Scraps of Roleplaying

Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
30 October 2026
4:02 pm
On a Friday

Frelsi, Prydania

Kætil Tessem tapped his foot nervously as he watched Herra Karjakin, his physics teacher and head of the high school's chess club, play Magnus Sondergaard, a year 12 student who had just been accepted into the pre-med program at the University of Haland. That was to say that Magnus was a very smart kid but...

"Magnus is getting his ass kicked, huh?" Harald Levi asked as he opened a bag of chips as he stood next to his friend Kætil.
"Chip?"

"Sure," Kætil said taking a chip and munching on it. Still, he didn't look away from the game. He was fixated on it, and not just because Magnus, who'd beaten everyone else in chess club five times over at least, was being beaten. Kætil was following the moves both student and teacher made, and figuring out what he'd have done better and what each person's next move was likely to be.

"You should do it. I mean it. You've been talking about it forever," Harald mused.

"Shut up," Kætil replied.
"I have not. Like...a few weeks. Tops. That's not forever."

"He's getting beat by Herra Karjakin, he'll be all demoralized."

"He's still gonna beat me. Like he always does," Kætil muttered.

"Vinur*," Harald groaned.
"You're so much better than him. I don't know why you let him beat you all the time."

"I don't," Kætil sighed.
"Like...I don't let him...he just does."

"Já," Harald nodded.
"But...you're smarter. I don't get it."

Kætil sighed. Was he smarter than Magnus? Was he a better chess player than Magnus? Harald, his best friend, seemed to think so. But Kætil tended to...freeze...when he played him. Magnus was older. A year 12, eighteen. Kætil was only a year 9, fifteen. And Magnus was going off to become a doctor.

It wasn't even like his family was super rich, but they had more than Kætil's. Magnus' father was middle management at the Prydanian branch of Polykor's home office in Býkonsviði.

Kætil...didn't know who his father was. It was just him, his thirteen year old brother Sigvid, and their mamma in public housing.
That wasn't a source of shame at all. Most of the town of Frelsi, just outside of the capital, was public housing.
Still...Magnus could afford university between his stellar grades getting him a scholarship and his parents paying for the rest. Kætil would need to apply for government funding. His mamma wasn't going to be able to afford it.

None of this was Magnus' fault. He was a nice enough guy. It's just that Kætil couldn't help but feel a bit inadequate next to him, and it messed with his head whenever he faced him in chess. He'd been talking to Harald about challenging him again but even seeing their teacher beat Magnus made him unsure.

"Maybe you should challenge him instead," Kætil shrugged.
"Shaddaists are really good at chess."

"I, sir," Harald replied as he munched on more chips "resent being put into a box." Kætil chuckled. Harald had a way of making him laugh.
"But I suck, vinur. And you know it. I'm just here to keep you company and get free snacks. More chips?"

Kætil chuckled and took another chip from Harald.
"I donno...I just don't think I can beat this guy."

Harald sighed. He didn't like it when his friend got self conscious. Kætil was one of the smartest people he knew.

"Well," Harald said with a shrug.
"If you don't wanna play Magnus you can play Herra Karjakin. What's the worst that can happen there? You lose to the teacher who runs chess club? No big deal."

Kætil's blue-grey eyes lit up and he just nodded for a moment before saying "já," and walking over to the table Herra Karjakin and Magnus were at as the teacher put the student in checkmate.

"Good game, Magnus," Herra Karjakin said with a smile.
"Come back when you're a doctor and we'll go again."

"Sure thing Herra Karjakin," Magnus said, chuckling.
"Sure thing...oh hey Kætil."

"Hey," Herra Karjakin said, as one of his younger chess club students approached.

"I was wondering if I could have the next game with you, Herra Karjakin?" Kætil asked, trying to keep his voice from shaking.

The teacher looked a bit shocked. He tended to go over technique and oversee student matchups. Him playing the students was rare. He'd only played Magnus because Magnus had beaten everyone else. But Kætil was a nice kid.

"Sure, why not?"

Magnus got up, giving his seat to Kætil, who tapped his worn sneaker nervously on the floor as Herra Karjakin rearranged the chess pieces.

"By all means," Herra Karjakin said, inviting Kætil to start.

Kætil surveyed the board. He breathed deep. He tried to deal with the self-doubt creeping in. His notebooks for school, they all had chess problems and solutions scribbled in the margins. And he had his own board at home. He loved chess. He just had to settle to visualize it.

His heart stopped racing and he bit his tongue in a moment of clarity. He nodded and moved a pawn to e4. His teacher nodded, moving his own pawn to match it, at d5. He had observed the kids in chess club, especially the new year 9s. Kætil was a good player, but his teacher wanted to see if he'd jump and go for the easy pawn. Kætil did, moving his pawn to d5. Herra Karjakin thought that was a sign, that Kætil was still too eager. Kætil's foot kept tapping though. Hoping that it wasn't clear how obvious it was that he was pretending to be eager.

Kætil bit the inside of his lip as his teacher moved his queen to take his pawn. He bit his lip not out of nerves, but because he was happy but wanted to keep from smiling and giving away what he was doing. His teacher did think he was being overeager. That moment of clarity he had at the start of the match...now his tapping sneaker was helping him focus on it. Expand it. To see what he'd seen to its end point.

Kætil moved his Knight to c3, not looking up at his teacher, but focusing on the board. Herra Karjakin "hmm"d to himself before moving his queen to a5. Kætil moved a pawn to d4, not moving to react to the queen immediately. At least not to see like it. His teacher made a "huh" sound. Kætil wasn't playing as aggressively as he was previously. He moved a pawn to c6 and watched curiously to see what his student would do next. Kætil moved his other night to f3 to mirror his first knight. Herra Karjakin smiled and moved his light bishop to g4. There were a few things he expected Kætil might do as a fifteen year old. Kætil moved his dark bishop to f4 and smiled meekly looking up at his teacher.

"We've each got bishops to take knights," Herra Karjakin said. He knew, and Kætil knew, that if either bishop attempted to take the knights in their paths they'd be taken. He moved a pawn to e6 to leave it to Kætil if he wanted to do that. He didn't though. Kætil grinned when his teacher moved his pawn, and followed with a pawn move of his own, to h3. He could now take his teacher's bishop. Herra Karjakin let out a chuckle. The younger kids in his class tended to go for the big moves, but Kætil had chosen to ignore that for this move that put his light bishop in danger. So he decided to take his student's knight on f3. Kætil quickly moved his queen to swallow that piece up. And Herra Karjakin leaned back a bit. He'd never really felt off-balance against Magnus, but this quiet fifteen year old had managed it.

"Hmm," Herra Karjakin mused, before moving his dark bishop to b4 to threaten Kætil's other knight. Kætil moved his bishop to e2. The board he saw in his head was working out. His teacher moved one of his own knights to d7 and nodded. He didn't know what his student had planned but he was setting up his own plan. Kætil was just focused on the board though, and moved another pawn, this one to a3. Herra Karjakin nodded, swapping his king and rook. Kætil nodded briefly to himself and moved his pawn to b4 to take his teacher's dark bishop and Herra Karjakin nodded. His student had finally made the aggressive mistake, too focused on his bishop. He moved his queen to a1 and took one of Kætil's rooks.

"Check," Herra Karjakin said. The kid had caught him off-guard for a moment but now he'd force him to go on the run. And it looked like it too as Kætil moved his king to d2. Herra Karjakin swallowed Kætil's other rook at h1, and Kætil moved to take his pawn at c6.

"That's what you want to go with?" Herra Karjakin asked, as his student settled for taking a pawn after he had taken both of his rooks. Kætil just nodded though. It made his teacher suspect he may have something yet, but he decided to forge ahead. See what it was. He took his student's queen with a pawn moving to c6.

"You got too aggressive with your queen. She's powerful but you need to be careful," he said. Kætil didn't look up from the board though. His teacher had just cleared his way. He moved his light bishop to a6.

"Checkmate," he said, looking up at his teacher.

Herra Karjakin leaned back, looking at the board. And Kætil smiled. It all played out. He had his teacher's king trapped on c8. Any potential move brought meant it was in the sight of one of Kætil's bishops. The teacher smiled, with a bemused chuckle. He was so certain that Kætil would make an overly aggressive gesture that he'd fallen into a trap. Kætil had sacrificed his queen in a seemingly aggressive move to fully utilize both of his bishops. And he'd led his teacher move by move to make it happen.

Magnus, and everyone else who was paired up in games, looked on in shock. Herra Karjakin had just beaten the best chess player in school- they thought. And now Kætil Tessem had just beaten the teacher.

"That's..." Herra Karjakin said before chuckling, "really impressive. Kætil, you've been holding back all year!"

"I just...I mean I guess," he smiled meekly.
"Thanks!" he added, extending his hand to his teacher, who shook it.

"No, no my pleasure," Herra Karjakin said as Kætil got up. He was so...so nervous! And so happy! He'd just beat his teacher! He quickly got up and grabbed his backpack, heading out. Harald ran after him, tossing Magnus his bag of chips.

"Hey! Bro, where ya going?"

"Vinur," Kætil said, his voice barely containing his excitement.
"Did you see that? Fourteen moves! Checkmate! Woo!" Kætil proclaimed, running down the school hallway before stopping and turning to face his friend smiling. Harald just casually walked to catch up.

"See, knew you could do it. You're full of surprises."

"That's nothing," Kætil said excitedly.
"I actually got to meet the King once you know."

Harald raised an eyebrow. His buddy, the oldest of two brothers to a single mother, met the King.
"Really?" he asked.

"Já!" Kætil exclaimed. He was feeling really excited after doing what he'd just done.
"Come on over to my house. We'll play on my board and I'll tell you about it!"

"So you're going to kick my ass at chess and brag about meeting the king?" Harald laughed as he followed his friend out of the school and down the road.

"We'll watch movies it'll be sweet," Kætil said, with pleading eyes. He was psyched. Excited at what he'd just done, and he wanted to spend his afternoon with his buddy. Harald grinned and nodded.

"Sounds good. Let's pick up some Toki's on the way over."

Kætil smiled and excitedly led the way. He'd just proven he could be...something...at chess. It was the first time he'd ever felt he could be something at all.



*Vinur- friend, mate, pal, dude

OOC Note: Thanks to @Kyle who helped me with chess stuff!
 
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Tardine

RolePlay Moderator
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TNP Nation
Tardine
Discord
Exotic Butters#1535
On a Friday night
City of Miccan
October of 1956




Zaruka Seputi was a loser and he knew it. He had gone through three bankruptcies and had no money left. The times were now rough, even 8 years after the Fascistic Civil War no one's had enough resources to do anything.

Searching for inspiration, with the little money the government gave to the unemployed, he came inside this small restaurant on the city's suburb. With no other clients in the place besides him, the waitress came rapidly. When he saw her, a woman on her early thirties, he had a sudden spark of recognition:

- Do I know you, mistress? - he asked to the woman - Maybe we have met before?

- Oh, no I don't think we've met before, sire. May I take your order?

- Sure thing, I would like a Saruha Zaku* and Pokara**.

When she got away, however, he remembered where he saw her before. "I would never forget such a beautiful face", he kept smiling to himself as he remembered where he saw her before, “It was years ago, but her face was certainly the one who won the first Tardineanni Most Beautiful«". When she came back with his order, he asked to talk with her for a bit:

- I have to go, sire. - she said to him while trying to leave.

- Please, sit down a bit! It's not like you have other clients right now.

- You are persistent, aren't you? - both laughed at this remark - Alright, let's talk for a bit. But, if my employer fires me, you're dead.

- Whoa, calm down a bit.

- Hehe, I'm kidding, you silly strange man. You're just a client, and besides that, I couldn't kill even a fly. - he then asked the question that was on his mind all the time:

- What are you doing on a place such as this? - she raised her eyebrows to this unexpected question - I say, you've won the TMB years ago, why aren't you a model or something like that?

- Oh, then you remember me? - she suddenly was all red - It's very simple, I need money and modeling isn't paying enough for my family's needs.

- So, do you have a husband? - he asked disappointed, but if she perceived that it doesn't showed on her face.

- Not quite. - he let out an almost inaudible 'phew' - I do have three younger siblings though. And my mother isn't healthy enough to take care of them anymore.

- I'm so sorry to hear that. - she just shrugged it off - Anyways, what's your name?

- You do not lose any time, ha stranger? - an uncomfortable silence hanged for a few moments until she spoke - I'm Kimmu Sagaruti. What about you?

- The name's Zaruka Seputi. What's the meaning of your name? - he asked to her and she looked at him as if he was an alien.

- How come you're a Ramshuwa«« and doesn't know the meaning of the words? - he doesn't answered this question in particular and she just kept talking - It means Estari.

- What a wonderful name! It does fit with you beauty. - he blushed when he realized what he just said - And now I can picture it, a Star spreading across the country. No! Across all the world.

- What are you talking about? - she asked but he was already leaving - Come here for a moment, Zaruka!

- Thank you for giving me inspiration. - he hugged her for a moment, before opening the front door - Don't worry, beautiful star, I will come back for you. Let's talk again later!

He came back later in November to see her, but she wasn't there anymore. She had moved to another place and he wasn't able find her until 1959. He was already a successful man, the creator of the biggest company of Tardine: Estari. They married and had 2 children and she never had to worry about her family starving again.


* Saruha Zaku is Ramshuwa for fried chicken
** Pokara is a traditional dish from Tardine made with cassava flour and rice
« Tardineanni Most Beautiful (TMB) is a cultural program created on 1949 by Empera Pofred Risvie to help in the integration process of Tardine after the Fascistic Civil War (1937-1948)
«« Although it's very uncommon, there are some Ramshuwa (an ethnicity of Western Overseas Tardine) that doesn't speak their native language. Zaruka was one of these, and this explains Kimmu's surprised expressions.​
 

Aestii

Registered
27 November 2021
Late Evening
Mount Kito, Navsland
Imperial Palace of Navsland



The Tal Xaro sat on her cold stone throne, brooding. The shadows of her empty throne room grow ever longer as the sun slowly sets behind the great mountain of Kilwa. She thought she could hear the voices of her courtiers, discussing the day's events as they helped themselves to their meals from the great hall beyond the large door that separates them. None, however, were of any praise for her.

"Another seven more today." said one of the voices.

"Well, at least the numbers are lessening... the day before, we had twelve!" replied another.

Then, there was a loud crash of plates, and a voice roared through the silence that came after. "I cannot stand another day of this any longer!"

"Wha — what are you planning to do?" asked a seemingly panicking voice. "Such talks are unbecoming of one such as your stature and are akin to treason!"

"The time for such formalities is long over! The lowly bitch has abused her position for far too long! Now is the time to strike and take back what is rightfully ours!"

There were loud crashes, and people were shouting frantically. A sound that sounded like people wrestling could be heard as another voice tore through the hall room.

"Calm down, you brute! Can you not see that all she is doing is for the sake of the Milele-Kushinda! You'd be a fool to commit regicide and plunge the nation into chaos once more!"

"What regicide!? This act is me trying to protect the lands that my ancestors had held for generations! Are you all just meekly sheep that would blindly follow the hands that feed you? Will you not stand for the people that you rule and for those who are gone? How would our ancestors react when they see us in such a sorry state of affairs? I will not stand for this! I will see her dead than have me relinquish my birthright! My right to rule! For if not me, then wh —"

"Are you okay, Jina?" Chiku asked with a look of concern on her face.

Jina opened her eyes and then looked around her; the sun had long set, and there was nary a soul, save for Chiku, in sight. Jina felt her breath was ragged, her hands hurting from her tight grip on her throne, and she could feel the cold sweat dripping down her back. Another dream, she thought to herself as she tried to stabilize her breathing.

Jina took a few deep breaths and then smiled calmly and replied. "Yes, I'm fine."

"You don't look so fine," Chiku said suspiciously. She walked closer to Jina and placed her hands on her forehead. "Well, at least you don't seem to be ill."

That is because I am only ill in mind, Jina thought wryly, trying not to expose her moment of weakness to her beloved. She then grabbed hold of Chiku's hand gently and pulled her closer till she fell on her laps. She playfully poked Chiku's nose and tried to reassure her. "I would not think it would look good for me had I lied so quickly to my wife... seeing as how we have only been recently married."

Jina playfully tickled Chiku, eliciting her laughter. Their playful touch soon turned to passion, and Jina, deciding that a change of scenery was appropriate, carried Chiku in her arms lovingly and brought her to their chamber.

Jina gently laid Chiku on their bed, kissing her lips as she went. Chiku returned the favor; she kissed her cheek, her jaw, her ear. Amid their exchange of affection, Jina paused and stared lovingly into Chiku's eyes.

Her iridescent green eyes.

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and with hers, Jina could feel her love, her care, and a slight sense of worry. A twinge of guilt crept up in Jina's heart, for she knew what of the horrors that creep in the depth of beloved's mind. And her worry was justified.

Day by day, as the sword of Haki hangs ever close upon her imperial throne, Jina could feel her humanity dying on the inside. Would-be usurpers, power-hungry warlords, double-faced assassins; She had thought that with the war won, all of these would have been a thing of the past, and her worries would have been quashed. But clearly, she was wrong, and there was much left to be done.

"Chiku," Jina whispered. "You are my bastion, my pillar, and my all."

Chiku blinked twice. "What has brought this about?"

"Nothing... I just thought you should know that." Jina giggled and caressed her face lovingly.

Chiku smiled gently. She placed her hand on Jina's face and gently traced the scars from her cheeks until she reached her eye patch. But before she could remove it from Jina's face, Jina grabbed onto her hand to stop her.

"Does it still hurt?" Chiku asked worryingly.

"No," Jina replied. "But the scar, it is unsightly..."

"You have known me long enough to know that I do not care for how you look," Chiku reassured her with a giggle. "Come on, let me see it."

"But—"

Chiku placed her finger on Jina's lips. "Shhh... it is okay. Let me see it, please?"

Chiku slowly removed her finger from Jina's lips and gently pulled off her eyepatch. The gaping hole and the scarred skin pained Chiku a little, but she knew better than to show it on her face. She gave Jina a loving smile, brought her face closer to her lips, and gave her one more kiss.

"Pain, pain, go away," Chiku said affectionately, casting her spell before laughing softly. "There, now you know the scar does not bother me one bit."

Jina felt her tears slowly welling up in her right eye and promptly controlled herself from crying. She hugged Chiku as tightly as she could and laid on top of her, fully committing to their night of carnal passion.


Hours after Chiku had fallen into her deep sleep, Jina sat upright and alone on her side of the bed. She looked at Chiku once more and swore to her solemnly.

Whatever comes, nothing will stop me from protecting these moments of peace. I will see to it that Navsland rises from the ashes and that you, my love, will no longer suffer from the cruelty that is humanity.

Navsland will succeed.

I will succeed.


The Sword of Haki is the Navslandian version of the IRL story of the Sword of Damocles; an allusion to the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power. [1]

Citations:
[1]"Damocles," Wikipedia.[Online]. Avalaible:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damocles, Acessed on: Jan. 14, 2021.
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
30 November 2021
12:04 pm
On a Tuesday
The Virkið
Býkonsviði, Prydania


"I hope you like the new Prime Minister," Tobias said as sat across from Stig Eiderwig in the Field Marshal's office.

"You seem to," Stig replied matter of factly.

"I'm not supposed to say anything," Tobias said as he let himself relax and sink into the chair.
"But I like Peace not Blood."

"I figured you would," Stig replied.
"He's fine though. I don't mind him. He wasn't the worst choice, not by far."

Tobias nodded. He knew Stig would go to his grave before he admitted who he would support politically. If Tobias had to guess, it would be the Conservatives. But Stig would never say it. It wasn't proper for an officer to comment on politics. And besides, Stig hadn't fought for fifteen years to save Prydania for any one party. He fought it to save Prydania. So the King just smiled and nodded. He wouldn't force the question.

"Have you had a chance to look around?" Stig asked.
"The Virkið isn't the mess it was the last time you were here."

"Holy shit it's been four years," Tobias muttered.

"Four and a half, but who's counting?" Stig said, allowing his smile to curve into the faintest smirk possible. Tobias grinned widely. He liked seeing Stig smile. It was a rare occurrence.

"I haven't though, no. Maybe when we're done?"

Stig looked at the young King and raised an eyebrow. Tobias had indicated he wanted to meet with him here. In the Virkið, the fort that served as the headquarters of the Royal Prydanian Armed Forces. It was unusual. Tobias had avoided coming here since the Civil War had ended. And now he was speaking about "after we're done," as if there was something to do.
"I'll have a tour arranged. The foundations are quite something. I know you're interested in that sort of thing."

"I would love to see them," Tobias replied pleasantly. It was true. He loved architecture, he loved the old foundations of old buildings. But if Stig was wondering what this was about then Tobias sensed it.

"This isn't a formal thing or anything," Tobias said. Indeed it wasn't. Stig was dressed in his normal uniform, not the ceremonial one an official meeting with the King would require. And Tobias was wearing a very casual green sweater over a white collared shirt. His old, faded, frayed grey Royal Prydanian Army coat tossed over a chair across the room.
"I just wanted to check on how things are going? With the Armed Forces re-organization?"

Stig bit in the inside of his lower lip.
"Things are proceeding well," he said.
"We have the equipment, the necessary structural re-organizations are almost completed. The Royal Military Academy is fully staffed for the first time since the War ended. And we have the facilities needed to train new recruits. The Santonian advisors believe that national service can commence in the spring of 2022."

"Do you agree with their assessment?" Tobias asked softly. His voice was quiet. He was twenty-six years old, but Stig was...well...he'd known Stig as a soldier for all of his life. He had a way of making him feel like a little kid.

"You said this wasn't official, Your Majesty," Stig replied matter of factly.
"But yes, I do agree with their assessment. The rest of the General Staff does as well. The Armed Forces will be ready to begin national service conscription by the spring."

"I'm not here for official stuff," Tobias insisted.
"I just...want to make sure you're doing ok."

"Why wouldn't I be?" Stig asked.

Now it was Tobias' turn to be blunt. He knew it's how Stig's brain worked. And that he'd appreciate it.
"Reynir Aaker told me, back when this plan was proposed, that you had objections. But you've done your job. And helped it along. I wanted to thank you, for doing your duty. And I wanted to make sure you were ok."

"I didn't object to it," Stig corrected, still seeming very straightforward.
"I had personal issues with it, but nothing that got in the way of my sworn duty."

"To the government," Tobias said.

"No, Your Majesty. To you."

Tobias felt his heart leap into his throat. Stig had a way to make him feel like a kid, but now...now he was being very serious.

"I...you've known me since I was in diapers," Tobias said with a nervous smile.

"You're the King," Stig said.
"It's my duty, regardless."

There was a pause. An uncomfortable one. Tobias went to speak, but the jumbled up ball of emotions in his head just...puttered out. And Stig...well...he sighed.

"Tobias?"

"Já?"

"I know you've never felt comfortable with...all of this."

Tobias gulped but nodded. That was the other thing about Stig. He was, above all else, a soldier. And he'd taught Tobias that war, even when necessary, was awful. It made him someone he could confide in, about the War.

"I never felt like a Prince...well...maybe once. When I danced with Alycia for the first time," he smiled.
"She made me feel like...well...a Prince I guess. But I never felt how I was 'supposed' to feel."

"How could you?" Stig asked.
"You grew up fighting like the rest of us," Stig said. Tobias smiled meekly and nodded.

"But people call you Your Majesty. People you never knew have cried meeting you. You do all the pomp when it's asked of you. I know you're not comfortable with it. As you said, Tobias, I've known you since you were in diapers." Stig smiled ever so slightly again and winked.
"So why do you do all that, why do you put up with me telling you I swore to obey and defend you, when you're not comfortable with it?"

Tobias had asked himself that before. And he'd answered himself that before. Years ago. He knew the answer himself. And he knew the "why?" that Stig was asking.
"Because," the young King replied.
"People I never knew fought and died to make me King. I won't disrespect them by pretending I'm too good for all of that."

"You don't seem to realize it," Stig replied, "but that's duty. So you ask me about this. This project I've been working on with the Santonian advisors that were invited here..." he sighed.

"Because it's your duty," Tobias said.

"My...issue...with this was that I didn't care for the idea of some foreigner coming here and telling me how I should defend my country. Not after everything I, we, lived through."

Tobias said nothing. He just nodded. Hoping to encourage Stig opening up.

"Part of me still doesn't. I doubt I'll ever fully get over that," the Field Marshal admitted, before looking at Tobias again.
"But despite that I have enough wherewithal to know that the policy asked of me is sound. That the people being brought in have good intentions. And that it will be good for our country. And that's what matters, because while part of me resents being told how to defend my people, I can still see that what they're here to do will help my people. And that's good enough for me to do my duty."

"I just wanted to say," Tobias replied softly, "that I believe in this reorganization. I really do. I understand why you feel the way you do but...I believe in it. So...thank you Stig. Thank you."

Stig nodded, collecting himself with a deep breath.

"And than you, Tobias."

"For what?" Tobias asked, cautiously.

"For doing your duty," Stig replied.
"And for proving me wrong when I thought your Grandfather would be the last King I'd ever feel good about upholding my oath for."

"You're saying that to someone you've known since they were in diapers," Tobias said with a nervous smirk.

"Then I've had plenty of time to make a judgment call," Stig said, with a soft laugh.

"Was that a chuckle?" Tobias asked.

"Cherish it, Tobias," Stig said with a smirk.
"It's not happening again."
 
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Greater Ale Permars

RolePlay Moderator
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OOC: Background ambience- Bathhouse Ambience

Luscova, Norsia

Steam rose around Bakkal as he sat in the sauna, his thinning hair damp from his swim ten minutes ago. The suspension of Aydin from the Luscova Pact had given him much time to think and reflect on what had gone wrong in the discussion leading up to the vote. Much of the blame would fall on him, his alcoholism taking a toll on his diplomatic capacity and ruining his credibility although thankfully a trip to rehab had assisted in getting him at least sober most of the time. The instructors in rehab had told him to find other ways relax and calm down besides drinking. And for him, the way he found most effective was the bathhouse, a quiet yet active place which allowed him to relax and converse with other men who were in similar positions as himself.

After a few more minutes in the sauna, Bakkal left the room and took his phone out of the storage locker placed closely to the Sauna's wooden door. After checking his messages for a moment he began to walk out into the pool section of the bathhouse. This particular section was the most beautiful of the whole place. Marble walls and marble floors are all designed beautifully with Norsian art and gilded with gold. The scenery was the real deal-breaker with places like this, a bathhouse with a shabby interior was a no-go for him. But not this one, this one was special. Bakkal moved to sit down beside the pool, looking at his phone once again he opened up Chercher and began to scroll through the Luscova Pact news section. The state of which to say the least was hectic.

Frigo, the old Predicean bastard had somehow mustered the strength to beat Albane over the head while debating over the entrance of some random Communist state from Auroria which if he remembered correctly was Rayvoscocka or Rayvostopa he didn't remember. But it seemingly caused much division among the pact. He saw one article mentioning the deal negotiated by Sif to get the Commies in while also bringing them elections. But that seemingly had all failed. According to the article at the top of the news section the deal was replaced with a new one, which was much more immediate and more forceful. After adding more to that he discovered that the Prediceans had left the pact, not wanting to be associated with an oppressive communist regime. Bakkal chuckled, "Shar must be pissing herself, with all this bullshit. But she's probably missing me there though." He rubbed the back of his head.

Bakkal deep down missed the woman, he did not see her as often as he would like. So goes the life of diplomats in a secret relationship but that did not stop him from loving her and even when she got on his case. But that was not all he would be sad about, he missed the time they had spent fighting side by side and representing Aydini and Syrixian interests as a team and a couple. An event which he could not get back to yet. Thankfully the investigation had been coming along smoothly, or so he has been told. Bringing him hope that soon he will be able to return to doing what he loves. But until then Bakkal was content with sitting in the bathhouse and waiting until that day comes.
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
16 August 2021
6:30 pm
On a Monday
Saintes, Saintonge


Gunnar Stahl felt his nerves relax as he stepped onto the ice. It was a rink he'd never played in before, in a city and country he'd never been in before, but all hockey rinks were the same. That's what made hockey special. When you got down to it, everyone was just out there playing for their team, and no matter where you were you were all bound by common experience.
The smell of freshly cleaned ice, the sound of pucks hitting boards and sticks as players began to warm up, and the sounds of skate blades on ice as the cool air came up and hit him despite his body being warm under the layers of pads and his sweater, that was universal to every hockey player.

He was the Prydanian national team captain, so he was the first one on the ice after the goalies. Still, he held back near the bench area while the rest of the team spread out on their half of the ice to warm up. He held back first to talk to Patrik Brenna.
Patrik Brenna, head coach of Konunglegur Býkonsviði and the Prydanian national team, and scourge of referees across the ÍDP*. The man looked like a bulldog with a moustache, but he was the friendliest guy in the world. Unless he thought you were slacking on your shift. Then he'd ride you until you, in his words, "showed some Goddamn hustle!"

Gunnar's conversation with his coach was short though. He was a defenceman, and was just going through the defensive pair rotations. He should have headed over to run a few point drills but he just stood by centre ice. He stood there, looking around as he leaned on his stick, balancing with both hands on the knob of tape at the end.
His team was dressed in their red sweaters with a stylized Prydanian stag across the front with white sleeves. The Santonian team was dressed in their home whites, with the red hearts and red sleeves. That made Gunnar chuckle. Especially because the Prydanian national team had a new third sweater.
They were green, white and black in honour of the King- those were the colours of the Prydanian royal family- because he had donated the funds to pay for them. And they would have made for a nice clash option to break up all the red and white. The ÍSP* and FRSHG*- the bodies that oversaw ice hockey in Prydania and Saintonge respectfully- wanted red and white vs red and white. Harts and hearts.
It was a sign of friendship, he was told. It was one of many things the two national federations were working on together.

The incident back in April where that þræll* Torfi Berger drove Sven Mostad into the ice head first had caused the ÍSP to re-evaluate the culture of hockey in Prydania and they had reached out to FRSHG. The two federations had come up with some ideas, and this game was meant to showcase them. A respectful way to showcase the game.

Gunnar, honestly, didn't mind the ideas. He was young enough to not feel so beholden to any romantic notions of "hard nosed hockey." So he was on board with less chippiness, less fighting, more sportsmanship. The handshake at the end was a fun notion. He wondered if it would catch on.

Gunnar's attention drifted to the stands. He knew hockey wasn't as popular as other sports in Saintonge, but this was a decent sized crowd. He spotted a few groups of Prydanian supporters and Prydanian flags. He wasn't sure if they were supporters from home or Prydanians who lived in Saintonge. Probably a bit of both.
That led him to look over at the Santonian side of the ice. There were a lot of Prydanian names on the backs of those heart sweaters. And suddenly his concentration was interrupted by a voice.

"Hey, Gunnar."

Gunnar turned as a smiling Brice-Kévin Beaudoin, the Santonian national team captain, skated up to him.
"How've you been?"

"Good, Kév, good," Gunnar replied, returning the smile.
"I've been enjoying Saintes. I've gotta admit, it's exciting. It's my first time on Meterra." That was true. Hockey allowed him to travel when he otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.

“That’s nice to hear,” Kev replied, putting an arm over Gunnar’s shoulders. “You should be seeing a lot more in the coming days, ‘cause we’d be touring you guys around the city.”

Gunnar nodded. He’d never seen a city like Saintes in person before. It was certainly bigger than either Býkonsviði or Hadden. And yet he hadn’t been intimidated by it. If anything he wanted to explore it. Every interesting alleyway and storefront.
“I can’t wait,” he said with a smile, before looking down at his skates. He was hoping he could speak to Brice-Kévin at some point, and in a twist of fate he’d sought him out before the game.

“Brice,” he said, looking back up.
“I wanted to thank you for standing up for Prydanians in Saintonge. It means a lot to see you do it. Thank you.”
He nodded softly as he said it, and stuck his right hand under his arm, holding his glove to his body as he pulled out his right hand, offering it to shake.

Kévin took the hand for a shake. “It’s what good teammates do, stand up for each other. Heck, it’s what good people do, stand up for people who are being wronged. I know as captains we’ll stand up for our teammates, but that won’t preclude us from having a clean game, right?”

Gunnar grinned and shook his hand back.
“Thank you again,” he said, before adding “and yes, here’s to a good, clean game!”
Kévin and Gunnar both went towards their own sides of the ice, to partake in the warmups. He got some reps in blasting pucks Matteus Svarturskógur’s way. getting lost in it all until the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the warmup period. Coach Brenna looked over his team as everyone got onto the bench, looking up briefly as the crowd was starting to filter in. The zambonis would be cleaning the ice now, and then it was gametime.

“Hustle, get pucks in deep, and get ‘em on net,” the coach said as the ice cleaner made its way around the ice.
“None of this tic-tac-toe stuff, take the clear shots. Gunnar. Have anything to say?”

Gunnar looked up and down the bench. He was the captain. Patrik Brenna’s question was more of an…expectation.

“Play clean, play smart,” he said. It was brief but these guys knew him. And they knew what he expected of them.

The ceremony that began all internationals was no different here. Both teams sent their starting lineups out, the goalies in each net and five skaters each on the blue lines, as both the Santonoan and Prydanian national anthems were sung. Gunnar couldn’t help but smile as Prydanian fans sang along. It was something of an interesting development. It started during the 2017 World Cup; Prydanian fans at sporting events enthusiastically singing Land of God and Forests. The Prydanians in the crowd sang along with the singer. And the Santonians followed suit with their anthem. Gunnar had no idea if that was a Santonian thing, or if the Santonians in the crowd were spurred to do it by the Prydanians, but regardless it made for a fun environment.

And finally, with both anthems sung, the game could begin…

Playing hockey was the most fun Gunnar Stahl ever had. It didn’t matter how old he was, or where, or when…playing hockey was the most exhilarating experience he’d ever known, and it allowed him to put his worries away and just focus. And international games were the best, because each team was the best their countries had to offer. Not chippy play, no unnecessary hits. Everyone was a skilled player. It made the game fast paced.

Gunnar was on the bench, waiting for a shift change. He got a quick drink of water from a water bottle and moved down the bench as the Santonians pressed. Kurt Hemsey, one of the defencemen on the ice for Prydania tried to clear it and Gunnar got ready to get up. Once it cleared he’d take Kurt’s place on the ice but…the Santonian defenceman, Hallthor Sverdrup, stopped it from clearing the zone, keeping the Prydanian shift change from happening. Hallthor got the puck in deep for Finnbjörn Kylefjord, who put the puck in past Matteus Svarturskógur for the first goal.

1-0 Saintonge

“Kurt!” Coach Brenna barked.
“You need to clear with more force than that!” he added as Gunnar gave his teammate and fellow defenceman a reassuring pat on the shoulder before heading out. It was the top Prydanian line, and the top defensive pairing.

“Coach wants an answer,” Gunnar muttered to himself. The faceoff set the game in motion once again, and that answer came. Prydania managed to get the puck into the Santonian zone and then Wolf Stansson, Prydania’s top centre, began to direct traffic, moving the puck around. Finally Wolf got a one-on-one shot on the Santonian goalie, Brynjar Tellander, and took a shot. Tellander stopped it, and the puck bounced out to Wolf again. He took another chip shot, Tellander deflected it with his blocker. Sighvat Holt, a Prydanian winger, took control, but he didn’t care for the angle and flung the puck up towards the blue line.

Gunnar saw it all happen, and knew where he had to be. He was waiting for the puck, timed a shot, and blasted the puck towards the net as soon as it got to him. The puck flew like a rocket, and blasted past Tellander.

1-1

The rest of the first period was a series of back and forth rushes, where the puck could go the other way if you made the slightest mistake. Gunnar liked that kind of hockey. It was exhausting and kept him on his toes, but it was fun. Eventually though, the first period ended tied. Both teams retreated to their locker rooms.

The second period…it’s underrated. Most people focus on a fast start, the first period, or a strong finish, the third period. The second period though, was where games could be made or broken. And today was a lesson in that.

Saintonge scored around eight minutes into the second period when Brice-Kévin Beaudoin, the Santonian captain, managed to beat Matteus Svarturskógur on a breakaway.

2-1 Saintonge

Gunnar nodded. It wasn’t the end of the world. He looked to answer again, like Prydania had after the first Saintonge goal. And indeed it looked like they might. Prydania pressed the attack, but Saintonge managed to wrestle control of the puck and attempted to move it up out of their zone. Jeppe Kjeldsen, a Prydanian winger, attempted to slow down the Santonian player with a stick around his torso. The ref’s hand went up and a whistle sounded.

“Two minutes. Number thirty-nine, Prydania. Hooking,” the official announced in a Gojan accent.

Saintonge converted on the power play with a Gyrth Kinzinger goal. And suddenly it was a two goal game rather than a one goal game.

3-1 Saintonge

Jeppe Kjeldsen skated back to the Prydanian bench after being let out of the penalty box, and Gunnar Stahl was there to meet him.

“See what happens?” Gunnar asked.
“When you take unnecessary penalties?”

“Já, já,” Jeppe nodded and Gunnar followed suit. He pat him on the shoulder.

“Keep your head straight out there.”

Prydania attempted to answer the goal, but to no avail. Saintonge’s defence was quick, managing to clear the puck each time Prydania put it on net. The period ended with Prydania down two, after going into it tied. One goal was whatever…it happened. But the second one, that zapped the Prydanian team of its energy, was on an avoidable penalty.

“You all need to wake up,” Coach Brenna said in the locker room between the second and third periods.
“They pounce on a rebound? You get the puck back…cleanly!” he said, pointing to Jeppe.

“But you’re lettin’ them jump on your rebounds. Get to it!”

Hjor Blóm managed to score for Prydania around five minutes into the third but Gunnar looked up at the scoreboard.

3-2 Saintonge

It would be a tie game without that penalty. But it lit a fire under the Prydanian team, who came out pressing the Santonians. Chance after chance, getting pucks in deep, but for all the chances and energy Tellander either came up with a save, or the Prydanian shots would just miss. And after eight minutes of sustained Prydanian offense…

Wolf Stansson passed a puck up to Gunnar at the point, but Brice-Kévin Beaudoin intercepted it and skated as fast as he could between Gunnar and his defensive partner, Jan Dahal. Dahal had been playing up to press the attack, meaning Brice-Kévin and Gunnar, the two captains, were off to the races. Kév managed to get a half-step on Gunnar, but Gunnar seemed to be able to swipe the puck off his stick. Only Kév managed to lean into the wayward direction Gunnar was pushing the puck in, and leaning in gave him the leverage he needed to lift a shot over the glove of Matteus Svarturskógur.

4-2 Saintonge

Brice-Kévin and Gunnar got tied up after the goal and Kév chuckled as they separated.
“Good hustle, Gunnar.”

“You too, Kév,” Gunnar said as he made his way to his goalie to apologize and give a reassuring pat on his pads.

Coach Brenna ended up pulling the goalie for an extra attacker with two minutes left in the period, but it didn’t work. Prydania’s pressure couldn’t be translated into a goal, let alone two. And when the final whistle sounded the score read 4-2 Saintonge.

Losing…well, losing was never fun. But that wasn’t really what this was about. Gunnar sighed as he drank some water and got back onto the ice. He banged his stick a few times to get his teammates’ attention and lined them up behind him. This was one of the big things the ÍSP and FRSHG had agreed to. And both hoped it would become a norm in international hockey. The two teams, each led by their captains, lined up and skated towards each other. Shaking each other’s hands.

“Good game, Gunnar,” Kév Beaudoin said as he gripped Gunnar’s hand. Gunnar smiled, nodding as he shook.

“Good game, Kév,” he replied. The rest of each team followed suit, ending with the coaches shaking hands.

It was a nice experience, Gunnar thought. Maybe the suits knew what they were doing.

He stopped in the hallway that led from the benches to the locker room to high five some Prydanian kids and teenagers, removing his helmet when he finally disappeared from public view. It was a clean game. The handshake went well. No doubt everyone would be pleased about this proof of concept. But as other Prydanian players came in after him he could only smile.

‘Cause it was a good game. And the next one would be too.



*ÍDP- Prydanian Hockey League
*ÍSP- Prydanian Hockey Federation
*FRSHG- Royal Santonian Federation of Ice Hockey
*þræll- thug, goon



Baba O'Riley by The Who, 5:07

OOC Note: Co-written with @Kyle
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
21 December 2021
7:03 pm
On a Tuesday
Býkonsviði, Prydania


"There you go, Styrbjörn!" Sigfreður said as he set his two year old grandson down on the couch.

"Grandpabbi!" the child exclaimed happily.
"Can we go again?"

Sigfreður laughed as he sat next to his grandson.
"Your grandpabbi isn't as young as he used to be," he said with a wink.
"I'm afraid I need a bit of a rest before I carry you around the house again."

"Besides," Valfríður said as she came down the stairs behind her son and father-in-law, "we need to get ready for church, don't we?"

"Do we have to?" Styrbjörn asked as he kicked his feet hanging over the couch.

"Já," Valfríður said, "we absolutely do. It's Blue Christmas."

"But I don't even get more presents," Styrbjörn insisted but Sigfreður stepped in. A child was naturally going to chafe against his mother, but Sigfreður knew that as his grandpabbi he had a lot of sway.

"Come now Styr, it's not about presents. It's a very important night," he said.
"We're going to pray for people we lost. So they have a merry Christmas in Heaven."

"Like Uncle Styrbjörn?" the two year old asked, innocently.

Sigfreður felt a lump in his throat but he nodded, with a jolly smile that he knew made his grandson happy.
Styrbjörn knew he was named after his uncle and that his uncle had passed away. It's all he knew about it. He couldn't be blamed for bringing it up.

"Já," Sigfreður said to his grandson.
"Like Uncle Styrbjörn. So you're going to get ready, já?"

"Ok grandpabbi," Styrbjörn said with a smile as Valfríður picked him up and set him down on the floor.

"Oh you're getting heavy!" she chuckled.
"And only listening to your grandpabbi!"

Styrbjörn giggled as his mother set him down and Elina emerged from the upstairs.

"Come on Styr, let's get ready, ok?"

"Ok grandmamma," the two year old said as he and his mother and grandmother went upstairs, passing Þorfinnur.

"Here's my guy," Þorfinnur said, picking up his giggling son before setting him down again to get ready. He shared a kiss with his wife and joined his father in the living room.

"You're going to need to get ready too," Þorfinnur said as he adjusted his tie.

"Oh I'm easy," Sigfreður said.
"Always have been. Give me two minutes and I'll be ready."

Þorfinnur looked over his father, wearing slippers, jeans, and a polo shirt. He'd be sceptical if he didn't know for a fact that his father was right.

"So pabbi," he sat down next to him.
"You doing ok?"

It was a very meaningful question. It was six years. Six years since Styrbjörn- his brother and Sigfreður's son- had been killed. They'd been to the memorial service for the hangings a few days earlier. And now, at the end of the Advent, it was time to pray. For everyone who was no longer here.

"Já," Sigfreður said softly.
"I thought...I thought..." he paused and then decided not to say anything.

Þorfinnur nodded. He knew his father. Even at his best, before he became angry and bitter, he was a proud man. Stubborn. Not one to share his emotions much.

It made the healing they had both gone through since the end of the War all the more powerful. And Þorfinnur had leant when not to push his father.

"Já," he smiled, patting his father's shoulder. Whatever he was feeling he meant. He was sincere. And that was good enough for him. He got up to get going but Sigfreður continued.

"I thought maybe I'd be a wreck," he said softly.

"What do you mean, pabbi?" Þorfinnur asked, sitting back down. He'd learnt to leave his father be when he needed. He'd also learnt to be there for his father when he needed that too.

"When you had your son," Sigfreður said.
"And you named him after your brother. I thought I was going to be a crying wreck. A baby boy named Styrbjörn...."

"Pabbi," Þorfinnur began, but his father continued.

"But I haven't been. I haven't been a wreck. I've been...it's been good. It's been very good to spend time with my grandson."

Þorfinnur smiled.
"You're a good grandpabbi," he said assuringly.
"Styr loves you. He adores you."

Sigfreður smiled softly.
"I love him..." he said before looking his son in the eye.
"Þor?"

"Já?"

"Thank you."

"For what?" Þorfinnur asked, curiously. He wasn't sure what his father was getting at.

"For," Sigfreður said, his greying whiskers standing out against his blushing face. This was hard to say.
"...letting me be a part of my grandson's life."

It took every ounce of inner strength to get him to say that. To admit to the fear that deep down, his son would be justified to keep his own children away from him given their past. How he took out his anger and bitterness on his wife and children...

But as soon as he focused on that ugliness his son held him.

"Pabbi," Þorfinnur said as he buried his face in his shoulder, before he looked up and smiled at his father.
"Styrbjörn couldn't have a better grandpabbi."

Sigfreður gulped and nodded, smiling meekly.

"And," Þorfinnur added, smiling wide, "you're going to be an amazing grandpabbi for Styrbjörn's little brother or sister."

"Heh," Sigfreður said with a soft chuckle.
"You're going to have to slow down with your wife there. I don't know if we have the room for another one."

"Well," Þorfinnur said.
"I was going to save this for Christmas. So you're going to have to act surprised."

His father raised an eyebrow, unsure what his son was going to say.

"I got accepted into an internship program at Freya Motors for 2022," he said with a wide smile.
"If things go well I'll be able to start saving for our own..."

He couldn't finish. Because it was Sigfreður's turn to hold him.
"That's wonderful!" he proclaimed!

"Shhh pabbi," Þorfinnur said as he hugged his father, smiling.
"Keep it to yourself until Christmas."

The two let go of each other before Sigfreður stood to get up.
"I should get ready."

"Probably best before mamma finds you here in your slippers," Þorfinnur said with a nod.

"Heh, já," Sigfreður said as he made his way upstairs.
"I love you."

"Love you too, pabbi," Þorfinnur said. He smiled, watching his father descend upstairs and he found himself alone for a brief few moments. He looked down as he sat.

"Happy Blue Christmas, bro. I know you'll be listening later," he said to himself before getting up. He had to gather his family to head to church.
 

Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
25 December 2021
8:30 pm
On a Saturday
Býkonsviði, Pryda


There was something peaceful about church carols. Especially at Christmas.
The pews at St. Vortgyn' Cathedral in Býkonsviði were packed for Christmas services.

Tobias smiled softly as he looked up at the restored stain glass and alter. The singing was rather peaceful and put him at ease as powdery snow fell against dark skies outside. He was in the front row, befitting the King. With his wife Alycia and children. Their twin boys were each one year and three months old. They'd each begun speaking a few months back, but thankfully they were mostly tired here.

The young King smiled again, exchanging a loving look with Alycia. She wasn't a Messianist, but she'd come to enjoy the ideas and festivities of Christmas.
But alas, the time came when he was expected to speak.

Tobias stood, taking the podium. He would offer a more celebratory address on New Year's Eve. But Christmas...well...he was the head of the Laurenist Church of Prydania. It was appropriate that Christmas speeches were given at Christmas services.

"Hello," Tobias said with a smile as the archbishop stepped aside for him to take the podium.
"I don't know how many people," he began. He was getting good at just getting right to it with these things.
"I don't know how many people know that I used to be an atheist."

He paused, and let the revelation hang there. He had never kept it a secret. Still his days as an atheist, the darkest of the Civil War, were spent mostly to him brooding to himself. He legitimately didn't know how many people knew that about him.

"I'm telling you all that because my path to Kristur taught me a lot. One was patience, patience with change. You see, accepting Kristur into your heart is not like flipping a switch. No angels came down from heaven to play trumpets, no light shown down to illuminate me on my revelation. I accepted God, but...old ways die hard."

Tobias paused for a moment. He had thought about this speech- and worked on it- for a while. He had to think on what it was he was saying to tease the jumbled mess of thoughts and feelings out into something coherent.

"Because I had been an atheist for years, you see, and the moment I accepted Kristur into my heart was but one single moment, at the end of years and years of moments when I had been an atheist. So I struggled at first. I felt a deep warmth in my heart having accepted God, but I still struggled to square thoughts and feelings I had with my new faith."

Tobias stopped to pause for a moment. He felt his heart race.
"Jesús there's a lot of people here," he thought, before he continued.

"There were thoughts about the War of course. How could God allow so much death and suffering? But there were abstract struggles as well. I spent many a night as a teenager debating myself about the origin of our universe. If God created us why is the universe so chaotic? That was my greatest hurdle. But I overcame it. I overcame it when I realized that...the universe isn't so chaotic."

He smiled out at the congregation.

"Já, the universe is a vast chaotic stream of cosmic rays and radiation that could kill us, but in the corner of one unassuming galaxy is one unassuming star, with one unassuming planet. Where we thrive. We don't just live, we thrive. It's not chaos. As random as it may seem, as cruel as it can be, it's life asking us constantly how we will make meaning out of our world. I've suffered. So have many of you, but we make that suffering our own, so we can be better for it. I like to think...our loved ones look down every day, happy at our choices."

Tobias felt his eyes tear up just a bit as he thought of his mamma and pabbi.

"I didn't see that for a long while. Even after accepting Kristur as my lord and saviour. I still saw the world as chaos. Of creation as chaos. In time though, I found the beauty and dignity in our own challenges, in God's creation. I hope my loved ones up in heaven, and God Himself, had patience with me, as I stuck with my old, cold ideas before realizing a better way. I know I will endeavour to show that kindness and patience where I can. Thank you all."

Tobias felt the blush peaking out from under his collar, and smiled as he picked Baldr up for a hug before sitting down with his family.

"That seemed a bit poignant," Alycia said softly.
"It's December. Which means I've been thinking about Christmas," Tobias said with a soft smile.
"And the Luscova Pact has been arguing. So I've been thinking about that too," he added with a wink.
 

Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
31 December 2021
6:00 pm
On a Friday

Absalonhöll, Býkonsvi

Tobias sat at his desk, dressed in a dark maroon sweater under a white collared shirt, a subtle allusions to the flag of Prydania's colours. To wear the colours was something of a New Year's tradition.

He absent mindedly messed with some hair, a few errant strands bugging him just a bit before he began to roll a pen between his fingers. He was a fidgeter, especially while waiting.
Tobias glanced up at the RÚV cameras. The King's New Year's Address. It was a tradition in Prydania. So much so that Thomas Nielsen tried to continue it himself as the Syndicalist Republic's head of state.

He'd given a lot of these. As a member of the FRE resistance and as King. And he hadn't been sure what he was going to say today until about three hours ago. He'd been nerve rackingly obsessing over it. Finally though....like a light going off...he'd figured it out. Just as he was holding Hael. Alycia had been holding Baldr...and the idea of generational aspiration dawned on him.

His own sons would have it easy, as princes of two realms and each heir to a crown. They'd have it far easier than he ever did.
Which is why the challenges of the children of Baldr and Hael's generation, the children of his countrymen, were so readily relatable for him.

He'd written the thing in a mad panic as inspiration struck. Parts of it weren't even full sentences. Just ideas. That was ok though. He'd put them together in his head when the time came.

Tobias saw the director signal five seconds with his hand and he put the pen down, straightening his posture and trying to feel like he looked "stately." It was still something that alluded him. The camera's light went red and the director pointed to indicate he was live.

"Hello," he began with a smile.
"My fellow countrymen. I come to you all at the end of another year. And what a year it's been! It's certainly been transformative! We as a country enacted a new constitution for our Kingdom. And new political forces arose, dedicated to correcting the past's mistakes. Not perpetuating them."

He paused for just a second before continuing.

"But as the year nears its end we don't just focus on what happened. We focus on what will happen. And what can happen. New Year's should be a celebration for the young. Because it symbolizes the future. So to the young people of our country, and to their parents...to the ones who are our present and future...please. Know you are all capable of great things."

He paused again, to collect himself.

"The future is brighter than it's been in some time, but that doesn't mean it's going to be free from challenges. When you face an obstacle remember you're capable of overcoming it. And never let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve something."

Tobias thought for a moment. He wanted to say more but no...what he'd been dreaming up was for later. Now was a time for sentiment. Not plans.

"Strive, work hard, march forward to whatever you want the future to be, and never let anyone or anything tell you to hold back. Never let anyone tell you that you're not good enough. To people of my generation, and the generations that will come after..."

He smiled.

"Don't be afraid to dream, and make the future real. And strive forward. No matter what."

Tobias nodded.
"May God preserve Prydania. And may each and every one of you have a happy new year!"

The red light went off and Tobias sighed. He found giving speeches natural to a degree but it was still stressful. He took a sip of water and stood to leave his office as the RÚV crew began to pack their equipment away.

He was going to spend his New Year's with his wife and boys.

"Brennivín?" Lord General Hummel asked.

"No," Tobias smiled.
"Norsian wine."

Hummel nodded and headed off as he made his way down a hallway. So quiet. Compared to the hustle of his office. He slipped his hands in the pockets of his khakis and whistled a rural Austurlander tune from his mamma's hometown. Making his way to his wife and children.

Excited for the future.
 

Tardine

RolePlay Moderator
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TNP Nation
Tardine
Discord
Exotic Butters#1535
31 December, 2021
At dawn
On the forest near Para'ma-çu, Hazomi'gaaknadt



Mitera surely had to prove himself. It was the last day of the year and he did nothing important to help those people who saved him and his friend from a painful death. He needed to do something noteworthy and that's why he ventured onto the forest alone. However, his lack of knowledge of this particular place made him get lost. It was already noon when he thought that he found the way to home:

- Damn you, forest! - hearing the sounds of heavy footsteps, he said - Oops, calm down, whatever it is... I didn't mean to upset you.

As the animal approached, he realized that he would be doomed if he didn't do nothing. It was a huge jaguar, different from anything that he ever saw and was approaching his fast. He tried to run, but the animal was faster and he decided to fight. "Please make I survive, Great Watcher", he prayed while evading from it's big claws. He got tired and tiredness leads to distraction, this was the opportunity the jaguar was waiting for. The animal scratched Mitera's face and left him bleeding. With his last strength, he took a big stone and hit the animal on its head. The bleeding on his face made him finally remember, before he lost his consciousness: "I'm Jasemir Partei Kladerai."

- Mitera? ...Mitera? - someone was calling out to him, his head was hurting like hell - MITERA!
- Uh? Who is it out there? - he asked to nobody in particular, as he tried to make sense on what was happening - Oh, it's you, Kladius.
- What? Kladius? Who's that? - the confused look on his face was funny to Jasemir - I don't even know my name!
- Let me say you something: you're not Poru'takakai, even though it's a good name. - Jasemir slowed down as he saw the terrified look of Kladius/Poru'takakai - Alright, let me explain: I remembered who we are. Your name is Kladius Danderos, and we are the only survivors from the plane crash.
- Oh no! That means I lost my brother... - he starts to cry a lot while Jasemir holds him.
- Come here, my friend...

Suddenly, realization comes to Jasemir: "What the hell happened to my family?". Jasemir was still bleeding and they took him into the center of the city so that they could tend to his wounds. When he got better, it was already night there. He was starving and they started to celebrate the upcoming new year. Afterwards, the feast was dying over and everybody started to ask who he really was. Then he told everyone what brought him there, how did it happened and, at the end, the only question Banru'zaidji had for him was:

- Do you really like me? - he lifted his eyebrows to the sudden question - Or was it all Mitera's?
- Hahahaha - she got angry when he started to laugh.
- I'm not kidding! - Banru'zaidji punched him on the arm - Tell me now, Jasemir!
- Ouch, that hurt... I'm still recovering from a jaguar's attack, don't you remember? - she suddenly touches him as if she wanted to comfort Jasemir - Of course I still like you! It's not like recovering my own memories would erase my memories with you...
- Then what are you going to do now? - she asked fearing that he would leave her alone.
- I will now reconquer my country... - he makes a dramatic pause while her gets even more anxious - With you, of course!

She punches him on the arm again, forgetting completely that he was still injured. They keep their bickering as the night passes away and the sky opens up signaling that a new year was coming, plus new challenges for them. Jasemir's way back home is only starting...​
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
Unknown date
Unknown time
Unknown day

Unknown location

"I killed you, that alone should make sure I'm remembered."

"You freed me. You freed me and you gave me something to laugh at on my way out."

"Scarf down that steak faster. I know for a fact that you can't taste it."

Anders looked up from his plate and smirked at Thomas.
"No...but I remember what it used to taste like."

"Is that enough for you?"

"It's as good for me as that bottle of tasteless 'wine' is for you. You know Thomas, it's so funny...your taste for wine. Quite a bougie drink for a salt of Eras Syndicalist isn't it?"

"You're still sitting there with that shit eating smirk on your face...like you know me. How long has it been, Anders? You don't know me."

"You knew my brother well enough."

Thomas grunted as looked away.
"Must we talk about Robert?"

"We must! We must indeed!" Anders laughed as he chewed flavourless steak and smiled before swallowing.
"Oh you should want to talk about Robbie because he's one of your great victories over me. My brother, little Robbie...honestly I thought his deepest cares in the world were his family and hockey. And there you had him. As a friend. Talking to him and grooming him, under my very nose. I never suspected a thing. So good for you," Anders said as he tapped a fork on the plate in front of him.

"'Grooming?' Is that the best term you could use?" Thomas asked, shaking his head.

"It's appropriate though isn't it? Poor Prince Rob, what's he to do? But you were there, pouring your ideology into his head..."

"He was my friend!" Thomas barked, banging his fist down on the table. Silverware clashing against itself, glass, and plates. Anders, however, wasn't shaken.

"You shot him though. Him and his bitch wife. You shot him after you shot me, and Vera and my Astrid..."

"Don't pretend like you cared for your daughter," Thomas scowled, but Anders just chuckled and sat back.

"Is that so hard to believe? That I cared for her? As similar as you and I are, I never killed my own child, Thomas. That's a sin that's uniquely your own."

Thomas scowled and tapped his finger on the white table cloth.
"Fratricide, patricide, and matricide are yours." Anders cocked his head and Thomas nodded.
"I know. King Robert. Queen Loke. Prince Baldr. When I got here I knew. You killed them and you blamed us for..."

"Já," Anders replied rolling his eyes.
"Já I did...and who knew your little movement there..." he took another bite of flavourless meat and spoke while he chewed, "would prove to be so worthy of my lie?"

"You keep implying we're the same. I don't know what cruel fate placed us together here, but we're not," Thomas grumbled as he sipped his flavourless wine.

"Patricide, filicide, I think we're merely splitting hairs."

"I did what I had to do for a better Prydania," Thomas insisted as his voice got low.
"The people I had to kill, were in part, because of you. Your regime had to upended. I had to tear everything out by the roots, and if people died so be it."

Anders took his steak knife and cleaned up the blood from the blade with his napkin and pressed the flat side of its blade against his forehead as he leaned in.
"I don't think you realize, Tom, just how much you sound like how I sound...ed."

"You're a monster. The union reps, the activists, the..."

"The farmers, the churchgoers, the shopkeepers..." Anders said, holding back the urge to chuckle.

"They deserved..." Thomas began before Anders finished...

"It! Já! That's where your thinking is flawed Tommy boy, because...." he leaned forward and began to lower his voice to a loud whisper...
"the dirty secret is, the thing you and yours don't get is...I believed in what I did too."

Anders sat back in his chair and rolled his eyes again.
"Oh look at you. All indignant. I was here, Tom. Here watching you for fifteen years. You put me to shame in some ways. You have no right to judge me. Because já, I did what I did because I believed in it. And I found others who believed in it. I lied, I killed, for what I thought was the greater good. Just. Like. You."

"I'm nothing like you," Thomas grunted.
"I wasn't born into privilege. I worked my way..."

"Blah, blah, blah...," Anders replied.
"Look Tom. I didn't kill my big brother because I hated him. I did hate him, don't mistake me, but I killed him, and dear old mamma and pabbi, because I had to." His voice lowered again, but more akin to a growl than a whisper.
"I had to, so I could do what I believed had to be done. I wouldn't have been able to if I didn't. Destiny determined that Baldr would be the next king, not me. So I seized destiny and bent it to my will. But you..." he began to laugh again and clinged his steak knife on his glass.
"You out-did me. Destiny determined you'd spend your life a miner and you forced destiny to bend to YOUR will. How could I not be proud when I looked up at you, your gun between my eyes?"

"You were only ever interested in your own self aggrandizement," Thomas began.
"I was working to make Prydania a better place."

"Four million dead's a hell of a start. Literally," Anders smirked and winked. The dim candle that illuminated their table, and the other tables, gave the whole room a dark, foreboding feeling.

"You insist I can't judge you," Thomas replied as he sat back in his chair.
"But you seem to be judging me."

"Not judging no...merely comparing notes," Anders chuckled.

"You hated us. Hated Syndicalism."

"I did! Já I did..." Anders laughed.
"But I was here long before you got here. And in that time I've been made to realize a few things that have changed my perspective."

"Such as?"

"Syndicalism, Social Commonwealthism, none of it really matters. You and I are far more alike then you want to admit. And I've been confronted," he said very seriously. As serious as he'd been this entire meeting.
"With the multitude of my sins. And I see in you the man I was, before then."

The mood was tense before Anders winked.
"Buckle up, Tom. You have a long way ahead of you. Maybe we'll share a vista on the beach, overlooking the nothingness as the dread consumes our souls."

Thomas began to tremble. Just a bit at first.
"I. Am not. You..." he said, sounding more defensive then he'd been before.

"I keep saying it, and you'll realize it soon...we're more alike then you know. After all we have a very important thing in common that's beyond question."

"And what's that?" Thomas asked.

"You killed us both," Anders said, cracking a mad smile.
 

Greater Ale Permars

RolePlay Moderator
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The Narodny
Lebedevgrad, Rayvostoka
Friday, August 13th, 2010
6:13 PM


Mikhail looked over the papers on his desk, and then to the two men standing in front of him. His eyes were tired, weary from the day's events. The growing unrest on the island of Stoykosti* had occupied most of the day's events. First with small instances of protest and next with open calls from the leaders of the ethnic Saudivici minority to succeed. This was not acceptable and to address it he had assembled the two most powerful men on the island to address the issue.

The first man was the Secretary of the island's provincial governing committee Etush Maximovich, a local man who in a quite cutthroat manner managed to rise through the local party to eventually reach his position. Beside him stood the Provincial Garrison commander, Major General Budayev Stepanovich. An experienced commander, and veteran of the Epyhran refugee crisis*, Budayev had cemented his place in the history of the People's Army after almost fifty years of distinguished service earning him his important post as commander of the most forward position in the Crystal Sea* the bulwark against the Imperium. But this position was threatened.

"Comrade Secretary, explain to me how you and Comrade General Stepanovich are going to handle this unrest before I have to take control of this directly." Mikhail rubbed his forehead.

"Well, Comrade General Secretary, me and the Comrade General have decided that in order to properly pacify the island. We must first suppress the rising unrest and separatism of the ethnic Saudivici on the island. To do so we have compiled a list of their leaders and those who we have deemed to be spreading this unrest with this we will begin mass arrests within the next two days or so led by the Comrade General and facilitate their imprisonment and hopeful re-education." Etush responded.

"And where will you relocate the dissidents to?" Mikhail stretched in his seat.

"We plan to use the island's primary prison complex just outside of Tolyarod and convert it, into a re-education facility. The prison's operational status will remain the same but its purpose will change." Etush retrieved a paper from his coat pocket and placed it onto Mikhail's desk. "This document contains the entirety of the plan, all we are waiting for is your approval."

Mikhail picked up the paper and unfolded it. And after reading it in its entirety placed it back down on the desk.

"Neither the Politburo, nor Presidium is to be informed of this do you understand?" The two men nodded their heads. "This is to be kept as close a secret as possible, we can't have any slip-ups. Or else we are all in deep shit."

"Yes sir." The two men nodded again.

"Now I want you two to handle this, get your people together and get this done." Mikhail signed the document and handed it back to Etush.

"Now get out, I've got other matters to attend to." Mikhail spun around in his chair, facing out the window into the dimming cityscape of Lebedevgrad.

OOC:
Stoykosti- Fortitude

The Crystal Sea- The Rayvostokan name for the Constantine Sea.

Epyhran refugee crisis- A period of turmoil in the nation of Ephyra led to a large amount of Ephyran refugees fleeing their homeland to the closest safe haven of Rayvostoka.
 

Tardine

RolePlay Moderator
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TNP Nation
Tardine
Discord
Exotic Butters#1535
12 January, 2022
At night
Somewhere in Miccan, Tardine



Artoi Laremos was called by Ekron Johak on the last night. Apparently, he had discovered that Arnip Kladerai, last remnant of the regal Kladerai bloodline. While Ekron was a mere distant parent of the regal bloodline, Arnip was de facto successor. He arranged a meeting between them and asked Artoi to take the baby with him. Ekron's intentions were to meet the Artoi and baby then protect tbem from Werdoi, as his job was to ensure the continuity of the Kladerai's rule. When Artoi got there, they started to talk alone on a secluded vacant warehouse.

- It's not the nicest place but I'm sure it fits with our mission, right mister Laremos? - Ekron and Artoi shakes hands, with little Arnip on a baby cart nearby.
- I agree with you, Sire Johak... - an uncomfortable silence settles in - Or should I call you Your Greatness?
- Heh, it's not needed... - Ekron adds then - Yet. Now, where's lil' Arnip?
- He's over here, sleeping - Ekron motions to take the baby but Artoi stops him - How do I now that I can trust you?
- You can't, but I'm the only one that is able to help you. - he tries to take the baby again - When will you stop with this nonsense crap?
- Non sense? I highly doubt you're any better than Werdoi. - Artoi chuckles at his own remark
- Now you made me lost patience. - he draws a knife and tries to stab Artoi, but he deflects on the last second - You should've just given to me the baby and your life would be spared, now prepare to die.
- What? Are you dumb? If I die everyone will know that it was you. - Ekron ignores him, as he kept trying to take the baby and stab both of them - I won't let you take what you want. NEVER!

He managed to catch Arnip and ran away to nowhere in particular, as he just wanted to flee away from there. As he took some distance, he heard shouts of "take him" from soldiers nearby. "Damn, damn, damn! I can't let them take Arnip, he's our only hope." thought him while heading to a friend's house. When he was closing by, he heard gunshots and ran faster, until his lungs where burning from the effort. Fortunately, for the sake of all Tardineannen, he reached the safe house and shouted:

- Eruvina, let me in! - he looked at the street to see if anyone was lurking by - Run fast and open this door!
- What? Artoi? - as she opened the door he jumped in without hesitation - Do you know that's 3 am?
- I know Eruvina but something pretty bad has happened. - he looked at the baby on her hands - Huh, who's that?
- No. I'm making questions here... - she pointed to Arnip, still shocked by the run - Who is that baby? Or more precisely, whosmt?
- It's mine child... - she looked at him with disapproval - Okay, he isn't my son. But I adopted him.
- Seeing from your state, it looks like someone very bad wants him. - she rests her head on the wall - By the way, that's my daughter, Halima.
- Damn, it's been forever since last we met. - he puts Arnip on the cradle Eruvina gave to him - I missed you, friend.
- No, no, no. - she stops him - No more chattering until you tell me everything that happened.

Eruvina was more and more shocked with each new thing Artoi told her. A conspiracy to kill Empera Jasemir? Fake medical reports? Baby slaughter? She couldn't absorve it all and sat down with a blank stare. It was terrifying for her what Tardine had become. She sheltered him until they were able to smuggle him back to mainland Tardine, where, at least for now, Werdoi wasn't persecuting him. However, this event showed that nor Werdoi or Ekron were suitable to rule Tardine anymore. Who's the one that can save the country? No one knows. Yet.​
 

Tardine

RolePlay Moderator
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TNP Nation
Tardine
Discord
Exotic Butters#1535
On a Saturday night
City of Olmongeter, Tardine
April of 1982




Stanfen always had to do the work for his family, as he was the single son. His father would brag about his demeanors every single day, and he hated that. After a long day of hard work, he was finally able to flee away from everyone and go to a club, called La Cosa Nostra. The fairly new club, located on the center of the city, was packed with people dancing all over the place, delighting themselves on the upbeat musics from that time. However, despite dozens of beautiful girls being there, a single long haired girl catched the eyes of Stanfen, who was hoping to find someone cool to talk and loosen up during the night. She seemed too young for him to be there, so he approached her and asked:

- Hey, cool girl, what's your name? - he asked to her when the song ended - I'm Stanfen, by the way.
- Nice meeting you, Stanfen-boy. - she winked at him - My name's Alane... Will you ask me to dance or not?
- I will, but... I wanted to ask something first - he looks at her eyes and scan for any fear - What's your true age?
- If I tell you, will you keep my secret? - his surprise is shown on his face, but she keeps going on - I'm sixteen.
- Hells, you know you can't be here, right? - she just shrugs - I can't judge you, since I shouldn't be here as well.
- Wait, are you minor too? - she asks him fearfully - Are you hiding from someone?
- I'm 19 years old, and definitely not running from the police, from all that matters. - he extends his hand towards her - I just had a difficult day... Wanna dance?
- Why, of course! - he smiles as she gets up - I feel like you and me will be great dance partners.
- I sense that as well. - completes him.
- Let's dance, then!

They dance all the night and get to know each other better. At the end of the night, they set up an encounter, so that they could still be in touch, since she hadn't a telephone (those were still rare and expensive on Tardine). Each time they met, the passion between them would grow up more. However, one day, he didn't appeared to the date. He sent a letter to her explaining that something had happened on his family and he couldn't see her because of it. It was almost the new year's day of 1983 by then, and he promised to her that she would meet his family soon. Four days after the new year celebration, she was passing by an electronics store and, on the TV, she saw something that shocked her even more than the Emperor's death: the guy who portrayed the news, his son, was her secret boyfriend Stanfen.

- No way! - she shouted before realizing that she was on the street, then, muttering to herself, she said - That sick liar, I can't believe on it. He promised to marry me!
- Are you okay, miss? - a passerby asked to her.
- I am, sir... - she wiped out the tears from her eyes - I'm just shocked, the emperor was so young.
- Yeah, it is shocking indeed. - the passerby kept talking when she left - I can't believe on my eyes, it seems so unreal...

She promised to herself that Stanfen, now the soon-to-be Emperor, would never hear from her again. True love, however, always find a way. Stanfen was coronated 3 days later and didn't stop searching for her, despite her sudden disappearance. She had moved to Miccan, so that he couldn't find her. But, as if it was meant to happen, he was on Miccan for a speech in the begin of 1985 and decided to have lunch on a restaurant nearby. The local attendant came and asked to him:

- May I take your order, sir? - when she looked at him, she realized who he was - By the Watcher himself, it's the Emperor! I'm going to call everyone here!
- Wait, I just wanna have a normal lunch - he suddenly became angry and was about to leave, when one of the attendants was leaving and bumped into him - Sorry miss, I'm in a rush.
- Alright then... - suddenly she realized it was Stanfen - Oh no, I gotta go.
- No! Please don't! - he took her arm and said - Alane, hear me out.
- Why would I want to hear a liar? - she angrily tried to leave, but he kept holding her - Do you think because you're the emperor you can hurt me? I will scream and everyone will hate you.
- Listen, Alane... I spent this whole time searching for you. - he finally releases her but she stays there - I really meant everything I've said to you and I really love you. It's been two years, but I couldn't stop thinking about you everyday.
- Do you really think I will believe on it? - she snorts - I can't trust someone who didn't stop lying to me since day one.
- I assure you, my love is real. - he looked at her greenish eyes as he was almost starting to cry - At least let me make up for my errors.
- Stanfen, I... - she thinks for a moment before completing - I am still really hurt by your lies, but... I think we can give it a try.
- Yay! I promise you that I will never lie to you again. - he takes her hand on his heart - And I promise that I will love you everyday of my life, until my death.
- I can't promise the same. - she holds on for a moment before bursting into laugh - Hahaha, I'm kidding, Stanfen-boy. I love you now even more than before!

Both got out of the place holding hands and kept in touch, as now she had a telephone and free pass to the Royal Palace. Every day he bought flowers to her so that she could actually forgive him. Then they got married on 1987 and stayed together until Stanfen's death, in 1999. But that is a history for another time...​
 

Norsia

Registered
Discord
Norsia#3647
31 December 2021
4:00 am
Friday

Streets of Luscova, Norsia


Menshev walked the quiet nighttime Luscova streets as he could feel the painful bite of the strong Norsian winter winds on his face. Even in cities like Luscova, come winter people seldom choose to be outside if they could help it, Norcie is one of those countries known for its brutal winters and bothersome weather. The coup back home and his car being missing doesn't give him the choice as he makes his way to the Rayvostokan Embassy.

Perhaps his car being missing should have been the first clue that something was off, his car was marked as an Embassy vehicle and was in a secure lot. Maybe he should've gone back inside where he was safe and there were witnesses, now is too late. A black van drove up onto the curb where he walked and the sliding door slammed open as three men rushed out to grab him. Menshev is a big man, not weak by any standard as he gave one of his attackers a good elbow taking their air away. In another split second he felt a painful shock in his side that made his whole body go rigid, one of them has a taser. an unmasked fourth man in a formal winter coat smiled down at him as they dragged him into the van. "Dobré ráno, pane Mensheve!*" The man spoke in a cheerful and friendly tone, but in this circumstance, the friendly tone had a sinister feel underneath it. The door slammed closed and he can feel them quickly take off down the street.

The unmasked man leaned forward in their seat letting Menshev get a good look at him in the dim light. The man had dark hair and pale skin. Not uncommon for Norsians, they tend to be pale people. And the way they spoke Norsian, the accent is unfamiliar but maybe Menshev can rest easy that his own people didn't grab him. These men are not Rayvostokan, but they're not Norsian BNSI either.

"I am terribly sorry for the rough up mister Menshev, I wish that were avoidable but we couldn't take chances, but nothing like a taser to remind you're alive, right? We would have let you go if you didn't intend to go to your Embassy. You've embarrassed my people enough for one month, we don't need an international scandal with your body being found in the bay. My name is Viktor Mečiar, and yes that is my real name, we are not enemies, we are allies. For what it is worth it is nice to meet you... Now, I must ask. You know your embassy is dangerous why do you want to go there anyway?"

Menshev took a deep breath. “My wife is still home, and my nation is on fire. Sure, I could have sought asylum with you or with the Ilians but I know what happens to defectors Mr.Mečiar. I had a friend who fled Rayvostoka in 2001, he fled to the far reaches of Eras thinking he could get away from the hunters. My friend was Alexi Rukirov, a good party man and the former Minister for collective agriculture. He fled to Craviter and was found a year later in his garden, hanging from a tree. Suicide was the apparent cause of death. But I know it wasn’t, the hunters got him and they’ll get me too so long as Aslanov is still in power.”

"Your wife is still in Rayvostoka? So you're hoping to go to your Embassy and make a show of loyalty so she can be spared the potential fate of hunters? If she lives here in Luscova with you, we can bring her into protection too. Would the moderates in your government now fighting for its soul also send hunters, or is it just the hardliners?"

"She's at the Embassy, a temporary visit as usually spouses aren't allowed to follow their partners out of the country." Menshev looked up as if to begin praying. "I don't know if they will send them, and that's what scares me."

Mečiar let out a small pondering sigh. "Is she allowed to leave the Embassy? My only goal is to prevent you from coming to harm while you are in our country, but we can bring her into our protection as well if we can get her outside. I am an unknown to everyone but Her Majesty. if anyone can protect your family, it is me. You cannot rely on the BNSI, is useless, a broken tool from the days when the fascists terrorized our country. Its days are numbered. I am a demon Mr. Menshev, but unlike your hunters, I do not exist to terrorize my countrymen. I do not exist out of an obsessive need for control, I exist out of an obsessive need to defend. Saints play by rules, demons do not."

"She won't leave unless they transport her to my residence or the airport."

He nods and leans back in his seat. "We only picked you up like this because we are not sure what is happening in your Embassy right now, I only wanted to remove you from the immediate possible danger. What do you say, Mr. Menshev? We take you home, you arrange for your wife to come over to your house, act business as usual, we protect you from hunters while you try to keep suspicion away from yourself, and we all pray that more rational minds in your government prevail. Also serves the benefit of no international incident."

"That sounds like a good idea." Menshev bowed and shook his head. "I never thought... I never thought this would happen." The melancholic ambassador rubbed his face.

"People are capable of terrible things. but the fact your government voted to join the Luscova Pact means it wants to do better. Now it needs to prove it can." Mečiar finished.

"I think it can... I hope it can." Menshev sighed.

"Driver, turn us around. Get us to Menshev's residence, our goals have changed. We're not hiding Menshev, we're staying in his shadow, and the shadow of his home."


Dobré ráno, pane Mensheve! - Good morning, Mr. Menshev!
 

Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
10 March 2022
2:30 pm
On a Thursday
Örkskinku Women's Prison

just outside Býkonsviði, Prydania

"Got any weekend plans?" Max Hveiti asked as he made his way down the hall. He was never great with small talk but he saw it as something he should work on.

"Gotta baby-proof my house. Again," the guard answered with a sigh.

"Again?" Max asked.

"Já," the guard replied with a nod.
"My wife's pregnant again. Our second. First one's two. I just got to reclaim my fokking living room from all of those soft plastic things you put on the edges of everything. Now they gotta go back up again."

"Well mozel tov," Max said with a shrug.
"You're a vet then?"

"Já," the guard replied.
"How'd you figure?"

"Prison guard work's popular with veterans, but the real tell was the kid thing. Lots of people who fought in the war are having lots of kids."

"Já, I guess so, hadn't thought much about it."

"I see the statistics," Max shrugged.
"But congratulations."

"Thanks," the guard replied as they came to a stop. The door was featureless save for a number. 808.
"This is it."

"Anything I should know?" Max asked.

"She's not the violent kind," the guard replied.
"But she's restrained anyway."

"And it'll be just me?"

"We usually have guards monitoring but we got word from up high this was classified?"

"Já," Max said with a nod.
"No one but me and her hears what goes on in that room."

"It shouldn't be necessary but..." the guard handed Max a small fob with a red button on it.
"Press that and it'll alert guards to get you out of there if she does turn violent."

Max slipped the fob into his pants pocket and nodded.
"Thanks," he said before he breathed deeply.
"Alright. Let's get to it."

"Alright then. But don't worry Herra Hveiti. Most she's likely to do is quote the Bible at you."

Max smirked and nodded, adjusting his glasses as the guard opened the door. The room inside was sparse. Just a metal desk, underneath some lights. And there she was. Hægla Vatnáin, sitting there in a grey top, red pants, and dark blue slippers of a prisoner, tethered to the table by cuffs and a chain. She didn't pay Max or the guard any mind, just staring ahead. Max entered, the guard closing the door behind him. Max casually began to walk around the room, stopping in front of the mirror on the far side. He leaned back against it.

"Hello Fröken Vatnáin," he said with a faint smile. She didn't answer.

"My name is Maximus Hveiti, and I'm the Chief of the Öryggi og..."

"I know who you are," Hægla replied calmly, still looking ahead.
"And I have no interest in speaking to the forces of Satan."

Max smirked and raised an eyebrow.
"Satan, eh?"

"You. And the rest of the Godless government watching from behind that mirror."

"Oh, there's no one behind the mirror," Max replied, knocking against gently it with his fist.
"It's just you and me. What we're going to talk about is far too sensitive."

"You, or anyone else, I won't speak to the forces of Satan," Hægla repeated, still looking forward.

Max chuckled softly. He couldn't help it. These Messianic League people made it too easy.
"And in what way am I Satanic?" he asked as he sat down across from Hægla.

"You serve a Godless government," Hægla replied dryly.

"A Godless government with an official church?" Max asked, raising an eyebrow.

"A Godless Church too. One whose head marries a pagan. One that allows sexual deviancy to run rampant," Hægla replied, still speaking dryly. Max smirked. He knew which rabbit holes to dive down, and which ones not to.

"Well thank goodness it's that then," he chuckled.
"I thought it was because I was a Shaddaist. I was thinking I might have to be offended for a second."

"You are among God's so-called chosen, and yet you serve a king who fornicates with a pagan and allows the gender traitors to flaunt their deviancy."

"Well no one's perfect," Max replied with a smirk. He knew how to needle her. And he was doing it for more than just his own amusement. Thought that was a bonus. She scowled but then cut him off just as he was about to continue.

"Hveiti isn't a Shaddaist name," she added.

"Well I thought you weren't talking to Satanists," Max answered. She ignored that quip and continued.

"It means wheat. I imagine your family owned a flour mill at some point."

"A very long time ago," Max replied.

"Your family's lived in Býkonsviði for generations though. Running a chain of department stores."

Max looked on, unamused.
"And?"

"You're a Shaddaist named for gentile millers, whose family doesn't even mill anymore. You're lost, Herra Hveiti. Layers of layers of losing sight of who you are. And now here you are, an errand boy for a Godless King and a Godless Church."

Max looked at her blankly for a moment.
"My family history," he said softly, "is a matter of public record. Fok, there's a website for the chain. It's not a secret. But see...I'm not involved in that. I don't have anything to do with that business. That's my brother. No, Fröken, my job is secrets. Real secrets. And that's what I'm here to discuss."

"I said I won't speak to you. Besides, you're wasting your time. My husband, in Briarskógur. Unlike the King's pagan whore of a wife, I'm a woman who knows her place is behind her husband."

Max chuckled again and shook his head. Hægla shot him an angry look but Max just kept chuckling.
"Frederick's a spinless sack of potatoes," he said with a grin.
"Sure, he's got what passes for charisma within the Messianic League, but spare me this good housewife shit," he added, his amused tone shifting to a direct one.
"Freddy isn't the type to do anything unless you tell him to. So I'm not going to waste my time with him, when you're right here."

Hægla gave him another angry look before calming herself.
"I have nothing to say to you."

"Well that's just fine," Max replied.
"Because I have a lot to say to you. And I'm sure by the end of it, you'll get very talkative."

Hægla said nothing and so Max leaned back in his chair and began.

"I've been been working on a special project for the ÖSU, one unrelated to your failed uprising, but dammit, I couldn't get you and Fred out of my head." He adjusted himself a bit in his chair before standing up, taking off his dark grey sports jacket, setting it across the back of the chair and sitting back down, his bright orange and green Skandan shirt now fully visible.

"You see, your uprising was always very odd to me," he said, watching to see if Hægla replied. She didn't. So he continued.
"You supposedly wanted the King to grant the Messianic League concessions. But your uprising was staged while he was in Saintonge on his honeymoon. That doesn't make sense."

"How so?" Hægla asked softly.

"Well," Max answered, "he was across the Meterran Sea. If your goal was to talk to him, to present him with an ultimatum well...you picked a pretty terrible time."

Hægla said nothing.

"In terms of an uprising meant to win concessions from the head of state you picked the absolute worst time. He wasn't even in the country. But you see...I realized that the timing made sense after all," he leaned forward a bit and smiled.

"How's that?" Hægla asked dryly.

"The timing was terrible if the goal of the uprising was to extract concessions from the King. But it was the perfect time to stage an uprising if the goal was to destabilize the country. For all the same reasons. The head of state was an ocean away."

Hægla still said nothing, but Max could see it. Her muscles had tensed up, even if she tried not to show it. Her heart rate had picked up too.

"But that wasn't your goal...instability wouldn't have suited you. Instability is chaos. What you wanted, what your goals should have been, was stability. That would have given you a clearly-defined central authority to negotiate with, but your actions...they don't match what would have been in your best interests. Unless...your stated interests weren't really your interests."

Hægla collected herself and breathed deeply.
"I'm a woman of God, Herra Hveiti. We did what we did, because it was God's will that we acted then."

"God...a god perhaps," Max smirked.

"There's only one God, Herra Hveiti."

Max chuckled again and shrugged.
"So you had a line to God? He told you when to begin your uprising? See...I have a hard time believing that. Because you failed so spectacularly. Most of your soldiers took the King's offer up, and surrendered for leniency. Two people were shot during the suppression of that uprising. Two. Your rebellion, your uprising, it didn't seem to have God on its side. In fact if I were inclined to believe in miracles, I'd say it was working for us. Not you. A mostly peaceful and bloodless restoration of the rule of law."

Hægla grumbled softly but regained her composure.
"Everything that happens is God's will."

"No," Max replied.
"More often then not it's the will of man. Which brings me back to this puzzle. Because your uprising, and the timing of it, only makes sense if your goal wasn't to get concessions for your movement, but rather destabilize the country. And that's when it hit me. Because that other project I told you about? It's all about tracking instability in Craviter. And while your uprising was terrible timing for what you claim your goals were, your timing fit perfectly with a series of events across this continent. Meant to destabilize."

Hægla looked to one side and then back at Max, before deciding to say nothing.

"At first I suspected Vetur's outfit, given that he was behind Prydania Today. But there wasn't any indication your group had a thing to do with him."

Hægla remained silent.

"Besides," Max said, grinning wide.
"The timing of your little uprising fit a wider pattern better. The pattern I've been tracking. Throughout Craviter. Little nudges of instability across the continent to suit one master...and it's not G-d. I found him. I found Indrid Kalt."

Indrid Kalt.

Hægla's heart almost burst through her chest. She gasped, and blushed. Her collected facade now gone, in one instant. Max smiled, looking at her.

Indrid Kalt.

How much Max knew...but it didn't matter. If he knew that name then he knew...he knew enough to worry her.

"I want to make a deal," she said, nodding.

"And what deal would that be?" Max asked.

"I want out of Örkskinku. I want Fred out of Briarskógur. We both get to be together, at a low-security facility."

"You're traitors. You lead a violent uprising against the government," Max replied plainly.

"There's no negotiation to be had, Herra Hveiti. Either you give us this, or I will not cooperate."

"I see," Max said with a nod.
"Am I wearing a black and checkered uniform?"

"What?"

"Am I wearing a black and checkered uniform?" Max repeated.

"No."

"Alright. So I'm not a police officer. Am I wearing a worn and faded suit and habitually carrying around a styrofoam cup of bad coffee?"

"No..."

"So I'm not a detective either. Good. We're getting somewhere. So tell me Hægla, am I wearing a suit of any kind? A bad tie maybe?"

"No..."

"Good! So I'm not an attorney for the government either. Glad we could clear that up. Hægla, I'm the Chief of the G-ddamn ÖSU. I don't make deals. So here's my counter-offer. You tell me everything I ask you about Indrid Kalt, or else I'll see to it that you're taen out of that comfortable room the 'G-dless' government feels compelled to provide you, away from your bed, and books, and bathroom, and put in solitary from now until the day you die. Right now you're in here because you're guilty of treason. Things can- and will- get worse once you're found guilty for conspiring with a foreign power on top of that. Do I make myself clear?"

Hægla gulped, but tensed up. Desperately trying to hide the fact that she had. But it didn't matter. Behind Max's glasses she could see. He was focused. On her.

"What do you want to know?" she asked softly.

"Let's talk about these shell companies that supplied you. The ones all over Craviter."

Hægla nodded. She began to tremble as she spoke...as she began to tell Max everything.
 

Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
-
-
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
from the journal of King Tobias III

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15 April 2021

It was my birthday yesterday, and already there's something else to deal with.
The communists in New Aleman have invaded Predice. It's a terrifying prospect, and the country seems united in the belief that we should be aiding the Predicians in some way. We can't though, not militarily. We're still too exhausted from fifteen years of civil war.

But there was talk of sending food to Predice. We can do that. The crop yields have risen every year since the end of the Civil War. But then Ambassador Pennendreff came.

He proposed we send grain to New Aleman as well as Predice. He cited the FSO's apolitical mission statement, and attempted to appeal to Magnus' better nature. He suggested that it could be integrated into Santonian efforts too.

Magnus told him how little tolerance the people of this country would have for sending aid to a communist power attacking an ally. To his credit Ambassador Pennendreff understood, and a deal was agreed to. Our grain will go to the Predicians and New Alemaners, but the shipments to New Aleman will be devoid of Prydanian markings and will only go to civilians. No Prydanian grain is to go to the New Alemaner military. Magnus came to me to see if the plan had my blessing. I'm uneasy with it but I gave it. I'm trying to listen to my better angels.

But I swear the Cabinet would have revolted if not for Magnus and the trust they have in him. And this is the Free Democrats! The Conservatives and Peace not Blood will likely be outraged too when they hear of it. And the Agrarians...well Tenna is always mad.

Some of the cabinet were furious that Ambassador Pennendreff even asked. One Minister said it displayed arrogance and a lack of respect for what Prydanians suffered through under Syndicalism.

I don't believe that. Ambassador Pennendreff seems like a good sort, from what I can tell. And he was here during the Civil War. I have to think he understands.
But he's also a Santonian, and they will always try to be as neutral and helpful to all they can be.
I don't know if they they're trying to get us to embrace that mentality or not, but I don't think it's malice or arrogance from Herra Pennendreff's part.

Regardless, I am uneasy about the deal, but I comfort myself knowing that we might make the difference for people in New Aleman who would go hungry. If we do that, then we'll have done the right thing.
Still, I pray for Predice to survive this onslaught. And I pray that the communists in New Aleman aren't long for this world. The people we will be feeding deserve better.

But this made me think about our better angels. How much can be expected out of us, as a people? To forgive each other and to move past our scars? I can already see the limits, based on the conditions the Santonians had to agree to, to secure our grain for New Aleman.

Time will heal all scars. Even mine. But until then there will a point where some government will ask for our understanding with a communist power, and they will not get it. I don't know who or when or where, but it will happen.

And I won't blame my people for their refusal.

My birthday was lovely though. The kids seemed to have fun, and Aly baked me a cake herself!
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
-
-
-
TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
7 June 2036
2:46 pm
On a Saturday

Býkonsviði, Prydania

"This show's so lame," Baldr sighed as Flip It: Cheerleader Real Estate Sisters came on.

"The Interflix algorithm says you like it," Tobias said with a chuckle, causing Baldr to get startled as he looked over his shoulder to see his father in the doorway.

"Only because Hanna keeps using my account," Baldr mumbled, causing Tobias to chuckle again. He held off on reminding his fifteen year old son it was his account.

"Well change it then," Tobias said with a shrug. Baldr went to his phone, but sighed.

"Battery's died," he mumbled before sinking into the indent in the couch he'd made for himself. Tobias, though, just raised an eyebrow.

"How is the battery dead? How do you let a battery die when everything's charged wirelessly?"

"Idonno," Baldr said with a shrug.

"Well did you turn on wireless charging?"

"Maybe...no...guess I forgot," Baldr replied listlessly as he watched tv.

"You just said you didn't like this show."

"Meh," Baldr said with a shrug. Tobias sighed.

"You're going to sit here all day?"

"It's summer, pabbi, no school," Baldr replied. And that answer...didn't sit well with Tobias. Maybe it would have if he'd had something like a normal childhood but...

He just rolled his eyes and walked away.
"Try not to rot your brain out," he called back.

"Mhm," Baldr replied, almost blankly as he sipped some Toki's...

9 June 2036
6:00 am
On a Monday

Býkonsviði, Prydania

Baldr was deep in a pleasant sleep...just utterly drifting away in warm, comfortable darkness, when suddenly the lights in his room invaded his slumber.

"Time to get up, Your Highness!" Laurids Hummel announced as he opened the blinds letting the morning sun into the Prince's room.

"What the fo...hell?!" Baldr gasped, his mind foggy from being suddenly woken up.
"What's going on?"

"Time to wake up, Your Highness, like I said," the Lord General of the Knights of the Storm said.

"What the hell?" he asked, rubbing his eyes and then seeing the stern face of Laurids Hummel.
"I mean...what the hell...sir?"

"It's Monday, Your Highness," Laurids said, matter of factly, trying to hide a smile.

"I don't even go to school here...wait...it's June!" Baldr protested, his brain slowly starting to work as he woke up.
"Mondays don't matter in the summer!"

"They do when you have a job, Your Highness," Laurids replied before he pulled the blankets off.
"Now get showered. Breakfast will be ready soon and you'll be on your way."

"What? Job? What?" Baldr insisted.
"What job?"

"The one your pabbi got for you. Now get showered. You don't want to be late your first day," Hummel said, leaving the Prince's room and chuckling once he'd closed the door behind him.

Baldr sat in bed, wincing at all the brightness.
"You didn't have to turn on the lights AND open the blinds," he grumbled. He dragged himself out of bed, and into the attached bathroom...and spent the entirety of his shower grumbling at his father for this.

"What, you liked teaching me a lesson so you thought you'd do it again?" he muttered as he dried his hair in the mirror, recalling the conversation he had with his father a week ago.

"Just because your life's boring doesn't mean..." he added before stopped when he got back to his room. Clothes.
What would he wear for...whatever this was?

His school uniforms were back in Saintonge at his uncles'. The very formal clothing that he wore for ceremonial occasions for his maminka and pabbi wouldn't work... so he settled on khakis and a collared polo shirt with sneakers.

"You look ready for a good day's work," Laurids remarked as he met the Prince just outside of his room.

"Já whatever," Baldr yawned.
"Where's Hanna and Hael?"

Laurids shrugged.
"Sleeping I suppose."

Baldr's green eyes went wide as his jaw clenched.
"What?"

"Your pabbi only told me to wake you up."

"THAT'S NOT FAIR!" Baldr protested only to be shushed by Laurids.

"Quiet! You'll wake your brother and sister up."

"But...!"

"Talk to your pabbi. He's meeting you for breakfast."

Baldr grumbled as he followed Laurids through Absalonhöll, to a spot overlooking the Rylon River where he and his family usually had breakfast. And indeed his father was there. Dressed in one of his three piece grey suits, the sports jacket tossed over the back of his chair.

"Baldr!" Tobias said with a smile.
"Come on! I've looked forward to this for a while!"

Baldr had been thinking of every angry thing he could say to his father as Laurids led him here, but his father's genuine cheerful demeanour caught him off guard. He slowly approached the table and sat down.

"Waiting for...what?"

"You and me, enjoying breakfast, the two of us looking forward to a day of work," Tobias said with a smile as he began to butter a slice of rye bread. Baldr raised an eyebrow.

"I don't have a job. What's going on?"

"Well," Tobias said with a shrug, pausing to take a bite out of his toast.
"You're fifteen. Which means you're legally old enough to have a part time job. So I got you one."

"You can't do that!"

"I'm both your pabbi and the King. I can do a lot of things," Tobias remarked with a smirk.

"What about Hael then?"

"Hael wasn't wasting away in front of the tv two days ago," Tobias remarked before sipping some orange juice.
"Now eat. They made your favourite smjörbrauð, eggs and onion."

"This is what this is about? This isn't fair. You can't just..."

"Eat," Tobias insisted as he began to cut into his eggjakaka.
"We'll figure something out for your brother. But today is your first day."

Baldr scowled but began to eat his breakfast. Getting food into his stomach actually did help his mood.

"What will I be doing?" he asked.

"I got you a part time job working for Midland Motors' Býkonsviði offices."

That lit Baldr's face up. Like most teenage boys he had a love of cars. If he got to work there then...maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

"So..." he began, noticing his father dressed like he had something to do, "what are you all dressed for?"

"I have a meeting with the Prime Minister," Tobias replied.
"Usual stuff. Going over the happenings in the Alþingi."

Baldr nodded. He wasn't really that politically minded. Hael had more opinions on that kind of stuff. But Baldr liked Prime Minister Svane. He'd known him most of his life.

"So...what will I be doing at Midland?" he asked with his mouth full of food.

"Up to Rylond, but he assured me he had something for you," Tobias said with a smile.

"That's it," Baldr thought.
"That's how he pulled this off." His father was friends with the son of the Thane of Jórvík, and they still had a share of ownership in Midland. Rylond oversaw the Býkonsviði offices.

"Work is important," Tobias added.
"You do this job for a few months, earn your own money, and it'll do you some good."

"Uh huh, sure," Baldr said as he sighed, finishing the rest of his breakfast.

9 June 2036
7:40 am
On a Monday

Býkonsviði, Prydania

Býkonsviði’s streets were bustling as the unmarked black car made its way from Absalonhöll, through the downtown area, towards the Midland Motor office complex in the capital. The only hint at its occupant being a government licence plate.

Baldr looked out through the tinted windows, the bright colours of the city’s architecture seeming to gleam in the summer sun. They made their way towards the harbour. Baldr was momentarily taken by the size of the cargo ships that docked there, before his ride made a turn towards a building that stood out, somewhat. It wasn’t made of red brick, or painted brightly like the city’s traditional architecture. And unlike most newer buildings it made no effort to fit in with that traditional style. It was modern, sleek, made of glass and steel, with the “M” logo of Midland Motors displayed along the side.

The car pulled around to the front and stopped.
“We’re here, Your Highness,” the driver said. Baldr just looked out his window for a moment, taking in the building as Rylond Jórvík stepped out of the front doors, alongside an older woman. Baldr quickly sputtered “thank you” to the driver and got out of the car himself, seeing his father’s friend.

“Baldr!” Rylond said happily, extending his hand. Baldr looked on, shocked. He’d known Rylond his whole life, and they’d never shook before. But…he supposed this was different, now that he was working for him. He shook his hand, and blushed a bit.

“Hello Herra Jórvík,” he said as he shook.

“Nervous?” Rylond asked.

“Um, no,” Baldr replied. It was kind of true. He was nervous now that he was here, but this had all happened so fast. He didn’t have time to be properly, introspectively, nervous.

“Good! Hey, I’ve got some meetings to get to, but Halldora here will make sure you get settled. Hey! Have a good time, and work hard! And I’ll let your pabbi have it if you ask for a raise!” Rylond chuckled. Baldr chuckled awkwardly too, at the bad dad humour before Rylond wished him well and took off. The older lady who had come out with grinned at Baldr.

“Hello,” she began, “my name is Halldora Aarstad, and I’ll be helping you get settled. Come on, let’s get going.”

Baldr nodded, not saying anything at first as he followed her into the front lobby of the Midland building.

“Wow…” he awed, running up to a white 2037 model of the new Stjörnuljós sports car.
“They just announced this!”

“Já,” Halldora replied with a nod.
“But come on. We don’t want to get held up. We have to get you in the system first!”

“What do you mean?” Baldr asked as he followed her into an elevator.

“Your employee number has been generated,” she began, “but first you need an ID badge! And then you’ll get to work.”

“Well what will I be doing?” Baldr asked.
“Can I do something with the cars? Like…I donno? Assistant designer? I think they’d really benefit from a younger perspective!”

“I’m afraid there isn’t an opening there quite yet,” Halldora replied as the elevator dinged and stopped.
“Alright, let’s get your badge done up!”

Baldr walked into a rather clean looking office with a sign that said “Human Resources” on the door. Halldora walked up to the man behind the front desk.

“Hello, this is Herra Loðbrók, he’s starting in archiving on a part-time basis. He needs his ID badge.”

“Hello!” the man said, looking over at Baldr and giving him a wave. Baldr was a bit taken aback at how casual everyone was with him. His father. His father and Rylond must have planned this with the whole fokking company…

“Come on over,” the man said with a wave, leading Baldr to a blank wall. “Just stand there…” he said as he went over to a nearby laptop.
“Smile if you want!”

“Wait we’re doing a picture? Now?”
“Já,” the man said with a nod.

“But my…I mean…” Baldr began to try and style his hair, but the man just looked over.
“It’s an ID badge, you know. Nothing too serious,” he said with a smile. Baldr relented, sighing and letting his hair be as he stared blankly into the camera.

“Cheese!” the man said as he clicked a button on the laptop, a nearby machine that sort of looked like a printer spitting out a plastic card.
“There you go!” the HR manager said, attaching the card to a Midland Motors lanyard.
“Nice and official. Now go on, Fröken Aarstad will get you started.

Baldr looked at the card. His blank expression next to a Midland logo and his name, “Baldr Loðbrók” and a string of numbers he assumed as his employee number. He tossed in around his neck, tucking the lanyard under his shirt’s collar as he followed Halldora back to the elevator.

“That is more than just an ID badge,” she said as they stepped into the elevator.
“It’s a security badge too. The strip on the back will allow you to access parts of the building your employee number is cleared for.”

“That’s cool,” Baldr said softly as he turned his ID badge around.

“Give it a try.”

“What do you mean?” he asked curiously.

“You’ll be working in archiving. That’s only accessible to upper management and people in archiving.”

“Shouldn’t yours also work then?” Baldr asked.

“Já, Herra Loðbrók, but I want to make sure yours works,” she said with a smirk.

“Oh…ok,” Baldr replied, and slid his ID badge into the elevator’s card reader. A green light lit up, and Halldora pressed the B-2 button.

“Good,” she said, “that’s archiving. The button won’t activate unless you scan your ID badge.”

Baldr just nodded as the elevator went down.
“B-2? So…I’m in the basement?” he asked.

“Já, well the second. We have four. The second one is archiving.”

Baldr breathed deep as the elevator dropped down and down…archiving. Stuck in a basement. He felt so lost. So out of place, like he was floating in space. The suddenness of it all, the fact that it was June…the summer! He should be sleeping in! He should still be asleep! But he was here…people he didn’t know, not even knowing what he’d be doing…It wasn’t even this awkward when he began school in Saintonge. He had his brother, he had his extended family, he had his friend Tobias-Brice. And he made other friends quickly.
But here… it was different. Nothing he’d ever experienced. He felt weightless.

“Here we are,” Halldora said as the elevator came to a stop at B-2. Baldr wasn’t sure what to expect, but the brightly lit hallways lined with pictures of Midland Motors cars- old and new- wasn’t it. Maybe because it was the second basement? He expected it to be dark? But no…it was as brightly lit as any other office building might be.

“This is nice,” he said softly as Halldora led him to a door and knocked.

“Herra Sandvig? Are you in?” she asked as she cracked the door open.

“Always and forever!” a peppy voice replied, who Baldr soon saw belonged to a man in his mid-thirties, longer hair than what he expected to see on someone who worked in a corporate environment, with his tie loosened a fair bit.

“Herra Loðbrók,” Halldora began, “this is Asle Sandvig. One of our archivists. He’ll be your immediate superior during your time with us.”

“Oh hello!” Asle replied with a wave.
“It’s the Prince dude! How’s it goin’?”

“Um…fine, I guess.”

“Cool, cool,” Asle said with a grin.

“Can I leave him in your hands?” Halldora asked.

“Of course!,” Asle replied.
“We’ll get him to work on the hard files. Can always use more hands on those.”

“Excellent,” Halldora replied, before turning to Baldr.
“Here,” she said, turning on her phone.
“I just sent you my number. Call if you need anything!”

“Um…will do,” Baldr said, feeling another twinge of nervousness as she left. It was just him and Asle now. He turned to face his new boss, and smiled awkwardly.

“You know, I think I was your age when I saw your father…” Asle began before shaking his head with a chuckle.
“Nah, time for that later. Let’s get you to work!” He got up from his desk and led Baldr down the floor’s main hallway again.

“You said hard copies. So does that mean it’ll be…hard?” Baldr asked.

“Oh, nah! That’s just archiving lingo for document copies that are physical, not digital.”

“You still use physical copies?” Baldr asked, amazed.

“It’s the law, Royal Dude,” Asle answered.
“All corporate entities need to keep physical copies of all documentation for archival and legal purposes for ten years. So we’ve got stuff going back to 2026! So they’re physical, IE hard. As opposed to the ones that are digital, on software. Get it?” he chuckled.

“Já,” Baldr said with a sigh as Asle opened a door. It opened to a plain looking room, whose lightbulbs flickered to illuminate piles and piles of files in boxes.

“But um…” Asle said with a nervous chuckle.
“It actually will be hard now that I think about it. Sorry, Royal Dude.”

“What…what’s this?” Baldr asked. The room wasn’t a normal office room. It was wider, longer, like a conference room but with even more space. Lined with shelves that were also bursting at the seams with files.

“So the boss-man wants the hard files sorted in order…and since they’re rarely used for anything these days…we’ve kinda let things get disorganized.”

“You want…me…to…”

“It won’t be so bad!” Asle said with a smile.
“Listen to some tunes, podcasts, whatever you’re into. Grab some lunch, you’ll be outta here in no time!”

Baldr sighed again.
“Alright,” he said gloomy.

“Awesome. These are corporate supply requisitions. Help get this place in order and I’ll move ya onto the exciting stuff! Sales records!”

“Yay…” Baldr proclaimed, with so much sarcasm it was dripping.

“Well have fun, Royal Dude! If you get hungry there’s a vending machine…somewhere down here! Have fun!”

Alse left and Baldr stood in the room with a flickering light overhead.
“Pabbi and Rylond made this job up to fok with me, I know it,” he muttered. He sighed, and got to the nearest shelf and began to pull out files. It was going to be a long day, even with part time hours.
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
16 March 2022
12:00 pm
On a Wednesday

Býkonsviði, Prydania

Kjell Svane straightened his tie as people from RÚV straightened the flags that flanked him in the Prime Minister's office.

He studied international politics and historical globalism at university. And he'd served as a FRE diplomat for fifteen years. And then spent two terms as Chancellor of the PGU.

In that time he'd learnt one thing. Above all else. Use what you have. Prydania could not force its will on others through military might. But economics...

Prydania was presently recovering from fifteen years of War and Syndicalist mismanagement but the country was once again a bread basket economy.

And that was something. Food was essential, after all. Even the arch protectionists in Callise didn't dare call for tariffs on Prydanian agricultural goods. They couldn't afford to do it.

Magnus Brandt hadn't seen that. Not in the way Kjell did. He tested his theory earlier in the LP. He threatened to cut off the flow of grain to the Imperium if they insisted on letting old grudges with Ultramont get in the way of isolating Rayvostoka. It had worked. The Imperium and Ultramont were brought onto the same page...

So why not try it again? Some might object to using food as leverage but as Kjell saw it? The choice was easy. It was between killing and not killing. Prydania didn't have to abide by killers if they chose to remain killers when given a chance not to be.
He'd informed Prydania's partners in the FSO scheme of his intentions. All that was left was to do it.

He adjusted his glasses a bit as the light on the top of the RÚV cameras came on.

"Hello," he said in Mercanti. He spoke it fluently with only a slight accent.
"My name is Kjell Svane, and I am the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Prydania. I am speaking in Mercanti because today I am addressing the communist leadership of New Aleman."

He spoke clearly, directly. The broadcast would provide subtitles in Prydanian for any Prydanian who didn't speak Mercanti.

"Over a year ago, on New Year's Day 2021, you invaded the sovereign state of Predice. This unprovoked invasion turned what should have been a day of celebration across the world into one of bloodshed and horror. My training is that of a diplomat, and I have found being direct the most effective way of getting the point across. Predice did not start this war. You did. And the people of this country, given our recent history, have stood by Predice."

He paused for just a moment, to make his speech seem conversational. Personable. He'd never met the men and women who led the New Aleman politburo but if they felt comfortable listening to him then that would be a good sign.

"The government of the last administration here, who was in power at the time, wished to provide food and medical aid to Predice. Yet we were asked to provide food to your nation as well. The last government agreed, provided that Prydanian food not go to your government or military. Meanwhile we continued to to provide food and medical aid to Predice, however they needed it."

He paused again, just a moment.

"This remained unpopular in my country. Yet the last government did it, arguing that your people did not deserve to suffer for the sins of you, your government, and your military. Arguments that our aid fed the New Aleman population and fuelled its war machine were brushed aside. Over a year in, and that can no longer be the case."

"You have invaded a sovereign state, your neighbour. You have destroyed cities. Killed and displaced countless lives. My people know the horrors war brings, and my government cannot and will not abide by it any longer."

"Your invasion of Predice is a failure. Your forces have been pushed out of Predician territory and the world can now see with their own eyes the devastation you have brought, unprovoked. With your armies defeated on the field, and with your forces having lost every gain made, ask yourselves if the War must continue?"

"I am speaking to you all, to do two things. The first is to plead for peace. You attempted to turn Predice into a communist satellite state. That goal is dead. Your forces have been defeated in that aim. Your objective has failed. Please, at this critical moment, choose peace."

"The second thing I am speaking to you for is to show you the results of your choice. If you insist on fighting, insist on costing more lives, Prydania will no longer provide aid to New Aleman. With your objectives having failed you have a chance to choose peace. If you don't then Prydania will not be part of your war effort in any way."

"But if you make peace, end the War, and order your forces to surrender then Prydania will continue to provide aid to your people. We will provide medicine to your people, as we have with Predice. We will help in any way we can as the world works to secure peace on North Mettera. We will help New Aleman as it chooses a peaceful and free future, like so many helped our country when our new government made that choice almost five years ago."

"Right now, no doubt, some are are attempting to plan on ways to carve out whatever power they can, with your armies tossed back and the enemy on the offensive on your doorstep. I implore you. Don't think in such cynical terms. Think in terms of New Alemaner lives. Of Predician lives. And how many of both can be saved by choosing peace now. If you do not...then Prydania will not be party to your choice of more bloodshed."

"Thank you. I pray you, as leaders of your people, make the right choice."
 

North Timistania

RolePlay Moderator
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Essalanea

April 20th

2050

The 30th Year of King Gaiseric's Reign


Gaiseric cracked a weary smile as the tactical map revealed the extent of his mistake, outnumbered and soon to be trapped with no hope of escape, Gaiseric was surprisingly amused for a man whose death was fast approaching. Perhaps it had been arrogance that had led him to this moment, surviving one trap too many, or perhaps being king of Essalanea was simply a job that only the sharp and the quick-witted could survive in for any length of time.

He stared down at the worn red book on the table 'Keller's Encyclopedia of Great Monarchies' met his gaze. Gaiseric had treasured the aging tome, kept it with him all these years, and hoped that his actions had placed Essalanea amongst that esteemed number of royal houses. It was a final, indulgent moment of vanity, the romanticizing of a dying man looking back on his life. He would not live to see the outcome of his reign, which would be left to a granddaughter whom he barely knew.

Essela entered the tent with unsure step, as though she feared her footfalls might hasten the old man's death. He turned to regard his granddaughter with a warm smile, he knew it would be one of the last memories she would carry of him. She was so like her mother, same high Kimbri cheekbones and same raven black hair, and yet Nurendir’s alnarian complexion and eyes were unmistakable as she stared at him apprehensively.

“Grandfather!” She blurted out as she all but grabbed him in a vice-like embrace

“I would rather not perish from lack of oxygen girl,” he said with a chuckle

She released him, hands resting on his shoulders, it was as though she wanted to stop time and hold him in place, but time was of the essence. He moved out of her hands with a sad look upon his face, reaching for Keller’s encyclopedia and pressing it into her hands. She looked down at the book before meeting his gaze with a look of horror, she knew what the gesture meant.

“You have to go my child, the Essalanists* have nearly closed the noose”

“There must be a way out!”

“For you, yes, for me...I go to greet my fathers” he said in a definite tone

His own father had met his end on a distant hill in Mintoria, destroyed with his host by a vengeful force. Hunneric’s death had heralded the end of foreign raids and the beginning of a new era, Gaiseric could only hope that his own end would be equally useful.

“No there has to be another...” she protested only to go silent as he help up a placating hand

“Hush child...all men must die...when my hair still bore the shade of youth men did not live much past 50...well except for Magnar....65 is a fine age to leave this world,” he said in a soothing voice

“We can still win!” She snapped angrily

“Aye...you will crush the separatists, of that I have no doubt, but first you have to escape,” he said with a knowing smile

“Grandfather!!!” she roared as she pressed her face into his cloak

He held her, allowed her to sob into his ancient wolf fur cloak, it seemed so strange for a young person to weep for an elder, he had to remind himself that she was still very much an Alnarian. Essela was the future, forward-thinking, and yet still reverent of the old, she would lead the clans well. But first, she had to escape this trap, Gaiseric would not allow his people's future to die on some Ziu forsaken plain.

“I cannot leave you...we deserve more time!” she said her voice a mix of grief and anger

It all must have seemed terribly unfair, as a girl her grandfather had been a distant figure and a rare sight in Iteria. Five years she had been back on the steppe and now she would lose him for good, Gaiseric cursed his stars for gifting him such a loathsome hand, and yet he praised Ziu for sending him such a worthy heir. Five years she had been at his side, in that time she had overseen development beyond anyone's wildest expectations, the clans had all cast aside scrutiny and praised.

“Did I ever tell you about the first day I met you?” he said in a gentle, comforting voice

“No! Mother always said I was a nightmare to birth!” she replied with a pained smile

“I was ushered into the palace room...and there you were...wailing like a night demon! I adored you from the first moment I saw you, you might have been born in Alnaria but you had the spirit of the steppe in you from the first moment” He said grinning as he remembered the scene

“What now?” she asked the sobbing ended and a look of determination filled her eyes

“My best riders will lead you through the pass before it can be cut off, you will go back to the capital and rally the moot.... oh, and do me a kindness?” he asked calmly

“Anything grandfather” she replied

“Tell Anegrette I love her...and that I am infinitely disappointed it will not be her who ends me!” he said with a wry grin. She smiled in spite of herself and in spite of the pain in her eyes

A rider marched through the doors in dust-stained fatigues, saluting by pressing his right hand to his chest as he entered. He was a young man, probably no more than 20, one of the newer hybrid generations that had known both the yurt and the apartment block. Decades ago, there had been horror at the idea of abandoning the old ways, this man proved that accommodation between old and new had always been possible.

“My king, the escape route has been prepared, if we leave now, we can escape the enemies' main force before they block the pass but we have to leave now,” The soldier said in a respectful but grim tone

“You need to go daughter; Vivika would never forgive me if I let you die here” he said with a warm smile

“May your blade find the necks of the enemy” she replied with the grim tone of an Essalanean

“May it buy you the time you need Essela, now go, ride fast!” he replied clapping her shoulder and motioning for her to leave

“True to Essalan grandfather,” Essela said saluting him one last time

Then she was gone, out the door, and spirited off to the waiting bikes, Gaiseric followed, each step feeling like a marathon. Outside Essela turned to see her grandfather draw his blade in a warrior's salute. The image burned into memory long after the riders had passed into the night leaving behind the fires of the camp.

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

Gaiseric spat blood as he rose on shaky legs from the fallen bike, the adrenaline was surging through his body and even the wretched pain in his shoulder seemed far away. Around him the majority of his warriors were now dead, ammo expended, blades broken, they lay in bloodied mounds in every direction. True sons and daughters of Essalan not one had accepted the enemies' offer of surrender, they had fought and died like the heroes of legend.

Reaching for his blade Gaiseric drew the ancient knife and watched as dozens of grey uniformed separatists marched out of the smoke and dust. Their uniforms were caked in blood and dirt from the morning's slaughter, firearms had been cast aside in Favour of blades, the old ways would exact their blood toll even now. To their credit, they seemed to remember the codes of battle enough to salute their enemy before charging.

Gaiseric returned the salute, casting off his wolf fur cloak and assuming the martial stance, the pain of each moment ignored as he entered the meditative state of a clan warrior. They charged roaring challenges as they did. He slashed out at the first enemy opening the man's throat with a shower of blood, the second warrior attempted to knock him over with a kick only to have his nose caved in by a well-placed blow.

Gaiseric crushed the windpipe of the fallen man with a stomp from his boot and shift his footing as the separatists encircled him. A woman with a spear lunged forward and caught Gaiseric on his side, his nerves screaming as the point cut deep. Gripping the spear with his free hand he pulled the woman close and drove his knife into her eye, she fell wracked by violent death spasms. Another warrior lunged with his sword, hacking Gaiseric's left hand clean off, the pain almost unbearable.

Gaiseric roared and pulled the spear free before impaling the oncoming warrior with the bloodied point, the man fell screaming as he bled to death. Still more came, he fell to one knee and pried his knife from the slain warrior's corpse, slashing at the femoral artery of the next assailant. Another came with an ax and smashed into Gaiseric's shoulder, it took all his will not to scream in agony as the weapon hammered into his shoulder.

Gaiseric fell to the ground, the enemy standing over him, his eyes closed for a moment as death began to darken his vision. One last surge of rage-filled his body and the king of the steppe rose painfully and with a final roar lay into the separatists with violent slashes, a further three men died. Finally, energy gone and vision darkening, more enemies came, and they descended upon him with unhinged brutality. The king fell, hacked to death by the oncoming foes and yet a grin remained fixed on the slain ruler's face.

“They have killed an old man and birthed a nation,” he thought as death finally took him and led him far away

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

Essela stood at the top of the great steps to the moot, below untold thousands of warriors cheered and held their blades aloft. White paint and cloth covered everything, mourning for the slain king, and yet the warriors' faces were painted red, the color of bloodletting. The separatists had made a grave error in granting Gaiseric a warrior's death, they had created a martyr and ensured that the coming war would be more than an armed conflict, it would be a crusade.

She observed countless familiar sigils, the dhole of clan Karg, the wolf of Volkmann, and the bear of the Hureg, ancient rivals now stood united by rage and shared grief. The man many had derisively called the “Volkmann” king in life had now been elevated in death to the high pedestal of a martyr, Gaiseric had died that Essalanea might live.

And where once the clans were a discordant mass of arguing voices now, they all chanted the same thing, untold thousands with blades aloft roared the same word as they swore to bring death to the Essalanists. She felt a sudden chill across her spine as she regarded the scene below her, fanaticism now gripped the clans, the legions of the north would march across the steppe and avenge their martyred king in a sea of traitor's blood.

ESSELA” “ESSELA!” “ESSELA!!” the roars boomed with every growing pitch

When she had left Iteria five years ago she could not have imagined a scene such as this, an outsider now commanded the adoration and loyalty of the steppe. The clans would have their revenge, the separatists would be destroyed and Essela would lead the scions of Essalan into the future. Realizing there was no turning back she raised her fist and spoke.

“Sons and daughters of Essalan, for blood, for honor, and for vengeance, we march north for Gaiseric!!!”

The roar that emerged from the crowd in response was like a detonation and it heralded the beginning of a new and terrible age.





*Nationalists who embraced the industrial revolution but sought to mold Essalanea into an ultra-nationalist state free from all outside influence. Founded in 2024 following a major schism
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
9 March 2022
11:01 am
On a Wednesday

Saintes, Saintonge

Tobias appreciated northern Meterra’s warmer weather this time of the year. March was still very much “winter” back in Prydania. His dress reflected that, opting for khakis and a simple short sleeved white button down cotton shirt. He appreciated being able to tell the people that insisted he had to be in a formal uniform or suit all the time to just take it easy.

The party itself was nice. That Predice had expelled New Aleman forces from its territory was good news, it meant that the celebration wouldn’t be weighed down.

“So what did you get the birthday girl?” Thibault-Maximilian, one of the Crown Princes of Saintonge and Tobias’ cousin, asked as he, his brother Timothée-Brice, and Tobias were engaged in a conversation over football.

“Oh, well that’s a surprise for her,” Tobias replied as he looked around. And his gaze caught his younger Santonian cousin, Baudouin-Alexandre and Vittorio’s oldest daughter Maria-Therese awkwardly trying to slip away. Tobias chuckled.

“You two should go visit your godsons, before they stop being cute,” Tobias said to his cousins, referring to Baldr and Hael. “I need to find the birthday girl.”

He carried the doll-sized present with him over to Baudouin-Alexandre and Maria-Therese.

“So,” he said with a smile, finding the awkwardness of the two adorable, where’s your sister?”

“She’s over there,” Maria-Therese replied in Santonian. Tobias smiled.

“Merci,” Tobias replied, ruffling Baudouin’s hair as he made his way to Camilia. She had just turned nine. And though Saintonge was a friendly country…she had to celebrate her birthday away from home, and away from her father.

Vittorio was still in Antofagosta, but he’d sent his family to Saintonge for safety as New Aleman’s invasion pushed forward. Tobias couldn’t help but feel for a child uprooted thanks to war. He felt it all too much himself. And though the news from Predice was good…it couldn’t be easy for poor Camilia.

“Hello,” he said in Santonian. He didn’t speak Predician, but he was getting the handle of Santonian, mostly thanks to Vittorio.

“Hello,” the nine year old replied, looking up. Tobias smiled, and sat down by her, crossed legged and put the present in his lap.

“Are you having a nice birthday?” he asked, and Camilia nodded.

“That’s good,” Tobias replied. “I have something for you. It’s all the way from Prydania, and I think you’ll like it.” He handed the box he’d been carrying over Camilia who smiled and began to tear at the wrapping paper, to reveal a cardboard box.

“Go on,” Tobias said in a friendly tone, “open it.”

Camilia nodded and opened the cardboard box, her eyes going wide for a moment before she took it out. It was a doll…but not just any doll.

“That’s a real Prydanian doll, made by a dollmaker I know,” Tobias said with a grin.
“It’s the way they used to be made, a long time ago. Older than even your daddy.”

Camilia chuckled at that joke, and looked the doll over. It was a girl, brown hair, blue eyes, but not wearing what you’d expect a doll to wear. It wasn’t done up in traditional Prydanian garb or even something more contemporary. No, she was in viking armour, and had a helmet over her head.

“What is she?” Camilia asked as she looked up at Tobias. He smiled and sighed. He’d actually run over what he should get Camilia for a while, before this idea came to him.

“In my country,” he began, “a long time ago, you’d have girls who were really strong and great warriors. Just like boys,” he said. Camilia’s wide eyed expression told him he had her interest.

“They were called Shield Maidens, and they were the most brave girls around,” he added, before taking a deep breath.

“Your father is a very brave man,” he said to her. “I know you must miss him terribly, but I wanted to give you a Shield Maiden of your own. So you could be strong and brave with him.”

Camilia looked at Tobias and then down at the doll. She removed its helmet and smiled.

“Thank you,” she said softly. “Does she have a name?”

Tobias was taken aback by that. It was a custom made doll. He thought for a moment, and remembered stories of a shield maiden from his own family a long, long time ago.

“Wealthow,” he said. “Her name’s Wealthow.”

“She looks really strong,” Camilia remarked. Tobias chuckled. It was a doll done up in the style of most dolls for little girls. The Shield Maiden outfit must have made an impression.

“And she’ll keep you strong too,” Tobias added. “With your father.”


“Thank you, Toby,” she said with a smile. Tobias went to say “you’re welcome,” but the nine year old cut him off, by holding a plate up.

“Would you like some cake?”

Tobias smiled and chuckled softly.

“It’s ok, I had some earlier,” he replied with a grin.

“But you go introduce Wealthow to your friends and cousins, and brothers and sisters, ok?”

“Ok!” the nine year old said as she took her new doll and headed off. Tobias stood, and ran his hand through his hair. It was frustrating that he couldn’t help Vittorio end the war with New Aleman anytime soon. But he was safe at least. And hopefully Camilia could see him soon.

OOC Note: Post approved by @Predice and @Kyle
 
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Zickfort

Registered
9/04/2022
05:41 AM
General Governor's Palace

It was still dark when Ebner stood up. His eyes burned after a whole night without sleeping, although he didn't feel asleep at all. Happenings from the previous day were so explosive to boost him to leave that house as soon as possible, and he embraced that mission like a salvation.

He stared at Emma, his wife, once more, while she was deeply sleeping, and left the room towards the kitchen. Despite his silent slippers, he walked on tip toes to prevent making any noise.

But just after entering the kitchen, a whisper called him from his back.

"Mr. Ebner, would you want I make the breakfast?", Hellen, the maid, asked
"Oh, no. It isn't necessary. Thank you, Hellen", he answered with an even softer whisper.
"Please, sir, I have to insist. Please let me...", she said.
"No!", replied Ebner, and slapped the worktop.

Both realized Ebner's answer had been louder when the silence surrounded them again. Hellen went backwards while her eyes drew something like an apology and disappeared in the darkness of the corridor.

Ebner felt bad for his behavior but refused to go after her and apologize --he simply didn't have enough time.

He poured some water in a pot and switched on the ceramic-stove. And he was going to take two slices of bread when a tiny voice startled him.

"Daddy, what happened?", Rosalie, his younger daughter, asked. She was red-haired, just like her mother, but had the dark-brown eyes from her father.
"Oh, sweetie, you just woke up", Ebner whispered while taking the bread.
"You screamed". Rosalie's voice had a bitter reproach tone.

Ebner tried to ignore such words, like he did while arguing with opposition representatives, but something inside his head reminded him that was Rosalie's voice, and a wave of guilt suddenly hit him. So he dropped the slices of bread, approached his daughter and embraced her.

“I’m sorry”, Ebner said. “Daddy is a bit stressed”.
“Me too”, she claimed.
"Why don't you go back to sleep? If you do so Daddy will prepare you a tasteful breakfast".
"Really?", Rosalie asked loudly while her upset expression turned into an emerging smile.

Ebner nodded and Rosalie ran to her room, without caring not to make any noise.

But as soon as the footsteps sound stopped, Ebner's mind focused again on his only goal --leaving that house before the evening.

~~~~

9/04/2022
07:26 PM
General Governor's Palace

“Come on, come on. The cab has arrived”, Ebner said with a tone of nervousness while carrying two big suitcases.
“Wait! Wait! Did you call a cab?”, Emma protested.
"What did you want?", Ebner asked.
"The official car your assistant announced two days ago, of course". She seemed more and more upset.
"Oh, yes, of course. And while the car is taking the bend, you'll be smiling to all that bunch of journalists ready to take our most humiliating photo", said Ebner out loud, and resumed going down the stairs. Bad luck made him stumble and roll some steps until he could control his own body.
"Oh, sweetie, are you okay?", shouted Emma, who dropped her suitcase, which also rolled down.
"Emma! The suitc-", tried to say Ebner, but the bag hit his chest and left him unable to speak.

Emma ran downstairs as fast as she could and finally reached her husband.

“Are you okay?”, she repeated.
“Mmm…”, he could mumble.

Suddenly, Hellen appeared from the living room.

"What happened? What happened?", she shouted since she saw the suitcases opened on the floor and the clothes thrown. When she discovered Mr. Ebner sprawled on the stairs she screamed. "Mr. Ebner! What happened to you?".

But Emma immediately shushed the maid. "Have you realized there could be journalists trying to investigate what is happening inside this house?", Emma said. Her voice was surprisingly soft, as if his husband was slurping a whiskey on his favorite couch instead of groaning on the fourth step.
"I'm sorry", answered Hellen, visibly upset. "Do you want me to call an ambul-"
"NO!", shouted Emma and Ebner at the same time.

Hellen didn't answer. She turned around and went back to the living room without hiding her annoyance. "Don't shout, there are journalists trying to spy on you", she parodied in a low voice.

Ebner’s recovery took less time than Emma thought, and ten minutes after he was stood.

"I have some pain here", he said while touching his side. "I hope I didn't break one rib".
"Don't be a jinx. You probably have only a bruise". She ended up arranging the luggage. "So, is the cab still waiting?".

Ebner leaned out the window.

"Yes, he is. Let's go", said Ebner, and went to the living room. "Hellen, a moving van is coming here, probably in one hour or so. Please, when they arrive give them the sheet I left on the fridge".
"Aha", she answered, laconic.

Ebner and Emma left the house and went down the three steps to the street level. At that moment, the cab driver exited the car and, suddenly, the couple were blinded by a burst of flashes. Still dazzled, they listened a male voice screaming "I have the photos", followed by the squeal of a radiofrequency communication, and the cab took off noisily and disappeared from the scene in a few seconds.

"Damn!", moaned Ebner. "I should have listened to Rosalie and left the house on the moving van".


OOC: This is my very first roleplaying post and I thought this seemed the right place to try. Any feedback you may consider is truly appreciated :)
 
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Predice

TNPer
Message:

unknown.png


MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
MOST SERENE STATE OF PREDICE

Statement on Predicean Support to the FRE

STATEMENT RELEASED MARCH 4, 2013
The Ministry of National Defence of the State, noting the heroic resistance of the FRE against Syndicalist terror, and with approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State, has decided to provide military aid to the FRE to support its efforts to liberate the Prydanian people.
The Ministry of National Defence shall provide to the FRE free of charge:
- 950 disposable ATGM systems LANCIA-IIIL from the Armed Forces of Predice (AFP) stocks.
- 300 ATGM systems LANCIA-III with 650 missiles from AFP stocks.
- 2,000 disposable Light Anti Tank systems RAS-90 from AFP stocks.
- 850 disposable bunker busting munitions RAS-90F from AFP stocks.
- 400 Man Portable Air Defence Launchers MDA-22 FULMINE with 1,000 missiles from AFP stocks.
- 40 81mm mortars with 1,200 rounds from AFP stocks.
- 2,800 automatic rifles calibre 5.56x45mm from AFP stocks.
- 15,000,000 rounds of 5.56x45mm ammunition from AFP stocks.
- 900 machine guns calibre 7.62x51mm from AFP stocks.
- 4,500,000 rounds of 7.62x51mm ammunition from AFP stocks.
- 22,000 combat helmets and vests from AFP stocks.
- 2,500 night vision devices from AFP stocks.
- 15,000 pairs of boots from AFP stocks.
- 70,000 combat rations from AFP stocks.
- 20 tonnes of medicine and medical supplies from AFP stocks.

The assistance will be delivered over the span of the coming weeks. The combat capabilities of the Armed Forces of Predice will not be damaged by the assistance. The people of Predice stand in solidarity with the Prydanian people in their fight for freedom from the inhuman terror of Syndicalism.
Further support may be announced in the coming weeks.

Long live Free Prydania!
For the King, to Valhalla!




Gabriele Antonio Castiglione
Minister of National Defence of the Most Serene State of Predice
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
Varnarmálaráðuneytið
Ministry of Defence
8fKnLgf.png

On the Effectiveness of State of the Art Technology in a Modern Battlefield
Lessons From the Predician-New Aleman War and How to Apply Them to Ongoing Prydanian Defensive Initiatives
28 April 2022

Brigadier Marshal Kaleb Stahl
The Predician-New Aleman War has reached a second phase with the successful expulsion of New Aleman soldiers and assets from Predician territory. Predice has signalled a willingness to take the war into New Aleman and remove the communist regime there that has proven itself to be an existential threat to Predician sovereignty.

While the events of this upcoming second phase can only be speculated at the events of the first phase- New Aleman's invasion and subsequent defeat in Predice- provide valuable lessons for our own military as we set about implementing the defensive-oriented doctrine that has been worked on for the past two years. Specifically in regards to equipment and technology.

It is my belief that the Predice-New Aleman war, thus far, has answered many debates that have been ongoing in the Royal Prydanian Armed Forces over the course of this new doctrine initiative regarding the procurement of equipment and vehicles.

Reform vs Modernization

The Reform movement begun to sprout up in militaries the world over in the mid-to-late 1960s. Its genesis is not easy to pinpoint, and is irrelevant anyway.
What it was, was a backlash against increasing advancement in both tactics and technological capabilities of military hardware.

The Iterian War had ushered in the end of the type of warfare that had defined the Fascist War. The allied Syrixian/Iraelian forces' inability to counter the asymmetrical tactics of the smaller Skandan force signalled that war had evolved and the Great Powers would need to evolve their doctrines to keep up.

This period, the mid 1960s, corresponded with another revolution. A technological one. Advances in radar, radio, infrared, and missile technology were beginning to influence a new generation of military hardware that would allow militaries to better adapt to the above-mentioned changes.

The Reformer movement was a loose ideology that began to take root in some segments of the world's militaries around this time that asserted that Fascist War-era tactics were still viable and that the technological advances that were working their way into military equipment and vehicles were untested, unsound, unneeded, and a waste of funds.

Reformers argued that the general trend of adjusting doctrine to reflect new relatives of war that didn't exist fifteen years prior and the new technological innovations that accompanies it were the work of a military industrial complex looking out only for its own bottom line by selling high priced junk and the promotions of the officer corps who supported them.
In the mind of the reformers these new tactics and technologically were unsound, and rugged, simple, but reliable and functional equipment and vehicles operated by well-trained soldiers and crewmen were the best options going forward.

The Reform movement's success has been uneven the world over, though every military contains at least a few officers of note who adhere to some or all of its principals.
This is despite the Reformers being proven wrong again and again.

The Skandan-Iraelian War saw a much different conflict from the Iterian War. Iraelia, with a technologically updated arsenal and adjusted doctrine that took lessons from the previous conflict to heart, staved off a surprise Skandan attack and forced the Skandans to a standstill.
The Gotmark War saw technologically advanced militaries from Goyanes and Andrenne decimate a well-trained and efficient Gottian force using the sort of rugged and functional vehicles that Reformists insist should be the standard.
Even the Prydanian Civil War can be cited, as Syndicalist technology- either older Prydanian stock or Cogorian imports- was outdated technologically but deemed "battle tested" and "reliable." And proved utterly inefficient against more modern arms and vehicles made available to the FRE by Goyanes, Andrenne, and Predice.

Yet the Reform movement lives on despite these examples for a number of reasons.

The first is Fascist War nostalgia. The Fascist War occupies a certain place in the collective consciousness of military personnel- and even civilians interested in military matters- the world over. It was a pivotal moment in history that redefined the world.
Yet that nostalgia itself clouds the minds of Reformist-minded personnel who feel that doctrine and technology should still reflect how the Fascist War was fought. New post-FW realities in armed conflict and technological innovations past the mid 1960s are viewed with disdain or scepticism, even by officers not old enough to have been alive during the Fascist War. The conflict just exists in such a paramount place in our consciousness that for some it remains the pinnacle of how war should be fought. Even if reality says otherwise.

The second reason why the Reform movement remains strong is because of propaganda circulated by states that have no option other than to adopt its tenants.
Gottia used a military still firmly planted in the early 1960s and was decimated by two state of the art armed forces in Goyanes and Andrenne. Gottia did not mould its military this way because it wanted to. It was that way because it had to be.

Dictatorships tend to stifle economic and technological development and they are often met with international sanctions that makes procuring state of the art military technology difficult.
Further dictatorships, particularly of the leftist variety, are tied to certain economic policies as a matter of political orthodoxy that often hinder economic growth further.

Yet all dictatorships require the appearance of a strong and large military, both to increase the prestige of the regime in the minds of the population and to assert a degree of might on the international stage.

The economic handicaps that dictatorships have force them to go with older, outdated, technologically inferior equipment and vehicles in order to afford a force large enough for their needs. Military officers tasked with overseeing this force tell themselves that any deficiency in technology or even doctrine can be made up for in the skills of a well-trained soldier or crewman. The Syndicalist Republic of Prydania was one such state, asserting that its "battle hardened" and "rugged" military could defeat the FRE. It did not.

These regimes then popularize this line of thinking via propaganda that is meant to sell the strength of these militaries to both their citizens and the world at large. Reformist-minded officers elsewhere are at least partially taken in by this and work within their own militaries to adjust to what they feel are superior options to their militaries' advanced doctrine and technology.

One other such regime is New Aleman which leads us back to the lessons we can learn from the Predician-New Aleman War.

Prydanian Situation and Lessons Learnt

Reformist principals gained traction in Prydania in the immediate post-Civil War area as the newly reformed Royal Prydanian Armed Forces went about rebuilding itself.
While Reformist theories and assertions tend to be proven wrong in almost every conflict they are tested in, the appeal of rebuilding with cheaper but proven older equipment and vehicles was clear.
Prydania purchased older naval ships from the Kingdom of Kanada to rebuild the bulk of its surface fleet. And procuring a replacement for the Hitma Harrier was delayed as Reformists within the Royal Prydanian Armed Forces argued that it would be preferable to purchase older Harriers and Harrier parts from Goyanes and Andrenne until such time as the Hitma complex could be restarted to produce additional Harriers and Harrier components.

Ultimately the Kingdom of Prydania chose to update the fleet bought from the Kanadians, purchase modern ships from Saintonge, Predice, and Mouxordia, decided to retire the Harrier in favour of the Santonian-Predician Falcon and Andrennian Drakon, and decided to invest state of the art modern Andrennian armour.

The licences to build additional units in Prydania at their present technological level have been secured. This one-eighty was achieved only after a backlash against Reformists among the officer corps amidst debate regarding the future of His Majesty's Armed Forces.

For that future we look to the Predice-New Aleman War.

New Aleman, like many leftist dictatorships, has an economy handicapped by a strict adherence to a centralized state owned and controlled economy. As a result they have fallen into the above pattern of building a large military force made up of outdated equipment.

The size and scope of New Aleman's invasion was overwhelming contextually speaking. Yet despite early victories its offensive ground to a halt before being dislodged from its positions and pushed back across the border.
Why?

The New Aleman force had numerical superiority and had an element of surprise.
And by Reformist logic they had a well trained military operating rugged, dependable weaponry and vehicles that were not "bogged down" with expensive and "unneeded" technology.

Yet it's technology that allowed Predice to stall the New Aleman offensive and eventually toss it back.
The Predician military, though by no means small, was at a numerical disadvantage. Early on at any rate. Yet it made up for this shortcoming with a military far more technologically advanced. If we are to list the lessons Prydania can learn from the conflict then the first would be that the decision to purchase the Falcons was advantageous. Especially when considering the excellent performance the jet has put in against older New Aleman fighters.

In a broad sense though, the lessons on display all point to what was proven again and again in various conflicts since the 1960s- that the technological superiority of Predician forces has overcome the stripped down and "efficient" technology of its foe that Reformist-minded officers keep promoting.

The War makes the decisions on the part of the Prydanian General Staff and Alþingi to procure technologically advanced options all the more better. As Prydania continues to implement the defensive-oriented doctrines via Santonian collaboration it has become clearer than ever that the success of His Majesty's Armed Forces to operate effectively in a defensive manner rest, at least in part, in providing its soldiers and crewmen with equipment and vehicles at the technological standard.

While the Reformists' arguments may seem acceptable, at the very least in terms of cost, it is the opinion of this author, based on a number of economic factors, that responsible spending can secure the needed equipment and vehicles for His Majesty's Armed Forces over time as the new defensive doctrine is implemented fully. Such responsible investment will ensure that the Royal Prydanian Armed Forces remain an effective fighting force and able to carry out their mandate in protecting the people and sovereignty of Prydania.
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
6 May 2022
11:58 am
On a Friday
Haland, Prydania


Fylkir Kaldbak sat in the office of one Margot-Lucile Pélissier of Frisco's Haland headquarters.

He was wearing the only suit he owned, and he looked down at his ID badge. Next to his picture was his name, an employee number, and the word "Nemi." "Intern."

Frisco was a Santonian company that specialized in making digital networking equipment and had, since the end of the Civil War, opened a branch in Haland.

And like the company, Fylkir wanted to be in Haland. He'd always been interested in computers. Not just the way most kids were interested in video games either. He wanted to know how they worked.
He'd lost his parents to the Syndicalist People's Militia but he was found by the FRE as a child. And he'd gotten through all of it by burying himself in old electronic magazines.
After all the chaos the Goyanean university Nyhett Tech opened a satellite campus in Haland. Just as foreign tech companies and Prydanian startups poured into the area.

Fylkir had to be in Haland. It was...it was where everything he loved and dreamed about from afar was coming to life.
So the orphan from Leiruvagr enrolled at Nyhett Tech's Haland University satellite campus. And now he was here. In the Frisco Haland offices as a university intern. Nervous and excited to the point where he couldn't tell the sensations apart.

"Herra Kaldbak?"

Fylkir looked back over his shoulder as a woman in a smart business suit entered.

"Já," Fylkir said, standing to offer his hand. This must be Margot-Lucile Pélissier... she spoke fluent Prydanian but the Santonian accent was obvious.

"Very nice to meet you," Margot said, shaking his hand before they each took their seats. There was a brief period of quiet as Margot looked through his file.

"You wrote in your essay for your application to Nyhett Tech-Haland for your passion for technological study. I think your grades from your first year speak to that."

"Thank you," Fylkir replied.
"I've been having the time of my life, to be perfectly honest."

"Oh?" Margot asked.
"Can you go into that?"

Fylkir blushed a bit. He remembered the day he got accepted into Nyhett Tech-Haland. His parents were long gone. So he shared the good news with his friends first.
And one of his closest friends was the King of Prydania.
He remembered the discussion he had with Toby. How in the midst of this good news he had gotten self reflective.



"Do you ever think about what could have been?" he asked as Tobias poured some brennivin to celebrate.

"Sometimes," Tobias replied handing Fylkir the glass.
"But it can be a bit much. So I try not to."

"I was thinking about...what if none of what happened...happened."

Tobias sat down next to his friend, noticing his uncertainty. It was, admittedly, confusing. Fylkir had just gotten amazing news. In fact Tobias was jealous. His own education was informal. He'd considered pursuing it...but he always put it off. Fylkir, however, was going to be studying what he loved.
"You got in," he said smiling. "Don't fret over something that you can't control."

"I just wonder that, if everything that happened didn't happen...I could have grown up normally. I'd have my mamma and pabbi, I could have studied this stuff. I could have studied this without everything else we went through."

Fylkir felt his jaw clench. Images of a life he never had flashed through his head. How he could have grown up in his childhood home...he thought of his parents...older. Happy.

"I just...wonder what could have happened."

Tobias sipped his brennivin for a moment and turned to Fylkir. Fylkir looked back, with wide eyes. He could only open up to Tobias about this stuff. He was a close friend, and he knew what it was like to lose his parents. And lose so much more than even that.

"I think about stuff like that all the time..." Tobias said with a soft smile.
"But neither of us can change the past."

"I know..." Flykir replied.
"I've just been thinking about it a lot since I got in."

"You know what I do?" Tobias asked.

"What?"

"I talk to my parents," he said with a smile.
"Whenever I feel like I need to. I just talk to my mamma and pabbi. You should do that. Your parents are very proud of you, you know."

"Our parents are dead, Toby," Fylkir replied softly.

"They're in heaven though," Tobias replied, with a grin.

"You really believe that?"

"Já, I do," the King said with an encouraging nod.

Fylkir nodded. He remembered Tobias' atheist days. Unlike Tobias Fylkir never felt strongly about spiritual beliefs one way or another. Tobias wore his beliefs, even when they changed, on his sleeve. Fylkir never paid spirituality much thought.

"I do believe that," Tobias affirmed, "and I can't change the past, but I know I can talk to my mamma and pabbi. Try it. 'cause what you're doing is fokking cool and I know they think so too!"

Fylkir brought his glass of brennivin up.
"Here's to university!"

"Ralt!" Tobias replied, clinking his glass against his friend's.




Memories of that flooded back as Margot asked him to elaborate on how he was having the time of his life. He smiled, and blushed a bit.

"I've always loved electronics. Circuits. The digital world," he began.
"I didn't have any opportunity to study that when I was younger but I taught myself a lot. It was just sort of..." he paused for a moment to think of how to explain it. He chuckled as he held his hands up to his head.

"Just sort of an accumulation of what I knew. But at Nyhett Tech-Haland I'm shown how to apply it, for better or worse. Like...ok. This is is a good use of that. Oh I always did this that way, but this is better. It's like a puzzle made out of puzzles, and I love puzzles."

"You must have done a good job with that self-taught knowledge," Margot replied.
"How else would you be able to list 'IT Absalonhöll' on your application?"

Fylkir blushed but smiled.
"I figured it would be good to show I knew what I was doing," he chuckled.

"It was a shock to all of us!" Margot replied with a grin.
"We checked with the university, and then Absalonhöll! It just seemed so out of the blue."

"The King and I know each other," he said, not wanting to come off as cocky if he said he was his friend.
"I grew up in the FRE and did some tech work and networking during the War. I got invited to work on Absalonhöll's new networks after the war."
That was all true, even if he left some stuff out.

"You must have been doing a good job. Why leave to go to school? It seems like a stable position."

He blushed for a moment before he coughed softly and nodded.
"I thought about the opportunities I didn't have and what I didn't have a chance to do. Suddenly I had those opportunities. The first time they were taken from me. I wasn't going to let myself be the reason I let my second chance get away."

"So you're not looking to go back to Absalonhöll?"

"No, Fröken," Fylkir said. He was grinning ear to ear in his mind, feeling like Toby didn't need him to navigate Twitcher these days.

"I want to get my degree in computer sciences and I want a career. I want to be a part of my country's growing tech industry."

"With Frisco?" Margot asked with a coy smile.

"Frisco was my first choice for my internship," Fylkir said with a nod.
"It's a place that I want to be."

"Why's that?" Margot asked. Fylkir's face lit up.

"I'm fascinated by Cloud tech," he said as he leaned forward a bit in his chair.
"But it's what it leads to next that I'm really interested in."

"Next?" Margot asked. She looked Fylkir over. He was passionate. That much was sure. His grades were good. And, well, she doubted he'd have been allowed to manage the King of Prydania's IT needs if he didn't know what he was doing. So she was intrigued.
"Well right now, it's Cloud first, right? You have businesses, schools, everyone, going to services that emphasize Cloud services. But that's just a transition. I mean look around us. So much of this country is being rebuilt from the ground up, and it's not being rebuilt as Cloud first, it's being rebuilt as Cloud only. Businesses here are going to be 'native' in the Cloud ecosystem. And everyone's going to move in that direction the world over."

Margot nodded, urging Fylkir to continue.

"There's a difference though, between Cloud first and Cloud only software. Cloud first infrastructure stacks built during the rise of Cloud tech were developed to run in a static environment, and then ported over to run on the Cloud. They treated Cloud compute, storage, and networking like on-premise stacks operated by a third party. But Cloud only..." Fylkir smiled, "software written for Cloud only assumes logical disaggregation of compute, storage, and networking, meaning it can take advantage of the intrinsic elasticity of the Cloud. The Cloud is amazing. But so long as it's tethered to static infrastructure it won't be properly taken advantage of. As we push into Cloud only, though, we're talking about serverless infrastructure. At least in a physical sense."

Margot smiled.
"Full digital space."

"Já," Fylkir said excitedly.
"The pushing together of hardware into software. Data, computer function, app development, it all gets pushed to the edge when the server infrastructure itself is elastic and not bound to the physical. And that's why Frisco's my first choice. Because you're where that's happening."

Margot smiled.
"I'm certainly excited about what you'll be doing with us," she said with a nod.
"Enjoy the rest of your day, Herra Kaldbak. You'll meet the team you'll be working with tomorrow."

"Thank you so much for the opportunity," Fylkir said, shaking Margot's hand as the two stood. His heart was still racing when he left her office. He wanted so badly to explore the premises but thought better of it. He was hungry. He needed to grab lunch. He stopped as he stood in the hallway though. And looked up.

"This is really exciting, mamma, pabbi. Love you."
 

Arc

TNP RP's Resident Fluffball of Cringe
Pronouns
He/They
TNP Nation
Arcanstotska
Tuesday
26 January 2021
Around 8 AM
Polatsk, Arcanstotska

28km northwest of Kariyevgrad

Tato Sagetsky threw his scarf about his neck and slung his school bag over his shoulder. The weather forecast called for an overcast at least until the late morning. He opened his house door and walked out, locking his home behind him. The bitter cold met what little bit of his face was uncovered by his scarf or a maroon winter beanie. Tato looked around him to see the rooftops around his neighborhood covered in snow. The trees had all lost their leaves a few months ago by now. It was only just beginning to light up outside as the sun slowly inched towards the horizon. They weren’t here. Tato took in a deep breath and started walking. He always loved winter.

Tato walked to school pretty much every morning. He enjoyed going on foot and just taking walks on cool or cold days in general. Besides, it’s not like he had to walk very far. Today would be a nice, easy day, he thought as the snow crunched beneath his boots and a car drove by on the road, guided by its headlights. He only really had an assignment in his Craviterean History class and a test in his Mercanti class to worry about. His other classes like Aerospace Technologies or Classic Literature shouldn’t give him any trouble.

“Tattie!” A female voice called out to him from behind. Tato turned to see a couple of girls trying to catch up to him. Tanya ran up to him and gave him a hug. Sasha, normally the more stoic of the trio, just walked up to them both.

“Oh! Good morning guys,” Tato pushed up his glasses.

“You could have waited for us ya know,” Tanya stuck her hands in her coat pockets.

Tato shrugged. “You two didn’t answer my text in the group chat so I figured you both were staying home.” Tanya and Sasha were twin sisters but barely looked alike. Though Tato wasn’t complaining; it’d have been annoying if he had to worry about addressing one as the other.

“Well, here we are,” Tanya stated, sarcastically confirming the obvious. Tato just chuckled and rolled his eyes. The three carried on.

“Sooo,” Tanya leaned in on Tato as they were about two blocks away from the high school. He had a feeling he knew where she was going to go with this.

“Yeah?” Tato looked down at her, as she was a little shorter than himself.

“You gonna ask Aleksandr out this week?”

There it is. Tato’s cheeks blushed as he thought about it. “I don’t know…”

“C’monnn! Thursday is the Festival of Roses, you should totally ask Aleksandr to go with you!”

Tato flustered. “I’ll… I’ll think about it…”

Tanya nudged him. “C’mon, you know you want to kiss him under the full moon~!”

“Sh-Shut up, Tanya!” His face was red as a tomato, helped along by the cold. They came up to the entrance to the school courtyard and walked in.

It was much lighter out now. Off in the distance, by one of the trees, Tato could see Aleksandr talking with a friend of his. He saw Aleksandr glance over at himself and his friends, as Aleksandr was also friends with Tanya and Sasha. He waved and the two girls waved back. Tato, though, blushing harshly now, dipped his head and tried to avoid attention by burying his face in his phone.

“Hey! Aleksandr! Come over here!” Tato was struck with a bolt of panic. He could see Aleksandr start to walk over while he himself tried to inch away, but was held in place by Tanya.

“Hey, Tanya, what’s up?” Aleksandr’s voice and posture were relaxed and mellow. Tato’s face was a deep red now.

“Tato here wants to ask you something,” she nudged him again. Tato didn’t think. His legs just started moving and he was inside the school building before he could tell. The morning bell rang out. The day had begun. He breathed a sigh of relief and made off for his first class.
 

Tardine

RolePlay Moderator
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TNP Nation
Tardine
Discord
Exotic Butters#1535
February 23, 2022
Near Ashiem Port, Guipi
Tardine

By 3am



"Run!", thought him. "Run faster, your life depends on this!", he kept talking to himself as he ran across the dark streets, badly illuminated by the old street lighting system. The city of 12 million inhabitants couldn't be compared to Olmongeter or Kinbafa, nor even to Zenulvia, cities much smaller than it. Guipi was left to rot by the central government and their necessities weren't attended by the nearing metropolis of Miccan. It was almost like all the rich folks lived on Miccan, while the poorer ones lived on the other city. On this depressing scenery, there was a man running as fast as possible to save his life. The man's name was Ekron Johak.

A few hours earlier, on a office building, on the center of Miccan:

- Listen to me, Ekron Vittorio Johak. - the man in the dark suit said - You have two choices: flee away from Tardine and keep living or, stay here and die.
- What? - he looked at the unknow man - I am not leaving, I am the Emperor!
- No you aren't. - the man completed - I'm a friend. I'm giving you an advice: run, as fast as you can. Otherwise they will kill you.
- Who? Who's going to kill me? - asked Ekron anxiously.
- There are a few of us who think killing you is the best solution to our current problem, your dumbness.
- Who is us? - he asked to the man - Actually, never mind, I'm gonna leave.
- Wait! - the man took his arm and said - You can't leave, at least not right now.
- Why? - Ekron was visibly shaken by the man's words, although he tried his best to hide it - Are you or any of your acquaintances kill me if I leave now?
- Actually, yes. - the shocked look on Ekron's face would stay forever on his memory - Look, you've lost already. You can run and try to escape from the country and your crimes, or stay and die.
- Wait, does that mean they've discovered what I did? - Ekron looked deeply scared at the man.
- Yes, Ekron. It's too late for you. - the man smiled - You can run away, I'll help you. Tho you only have until 3am to reach the Ashiem Port, on Guipi, where an yacht will be waiting for you. You know how to drive, right?
- I know how to, but... - the man looked at him - Until 3am? Will I need to literally run? It's almost midnight already, I don't know if I will get there in time.
- Better start now, then. - he gives a key to Ekron - Don't go through the main door, use the emergency exit.
- Okay, dude... - Ekron looks at the time - Damn, it's midnight already, I will die at this rate! What's your name, by the way?
- What a strange question. - Ekron starts to leave - The name's Karuma, Haigu Karuma.

Ekron was already too far away to hear the man's name, and never knew who was his savior, the man who risked everything to save his life, despite his crimes. However, as he ran away, he could remember of the only place on Tardine he could escape to and plan his vengeance. Yes, he was still planning on return and become Tardine's sole Emperor. To achieve this goal, he would do anything, even killing. That's why he steered the yacht towards the island of the Hazomi'gaakni.


February 24, 2022
Near Para'ma-çu, Hazomi'gaaknadt
By morning

The sounds of advanced machinery woke up the inhabitants of the village of Para'ma-çu. They all gathered around the unknow ship, from which a man descended alone. The man's eyes showed his surprise when he saw the figure of Jasemir Partei Kladerai. He shouted loudly, on Mercanti:

- How the hell is you alive? - Jasemir looked at him confused, as he never saw Ekron on his life - Jasemir Partei Kladerai, is that you?
- What? Who's that Jasemir? - then he said on the Hazomi'gaakni language "don't reveal who I am, I don't trust this guy" - My name's Mitera.
- Mitera? Well, you surely look like Jasemir to me... - he then realized the opportunity life gave to him- Perhaps I'm mistaken. You couldn't be Jasemir, even if you wanted.
- What do you mean? - Jasemir asked confused - Why not?
- Jasemir was regal, and would never get along with a bunch of nativanen* - Jasemir's eyes flickered for a second, though Ekron didn't realized it - I'm sure you aren't him. He would never dress like this.
- If you hate here that much, why are you here? - asked the Grand Chief Poru'marol - Why don't you come back to whatever hole you came from?
- I am sorry. - said Ekron while bowing - I had a rough day... I shouldn't have outleashed it on you guys.
- Yes, you shouldn't! - shouted Banru'zaidji - Now, get off our land, Fajun*!
- I can't, my ship is broken... - laughing internally, he kept speaking - Can I stay here, until rescue comes? I apologize for my endeavor.
- We don't throw anyone out, unless they do something worth it. - Poru'marol completes - You can keep among us, though you have to work and help our community.
- I accept whatever clauses you guys make me sign... I just wanna somewhere to sleep. - Ekron said smiling.
- Okay, then. - Poru'marol touched Ekron's forehead* - You are allowed to live on Para'ma-çu, our main city.
- Thank you, whoever you are!​
- I'm the Grand Chief Poru'marol Guama-çu Cal'deri. - he said, while walking towards the village - You may call me Grand Chief Poru'marol.

Walking happily, Ekron Vittorio Johak was sure that was the luckiest day of his life. He found not Jasemir's body, as he thought he would find it someday, but the man alive. Now he could just kill the guy and return to Tardine after creating a plan to overthrow Werdoi. That way he would never have to worry again if Jasemir was alive or not. He only would need to wait for the best opportunity to end the Emperor's life. The Hazomi'gaakni didn't know what kind of demon they've brought to their home yet.​
 

Vivanco

I don't know anymore.
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Pronouns
She/Her They/Them
TNP Nation
Vivanco
Discord
ra #9794
An unknown field near Petria, Vivanco.
10th of August, 1842.


The wind blew as the sun began to settle in the fields, in an empty plot of farmland. Five men stood in the centre.
On one side, a younger one, in their twenties, his hair in a ponytail, and at his sides, well-groomed sideburns. His eyes, although blue burned like ice, staring at the other man in front.
On the other side, an older man, nearing his sixties, his hair covered in a top hat, glasses and sideburns that connected with his moustache, already gray.

The man in the middle, the older of the group, took from his pocket a watch for a moment, and then looked at the other two man.

"Before we proceed, I must ask if the two are still determined to pursuing this." the man said as he took the pocket watch back where it belonged.

"I will only yield if Lord Fernando retracts on their words." said out the hesitant man, as if he was spitting on the man's face.

At such boast, Lord Fernando had to laugh in the silence of the field, finding amusing the energy of the boy, as he shook his head with a smirk in his face.
"As cocky as your father. Say, you are aware on where that led him, correct?" said he, rising an eyebrow.

"That is not of neither yours or my concern!"
"But it is, young Marco. You still aren't aware on the situation you've brought both of us into, right? And for a woman. If we can call her that, even."

"SILENCE!" He shouted, but it did not stop the lord.
"All I said is that to wed someone of such... Status will bring only ruin to your house."
"I punched you once, and I shall do it again if you do not stop!"

A moment of silence passed, and with the smirk still in his face, the lord turned to the older man.
"If the boy wishes to continue, I shall."

There was a nod from the older man as he leaned down to pick up his briefcase. Two other man stood by his sides, both in their thirties, watching over the situation. As witnesses.
The older man opened the briefcase and inside were two revolvers and two bullets. One for each. The two men on his sides moved to pick up said revolvers, loaded them, and handed one to Marco and other to Lord Fernando, moving back aside.

In the silence again, the Lord spoke again.

"This is the last chance I'm giving you, boy."
"Retract. Your words."

The lord, however, instead rolled his eyes and turned around. Marco did the same, pressing their backs together.

"March now." Said the older man.

One step.

Two steps.

Three steps.

Four steps.

Five steps.

"Stop!" yelled the older man and so they did, holding their guns. Sweat formed in each of their foreheads, their hears beated ever-so-fast. If time stopped in that instant, none would be satisfied.

"DRAW!"

The thundering sound of two gunshots echoed across the fields. The birds fled the scene from the nearby trees. A corpse fell on the fields.

"...Like father, like son." Said Lord Fernando with pity as he handed the gun back to the older man.
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
27 May 2022
1:46 pm
On a Friday
Haland, Prydania


Hallfrid Arvesen was lying on a couch in one of the many new conference rooms of Hitma HF's very new office complex. She had been dealing with Falcon CC-18 and SJ/MNR 184 Drakon specs for what seemed like a lifetime at this point, though that was mostly due to lack of sleep. She insisted on delving into the spects of both planes. Hitma had the licences for both, and it was her job to evaluate and workshop potential additions or changes for Prydanian models. Mostly that involved a deep dive on both aircrafts' specs and running them against the needs and specifications of the Ministry of Defence. If there was anything unique to Prydania's needs that could be added or changed for domestically made models.

That she found nothing significant. It wasn't disheartening really. She didn't think like that. Instead she just shrugged and moved on. Even as factories assembled the first domestically produced Prydanian aircraft in years.

That was good. But it also meant... she was free to move on from the Drakon and Falcon. Instead the whiteboards were scribbled with data from another jet- the Harrier. The plane that had dominated the Prydanian aviation scene since the 70s. The plane that would be sticking around until 2030. The excess Harriers in Andrenne were being converted to match the Prydanian models, but that's not what she was here for. No...she was studying the Harrier. To make a better one.

2030 was seven and half years away. The expectation was that the General Staff would consider another foreign design. The backbone of the Prydanian air force, for decades, gone. The last jet that Prydania had a hand in designing, replaced.
Something about that didn't sit right with her. The Falcon was a Santonian-Predician design. The Drakon was Andrennian. The Harrier may not be 100% Prydanian, but it was part Prydanian. Losing that...well... she didn't have much of a personal ego. But she made up with it with pride in her company...and country. Maybe too much in both.

Still, she wanted to see what could be done. If Hitma would be in a position in seven and a half years to produce a better Harrier. An option for Prydania to produce its own dedicated strike platform aircraft.
Whether it was possible or not was yet to be seen. But she wasn't focused on that right now. She was just going over fifth generation principals of design and seeing how they could be utilized in a jet that would serve as an attack craft.

Presently she was sketching something when her phone buzzed. She sighed in annoyance. She was just getting into the zone! She looked at it....

Svein Boler: Where are you? Big news?

"Ugh," she muttered and typed out a response.

Svein Boler: Where are you? Big news?
Hallfrid Arvesen: 432 C. What is it?

The phone buzzed again.

Svein Boler: Where are you? Big news?
Hallfrid Arvesen: 432 C. What is it?
Svein Boler: I'm heading up wanna tell you in person.

Hallfrid rolled her eyes and went back to her sketch. Her primary influence outside of the Harrier was the MR-Hrot Šípu, a fifth generation Norsian multi-purpose Hitma had the specs to thanks to some Prydanian-Norsian joint defence agreements. So she was still working out a few specific systems in mind when the door swung open.

"What's this?" Svein Boler, her boss, asked as he looked around.
"Harrier?"

"Just working on something. Can I have this office space to use for a side thing?"

Svein looked at her blankly.
"I think you already took it."

"Thanks!" Hallfrid replied with a smile as Svein shook his head.

"I just got out of a meeting. This is big."

"So big you couldn't tell me over text?"

"Nope. The top brass and some very nice people from the government just informed me that we're joining the Nordic Engineering Group."

Hallfrid looked at her boss with a blank expression, needing time to process what was said to her.
"What?"

"The Andrennians want to partner with us on..." he looked at the white boards around the room covered in Harrier specs.
"Well... that. They want to bring us into the Nordic Engineering Group to work jointly on a new dedicated strike platform."

Hallfrid blinked. She didn't know if she should be ecstatic or furious.

"What's the matter?"

"What?"

"I know that look. You're upset."

"I'm not upset. I don't know if I should be upset or...whatever not upset is."

"Happy?"

"Já, that's it."

Svein shrugged.
"So out with it then."

"I've been spending the better part of four months working on the idea of fifth generation dedicated strike platform."

"You have?"

"Já," she replied with a nod.

"This wasn't your job..."

"It was a spare time thing," Hallfrid said as she tossed Svein her notepad. The not yet completed sketch was only the latest page. The rest were a series of notes, specs, equations, and the like. At the top of the first page was scribbled "Sávæng."

"I don't know why you'd be upset. This is a good start."

"Just thought maybe you'd stolen my thunder," Hillfrid replied.

"Nah, just getting you some new running buddies. The Nordic Engineering Group! You know what that means? It means...well... everything speeds up, timetable wise! Come on. You need to tell me all about this," he waved the notepad.
"So when we start meeting with the Andrennians I know what the fok I'm talking about."

Hillfrid followed her poss out of the conference room and he turned around to smirk.
"Don't forget to lock your office," he said, handing her the keys to room 432 C. Hillfrid returned the smirk, locking the door.

Ok. She made up her mind. She wasn't furious. She was pretty fokking ecstatic.
 
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Ianmey7

TNPer
Gaius Lucius Brutus sat in the senate chambers, the uproar was defining even his thoughts. The Plebian party had put forward a bill to combat the military industrial complex. It was to reduce the number of heavy equipment that was being bought annually. The senate called in several Legates to run a presentation on military spending. The presentation was, of course calling for an increased amount of equipment. Eventually one of the Senators from the Plebian party stood up and yelled:

“This is like asking a crocodile if it needs more meat to eat. Why don’t we call the economists in to say their take on the matter?!”

“Mr. Jörnberg! Why don’t you stay quiet and listen to the experts in this case?”

The Senate was shocked to hear the legate yelling. Members of the military were supposed to be subservient to the Senate, so this outburst was either a break of military discipline or a blatant disregard for the supposed chain of command.

“The Plebian party seems to not care about the lives of the millions of people who are working in the Legions and military industry! I pray that you do not win this election.” The Legate barked at the liberal section of the senate.

This is when the Consul stood up and ended the tension.

“I think that the Legate has overstepped, I would ask that he leaves and his compatriots continue his presentation.”

The legate who was has the outburst left, his jackboots making a loud sound on the marble floor. His medals clanked with every step.

“Now, Legates. Please continue your presentation, the Plebeian experts will have the floor next.” The speaker moved to get the session going again.
 

Tardine

RolePlay Moderator
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TNP Nation
Tardine
Discord
Exotic Butters#1535
June 13, 2022
Near Para'ma-çu, Hazomi'gaaknadt
By sunrise



It has been more than a month since this guy, who was supposedly called Ekron, arrived on Para'ma-çu and there was still many mysteries regarding his sudden appearance. That's why, when Grand Chief Poru'marol assigned Jasemir to work with Ekron, he was concerned to say at least. He wasn't sure if the guy was saying the truth to them. He said that his family wasn't from Tardine but he was born there. However, his accent didn't fit with the strong accent of the Ramshuwa nor with the fluid Trevisán way of speaking Tardineanni. Also, how he treated the Hazomi'gaakni was very strange, calling them nativansen (natives), which is used as a slur by some groups. He didn't had the time to keep thinking on all these theories as Ekron landed by his side:

- Ayo ugly, what's taking you so long? - asked Ekron while Jasemir rolled his eyes - I can't believe you was sleeping until now, lazy head.
- You are lucky, because I'm in a good mood today. - grabbing Ekron's neck, he completes - Or else... Let's say your death would be painful.
- Oh, now I'm so scared of you, strong native. - said the man in a ironic tone.
- Why can't you just shut your damn mouth for a second? - screamed angrily Jasemir - I'm dead sick of your bullshit all day.
- Ayo Mitera I was just messing with you... - Jasemir lets him go - Can't you tell that it was a joke?
- I'm just tired of your endeavor, now let's go. - he gets going - We have much to do in the forest.

They go together across the dense forest, searching for food and animals to hunt. After a while, Ekron got tired of walking and asked if they could make a stop. Jasemir agreed, as the day was hot and he was eager to stand there for a few minutes. However, it all was part of Ekron's plan to kill Jasemir and blame a random wild animal. He took a big stone and tried to throw it into the Emperor's head while he was with his eyes shut, but Mitera realized what was happening and engaged on a fight with Ekron. Despite being born into royalty, the Kladerai was the strongest and the most well versed in fighting, therefore, he won.

- Okay, you won. - said Ekron defeated - I didn't thought you would be that strong, Mitera.
- Don't think I am a fool, I know you know who I am. - Jasemir said in ragged breaths to Ekron's surprise - I want you to tell me why. Why are you here and why did you try to kill me?
- I er... I didn't thought you would remember who you are. - Ekron's forehead was bleeding a lot but Jasemir made him keep talking - I wanted to take what was yours, it was nothing personal, since your family was already dead.
- They are what? - Jasemir slapped the man's face with utter angriness - Don't you dare talk shit about my family.
- Wait, you didn't know? - Ekron laughed until he coughed blood - Shortly after your disappearance, your beloved Prime Minister, Werdoi, made a coup and killed your mom and your pregnant sister.
- I can't believe that old, sick bastard, did something like that - seeing an opportunity to escape, Ekron runs in the opposite direction - Oh no, you won't flee away this time!
- Please spare me! - shouted Ekron terrified while running in the dense woods.
- You tried to kill ME! - he manages to catch Ekron and tackle him into the ground - I won't let you escape without paying the price.
- What's the price, your Greatness? - trembling said Ekron - Say it, and I shall do.
- As for now, take me to your yacht.

As Jasemir set foot on the yacht, he sensed that something was odd about it. The yacht itself didn't showed any signs of being broken, instead it looked like it was new. Could it be that Ekron was lying this whole time? He wasn't sure yet, but kept walking towards the cabin. If this yacht was made on Tardine, it should have at least one satellite phone, one that he could use to call someone of trust, his friend Artoi Laremos. Fortunately, there was an old model lingering in the dusty room, which would suffice. He only needed to make a call, after all. Jasemir couldn't make the risky move to call Artoi's personal number, therefore he must call Tardineanni Roial's number and had to count with Ekron's help. He told exactly what he needed to say then dialed the number... They waited for a few moments, until a woman picked the call:

- Good morning, here's from the Tardineanni Roial's headquarters... - the woman on the other side of the line makes a small pause - May I help you?
- Yes, you may be of help, miss? - asked Ekron in a neutral tone as Jasemir was pointing a knife to him.
- Elanor Perón, but you may call me Miss Perón. - she thinks for a second - Your voice is familiar, what's your name?
- I want to talk to mister Laremos. - he completes - Tell him Ekron Vittorio Johak wants to tell his side of the history.
- By the Watcher! - she shouts surprised then lowers her tone hoping that no one noticed - Is it really you, Ekron, the wolf in sheep's clothing?
- Yes, can you do me a favor and pass the call to Artoi Laremos? - he said while rolling his eyes - I don't have all day.
- Of course, mister Johak. - said Elanor without her initial excitement - One moment, please.

Immediately after that, Jasemir snatches the phone away from Ekron's hands and take it to talk to Artoi. He wasn't sure about how would his friend react to him, but he couldn't hide his happiness when Artoi spoke on the phone:

- Fine, you have 3 minutes to convince me. - Artoi said uninterested - Everyone knows the truth about you, so... If you want to convince them otherwise, you shall convince me first.
- I won't need more than a minute. - Jasemir hears the sound of something falling, then, for an instant, silence.
- You couldn't possibly be... - the Emperor interrupts him.
- Jasemir Partei Kladerai? - he makes a pause, then says smiling - The one and only Emperor is the person talking to you.
- No freaking way! - screamed Artoi with shock - How did you managed to survive? No, how did you find Ekron and made him help you? I have so many...
- Listen to me, my dear friend - says Jasemir trying to calm him down - Your questions will all be answered, in the right time. However, I don't have much time right now. So, the question is: can you help me?
- Yes, and I know exactly how. - the man ponders for a moment - I had gave up the idea of you getting back but, I know someone.
- Do you? - Jasemir didn't know he had contacts, actually, he didn't know a lot about his friend anymore - Well, if they can help, I want to hear more.
- First of all, Jas, I need to know where you are. - said him calmly.
- I am on Para'ma-çu... - then Jasemir remembers that he may not know the city by its name - It's in the island of the Hazomi'gaakni
- Oh, I know where it is. I must gather help to take you out of there. My... - he makes a pause, thinking on what kind of relationship he had with the person - friend on the Darshak may help us.
- Thank you, Toi-toi. - Artoi laughs at this silly nickname Jasemir put on him when they were children, thinking on how they were close back then and how distant they grew up to - You are the best friend someone could have.
- Stop being silly, Jas... - Artoi hung up at this moment, though he was still smiling.

However, he couldn't lose more time. Jasemir was alive after all, and needed his help. He should do everything to save his friend's life, even if it cost to him everything. With that on mind, Artoi made a call.
 

Ianmey7

TNPer
Marescallus de Imperium, Nero Juili Octavian sat at his desk in his villa. The villa was several miles away from the Suavidicum megalopolis, despite the massive city nearby the villa kept some of its country appeal. Land was plentiful, his rose garden was well kept, and there was an abundance of space to hatch a plot. The Marescallus had been brewing over the years, his once proud patrician blood was now meaningless, and now the government wanted to reduce the influence of the legions.

"Damned fools, things were fine the way they were."

His cigar moved from one side of his mouth to the other, his black military uniform was only broken by the many medals that he had won. Two of them were his most prized, one for the destruction of a Ephryan raiding force decades ago, and the other for an encirclement of Yamanta forces near the city of Sagdiev. Octavian was reading his news paper, and turned to look at the four other Legates in the room. They sat restless, they had an idea of where this meeting would go.

"Gentlemen. We know what has to be done, this liberal government has continuously moved against our beloved legions. How can we sit here and tolerate the very being that would see us penniless and unable to defend ourselves? Action is needed, our allies in the conservative and reactionary parties are losing more and more seats with every passing election. Our very way of life and our Imperium as we have known it is under siege, how can we sit here? I for one can not, while I will not say what I will do, I think we all know. The question is how?"

The Maerscallus leaned forward and put his hands together, his eyes darted between the other men. The large room despite all of its beautiful furniture, red drapes, and ornate trimming seemed to not be enough. Some of the Legates were sweating, the room began to feel smaller, and smaller each man felt as if the air itself was thicker, that was until Legate Alexander spoke up. The room seemed to quickly expand, the air which once felt like it was so hot and thick that it could choke someone turned back to normal. The other Legates breathed easier and listened in.

"Sir, my legion XI would be able to cut the northern transport routes so that the other legions in the north east would not be able to move south to aid in Suavidicum. I believe that your legion II would be best at isolating and taking the capitol, The only issue I see is that the first will not surrender the capitol, nor can it betray the Imperator."

"The first will not fire if we can surprise and disarm them." Another legate spoke up. He stood up and walked over to the wall, this man was considerably younger. His face was slightly scared from his field command in Yamantau, his left eye was blown out from a missile strike. He endured, his hatred to the people who sent him there brewing until now. Where his vengeance could finally be unleashed onto the vultures who would send his glorious legions into a meat grinder like Yamantau. His medals clanked as he walked over to the desk.

"I have friends in the umbramandus. I can make it so the first does not know what is happening until it is too late. The Only place that I can not assure this is the Imperial palace. It wont matter if that one place is not taken, the rest of the city falling will surly mean that the Imperator will agree to any terms. I would also like to add that we need to keep the Imperator alive in order to maintain any sort of legitimacy. If he's alive and not making comments then we have a chance to spin things. If we kill him then there will be open revolts across the Imperium. We must balance him, carefully." The young Legate said.

"I agree Mr. Tiberius, if we can block the Umbramandus from warning the first then the capitol could fall without much or any bloodshed. All other legions besides the second can not be allowed to be around Suavidicum. I will order the Fifth and Eighth to areas that will be cut off by our troops. Our plan will be to act once the government passes their bill that would prevent military hardware companies from meeting with single senators. We have a lot of money that will be backing us, we should have a advantage for all the time needed to secure a government." Said the Maerscallus.

The rest of the men stood and left, their little off the books meeting now had a date and plan. Their mission was to be kept secret and their meeting "never happened". They, as they saw it, were on a mission to save the Imperium. Legate Tiberius walked out on his own, and when he got in his car he made a notation in his journal. He quickly wrote; the Legates move to overthrow the government soon it will be my turn to overthrow them. He placed his journal back into his bag and looked to his driver.

"Lets go to the Capital, I have to go talk to some friends."
 

The Aurorea

Registered
TNP Nation
The_Aurorea
It was no surprise to us when the Volshanese attacked Ttwa Eil on July 17, 2022. Most of us had been expecting this; either through planes or artillery, we knew they were coming to get us. But what we did not know was the actual date. Despite all our intense preparation and patience, we underestimated the Volshan capabilities and let down our guard in our moment of hubris.

And when the time came, we were caught unprepared for the slaughter from the skies.

Like every Sunday morning, I would get up early to tune in to our national radio as I kept watch on the radar for any incoming aircraft, hostile or otherwise, coming into our airspace. With the airbase built so deep into the As-Nashika governate, I'd thought that nothing would have happened, and this was confirmed by the radar that we had so blindly put our faiths in. At 0400 hr, I finished my shift and decided to wash up and have breakfast. My buddy, Tavi, accompanied me as we arrived at the mess hall at about 0420 hr. However, we were refused entry; the junior warrant officer in charge, Bertel, had refused us because we were 2 minutes late. Late for what? I had asked, but all I received was a cold stony silence. Tavi, ever the courteous rascal, told the warrant officer in charge, I hope this place blows up.

And boy did he get his wish.

You see, Tavi would usually say stuff like that without a care for the world. And usually, this would just be treated as idle banter between colleagues. But at about five-six minutes to 0445, the officer would have gotten the surprise of his life.

I sometimes wonder if he had thought about what Tavi had said till this day.

At that moment, I and Tavi part ways, and I went over to Lt. Mata's quarters and started making some eggs. Throwing out the eggshells, I noted a loud whistling sound was coming from the outside, followed by a bright red sun and a loud boom. The earth shook as the kitchenware fell all over the place, and I knew it was the day. I ran about the buildings, only wearing my shorts and sneakers, screaming, "They are here!" as I watched all hell start to break loose. Debris was flying all over the place; I myself had barely made it back to the barracks just in time to get some better wear...and just as I exited the barracks, the bombs hit them.

Men and women ran about for cover as more bombs began filling the once calm and quiet desert night. From that moment on, running was about trying to escape from being hit. I and two others started picking bodies to take to the hospital, which coincidently just opened a day prior. I can't recall all the details, but I think I was later hit and knocked out for a while. I'd only woken up 6 hours after the attack. My finger was left bleeding and hanging, but I luckily survived with just that and a few leg wounds. The nurse had managed to stick my fingers back together with masking tape, and it healed after six weeks. The other injuries took care of themselves in four. But I'm not going to lie, for those six weeks I was in the hospital, I feared another bombing run by the Volshan would come for us again and again. The hospital bed did not comfort me because I knew the Volshan would probably hit it again.

After all, the Volshanese have no honour.

I was lucky, fortunate even. And I will thank Hayyi Rabbi every day as the war goes on.

Our group may never be able to field the [air] fleet that it was capable of before the cowardly Volshanese bomb run, but we'll be back in the skies in no time.

-Excerpt from Baat Saadya's diary, a Çavuş (Sergeant) of the Aurorean Southern Command Ttwa Eil Airbase.
 
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LandbasedGamer

Registered
A Man is a Grain of Salt.



Walking through the dingy laboratories and examining his latest intake of material, Dr Isaac Stredge shuddered as he made his way along Research_Lab_1 and directed the workers where to store the highly corrosive substances. It had been only a few months when Landbase's science department had propositioned the government for reserach into experimental cloning technology and it's many practical applications in the fields of agriculture, economy and military. Shockingly, the motion was accepted almost unanimously from all branches of government(not very large branches, mind you). Truth be told, while he knew that there would be some resistance from the media and the general populace on the idea, science always having to fight an uphill battle on projects that can redefine the very idea of humanity, he never expected the results to be as clear cut as they were.

Of course, while this type of technology did exist already, it was mostly in it's infancy with cloned sheep infants and some minor reorts of chimeric blends of different animals, which thankfully was an area of research that the team had opted not to explore. But even still, while the technology was useable, even with the breakthroughs his team were coming up with, he still felt a certain amoun of unease about his own work. Nothing that would drive him to petition the termination of his own project, but enough to leave him thinking. What would become of normality and human society if, in a hypothetical situation, against all the odds of scientific knowledge on the subject up to that point, they actually did it?

Sure, the obvious question of human rights would be a non-issue. Landbase was founded on free speech, free expression and a laissez faire economy so the idea of a cloned slave underclass would be met with absolute condemnation, but what about death and aging? Would the people of landbase simply go on in an immortal cycle forever? Never actually facing consequences of human mortality? And if not, how would these clones house themselves, would we use criminals as gene stock for clones and create an infinite labour force? How would we house them, educate them, would we give them longer or shorter lifepsans, wcould his lead to genetic engineering spikes and on and on these questions raced in Dr Stredge's head until finally, a voice from behind him piped up.

"Dr Stredge, sir? I have some big news about RL1 if..." the voice was bout to continue when Dr Stredge turned around, revealing the source of the voice. A slightly younger man, decked out in a freshly cleaned lab coat, holding a tablet with presumably, notes on the latest research development, was standing there, looking slightly taken aback by Dr Stredge who in comparison, looked very tired and slightly dishevelled, not to the point of uncleanliness but noticeable enough that it took the young researcher aback. "Well speak up then, young man", he retorted, absent mindedly. "Those notes aren't going to announce themselves.". "I'm sorry Dr, it's just..." the young man began but was quickly brushed off by he senior researcher, "It's fine. I just didn't get enough sleep today. Anyway, what's this latest development, you're so excited to show me anyway, Sumner..Summer..." as Stredge was about to continue, pontificating on his name "It's Sommer, sir. Gregory Sommer.", he interrupeted.

"Right, so Mr Sommer, what's the status on RL1? I trust the experiments are proceeding as normal? We just got a shipment of new materialsthat have yet to be..." before he could finish listing off the mundnae factes of the eperiment, Gregory Sommer interrupted him. "No sir, we've got one." At the mention of this, Isaac was almost taken aback by this revelation. "Excuse me, son?" he retorted. "We've successfully cloned a living human and it's growing in the artificial Vitae chamber. now it's still in embryonic development, but vital signs are..." he was about to continue before Dr stredge fiercly interrupted him. "Are you fucking serious!! Why wasn't I informed of this sooner?" He shouted, clearly getting a bit aggrivated with the beurocracy of this place. "Sir, I'm sorry, but the other doctors wanted to inform you first so you could look it over without causing a panic and...", "Forget that!! When was this confirmed?" the doctor retorted angrily. "Just now, sir. We just need your approval before continuing ahead with the project. I'm sorry if you're upset, sir, but this is an important moment and we wanted to have you looking over before we presented to the higher ups." he continued, almost gasping for breath. "Alright then, lead the way Sommer." Dr Stredge said, as the two men began walking at a hurried pace to the other doctors.

As they were walking, Dr Isaac Stredge was reminded of an old Communist propaganda film he saw in his 3rd year of college as part of a philosophy major he ended up not taking. In it, some dictator and oligarch who's name escaped him at the time was giving an interview on his philosophy and how he conceptualized an entire nation with some liberal journalist. When asked the question, "What is your opinion of your citizens?" he coldly retorted, "A man is a grain of salt, useful only by their metric of output to the people.". This seemingly innocuous phrase was one that weighed heavily on him over the years. How people in positions of power could have such a myopic view of their citizenry was astounding to him. And even now, on the cusp of a new scientific breakthrough, Dr Stredge couldn't help himself but to think about the rammifications of how the world would change, whether for better or worse. He could only hope that the rest of the researchers and the world leaders who greenlighted this, had the same questions and answers as he did.
 

Tardine

RolePlay Moderator
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TNP Nation
Tardine
Discord
Exotic Butters#1535
20 July 2022
In a Darshak owned vessel
By midday



He waited for a whole ass month after the call he made to his best friend, Artoi. Then he waited another week for these guys until they appeared on Para'ma-çu's coast. Now he was inside their secret boat or whatever it was this thing. However, no one said a word to him for an entire hour. He would go crazy if they didn't say anything, so he took the initiative of talking:

"Took you guys long enough." Jasemir looked at their faces while saying that. He didn't saw any kind of reaction. Perhaps that's why his people used to say "dead as a Darshak agent", when they talked about being an emotionless person. "I mean, it's been one month. Like, couldn't y'all come here before? Or, dunno, just call me or something?"

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience, Your Greatness.", at least they used the right style when talking to him. What a great advance in their relationship it was, heh. "Things got complicated so we needed to wait before making a move, or else this entire operation could have gone wrong. We took all the safety measurements so that there isn't a single intercurrence in our way back to homeland."

"With the 'things got complicated' talk you mean they finally were able to get that creepy called Werdoi?", asked Jasemir to the old man before him, the only who had the courage to actually talk to him.

"Yes, Your Greatness." the man scratched his grey hair before talking again. "They imprisoned him after they took the capital and he fled to Olongreter."

"It's pronounced Olmongeter, but I guess I shouldn't have expected a fluent Tardineanni speaker here, right?", Jasemir then realized that he was being rude by the look of anger on the official's face, even though it was only there for a second. They are really good on hiding their emotions, thought him. "I am sorry, officer. Actually, by your look, I'm sorry colonel. I meant to say that I couldn't expect you guys to be fluent speakers of my language, knowing that you are Syrixian, after all."

"There was no need to apologize, Your Greatness." the man bows with a hint of a smile spreading on his face. "Though we do have a fluent speaker here."

"Oh, is that right?" Jasemir is surprised to hear that a Syrixian is fluent on his mother language, when the officer calls someone on his radio. Only if he had learned Suchari yet, he'd be able to get what these people were talking about ever since he entered the vessel. However, there wasn't time for that now. Then the guy entered the room. A skinny, small man, whose age was probably not past 20, unwary of the Tardineanni manners, extended his hand towards the emperor and said:

"Helat, Sire. Ja'm Lucas Aveiro*." Whether this guy was new to the job or just dumb as hell, Jasemir didn't know for sure. Didn't they teach their agents on how to treat a monarch? He didn't care much about being called by his name, but this guy was like, offending him without even realizing it. "Truth is, I'm a big fan of yours and I'm kinda nervous to be talking to you in person."

"Can't you treat an Emperor the right way?" Said the colonel while slapping the guy's face. "He isn't like your friends from Salvador, he's an Emperor. Show him some respect, or I'll throw you off this ship. I don't care about who your parents are, or whom they know, in my ship you must obey me. You get it, boy?"

"Yes sir, I get it." Lucas said that with water on his eyes, as if he was about to cry. They didn't teach him the ways yet, thought Jasemir while being puzzled by this dude's manners. Then the guy suddenly bowed before him and said: "I apologize to Your Greatness. I didn't mean to surpass the ways of the Tardineannen. May Duhren Emperai Regnam** forgive me?"

"Uhh, yes, mister Aveiro, though I must ask you something." He remembered hearing something about Aveiro from Artoi, so he thought it was worthy to ask the guy, despite this dude being a total dumbass. "Do you, by any chance, know a man called Artoi Laremos?"

"You kidding me?" Immediately after saying that he saw his mistake and corrected it, much to the Colonel's relief: "I mean, sorry Your Greatness. But yes, I do know Artoi Laremos. In fact, it was actually me he contacted after talking to you-Your Greatness."

"So what is you guys relationship?" If the colonel tried to hide the shocked look in his face, it was unsuccessful. "Are you friends, lovers or what? He talked a lot about his 'friend' Aveiro."

"Eh, of course we are just friends, Your Greatness. What else would we be?" Aveiro said with an embarrassed look while averting his eyes from Jasemir.

"I just asked out of curiosity, that's it." Then, with an smile, Jasemir completed: "Well, it was nice to know you guys, but I'm tired as hell right now. So... I'm just retreat to my assigned room and sleep for a while."

They all bowed, including the dumbass boy, as he left. It seemed that this was going to be a way too long travel to Syrixia. He hoped for the best outcome, though. After all, it's the Kladerai's destiny to rule Tardine. Or so said the ancient oracles and he was sure they weren't lying.



* 'Helat, Sire. Ja'm Lucas Aveiro.' is translated as 'Hello Sir. I'm Lucas Aveiro', hence Jasemir's surprise and the officer's anger as it showed the lack of any formality required when talking to a Head of State

** 'Duhren Emperai Regnam' is the right style used to address the Emperor/Empress while talking to them directly. It's translated as 'Your Imperial Ruler' and is used since immemorial times aka the Trantorian Empire days
 

Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
3 May 2034
10:04 pm
On a Wednesday

Krysuvik, Prydania

Alycia brought her husband a cup of coffee as he got his laptop setup, the brightness of the Nolf logo seemingly adding to the pleasant trickle of soft sunlight in the study. There was a certain calmness in the air. Maídagur* celebrations had slowly wrapped up over the previous day and a post-celebratory peace had descended on Himnaríkisviði, the Royal family’s estate deep in South Austurland.

“You didn’t have to,” Tobias said as he sat on the couch, setting the laptop on the coffee table.

“Well I know how hard this can be,” she said softly, kissing her husband on the top of his head as he gently nuzzled her back.

“No, you made a lot of sense,” he replied, reaching up to gently caress his wife’s face as she kissed him from behind.

“You know it’s going to be perfectly fine, right?”

“Já,” Tobias replied softly.

“Ok, call your cousins, tell them that their nephews will be visiting.”

Tobias smiled at that, even as he felt a sinking feeling in his stomach.
It’s not that he didn’t trust Thibault and Timothée. He did. It was just… he was protective of his boys. That was pretty much it. Their schooling had been split between Prydania and Norsia, but that never bothered him. He could be there, no matter what.

Saintonge was across the Meterran Sea though. Thibault and Timothée had suggested that, for high school, the boys could come to Saintonge to study. It wasn’t a crazy notion. It was a fate that Tobias almost had himself, a plan from his own father to keep him away from Anders. The Syndicalist Coup had put an end to that though…

Which was why he was nervous. He’d watched his family die. And he’d felt deeply alone, until the War ended. The War ended and he met his family from Saintonge. He married Alycia. And they made their own family.
His children. They were constant bright spots in his world. And the experience of being a father had done a lot to give him perspective. But all of that couldn’t change one thing- he’d watched one family die. He wouldn’t lose another. And that led to him being very over-protective.

It’s why he politely declined his cousins’ suggestion, despite Alycia’s own enthusiasm for the idea. She had gone to school in Saintonge, and she was eager for her sons to have the same educational opportunities. Tobias had remained firm in his refusal, but he suspected T-Bo, T-Mo, and Big Thibault were talking to Alycia behind his back to get her to change his mind, because she kept pushing.

In the end, though, it came down to one thing.

“Do you trust your cousins?” she’d asked.

“Já,” Tobias had answered. And she looked at him, knowingly, with a sense of assumed “I told you so” confidence. She did too…she’d become friends with one of them, Big Thibault, during her time in Saintonge.

“So you know you can trust them with the boys,” she’d added. It didn’t need to be said, but she wanted to make sure her husband had gotten the point.

And so here he was, the next morning. In a cozy study. Ready to take his cousins up on their offer. Alycia had gone to wrangle the children as he looked at his laptop’s home screen. It would be good too, he figured. T-Bo and T-Mo were twins. So were Baldr and Hael. It would do them well.
A comforting thought to ease his nerves. But his wife was right. He’d gotten over past insecurities before by trusting people. This was no different…

…wasn’t it?

Instead of calling Timothée he brought up a picture folder. And smiled slightly as he ran through the photos of them as a family- Aly, Baldr, Hael, Hanna, and himself. These weren’t the posed-for pictures one might see of the Royal family in the news. No, they were candid photos of them as a family. Playing, being together.
It seemed a world away from the source of the fear. That loneliness, the helplessness he felt watching his parents die, watching his cousin die… Krista. He sighed, and the anxiety evaporated like mist. He scrolled through a few pictures and found some more, with some more people. One was with Big Thibault, sitting crossed legged on the floor, holding a young Baldr and Hael- only eight years old in the picture- with his arm around each of their shoulders.
Another one was the picture that of course had to be taken. Thibault and Timothée, with their godsons Baldr and Hael. Two sets of twins. It was from the same family get-together, Thibault with Baldr on his shoulders and Timothée with Hael.

“Pabbi!”

“Huh?”

Tobias was startled, and looked to his side. It was his daughter.
“Hanna, sweetie,” he said with a smile. She smiled back, but blushed a bit, feeling she was getting too old for the “sweetie” her father kept insisting on.

“Shouldn’t you be with Maminka and the boys?”

“Maminka said breakfast is ready and you need to call Uncle Timothée before your omelet gets as cold as your coffee.”

“Huh?” he asked, looking down at the coffee Alycia had brought him. The steam rising from the top had gone. And the cup was lukewarm at best.

“See?” Hanna said, with a smile.

“Heh…” Tobias replied.
“Hey, sweetie?”

Hanna sighed at that but nodded.
“Já, Pabbi?”

“You’d miss your brothers. If they went off to Saintonge for school?”

“Are you kidding me?” she exclaimed, far more casual than she usually got with her parents.
“Pabbi, I won’t have to put up with Baldr’s dumb video games!”

“That’s not a nice thing to say about your brother.”
“They blew up my doll house!” she protested, her voice reaching a pitch only a girl on the verge of adolescence could manage.

Tobias nodded.
“Já, they did do that…” he had to keep from smiling. It only happened a few years ago, but Hanna was still sore about it, even if she didn’t play with dolls anymore. Really, on a certain level, he was impressed that they thought to use a long fuse so they’d have an alibi when it went off but… well… he was sure Hanna would see it differently when she got older.

“You sure you just don’t want me and Maminka to yourself?” he asked teasingly.

“Maybe,” she said with a sweet smile.
“If you promise not to listen to your dad rock at the time.”

Trollgaard isn’t dad rock!” he insisted with a chuckle as his tween daughter rolled her eyes.

“Sure it’s not pabbi.”

“Tell your mother I’ll be out soon. I’m calling now.”

“Oh! Can I say hi to Uncle Timothée?”

“Sure, but grownup business afterwards.”

“Ok!” she said as she sat on the couch next to her father as he dialed up Timothée. Who was expecting his call. The video icon beeped for a moment before Timothée-Brice, one of Saintonge’s two kings, appeared on screen. It was actually something of a surreal sight. Two Kings talking… but it wasn’t a matter of formal business. It was just family calling. Tobias wearing an old Stormurholmr FF t-shirt and Timothée wearing a Captain Saintonge t-shirt really showed the informality of it. As did Timothée’s greeting.

“To-B! How’s le champ du paradis?” he asked, using the Santonian form of Himnaríkisviði’s name.

“Uncle T-Mo!” Hanna exclaimed excitedly before her father could answer.
“Hiiiii!” she said excitedly and waved.

“Hello Hanna,” T-Mo replied with a smile.
“How are you?”

“Great! We had SO MUCH FUN at le Premier Mai,” Hanna continued, excited to talk about the celebration to her uncle. Tobias smirked. His kids already had a handle on Santonian. Like him they had an accent, but they were still young. He’d never shake his Prydanski accent in Santonian but they would.

“That’s excellent, Hanna!” T-Mo replied.
“Your Pabbi got you a proper crown of flowers, I hope?”

“Of course,” Tobias said with a chuckle.
“Would I be alive right now if I didn’t?”

Hanna gave her father a soft smile and Tobias laughed.

“You can tell Uncle T-Mo about it later, but I need to talk to him about your brothers before Maminka yells at me.”

“Ok, pabbi,” she said, kissing her father on the cheek before turning to the laptop.
“Make sure you put Baldr and Hael through their paces, uncle!” she said excitedly.
“Talk to you later, byeee!” she added with a wave before heading off.

Tobias chuckled at his daughter’s excitement before turning back to his laptop.

“I guess that means Aly got through to you,” T-Mo said with a smile.

“So my suspicions were right!” Tobias answered.

“Well you know how it is, those old school friends and their schemes. T-Bo and I may have gotten roped into it…”

“Sure, you did,” Tobias replied with a soft chuckle.

“To-B?”

“Oui?”

“It’s a really good school.”

His voice was still Timothée’s upbeat voice, but he just sounded a bit more serious.
“It’s a really good opportunity and of course you know they can get spots if you want them to have them."

Tobias sighed ever so slightly. That was the other thing. Opportunity. Tobias never had that. He grew up trying to survive, taking lessons from William when he could. But Aly did have those opportunities. And she knew full well that it would do Baldr and Hael… and Hanna in a few years… good. It would do them good to go to an excellent school in a foreign country. One where they could be exposed to new ideas. Meet new people.
And this had all the benefits of that, with the upside that they would still have family there.

“I know… thank you,” he said with a soft smile.
“I mean it, thank you.”

“They’re our godsons!” Timothée replied happily.
“We’d love to have them.”

“Are you sure you can handle them? Two teenage boys?”
“Oh we’ll have fun!” Timothée said with a laugh. "They'll have their cousins they're too. You worry too much.”

Tobias shrugged and nodded.
“I know I do.”

“I understand,” Timothée added, “but we’ll take good care of your boys. I promise.”

“I know,” Tobias replied.
“I know…” he repeated, and then smiled.
“They’re all yours.”

“I’ll tell T-Bo and Big Thibault!” Timothée said with a smile.
“I really can’t wait to see them, you know,” he added.

"Well I'll see if you still feel that way after a month or so," Tobias chuckled. "But thanks again. And T-Mo? Um…one other thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Thank you for your little ploy with Aly. I needed it.”

“Anytime, cousin, anytime.”




*Maídagur- May Day

OOC Note: Posted with permission from @Kyle
 
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Syrixia

The one, the true, the great.
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TNP Nation
Syrixia
Discord
TrialByDance#0419
Excerpt from Records of the Most Noble Protector of the Thousand-Year City (हजार साल के शहर के महान रक्षक के अभिलेख)

When the armies of Lord Pushyamitra were drawn up facing the Most Exalted Imperial City from the north, the ambitious lord's soldiers were filled with courage and strength equal to that of their lord. They saw that their enemies were few, very different from the asamkhyeyas upon asamkhyeyas of elite troops that Vikramaditya Ghosha had levied against them. Then after three rolls of the drums, Grand Secretary Amitabha Sirisena mounted his horse and rode out, next to him rode two sons of the Shatadhanvan family - Grand Commander Dipankara, followed behind by Deputy Commander Kashyapa.

Then a messenger rode to the front and called out in a loud voice, "We request the leader of this city's defenses to come out to a parley." At this, the Third August Jade Gate opened with a great boom, through which came out two lines of the City Watch, and behind them, a battalion of Sentinels. In the center of this array was seen a four-wheeled carriage wherein sat Auspicious Yarnavana, with turban, green robe and black sash. He advanced with the utmost dignity. Looking up, he saw asamkhyeyas of standards grouped all around him. In the middle, with a small retinue, was an aged, white-haired figure, Grand Secretary Sirisena. "He intends to deliver an oration," thought Bold Yarnavana. "I must answer as best I may."

Blessed Yarnavana's carriage was then pushed to the front beyond the line of battle, and he directed one of his officers to reply, saying, "The Grand Commander of His Majesty's City Watch is willing to speak with Secretary Sirisena." At this, the Secretary advanced, to which Gold-Hearted Yarnavana saluted him from his carriage with raised hands, and the Secretary replied from horseback with a raised hand. Then he began his oration.

"I am happy to meet you, Noble Sir." spoke the Secretary. "Your reputation has been long known to me. Since you are a learned man and are acquainted with the conditions of the world, why do you hold the city of the Great Ancestors?"

Wise Yarnavana replied, "By imperial order I hold it, to protect His Majesty against those who would threaten the rule of all under Heaven."

Secretary Sirisena, filled with conceit, replied, "Heaven's course often alters, and so does the supreme dignity of protecting His Majesty's city from those who, as you say, would threaten the lawful rule. This is the inevitable and immutable law. A strong man may do what he can; a weak man, only what he must."

The Secretary continued. "During the reign of Emperor Kuntunatha, knives fell from the sky at every angle. All under Heaven was in turmoil. Rebels swarmed everywhere like locusts, and warlords soared like vultures. The Empire was at the brink of destruction, and its people were desperate for help.

"However, the Gracious Lord Pushyamitra, the King of the Sea and of the Land, swept away rebellion in eight directions, as a loyal subject of His Majesty. He has not only restored order in the West, but has expanded His Majesty's domain to lands beyond the sea. All hearts have turned to him in gratitude, and all within the four corners of the world have held him in awe."

"You, sir, are a man of natural talent and acquired attainments, worthy, you say yourself, to be compared with the greatest of warriors even from the time of the First Emperor. Why, then, do you place yourself in opposition to the will of the Universe and turn away from the desire of humankind to hold this city? Surely you cannot protect His Majesty alone."

"Today, our Lord Pushyamitra commands asamkhyeyas of soldiers, with thousands of able generals. We have horses enough to level the mountains, and the might of our swords can pierce the skies. If you would but throw down your weapons, cast off that golden armor of yours, and allow our lord's forces to enter the city, you shall not lose your rank. The state shall have tranquility and the people shall rejoice. Is that not desirable for you?"

At this, Noble Yarnavana laughed.

Said he, "And I was expecting some profound speech from you, a long-time servant of the Imperial House. Never have I imagined that a man with such age and experience as yourself could have uttered such foul words. I have something to say to you - soldiers of Lord Pushyamitra, heed it well."

"You, Amitabha Sirisena, and generations of your family have enjoyed the bounty of the Great Ancestors. If you had any conscience, instead of hopping to the northwest like the frog that you are, you should have assisted your sovereign and state, eradicated traitors and upheld the Imperial House."

"Could one have imagined that, instead, you would turn and assist this errant lord from the prefectures, and enter into a plot to usurp control of the Imperial City? Now, you ought to just lie low and preserve your fortunes, or hide in dark places and commit petty crimes as befits someone like you. What nerve you have to come before the armies and the people and speak about the divine will!"

Righteous Yarnavana raised his arm, pointing his finger directly at the Secretary.

"Wart-faced cretin! GRAY-BEARDED TRAITOR! How will you stand in the afterlife before the twenty-five august emperors? Fall on your own sword, villain - I shall not defile my weapons with your blood."

At once, a fierce wrath filled the old Secretary's heart, and he fell from his horse. At this, the whole of Lord Pushyamitra's army retreated back north, for through only words, glorious Yarnavana had ensured that they would never enter the Imperial City.

Indeed, Lord Pushyamitra's army had retreated out of paralyzing fear, as upon hearing the words of mighty Yarnavana, Amitabha Sirisena had died instantly.
 

Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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TNP Nation
Prydania
Discord
LordGigaIce#1987
Proclamation of Accession:
TO ALL TO WHOM these presents shall come or whom the same may in any way concern,

GREETING:

Whereas the strife and civil war that plagued the realm has come to an end and the criminal and treasonous Syndicalist Republic has been defeated, the Crown of Prydania vests in His Royal Highness Prince Tobias Scylfing of the House of Loðbrók;

We, the Right Honourable William Aubyn, Prime Minister of the Provisional Government, assisted by the Lords Temporal and Spiritual of the Prydanian Realm, officers of the Provisional Government and Front of National Unity, and free people of the realm, proclaim that His Royal Highness Prince Tobias Scylfing of the House of Loðbrók is now, by the end of the strife and war that has plagued the country, Tobias the Third, by the Grace of God, of Prydania, Lord Protector of Austurland, Marshal of Býkonsviði, Lord Uniter, King, Defender of the Faith, to whom we acknowledge faith and allegiance.

Given at Absalonhöll this fourth day of June in the year of Our Lord two thousand and seventeen.

God Save the King!
 
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