The question of whom and whom is not a noble is a matter of great importance in Strossvald, but the murky depths of its families’ ancestries can be difficult to probe, and sometimes, there is nothing to find but the Archduke’s assurances. Indeed, titles can be bestowed, bought and sold, and some have questioned that in a society where this is the case, what value noble blood even has. Even so, this transparent and often arbitrary class system reigns, and by the opinion of most in Strossvald, this is for the better.For most outside of the Archduchy, however, it is a source of constant annoyance. Although when Kaiser Alexander conquered all of the lands to the south and west of Naukland, he largely destroyed greater noble titles, giving them to those who aided him or were sympathetic to his reign, as well as whatever records he could find of the land belonging to any others, memories of men are not so easy to burn away as books, and the Kaisers who came after Alexander were not nearly as zealous in imposing Imperial superiority.Thus, it didn’t take long for the noble families to reorganize and re-mark the borders of their lands, which often encroached upon the territory of countries near Strossvald. The Altossian Conquest against Sosaldt, for example, was justified entirely upon the land rights of dispossessed noble families. It is openly known that the Archdukes bestows noble title on those who please them, and it did not take long after for rumors to fly about that the “ancestral lands” of these “renewed” nobility were complete fabrications, but with so many countries having discarded the demands of nobility in favor of starting anew, they could hardly argue against the lands indeed having belonged to somebody in the past. Strossvald, after all, refused to be held legally accountable for what was seen as bald conquest, as it merely claimed that the lands fell under the jurisdiction of the family who originally owned it, and had the lands unfairly stolen from them in the times of the Reich. Foreign lawyers would seethe in frustration as they bellowed in the courts that the Archduchy could not treat international laws as some child’s game where the rules could be modified to one’s liking, while Strossvald’s own legal experts thumbed their noses smugly and claimed that this was the way things had always been.Such disagreements are a large part of why so many nations hold grudges against Strossvald’s ownership of the nominal “border territories.”The people who live in these places mind little, so long as their rulers treat them with fairness; something the Archduchy has always kept a keen eye upon satisfying, with their holds on the lands thought to be so tenuous by so many.
You are Lieutenant Richter Von Tracht, officer of Panzers by the authority of the Archduke Strossvald, on a mission to rescue almost three hundred hostages of your homeland, taken into the depths of the lawless bandit kingdoms of Sosaldt.You were also looking into the eye of your fiancée, sitting in the little box it had been delivered to you in. Maddalyn’s eye stared into you, and moved to look at you, as if driven and moved by some invisible force to do so.Your disgust had worn away quickly after discovering the content of the box, and had been replaced by a hopeless sadness. You had believed that you had won over the vile Liemanner, but not only had it turned out that you had failed to destroy him, but that in attempting so, you had indirectly inflicted a grievous wound upon Maddalyn.You could only sit and look back it morosely, and think about what you could do. What could you do? The person who you thought was Liemanner (and had killed) turned out to be a decoy, meaning that the real person could have been anywhere. There was no way that you could think of to attack him.You thought perhaps of undermining his organization, but even the beginnings of an idea of how to go about that eluded you. Liemanner worked for the Southern Cities, after all, who might even have been richer than the Archduchy itself. There was nothing you could do with that route.You continued to look at Maddalyn’s eye, its gaze implicating your guilt in your mind, but no longer distracting your thinking. The Archduke’s noble officers were expecting to make clear decisions in the midst of adversity, after all, and in the later period of your academy days, you had felt its education and training even then making your wit as flexible and hard as steel under pressure.
Perhaps it was folly to attempt to destroy Liemanner, but Liemanner and his organization held precious little influence in this central part of Strossvald, you knew. Really, the only power he held over you was that his minions had Maddalyn in their clutches. If Maddalyn was saved, the foul spymaster no longer had any power over you. How to save her, though? A normal raid was out of the question. She was held in the fortress of the Death Heads gang, pawns of the Southern Cities’ Blood Suns and Liemanner by extension. Attempting to break in there rashly could very well get her killed.But you had more subtle ways of reaching her. Unlike Liemanner (you hoped), you had the supernatural on your side. You doubted Poltergeist would help you for anything but his “wish,” but even then he bizarrely had implied that he wouldn’t do anything too small, and perhaps only rescuing Maddalyn was still not a “fair trade” in his mind. The Riverman, while much less powerful and thus much less appealing of a rescuer, was still a soulbinder, and also able to be swayed with money. You had no shortage of money, but you did lack in faith that he would be able to do the job.If only you knew a third Soulbinder…well, fourth. Fifth? More powerful than the Riverman, but more malleable to your will than Poltergeist. Also significantly less of a senile vegetable than the Hermit, who had been Maddalyn’s mentor in soulbinding arts. …There was also the option of submitting to Liemanner’s demands and giving him his litter of bastards. What other option did you have? You certainly couldn’t go back and kill Signy, even if Loch would let you (which he likely wouldn’t), and attacking the Iron Hogs had been said by all to be a good way to get killed pointlessly. The thought of it was foul and disgusting to you, but Liemanner had admittedly made it easy…>Liemanner would have nothing from you. Poltergeist or the Riverman, whoever would do it for you, would snatch Maddalyn away for you. He could hardly conjure a double of your wife to be, not with the traits she had so easily visible to Soulbinders.>What other option did you have? It wasn’t so terrible to have bastards, especially considering the circumstances you were in. So many other noble sons had them for far less justifiable reasons, and it wasn’t as if you’d enjoy it…>Liemanner’s reach couldn’t be this absolute, and it was far too early to plan a decisive action. You would retrace your steps and hide your identity; perhaps disguise another as yourself. Liemanner wasn’t the only person who could have imposters. You could plan further from the safety of anonymity.>Other?----->past threads pastebin @ https://pastebin.com/UagT0hnh>miscellaneous information pastebin @ https://pastebin.com/k8yuNeuS ---Still barren, because I've been dragging my feet on doing it.>twitter for announcements is @scheissfunker
>>1874640Christ, big decision here.No matter what we choose keep the eye in the box, maybe Maddy can still see through it, and if not maybe her spells can reattach it.Either way we have to continue our recon of the lands no matter what we choose and inform our tank commanders of Liemanners survival.
>>1874640>Attempt to determine whether Maddy has remote contact with the eyes by using handwritten notes. She can respond by turning the eyes.>Liemanner’s reach couldn’t be this absolute, and it was far too early to plan a decisive action. You would retrace your steps and hide your identity; perhaps disguise another as yourself. Liemanner wasn’t the only person who could have imposters. You could plan further from the safety of anonymity.>Liemanner would have nothing from you. Poltergeist or the Riverman, whoever would do it for you, would snatch Maddalyn away for you. He could hardly conjure a double of your wife to be, not with the traits she had so easily visible to Soulbinders.All the options. Hiding our identity will serve as a distraction even if Liemanner sees through it. (Remember though that Malachi, Jorgen and Hilda are easily recognizable). Meanwhile we should try contact Poltergeist for confirmation that Liemanner isn't a soulbinder, and contact Riverman to at least determine his ability and willingness to exfiltrate Maddy.
>>1874792Seconding this. We should gauge what connection - if any - this eye still has and at least gauge the feasibility of employing the Riverman.
You were certainly aware that you couldn’t stare at this eye in a box all morning. Even here, somebody would probably take exception to that, so you had to get an experiment out of the way first. You withdrew a pen from your coat pocket (some people didn’t carry pens with them wherever they went. Ridiculous.) and wrote a message instructing Maddalyn on what to do if she could see said writing on the back of Liemanner’s intimidating letter. Satisfied that you were completely clear with the instructions, you held them up in front of you.The eye did not follow your simple instructions on telling you that it could indeed read them. You tried waving the paper back and forth to see if you could at least get its attention; nothing. You sighed and crumpled up the paper in your fist, while supposing that you really had no reason to expect something so convenient to happen. Then again, you couldn’t really expect anything from magical, still living disembodied eyes, so it had been worth a try. The eyes definitely followed you, though. Maybe the creatures in the eye thought you were interesting somehow.Nobody had appeared yet, but you closed the box anyways before picking it up and going upstairs to get your satchel, to store the box inside. You didn’t stop plotting, though.One thing was for certain; Liemanner’s reach was far from absolute, as much as he might have liked to try and make you think that it was. If his influence was as deep as he acted it was, then he wouldn’t have needed to torture Maddalyn to punish you; he would have simply struck at you directly. Maddalyn’s monetary worth to the Death Heads was at its peak when she remained unhurt, after all, and mutilating a hostage was generally seen as a poor idea by even amateur kidnappers, so if there was a multitude of actions he could take against you then you were rather sure that he would not have gone with such a drastically self-harming one as the first.Even so, more people were recognizing you than you cared for. In all likelihood they weren’t agents of Liemanner so much as motivated to find the easy mark you’d made of yourself, but it wouldn’t hurt to be more careful. You would have to backtrack to even begin, since you’d been recognized here, but it hadn’t taken long to come here in the first place so the delay would theoretically be minimal, and worth the delay it would incur. Your clothing was forgettable enough that a simple switching of outfits would be enough for you and your crew, and the scarf you wore over your face to keep the dust out of your lungs was quite good on its own as well; the biggest thing you would have to change would be your High Strossvald accent that you had never thought would be so recognizable. Your crew could probably help with that; they came from central Strossvald as well, but you would at least not have the affectations of the upper class if you practiced with them.
Those simple steps would let you move without being harassed, and hopefully out of Liemanner’s notice. You could even enhance the effect by sending an identical party elsewhere, disguised as you; somebody who wouldn’t mind all the new female attention they’d be getting. Who that would be, you had no idea. All of your noble officers had natural High Strossvald accents, albeit with some regional coloring, but you didn’t think any of them were particularly lecherous from your impressions of them. At their age, some of them might have even been married! That would definitely keep them from going along with your plan, especially if you informed them of the drastic measures some of the money hungry prostitutes might take.Hell, you had been lucky, in a way. What if instead of a sleeping drug, you had been assaulted by a dozen strongmen and restrained? You’d have been really screwed.Right, you thought to yourself as you lurked about your room, your steps creaking the floor and undoubtedly waking up at least one of your slumbering crew as you looked for your satchel that carried your collection of potentially needed administrative material. Liemanner would have nothing from you; once your movements had been freed and you had wiped yourself from Liemanner’s potential eyes, you could work your supernatural connections to attack him from an angle he very well could not expect, nor do anything against. You’d meet with Poltergeist again to make sure you weren’t plotting against somebody stronger than you expected, then have the Riverman snatch Maddalyn away from Liemanner. That done, Liemanner would have no way of forcing you to do anything, and you would finally have the upper hand in this game once more.
“Why are you nodding to yourself, boss?” Hans said wearily from the floor. He and the other crew here had been satisfied with the rug and whatever bedding they could scrounge up. Gentlemen that they were, they refused to let Hilda do as she wished and sleep on the floor.Forcefully, one might add. Apparently, from what you could understand of Jorgen telling you, she had only desisted when she had been threatened with being hog-tied.You just gave Hans an annoyed look that made him look ceilingwards before closing his eyes again.“No, don’t get comfortable again,” you said to him, “We’re leaving soon.”“God damn it,” he mumbled, “What is this, basic? Gonna give us a reveille at least?”“If you want.”“Nah, I’ll give Stein his.” Hans pulled himself up.“Not Malachi?” you asked.“You can do it if you want. Fucker doesn’t wake up nice, so I wouldn’t touch him if I were you.”With that, Hans crept over to Stein and, winding up dramatically, slapped him across the face with an open palm.“Nurrgh!” Stein recoiled and drew his hands up to his face, eyes flying wide open, “What the hell!?”“Wake the fuck up, soldier!” Hans shouted, “You can sleep once I’ve drilled you so hard that you fucking die!”“Go to hell…” Stein grumbled, rubbing his cheek.“Shuttafuckup.” Malachi growled; it was the clearest phrase you’d ever heard him say.You went over to Hilda while the crew discussed how, yes, they were waking up now. Hilda hadn’t been disturbed by any of the noise, and she remained sound asleep, blanket pulled up just under her eyes.“Damn,” Hans said as he slouched next to you, peering down at Hilda’s sleeping form, “She’s not dead, right?”“You’d better not be thinking about…your Fried Eggs.” Stein said harshly from behind."How do you know about the Fried Eggs?" Hans demanded."My sister, stupid." Stein replied.“Fried Eggs?” you asked. “Don’t ask,” Hans said, “Unless…you want to see it in action?”>I’ve learned that if it’s something you do to any woman it’s probably awful. Leave her alone.>…You know what, sure. I’m morbidly curious.>Tell me how to do it. I want to try, whatever it is.>Ruin the fun. Shake her awake.>Other?
>>1875918>I’ve learned that if it’s something you do to any woman it’s probably awful. Just shake her awake like a normal person.
>>1876025Works for me. I doubt she's in a joking mood.Signy is for bullying so we'll try it on her.
You frowned at Hans, “I’ve been around you enough to know that it’s probably something awful.” You doubted she was in the mood for anything that Hans would dream up, anyways.“Awful?” Hans looked offended, “I wouldn’t slap a woman in the face, but you can’t have them feeling left out. It’s harmless.”“Harmless and pointless,” was all you had to say about that, “I doubt I even want to know what it is, let alone have you demonstrate it.”Hans made a mock pouty face at you. “Oh, how awful. The very idea of mischief is simply unthinkable. Fiiiine.”With that out of the way, you rolled the cover back a bit and shook Hilda by the shoulder. Come on, you mess of a woman inside and out, rise and shine, you thought.“Nnn.” Hilda rolled over and crunched up into herself.“Fried Eggs works every time on the deepest sleepers, you know,” Hans offered. You only replied to him with a gruff, disapproving grunt. “Come on, Hilda,” you took her by both shoulders and shook her back and forth. You heard the window being opened, for some reason. “You’d better not be pretending to be asleep,” you said, but she was as limp as a doll. You shook her more brusquely, but she was still unresponsive. Did she get drugged or did she really sleep this heavy?BANGEverybody in the room leapt up, Hilda included, at the sound of the pistol discharging. Malachi stood, gun smoking, having shot out the window. The room stared speechless at him, until you heard the commotion from other rooms starting up. Malachi muttered something, and started for the door.“…Yeah, time to go,” Stein said hurriedly.
You were soon on your way, chased out by the sounds of doors opening and confused bickering. You explained to your crew, hastily, that you would backtrack and come right back up. A necessary step, you assured them, and easy with a good night’s rest after the chaos of the last day.On the way back, you practiced with your crew on how to speak properly like somebody below your station.“It’s not just the way you talk, Commander,” Stein said, “it’s the way you walk. It’s too deliberate. You don’t need to take every step like it has to look good for anybody watching. Even when you’re being casual your posture is different.”“How do you suggest I fix it?”“I don’t know,” Stein said, “Just act as if there isn’t a camera on you all the time, I guess.”“I already act that way.”Stein sighed. “Uh…lean forward some. Maybe you can try to act like Hans, he’s probably the least refined person here.” Hans coughed unsubtly at that.“Let’s get back to speech,” you said, “Talk some more. I’ll try and copy it.”“I think you should have Sleepyhead talk some more,” Hans said, “Stein and I are too Strosstadt to be too different. Bedhead’s got some Valstener bitterness on her tongue.”Hilda sniffed. “I don’t like your nicknames for me. I don’t speak like a kliefnaz either.”Hans whistled. “We need to wash this lady’s mouth out, boss. Saying filth like that.”“Kliefnaz are filthy people.” Hilda agreed.“Tauch lekmiae.” Malachi blattered by you, one hand on the wheel and the other tapping on the dash. “Nobnouu eerrfrum.”“Wod’ee sae?” Jorgen said from the very back, crammed in with your cargo. “Don’t speak like either of them, whatever you do,” Hans said for you. “Anyways, let’s hear more out of Sleeping Beauty. I’m sure she’s got a lot to talk about.”“I really don’t like your nicknames.” Hilda repeated, her monotone still imparting a threatening quality with her repeating of her disapproval.“I’m trying to get you to lighten up is all,” Hans leaned on the window, facing her and kicking a leg over Stein, who tolerated it for a couple of seconds before punching it away. “I’m not saying you have to blush and giggle and shit, but the boss isn’t going to learn your accent if you talk like a typewriter prints. Even if you got pissed that would at least be something."
“He’s...” Hilda faltered as she looked at you, before putting her hands together and looking at her lap.“What?” Stein took notice of her distress, “What’s wrong?”Hilda didn’t say anything, but Malachi threw the car to a stop, kicking the door open as soon as the car finished skidding sideways and leaving the rest of the passengers banging their heads together.“Retaaddrounaagain.” He muttered angrily. You pitched out of the car the other way and looked around. The trash pile that had blocked you yesterday had been reconstructed; you looked around for assailants, and saw a hooded figure popping up from a ditch.“Not you bastards again!” you heard the scratchy voice of the boy bandit from yesterday scream, before he ducked and ran away. You waited for his cohort to attack nevertheless, but they never came either. You guessed they learned their lesson.“Retaad.” Malachi grunted before starting to kick garbage out of the road. You went to help him, thinking about how in a few hours that kid would be extremely disappointed once more.-----No matter how Hans cajoled the rest of the way, Hilda refused to speak even another word. You made do with talking with Hans and Stein the rest of the way, whom would each criticize the way you spoke some words while insisting you either use more vulgar terms or less complicated vocabulary, respectively. You still were having trouble as you came close to the Guillotines town once more, but you knew you had definitely improved, and felt that you at least sounded different to yourself when you were making an effort to annunciate differently.On your way in, you passed very closely to Von Metzeler and a few other officers observing the Guillotines moving around in basic vehicle drills. Von Metzeler in particular looked coolly frustrated, as if looking upon modestly talented performers trying and failing to impress him with tricks they clearly had no skill at doing. Even in the short time you could look at the maneuvers, you could see that there was far too much stop and go, too much correcting and overcorrecting when speed of execution should have been considered instead.
Being back in as friendly territory as you could muster at the moment, you had disguises changed around. Your more recognizeable members, Hilda and Malachi, had the most adjustments made to their costume. Hans’s suggestions for changes to Hilda’s apparel went unheard.“Hookers aren’t out of place, boss,” he complained while pointing out a few on the road outside a shady establishment.“They ain’t,” you said, trying out your impression of a West Strosstadt laborer, “Anything too showy’ll show the scars.”“No, no,” Hans said, “Consider the benefits. When you’re talking, I mean. You’re a young laborer with no wife yet, and you’re on the prowl. Bedhead’s got nice boobs and you appreciate them.”“I do?”“Damn right you do! You’re hunting and you think about those nice fat boobs in that outfit that shows them, the low scoop neck and all. So you’re more like, her tits’ll be out, but so’ll her face, because she’s a looker on one part but not the other.”“That sounds like a rather ugly thing to say about her,” you said, thankful that Hilda was out of earshot for now, changing.Hans shrugged innocently. “What can I say? Rude people, and she’s not here to listen. You think I’m messing with you?”You admitted that he most likely wasn’t.You had some time here, if you wanted to spend it. You also had to consider how much effort you should put into your disguise. You could switch your vehicle, for example, but you weren’t sure how necessary it was; it was a heavy duty hot rod and a looker, sure, but how many people would think that was your car..? Well, you supposed it depended on the people’s image of you, but you also didn’t want to get rid of that nice car if you didn’t have to…>Only the change in costume and speech and behavior will be needed. The car and everything else is fine.>Switch out the car, just to be careful. It isn’t as if it matters how good the car is as long as it runs; you could even just take one of your bulky Handelwagens, if nothing else.>Take drastic measures. Switch out the members of your party that stood out the most, and replace them with other people. (Write in for any requests, elsewise you’ll drag along some Bat Company infantry).>Other?Also:>Ready a decoy party to pretend to be you? (Write in who you think best candidates are, or if you want further information on anybody for help in making a decision)>No need…Also!>Any other things to do while you’re here?>Go and look at the maneuvers; see how the locals are performing to Von Metzeler’s standards.>Get in, get out. Anything no directly related to your mission can wait.This is a lot of decisions to make and intricate ones too, so as usual, don't hesitate to ask questions or request to have things clarified. I'll answer with anything that Richter would know or could reasonably find out or infer anyways.
>>1876511>Only the change in costume and speech and behavior will be needed. The car and everything else is fine. (We can always say we looted the car)>Go and look at the maneuvers; see how the locals are performing to Von Metzeler’s standards.
>>1876511If we are sticking to the decoy plan then it's okay to interact with folks here. If we are just heading out without a decoy hen we need to just go in and out with a new vehicle. Who the hell knows who is on Liemanners payroll.First off, we drastically underestimated our enemy. We should go balls to the wall here:>Ready a decoy party to pretend to be you? (Write in who you think best candidates are, or if you want further information on anybody for help in making a decision)Hilda/Jorgen/Malachi need to go on the decoy mission unless they can successfully disguise themselves or just not talk. They stand out too much otherwise.One m28 with a tank commanders should head off around and go have a good time. Best candidate I feel would be either Von Igel or Von Neumann. Krause would be good since he isn't actually a nobleman thus has name to defend but he is also a distressingly moral man.Von Igel is calculating so he may know the value of our plan, but I don't remember much about Von Neumann. Von Walen has a temper and a strong family history since the wine cellar.
>>1877190So Von Walen would probably just get insulted at our question. I'd say Hans would best as he would see this assignment as heaven, but I know he wouldn't be able to pull off being a Blueblood.If Hilda and co. can't keep their profiles down then let's take Bat Company's best scouts. Gotta get a look at the land.tanq, some questions please:Brief family history or the Von Neumann and Von Igels? I dunno if Richter ever asked them.Which of them didn't want to be a tank commander?How much time till the ball?>Any other things to do while you’re here?Go see how Signy is doing?>Go and look at the maneuvers; see how the locals are performing to Von Metzeler’s standards.We should give him advice to keep it simple for them, they'll never meet our standard in this short of time.
>>1877253>Brief family history or the Von Neumann and Von Igels? I dunno if Richter ever asked them.Eh, I haven't put it in the quest, but I'll say you've spent enough time around them to know the basics.The Von Neubaums are rather benign landowners, and a small family that shuns the courts. Their most significant holding is the Aldstream Forest, which they exploit for timber, using it as a tree farm of sorts. They have mild wealth, but little prestige besides as the holders of a quaint county. Their greater pride is in the family Patriarch's position as headmaster of Messingplatz University and Research Center, a place Von Neubaum claims is one of Strossvald's most prestigious places of learning. Your Von Neubaum is the second son.The Von Igels on the other hand are quite an old family, but are also remarkably forgettable. Their sole holding is Igelhugel (appropriately named for their title), a rinky dink nothing town that you'd never had heard of or cared about unless Von Igel told you that it existed. They live comfortably as a colossal family that sends its relatives to courts all over the country as carousers. Your Von Igel is the much less socially capable (for the family) seventh son.>Which of them didn't want to be a tank commander?Von Neubaum, but he's less of a case of not wanting to be, as far as you know, and more of taking any opportunity to shirk responsibilities. To put it simply, he would rather avoid leading if he could help it, and with your excess of officers, he's taken the opportunity to avoid having to do officer duties. From his demeanor, this seems mostly to be due to not wanting to rather than a lack of ability to do it.To mesh this with the other question and make the knowledge useful, Neubaum is well learned and intelligent but seems to be a layabout, while Igel seems to be timid if somewhat cunning at times.>How much time till the ball?It'll be going on the next night. In quest's timeline, "tomorrow" night.
>>1876511>Tell Loch Liemanner's alive and still probably has spies around>Take a nap to meet PoltergeistIf he has any valuable info we'd better know it now.>Visit the ball. A chance to establish contacts with Iron Hogs is worth a day's delay.>Switch out the car, just to be careful. It isn’t as if it matters how good the car is as long as it runs; you could even just take one of your bulky Handelwagens, if nothing else.Let the decoy party have it.>Shave our head baldHair color is a mandatory part of any verbal description>Ready a decoy party to pretend to be you>Take drastic measures. Switch out the members of your party that stood out the most, and replace them with other peopleHilda, Jorgen and Malachi need to go with the decoy party, especially Hilda. Replace them with Honnrieg's scouts. Or maybe even take one of Loch's men.As for our double, choose Von Neubaum. Von Igel is too timid for independent action. Don't have him calling himself Von Tracht though, he has to look like he's trying to avoid attention.
>>1877537>>1876511Oh, and >Go and look at the maneuvers; see how the locals are performing to Von Metzeler’s standards.Since we have time before the ball anyway.
>>1876511>Switch out the car, just to be careful. It isn’t as if it matters how good the car is as long as it runs; you could even just take one of your bulky Handelwagens, if nothing else.The decoy team can use it.>Ready a decoy party to pretend to be you? (Write in who you think best candidates are, or if you want further information on anybody for help in making a decision)Hilda/Jorgen/Malachi >Go and look at the maneuvers; see how the locals are performing to Von Metzeler’s standards.
One of the things you decided to definitely do was separate yourself from your more conspicuous partners. Malachi and Jorgen, having such strange speech patterns, would have to go despite their strength. Hilda would also have to leave, not because of her trespasses but for the practical reason of her scarred face standing out wherever she went. Perhaps it was unfair to do so, but life itself was unfair. You’d replace them with Bat Company men when you set out once more.Due to their standout nature, though, they could very easily help the decoy you planned to deploy draw notice. The question then was whom to choose as your double.Perhaps it was better that they not be a double, actually. Liemanner hadn’t spread your name, as far as you knew; only your social station. Presumably he either didn’t know or particularly care that you traveled with quite a few members of nobility.It wasn’t an easy decision, either. Von Metzeler was too sensitive about his honor, and likely of much more use here instead of playing around in the wasteland. Krause was too moral and honest for deception, in your opinion, and Von Walen seemed to high in station and short of fuse for delicate work. That left Von Igel and Von Neubaum.From what you knew of Von Igel’s personality, he would not do either. He was a thinking man, of course, but too timid and indecisive in times of need. Von Neubaum would have to do, despite his seeming lack of energy for hard duties. You went to find him.Von Neubaum had, when he first joined with you, been serving in the inauspicious position of Von Igel’s gunner. Since you gained an excess of vehicles he had been forced into the role of actual command, not that he seemed lacking for it. You found him napping by his assigned tank, with some of his crew loitering and playing at cards, which they reflexively hid when you came near.“Junior Lieutenant,” you addressed Von Neubaum, “You’re needed.”Von Neubaum slowly opened his heavy, deep set and thick lidded eyes at you. “Lieutenant Von Tracht. Did you forget something?”“I forgot to give you an assignment,” you said to him, “How fond are you of women, first of all?”“…Are you coming on to me?”“Very funny,” you gave him a fake, dry laugh for his troubles, “I’m asking if you mind being hounded by persistent women.”Neubaum rubbed an eye with one hand while keeping the other behind his head, sighing, “It’d certainly be a departure from my life up until now. Why, did you find a pack of women desperate to find a rogue tank commander from the Archduchy’s armpit?”
“Something like that,” you muttered. You explained your awkward situation to him, leaving out the parts about exactly why he had to do it, instead filling in half truths about it being disruption on part of the Death Heads.“You didn’t mention that they were whores,” Von Neubaum said, bored as he rose to his feet and swung his arms back and forth as he stood. “I had the image of sweet country women, or perhaps fancy Southern City socialites.”“I haven’t been accosted by any of those.” You said uncertainly. You hadn’t exactly put yourself in places to meet those, either. “Is it a problem?”“No.” Neubaum sighed once more, “I never had my hopes up in the first place, if you were foisting this sort of thing on me.”You had expected to have to convince him, and it was surprising when Neubaum simply accepted your mission for him. “You’re truly all right with this?” you asked him.“I’m bored. That’s all.” Von Neubaum said dismissively, “Am I alone in my quest to collect lovers scorned, or will I have some merry men to accompany me?”“Two, and a woman.”“Will the woman have an unreasonable lust for me as well?”Hopefully, you thought. “No. Treat her as another soldier, she’s under mercenary contract.”“Not any more she isn’t.”“Well,” you looked down, “It doesn’t matter. Do you need to prepare anything?”“It won’t take long.” Von Neubaum whistled to his crew and made a rough gesture, to which they simply shrugged to each other and resumed their game. “I suppose I’m getting lost to the west.”“Ideally,” you said, “Make sure not to get too lost. I need to be able to find you again when the time is right.
After you had sent Von Neubaum off with the car, you went to the next thing on your agenda. Meeting with Loch and Signy. You wagered they’d be close together, being sorts of joint heads of this new state, and you guessed that they would be at the Red and White as usual.“Hey, handsome,” a raven haired woman you recognized greeted you as you entered, “Are you looking for Cyclops?” You were, you told her. “I’ll have somebody get you upstairs to her…” she leaned in close, “Give it to her rough, okay?”You rolled your eyes and she winked at you before leaving. The burly man you remembered as being called Os came down for you soon after.“Lieutenant,” he said to you gruffly, “Come. You weren’t expected, but you are welcome nevertheless.”You were led upstairs, but to a different room than before. Os knocked on the door, and it opened for you. As you expected, the doorman was Rune.“Lieutenant,” he drolled, before waving you in and closing the door after you.This room had been set up like a lounge of sorts. A few men you didn’t recognize, doubtlessly Loch’s, were sitting by the window, watching Loch and Signy, who were seated across from one another at a small table. They appeared to be looking at something, Signy awkwardly moving something around with an outstretched, single finger. She looked as though she were thinking extremely hard, while Loch, opposite her, was completely relaxed.“Lieutenant!” he called over to you, “A pleasure. Did you change your mind about the ball? Miss Vang needs a partner, you know.”Signy hadn’t noticed any of this, and was poring over the table in front of her. When you came closer, you noticed that it was some sort of war game, with colored shapes representing blocks of troops; ostensibly those of the Kaiser’s era, where wars were fought with musket, cannon, and saber. You had played a version of this, if it was what you thought it was; battle was abstract, and it was more a game of dispositions and reading the flow of battle than an accurate simulator of any conflict in particular.>I’ll be going, but why don’t you be Signy’s partner? Aren’t you prettier than me?>I’ve changed my mind, yes, but I only want to go and meet somebody. I won’t be making a show of myself.>You never said Signy needed a partner. Hopefully a mysterious nobody will do as her match; I’m going incognito from henceforth.>No, I’m not going. I just came here to tell you something important.>Other?
>>1879569>I’ll be going, but why don’t you be Signy’s partner? Aren’t you prettier than me?
>>1879569>>I’ll be going, but why don’t you be Signy’s partner? Aren’t you prettier than me?
>>1877461>In quest's timeline, "tomorrow" night.I still find it funny that in quest timeline it hasnt even been 2 months since we graduated from the armor academy
>>1879935If I were to go back and change anything it would be to stuff a bit more empty space time in places so everything didn't happen so quick, but I was really adverse to time skips of any time for a while, even if it would have been better to have a few. Showing every minute of a character's life isn't really feasible, unfortunately.
>>1879945Still catching up with the thread.Its honestly fine, if their were timeskips we'd probably be rescueing our wife right now instead of fiancee.
>>1879569>>I’ve changed my mind, yes, but I only want to go and meet somebody. I won’t be making a show of myself, but why don’t you be Signy’s partner? Aren’t you prettier than me?
“’ve changed my mind, yes,” you said, “but I only want to go and meet somebody. I won’t be making a show of myself, but why don’t you be Signy’s partner? Aren’t you prettier than me?”“Who?” Signy heard her first name spoken and she looked up. “Oh! Hi…” Signy still seemed to be contemplating the game, and her speech was distracted.“Of course I am,” Loch said confidently, “But…” he stood and made a mocking, slight bow to you, “I am not matching in standing and prestige as a lord of Strossvald. Von Tracht, yes? A storied house, I hear. A very fitting ornament to decorate the arm of the leader of the Shields of Liberty.”“Psh.” You expressed your opinion of that, while craning over at the game board. From the look of the colored shapes representing troop formations, Signy was getting absolutely crushed. Three long lines of orange troops were arrayed in a column before her piddly single formation, and two arrow shaped cavalry troops were making ready to bear down the flanks, seeming to chase two defeated blue arrows that must have belonged to Signy’s force. “You could be doing better, hm?” “No, it’s supposed to be like this…” Signy itched at her chin with the back of a hand. “It’s only been two turns.”“That’s not a very fair match then.”“Games are artificially fair, good Lieutenant,” Loch said, seating himself once more, “Battlefields, on the other hand, are never fair. Sometimes when defeat stares you in the face, you can do naught but minimize the damage, as this scenario is a good teacher of.”
You had more important matters to settle, of course, but could you really not take any interest in this wargame? Of course you had to find out more. “So what has happened?” you asked Signy, “I can see you’re on the back foot, of course. You didn’t try and destroy his cavalry with yours, did you?”“Of course not,” Signy puffed frustratedly, “I’m not that dense. I don’t have a good enough chance of winning with his infantry able to break away and help, and even if that wasn’t the case, a one on one fight isn’t good odds.”“So you can’t retreat, then?” you asked, “If I were in command of this I wouldn’t fight it out.”“Miss Vang has been given no choice here,” intoned Loch, “She must do her best for as long as she can. She is attempting to draw my mobile forces into a situation where they would be quickly defeated with the aid of her own infantry, but with my number as they are, I have no reason to engage hastily.”Signy turned red when Loch so casually revealed her plan. To be fair to her, it was the most sensible thing to try and do, even if it was obvious. You examined the terrain of the field, also arrayed in simple shapes of cut out paper. Blobs that represented hills, and a blue strip that must have been a river.“What is this?” you pointed to a fat part of the river that had been marked strangle.“A fording point,” Loch explained, “In this scenario, Miss Vang has been caught unawares after crossing, against an enemy she cannot fight. A classic ambush by a greater force. For her to break and run back across the river would be to leave her baggage trains to be captured by my forces; a poor result indeed. The longer she delays, the better the chance that her army’s logistics may be less damaged.”“It seems as though you’ve set her up for defeat.” You said, “With no real chance for victory.”“The acme of generalship,” Loch smiled while keeping his eyes on the board, “is setting the stage for victory before the battle even begins. Every general will face their match, or even those who are their better. The better may have already won in some cases, such as this one, but with proper thinking, one’s defeat can be minimized, and the opponent’s victory made ignoble.” Loch stared at Signy and tapped his fingers a few times against the table before reaching forward. “You are thinking for too long, Miss Vang,” he said as he pushed some of his pieces forwards, eliciting a gasp and a scrambling from Signy.
“H-hey!” Signy protested, “You can’t do that!”“Initiative is all-important in a war of maneuver,” Loch declared, ignoring Signy and lecturing her instead of listening, “To surrender initiative is to surrender control of the battle. When one side is forced to react to the other, where they are off balance becomes apparent. You have allowed me to act upon you, Miss Vang. If you wish to become better, you must force me to react to you.”“Hnnn…” Signy grimaced, before quickly moving her two cavalry pieces into the flanks of Loch’s first rank while pushing up the infantry to them as well. “T-take that then!”Loch regarded this new move with mild interest. “Intriguing. Roll your dice, then.”Signy did so, uncertainly, but when she saw the numbers that came up, her face was twisted by the sudden appearance of an uneven smile as she pumped her arms by her side. “Y…yes..!”Loch clicked his tongue upon looking at the dice himself, and removed the rank of infantry that had been attacked from three sides. “How do you like that?” Signy cried, “Now it’s only two to one instead of three!”“Yet the battle is not yet won,” Loch warned her, while looking to you. “She learns quickly considering that she is an amateur at tactics.” He went back to considering his pieces for a moment before Signy put both hands on the table and leaned forwards.“Loch!” she said, “You will escort me to Wossehn’s ball.” This elicited laughter from the spectators, and a smirk from Loch.“You will have to try harder than that to topple my wits, my lady,” he said as he pushed his pieces into place, charging the cavalry into each other while smashing into Signy’s infantry line with his second row. A roll of the dice for each combat seemed to indicate each did not go decisively, but with each engaged unit as fast as their opponent, they were undoubtedly all pinned in place, while Loch had one formation still free to move.Signy realized this, and leaned back, arms hanging by her sides limply before rolling her head back. “Well, I tried.”“There have been worse defeats,” Loch said reassuringly, “That move worked well for you, but you should keep in mind that while brashness can go far, if your vision becomes too narrow, your decisive move may become your last.”Despite having been thrust into a practically unwinnable situation, Signy still didn’t seem happy that she lost. She chewed on her lip while looking at the ceiling and tapping her foot.>Complement her performance>Point out that there were things she definitely could have done better (write in)>They’ve had their fun. Move straight on to business concerning the news about Liemanner.>Other?
>>1880027>Compliment her performance>Point out that there were things she definitely could have done better>"Laying a trap for his infantry was the most sensible move, but you shouldn't have let him provoke you into brash moves. If your goal is to delay, every turn you're not fighting is your win. If he's reluctant to engage, all the better. The trap is there not to catch him, but for him to see and back off. Just don't let up, and lay a trap after a trap to keep the threat constant as he tries to maneuver into a superior position."
>>1880027Well goddamn, looks like we made the right choice in Von Neubaum. We should make sure that either he doesn't leave until after the ball or we keep our identity hidden during it. The odds of Liemanner having at least one spy at this ball are way too high.
“You did well, considering,” you said to Signy, who was sulking bitterly, “But you could have done better.”“Hm.” Signy made the barest acknowledgement that she had heard you.“Laying a trap for the infantry was sensible,” you elaborated, pointing to appropriate places on the board, “but you shouldn’t have let him provoke you into brash moves. If your goal is to delay, then any time you aren’t in decisive combat, you’re winning. Any reluctance to engage is to your advantage in such a fight. Instead of trying to catch him in a climactic fight,” you moved the pieces around yourself to illustrate, “Play games of intimidation. The real trap shouldn’t be threatening the destruction of his forces, but making him think that is the threat, so that he falls into the actual trap. The delay. Continually make him suspect that the wrong move could result in wounding him, and he will do the work of staying his troops for you.”“But I want to win.” Signy complained, “I don’t have to mess around with overthought dancing about if I just destroy him.”“And that insatiable ambition is what makes you predictable,” Loch said, “Now, did you want to play again, since that was so short, or shall we move on to some relevant history concerning youthful nations?”“Are you Signy’s advisor or are you her schoolteacher?” you wondered out loud.“If I’m going to take this new republic seriously,” Signy leaned forward again, hand rested on her chin, “I have a lot to learn, and not much time to do it in…”“We can pridefully say,” one of Loch’s men spoke up, “that Miss Vang has proven more able to be molded into a leader than expected. Adversity is a fantastic motivator.”“Speaking of adversity,” you said, “I have a problem to tell you about. If you want to remove anybody from the room…”“I will tell them what you told me later anyways,” Loch shrugged at you, “What is the point? Say it.”You looked uncertainly at all the occupants of the room, who now all looked expectantly at you. You had no choice now, did you? You told Loch about what you had found out about Liemanner’s demise being a falsehood.
“Not unexpected, I suppose,” Loch said once you were finished.“Not unexpected?” you repeated, squinting at Loch, “Are you saying that you expected this?”“If he was anybody important enough to be a threat, the man who was present had a good chance of being a double.” Loch said, as if that was obvious, “The hope was that, rather than being the executor, the man we had Rune assassinate was the primary operative, locally. He could be both a double as well as somebody useful to your man Liemanner’s overall operations. Either way, him revealing himself to you again so quickly says much.”“You don’t seem very concerned.”“I am giving the matter precisely the amount of concern it deserves,” Loch said in a way that indicated the amount of concern he thought appropriate for the matter was small indeed, “Rune. Share the report I had you compile.” Loch then thought for a second, then added, "the short version."Loch’s shadow, looming in the entryway, spoke. “The outpost’s response to our attack, as well as the confusion of the actions they took far too long to even begin, indicated an uncertainty to the development we forced. No retaliatory actions have been seen in the making, and the border troops have been acting cautiously, as though the attack was random. Whatever command structure this Liemanner had implemented locally, it appears the man killed was an important part of it and not simply a decoy. Some more observation is needed to be sure, but my conclusion is that Liemanner’s ability to act in any more than a passive way was limited then, and is even more limited now.”“He could have spies here…” you tried to point out, but Rune gave you a glare that made you shut your mouth.“He does not have spies here,” Rune said, “The only ones who are gathering information are local powers. I have had my men capture and interrogate enough peeping eyes to know that for certain by now. The leadership of even disorganized communes are wary indeed of the influence of the Southern Cities. The territories of Todesfelsen are a rare bastion of support for the south in these lands, propped up by raw military might.”“How do you know..?” you began to ask how Rune could have known that.“I have investigators working throughout the Republic, and some outside of it,” Loch said, “It is useful to know when and where trouble might occur. What Rune would tell you is that any inside meddling by Liemanner’s sort would have been plain to see. You may have heard that the Southern Cities and their minions are not looked upon kindly here.”You had indeed heard that.
“Liemanner’s information regarding you,” Rune resumed his explanation, “Was likely transmitted passively. Rather than having any dedicated men watching your movements, in the limited capacity he is forced to work in in these lands, he most likely combs through the general reports of entrepreneurs who call themselves, around here, wallflowers. They do the boring, yet marketable business, of noting down every rumor, every new sight, strangers, and happenings, and sell copies of these information bundles to whomever will pay. Rather than being watched, the most likely case is that you have not been careful enough in disguising your most notable features. Your accent, for example, and mannerisms, which stand out as upper class.”That nugget again. Damn it, if only you had acted sooner upon correcting for that. You didn’t even consider yourself posh, let alone recognizably so. At least you knew now, and nothing damaging had resulted from it besides ultimately mild embarrassment and minor delay.“Rune is a most trusted and capable agent,” Loch said, “If he is confident that there is nothing to worry about, then it can be assured that that is the case. However, if Liemanner, despite his lack of direct power her, still has a way to strike at you personally somehow…then yes, I would be careful if I were you, but such caution is needless for any others.”“Perhaps.” You relented on that.“I presume you will not be remaining to aid Miss Vang’s education?” one of the audience said to you.“No,” you answered, “While I am waiting to attend Lord Wossehn’s festivities, I will be instead aiding in the education of your mess of a republican militia.-----You returned to the site of Von Metzeler’s drills. Things has changed little from before; the messy movements of the guillotine mechanized forces, the unimpressed look on Von Metzeler’s face, although now he was accompanied by Captain Honnrieg.
“Lieutenant!” Honnrieg noticed you as you stepped towards them, “How goes it.” Von Metzeler also looked over, and almost saluted reflexively before thinking better of it; rogues did not salute, after all.“It could be better.”“The same could be said of these troops.” Von Metzeler said with a little disdain, “They do not lack in the areas I thought they would, which was a pleasant surprise, but they lack in others, some of which…we cannot help.”“Tell me more,” you said, looking over the Guillotines’ vehicles. They were quite a motley and varied spread of scrap, with some as awful looking as the homemade vehicle that had accosted you yesterday, and others looking very much like modified military surplus. Most of them appeared to be open topped or modified to be so; an understandable design quirk to adhere to considering the nature of battle you guessed was the case around here, with mobility and skirmishing being much more prevalent than aerial threats or artillery strikes.“What should be noted right away is a lack of wireless radio sets,” Von Metzeler began to brief you, “Coordinated movements over distances are thus near impossible. Additionally, although they have the proper attitude and willingness to set aside differences, so a sort of facsimile officer and non-commissioned corps was easy enough to form, they have no training in signaling. Evidently, they tended to operate these vehicles more or less on their lonesome, or in pairs.”
“These men are softer than what I’m used to fighting,” Honnrieg added, “They can fight, no doubt, but they lack the ferocity and creativity needed to survive raiding the Archduchy, presumably because the border here is so quiet. I’m sure this doesn’t need to be said,” Honnrieg regarded this next matter with concern, “but these men are not motivated by nationalism or pride. They will shoot, they will kill, but unlike a line of Strossvalder riflemen, they will not hold. We won’t be able to change that, either, not even if we had a year to change that. They’d need an Archduke, a homeland.”“Perhaps a Republic will do, in time.” Von Metzeler said with the scarcest hint of hope. You thought about what to do here. You had a day to idle away, of course, so you could devote plenty of effort to trying to form whatever soldiers you could out of this mob of bandits and tough guys.>Delegate your time; you can do two things, and one training activity. A write in increases the limit from 2 to 3.>Inspect the equipment. In a mechanized force, knowing the capabilities of the vehicle fleet was paramount. >Analyze the unit subdivision and formation structure, and draft a set for these Guillotines to follow. You probably couldn’t use the same theory as Strossvald’s armor organization followed, but you could knock this bunch around into following some semblance of proper fighting formations.>Perform an in-depth examination of the leadership. With the benefit of a gang mostly following a few, you had the rare opportunity to make the best choices in leadership and subordinate leaders while also following rule of merit, unobstructed by any politics for the most part.>Travel to the other factions in the republic and have them send fighting contingents; if this was to form the basis of a national army, you had to learn how these people could work and fight together.>Other ideas can be done as write ins; depending on the idea, if it’s too drastic or tries to do too much, it may be vetoed. You don’t have time, for example, to go around everywhere and just do everything.Training Activities:>A simple skirmish between the Guillotines, split up; see how these people fight.>An extended march up and down the Republic’s lands. Doing that would put a magnifying glass on logistics and maneuver problems, and allow everybody the chance to think of how to address them, and perhaps even let them know they’re there.>A scrimmage between these mechanized Guillotines and another force from the Republic. It’d be better to see how they fight enemies who are on foot.>A mock battle between your forces and theirs. Your forces were superior in training as well as having much better equipment. It would be educational for them, as well as your own people, due to their numerical inferiority in such an exercise.>Another idea?Also, if you want to take a bit of time off and do something else for a bit, go ahead and write that if wanted.
>>1880707>Inspect the equipment. In a mechanized force, knowing the capabilities of the vehicle fleet was paramount. >Perform an in-depth examination of the leadership. With the benefit of a gang mostly following a few, you had the rare opportunity to make the best choices in leadership and subordinate leaders while also following rule of merit, unobstructed by any politics for the most part.>An extended march up and down the Republic’s lands. Doing that would put a magnifying glass on logistics and maneuver problems, and allow everybody the chance to think of how to address them, and perhaps even let them know they’re there.>Compose a simple marching song referring to them as badass Republic troops to instill a sense of camaradery and pride.
>>1880846Supporting, hopefully the simple tune will be a ribald about Cyclops prowess on and off the field.I'd like to add if the decoy party is leaving today:>Go see Von Neubaum and Hilda off, to stress that this isn't punishment, it is in fact very important to keeping the hostages safe.
>>1880846Supporting, also let our other officers brainstorm:>Analyze the unit subdivision and formation structure, and draft a set for these Guillotines to follow. You probably couldn’t use the same theory as Strossvald’s armor organization followed, but you could knock this bunch around into following some semblance of proper fighting formations.
“Stop the exercises for now,” you told Von Metzeler, “I want to inspect the equipment on hand here. If these people are to fight the Death Heads, I need to know the limitations of their vehicles.”“Of course.” Von Metzeler blew on a whistle sharply and raised a hand. To the credit of the Guillotines, for a band of roughshod militia, they respected authority well enough, and within a minute movement had ceased.“So what the hell do they call this?” you asked, coming to the first vehicle you saw. It was roughly similar to the vehicle you encountered yesterday that had tried to kidnap you in the aftermath of the coup d’état that deposed Bad Rott. The chassis of a utility tractor, with armor bolted to it in a crude superstructure with an open turret atop it, containing a battered machine gun. “They call theseGuntracks,” Von Metzeler told you, “As you can likely see, these are merely prime movers and similar treaded vehicles converted into fighting vehicles. They are armed and bulletproof…but little else. Even their mobility is questionable at times, depending on the model of the converted vehicles. No two are alike. Their weaponry is light, as would be suitable for the one man turret. From what I have seen, a machine gun, maybe two. There is apparently a store of light 3.7cm cannon, but from what I have been told, those have mostly been replaced for lack of ammunition. From what I have seen, in total, not counting ones in need of mechanical repair to function, we have twenty four, and the potential to rearm thirteen to use the small cannon…if there were any ammunition for them.”The sort of light cannon Von Metzeler spoke of was a puny piece indeed. Not the 3.7cm cannon that the standard m/32 carried, that was long and a proper tank gun, but a short and stubby piece operated by a single person in the first tanks a generation ago. In truth, their explosive payload was only barely larger than that of a large rifle grenade, and their low velocity made their armor penetration capability pathetic in regards to the latest developments in armored warfare. Even so, they outstripped the combat power of machine guns still.Sorry but I'm not going to make detailed schematics of what are basically piles of shit
“And this,” you moved on to a vehicle that was similar, but much more heavily weighted forward. Rather than a small open turret aft of the driver, this other sort of tank had an awkward forward structure planted up front, with what appeared to be a light naval gun on a pivot, shielded by a tall steel casemate. “Do they call these Guntracks as well?”Von Metzeler nodded curtly. “A different sort. For the sake of clarity, we will call them Artillery Guntracks. As you can see, they have been built for a heavier armament, in exchange for less protection. Its gun is a light naval gun. Evidently, a sort very common, as old warships from other seas come here and are scrapped in the South, their weapons flooding up here. With these lighter vehicles being unable to accommodate a turret capable of fitting this weapon…or whatever engineer creates these vehicles being lacking in enough skill to figure out how to do so, they are set up in this way, almost exactly as they were set up on ships, but with a shield because of the close nature of battle here.”These vehicles, as crude and ramshackle as they were…had the potential to be shockingly dangerous. Even light naval guns such as these, 4.5 to 4.7cm, by your reckoning, required high velocities to be a fit for war at sea. You hadn’t learned very much about ocean combat, considering that Strossvald was landlocked and there wasn’t much need to go into depth concerning it, but you knew that intermediate guns like these had risen because of the thread of torpedo boats, and were thus common even on vessels as old as two and one half score years. The needs of armored naval combat, it happened, created weapons that also potentially aptly suited armored combat on land.It was only the size of armored vehicles that restricted larger sorts of cannon from making an entry to the modern battlefield. What a day that would be, when it happened, that vehicles grew to the point that large naval guns were the standard weapon.“How many of these do we have?” you found yourself asking, “And ammunition?”“Ammunition stores are sufficient.” Von Metzeler said, “You can see four here, but there are actually six more in the arsenal. Apparently, the poor distribution of weight and some other unwise design decisions have caused these vehicles to be quite mechanically unreliable.”You could certainly understand it. You were no engineer, but even you had a few ideas on how these vehicles could be improved by just looking at them.
The next sort of vehicle was more impressive; not on an overall scale, but compared to the sad showing that was the first two, this next one was a glimmer of light.“This looks like an actual surplus tankette,” you said about this one, “…with some extra crap on top.” The extra crap was actually a gun shielded by a sturdy looking steel screen, with architecture that made it look like it was actually a revolving platform; a sort of half-turret.“Captured Netillian tankettes, yes,” Von Metzeler said, “Taken by the Ellowians in 1928, and sold to some Sosaldtians to help pay back the costs of war. Somehow, some of them ended up here, with…various modifications. We have nine, all identical in armament.”“Are those…pom-poms?” you asked as you peered at the example’s gun. It looked like an old water cooled machine gun, but scaled up immensely.“They are.” Von Metzeler nodded, “Despite a lack of 3.7 centimeter ammunition, there is not a shortage of 3.5 centimeter drums. I am told that that is because these tanks are seen as precious, and also because the firepower is rarely needed.”The punishment a pom-pom could bring was indeed excessive for many situations you could predict taking place here.I'm not done yet, but the next section will take a bit more time to write so there will be a delay.
>>1881552>wait for the next update
“There are also other vehicles,” Von Metzeler said, nodding towards the town, “Trucks, some armored, some armed, inconsistently. A pair of armored cars that are in no shape to be used. Scrap piles with bits and pieces of all sorts in them, as well as another set of vehicles under construction. I am told there are twenty to thirty trucks suitable for transportation of goods, not counting civilian vehicles that can be requisitioned. Also, while the Guillotines are the only member of the Republic with this sort of quantity of armored vehicles, other members do have a goodly number of motor vehicles, so we are not lacking for logistical mobility at least.”“Good,” you said, “Now, let me have a further look at everything. Guns, vehicles, ammunition stores, everything. Once we’re done with that, I have another thing to put into order…------The stores of the Guillotines, at least did not disappoint, with satisfactory amounts of fuel and ammunition. Sosaldt, for its flaws, was quite rich in oil, so the fuel situation was at least not unexpected. Of course, crude by itself was not very useful, but little questioning was needed before you were told about one of the settlements under the Guillotines having an oil refinery of decent size. Cottage refineries were also apparently common at the sites of the oil wells themselves.There was a disappointing amount of scattered shells for the heavier guns, though. There did not look to be enough for the vehicles to be used in prolonged, heavy fighting that you had expected them to be exploited in.
Finally, you were shown the engineering workshops, where new vehicles were assembled, repaired, and whatnot. The head engineer was definitely young, possibly younger than you; quite possibly the source of the haphazard designs you had seen.“Von Metzeler,” you said to your second in command as you looked at what he had called the vehicles under construction, “Those are m/28 hulls.”“That they are.” Von Metzeler replied, “Naukland has sent them to many places, and allowed many to manufacture them. Who knows where these ones came from, though.”“From oop north,” the head engineer approached you, beaming. His red hair was scraggly and twisted into a ponytail, and he wore no shirt, only a thick apron over it on top of baggy overalls. His thin face and gapped teeth clashed with one another, but despite his…rural, appearance, he had an inquisitive intelligence to his actions. “An arms train wont oof the rails, big loos for ‘em. Sold local, came down ‘ere. Newest gear I’fe worked with.” His accent was colored with North Netillian, where exposure to old Nauk had produced a unique sort of speech. “Aukshually, you have the new gear too, don’t you? I’ve hed idees, bud I dunno what t’do with these…”Was he asking you what to do with the m/28 hulls? They were only lacking turrets and weapons, it appeared. You looked at the pile of guns, mostly cleaned. You spotted a few things in there…>A set of eight 13mm machine guns. These people had no ammunition for them, but you had plenty. Maybe you could have this man jury rig some m28/13s?>The light naval guns were not on very good platforms. Maybe putting those weapons on reliable chassis was a good idea?>…Was that a field gun in there? A 150mm short barrel ass blaster, along with big fat shells. How destructive that could be…>You had noticed two “pom-pom” machine cannons. More vehicles armed with those couldn’t hurt, could it?>You had a pair of field guns laying about uselessly behind trucks. Maybe those could be put to better use.There’s four m/28 hulls. Select how to arm each.This guy appears to be an experienced, if not brilliant, back alley smith. He could probably try to create about any modification to these vehicles, if you advised him on such.>Any questions on what else he has, what he can do, and such, will be answered before a decision is made.This didn't take too long to write, no, but I did have to go and eat.
>>1881732Put our two field guns and the 150mm behind some simple fixed shielding and make Marders. The fourth chassis can use the pompoms.
>>1881732What's the max calibre we can put on the things without impacting their weight?
>>1881750The field guns and 150mm in my opinion are too low velocity for AT work though (we have the SPGs for that). If we want to arm them with high velocity guns the naval guns are probably better (make the hulls in a Hetzer/StuG format)
>>1881759The 8cm infantry support guns that you have, along with their ammunition, and without the weight of the turret and its contents, would put the final vehicle without additional armor plating at slightly heavier than the normal m/28-25. The 15cm gun would definitely strain the suspension and chassis, and be rather awkward to mount in addition to that.The other guns would result in similar weight or lighter than the standard model if no additional armor or other such things were added.
>>1881785To add, most of the inconvenience of the biggest gun comes from it being old and bulky. If it were a more modern sort of gun, it would be a different story, but this piece appears to be larger and heavier than the usual.
>>1881785>>1881789How does the 15cm gun compare to the one on our T-8s, performance-wise?Was thinking that we can probably donate the 8cm guns and 13mm MGs to the infantry. The pom-poms we could mount on trucks or Jeeps as a mobile AT/anti-personnel platform.
>>1881807>How does the 15cm gun compare to the one on our T-8s, performance-wise?From what you can judge, based on the proportions of the ammunition compared to what you've seen of the T-8 SPG's combat performance and examination of it, their shells are smaller and use less propellant. Their 15cm guns are also more modern and lighter, and seem to be of a sort purpose made for closer support.Lighter, that is, for a 15cm gun...a T-8 is quite a small tank, after all, and from what you can guess certain sacrifices were made to fit the gun to the vehicles without overloading it, notably a lack of armor. While what you've seen of your captured SPG indicated that it is not a hangar queen, you've also not pushed it and mostly kept it to roads. It very well could be that the heavy gun is a bigger strain than thought.
>>1881821Some questions:How many wireless sets can we spare? Also what's the total size of this Guillotine force? I'd assume they will be the majority of the help we'll be bringing east but are there any others?
>>1881901You have sets in the captured tanks you can rip out, and two infantry radios. The PzA-19 armored car has a radio as well. Considering the size of this force alone, this is far from enough to be very useful for anything but coordination between a small amount of leaders. You technically could take out the sets from your own platoon's primary vehicles, but considering how heavily use of the radio is integrated into Strossvalder mechanized tactics this would be a poor idea with consideration for your own combat efficiency.The size of this mechanized force present is thirty seven armored vehicles, potentially able to be boosted to forty one with the addition of the m/28 hulls.This is the majority of the Guillotine's strength, and would normally be more dispersed, you're told. There's a few vehicles that haven't shown up yet, but those are mostly light Guntracks.In the case of an expeditionary force being formed, contingents from all member states of the republic would be formed, so in addition to these people, there would be fighters from the White Eyes, the Blue Barbed Band, and Geniburg. None of these people have even close to the amount of heavy assets the Guillotines do, however.You have not looked into how strong the others are yet, but based on what you've heard the strength of the White Eyes and BBB together is about equivalent to the Guillotine's total strength (in total, not just the mechanized capability).
Whatever happened to our Reich item that was given to us by the ambassador? Did we lose it in the mines?
>>1881970You used it to indict another officer of high treason and conspiracy with the Reich.Suffice it to say, you don't have it any more.
>>1879945Also,You already went back to change stuff tanq, don't think I've forgotten the original run.Seconding the decision to try and turn the chassis into some form of spg.Im also at a loss on how to improve these guys. Any sort of major powerplay here would.draw the attention of both the more seasoned northern warbands and the richer southern cities, I really can't see Lochs plan succeeding unless he we're willing to wait a decade or two for Signys republic to adequately consolidate the needed everything.That or he is a Reich agent and when the Grossreich rolls through the Imperial Gate, Lochs meddling here would prevent all of the south eastern states from sending aid to Strossvald fast enough.
When we go to the party we should go about seeing if we can acquire any more modern tanks, iirc our tanks are export tier and don't have powered turret traverse, see if we can get some sort of conversion kit or full spec models, hell their will be some sort of military arms merchant there so we should ask around and shop aroundWhile we're in the garage, check if there are any equipment upgrades other then the machine guns we could put on our vehicles.
>>1881980Oh that's a shame. Was hoping maybe we could use it for the party.
>>1881981We'll probably have to wait until after Wossehn's ball to see more of Loch's full plan.
>>1881989To specify, while the designs are foreign, they are domestically produced.m/28s do not have powered traverse, but m/32s do. m/32s are quite modern; the number is a Naukland designation that indicates the year they began manufacture. It is currently 1932.You could probably though, for example, bolt more armor onto your vehicles, but m/32-47s are already rather heavily armored compared to contemporary vehicles of their type.
>>1881999Other than bolt on slats and skirts I don't think we need any heavier armor to the detriment of engine. Basically I'd like to somehow break up our Strossvald fresh off the blummlands factory uniform design and make it look more worn and mercenary.
>>1881999>>1881732Anyway in terms of choices I'd like to select 4x Naval Guns for the M/28s
>>1881774You're probably right, the gun tracks they had them on were pretty stupid anyway. Switching my vote to this.I assume the artillery guns have AP ammo?
>>1874560what in the fuck is this?Sorry, just came to the board.
>>1881732>Arm the m/28s with naval cannonsWe need anti-tank capability since Death Heads are a mechanized force.>Mount the 150mm and the field guns on trucks with simple gunshields.>Actually, mount every unmounted gun we have left on trucks. They are of no use lying in a garage.>Have Metzeler teach Guillotines about proper camouflage, shoot and scoot tactics, and long-range gunnery.
>>1882154>I assume the artillery guns have AP ammo?The light naval guns do, the 8cm and 15cm guns do not. >>1882169The 15cm gun isn't suitable for mounting on any of the trucks available. It would have to be towed. The 8cms can be jury rigged up, however, although firing them while mounted would likely not be healthy for the vehicle.I'll be back at running in a couple of hours, about 2:30PM EST.
>>1883191 I'd rather tow the field guns with our trucks. Their carriages are built to withstand the recoil in the first place.
>>1883191Hmm, then we'll make the guns towed.
“The guntracks with the bigger guns,” you said thoughtfully, “They aren’t very good.”The engineer looked crestfallen. “Well, there’s ounly so much to do the put a torret on ‘em.”The large platforms rotated too? Mechanically impressive on some level, but also a needless complexity.“Take those guns off and put them on those,” you pointed to the m/28 hulls. You thought about the T-8 SPG’s design, as well as the heavy vehicles you fought in Valsten. How much did the gun really have to traverse, if a turret would just make it unreasonably bulky? “You don’t need any turrets or other nonsense. They only need to pivot as much as the gun normally can.”The engineer hemmed and hawed, but ultimately couldn’t argue for his silly platform ideas, given the obvious wear they had on the vehicles, and relented on it. You went into depth about what you wanted from this new, rather experimental vehicle, and didn’t stop until it was clear this man had a good idea of what you wanted.You also put forward some other requests, but the engineer stopped you.“Easy there, this’ll take all deh, maybe two. Tell me when ah’m done.”>(Four m/28-45 “Hornet” Under Construction)On your way out, you asked Von Metzeler about why he’d been so accommodating. After all, it wasn’t as if you were a senior member of his organization.“They have been told to treat our commands as though they came from ‘Cyclops,’” Von Metzeler explained, “With the recent coup and the…purges, as well as potential aftershocks, none are in the mood to be uncooperative.”
“I…see.” You said, disconcerted by the proximity of anything that could be called “purges,” yet also relieved that you were safely out of their area of effect, “Knowing that now, have there been any important changes in the leadership I should know about?”“Some potential troublemakers were detained, I am told,” Von Metzeler led you back to the training grounds, “but most of Bad Rott’s friends were apparently in administration, in positions regarding how all of the constituent settlements of the Guillotines worked with one another. The problem has been messily treated by abolishing the go between standing in the way of the republic and the Guillotine’s towns, but a replacement organization will eventually have to be created, unless the Guillotines are to die out and simply become men of the republic. Not something, I believe, that is possible to have happen this quickly.”“There is naught we are in a position to do about that I suppose,” you grumbled.“Loch has entrusted us with grooming this budding army,” Von Metzeler said, “I can only assume that this is because he also wants us to lead it.”“We wouldn’t be doing that for very long in any case.”“Hopefully not,” Von Metzeler trailed off, before saying, “It makes me wonder if he has some scheme to force us to stay. I cannot think of what it could possibly be, so perhaps it is empty paranoia, but I cannot help my cautious nature.”
“Now show me the officers, non-commissioned, the leadership,” you told Von Metzeler once you both had returned to the grounds the Guillotines force practiced upon, “Tell me about them. I want to see how we can organize things to work better.”“There are no commissions, of course,” Von Metzeler quietly pointed out, “but I can have all of the leadership investigated and interviewed. It will be easier, of course, if you are looking for any types in particular…”“Of course,” you said, thinking about what sort of corps of leadership you wanted. Most officer corps were quite diverse in personality, due to the nature of them being educated in their role rather than handpicked. Here, you obviously couldn’t put any of these people through anything more than an extremely brief crash course that would likely to more harm than good in introducing potentially confusing procedures, but you could pick out leaders with quirks that fitted how the formations ought to move. Happy balances would be ideal, of course, but you had the feeling that those sort of people were rare in these lands…>Find aggressive leaders. A mechanized force relied on its speed and power to exploit weaknesses, so it was better to be impetuous than cautious. Momentum was critical in battles, and hotter heads would be more ideal in the actual fighting to be done, when action was needed.>Look for thinking men. Caution and proper thought should be employed with such valuable resources, especially with these people’s lack of experience in fighting as a unit. In order to prevent disorganization from setting it, you needed people who would reign in the troops in favor of analyzing the situation.>Look for groveling worms. You didn’t need any thinkers, any “personalities,” you needed people who would perform orders to the letter while being able to be intimidated enough that they would not dare defy their betters by retreating.>Pick people who are popular. In this fresh army, it would be best to try and appeal to as many as possible, damn any systems of merit. Perhaps the force wouldn’t be as talented as they could be, but it was better to have unity rather than raw skill if the skilled force wouldn’t hole together.>Other?
>>1883676>Look for thinking men. Caution and proper thought should be employed with such valuable resources, especially with these people’s lack of experience in fighting as a unit. In order to prevent disorganization from setting it, you needed people who would reign in the troops in favor of analyzing the situation.
>>1883676On the one hand we need to match their capabilities with same-minded leaders. On the other, if Loch really is going to jerk us around and try and keep us here as long as possible to exploit our tanks we may want worms that will be less than capable if we ever have to face them.Still, if these men won't hold as Von Metzeler has said then it'd be better to go for unity. Aggressors will get their men killed without proper training or mechanized coordination with wiresets, the cautious will encourage the timid to retreat and worms would require too much personal attention that we hopefully won't be here long enough to have to cultivate.>Pick people who are popular. In this fresh army, it would be best to try and appeal to as many as possible, damn any systems of merit. Perhaps the force wouldn’t be as talented as they could be, but it was better to have unity rather than raw skill if the skilled force wouldn’t hole together.Better that they suck at tactics rather than run away outright. It may also help camaraderie among the many factions being glued together. Or encourage warlords to rebel, I dunno.
>>1884353Supporting. If our lack of effective communication is going to hinder us having people who are competent without being over-agressive will help mitigate it somewhat
“We’ll look for thinkers,” you decided, “Intellectuals, or what passes for them here. We need to strike a balance between talent and caution.”Von Metzeler said nothing, only looking out at the multitude before him. You looked out too, perhaps to see if you could find what he was searching for, and he soon said, “There are a few that might work, but not enough for our purposes. We need some way of culling the herd of the brash and stupid…”“Gentlemen,” Honnrieg reappeared before you, “I couldn’t help but overhear that you need to find some smart ones. Trust me when I say I have ways of sifting through all sorts of muck…”-----Captain Honnrieg’s method, it turned out, was a massive chess tournament. Many of the Guillotines had little idea of how to play, and most thought that it was a waste of time, but Honnrieg treated the skeptical forcefully enough for the rest to learn that they had no say in how useful a task was.The Captain seeded the masses with his own Bat Company men, and the tournament began. It took a few hours, but during the games, it didn’t feel as if that much time had passed, due to their briskness. Honnrieg and his men utterly demolished the competition, of course, but the best of the losers were able to challenge Bat Company once more. To a man, of course, to be beaten.“I suppose you proved that you are good at these games,” Von Metzeler said skeptically to Honnrieg once it was all done and the Guillotines were left to sulk and complain amongst themselves, “But I fail to see the benefit of destroying them without mercy. You could very easily have made less powerful moves and given them more of a chance to show their worth.”Captain Honnrieg considered Von Metzeler’s words, and dismissed them with a noncommittal grunt. “Perhaps. However, I have only completed the first part of my tests.”Von Metzeler sighed and scuffed a foot on the ground. “You won’t be playing more games with them, will you? That consumed quite a bit of time.”Captain Honnrieg barked out a harsh laugh. “Of course not, you spring onion. What would doing the same thing over again prove? No, I’ve had my men disperse among them, with open ears. I suggest you go out to, and see what you hear.”“Why?” you asked, “Do we really need to hear these brigands bitch about losing?”“Of course you do,” Captain Honnrieg said back, “It isn’t just bitching. It’s the nature of the bitching. Do they complain that it wasn’t fair? Do they think about what they could have done? Do they take losing to heart and think about winning? Their reaction to this, that’s how you sort the cream of the minds from the rest of the murky pool.”
The faith you had in this actually working was small, but, to your faint surprise, wandering amongst the vanquished, some bubbles of scheming and analysis were floating to the surface.“The second time I played that puke, I think I figured out how he likes to play,” you heard from one of the Pom Pom armed tanks, “If I could get a third chance, I know I could get a better opening…”“Was just bullshit I think.”“You think everything’s bullshit.”Moving along, you found that most people were indeed sore over their loss, and most attributed it to factors beyond their control, but more than you thought were actually trying to discuss how they could have won. Where you saw Honnrieg’s men move from one to the other, some even began to gravitate to other thinkers. How convenient; they were sorting themselves…-----After a couple more hours, including an hour long rest where the Guillotines were still monitored, Captain Honnrieg passed a dossier into your hand.“These are the men you want.” He ran a finger down the list of names, “I’ve taken the liberty of sorting them into the positions that I’m seeing them most suited for.”“Was it to save me the work,” you asked, “or was it because I wouldn’t know?”“Yes.”You let out a long sigh of defeat. You couldn’t argue that you had any skill whatsoever in personnel assignments anyways. To tell the truth, if you were to share your scores in Logistical and Personnel Management from the academy, anybody would have laughed…it wasn’t your fault that the other nobility purposefully made it hard for you to work with them.
“Is there something on your mind?” Honnrieg asked.“No.”“Is it Hilda?”“Excuse me?” you whipped around in surprise, “What about her?”“She used to speak with me for advice on some manners, pretty consistently, too,” Honnrieg’s tone darkened a bit, “A couple days ago, she stopped. Now, she looks like she’s deteriorated even further. I can’t help but feel for young girls, makes me think of my daughters back at home, always feel like I’ve got to help. It’s a good soft spot to have, I think. Better than having a hard spot, you know what I mean?” Honnrieg’s tone gained some levity with that, “You don’t know anything about that, though, do you? She’s looking awful, and I hate to say it, but not too many seem to give too much of a rat’s ass. She doesn’t endear herself to many people, you see.”You considered this, peering at the Captain sideways, warily. For now, this remained a secret between you and Hilda…and Emma. Where was Emma, anyways? You didn’t really care where she was when you left, feeling plenty bitter, and you knew she had been in the car. You had felt the strangeness in the air that came about whenever she was around. When had she gone?You didn’t find yourself caring about that for long, anyways. Was it a good idea to say what was going on? Telling anybody felt like it would wound your standing with the others, and the discomfort of the event was still irritatingly fresh. This could stay wrapped up, in your opinion, and not be of any consequence to you personally. You hadn’t been at fault anywhere.>Tell Honnrieg about what happened, swallowing your pride.>Sharing any information would be pointless. Say nothing.>Claim that you don’t know anything; she just started doing this for no reason.>Make up some other lie (write in)>Other?Just going to say, I do want to make updates a more quick and regular thing, but I don't know when people who want to vote have voted or not. I'm not going to demand people say anything if they don't want to, but I really have no way to know if everybody interested in the choice has shared whatever piece they want to share unless votes have been cast, and I prefer to avoid deciding until decisive support is thrown behind an option, since I've seen reversals happen in the past.
>>1885679>Tell Honnrieg about what happened, swallowing your pride.Personally I feel that today's just a pretty slow day as far as posting is concerned.
>>1885679Tell what happened
>>1885679>>Tell Honnrieg about what happened, swallowing your pride.If he's willing to make Hilda his problem that means she doesn't have to be ours.
“Hilda,” you said curtly, “Has made quite a nuisance of herself lately.”“Oh?”“I believe we should sit for this,” you pointed to an empty, but isolated, place. Once you were both seated, Honnrieg had the next word.“You probably know she’s head over heels for you, right?”“It’s difficult not to notice,” you grumbled, “If it were that alone, though, I could deal with that.”Honnrieg grimaced and rubbed the back of his head, “I’m not going to like what I hear next, am I? I’ll give it to you straight, I told her, if she’s interested in somebody, it’s better to be aggressive, especially in her case since she’s so weird and inexperienced with her feelings, especially for her age. Told her not to bother with you, by the way.”“I doubt you told her to be as aggressive as she turned out being.”“Ah,” Honnrieg frowned deeply and turned, crooking an elbow on the table and pushing his knuckles up into his forehead, “Alright, what did she do?”
You told him about the sequence of events that led to her near attempt to take advantage of you. Honnrieg listened intently, growing more cross with each detail.“With that in mind,” you wrapped up, contempt having slowly leaked into your voice over the course of reliving the story, “I cannot trust her near me anymore. Regardless of her having held back from her temptations, that she went as far as she did is an unacceptable breach of my trust.”“How did you find this out?” Honnrieg rumbled.“…she told me,” you half lied.“At least there’s that,” Honnrieg rose from his fist headrest and crossed his arms tightly.“When she broke the news to me, I treated her as gently as one reasonably could,” you added, “but leaving such a thing as if nothing had happened? Surely you understand why I am frustrated.”“Not furious?” Honnrieg tested the waters.“No,” you admitted, “Actually. Only frustrated. She avoided me for some time after a less aggressive assault upon my person. Hilda is obviously a pitiful woman; I can’t bring myself to hate her for that, but I can easily find myself severely disappointed.”“Disappointed.” Honnrieg coughed, “You’re a bit young to be a parent, aren’t you?”Not if Lord Von Blum had his will, you let yourself think. “It is part of the burden of command, but not one I expected to be carrying.”Honnrieg slowly heaved himself up. “I’ll speak with her, then. Maybe you can’t tell too well, but she’s a complete wreck. You can see it in her eyes. She kept herself hidden up til now, most of the time, but she’s miserable. Some self pity’s good for the soul, but she’s reduced herself to ruins. Bad for the heart, even worse for operational integrity.”>No, don’t. If it’s a problem, I’ll keep her out of any combat situations. I don’t want her to know that you know.>It would be a real load off my back if you did. I’d appreciate it.>No, I’ll handle it. It’s between me and her, and a proper noble shouldn’t make his man bear his responsibilities.>Other?
>>1885964>It would be a real load off my back if you did. I’d appreciate it.
>>1885669Busy day/week for me, I try to get a vote in whenever I can but for most of the.past few days I've only been able to catch up at the end of the day. While I disagree with some outcomes of the votes, it's the nature of quests to make do where other anons have brought it to.>>1885964>No, I'll handle it. I can't keep relying on you for everything.
>>1885964>>It would be a real load off my back if you did. I’d appreciate it.
>>1885964We will talk to her ourselves... talking to someone Else will only be avoiding the confrontation
>>1885964>No, I’ll handle it. It’s between me and her, and a proper noble shouldn’t make his man bear his responsibilities.>And I don't want her to know that you know.
>>1885995>>1886013>>1886096>>1886205What are you doing, anons? It will fucking destroy her.
...Well, I certainly didn't expect this to be such a close thing.I'll be resuming at 3PM EST or so today.
>>1885964>No, I’ll handle it. It’s between me and her, and a proper noble shouldn’t make his man bear his responsibilities.We've been nothing but ever a proper noble prick so might as well stay the course. Besides if Hilda starts thinking EVERYONE knows then she'll turn into a paranoid wreck. Confront her and be done with it.BUT!>Other?Ask for advice from Honnrieg.
>>1886208>It will fucking destroy her....As opposed to her current mental state?
>>1886546Exactly.Right now she thinks no one knows, and she's miserable. Imagine she finds out that two people she didn't tell anything know. Who else knows? Do they all secretly hate her now? Are they laughing behind her back at how pitiful and weak she is?It's suicide material.
>>1886555I think "miserable" is a bit of an understatement of how she feels right now. Her main concern seems to be that she's a horrible person, not what other people think of her. If what she did to us wasn't suicide material already I don't think finding out that Honnrieg knows about it would be the critical factor that pushes her over the edge. I think you're overestimating how much she cares about what other people (besides us, at least) think of her. She certainly hasn't made much effort to ingratiate herself with others in the past.
>>1886603She does care, even though she tries to convince herself otherwise. She basically trained herself to ignore others to not feel shame for her scars. She's actually pretty insecure inside. Our talks with her show it rather clearly, I think. Her apathy is a defense mechanism, if it's overstrained it'll fail and she'll break apart.
“Wait,” you said, holding up a hand, while still not being sure of what should be done anyways. “Not yet.”“Not yet?” Honnrieg repeated severely, “When, then? This can’t be let to lie and forgotten about.”“I know, I know,” you curled your lip in indecision, “But while I would appreciate you taking care of this for me, it also is something that is a conflict between her and I. Forcing others to deal with it would be improper.”“Maybe,” Honnrieg looked sternly to the town center, “but you’ve more important tasks to concentrate upon. Putting it bluntly, she doesn’t. As bad as she might feel about it, we’re deep in hostile territory with unsteady alliances, and a very good chance to get stuck in a battle where we’ve got no way of winning. Now isn’t the time for this kind of drama.”“What if she blows her brains out because I didn’t do anything though?” you agonized to yourself and to the Captain, “What would you do?”“I would let the good Captain take care of things,” Honnrieg said roughly, “but if I wanted to ignore the Captain’s advice on that front, I would notice how this girl’s eager to impress, and distraught over my disapproval. I’d give her a chance to redeem herself. If I wanted to risk her thinking I’m blowing smoke up her ass, I’d try something sweet and affectionate to let her know she’s still in my good graces.”“Sweet and affectionate, hm?” you wondered sarcastically, “Are you suggesting I lie in bed with my pants off and whistle for her?”“Don’t be a smartass,” Honnrieg glowered, “I’m saying trust her to do something for you that only she could do, instead of, say, sending her off with somebody else who couldn’t care less about her. This is only if you don’t want me to take care of it for you, though.” >Voting still open for tiebreakingI did not expect this to happen at all, but I can't exactly just wait after I've kept you here. Maybe this bit will help things along.
>>1886721What sort of errand could we send her to do. Maybe have her go with Emma to scout out Todesfelsen. Her night eyes would be incredibly helpful here and she can take Emma to accomplish the original task of getting in communication with Maddalyn. Maybe send a pathfinder or two with her to map out the area.This way we have someone going over there and we can stay here and help train or visit the Iron Hogs.
>>1886721Good advice Cap. So basically do we let him take care of it hoping that she doesn't react very negatively to his involvement or do we confront her and give her a chance to make up for it. If we personally confront her then she shouldn't go with Von Neubaum, maybe an assignment with >>1886755would be best.Also we gotta go find Emma at some point.
>>1886721>>1886755This is a good idea. Voting for this.We shouldn't send her alone though, if only because Todesfelsen is too far to reach on foot. Let's give her a support force of a couple troopers and a car.
>>1886862I feel that the main thing is that yes we can let her redeem herself, but in the end we're not getting anywhere in terms of solving her inner issues. I don't mind sending Hilda to go scout but honestly would like a find a solution as IMO the situation right now is pretty toxic for both parties and currently it honestly seems like Richter isn't really able to handle this alone.
“Save your time, Captain,” you decided, “I have an idea.”“Is it a good idea?”You didn’t know. “I think so,” you said, “I’m keeping her doing what she’s good at. If she doesn’t have a goal, she gets distracted with silly things.”“I wouldn’t call you silly, per se.”You had walked right into that one, and you could only look sidelong at Honnrieg as he smirked ever so slightly. “I won’t ask what you would call me. Anyways, I’m going to have Hilda and a few others go and do the mission I originally intended to do myself. Scout out Todesfelsen, and see what can be found.” You also had intended to send Emma to speak with Maddalyn inside the Death Heads’ base; her incorporeal nature made her able to do such a thing that would normally be impossible.“Hm,” Honnrieg frowned, “You’re going to talk to her first?”“It’d be difficult for her to know what I want her to do otherwise,” you shrugged with one shoulder and hand, “I know what you mean. I’m still not sure what I can say…I suppose I’ll figure it out as I go along.”“I’ve heard that before.” Honnrieg sighed wistfully.If you were half the lecher your uncle was, then this wouldn’t have been nearly as much of a problem, you wagered.
Von Neubaum didn’t know where Hilda was when you asked him, despite him having the rest of the personnel you assigned him; evidently, she’d been missing the whole morning, not that he was overly concerned. Then again, Neubaum had a tendency to not seem concerned about anything no matter what. You shook your head and turned brusquely without thanking him for his time, and scanned the rooftops; she would either be there, you wagered, since the streets offered very few places to enjoy one’s solitude.After a solid twenty minutes of looking around, you finally saw a suspicious looking pile of misery, hiding from the sun on top of a roof. She hadn’t been easy to find, and it was only the particular angle you had at the time that let you see her from a couple blocks away. Climbing up as she must have proved to be much more difficult than you thought. After nearly slipping to twice from too high up to be comfortable with, dangling about trying to find a place to climb on before finally giving up and tearing at the edge of the roof with all of your might and finally clambering up onto the warming roof tiles. You got up to find, to your relief, that you hadn’t stained yourself with as much roofing tar as you expected.Hilda hadn’t turned to face you; either she only expected one person to come up after her, or she didn’t care, or…“Hey,” you called out to her, to no response. You toed your way precariously on the roof over to her, and found her…slumped over, asleep. “Hey,” you repeated, “Wake up.” Still no response. She was as heavy a sleeper on top of a roof as she was on a bed, it seemed, or was it because she didn’t want to wake up? Nevertheless, this wasn’t a safe place to nap, and you certainly couldn’t carry her down, having failed to competently carry even yourself around this high up environment.…There wouldn’t be an easy way to do this, would there?>Wake up this lump (Write in method)>Wait for her to wake up.>Attempt to get both of you off the roof for now (Not Advisable)>Leave. She’ll be back around soon enough, you’ll catch up with her later.>Other?Sorry that this is so anemic of an update after so much time, I wasn't sure if a lot of people would be alright with the way I decided to interpret the voting, should have just gone ahead with things sooner.
>>1888317>>Wake up this lump (Write in method)Try kicking her. If no results, the pistol discharge method seemed to work.
>>1888317Wake her upDont we have our water-canteen with us? Or just give her a nipple twister, if she sleeps through that, then she has more then earned her sleep
>>1888348>>1888382You have both your pistol and a water canteen, either of the two foremost option is viable....The lattermost suggestion isn't very gentlemanly at all. But let it not be said that you can't do it if it gets support and you can think of a reason the character would do it besides sudden lust for scar tissue
>>1888382>>1888410Pour water on her.
>>1888317>Leave. She’ll be back around soon enough, you’ll catch up with her later.Pouring water on people isn't a good start for a heart-to-heart. We can go look for Emma in the meantime.
You thought about kicking her, but upon further thought, you wouldn’t feel very good about kicking Hilda hard enough to make it any more effective than a good shake.There was a well-tested, gentle method that you knew of, that would also be simple. You unscrewed the cap of your tin canteen, and pulled back Hilda’s hood. Your hand brushed her hair as you drew her shroud back; it was surprisingly soft. Apparently, even for all her solitary nature, she maintained her hair very carefully, even now. You kept her facing away, as she was.Hilda preferred to bathe regularly, you remembered as you tipped the cold water over her. Maybe she’d appreciate an early shower.You felt Hilda stir as the water ran off the top of her head and down her jacket, but not enough by your reckoning to be awake. You let off after running through about sixth of the bottle. She was so still, that you considered starting again, until you heard her sniffle loudly, as she turned around slowly and looked at you briefly before turning back.“Oh,” you said awkwardly, “I thought you were still…”“Lieutenant.” Hilda sniffed, “You need me to do something.”“Yes,” you said, a bit irritably, “I need you to stop getting lost in places people can’t find you.”“I can’t…” Hilda murmured, her voice ragged, “I can’t stand this…”“If you want to be useful, I have-““No!” Hilda said, as frustrated as she seemed despondent, “That’s what I’m supposed to do! It won’t make up for anything…I don’t know how I can…” Hilda hung her head low, but when she looked up, she noticed something at your throat. “…why are you still…” she failed to finish her sentence and sagged once more.Before you could get a word in, Hilda coughed, sniffed, then choked up once more. She fumbled with her collar after that fit, toying with a button. “Maybe...no. I can’t give you anything you’d want…I can’t even debase myself…you wouldn’t want to even touch me even out of revenge…I can’t do anything to be deserving of forgiveness. I’m sorry, but…”>Enough. This isn’t some scale you need to make even. We all make mistakes. I’m willing to forget it if you are.>Just come down and join us again. You’re too important to be left moping around, no matter what the reason.>…Fine. If you think debasing yourself is what you need to do, then hurry up and get it over with. Come here.>Other?
>>1888474Look here Hilda, im not gonna debase you or hate you, what you did was wrong but you managed to stop youself before things Got out of hand, you need to clear your head, im willing to forgive and forget, you should do the same, if u still feel you need to atone then help me save my fiance and lets all go back home together, you are a part of this team and u cant keep being this distracted
>>1888474>Enough. This isn’t some scale you need to make even. We all make mistakes. I’m willing to forget it if you are.>In fact, I have recently made a horrible mistake. One that hurt Maddalyn very much. I don't know if I could ever make up for that. But all I can do is accept it and move forward. I must make my mistake guide me in life, not stop me from living.
>>1888474>>Enough. This isn’t some scale you need to make even. We all make mistakes. I’m willing to forget it if you are. Just make sure we don't keep repeating the same mistakes, that's all.
>>1888494>>1888766Ought to rehearse that first statement if you're intent on telling her about Madalyn. We can't forget our mistakes, and neither can she - just as we need to look forward after our mistake, so too does she need to stop looking at the past for repentance. If she can't do that on her own, we'll just have to work through it with her.
>>1888778...rehearse? Did you mean rephrase because she's right fucking there, there's no practicing this.
Is Hilda autistic? Maybe putting her out of her misery would be the best thing for her. Like a wounded animal or a retarded child. Just a thought.
>>1888494This works fine. Maybe just phrase it to show that Hilda isn't the mistake. If she really wants to know more about our mistake I'm okay with telling her.
“Enough,” you said firmly, “I don’t hate you, and I certainly don’t want to see you debased. What happened isn’t an uneven scale that needs to be balanced. We all make mistakes, I’m willing to forget it if you are.”“I’m not.”Not unexpected, but not encouraging either. You sighed heavily and made yourself as comfortable as you could on a bunch of roof tiling. “Look. When we get right down to it, you could have done worse. If you’re a bad person forever because you made this one mistake, then I don’t know what I’d be because of what I caused to happen.”Hilda didn’t say anything, but when you pulled the velveted box out of your bag, she couldn’t help but look in curiosity.“I should warn you,” you said hurriedly as you unlatched the box, turning a pair of numbers to the right point, “This…is something unpleasant.”Hilda recoiled at first, but looked at it keenly afterwards. After a few seconds, she looked back at you. “That’s…her’s, isn’t it?”“It is,” you said with resignation, closing the box and putting it away before laying your hands together in the air between your knees, “I didn’t think about something as much as I should have, thought I was so much better than my enemy. Next thing I know, turns out he played me for a fool, and not only that, I hurt my fiancée very much. If I thought about it too much, the pain of having maimed a person who trusted me would make me useless, but I can’t afford to be useless right now. All I can do is accept the cold, hard truth and let it guide my plans in the future.”Hilda swallowed hard, and slowly buried her face in her knees, pulling them close to her chest. “On top of everything else…I’ve been selfish. What a mess of a person I am.”“Hey now-““I know,” Hilda said before you could finish admonishing her, “You keep finding me when I thought that you’d leave me for certain. I can’t waste everybody’s time if you think I’m worth even that bit of time.
You smiled slightly and clapped her on the back. “Come on, then. It’s drafty and dirty up here.”“Yes, but...” Hilda said quickly. “…I like it up here, actually. You can see everything from here, everybody…but nobody thinks to look up at you. It’s actually…not a bad sort of loneliness.” Hilda noticed you starting to scramble down the way you came. “What are you doing.”“Going down,” you grunted, “I’m not as good at this as you are.”“It’s easier if you jump over there,” Hilda pointed to the other side of the roof, “There’s stairs going down from that building, from the rooftop, since it’s flat. You won’t have to do whatever you’re doing right now.”“That’s a whorehouse,” you complained.“If anybody lays a finger on you, I’ll make them regret it.” Hilda said with a haughtiness that at least hinted at her cheering up a little.“What if I get drugged?”Hilda frowned deeply, then tipped her head down, eyes closed, “It won’t happen again.”“I liked your mood better a second ago.”“There’s nothing about me to like,” Hilda moped.“You stop that.”-----True to her word, the second a shapely lady had decided to pay attention to you, Hilda struck her sharply. Few here seemed to recognize you, so you had guessed it was just part of the house treatment. In any case, the stricken woman had taken inordinate offense at Hilda’s open handed slap, and punched your escort in the face. You had to drag Hilda away before she laid into her enemy, hurrying your way out of the seedy establishment and past the alerted bouncer.“I can say no,” you scolded Hilda, “are you alright?”Hilda now had a black eye to accompany all her other scars, but she seemed more annoyed than hurt. “I’ve had worse.”You thought about bringing her to Von Neubaum, but then thought some more about what else you could do with Hilda. Maybe you could spread your presence here even further…>Have her go with Von Neubaum and the others as initially planned. She’s a recognizable face, and though you didn’t think Liemanner knew who she was, you couldn’t be too careful. Best to have her running interference like planned.>Have her resume your original mission to scout Todesfelsen, your newer plan. A rogue military band wouldn’t have a woman in its ranks, who would suspect her? She was also well suited to watching from afar, by your reckoning.>Going to the ball single might not be a good idea. Signy was too important for you to escort, but to help your disguise as a nobody, why not bring Hilda? If only to point to whenever unwanted attention came about?>Other?>unrelated test text>see above>ditto
>>1889701>Going to the ball single might not be a good idea. Signy was too important for you to escort, but to help your disguise as a nobody, why not bring Hilda? If only to point to whenever unwanted attention came about?Hmmm, it might be best if we do recon personally. We also need to meet with Riverman there.Just make the ball sound like a military operation it is to Hilda. Tell her we need a covert bodyguard and distractor.
>>1889701Good, now that she isn't about to jump off a building maybe we don't need her for the scouting to redeem herself.The only real advantage having Hilda scout before us is maybe have her get Emma to contact Maddy. Although now thinking about it Emma may not be the best contact. >Going to the ball single might not be a good idea. Signy was too important for you to escort, but to help your disguise as a nobody, why not bring Hilda? If only to point to whenever unwanted attention came about?I'm not exactly sure how she'd help us stay incognito but all the help in that department would be appreciated. Also maybe I wanna see Hilda in conniption over wearing a dress.
>>1889701>>Have her resume your original mission to scout Todesfelsen, your newer plan. A rogue military band wouldn’t have a woman in its ranks, who would suspect her? She was also well suited to watching from afar, by your reckoning.
>>1889701>Have her resume your original mission to scout Todesfelsen, your newer plan. A rogue military band wouldn’t have a woman in its ranks, who would suspect her? She was also well suited to watching from afar, by your reckoning.
>>1889701>Have her resume your original mission to scout Todesfelsen, your newer plan. A rogue military band wouldn’t have a woman in its ranks, who would suspect her? She was also well suited to watching from afar, by your reckoning
“I have a new plan for you,” you told Hilda, “You’re going to go to Todesfelsen and see what you can find. You know where it is?”“I’ve seen the maps,” Hilda nodded, “It’s straight east. Impossible not to run into.”“I suppose,” at least she was confident, “Anything that you think is interesting, have written down. Troop movements, atmosphere of the town, rumors…”“I can’t write.” Hilda said flatly.“That’s why you aren’t going alone,” you held up a pair of fingers, “I’m sending you with a couple of Bat Company men. I can’t very well send a lady out in this wild land on her own, can I?"“…hmph.”“You’ll be provided with a car too, of course,” you added, “Just…don’t do anything too daring. You are only to look.”“When do I leave.” Hilda’s focus had returned, to your relief.“As soon as I find that damn ghost.”
You squared away Hilda and Von Neubaum’s departure preparations before returning to the Guillotine mechanized troop. Those, at least, were taken care of, and they would be ready to deploy as soon as you gave the word.Looking for Emma would have to wait, though, since you had to finalize the “officer” organization and get the exercise you had planned on the road. You could look for crass balls of ethereal fire later, once your involvement would be minimal.You followed Honnrieg’s recommendations as to who to appoint where. When you announced the assignments, there were no loud objections, of course, but there was plenty of grumbling and murmuring. Some disapproval had been expected; in times like these, the Guillotines’ sole redeemable trait, their deference to authority, would be quite helpful.Of course, you wouldn’t be telling every person what was about to be done or how to do it. That wasn’t how any army worked; you would be delegating to people who would also delegate.So, the only people you took aside to brief was the “commanding officer” and his crew, such as they were, a man in his thirties with a short, cropped mustache that fit neatly under his nose, named Hiedler. Captain Honnrieg had explained his reasoning for this choice; out of so many rogues and ne’er-do-wells, this Hiedler was one of the few here who had proper military training and battle experience. He had evidently served as a courier in the 1928 war between Netilland and Ellowie, on the Netillian side of things. “Mister Hielder,” you addressed him and his crew, who you deemed, would become his aides for now; proper staff could be decided later on. “Congratulations on your promotion. You are now Lieutenant Colonel Hiedler, of the 1st Republican Armor Demi-Battalion.”
You hoped this wouldn’t go to his head too much; there were too many men to properly fit in what you considered to be a typical Strossvald armor company, but not enough for a battalion. You didn’t have any real choice but to appoint a rank that was higher than any of your companions for this.“That’s, er, great…” the newly appointed Lt. Col Hiedler seemed quite intimidated by this, “A bit of a step up from Gefreitor.”“You were the most qualified for the job, not an accomplishment considering your competition. You’re still a punk.” Honnrieg must have decided Hiedler was somehow too pleased with himself.“If I am Lieutenant Colonel, then what are you?” Hiedler asked.“Commander in God Damn chief,” Honnrieg crossed his arms, before looking to you, “And company.”“You will be taking your demi-battalion up to the northernmost regions of your territory…to the Blue Barbs capital.” You thought that was the northernmost section, at least; you still weren’t intimately familiar with the local geography. “Then, you’ll be turning around and taking your men down to…Jenniburg?”“Geniburg,” Honnrieg corrected.“Yes, there, to the south.”“That sounds easy.” Hiedler said bluntly.“You have to do it as fast as you can,” you added, “While maintaining cohesion, and getting to the final point with as many of your vehicles as possible. If that sounds so easy, then prove it. It won’t be a problem, will it?”“No, of course not,” Hiedler said, stroking his little mustache contemplatively. A hint of suspicion in his eyes flickered in, as he seemed to realize that, perhaps, it wouldn’t be such an easy task. “So will you be telling everybody else that?”“No, you will.” You said, “If you want any additions to what you have, The Cap…he,” you pointed to Honnrieg, “Will clear it for you. Trucks, cars, whatever.”-----The training ground and the town in general turning quickly into a messy slurry of confusion and uncertain preparations, you decided that you would find Emma. …How you would do so, you had no idea. Much to your convenience, thankfully, Emma found you before you began any search in earnest.“You left me behind, you lout!” Emma whined at you suddenly, making you jump as she whipped by your ear, crackling, “You didn’t even bother to make sure I was there! What’s wrong with you? Your dear wife wouldn’t be happy to hear you treat young ladies like that, I assure you!”>That’s pretty rich, coming from you. Do you have something you want to tell me, “young lady,” or do I have to drag it out of you?>Can. Now.>I apologize. Now, go find Hilda. I’ve been waiting for you to get back, because you and her are going right back out again.>Other?>>1889796If you wanted to see Hilda in a dress, sorry, looks like that won't be happening soon.
>>1895166>That’s pretty rich, coming from you. Do you have something you want to tell me, “young lady,” or do I have to drag it out of you?
>>1895166>>Other>You're not a young lady, you're a ghost. I figured a ghost could take care of itself. It's not like you have much to lose. >Now, go find Hilda. I’ve been waiting for you to get back, because you and her are going right back out again.
>>1895166>Sory, I was in a bit of a shock after someone tried to get someone to rape me.
>>1895166>SpoilerCURSES AND HELLFIRE>That’s pretty rich, coming from you. Do you have something you want to tell me, “young lady,” or do I have to drag it out of you?
“That’s pretty rich, coming from you,” you said bitterly, “Do you have something you want to tell me, young lady, or do I have to drag it out of you?”“What?” Emma blurted indignantly, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” You kept on staring coldly through her, but she continued to play at ignorance. “What? What? What could I have done?” Emma whiffed back and forth, “I can’t do anything, you soft headed scarecrow boot polisher! So what would I have to tell you?”…Fine, then.“You’re not a young lady, you’re a ghost,” you almost spat, “You can stand being left alone. I figured a ghost could take care of yourself; not like you have much to lose.”“I’m a..!” Emma cried out, “I’m still a person!”“You’re a…” you snapped, but caught yourself before you finished with a worm who acts as though she is a tart. “…whatever. Go find Hilda. I’ve been waiting for you to get back, because you and her are going right back out again.”“…are you going too?”“What do you care?”“…I don’t!”You felt you had to hold back how you really felt, even if it pounded behind your eyes like an ugly beast trying to be set free from your skull. For all your talk about her not being a young lady, she was still quite young. Was that an excuse? For you, it wouldn’t have been. Your mother and father were diligent indeed about making sure you didn’t turn into another case of Heller Von Tracht. Of course you resented it at the time, but it had never come to hurt you in your adulthood. Was Emma’s crudeness and immaturity something that could truly not be overlooked? Was it something she could even help, if her upbringing had grounded it? She very well couldn’t have been to blame at all…“Don’t just stand there glowering at me!” Emma’s voice turned thin, “I didn’t do anything! How could I do anything? Did…did somebody tell you that I did something..?”>Of course. You told me.>You disrespectful, wretched, corpse of a petulant brat! How many times are you going to lie to my face?>Maybe somebody else was a higher caliber of woman, and confessed her wrongdoings instead of hoping that I’d somehow let it all go without a word.>Let it go. She’s the only thing who can carry a message to Maddalyn if you wanted, could you afford to offend her? She was just a child…>Other?
>>1897515Ofcourse, you told me
>>1897515>>Of course. You told me.
>>1897515>>Of course. You told me
>>1897515>Of course. You told me.
>>1897515>>Let it go. She’s the only thing who can carry a message to Maddalyn if you wanted, could you afford to offend her? She was just a child…
“Of course somebody told me this something,” you revealed, “You told me.”“I told you…what?” Emma let spill out like a drool of puzzlement.“I can hear you, even when I should be asleep.”Emma flared in visible frustration. “You’re speaking nonsense. I’m not responsible for your fever dreams!” She began to back away from you, “I won’t tolerate this sort of treatment! Speaking with you any further can wait until you stop blaming me for nothings!” With that, she whisked herself away on the wind.Your teeth ground together against your will, but you could do nothing. All this could wait. For now, you had a horde of suddenly much more tolerable brigands and unprofessional rogues to attend to, and make the most like a proper Strossvalder formation as you could muster.-----More tolerable, perhaps, but certainly not in your good graces. Allies though they were, they were still little better than a mob of thieves before some semblance of national structure had been brought. The circus you came back to certainly impressed in its haphazardness and sloppy execution. When asked for an explanation, your designated Lieutenant Colonel had assured you, somewhat nervously but confidently, that everything would be ready to move out within the hour.With thirty minutes left in said hour, you had nodded curtly and returned to Von Metzeler and Honnrieg to watch the chaos with them.“What sort of formations are those?” you asked, growingly increasingly concerned with the diversity of numbers and equipment throughout the formations.“We haven’t had the time to do any reforms to their structure,” Von Metzeler closed his eyes and sighed shortly, “They are more or less forming flocks under their respective leaders. We have appointed proper company and platoon leadership…as far as it can be approximated, but as you can see, some are drawing more to themselves, while others are avoiding drafting others. Thus the disproportion in unit weights that you see, and the evidence of a lack of…coherency.”“They’re all fucked up.” Honnrieg summarized, “Too used to going it alone or in pairs.”“It’ll have to do, won’t it?” you sighed even heavier than Von Metzeler did, “How is our dear commanding officer doing?”“The Lieutenant Colonel Hiedler is busily staffing a courier corps,” Honnrieg said, “Doesn’t forget his roots, at least. With no radios, it’s the next best thing for communications, but I don’t expect much from this lot. Not yet.”“…right.” You said, scratching your chin. You needed to shave; you had neglected to the past few days. Maybe it would help your disguise?“Captain,” you said to Honnrieg, “If I wanted to be less recognizeable, should I shave my head?”
“You will do no such thing!” you heard a sharp protest from behind as Signy came up, accompanied by a pair of Loch’s men; particularly shady looking ones, whose eyes never stopped moving to and fro. “The constitution of this Republic forbids pretty boys from chopping their hair shorter than two centimeters.”You looked at her blankly, then out to the sea of Guillotine crews, who were mostly shaved bald or had their hair closely cropped. “Is there an administration that decides who counts as a pretty boy?”“Yes!” Signy flicked your nose, “Me, myself, and I!...So, tell me about all this. Loch said I ought to know how you’re doing.”You gave her a brief, and not very positive, evaluation of the current state of the troops, as well as what you were going to do.“I…see.” Signy grimaced, “I guess I could have expected that. Still though, they’ll get better! At least, they’d better, or…” A bit of hopelessness flushed down Signy’s face before she shook her head and that thought away.“We’ll be going on a field trip soon,” you said, “One that should prove very educational in many ways.”Of course, judging from the mess in front of you, you could probably administer some advice to the CO for some last minute preparations, to try and make the exercise to come less of an embarrassment…>Give some advice to your Lieutenant Colonel Hiedler of the 1st Republican Armored Demi-Battalion, or inspect elements to see if they are present or not present.>Other actions or plans can be suggested to do that aren’t a part of the exercise here as well. If you want to do anything I’ve missed, or have an idea of something you want to do, then go ahead and suggest it again.Keep in mind when looking for things or suggesting things, you have to think from the perspective of somebody whose mechanized experience stems from Strossvald. In case you need a refresher, Strossvald’s mechanized forces operate as a part of the overall “battle line;” This means, besides basic maintenance and resupply structure, they do not have integrated support, and are meant to operate closely with infantry and slower moving parts of the army, acting more as a mobile reserve or assault spearhead than a true independent force. The only exception is the Silver Lances Armor Division, which has many doctrinal and equipment differences from the usual Armor formation due to operating by itself most of the time as an expeditionary force.In summary, Richter’s not going to know the importance of things that you would need for operating beyond your main line for extended periods of time, so any suggestions that aren’t a part of Strossvald’s battle line doctrine aren’t going to be something the PC is familiar with. He can extrapolate theories since he wants to join up with the Silver Lances someday and knows how they work, but his knowledge of how they work will be…limited.
>>1900093>Give some advice to your Lieutenant Colonel Hiedler of the 1st Republican Armored Demi-BattalionTeach him to delegate and assign tasks to others, as is his job as an officer. Designate a group of dedicated couriers. Designate a battalion master sergeant to oversee the companies, and have the companies and platoons designate their own sergeants to help keep the men organized and in basic formations. The more men he has to organize means the more men he has at his command to help him do it, if he delegates properly.
>>1900093>Give some advice to your Lieutenant Colonel Hiedler of the 1st Republican Armored Demi-Battalion, or inspect elements to see if they are present or not present.Talking from an organisational point of view, perhaps this would be a good model to follow. Except we combine all our available armor into a separate company or two.
>>1900359You really can't do anything as drastic as deciding organizational structure right before an exercise; to arrange things like that would have required devoting a time block to it, as was done with equipment and leadership filtering. You can do your best to try and talk the troops into organizing more evenly, but dictating structure in a more permanent fashion would have to wait.
>>1900366Sure, that can be for the future. Is it possible to get the rest of our officers to form a squad to take part in the maneuvers? Might be a good way to set an example to the Republicans.
>>1900390> Is it possible to get the rest of our officers to form a squad to take part in the maneuvers? Might be a good way to set an example to the Republicans.You can do that, but a long march like this would be similarly new to them, since they're pretty well used to having the support structure of the battle line to render support and replacements, a structure that these newly minted troops...do not have, to say the least.A long march isn't unheard of by Strossvald Armor forces, but they don't tend to range far independently.
>>1900431How about say a platoon from Bat Company. Being infantry they should have quite some experience with marching.
>>1900470It's less being inexperienced with marching, but more the complications that would occur with a long distance mechanized march. Bat Company, coming from a Light Infantry regiment, wouldn't be expected to know a single thing concerning mechanized operations, but Bat Company is quite an outlier, and might know a few things since they were the home formation of quite an usual figure, whose infantry stole a bunch of tanks and used those for a while in independent raids.So if you wanted to, sure.
>>1900431>>1900505If this kind of thing is new to our guys as well, then I think we should also send a combined force to participate as well. After all we're supposed to be the ones training them, so we should also treat this as an opportunity for improving our knowledge and experience.
>>1900093tanq, is Von Neubaum leaving now or after the ball? >Give some advice to your Lieutenant Colonel Hiedler of the 1st Republican Armored Demi-Battalion, or inspect elements to see if they are present or not present.I don't know anything about military organization but make sure every formation leader knows the route and support vehicles. I don't remember if this force is fully mechanized and if not they won't be particularly fast so that may give us time to correct on the road.I think if we mix in our units it's going to be even more of a clusterfuck. Now if we lead by example with a good formation the more clever leaders might emulate us.Can we inspect and see if this force has scouts to be set ahead of the 'formation'?
>>1900982>tanq, is Von Neubaum leaving now or after the ball? He's leaving whenever you want him to leave.So, I guess, if that's felt to be important that can also be decided now.>Can we inspect and see if this force has scouts to be set ahead of the 'formation'?I'll say that you know that they don't really do recon, mostly because up until now they didn't really do massing of force either so everybody was basically a scout.> I don't remember if this force is fully mechanizedThey will be. For what it's worth, considering the average quality of the motor pool. The scrap tank "guntrack" types top out at slightly quicker than a jogging man.
>>1901048Also what's the total distance we're covering for this march?
>>1901048Excellent, thanks for the answers.If we're also voting for when the decoy party leaves I believe it should probably be after the ball. The odds of someone recognizing us at the ball are pretty high, we haven't had that much practice at disguising ourselves. This means though that we may need to schmooze more than we are comfortable with to maintain the appearance that we are now following Liemanners plan.Good to know they at least will be fairly mobile. The only plan I can contribute is maybe have drills for infantry getting out of the trucks and into cover on the move and demonstrating with our unit how Strossvald handles a march.
>>1901145Going all the up to the northern part of the Republic, then down to the southern tip. The Republic's about sixty kilometers from tip to tip coming north to south, and the thing's starting from a bit below the middle.So about ninety to a hundred kilometers.It's pretty hellish to do in a day, and considering the speed of a lot of the vehicles, means the march would go well into the night.If you want to give them less of a beating, you can just go one direction. and back to the start point instead of to up then all the way down.I should make a map of the Republic, shouldn't I, though I can't see it getting much use.
>>1901186A hundred km may be a bit too much for them, so I'd propose they go in one direction.However given there don't seem to be many people around right now waiting for more posters to give their own proposals.
>>1901186If we already have such abysmal expectations for them then there's no reason to push them very hard, at least for now. One direction will probably be better, especially if we're here to work out the kinks.
>>1901186It's better to do a short march, smooth out the kinks, then repeat.
Will be resuming updating soon. It's going to be weekdays for the rest of the time this thread's up, so I don't expect many people to have time to read or drop by. I'll try and compensate for that so we can get to the point I want to end at in time.
“Do you think,” you asked Honnrieg, “That we should wait at the first point, then only go with the second part of the march once they all get there?”“I’d say the more they screw up, the more we can fix.”“I’ll have them wait at the first turnaround, and we’ll see if they can continue after that.” You decided, nodding to yourself, “This sort of maneuver would be difficult for even our own people…speaking of…Von Metzeler.” You looked to your Lieutenant, whose arms stiffened in defiance to the urge to salute in recognition. “Take a few of the platoon on this, too. Let’s get some know how, just in case, while we have the chance. The Captain will accompany us…” When Honnrieg frowned at this suggestion, you said instead, “Or rather, one of his NCOs will accompany us with some men, for advice when we need it on this sort of thing.”“With respect,” Von Metzeler said quietly, between the three of you, “The Captain’s men are light infantry. What knowledge would they have that would aid us in a long range mechanized maneuver like this? Even I am uncertain of how we would handle this.”“When you rolled with Captain Von Tracht, you learned how to handle everything.” Honnrieg smirked, but then grimaced, “…often the hard and painful way. We can try and avoid that particular heap of crappiness.”Von Metzeler seemed to debate something in his head, before loosening and giving a monosyllabic sound of acceptance.“Are you going to Geniburg?” Signy asked, “If you are, I’ll go with you. I need to pick up something.”“Something?” you asked.“Geniburg’s where the dressmaker is…” Signy said hesitantly, “I’m supposed to be there for any final…changes.”“We’ll see. Von Metzeler,” you remembered the mission you wanted to set Von Neubaum off on, “Tell Junior Lieutenant Neubaum that my assignment for him is being delayed for a couple of days. Go ahead and take him on this, if you like.”
Your lieutenant nodded wordlessly before turning. As Von Metzeler set off, straight backed, presumably to gather what he could of your platoon to set off on this exercise, you found the freshly “commissioned” and quadruple-promoted Lieutenant Colonel Hiedler, to give some advice. It was unusual to try and give advice to somebody possibly a decade or more older than you, and both of you knew this, but Hiedler considerately listened to the words of a junior.“I see you’ve formed a courier group,” you said, noticing the band of car drivers and motorcyclists who had sprung up from nowhere, “That is what it is, yes?”“Er, yes.” Hiedler looked over; he seemed to lack confidence in this new group, judging from his expression. “I was a courier with Netilland, you know. Nobody realizes how important we, they, are, until they’re not around.”“Indeed,” you agreed, “So, who is your second in command?”“Second? Er…” Hiedler apparently hadn’t thought about this.“Pick a second in command,” you said firmly, “Then talk to all your leaders, your “officers,” and have them all pick seconds as well. Sergeants. In case the leader is occupied, or he needs somebody to go in their place.”“O-of course,” Hiedler scratched at his mustache fervently, “Does it matter who it is?”“As long as they can do the job.”“Right,” Hiedler suddenly regained confidence, “I can do that, then.”The truck mounted infantry, you decided, could also do with some specific drilling, but that could be done on the march itself.“One more thing,” you added, “We’ll be going to one place, then waiting for the rest of your people to arrive before we go the other way. Depending on how many people don’t make it, we’ll either call things there, or continue. The place you’re going to for this first leg is…”>North, to Glockenblume.>South, to Geniburg.>Map Scale is 10km per grid square. You are currently in Rostig.>Blue territory is Blue Barb Band, White is White Eyes, Red is Guillotines, Yellow is Geniburg. Green are unaligned settlements.Obviously this map is incomplete, since this only contains mentioned locations; you'll have it filled out as you find out more about the region which coincidentally is when the map will actually be adjusted, heheYou may notice that going north takes you pretty close to Strossvald
>>1903649>North, to Glockenblume.If they're going north see if we can get one of our guys to pick up any news on what's going on back home.
>>1903649>North, to Glockenblume.I don't really want to show Strossvald a show of bandit unity that will get them worried about a Republic right next door, but in the event that the rescue of the hostages goes pear-shaped getting a lay of the land and routes for a speedy retreat would be very helpful.It is relieving to know that our way back is through Vangland and *should* be friendly. Whether or not we'll be safe from Death Heads reprisals will be another matter. We can't count on any help from Strossvald, and in fact shouldn't try to get any. We're still maintaining that we are renegades, trying to report to the people who shoot deserters would tip our hand pretty badly.Goddammit I want to go south and bully Signy more.
>>1903649>North, to Glockenblume
>>1903649Also one question: how far east are the Iron Hogs' territories from the edge of this map?
>>1903912Their main base is in a city about forty five kilometers east-northeast of Todesfelsen across the river to the east, but their outpost on the other side of said river is about twenty five kilometers away from Todesfelsen, slightly southwards but still to the east-northeast.I'll make an extension at some point to show properly, probably when it's particularly pertinent.
>>1903649supporting>>1903775specifically for> getting a lay of the land and routes for a speedy retreat would be very helpful.Bat Company is probably very familiar with the area anyways and during our run home could probably take us to a crossing that wont shoot us on sight.
“The place you’re going to for the first leg is up to Glockenblume,” you pointed a finger to what you supposed was probably north. “Then, if that goes alright, we’ll go down to Geniburg after that.”“You think they’ll do that well..?” Hiedler moved his hand from his mustache to his pocket.“Oh, hell no.”“Ah.”“But do your best anyways,” you added, “It’s about time for you to go. Hurry up on getting your sergeants picked.”“Right.” Hiedler sagged slightly as you left him to his toil.-----You encountered Honnrieg on your way to round up your crews and tanks; the ones that weren’t spares, that is; only what was necessary for your platoon.“My advice to you, Lieutenant,” Honnrieg said, unsolicited, “If you’re going through with this, be real gentle with your machines. I’m sure you know to take the mechanics, take the fuel truck, make sure you’re always going the right bearing, but don’t treat this like a race. We don’t have replacements for those panzers you brought, so if you turn one of the m/32s into a goddamn teakettle that thing’s like to never see home again.”The Captain was of course referring to the distinct noise of an overworked m/32 engine in distress; you weren’t sure exactly what caused it; it was some belt or another, possibly multiple (Mechanics preferred for tankers to not try and do maintenance on the internals). The din that ensued from the engine was akin to a screeching teapot, albeit one much more violent and ear wrenching, and was a sign that the m/32 would soon be practically immobile if it wasn’t already.“Avoid the rough terrain, keep to the roads when you can. Just treat that tank like it’s a big metal baby because you really don’t need to be anywhere in a hurry,” Honnrieg finished, “On Hell’s first raid we lost half our goddamn vehicles on the way into Sosaldt and had to make a second raid to get them back. If you don’t have a battle line behind you, your capacity to move fast and hard goes down the drain.”“I don’t recall reading about that…” You had never heard of something that bad going on in Hell’s famous first raid using misappropriated tanks.
“Of course you didn’t,” Honnrieg said scornfully, “Do you think Hell was going to report that he lost half the vehicles he stole deep in hostile territory? He would have really had his ass over the fire if that was the case. We didn’t file a report until it looked like we’d done it flawlessly.”“I think I preferred the story I read about…”“Command liked that story better too, thankfully. Good luck out there; this whole thing’s going to be a shitshow, so just focus on not embarrassing yourself.” Honnrieg began to leave, but caught himself. “One more thing. You’re going north, so don’t go in the wrong damn direction. If you get close to the Glennz again, you’ll probably spook some of your own people, and that really wouldn’t be good.”“Of course.”-----Soon, most of your platoon had formed up; five tanks, not including your own. Given your particular tank’s special qualities, you really didn’t want to risk breaking it doing something like this. The hull might have repaired itself, but you had absolutely no way of knowing for sure whether any other part of the tank fixed itself. Precisely how haunted your vehicle was would have to be found out at some point, you decided.For now, though, you rode with Von Metzeler, leaving your crew to sit for a spell. Even though this march would be through nominally friendly territory, simply going up and down the country on the roads (for what they were) would demonstrate little. Instead, you had Hiedler spread out his demi-battalion over a front of sorts, like armor commanders of Strossvald would do, in a formation as though they expected battle. Two of the companies up front, their platoons spread on a line, and another company in reserve behind that. The companies wouldn’t be bunched up in clumps, either; there may have been insignificant threat from the air, but the threat of artillery being a factor was quite high considering how heavily armed the Death Heads were purported to be. These people wouldn’t be fighting another ragtag band; they’d have to quickly get used to fighting in a way that would match them properly against a much stronger opponent.“Do you want to take the commanders seat?” Von Metzeler offered to you. The turret of the m/32 was spacious; you had put yourself in the place where Von Metzeler’s loader would be, since it wasn’t as if any battle would be expected.
“No,” you answered, “I’ll just be spectating. We’re the same rank; I think we both know how to handle platoons.” “Very well.” Von Metzeler looked at his watch, “It is four minutes to fourteen hundred. Schlieff, have the platoon check in.”Everything was smooth within the platoon, as expected. What else could be expected from people who trained together for months, become intimately familiar with their equipment, their comrades in the case of enlisted and their fellow officers in the case of the commissioned? Also as expected, the rest of the exercise’s participants were an utter mess.A man on a motorcycle with a dull red head wrap puttered up next to the tank. “Why aren’t you going yet?” he asked, “It’s two.”“It is not two,” Von Metzeler said down to him, “It is thirteen fifty eight, and only recently such.”“Thirteen fifty…what?” The Guillotine squinted at Von Metzeler.“One fifty eight.”“Well no, it ain’t,” the Guillotine took out a watch of his own and pointed at it, “It’s been two for almost a minute. It’s time to go.”As he kicked his motorcycle back to life and sped up, Von Metzeler sighed and looked down at you. “Apparently, our watches were not as synchronized as I thought they were. All were told to set it by the clock tower on the town hall, were they not?” “Apparently not,” you guessed, “A fantastic start, although it is a good thing that at least somebody is checking, instead of everybody setting off whenever they think their wrong clock is.”Once your group had started moving, the one to your left, near one hundred meters away, started moving as well. The right group had been obscured by a small hill that was directly to your side; the motorcycle man seemed to have come from their direction, so you could only hope, with no radio contact, that the message going down the line had arrived at them too.
The first half an hour went fine, but soon after, the difference in speeds between the groups became apparent, and in Von Metzeler’s attempt to balance your platoon’s speed between them, you lost sight of both. “Slow up,” Von Metzeler said into his headset, presumably hooked to platoon net, “We’ll reestablish visual contact with second of first before maintaining speed.”You had attached your platoon to the second company, and the first company had been to your left; their second platoon, to be exact. You hadn’t expected matching speed to be a problem, but who knew the quality of the instruments around these places? Everybody could be going, as far as they knew, the same speed. Of course, equally possible was that others were speeding up to compensate for another’s speed, resulting in this sort of mess all the way down the chain.“…Damnation, halt here,” Von Metzeler said after five minutes, “I’m going to run to the top of that hill. We’ve been at half speed for too long.”You had seen Von Metzeler constantly checking his compass; you were most certainly going the right direction. You looked around, peeping out of the side hatch, as Von Metzeler climbed up the dusty hill to search the surroundings with his binoculars. He came down quickly, and heaving himself through the commander’s cupola from behind, he put his headset back on and said as irritably as he seemed prematurely exhausted, “Third of ours is up ahead, and is off-heading. Our left support is…gone. Bat Company, I need your truck to link up with third platoon and set them straight before we have to change our course to the wrong way to link with them. We’ll remain at slow speed for ten minutes or until you return, and if you have a breakdown, you’re on your own. We’ll have to change course and catch up.”“This went to hell faster than I expected,” you commented.“It went much later than I thought it would.” Von Metzeler replied, “If I were to guess, I think that our new Lieutenant Colonel’s courier corps, while soundly planned, is growing less and less efficient as the distance between our disparate elements increases. I have not seen any since we embarked; some may have even gotten lost, in the worst case.”“What do you plan to do, then?”
“As much as it would be ideal to keep as much of the demi-battalion together as possible,” Von Metzeler narrowed his eyes to the distance, “It is not our task to reduce these men’s failure for them, merely to reach Glockenblume. If we cannot reestablish contact with the effort we’ve already made, it wouldn’t be our task to do so, anyways. We would stick to the plan of maneuver as best we could unless an obstacle prevented us from doing so, and as this is a mere march,” Von Metzeler closed his eyes finally and exhaled, “There are no obstacles before us but vain attempts to keep in line.”“I suppose I can’t argue with that,” you admitted. As much as you’d rather not things be a mess, wasn’t the point of this to make a big mess so that the Guillotines could correct their own mistakes? What would they learn if you amended everything for them? They might very well look to you for leadership, and not their appointed leaders; such would not be good for their long term organization.“In the meantime,” Von Metzeler said slowly and deliberately, “I must say, part of the reason I joined the Archduke’s armies was to escape the ceaseless plots in the shadows that surrounded my family. Yet, not more than a day after I thought I was to escape those forever, I found myself in the midst of an even darker conspiracy.”“One we managed to foil,” you said with no small amount of pride.“Perhaps.” Von Metzeler did not share your certainty. “Yet I still see the threads of conspiracy even now. Not from the same source, but suspicious all the same. The sort of sinister plots I thought beneath the army, if not the high lords and the Archduke. We are hardly in an unsafe place to discuss this…of course, if you do not want to speak of it, then I implore you, do me the favor of taking my mind off of it with another subject. These thoughts have hounded me since arriving here.”>I’m all ears. What conspiracies do you smell?>I would rather not, especially when we have so much to stress over already. Forget that, and let us speak of…(write in)>Other?>>1906282>Bat Company is probably very familiar with the area anyways Holtenberger country, where Bat Company's home is, is further to the north than Vang Republic territory touches. If you want to get to them, you'd have to go a fair bit out of the way.
>>1906478You can share your concerns with me first, then later we talk about happier topics.
>>1906478>>I’m all ears. What conspiracies do you smell?
>>1906478>I’m all ears. What conspiracies do you smell?Also mind giving some info on the part of Strossvald that borders the Republic? Anyone in our merry band ever been to that area/born there?
>>1906519>Also mind giving some info on the part of Strossvald that borders the Republic? Anyone in our merry band ever been to that area/born there?That is part of a greater section of Strossvald called Altoss, after the Altossian mountains (there would be an umlaut over the 'o' in both cases but most of the time I can't be assed) that form its northern border, which was once the border between Strossvald and Sosaldt in the past.You don't know anybody actually from that southernmost horn. That particular place is quite a controversial area because of its proximity to East Valsten, due to how dubious the nature of the local nobility's actual ancestral right to the land is. It is quite a prosperous region, due to proximity with seaborne trade from East Valsten, which helps for its comparative lack of fertility from the rest of Altoss which has quickly become the breadbasket of Strossvald due to the rainy side of the mountains now being under the Archduchy. Some mines are present, but the region mostly revolves around international dealings between the rest of Strossvald and its southern neighbor, as well as, rumors say, trading partners beyond East Valsten whose trade is exported through East Valsten's ports and around the continent, sometimes even further.The most daring of critics dare to call the documents that guarantee rights to those lands to some families to be baseless, and the families themselves to be forgeries given new names and fictional histories by the Archduchy, but Strossvald's (normally) supportive relationship with East Valsten ensures that such controversy is never between the governments themselves.Bat Company is made up of people who live near Sosaldt, of course, but they are from the region lorded over by the Holtenberg family; the Republic is bordered with a family's lands who you don't know, though you could probably ask somebody from the company who it belongs to.
>>1906612Oops, messed up that map.Fixed now.
>>1906478>I’m all ears. What conspiracies do you smell?Time for gossip, if it gets too broody we can reminisce on what those pricks Von Halm and Von Cassel are up to and gloat on how we're the big damn heroes while they're probably guarding pigstys.
“If something concerns you, then share it with me first,” you said, “We can talk about happier topics some other time. What conspiracies do you smell?”“A few,” Von Metzeler said, “I will not waste your time with ones that you and I likely already each know the details of, and are like to stand to benefit from. There are certain recent events that…confuse me.” Von Metzeler directed his driver in a short, snapping order, before crouching back down into the turret and lifting his goggles, and moving his kerchief mask down, so he could properly speak with you face to face. “This leader of the republicans, ‘Miss Vang,’ she came from Blumsburgh, where a conspiracy against the Archduchy’s hold upon a region was festering.”“Do you think she is connected to that?” you asked in disbelief.“No. Of course not.” Von Metzeler looked at you as if you had suggested that he was an idiot. “As far as I could tell, she would have gained nothing from what actions she took to support us if she was. However, we are sent over here, and suddenly, here is Miss Vang, and this strange Locke fellow, who purported to come down from Delsau.”“You think that this is not a coincidence.” You said.“Perhaps I am too taken with my favorite literature to look at these events from a reasoned perspective,” Von Metzeler said, “but some coincidences are far too great for what is happening. I am sure that the idea of this Captain Loch figure being from Delsau as he says is a ridiculous notion.”“Most likely.”“Not most likely. I believe that we can be certain that he is not from there. What does Delsau have to gain from what he has attempted, or has done? Their borders are secure and densely fortified, and they have little interest in conquest beyond their protective halo of stone. The first thing he did, coming down from there, purportedly to help against the so-called Dawnseeker militias, may have had some sense. The Delsans would not like instability near their territories. He made a deep penetration into the Blumlands, but even so, perhaps, he could be expected to be taking drastic measures, maybe out of the good of his own heart. Possibly. Yet we capture him and his men, and after we leave, suddenly, he comes over here, freed from the shackles we snapped onto him. Why?”“Signy said that a brief investigation found them free of wrongdoing.”“The briefest investigation ever taken concerning trespassing of armed soldiers onto sovereign foreign land. As I see it, there are two possibilities. One, is that Loch is an agent of the Archduchy, and he is here not only to aid us indirectly, but to accomplish goals of our nation.”
“That would be quite a nice thing.” You said, observing the obvious.“Thusly the less likely option.” Von Metzeler said darkly, “The other is that he is a foreign agent, who is attempting to stir trouble where he can in places inconvenient to the Archduchy. Where from, I am unsure. His men appear to come from all over the continent, and although his voice and face seem familiar, somehow extremely familiar, he insists upon continuing the ruse of a slightly Delsan accent. His identity is not my main concern, however.”“What is your main concern, then?”“The Intelligence Office.”“The Intelligence Office?” you said, surprised, “What about them? Did they not send us on this mission, and provide us with support?”“Of course they did, and I am wary of speaking about it outside of this tank, even in this foreign land,” Von Metzeler’s eyes went back and forth, “Think about it. We uncovered the conspiracy of the Dawnseekers to falsify their own destruction, and increase their strength by doing so. Soon afterwards, after we provide the Intelligence Office with all of what we collected, we are assigned to a battalion going off to this front, and then after this war starts, we are given a mission to go even further away, a task that will send us away, likely for quite some time, and one that we cannot return home from until we finish.” Von Metzeler seemed quite concerned as he said this, more so than you’d ever seen him, a usually stoic man whose emotional highs tended to consist of anger or indignancy, “It seems almost as if…we are being put out of the way.”“By whom? The Intelligence Office? Why?” you demanded, each question more loudly.“That is the most troubling part,” Von Metzeler said, “I cannot think of why they would do such a thing. Obviously the health of the Archduchy is not the goal, but at the same time, I cannot see where their plot ends. It would be so much more convenient if one of our major interactions with them did not happen, but with everything that has happened, I cannot help but suspect that they are planning something, worse, that we are aiding them in whatever this is, and…” Von Metzeler looked down and set his chin on the backs of his hands, “even worse, we are powerless to do anything but serve their whims.”>If we are powerless to do anything, why fight it? It’s hard enough just to live through all of this, let’s just focus on that. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes, hopefully before it begins burning down.>I’m sure that it’s all a coincidence. Don’t think too much about it, or maybe the Intelligence Office will actually find a reason to get us “out of the way.”>Well, that was certainly dark and hopeless. How about we talk about something better to get out of that mood? (Write in)>Other?Also, if you want to;>Decide that you know where Loch is fromOkay that’s a bit of a gimmee but humor me.
>>1906975>>If we are powerless to do anything, why fight it? What the intelligence office wants is probably in our best interest anyway. We are loyal Strossvalders after all. If we do well they may even reward us, or at least see us as less expendable. I'd like to know what's going on too, but considering the perils we already face I'm content enough to not be the target of their scheming.
>>1906975>If we are powerless to do anything, why fight it? It’s hard enough just to live through all of this, let’s just focus on that. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes, hopefully before it begins burning down.Now we all know this thing stinks to high heaven but we should focus on the things we can accomplish within our abilities.Well, that was certainly dark and hopeless. How about we talk about something better to get out of that mood? (What >>1906919mentioned)>Decide that you know where Loch is fromEh, most likely the Reich. From what we know about this continent so far, the major powers seem to be the Reich,Naukland, Emre and Strossvald (and we don't know much about the middle). While a lot of Strossvald's neighbours don't seem to like us I'd honestly doubt that Loch would be in their employ. Culturally is Strossvald and the Reich similar? From observation, people like Krause aren't really different from any of our other officers.
>>1906999>Culturally is Strossvald and the Reich similar? From observation, people like Krause aren't really different from any of our other officers.As far as the common people go, mostly. This is mostly because of the cultural obliteration inflicted by Kaiser Alexander more than a hundred years ago upon everything east of the Reich except for Naukland. Most cultural change from then has been either countries trying to pick up the pieces of their past national identity, or different cultures moving in, such as the Caelussians influencing the Twaryians on the eastern edge of the continent, or Valsten's former colonies influencing them when they regain contact.Most of what makes Strossvald distinct from the Reich is the structure of the nobility and the venerability of the ancestry. While the Reich certainly has nobles, the rise of the recent Kaiser Henrik resulted in a purge of many of these old houses so they don't have much influence over the Grossreich anymore. When Emma calls you an "Imperial," there's some of that similarity to Strossvald's western neighbor reflected in other country's perception of your home.
>>1907020So basically "Imperial" because they're both expansionist monarchies with an aristocracy (though with differences)?
>>1907044Of sorts, yes. Although no Strossvalder would suffer being called an Imperial in polite conversation, since that implies that they were collaborators with the infamous Reich during the period where most of the continent was under their reign.It's especially offensive to the nobility of Strossvald to be called "Imperial" since they were the ringleaders of a war of independence to oust the Reich from their lands. Were Emma a physical being and not a ghost when she said something like that, were Richter less of a gentleman, it would not be out of place to apply a firm backhand to even a child's cheek.Some may call this hypocritical considering the behavior of the nation, but then, these critics should know how much of a dirty word "Imperial" is when the Grossreich under Alexander was such an oppressive force when it came to imposing their culture upon their conquered subjects
>>1906975>>If we are powerless to do anything, why fight it? It’s hard enough just to live through all of this, let’s just focus on that. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes, hopefully before it begins burning down.>Decide that you know where Loch is fromAcross the sea, one of many agents sent to destabilize the continent for the upcoming continental invasion.
>>1906975>If we are powerless to do anything, why fight it? It’s hard enough just to live through all of this, let’s just focus on that. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes, hopefully before it begins burning down.
>>1906975>[Hypnosis] I have complete faith in our nation.
>>1906975>>1906975>>If we are powerless to do anything, why fight it? It’s hard enough just to live through all of this, let’s just focus on that. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes, hopefully before it begins burning down.Gotta get dat Mind Puppet achievement.>Decide that you know where Loch is fromUh he's secretly Rogel Zierke, the Iron Hand of the Kaiser, hero of the Battle of Gzaeck Forest in the Emrean War, as well as the Battle of Tillhu Pass during the conquest of Felbach? He's a Reich boy, whether or not he's a son of Edmund Loch remains to be seen.
>>1907460Didn't we meet that guy already?
>>1907528Yeah he was the Imperial ambassador in Blumsburg
“If we are powerless to do anything, why fight it?” you said, shrugging slightly, “It’s hard enough just to live through all of this, we should just focus on that instead of the shapes of shadows in the night. If there is scheming, we’d be best off doing our best on this mission, instead of becoming a greater target in whatever scheming is taking place. We might even be rewarded, or at least seen as less expendable.”“I mislike how easily you accept all of this,” Von Metzeler said, “But you are right. It would probably be better to think about this once we are in a position of greater strength.”“We are loyal men of the Archducy,” you proclaimed, “What do we have to fear? Getting away from the suspicions, perhaps we should talk about something of a gladder tone.”“That would be a relief,” Von Metzeler popped his head out of the cupola and looked about, frowning, before coming back down once more. “Especially in light of the mess we have found ourselves in. Not the mission, you see, but hammering this band of neighborhood watch and gangsters into something resembling proper troops.”“Well,” you clapped your hands together, “I was thinking about how much we’ve ended up doing already, and how much we’re set to do. I’d daresay we’re on our way to no small share of fame, while the pricks from the academy are likely assigned to guarding pigsties.”“A fair amount likely owe us,” Von Metzeler pointed out, “The cadets we drafted into our platoon were certainly not whom I would have expected to be fighting alongside, not that I spite that.”You hadn’t really known Von Neubaum, Igel, or Walen either. In the academy, perhaps you had met with them, but they had been among blurs of faces, most of whom looked down upon you either out of pity or out of condescension. You weren’t sure which had been worse.“I’m rather glad we didn’t find ourselves near Von Halm or that rotten Cassel,” you said, “Especially Cassel.”
“Van Halm,” Von Metzeler corrected, “He is of East Valsten blood, and has the title of one of their nobility. The last I heard of him, he was going to the northern border with Plisseau. Von Cassel…I have no idea. He never captured my interest. Why do you feel such bitterness towards him?”“In the final exercise, he abandoned me.” You said, “Had he not gone back seeking glory in taking command of our side of the exercise, I’m sure I could have pulled victory from the jaws of defeat.”“Ah yes,” Von Metzeler remembered, “Before your platoon crossed the ford and dispatched mine.”“Did you not see us coming?”“I did. I did not realize there was a ford point in the season.” Von Metzeler said with only a hint of scorn, “I was too distracted, ironically, with my task of distracting the rest of your company.”“What do you think of Von…ahem, Van Halm?” You asked. You didn’t know much about Van Halm, other than that he had been foreign. His name had also been confusing, as you continued to demonstrate.“He is arrogant, rude, but exceptionally talented.” Von Metzeler listed off, “Other than that, I know little. We did not share the same social circles. If you wanted to know more about him, I would advise that you speak to our own Von Neubaum.”“Von Neubaum?” your lethargic junior lieutenant? “Why?”
“He was Van Halm’s academic rival,” Von Metzeler explained, “Just above Van Halm in every score and rating. Van Halm despised him, and as you can probably tell from Von Neubaum’s demeanor, his declared rival did not care much for competition. Once again, though I know little about him, one thing I know for certain is the measure of how much Van Halm hated Von Neubaum’s superior talent, as well as his even worse feelings for Neubaum’s lack of desire to engage him.”Von Neubaum certainly didn’t seem the sort to care about petty rivalries. He appeared to scarcely care about his own prestige, considering that he avoided taking leadership positions unless told to, and instead served more often as a mere crewman.“Speaking of rivalries,” you thought that this would be the only time you could bring this up and not have it come from nowhere, “What was up with that silly duel you challenged me to?”“It was not silly,” Von Metzeler said hotly, “Although I can understand why you would think it might be. You never associated with the same people I did, the same prestigious and courtly folk, who value such things.”“Because they insisted on insulting my family,” you shot back, “I care more about my own blood than that of some hoity toity ponce who does nothing but suck up to the high lords and never accomplishes anything of note.”“Since you asked, though,” Von Metzeler’s heat dulled as yours had risen, “I was angry at my defeat, of course. The true purpose was because my honor had been challenged by these people you hold so little regard for. Understand, Von Tracht, that I wish to distance myself from my family as much as you wish to defend the honor of yours. These hoity toity ponces are my best route to escape from my own ancestry’s dishonor. I could weather their mockery of my family, but not their slights to my own integrity. I assure you now, that the matter was nothing personal.”>If fighting with swords was nothing personal, I’d hate to see what you consider a serious matter.>Why associate with them if they disrespect you so? Is getting away from your past worth massaging the ego of other scum? The only nobility you should try and impress is the Archduke, I feel.>I can respect, and forgive, that. Hopefully you don’t consider my bowing out of that matter an insult, as I did not mean it to be. I simply don’t like losing, and I am terrible at fencing.>Other?>>1908095Also, Zierke had a steel forearm and hand with a gun inside it. Loch appears to be entirely made of flesh and blood.I'll put out one more update, maybe two, tonight. Trying to do two weeks in a row wasn't a good idea, in hindsight, since I felt more strained than usual (although that might have been because of the Tuberculosis-AIDS I contracted and recently got rid of). I'll be making a new thread this Saturday evening, about.
>>1908729>I can respect, and forgive, that. Hopefully you don’t consider my bowing out of that matter an insult, as I did not mean it to be. I simply don’t like losing, and I am terrible at fencing.
>>1908743>>If fighting with swords was nothing personal, I’d hate to see what you consider a serious matter.
>>1908743Option 2, but for the sake of speeding things along, option 3