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Topics - Dijel

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Neils Brandt; Tandara House, Menae, Kaedwen

The old Tandara house was not so grand a setting as the name suggested, though neither was the place without its charms. Perched on a rocky hillside amongst the semi-wild bushland south of Menae, the original buildings, aptly enough, had been built by a wealthy Achkaerinese family in the days when Kaedwen had been an integral part of the Empire; the architecture was certainly period, but well preserved, and Neils wondered if their new guests would find it familiar at all. The Office of Defense Intelligence, or ODI, were the Kaedweni secret service, and as a general rule did not do international exchanges - well, not like this - though on the back of successful talks between the Kaedweni Premier and Achkerinese Emperor it had been agreed to put together a joint intelligence working group. So, here they were, a team of ODI spooks and Foreign Ministry personnel settling into their new surroundings, even while renovation work continued around the periphery of the house and its manifold outbuildings.

Neils sat in the shade of the house's handsome front porch; it was barely mid-morning, yet already the heat of the day had started to build, though a mild sea breeze was keeping the shade cool thus far. He appeared every inch the caricature of a Kaedweni man a 'certain age', complete with khaki shorts of a length abandoned in more sensible countries at the end of the 1980's, and a ruddy outdoorsman's complexion. A well-thumbed paperback book kept him company - an elderly novel set in a much less fractious Merina, entirely intentionally - as he waited, quite happy to have the morning off before the new neighbours arrived.

Regrettably, at some length, a great cloud of dust heralded the arrival of the car carrying their Achkerinese counterparts. Rural Kaedweni roads, doing as sterling a job as ever, had coated the slightly battered old ODI ute which cruised in through the gate and trundled to a halt below the porch. Neils put his book down as the dust could began to dissipate, greeting the driver with a cheery smile and a nod as a similarly poorly dressed and sunburned gentleman dashed to hold open the back door of the ute, before making for the luggage stowed in the bed behind the cab.

"G'day" Neils smiled cheerily, as their new guests emerged, blinking, into the sunlight "You right?"

Vignettes / Tales from Kaedwen
« on: July 09, 2020, 11:14:14 PM »
Table of Contents

Eyes Wide Open

1) Eyes Wide Open I: Th's Badg's 'n th' Wa'er!

The Merinan Candidate

1) The Merinan Candidate I: On His Excellency's Secret Service

Eyes Wide Open I
Th's Badg's 'n th' Wa'er!

Walker F. Beauregard; Coward, Wollengong District, Kaedwen

The town of Coward, though perhaps the title of 'town' was a little overly grandiose, lay almost one hundred kilometres east of Wynarka, out in the dry, dusty heart of rural Kaedwen. This was a place barely changed in the last century: a few-dozen tin-plated houses squatted around the little station out on the open plain, which spread out rust-red in all directions, punctuated every so often by the white-painted walls of the odd ranch house, shearing shed or outstation. This was a place where men were men, and the women moreso; a place where the shearers and stockmen from miles around gathered to drink, and tell tall tales, and drink, and play cards by lamplight, and drink, and share all the sorrows of their harsh lives. And, if they'd any energy left before the grey fingers of dawn crept across the great, wide Kaedweni landscape, perhaps they'd drink some more.

Walker - almost exclusively 'Beu' to his mates - was one such sharer. And tonight, like many nights, he'd had a drink or two, then maybe a few more, and then one for the road, and now found himself sat in the little kitchen of their modest digs with his best old mate Arb. Arbuckle J. Longstreet, to give him his full name. Arb had also availed himself of hearty libations in the course of their merry evening, and his broad face flushed red behind a bristly ginger beard as he perched on the corner of their tiny sink, gesticulating expansively with an almost-empty jar of clear, foul smelling spirit, the kind that looks and smells like it could be paint stripper, and tastes much the same to boot.

"Tha's wh 'm say'g" Arb slurred down excitedly, splattering Beu with flecks of drink and spittle "Th's thin, 'y don' wan' 's t' kn'w! 's th' badg's, m'n! Th's badg's 'n th' wa'er!"

"Arb" Beu croaked back, banging his head on the door frame his was sprawled against as he made to lean it back, eyes screwed shut "Arb, wha's th' tim', ma'e?"

"Ma'e" Arb cast about madly, looking for the clock just above his head. Spotting it, he heaved forwards, landing heavily against their little wooden table, before twisting awkwardly to see "I's fuc'in' ea'ly ma'e. B' ligh' so'n"

"Fuc'in' 'ell ma'e" Beu groaned involuntarily "Fuc'in' 'ell"

"I's th' badg's" Arb added helpfully. It was the one thing he seemed quite sure about.

"Mmn" Beu agreed "Th' on's 'n th' wat'r, thin' y' sa'd"

"Is" Arb protested, before changing tack with all the grace and tact of a train wreck "An'wa', 'm goin' t' b'd. Bugg'r th' badg's"

"I w'd" Beu quipped, lolling onto the floor heavily "Thin' 'll jus' sl'p 're"

"'ll gi' y' a kic' 'n i's 'ime f' wor', y' dr'ngo" Arb smirked, as he stumbled over Beu's prone form and stumbled off in search of his bed "G'ni'"

As his mate's drunken crashes faded away, Walker had a moment of lucidity, staring up at the off-white ceiling above through groggy eyes. They'd be wanted at the sheds first thing... which gave him an hour of shut eye. Why would a man do this to himself? Yeah, that was it, for the craic. All good craic, this. All good.

International News Networks / Kaedwen Daily Sun
« on: June 27, 2020, 11:29:59 AM »

Defence Force's Concept 2020+ Review Out

The Defence Force's "Concept 2020+" Review is out, and has already stoked controversy.

So-called "Concept 2020+" is a bold and expansive re-imagining of the Republic's armed services, much-needed in an organisation not much changed since the days of the Bush Wars.

Quote from: Defence Ministry on Concept 2020+
"The Concept 2020+ programme is the Kaedweni Armed Forces' project for the wholesale revitalization, including measures to improve equipment, organisation, manpower and morale. The programme is the product of the 2020 Armed Forces review, and aims to restore the ROKAF's deterrent factor through a thorough, if drawn out, series of reforms. The resulting body will, it is hoped, be tighter and more suitable for the defence of the Republic and her allies"

But the project is already courting controversy in several aspects.

Foremost, this stems from the plan for the disbandment of the Kaedweni reserve force, the Commando Volunteer Rifles (CVR). While the CVR has a long - and, some would say, chequered - history, many Kaedweni communities still place enormous stock in the institution for their protection, particularly along the borders of the Unorganised Zone (UZ).

The CVR has its roots in the citizen-soldier forces of eighteenth-century settlers, named "Kommandos", becoming a key component of the Kaedweni Army upon achieving independence in 1921. This tradition of the citizen-solider is still very strong in many, particularly rural, Kaedweni communities, where the frontier spirit of old is very much still alive, and in some areas still a keystone of local security.

In its current form the CVR was created based on a reform of the Bush War-era District Commandos (DC), which had become embroiled in a race-relation row over its role in enforcing segregation prior to the National Convention and reintegration of Kaedweni society in 1994. Where the District Commandos were strictly segregated based on race - and predominantly a white institution - the Commando Volunteer Rifles were conceptualized as an integrated institution from the start, though the image of the Commandos of the mid-20th century has been difficult to shake.

Despite this, and while the CVR are commonly viewed as a colonial relic in the increasingly forward-looking big cities, CVR units have seen intermittent action in recent years against Natavist insurgents, particularly in those rural communities surrounding the UZ.

One small-town mayor, speaking to the Daily Sun on condition of anonymity, had this to say:

Quote from: Anonymous Mayor
The CVR Company in [our district] has protected our community against Natavist attacks on several occasions since they [Belmont] put the [Unorganised Zone] next to us two years ago... Most recently, one of the homesteads out on [location redacted] got hit just last week, they tried to break down the door, then set fire to some of the buildings... Our CVR boys responded very quickly, killed one and drove the rest back into the UZ... Our local Police Constables just don't have the capacity to protect us from attacks of this scale or frequency... We need the CVR to survive, its as simple as that...

A government review on the future of the UZ is currently underway, and is expected to report its findings later in the year.

Concept 2020+ has also provoked controversy in other regards. The slew of advanced weaponry due to be procured by the ROKAF has prompted concerns from some quarters over the costs and viability of these projects, and the potential diversion of funding from other government departments to expand what one opposition MP described as "[Prime Minister Lindsay] Stewart's toy box".

Government sources refute this argument, maintaining that the programme is a "long-term investment" that will provide "greater efficiency and better value in the long run, whilst also bringing our Defence Forces up to date", adding that "This programme is projected to be funded entirely within the Defence Ministry's own budget... no social programmes will be cut to make way for arms purchases".

While not noted in any official announcements, commentators have suggested that the recent - and ominously named - attack by the Imperial Rokkenjiman Navy against nearby Heya (Operation Armageddon) could have prompted a renewed focus on external defence in Belmont.

Lindsay Stewart; Peakhurst Lodge, Belmeont, Republic of Kaedwen

Peakhurst Lodge was the formal residence of the Kaedweni Premier, set up in the hills overlooking the Kaedweni capital; a demure construction by the standards of Mundus' myriad rulers, the cream-coloured verandas overlooked a modest decking area - complete with open-air pool shining aquamarine in the sun - and small garden set on a lower tier, downhill from the main house. A dozen or so similar lodges dotted the surrounding hillside, set amongst a semi-civilized bushveld interspaced with groves of domestic fruit trees. The site offered a beautiful vista: the glass towers of downtown Belmont glittering in the soft sunshine, while the rollers broke with a distant (or, possibly, just imagined) crash of the ribbon of golden sand just beyond. Out on the crystal-clear Krimeon, a dozen or so brightly coloured sails flitted back-and-forth as a group of kite surfers made the most of the Saturday morning quiet; by mid-morning on a bank holiday weekend, both beach and sea would be thronged.

But this was not time to dwell on such things. Unfortunately, business of state did not, apparently, take bank holidays.

Lindsay sat on a plastic deck chair by the pool, flanked by two of her most trusted ministers: the Foreign Minister Koos Biermann on her left and, to her right, her Defence Minister, Tristan Sharp. None exactly dressed for business, Koos was still rubbing the little streaks of sun cream into his youthful face. Tristan, long years spent in the sun and already beginning to resemble a walnut, had no truck whatsoever with such things.

"Right boys" She began, once the other two seemed to have settled down "This KAM drama, what's the issue?"

"So..." Koos began leisurely, stretching out his long limbs "The folks at KAM got caught with their pants down pretty hard. From what we've been able to gather, the raid was was actually carried out by security forces - well, wearing the right uniforms, at least - so the working theory is that these missing people are in government hands, but we've nothing we can release publicly to prove it. To be honest, I'm thinking there's a little more going on here whatever; if this was a straightforward police operation, then they'd have no reason not to make it public"

"So you've had no luck tracing the missing?" Lindsay queried. This was aimed more at Tristan, whose intelligence services had been attempting to do precisely that.

"None yet" He shook his head, clipping the words with his heavy Afrikaner accent "To be honest with you, we'd need to get far more involved with this that I'm entirely happy with if we're serious about finding these people. I've spoken with some of the guys working on the case, and their hunch is that this has Nguessa's fingerprints all over it. I'd bet there's a trail of dirty money out there somewhere, but there'd be some pretty serious ramifications if we found out where it goes"

"That's troubling" Lindsay furrowed her brow. It was already too hot to be thinking, but the pool would have to wait. Koos had already kicked his thongs off, and was clearly itching to dive in himself "But I don't think we can really afford not to. Not now" The elections had already been postponed in the aftermath of 2018's crisis, and early polling indicated that a very close race with the Democratic Party was in the offing. With the Kaedweni stock market barely recovering from the crisis, and her administration having already taken flack for being too soft already, all present were well aware that doing nothing wasn't much of an option for Lindsay "So... if this is what your guys think it is, what could we potentially do about it Tris?"

"As much as I might wish it were true" Tristan smiled to himself "We're not Achkaerin, East Moreland or Rokkenjima, so kicking down the front door and giving these filthy natives the what-for isn't something we can even really consider. If - and I emphasis the if - we had sufficient justification, then we could deploy our armed forces to tip the balance in favour of a suitable replacement, though the military and political risks of doing so would be, well, you don't need to me spell it out for you. I'd far rather we find out where these people have gone first, then figure out some way of getting them back. To face a Kaedweni court, if necessary. It's no great secret some of the stuff they get up to over there ain't so great. I mean, there's every chance they'll turn up of their own accord, can't afford to jump the gun on something like this"

"Got to say" Koos interjected, nonchalantly slipping a toe into the cool water "I'm with Tris on this one. Know some folk think smashing the natives makes for good optics, but can't say I'm keen to be involved with something like that without good reason. Look, I think it's worth enlisting some friends if we're even going to consider moving on this. Remember, we did have a note to solicit a state visit from the old man anyway, could always bring it up then?"

"Not a bad shout" Lindsay agreed, with a little nod "Could do worse, for sure"

And a bad shout it wasn't. After another ten minutes of idle chatter, in fact, it was the best shout of the morning before the heat got too much and the pool too tempting. Tristan left to go fishing without saying much more of consequence, and was barely through the gate before Koos splashed loudly into the water. Lindsay wasn't too far behind.

Later, much later, the pair drew up a missive for dispatch to the Emperor of Achkaerin.

Republic of Kaedwen Diplomatic Communique

To His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Peter Azurewind of Achkaerin,

Greetings, your Majesty, may this find you well. As you may already have noted, a week on Monday will mark three years to the day since our shores were last graced by Achkaerinese royalty, a flying visit by the Prince Simon Azurewind and the Countess of Elsion in the spring of 2017 which was regretably cut shorter than many of us would have wished due to the demands of the time. The intervening years have seen some trying times for both our nations, and I feel that the present moment would be an appropriate juncture for another visit.

Therefore, I would like to invite you to undertake a state visit to Kaedwen, a nation of which you remain the formal protector, in order to reaffirm the bond between our nations, discuss the continuing relationship between your people and ours, and to take the opportunity to discuss the course of current affairs.

Humbly yours,

Lindsay Stewart,
Premier of the Republic of Kaedwen

Press Offices / Republic of Kaedwen Press Office
« on: April 10, 2020, 09:31:47 PM »

Republic of Kaedwen
Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Office of Media Relations

Kaedo-Albion Minerals Incident to be Investigated

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of concerning reports circulating regarding an incident believed to have occurred at the Kaedo-Albion Minerals plant in Makasa, Merina yesterday, and is endeavoring to ascertain the truth of the matter and verify the wellbeing of all Kaedweni nationals involved.

Preliminary reporting suggests that, at approximately 16:30 hours local time on the 9th of April, multiple armed assailants surrounded the facility and, following a brief exchange of gunfire with the facility's security team, overran much of the location. In addition to purported removal of a significant value of materials, five Kaedweni nationals are currently unaccounted for; the possibility of kidnapping is currently one of several lines of investigation being explored.

The Kaedweni embassy in Merina are presently rendering assistance to the families and associates of those involved.

While these investigations are ongoing, the Government would like to reiterate its travel advice regarding Merina: given the current state of instability in the region, all travel to, or via, this country is to be avoided unless absolutely vital. While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassy staff will do everything possible continue to safeguard Kaedwenis abroad, it is not possible to guarantee the safety of citizens in this country, and any nationals undertaking vital work in-country are encouraged to make their own security arrangements.


Commonwealth of Merina
Merinan National Armed Forces General Staff; General Requirement

Urgent Operational Requirement

Active immediately, the Merinan National Armed Forces have requirement for the following items of equipment. As s contingency measure, the normal procurement process is being streamlined, and we are willing to consider tenders from outside our usual supply chain.

Infantry Personal Equipment Package - Including uniform (as per current spec), boots, helmets, body armour and webbing; quantity and price open to negotiation. Optional inclusion of radios, rifle cleaning kits and night-vision equipment.

Mechanization Sustainment Package - Equipment and supplies to sustain the combat vehicle fleet, including: spare parts, lubricants, fuel, tools, replacements, munitions, radios and ancillaries, compatible with any item in MNAF service. Additional consideration will be given to both new model equipment compatible with present inventory, as well as aforementioned equipment and supplies compatible with reserve models in mothballs: T-34-85M, SU-100M, BTR-152.

Contingency Ration Package - Consideration given to all suitably packaged foodstuffs for use as contingency rations for general issue to troops, as well as civilians in operational areas.

Press Offices / Merinan Press Office
« on: March 29, 2020, 02:19:47 PM »

Commonwealth of Merina
Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Office of Media Relations

On the Present Crisis: Situation Update 29/03/2020

Statement on behalf of President Nguessa:

As Mundus becomes aware of the ongoing crisis in Merina, also has come a large degree of misinformation regarding the situation in our country. Certain groups, including the so-called "Free Merinan Association" under the traitor Charles van de Mar-Ekembitoto, have actively sought to undermine the valiant efforts of our security forces in confronting the rebellious and terroristic elements threatening our nation.

Merinan security forces are currently engaged in operations across multiple theaters, fighting to keep our people safe. Travel restrictions are in place in these operational areas, in addition to a blanket advise (particularly to foreigners) not to travel beyond one's local area unless absolutely necessary. All practicable measures are being taken to prevent civilian lives and livelihoods in this conflict, though on occasion our brave soldiers have been unable to prevent atrocities committed by our enemies.

Given the severity of the situation, in the coming days we shall be introducing the following emergency measures:

  • Limited Mobilization of Reserve Forces - Reservists are to be activated on a limited basis, in order to accelerate a conclusion of the conflict while minimizing economic disruption as far as possible.
  • Essential Supply Procurement Initiative - State agencies are to put contingency measures in place to ensure the continued availability of essential civil and military supplies.
  • State of Emergency for Effected Regions - Emergency powers are in effect across conflict-hit regions, this with immediate effect.

These shall be in place for the foreseeable future, likely until the conclusion of the present situation.

Any further question, queries or requests for clarification should be directed through this office.

Diplomacy and Events / An Appeal to the Free Peoples of Mundus
« on: January 19, 2020, 10:02:49 PM »
Professor Chloe Bital; Chancellor's Office, Merinan International University, Katamba, Merina

The dark office was lit only by the pale light of the laptop screen, the curtains drawn tight against the stormy night outside. Chole Bital - the fifty-something Chancellor of Merina's premier educational institution - gazed blearily at the little image of herself on the screen as the video call connected, she somehow looked older, tireder and more pudgy than even she felt, she thought irritably. What was Charles playing at? She had no idea what the time was wherever it was that he was now, though the call wasn't exactly an unexpected. With an electronic ping, the call connected, and the room was suddenly bathed in bright daylight, or at least the part with her laptop screen in it was.

"Hey Chole" The man on her screen began "Tell me you've got good news?"

"Charlie" She smiled "I do indeed! I spoke with Ed this afternoon, and we're both happy with your last draft. Though he is keen to emphasize that you need to redact our names from the public release, at least initially; the Order aren't strong enough to protect us from Bemba's men, we can't go public. Not yet, at least"

The Ed to which she referred was, more formally, the Most Reverend Eduard Hassisi, the Archbishop of Katamba and head of the powerful Catholic Church in Merina. The Order was the Order of the Holy Sepulcher, the Merinan Catholic Church's paramilitary wing of dubious legality, but now, at least, substantial utility.

"I quite understand" Charlie nodded solemnly, his startling blue eyes gazing at her, his dark features framed by close-cropped white hair and beard "We may yet be able to win the Marshal to our cause, doubly so if we are able to leverage the weight of international opinion... But of course, I would't want to put either of you at any more risk than you already are"

"Thanks, Charlie" She nodded back, before yawning reflexively "Look, I'd love to chat, but I really do need to get some sleep. All this sneaking around, all the late nights... I'd swear my staff must think I'm having an affair"

"Ha" Charles chucked, smiling broadly "Well, go and get your sleep, and I shall set things in motion. And, perhaps, when you awake the world will be a different place, no?"

"Every night I pray for the same" Her hands went unconsciously for the rosary beads hanging from her neck "Maybe tonight will be the one"

"Maybe" Charles finished, noncommittally "Good night, Chloe, sleep well and we shall speak once events are in motion"

The screen went black.

To the Free Peoples of Mundus,

I come to you a supplicant, not for myself - for I have lived many years and have few enough of them ahead of me anyway - but for my poor countrymen who have been rendered voiceless by conflict. Eighteen months ago, the hated dictator Olumbe Nguessa was driven from power, and for a short while we began to believe that the years of darkness were ending for us. But this was not to be, and now my poor country is once again torn apart by war and strife. The ranks of we exiles beyond Merina's shores grows day by day, and within our nation yet more souls are adrift amidst a sea of war.

Pride; it is sinful, and with good reason, and now we find that we must swallow ours. Merinans have proven ourselves incapable of solving our own problems, and so we must turn to the mercy of the international community in order to bring about a peaceful resolution to the current situation. Our struggle is twofold; first, to provide succor to the growing numbers driven from their homes - both those abroad and those still within Merina - and, second, to end the fighting and bring about a peaceful resolution to the war.

To this end, we shall be hosting a conference at our headquarters in Belmont, Kaedwen, to be open to diplomats and NGOs alike, with the aim of demonstrating to the international community the severity of the situation in which our people find themselves, and to explore ways in which the conflict may be brought to a swift and amicable conclusion. This initiative has not only the support of our community of Merinans in exile, but also of many prominent Merinans at home, though these must go unnamed at present, both for their own safety and that of their families.

With my warmest regards, I do hope to see you soon,

Charles van de Mar-Ekembitoto
President of the Free Merinan Association

Vignettes / Dispatches from Merina
« on: April 18, 2019, 07:41:02 PM »
Table of Contents

Bambidela 'Bambi' Paquet

1) Meeting an Old Friend
2) The Winter of Discontent: First Frost

The Merinan War

1) The Siege of Qarkhoi Part I: The Daily Hate
2) FSS Hotspur v. MNS Chiwara: Tango in the Night

3) Generals Gathered in their Masses: the Despot's Legions
4) Generals Gathered in their Masses: Brothers Grim

5) The Merinan War Part III: Climb Mount Ngaliema
6) The Merinan War Part IV: The Makeni Incident

7) The Merinan War Part V: The Rogue Marshal's Men
8) The Merinan War Part VI: Appel aux Armes

9) The Merinan War Part VII: This Turbulent Priest

10) The Merinan War Part VIII: The View from the Front
11) The Merinan War Part IX: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Bambidela Paquet; Katamba, Merina

The old man on the stage crooned down about some long-lost love, plucking away soulfully on an old guitar, while the cafe patrons sat at their cheap plastic tables drinking, smoking and gambling their troubles away. The little place was down on the old fish market, the gentle breeze blowing in off the river and the distant chirp of crickets rendering the scene peaceful, almost idyllic. The war seemed a million miles away.

Bambi - as his friends called him, though there were precious few of them left these days - was the wrong side of thirty, balding and out of shape; he fit right in amongst the press acolytes - cameramen, engineers and office workers - who frequented this establishment. In many ways, these were Merina's lucky few. They were still in jobs, and not half bad ones, all things considered. Foreign media weren't exactly clamoring for news from the warzone, though a few had taken enough interest to sniff around for a story. One of these, Kaedwen's Daily Sun, had taken Bambi on not long after he'd arrived in the capital, almost a year ago now.

Presently, two men approached, looming through the cigarette smoke. The first was an old college, as close as damned it to a friend as Bambi had in Katamba. Derek van der Merwe, the fat but surprisingly energetic Daily Sun reporter, was a Kaedweni, and by far the whitest man in the place. He was followed by a short, but powerfully built, Merinan with a shaven head and close-cropped beard.

"Bambi" Derek smiled, dropping a big plastic cup containing cheap beer on the table, pulling up a chair and gesturing for the third man to do the same "How doing in here, mate?"

"All good boss" Bambi lied, as Derek took a big swig of his own drink "To be totally honest, I'm curious to hear this proposition of yours is. Who's this other fella?"

"All in good time" Derek replied, still smiling "But yeah, introductions. Right. This fine gentleman here" A quick gesture to the man beside him, who smiled nervously, revealing a mouth full of broken teeth "Is Ade Ayodele. Recent recruit to the office, security expert"

"Its a pleasure" Bambi smiled at the new man, offering his hand.

"Likewise" Ade replied, in a surprisingly soft voice, offering a hand like a bear paw on the end of an arm criss-crossed with tattoos and scars.

"Which brings me neatly on to my proposition to you" Derek ginned devilishly "I've got a little project of mine cleared by the company. If we're gonna cover the war, we're not going to do it from Katamba. There are stories here, true enough, but they get here six months old and third hand from some truck driver who met a guy who might've heard something in a bar from some other fucking guy. No mate, if we're gonna get the real stories - honest to god, big money stories - and get them first, then we need to be in amongst it, out in the fucking sticks, we've gotta live this!" Another big drink punctuated his rising excitement "Okay, okay, I'll get to the point. I need a cameraman. And I want you, buddy. What do you say? Will you come with me?"

Bambi though about it for a second.

"I'm in" He nodded.

Diplomacy and Events / Breaking the Cycle
« on: August 12, 2018, 12:18:35 AM »
Prince Ike Ezana; Fasal Gebi, Katamba, Merina

An unseasonable rain was falling on the capital, dark clouds swirling overhead, as the column crusied down the Martyrs' Boulevard. Katamba bore the unmistakable scars of war, from the shell-holes in her mightiest buildings to the hollow looks in the eyes of her children, yet a modest crowd nonetheless watched with trepidation as the victorious allies passed before them. Though the fighting in the city was all but over, their convoy still bristled with weapons, from the Impera Brigade tank out front with its powerful gun and armour plate, to the militia fighters crammed onto every available surface of their trucks, every man among them scanned their surroundings with wary eyes.

The three allies were odd bedfellows: Brigadier Diakame Bemba, the commander of the erstwhile presidential guards, the Impera Brigade; Sony Muamba, the charismatic former excile; and Ike himself, the rebellious nobleman down from the mountains of Pindar. But united they were, by mutual animosity towards the regime of President Nguessa, if little else. So had been the pattern of much of Merina's recent history - a warlord became a tyrant, only to fall before another, more ruthless warlord. But perhaps this time could be different. Perhaps.

The Fasal Gebi, the ancient fortress which squatted on its low hill in the middle of Katamba like some great beast, was already in the hands of allied troops, who raised a cheer as the column reached the gatehouse and swung around to come inside. The fortifications, as the focal point of the old city, had long been used as a royal - and later, presidential - palace, and although Nguessa remained at large his capital and most of the country were now in the hands of the rebels. The writing had been on the wall for some weeks, admittedly, and some thought had been put into winning the peace, as it were, by all sides. The Impera Brigade, so often the kingmakers in these kinds of conflicts, would undoubtedly have their own candidate for the presidency and call for a status quo ante. Sony Muemba would, more than likely, move to put his foreign ideals into practice and replace the powers of the warlords with the powers of the people, or something similar.

Ike, for his part, was satisfied to concern himself primarily with the future of Pindar. For the time being, at least, the Pindari clans had at their disposal more than enough fighting power to maintain their independence from Katamba, and maybe enough to go it alone, if it came to it. The feeling in many of the other rural corners of the country was much the same, so Ike felt confident enough that his homeland would emerge from the war in a better place then they were when they started, even if Bemba and Muamba went for each others' throats once the dust settled.

For now, however, there was a previously agreed declaration to sign, making clear their triumph and the transfer of power from the old presidency to the new 'transitional' government. The "National Unity Council" - which was neither wholly national in character nor truly united - would now take over the running of the country, until such a time as a satisfactory arrangement could be reached for the long term. Perhaps this would require more blood to be shed, but perhaps not. Nevertheless, the signing ceremony would be one for the cameras.

Commonwealth of Merina

Official Dispatch

Let it be known!

The excesses of the corrupt Nguessa regime are at an end! Through the valiant sacrifices of her sons and daughters, Merina has been freed from her shackles! Hear a hundred million voices call out in relief!

Yet as the work of liberation comes to an end, the work of rebuilding is just beginning - the physical and moral damage wrought to our nation has been great, and shall take time to undo. Foremost in this must come closure; the warlord Nguessa is still at large, as are many of those complicit in his crimes. We, the National Unity Council, hereby place a bounty of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) upon the head of former President Nguessa, for his capture - dead or alive - or information leading to his capture by Merinan allied forces. Further to this, the NUC places a bounty of one million dollars ($1,000,000) upon the heads of the members of the so-called "council of twelve" - those degenerate individuals known to be integral to the machinery of the Nguessa regime, payable under the same conditions previously stated.

Furthermore, we ask all the right and god-fearing nations of Mundus to recognise the National Unity Council - being constituted from the membership of the former National Alliance, those who have fought and died to bring freedom to Merina - as the true custodians of Merinan sovereignty. Nguessa and his thugs no longer posses even the thinnest pretense to legitimate government, therefore it has been necessary for the NUC to take control of the institutions of state on a provisional basis until free and fair elections may be conducted. Any attempt by a third party to reinstate, or otherwise support, elements of the former regime will be considered an indelible act of hostility against the Merinan people.

With the help of our friends at home and abroad, the NUC shall endeavor to eradicate the foul legacy of Nguessa and restore the glory of the Commonwealth of Merina to her people. The cycle of violence must, and will, be broken, in the name of our children and the future generations of Merinans to come.

The Co-Chairmen of the National Unity Council,

Prince Ike Ezana
Brigadier Diakame Bemba
Sony Muamba

Diplomacy and Events / The Kaedwen Emergency
« on: July 25, 2018, 11:01:42 PM »
Selo Sellebi; Cadell Gaol, Cadell, Kaedwen

The old gaol wall loomed ahead in the darkness as their little convoy crept into position through the empty streets. Even this late at night it was still stiflingly hot, and the men in the back of the unmarked van cursed the still wind and oppressive atmosphere. In the cab, Selo was driving whilst their unit commander, Pregis Cotene, sat in the passenger seat nervously checking his watch, the soft orange light casting a web of shadows across his scarred old face. As they approached the last junction before the prison gate, Pregis raised a hand and pointed to an alleyway off to their left, between a betting shop and a used car dealership.

"In here, brother" He whispered, casting a look theatrically behind them "You have done well, we are here early"

"Yes sir, thank you sir" Selo smiled, breaking gently and wheeling them around into the alleyway in a smooth motion, leaving enough room for the two vans following to disappear into the darkness also.

"Alright, men" Pregis breathed, as the engine noise died away "Prepare yourselves; stick with your brothers, and we shall strike a mighty blow against the old enemy this night. History shall be made, be sure of it" The response from the back of the van was a little muted, but the commander seemed pleased with himself, and quickly pulled on a balaclava. A few tense minutes went by before the screech of tires and the roar of an engine was heard from behind them, back in the direction of the main road. Bright lights flashed past the entrance to their alleyway, the engine's whine rising to a crescendo in the night. The blast hit them seconds later, rocking their vehicle even though they were well out of sight of the point of impact.

Pregis rocked for a second, before regaining his composure, raising aloft his Uzi sub machine gun and raising a throaty cry "To arms brothers! The hour of reckoning is neigh!" This begat a rather better response from the men in the back, and the van doors were quickly thrown open as the crackle-and-pop of gunfire began to be heard from the direction of the Gaol.

After some minutes of intermittent firing, dying down one moment only to begin again with a vengeance the next, Selo crept out from his cab to join the other two drivers, who were trying to catch a glimpse of the action from a hiding spot behind a rather sorry-looking hatchback on the dealership's forecourt. The prison gatehouse and part of the curtain wall, of drab late nineteenth century brick construction, had been torn apart by the detonation of a huge truck bomb, the remains of which were still smoldering in the gateway. The lights in the prison blocks were already starting to go out, as power to the site was cut, and the smell of cordite drifted towards them across the junction.

One of the other drivers, who was listening intently to a portable radio through an earpiece, spoke up after a couple more minutes transfixed by the distant echoes of battle "Our brothers have taken the KBC transmitter!" He exclaimed, in an excited hush "Soon the whole world shall know of our struggle!"

"Not a moment too soon" Responded the other other driver "I see movement by the gatehouse. Is that the Chief?"

"I can't tell" The first replied, squinting towards the two figures silhouetted against the burning wreckage in the gatehouse "Selo, the Chief is your charge, go and check"

"On it, brother" Selo grimaced, drawing his .38 caliber revolver from within his black overalls and stepping out a few paces into the street before shouting the agreed challenge "Are you looking for a taxi, friend?"

"Yes, my grandfather is drunk, could you please take him home" Came the reply from one of the figures. Now they were closer, Selo could see that the speaker - a masked fighter with a rifle on his shoulder - was supporting the other man, an older man with an unkempt grey beard and ill-fitting clothes. This was exactly what Selo wanted to hear and, quickly re-holstering his gun, took the older man from the fighter. His new charge was surprisingly light, which was fortunate since his legs seemed totally incapable of supporting him. The man also seemed to be mildly incoherent, and kept babbling about something or other a Selo coaxed him into the van. Then they were off, through the streets of a city in chaos.

Police Captain Wilhelm de Kock; Yarra District Police Headquarters, Cadell, Kaedwen

Wilhelm was awakened in the middle of the night by the echo of a distant blast, before the wail of an alarm brought him fully back into the world. Along with most of the rest of his unit, he'd taken to sleeping in the billets around the back of the police headquarters - a comparatively new building complex on the outskirts of town - since they'd been placed on alert a week earlier. Still groggy, he quickly dressed and made his way down towards the operations room, which was a veritable hive of activity. A fat police Major was attempting to coral the burgeoning crowd back out into the corridors when the building was shaken with a dull thump, and the hum of background conversation dried up hurriedly. Another thump followed shortly thereafter, with a third impact smashing the windows on one end of the command centre and filling the air with dust and smoke. A strong smell of burning permeated the room.

"Mortar!" Someone called out from outside "Take cover! Take cover!"

"De Kock!" The fat major spotted Wilhelm as the assembled company dived for cover "This must be the moment you've been fucking waiting for! Get your blokes and deal with these bastards!"

"Right away, sir" Wilhelm replied, with a grimace "Bute we have to fi-"

"Just get ready to fight!" The fat Major cut him off "Let me worry about the fucking niceties!"

Without another word, Wilhelm turned on his heel and scurried away. He knew where he'd find his people - from the Yarra Special Policing Section - a short distance away outside the armory. His Sergeant, the elaborately mustachioed Alan Hofmeyer, had already started drawing weapons and ammunition, including equipment for Wilhelm. They had twelve men present in total, including, if Wilhelm was totally honest with himself, some right bastards. Even so, most of them were visibly shaken by the rude awakening.

"One for you, boss" Alan addressed Wilhelm casually, handing over a rifle and a couple of full magazines "Why can't the bloody ethnics wait 'til I've had my morning coffee, eh? Fucking barbarians" He chuckled quietly, before continuing "So, what's the plan boss man?"

"We're waiting for the watchmen to get their shit together and spot the shooters" Wilhelm explained, slinging the rifle and pouching the magazines "Then we'll snatch the fucks" Another mortar shell landed nearby, and with a violent pop, the lights went out"

"What the fuck...?" Someone exclaimed, in the darkness, before the corridor was bathed in the baleful orange glow of emergency lighting.

At this point, the fat major from the command centre re-appeared, rather red in the face and short of breath, brandishing his revolver with alarming gusto.

"De Kock, with me" He panted "Bring your lads... We've got armed ethnics on the perimeter... Gatehouse is screaming for backup..."

"Charlie's in the fucking wire, eh boss?" Alan observed, with a smirk.

"Right behind you, sir" Wilhelm nodded to the major, ignoring his sergeant "Come on lads, there's something afoot. Stay watchful"

Out of the operation centre through the main foyer, they headed towards the gatehouse through the now quite dark vehicle park. Mortar rounds had stopped falling for the time being, and the night was eerily quiet. The shouts of the men on the gate could be heard, even at a fair distance. Suddenly, there was a hiss and a flash, and the gatehouse - a small tin building serving as little more than a shelter for the sentries - was illuminated in a blinding explosion. This seemed to be a signal for the attackers, as the building was targeted with brisk small-arms fire and quickly riddled with bullet holes. There was nothing further heard from the police sentries.

"Fuck..." The major breathed, his formerly flushed face now looking rather pale in the moonlight.

"Alan" Wilhelm hissed, pulling the Sergeant close "Take five blokes and drag sir back to the operations centre, take up firing positions. I'll join you with the rest when I can"

"Sir" Alan nodded, his formerly jovial demeanor now forgotten "Toit, Eyers, Grey, Streek, Woods. With me. We're getting you out of harm's way, sir. Double up, lads!"

The remaining special policemen fanned out and sought cover in the darkness. Sporadic fire continued to come over their heads, and shouts could be heard to their front as the attackers advanced. Shadowy figures flitted from cover to cover, scarcely visible in the darkness. Wilhelm sensed one of these approaching in front of him, and shouted a challenge.

"Halt! Police! Do not move!"

This didn't seem to be taken so well, as it was met with a burst of poorly-aimed automatic fire and a shouted curse. Seeing the firer illuminated briefly by his muzzle flashes, Wilhelm took aim and fired back at a range of maybe twenty-five meters, seeming to strike the attacker in the chest, but he couldn't be sure, so fired again, while all hell was breaking out around him. More fire was coming in from the front, and more shadowy figures were bounding towards their thin khaki line, who, for their part had begun firing back with some urgency. Losing sight of the men around him, Wilhelm emptied his first magazine in what felt like seconds, his world shrinking to encompass little more than the elusive targets presenting themselves through his rifle sights.

Off to his left, someone was shouting for help in Afrikaans, though he couldn't tell who's voice it was. The blast of a grenade barely registered, as if in a dream, although suddenly Wilhelm felt very warm down his right side and had to fight hard against the urge for sleep. Soon, his second magazine was empty too, and he called out for the man to his right to cover him while he reloaded. Crouching down behind a police patrol car, a sudden stinging sensation in his left hand made him drop his magazine. Cursing, he reached down for it, but couldn't seem to find it. He was sweating profusely, even in the comparative cool of the night, and reached up to wipe the beads from his forehead, only to find this got a warm, salty, almost metallic-tasting liquid in his mouth and eyes. He looked at the bloody remains of his hand without comprehension for a while, as chaos raged around him, before making a belated attempt to dress the wound.

Very tired, he curled up and faded into blackness where he fell.

Premier Lindsay Stewart; Peakhurst Lodge, Belmont, Kaedwen

The little office in Peakhurst Lodge - the Kaedweni Premier's official residence in the hills overlooking central Belmont - was abuzz, crammed to the rafters as it was with civil servants, senior policemen and government ministers. Lindsay, roused from her slumber in the middle of the night and feeling a little under dressed in her dressing gown and slippers, sat aghast at her desk as reports from the fighting began to pile up in front of her. Police installations had borne the brunt of the violence, with unidentified gunmen attacking a dozen police stations and prisons on both sides of the St Anselm Straits, though reports of shootings of local officials, judges, politicians and even priests were beginning to filter through.

The worst hit, however, seemed to be the city of Cadell, at the mouth of the river Yarra, where contact with the local police headquarters had been lost entirely, and video of prisoners from the local gaol - still clad in their orange prison overalls - roaming the streets was already beginning to circulate on the internet. On the advice of her defence minister, Tristan Sharp, the local Commando had been activated and were in the process of mustering, though Lindsay privately had reservations about their suitability for the task of combating an unknown insurgency in what was still a very fluid situation.

All but helpless to influence events directly, at the behest of her Foreign Minister, the boyish Koos Bierman, they put together a public statement for the morning press release.

Republic of Kaedwen Diplomatic Communique

Regarding the Kaedweni State of Emergency

To the People of Kaedwen, and Mundus at large,

In the early hours of this morning, the Republic of Kaedwen was the target of an unprecedented act of coordinated and premeditated violence. While our brave and selfless security services are working hard to keep the public safe and bring the scions of terror to justice, we urge the public in the threatened regions to stay indoors and await the all-clear announcement from the relevant local authorities. With regards to foreign nationals in the country, while we are working with foreign embassies to keep you safe, please understand that, in the interests of national security, the borders have been closed until further notice.

The world may stand assured that those responsible for this affront to all civilized peoples shall be brought to justice, and we ask our international partners to assist us in this endeavor should the possibility for such action come about. Furthermore, please rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to keep your nationals in our country - our guests - safe from harm, and shall work through your embassies in order to trace any individuals who may have become entangled in the violence.

A state of emergency is now in effect.


Lindsay Stewart,
Premier of the Republic of Kaedwen

((OOC: More to follow... when I am a little less tired...))

Factbooks and Maps / Free Peoples of Numenora
« on: December 13, 2017, 02:27:46 PM »
---Quietly Retconned---

Free Peoples of Numenora

"Suum cuique"


While often referred to collectively, the 'Free Peoples' inhabit thirteen independent states of various sizes, bound by common history and the blood of the people of Numenor. The Numenoran states are fiercely independent, each with their own government, nobility and traditions; spasmodic conflicts known as 'Kabinettskriegen' have been fought between the states for much of their recent history. While local loyalties may run deep in Numenoran society, the region plays host to an increasing number of developed urban centres of a character entirely their own. Climactic conditions are generally considered temperate, though bitter winters are far from unknown, especially up in the hills and mountains that criss-cross Numenora.

List of Constituent States

1.   The Principality of Livno
2.   The Elector-Kingdom of Wegry
3.   The Elector-Kingdom of Swajkia
4.   The Nistrian Palatinate
5.   The Duchy of Maecht
6.   The Duchy of Eroeven
7.   The Duchy of Astendat
8.   The County of Bremmervoord
9.   The County of Valois
10.   The County of Orstrava
11.   The County of Maribor
12.   The County of Premwaen
13.   The County of Etolia

Hey again folks,

For those of you who don't recognise the username, I'm Dijel; many moons ago, I used to be a TIO member, but may have slightly jacked it in. Now, seeing as y'all got yourselves a brand new shiny forum, and that part of me has been missing this, I'm gonna make my (second, by my count) reappearance here, with an all-new and slightly rehashed nation. Might be a bit of a slow restart for me, but I'll try not to bite off more than I can chew this time :P


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