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Zanderaw

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  1. Orteau Statpost this week Actions: -OUTRAGE! One of the Teniert’s own, stolen by the pirate king under their very noses. The acting lord Alistair Teniert, father of Ashweather, promises no less than half a million credits to anyone with information leading to the capture or destruction of Aokigahara. -[REDACTED] [8 I] -[REDACTED] [8 I] -[REDACTED] [4 I] -Lest another attack come, the Shredded King is hastily repaired. [19 NP, $14,250] -To further reduce Orteau’s dependence on foreign fuel, 8 refineries are constructed on their only fuel world. [$120,000, 24 M, 8 T] –2.5 million imperial standard infantry are recruited to fortify the frontier. [$125,000, 30AP, 30M] -On the breathtaking world of Montresor, a “small” celebration is held to commemorate the birth of Adonis and Alfred Teniert. Many of the region’s influential citizens are eager to come see the new eventual heirs. [$24,000 on buying influence]
  2. Orteau Eloise could barely bring herself to look out the window as the palace-moon of Kaumai slipped beyond the horizon, engulfed in black smog. So close to their goal, so far from safety. The others with her felt the same - whenever their nondescript shuttle rattled in Kaumai’s atmosphere, she could hear their heartbeats quicken. All but one, that is. Deeper into the smoke. Eloise opened her mouth to speak. Barely a sound escaped before the man in front of her turned and cut her off. “You would rather go back? After all this way?” The man was a hook-nosed, greasy creature, but he had kept the green eyes. A small piece of vanity maybe, but Eloise struggled to keep that thought from her head. “You would leave me to fend for myself?” “Of course not,” Eloise managed, in a whisper. “Of course not.” The man echoed, and glanced out the window at the roiling, thick sky. “The Labyrinth is destroyed. Just now. We are needed here more than ever, and I for one welcome that duty.” It took a moment for Eloise to process the news, but once she did her face hardened. “It’s just…normally we know what to expect.” “I know what to expect,” said the man, turning away. “We will all do what’s expected of us, regardless of the circumstances.” Yet even so, under the mask, Eloise thought she could hear her lady’s heart flutter. Actions: -[REDACTED] [8 I] -[REDACTED] [4 I] -With fuel prices skyrocketing, a refining complex is constructed on Orteau’s single fuel world. -The rest of Orteau’s money goes into buying gas. :wagie:
  3. knife-ears need to get out of the off topic forum
  4. Orteau Statpost, been skiing all week :heh: Actions: -[REDACTED] [8 I] -[REDACTED] [4 I] -[REDACTED] [4 I] -[REDACTED] [4 I] -84 of the fuel purchased this turn is bought on Fal’s World, to fuel their expedition. -4 heavy cruisers join Orteau’s fleet. [$200,000, 100 NP, 36 M, 8 A, 8 T] -2 light cruisers are produced to join the screens. [$60,000, 40 NP, 12 M] -The threat of Eteroa looms on the border, and so the Tenierts tone down their extravagance…within reason, that is. The wedding of Archibald Teniert to Penden Fal is accompanied only by a single national holiday, and the ceremony itself takes place in one of the relatively smaller halls of Keep Teniert, accompanied by a stark black and white aesthetic. For miles around the streets are lined with soldiers, and the guest list is notably short. On the whole, it feels less like a celebration and more a show of force. Archibald at least is happy - he seems smitten with his new wife, and they soon leave for the paradise world of Montresor, far from the fighting.[$15,000 spent on raising influence]
  5. THE ALAMARAN MANDATE TO THE RENEGADE ADMIRAL ETEROA IN THE NAME OF THE LORD REGENT KALEI FOLAU, YOU ARE HEREBY CALLED TO ACCOUNT FOR YOUR DEFIANCE OF IMPERIAL LAW IN THE NAME OF THE LORD REGENT AND THE LORDS OF THE REALM, YOU ARE COMMANDED THUSLY: I. You will immediately accept the TREATY OF ALAMAR, at which time you will be recognized as a Diadoch of the Enduring Empire, a title to be passed to your sons and your sons’ sons. II. You will immediately relinquish all worlds within the lawful IMPERIAL DEMESNE, outlined thusly: UNTIL YOU HAVE RECTIFIED YOUR BEHAVIOR, YOU ARE HEREBY DECLARED AN ENEMY OF THE EMPIRE. IT IS THE DUTY OF ALL PATRIOTIC CITIZENS TO DO YOU HARM. WHILE THE GREAT HOUSES STAND, SO STANDS THE EMPIRE
  6. Orteau “Damned decent of Albert,” Adrien grumbled, looking at the year on the single malt his brother-in-law (and son-in-law) had sent. “Maybe I was too hard on him.” “The man knows what family means.” “As do I.” “As do we all.” Adrien turned, setting the bottle on his newly-built dining table. It was exquisite, carved from a single solid piece of veined onyx, polished to a mirror. It stood on a raised platform in the center of a cavernous hall, enclosed by glittering stained glass. Adrien could see himself in the windows, fixed in a determined battle pose. He saw his father too, sternly looking downward. And his grandfather, and a thousand Tenierts he had never met. Still closer were the living, all at his table - his brother, his wife Annabella, four of his sons from Alistair to Antoine. His grandsons Archibald, Ashweather and Adam. His only unmarried daughter, Alice, who stared cooly back at him from the far end. “I’d like to thank you all,” Adrien’s gravelly voice contained rare satisfaction. “For receiving the, eh, augmentations last year. I know the process isn’t exactly comfortable. But we don’t live in a friendly galaxy anymore, and I won’t have us become victims. With every passing year, a little bit less of the universe writes us off as defeated. They’ll come for us. Some of you will be here, where I can protect you. Others…” he cast his eyes down the table, “will be in the enemy’s den. One can only hope that you’re all prepared for it.” Silence. Then somewhere across the vast ballroom, the sound of a door echoed, and dozens of servants began to line the far edges of the hall. “Just about time,” said Alain, still seated. The younger Tenierts fidgeted in their seats, looking towards the entrance longingly. “Indeed.” Adrien growled. “Look at this place. The last time this room existed was forty years ago. The last time it looked this good, I was getting married in it. Good things come from Keep Teniert when it’s complete. You are all proof of that.” The compliment was delivered so gruffly that it hardly even registered with most of Adrien’s children until Alain openly grinned. Was Alice blushing? No, it must have been a trick of the light. “Now,” said the king, pouring the whiskey. “Let’s welcome our guests.” Actions: -[REDACTED] [8 I] -[REDACTED] [4 I] -[REDACTED] [4 I] -[REDACTED] [4 I] -[REDACTED] [4 I] -[REDACTED] [4 I] -A single light cruiser is commissioned to bolster Orteau’s screen. [$30,000, 20 NP, 6 M] -10 state academies are built on the newly-reclaimed paradise world, a breathtaking oceanic planet covered in shallow seas and dotted with striking islands that soar into the air, going from tropical rainforest to snowy peak in the space of a horizontal mile. [$200,000, 20M, 10T] -A grant of $30,000 is allocated for a full inventory of the massive graveyard on Orteau’s eastern border. Few can avoid a sense of sadness as they behold the shattered remnants of Battlefleet Reclamation and the carcass of the once-great titan…but perhaps, some of its glory can be restored. [SUP LOOK HERE] -After fifty years, Keep Teniert has finally been repaired! The massive skyscraper at the heart of Orteau lost much of its top half over the course of multiple sieges, and for decades now it has stood shamefully ruined, a monument to Orteau’s disgrace. At last though, Lord Adrien has restored it to glory. The crowning jewel is of course the ballroom near the peak, deep in the stratosphere. Twice the size as before, it features exquisitely-detailed stained glass windows depicting every Teniert lord for the last millennium, as well as high-speed elevators to “adjoining” private garden-balconies where the guests can actually breathe. The lords of Orteau celebrate the event with the usual massive party, spreading from ground level to peak. Obviously, everyone notable in the region is invited to witness the glory of House Teniert. [$87,000 on generating influence] -A smaller government grant goes into reclaiming lost Orteau space in the east, where a power vacuum has recently re-emerged. [$50,000 to claim the final planet.]
  7. Orteau The latest meeting of the Hui Ariki had gone about as well as one could hope, but even so, Adrien left the Alamaran capitol with what could only be called a stalk. Both his siblings were shorter, and they struggled to keep up, as did the numerous attendants which accompanied the King of Orteau wherever he went. It was already well into the night, and most shivered in the cool air. “Well, that’s over with.” Adrien growled, his swordcane striking aggressively on fine marble with each step. “Anna, I expect you can handle things from here. Alain, you and I leave for Orteau tomorrow.” “I doubt it’s going to explode in the next few weeks.” Adrien shot an unappreciative glance back at his brother. “We have no further business here, and so we belong elsewhere. Tell the staff, would you?” Alain sighed, and slowed his pace in defeat. The king did not, and was soon lost amid a small crowd of local nobility. Still flustered, he turned back to his sister. “He gets worse every year.” “Well Alain, I seem to recall a saying about apples and trees.” Annabelle did not appear to be joking. She and their father had never gotten along. “What was all that about?” the ugly woman asked, gesturing back to the capitol. “You told me a month ago we’d be giving Dryden another regency. If we’re going to be changing tacks like this, I can’t-” “Yes, I know. Damned impolite, I’m sorry. Adrien thought he was getting complacent. I can’t say I argued too much about it. The Duke will do just fine; it’s momentum we’re after.” Anna just looked skeptical. Somewhere in the Dryden gardens, an owl called out. “You’ll see.” Alain turned back to the capitol steps. “It’s been nice to see you. Did you get a chance to speak with Alice?” “Did I. The woman wouldn’t stop speaking to me. Always with a different face. If I didn’t know better, I’d say she was showing off.” “She should be. I told her to.” “Like I haven’t seen it before?” “Not like this.” Alain leaned on his cane, and gazed up into the clear sky. Alamar was a remarkably unpolluted world. The Tenierts prided themselves on the cleanliness of Orteau, but in most places there one could only see a few dozen stars. Here they were all visible, a twinkling sea overhead. “When father died, and the emperor after him, do you remember what I said to you?” “No, but there was a distinct lack of optimism,” Anna indulged him. “There was. Thankfully, Adrien proved me wrong. About most things, anyway. We have allies, we have defenses, we have weapons. We’ve had some peace, for what it’s worth. But it won’t last. Ultimately, all of that is useless. We could send everything we have at the mindbender and it’d shatter like a stained glass window.” “I am aware. Everyone is.” “Yes, but nobody does anything about it.” “Mostly because there’s nothing to do.” “There was. There was nothing to do. With father, without Ran-Ji, everyone just assumed the House of Winds was invincible. But it’s not true! We just haven’t had the right weapons. Well, now we do.” That took Annabelle by surprise. Her already-ugly face contorted in shock, her voice lowered to a whisper. “Dear God, Alain. You’re going to get her killed.” “I can’t make her do anything she doesn’t want to do,” retorted Alain indignantly. “But even if I could…we’re all soldiers these days.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” Anna hissed. “Just that sometimes, duty needs to be done.” He let out an exasperated breath. “And there’s one duty we’ve ignored for fifty years. We can recruit all the soldiers we find, we can build the greatest fleet in the galaxy. But none of it - none of it - will matter…” Alain looked to the sky, his cane whipping up to point directly at a cluster of stars that everyone this side of the core knew. The conqueror constellation. Kaumai. “...until someone kills him.” Actions: -[REDACTED] [5 I] -[REDACTED] [5 I] -An envoy from Orteau arrives on Fal’s World, to offer an engagement of the heir to the house, Archibald, to the young Penden. Though the backwater has little of value, it does have a clearly traceable imperial bloodline, which its noble neighbors consider valuable… -To ensure steady logistics in the days to come, the Tenierts order five new freighters which will accompany their fleet. [$12,500, 10 NP, 5 M] –At great personal expense, Lord Adrien commissions 500 new Adjudicators from his finest soldiers, soldiers and sycophants. In the sprawling bunkers below Keep Teniert, the chosen are all but flayed alive and rebuilt, every nerve and muscle honed to a deadly weapon. [$40,000, 8 M, 2 A, 2 T] -A truly massive government grant goes into reclaiming lost Orteau space in the east, where a power vacuum has recently re-emerged. [$200,000 to claim 4 planets.] -With a good portion of the ruling house on Alamar for the recent meeting of the Hui Ariki, it is only natural that their lustre should be on full display. In their embassy-estates, the Tenierts host a series of extravagant receptions to celebrate another successful term of the regency. The local nobility is duly charmed. [$36,000 spent on generating influence.]
  8. TREATY of ALAMAR WHILE THE GREAT HOUSES STAND, SO STANDS THE EMPIRE LET THOSE WHO READ THIS PROCLAMATION KNOW OUR UNYIELDING INTENT. WE, THE NOBLE HOUSES OF MAN, FIGHT TOGETHER. WHAT FOLLOWS IS THE NEW EMPIRE THAT WILL COME OF OUR CERTAIN VICTORY. UNTIL SUCH TIME AS ORDER IS RESTORED ON KAUMAI, THE FOLLOWING EMERGENCY MEASURES ARE IN PLACE: I. ALL CAPITAL SHIP RESTRICTIONS HAVE BEEN WAIVED. II. THE PROVISIONAL CAPITAL OF THE HUMAN EMPIRE HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED ON THE WORLD OF ALAMAR. III. A WARTIME REGENCY IS IN EFFECT UNTIL THE CAPITAL IS RETAKEN. REGENCY TERMS HAVE BEEN TEMPORARILY EXTENDED TO THREE YEARS TO ENSURE STEADY LEADERSHIP. UPON THE RECLAMATION OF KAUMAI, THE FOLLOWING CONSTITUTION ENTERS FULL EFFECT: ------------------------------------------------------------------------- BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT I. THE EMPEROR, LORD OF LORDS II. THE HUI ARIKI, THE MEETING OF LORDS III. THE RAPU PATAI, THE ADJUDICATORS RANKS OF NOBILITY I. THE ARCHONS, KINGS OF THE REALM II. THE DIADOCHS, DUKES OF THE REALM III. THE DESPOTS, COUNTS OF THE REALM IV. THE TYRARCHS, MARGRAVES OF THE REALM V. LESSER TITLES ------------------------------------------------------------------------- BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT THE EMPEROR, LORD OF LORDS His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of the Universe, Protector of Humanity, Lord of Lords, Archon of Kaumai. I. HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY shall directly govern the core stars of the empire. II. HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY is forbidden to hold title beyond the core for longer than one year on Kaumai. III. HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY has sole authority to grant noble titles. (See appendix: RANKS OF NOBILITY). IV. HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY may revoke noble titles WITH the majority support of the Hui Ariki. V. HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY is commander in chief of the imperial military, and may delegate this duty as he sees fit. He may NOT engage those the Hui Ariki has not recognized as enemies of the empire. a) The imperial navy has a monopoly on capital ships, EXCEPT as specified by noble privilege. (See appendix: RANKS OF NOBILITY). The HUI ARIKI may grant special exceptions, but must vote on each ship. VI. HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY is responsible for foreign policy, though treaties must be approved by the Hui Ariki. VII. HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY may call any imperial citizen into the service of his harem at will. To refuse is high treason. The following individuals are exempt from this obligation: a) Holders of landed, hereditary titles. (Sitting stellarchs). b) Judges of the RAPU PATAI. c) Family members of sitting ARCHONS - relatives who share their house name. VIII. HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY is responsible for approving appointments to the RAPU PATAI. IX. In the event that HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY expires without a direct heir, the Hui Ariki will elect a successor. (See section II). THE HUI ARIKI, THE MEETING OF LORDS The nobility of the realm, gathered to safeguard the emperor’s might and their own sacred privileges. I. Votes in the HUI ARIKI are assigned based on title. ALL landed, hereditary title holders are entitled to a voice in the chamber. Those with lesser titles may observe on a limited basis. (See appendix: RANKS OF NOBILITY). II. The HUI ARIKI may amend this constitution with a three-quarters majority. III. All votes are always counted. If a lord or his representative is not present, he is considered to have voted against all proposals. IV. The HUI ARIKI is responsible for the election of a new emperor if HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY perishes without a previously-recognized heir. This requires a two-thirds majority. If the HUI ARIKI cannot reach a decision, the oldest ARCHON of the empire will ascend to the throne. a) If an heir exists but is not yet of age, the HUI ARIKI will elect a regent. This requires a simple majority and must be re-affirmed each year. b) A regent holds the powers of the emperor (see section I), but may not grant noble titles without the approval of the HUI ARIKI. He lacks the authority to revoke noble titles entirely. V.. The HUI ARIKI is responsible for setting taxation rates and imperial spending. Imperial taxes are applied based on title. (See appendix: RANKS OF NOBILITY). VI. The HUI ARIKI is responsible for declaring a state of war against enemies of the empire, thus authorizing the emperor and indeed all imperial citizens to do them harm. VII. The HUI ARIKI is responsible for approving motions from the emperor such as treaties with foreign powers and the revocation of titles. VIII. The HUI ARIKI is to appoint three judges of the RAPU PATAI, subject to imperial approval. IX. The HUI ARIKI sets the imperial criminal code, to be enforced by the RAPU PATAI. THE RAPU PATAI, THE ADJUDICATORS The imperial judges. The Rapu Patai are intended to be politically neutral, tasked with investigating and punishing treason and inter-stellarchy crimes. They are most active at the seat of government, but to impede their work anywhere in imperial borders is itself a crime. I. The RAPU PATAI shall answer to three independent judges, elected by the HUI ARIKI and approved by HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY. II. Judges are forbidden to hold landed titles and serve for as long as they wish. III. Judges of the RAPU PATAI are commanders of their own enforcement personnel, to be funded by the imperial budget and not to number less than 15,000 men in total. IV. The RAPU PATAI is responsible for delivering justice to the nobility and to those who evade local law. For commoners, the verdict of a single judge is sufficient to convict. Nobles require two. V. Though most criminal punishments are in the hands of the HUI ARIKI, the punishment for treason shall always be death. VI. If the RAPU PATAI convicts a landed noble of high crime, the noble shall be stripped of his or her title in addition to the lawful punishment. This does not strip the title from his or her line - for succession purposes, such punishment is treated as the death of the convicted. VII. The RAPU PATAI is responsible for imperial genealogy and certifies all claims to noble blood. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- RANKS OF NOBILITY THE ARCHONS, KINGS OF THE REALM I. ARCHON is a hereditary, landed title. It must be held by the head of a noble house. II. Each ARCHON is permitted a single flagship of unlimited tonnage. III. Each ARCHON is obligated to pay double the standard taxation rate, as set by the HUI ARIKI. IV. Each ARCHON holds four votes in the HUI ARIKI. THE DIADOCHS, DUKES OF THE REALM I. DIADOCH is a hereditary, landed title. It must be held by the head of a noble house. II. Each DIADOCH is permitted a single flagship up to dreadnought tonnage. III. Each DIADOCH is obligated to pay the standard taxation rate, as set by the HUI ARIKI. IV. Each DIADOCH holds two votes in the HUI ARIKI. THE DESPOTS, COUNTS OF THE REALM I. DESPOT is a hereditary, landed title. Uniquely, it may be held in trust by the government of a stellarchy even if no noble house reigns there. Unless revoked, the title will pass through the local succession process. II. DESPOTS are granted no special privilege to own capital ships. III. Each DESPOT is not obligated to pay taxes to the empire. IV. Each DESPOT holds one vote in the HUI ARIKI. THE TYRARCHS, MARGRAVES OF THE REALM I. TYRARCH is a hereditary, landed title. It must be held by the head of a noble house. II. Each TYRARCH is permitted unrestricted capital ships. III. A TYRARCH is a servant of the empire, and is obligated to answer the emperor’s call to arms in times of war. IV. Each TYRARCH is not obligated to pay taxes to the empire. V. TYRARCHS may speak in the HUI ARIKI, but may not vote. LESSER TITLES I. Prince/Princess - In the event that one shares the house of the emperor, one is addressed as Prince or Princess regardless of one’s own titles or honorifics. II. Viscount - Many noble stellarchies raise lower nobility within their domains. This carries no legal weight with the imperial court, but these families are nonetheless recognized as honored vassals of the true imperial nobility. A viscount and his family often have privileged access in the halls of power, though this varies greatly with the prestige of his superior. III. Baron - Addressed as Lord as with the titles above. This is a non-hereditary title which does not require land, and can be granted by the HUI ARIKI. IV. Knight - Addressed as Sir. A non-hereditary title awarded for military achievement. V. Baronet - Addressed as Sir. A non-hereditary title awarded for civilian achievement.
  9. "My father had a dream of a perfect empire. That dream was snatched from him at the last moment, just like it was stolen from your father, and yours. I will not let it be stolen from us." -Adrien Teniert, at the Alamar Conference Nation Name: Orteau A brief description of National/Provincial History & Culture: The province of Orteau, based around the urban planet Orteau, has always sat at the very center of human civilization. Though governments, like imperial authority, have waxed and waned, a common theme in the region has always been the prevalence of powerful hereditary dynasties. These nobles guard their bloodlines rigorously, and will go to great lengths to distinguish themselves from the rest of the population – particularly when, as is the case now, many commoners have achieved great wealth in the empire. In times of uncertainty, the aristocracy clashes like anywhere else, but so close to the center of human power this rarely took the form of military action. Instead, the nobles of Orteau have a long and proud tradition of subterfuge. The practice is so well known that it has inspired figures of speech: “as sweet as Orteau” is universally understood to mean that one is impeccably polite yet dangerously treacherous. In the last days of the Third Empire this heritage came into sharp focus, when the Lord Ashweather Teniert personally went to Kaumai, where he aligned with the emperor and quickly seized control of the senate. For years, Lord Teniert manipulated events at the heart of imperial space, before a series of strokes threw his careful plans into disarray and sent humanity spiraling into chaos. It is well that Ashweather did not live to see the results, for as the empire collapsed, his beloved Orteau became a warzone. The nobles of the region were ill-accustomed to open battle, and so the planet fell under siege again and again, changing hands as the Republic swept through, then the loyalists once more, then the treacherous Admiral Sorin, and finally, worst of all, the Irik. Yet in 10,420, House Teniert remains. In the crucible of civil war, Ashweather's sons have proven worthy of his blood. Though his realm is torn in two, battered and bruised, with the ever-present threat of invasion lurking on every side, the new Lord Teniert has kept his footing. At the heart of his power is the Treaty of Alamar, written thirty years ago during the darkest days. In a master stroke of diplomacy, or perhaps mutual desperation, Adrien united the core nobility in a binding pact to one day retake Kaumai and restore the monarchy in their image. And with this agreement, the Tenierts sealed their alliance by marrying Adrien's numerous progeny off among their neighbors. Thus, though Orteau's place is far from secure, a degree of normalcy has settled over the region. Enemies lie on every border - yet in the grand halls of Keep Teniert, gentle music still plays, and the threat seems a galaxy away. Notable Characters: Adrien Teniert, King of Orteau Adrien is a far cry from the placid confidence of his father. Once a thoughtful and submissive man, he has been tempered by the experience of watching his homeland overrun by common vultures for the better part of 50 years. It is often said, rightly, that the Tenierts are not warriors. But with Adrien at the helm of Orteau, few would dare say that they are not fighters. For most of his life he has had to scramble, scheme and struggle to keep his throne, nation, and very life. Only recently has security returned to his life, largely courtesy of his proudest work - the Treaty of Alamar. Totally determined to deserve everything he has, Adrien works late into most nights, his eyes blazing with angry ambition. The vultures nearly took everything from him. He will not forget it soon. Alain Teniert Adrien's brother has always been and probably will always be the less dour of the two. Without the burden of rule, Alain was free to serve his house in other ways - as statesman, spy, and soldier. It's sometimes said that while Adrien was being reared for Lordship, it was truly Alain who had the confidence of their late father. Whatever the case, he remains thoroughly uninterested in that level of responsibility. During the war, it was Alain who commanded Battlefleet Reclamation on its warpath across Republican space, and it was he who was eventually defeated. Alain escaped the battle, but lost an arm in the process. Since those days he has shown little interest in naval matters, and though if pressed he will insist he bears no grudge toward the enemy, shrewd observers will note him always glance sharply over when the name "Manhuera" is mentioned. Annabelle Teniert Annabelle Teniert is the sister of Adrien and Alain, and largely known for her extreme ugliness. The late Ashweather Teniert was known to have called her a waste of nine months, as he despaired of ever marrying his daughter off for a favorable alliance. Indeed, single she has remained, despite the best efforts of both her brothers. During the first siege of Orteau, Annabelle remained on the planet as it fell, not fearing the advancing soldiers due to her condition. Shortly afterwards, she was able to relay vital intelligence to her exiled family which allowed for the reconquest of the planet. Alistair Teniert Heir to the Kingdom of Orteau, Alistair is a young man of 50 who spent his childhood on the run during the darkest days of the war. Though he is fiercely loyal to his father, he has yet to be given any positions of true responsibility in the state, for Adrien is still merely in his 80s, practically the prime of his life, and works furiously to boot. Two decades ago Alistair made waves when he married Charlotte Elfering, who albeit from an ancient and respectable house, comes from the Republic! The move was largely seen as a step toward thawing relations, and while the words exchanged with the Republic remain icy, at least there have not been any guns fired recently. Maybe it worked. Alice Teniert The second-youngest of Adrien's daughters, Alice is the only one of that crop to remain unmarried, and seems to have no intention of changing that. Highly-educated and ice-cold even to her siblings, she nevertheless has an almost unnatural ability to get people to open up to her. Alice is closest with her uncle Alain, who has seen something in his niece since childhood. Archibald Teniert The oldest son of Alistair and Charlotte and thus third in line for the Lordship, Archibald has inherited the fair features of his mother, rare among the dark-haired Tenierts. Rambunctious and handsome, Archibald has generated significant public interest as he reaches marriage age. Knowing the policies of his grandfather, it is entirely possible he will soon be pushed into doing his duty for the house. Unique Military Units (Two): Teniert Adjudicator – Special Infantry, small units The secret police, bodyguards, assassins and spies of House Teniert are inconspicuous, their appearance normal at first glance. This is by design: it is, after all, often infeasible to march a group of soldiers in power armor into a building, but a few suited colleagues will usually go unnoticed. Under the skin, however, House Teniert enhances their men with the finest cybernetics in the empire. Built for close combat, often unarmed, an Adjudicator is faster than a regular man, with superior flexibility and balance, short-term cloaking, and with medical implants that can keep him fighting even when badly injured. Above all they are inhumanly strong, and for a non-augmented human to fight one in hand-to-hand combat is almost always suicidal. With proper training, an Adjudicator can become a wonderfully subtle weapon, and the Tenierts use them extensively, quietly spread throughout their organization. Rarely talked about, often feared, they are the weaponized arm of Orteau’s nobility, and Lord Adrien will never quite say how many he has. The Unseen - Psychics In years past, psychics lived throughout the empire, their traditions well-known, their abilities commonplace. Even then, the psychics of Orteau were notable. Centuries of subterfuge taught the nobles the value of such individuals, and they documented their abilities, their training regimes, and their greatest feats. The best were known as Unseen: psychics so skilled at bending the minds of others that they could appear however they wished to, convince the most hostile of enemies to open their doors, or simply turn a crowd’s attention elsewhere. They were the ultimate spies, clever and mighty, and the galaxy learned to be wary when one was known to be near. Today of course, such individuals are far more rare. Yet the records and traditions of Orteau still sit in the Teniert library, rigorously studied. When a psychic does appear, he or she does not lack for training opportunities. As a result, the psychics of the Teniert realm are exceptional illusionists, and even the weakest of them is skilled in the art of disguise and influence. They are the Unseen, and even today they are some of the best spies known to man. National Idea (nothing strictly mechanical): Aristocratic Acquaintances It is sometimes said that the family tree of nobility is more like a circle. To the Tenierts, it is a circle of trust. The most aristocratic of aristocrats publicly associate only with those worthy of their attention - which makes that attention something of a valuable commodity. Teniert events are refined, and their guest lists even more so. To them, such things are all a performance. Like honey for flies, they know just how to draw in persons of interest, how to loosen their lips, and most importantly, how to ask a favor. [The rulers of Orteau can spend TP on nauseatingly-extravagant slice of life RP social events, increasing their prestige and attracting the rich and powerful. Through diplomacy and intrigue, such events generally leave their hosts with a bit more pull than before. Purchases Influence at a rate of 150 TP each.] A letter: A
  10. THE BOUND CONSTELLATION :statpost: Dealing with family stuff ---------- 90,000 C to build Mat. Industry. ---------- PROJECT PRAT - REDACTED.
  11. THE BOUND CONSTELLATION “Not long now. Pack yer things.” Laurent shuddered awake in the back of the cart, dislodging a thin layer of ash from his body. The grey dust seemed to fall faster by the hour, and he wondered to himself who would want to live in a place like this. Maybe this was all a mistake. He could go back to Velka, and forget all the rumors he’d heard about the invisible city of Eleutheria. He might be alright - it had been a few months. The police had bigger sky-beasts to slay, didn’t they? Struggling through the terrain, the cart rounded a massive pillar of volcanic stone, as grey as everything else. Behind it there was what could charitably be called a slum: sad huts clustered together up a rocky slope, sad people sweeping what passed for streets here of the ash. There were no guards. There was no customs station. There were no peddlers doing business. There was just a road leading uphill through rows of run-down huts, and desperate eyes watching him hungrily. Surely the police had moved on by now. The cart ground to a halt. “Eleutheria,” said the driver, turning back. Half the man’s face was covered with a scarf to filter out the falling ash, but his eyes were fixed on Laurent. “If ye please...I got a caravan te get back to.” “I’ve changed my mind. I want to come back with you.” Laurent sputtered, his head snapping away from the bleak town. “I ain’t headin’ south.” “It doesn’t matter. I’ll go wherever you’re going.” “Ye paid all ye had. Searched ye yesterday...in yer sleep.” Laurent couldn’t see the driver’s mouth beyond the scarf, but he knew he would be grinning. Hieoromar damn these wastelanders. “You...you can use my services! I’m a physician - a doctor. How many of those do you see out here?” “Out of the cart, Doctor.” The man showed no sign of budging. Reluctantly, Laurent picked up his heavy suitcase, and stepped from the cart into what must have been a foot of loose ash. Then the cart was gone, and he was alone. For a moment he stood there, watching the inhabitants just as they watched him. It was several minutes until, with the ash piling up on his shoulders, he tightened his own scarf around his mouth and finally trudged into the slum. It was bigger than he’d thought. Hollow eyes watched his suitcase as he hiked up the slope, and he uneasily picked up his pace. With each step, more huts appeared to the side, buried under drifts of ash or hiding under basalt shelves. Some of the more dedicated exiles kept their roofs clean. All seemed on the brink of starvation. Eventually, it all came to look the same. It was only when Laurent exhausted himself and sat down on an outcropping that he saw the gate. Shrouded in haze, past just a few more rows of exile huts, there was a town. Laurent scrambled toward it. The wrought-iron gate was set in a low wall, and he had no trouble seeing the multi-storied dwellings behind it, clinging to the slope. Nothing special, but out here it may as well be the Hieoromar’s own city. He coughed on the ash, but ran nevertheless. The gate didn’t open. He reached the wall, and shook on its bars. A white-robed figure inside turned to look at him, but the gate didn’t open. He stared into the guard’s eyes, and motioned to the lock - but the figure made no move to open the gate. Instead it stared back at him, as lively as a statue. Finally, it spoke in a man’s voice. “Eleutheria is closed to you. Come back tomorrow.” Then it stepped from the gate, and no matter how loud Laurent called it would not return. ---------- 80,000 C to build Mat. Industry. ---------- PROJECT PRAT - REDACTED.
  12. Nation Name: The Bound Constellation National Symbol (Flag, etcetera): Culture: The subversive cult based out of Mount Achlys goes by a variety of names - the Silent Seekers, the Heart Within, the Unshackled, and dozens of others quietly spread and altered by its associates across the world. If the organization has a "true" name, it is the Bound Constellation - for that is what the crimson-cloaked elders call it from their ashy seats. They are bound as we all are bound - bound to this world and stripped of our understanding. Our priests and rulers shout poisonous words; they pluck out our sight. How can a man of Admar and a man of Reismark both speak the opposite with such conviction? It is partially that they lie, and partially that they are as blind as you. The Constellation does not blame them. The unknown is frightening. Look into the sky at midnight, beyond our glittering prison, and you will see endless miles of utter darkness. You, with your feeble, untrained mind, cannot hope to comprehend even the slightest inkling of what lurks out there. To do so would not only make you dangerous to the establishment, but it would imperil your very soul if you tried alone. But there are others like you who do not fear the dark. The Constellation corresponds with many across the world who seek only the truth. You may have it too...if you can bring them something in return. History: The Bound Constellation's origins are as hard to decipher as they are irrelevant. Secret societies of the occult have always existed, but only with Hieoromic influence gone have they been able to flourish. In particular a mystic, syncretic sect has developed in the wastes among exiled academics from various nations of the north. At some point, these eccentric intellectuals made a home for themselves on the slopes of Mount Achlys, a gigantic active volcano well-separated from civilization. But unlike so many savage tribes, the fathers of the Constellation did not fall into a primal state. From their exile they maintained contact with the civilized world, and just as their esoteric thoughts quietly spread, so did rumors of their far-flung colony. Over the years a steady trickle of society's rejects has made its way to the mountain, and taken up residence in the growing ashy city of Eleutheria. They come across the wastes from all over the world, and the Constellation welcomes all - from deserters to psykers to pilgrims, each has a place under the guiding hand of the church. Not all can be members of the order, of course. The Constellation is slightly more picky than that. Its ranks are filled with the intelligent, the loyal, the influential. It draws in members wherever it goes, and among these far-flung ranks there is great diversity of belief: many simply hold mystic versions of their local religions, others fuse religions in pursuit of the truth, and some greedily look to Achlys for answers. All share an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and even if they never receive any grand universal truths, they still benefit from their new web of contacts, which quietly informs them of events halfway across the world. With every year, the cult grows more organized. Black ships from Eleutheria now prowl the skies, and black priests visit in the dead of night. Those who have gone to the slopes of Achlys and returned speak of a carved city in the thrall of a silent order, who take orders from none but the Reds on their ashy thrones. Point of Interest: Mount Achlys: A colossal active volcano in the wastes, it constantly spews a plume of smoke which covers the sky for hundreds of miles. The Constellation's city of Eleutheria sits near the top, carved into the stone and shrouded in ashfalls. It is a place for those who have a compelling reason to be there...or who truly have nowhere else to go. National Traits: Naval Focus Trade Hub Infiltrators Grain Deficiency (Due to ashfalls) Air Power Convoy Raiding Trade Focus National Idea: Ships in the Night - Other nations have learned to send corvettes unbelievably high, but in the docks of Eleutheria the technology has been perfected. The ship hulls of the Constellation are all fully sealed, which not only allows comfortable passage through the hot ash of Mount Achlys but means the cabins can be pressurized. As a result, the entire black fleet can operate at altitudes unknown to other powers. It affords them tremendous mobility - with the right modifications and tactics, even larger ships can be difficult to track. Agents of the Constellation have swiftly been gaining a reputation for quietly arriving where they should not be, and vanishing in the night without a trace. Unique Military Units (Max 3): Empyrean-Class Heavy Cruiser - The mobile fist of the black fleet, designed for when the Constellation simply must access a well-guarded position. The Empyrean is heavily specialized toward ground assault, with significantly- reinforced ventral armor, main batteries configured on the bottom and sides of the ship, and space for a significant contingent of marines. Naturally, like all Constellation ships it is modified to go where it needs to without detection. Nyx-Class Destroyer: A step up from the torpedo corvettes that have become so feared by trading convoys, the Nyx is the reliable backbone of Eleutheria's fleet. Fast, quiet, and with capacity for a small unit of marines, these destroyers have become the ship of choice for most missions as they can easily transport persons of interest reliably and cheaply, while being no pushover in a fight. In a push to improve on the "topmarines" now in service in some countries, the designers have significantly increased the standard destroyer torpedo armament, resulting in a magnificent multi-role light warship. The Children of Midnight - Specialists: Mount Achlys does not always attract the finest. There are those who come to Eleutheria because they have nowhere else to go. There are those who wrong the Constellation while they are there. There are even those who are desperate for their secrets but have nothing to offer but their life. To these men, the Reds offer a gift - the enticing shadow of some elder truth, and the promise of more if they can earn their place in the Constellation. All they ask in return is ten years service in the most dangerous job imaginable. The Children of Midnight are the marines of the black fleet. They are those who are asked to fight and die wherever the cloaked priests decide. Conditioned beyond the point of mercy and armed with the finest weapons their master can source, they are not merely asked to storm beaches, but to leap from their very ships. With directional parachutes and rigorous training, death is not certain - but retreat is impossible, and once the leap is taken, each Child knows that he will have to kill if he wants to see another day on earth. Unsurprisingly, the Children are very hard to reason with in this state. Map Location:
  13. Soglasigrad With more warm weather comes yet another outflow of settlers from Soglasigrad. The city is by far the largest in the broken coast, and recent military activity by the government has made homesteading a viable and encouraged alternative. Thousands rush to claim their land grants before the days shorten. Hydevsky returns to Soglasigrad amid celebrations, though a medal and an estate is the only reward waiting for him - the most notable promotion from the spring campaigning is the hussar commander Nikolai Koznev, who is raised to Lt. General and placed in command of the new III CORPS. His new command is relatively small and underequipped, but he revels in now outranking the hated Lipovsky. Bloody horse grenadiers, that’s what they get for chasing prestige instead of results. ---------- Discretionary Spending: 1,000 regular conscripts are recruited with 350 gold, 1 AP, 1 MP. 2 coal floats down the river from the dirty bush bogans, in exchange for 2,000 gold. Actions: In a bid to expand the tsar’s buffer and secure valuable coal reserves to Soglasigrad’s west, the nascent III CORPS is dispatched from the capital. Under the newly promoted general Nikolai Koznev, the force sorts out the new order in these nearby lands, accompanied by an ongoing tide of settlers from the overcrowded capital. (Securing B7/B9 with 21,500 infantry, 500 cossacks, and 5 guns) Research Work continues on the iron road. (Fall 3251)
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