You are Lieutenant Richter Von Tracht, tank officer for the army of Strossvald, and right now you’re having an out of body experience with a freakish wizard.Poltergeist didn’t call himself a wizard, but it felt better to call him such rather than by his true title of soulbinder. Soulbinders were a sect of mysterious people with strange powers brought about by manipulation of the souls of others as well as their own; the concept was still incredibly unclear to you, but that was understandable considering you’d never heard of them until yesterday.You had been pulled to this bizarre dreamscape by something; Poltergeist, the person sharing this strange hilltop among clouds with you, claimed it had been the Demiphantom you sealed away. You had the feeling that it was actually Poltergeist.This suspicion was added to by the fact that Poltergeist was telling you, in a roundabout way, that you needed to release the Demiphantom. An action that would be incredibly dangerous to the denizens of the Ilex River Valley and Blumsburgh, where you were stationed.“Your tricks are growing ever more elaborate,” you growl at Poltergeist, “Let me guess. In order to stop having wacky trips and hearing voices in my head, all I have to do is release this soul eating monster.”“You may not remember,” you go on, highlighting what you presumed to be feigned ignorance on Poltergeist’s part concerning the situation, “but less than a day ago from my perspective you did indeed want the demi phantom, and seemed quite desperate to make a deal with me to release it. If you’re about to tell me the only way to solve my apparent ‘problem’ is coincidentally by releasing it, I’m going to have a very hard time taking you seriously.”“Hrm,” Poltergeist thought out loud, “Perhaps it isn’t you that’s early, but rather me. In a strange way.”Clouds from below rolled up over the hill again. Poltergeist tried to repeat the movements to dissipate them, but the fog thickened before he was finished.“Ah well,” he sighed, “It seems we’re out of time. I don’t know when I’ll be around, but trust that I will arrive in time to aid you.”“Your aid is not needed.” You managed to get out just before the clouds became entirely opaque. You felt yourself floating, then falling…
It was morning when you woke up under the bridge. Early morning; the sky was a dim blue and grey, but the sun hadn’t crept up over the mountains yet. Birds sang to one another in tinny melodies over the ponderous flow of the river below you.Why you were still outside was puzzling. Had Maddalyn left you here to go find help? Had she been intercepted by somebody? Who?These concerns were laid to rest when you turned the other direction and saw the little redheaded lady curled into a ball with her back to you, deep in sleep. Maddalyn Von Blum, despite being the daughter of the territorial lord, had an unhealthy mistrust of her fellows. Perhaps she had decided it was better to drag you under the bridge and hide rather than seek help. It was either that or the little thing beside you was actually a bridge troll that dragged you under to eat you.With what had happened over the past couple of days such a thing was no longer outside the realm of possibility as far as you were concerned. It was the morning, though, and you had to get back to the barracks. Perhaps even to the manor to see what needed to happen next.>Wake up Maddalyn.>Try carrying Maddalyn back without disturbing her.>Leave Maddalyn be and wait.>OtherTwitter shit is @scheissfunker, Past threads archive links pastebin: http://pastebin.com/UagT0hnh
>>1199689>Wake up Maddalyn.
“Hey.” You call to Maddalyn, “Rise and shine. It’s morning.”She doesn’t respond.“C’mon,” you try shaking her, “I’m already late. You can sleep later.”Your efforts to wake Maddalyn fail to elicit even the slightest acknowledgement of your wishes. You don’t think you’ve seen anybody be out cold quite like this.“Are you pretending to be sleeping?” you shake her more roughly, “Wake up!”It appears you’ll have to escalate.>The river’s good and cold. Nobody sleeps through getting water splashed on them.>She’s dressed as enlisted, may as well do what’s expected. Boot her.>Give up and wait/carry
>>1200005>The river’s good and cold. Nobody sleeps through getting water splashed on them.
>>1200005Check for life signs.
No, she’s definitely alive; she’s breathing deeply, and just for the sake of it, you push two fingers into the side of her neck to check for a pulse. The space between her heartbeats seems just a little too long.There’s no helping it, though, your hand has been forced. You go down to the river and cup some of its cold, clear water in your hands.Maddalyn’s face is the picture of peace, her snow white cheeks only slightly red from the chill of morning. At least, it is just before you toss the water in her face.“Agpth!” Maddalyn cries out, coughing and hacking. Her arms flail out around her madly and she writhes on the ground for a moment before realizing what she was doing.“That was a bit overdramatic.” You say with thick smarm.“Id god in by node,” Maddalyn whined, pinching her tiny nose, “Wad da hell, Rigder?”You weren’t sure because her face was soaking wet, but you thought you could see tears forming in the corners of Maddalyn’s eyes.“You wouldn’t wake up.” You shove your hands in your coat pockets, “Don’t look at me like that.”“Im sgared of drowning!” Maddalyn shook. Holy hell was she pissed. “I gouldn’d breagth!”>I could have kicked you if you were going to act like this.>I’m sorry, should I have slapped you on the ass?>Sorry. I didn’t know.>Other
>>1200159>Sorry, I was afraid you were dead and I panicked.
>>1200159>Sorry. I didn’t know.
>>1200159>Sorry. I didn’t know.>But the alternative was to kick you, and I decided against that.
>>1200159Should I have slapped you on the ass?
“Sorry, I didn’t know. I was afraid you were dead and I panicked.” “Wha…“ Maddalyn whimpered pitifully.“The alternative was kicking you,” you offer, or a slap on the ass, you don’t say. “I decided against that.”“Thanks for that.” Maddalyn coughed with the appreciativeness of one who had just been defenestrated for little reason.“We have to go back to base,” you explain, eager to get away from the current subject. “There’s probably orders for me by now.”---“You scared me, Richter,” Maddalyn pouted. She had been on your case for the past few minutes, since you started the lengthy walk back to the base by the manor.“I said I was sorry,” you retorted with indignity.“Not about that,” Maddalyn said, sniffing, “You just collapsed on the ground, after turning into…I didn’t know what to do! I…I went blind again when you passed out. I could see again after a few minutes…but…and then you threw water up my nose! What happened!?”>Describe your brief trip>Claim that it’s Poltergeist being a nuisance again>Offer to make up for it somehow>Other
>>1200607>Describe your brief trip
“What happened?” you repeat, “I still don’t know myself. I went someplace like I’ve never seen before.”You describe the swirling fog around the dark hill that you appeared on, and how Poltergeist was there waiting for you.“Poltergeist!” Maddalyn bit the corner of her lip, “It must have been a trick by him…only…I couldn’t see him. He wasn’t anywhere near…”“Does he have to be?”“The way these peoples’ things work, they don’t have to be right there, no,” Maddalyn makes vague hand motions describing the process; in her mind they must have made sense. “But they interact with the ‘presence’ of others by touching them with their own ‘presence.’ If he tried anything, I would have seen it.”“Touching?” you ask.“They look like little shiny threads. To me, at least. They’re like electrical cables they send currents of their energy through.”That was easy enough to understand. “Another thing,” you remember something Poltergeist hasn’t considered very important, “He said the place we were at was between the real world and ‘the Navel.’ Does that ring any bells?”“He was messing with you.” Maddalyn declared with no hesitation, “The Navel isn’t a real place. It’s a fairy tale among soulbinders. A fairy tale passed around by people who are fairy tales themselves.”It seemed awfully real to you. “Humor me,” you tell Maddalyn, “Tell me what it’s supposed to be.”“It’s called the Navel of the World. It’s like the Lost City of Gold or the Old Nauk King’s ship that crossed the seas while the Great Gales raged. A work of fiction, based on an exaggeration of something much less impressive. There’s a million different stories about it.” Maddalyn threw up her hands, “Some pranksters say it’s where you find ultimate power, some say it’s where you go if you turn a living thing into a golem, or whatever other taboo thing nobody does anyways. It doesn’t exist, and you sure as heck can’t be between here and there. Poltergeist was messing with you. That’s the only explanation.”“He hasn’t shown that he does much else other than mess with me.” You concede. “Uh,” Maddalyn glanced to the side, “The manor’s up there. You’re going past the road to the main gate. Should you be going up there?”“Was that an invitation?”“Err,” Maddalyn’s cheeks flushed pink, “No, I mean, where are you taking me? I just slept under a bridge and I’m still tired…”>It’s simpler this way. Besides, I did just dump Krause off with the crews last night and not come back. I have to appear some time.>In an awful hurry to get to a bed, are we?. It's only been a couple days, have some patience.>I intended to speak with Lord Von Blum anyways. We’ll go there first. >Other
>>1201953>>I intended to speak with Lord Von Blum anyways. We’ll go there first.Hopefully he won't ask why we both look like we slept under a bridge.
“I intended to speak with Lord Von Blum anyways,” you decide, “We’ll go there first.”“That’s…not really what I meant.” Maddalyn murmured, “What time is it anyways? Isn’t it too early for that sort of thing?”You pull out your pocket watch; you hadn’t wound it in some time, but it was still ticking healthily. “Oh six twenty.” You rattle off the numbers the spindly black hands pointed to on the watch’s face, “The clerks will be up by now. The farmers’ve probably already had breakfast and gone to the fields.”A territorial lord like Barnabas Von Blum did not live a princeling’s life of idle pleasure seeking, despite the great power and wealth they held. After all, even though they had a multitude of appointees and underlings, a territorial lord still had responsibilities to tend to. Sometimes the lord’s appointed governor simply did not carry the weight of the lord’s direct hand, after all.In short, Lord Von Blum would in all likelihood be available despite these early calling hours.
“Hey, hold on there,” one of the guards at the gate waved you off as you arrived, a hand on a polished halberd that was more for décor than use; a baton and a pistol were stowed at his sides for actual use. “You need an appointment and an escort to go any further, scruffy.” When Maddalyn looked up at him, his tone changed immediately. “Oh, uh…my apologies, milady. Then this is…”“Lieutenant Richter Von Tracht, yes.” You say dourly.“My apologies to you as well, milord,” the guard bowed just enough for etiquette’s sake, “You aren’t wearing your uniform, you see…”“Don’t worry about it,” you advise the halberdier.“Yes, milord.” He stiffened straight at attention, “Go on, then.” He retrieved a whistle from in his collar and blew a short tweet; the gates opened soon after.Maddalyn looked about nervously as you both crossed the grounds; presumably keeping an eye out for her sister. It seemed rather silly for one so much older than her sibling as she to fear her so, but then again, Maddalyn was the least developed twenty three year old woman you had ever seen; Mathilde was merely an equally underdeveloped seventeen year old.You recognized the butler waiting at the door.“Milady,” he bowed deeply, “Milord.”“Hello,” you wave, “I’d like to speak to Lord Von Blum.”“I’m afraid you cannot.” The butler replied, “Not in your current dress.”“Excuse me?” you ask, cocking an eyebrow.“With apologies, you are not only dressed as a street hoodlum, but you are also, if you pardon me, absolutely filthy.” The butler bowed slightly again, “One or the other may be tolerable, but to allow you in in your current state would be an affront to Lord Barnabas. I ask that you remedy your hygiene or your dress, preferably both.”>All the “Milords” in the world don’t let you treat me like that. I demand an audience.>Very well. I’ll go make myself more presentable.>Yeah, yeah, fine. (Try to find a way to sneak in)>Other
>>1202248>Very well. I’ll go make myself more presentable.
>>1202248Very well then. Show me the way to the nearest bath and a change of clothes.
>>1202402I support this
“Very well then, show me the way to a bath and a change of clothes.” You say.“I am afraid I do not know where your uniform is,” the butler said, “but there should be shower facilities at your camp.”You hadn’t really expected to be sent back.“…I’ll just stay here.” Maddalyn said, “…thank you for taking me home, Richter.”---You tried to make your stay at your base camp as brief as possible. Judging from the silence of the place, besides the deafening snoring coming from one longhouse, your troops had stayed up plenty late and were planning on sleeping through the morning. Understandable, but rather lacking in discipline.Ten minutes later you had found and put on your uniform after a shower. You quickly made your way back up to the manor; making your way in with much less hassle this time.The butler guided you to a dining room, where apparently Lord Von Blum was holding a meeting with his council of advisors, as well as some other officials.Von Blum noticed you as you entered the room, and motioned wordlessly for you to be seated at one of the chairs at the edge of the room. The table was for the council for now; you would have to patiently wait for a place there, although you were being granted the privilege of observing.
The other officials quickly forgot about you.“Strosstadt specifically requested panzers,” a middle aged administrator of some sort with a roughly shaven face and a thin scar across his forehead said. He had the roughest look about the people there, not much better dressed than you had been when you first came here and were turned away. “Men and guns would be easy. The territory has four independent infantry battalions active, with five more in reserve. Well trained soldiers, with artillery support and logistics trains. If the Archduke means to make war with Valsten, why not call for men of the line?”“Strosstadt fears the Kaiser’s ambition,” a portly, bearded old fellow with optics says, “and they do not give Valsten’s armies any more respect than would be deserved three years ago. As far as I can see, there is no reason to think differently.”“You think as if Valsten learned nothing from 1929,” the scarred man said darkly.“Von Varbonn’s territorial forces alone defeated Valsten before the Archduke’s armies even arrived,” a much younger, bored looking man wearing a monocular said. He had the Von Blum look to him; likely a son or a nephew. “Von Varbonn didn’t even have Panzers then, and Valsten did. I think the Archduke is overmatching the wharf roaches.”“Indeed,” a fancily dressed man in business attire agreed, “Sending away all of our forces for an easy battle is needlessly costly. If all the Archduke wants are panzers, then he should have them.”
“Panzers are expensive, Kellberg, much moreso than foot soldiers.” Lord Von Blum mused, his hands in a pointed arch in front of him, “Wars are not fought for the sake of your factories.”“Yes, milord, but,” the man called Kellberg said defensively, “With respect, the modified m/32 pattern are superior to anything I am aware of Valsten fielding. Panzers are only expensive should they be lost, and I am of the opinion that we will not lose many.” He looks to you, in your tank officer uniform. “You are a tanker, yes? What model do you command?”You are somewhat surprised to have been addressed. “I’ve commanded both the m/28 and m/32 models.” You answer him, “I’ve trained on the LT-24S as well.”“LT-24S?” Kellberg said in a dismissive manner, “No need to mention the Reich’s hand me downs here. The Blumlands aren’t poor enough to require them. You mentioned the m/32, though. Do you mean the standard model, or..?”“The Von Blum model, yes,” you answer him, “With the 4.7 centimeter cannon.”“Yes, my factories’ handiwork,” Kellberg claps his hands together and smiles, “What do you think of it? Fitted with additional armor, superior gunsight magnification lenses, and retractable crew periscopes, is it not the best armor you have ever found yourself inside?”He had left out the flaws you had noticed while crewing the tank. While it hadn’t been much of a problem so far, the 4.7 cm cannon was rather large for the turret, the tank initially designed for a 3.7 cm gun. With the 4.7’s power came bulk, making the turret somewhat claustrophobic in places and limited the gun’s elevation and depression. There was also the matter of its temperamental engine.>Best, perhaps, but far from perfect. I feel some attachment to my m/28 and its ability to not break down as a result of basic use.>Of course, I can’t think of a better tank to use. Valsten’s armor stands little chance against such engineering.>With respect, I have only commanded the tank in question for two days. Hardly enough to for a healthy opinion to develop.>Other
>>1204417>With respect, I have only commanded the tank in question for two days. Hardly enough to for a healthy opinion to develop.Humiliating him publicly will only earn us an enemy. Actually, if we catch him after the meeting and lay out our impressions privately instead, we might even see an improved version of the m/32
>>1204417"In the hands of an experienced crew the Von Blum m/32 is the best tank I have seen."
“With respect, sir,” you tell Kellberg, “I have only commanded the tank in question for two days. Hardly enough time for a healthy opinion to develop.” When Kellberg frowned, you added on quickly, “But, in the hands of an experienced crew, I would say the Von Blum m/32 is the best tank I have ever seen.”Kellberg seemed pleased with this answer. A few others began to state their opinions of the tank, and the factory and its owner in general; apparently there were deeper politics behind the production of this particular piece of equipment.Lord Von Blum silenced all of the others with a deliberate clearing of his throat. “The quality of the panzers notwithstanding,” he said calmly, “the escalation of forces committed to the border has been…telling. Merely two weeks ago the Archduke told me my aid would not be required on the border. The other day, he sends his personal elite. Now, he finally rescinds his earlier statement and asks for a panzer battalion. To me, it appears that the Archduke wishes to prosecute this war on the cheap.” He turns to a man dressed in the dark blues and silvers of an army dress uniform, undeniably a military advisor. “Sergeant Major. Inform this assembly of what you told me.”“The piecemeal commitment of forces to a front where it appears Valsten is serious about committing to a war…” the senior enlisted said, unblinking, “…is asking for a strained front line. If I were a commander in Valsten’s army, I would see the Archduke’s restraint for the opportunity it is. If I wanted war, like their continued escalation of troops at the border seems to indicate, I would merely wait and see how much Strosstadt wanted to commit. Valsten lost the war in 1929 because they refused to commit the bulk of their forces, not out of conspicuous cowardice or incompetence of their soldiers. Their command saw the casualties their initial operations were incurring, and became weak at the knees. They will not make that same mistake again.”It was odd for a lord to make their military advisor an enlisted man. Higher ranking officers were often much more educated in the terms of the larger strategic picture. Clearly this man was more knowledgeable than his rank made him appear.
“In other words,” Von Blum said, “War is inevitable. Most likely, a rather costly and brutal one.”“It isn’t like we can tell Strosstadt no, though, is it.” The scarred man from earlier stated.“Of course not.” Barnabas Von Blum said firmly, “It is not a matter of whether I give the Archduke my panzers, or not. It is a matter of whether I give him any more than that. Whether I should assume the battle is lost, or if I should volunteer to send as many of the men of my lands as possible to prevent such a defeat.” Von Blum folded one hand over another, “These are not mere chess pieces. The citizenry is the lifeblood of the land, by extension its ruler. I will not sacrifice any more than what is necessary.”The table fell into silence, each advisor looking at each other with a variety of different glances saying all sorts of unsaid feelings.“Come here, Von Tracht.” Von Blum beckoned you over, without looking at you. “Gentlemen,” he said when you came over, “This man is to become my son in law, in time. He is also a commander of a platoon of panzers, and thus one who will be fighting in the future.”No question of what your future assignment was then, you supposed. It may have been nicer to find out about this another way.“Von Tracht,” the territorial lord looked upon you, “Do you have confidence in the Archduke’s plans? Or would you feel that you should march with as much might behind you as possible? I believe your opinion on this matter would be…enlightening.”It was utterly astounding that you had been asked this at all. You were far too low on the ladder to decide things like this; more likely Von Blum was expecting a particular answer from you to make the council lean more towards a certain direction.“May I say that I don’t believe that I have enough experience to say?” you try to weasel out of the question.“Do not be nonsensical,” Von Blum continued to stare at you, “A lack of experience does not mean you have no opinion. Tell us what you think.”>I would feel much better if I knew there was no shortage of allies, I suppose. If Valsten is committed to a war of numbers, then whether we are still superior or not we will need numbers of our own.>Valsten is weak, and their army is made up of mice and rats. I am unconcerned with their numbers.>I have some knowledge of the land, milord. A smaller force could easily hold the south against a larger one; the great river Glennz runs between Strossvald and Valsten. Men of Valsten are still men, and not frogs. They need bridges in order to invade.>Other
>>1207581>I have some knowledge of the land, milord. A smaller force could easily hold the south against a larger one; the great river Glennz runs between Strossvald and Valsten. Men of Valsten are still men, and not frogs. They need bridges in order to invade.>For that kind of operation though infantry and artillery is better suited than panzers.
>>1207755Seconding, however some stuff to add on:However, if Valsten truly desires an all-out conflict, then a stronger force may be needed.
Should we mention the threat of continued Reich fuckery?
Among your many studies of military conflicts, naturally, was the 1929 War with Valsten. You had a general idea of what the border area looked like; the river Glennz ran from the mountains that divided Strossvald and the Reich down along the border with Valsten, and it was quite and wide vast river, with incredibly few fording points and largely only passable by boat or bridge. Hardly favorable terrain to invade over.“I have some knowledge of the land, milord,” you say, “A smaller force could easily hold the south against a larger one; the great river Glennz runs between Strossvald and Valsten. The soldiers of Valsten are still men, and not frogs. They need bridges in order to invade.” You think for a moment before adding, “However, if Valsten truly desires an all-out conflict, then a stronger force may be needed. Additionally, infantry and artillery are better suited to defensive operations than panzers.”This was following the Reich’s theory of independent panzer operations, however; the Silver Lances division was allowed such flexibility, but in a battle of the line panzers and panzergrenadiers, according to Strossvald military doctrine, were either treated as a mobile reserve or as a force multiplier, and never allowed to outrun the infantry they were to support. In any case, panzers did little in an operation like this that anti tank guns and howitzers could not do already.“Indeed,” the scarred advisor said, “yet the Archduke wants panzers.”“The Archduke will not be denied,” Lord Von Blum stood, “We will have a short recess, and reconvene in ten minutes.”As the council scattered, Von Blum approached you. “You wanted to meet with me, Von Tracht?”You reply in the affirmative.“Regarding your next assignment I presume.”You nod.“Are you satisfied with it, then?” Lord Von Blum asks, “There is no need to pretend you are an ordinary officer here. If you would rather not, there can be some reassignments. I would, however, be…disappointed.”>I have no objections. To be honest, some more typical duties would be refreshing. There’s still a chance Valsten will see the error of their ways, after all.>I’d be happy to do it, but I would appreciate some compensation. Perhaps a consideration for promotion, for my recent actions?>To be honest, I still have unaccounted for business here. I would rather stay.>Other
>>1210346>I have no objections. To be honest, some more typical duties would be refreshing. There’s still a chance Valsten will see the error of their ways, after all.
>>1210346>>I have no objections. To be honest, some more typical duties would be refreshing. There’s still a chance Valsten will see the error of their ways, after all.
“I have no objections.” You stand straight, “To be honest, some more typical duties would be refreshing. There’s still some chance Valsten will see the error of their ways, after all.”“A good answer,” Lord Von Blum turned his head sideways and looked at you sideways, “You have been asked to do rather unorthodox things, yes. Yet from what I hear, you’ve made no great effort to avoid them, either…the council will arrive at a decision when we meet once more. However,” he beckoned you over to a window and pointed to the south end of the city of Blumsburgh, “The second battalion, which you are attached to, will be making ready to load onto a train for the Varbonnlands. Make your way there some time this morning, with your equipment. I understand that you have some…irregular attachments. Such elements are not allowed to travel with military privileges, so you will have to convince them to sign a contract for mercenary duty should you wish to keep them.”“I understand.” You reply.“Your platoon is also understrength.” Von Blum goes on, “That will be remedied. The Chief Logistician for the region has already been notified, and spare personnel from the replacement battalion have been made ready. Unfortunately, despite your praise of Kellberg’s engineering, the armor currently in your possession is the only one of my locally produced assets that can be spared at the moment. Any reinforcement to your unit will have to be made using equipment recaptured from the insurgents. Many caches have already been found and reclaimed.”“I see.” Your responses had become mechanical at this point. You were surprised when Von Blum actually asked you something instead of telling you what to do.“Will you be taking my daughter with you?” his tone shifted immediately, “While I will not stop you if you do, I would remind you again that she is not a trained soldier. Carting her around for strange errands may be entertaining, but in an actual war, she is ill fit for any duties.”>With respect, milord, her lack of skill or training is a fair trade for her sorcery. I will be taking her.>If you are concerned about your daughter’s health, I assure you I will do all in my power to protect her.>No, I will be leaving her here. As you say, the battlefield is no place for her.>Other
>>1210870If you don't object, my lord, I thought it might be good for her to get out and see more of the nation. Er, so to speak. I believe her... "special talents" could also prove quite useful to our efforts.
>>1210870I intend to bring her along my lord. Of course not all the way to the battlefield, but her other talents would be useful.
>>1210870>>No, I will be leaving her here. As you say, the battlefield is no place for her
>>1210870The battlefield is no place for her.While I would like to take her along it really is no place for her, unlike say what's her face who seems capable in the armored car.Explain to Maddy that it really isn't her place an we arnt dumping her here cause she's dead weight, but having us concerned for her safety could get us killed when the shells come flying.In the event noone else votes and it's still a tie breaker, just bring her along.Also setting question, in the original run there were airstrikes, but there hasn't been mention of any air Force in the reboot, unless I'm blind. But wouldn't nobles wanr to be pilots over tankers, sorta like how early biplane dogfighting was considered like a modern jousting/knight thing
>>1210870>With respect, milord, her lack of skill or training is a fair trade for her sorcery. I will be taking her.>If you are concerned about your daughter’s health, I assure you I will do all in my power to protect her. I don't intend to bring her into combat.Now how to break it to Maddy that she's a walking medkit now?On a more serious note, I'd like to show her father that she's a person others can rely on. Maybe he'll treat her better with time.
>>1212122Plus I feel it'll be better for her self-confidence. Better to bring her along then leave her alone and stuck in the situation before we arrived.
>>1212094>Also setting question, in the original run there were airstrikes, but there hasn't been mention of any air Force in the reboot, unless I'm blind. But wouldn't nobles want to be pilots over tankers, sorta like how early biplane dogfighting was considered like a modern jousting/knight thingNo, you aren’t blind, it just hasn’t been brought up because it hasn’t been relevant yet.I'm not well researched on the matter but in setting is very loosely based off of the concept of German Leichte Divisions, which were a concession to aristocratic cavalry officers who didn't like that cavalry lost its place on the modern battlefield. These Leichte divisions were later converted to Panzer divisions.---While aircraft are fancy and expensive, the nobility has a distrust of them. Pilots are seen as foolhardy and needlessly adventurous; a cultural holdover from the first days of powered flight in warfare where significant pilot fatalities were a fact of war. This is despite the fact that aircraft technology has advanced significantly since the first use of airplanes in combat roles in the era defining Emrean War that split the Grossreich of Czeiss in twain. Pilots of Strossvald tend to be prideful, educated upper middle class, who chafe particularly with the nobility.The planes themselves are also relatively expensive to maintain, so most of Strossvald’s air forces are under the direct patronage of the capital, in contrast to the way most of the army works, and the Archduke pays territorial lords fees in exchange for use of airfields.---“I can understand you objecting to the possibility of Maddalyn being in battle,” you say, “but, if you don’t object, my lord, I thought it would be good to take her along anyways. Not all the way to the battlefield, of course, but it might be healthy for her to travel some…and possibly also make use of her…special talents.”“Special talents?” Von Blum repeats. “Oh yes, what that damnable Hermit taught her. You should know that such practices lure remarkably foul individuals.”If only you didn’t. “If you are concerned about your daughter’s health,” you continue, “I assure you I will do all in my power to protect her. I don’t intend to bring her into combat.”Von Blum thought silently for a minute, leaving you standing nervously awaiting a response. He half closed his eyes in pondering, before finally saying “Very well. Do as you like. A word of advice, however.” Lord Von Blum closed his eyes and turned away on his heel, “Maddalyn is entirely too willing to dabble in forbidden arts in foolish attempts to prove her worth. Should she propose to try something…new, I request that you force her to cease such actions immediately.”
“I understand. By your leave, milord.” You bow shortly to Von Blum’s back, and leave the room.You had no idea what sort of strange soul magic or whatever would count as “new.” So far as you knew, the only thing you really trusted was what she called “stitching.” Anything else was an unknown, or you had so little exposure to it you had no idea what it did. You sort of hoped you wouldn’t need to find out.---That morning, your m/32 had been repaired. A stern reprimanding by a senior mechanic precluded its return to your hands.“The only reason a tank should stop movin’ is because its crew’s been turned ta schnitzel,” the gruff mechanic said, his short grey beard and olive face stained black and brown with oil, “If I have ta dig around the engine from another one a these pieces ah crap ‘cause some brainless twat thought they were drivin’ a hot rod I’ll brain the guy who comes to git it. Now git.”When you visited the logistics offices for your replacements, you were much better treated.“Hoy, Lieutenant,” a baggy eyed quartermaster greeted you when you were led in, “I hear tell you need two more tanks. Not many people get a choice, you know. Lucky dog, you.”By now you noticed quite a few people in the Blumlands acted rather familiarly with the nobility. At least it didn’t seem to be out of lack of respect.“So we have four sorts of things lying around,” the quartermaster held up three fingers, looked over, and raised another. “We have our bog standard m/28. You know the sort. 2.5cm cannon, old reliable, designed by Naukland for Naukland so there isn’t a place it can’t go. We’ve also found a few with the twinned thirteen millimeters in the insurgents’ loot caches, those are nasty pieces of work. Besides that, we also found some m/32s, classic version with the 3.7. Finally we’ve got LT-24S tanks left over from training and replacement. Dunno why you’d want them. Don’t get me wrong, they still work, they’re just old.”>Pick two tanks to round out the platoon. You can mix and match, or get two of the same.>m/28 tank; somewhat aged, but aside from the gun, it’s like wine. That peashooter might not be quite enough against newer tank models, though.>m/28 13mm twin variant; same as above, but with more of a focus on anti infantry and light vehicle work. The elevation is decent enough to work as anti aircraft as well; though such is generally not advisable, since the sights are ill suited to that work.>m/32 tank; like the tank you’ve been driving about, but with a smaller gun and slightly less armor. Still a decent tank.>LT-24S tank; a design that was reverse engineered from stolen Reich vehicles eight years ago, they were designed as very lightly armored, fast cavalry tanks with 20mm cannons. Largely relegated to either reserves or training these days.
>>1212619Are there any man-portable anti-tank weapons in the setting? AT grenades don't count.
>>1212630Besides anti-tank rifles and rifle launched grenades (of which there aren't any with shaped charges in widespread use), not any that Richter knows of.
>>1212648Then>Take 2 m/32
>>1212619Also, I intended to say this in the post but I missed it, for anybody who's forgotten or doesn't know, just look at the OP image. The m/28's the guy on the left, the m/32's the one on the right.
>>1212619I want the m/28 13mm and another m/32.That's what, 3 m/32 (new one, our old one and the one driven from the insurgents base) the 13mm can act as a scout and can support the armored car (if they are tagging along, otherwise we need something lighter just Incase) and our upgrades m/32 right?
>>1212735To clarify, the recent recapture is an m/28, not an m/32.I wasn't sure I had said that's that what it was, and if I didn't say, then I would have said sure it's an m/32, but I checked back and I did mention the type it was.Just so if you want to keep the 3 mediums ratio going you'll need to change to two m/32. If you want to keep with your choice that's fine, just making sure you're aware.
>>1212785Oh that's fine, I don't mind having a cannon light and autocannon light with 2 meds.Actually I really wanted to bring 2 autocannon lights but I wasn't sure anyone else would agree.
>>121291813 mm isn't an autocannon, it's just a HMG.
“Two of the m/32s, then.” You decide.“Really going heavy and hard then,” the quartermaster wrote down some scrawls on the pad in front of him, “You know these models are brand new, right? Got a lot of teething troubles, you know.”“They’re perfectly fine so long as you don’t push them,” you reply with confidence, “There’s no need for subtlety when your equipment simply outclasses the enemy. Everybody prefers an easy battle.”“I get your point…” the quartermaster finished his writing, “You’re all set. I’ll have this sent to personnel and you should be meeting your new guys soon, at latest once you get off the train. Good luck down in the Varbonnlands.”
You had retrieved a contract for mercenary duty while at the logistics and personnel offices. Under Strossvald’s military laws, any people laboring or fighting for the army were required to be paid for their work. Despite the name, Mercenary Contracts by Strossvald were not usually signed by mercenary companies, such as those that were prolific to the north in Plisseau and to the east in Sosaldt. Instead, they were usually given to civilian contractors and police officers for traffic and transport duties. The term for the contract was honestly outdated considering its most common use, but nobody had ever seen a need to change it.The last matter was what to do about Signy and her band of republicans. Obviously Signy was still laid up at the hospital; even though her most severe injuries had been healed, her hands had been cut to ribbons and several of her fingers had been broken; the third injury could be worked around, but not the others.You wondered for a moment if she was even capable of signing the contract for mercenary duty in her condition.The other thing was that Signy and her band of fighters, despite being happy enough to fight militant imperialists, in all likelihood had no interest in fighting the wars of the state itself; especially against another republic such as Valsten. Perhaps you could convince them to stay with you out of some thin sense of comradery that could have developed over the last couple of days.---“Hey, uh, Richter!” Signy grins at you and sits up as you walk into the infirmary, herself its only occupant. For some reason, she is wearing an eyepatch. “Oh, this,” she notices you looking at the patch, “It’s a bit weird, but after my eye got fixed, it’s sort of hurt to look at bright things. So I got this. Does it look cool?”“…sure.” You say halfheartedly. “Listen, I need to talk to you about something.”“Okay,” Signy adjusts her sitting posture, “What is it?”
You hold out the mercenary contract for her to take. She looks at it blankly. “Uh…” she looks up at you, “Could you hold it up, or put it on something? It’s a bit…” she holds up her fingers, only a few bound in splints, but enough to make grasping things difficult.“It’s a contract for mercenary duty.” You explain, “It’s an agreement to work alongside the Archduke’s armies for a set period of time, in exchange for monetary compensation and the privilege of honors and decoration. My platoon and I are being sent down to the border with Valsten with one of the battalions here, there’s been tensions that may lead to a war. Valsten wants trouble, and the Archduke intends to give them it if they try anything. I figured you might appreciate being asked to come with us.”Signy blinks twice, her face stuck in a confused gawk. “Er, Richter, you…no…look.” She composed herself, looking back down and pursing her lips. “I can’t do that. I was fine fighting the Dawnseekers, they tried to get rid of us, and they were the Reich’s dogs. That doesn’t mean I want to shed my blood or have any of my father’s friends hurt for the Archduke’s…petty politics. No. I can’t.” She looks up at you again, “You don’t really have to go with them, do you? I mean…you just saved a bunch of people. You could ask to stay here, couldn’t you?”“I was given the option,” you say, “but I chose to go.”“Oh.” Signy’s face fell. “Oh…but…no, I can’t.” She turned over and away from you. “Sorry.”>It isn’t the Archduke’s petty politics, it’s your country being invaded. Just because you don’t want anything to do with Valsten doesn’t meant Valsten doesn’t want anything to do with you.>Come on now. I helped you, you can help me. All the battles to be fought here have been won.>All right, if that’s how you feel. I don’t have the right to force you into doing this.>Other
>>1215630>I thought you'd refuse, but I felt it would be impolite not to ask as a comrade in arms.>Get well soon.
>>1213007Shows how much I know about weapon calibers.Still hoping to get alight tank out of it now that we no longer have the armored car to perform light scouting duties. But I'm sure we can get something attached to us to fill that role at the front.>>1215630>>1215644ThirdingAlso ask her if there's anything she'd like to make her stay in the hospital go by faster. And if she'd want any souvenirs from the Varbonnlands
“I thought you’d refuse, but I felt it would be impolite not to ask as a comrade in arms.” You accept Signy’s refusal with grace, “Get well soon.”Signy doesn’t turn back to you. “Thanks.” She says flatly.Well, you didn’t quite want to part ways like that. “Hey,” you try, “It must be dull, just sitting around in here. Did you want me to get you anything to make the stay go by faster? Since I’m going to the Varbonnlands, I could get a souvenir, or something.”Signy didn’t say anything at first. She rolled back around after a moment, and blurted out suddenly, “Do you have a girlfriend, Richter?”You hadn’t been expecting this at all.>I’m engaged, to Maddalyn Von Blum. She’s my fiancée.>What a question that is. What are you trying to imply?>Awfully hasty, aren't we? Sorry honey, but you’re just not my type. You'll have to try hunting elsewhere. >Other
>>1216211>I’m engaged, to Maddalyn Von Blum. She’s my fiancée.
>>1216211I'm engaged, you've met her, the one you thought was a 12 year old.
>>1216211>What a question that is. What are you trying to imply?
“I’m engaged, to Maddalyn Von Blum. You’ve met her. You know, the one you thought was a 12 year old.”“What? Her?” Signy was awash with shock, before shutting her eyes sighing a heavy sigh. “Of course. I lost the game before I knew I was even playing it. As usual. God…damnit.” Signy looks dejectedly at the ground. “It’s an arranged marriage,” you tried to explain.“No, I figured, it’s how you nobles do things, but…” Signy sighed again, “I can’t believe how much that just…pisses me off. I guess…I thought I could finally have…something, again after I had everything taken away, and…damn.” Signy let out a high pitched sob. “Damn it!”“Er.” You don’t really know what to say. “Forget about it.” Signy sniffed, “Just forget I said anything. I guess…just get back safely.”>Now hold on a minute, that’s not fair. I didn’t ask to be married off.>Alright. See you later.>You could do to be a bit less impulsive. It’s been two days. There’s plenty of fish in the sea.>Other
>>1216490Give her a hug and tell her to take care.Then let's get about seeing those two new tanks crewed
>>1216490Oh God, it's the route split! What to do, what to do, I like them both.I'll go for Maddy. Breaking off an engagement would be bad from several points of view.>Hug her>"I'm honored, seeing as I'm a noble and you're a republican.">"You're a great girl. Don't let yourself think for a minute that you'll never have that something.">"Take care"
Say something like "again its an arranged marrige, i dindt choose this, and even tho i do Care for you, dosent mean i Can cancel the arrangement"
>>1216760I am against this. Don't lead her on.
>>1216490Maybe we could offer to stay in touch with her and help her with her democratic movement thing. Not in any way that would be treasonous, of course, but it could still help her to have a military officer as a contact.
>>1216728>>1216760>>1217025Why not all three? There will always be a spot in teh unit open.
>>1217025"You're a great girl. Don't let yourself think for a minute that you'll never have that something. Also if you need any help in the future don't hesitate to contact any of us."
You sigh inwardly. You couldn’t just let her off and leave on that note. You crouch down and embrace Signy, wrapping your arms tightly around her back and pulling her into you. She shakily returns the hug, holding you so tightly that you start to feel somewhat suffocated. She continues to hold on even after you loosen your hold on her.“I’m honored, seeing as I’m a noble and you’re a republican.”“Mmf.” She says at first, her face buried into your shoulder, “Shouldn’t matter. Doesn’t.”“You’re…a great girl. Don’t let yourself think for a minute that you’ll never have that something.”“I’m so confused, Richter,” Signy whispers, “Out of all the things that happened since I met you, even the weird, unexplainable things, this is the one thing that I’m not sure I can accept. But…” Signy finally lets her arms slip, “I guess I’ll have to figure it out.”“It’s not like I’ll be gone forever,” you tell to her as you stand back up, “If you or your group need any help in the future, don’t hesitate to ask. As long as you aren’t rising in rebellion and blowing up trains.”“Hee.” Signy allows herself a short giggle, “I’ll remember that.”“Take care then,” you bid Signy farewell.“See you.” Signy waves a short wave as you turn and leave.---You returned to the personnel office, to see if you had any say in how those two tanks you got were going to be crewed. The replacement battalion, by nature, had few officers; being a replacement carried next to no prestige, after all. There were non-noble officer candidates, certainly, but they rarely went through academy training unless they were conspicuously talented. Any of the few actual trained commanders likely would have done something that got them on an important player’s bad side, or lacked the ambition to say no to such postings.It was good, then, that you had recently rescued three officers. You had all the commanders you needed. You thought about your options nonetheless as you reviewed the replacement enlisted’s papers.>No need to make things complicated. Make two of them officers, and another can be an assistant.>See what options you have in the replacement battalion. You saved their asses, they can’t be offended if you find more talented people than them; you certainly can’t remember them from the academy.>You have three officers, right? See if you can cheese out getting another tank. Standard platoons are five tanks and not six, but maybe you could demand special exemption to that rule…>Other
>>1218238>>You have three officers, right? See if you can cheese out getting another tank. Standard platoons are five tanks and not six, but maybe you could demand special exemption to that rule…Does the motor pool necessarily know about the tank we captured in the woods? We could just claim it wasn't actually assigned to us and we need another one for a full platoon, then drive off with all of them.
>>1218315They don't necessarily know, no, but lies by omission aren't very well appreciated by logistics. There's little they can do about it officially, given the standing of the armor corps, but antagonizing a logistics officer with a spiteful streak has been known to result in rations and fuel mysteriously disappearing.
>>1218624How about asking whether we can take one of the relatively inferior tanks? I think another m/32 is reaching too far but ask about any of the other three choices.
>>1218635It isn't a matter of whether a tank is superior or inferior in this case, it's the matter of breaking platoon structure. You're not really supposed to have more than five vehicles; surplus vehicles and crews get organized into other platoons or reabsorbed back into reserves. It's a result of being absorbed back into a cohesive force instead of being your own independent band like before.It's not as if it's outside the realm of possibility to try and do it, hell most of your current gear was mostly assigned to you because you found it and it was easier to put a check mark on a list, it's just that now that it's time to put it all on a train and people are paying attention you'll need to come up with something pretty good to get an extra vehicle and crew when you're really not supposed to have them.
>>1218655Ok, then keep the three officers and then ask them to choose amongst themselves who wants to be the assistant.
I've already said it on twitter, but in case anybody doesn't follow it because you don't feel that insipidity of social media is a fair trade off for the convenience, I'm not going to update for the next couple of days. I haven't planned and prepared as much as I'd like, so we'll take a break in the middle of the week and resume on Friday. Voting and discussion is still open til then, and I'd be happy to answer any questions in that period.
>>1218665So I'd assume that with our next assignment we'll be back under a normal panzer battalion? Or is our platoon on its own again?
>>1218689Yes, you'll be back under a battalion, under a company commander.Of course, since this isn't an ad hoc training exercise, they'll be in a company HQ instead of simply being 1st platoon.
You decided that it was easier to keep everything simple and as close to doctrine as possible. You would go discuss with your three newly acquired officers, Von Walen, Von Neubaum, and Von Igel, which of them would be another reserve officer, a crewman under another officer like Junior Lieutenant Krause had been when your tanks only numbered two.“A dream come true. A position without any responsibility.” Von Neubaum, a long and lanky dark haired man with a perpetual drowsy look said immediately to your proposal.“…is he being sarcastic?” you find yourself asking.Everybody but you answered in varying denials.“Well.” You conclude, “That was easier than I thought it would be.”“Wait, wait,” Von Igel, short and round faced, with short brown wavy locks and a pair of opticals waved his hands about, “Just like that? You do know that Von Neubaum was the fifth highest scoring tester in the academy, don’t you?”You hadn’t. The academy only tended to pay attention to the top three highest scorers; everybody else was treated as a runner up. You had been somewhere in the thirties yourself, due to, in your opinion, a needlessly high focus on foreign history and policy that did not have to do with war. Your studies in such areas were weak.“Thank you, Igel,” Neubaum said with the excitement of an automaton doll, “He really needed to know that.”>No reason to change your decision. Not like he wants to command anyways.>Maybe this requires more thought. Come up with some way to filter out the best two.>Pick two at random>Other
>>1226296>No reason to change your decision. Not like he wants to command anyways.If any of the other two fucks up, we'll have the replacement ready.
“Just like that,” you confirm, “If Von Neubaum doesn’t want the position, he doesn’t have to take it. He can take the position of whichever one of you messes up first.”Von Walen and Von Igel look at each other nervously.“These are your crew assignments,” you hand them their paperwork, “you can get to know them while we load on the trains. We’re going as soon as we can, so…get over there.”“Great, I’ll grab my stuff.” Von Neuman replied. “Oh, wait.”
The colossal train seemed to stretch on forever; what was at the station was but one of several trains. In front of them, there was a pair of PzA-19 armored cars, specially equipped with railway wheels. There would be no surprise bombings and forcible derailing for this train.Loading was slow. Even though the armor and equipment was being loaded onto a different train at a different station, this particular stop was smaller than the others, only allowing a few cars to be filled at a time. Most of the troops here were milling about, goofing off unless a logistics officer decided to come to the platforms to draft some laborers, which would kick off a frenzy of troopers looking for ways to look busy while doing nothing at all.These attempts were often shallow and never appeared to work. Eventually it came time for the officers to get into their cars; the enlisted got seats and limited amounts of cars stuffed tightly with bunks, but armor officers, being of generally noble bearing, simply would not do without typical comforts like privacy and personal space if it was possible to have them.You had dragged Maddalyn with you to share your quarters. They weren’t really designed to house more than one person, but since she was likely the only woman who would be on an entire train of bored men both low and high born, keeping her anywhere but within arm’s reach would be simply irresponsible. It felt like the entire day had gone past when the train began moving. A trick of the mind; the sun was not yet high in the sky, but that fact didn’t make you feel any less exhausted with the wait.The train ride down to the Varbonnlands, you had found out, would take a bit more than five or six hours if there were no delays; detraining all of the equipment would probably take about as long as the trip itself, if not longer.After some research it turns out that trains go a lot further a lot faster than I originally thought.Thus it came as a bit of a surprise when the train had only just left the station, and Maddalyn suddenly said.“I’m bored.”The amount of time spent doing nothing had made her a fair bit shorter in temper than usual. Your irritability from waiting had dried up to apathy when the train finally got moving, but then again, you could read books; had to, since there was some required reading you had to do before hitting the front. Your battalion was going to some town on the southern border called Salzbrucke; part of territory taken from Valsten in the peace accords following the 1929 war.>Put off reading and take care of Maddalyn (write in)>Go over the regional geography>Go over Valsten armor equipment and doctrine>Leave the little room and find something else to do>Other
>>1226976>Take care of Maddalyn."Want me to read anyhtiung out for you?"
>>1226976>If the book on regional geography has enough text and not just maps, read that aloud to Maddalyn. Else read to her about Valsten armor.I'm really intrigued by all those rivers on the map that seem to flow _to_ mountains and sometimes even _under_ them.
>>1228421They don't flow to the mountains, the mountain regions are the sources; none of them should be running under them, but around or between in valleys.I know basically dick about cartography or a geography, besides basic map reading. There's a ton of things I don't know. I haven't put forests or detailed topography because I don't know enough to do it.
>>1228501If the mountains are the sources then those rivers just vanish in the middle of the land which is even more intriguing.
>>1228516This is a magical country
>>1228516Noted, will edit in the future to address mystery of magically vanishing water.“Here,” you offer, “you can help me with my homework.” You withdraw several instructional leaflets prepared for the southern border territories.“Er,” Maddalyn eyed the papers awkwardly, “those are printed, aren't they?"“I’ll read them to you,” you elaborate, “It’s going to take the better part of the day to get there anyways, it isn’t an inconvenience.”You started reading to Maddalyn about the area you were being shuttled to.The defining feature of the southern border was the great river Glennz; it was well fed by Valsten’s northeastern mountain springs and runoff, as well as by countless tiny tributaries along its length, resulting in a huge river nearly 30 kilometers in width at its widest parts. The place you were deploying to, the Salzbrucke region of the Varbonnlands territory, was at one of the Glennz’s thinnest points; thinner, partially, because of its splitting around the river islands Salzbrucke was built atop of. Here, the river was only two and three kilometers in width. The bridges across these narrower sections were vital strategic targets for anybody not wishing to invade by boat.
Despite having so much construction invested into it, Salzbrucke wasn’t particularly large or developed. The reason for this was simple; in the 1929 war, the city, known as Koudestroom before the lands were annexed by the Archduke, was subjected to light aerial incendiary bombardment; the primarily wooden construction of the city and a remarkably dry summer helped contribute to a colossal three day firestorm that near annihilated the city. The great stone and steel bridges, only lightly scorched by the blaze, were one of the few remnants of the great city that one occupied the island.Occupying the ashen waste in the counterattack had been an easy matter. Valsten accused the Archduchy of having purposefully destroyed the city, but the Archduke refused to acknowledge this claim.Salzbrucke retained its strategic value, but had not regained any of its economic worth in the past three years, despite the best efforts of the Von Varbonns. It turned out that few people wanted to settle an island that was charred black by fire, and the rumors that the island was haunted by tens of thousands of ashen, burnt ghosts hadn’t helped its appeal. Apparently the charcoal skeletons of the former city’s buildings were a common sight in the area, wherever it hadn’t been necessary to bulldoze them. Scraggly clumps of quick growing trees and thick brush had made short forests in some places.Thus the only large fixtures were the railway station and its supporting population. Little towns had sprung up in the ruins, mostly founded by migrants; the original population had largely fled and never come back, having seen their homes reduced to naught but smoldering coals.“Was the part about it being haunted really necessary?” Maddalyn asked. “It’s an explanation for why the place is so empty.” You say.“I hadn’t heard of a whole city being burned to the ground three years ago.” Maddalyn went on, “Doesn’t sound like the brave defense of the land most talk about when 1929 comes up.”You had heard of it, but little had been written about the matter. To your understanding, Valsten was understandably incredibly sore about the matter.>They asked for it. They invaded us, not the other way around. If they expected to bomb us without being bombed themselves, they were hopelessly naïve.>It was an unfortunate accident. I’m sure the razing of the city to that extent wasn’t intentional.>Of course they don’t talk about it, it was a huge mistake, and irresponsible. >Maybe you can ask all the ghosts how they feel about it.>Other
>>1229985>Of course they don’t talk about it, it was a huge mistake, and irresponsible.I wanted to comment on the 30km-wide river, but then I read up on the Amazon river and found out it's almost twice wider. Wew.
>>1229985>>Maybe you can ask all the ghosts how they feel about it.>>1230067I think there's a lot of river propaganda out there and personally I don't believe the alleged width of any alleged river until I see and measure it for myself.
>>1229985>It was an unfortunate accident. I’m sure the razing of the city to that extent wasn’t intentional.
>>1229985>>They asked for it. They invaded us, not the other way around. If they expected to bomb us without being bombed themselves, they were hopelessly naïve.>>However it also was an unfortunate accident. I’m sure the razing of the city to that extent wasn’t intentional.
“They did invade us, not the other way around,” you say in response, idly flipping through a few more pages on uninteresting quirks of Valsten culture that you felt to be irrelevant, “If they expected to bomb us without being bombed themselves, they were hopelessly naïve.”“That said,” you say quickly as Maddalyn prepared to reply, “In my opinion, the situation was mishandled. Enemy or no, even if it wasn’t intended, razing a city is irresponsible and undoubtedly a huge mistake. To be fair though, I don’t think there was any intention to cause such destruction, and the end result was probably an accident.”“The people who burned to death and lost their homes probably don’t feel that way.” Maddalyn observed, looking out the window at the sunburst colored grain fields outside passing by. “I wonder if they hate us for it.”“Maybe you can ask all the ghosts how they feel about it.”Maddalyn’s cheeks reddened. “Hmph. I don’t think so.” The color in her cheeks soon faded, but she continued to look wistfully out the window. “Say it wasn’t an accident though. You said that this land was taken in a counterattack. A city is hard to fight in, yes?”There were few places more difficult to fight in, you answer. Ever since mankind first practiced warfare it was preferable to lay siege and wait out an enemy than it was to attack a city. The terrain of a city so favored the defenders that any attempt to storm a defended city was assumed to incur crippling casualties.“Isn’t it convenient, then?” Maddalyn put a finger on her chin and glanced over sideways at you, “That such a big obstacle simply vanished by accident.”
“Well,” you look back at the map of the region, and the former city of Koudestroom, now Salzbruck, “This city would be a particularly tough nut to crack. It’s on a river island, so all the difficulties are compounded with having very few places to even assault from.”“But all of that didn’t matter in the end.”“No, it didn’t.” you conclude for her, “What of it?”“I don’t know much about war history, Richter, but I have…a feeling about something.” Maddalyn’s hand tilted so that she rested her chin on the side of her hand, and she looked towards the door, as though it could be more tightly shut. “When was the last time Strossvald invaded anybody first? To try and take their lands from the start?”“Well…” you think back. There really hadn’t been that many. “Sixty seven years ago, when Altöss was annexed.”Altöss was the name for the southeastern horn of Strossvald, that stretched from the Saphir Mountain range down to the convergence of three rivers at the borders of East Valsten, Sosaldt and Strossvald. Seventy years ago, several distant heirs to lands in Altöss had their claims supported by numerous noble sponsors, and three years after the claims first appeared, the Archduke’s armies marched to reconquer them from their anarchic state, as the lands were part of the loose confederation of city states and bandit kings that would become Sosaldt. After a brutal and grueling four year war, the lands were retaken and given back to its rightful owners.Since then, any expansion of Strossvald’s lands had been negotiated as a result of favorable outcomes of defensive wars, or as deals in exchange for support to a neighboring nation against one of their rivals. You explain this to Maddalyn, who became increasingly intrigued.“Don’t you think that’s a bit too convenient?” she asked, “Now we’re going down to Valsten again in preparation for the risk of them invading, right? Or is there something else?”>Next you’ll be saying the Archduke is secretly a mole man who plans to conquer the world with his subterranean army. >It’s not my place to question it. Besides, as long as it helps the country, who can complain?>Perhaps, but what can be done? All we can hope for is that we come out on the other side with as few nicks and scratches as possible.>I don’t think it’s safe for you to think about such things. >Other
>>1234183>Perhaps, but what can be done? All we can hope for is that we come out on the other side with as few nicks and scratches as possible.>I don’t think it’s safe for you to think about such things. The walls have ears, Maddy. Don't make me a widower even before we are officially married.