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Thread: TW: Imperium IC

  1. - Top - End - #391
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    Default Re: TW: Imperium IC

    Zaqaru

    Enigma 7

    Spoiler: House Sansone
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    Dear Duke Stephano Sansone,

    Thank you for sharing the intended goal. I agree with your assessment with regards to territory expansion.

    Let us focus on aiding the Imperium while reaping the reward by harvesting the Vespids we destroy.

    By cooperating on the battlefield I hope we grow closer and allow us to build a bond of trust to further base our relation on.

    I propose each of our Grand Admirals send word to the Liness Coalition that they can count on support. Agreed?

    Yours sincerely,
    Duke Nabuna Zaqaru

    Spoiler: Liness Coalition
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    Grand Administrator Yaadus Emit
    Dear Duchess Cupria Ytterbus,

    The offer of blueprints trade can be pushed to the future. Should you wish to revisit the trade, please contact me regarding it.

    I am happy to fulfill the order for 20 shipments of Orca Bombers in exchange for the requested prestige. Production has begun and I look forward to the results of both our efforts.

    Thank you for doing business with Zaqaru.

    Spoiler: Shadda Cabal
    Show
    Isn’t that a bit over the top? I was hoping for a way which doesn’t involve new eyes to help somebody who seems to have fallen under the sway of the Luminous Ones.

    Spoiler: House Tehrani
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    Dear Duke Omid Tehrani,

    Thank you for your response, I will heed your advice to not treat them lightly. Given your response, I feel it best to share with you that I believe that Duchess Akachi Okeke has fallen under the sway of the Luminous Ones. Given that information, what would you advise?

    Yours sincerely,
    Diplomat Namzara Zaqaru

    PM

    Spoiler: House Sansone: PM
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    Grand Scientist Caksya Gupta
    “Glad to hear you are interested. Similarly, I have no authorization to deploy Zaqaru operatives, but I know the Zaqaru Council will support me if I can muster more support.”

    “What I see House Sansone putting forward are two things. First of all, your Universities. Should we gain access to the trade secrets of TRAM, we would be able to establish Archives. However, Zaqaru will not have enough Universities available to start research in each I believe present, but I believe with your Universities together we will.”

    “Second of all, contact with House Voss. If we agree on this plan and we agree that we need House Voss to gain access, I believe House Sansone has a positive relation with House Voss. Therefore, I would ask that you invite a representative of House Voss here in such a case, making use of the relation to get them involved. Not only do I believe the three Houses working together have a better chance to succeed, but I also believe that it could form the basis of a trade bloc.”

    “As third point, for me personally, House Sansone’s involvement and willingness to cooperate will allow me to more easily gain support at the Zaqaru Council for this plan.”

    “Considering the details, I have intelligence given to me by the previously abdicated Grand Agent Ayallal Attar regarding TRAM. They indicate the TRAM members are developing five archives by cooperation: Commerce [Five Pillars], Commerce [Local Conditions], [Leverage], [Intuitive Marketing] and [Merchants of Death].”

    “After the initial development of archives each, they send aid to another member to help them develop an already developed archive, culminating in the final round where the effort required to establish the last Archive is reduced to only 2 Universities.”
    “I propose to send agents to infiltrate House Starosta and House Greenflame, both Houses which previously were known to have a low amount of agencies as opposed to House Gilkara and House Vastadd. There, the agents can tap into the information flow going to these Houses from the other Houses to assist research, allowing us to develop the same Archives they are developing for the low cost of 2 Universities.”

    “In addition, the agents can infiltrate into the already existing Archives at House Starosta and House Greenflame, also to copy information and reduce costs to develop these archives to 3 Universities. With enough capability, they may even be able to copy advanced equipment blueprints for our use.”

    “I specifically propose to only tap into the information flow to develop new Archives and copy blueprints instead of stealing, so as to keep things as covert and non-hostile as possible, while reaping a significant scientific advancement.”

    “Now, without enough Universities these Archives may not be developed fully, but if even a start of progress can be made with 1 University dedicated, the gained knowledge will mean that only the effort 1 or 2 more Universities will be required in the future to finish establishing the Archives in full. However, I currently find myself low in scientific capacity, meaning Zaqaru will not be able to start development on each of the five Archives. I believe House Sansone might be capable of doing so, ensuring if these are developed, Zaqaru could turn to you to develop it at a later point of time for reduced effort compared to full development. Otherwise our combined effort will, allowing each of us to benefit from another at a later point in time.”

    “I will admit that I do not have exact details of what each of the previously archives does. As TRAM has held various conversations in private as well, there may be even more archives or knowledge than I have listed here. I do know House Greenflame also has access to the Technology Archive [Optimization Package], which optimizes colony building. I do not know if House Starosta also possesses this archive, but even with only knowledge gained from House Greenflame, this Archive could be developed at a reduced effort of 4 Universities.”

    “There is a good chance both Houses, while in the past possessing a low number of Agencies, have strengthened their counterespionage. Involving House Voss would help overcome this, though another alternative would be to focus efforts not on both House Starosta and House Greenflame, but merely one of them. The knowledge gained would be less, but would allow a more concentrated effort with a higher chance of success.”

    “What do you think of the suggested plan, Dr. Famun?”

  2. - Top - End - #392
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    House Triune
    After fleeing the Byvale sector and resettling in Dorvale the Triune pact has been reorganizing their citizens and dealing with the local earls. After several years of this news has spread through the Imperium that they have established a new house, House Triune in honor of their roots. The leader of House is Count Periklis Treasach who was given his new rank by the consensus of his fellows.

    House Triune has made it their aim to develop their new territories with the eventual goal of retaking their ancestral homelands.

    Zaqaru Dynasty
    Spoiler: House Sansone [Enigma: 5]
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    Duke Nabuna Zaqaru,

    That is acceptable. My forces will meet yours at the Ytterbus Bastion.

    Duke Staphano Sansone


    Spoiler: Shadda Cabal [Enigma: Lint]
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    Who is the expert. You can retrieve someone who has been brightened, but it is often easier to replace the faulty parts than repair the old.


    Spoiler: House Tehrani [Enigma: 5]
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    Diplomat Namzara Zaqaru,

    Unless you have dealings that need to be accomplished immediately I would wait. House Okeke has explored many treacherous voids. They will be able to take care of themselves or they would have already been lost to some horror.

    Duke Omid Tehrani


    Spoiler: House Sansone [Enigma: PM]
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    It seems a sound plan Grand Scientist. I can reach out to my contacts in House Voss, and I believe they would be interested. My only concern is your mention of targeting multiple houses. Are chances would be higher if we focused our efforts on only one House. Though it would mean that we would have less archives to examine.


    House Voss
    Spoiler: House Sansone [Enigma: 5]
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    We are considering a research endeavor and would be pleased if you could join. As we do not wish outsiders to learn of our efforts we invite you to a private research conference to discuss the matter.

  3. - Top - End - #393
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    Zaqaru

    Enigma 7

    Spoiler: House Sansone
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    Dear Duke Stephano Sansone,

    Alright. Our forces will fight alongside another against the Vespids after meeting another at the Ytterbus Bastion.

    Yours sincerely,
    Duke Nabuna Zaqaru

    Spoiler: House Kelse
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    Dear Admiral Louis Ruddard,

    Zaqaru answers the call for aid against the alien threat rampaging against the Imperium’s borders.

    I am currently inbound leading the Zaqaru fleets to the Ytterbus Bastion to fight against the Vespid threat. Barring new events, I expect no delays.

    Yours sincerely,
    Grand Admiral Elos Rostami

    Spoiler: Shadda Cabal
    Show
    But what if the faulty parts have, how to put it, symbolic or sentimental value? Given your words, I believe you when you say it is easier, Guide. But if one were to retrieve someone who has been brightened, how would one go about it?

    Spoiler: House Tehrani
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    Dear Duke Omid Tehrani,

    I offer you my gratitude for the given advice, Duke Omid Tehrani. I will heed it.

    Yours sincerely,
    Dilpomat Namzara Zaqaru

    PM

    Spoiler: House Sansone: PM
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    Grand Scientist Caksya Gupta
    “I understand the expressed concern and am more than willing to heed it. Before doing so, I would like to know House Voss’ position on the matter. Should they deem it worth the risk and offer sufficient support to achieve such goals, I believe it to be the best course of action to follow through. Otherwise, as you say, focussing on one House would increase our chance of success.”

    Grand Scientist Caksya Gupta will stay over at the location in House Sansone, awaiting the arrival of the House Voss representative, should they be interested.

  4. - Top - End - #394
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    Zaqaru Dynasty
    Spoiler: House Kelse [Enigma: 5]
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    Admiral Elos Rostami,

    We acknowledge and are grateful for your assistance.

    Admiral Louis Ruddard


    Spoiler: Shadda Cabal [Enigma: Blue]
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    Tricky tricky. You would need to either place a shadow on your friend or remove the source of the light.


    Spoiler: House Voss [Enigma: PM]
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    House Voss's representative arrives, one Lady Janu, and listens to Gupta's proposal. She considers for a few moments and then says, "House Starosta and House Greenflame are both vulnerable. I see no difficulties in infiltrating both of them simultaneously. Depending on how much Zaqaru is willing to commit to this operation we could extend our infiltration to House Gilkara. But I would avoid House Vastadd. This is their area of expertise."

  5. - Top - End - #395
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    Zaqaru

    Enigma 7

    Spoiler: Shadda Cabal
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    Thank you for your wise advice, I’ll think about it further.

    Spoiler: House Voss
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    Zaqaru officially requests military passage through the territory of House Voss to fight the Vespid threatening the Imperium.

    Spoiler: House Laramy
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    Zaqaru officially requests military passage through the territory of House Laramy to fight the Vespid threatening the Imperium.

    PM

    Spoiler: House Sansone, House Voss: PM
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    Grand Scientist Caksya Gupta
    “I agree, House Vastadd is to be avoided.”

    “With both of you involved, I am confident I can gain the support of 6 Agencies. Should the operation be extended to House Gilkara, I believe I can raise this to 7 Agencies. If you both guarantee to together assist Zaqaru in the development of one of the Archives unobtained by Zaqaru within 15 years after this operation (Turn 7, 8, 9), garantuee backed by a Count’s Prestige (5 Prestige), I believe I can further increase the support to 8 Agencies.”

    “Lady Janu, would this sufficient to extend the operation to House Gilkara, or shall we focus on House Starosta and House Greenflame? Dr. Famun, what is your opinion?”
    Last edited by Zweanslord; 2019-09-19 at 07:18 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #396
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    Zaqaru Dynasty
    Spoiler: House Voss [Enigma: 5]
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    Your request for passage is granted.


    Spoiler: House Laramy [Enigma: 10]
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    Your passage is authorized.


    Spoiler: House Voss [Enigma: PM]
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    Lady Janu consults her datapad and then shakes her head, "We could probably infiltrate all three with those numbers, but our odds of success would not be impressive. It would only take a small amount of Vastadd assistance to tilt the situation against us. Better to focus on House Greenflame and House Starosta. Bear in mind that in the event of failure we'll have angered a fairly powerful and militarily impressive block."


    Spoiler: House Sansone [Enigma: PM]
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    Dr. Farum shrugs, "I don't have your espionage experience so I'll leave that in your capable hands. However House Sansone is willing to agree to both the initial data access and research assistance for the Zaqaru Dynasty."

  7. - Top - End - #397
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    Zaqaru

    Enigma 7

    Spoiler: House Voss
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    Zaqaru thanks House Voss for the granted passage.

    Spoiler: House Laramy
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    Zaqaru thanks House Laramy for the authorized passage.

    PM

    Spoiler: House Sansone, House Voss: PM
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    Grand Scientist Caksya Gupta
    “Lady Janu and Dr. Famun, let us then focus on House Greenflame and House Starosta. This will increase our chances to gain access to all their Archives and blueprints without failure, so as to prevent exactly the scenario sketched by Lady Janu.”

    “As previously mentioned, Zaqaru does not have enough Universities to start development in all Archives we will gain access to and will focus on those which will be easiest to develop, the Archives being developed by House Greenflame and House Starosta with the assistance of all other TRAM members. From our intelligence, I conclude this to be [Leverage] in the case of House Greenflame and [Merchants of Death] in the case of House Starosta. Should there be another Archive being developed with the assistance of all the other members, we’ll start development there as well, but otherwise we’ll look into [Intuitive Marketing].”

    “For each of the other known Archives, Commerce [Five Pillars], Commerce [Local Conditions] and Technology [Optimization Package], can I trust at least one of you, if not both, will start development there, Lady Janu and Dr. Famun?”

    (OOC: Basically trying to convey it would be in their best interest to first spread out their universities to start development make use of the assistance bonus, to finish development later, and get as much assistance bonuses and access to Archives, as opposed to trying to finish Archives in one go with the bonus. I believe House Voss will likely have enough Universities to do start development in all and finish some, but the point stands.)

  8. - Top - End - #398
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    House Greenflame

    Enigma 6

    The plasma drives of well over a hundred heavyweight ships burned with the bright green incandescence of parade fuel. Light ships form tight wedges for the media cameras. No true battle formation would keep so suicidally tight, but the battle for hearts and minds was of great importance, and the duke of Samarkand wanted the people to see the noble cause for which the fleet launched.

    Players

    House Gilkara
    Spoiler
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    Of course Duke Gilkara. Perhaps I will see you on the battlefield of Liness.



    NPCs


    The Liness Coalition
    Spoiler
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    I will agree with that trade, if there are more trades you wish to make feel free to say.

    With regards to tactics who else has pledged forces? And how much is known about the scale of the threat we face?

    I see no reason to dance about my own numbers, I will be bringing [15 navy and 6 navy prototypes] to bear. Our fleets are relatively well equipped, with 15 hexshot, 10 orca, and 10 radiant shielding. The contingent will be commanded by Grand Admiral Arda, who was present at the battle for Gade, one of the larger naval engagements in recent history. If the battle grinds on for more than five years, I shall endeavor to have our fleets fully equipped for the battles to come. What has been your current strategy for engaging these bugs?

    Duke Farid Saquar

    Primogenisis
    Spoiler
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    In that case I believe it would be best to have your people aboard the command ships of the second wave to collect data and advise crews. The first wave will need to be as focused as possible to avoid unnecessary loss. We can keep your ships in the bubble of our Heart of the Fleet support dreadnought, its shields will be able to safeguard your convoy, and your crews can make the judgement to venture forth and harvest with that safe retreat point.

    I will instruct Arda to assist your ships where possible, and we will secure a line of communication to ensure our fleets can coordinate properly. Are there any further notes or preparations you need us to be aware of?

    Duke Farid Saquar


    The Freehold PM
    Spoiler
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    “There is of course a slight chance that the Infinite Republic and the Imperium will tangle in the years to come, but I honestly think that they are unlikely to attack us, thus giving you no obligation in a defensive treaty. Far more likely is threats like the Vespids and the Jere Jere for the Imperium, enemies who do not understand the difference between a system with a few renegades scratching out an existence on fringe space and an alliance block spanning what, Three hundred systems? If we were to form a defensive pact. How many wars are the Freehold intending to embroil themselves in? It's an odd question to answer, as I said, there might be a war with the Infinite Republic, but the purpose I aim for here is a deterrent for other nations to attack us, as the threat of two versus one should cause the staunchest jingoist to pause.”

    Farid shugs, presenting confidence.

    “I will begin inquiring with the Imperial Council if you would begin inquiring with other Freehold worlds. With regards to commitment, at the very least I can guarantee roughly [25 navy] from the Greenflame navy to honour the defensive treaty, and the Imperium is of course far larger, and could quite possibly draw far more. In a best and worst case scenario, would you be able to give a rough guess at how much the freehold would be able to contribute to such a defensive alliance? I do not expect you to part with state secrets of course, I just hope for rough numbers when I present my case to the Council.”


    Earl Maike Maksim, Earl Rama Christer, and Earl Leif Vasil
    Spoiler
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    Good Earls,
    I am pleased that the War with the collective kept out of the finer parts of Whitewyne. Now that the conflict is winding down, I would like to approach you once again and ask if you would be interested in joining together. I can foresee many benefits, and I believe we can make your systems Jewels of Whitewyne, should you be interested.

    Some time ago, you each asked that you would keep [two stats] for yourselves. I’m sure we can work out something based on that deal, but it is not quite workable. Would you instead be willing to keep one university stat with the promise that I will personally ensure it becomes a super prototype of science, wealth, or might within the next ten years?

    Duke Farid Saquar
    Master of the Grand Marquis


    To the Earl of (13, -07)
    Spoiler
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    To the Grandest Earl in Linpond,
    I come to you with an offer, as I did to Earl Severin many years ago. I wish to turn Linpond into a shining beacon of the Imperium, and I believe you should be its Count. If you swear fealty to my house I will promote you to count and gift you great wealth to turn your system into a powerful force, in exchange, your house will serve mine with the same pact that I and Severin share. Do you accept?

    Duke Farid Saquar
    Master of the Grand Marquis


    TRAM
    Spoiler
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    This will be the last exchange of the current TRAM agreement. After this I believe there could still be bright things in our future, at the very least, I think we should work again to develop further archive, as I believe we have benefited greatly from the current ones. I agree with house Gilkara that People would be an interesting subject, or perhaps Technology. Would the other members like to weigh in. There is also the issue of the Vespids, my fleets will be sailing to aid the Liness Coalition, but I think there may be an interesting new avenue of research available to us once my scientists have managed to capture some of these unique vespid specimens.
    Last edited by A_Dinosaur; 2019-09-24 at 09:18 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #399
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    Zaqaru Dynasty
    Spoiler: House Sansone [Enigma: PM]
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    Dr. Farum shrugs, "We'll work on what we get access to. But there is little point in starting research on archives that we won't be gaining research data on."


    Liness Coalition
    Spoiler: House Sansone [Enigma: 5]
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    Please transmit coordinates for where our forces can best assist you.


    House Greenflame
    Spoiler: Liness Coalition [Enigma: 5]
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    So far House Sansone and the Zaqaru Dynasty have both offered their assistance. We expect that a swarm of [20-30 units] will be migrating into the Imperium over the next few years, but this is only the vanguard of the great swarm.

    Our current strategy is to let them stall at the wormhole choke point and use our local superiority in numbers to quickly eliminate them before they can overwhelm the bastion.


    Spoiler: Primogenisis [Enigma: 4]
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    Everything seems to be in order. I'll tell my teams to be at their most professional.

    Director Howard Chen


    Spoiler: The Freeholds [Enigma: PM]
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    Markus shrugs, "If we can put together an alliance maybe one or two fleets from each system. Maybe [75 Fleets] in the best case scenario. But I can garantuee that any freehold that doesn't feel immediately threatened is going to take their time in actually delivering their commitment in the hopes that the fighting will be over before their ships are at risk."


    Spoiler: Earl Maike Maksim and Earl Leif Vasil [Enigma: 3]
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    Your Grace,

    Those terms are acceptable.


    Spoiler: Earl Crama Christer [Enigma: 3]
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    Your Grace,

    Those terms would be acceptable, but I do not have a university to devote to this.


    Spoiler: Earl Cahir Nasser [Enigma: 3]
    Show
    Your Grace,

    You have come to the right place if you wish to reimagine Whitewynne. House Nasser might not have the resources of the greater nobility, but our engineers rival any of them. And we have much experience in doing much with little. We would be happy to work with you to develop the rest of Linpond as well as the sector as a whole.

    Earl Cahir Nasser


    Spoiler: TRAM [Enigma: 5]
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    House Starosta: We would be interested in investigating the Vespid. Their unique biology is sure to offer insights to our shipbuilding programs.

    House Vastadd: We would prefer to research people, but we do recognize that the Vespids are a unique opportunity that it would be wise to at least look into.
    Last edited by ArcaneStomper; 2019-09-24 at 09:21 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #400
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    PaladinGuy

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    House Greenflame


    Enigma 6

    Dr. Vivian Yarro looked at was perhaps her final set of notes on a project twenty five years in the making. It all looked so simple now, though perhaps that was the effects of the various concoctions that now coursed through her very DNA, and the deep connections she could reach for with the children of the Scion program. This would change everything. Consensus had been reached from the peer review board, and widespread deployment was ready.

    All that was left was to grasp what she had so long reached for.

    NPCs

    The Liness Coalition
    Spoiler
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    A sound strategy, given our information. My shields are tough and my tactics focus endurance, I would be honoured if you would allow my armada to hold the center of our formation.

    Duke Farid Saquar
    Master of the Grand Marquis


    The Freehold
    Spoiler
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    “I doubt such a deal will hold up with the Imperial Council, let alone my own House, [75 navy] is an impressive force to be sure, enough to make the defensive alliance worthwhile to the Imperium.”
    Farid’s eyes are stern, assuming that both sides of the table knew how useless such a deal would be.
    “But without at least some guarantee in a time of crisis, I fear it could prove a terrible undoing were we to rely on it. Perhaps such a grand deal would be too much for an initial agreement, how about this:”
    There is a brief pause as Farid considers his next words.
    “Should either the Freehold or the Imperium be attacked by outside forces, the other side guarantees to rally a force of [30 navy] within five years to integrate with the allied navy and aid in driving off the invaders. The aid lasts for a minimum of fifteen years unless the invaders surrender before that.”

    “As a core part of the agreement that will ensure our forces are not all trapped in a ‘foreign’ war, leaving the homeland undefended. [30 navy] is far from an insignificant force, and should be enough to tip the balance in favour of our allies. If the war is so grand that [30 navy] would not make a difference, then we can revisit the agreement. I think a few logical extensions of the agreement would involve a seat for the reinforcing side at the peace talks as an observer, and trade sanctions enforced against the invader, etcetera Things to be discussed at future tables. Do you think the Freeholders would agree to such a deal?”


    Earl Maike Maksim, Earl Rama Christer, and Earl Leif Vasil
    Spoiler
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    Good Earls,
    My heart is glad with your agreement. I shall reward your good faith as best I can. Let us start this new relationship with a gift, [4 trade] to each of you, so you may steer the fate of our houses for years to come with what colonies you choose to build for our cause.

    Earl Christer, this should aid you in building a University to ascend in the coming years, but to each of you, swear fealty to House Greenflame and let us forge a grand future for the Whitewyne Sector and the Imperium in the years to come.

    Duke Farid Saquar
    Master of the Grand Marquis


    Earl Nasser
    Spoiler
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    Lord Cahir,
    I am filled with joy at your words. Your house rules over one of the most prosperous systems in all the Imperium, one with astounding potential to grow to grand heights. I would like to see that potential unlocked. If you swear fealty to me I will gift you [6 trade] to boost development, prove yourself to me, and I shall name you a Count of the Realm, and we can work together to have Whitewyne rival any other sector.

    Duke Farid Saquar
    Master of the Grand Marquis
    Last edited by A_Dinosaur; 2019-09-24 at 11:06 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #401
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    Zaqaru

    PM

    Spoiler: House Sansone, House Voss: PM
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    Grand Scientist Caksya Gupta
    “Agreed. It is under the assumption research data will be obtained. I look forward to the scientific developments and knowledge will be gained in the upcoming time.”
    Last edited by Zweanslord; 2019-09-24 at 11:22 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #402
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    House Greenflame
    Spoiler: Earl Maike Maksim, Earl Rama Christer, and Earl Leif Vasil [Enigma: 3]
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    Your Grace,

    Your gift is much appreciated, we will swear fealty to your house knowing that great things are coming for Whitewyne.

    Earl Maike Maksim, Earl Rama Christer, and Earl Leif Vasil


    Spoiler: The Freeholds [Enigma: PM]
    Show
    The freeholds leaders withdraw to discuss for a few minutes. When they return Markus nods, "I think I can convince enough of the others to go along with that. Though we would probably rotate our units through the expeditionary force as the war went on."


    Spoiler: House Nasser [Enigma: 3]
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    Your Grace,

    Though your offer is indeed generous and your vision a noble one the needs of my house impel me to ask a boon. May I retain a portion of my house's assets for the development of my system and eventually the entire Lindpond cluster?

    Earl Cahir Nasser
    Last edited by ArcaneStomper; 2019-09-24 at 11:22 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #403
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    PaladinGuy

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    House Greenflame

    Enigma 6


    House Nasser
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    Of course, as a count in the Greenflame Sphere, you are entitled to keep 40% of your [stats], and I will always strive to ensure you will have the [stats] necessary to continue your expansion.

  14. - Top - End - #404
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    Turn 7 Prologue



    Zaqaru Fleet movement detected!

    One or more Zaqaru Fleets are detected outside Zaqaru space! The military might of the Zaqaru Dynasty is stretching beyond their borders. Rumours tell they have moved through the territory of House Voss and beyond. Who knows what their destination is? There is a variety of speculation as to what is happening, with the overall trend being that this move is reaching further than a simple protection of the trade lines. Given the overall silence or private lines of communication between the noble Houses, many keep shush about it beyond the initial rumours, but who knows what might be learned if one were to get into contact with more reliable sources.
    Last edited by Zweanslord; 2019-10-05 at 03:25 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #405
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    Malverd System
    Ytterbus Bastion

    Fleet after fleet arrives as the Houses assemble their forces in Malverd. So many ships are moving through the warp gates that collisions become a real concern and stations are set up on both side to handle scheduling. The most impressive element is the mighty armada of House Greenflame. Their Haytham fleet with its array of heavy battleships backed by super carriers is enough by itself to match any other House. And they have sent the Sashaw fleet as well to handle interception duties for any Vespid that slip through the main battle line.

    But the other Houses are impressive in their own ways. From the mighty Zaqaru carrier fleet that looks to match the Vespid in sheer number of fighters, to the bulky Sansone shield cruisers in their impenetrable barriers. The other houses mostly field more standard forces, but what they lack in uniqueness they make up for in veteran warriors piloting vessels honed in centuries of Imperial wars.

    The fighting has never really ended as the occasional pack of Vespid swarmers continue to pour through the warp gate, but the once everyone is in position the main advance is signaled by the Haytham fleet opening up with a volley that wipes out every Vespid in the system. Then the combined might of the Imperium pours through the warp gate into occupied Ytterbus territory.

    The fighting is trivial at first. There are only a few Vespid swarms here. Or relatively so at least. The amount of Vespid queens and swarmers would count as a heavy infestation at any other time. But compared to their previously seen numbers this is only a pittance, and the Imperial fleet has soon reclaimed the entirety of the Snowbeach cluster.

    Pushing into Welledge they quickly reclaim the Ytterbus home world before facing a strategic choice. Two routes lead out of the system and the Vespids have claimed both. As the Imperial admirals split their forces the fighting grows much more fierce. The Vespid swarm is much denser here and the Imperials have given up their own superiority of numbers. Thousands of swarmers constantly assail the fleets as they attempt to reclaim the rest of Ytterbus territory.

    Vespid queens crash into battleships with their swarmer escorts and engage in a type of close range fighting that Imperial ships were never designed for. Hundreds of fighters are lost engaging the swarmers themselves, which though inferior in firepower are both extremely hardy and surprisingly nimble. One after enough the Vespids fall upon the Imperials in waves. Their sheer weight offset only by their complete lack of any sort of tactics.

    Finally the initial swarms are broken, but the Imperials are left with not time to celebrate. To everyone's shock and dismay they are bombarded with an intense volley of organic missiles. Pods full of chemicals that alternatively explode or corrode. Shoals in the millions rain on shields and penetrate hulls. Entire battle groups are lost as the Imperium tries in vain to coordinate their point defense networks.

    Finally the rain of pods lightens enough for sensors to pick up the contacts beyond. Vespids of an unknown type slowly fly away from the battlefield, their massive sack like mouths now empty, but the scanner techs can see new pods growing already.

    Not only have the Vespids evolved this new and potent strain, but they are also showing a surprising grasp of tactics. No longer do swarmers hurl themselves futilely against superior Imperial flotillas. Now they cluster around the Husks, as the new strain has been nicknamed, protecting them from assault. And the Sacks themselves always flee until enough of them have congregated to saturate the Imperial's defenses.

    This situation is not desperate. Imperial technology is still superior in both firepower and shielding. And no human admiral will be beat by a Vespid, no matter how much cunning they display. But still this new development has slowed the Imperial advance to a crawl. And so the House admirals meet and devise a new stratagem.

    A strike team leased from the Exiles' consortium is sent to capture a Husk and its belly full of pods. This is then quickly studied by a group of civilian xenobiologists brought by House Greenflame. With the new and far more accurate Vespid characteristics the Ytterbus are able to reprogram the Imperial targeting sensors to far more effectively shoot down the Vespid pod shoals.

    Now covered by their renewed defenses the Imperials forge ahead. Husks are isolated and destroyed until only a final brood remains. All vespids are different even in the strain, but this brood holds a fresh surprise. A massive multi kilometer organism that shows traits of both the Queens and Sacks with heavy armor, bays for swarmers, and dotted with tumor like pod launchers. Dubbed a leviathan it is a match even for an Imperium super dreadnought, of which none were brought on this particular campaign.



    Preparations are made for an intense battle. Pilots prep their fighters and commodores brief their captains a final time. Finally the order is given to strike.

    One critical advantage that the Husks give the Vespids is a range superiority over the Imperial forces. So the final assault is made advancing through a torrent of exploding pods. So dense are they that a nebula of acid forms between the Vespid brood and the Imperial fleet. Fighters are recalled and the heavy line forges ahead, their shields brushing away the corrosive gas.

    The final clash between the Imperial fleet and the Vespids is a brutal affair. Yet more of the ubiquitous swarmers assault the frigates and cruisers of the fleet, while the queens engage the heavier battleships with fang and close range plasma blast. The Leviathan itself rampages through the line like and overgrown bull. No single ship can stand up to its firepower, and its massive mandibles can tear entire battleships in half. But the Imperium fleet is brave and disciplined. Thousands give up their lives to wear the beast down and give their comrades the opportunity to prevail.

    Finally the job is done. A dying cruiser dives into the leviathans maw and detonates its own reactor core dismembering it from the inside. The Vespid swarm instantly loses cohesion. What little tactics they had fading into animal frenzy, and the Imperial fleet makes short work of them.

    The job is not done. Vespid remnants still infest Welledge, and more swarms have been spotted probing the peripheral warp gates. But finally the Imperial sailors can relax and bask in a job well done. The admirals gather to celebrate their victory.

    Which is convenient when a courier arrives to deliver a grim message.

    House Lonestar is requesting reinforcements. Another Vespid swarm has entered the Ashvale cluster.

  16. - Top - End - #406
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    Turn 7 Prologue

    The Zaqaru Carriers made their way through the warp gate into the infested Ytterbus territory alongside the other Imperial forces after the Haytham fleet had launched its initial volley. They had followed in the wake of the Sansone shield cruisers, carefully coordinating with the forces of their neighbour noble House. Guarded by Zaqaru Torpedo Missile Frigates, the Carriers ready their positions and await the expected command.


    Grand Admiral Elos Rostami
    LAUNCH THE FIGHTERS!


    Spilling forth from the Carriers was the true strength of the Zaqaru Armada. Its numerous fighters, compromised of Interceptors and Bombers. Dozens of small and nimble spacecraft emerged from the large capital ships and with great speed thrust forward towards the battlefield in formation.

    A downpour of fighters unleashed a rain of bullets, plasma and missiles upon the Vespids, after which they quickly withdrew, using hit and run tactics to sow confusion, discord and chaos. Little more is needed at first, as missiles and weapon fire from Zaqaru frigate and Sansone cruiser pave the way alongside the other Imperial forces to deeper systems with greater resistance.

    When even the Zaqaru fleets lose the numerical advantage ot the Vespids in the systems beyond, they adapt with finesse and expertise. Striking in expert formations, splitting up in several engagements and luring the Vespids apart so that Sansone, Greenflame, Ytterbus, Jinks and Kelse forces can easily tear upon them.


    The pilots of the Zaqaru are well trained and disciplined, dodging swarmers and engaging those using their maws upon the frigates of their Imperial colleagues. In the course of the combat, the tactics adapt to the hardy armour, a squadron’s gunfire being focused to a single point to strike through the thick armour of the Vespids. Yet not every squadron is as adaptable or as lucky.

    Vespid maws crush unlucky or unskilled pilots in their fighters, tails crush through fighters cutting too close to the Vespids when turning, squadrons going too far in the dense swarms of Vespids are totally overwhelmed by numbers and find death by the troves. The Zaqaru Admirals leading the fleets do not bat an eye at the many deaths, all calculated in their strategies, while both Admiral and pilot know the life was given in service to the glory of Zaqaru.

    Not calculated into the strategies is the new tactic employed by the Vespides, with their organic missile pods filled with explosions and corrosions, their numbers used to overwhelm the Imperial defenses. In the new stratagem formed, Grand Admiral Elos Rostami takes it upon himself to set up a coordination team between the different forces of the different Houses and get the data of the various fronts in sync. While he played no role in coming up with the new stratagem, thanks to his communication efforts the new stratagem was more quickly adapted by the various forces across the star cluster.

    Especially the Zaqaru fighters guided by fire control modules make great use to blast away the pod shoals, though they disappear from the front lines when a nebula of acid is formed in the final assault between Vespid and Imperial forces. Hiding in Carrier bays or behind the heavy spacecraft of Sansone, Greenflame or the Liness Coalition, they reappear for the final clash, fighting swarmers and queens. An elite force of interceptors and bombers even fly towards the Leviathan to destroy the pod shoals.

    As the Leviathan marches through Sansone shield cruisers, tearing through a Zaqaru carrier, costing the lives of many, before rampaging onwards to a Kelse battleship, in its wake swarmers tear through frigates, making their way to a Zaqaru carrier and a command ship of one of the other noble Houses. As two squadrons of resupplied interceptors launch from the Zaqaru carrier, they receive a transmission from one of two interceptors chasing the swarmers. These two interceptors dive with incredible agility around the swarmers, dodging their maws with ease as they pelt them with gun bullets. They manage to blind one swarmer, which leaves its target frigate alone and writhes in agony and rage, before flying closer to the Carrier.

    “I am Wing Commander Hydra and assuming command. Follow my lead.” As the other interceptor makes its way to dock, the interceptor flies towards the two squadrons. Briefly the two squadron leaders exchange a message. “Who is Hydra?” “The son of a high noble and an elite pilot.” The last one quickly responds. “Acknowledged Commander Hydra. Following your lead.” As the interceptor turns around, the two squadrons move to fly alongside. “Let’s show these Vespid swarmers how to really tear things up. Assume claw formation!” The two squadrons fly around Hydra, forming an X, with each interceptor in a branch in a more forward position than a central interceptor.


    The formation allows the shots fired simultaneously by the interceptors to hit at the same time at the same location, focusing fire to burst through the thick hide of the blinded Vespid swarmer wracking about. Its movements send it spinning, but no life remains as the interceptors finish their assault run. Swiftly, they turn to the next swarmer to repeat the tactic. After two swarmers, the formation breaks as the swarmers attempt to bite through the fighters. As the fighters distract them from the frigates they were assaulting, the swarmers soon find them caught in the gunfire and missiles shooting from their previous targets.

    When in the distance the Leviathan’s lifespan ends by the other forces and the swarmers regress in intelligence, the squadron led by Hydra quickly finishes off the swarmers in their vicinity, moving onwards to aid the other forces striking down the remnants. Behind them they leave the command ship, not knowing whose lives they may have saved as the Imperial forces achieve victory in battle.
    Last edited by Zweanslord; 2019-10-11 at 01:37 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #407
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    House Gilkara; The Great Filter

    The advisor wipes blood from Anoa's eyes and nose. She sits quietly in the dark room and logs: Two weeks into this run. Food is still being tubed and blood work has been processed to fight the excessive iron loss. There is wonder whether our Protector will give her life for this endeavor. I wonder whether we all will. I have excluded myself from updates in order to focus my attention to her care. I can only join her for short, maybe ten minute, segments. I will report the shadow. I cannot see it. I cannot communicate with it. She does. I believe it responds. I believe her brain may be forcing objects from her past into her reality. It is impossible to see the effects of her efforts due to the overwhelming chaos of our situation. So I wait. I sit here performing my duty. I ask for forgiveness, but please tell my family I love them and miss them. I hope to come home. Still, it is clear that the efforts that our rulers will go to is at least equal the efforts we make to support them.
    "I'll get a cool quote, just you wait."
    Here is the backdrop to the first Campaign in my Titan Blood World.
    Bastilonis

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    Day One of the Liness Campaign

    The tracer missile winked out of existence as its jump engine engaged, and all eyes of the Belephron II's command bridge turned to the video feeds. In the depths of space the huge bioformes drifted across past wreckage with deceptive speed. The various pseudopods and finns of the beasts were unmoving, adding to the intimidating wrongness of kilometer long biology. A gasp came from the chief medical officer as the camera missile sped past the shattered hulk of a heavy cruiser silhouetted against the bulk of a Vespid Queen.

    “Steady Dr. June.” Arda’s voice was calm, but his brow was knit with concern. The Vespids here could be defeated, of that he was certain. But pushing them out of the occupied systems would be a dangerous chore, and even with the might of a dozen fleets, it would be damn near impossible to actually rid Liness of them in a reasonable timeframe.

    “Dr. Chen, may I have you best assessment of these beasts?”

    Dr. Chen was tall and spindly, from a low grav world. His goggled eyes studied the vid feeds with an almost hungry fascination.

    “I’m sorry admiral, I’ll need a sample to tell you any more than I already have, or at least a closer look at the Vespids. Do you think Ytterbus has already classified the species? I could write half a paper based purely on the size of these things. I would very much appreciate the feather in my cap of naming-”

    “Focus Doctor, we must save the scientific discussion for after the battle.”

    Arda turned to his tacticals, the sweep of the Haytham centering the Imperial Formation, while the Sashaw followed behind to relieve when needed. The Vespids were feeding, or perhaps breeding… Or simply drifting? But even now, as the fleet approached, some were coming around with devastating grace to face the oncoming Imperials. Arda steepled his fingers, considering his options.

    “Coms, I want you to send out code W663, the fleet will take Weaver formation.”

    The orders rippled through the Haytham, and each shipped turned, crossing under or over its neighbor in the battle line, and approaching the vespid swarm at an angle. The fighter screen launched forward, running a fearsome fence against swarmers that could disrupt, while the fleet behind them brightened with the glow of charging weapons and flaring shields.

    The vespids responded to the gathering energy, turning from drifting colony to ravenous swarm, charging the fleet and launching terrifying bioweapons.

    “Coms, issue the order to fire please. Let us get Dr. Chen his samples.”

    “Yes Sir, Admiral Arda.”

    The vibrations of a full broadside shook the entire line, but the void of space ate the sound and power. Enfilade fire of Weaver formation ripped into the Vespids, killing dozens, and maiming hundreds more. The Vespids did not slow, but nor did the calamitous fire of the Haytham. The first day of the battle was won without a single Haytham ship lost. The same could not be said for future days.

    Day 399 of the Liness Campaign

    The Homeworld of Ytterbus spun calmly beneath the wreckage of yet another brutal space battle with the Vespids. Rescue ships were already searching the ruins below for survivors, a thankless task with far more disappointments than triumphs. In the Command bridge of the Bellephron II, Admiral Arda sat in conference with the other Commanders from across the Imperium. The Grand Fleet was faced with a myriad of choices generated by simple geography. The Warpgates in the next system led in two directions, and scout drones had confirmed that Vespids had occupied both branches. Split the fleet? Focus on one branch and then the other? Fortify this position and rally for a later push?

    “I will cast my vote for splitting the fleet, we do not want to waste too much time and risk more of the creatures appearing, and we do not want to leave an enemy behind to attack us in the rear. We have an advantage with Yterrbus having puzzled out the new targeting matrix, and we should push said advantage while we can. I will send the Sashaw fleet west and the Haytham East.”

    Day 734 of the Liness Campaign

    The last year had been one of setbacks and loss. The Vespids had grown clever, and pushing through the Warpgates had meant that the fighting was close and brutal. Arda dearly missed the old Karstian Destroyers, or “Shotgun Ships”, but close range ships had mostly been retrofitted into more versatile roles. Cobra Cruisers, ostensibly the Haythams close range ships, were never designed to be bitten…

    And now the Leviathan approached the fleet, and Arda did not think Battleships were any more fang resistant than cruisers.

    Day 781 of the Liness Campaign

    After nearly two months of battle The fleet and the swarm again were about to meet in melee. Fifteen days of horse archer formation had finally ended in the gravitational pull of Hochald, a rocky planetoid with no atmosphere. Arda was confident that the fleet would hold, but the personal were growing tired, and tired crews made mistakes.

    The Tactics table glowed red with incoming swarmers, and the Corrosive cloud was a greenish overlay fast approaching the north flank of the fleet. The Heart of the Fleet was working overtime shifts repairing hundreds of frigates and destroyers that had been on the receiving end of the awful cloud, and while Radiant shielding was enough to protect from the worst of the bile, only the larger ships could mount enough to properly resist.

    “Give Bafut Squadron freedom to engage coms, get the rest of the fleet in Horse Circle Formation, if they breach the lines I want them to pay dearly for it. Get our fighters pulling around the South Flank, that should draw some swarmers away from the Zaqaru flights, and we can follow them up with our bombers.”

    Arda watched as Bafut Squadron blazed forward through the cloud, tough battlecruiser shields shrugging off the acid. He brought up the multivid from the Mantle of the Seraph, Bafut’s lead ship. The puffs of propulsion gas from her old Pentabarreled gauss cannons proving why they were the best designed heavy gun from the last fifty years, Queens withered under sustained fire, and the hundred lightning lasers mounted tip to stern turned swarmers into mist as Bafut ploughed on ahead, buying time for the Haytham to get in formation. Arda turned away, confident that the vetran squadron would come out nearly unscathed, they always did.

    “Mister Hadrian, what is the latest from Heart of the Fleet, I need an ETA on Picket Squadro-” Arda looked back to the tactics screen, then to his Science Officer. “Miss Pardija, what in the Emperors name-” The building energy signature flared up suddenly, and the Vespid Swarm surged forward like torpedoes. Rubbing up against the battle line before a single ranged broadside was launched.

    “Coms all squadrons free to engage, get the picket ships out of the Heart now! Guns I want sustained fire on the levaithan, if that thing breaches the lines it had better damn well be among our ships and not the Zaqaru Carriers. I want a message to Gilkara and Kelse, bring up reserves along Z 132!” The bridge erupted into controlled panic, the rumble of the short range guns kicking up while the big cannons adjusted for close engagements.

    The Queens and other hulks smashed forward ahead of the Leviathan, a biopod hit the Blackjack and the battleship crumpled and spun away, venting atmosphere. Swarmers engulfed the Heavy Cruiser Crusader and her critical damage deadswitch signal went off a moment later. The Hexshot squadrons of Greenflame Fighters swung desperately back towards their beleaguered fleet and dove into the close quarters fighting. The Serpent of Samarkand was unable to slow down in time as a Queen chased an Orca squadron past and the two kilometer-long figures lit the battlefield in a phosphorus white explosion as the Singularity of the Vespid met the ammo cartridge of the cobra cruiser. The Haytham showed its fangs, and the heavy ships of the Haytham Fleet returned fire with terrifying power. Even as squadrons lost members the Vespids paid for every cruiser with three queens, every fighter with ten swarmers.

    Then the Leviathan entered the fray.

    Its power was devastating, unnatural tumour guns pulsed, and bile melted frigates, evaporated fighter squadrons. Even just moving through near the creature was a danger, its vast bulk crippling the Bellephron II’s forward batteries and sending her spinning.

    “Coms get Bafut back here now! And get me Kolligan’s Squadron, they need to draw this thing about. Hardsuits on everyone, bridge is under threat.”

    Arda lowered his own helm on, sealing his uniform against the vacuum incase of a breach on the bridge. The face of Peter Kolligan flashed to his multivid, he also had donned hardsuit, and was looking grim.

    “Admiral I regret to inform you that our squadron has been reduced, my Undyne is the last cruiser, we’ve just a trio of frigates beneath us, and the Grendle, but she is engines crippled.”

    “Very well Commodore, tow her back to the Heart and assign your frigates to Gunther’s Squadron.”

    “Aye captain will do, if you can draw the Leviathan away from us for a moment we ca-”

    His words were cut off by a sizzling explosion and the feed went blank, as did half the hull feeds on the Undyne. What few remained painted a melted art piece of twisted metal and bubbling hull. The prow feed offered the perfect view of the Levaithan extending its grotesque mandibles around the Grendle.

    Arda looked away, steeling himself for a moment before calling on bafut squadron to hit the beast in the rear. His science officer interrupted.

    “Admiral, there is a message coming through from the Undyne, their science officer is still alive.”

    “Put him through.” Arda braced himself for last rights. And the face of a young Doctor peered through the caustic smoke at him, his hardsuit was breached in the right leg, but medical foam was spilling out of it, buying the officer some time.

    “Admiral,” The doctor croaked. “Permission to destroy military property sir?”

    His vid tag was Doctor Hui, age twenty five, fresh off a military scholarship.

    “Denied, tell your commanding officer to turn about and make for the Heart”

    Hui smiled through his hardsuit, the medical pain killers making him appear calm. “Commodore Kolligan is dead sir, as is the first mate. It's just me and engines from the command staff sir. We lost our retrothrusters and our steerage controls, our only path is forward. I can overload the reactor in close, just like the Serpent.”

    Arda had to repeat his response over the Doctor’s coughing.

    “I will call a frigate to tow you away- damnit doctor! Stop overloading your engines!” His tactics monitor was beeping with a drive overload on one of his ships, he didn’t have to guess which one.

    “Just like Amari Saquar sir, we will win the day against all odds. It has been an honor…” The feed was cut. Arda looked to his tactics screen again, fury mixing with guilt. His science officer interrupted again.

    “It wont even work damnit, that stupid child, too much armour on the outside of that thing. It will be barely stung.” The Doctor was shaking her head.

    “No it wont work…” Arda turned grimly to his comms officer. “Not yet, get me whoever is left alive aboard the Grendle

    A grainy face in a spark filled comms room on emergency power.

    “Admiral Sir, we are going down” The voice was despondent, resigned.

    “Put me through to your damned belly gun crew officer, NOW!” Arda was roaring, every second counting.

    The Grendle’s belly gun was a sleek Dragon Burst Cannon, hard slugs and high explosives, the cramped crew compartment was full of desperate gunnery ratings hacking at tentacles piercing through the floor plating, the hiss of atmosphere escaping past the disgusting limbs. The haggard Gun Commander looked through the tiny vidscreen at Arda, her face and posture the picture of “Kind of Busy Right Now”.

    “Admiral? I’m kind of bu-”

    “Commander, set your ammo cache to detonate on my command, you must be exact understood?”

    Annoyance and fear warred on the solid woman’s face, but she nodded.

    With the feed still open, Arda ordered a new targeting scheme for the Bellephron II’s port battery. The tactics screen zoomed in on the Undyne, the Grendle, and the Bellephron II. The rest of the battle blurred out to vague status reports. The Undyne flared its drives way past safety limits, and crew remaining aboard likely had lethal cancer now, not that they would survive to know it. The gun crew in the Grendle were evacuating, the little commander waving an overloaded welding torch at the encroaching feeding limbs of the Leviathan.

    “Fire Guns!” two heartbeats. “Grendle detonate now!”.

    The broadside hit the Grendle in the armoured prow, just as the belly gun went up in flames, throwing the Leviathans lower mandibles away for just a moment and leaving the Grendle spinning away as the broadside rocked its front. In its wake the Undyne made its final flight.

    Two heartbeats, and the explosion rocked through the creature, chucks of its armoured head whizzing through the Imperial fleet like a frag grenade. The phosphorus white of the explosion blowing out hull cams and Vespid eyes alike.

    The Command bridge erupted in cheers, a heroic achievement for the history books, even Dr. Chen was clapping Arda on the back.

    Arda felt hollowed out. Unwillingly saved by a child a third of his age, fresh and full of potential who fought against the poverty of Imperial Serfdom to earn a place in one of the most prestigious schools in the Galaxy. Dead for the ideals of a woman who died centuries ago.
    Last edited by A_Dinosaur; 2019-10-12 at 03:52 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #409
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    Liness Coalition
    Upon recieving word from House Lonestar a meeting of the admirals is immediately called. Admiral Louis Ruddard of House Kelse immediatly raises his proposal. "The Vespid swarm only grow stronger the longer they are allowed to infest a territory. We have proven we can beat them here, but House Lonestar is not know for their military prowess. We must immediately move a force to meet the new Vespid swarm."

    Ytterbus unsurprisingly has a rebuttal as made by Tactician Graves, "Beaten this portion of the swarm. Our long range probes still show large scale Vespid hives just outside Ytterbus territory in both directions. And their Dyson hive is still out there. I fully agree that we can't give them an opportunity to plant hives inside the Imperium, but we can't just mobilize the entire armada. We must not only leave behind defenses, but plan our offensive as well. If we settle into a battle of attrition the Vespid will win."

    The House Jinks officers stay silent for the moment. This isn't really their field, but they stand to lose if either House Lonestar or House Ytterbus falls.

  20. - Top - End - #410
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    Grand Admiral Elos Rostami
    The Vespid threat to the Imperium must be exterminated. I believe the best course of action is to call forth a Crusade, calling more forces and allies to fight against the Vespids and assault their holdings to defeat this threat to the Imperium once and for all.

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to assist in its organisation myself. When the Zaqaru Armada returns to Zaqaru for its scheduled resupply, I will abdicate in favour of my successor and a new Grand Admiral will take my position.

  21. - Top - End - #411
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    The Red Herring, Imperial push into Liness

    "Admiral!" The bridge commander stands.

    "Go ahead commander."

    "The Vespids are pulling away. Anoa has sent orders and the AI is responding, but…"She pulls up a large display of the battlefield.

    "This cluster has launched something toward the Imperial fleet. Our scout picked it up before it was consumed by whatever they launched. Few other ships have reacted. It will deal massive damage along all lines."

    The admiral studies the screen and asks, "How quickly can we launch all fighters."

    "Sir, I'm not sure they will be effective against whatever this is."

    "Forward all commands to their individual ships and launch everything we have. Then set a course to take as much firepower as possible." The bridge grows quite at his words.

    The orders are inputted and a steady stream of small ships begin launching from The Red Herring. The cluster grows closer and inches forward on the screen.

    "It's been a pleasure serving with all of you."

    The Great Filter

    Anoa watches the destruction of the Red Herring first hand. When she comes-to on the bridge of her ship, only one person stands with her.

    "Are you gonna help me up?" She stands up by herself and walks back to the system controls.

    "It doesn't work like that, you know that. Why do you bother with walking at all here?"

    Anoa glares back. "It makes it feel real. There have to be pieces that keep you anchored to reality or else I'll start driving all of our fleet as if they were cheap fodder. Like the Vespids."

    "You'd be a queen if you were one of them."

    "I'm trying to loop this conversation to the fact that we just lost a carrier. I don't have time for your quips."

    "You mean your quips."

    Anoa shakes her head. "Am I okay with it? Why am I making light of thousands of lives lost?" She looks down at her hands. They are flesh here. No traces of her failure a decade ago.

    "They directly disobeyed your command and saved more than their number in casualties. They were proud to do it, and you know that you would have done the same a thousand times over. It was a good thing."

    Anoa looks up from her hands, but Torbin isn't standing there. There's no one on the bridge. Slowly she reaches her hands up and says, "Terminate controls, command Echo."

    The room is dark when she lifts the helmet from her head. Someone is across from her and speaks, "Welcome back protector. I wasn't sure if you could come back to us. Command sent word that we lost a Cruiser in some new attack by the Vespids…"

    Anoa relaxes back. "I know." She sits for a while in the darkness before ordering, "Please send word back to Naldris to see to the Cruiser's crew's families."

    The advisor moves to comply and Anoa picks the helmet back up and puts it over her head. "Access, Anoa Gilkara."
    "I'll get a cool quote, just you wait."
    Here is the backdrop to the first Campaign in my Titan Blood World.
    Bastilonis

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