"

"Your father is the reason I'm here, Your Highness. He asked me to collect you- whenever you happened to awake. He wishes to speak to you."

"About what?" Baldr asked nervously. This couldn't have been about grades. Those were released weeks ago. And he hadn't done that badly anyway.

"His Majesty wouldn't say," Laurids replied with a smirk.
"Just that he wanted to speak to you as soon as possible."

"Well...ok," Baldr replied, his voice shaking a bit. He wasn't sure what his father wanted to discuss, but he was sure he couldn't run from it. He nodded and followed Laurids as the Lord General spoke with his father on the phone.
"Yes, I have him Your Majesty. Yes, I'll meet you at your office."

"Ask him what this is about?" Baldr asked, but Laurids had already hung up.

"I'm sure he'll let you know soon, Your Highness," the Lord General replied.

Tobias took a seat at his desk, eyeing a dagger with a hilt made out of a stag antler. He picked it up, smiling. A gift, from Gaiseric when he first went to Essalanea. He held it in his hands, observing the craftsmanship when a knock at the door meant the arrival of Laurids and his son.
"Come in," he announced, standing as he set the knife down. He didn't want to scare the boy unnecessarily. He wanted him to hear what he had to say clearly.

"Your Majesty," Laurids announced with a bow.
"Your son."

"Thank you Lord General," Tobias replied with a smile.

"You're most welcome," Laurids replied and took his leave, leaving Baldr with his father.

"Hey, what's up?"

"Sit," Tobias replied, pointing to a chair across the desk as he took his own seat.
"Nice pyjamas by the way."

"Yeah..." Baldr replied. He was wearing sweat pants and a school football team t-shirt.
"Sorry, I just got up."

"It's almost noon," Tobias chuckled.

"I had a late night and..." Baldr began before Tobias raised a hand.

"I know, don't worry about it. Sleeping late isn't why I wanted to talk to you."

"Ok..." Baldr replied nervously, "so what's going on?"

"Your mother and I spoke with your headmaster and..."

"Oh's about grades...." he thought. He hadn't done badly though! He's actually shown improvements from his first year. He got ready to defend himself when his father finished.

"...he was very concerned with how you seem to be carrying on with the girls."

"Wha...?" Baldr replied, shocked. He hadn't considered this. Not in a million years.

"It seems you're in a number did he put it...triangles d'amour?"

"It's just school stuff, drama. You wouldn't get it," Baldr replied, looking off to the side slightly. Tobias raised an eyebrow. No. He wouldn't get it. He didn't have anything resembling a formal education in his youth. He did have experience in one thing though...

"Baldr...never mind that nearly every girl at that school is the daughter of someone important, and that more than a few of them will inherit those important titles. You're my heir and..."

"Yeah I know!" Baldr replied, frustrated at having to be lectured on something he was already unhappy to discuss with his father.
"I don't wanna embarrass you," he added as he rolled his eyes and slumped back in his chair.

"Embarrass me..." Tobias replied..."no. You're my son. You couldn't embarrass me," he said with a smile. It was true. No matter what his kids did...even now as they were growing up. Just seeing them still filled him with a warm sense of joy. They were his family. His everything.
"Baldr, this isn't about you embarrassing me. I want to tell you a story."

"Oh God...." Baldr moaned.

"Quiet," Tobias shot back.
"You're going to listen to this because it's important."

"Alright," Baldr replied with a sigh.

"I was your age at the time. In the middle of the Civil War," Tobias began softly, looking down himself. He knew what he was about to tell his son. He hadn't told him, Hael, or Hanna this before. He took a deep breath to calm himself.
"I was your age, like I said, and I was in love."

"Maminka?" Baldr asked. He knew his parents had met during the Civil War.

"No," Tobias replied gravely.
"Before maminka."

" were in love before maminka?" Baldr replied in shock.
He'd always assumed, as most children often do, that his parents were made for each other. He'd gotten older, of course. Discovered romance on his own. Still, he had a hard time picturing his father of all people with anyone but his mother. He was just so....well...his father!
He'd seen people show his father the deepest adulation, celebrated as a hero of the Civil War...and yet he was painfully boring with his family life. Tobias and Alycia spent their nights at home together, unless their presence was vital for some function or another. Tobias told bad jokes, played with his kids until they got too old for that, and generally adored them to their point of annoyance. Baldr knew that the War was a different time. His father- at his age- must have been a different person...but he couldn't wrap his head around him being with anyone but his mother.

"Yes, I was in love before your mother," Tobias nodded. He looked at his son and then off in the distance above him.
"Her name was Krista Brink. Her parents....they were part of the earlier FRE cells. Her father Toke had seen his brother Thorkell victimized by the Syndicalists. He saw what happened..." he paused. Some details didn't need to be shared with a child.
"He saw what happened to his brother and his family and wouldn't let that happen to his. So he absconded into the thick Austurland forests. Like a lot of us did. And that's where I met Krista," he smiled softly, as if he was letting himself have a brief fond memory.

"I knew Krista for years as we both got older," he continued.
"They liked to keep the kids in the resistance together. So we could have something approaching a normal childhood. And when I got old enough..." he paused for a moment.

"You fell in love?" Baldr asked, more interested now then he'd been before.

"We fell in love," Tobias corrected him. He sighed.
"She was the first person to make me think the world didn't have to be so dark..." he said softly. Baldr didn't say anything. He and his siblings had been told by their mother to not pry into their father's experiences during the War. It's why they were so captivated when Tobias would talk with his friends Rylond, Fylkir, Bjarkar, and Hymir. Their stories were their only window into that time, aside from the history given at school.
"It was hard though. Resistance cells are always moving," Tobias continued. "We'd usually have two, maybe three, days together before we had to split up. It felt like a dagger in my heart every time."

Baldr couldn't believe what he was hearing. His father...felt this way? About someone? Other than his mother?

"And then..." Tobias adjusted in his chair.
"And then, one day, when I was your age, we were told her father's cell had to split off from us again. So I said much as it hurt? I just knew. In a few weeks I'd see her again."
Tobias looked down for a moment. There was no point in drawing it out.
"And then I found out, two days later, that she'd stepped on a landmine. She died...." he trailed off.
"She died."

Baldr looked at his father, who had gotten considerably more melancholy, in shock.
"I..." he began to say, but Tobias continued. As if he hadn't heard him.

"I went from counting down the days until we could be together, sure it would come sooner or later, to being told she was gone. I'd never see her again. She would here again."

Baldr sat in silence this time. He didn't know what to say...he wasn't expecting any of this. He certainly wasn't expecting his father to look so...wounded.

"Baldr," Tobias said softly, turning to look at his son.
"Girls...women...they're to be loved, not used. I lost the first girl I loved, in an instant. Just gone. So please Baldr. Show these girls respect. They're people, not things. And when you love someone else...cherish it. Love is delicate. You never know when someone you treasure will vanish."

Baldr needed a moment to process what he'd just been told. He let it wash over him, sitting still for a moment, as his father watched him. He slowly nodded though.
"Yes pabbi," he said softly.
"I understand."
He...he wasn't sure if he did. He could hardly believe what his father had told him. And yet...he saw the pain on his face. And he knew. He knew he was telling the truth. He tried to grapple with that truth too.
"Did...I mean does...does maminka know?" he asked nervously. He wasn't sure if he'd been let in on an exclusive secret or not.

"Your mother knows," Tobias replied.
"I met her five years later. She helped me get over a lot of that hurt," he said softly before smiling.
"Please, just be more respectful."

Baldr nodded, still trying to deal with what he'd been told.

"Good," Tobias replied.
"Then go get showered and you'll join your mother, brother, sister, and I for lunch. Get going."

"Are you...are you ok pabbi?" Baldr asked, ignoring his father's order.

"I..." Tobias replied before going silent for a brief moment.
"I...I am," he added with a smile. "I am now, yes."

Baldr got up from the chair, walking around his father's desk to hug him. It caught Tobias by surprise, he chuckled softly, standing to hug his son. He kissed him atop his head.
"Get going, ok? We're waiting on you."

"Right away," Baldr remarked before heading off. Tobias smiled as he got up himself. He hoped his son had listened. It was for his own sake. Not for learning to be a King, but learning to be a man.

OOC note: thanks to @Kyle for the idea
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North Timistania

RolePlay Moderator
Bayyah Na Tyrooz, The Palace of the Exalt, Capital of Astragon


A welcome breeze flows across the battlements of the palace providing a reprieve from the dry heat of an Astragonese summer. There's something comforting about these high bastions, far from the chaos and noise of humanity below, here perched on the shoulders of the Tambosa mountains I commune with the ancestors and breath in the same regal air that they knew when still flesh and blood. It is an excellent spot for contemplation and executing traitors.

“Your Exalt! The representatives from the Prydanian mission await you in the audience hall” My Seneschal calls out in a shouting voice as he struggles to be heard over the deafening force of the mountain winds

Sani Motapa, Seneschal of the imperial household, has served three generations of Exalt’s in an unbroken line from Sakard to, Kaskaran and finally me. He is a dutiful soul, always impeccably presented with his white hair tied in a severe braid and his black robes and cap eternally without crease or stain. He clings to a railing with a withered left hand while his right clutches a blackwood staff for balance, I frown, he should not be up here.

“You should have sent one of the servants Sekuru*” I chide in a concerned voice

A servant he may be, but he is my elder as well, age and the respect for one's elders is a value as old as the nation itself, even an Exalt must show deference to those older. It is of course true that there have been exceptions, not every soul who sat the throne has been noble, but the Exalt is meant to be a guide and protector, not a tyrant. Thus, I seek to earn my people's loyalty through service rather than imposition.

“Your majesty is too kind to this old man, but I would not shirk my duties or call on those with less experience to undertake them, matters such as these require a personal touch” he replies in a gentle tone

I smile with genuine warmth, loyal Sani, even Sakard adored him and my grandfather was feared throughout the land. I nod and walk toward the old man, he protests but I will hear none of it, I lead him with my arm around his back to the elevator. Once inside the howl of the wind is replaced by the low hum of the turbo-lift as we descend back into the wings of the imperial palace.

“So, tell me did you have luck finding the items I requested?” I ask gently as the lift spirits us back into the bowels of the palace

Sani grins and nods slightly “Not an easy thing to find, of course, precious few Dembe* era sets survived the march of ages” he replies in a thoughtful tone

I nod approvingly as the lift comes to a gentle stop and the doors open, the imperial apartments await.


We make our way slowly down the long corridors, ancient figures of obsidian and ivory gaze down at us with deathless eyes. Ancestors in mail, hide and silken robes keep eternal vigil over these corridors, their likenesses a reminder of past glories. I pause as we reach the antechamber of my office, I gaze at a bust in the alcove, the wild grin and visible laugh lines of my uncles' faith have been masterfully recreated by the sculptors. Kaskaran III has been made immortal thanks to the wonders of the obsidian workers.

“He was a great man,” Sani says gently, noting my pause

“May his rest with the ancestors be undisturbed,” I say softly before turning to walk into the office

Once inside I see it immediately, a collection of pottery cups encircles a long-fluted pot as they all rest on a tray of polished bronze. The pottery has been shaped from black and cream-coloured clay to resemble cowhide. The bronze tray meanwhile bears intricate scenes of ancient Ubgandian hunters chasing wild beasts with their assegai raised for the killing blows. A more perfect gift I could not have picked with my own hand.

“it is...impeccable!” I say almost breathless and I am rarely one for displays of emotion

Sani chuckles “I merely followed the specifications given to me, it will be a fitting gift for an accomplished hunter,” he says

I nod approvingly before seating myself at my office desk and reaching for my pen. I pull out a sheet of white paper bearing the imperial seal and begin to write in blocky but serviceable letters. I am a soldier, not a scribe, my writing is blunt but always to the point. Sani smiles and watches as I draft a letter to accompany the ancient coffee set to Prydania.

“To my Esteemed Cousin Tobias Na Lothbrok, King of Prydania and blood relative of Kayyvan

I will be frank, the horror stories my ambassador tells me of Cogorian coffee are cause for concern, I hope the selection of beans gathered from across my homeland will banish the horrors of bad coffee from your house. I have also sent you a new coffee set, may the depictions of hunters serve as a mirror of your own successes against nature.

With kindest regards

Sabhrain Na Kevshah”

“have this letter added to the gifts being sent with our trade mission and Sani, thank you, your service is as impressive as it is treasured,” I say with utmost sincerity

“Ha-ha, you flatter an old man, your majesty! It is my honour to serve!” he replies bowing low

I smile as he departs to make arrangements, the trade delegation will arrive soon to have their itinerary approved, then they will take the long flight north. I grin broadly as I think of the Prydanian court experiencing Astragonese coffee for the first time.

*Sekuru, translates to "uncle" in Mercanti, a term of endearment and respect amongst Astragonese youth toward their elders
*The Dembe dynasty ruled Astragon from 534 to 680 CE, they were noted for establishing the caste system and for their exquisite red clay pottery​
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North Timistania

RolePlay Moderator
Mondabo Savannah, Kingdom of Mondabaland

3000 Years Ago

Mambo Chinatembe* strode from his tent his body clothed in leopard fur and his arms and legs were sheathed in cow tail coverings. The sun was rising on the horizon, the glare illuminated the thousands of warriors gathered in the valley below. As he strode down the hill his tent was perched on, he could hear the drums beat loudly, the women sang the ancestral prayers, and the men pounded the dusty ground with their bare feet.

Loud cheers and chants of raramai mambo* filled the dawn air, he had called every tribe and every regiment to this place, today they would fight to keep Mondesha’s* homeland free from the northern invaders. When Kashem Na Dinah, king of Menhe Hailasse and Exarch of Quaresha, had declared his intention to conquer all the Ubgandian tribes from the Yihuddi border to the Meterran sea. Chinatembe had laughed and waved it off as nothing more than chest-beating of a young ruler. However, as the years had passed the claim had become less easy to dismiss, Kashem’s bronze armoured legions conquering tribe after tribe as they marched to the sea.

Now the invaders had arrived in Mondabaland, they came north with their strange faith in Shaddai and Kaidain, their unusual weapons and armour and even four-legged beasts known as horses. The battle that was about to unfold would determine the fate of the Mondaba, Chinatembe intended to remind this northern upstart why his forefathers had never bent the knee. At the Centre of the assembled warriors, the priests waited, their altar was slick with the blood of a sacrificed bull.

He stood before the thousands and allowed the priests to sprinkle holy water upon his face, to paint his cheeks in the warm blood of the bull and chant sacred spells of protection with hands raised over his head. Finally, the priests finished, and the women of his household came forth, they carried his spear, shield and crown as they moved in an elegant procession toward him.

His spear was presented to him by the queen mother, he took it in his hand firmly, his crown was placed upon his head by the Mambokadzi and his eldest daughter presented his shield. He gave his family a reassuring smile, they looked apprehensive but determined, then he turned to regard his warriors. He raised his spear; the army met this display with a roar of approval as they banged spears against cowhide shields rhythmically.

“Today we drive the invaders from our land! Today we water the earth with their blood! Our ancestors watch us my people! Fight well!” he called out in a bellowing voice

The army responded with roars and cheers, in the distance figures glittered, the armies of Kashem Na Dinah approached.


It was a slaughter; thousands of brave warriors lay dead on the red earth their blood mingling with the grass and clay. The Mondaba had fought bravely as only men defending their homes and families could, but they were hopelessly outclassed by the northerners. From his vantage point upon the hill, Kashem watched as his archers rained arrows down upon the lightly armoured Mondaba warriors, the ones that withstood that deadly volley were less fortunate than the ones that fell.

Disciplined squares of bronze armoured Kaiderin descended upon the beleaguered Mondaba line in a slow but tireless march. They were the finest warriors in the Ugandian kingdoms, the perfect synthesis of Yihuddi and Ubgandian warfare. His men marched forward clothed in mail and carrying rectangular shields, their spears and swords were of the finest bronze. The Mondaba were far less well equipped and their line struggled to hold back the metallic tide of Kashem’s army.

“A magnificent sight brother, Kaidain smiles on you this day!” Amzi Na Dinah called out from his chariot

Kashem did not share his kinsman’s enthusiasm, this was a necessary evil in his eyes. The unification of all the tribes had been Kashem’s most ardent goal since boyhood, he still vividly remembered the visions that had wracked his body of a peacock feathered serpent* calling on him to birth a nation. To the young king, it was a sign from Shaddai himself, the god of all things wanted Kashem to unite his people.

But unity meant crushing those tribes that resisted and it pained Kashem even as he knew it to be necessary to put brother Ubgandians to the sword. He had shown himself to be magnanimous in victory, his conquered rivals had kept their crowns upon defeat, but resistance did not abate. His march from the north country had been a trail of blood and fire without end, the Mondaba doomed to become merely the latest in a long line of conquests.

“I'm afraid I do not share your love of battle brother, the magnificence you speak of will be found when we no longer have to raise sword arms,” he said grimly as he lowered his helm onto his head

He had been holding his deadliest weapons back until the right moment, the Mondaba line was beginning to crack, it was time to unleash the cavalry upon them. The Ubgandian tribes were relative newcomers to Iteria and few beyond the Ubgandi-Caanitic kingdoms of the north had ever beheld the sight of a warhorse, the fear the four-legged steeds generated had been invaluable.

“Let us end this! For Shaddai and Kaidain! Charge!” Kashem roared lowering his sword

Moments later thousands of horsemen and charioteers thundered down the hills kicking up clouds of dust. They descended upon the doomed Mondaba like a desert storm and the rumble of hoofs had the quality of an earthquake.


Chinatembe awoke in agony, his head screamed in pain from a blow that had shattered his crown and sent him sprawling. Blood leaked down his face and filled his eyes, everything was a blur of gore and blinding light. He felt himself being dragged across the ground, he didn’t know by who, this ceased abruptly as he was hauled up and seated on a waiting stretcher. A wet cloth was applied to his wound and face, the blood cleaned away and his sight restored.

It was as his sight returned that he realized that the men that treated him were not his own, he was in the northerners' camp. His heart sank as he realized his situation, Mondabaland was lost and his people would likely be doomed to slavery. He felt the urge to weep and to wail, but he refused to give the invaders the final satisfaction of seeing their enemy broken. He leaned forward, the world spinning violently in response, he immediately fell back and had to suppress the urge to vomit.

“You should try and relax; you took a nasty blow to the head in the last moments of the battle,” an unfamiliar voice said gently as he took several laboured breaths

A figure strode forward, a tall man in his early 20’s, he wore his hair in carefully braided locks and his beard was short and well kept. He wore simple robes of scarlet and a singular bronze circlet adorned his head, Kashem Na Dinah regarded his defeated enemy with a curious expression. For an invader that had just slaughtered thousands and seized Chinatembe’s kingdom, Kashem seemed surprisingly concerned with the Mambo’s wellbeing.

“What do you care murwi*! My kin lie dead and my lands seized, you have what you want!” Chinatembe snarled despite the pain each word brought him

Kashem frowned and pulled up a chair “I did not come to seize your lands son of Mondesha, only to bring them into a greater union” Kashem replied gently

“Speak plainly!” Chinatembe hissed

“I have been granted a vision of a new land, an empire of united Ubgandians,” Kashem said his voice utterly sincere

“And I suppose you are to be its emperor?” he said almost spitting the last word

“in time, but I will not rule alone,” Kashem said giving Chinatembe a strange look

The northern king reached for something on a nearby table and passed it to Chinatembe, the feathered crown of Mondabaland bore a new crack about it where the mace had smashed into the ivory, but it was intact and back in Chinatembe’s hands. He struggled to sit up and gave Kashem a confused look.

“why?” the Mambo asked uncertainly

“As I said, I did not come to seize but to unite, your lands and subjects are yours to keep provided you swear fealty to me” Kashem replied firmly

“And this land that I am to join? What shall I call it?” Chinatembe asked suddenly taken aback by the strange vision this invader offered

“I haven't fully decided yet, perhaps I will name it for our shared ancestor Ashtari*, regardless it will be an empire exalted above all others,” Kashem said a look of excitement filling his normally thoughtful features

*King in Mercanti

*Long live the king in Mercanti

*Mondesha, the legendary progenitor of the Mondaba people of central Astragon

*The Peacock dragon, often associated with the angel Gabel, a symbol of prophecy and change in Ubgandi-Caanitic culture


*Ashtari led the Ubgandian settlers who left Meterra for Iteria during the Meterran Exodus, all the tribes of Astragon claim descent from this fabled mariner​
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Greater Ale Permars

RolePlay Moderator
The Wolf's Den

Göreme, Aydin
September 13, 2020
7:25 AM

As the hot sun rose over the town of Göreme the clock alarm on Bozkurt's bedside began to go off, the man opened his eyes and got up out of his bed. He took a moment to stretch himself and he walked slowly to the bathroom. His movements were mechanical, precise, cold, and calculated. As he walked into the bathroom he stared at himself in the mirror, his face expressionless and his eye's unfeeling. He proceeded in quick succession to shower, brush his teeth, and do his hair. He dressed in his military attire taking great care in pinning all his medals and awards to his outfit.

The old General lived alone being so focused on his service to the nation he never had time to start a family of his own. As lonely as it is he liked it that way. He could think and plan clearer without the nuisances that wives and children carry with them. He exited his room and headed down to the first floor of his home where he then walked into the kitchen to make himself some food. His breakfast consisted of a bowl of eggs, spiced with hot sauce and a cup of orange juice, and on that particular day, a single piece of toast slathered with jelly. The General finished his meal and cleaned up after himself making sure nothing got on his clothing. He moved to the front door and unlocked the three locks on the door. He turned the handle and opened it.

He stepped out of the house and moved into the courtyard of his surrounding compound he looked at the men guarding the compound and its walls. All the men were those he trained himself, handpicked the best of the best now dedicated to guarding his compound. He began making his way around the house to the back shed. He saluted the guards at the door and handed the soldier on the right his cap. The wolf of a man entered through the block shed door and looked at the man chained to the wall. He looked starving, his face bruised, hunger pained, and gaunt. Next to him on a small wooden table were an assortment of tools a branding iron, a scalpel, a hammer, a screwdriver, and a pair of pliers. The man on the wall was a journalist who had been caught snooping around his compound. The General was already finished extracting intelligence from him but he kept the man around for fun a sort of fun activity he could do when he had the time. The guards listened outside the shed as the man was gruesomely tortured, his agonized screams were enough to haunt their nightmares for years but that was just the price that came with guarding the Wolf's Den.
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Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
Býkonsviði, Prydania
July 2035

It started with a photograph. And ended up with a painting- or more accurately a red canvas in place of one. The spot between the portrait of King Robert VII and the spot where Hael's father's portrait would be hung once it was ready was merely filled by a red canvas. It was where Anders III's portrait was supposed to go. Hael took in the sight and looked down at the book he was holding; l’Ensauvagement de la Prydanie: un pays détruit en siècle. It had all started with a photograph though....

Saintes, Saintonge
March 2035

"I'm excited, are you excited?" Hael asked Baldr before class as they took their seats.

"I mean yeah, I am I guess," Baldr replied. Their world history course had arrived at something near to both of them; the Prydanian Civil War. They had been taught about it in broad terms back in Prydania, but their mother had made it clear to them - do not bring the war up with their father. He'd lived in it. Fought in it.

"He'll tell you both about it when you're ready. And when he's able to," she had said. Their mother was not one to argue with and so that was that. The best they could manage was hiding just outside their father's study in Absalonhöll and catching snippets of stories Tobias would share with his friends who had lived through the war with him.

This was different though. This was a proper overview of the war from an academic perspective.

"I'm not sure though," Baldr added.
"Do you think Madame Jouenne will...I donno...go easy on it?"

"What do you mean?" Hael asked, confused.

"Everyone knows who dad is," Baldr replied.
"They may decide to...I donno...not be as thorough I guess. I mean what would you do if you were Madame Jouenne and you had King Tobias' sons in your class?"

"I donno, just teach it as best I could?" Hael shrugged.

"Yeah maybe," Baldr replied. He couldn't continue the line of discussion with his brother though, as class began.

Hael listened intently as their teacher explained the background to the War. The rise of the Social Commonwealth fascist regime in the mid-80s and the litany of abuses under the Toft government.

"I wonder why great-uncle Anders let all of that happen?" Hael asked himself.

He followed along on his laptop though, as Madame Jouenne continued the lecture. The rise of the Syndicalists under Thomas Nielsen as a reaction to the Social Commonwealth regime. Madame Jouenne made note to not dwell on the execution of the royal family- there was no need to single out the execution of Baldr and Hael's paternal grandparents.

The lecture moved into the war, and Hael continued to type up notes as he followed along with the lesson's slides. And then the photograph.

It was dated "Christmas 2012, FNU Camp." It was a group photograph. Of William Aubyn, Axle Skov, Stig Eiderwig, Stig's children his Aunt Karla and Uncle Laurits, the Thane of Jórvik, Rylond Jórvik, and his father. His father...2012. He would have been seventeen. Only a few years older than Hael and Baldr. It was surreal. He'd seen occasional photographs of his father when he was younger but this was different. Madame Jouenne’s voice, which he had been following intently, faded into the background. It wasn't just that he was looking at a younger picture of his father, but the expression on his face. It was Christmas. Everyone was smiling, but there was a certain sadness in his father's eyes. The war could not have been an easy time but...he was taken aback to see this worn look on his father's younger visage. It was such a contrast from how he knew him.

"Baldr," he said softly. Baldr didn't reply.
"Baldr," he repeated, quietly.


"It's dad."

"Yeah..." Baldr replied.
"I'm trying to pay attention."

Hael nodded, and refocused on his teacher's lecture. Yet the return to the lecture didn't sate the curiosity that picture had risen in him.

History was the second to last class of the day. Biology was next and Hael dreaded the idea of it...but Baldr seemed enthused. He'd found he had an aptitude for it.

"Come on," Baldr said as everyone in the class packed up their laptops and books.
"I heard the senior class were dissecting rats. The place is going to smell. We need to get a seat by the windows."

"Can you save me one?" Hael asked.

"Why?" Baldr asked, confused.

"I just have some questions for Madame Jouenne."

Baldr shrugged.
"Suit yourself. I'll see what I can do."

Hael finished backing up his own belongings and approached his history teacher once everyone else had left.

Caroline-Louanne Jouenne looked up from her computer to see one of the Loðbrók twins approaching her. “Yes, Monsieur Loðbrók? How may I help you?”

“Madame Jouenne… may I ask some questions regarding the topic?”

Madame Jouenne looked thoughtfully at her student. When she was preparing the lesson, she agonised how she was going to tackle the Prydanian Civil War with the sons of the King of Prydania in the class. She knew some members of their family shared the blame for what happened in Prydania. If she mentioned it frankly… the Loðbrók twins might take it badly. The other students might see the Loðbrók twins in a different light. So she edited the lecture to scrub references that outright blamed Anders III and instead pointed to the vague ‘Social Commonwealth government’.

“Sure,” Madame Jouenne answered, closing her laptop to focus her attention on her student.

“I… want to know more about the Prydanian Civil War,” Hael said. “Since it has affected my country so much, I want to understand it more.”

Madame Jouenne smiled. She was trained to teach students how to think, not what to think. She wasn’t going to give Hael Loðbrók a lot of assignments or dates to remember.

“The Prydanian Civil War is a complex conflict,” Madame Jouenne said. “To understand it, you need to read a lot of material and see it through different perspectives.” She suddenly remembered that she had in her bag the book about the Prydanian Civil War, which she used to prepare her lecture. “We can’t possibly cover them all in a lecture, or even a day.”

Hael nodded.

“But I can lend you this book,” Madame Jouenne handed him her copy of l’Ensauvagement de la Prydanie: un pays détruit en siècle, one of the first history books to chronicle and analyse the Prydanian Civil War. In history circles, it is still the authoritative reference for the conflict. She had also met one of the authors, Ketilbjörn Skarbövik, a Prydanian refugee in Saintonge, back in history classes at university. A history major, he made it his life’s work to understand the upheaval that nearly destroyed his country. The questions that Ketilbjörn Skarbövik had previously asked were the same questions that Hael Loðbrók was now asking. Maybe Hael would benefit from the answers and discoveries that Ketilbjörn uncovered.

“You can buy a copy at the bookstore at the University of Saintes,” Madame Jouenne advised Hael. “But for now, you can read my copy until you get yours.”

Hael took the book and looked it over, nodding.
“Thank you Madame Jouenne” he said smiling as he slipped it into his bag before heading off to biology.

Býkonsviði, Prydania

July 2035

That was four months ago and Hael had spent that time reading l’Ensauvagement de la Prydanie: un pays détruit en siècle in his spare time between his own school work and his time with his cousins and friends. He’d even made it a point to get his own copy as quickly as he could so he could return Madame Jouenne’s. It was just polite of course, but it answered so many questions he’d always had. He needed his own copy he could thumb through, bookmark, and scribble in as he desired.
He'd begun to understand some of his earlier questions. How his great-uncle Anders could have allowed the SoComm regime to do what they did. He wasn't as passive an actor as Hael had assumed. The book was enlightening in that regard but it made him uneasy. He didn't know what it was...but the Syndicalists were one thing. He'd always known about what they had done. And no, he'd never met his great-uncle Anders. instinctual part of him wanted to give his own flesh and blood the benefit of the doubt. He was only fourteen, but he knew the saying of there being two sides to every story. Surely the book's rather unapologetic take on Anders III was but one interpretation.

He finished the last chapter of the book on the plane ride back to Norsos to return them home for summer vacation.

"You're still reading that?" Baldr asked as he frustratingly tried to get his phone to connect to the plane wifi.

"Yeah it's interesting" Hael replied.

"You've been reading it forever."

"I had to stop to study for finals, but I'm almost done with it. I can give it to you when I'm done."

Baldr looked up from his phone and stared at his brother for a moment before smiling.
"Yeah, that would be cool. Thanks." Hael smiled. He knew Baldr wasn't much for history but like him...the Civil War was this vast, mysterious thing.

Hael finally reached the end, and thumbed through a few photographs in the back. There was one of Jannik Lieftur at his trial. There were a few shots of the liberation of Býkonsviði. And...a shot of William Aubyn, Thomas Lasmartres, the Santonian ambassador to Prydania at the time, his aide, and his father. Dated June 2017. His father, looking a bit older here, but still worn.

And so here he was in Absalonhöll. A week after arriving back in Craviter. The royal portraits were new. Installed over the course of the school year. He had a better understanding now, having read the book, of why his great-uncle and great-great grandfather's portraits were red. Still...he wanted to ask his father about Anders. It gnawed at him.

He clutched the book in one hand as he made his way through the Palace's halls. Where would his parents be? He endeavored to find Lord General Hummel...

Tobias aimed his sites at the target and fired.

"Close honey," Alycia remarked as she aimed her own rifle and fired. It, like her husband's, was half in the bullseye, half in the second most inner ring.
"Ugh," she muttered as Tobias loaded another round.

"Neither of us can get a bullseye today," Tobias muttered.
"I blame the weather."

"You can't keep blaming the weather when it's an indoor range," Alycia chuckled.

"Sure I can," Tobias laughed.
"Pressure systems and the like. It's science."

"Sure thing sweetie," Alycia replied, kissing her husband's cheek before he fired. Another close one, but no straight bullseye.

"I give up. I'm just not feeling it," Tobias sighed.

"Yeah, probably best if we head in. Before we both end up driving ourselves crazy."

Tobias began to unload the amo from his rifle when he looked up and smiled. Hael was behind the glass in the viewing area, waving. Tobias waved him in, and Hael eagerly complied. He walked into a shooting range that smelled of discharged gunpowder. He was used to it- his mother was a former soldier and his father was a hunter. They both shot for recreation. It was, in a way, comforting. One of the smells of home.

"We're just packing it in, I'm afraid," Alycia remarked.

"That's ok mom," Hael replied. "I came to ask dad a question."

"Oh?" Tobias asked as he finished unloading his rifle.

"'s about the Civil War."

"Hael," Alycia said firmly.

"No mom, look. We learned about it in school. And Madame Jouenne recommended this..." he held up the book. Tobias recognized it. He had the Prydanian edition in his study. He'd never read it.
"I just...I want to know some stuff."

There were many reasons Tobias had never read l’Ensauvagement de la Prydanie, but they all tended to boil down to the same reason. He lived through the Civil War. It was personal to him. And he felt no need to revisit it. Even from an academic perspective.
"Like what?" Tobias asked. He didn't look up from his task of loading his rifle into its plastic storage case.

Hael was a bit nervous. He didn't know what to expect, but his father's detached response was a bit worrying. Still...he'd asked him to continue. That was a good sign.

"I was wondering. About Stefan Toft. And the Social Commonwealth government. I just wanted to know...why did Uncle Anders let it all happen? He could have stopped the Syndicalists if he'd done something about the Social Commonwealth earlier."

Alycia had to bite her tongue. She knew damn well who Anders III was. He was eerily similar to her own mother. And she had spent a lot of time assuring Tobias that he was not his uncle, and couldn't be early in their relationship. Still, this was her husband's question to answer. She looked at him as he set the rifle case down against the wall. There was a certain...sense about Tobias as he considered his son's question. An uneasiness.

The truth was Tobias was running through any number of answers for his son. Some harsh. Some angry. Some sugar coating things...but he could only bring himself to say one thing.
"Anders was a monster," he said matter of factly.

Hael was a bit taken aback. He figured if anyone was going to exonerate his family it would be his father. Yet his father had just summed up what chapters of the book had been claiming.

"Anders didn't let the Social Commonwealth happen," Tobias continued.
"He made it happen. He and Toft. They did it together. Your great-uncle was a fascist. And a monster."

"I...I see," Hael stuttered.
"So the book is right then."

"If it blames Anders for what happened in those years, then yes," Tobias said, very bluntly. Hael started to feel guilty.

"Dad, I'm sorry. I just...we studied it in school. I wanted to know. Please don't be mad at me...or sad..." he said softly.

Tobias looked at his son...he knew this day was going to come sooner or later. He'd have to reckon with his memories for the sake of his children.

"I'm going to go find Baldr, and pull him away from whatever video game he's probably glued to," Alycia remarked, kissing her husband's cheek.
"You two talk," she added, taking her leave. Not before giving Hael some parting advice though.
"Listen, don't pry," she said.

"Yes mother," Hael replied.

Tobias found himself alone with his son.
"Come on," he said and led Hael into the shooting range viewing area. Taking a seat behind the bulletproof glass that gave them a view of the empty shooting range. Hael tentatively sat next to his father.

" that why Anders' portrait is red?" he asked.

"Yes. His and Rikard VI’s. I'm not dignifying either my uncle or great-grandfather with proper portraits in this place" he said bluntly.

"I'm sorry dad...I don't want you to be sad. We don't need to talk about it," Hael replied, feeling guilty he'd broached the subject.

Tobias looked forward for a moment and then to his son.
"You're going to have to know eventually. You studied it in school, yes?"

"Yes. We talked about how the Syndicalists rose up, the Syndicalist Republic, and the War."

Tobias nodded. They were going to be taught about it eventually. And they'd ask him about it. It was inevitable. That every Prydanian of his generation was affected by the war in some way was a comfort. He wouldn't be the only parent having this conversation.

"I was only seven when the Syndicalist coup happened. I don't remember much about it. Just that there was a lot of chaos. I remember Axle keeping me safe, and a lot of gunfire. I remember meeting William. In hiding," he said softly.
"But I was seven. I don't remember much about what happened. I don't remember any of the politics. In fact I don't even remember Anders being a monster. I remember being sad, when I saw him shot along with your grandparents...that’s something I remember very clearly. Seeing my family gunned down on television.” He closed his eyes for a moment as the lump in his throat swelled up and then vanished.

"You don't remember Anders being a monster? But you said..."

"I remember that he was a stern, angry man, but he could also be nice. He could be very kind, and was to me. I vaguely remember my parents being very cautious around him, and speaking about him like he was this scary thing. He was my uncle though. I...I loved him," Tobias admitted.
"That's what a child's naivety gets you though," Tobias chuckled. "I won't pretend to know what Anders thought of me, or my mother and father, but I was a child. I didn't understand the world around me, or what Anders was."

"You said he was a monster though," Hael asked, sounding both curious and confused.

"Yeah," Tobias replied.
"I was taught what he was, when I got old enough. I didn't believe it at first. Like you," he said.
"I wanted to believe the best about my family. More so than you, because I actually knew Anders in a way. As my sometimes scary but sometimes kind uncle. I didn't want to believe that he was responsible for the horrors of his reign, and the Syndicalist coup."

"So...what changed your mind?" Hael asked softly.

"People did. Too many people who suffered under the terrors of his reign. I couldn't ignore that. It was my first lesson in the need to listen. And the need to put my own views aside and consider the greater good. Your great-uncle's reign was so toxic I had to give a speech during the Battle of Býkonsviði where I had to assure everyone I wasn't him," Tobias recounted.

"Yeah," Hael replied.
"I saw. Madame Jouenne put it up on the online portal for the class. Along with Uncle Stig's speech."

"Heh," Tobias replied.
"I'm honored...I think."



"What...what was it like? The war."
Hael asked it nervously. It was a big question, but he'd gotten his father to open up so far. He desperately wanted to know though...and this seemed like the time.

"Dark, cold, sad, hungry," Tobias replied.


Tobias straightened himself in his seat and rested a foot on the chair in front of him.
"I spent a lot of it spirited away from bunker to safe house to bunker and back again. A lot of times I only had Axle for company."

"Axle Skov?"


"What did you see?"

"William...William Aubyn...did all he could to protect me. But you have to understand. As we pushed Syndicalists out of an area we'd come in. And what we's some of the most haunting things I've ever seen. Starved people. Burnt farmland. Prison labour camps. Children younger than you essentially worked half to death."

"I've seen the pictures in the book," Hael replied.

"It's not the same as seeing it in person," Tobias replied, almost insistently.
"I have a copy of that book. I've never read it because of that. I lived through it. I don't need to relive it."

"Dad, I'm sorry..."

"You don't need to apologize," Tobias replied with a smile.
"I'm glad you've read it. I would rather you read about it than have to live through something like it. But you need to understand that those of us who lived through it, we're not so eager to remember. We want to look forward, not back."

"But isn't it important to remember? Like...if you forget the past you're doomed to repeat it?"

"I haven't forgotten, but a very smart man once told me that the past can be used as a source of inspiration to make the present and future better. It's better to do that than dwell on the past's horrors. Everything I've done as King has been towards making sure this country can recover and that what happened will never happen again. I see Prydanian crop yields rising, I see economic growth in tech industries in the cities. I see mining and steel production rising. And I see why it's worth it to remember the past, so I can value where we are now."

Hael nodded, having a bit of a revelation. The Prydania he knew had always been peaceful. He tried to understand how his father must see it though, compared to the country he grew up in.
"I saw a picture of you. With the FNU, at Christmas,” he said softly.

Tobias thought for a moment. When was that? Then he remembered.
"Lodestar News. A Silean journalist team. They came to cover the war in 2012."


"Heh...that was one of the few times we were all together."

"You looked...sad."

Tobias sighed.
"I remember when that picture was taken. I wouldn't have believed you if you'd told me back then that my son would be telling me about seeing that picture. I couldn't really think of something that happy back then. So that's why I probably look sad."

"You didn't think you'd have kids?"

"I just tried to survive one day at a time, Hael. I didn't want to think too far ahead because the possibilities were too frightening."

"Did...did you fight?"

Tobias nodded.
"They never trained me as a soldier but I fought."

" kill anyone?"

"Your mother told you not to pry,” Tobias replied, before feeling guilty for shutting his son’s question down like that. The fact was that he never felt comfortable talking about the lives he took. It was an instinctive reaction to try and change the subject.

"I'm sorry," Hael said again looking down. Tobias just sighed though. He truly didn't like talking about it but...he had a duty. Hael was only going to learn more as he got older.

"Yes. I killed people. People who history will say probably deserved it. Who I definitely believed deserved it. It still...bothers me to think about. I killed people. I can't undo that."
Tobias turned to his son again.
"You're going to learn more about the Prydanian Civil War as you get older. And the Norsian Civil War. You're going to learn about all the great wars in history. Some of the stories you hear might make you think that they're glorious. That they're grand, heroic. They're not. War is ugly and dirty and it scars you. You can never go back to before after you've been through it..." Tobias stared off into the distance for a moment, remembering just...brief, happy memories of his young life before the Syndicalist coup.
"Anyone who tries to tell you about the glories of combat and war is lying to you,” he added. “War is sometimes necessary- like our Civil War was- but it's never glorious."

"I'm sorry you had to go through that dad..." Hael said. He could hardly speak. His father hadn't yelled at him or chastised him, but he felt like he'd been hit by a truck. He reached for his father's hand and took it.

"Heh" Tobias chuckled.
"You're a good kid," he said softly.
"But you need to hear this. You’ll be Emperor of Norsos one day. And God forbid it comes to you needing to support a war. You need to understand that even the necessary and justifiable wars are brutal. And change even the soldiers who manage to come home. You need to understand that so that if you need to make a choice you know just what you are choosing.”

Hael nodded as he squeezed his father's hand. He gave very little thought to his eventual reign as Emperor. He was fourteen. He focused on school, hanging out with his friends and cousins. His father had a point though.

"Ask me anything you want," Tobias said, smiling at his son. He’d found that discussing the war with him wasn’t hard as he thought it would be. Painful to be sure, but not hard.
"You deserve to know,” he added. “Later though. I've been missing bullseyes all day and I'm hungry," he smiled.
"Come on. Let's go get something to eat."

Hael nodded and smiled as he followed his father out of the viewing area. He was happy he'd opened up to him, as much as he could.

"Dad?" he said as he walked up alongside him.


"I'm proud of you," he hugged him tight.

"Hah!" Tobias replied, patting his son's shoulder.
"I'm proud of you too."

OOC note: co-written with @Kyle and posted with the permission of @Zyvun
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St George

RolePlay Moderator
Deputy Speaker
He/Him, They/Them
This is an old land.
A land of song and toil.
Music flows here.
It comes from everything.
The air, the sea, the soil.
And with it comes our people.

We are the Canwyr.
And whilst Kilith and Umbrial have fought
and risen and fallen and left and returned,
we have remained constant.

I could tell you a story of how we
survived, thrived, died and revived.
I could spin a lyrical web better
than any spider with silk
melodic, rhythmic or harmonic.
I could move you to great anguish,
great anger and greater cheer.
I can do all those things
because I am Canwyr.

Have you heard the tragedy
of Lôn Emrys Y Doeth?
It is not a story that the Kilith would tell you.
Have I spoken of the murder
Of Brenin Gethin at the Priodas Goch?
Of how the Umbrials killed fair Arwel,
Lover of Cerys, our noble Brenhines?

This land is ours.
Its stories belong to us,
And if you would care to hear them
You need only open your ears

And listen…


To the Canwyr.


Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation

Madame Caroline-Louanne Jouenne,

I would like to personally thank you for your recommendation to my son Hael regarding additional reading on the Prydanian Civil War.

As you can imagine, the subject is one of deep personal importance to me. While I have begun to impart what I lived through to my sons I recognize that I cannot properly offer them a comprehensive understanding of the subject. I am afraid teaching my sons an objective view of the War and the events surrounding it is beyond me. It’s because of this that I want to write you and thank you. Both for being an excellent teacher for my boys, and for providing them with the lessons and tools needed to understand this part of their country’s history. I am beyond grateful that you were responsible for their historical education at this stage of their lives.
With respect,

Tobias K

His Majesty, Tobias III Loðbrók, by the Grace of God, King of Prydania, Lord Protector of Austurland, Marshal of Býkonsviði, Lord Uniter, Defender of the Faith
His Imperial Grace, Tobias I Loðbrók, by the Grace of the Gods, Emperor of Norsos, High King of the Fatherland, Lord Protector of the Faith
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Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation

Tobias K

Tobias III Loðbrók, by the Grace of God, King of Prydania, Lord Protector of Austurland, Marshal of Býkonsviði, Lord Uniter, Defender of the Faith, to all whom it may concern,


Whereas many men, women, and children took up membership in the Syndicalist Party of Prydania, either voluntarily or by force;

And whereas many men, women, and children took up arms in the name of the Syndicalist Republic, either in the Armed Forces of the Syndicalist Republic or in the Syndicalist Party People's Militia;

And whereas the Syndicalist Republic and Syndicalist Party have been declared a criminal enterprise and criminal organization by decree of the King;

Now know ye, that the King, in the name of national unity and reconcilation after thirty-three years of strife, grants a pardon to all men, women, and children of the Syndicalist Outer Party.

And know ye, that the King grants a pardon to all men, women, and children of the Armed Forces of the Syndicalist Republic and Syndicalist Party People's Militia below the rank of Captain.

And for this pardon to free said parties from being convicted of any crimes committed as a consequence of membership in the Syndicalist Party, Armed Forces of the Syndicalist Republic, or Syndicalist Party People's Militia.

And for so doing this shall be a sufficent warrant.

Given at His Majesty's Court at Absalonhöll on the 16th day of August 2017, in the first year of his reign.
By His Majesty's Command
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November 6th, 2020
Astissa, Norsos.

Alycia peered around her office. It was usually a quiet space where she could do her stately work in peace, but today she opted to give a speech out of it. The office was lived in, and the furniture was modest and mostly varnished wood and the lights warm. Flowers brought life into every corner of the room, and paintings brought the history together. Next to Alycia on the desk was a family picture, Alycia, Tobias, and the two baby princes Baldr and Hael. She was wearing her favorite blouse in favor of her uniform, but she still had to wear the crown sash and ribbons.

It had taken her days to recite and rehearse this speech to the point she no longer needed it written, but at the moment before she started, all she could think of was how these new efforts were going to affect the country. She had to be seen to be believed. Since the day of her coronation, To preserve the Monarchy, she must be seen. She must be in the hearts of the people. One day Hael will have to be in their hearts too.

The lead NNN Cameraman caught her attention with a sign and started to count down as she straightened herself silently.

"My fellow countrymen and countrywomen, we face a new future—a future where old threats have been reinvented as new challenges to be faced. Military preparedness has always been at the forefront of our military's mission. We have always obtained peace through preparing for war. Yet the age-old threat has always remained, protecting the motherland against invasion.

There has never been a time where the promise against invasion could be given to our people. Indeed, the last time we were invaded is in the living memory of all but our children. While we still cannot promise against invasion, it is becoming more unlikely with the founding of the Bergum and Luscova Pacts. As well as our own growing strength. I have in me full confidence that our allies would rush to our side, just as we would do them. However, future wars will not be fought in muddy trenches, street to street, or house to house. They will be fought digitally, in the seas, in the air, and space. It is no longer advantageous for Norsos to maintain a large army. Still, a smaller specialized army to defend our home while building the fleets, air force, and strategic assets on which future warfare is built upon.

In the coming years, we will strategically improve our nation's defense apparatus to protect ourselves and our allies. Several endeavors are already in the works. We will be ready to face any threat. Be the ones that exist now or will in the future as warfare continues to evolve. The cruel realities of Terror and War are on the rise throughout the world. The world is evolving, and we must evolve with it or become a footnote in history.

In the evolution of our beautiful country and on the march forward, our attention must turn towards Ereion. In nineteen ninety-seven, Ereion invaded Norsos and waged war until it ended in the horrific and brutal occupation of Ereion in two thousand three... I can never truly apologize enough for what my mother did to Ereion and our kindred, but even through all of the suffering through the decades, we have managed to begin healing... To forgive each other and coexist once more, but the question of Ereionese states rights and the cries of a referendum has wrongly gone unanswered even during my short reign.

I am happy to announce that the clamor for reform has not gone unheard. In collaboration with regional officers, my government has been hard at work for the past two years to lay the critical foundations for new democratic processes. Ereion will have its referendum to join Norsos as an Imperial State with full rights and representation or to have extended regional autonomy and self-governance within the empire. The choice belongs entirely to you, and no one can take it from you now.

We are all family, and Norsitica is our home. It is my wish that we can finally be whole again. May the Gods bless, and the spirits watch over you all. Good evening."
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Peter set his tired eyes on the docks at Sarazed. His galley bound northward was lit by a few lamps, shrouding the bay in intermittent darkness. It was a fitting metaphor for the mission he was to set out upon. He turned around to look at the cradle of the church one last time, saying goodbye to the land that had raised him. Yet as he did, he noticed a silhouette run towards him in the distance. Before he could make out who it was, Simon Peter was upon him, and embraced him..

"You really thought I was going to let you go without saying goodbye?" he asked, tears welling in his eyes.

"Thank you, brother, it means a lot," he replied, tearful in his own right.

Simon Peter wiped his eyes with his sleeve. He was in a night gown and wearing no sandals, yet he had made the trek from the city to the docks to say goodbye to his brother.

"When the other apostles proposed we send one of our own northbound to preach to the ammi, I prayed and prayed that it wouldn't be you," he said, "but I knew no one else could have taken on such a task... I'm going to miss you, brother, but I am so proud of you and what you're about to do."

"Thank you, brother," he replied, "To be honest, I'm quite scared. What if they don't respond to the message of Mar Mashiah? What then?

Simon Peter smiled sadly at his brother. "Oh Peter," he said, "just remember what Mar Mashiah said to us upon his resurrection. He is with us, always. Through him, we will do wonders, and save the peoples of Eras from sin."

Peter was quiet. He was there when the resurrected messiah spoke to them as well, and these words offered no comfort. Simon Peter saw his doubt, and knew just what to do.

"Come, brother, let us pray one last time before you leave," Simon Peter said.

Peter put his arms around Simon Peter, and touched his forehead to his brother's.

"Mar Mashiah, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner," they both began, "Lord God, creator of all, source of life and sovereign of Eras, we thank you for the gift of life that you have granted us. Lord God, we thank you for the resurrected messiah, and shall sing his praises from the four corners of Eras. Lord God, bless us with your Universal Spirit, grant us the strength and the power to say your truth, so that all the nations of Eras may sing your praises and come to know you as their One God. Lord God, with your will, allow us to spread the love and the truth of your only begotten son, so that all may be saved by your grace. Amen."

The brothers broke and Peter choked back tears. Simon Peter hugged him one last time, tighter than before. He held him there for several moments before letting him go.

"In Mar Mashiah's name, go brother," Simon Peter said.

"Mar Mashiah willing, I will," his brother replied.

And with that, they parted ways.
November 10, 2020 (8:37pm) - 19 Llywydd Street (Home of the Prime Minister)

"The polls are in."
A tired Jeremy Wilson slowly walks to his armchair, weary from the stress of the election.
"Well, spit it out. What do they say?" He appears as if a tiresome, restless old man. There are just two days until the nation goes to the ballots. This election will probably decide if he functions as a leader, or a lame duck, for the next four years.
His secretary, a visibly nervous - with his hesitant, quiet voice just affirming this suspicion - man in his twenties, hands the paper on which the answer is held upon.
Wilson drinks a sip of his whisky slowly, and glances briefly at the page. Looking away, he nods calmly; relaxing into his chair slowly and ushering the boy away. Once the man, just as awkwardly, leaves the room, Wilson stands and looks out upon the street. His people.

He just stands staring at the people on the streets. Although the sun has long since set in Athersbury, the streets are still teeming with people and noise and life. Wilson nods calmly, greeting a passer-by on the street directly in front of him. He chuckles to himself slightly, with a new air of confidence that he just moments ago did not possess. He picked up the paper again, the paper that had given him such energy. With results as good as this - his rivals ought to throw in the towel.

Just two days remain, he thinks. He sits behind his computer - as much as the man who was in the room just minutes ago believes, this man, despite being in his forties, is quite technologically able - and searches his name. The headlines affirm his confidence.

"Sir? William Dunstable is here to see you."

"Of course. Let him in, and tell him I shall be down in just a minute."

Now is not the time to gloat. Not to Dunstable, not the poor Liberal, one should not enjoy the malfortune of one's opponent. He deliberates down to his front room, where the tiresome, restless old man stands in front of him, taking off his coat.
He gets just enough time to mentally scold the poor man, before Dunstable speaks.
"I propose to you, a coalition. What do you say?"
This could be the perfect chance to gain control of the centre-ground. With Dunstable on his side, he could gain the votes of even the most centrist, undecided and Southern voters of them all. No more centrist House for the country, he could truly unify the House and the Senate - the latter of which he already controls - under his leftist administration. He could be a latter-day Harold Grantham, except a couple decades younger.
Wilson steps forward and looks down slightly. "I think I'll need some time to consider." He walks up the stairs, with the other two men watching.

"Yes, he's drunk, I know. He'll come through, don't worry, once the whisky wears off. Give him a day."
Both glance up at the slightly intoxicated man steadily, but confidently, stumbling up the stairs, and shake their heads slowly.

With just two days to go until the election, Jeremy Wilson leads at 39%. This could give him 400-420 seats - gaining 50-100 more than 2016 - and the mandate to promote his leftist policies for the first time since Harold Grantham left 19 Llywydd Street in 1997.
26 May, 1988 - 10:29
As he boarded the great ship Athyria, he held his hand up to wave at his son. The people watching waved and cheered as much as their lungs permitted. This perplexed him. Llywellyn waved back, with a smile on his face. He was clearly pleased for his father.

Yes, he was King, but it was rather confusing. He would be back in a week.

He waited for his wife to board. She was slow, but the ship would never leave without the consort of Osynstry, would it? It didn't.

They walked, together, to reception, hand in hand. The receptionist - clearly startled by the sight of the monarch - gave the key to the specific room that King Richard had asked for. No, just Richard. He's on holiday. Richard took the key, slightly concerned with the receptionist who has just dropped some water over herself due to her state and then smiled extremely nervously, as if it was intentional. He nodded at her, to signal "Are you alright? Do you need my assistance?", but she didn't reply. Richard decided it was best to leave her to it.

Richard and Elizabeth walked up to the deck of the ship. They were now approaching old age, and despite having only really walked to the top of the ship; the ship was definitely large, and they were definitely tired from the day of preparing. The gentle undulating rhythm of peoples' voices, the equally gentle undulating rhythm of the Gwynydd Harbour's waves, the gulls, the great feeling of the sea breeze in their greying hair - it was perfect. He wished he could just stay in this moment, on the ship, forever, in bliss.

The ship slowly left its moorings, as the couple sat down, looking at each other pleased with their choice of holiday. The captain, a man with a soft Cymbrish accent and an upbeat tone - apparently called Albert Towyn, "after the great town I hail from of the same name", as he said in his not quite obnoxious but certainly encouraging voice - was speaking over the tannoy system. Richard decided to ignore it - he's on holiday after all, why should he burden himself with that?

The ship left a large wake in the harbour, as the people in the Harbour left, as it bubbled and sparked with the noise of people.

26 May, 1988 - 21:59

The Fourth Officer greeted the King - the King? Really? That's him? - with great hesitation and worry. The King replied in a thoroughly relaxed manner:

"Good day, and don't be so hesitant, my friend. I'm not self-indulgent and you should call me by my name, and address me as you would any other passenger. I'd be a vain man if I said anything otherwise."

So his public appearance was true then, he really was that humble. "Yes, si-I mean Richard. Good day." They smiled at one another, the King's smile warm and inviting - one you can trust from a trusted elder, with no hint of "fake"-ness to it - and went their separate ways.

The Officer was suddenly stopped in his tracks by a member of the crew, who alerted them to the conditions outside.
"This isn't as we expected. It's clear - it was supposed to be pouring with rain today. Do you think we should reconsider the route, in case the rain comes later and causes a surge, or worse, adverse conditions and high waves?" A particularly large wave lapped against the deck.

The Officer dismissed him, too high on his own hubris. He'd greeted the King. The King. "I'm sure it shall be of no concern."

The ship was alive, but yet calm.
27 May, 1988 - 06:38

Richard woke up, leaving his wife behind in the room, to look out onto the sea. The sun rose, orange and great, in the distance. Life was good.

He made his way down to the dining room, to have his breakfast early. Not a single soul was there - but he was not a late sleeper. Waking up early gave him the time to consider what he wanted, to think slowly and to start slowly for the day ahead. That was one of the good things about growing old - he no longer desired lying in.

He greeted the crew in the restaurant, saying "Good morrow, you are well?", or "Good day, what a splendid vessel this is." to various crew members who were more perplexed with the fact that the King just spoke to them than concerned with what he was saying, who just nodded in half-hubris and half-apprehension.

He ate his meal as his wife made her way, leisurely, to the table. "You didn't wake me?"
"I didn't want to disturb you, my love."
Her look turned from slight questioning back to being completely at peace. "Of course."

The Fourth Officer, meanwhile, was watching the clouds. Ahead, was a wall of grey cloud, as if Aether above was displeased with them.

27 May, 1988 - 14:58

The Fourth Officer reported to the Captain.

"I think we should deliberate to change route. The conditions ahead look adverse, and the risks are high."

The Captain calmly replied with something along the lines of "Calm down, it's fine, I've already thought through this", and his tone relaxed the Fourth Officer.
"Yes, Captain." A drop of rain fell from the clouds above.
27 May, 1988 - 20:37

Richard got up, having watched the sun slowly fall back into the seas, and the skies turned through their stages of orange to a deep, midnight blue. The rain was heavy, but he didn't care if he got wet. The waves lapped against the ship - far more vigorous than before, with their additional ammunition from above.

Something wasn't quite right. Visibility was low. The sea was choppy at least, if not chaotic. The passengers saw no problem with this, the change so gradual that many took hours to notice.

A fairly deep vibration woke Richard from his slight nap from the chair he had sat down inside on. Elizabeth, next to him, had similarly been woken up by it, and an unsettling air had filled the ship. Something definitely wasn't right, the buzz that had surrounded and followed them the entire journey had abruptly ended, replaced with an overly uneasy silence. "Darling, I think we hit something." Clear, and concise, it broke the silence. Several passengers looked at the King, and the looks of tense worry unsettled the elderly man.

"Don't be ridiculou-" Richard shook his head. He was right about his father's own health, and managed - with his son, what a great King he would one day be, and how proud he made his father every day - to talk to him and gain knowledge that he never would have known; but more importantly, to spend time with him before his death. And that was twenty years ago. Elizabeth paused, and nodded slowly. "I think you may be right. Let us hope not, though."

They slowly walked to the front of the ship, and up to the deck. By this point, the noise had returned - but was far more panicked, as if something was horribly, horribly wrong. The King spent the entire journey comforting passer-bys, who were progressively more flustered, and by the time he made it up onto the deck, several people were following him, including a crew member.

From the top of the ship, one could clearly see the ship was a lot lower than it was when he had gone below the deck. It had all but ceased raining, but the ship was still shiny from the downpours earlier. Richard looked at his watch. Quarter to nine. He noticed there was a general movement towards the... lifeboats?

The Fourth Officer had finally found him, an assured and calm look flushed his momentarily worried face.
"Your Majesty, I have found you a lifeboat. Would you like to go there now?" The King obliged, and with his wife, slowly made their way along the starboard side of the stern.

Richard watched the lines of people, waiting for a lifeboat. There clearly weren't enough - so why should he get special treatment? As much as one should not complain about getting a chance to survive what now was apparent as a disaster - the ship had taken on a clear lean forward to the bow - it just isn't right. But his son was waiting for him. That was what got him to do it. For his son.

A family came up to the lifeboat as they arrived. "May we go on, please?" They consisted of two children of about three and five years each, and two equally worried, jumpy and understandably upset people - one a man, one a woman. The word please rang in the Officer's head, the desperation of it.

The King broke the uneasy silence. "Yes, you may. No, you must."
The Officer looked at him, startled. "... but Your Majesty, there is only enough room for five more people. If you let them on, only you or your wife could get on - not both."

The King looked at the Officer, considering for a moment. "Then they must get on."
He turned to Elizabeth. "My love, you have to go. You have to look after our son, for both of us."
Elizabeth opened her mouth to protest, but was soon silenced by the King. "No. I do not care in the slightest if I am King. They are a family with young children. Their lives are worth more than my own." A tear appeared in his eye. "... please, go."

She stood. She was still, motionless, thinking, for a few seconds, as it all slowly came together.
"Al-alright. If you think you have to. I will tell our son you're a her-" Richard interrupted her, as she slowly weakened under the pressure of what was happening.
"No. I'm not a hero. I just need to know you, our son, and this family all get back safely."

"I love you." The family hugged each other and Richard calmly shook the parents' hands. Richard and Elizabeth then spent a moment hugging, whispering "I'll miss you" and "I love you, forever.", then walked away from one another, still looking.

"I want to stay with you." Elizabeth walked up to her husband slowly. "I don't want to lose any time."

Richard just calmly replied. "All it matters to me is that our son is safe, you're safe and that family is safe. Goodbye. Tell Llywellyn that he will never stop making me proud, and always remember I'm there for you, even if I never get off." Somewhere, in rural Cymbria, Llywellyn was completely oblivious to what was going on to his parents. Across Osynstry, people were completely oblivious to what was going on to the King.

He walked away slowly. The King walked, sauntered slowly back to the middle of the sinking ship, looking back to see a crying Elizabeth hesitantly and only half-heartedly waving. He waved back, as she got into the boat. As the boat was lowered, he came back to the deck, and waved to the families on the ship, to his wife, as they all looked up at the King.

He waved down at the shrinking boat of many people, and found his wife. "Goodbye." He slowly thought to himself, "Make me proud, son."

Elizabeth looked at the ship - it looked as if it had reared out of the water backwards, for the bow was being swamped - and waved up. This would be the final time they ever saw one another. She continued to wave up, to stare up, even when they had lost sight of one another.

Richard, having lost sight of her wife, steadily made his way back in the ship, waiting for the end. The waves pounded against the dying vessel, and the thought of his son having no dad pounded the man's mind to slow tears. He decided to sit in his room, and read a book. Her wife's diary. She had forgotten it. He just sat and read through it - standing so that he could read the end without drowning, as water slowly filled the room, the water that would kill him in minutes. Goodbye, Elizabeth.
12 January, 1989 - 13:02

Explorers began to salvage the ship for the second time, when they noticed in the remains of Elizabeth's room, Richard. In his decayed hands, lay a key. They took the King away, and looked where the key went into.

The key opened a small drawer nearby. The drawer contained nothing but a pen, a book and a portrait of the Royal Family last year. On the final page, one sodden with small drops - perhaps even tears - remained one final page in different handwriting.
- 27 May, 1988

To all of the Osynstric nation, and especially Llywellyn and Elizabeth,

I apologise to the entire nation for the King's death. For I am the King.
I do wish that my son will eventually read this - hence why I gave it better care than I did to myself, in my final moments.

I wish the best to my son and the new King. Our nation faces many issues that must be tackled, and I am deeply sorry that I may not be able to help you tackle these very grave and serious concerns, but I assure the nation and you that you are definitely able to take these issues on, headfirst and steadfast.

I of course apologise to the nation again for my death. I wish to clear up that I obliged personally to give the family my place, in case there is a posthumous investigation or even conspiracy that they demanded it. I saw that the family deserved that place more than I did - and I very much stand by that decision. I have also ensured that the King's mother has safely returned, as much as it will hurt for us to be broken up forcibly by this. I hope that with my passing, the new King is able to usher in a new era for our great nation, and take on partisan politics, take on corruption and take on the great warfare between people and government in a way that I have not been able to do. I also hope that with my death, we can finally justify that a King does not take precedence over any other person; I made this very fact perfectly clear throughout my reign, but if there is one thing that reigning for nineteen years can teach you, it is that repeating oneself can never do you harm. I also hope my wife can understand that she is still well loved beyond my death, and that she will never be alone. Think of me when I'm gone, my love, and I can assure you my final thoughts were of you, and my intentions were purely because I could not imagine breaking up a family with young children. I love you.

This is goodbye. If I have one final request, it is that the nation sets aside one day every year, on Bloody Awynday - as our National Day - to celebrate the Union and to hopefully negotiate an end to any conflict in our nation - and that hopefully, through negotiations, we can bring an end to the Great Industrial Strikes and convince Greenwood to listen to the demands and consider a compromise. That is my final request, and I sincerely trust in our nation and our great people to move on from this incident quickly and smoothly, and build upon my passing as an opportunity to reform Osynstry.
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Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
TNP Nation
Astissa International Airport, Norsia

Tobias leaned back against the limousine with sunglasses on. The bright summer sun was unrelenting, which explained why both he and Alycia were wearing light, cotton clothing. Alycia cuddled against her husband as he held her.

“It hasn’t been nearly long enough,” she said with a chuckle. Tobias laughed.

“No it really hasn’t. Feels like yesterday we sent them off.”

The two were waiting for the plane carrying their sons, the twin princes Baldr and Hael, to return from Saintonge. They had just completed their first year of schooling in that country and were returning for their summer vacation.

The occasion was very low key. A limousine ready to take them and their kids back to the White Palace in Astissa, and a few White Guardsmen. There was no pomp or ceremony.

“So do you think they missed us?” Tobias asked.

“I’ll tell you exactly what will happen,” Alycia replied.
“They’ll be happy to see us and then they’ll be itching to return to their cousins and friends by tomorrow.”

“Heh” Tobias smirked. Alycia had, like their children, studied in Saintonge. He hadn’t. He’d grown up in the War. All of this was new to him- not just as a parent, but as an observer. He recognized the opportunity that it was, for his children to study abroad, but he probably wouldn’t have agreed to it under any other circumstance. It was Alycia’s own experiences in Saintonge and the fact that he trusted Timothée and Thibault that had convinced him.

Alycia kissed her husband’s jawline.
“You’re really committing to the beard” she remarked.

“Well you know, all the Royal paintings have been getting installed in Absalonhöll. Seeing all of these portraits of viking kings with impressive beards. It’s made me feel a bit self-conscious.”

Alycia laughed. She was happy that she’d gotten her husband to agree to this. His own worries had melted shortly after they left. Almost as soon as he’d gotten word that they were safe and settled in Saintonge. Since then he’d relaxed a great deal. It was like they were engaged all over again! Their usual routine was free to be shaken up, and they had. Making themselves known across a number of high society functions in both Astissa and Býkonsviði. Both of them had enjoyed it all, but they had missed their children at the end of the day.
They each looked up as the plane began to descend on the far end of the runway. It touched down a way’s away before it began to taxi to their present location, crawling to a standstill. Tobias and Alycia watched as the hatch opened, the foldable stairs descending. And then…

“Maminka! Pabbi!”

The King and Empress smiled as Hael emerged first, smiling happily to see his parents. Baldr emerged shortly afterwards.

“Hey!” he called out.

Tobias and Alycia hugged their sons tight as they made their way across the tarmac.

“We missed you guys” Tobias chuckled, kissing each on the top of their heads, which they knew well enough to not try and avoid.

“My boys” Alycia said sweetly as she hugged her sons.
“How was Saintonge?”

“Cool!” they both replied.

“Timothée et Thibault sont très gentils et Cuthbert et Kilian sont très amusants!” Baldr replied, smiling proudly at his Santonian.

“I think he speaks Santonian better than you do,” Alycia said to Tobias with a smirk. Tobias lowered his sunglasses to his nose.

“Pardonnez-moi, madame, je suis assez insultée” he replied with a smirk of his own. Tobias had indeed grown proficient in Santonian, though he could never shake his Prydanian accent. A limitation his sons seemed to have overcome after only a year of schooling.
“But let’s get going. It’s too hot to be out on the tarmac.”

The family piled into the limousine, starting its journey to the White Palace.

“So what’s the plan for today?” Hael asked.

“We have dinner with Aunt Elodie,” Alycia replied.

“And next week we’re heading to Eiderwig. To visit Uncle Laurits” Tobias added.
“We’re going to take the Seawolf out.”

The Seawolf was Tobias’ sky blue Pégase Seawolf. He loved the car, and lit up any time he had a chance to take it out. Baldr and Hael had been in it many times but their father mentioning it this time had reminded them of something. They looked at each other and smiled in the way only twins can.

“That sounds cool pabbi” Baldr replied with a mischievous smile.

“Yeah” Hael added. “Just make sure you don’t wreck it, ok?”

Tobias’ right eyebrow perked up at that, and Alycia began to giggle.

“Uncle Timothée and Uncle Thibault told us you trashed theirs,” Baldr replied with barely restrained amusement.

Tobias was about to respond when Alycia spoke up.
“Well honey, you did” she smiled. She could remember the scene like it was yesterday. Of course she’d been deadly worried at the time, but it was amusing to look back on, given that no one was hurt.

“First of all” Tobias replied, chuckling softly, “that was fifteen years ago! Second of all..” he trailed off.

“Yes sweetie?” Alycia asked with a playful smile. Baldr and Hael were both still incredibly amused at the idea.

“Oh I see. These two come back and it’s ‘gang up on pabbi’ time. No, no. It’s ok. I get it” Tobias replied in a joking faux-put upon voice.

“Only because you’re strong enough to take it,” Alycia replied jokingly, kissing her husband on the cheek. The display of affection between his parents was enough for Baldr to roll his eyes. Tobias kissed her back before turning his attention to their kids.

“But yes, we’ll be on the water with Uncle Laurits if you two can bring yourselves to trust your old man on the water” Tobias said.
“We’ll see if we can keep my fifteen year streak of not wrecking Seawolves alive.”

“I believe you can,” Hael replied.
“What happened though? Back then?”

Tobias turned to Alycia and they both smiled and began to laugh.

“Your father got too excited for his own good. It was quite the sight!”

“I didn’t have the handle for the car I thought I did, and I wasn’t paying attention. I was looking for a reason to blow off some steam” Tobias explained. It was true. The Messianic League uprising had been put down peacefully and he wanted to relax. He was too eager to get out on the water back then.

“Is that why you never let us drive it?” Baldr asked.

“I never let you two drive because you two don’t know how to drive” he replied.
“And you think I’m letting you crash my Seawolf after I crashed one all those years ago? I’m the expert on who shouldn’t be driving one of those things” he smiled.

“Besides, you’re getting ahead of yourselves” Alycia replied.
“You’re meeting your Aunt Elodie for dinner. So get ready when we get back home.”

“But we just spent the day traveling…” Hael tried to interject.

“And your Aunt wants to see you, so spruce up.”

Hael and Baldr both sighed but nodded.
“Yes mom” they each said.

“So they listen to you” Tobias said softly to his wife with a chuckle. Alycia just gave him a look, kissing him once more as the limousine escorted the Royal family home.

OOC Note: Written with the approval of @Zyvun and @Kyle
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St George

RolePlay Moderator
Deputy Speaker
He/Him, They/Them
In the Gwladcan Straits

Aerfen watched the latest mine destroyed with the same satisfaction he’d felt when the last 1,758 mines were destroyed. When the final mine was destroyed later that day, number 1,764, the task which had consumed him for the last three years would finally be complete.

He turned to the man next to him, Taron, one of the Disgynydd of Rhyfelwr. “Despite what you might think, mines remain a seriously potent weapon in naval warfare, especially in asymmetric cases. It’s the most cost effective way of taking out ships, and mines can be set up to be triggered in any number of ways.”

Taron listened as Aerfen went on. “These last few mines were laid by Er Iachawdwriaeth, and are some of the most sophisticated we’ve come across. This is serious tech. Not something your average terrorist or rebel could get their hands on.”

“What are you saying, Aerfen?”

“What I’m saying, Disgynydd, is that Er Iachawdwriaeth could not have come up with these mines themselves. They had to have been supplied to them by someone - and I’m not talking about domestically. They are beyond anything we ever made.”

“Cachu.” Taron swore. “Tell me about them.”

Aerfen nodded, pulling out a tablet to show the official his notes. “These are magnetic actuation mines but especially sensitive ones. Er Iachawdwriaeth’s main opponents during the war controlled a significant proportion of the navy, including all of the Saethau class frigates. The Saethau class, based on the Trieux-class, like a large amount of the freight traffic that would like to use the Straits, are Santonian in origin.”

“What’s the relevancy of that?”

“These are incredibly sophisticated mines. They actuate based on very fine triggers - a specific magnetic signature. Steel form Saintonge, like all Meterran steel, has a different magnetic signature to steel from Craviter and Iteria, just due to differences in the environment.”

“So whoever provided these mines, they were targeting the Santonians?”

Aerfen shook his head. “Probably not. These are highly programmable. Change some code and these mines target ships built here, or in Icenia, or in Kian.”

“Who could make something like this?”

“Most navally advanced nations - which we weren’t, at the time. It would be hard to track down a point of origin.”

“So we were targeted, by a foreign power, using advanced weapons during our civil war. And we can’t find out who.” Taron stated.

“Yes.” Aerfen replied, before continuing. “But look on the bright side, in less than 12 hours, these waters will be clear of mines completely. The water, our livelihood, will be free again.”

Taron looked at the older man. “You are close to this.” It wasn’t a question.

Aerfen shrugged. “We all had things we lost during the war. Jobs, friends, family. Some of us lost more than others.” Aerfen straightened. “You should get to the bridge, I imagine you’ll be missed before long.”

The Disgynydd nodded. “I hope you’ll join us for the final detonation.”

Aerfen shook his head. “I’ll be down here, supervising the operation. It’s only fitting to be there when it ends.”

Several hours later

“You could’ve told him, y’know.”

Aerfen chuckled, looking at his subordinate. “What would the point be, Cadi? Besides, there are still things to do. Make sure that the AUV readings are up to date.”

Cadi checked the incoming information from one of the autonomous drones that operated alongside the minehunting efforts - once a mine was discovered either by sonar or other means, an AUV would periodically update Aerfen’s team on the location and status of the mine.

“Correct as of 7 minutes ago. And don’t change the subject. You should’ve told him.”

“Not until we’re done. I want everyone on point for this. Total focus. The last thing we need is another Deryn incident.” Aerfyn’s face darkened as he remembered the aftermath of one of the mines breaking loose of its moorings and drifting into a small port. No deaths, but the massive amount of damage was an embarrassment he would not repeat.

Cadi sighed. “Deryn was two and a half years ago. We’re much better than we were then.” She sat down next to Aerfen, but put her hands out in front of her in a conciliatory gesture. “Dropping the subject. What are your plans after this? You’ll be free of the navy after this, right?”

“I honestly haven’t thought about it. This is the last 5, 6 years of my life, right here. Even before the war ended. It’ll be weird not coming out here to do this job.”

“Well, whatever happens, you’ve deserved a rest.” Cadi stood up. “Let’s get to work, we’ll be nearing the mine soon.”
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