Ogre in the Playground
Re: Total War: Steampunk Skies
The Flying City of Scientia
Official Title: The Duchy of Scientia-Prosperitas
"Scientia prosperitas est."
In times long past, when it was becoming clear that the surface of the world would not abide human presence much longer, the foremost scientific minds of the human race congregated in one place, scrambling to find a solution to the impending extinction of all humanity through the sum of all human knowledge.
These long-forgotten scientists succeeded. They were the people who invented anti-gravity technology, along with a host of cutting edge technologies which would be necessary for humanity to adapt to their new life in the skies. They successfully preserved the sum of all human knowledge. They raised the first floating city that ever existed. And by disseminating the precious schematics for the construction of floating cities, they became the saviours of all humanity.
Although the early anti-gravity technology was bulky, power-hungry and unwieldy, it proved more than sufficient to raise the great floating cities which saved a great portion of surviving humanity from the dangers of the surface world. Feted for their role as saviours of their brothers and sisters, the congregated scientists who invented the anti-gravity technology were hailed as heroes, and they retained the first existing floating city as their own laboratory city in the sky, christened Scientia (the word for 'knowledge' in a long-forgotten language) in honour of their achievements.
Humanity breathed a collective sigh of relief at their narrow escape from The Deeps, and thrived once again in their new life in the sky. The minds of Scientia continued to push forth the technological advancement of humankind, hoping one day to find a way to reclaim the surface for all people. It was a time of peace and prosperity for all.
Most ironic it was then, that the technology which saved humanity would also plunge them into another dark era. Anti-gravity technology was continually refined, until the day it reached the point where it could be made efficient enough to install on individual vessels. This was the advent of the first sky ships. From there, it was a simple step of logic to put weapons on these flying ships. War was at hand.
Seeing for themselves how the situation was escalating, the minds of Scientia trembled, knowing that soon the warlords will realise that the high technology of the laboratory city presents a invaluable prize for any who could claim it. Yet, what could they do? Brilliant though they may be, able to create technological wonders beyond the measure of most minds, they were not trained in politics or warfare. They were as good as a sitting duck.
Their reprieve came in the form of a visionary noble, who reigned over a principality relatively uninvolved in the wars. Realising that for the knowledge of Scientia to be reduced to spoils of war would mean a great loss for humanity, the prince provided the leadership and initiative that the brilliant but uncoordinated minds of the laboratory city needed. Once again, the foremost minds of the world worked frantically, except that this time, they were doing so for their own survival.
And the key to their own survival... was, ironically enough, the same key which was the cause of humanity's salvation, as well as its downfall.
For Scientia still possessed superior anti-gravity technology even compared to all else, and the minds of the laboratory city worked to refine it until it could do what they needed. And not a moment too soon; as the plundering fleets closed in on Scientia, a miraculous event occurred.
The laboratory city began to float higher, and higher, picking up speed along the way. The belated firepower from the frustrated fleets trailed in the wake of Scientia, as it climbed to altitudes henceforth unprecedented; a true Flying City, as opposed to the floating cities that still housed most of humanity even in this time of war. It became but a single point of light in the sky, just another star... and in due time, even that was no longer visible.
Scientia all but disappeared from the world, taking most of the forefront of human technology with it; tragic, but it was the only way to preserve such precious knowledge in those troubled times. The story of the "Flying City" eventually passed into legend, fading from people's memories.
Yet, it was not yet at a level where it could sustain its own needs; resources are needed for continued cutting-edge research after all, not to mention more basic needs. Thankfully, the Flying City's secret alliance with its benefactor remained in effect; in exchange for Scientia's technological support and expertise, the Principality of Prosperitas - the territory of the visionary Prince - served as the Flying City's secret public front, leveraging its strategic location to serve as the trade hub and Skyport of the new sky-bound world, acquiring wealth through trade between other nations; thus also putting it in the perfect position to shunt raw materials up to the heavens, and receiving technological goods which "fell off the cargo-hold of a Pelican-class trade freight" in return for export to interested buyers.
This state of affairs lasted for as long as the wars persisted. At the conclusion of that dark era, a Prince Prosperitas - descendant of that visionary Prince - was one of the signees of the Concordiat, which brought a new era of peace to skybound humanity.
However, Scientia could not stay hidden forever; anti-gravity technology could be refined by others, even without the expertise of the minds of Scientia, and it was only a matter of time before exploring ships, reaching new altitudes with improved anti-gravity technology, uncovered the Flying City. Scientia was legend no more; it was once again a reality to all, and its links to the Principality of Prosperitas was soon to follow.
Knowing that their current arrangements would not suffice in this new reality, and that only one person would have the political expertise to steer the Flying City through impending political turmoils, the foremost minds of Scientia struck a new deal with the latest generation of its benefactor and partner.
Raphael, the 15th Prince Prosperitas, abdicated his title to his daughter, who thus became the 16th Princess Prosperitas. He himself was subsequently styled Raphael I, the first Duke Scientia, in a ceremony titled, most aptly, the Ascension.
Scientia and Prosperitas were now one political entity, poised to meet the new challenges ahead.
The Duchy's population are divided into two distinct cultures, each hailing from the two territories spanned by the Duchy - the foremost minds of the Flying City of Scientia, and the wheelers and dealers of the Principality of Prosperitas.
The technologists of the Flying City are the descendants and students of the original scientists which invented the anti-gravity technology, and thereby became the saviours of all humanity. Dedicated to furthering the total knowledge and technological prowess of all humankind, the people of Scientia are an insular people, shirking the outside world in favour of the many experiments and innovations undertaken each day in the stratospheric laboratory city. However, they appreciate their merchantile brethren down in the peaks for the latter's invaluable role in supplying them with all of the resources they needed over the decades, and count amongst their number the sons and daughters of Prosperitas merchants whom have proven themselves intellectual enough to qualify as technologists in their own right.
The merchants and traders of the Principality have been at the centre of world trade since the advent of the floating cities, and were the original subjects of the Prince who is now Duke Scientia. Quite unlike their technological brethren in the sky, the people of Prosperitas are worldly by nature, as would be expected of merchants used to exposure from the various cultures which come to the Skyport for trade and business. Although the worldly populace of Prosperitas generally feel that they cannot grasp the esoteric works of their Scientia brethren, and often make jokes about the latter "literally having their heads in the heavens", they have not forgotten that the technological wonders of Scientian innovations are responsible in large part for their success as a trading hub, and confer upon them a unique market advantage not enjoyed by their competitors.
, 1st Duke Scientia, Duke Commander of the Armada, formerly 15th Prince Prosperitas, Sovereign of the Flying City and the Principality
"Strife is upon us once more. We must prevail, lest the light of human innovation perish with us."
The direct descendant of Edward "the Visionary", the legendary 5th Prince Prosperitas who first forged the original alliance between the Principality and the Flying City, the 45-year-old Duke Raphael has recently assumed the mantle of sovereign over both territories in the light of recent events. With it, he has placed upon his own shoulders the heavy burden of ensuring the continued survival of Scientia and Prosperitas, knowing all too well that failure would mean the demise of the forefront of human innovation; a crushing burden, indeed.
Having tasked himself with the responsibility of navigating the Duchy through turbulent political airspaces, the Duke is a de facto absolute sovereign. Ironically enough, he harbours amongst the most progressive attitudes of his noble peers, and any of his subjects have the right at any time to seek an audience with the Duke on any subject. In truth, Duke Raphael would love for all of his subjects to have their fair say in the governance of the Duchy; to be frank, the problem is convincing his people that a day spent in directing policy is not a wasted day that could have been better spent further pushing the frontiers of human knowledge, or generating more wealth.
Having united the Flying City and the Principality under one rule, Duke Raphael is now faced with the pressing question of grand strategy, knowing full well that the technological riches of Scientia and the material wealth of Prosperitas remain tempting prizes for the ambitious. He is currently considering two competing advocacies within his group of trusted advisors; the Heavens Faction, which advocate that the Flying City further develop its anti-gravity technology so as to eventually leave behind this world altogether to seek new frontiers and perhaps a new home, and the Storm Faction, which advocate utilising the bleeding-edge technologies of the Flying City to its martial advantage, quelling the warring tendencies of the human race once and for all with a show of technological supremacy.
, 16th Princess Prosperitas, Chief Diplomat of the Duke's Diplomatic Corps, Heiress Apparent to the Duchy of Scientia-Prosperitas, Head of the Heavens Faction
Sir Michael Hathcock
"Our future lies not with the dying land, nor with the crowded skies. The destiny of our beloved Flying City is to seek a new home in the moon, amongst the twinkling stars."
A tender 18 years of age when her father went through the Ascension and became Duke, the only child of Raphael I came into her birthright at the same time and became Princess Claricia III of Prosperitas, though the title had now changed in its meaning, and now denoted her as Heiress Apparent to the newly-founded Duchy of Scientia-Prosperitas.
Inheriting the beauty and grace of her mother, the late Princess Consort Alice, the Princess Claricia determined that she would at least share in the burdens of her father, and she would do so by being the public face of the new Duchy. Thus, when Raphael ascended into the heavens to take residence in his new home as Duke Scientia, the Princess remained in Chateau Prosperitas, the ancestral home of the Princes of Prosperitas.
She subsequently established the Diplomatic Corps of the Duchy of Scientia-Prosperitas, gathering and training a team of diplomats and ambassadors who would represent the Duke Raphael in an official capacity, with herself as Chief Diplomat, and converting the Chateau into the new Headquarters of the Diplomatic Corps.
As the Princess and Chief Diplomat gained experience in the political arena, she eventually took on the role as the chief representative of the Heavens Faction, which petitioned the Duke to leave the rest of humanity to their own fate, and bring the people of Scientia and Prosperitas into a new age by ascending the Flying City beyond the bounds of this world altogether. Though this put her at odds with the Knight Admiral Hathcock, who heads the rival Storm Faction, the Princess Claricia retains much affection for the long-time family friend and her godfather, and ultimately respects him for his commitment to what he thinks is best for the Duchy.
, Knight Admiral of the Duke's Armada, Head of the Storm Faction
Dr Ferdinand Tesla
"Little missy. For what it's worth... I truly hope that this is a bet I lose."
On first sight, this grizzled sky sailor seems like an outlier in the court of Duke Raphael; a roguish fellow, entirely unheeding of court etiquette, and more familiar with the Duke than seems appropriate, the man named Michael Hathcock would have been cause for scandal in any other court.
But in the court of Duke Raphael, where courtiers are all but non-existent, Hathcock has earned his right of familiarity not only through long acquaintance - he has been a life-long friend of the Duke since they were young men, and has been named godfather to the Princess Claricia at her birth - but also, through merit - he has a distinguished career throughout his life, as Captain Commander of the Prosperitas Sky Guard in the recent past, and now, having been knighted Sir Michael Hathcock by the Duke, serves as the Knight Admiral of the Armada of the Duchy of Scientia-Prosperitas.
Though this might seem like cronyism, any who knows Sir Hathcock's abilities would soon realise nothing could be further from the truth. Though the Prosperitas Sky Guard were a humble self-defence force, Hathcock's leadership and training methods made them among the most effective of their kind, regularly known for precise shooting stalling the raids of opportunistic would-be plunderers time after time.
Having dabbled in the underworld in his callow youth, Hathcock retained many "contacts" from those days, and often rendered them assistance in skirting around the laws of Prosperitas. Raphael, who was Prince Prosperitas by this time, made a point of looking the other way as long as Hathcock's "contacts" didn't affect Prosperitas unduly, knowing he could get Hathcock to call upon them for "favours" should the need arise. Years later, when Raphael succeeded to the title of Duke Scientia, and knighted his friend Sir Michael Hathcock accordingly, this state of affairs remains unchanged, and even extended to the Flying City.
One of the world's deadliest snipers in his own right, the newly-promoted Knight Admiral wasted no time marshalling the technological resources of Scientia after the Ascension; the result was the creation of the Duke's Armada, a modest-strength fleet equipped with the best of Scientian martial technology, and Sir Hathcock's publication of the Farstrike Doctrine, which have made the Armada famous as the battlefleet with the longest engagement range in the world.
The immense potential demonstrated by the Duke's Armada has given Sir Hathcock a strong faith in the strength of Scientian technology, and has made him the de facto head of the Storm Faction, which petitions the Duke to secure the future of the Flying City by unleashing the full power of Scientian technologies to pacify the warring factions in the skies once and for all. Though his military experiences have pitted him in disagreement with the now full-grown Princess Claricia, who had not his experience in warfare and its causes, the Knight Admiral respects his friend's daughter greatly for her conviction and maturity despite her youth, and he has told her as much that he hopes, for once, that he would be proven wrong.
, Technologist-in-Chief of the Flying City of Scientia
The Flying City of Scientia
"I revel in the fact that there remains much that I still don't know, Duke. I shall be disappointed if one day, there was nothing left unknown to discover."
Previously the de facto leader of the Flying City of Scientia, prior to his making the deal that led to the Ascension of Raphael as the first Duke Scientia, Dr Ferdinand Tesla remains the representative of the foremost minds of the Flying City, and retains a great deal of influence in the Duchy because of this. It is said that the Duke reigns over Scientia at the pleasure of Dr Tesla... if only the latter would drag his attention away from overseeing the creation of technological marvels to actually use that influence on the Duke.
Indeed, though he could probably sway the Duke if he wanted, Dr Tesla reflects the general attitude of his Scientian colleagues towards their new sovereign, trusting him almost completely in the latter's superior political experience to their own. Perfectly happy to foist the burdens of leadership to the Duke so that he can focus on his passion of technological innovation, Dr Tesla's only instances of influencing the Duke has invariably revolved around tasks which would help speed the process of Scientian innovation, in one way or the other. For his part, having done similar favours for the Flying City when he was still Prince Prosperitas, the Duke Raphael usually lets Dr Tesla have his way; the Technologist-in-Chief's scientific instinct is usually sound, and is always worth indulging unless more severe considerations are at hand, for it will usually lead to new advancements in Scientia's technological process further down the road.
A neutral party in the Heavens-Storm debate, Dr Tesla simply directs research efforts towards the goals of both Factions; the Technologist-in-Chief has one team working on further improvements to anti-gravity technology in accordance with the Heavens Faction's wishes, while he has another working on cutting-edge weaponry and defenses for the Duke's Armada, in accordance with that of the Storm Faction. Whether the resources going into both lines of research would change in ratio in the future, will depend on how successful either Faction is in influencing the Duke's future decisions.
The Principality of Prosperitas
The very Flying City of legend, Scientia floats far higher than any other floating city, making it difficult if not impossible to access by all but the most powerful of sky ships. Fully hermetically sealed to retain a breathable atmosphere for the technologists which inhabit and work inside, laboratories and heavy-duty research equipment take up a majority of the available space, as it always had since the first days of its existence.
In the central portion of the Flying City, obsolete workshops and research facilities have been cleared to make space for the Ducal Palace, the new home of the Duke Raphael. Although the exterior sports a design aesthetic suitable for a noble, with influences of Scientian technology apparent in its construction, the interior of the Ducal Palace is decorated to the Duke's relatively modest tastes, strongly resembling the stone-walled interiors of Chateau Prosperitas back in the Principality.
Scientia has two manufacturing sectors, each on the opposite side to the other. The first manufacturing sector holds commercial manufacturing facilities, where the more mass-producible and marketable of Scientia's technological products are fabricated and packaged, ready to ship down to the Skyport to be auctioned by the merchants of Prosperitas to the highest bidders. The other manufacturing sector are more heavy-duty in nature; it is in fact, the Shipyards of the Flying City, where sky ships such as Pelican-class trade freighters, Canary-class ambassadorial yachts, and even Armada vessels such as the Owl-class reconnaissance frigates and Eagle-class battleships are constructed. Distinct from most other shipyards in the world, the Flying City's Shipyards are designed and equipped as much for efficient mass-production as for incorporating the high technologies endemic to Scientian sky vessels.
The homeland of Duke Raphael, the Principality of Prosperitas is characterised by its strategic location in the midst of the world's trade routes. The territory has capitalised on this unique advantage, and served as the trade hub for traders hailing from every nation. Thanks to its low tax rates on trade ventures, and more recently, the revelation of its role as the last remaining link to the Flying City of lore, the Principality has grown fairly wealthy from the sheer volume of trade going on within its bounds every day, and has popularised the phrase, "All trade routes leads to Prosperitas."
The Prosperitas Skyport is amongst the largest of its kind, offering the high volume of docking capacity that is needed for its role as the trade hub of the world. At any one time, thousands of merchant vessels and freighters could be occupying its berths, loading and offloading tonne upon tonne of goods and products from every corner of the world. Despite its humongous capacity, the Prosperitas Skyport is still not enough to cater to every merchant ship that comes calling, and only the threat of bans - a severe loss indeed for any merchant - keeps the freighters in an orderly queue, waiting their turn to offload and pick up new cargo.
In the centre of the Principality stands the Grand Emporium, where the majority of the daily wheeling and dealing takes place. Here, every kind of good can be had for a price, from spices invaluable to every cuisine, to raw materials for every kind of construction. For the longest time, the Grand Emporium was even known as the one place where unusually advanced technological products could be acquired for a high fee, with questions about their mysterious origins usually waved off as having "fallen out of the cargo hold of a Pelican-class trade freighter". Of course, it is now an open secret that such technological marvels originated from none other than the Flying City itself, but the phrase has become part of the trade lingo of the Grand Emporium, and continues to be thrown around by traders and merchants alike to this day.
Behind the Skyport and the Grand Emporium stands Chateau Prosperitas, the ancestral home of the Princes of Prosperitas, and now the Headquarters of the Diplomatic Corps of the Duchy of Scientia-Prosperitas. The diplomatic relations of the Duchy are managed from the offices in the Chateau, and the Chief Diplomat, Her Highness Princess Claricia III, entertains guests and ambassadors in this simple but cozy edifice. Even the Duke Raphael himself often descends from the Flying City to preside over banquets and assorted social occasions; for, after all, this is still the home of his youth, and he remains most comfortable here.
The most curious object in the Principality is perhaps a humongous structure, leading away from the Grand Emporium, and at right angles to both the Skyport and the Chateau. Looking for all the world like a flat surface that goes on for a good length before ramping upwards at a severe angle, the structure is guarded with surprisingly strict security for a territory otherwise known for easy access to every place, and eyewitnesses have often reported boxy vessels flying down the flat surface of the structure at an incredible speed, before climbing up the ramp portion and shooting off into the sky. Only in recent days has the mystery behind the curious structure been solved; it is of Scientian make; it is what the technologists of the Flying City call a 'mass driver', whatever that means; and it has been used, since the beginning, to send much-needed supplies to the Flying City, floating way above the Principality.
Navy: High - The Duke's Armada is of modest size, but no other military vessels in the world sport the best of Scientian weaponry and defenses. Between the Farstrike Doctrine of Knight Admiral Hathcock, and the superior range that Scientian cannons and missiles are capable of, the Armada is known for devastating first-strike volleys, delivered at beyond the engagement range of most enemy fleets.
Army: Very Low - Neither the populaces of Scientia or Prosperitas were large to begin with, and most are valuable personnel who contribute to Scientian technological progress or Prosperitarian trade. In addition, what young men and women with thirst of adventure there are in both territories are needed to crew the ships of the Armada; this translates into precious few standing forces, mostly organised into the Duke's Guard, and just enough to keep order as it were. In any case, the Duke harbours no expansionist ambitions, as such ambitions are bad for business, after all.
Defense: Average - Prosperitas has adequate defenses, all of which have been upgraded by Scientian technology. However, experience has taught the Princes of Prosperitas that reliance on static defenses are a bad idea, and the emplacements around Prosperitas are designed to allow the Principality to endure any siege until the Armada can come to the rescue. More than anything though, the main defense that the Principality relies on is its reputation as a trade hub; who would risk affecting the economies, and thus draw the ire, of every nation in this godforsaken world? And if all else fails, there are rumours that the Flying City itself has some nasty tricks up its sleeve, to unleash on whomever would dare to threaten its sister city...
Similarly, Scientia sports adequate defensive emplacements, Scientian-designed, and capable of punching well above its weight class. There's only so many defenses one can place on an entire Flying City though, so it relies on the Armada for its defense just like Prosperitas. In its case, instead of reputation, the Flying City relies on altitude as its main defense; even to this day, few ships have anti-gravity drives powerful enough to boost them up to the stratospheric altitudes where Scientia resides, making it a problem of logistics for any hostiles. And then, there are the rumoured nasty tricks...
Spyworks: Medium-Low - The Duchy does not have a strong tradition of covert operations, and its idea of subterfuge mainly revolves around protecting the trade secrets of the Flying City, and unveiling of fleet and troop movements by Owl-class reconnaissance frigates. Knowing that the latter has certain... "contacts", the Duke Raphael knows he can call upon Sir Hathcock for particular assignments, but those only go so far.
Economy: Average - Though the Flying City has a respectable amount of industry, neither Scientia nor Prosperitas are economic powerhouses in their own right. The Duchy has just enough production capability to meet its own needs and then some, but it isn't a major driver of the world economy.
Wealth: Average - On the other hand, its status as a trade hub has allowed the merchants and traders of Prosperitas to accumulate a sizable amount of wealth for the Duchy. One suspects that the accumulated wealth would be rather higher, if not for the fact that the Skyport and Grand Emporium has to cater for the needs of two territories.
Innovation: Very High - The Flying City's technologists are the descendants of the scientists who first invented anti-gravity technology, and have only continued to create new technological marvels since its isolation. Of course the innovative potential of the Duchy would rival the best out there. Scientian technological products are amongst the most prized in the market.
Morale: Average - Despite being allies for generations, the technologists of Scientia and the merchants of Prosperitas are still getting used to the idea of being a people under one rule. They have not had time to get used to having a shared destiny, much less develop a camaraderie. Nonetheless, both peoples share a faith in the abilities of Duke Raphael, whom they now trust to lead them into a new age.
The Flag of the Duchy of Scientia-Prosperitas
The Flying City of Scientia
Brief Report on the Advanced Technologies of the Flying City
The Ducal Palace, The Flying City of Scientia
The Dining Hall of the Ducal Palace was decorated, much like the other rooms in the place, in a style seen nowhere else in the Flying City. With a stone-walled interior, in the midst of which a long and ornate banquet table was placed, and accessorised with simple yet elegant furniture and lightings, the Dining Hall presented a cozy atmosphere quite removed from the cutting-edge but sometimes soulless laboratories of Scientia; as a point of fact, the Dining Hall of the Ducal Palace was so reminiscent of its counterpart in Chateau Prosperitas, the differences were only noticeable by the Duke and the Princess, both of whom have grown up in the Chateau. The Technologists of Scientia may not have been able to perfectly mimick the homely feeling of the Chateau in the Palace, but it was definitely not for lack of trying, and the Duke remains highly appreciative of that fact.
At the end of the table sat Duke Raphael, his daughter the Princess Claricia was to his right, and his long-time friend Sir Michael Hathcock sat to his left. The night's provender had just been served, and they were just beginning to partake in the family dinner (and yes, the Duke considered Sir Hathcock to be as much family as his daughter Claricia, and her late mother Alice). Dr Ferdinand Tesla had been invited as well, as was usually the case; yet though he did show up on uncommon occasions, this night the good professor was "done gone goofin' wit' his toys an' blowin' himself up agin'!", as Hathcock would always say with a highly amused grin ('Sir' still seemed to suit the old sky dog ill).
"Come to think of it, I believe this is the first time that we are having dinner together in the Palace," said the Duke Raphael, as he began picking at the huge slab of roast steak that was the main course for the night. A tall and thin man with a well-groomed if simple mustache above his lips, the handsome-looking and relatively young Duke was dressed quite simply this night, almost as any Prosperitan merchant would dress for dinner, if made of finer materials. The Duke was not the type to observe ceremony as strictly as some of his peers, unless guests were present.
"Tha' it certainly is, bwahahaha!", chortled Sir Hathcock, being the only one of the trio to eschew the usual red wine, or "tha' poncey rotten grape juice" as he called it, for his usual square glass of Scotch. The Knight Admiral, just like his Duke, was looking nothing like his esteemed position in the Duchy at the moment, dressed even more simply than the Duke in the garb of an old sky sailor. "Been a busy few months, wha' wit' the paperwork ye an' da lil' missy been doin', and me whippin' the Sky Guard brats and girlies into shape ta make 'em fit for da Armada, eh?", Hathcock continued, looking very much like the old sky pirate rumours have pegged him as in his youth (which, incidentally, was true, as the Duke well knows).
"It is as Godfather says. And yet, there is much that remains to be done if we are to get the Duchy ready for the world stage, Father," added the Princess Claricia, who in a simple but elegant evening gown was the only one of the trio who was dressed with a modicum of presentability; the Duke could not recall any occasion where his daughter would be caught dead in slovenly dress, even at her most comfortable moments. More impressive was the huge steak in front of her, for he knew that his daughter could polish her plate as easily as Sir Hathcock, and look graceful all the while. She grows more like her mother every day, mused the Duke.
"Indeed," agreed the Duke Raphael, as the trio tucked into their steaks. "Great changes are at hand, and the Concordiat will not last much longer. We will soon be beset by threats from every direction. The Boazan Empire swarm and overrun all in their sight, plundering everything in their way; they will see us as a rich prize indeed. The Green Heaven group sees our Flying City as chief amongst abominations, and will spare no effort to bring Scientia down. There may be more threats besides that we don't even know about. What, in these dark days, should be our course of action?"
"Well Raffie, y'know well 'nuff what I think we shoulda be doin'," said Sir Hathcock, taking a huge bite out of his steak.
"The same can be said of my opinions, Father," added the Princess, sipping daintily at her wine.
The Duke smiled grimly at that; he had indeed witnessed the Princess and the Knight Admiral clash over their differing philosophies at Court often enough, though they do know never to take that disagreement beyond its intended arena, such as the dinner table here. "That I do, indeed. And for what it is worth, I hope that it will never come to the point where we have to make either choice," said Duke Raphael. "I do count myself blessed, that I have you two by my side; Michael to fight the military battles, and my daughter dearest to fight the diplomatic ones, on my behalf."
Both Princess Claricia and Sir Hathcock nodded their heads in acknowledgement of the Duke's praise, while the latter ate a fork of his steak. "Now then. This is probably a topic best left until the morning, but I would like to know at the earliest. In the face of impending peril, is it possible to gain friends to share the burden, or do we truly stand alone?"
This time, it was the Princess' turn to speak first. "Fortunately, Father, I believe we will not be left adrift," said Princess Claricia. "The Sky Kingdom of Manticore has a long history, and they have one of, if not the strongest fleet in the world. As our traditions are similar to theirs, they may see us as natural allies. I have studied extensively on Manticoran court etiquette, in preparation for the day when Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth the Third grants me an audience."
"For that matter, Father, I would recommend you do the same," Princess Claricia continued, and this time there was a mischievous spark in her eyes. "I have a hunch that Her Majesty would be interested in you, personally. It may well be that you will receive regular invitations as a guest of the Manticoran Court, in which case I will be better employed elsewhere."
"Well whaddaya know, the Queen just might like you!" Sir Hathcock piped in with a jesting tone. "Mebbe we might even do things the old way, eh? Mayhaps this Queenie has a daughter just sittin' around somewhere, and we'll tie you to her in holy matrimony, eh? Make us some blood ties, eh?"
"I would not be opposed to such a union, Father. It has been a long time since my late beloved mother passed, and it would serve you well to have a companion by your side once again."
"Oh hush, you two," chided the Duke, though he was smiling at the jabs. "That is a matter for the far future, should it ever come to pass. What do you think about this, Michael?"
"Weeeell now," replied Sir Hathcock. "Way I see it, I don't see no reason why they won't jump on da chance. Much in it fer 'em, y'know? Aren't many fleets out there strong as theirs, and I jus' know they'll wanta add tha' bat**** techie prof's toys to their ships," he said, referencing Dr Tesla. "We'd get almost as much outta it though, if not more. The Armada an' da Royal Navy together, tha's a force ta keep us all safe an' sound for a good long while. Jus' watch yerself now Raffie, or da Duchy'd become part of da Kingdom while you aren't lookin'. Not sayin' tha'll be a bad thing for shure, but you jus' gotta decide if that's what ya want, git me?"
"Yes, I get what you mean, Michael," said Duke Raphael with a smile; the same thought had occurred to him. "Nevertheless, it is worth a consideration, but that is a matter for tomorrow morning," he said, gesturing to the table. "Now, let us eat. We have much work ahead of us, and we shall need to preserve our strength for the coming days ahead."
To: His Highness the Duke Raphael I of Scientia
From: Dr Ferdinand Tesla, Technologist-in-Chief
Salutations, Your Highness!
As you have requested, here is a summary of the Technologies that the Flying City of Scientia are ready to place at your disposal. Each summary will detail in brief the uses to which each facet of our Technological prowess is put to use, along with a description of how further research into each Technology can improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
Advanced Anti-Gravity: This is the trademark technological breakthrough of the Flying City of Scientia, and every floating city and sky vessel in existence today utilise a basic version of the Technology that our forebears were the first to invent. The Flying City itself only maintains its unparallelled altitude due to our cutting-edge anti-gravity drives, which is also why Scientian ships are amongst the few in the world capable of reaching the Flying City under their own power. Further research in this area may yield even more efficient drives capable of propelling the Armada through the skies faster than any other fleet. Should we invest enough [Innovation] into this Technology, we may well achieve the means to fulfill the wishes of Her Highness the Princess Claricia, and come by the means to raise the Flying City beyond the bounds of these skies altogether.
Radio: The utilisation of certain frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum, Scientia's Radio Technology has been instrumental in facilitating communication, be it for the conveyance of messages, or to coordinate the military actions of the Armada. It has also been an integral component for relaying the necessary information to calculate firing solutions for the Farstrike Doctrine of Sir Hathcock, and the Knight Admiral's custom "Finger of God" targeting beacon sniper rifle is also possible only through a modified form of this technology. Further investment of [Innovation] in this Technology will have a direct effect on facilitating communications, which could be a boon for diplomatic efforts, further increase the efficiency of military operations, and there are plans in the works to utilise the Technology to devise a means by which potential enemy fleets can be uncovered and located, long before they reach their intended destinations.
Teleforce: One of the most devastating standard-range weaponry in the Armada, the Teleforce Cannons are charged particle beam projectors which are capable of wrecking havoc across the skies. Equipped as the standard-issue main cannon on the Armada's Falcon-class destroyers, Hawk-class cruisers and Eagle-class battleships, the Teleforce Cannons are typically the Armada's preferred weapon for handling enemy fleets which have closed in to standard engagement range, due to their raw power. Unfortunately, they are not yet capable of the range which would make them useful in the long-range engagements called for in the Farstrike Doctrine; further investment in [Innovation] holds the possibility of eliminating that shortcoming, in addition to making these formidable standoff weapons even more fearsome.
Coil Array: An entire system of my namesake Tesla Coils, scaled up to skyscraper-size and installed in a standard array, the Coil Array serves as the main defenses of the Flying City, and more recently the Principality. Capable of generating a lightning matrix around the entirety of our home territory, the Coil Array can severely damage any enemy ship that comes close enough, and it will be impossible for an invading navy to land ground troops until the Array is disabled. However, the current Array systems are only capable of defending home territory, and do not have the range to add supporting firepower to our defending Armada; further investment in [Innovation] may increase the range of the Coil Array sufficiently for it to act as an additional asset in standard fleet engagements on home territory, and it may be possible to miniaturise the Array for the purposes of installation in Armada ships, to extend their longevity in battle.
Resonance Oscillator: A quaint little side project which brought upon unexpectedly massive effects, the resonant oscillator was a device of my own invention. The prototype, a mere seven inches long and small enough to be held in the palm, generated a resonance with the building it was attached to, one which was so strong it almost shook the building apart. Currently, this Technology remains a novelty, but who knows what destruction it can cause if enough investment in [Innovation] goes into the creation of a larger-scale proof of concept? Make it big enough, and we might well have the ability to exact our revenge on The Deeps which exiled us to the skies long ago.
These are but just some of the Technologies which you now have at your fingertips, Your Highness. It is now your prerogative to decide which, if any, of these Technologies shall be improved upon. We, the Technologists of the Flying City of Scientia, are at your service.
Dr Ferdinand Tesla
Right, the flair is finally complete enough for qualification, although I might add more to it later on.
How does this look? Is there anything I could improve on? Anything I should adjust? Any toes I stepped on unknowingly? Please give me feedback, I could use it.
And anyone who would be so kind as to design a flag for me?
Last edited by Ascaloth : 09-17-2012 at 11:07 PM.