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  1. Expenses 15.000G 2 heavy industry in Carrieux. 14 + 15 AP 4AP, 10.000 Gold, Regular Sodrieux Pathfinders 10AP, 20.000 Gold, 50.000 native infantrymen 15 AP, 35.000 Gold, 500 Thunderbirds. 30 ASP + 16 ASP 16 ASP, 2 Carriers, 52.000G, Armored, Regular. 30 ASP 1 Battlecruiser, 8ASP, 30.000 G, Armored, Regular. 24ASP, 8 Yotal’s Hawks, 40.000G, Veteran. Research -Altitude Control, 1896. -Project ASTRAL, 1903. Actions -Cloud Hunter commissions a MASSIVE temple to herself in what was once the capital of Carrieux. She has room torn down for it near the center of the city. It will have wind-horns coming down from the highest point and filling the entire building with a constant, chilly breeze, while boilers below project a cold fog into the same atmosphere, creating an uncertain, cloudy interior. In the middle, sticking out of the fog with fires as her eyes, will be a truly awesome Statue of Sha Hashtaal, towering over the pews and the altar at her feet. An archimedy’s screw lifts the blood up from the pool surrounding her feet, from the many sacrifices occurring before her, and lets it dribble down the shoulders of the statues and down her arms. (20.000G) -With the war ending, the Karakhwa turn back to the lucrative art of raiding. This year, they target international trade along the sea separating Anlund from Sardia, along with any other trade within their range, really. They travel in small groups and hit all trade but Pact Trade. This includes any communist trade between the CSAC and the new KCP. (15 Yotal’s Hawks, 10 Corvettes, 5 destroyers and 2 battlecruisers.) -Some spoils of war filter their way to Cloud Hunter through her connections among the Karakhwa. They are put to good use rewarding the most loyal Carrieux, and modernizing installations under their control, along with continued brainwashing, construction of temples and indoctrination of the population, especially the children. (20.000 Gold) -Cloud Hunter begins recruiting numerous forces from the Sodrieux and loyal Carrieux populations, stationing them almost exclusively in Carrieux.
  2. The Karakhwa >Cloud Hunter sat in her throne hunched over with her elbows on her knees and her head down, staring at the floor in front of her intently. Blood dripped from her fingers, dribbling down her gore-soaked forearms and staining her finely crafted leather pants. “Where is Kiss the Sun?” she asked. One of the priestesses stepped forward. She wore a grey cloak of fine cloth, with a golden mask hiding her features. It stared back at Cloud Hunter and she could almost imagine a small smile curling its golden edges. “Oh Shà Hashtaal, he is in his quarters, sleeping.” “Have him brought here,” she said, turning away from the priestess and leaning back in her chair. The open sky roiled with clouds ahead of her, as the room opened up onto the back of her Battlecruiser, The Heart of the Storm. He didn’t take long to arrive, haggard and thin as he was, she had still given him fine clothing, though he wore it poorly. The moment he stepped through the door, he bowed low, and kept bowing until he arrived in front of her and knelt, with his brow against the floor. “Your summoned me, Shà Hashtaal?” “I cannot sleep,” said Cloud Hunter. Silence for a beat. “You wi-” “I was not done,” she snapped, and she saw him flinch. Good. “I cannot sleep,” she said again, plucking a dagger from her waist and slipping it around her fingers like water. “When I close my eyes, I see Heart of Iron, I see the feats that earn him glory against the Klendari.” Her hand closed around the dagger so tight that her flesh turned white. “He is claiming my glory in the skies.” Another pause. “Shà Hashtaal, may I sit?” A flash of anger drove through her like a dart and for a moment, she contemplated kicking him backwards into the sky. She could have done with Heart of Iron, she should have done it, just like she had before. With a growl, she sprang from her throne and stepped over the dessicated corpse of her last sacrifice, her bare feet splashing in the congealing blood. “Sit, then, and speak. Your goddess will heed your words.” “You are too generous,” murmured Kiss the Sun, sitting with his legs crossed and looking up at her. “Yes?” said Cloud Hunter, pacing back and forth in front of her throne. “Go home, Cloud Hunter,” he said, and she froze, turning to him with wide eyes. For the first time in years, she took a good look at him, his emaciated body, his hollow eyes, with deep dark bags gathered beneath them like cobwebs in the corner of a disused room. He looked like half a corpse if not more. Around her, her priestesses rose as one, small blades appeared from their sleeves, their golden masks seeming to glare down at Kiss the Sun with holy wrath. But Cloud Hunter held up her hand and walked up to him herself, grabbing him by his shirt and lifting him up. So light, so frail. “What did you just say?” she whispered in a flat voice, so much flatter than her violently spiking fury. “Go home, Cloud Hunter,” he said again, a weak hand scrabbling at her wrist. “Go home, back to your people. Join again in the cause of the Karakhwa. Forgo this dream of yours, it will only lead you to ruin. Do this, or death will take you so much more swiftly than it should.” He took a shuddering breath. “Be the woman you once were again.” His body was limp, slack and the weakness of his flesh made Cloud Hunter snarl. She lifted him up and carried him over to the edge, until his toes dragged against the laquered wood that divided sky from ship. She leaned forward and whispered into his ear. “My mother once tried to stop me. She threatened to tell our chief what I was doing, what my ambitions were.” She sighed and leaned her head against his shoulder for a moment. “She thought she was being good to me. That she knew better than I how to live my life.” She pulled back and looked at him. “Do you know what I did to her?” He opened his mouth just as she let him go with a shove. He tipped over the edge and fell, tumbling into the darkness below. “Hmh,” said Cloud Hunter after a pause. He hadn’t screamed, that was good. Then she turned back to her priestesses, who once more knelt around her blood-covered throne of bone, gold and stone. “Summon the warlfeet. There are heathens to be killed.” Expenses Battlecruiser, 8ASP, 30.000G, Armored, Regular. 7 Yotal’s Hawk, 21ASP, 35.000G, Veteran. 2 Corvettes, 1ASP, 2.000G, Veteran. 10AP From Bellica (10.000 sent) 500 Thunderbirds, 15AP, 40.000G, Regular. 20.000 Native Infantry, 4AP, 12.000G, Regular. Research Passive Slot: A difficult task lies ahead. Project ASTRAL PLANE. (1903) -Funded: Altitude Control Measures (1896) Actions -Fortification of the Throne of Thunder underway. A massive project at which Cloud Hunter throws slaves with absolutely no regard for their well-being. Nothing new for her, but she WILL not lose this incredible boon that has been dropped at her feet. (40.000G into fortifying the massive vitramite cluster with bunkers, defenses, etc.) -Solomon continues his adventures! -This year is spent consolidating gains in Kahia for Cloud Hunter. She immediately has all the chiefs of Carrieux swear allegiance to her, and kills all who show any sign of dissidence. All of them have their children taken by her Priestesses, who will begin brainwashing them, while her Sodrieux troops assisst in cleaning up the Carrieux military, ensuring that they have loyal men at the top while Cloud Hunter launches the same massive brainwashing campaign as with the Sodrieux. Temples are built in her name, sacrifices are made, and loyalty is repaid with security, while those who disobey are enslaved and sent to the Vitramite Mines beneath the Throne of Thunder, a horrible place of death and suffering. She makes an effort to consolidate her gains, have loyal followers in key positions and secure her position. (7.000G) -Karakhwa raiding continues, but only in Klendari. (Military operations in Discord)
  3. The Karakhwa Expenses 2 Heavy Industry (15.000G) 2 Steel Mills (5.000G) 4 Airshipyard (40.000G) 1 Battlecruiser, 18.000G 4ASP 8 Yotal’s Hawks, 40.000G, Veteran, 21ASP 100 Thunderbirds, Regular, 3AP, 10.000G [REDACTED EXPENSE] Research Passive Slot: A difficult task lies ahead. Project ASTRAL PLANE. (Mod) -Funded: Altitude Control Measures (1896) Actions Fortification of Yotal’s Steps continues. (My mountains.) Various networks and node are created, forming overlapping networks of bunkers, typically focused around a central ammunition depot buried deep within specific mountains. All in all, the same as always, creating impenetrable layers of defenses stretching dozens of kilometers out from Yotal’s Throne. (23.000G) (85k invested) Cloud Hunter on the move! (Mod) 20.000 Gold is sent to the Carnelian Sultanate. 10.000 Gold excess.
  4. The Karakhwa -Disgust overwhelms Solomon as he learns of the terrorist attacks that have wrought such damage and death upon Cumberland. Loyalty may have faltered, but his blood runs hot at the thought of his homeland burning in such a dishonorable way. Disheartened, he turns his Destroyer west, to the sea and beyond, to Carnelian colonies. After all, all Karakhwa are free, who will stop him but duty itself? -In Sardia, Heart of Iron turns his attention to a new target, something far different from the typical mudman. The Klendari loom on the horizon, casting a long shadow over Sardia, and ships alone will not stop them. It is genius and guile that will gnaw at their foundations until they crumble. Many a night is spent around the communal fire, discussing tactics and plans with his Iron Dogs. Chases Fire speaks always of raids, of the old way, but even if Heart of Iron keeps his face steady, doubt tickles at his heart. The old way will not stop the Klendari monolith. A far larger stone is needed to put a halt to them… -A lone corvette flies to Port Carnelia, where it docks and announces to the world that it is from Cloud Hunter’s expedition into the west. They claim to have circumnavigated the world, and bring her glorious feat with them, while she reaps the riches of her accomplishment in a new world. A glorious moment for the Karakhwa, and Cloud Hunter. They claim that she has named the ocean between Koibita and the north-eastern continent the Hasselic Ocean, after her tribe, and the new land upon which she has landed is to be called Kahia. ------------- Mountains rose up all around the lead ship like silent sentinels, peering down at the Karakhwa fleet as it scurried through their dresses. The rain and mist lay upon their slopes like dark capes, rolling down in sheets and turning their sharp crags into uncertain peaks. Somewhere, thunder cracked, like a shattering glacier, and Cloud Hunter smiled. She stood at the prow of her new vessel, the Heart of the Storm. Long burnished windpipes wound out from the prow, along the sides of the ship and to the back, from which a deep, vibrating wail emenated and melding into the screaming wind. Her men ran about her in a frenzy, preparing the ship for the oncoming storm. One of her new warchiefs had insinuated that it might be best to avoid the storm and circumvent the mountains. She had hamstrung him and left him to hang on the prow of her ship, letting the windpipes capture his voice and amplify it for the rest of the fleet. Her hands curled into tight fists, her golden bracelets jangling. He had lacked faith, to even suggest it- She took a deep breath and turned to Kiss the Sun, who stood behind her, his hands clasped behind his back. He was thinner now, than before, and his eyes were deep-set and shadowed. Not nearly as attractive as he had once been. A shame. “Make sure the followers do not panic in the storm. Anyone who does dies.” “Shà Hashtaal?” “You heard me,” she snapped, turning away from him and staring at the storm with avid eyes. It towered above her, roiling forth from the mountains and towering above even them. How could anyone do anything but worship such tremendous power? “I have brought this storm forth, and it will bend to my will. Those who panic lack faith.” Then she spun around ot him and grabbed him by the chin, her golden nails dug into his dark skin. “Don’t you agree?” She could see herself reflected in his dark eyes, her eyes surrounded by gold and grey paint. “Of course, Shà Hashtaal.” With a nod, she spun around and leapt up onto the railing as a violent gust of wind shook the ship. Her men adjusted with the prowess of those born in the air, and she held tightly to a rope, balancing precariously, with nought but darkness and clouds below her. She imagined herself, as seen by the others. Powerful, proud. A goddess amongst mortals. A wide grind covered her face and she leapt to the very front of her ship, standing atop the newly added figurehead. It was made entirely of the bones of those sacrificed to her glory on the towering altar in the Throne of Thunder, laquered in the gold pulled from the mines in which her people toiled. Crafted and moulded from skulls, ribs, femurs, it drew a perfect shape, a woman with her arms held out to her sides, staring up at the sky with empty eye sockets made of bone. It was her. Expenditures 4 Steel Mills (10.000G) 3 Heavy Industry (22.500G) -8 Yotal’s Hawks, Veteran. (24 ASP) (40.000G) -100 Thunderbirds, Regular. (3 AP) (7.000G) -Cloud Hunter raises 5.000 Hashtaali infantrymen. (1AP) (2000G) 30k excess moved over to the next year. Research -Passive Slot: The Porcupine Semi-Auto shotgun. (1993) -Funded: Altitude Control Measures (1996) -Project TARP (MOD) (10.000G) -40.000G is sent to Carnelia, to fund project Black Rain. Actions -The Tribe Fleets have been recalled from their raiding, and took part in the destructive attack on Perzah. Indeed, it is the Arawaja tribe who can proudly lay claim to the scalp of the Perzahn Shah. Their leader, Stares in Silence, Ship-Father of the Battlecruiser Barbed Vulture, wears it on his waist. -Heart of Iron now directs his fleets towards the Klendari. There is a war to win. He personally leads the main fleet (and all thunderbirds) in their move against Corvin in the south, while he tasks Shadow of the Day with his own critical mission… (MOD) -Solomon goes west, to Koibita, to follow the trail given to him in his dreams. -Cloud Hunter finally tires of having so few followers. The world must bow before her, or burn, and thus armed with her fleet and a horde of followers, she flies forth. (Mod) -Continued Fortification of Yotal’s Throne and the mountains around it, creating a massive system of interconnecting tunnels spanning dozens of miles in every direction, with hundreds of rocket emplacements, cannons, AA batteries, torpedo launchers, etc. (20.000G) (62k invested)
  5. 1528 World Events Galaharian shipping along the southern Narosi coast is his particularly hard by pirates this year. Many tons of goods are sunk or captured and when chased, these ships typically flee into Danwenti ports. These ships all seem to fly a variety of different flags and one is even found in Revar’s gulf, though the Galaharian navy chases it off easily enough, badly damaging it before it loses them in a bank of natural mist. Xian does not move this year, but an army of indeterminate size is now camping but a few miles from the border, if the distant pillars of smoke and the much more regular military sightings are to be believed. Another year of successful savage slaughtering in the north-west. The Walrus, General Von Mokäu has almost completely exterminated Auldic tribes from the main land, pushing them into the sea, where they flee north on their canoes. He returns to the capital laden with slaves and glory, and the Swine ranger who helped him are rewarded. (+10.000G to the Swine, 100 rangers to elite status.) Nothing new happens this year within the Symon Empire. But embers that continue to glow are just as dangerous as a raging fire. Towards the turn of the year, during some unpleasant storms, the first Eadni ships vanish. Then the next, and more after. A few weeks later, all of their remaining ships have fled to port and dare not venture forth again. The Elean blockade has been officially lifted, and the Eadni fleet, if rumors are to be believed, sliced in half with many of its ships disappearing in think banks of fog. The Kingdom of Danwent The eagles continue to grow in numbers and in obedience, but the breeding program will take many more years to bear fruit. The political situation in Symon is tenuous to say the least. Many nobles are more and more willing to speak openly about their issues with the Empire, when once this was done behind closed doors only. Already, various groups are rising out of this quagmire of dissidence. Notably, the loyalists who still staunchly support Emperor Almeric IV. These are led by Serros Dunwick, Lord of the Southern Armies. The remaining groups are hard to define as many are obscure spiderwebs that bind many lords together. However, There seem to be those who are against the continued rule of the Emperor, and those who seek to reform his rule. This year, the Danwent troops winter around Serros Dunwick’s castle. They are well treated and provided for and the lords and generals are often invited to dine with Serros when he is present. Indeed, much of his time seems to be spent on the move, either supressing republicans, scouting the eastern border, or in Loswarn to speak for the Loyalists. The Kingdom of Five A year of war, with little more to add than a mounting death count. The Empire of Bourdeleaux With so much war all over the world, many of Revar’s mercenaries are away from their holdings in Batista’s Landing. However, there are still a good few groups. Perhaps about 10.000 men of average renown over a handful of groups. Most of the well known parties have already been contracted. The Commonwealth of Ruhn The price of PPMS stock plummets at this news as investors rush to their nearest Exchange to sell their stocks before they hit the bedrock. An all-around panic. Just how will the Poopums family manage this anti-capitalistic behavior?! The Free-Market is being restricted!! A great work indeed. A testament to their faith. And as the temple is finished, a small node of harsh green light appears upon the most central of altars and hangs there, pulsing exactly once an hour, every hour. (Discord) Preparations, preparations… (Discord) A group of raiders has begun to attack southern Ruhnnite holdings at random, killing villagers and setting fire to crops. Thank god that Poopums Holdings LLC. doesn’t have any land in the south! (-5000G) The Galaharian League Pirate raids (explained in world events) affect League commerce in southern Naros. (-7500G) Blackmarrow accepts trade with Galahar, and it’s not long before Galaharian trade barges are flowing into Blackmarrow. They are allowed to stay at the Bone Keep, on the border, but can go no further into the Duchy. It seems that the towering and dour people of Blackmarrow have little love for these mercantile folk. In Galahar’s eastern holding in Revar’s Gulf, a group of men from a land they call Surya arrive, seeking contact. The Holy Kingdom of Elea Stargazing. (Require notes from back at home.) Barely any of the “scholars” of Ulyadar finally manage to get a grasp of the telescope designs after a year of frustrated explaining from Elean scientists. The Ulyadari engineers still have blank faces when the designs are shown to them, and thus the knowledge exchange will take more time. The Kingdom of Volarucio Herzaka leaders accept the delegation. (discord) The Crusade is called, and alongside it, the union of the Volarucian church and the True Chapel is announced. The head of this new church, formerly the head of the True Chapel, blesses the crusade and calls on those of the faith to defend Auld from the heathen menace to the West. Men rally to the call, ready to fight for their god, and those who already wield swords in the name of their god find themselves emboldened, gripping their swords tightly, standing just a tad more firmly in battle. Religious fervor burns in their hearts. The only remarkable thing near Auld if the Chapel of True Knauledge itself. Kingdom of Fyr-Darrick The ballista project sees progress, but not an end. Engineers report the main issue to be a problem with extreme inaccuracy of the ballista, with the bolts veering off in wildly different directions. Duchy of Ulyadar The expedition into the Stitches’ mood grows dimmer at the sky above them dimms with ash. Dark clouds belch forth from the volcanoes far away, spewing their horrid stench along with their coal black clouds, until the expedition can smell nothing but sulfur, and see nothing but a dim, pathetic circle of light barely piercing the dark veil above them. Then they enter the stitches, and there is nothing but darkness, ash and stink. They cough, some spit blood, others develop rashes. A horrible trial spent walking through a treacherous, tortured landscape of blackened lichen, poisoned, boiling water and deformed creatures that track their every step. Men die here and there, falling into ravines, disappearing into the night, hit by boulders… The Stitches seem to turn on them at every turn and by the time they once more exit from them, only 90 men are left, with empty hands to show for their terrible trials. 75 more die in the coming months from lung diseases and cancers. The armor seems to feed off blood, using it to fuel him further and further. The more blood, the more powerful it is, though sacrificial blood seems far less efficient than blood shed in battle. As for the second voice, it rebels whenever it is not in battle, screaming and raging at Knut, urging him to kill, to maim, to bleed his enemies dry. It seems to want nothing more than neverending bloodshed. The red metal continues to yield nothing. With their engineers not yet grasping the telescope’s mechanics or design, they are unable to construct and utilise one this year. Ulyadar seemingly lacks scholars imaginative enough to immediately implement the blueprints the Eleans present to them, though further explanation and education by those southern scholars will undoubtedly help them. The Kingdom Hilmedhi The attempts at building the precise scope the Hilmedhi seek are still not met with success. The dwarfmen’s engineers sense that milestones are being passed but more investment will still be necessary to attain the quality of scope requested. Ashur’s staff is put into the Nexus. It flashes, rumbled and trembles, and as the light recedes, he find it once again, seemingly unchanged. Yet when he touches it, 9 spheres emerge from the air around it, floating peacefully. A thought of his can send them spinning around with deadly speed, all around him, like bullets. Surya The expedition goes well, and Surya establishes contact with Galahar and the Cities of Passan. (Discord for Passan} Fortress Libraries The BOOK of KNOWLEDGE (Discord) The research into a farseeing scope sees promising advances, with a working example created. However, the telescope is far too large and unwieldly for personal transport, and the image it presents to the user too blurry to be useful. Mechanised literature production proves a sly mistress, as engineers still end up with ruined clothes and regular jamming of the machine itself. The Librarians are certainly getting closer to a working model, but vengeance evades the robes for now.
  6. 1891 – The Karakhwa A burning freighter spiralled past the bridge, trailing debris and sailors. Their screams were almost audible through the thick, reinforced glass of the Red Petal’s bridge. Shadow of the Day could almost imagine them, flames wreathing their bodies in agony, charring their skin, bubbling lips throwing out their last, boiling breaths in hopeless wails of pain. His hand twitched around his cane, jerking it around the floor with a skittering sound. He licked his lips, sloughing off his jaw like rubber and took a wet, mucus-filled breath. It rattled through his lungs like a plug being pulled from a tub. “Bring him in,” he rasped. One of the braves near him looked at him for a brief moment. Their eyes met, and Shadow of the Day saw disgust in the mans face. He snarled and rapped his cane on the floor. “Go.” “Yes, Ship-Father,” said the man, nodding and leaving the bridge. A moment later, he re-appeared, leading a procession of a dozen braves, all of them liberally covered in blood. Shadow of the Day’s eyes darted down to the tomahawks at their sides. Each one was covered in gore. These men moved upon the deck with a sinuous grace, so perfectly balanced and poised that it seemed like they were about to pounce at any moment. “My Vultures return,” said Shadow of the Day, beckoning them forward. “With a gift.” He chuckled to himself, his laugh echoing through the silent room like a wet boot being squished into mud. “He is the only surviving officer. The others died,” said the lead Vulture, his eyes unflinching, staring straight into Shadow of the Day’s. They were like two slivers of flint, grey and flat. “Good.” Shadow of the Day motioned with one gloved hand and the group of Wind Devils parted, revealing a shabby looking man with a rough sailors beard and a thread-bare, blood-stained Valdish merchant navy uniform. He had a massive bruise over one eyes, but the last remaining one glared at Shadow of the Day with enough hatred for two. “Welcome,” said Shadow of the Day. “I hope you find our hospitality to you-” he bent over, his lungs burning as he hacked and coughed until a wedge of phlegm pushed into his mouth like a slug. He lifted his veil and hacked it onto the ground. With a growl, he stood up straight. “Your name?” “Captain Tuvick of the Valdek Merchant Navy,” said the man. “Tuvick,” said Shadow of the Day. He took a limping step forward and looked down at the man, leaning heavily on his cane. “I’m sorry for your men, I’m sure they fought bravely.” “We are an unarmed freighter,” ground out Tuvick. “There was no fight, you gutless coward.” “Of course, of course,” said Shadow of the Day. “Your soldiers offer no better a fight.” He paused and coughed, wincing beneath his veil. “It is hard to ah… tell the difference.” “The relief fleet will judge your fate,” said Tuvick, crossing his corded arms over his chest. “Relief fleet or not, surely you must realize, you are doomed,” replied Shadow of the Day. “Better to die now, than turn into a twisted creature like you,” said Tuvick. He hawked and spat his wad of tobacco onto Shadow of the Day’s black robes. It clung to them and Shadow of the Day howled with anger, lifting his can and smashing it down on Tuvick’s head. The first blow stunned him, but he remained standing. The second one brought him to his knees, blood leaking from a gash on his head. The third put him on all fours. By the time Shadow of the Day was done, his face was a bloody, ruined pulp. Shards of broken bone stuck to Shadow of the Day’s cane like nails in a club. He gasped and wheezed, his lungs struggling furiously to fill as he stumbled away from the corpse and collapsed into his captains chair. He grasped his cane heavily, the shattered bone cutting into his gloved hand. “Wrap this up. We are leaving,” he hissed, before collapsing into a fit of coughs. ----- The hidden journal of Kiss the Sun, Ship-Father under the Warchief Cloud Hunter, known to her new people as Shà Hashtaal, Goddess of the Storms. 1st of June I fear that I may have led my Warchief down a path from whence I cannot lift her. Day by day, she spirals deeper into madness. The braves follow her with the blind adoration of those who see naught but glory in her eyes. But I see the madness, the will to see all bow before her for no other reason than to be the only one standing. 10th of June The colony goes well, but the slaves suffer. I try to relieve their pain where I can, but Cloud Hunter rarely lets me from her sight. She heeds my words, for now. Yesterday, she ordered the structuring of her nation. I aided in this. I am proud of it. It goes as such: The Throne of Thunder shall act as the centerpoint of the People. The chiefs must gather twice a year. They are to be seated in two curved lines, with Cloud Hunter at the end on one side, and an open doorway into the sky on the other. Those in favor will be seated closest to her, and receive the best weapons, the best roaming grounds. They also receive priority in all matters. They are her sycophants, the fake loyalists. Those who have accrued her ire see themselves sitting at the very back. It is their people who have it the worst. Many slaves are taken from their ranks. 7th of August Today, Cloud Hunter had the first human sacrifice in her name. A boy, a slave who had stolen, was brought to an altar below the Throne of Thunder. His heart was torn from his chest and the blood squeezed onto his face as he died. She watched from the railing of the Storm Chaser, smiling the whole time. 8th of August Another sacrifice. She has mandated that they be done every morning in her honor, with wrongdoers taken from the worst of the tribes. 10th of October I no longer see her without her facepaint of gold and white. Her eyes seem to burn with a vigorous cruelty of the likes that I have not seen in years. She is always surrounded by her priests now, young girls who attend to her every need, picked from the most loyal of the children below. They are everywhere, I hear the braves call them the Golden Eyes. 30th of December No time to write. The Golden Eyes watch everything. I saw two little girls have a slave executed for cursing Shà Hashtaal. She rarely speaks to me anymore. All must bow. Expenses 3 Shipyards are built extra. (30.000G) Two Battlecruisers, Regular, Armored. (39.000G) (8ASP) Four Yotal’s Hawks, Veteran. (20.000G) (12ASP) Wind Devils, Regular. (7.000G) (4AP) 86k surplus Research Slot 1: Porcupine Semi-Automatic Shotgun. (1893) Funded: Altitude Control Measures (1896 with 31k) (15k invested this turn) (66.000k total) 26.000G is sent to the Carnelian Sultnate. Actions >Continued Fortification of the mountains all around Yotal’s Throne, additional bunkers, tunnels, zones of overlapping AA fire, etc. (15k) (42.5k invested total) >Raids on Klendari trade continue without abaiting, though it is not Cockroach that Ran who leads them, for her is in the New Worlds to the west (yes, this was a mistake in my last post)! Instead, the raids are led by Chases Fire, the Iron Dog and loyalist to Heart of Iron. He leads his group with a brutal, rugged efficiency born of a long lifetime of looting, finally at the prow of his new Battlecruiser, the Spirit of Blood. Once again, he aims to capture, plunder and kill. (1 Battlecruiser, the Spirit of Blood, captured from the Cumberlandish people. 1 Veteran cruiser, 1 Yotal’s Hawks, 2 Destroyers, 7 corvettes.) >This year, Shadow of the Day turns away from Valdek. Instead, he focuses his attention on Ozan, isolated as it is from its benefactor. After some initial prodding raids to test their air capabilities, he begins raiding them, searching for weak-points to exploit, so as to hit their industry, railways and cities. (1 Battlecruiser, The Barbed Vulture, 1 veteran cruiser, the Red Petal , 1 Yotal’s Hawk, 1 regular cruiser, 2 Destroyers, 5 corvettes.) >Raids on Valdek continue. (1 Battlecruiser, The Rusting Dawn, 1 regular cruiser, 2 Yotal’s Hawks, 4 corvettes) >Solomon follows the raids against Valdek, and keeps an ear open for any murmur of strange folk and red orbs... >Cloud Hunter continues to spiral into madness. (See RP) Concretely, she sends her new people in search of rare goods, potential places to raid and anything of interest in the surrounding area.
  7. The Karakhwa I don’t have time to write RP, so here is a vide of Shadow of the Day, filmed by Venzeiatic film-makers. Solomon The pull continues to yank him towards the West, but Solomon hesistates and lingers with the Karakhwa raiders, unwilling to leave them for the unexplored world to the west. After all, if he were to leave now, perhaps he would lose all the progress he had made within their culture, and more importantly, lose any chance of one day being able to earn Heart of Iron’s approval enough to ask for his daughters hand in marriage. Expenses Ship-Building Battlecruiser, The Forward Unto Dusk, Armored. 4ASP, 18.000G. Yotal’s Hawk, Two, Veteran. 6ASP, 10.000G. Corvettes, Six, Veteran. 3ASP, 6000G. Thunderbirds, 100, Regular. 3AP, 8000G. 83.800 in excess. Research Continued investment into the Altitude Control Technology. (1896 with 31k) (51k invested total now) The Porcupine Shotgun continues to be researched. (1893) Actions Continued fortification of the mountains. Many small bunkers are drilled into the rock, littering the mountains for dozens upon dozens of kilometers around Yotal’s Throne with a network of bunkers and firing platforms armed with Carnelian AA guns and Quadruple HMG’s all of them with overlapping fields of fire. Some emplacements even have air-torpedo positions or small hangars for corvettes to hide in. (20.000G) (27.5k invested total) 25.000G sent to Carnelians. Continued investment into the Altitude Control Technology. (1896 with 31k) (51k invested total now) Operation Vitriol. (10.000G) (Mod) Shadow of the Day prepares for another raid… against Valdek. On par with usual karakhwa strategy, they scout and try to avoid concentrations of enemy forces, attacking instead wherever they have an opening, in small groups. They try to damage civilian industry, industry or whatever they can reliably hit. (3 Yotal’s Hawks, 7 Corvettes, 1 Regular Cruiser) The Karakhwa continue to raid ruthlessly. This year, they stalk trading ships going to the Klendari Sultanate and attack isolated targets, or small convoys. Some are simply destroyed, especially if they seem to be shipping bulk goods, but more valuable ones are attacked by ambush, with Wind Devils dropping from above and attempting to board them. The process is also attempted on Klendari warships, with Wind Devils dropping on them in sudden ambushes. To be honest, they don’t discriminate much between Klendari trade and international trade or military ships. The raid is commanded by Cockroach that Runs. Of course, they act like raiders. They flee true combat, do not engage large groups and only attack when the cards are in their favor. (1 Battlecruiser, The Iron Roach, 1 Veteran Cruiser, 1 Regular Cruiser, 5 Corvettes, 4 Destroyers) Rough Area of Operations. 8.800 excess gold is stored for next year.
  8. The Karakhwa The deck was still awash with blood when Heart of Iron called forth for the Ritual of Home. Solomon stepped over a corpse, it’s face blown away by buckshot. Little desert flies, their backs green and their wings black, were already crawling over the flesh and a heavy stink rose from the body as it burned beneath the unforgiving desert sun. He wrinkled his nose and looked away as bile burned the back of his throat. With a grunt, Solomon wiped at his lips. It wasn’t the bodies that evoked the roiling nausea in the pit of his stomach, no, he had seen far worse in the moving city. “I have killed my kin,” he said as his boots slapped through the blood. Two braves walked past him, holding a body. It was an officer, one of the last men to surrender his pistol to Solomon in the bridge. He could still remember his face, marred by a deep glare as he thrust his pistol into Solomon’s hands with a muttered ‘traitor’. That man hadn’t feared death, and now he had been welcomed into its embrace with the same dignity and disdain with which he had dealt with surrender. A small frown crossed his pale lips, and the only stain on his uniform came from a neat hole in his abdomen. Even his white gloves were nearly pristine. The braves heaved him over the edge of the ship, letting his body fall to the ground far below. Every brave that had fought on the ship was now gathered in front of the superstructure, where Heart of Iron stood on a secondary gun turret, leaning heavily on his cane and swaying with the gentle rocking of the ship. He looked down at them all, his eyes meeting Solomons for a brief instant. Cold, distant. “You have honored Yotal,” said Heart of Iron, his gruff voice rumbling across the deck like distant thunder. The crowd of braves stilled like an audience of cumberlandish children at a play, their eyes fixed on the Warchief. “You have honored your tribes. Yotakal, Usso, Isissopo, Ashastawa, Muhowk. Only Yotal knows the first man to set foot upon this ship, and I am but a man.” Many a nod, a few mumbles of assent. Solomon nodded with them. It was clear that no one had expected Heart of Iron to give the ship to a first boarder. It was too important of a home, to big of a boarding party. A few people looked in his direction and Solomon felt a tight knot of excitement in his gut. He had been the one to take the captain prisoner, the one to take the bridge. Would this be his chance to prove himself? “As such, I must chose a brave who fought his way through the many halls of this ship, letting blood and showing bravery in Yotal’s gaze. Many a mudman was claimed his courage, and I can do nothing but try to reward him, as Yotal will reward him in the Second Skies.” Solomon almost lurched forward then, a smile on his lips. “Step forward, Chases Fire, of my Iron Dogs, and take that which is yours by the right of bravery, blood and Yotal.” ——— Heart of Iron held court in the mess hall of his ship when it came to public affairs. The central fireplace would cut his shadow out of the air like solid obsidian as he stood before it, speaking on the affairs of the Yotakal tribe and the Karakhwa people as a whole. For more private affairs, he preferred the open airs, where Yotal could bear witness to the whispered words and perfidious plots, and judge them accordingly. Cloud Hunter had seen it all as a child, heard him explain to her why he did this or that, and she had rolled her eyes with youthful arrogance. Today, she would still have rolled her eyes, if Heart of Iron had not been looking straight at her, standing at the prow of his heavy cruiser. “Who is he?” “Who is who,” said Cloud Hunter, crossing her arms and looking at him with a raised eyebrow. “Your new ship-father.” “One of my tribesmen, a good man.” “A man who hides his face.” “Some cannot live with the shame of being so scarred,” replied Cloud Hunter with a small shrug. “You judge men by their looks now?” Heart of Iron lifted a hand and gave her a small frown. It pulled a small feeling of shame out of something deep within Cloud Hunter’s mind and she glared at him, her jaw tightening, at if to gnash down on the unwanted emotion. She wasn’t a damn child anymore. “Cloud Hunter, I have heard troubling things about your behaviour over the past years.” “I am warchief of the Hasse, you do not have the right to judge my behaviour,” she snapped, her fingers clenching at her biceps tightly. “No, but I can warn you,” he said, relaxing a bit and giving her a tired, worried look. “My father before me was wild as you are. A man who spilled blood so willingly that eventually, it was all that he could see.” Heart of Iron sighed and leaned on the railing. Such a flimsy wooden protection. So easy to tip him over. “He stopped loving my mother, barely recognized me anymore. He could dream only of blood, plunder and battle. So violent was he, that eventually the Sultan of Carnelia had him imprisoned, judged and executed.” For a moment, he said nothing, his eyes drifting away from Cloud Hunter, and into the horizon where his father sailed the second skies, free of his earthly anchors. “I miss him, and I still care for him, but I do not mourn him,” said Heart of Iron eventually, turning back to her and laying the full force of his authority upon her. “Do not end up like him, lest history repeat itself.” Cloud Hunter took a step forward and leaned down until she was looking him straight in the eyes. “I am Cloud Hunter of the Hasse, and I will never let myself be taken by some mudmen, to be judged and killed like a mud-ridden dog.” Did he really think so little of her, that she would allow herself to be taken alive by those she could raid so easily? “That was not the point of the story, child,” said Heart of Iron, disappointment flashing in his eyes. “Then speak plainly, or speak to me no more.” Another deep sigh, held within as if ruminated, then blown out again. “Very well. You will go to explore the unknown seas with the caravan this year. Refuse and I will invoke my right as Warchief of all Karakhwa to exile you to the mud.” “You wouldn’t dare!” said Cloud Hunter, reeling back and glaring at him, her face twisted into a furious mask. “I will do what I must,” snapped Heart of Iron, his voice ringing like a hammer on hot iron. “Do as you are told, clear your head of your bloodlust, and return to me again,” he said, his voice dropping back into an almost begging tone. “Return to me as the woman I once knew.” Expenses One battlecruiser, 4 ASP, Regular, Full Steel Armor, 18000G One Yotal’s Hawk, 3 ASP, Veteran, 5000G Two corvettes, 1 ASP, Veteran, 2000G 100 Thunderbirds, 3AP, 7000G Research Passive Slot: Research is put into a new, better shotgun, capable of rapid semi-automatic or automatic fire, with a drum or normal magazine attachment for speed of reload, and firing capacity. It will be called the Porcupine Mk1. Funded: Systems to control altitude gain and loss for more explosive gains and the ability to go much higher. (With 16k completion in 1897) (Investing 15k now) (Total 31k invested) 20.000G Is sent to the Carnelian Sultanate. Actions -Kiss the Sun returns to the new world, followed by a fleet of 1 Battlecruiser, 5 destroyers, 1 Yotal’s Hawk, 4 corvettes and a freighter filled with the equipment necessary to start up some simple industrial practices such as fuel production, etc. (1 Battlecruiser, 5 destroyers, 1 Yotal’s Hawk, 4 corvettes, 1 Freighter) -Raiders hit the Valdek this year. They are led by Chases Fire in his ship, the Solar Flare. 1 Yotal’s Hawk, 4 corvettes and 3 destroyers will probe the Valdek for weaknesses, seeking to raid their border towns, mines, or settlements. Wind Devil’s have replaced all marine groups, and are to be used if capturing freighters or warships is possible. The Yotal’s Hawk will obviously be used to scout extensively. (1 Yotal’s Hawk, 3 Destroyers, 4 Corvettes) -The Klendari raids are conducted by Shadow of the Day in the cruiser The Red Petal. He will target schools, universities, to kill professors first, then students. The goal is to create a long-term brain-drain. The rest of the fleet will raid as before. Alltogether; (2 Cruisers, 3 Destroyers, 5 Corvettes.) -Solomon participates in the Klendari raids, but his eyes are on the western horizon, and his thoughts troubled. Something pulls him to the west, to the open seas... -The repairs to the newly captured battlecruiser, the Spirit of Blood, are finished. -AA emplacements, bunkers, torpédo launch stations and cannons begin to be dispersed in Yotal's Throne and the area around it within the mountains, to create a network of defensive positions burrowed within the mountains that would deter even the bravest. This is only the first step of the project, named Project Armadillo. (7.500g invested.)
  9. The Karakhwa Cloud Hunter kept a small cabin near the front of the Stormchaser. It was a cramped space, no more than a cot and a small pathway beside it to make ones way to the door. The blankets were threadbare and old, made from intricately woven and worn down cloth, so old that it was almost uniformly gray now. She paced back and forth, the floorboards creaking beneath her as Kiss the Sun sat on her bed, his legs folded neatly and his face impassive. “Heart of Iron humiliated me,” she snapped, making a cutting gesture with her hand. Small scars littered her fingers, a thousand splinters, a hundred cuts. “And there is nothing I can do about it.” “Our warchief has too much influence, too much respect-” “He is not your warchief,” she snarled, spinning towards him and glaring down at him with eyes full of embers. “I am. Not him. Me!” “Calm yourself,” said Kiss the Sun, looking past her, to the hand resting upon one of the many weapons hooked to her wall. For a moment, it looked as if Cloud Hunter would explode, then she looked back, almost surprised by the touch of cold steel beneath her fingers, and slowly lifted them from the weapon. With a deep breath, she nodded. “Right. Calm.” Kiss the Sun reached out and brushed a finger against her arm. “You need more than raids and blood to win this war of influence.” “That is what I know.” “And Heart Of Iron will always have known more of it. Seek your power elsewhere.” “What do you suggest, then?” said Cloud Hunter, seeming to struggle with the words, as if such a question were an unfamiliar obstacle for her lips to form. “Heart Of Iron has the hearts of all but my tribe, and his honor,” she spat out the word like a curse, “makes him untouchable.” “Find others who are apart,” said Kiss the Sun. “Gather the rejects. The dishonored, the criminals, the murderers.” He rose from his sitting position, the sunlight shining through the porthole now burning in his eyes, like two golden fires. “Give them ships. Give them chiefs. You can keep them in check.” “Of course I can,” said Cloud Hunter with a frown, barely seeming to acknowledge his final words. “They’re scum. All they need is a whip.” Then she shook her head. “I can gather these dogs, but leading a pack of animals will not turn the others away from Heart of Iron.” “Solomon Keynes, then,” said Kiss the Sun. “What?” “Solomon Keynes, the foreigner.” “I know who the white boy is,” snapped Cloud Hunter, her voice grating with irritation. “Why him?” “He wants to be bound to Sunlight that Dances, it is said amongst the men.” “Then he’s as stupid as his foreign coat makes him look.” “Maybe, but he has been blessed, and people are look to him now more than ever, after the capture of the Spirit of Blood. Get him on your side, and then you may begin to win people over.” Cloud Hunter said no more, she just nodded, a thoughtful look on her face, and jerked her head towards the door. “Leave me. Return tonight.” Expenses Civilian Industry: 17 (85.000G) Steel Mill: 1 (2.500G) Vitramite Mine: 1 (5.000G) Vitraium Refinery: 1 (5.000G) Air Shipyard: 2 (20.000G) Battlecruiser: 1, Regular. 4ASP, 12.000G Destroyer: 1, Veteran. 2ASP, 3.000G The Wind Devils, their purpose forgotten since the end of the great war, are finally called back into action. Donning their old kites, slinging axes and shotguns around their waists and painting their faces with their distinctive marks once more, these old war hawks will train a new generation of fighters. Dispersed as marines across all ships and caravans, they are once more ready to rain blood upon the mud below in Yotal’s name. (4AP, 6000G) Excess 23.000G Research Sky Wolf torpedo project continues. In addition to the torpedo, tests are carried out to have launchers capable of firing multiple ones at once attached to destroyers and corvettes. (1889) (Passive slot) Funded Research: The Karakhwa now seek a new method of altitude control for their Vitraium cores. Perhaps new casing, or new pressure systems. Either way, the aim is to achieve a new method of regulating altitude which would allow for far quicker gains or decreases than ever before. (16.000G) 13.000G is sent to the Carnelian Sultanate Actions -Two corvettes and a destroyer along with a section of one of the many Karakhwa caravans sails south-west, towards the sea...and beyond. They go well-prepared, with food, water, gas, etc. Along the way, they will do the Karakhwa way of hunting, which consists of either dipping down to the sea to fish, or netting birds mid-flight. Water will be collected from rain. (4.000G) (1 Destroyer, 2 corvettes) -The Karakhwa turn their bloody tomahawks on many a target this year. The first is the Free Junta. Four corvettes and five destroyers are tasked with these raids. They will try to hit railroads, mines and (heavy) industrial zones with incendiary and high explosive bombs or other tools of the trade. Cloud Hunter has her own plans though…. (Mod) (Four corvettes, Five destroyers) -The Klendari raids continue, as usual. The Iron Dogs continue to attack industrial zones, air shipyards, railroads, mines… The raids never end and they never take prisoners. (Four Destroyers, four corvettes.) -Finally, the Karakhwa also turn to raiding international trade, hitting freighters sailing towards the Klendari and either destroying them, or capturing them along with their goods. For now, they only seem to target trade going into the Klendari lands… or coming out. (1 Yotal’s Hawk, 1 Destroyer, 3 corvettes.) -Repairs to the Spirit of Blood, the newly captured Karakhwa battlecruiser are undertaken.
  10. The Karakhwa Heart of Iron stood before a group of his best chiefs. The Iron Dogs stood nearest, their favor denoted by their proximity. Each of them was a grizzled veteran of war, with the singular woman in the group look nearly as much like a man as the rest, her face pock-marked by gasoline burns and shrapnel. To the side, stood Cloud Hunter and her followers, whose names Heart of Iron had failed to ask after. He would have to remedy that. “We will strike at their industry once more this year, hitting them in the places that will make them bleed the most. The Klendari cannot be allowed to modernize so quickly, they must be kept in check. As f-” “Why?” said a clear voice, cutting through his authoritative rumble like glass. Heart of Iron looked up and found Cloud Hunter staring him in the eyes, with her arms crossed. Damned girl, when was she going to learn? “Because we aid our allies,” said Heart of Iron. “And destroying their infrastructure will stall a threat that may one day come for Yotal’s Throne.” “Why do we protect the Carnelians? What have they done for us but return us our just freedom?” A rumble moved through the crowd of chiefs then, and one old war dog at the front pulled his pipe out of his toothless gums long enough to spit and look at Cloud Hunter with beady, bright eyes. “You speak like child. Why why why? Silence yourself, hear your elders wisdom.” “Your elders wisdom will struggle to pass through your rotting gums, He Who Choses Fire,” snapped Cloud Hunter, before turning to the crowd. “We are raiders, chosen of the sky. Why should we help those who enslaved us? Why should we not loot and plunder the Klendari for our own gain, instead of their own?” “Cloud Hunter,” said Heart of Iron, his voice crackling with ancient thunder. “You will be silent for the rest of this council, or you will not raid for this season.” She was wild, she had been ever since she was a child. But this was no longer acceptable. To so openly challenge him, to so easily challenge tradition. But as she subsided back into her corner, a furious look on her face, Heart of Iron’s unease came not from her, but from the almost approving looks he had seen scattered throughout the crowd when she spoke. ---------------------- “Dear Mother, I know that this letter is likely not to reach you, or that tragedy may have befallen you in my absence. I know too that you may burn it when you read my name upon the envelope. I do not write to apologize for abandoning you, Theresa and Joseph, nor do I write to notify you of my imminent return. Your resentment no doubt runs deep, and that I brought shame unto the family in abandoning Cumberland during the war. Yet I write this from the deck of my own ship, manned by a crew more loyal than any officer could hope for in the navy, for these men and women are my family. Instead, I write to you now to tell you that I have found a path, opened to me in the heart of carnage. This path will never lead me home, and I have found peace in this. With this letter, I have included enough gold for you to sustain Theresa and Joseph until she marries, and he is of age to work. I wish you the best in life, whether you believe me or not. Your Son, Solomon” Solomon lifted his pen from the parchment and tapped away the extra ink before leaning back and sighing. The serenity that had envelopped him since meeting the woman within the moving cities carcass had scared him before. Now though, he could see it for what it was. Peace. Acceptance of a path that he could not see, veiled as it was by the vaporous twists and turns of the future. He put a hand on the saber, lying on the desk in front of him and closed his eyes for a moment, letting the feeling of peace sink down to his very bones, like a warm shower. Peace had beaten him a path through his troubles, massaging away the many knots of anxiety that still twisted within him at the many prospects that lay ahead of him. Now, there was only one path. The one that he chose, when the time came to chose. Expenses Civilian Districts: 17 (85.000G) New Settlement: 1 (5.500G) Air Shipyard: 1 (10.000G) Vitramite Mine: 1 (5.000G) Vitraium Refinery: 1 (5.000G) Heavy Industry: 1 (7.500G) Yotal’s Hawk, 5000G, Veteran, 3ASP 4 Corvettes, 4000G, Veteran, 2ASP 100 Thunderbirds, 8000G, Regular, 3AP 14.500G in excess is shipped to the Carnelian Sultanate. Research Godwhisperer ends. In its stead, a new project is launched. One to perfect and advance air-baised torpedoes to a whole new level. Faster, more accurate, more powerful. The new model is to be launched from destroyers or corvettes and is designed for quick reloading. It is labelled the Sky Wolf by Karakhwa science men. (Passive Slot) Actions Once again, the Karakhwa fleets muster to launch their raids. 1 Yotal’s Hawk, with two fighters attached. 12 Destroyers 8 Corvettes This time, they split once more into many small groups, typically numbering no more than three ships, but more likely 2 or 1. They will strike quick and deep, aiming to disrupt railways, factories, mines and quarries, or resource rich areas while Yotal’s Hawk flies high in the heavens and scouts a prime target for Cloud Hunter and her squadron of 2 destroyers and 1 corvette. Indeed, they will aim for an ambitious strike, trying to use the Yotal’s intel to raid a major production facility, be it either a coal mine, a factory or even a university, should it not be too well ensconced within Klendari secure airspace. If a target is found, then guns, bombs and tomahawks will fall upon the target, leaving nothing but ruins before leaving once more. No mercy for the people of the mud.
  11. The Karakhwa The airship burned a spiral down to the earth, tracing its descent in black smoke and falling bodies. The air inside was boiling, so hot that Heart of Iron could feel the skin on his back crisping and charing even as he struggled at the controls. “Come, we must go now!” shouted one of the crewmembers, grabbing his shoulder and jerking him back from the controls. “We must go!” “Then go,” said Heart of Iron, spinning around and shoving the man back towards the nearest exit. For all the good it would do him. The escape boats were all burnt or gone by now. “I will stay,” yelled, before turning back to the controls. He laid his hands on them and hissed in pain. They were burning hot. “You’re a fool, Heart of Iron. A dead fool!” yelled the man. Then he was gone. The ground was closing in and the air valves were not responding. He needed more energy from the last of the vitrium. Maybe he could slow the landing enough, just enough to stop a catastrophic structural failure. All it would take- But the ground was closing in too fast. The white sheets of sand consumed his vision, his hands were sealed to the controls by the heat, his eyebrows were singing off- Heart of Iron woke with a start, sitting up quickly and looking around. A familiar bedroll, with his ancestral rug on the wall and his wife curled up beside him, her iron colored hair flowing freely. He pushed aside the covers and stood. Beside him, she shifted and looked up at him with amber eyes. “A nightmare?” “Yes,” he said, looking down at his hands. They were mottled, scarred and many of his fingers were fused together. Useless. “Which one?” “The crash aboard the Spirit of Revenge.” His wife sat up, the blankets falling to her waist, revealing the enormously intricate tattoos covering her entire body up to her neck. “You know what that means, don’t you?” “I have dreamed it every time a threat has risen that threatened to end me or my own,” he said, slowly curling his hands into tight fists. “And everytime, I have overcome it.” She rose and walked up to him, putting a hand on his old, withered chest, it was cold enough to make his hairs stand on end. “This threat will not come from outside the tribes,” she said. “I can sense resentment. Anger. A hunger for power. It grows and festers within our own.” “You speak of Cloud Hunter,” said Heart of Iron, stepping back and frowning at her. “Who else but that vicious girl?” said his wife, her eyes flashing with anger. “She would be the last to turn on me, wife,” said Heart of Iron, steel lining his tone like wires. “I will hear no more of such betrayals. Even from you.” Expenses 15 Civilian Industry (75.000G) New caravan (city) (5.500G) 4 Vitramite Mines (20.000G) 4 Vitraium Refineries (20.000G) 1 Yotal’s Hawk, Destroyer, 3ASP, 5000G, Veteran 4 Corvettes, Veteran, 2ASP, 4000G Science Godwhisperer Continues (1887) Oxygen tanks continues (1888) Actions -Heart of Iron’s warhounds, staunch loyalists to the last, raid once more this year, in greater numbers. They call themselves the Iron Dogs, and launch various raids with 6 destroyers and 4 corvettes in small groups, or alone. This year, they specifically target Klendari infrastructure, hitting bridges, traintracks, mines, factories. Whatever they can hit without embroiling themselves into dangerous airspace or enemy formations. The goal is clear, to disrupt this modernization of the Klendari state. -Cloud Hunter also returns from her travels, and with her she brings back her small fleet. They, contrary to the Iron Dogs, will focus on raiding on the Klendari for ships and material. Guns, dhows, destroyers. They focus on ambushing and boarding isolated ships and taking them home, or stripping them of useful technology. -Solomon continues to dream, his ship sailing over the sands to the west as he tries to understand himself anew.
  12. The Karakhwa Three men standing in the corner of the deck on a starry night. The wind blew through them like a crowd, pushing against them and cutting away their words with its bustle. Still, they huddled together and spoke in low voices, their eyes glinting nervously in the night. “Yotal has forsaken her, she has brought us nothing in this raid but scraps and slaughter,” said one, his hands twisting nervously at his waist. “Don’t speak such nonsense,” growled the second, with a mean scar trying his neck back together. “She’s just forgotten what it means to lead for the people.” The third stayed silent, his arms crossed and his face dour. And so they spoke as the airship crawled its way through the dark sky, accompanied by the wind and the dull roar of the ocean far below. “She is cursed,” said the nervous one. “She will bring us all down with her when Yotal casts her from the heavens.” “Casts me from the heavens?” said Cloud Hunter said, stepping out from the shadows cast by a doorway. “Warchief,” said the dour man, his expression unchanged. Cloud Hunter nodded to him and gestured to the door. “Wake the tribe.” He nodded and disappeared as Cloud Hunter turned towards the two others. “Moves like Lizard, Swift Water,” she said, nodding her head. “Two brothers, plotting against their warchief. Your mother would be disappointed.” “She would be proud,” grunted Swift Wind in his gravelly voice. “Can you say the same?” A spark of fury burst forth for a moment and Cloud Hunter grabbed her tomahawk before taking a deep breath and relaxing. “I do not need her pride, mutineer,” she said as the crew began to filter out until they filled the deck, lit only by the stars and a pale moon. “Hasse, it is said that Yotal has forsaken me,” she shouted, lifting her weapon above her head and pacing around next to the railing. “That I should be challenged!” She spun towards Moves like Lizard, a furious scowl on her face. “You will watch,” she said to Swift Water as she leapt up onto the railing diving safety from the void of open air below them. Without holding onto any ropes, she balanced there, pointing her weapon at Moves like Lizard. “Come then, if you think Yotal has abandoned me, join me, let us see who he casts down first.” “Warchief, I did not mean-” “Bring him up here,” she snapped, pointing at two crewmen. They immediately stepped forward and grabbed Moves like Lizard, forcing him up to the railing and shoving him in the back. “Climb, traitor,” growled one of them. “Warchief, listen,” said Swift Wind, his eyes fixated upon his brother, his hands clenched at his side. “No, Swift Wind. You shall listen,” she said as she walked along the balustrade until she reached Moves Like Lizard. As he stood, balanced precariously, she grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and turned towards Swift Wind. “You will listen very closely.” Then she shoved the nervous man off the balustrade, sending him flailing into space. Swift Wind’s face turned to a mask of furious grief as he shouted in denial, his voice mixing with his brother’s scream as he fell, tossed away from the ship like garbage on a high wind. “Yotal curse you!” yelled Swift Wind as he leapt forward, charging her. Cloud Hunter darted off the balustrade and slipped to the side as he ran at her. Her tomahawk flashed and landed in the back of his knee, felling him against the railing. He shouted in pain and tried to roll around, but Cloud Hunter grabbed him by the back of his rough tunic and heaved him overboard in one swift move. At least he had the balls to keep his screams to himself, she thought as she turned back to the crew. “I am the Stormchaser and I am Warchief. If you challenge me, you will die. If you join me, you will be covered in glory by the time the Second Heaven welcomes you.” Mechanics Expenses: Economy: 14 Civ Industry (70.000G) Industry: 2 Steel Mills (5.000G) 1 Heavy Industry (7.500G) 1 Air Shipyard (10.000G) Military: 2 Veteran Destroyers (6.000G) 100 Regular Fighters (6.000G) Excess: 14.000G Research: Oxygen Tanks (1888) (19k invested) Project Godwhisperer (1887) An excess of 14.000G is dedicated to hiring more researchers and getting them better equipment, to accelerate the process. Actions -Solomon rejoins the fleet after his curious encounter in the desert. He keeps the cloak in his quarters and never takes it out of its cupboard, but the sword has almost unconsciously gained a place at his hip. Unfortunately for him, the Karakhwa are a suspicious people, and the changes undergone in the desert alienate him from his crew. He spends much time contemplating the red orb, and trying to understand the pain in his head, now that being among his crew seems to generate naught but discomfort. As for the boy, he is tended to by the medicine man on board, and pried with questions at to what happened… (Mod) -Heart of Iron sends out 3 destroyers on raiding missions into Klendari airspace. All crewed by hardened captains and hard-line loyalists fo Heart of Iron himself. Many of their captains partook in the bloody air battles above Carnelia during the great war and are eager for another strike against their foe. They will hunt trading vessels and attempt to disrupt industrial activity wherever they can. But as willy pirates, they do try and avoid the enemy patrols, and all strike in different regions! (Mod)
  13. The Karakhwa “There exists a legend within the Karakhwa of a time in which strife divides the people of the sky, splitting them apart like thunder in the night. A time when one who vanquishes the storms will rise above those who vanquish the chains. It is said that they will fight bitterly, but the stormchaser will bring great change to the Karakhwa. Their ship will be weighed down with the tablets of their fallen foes and their windpipes will vibrate with Yotal’s divine might. All people will fear them, and all people will know them. Their name will echo like rolling thunder across the skies even once they take their place with the second heavens. They will hail you for centuries to come.” “Me?” said the small girl, her eyes burning with intensity and reflected firelight. In her hands was a small wooden tomahawk, gripped so tightly that her fingers where white. “Not you,” said the speaker, leaning down and tapping her on the nose with a callused finger. She smiled warmly, dark tresses falling around her face, and adjusted the multicolored blanket hanging around the girls shoulders. Their ship rocked and a gust of wind filtered over the wind-barriers, tossing their fire around. The young girl shivered and pulled closer to her mother, who sighed happily and put an arm around her, pulling her close and squeezing her against her bosom. It had been a long day and the girl was tired, her lids falling heavy over her eyes as she glanced up at her mother. “What will I be, then?” “You will be a hero, not a bringer of strife, my little cloud hunter.” Mechanics Expenses: Economy Civilian Industry: 9 (45.000) Trade Depots: 2 (20.000) Industry Heavy Industry: 1 (7500) Air Shipyard: 2 (20000) Military 100 Regular Fighters: 2AP (7000) 1 Veteran Destroyer T1: 2AP (3000) Excess 10,300 Actions This year, Heart of Iron directs the elements of the fleet under his command to consolidate at Yotal’s Throne during the chief’s moot. After which he dispatches 2 Destroyers and 1 corvette to perform minor scouting and raiding operations in nothern Klendari, to assess the situation and other potential fleet elements. The remainder of those under his command will stay for the year in Yotal’s Throne, or escorting their caravans in the nearby airspace. Research Project Godwhispered (1887) Work continues on the pressurized oxygen canisters for pilots and aircrews. (10.300G) (18600G invested) (1891 end turn at a rate of 8.300G a turn.)
  14. The Karakhwa Income: 68.000 Economic Civilian Industry: 2 (10.000) Trade Depots: 3 (30.000) Industrial Steel Mill: 1 (2.500) Vitramite Mine: 1 (5.000) Vitraium Refinery: 1 (5.000) Military Regular Fighter Wing: 2AP (7000) 2 Corvettes: 1ASP (2000) Excess 8300G excess Actions: -Now content with the situation between the Carelian and their enemies, the Karakhwa turn to viciously raiding their Klendari neighbors, sending raiding bands reaving through the skies, with corvettes and destroyers scouting ahead before the bands hit villages, vulnerable mines, farms, etc. They pillage, burn and scalp, but take no slaves. Instead, those who resist are killed, the rest are often marked with ritual daggers upon their cheeks with various symbols. Forces: 3 Destroyers, 3 Corvettes, 1 cruiser -For an unknown reason, the railway above the supposed Karakhwa regions is hit this turn by a series of vicious bombardments, apparently presighted and executed in isolated regions, often over vulnerable spots such as bridges, valleys, etc. Three groups numbering a roughly equal force all attack a few areas as simultaneously as possible in an attempt to obliterate the railroad use, before disappearing once more. Forces: 3 Heavy Cruisers, 4 Cruisers, 2 Destroyers. Research: -Project Godwhisperer Continues (1887) (Funded) -A new project begins, one whose focus is to work on pressuring and containing oxygen in cans to be used by pilots and crews at extreme altitudes in an effort to massively increase their operating ceiling and their effectiveness vis-à-vis to their adversairies in altitudes with thin air. (8300G)
  15. The Karakhwa Income: 39.000 One steel mill is built in the belly of Yotal’s Throne. (2.500G) Airships are the blood of the Karakhwa and only a few tribes have mastered the art of their construction. But they can always use more space to work their wonders. (10.000G) Heavy industry, even nomads value it. (7.500G) One Trading Ship is built and hooked onto a caravan. Full of goods and exact data on stores and prices, it will no doubt add quite a lot of revenue to the caravan this year. (10.000G) Civilian industry, always important. (10.000) Passive Research - Project Godwhisperer Actions -A few small groups of ships break off to roam the berber regions, hitting merchant ships or attacking small caravans and villages. Ultimately, they are testing their strength and responsiveness, along with a little bit of loot if they can find any! (Mod) -4 Destroyers, all crewed by veterans, along with 2 corvettes and 1 cruiser are dedicated to this task. -Trade if offered to all nations around and beyond, through their trade caravans who may trade with nations near Carnelia. (Mod) -Actions on the frontlines. (Mod Action)
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