The year is 1866. You are Daniel Stockton, a veteran of the American Civil War and general in the Aizu Domain's military. You've come to Japan looking for work, and with the nation on the brink of war, there is an ever-increasing demand for men such as yourself. Last time, you arrived in Berlin and met Otto von Bismarck.Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ZapQMArchive:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=BoshinInfo Paste:https://pastebin.com/L50nUu0V
Riding along the streets of Berlin, you frown at the view in the distance, according to Chancellor Bismarck, the protesters down the road are anarchist agitators. Thinking back to the sort of agitators plaguing the Shogun, you return to business. “I was told the Spandau Arsenal had some surplus equipment that might be available for sale.” Leaning forward, you cross your arms as the carriage goes over a particularly rough patch of cobblestone. “Would we be able to arrange a visit?” Bismarck raises a thick eyebrow, the edge of his mustache quirking up slightly. “Looking to arm your men? I cannot blame you.” He nods curtly. “I can speak to the commander there, he should be able to facilitate a visit.” “Excellent,” you reply. “My men were initially trained with Needle Rifles, but we had such a small supply of them that we could never issue them to the regular army.” Pausing, you light a cigarillo and lean back. “Though we need all forms of military equipment, really.” “I can imagine.” The German statesman rubs his chin. “You were certainly fortunate to have access to Needle Rifles in the first place, they were instrumental to our combat victories against Austria in the most recent war.” He continues. “Of course, all the rifles in the world wouldn’t have mattered without our logistics corps.” Soon, the carriage is within view of the Berlin Palace, an imposing structure surrounded by wrought iron fences and parade grounds. Its high windows and decorated façade betray the reputation of the Germans as a military people, with the palace giving a more stately impression at first glance. As the carriage comes to a stop, you all exit onto the snowy surface of the parade ground. Awaiting you is a reception of palace guards, all powerfully-built men with impeccable uniforms. As Bismarck guides you to the entrance to the palace, the guards salute crisply; Bismarck returns the gesture. “Let’s go in from the cold, gentlemen,” Bismarck says as the front door swings open. You enter into a large reception area with vaulted ceilings. Daylight streams though the colossal windows, revealing the German king and his cadre of advisors and generals. Bismarck greets the King in German, though you hear your name spoken along with whatever Bismarck says. Wilhelm, the King of Prussia, approaches you confidently. He is a stocky, powerfully-built man, though a bit shorter than average. He has a square face and massive sideburns, and is probably sixty years of age. “Herr Stockton,” he greets you with a nod. Turning, he then speaks to Keisuke. “And Herr Otori, I presume?” “Yes, your Highness.” Keisuke bows, as do you. “It is a pleasure to meet you.” “Likewise,” he replies graciously. “I had heard tell of the Japanese delegation, but I had not expected you to be so well put-together.” He turns to you, smiling just enough to see. “And what do you think of Germany, so far?”
“Our welcome was superb,” you reply politely. “I look forward to seeing more of your country, your Majesty.” “This time of year, the countryside is beautiful,” the King nods slowly. “Hohenzollern Castle in particular has an outstanding view.” He crosses his arms, looking at your uniform. “Say, you wear the coat of a Hussar. Are you a horse soldier?” “Admittedly I am not,” you reply somewhat bashfully. “I was in the light infantry when I was an enlisted man.” Shrugging, you continue. “I just prefer a coat I can easily move around it.” “So you were a Jaeger, then?” The King’s demeanor becomes solemn. “Indispensable to the army, but terribly fragile in open battle.” Shaking his head, he changes the subject. “Tell me, General, what intentions do you have for your visit to my nation?” >”My aim is to generally bring Japan closer to the German Confederation, diplomatically speaking.” (diplomacy focus)>”My first order of business is to strengthen and modernize our society at large.” (economy/civic focus)>”I wish to modernize the army and enrich its stores of equipment.” (military focus)>Write-in.
>>5010753>”I wish to modernize the army and enrich its stores of equipment.” (military focus)
>>5010753>”First and foremost is the military and her supplies, Civilian and Diplomatic ties in my personal opinion are second. No nation in this day and age, even moreso an Asian one can move forward without a stronger army, a strong alliance and then a strong people.Or something nice and flowerly like that. Also Sup Zap my boy. I missed you.
>>5010801Glad to be back, my man. I was actually working on my book over the last few months, even got a publishing deal secured. Gonna grab some dinner and write the next post.
>>5010809Hell fucking ya my guy, Out of food myself. Oh, do we have a release date for it yet or no?
>>5010838 Current timeline is about one year, maybe less. Will resume writing in about 10 minutes.
“I have many priorities, but chief among them is to modernize the army and enrich its supply of arms and equipment.” Wilhelm frowns slightly, looking over you and your men. “The need for a modern army implies the existence of an enemy. Have you foes that you must defend against?” Keisuke speaks next. “Indeed we do. The Shogun is beset by domestic threats, as well as the ambitions of foreign powers that would try to make us heel.” The Prussian nods once. “Likely the British? They have ambitions on all the world, it seems.” Grimacing, he looks out through one of the gigantic windows. Snow is now falling steadily, beginning to cover the parade ground in earnest. “You will need more than just guns, if you wish to seize military glory. It takes an iron will to withstand the field of battle.” “I can attest to the will of the Japanese soldier,” you say. “Their bravery and dedication are something to be admired.” Rubbing your chin, you continue. “But all the bravery in the world means nothing if you’re facing down Gatling guns with little more than spears and flintlocks.” Thinking back to your time in the Civil War, you remember that too; Confederate irregulars and last-ditch conscripts, barely a modern rifle among them, charging headlong into dizzying fusillades of rifle and cannon fire, only to be torn apart for the effort. “I know that firsthand.” “Well if you’re looking for advanced military technology, you certainly came to the right place.” This time, Wilhelm breaks his stern demeanor and lets out a chuckle. “We certainly caught our foes by surprise when we first debuted the Needle Rifles.” “So I’ve heard.” You nod. “They are superb rifles, particularly in the hands of a well-disciplined force.” “Discipline and training, General.” The king assumes a soldierly pose, folding his hands behind his back. “Those are the true backbone of a proper fighting army.” He raises an eyebrow. “If we were to provide military supplies of any kind, I would expect you to require some advisors as well, to train and drill the men.” >”I believe my men are sufficiently trained, I already have men dedicated to instructing recruits on modern army drills.” (decline the offer for advisors)>”You seem quick to suggest military support. What would you expect in return?” (question)>”Advisors are always good to have, but a small expeditionary contingent to assist our army directly could prove even more useful.” (ask for combat troops)>”We can always use more instructors.” (accept the offer)>Write-in.
>>5010876>”You seem quick to suggest military support. What would you expect in return?” (question)>”Advisors are always good to have, but a small expeditionary contingent to assist our army directly could prove even more useful.” (ask for combat troops)I know they hate the British and French? Currently, Unless the timelines fucking wild. So I'm trying too firgure out what could also be fished. The German Empire is however a great pick.
>>5010841it best be a meal for a King Hell ya my guy, Nice to see it coming togeather. Local man goes from if I remember correctly trains? To author lol.
>>5010901Of course, stovetop mac and cheese. And thanks, I appreciate it. Security guard to trains to (aspiring) author, still doesn't feel real.
>>5010909A slav's choice of food. Remember us if you make it big time. God knows where the rest are from thread 1.
>>5010909Well thanks for being back QM, I'm 'eading out. See ya tommorrow or whenever ya run next.
>>5010876>>”You seem quick to suggest military support. What would you expect in return?” (question)>>”We can always use more instructors.” (accept the offer)
>>5010876>”You seem quick to suggest military support. What would you expect in return?” (question)>>5010900They hated the French for the devastation from the Napoleonic Wars. Rivalry with Britain was just normal power politics in the 1860s with economic jealously thrown in, and among North Germans, there was a fair amount of Anglophilia. The Crown Princess was Victoria's eldest daughter, and even Tirpitz, who built a fleet to fight against the English, had his daughters educated in England.
>tfw you lay down for a short nap and end up sleeping for ten hoursI'll write up the next post soon.
“You seem quick to suggest military support.” Frowning slightly, you continue. “What would you expect in return?” Wilhelm crosses his arms. “A simple guarantee,” he replies. “You see, Germany will eventually be unable to expand in Europe, and we will have to look abroad at some point.” He steps closer, putting a hand on your shoulder and using his free hand to make a sweeping gesture. “The bountiful islands of the Pacific, China, and other parts of East Asia are prime territory to allow this nation to claim her place in the sun.” “So you want us to guarantee our support in future colonial ventures?” You raise an eyebrow. “While that could be arranged later, I would prefer something simpler, and less taxing on the newly-opened Japan.” He grins slightly. “What I want is a piece of undeveloped coastal land, leased to Germany for the construction of a naval base, along with freedom to quarter a garrison there once the base is built.” “I see,” you nod. Glancing over at Keisuke, he looks a bit apprehensive at the proposal. “And how long would this lease be for?” “The British leased Hong Kong for 101 years,” Wilhelm trails off. “Which I view as a good model for the leasing of a potential base in Japan.” He shakes his head. “Of course, the Chinese were coerced into their agreement. What I offer is a fair exchange, I think.” >”I believe we can work that out.” (agree)>”Do you have any specific areas in mind for this base?” >”Japan is quite out of the way for a nation whose only coastline is on the Baltic.” >”I will have to discuss this with Minister Otori.” (speak with Keisuke about it)>”I’m afraid this agreement would be unfavorable at this time.” >Write-in.
Ok so I was wrong, it was a 99 year lease on HK, and it wasn't signed until 1897 so this is a little anachronistic. My apologies for the inaccuracy.
>>5011774>>”Do you have any specific areas in mind for this base?” >>”I will have to discuss this with Minister Otori.” (speak with Keisuke about it)Show interest, ask further questions, show that we are considering this seriously. Then respectfully defer the decision to our civilian government."Your Majesty, I believe this to be an good agreement between our nations however I am but a simple military man. I will have to refer this to the ministers and cabinet with my full recommendation."He will likely appreciate our respect for seperation of civilian and military responsibilities.
Long time reader of this quest but this is my first comment and I just want to say that I think it's great.It's inspired a lot of my own games irl and even my research in academia. So thanks OP and keep up the great work! I look forward to reading this quest for a while yet.
>>5011805Glad you like it Anon! It's always nice to hear words of encouragement.
>>5011774>”Do you have any specific areas in mind for this base?” >”I will have to discuss this with Minister Otori.” (speak with Keisuke about it)
“Do you have any areas in mind for this potential base?” You raise an eyebrow. The King pauses for a moment, seeming to consider his options. He’s likely been briefed about Japan, and almost certainly been shown a map. “I believe a port in the south of the country would be best for our interests.” You nod. “I believe that this could be a highly beneficial agreement for our nations, but I’m just a military man.” You gesture to Keisuke. “May I discuss it further with my government colleagues?” “Of course, of course.” Wilhelm nods attentively. Turning to Keisuke and your men, you switch to Japanese. “Your thoughts, gentlemen?” The statesman speaks first. “Well, I certainly see the benefits.” He frowns slightly. “And with all the land seized after the Choshu Campaign, we have several sites that would be suitable for a new base.” Sato speaks next, frowning deeply as he practically whispers. “The question is, can we really trust the Germans to aim their ambitions away from Japan? With a garrison stationed at this future base, they could easily interlope beyond the bounds of their base.” He grimaces. “Plus, we are already allied with France, this could put the alliance on strained terms.” “One hundred years is a long time,” Nakajima adds. “Who is to say that the Germans will stay aligned with our interests during that time?” Keisuke nods slowly. “Those are good points. Still, the presence of a German naval base could dissuade the Satsuma from acting with any more audacity.” He shrugs. “Plus, the added military experts could ensure that our army is ready to face any foe in the immediate future.” “This could be a tricky move, then.” You frown. “Do any of you have more to add?” Keisuke crosses his arms, nodding confidently. “The decision is yours, General. I will trust your judgment." Turning to Wilhelm again, you prepare to give your answer. >”I believe that is an acceptable proposition, your Highness.” (agree)>”At this time, I believe Japanese territorial sovereignty outweighs the need for more military advisors.” (reject the offer) >”We would like more than merely advisors. I think we would be comfortable leasing out space for a naval base in exchange for advisors and a contingent of combat troops.” (attempt to negotiate)>Write-in.
>>5011848>”We would like more than merely advisors. I think we would be comfortable leasing out space for a naval base in exchange for advisors and a contingent of combat troops.” (attempt to negotiate)>Either combat troops and contingent or limit the amount of years to 50. Alot can change in just 10, so that is fair and can be renegotiated when it comes up.
>>5011848>”At this time, I believe Japanese territorial sovereignty outweighs the need for more military advisors.” (reject the offer)Accepting the offer would result in a tremendous backlash back home. If we accept the offer, make it for 99 years, not 101. A 100-year lease could be interpreted as a freehold under common law of the era. The Kaiser is a cheeky bastard.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99-year_lease
>>5011892Oops, I missed Zap's correction to 99. Still, my concern about loss of domestic support still stands.
>>5011848>”We would like more than merely advisors. I think we would be comfortable leasing out space for a naval base in exchange for advisors and a contingent of combat troops.” (attempt to negotiate)>We already have some connections to the french and want too see which of you 2 is the most benefitial.
Rubbing your chin thoughtfully, you begin. “While your offer is nearly acceptable, I believe we would require more than merely advisors in exchange for a base.” Frowning slightly, the Prussian King nods once. “Continue.” “I believe we would be comfortable to a lease agreement in exchange for both a cadre of advisors and an expeditionary contingent. Having well-trained combat troops to supplement our own army would prove vital to securing the realm against internal agitators.” Wilhelm considers your counteroffer, turning to Bismarck and whispering in German. Bismarck whispers back, and the two seem to have a rather heated, though quiet, conversation regarding the matter. “Combat troops, sir?” Sato raises an eyebrow disapprovingly, speaking in Japanese. “Is that a wise choice?” You nod slightly. “More men, more guns. They’ll give us an edge if hostilities continue growing in intensity.” “Understood, sir.” Sato steps back, crossing his arms. You can tell he’s not convinced. The conversation in German ends, and Wilhelm again turns to face you. “I believe I can spare the Seebataillon. They shall be raised and sent out with you, once your ship leaves Europe.” He pauses, glancing over at Bismarck. “They will sail aboard an armed frigate, which will act as a temporary consulate once they reach your home port.” “Very well, your Highness.” You step forward, extending your hand. “Then we have a deal.” Wilhelm shakes your hand, not vigorously, but with a frighteningly-tight grip. “Indeed we do, General.” As you step back, Bismarck shoots a glare at the king, which soon lands on you as well. You can tell that the Chancellor is less than pleased by the deal. Wilhelm speaks again. “Of course, I shall introduce you to the naval minister. He’s around here somewhere.” He glances over at Bismarck, ordering him in German. The statesman steps away, clearly going to look for the naval minister in question. >”What can you tell me about this Seebataillon, your Highness?” >”The chancellor seemed displeased…” >”I understand this frigate will be acting in a diplomatic fashion. Would we also be able to request its service in naval operations, if needed?” >Write-in.
>>5012536>”The chancellor seemed displeased… Surely these men and there experience will aid germany in the future?” I can guess why, Germans dying for a colony is no good BUT... you know
>>5012536>”I understand this frigate will be acting in a diplomatic fashion. Would we also be able to request its service in naval operations, if needed?”>>5012541Bismarck was ambivalent about colonial adventures.
>>5012536>”The chancellor seemed displeased… Surely these men and there experience will aid germany in the future?
>>5010809>Yet another historical Qm is a writerbased, also welcome back now I miss HF>>5012536>”The chancellor seemed displeased…”
“The Chancellor seemed displeased,” you remark. Wilhelm chuckles, shaking his head. “Chancellor von Bismarck wishes to prioritize our continental affairs.” Rubbing his chin, he continues. “A sentiment I can understand.” He then turns to you, crossing his arms. “The aggressions of Napoleon’s France are still in living memory for old soldiers like us. They brutalized their way across Europe. And now a Bonaparte is back on the French throne!” He balks, shaking his head. “It would seem that warlords, and their dynasties, don’t like to stay gone.” Zorn speaks as he approaches, a glass of brandy in his hand. “Your Highness.” He removes his hat respectfully. “And you are?” Wilhelm raises an eyebrow. “Hermann Zorn, sir.” He grins slyly. “Oh,” Wilhelm seems surprised. “Colonel Zorn. Your reputation precedes you.” Zorn shakes his head bashfully. “Please, your Highness. I’ve been retired for a long time.” Wilhelm readily shakes Zorn’s hand. “Any recipient of the Pour le Mérite should be addressed by his rank, good sir.” He looks over at you, but continues speaking to Zorn. “I was not aware you had become attached to the Japanese government.” “Oh, I am an independent advisor to the General here.” Zorn puts a hand on your shoulder. “I had been in Japan on business, and Stockton helped me a great deal, so I am returning the favor.” >”I wasn’t aware you were a military man, Herr Zorn.” >”I hope our mission to France will not jeopardize any goodwill with your nation, your Highness.” >”You mentioned the Seebataillon earlier, what sort of unit are they?” (change the subject)>Write-in.
>>5014391>”I hope our mission to France will not jeopardize any goodwill with your nation, your Highness.”
>>5014391On one hand a demonstration of marines would be usefum on the other the Iron chancellor.>”You mentioned the Seebataillon earlier, what sort of unit are they?” (change the subject)
“I hope our mission to France won’t jeopardize any goodwill with your nation,” you remark. “Your Highness.” Wilhelm frowns slightly, raising an eyebrow at you. “Certainly, the threat of French expansion is on the minds of my military staff.” He pauses, crossing his arms as he looks out at the growing snowstorm enveloping the palace. “If I am to be candid with you, I fear what a war with France could bring to Europe. The last thing this continent needs is a drawn-out, large-scale war between two of its most powerful nations.” Grimacing, he nods once. “To overwhelm them in the beginning with high mobility and shock, that would be the only sure way to avoid a years-long stalemate at the front.” He then shrugs. “But whether we can pull that off, I do not know.” Keisuke nods sagely. “It is always best to prepare for war while also striving for peace.” “Indeed,” Wilhelm replies. “But regardless, there will be tensions between Germany and France, and they will likely be amplified in the coming years.” He looks over at you, eyes narrowing. “I can only hope that our gesture of goodwill, plus the presence of a naval base in your country, will convince Japan that its interests are better served by maintaining cordial relations with Germany.” The king chooses his words carefully. You cross your arms, glancing over at your men without saying a word. The implication is obvious; Siding with France in a European war could prove problematic for Japan, particularly if Germany has a staging area to launch a punitive strike against the Japanese mainland. You can only hope it never comes to that. Keisuke, smiling, speaks next. “I assure you, Japan has no ambitions in European politics. Should hostilities flare up on this continent, we will be content not to meddle in them.” He laughs timidly, rubbing the back of his neck. “After all, we are several thousand miles away.” “That you are,” Wilhelm nods. His attention is then directed over your shoulder. “Ah, Adalbert!” He turns again to you as an imposing man in a military uniform steps into view. “General Stockton, this is the Prussian Naval Minister, Prince Adalbert.” The Prince is an older man, perhaps sixty, with cold eyes and a wide face. His hair, thinning at the top, is cut close to his head. He wears the epaulettes of a navy admiral, along with several medals on his chest. “How do you do, General?” You shake the man’s hand. “Good afternoon, Prince Adalbert.” “I understand my Seebataillon will be sent to your shores, along with the frigate Barbarossa?” He raises an eyebrow, looking over your men. >”Indeed they shall, sir.” >”I presume the Seebataillon are essentially marines?” (inquire about the troops)>”What can you tell me about the Barbarossa?” (learn more about their ship)>”I’m afraid I know quite little about your navy. What can you tell me about it?” (ask about the Prussian Navy)>Write-in.
>>5021657>”Indeed they shall, sir.” >Desire to know more about the Prussian navy and her troops grows.
>>5021657>”I presume the Seebataillon are essentially marines?” (inquire about the troops)>”I’m afraid I know quite little about your navy. What can you tell me about it?” (ask about the Prussian Navy)
>>5021657>”What can you tell me about the Barbarossa?” (learn more about their ship)
Wait a second, did they seriously name a ship after a guy who drowned in a river?
Sorry for the lack of an update, been helping install a metal roof on my dad's garage. And I got sucked into playing Disco Elysium. Will post the update tonight and run a session tomorrow starting between 5 and 7 PM Eastern tomorrow.
“I understand that the Prussian navy will be sending a ship and troops,” you begin. “What can you tell me about them?” “The Seebataillon is our naval infantry force.” The Prince begins. His demeanor is serious, icy, as he explains the role of your new troops. “Primarily, they are tasked with guarding shore installations, as well as securing ships against boarding or mutiny.” He shrugs, raising an eyebrow as he flattens his lips in a quizzical expression. “And, of course, they are capable of shore actions and force projection beyond the range of their respective ships.” He looks at you, arms crossed. “Though this will be the first assignment of that nature that they have undertaken.” You nod once. “And you feel confident about their abilities?” The Prince doesn’t hesitate. “The men of the Seebataillon are the most ferocious and dedicated soldiers we can muster. They need to not only be able to serve as combat troops against an enemy, but potentially raise their arms against their own mutinying countrymen. It takes a special kind of soldier to fill both roles successfully.” He nods simply. “They can handle whatever task you may have for them.” You grimace. “They may be put into tough combat on the front line, though I’ll try to avoid it.” Trailing off, you choose your words carefully. “The German people will be able to tolerate their soldiers being put at risk in a foreign land?” Adalbert frowns as he considers what you’ve said. “It will be a first for our military. Long have the German people sent their sons abroad as mercenaries, I’m sure you are familiar with the Hessians, as an American.” You nod as he looks to you expectantly, and also sympathetically. “But yes,” he adds. “It is true that our standing military has never been deployed so far from the Fatherland.” Shrugging, the Prince settles on a decisive conclusion. “But the General Staff will be able to justify it to the public. They always do.” “And what of the ship, Barbarossa, right?” “Yes, the steam frigate Barbarossa.” Adalbert rubs his chin thoughtfully. “A capable vessel. It will act as the home base for the troops, as well as the home of our interim consulate to your country. Once the diplomats and advisors are disembarked into their own shore facilities, the frigate will be under your command for the duration of the Seebataillon’s combat tour.” Nodding with approval, Keisuke speaks next. “And what of the Prussian Navy? I am not familiar with its exploits or capabilities.” The Prince’s expression sours. “Unfortunately, we are mostly in possession of a force for coastal defense.” He pauses. “Which is sufficient for any continental ambitions. If we are to secure our place in the sun…” He trails off, seeming to shake the thought from his mind. “Yes, the current navy is sufficient for the Confederation’s needs.”
>”And will you be coming with the frigate and troops?” >”Do you have ambitions for more than just a coastal navy, Prince Adalbert?” >”This frigate, what can you tell me about her armaments and crew?” >”You mentioned that Germans have a long history of mercenary work. Are there any large mercenary forces still available for hire in this country?” >”Right.” (let the conversation move away from naval affairs) >Write-in.
>>5033017>”Do you have ambitions for more than just a coastal navy, Prince Adalbert?” >”You mentioned that Germans have a long history of mercenary work. Are there any large mercenary forces still available for hire in this country?WB my guy. NIce to see ya.
>>5033017>”Do you have ambitions for more than just a coastal navy, Prince Adalbert?”>Write-in.Offer Japanese mercenaries, as a way of training up some of the domain levies.
"Do you have ambitions beyond merely a coastal navy, Prince Adalbert?" You raise an eyebrow. The Prince frowns. "More than a coastal navy..." He trails off, considering what to say. >Roll a 1d20, best of three.
Rolled 14 (1d20)>>5033645Dad i'm scared
Rolled 7 (1d20)>>5033645
Adalbert nods slowly, coming to a conclusion as he leans in close to you. “Germany shall be a true empire one day. She will have a proper navy, one to contend even with the British.” Grimacing, he continues. “It is inevitable. To seize our place in the sun, we will come to blows with the Lion, and if we are to survive such a fight, we will need a great high-seas fleet.” Something in your stomach tightens at the phrase. “Rivaling the Royal Navy is no small order. You think Germany will be able to do it?” Adalbert nods. “The British may be capable, and their navy large, but they believe too steadfastly in their own naval primacy. To defeat them in battle once or twice would shake that mindset to its core.” He crosses his arms. “And with the whole of the German people behind such a program, it wouldn’t be hard to build a fleet for that specific purpose. Already, the Prussian Navy is exploring a new generation of ironclads, equipped with armored turrets and fully capable of sailing the high seas openly. The British may be able to build more ships, but we can build them better.” Keisuke, having also leaned in to listen to the hushed conversation, speaks up. “Quality over quantity. It is a measure I can understand.” He looks to you. “It may be a more long-term goal, but protecting Japan’s interests may be better suited to such a strategy as well. A handful of advanced ironclads and frigates would put us at an advantage against all of our neighbors.” >”That certainly would be a long-term goal. For now we should focus on the interior.” (shut down the idea, for now)>”Prince Adalbert, would it be possible for Japan and Germany to cooperate on the endeavor of a new generation of ironclad warships?” >”I disagree. It doesn’t matter how good your ship is if you’re severely outnumbered.” >”I recall that the only combat engagement of ironclads was a draw. Somehow I doubt their efficacy would be worth the cost of building and maintaining them.” >Write-in.
>>5033699>”I recall that the only combat engagement of ironclads was a draw. Somehow I doubt their efficacy would be worth the cost of building and maintaining them.” >However why would it be possible to cooperate on the endeavor of a new generation of warships?
>>5033699>”That certainly would be a long-term goal. For now we should focus on the interior.” (shut down the idea, for now)
>>5033699>”Prince Adalbert, would it be possible for Japan and Germany to cooperate on the endeavor of a new generation of ironclad warships?”
My apologies for not being active over the last week. Started a new job and pre-production for the book is happening, so my schedule has been pretty full. We will have a session tomorrow afternoon and Sunday as well. Expect a post between 3 and 5PM EST. Hopefully we'll be able to get through the palace stuff and into Spandau over the next couple sessions. I'd like to wrap up the Eurotrip before December so we can get back to all the rapid unplanned disassembly of the Shogunate's influence at home.
“Would it be possible for Japan and Germany to collaborate on this new generation of ironclad warships?” You cross your arms, raising an eyebrow. Sato and Nakajima regard you with critical expressions, while Keisuke nods solemnly. “Indeed, the Japanese Navy will need to be modernized, should we wish to project power beyond our shores.” Adalbert frowns, considering your proposal. “Assuming your deal to allow a naval base goes smoothly over the coming years, I see no reason why we could not send a mission to collaborate on such a venture.” He leans forward, his frown deepening. “But there would need to be an incentive for us to engage in this agreement.” “What did you have in mind?” You remain stone-faced. “For the Navy to agree to a research and development agreement, I would need a guarantee that Japan will purchase at least four such ships from German yards, to help offset the costs of development.” “Four brand-new ships…” Sato speaks in Japanese, leaning in so only you can hear him. “It would be expensive, and we have no idea how well-suited these ships would actually be for us.” Sensing the general unease from your party, Adalbert nods and continues. “And of course, the knowledge gained from this collaboration would enable Japan to build more of such ships using her own shipyards.” “Our priorities should be within our own borders, sir.” Sato speaks again in Japanese, tersely and with more vigor than before. “I doubt we will need a strong fleet for at least a decade after uniting the realm.” Nakajima merely crosses her arms, expressionless. “We already have an agreement with the Dutch to build a shipyard. I don’t imagine we will need much help to build our own warships once it is completed.” She turns to you, nodding once. “But the decision is ultimately yours, Sir.” Keisuke nods as well. “I see the benefits of a research agreement, but I can understand if you would rather prioritize the Army at this time, General.” >”I believe such a deal would be in our interests, Prince Adalbert.” (agree to collaborate)>”On second thought, I believe the Army deserves the lion’s share of our attention.” (decline to collaborate)>”We will agree to a technical collaboration under the condition that the ships built for Japan will fall under our specifications and operational requirements.” (agree under specific stipulations)>”Keisuke, I believe I should leave this decision to you.” (defer to Keisuke’s authority)>Write-in.
>>5042300>”We will agree to a technical collaboration under the condition that the ships built for Japan will fall under our specifications and operational requirements.” (agree under specific stipulations) I expect to know when it goes public, I want my god damn copy.
>>5042300>”Keisuke, I believe I should leave this decision to you.” (defer to Keisuke’s authority)
>>5042300>”On second thought, I believe the Army deserves the lion’s share of our attention.” (decline to collaborate)
Going to wait 30 minutes and roll a d3 if no additional votes come in.
Rolled 1 (1d3)>>5042360>>5042371>>5042383
“We will agree to a technical collaboration for the production of new ironclad warships.” You nod, shaking the Prince’s hand. “Under the stipulation that the ships built for Japan will be constructed according to our design specifications and operational requirements.” “Of course, of course.” Adalbert nods. Glancing over at another group of nobles, he clears his throat. “I shall have the formal agreement written up tonight, once the reception concludes. In the meantime, I must return to my obligations with other guests.” “Good evening,” you nod at the nobleman. He bows lightly, stepping away without another word. The rest of the evening is spent meeting various members of Bismarck’s cabinet, exchanging pleasantries, and other forms of trivial diplomatic exchange between two relatively uninvolved nations. Soon, however, it gets late, and your party begin to grow tired from their travels. As it would turn out, Bismarck has already arranged lodging for you and your staff at a nearby estate. As you all pile into your carriages, the snow continues to fall. It is fully nighttime now, and you light a cigarillo to beat away the cold that has overtaken your face. As you seat yourself next to Nakajima and Keisuke, Zorn seats himself next to Sato. “A productive day, Gentlemen.” The German smiles, lighting his meerschaum pipe as the carriage trundles away from the palace. “Herr Bismarck has informed me that we will be quartered at Schloss Tegel.” He smiles widely. “It’s an old hunting lodge and estate, currently not used by the family that owns it.” “An abandoned castle, then.” You frown, imagining some crumbling fortress overgrown with trees and vines. “Hardly abandoned, Herr Stockton.” Zorn shakes his head. “The Von Heinz family retains a staff of servants and housekeepers there to maintain the property. Thankfully, Bismarck has persuaded the family to lodge us there during our stay.” “Certainly a warm welcome, then.” Keisuke nods, a friendly smile playing across his face. “It will be nice to stay in a place other than a hotel for once.” “Will it be large enough to accommodate our cadre?” Sato raises an eyebrow. “Indeed it will,” Zorn replies. Puffing on his pipe, he leans over and looks out at the palace as it fades into the distance. “You did well with Wilhelm and Bismarck, by the way.” He looks at you as he speaks. >”Are they particularly tough to get along with?” >”They just wanted what all leaders want, to advance their nation’s interests.” >”Truth be told, they were more intimidating than the other national leaders we’ve met so far.” >”Say, Herr Zorn. I wasn’t aware you’d been in the Prussian military, let alone been awarded a medal.” (change the subject)>Write-in.
>>5042561>”Are they particularly tough to get along with?”
“Are they particularly tough to get along with?” You raise an eyebrow. “They certainly can be,” Zorn nods. “But you made a good choice in wearing your uniforms while meeting them. Both the King and Herr Bismarck are career military men, and they have more respect for good soldiers than they do for diplomats and common folk.” You nod slowly. “I see.” After about fifteen minutes, Schloss Tegel glitters into view. Through the trees and heavy snowfall, you see a stately home. Tall, brightly-lit windows shine through the night, and as you get closer, the structure’s grandeur becomes apparent. It isn’t a particularly posh-looking home, but the manor’s size and heft impress you. As the carriages pull up, a man in a heavy coat steps out into the snow to greet you. Exiting the carriage, you don your kepi with its attached winter cover. “Good evening, gentlemen.” The man bows gracefully. He is older, perhaps sixty or seventy, with a heavy mustache. “I am Gerhard, the head butler of Schloss Tegel, at your service.” You offer your hand for the man to shake, which he does somewhat timidly. “Daniel Stockton, sir. A pleasure to make your acquaintance.” Looking again at Tegel, you can’t help but be impressed. It is quite the gesture for the Germans to let you stay here. “I understand that you and your cadre will be quartered here whilst conducting your business.” Gerhard begins speaking, ushering all of you in from the cold. “I have set about to having dinner prepared.” He looks over at you. “And please, if any in your company would like warm baths to be prepared, do not hesitate to ask.” “Thank you, Gerhard.” You enter through the tall front doors, finding yourselves in the foyer. It is a tall room, with a grand staircase at the back and doorways on either side leading to the wing-rooms of the home. “May we be shown to our rooms? I believe I speak for my men when I say we’re quite tired.” “Absolutely, mien Herr.” Gerhard dutifully guides you all to the second floor. Each member of your party will be given a bedroom, many of which are tastefully, if sparsely, appointed. You are directed to the master’s chamber, a luxurious room with an attached office and a large fireplace. As you enter, a fire is already going in the hearth. Stepping back out, you nod thankfully to Gerhard, who disappears through a servant’s door, likely heading downstairs to supervise dinner preparations. As you remove your hat and prepare to enter your room to relax, Sato gets your attention. His expression is serious, and he speaks in a terse manner. “Sir, may I speak privately with you?” You nod, gesturing through the open door. “Of course, Major.
Upon entering the chamber and closing the door, you turn to see Sato staring disdainfully out through a window. The look in his eyes is one of conflict, hesitation even. Finally, he lets out a long sigh and speaks. “Sir, I believe it is dangerous to prostitute our nation so readily to these foreigners.” >”I would hardly call diplomacy prostitution.” (retort)>”Some concessions are necessary to give us an advantage against the rebels.” (explain)>”This activity is precisely the objective of our mission, Major. What would you have me do, if not follow my mission?” (question)>”I’m a foreigner too, you know.” (take offense)>Write-in.
>>5043576>”This activity is precisely the objective of our mission, Major. What would you have me do, if not follow my mission?” (question)
>”Some concessions are necessary to give us an advantage against the rebels.” (explain)But make it clear we understand his concerns and dont intend to whore out japan to the european powers, he is just trying to look out for his coutry.
>>5043576>”This activity is precisely the objective of our mission, Major. What would you have me do, if not follow my mission?” (question)He is right to a degree, having to go to other nations for the matters and materials we need to survive is a terrible state of affairs but needs must when the Devil drives - it's bend over for the Germans or bend over for the Rebels.
>>5043576>”This activity is precisely the objective of our mission, Major. What would you have me do, if not follow my mission?” (question)>Make it clear we understand his attentions, But the nations survival comes first.
“This is the objective of our mission, Major.” You frown, understanding all too well his concern. Still, you can’t have dissent among your men, especially so high in the ranks. “Would you have me disobey the objective of my mission?” Sato’s expression darkens. “I understand, sir.” He grimaces, sighing. His eyes are cold, murderous, as he looks out to the falling snow beyond your window. “But these people, these empires… They’re barbarians, no, predators.” He looks to you, gesturing with his hand as he speaks. “Germany, Britain, France…” He trails off, making eye contact with you apologetically. You know that despite him not mentioning it, he means America too. “They only want more. More influence, more land, more power. More control.” He shakes his head bitterly. “They will only help Japan as far as it serves their own interests. Do you really think the German King will honor any agreement with us if he decides it would be easier to just conquer Japan?” “I understand your concerns, Sato.” You nod solemnly. “I don’t trust any of the foreign powers further than I could throw them.” You put your hands on your hips, looking out at the snowstorm. “But we’ll need to use their resources to ensure the short-term survival of the realm. I don’t see any other way.” “And then after we’ve reunited the realm, and Japan is weakened from internal strife, the wolves close in to finish us off.” He takes a step towards you, eyes determined and fierce. “We’d end up worse off than China. A puppet of some colonizer.” Sato shakes his head again. “I may be a loyal samurai, but I’m not stupid, Japan can never weather the might of a global empire’s wrath. How could you possibly guarantee that it won’t happen?” “I can only guarantee that we’ll do everything to prevent it.” You grimace. “Why do you think we’ve avoided any official alliances so far?” “Alliances are not the issue here. It is a matter of treachery. As you said, we can’t trust them. How do you know they won’t expect undue returns on their investments?” Before you get a chance to answer, he continues. “Because I am certain they will. Having a strong national army and navy in ten years will be no help if the British or French arrive on our shores in two.” >”Your concerns have been noted, Major.” (end the conversation/pull rank)>”A unified national army wouldn’t be a bad idea. How would you organize it?” (latch on to his last statement)>”Perhaps a formal alliance would dissuade colonialists. What would you say to having a defensive pact with a major nation?” (consider more drastic measures)>”Without outside help, the Shogunate dies alone. Full-stop.” (put your foot down)>”If you didn’t like the idea of relying on outside support, why didn’t you tell me earlier?” (question)>Write-in.
>>5046895>”A unified national army wouldn’t be a bad idea. How would you organize it?” (latch on to his last statement)China was weak because of internal troubles, not external threats. A decadent bureaucracy and the Taiping Rebellion attracted foreign trouble more than the opposite.
>>5046895>If an outside power would want to conquer Japan, we won't prevent it by NOT trying to establish international relations.
>>5046895>Write-in."You are right - security next week matters little when your enemy strikes tomorrow. Yet you must consider, we know that the rebels have consorted with foreign powers too and that they will strike, to continue the metaphor, tonight. They have dragged in foreign powers and frankly unless we seek foreign aid too we are at a disadvantage that we have little chance of equalising without costs the state can't bear. We can seek to avoid drawing attention to Japan by working with private sources rather than governments but eventually we need military aid and that means governments. Plus Sato it isn't like Japan is unknown to the rest of the world, no matter what we do - even if we never went on this trip - Japan is a tempting target for invasion. All we can do is try and change that fact, by what tools are available to us."
>>5046895>”A unified national army wouldn’t be a bad idea. How would you organize it?” (latch on to his last statement)Backing this too >>5047186
>>5047186i back this write in, also,>”A unified national army wouldn’t be a bad idea. How would you organize it?” (latch on to his last statement)
“While it’s true that security next week matters little when the enemy arrives tomorrow, we already know the rebels are seeking out foreign support.” You frown, taking a step toward the Major. “They’ve already dragged outsiders in, if we don’t seek foreign support, we’ll be at a disadvantage.” Sato grimaces, nodding slowly. “This is true. I worry about the extent of our foreign commitments, though. You cannot deny that they are opportunists.” “You’re right, I can’t.” You nod sharply. “But if we focused only on business and private contacts, and ignored diplomacy, we wouldn’t have a leg to stand on, defensively speaking.” Sighing, you rub your eyes tiredly. “No matter what we do, Japan is a tempting target for the colonial powers. If we can make friends with some of them,” you trail off. “We can make ourselves look less appetizing.” You cross your arms. “Think of any foreign diplomacy we do as a tool to safeguard the realm.” Sato grumbles, seeming to reluctantly acknowledge your way of seeing things. “I have a bad feeling about it all,” he finally says. “But ultimately the Shogun has left the decision to you, sir.” You frown, feeling a bit guilty at sounding so much like a politician trying to win a vote, or worse, a salesman trying to push some sort of snake oil. Something that Sato said earlier comes into your head, though. “Say, you’d mentioned a national army…” Sato raises an eyebrow. “I did. What of it?” “Suppose you were tasked with making it a reality. How would you do it?” The Major frowns intently, rubbing his chin. This has gotten him into a speculating mood. “It wouldn’t be popular with the lords. They’ve long held their own samurai and levies. If we wanted any sizable force, we would need to proportionally appropriate soldiers from the daimyos’ levies. Ideally we would fill the officer corps with men already trained and in service with our rifle brigades…” He trails off. “Assuming we had the equipment and weapons to sufficiently kit out our men, we would need to pay them, and fairly. That is the only way we could entice the levies to leave their lords’ service with any degree of enthusiasm.” He frowns again. “Such an endeavor has never been undertaken in the history of Japan. It would be a dangerous project to implement.” A dangerous grin spreads across his face. “But I think it could be just the thing we need to both defeat the rebels and secure Japan’s national sovereignty…” He looks out at the snowstorm again, confidently this time. “Yes, a United National Vanguard…”
That will be it for this thread, thanks for playing! We'll hopefully have another thread later this week, though I may only be able to post every couple days. New work schedule is taking some getting used to. In the meantime, the floor's open for any questions, discussion, comments, and anything else you might have to say. And once again, to the people who have stuck with the quest this far, thanks for bearing with me and my geological posting schedule.
>>5052151>“Yes, a United National Vanguard…”God dammit someone bonk him over the head before he goes and makes a 3rd party in the civil war...
>>5052151>A United National VanguardOH LORDY WHAT WE DONE. >>5052153So how would you say our interactions with the major powers so far have gone? And what choices/chances did we miss out by going the path we did so far?Also, When does the major get an eyepatch?
>>5052196>>5052391Oh you don't have to worry about Sato starting a dangerous ultranationalist faction. At least not for the next couple decades. >>5052391>So how would you say our interactions with the major powers so far have gone? And what choices/chances did we miss out by going the path we did so far?Overall you've done well enough. You've not outright failed anything important. As far as things you've missed out on, there are a few I had planned that you guys haven't gone for. By choosing Europe over America, you missed the chance to reunite with Sherman and meet President-to-be General Grant. You also could've hired some Dutch mercenaries from the former VOC military contingent. And the last big one is that you could've had some detective adventures with your cousin in New York if you'd convinced the mission to postpone their departure for a few days. Which also would've given you valuable intel on the Choshu Domain's military outreach mission. >Also, When does the major get an eyepatch? If I told you exactly when, it'd spoil the reveal. Stay tuned for the final act.
>>5052886Radical as fuck. Thanks for spilling the benes then Zap. Looking forward too next thread as always!