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Experimental NES - A 14 Day Narrative Experiment - Retired Players and IOTers Welcome

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Thlayli, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
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    In the desert
    What is NESing? What should it become? What could it be? The act of a Never Ending Story has always been a very strange endeavor, merging a narrative and a game. When they first began, NESes were more about free-form roleplaying, and they gradually became more formalized, statistical entities over time. I'd like to return to narrative process with a short experiment, to see how you handle writing stories quickly under pressure. It's possible that this experiment will be a horrible failure. But I'd like to help people get some experience in writing stories, particularly those new to NESing. These skills will then roll over into the next project I'm developing.

    DISPATCH: The Death of the Monarch. The ruler is dead, killed while attempting to flee arrest for so-called crimes against the state. Anxiety fills the air of the sprawling capital, as the previously autocratic leader and his advisers have fled or been killed. Mob rule has begun to take hold, and fire brigades are not responding to the spreading chaos.

    How do you respond to this? Are you one of those seeking to capitalize and establish a new order? An opportunist seeking to flee danger, or profit from a world where everything is suddenly in flux? Do you simply want to protect those you love?


    SUGGESTED ROLES:

    An upper military commander [Faction 1]
    An upper military commander [Faction 2]
    A passionate junior officer
    A popular enlisted man
    A member of the secret police for the former ruler

    A trade union leader
    A famous philosopher or religious leader beloved of the people
    A nationally-famous theatre performer
    A shopkeeper and family man

    An unskilled laborer with a few friends
    A lesser scion of the royal family thrust into the limelight
    An extremely wealthy but corrupt merchant

    A few guidelines. You can do anything, or try to do anything, permissible by the laws of physics and a vague 18th-19th century level of technology. Feel free to go crazy with the culture or anything else.

    If you attack another player, I'll give them a chance to respond. No god-modding.

    The only other thing that's required is that you have to follow the naming conventions of anyone who posts before you. If someone names the dead king, the country, the capital city, or anything else, if you need to reference those things, build on what previous players have said or make something up. [Please don't write a book of your own terms and force other people to follow though; just introduce a few things.]

    This is supposed to be written as a flash-fiction type event, with short bursts of stories from 200-1000 words. I will respond to stories as they are written from an omniscient narrator perspective, introducing new characters and ideas. Think of this as a "choose your own adventure" book with others playing along.

    We'll see how it goes.

    Post quickly and well and "win"!

    The faster you post, the more easily you can define the situation! React to other players, do interesting things, and don't be afraid of posting! Even quick one-off reaction stories will be welcomed.

    THIS EXPERIMENT WILL TERMINATE IN 14 13 12 11 DAYS. GOOD LUCK!
     
  2. Ailedhoo

    Ailedhoo wonderer

    Joined:
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    Can I will be a secret police officer of the former monarch?

    Can I play two of them?

    Spoiler my roles :
     
  3. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Sure, Ailedhoo. You're welcome to! A little thing to get us started. (I'll be responding to players and posting random things throughout the experiment, as well as describing things that happen.)

    ---

    Lia looked up from her dolls because shadows had started playing on the attic ceiling. She held up her favorite dolly's arms and gazed at the ceiling as they flickered. The oil lamp on the attic wall (she slept in the attic) sputtered and flickered on as it always did. That wasn't making shadows. No more than normal.

    The flickering was coming from lights through the window...lights on the horizon. Dull, low booms were sounding too, like on the day when the great sparkling lights lit up the sky above the palace. Hmm.

    This was like that day, except Daddy was gone and Mommy was making the face she made when she didn't want anyone to talk to her, rolling out dough down in the tiny crowded kitchen with her little brother on her hip. He was crying, though. Little babies could notice when people were upset, but older children were smart enough to not say anything when they noticed.

    "Dance with Mr. Shadow, dolly," Lia said, and she made her dance. There was shouting from the narrow street her tiny house peeked out over, but she didn't mind. People shouted all the time. People got upset over silly things. She wasn't worried.
     
  4. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    In the desert
    DAY 1

    ---

    Several industrial sectors are on the verge of open rebellion. Only lack of organization deters them. Several military units have not yet reported in, or do not know who to report to. There is no official word from the palace though a pall of black smoke hangs over the entirety of the city center. Rumor says a firefight in the main arsenal of the city ignited a large store of black powder and blew a massive hole in the wall. It is unclear who was fighting or why.

    The arsenal has since been picked clean of weapons. The men of several neighborhoods have informally gathered to erect barricades and are refusing entry to anyone they do not know by sight.

    A black observation balloon hangs over the city, its purpose or masters unknown.

    What is going on?
     
  5. Robert Can't

    Robert Can't Grantaire

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    Location:
    The Barricade
    Spoiler :
    And thus I though: Why not both?


    Dialectual note: The Jarrow accent is based on North Lancs, I'll try and keep phonetic spellings to a minimum because reading



    Bad weather was blighting the whole city - a front had brought with it torrential downpours and strong winds - but the weather always seemed worse in the grey, dreary and poverty stricken industrial district of Jarrow. The rain was so heavy it obscured even the clouds. It was hard to tell the difference between the crack of far off rifles and the clatter of the raindrops slamming against the old stained glass windows.

    Cuthbert had been priest here in the worker's chapel for a good few years now. It had been his first assignment after leaving the seminary. He'd been enticed in by the romantic ideals of the trade unionists and ever since the state had banned them he'd been secretly hiding their meetings in the Chapel undercroft. They weren't hiding now.

    A distant boom echoed through the dank slum's streets. Cuthbert stood up from his seat in the quire and looked out of the window. The working men were standing around in a huddle in the knave. They looked scared. Cuthbert was glad that they were scared - they'll need that fear in the time to come.

    A gruff looking man left the huddle, their eyes all following him as he shuffled over to the window that Cuthbert looked out of. "Cuth," He said, his voice harsh and quite obviously native Jarrow "Tha'as offen given us advice. Tha's as much a member of t'union as rest of us. Tha may not work in factory or in mines but tha'as worked to help us and protect us. We're thinking that we're going to rise up, Pay thim back for what they've done t'us. It int going to be easy, but we've got whole union with us and once the people have heard they'll join wi' us."

    There was a pause, Cuthbert continued to look out of the window - a city obscured with rain - the seat of a tyrant, of a system that was destroying lives and ending hope. But Cuthbert was a priest: hope was the tool with which he worked. Now the city stood before him blotched and unclear. He raised his finger to the window and traced the line of the great castle that stood on the top of the hill, he couldn't see it but he knew it was there. With hope he could draw out all the city anew. The time had come, and Cuthbert had been chosen, to build a new Jerusalem amongst these dark satanic mills.

    "I'll help you," Cuthbert said and turned to the others "This is our moment, the king is toppled and his realm lies in chaos. Let us go forth from the mills and take what is ours - what they have taken away from us. Unite now and we shall become the new rulers of this land. No kings shall rule over us, no ministers or princes - this will be a land of the people, of ourselves. We are no longer instruments of king or country. We now stand only as instruments of God, our only true master."
     
  6. Blaze Injun

    Blaze Injun Night Radio KYSE

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    Hey,

    Black Balloon

    "Beware my children for it is not the work of King." The collared man held up a wooden crown painted gold with his left hand. He leaned forward from the upper window of the once Streetwatch headquarters. He raised up his left hand holding a heavy hammer. "Nor the work of the Citizens!"

    A crowd of lost, bewildered and frightened citizens & soldiers had stopped to listen to the man dressed in dirty holy attire. They watched with needful eyes.

    "The end has come by the hand of the Great Evil herself. Look!" He pointed skyward through the smoke at the great black balloon that floated above the burning city. "There is the bringer of the end! Her demon built contraption does not move with the winds nor the rains that obscure the south of the city." He looked down at the upturned faces and throw the hammer and crown to the street below. "It moves on hellfire generated winds!. It spreads chaos and maisma over the city."

    He looked from the street to the balloon and back to the street. The crowd had moved on.

    Spoiler :
    I was writing this as Robert Can't wrote & posted. He was just faster but I'm still going to post it. It was going to be a holy man but I guess he'll become something else along the way. :D




    Blaze Injun
     
  7. Polyblank

    Polyblank Chieftain

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    "Now is the time my brothers, the time for glorious revolution! We will rise against the forces of the befallen tyrant, and we will claim what is rightfully ours!" Exclaimed a tall, imposing man with armour and a musket in his two hands, which he raised up as to cause excitement in the crowd. " For God and the People " he shouted, and the soldiers shouted with him.

    The man was no other than Klaus Van, known military commander of the previous Monarch. He had been working secretly with a few of his trusted allies and had planned a revolution against his overlord that would turn the Monarchy into a Constitutional one, limiting the powers of the Monarch.

    Having been born in the agrarian and ignored area of Faustenberg, Klaus Van was a man of deep religious and anti - royalist sentiments. Coming from a family of middle - class merchants, he quickly took an interest in military affairs and rose through the ranks of the Monarchs. Before he died, Klaus Van had managed to consolidate his reputation as one of the most capable military commanders of the Monarchy.
     
  8. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Great, we're starting to get a good mix of loyalists and rebels of all stripes.

    Ailedhoo is a pair of mysterious agents of the monarchy's secret police.
    Robert is a charismatic young priest leading a trade union.
    Blaze is a local priest (for now) warning of the impending apocalypse.
    Polyblank is a reformist military commander and possible orchestrator of a military coup.

    Day 2 update is coming in about 8 or 9 hours.

    New players are welcome to join the experiment at any time! Feel free to recruit your friends as followers or allies of your character.
     
  9. Civ'ed

    Civ'ed I ain't gotta explain a thing

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    "Sir, with all due respect, you cannot be serious. The city is reaching boiling point, and you're sitting here doing what exactly?"
    Aeneas looked up.
    "Well, my servant, do you not see the best way out of a crisis is to let it wave over you?"
    "Sir, I mean, you're eating luxuries and throwing the bones out the window. You're committing political suici-"
    "In this monarchy? Hardly. But come, by friend James, walk with me for a moment."
    Aeneas stood up, and walked over to a window.
    "Do you see hungry men and women?"
    "Sir, I saw a child kill a stray dog for food. People are descending into savagery."
    "Do you remember how we made this fortune?"
    "Yes, through arm- sir, surely you cannot be serious."
    Aeneas gave a chuckle.
    "Oh, James, but that's where you're wrong. When this land is ruled by the people who know how it works... then we can talk about fantasies."
     
  10. Robert Can't

    Robert Can't Grantaire

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    The rain still hadn't ended. It had hammered down all the way through the Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols and was still continually hammering now. The tapers had been all soaked and Amy the acolyte found it incredibly difficult to light the candles on the advent wreath. After the service Cuthbert had had a word with William Carter - a senior Trade Union leader - about the quality of ammunition that would be present in the city with all this rain.

    Cuthbert now sat in his seat in the quire once again. Amy was busying herself tidying up and organising things. She was a good person: honest, kind and intelligent. She'd had a scholarship and had been studying for a degree but when the University found out she had Trade Unionist sympathies and she'd been thrown out. Now she was just happy, kind and brilliant Amy - wandering about filing papers and lighting candles.

    It sickened Cuthbert that the government could so hate its poor that it should do this to them. That said though, this government was rapidly decaying - rumours had persisted all day about explosions and uprising across the city. You could still sometimes hear faint gunshots over the torrents of rain.

    "Amy," he called out. She looked up and hurried over, near tripping over her cassock. He gestured for her to sit by him.

    "There's a dark day on the horizon." Cuthbert proceeded "These next few days are going to be hard. I'm finding it difficult to work morality into this.

    "People are dying all around us everyday, in their homes, in the mills and in the execution yards of the Government. Yet still more shall die in the days to come. Do I, by assisting in poor and downtrodden, become just as guilty as my enemies of murder? Can violent uprising be justified in the face of tyranny?"

    Amy gave a knowing smile and nodded a few times as he'd been speaking. "Cuth, it int wrong what tha'rt doing. Wyout men like tha we'd be nothing. T'unions need tha but this int going to get any easier much faster. Tha muss be strong Cuth, for all our sakes and for the sakes of all yon men and women thru'out land. People are lookingt' tha Cuth. It might be that tha aren't a official leader of the union but wyout you they'd have no leader at all.

    "God loves tha Cuth. We all know this and we all love tha too. Even if we dint he still would. Tha'rt a chosen mon Cuthbert. God put tha here for this and as you said we're but instrument of his will.
    "God expects of tha Cuthbert, and so say we all."
     
  11. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Being dead was different. It put things in sharp perspective. His entire life was laid bare before him, raw and visceral. Every half-formed thought, every forgotten moment, all there, waiting to be judged.

    The city, the country, the whole world could be seen below, floating in a dark blue miasma. He could see the smoke, see the pain and suffering, the love and kindness that filled the world. He could see the results of every single action, every decision he had made. He saw how history would remember him and his wife: Cruel and distant tyrants, uncaring of their people, forgetting the charitable works they had built, forgetting the highways, the orphanages, the schools, the hospitals, the universities.

    The bullet wound in his side didn't hurt anymore. In fact, he wasn't even sure if it had ever hurt.

    “I was King.” He murmured. A cat on a windowsill in the Penny district flicked it’s ears, as if it had heard.

    He felt everything those he had affected felt, ever moment of pain, of suffering, but also of happiness. Tears poured from his eyes, silent.

    “What I did, I did for love of my country.” Again, he murmured. A baby in the servant’s quarters of the palace mewled in it’s sleep.

    He saw his body in a shallow grave, his wife’s body beside it. His head was missing, perched on a spike near the palace. Already the worms had started to feast.

    Oddly enough, he didn’t care.

    He saw with growing remove, with increasing detachment the people of the city arm up. Klaus, friend and trusted adviser, already working to tear down everything they had built together. The former King couldn't find it in himself to care about the betrayal. He saw fat merchants gorge themselves while starving children fought over the scraps of a dead dog. He saw barricades go up, saw acts of casual cruelty, and acts of selfless heroism.

    “I tried my best.” He whispered. A flock of pigeons near the burning prisons took wing suddenly.

    IT IS TIME. Not a voice, but a feeling, felt all through his being. He smiled, and closed his eyes. The world vanished, except for white light, like a sunbeam breaking through the clouds. Warmth washed over him, burning away the cold that he hadn't even realized he had felt.

    And he felt, for the first time in his life, pure and unadulterated happiness.
     
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  12. baseballpie

    baseballpie Chieftain

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    Enrico was just an ordinary shopkeeper. His grandfather had emigrated here from Italia. He had no connections with the syndicates, Enrico just paid his bills like everyone else. As long as he had lived, Enrico had known nothing but this shop. It had belonged to his father, and his father's father. In the slums of the city, as everyone else knew it, the only thing that made you unique was running water. So, Enrico just spent his days trying to eke out a living.

    "Papers are the future," his father had always told him. "Si babbo," Enrico would mutter some days when particularly frustrated, "look where that got you." It was a frustrating day like this that would change this poor printer's life forever. It was a day like this when the Crown Prince showed up on Enrico's doorstep.
     
  13. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    That was a really impressive story, Thomas. Definitely made me smile.

    Everyone else, good work so far. I might draw up a rough sketch of the capital tonight to help people situate themselves with respect to one another.
     
  14. christos200

    christos200 Never tell me the odds

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    Spoiler :
    An upper military commander


    Christian Huge was quite nervous and kinda afraid. And he had a good reason to feel so. He was the Commander in Chief of the Royal Army and a major figure in the King's regime. When the revolt gained momentum and many of the soldiers seemed more keen on joining the revolt than fighting against their people, Christian Huge shot the King and assumed the title of Viceroy in an attempt to usurp the leadership of the revolution from the true revolutionaries and gain popular support. However, as he had been a major supporter of the King, he was now seen as hypocritical and absolutist by the revolutionaries and a traitor by hardline monarchists. That's why he was so afraid.

    Christian Huge had managed to maintain the support of a large part of the army, mainly because of bribes, and was now in a meeting with several officers and politicians.

    "Gentlemen, the only way to maintain law and order is to declare a Republic.", Christian Huge said. "I shall assume the post of President of the Republic. You shall become my ministers. Thus, we can gain popular support and crush the revolutionaries."

    The aristocrats and politicians agreed, mainly because they preferred a Republic led by a former monarchist who could be trusted to not threaten their privileges than a Republic led by the radical revolutionaries on the streets.

    Christian Huge then turned to Officer Van Klong Junker: "You shall assume the title of Command in Chief of the Republican Army. You should try to persuade as many rebel soldiers as possible to join our government, even by using bribes. Then, send the army loyal to my government to crush the revolutionaries, who shall be labelled as 'reactionaries'."

    Soon after, the formation of the Republic was made known to the people. Christian Huge prayed and hoped for the best.
     
  15. baseballpie

    baseballpie Chieftain

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    At first glance, Enrico disliked the boy. No younger than 14, no older than 18, he could tell this boy had known nothing but luxury. When the young man asked for a place to stay, Enrico initially refused. He barely had room for his three daughters, not to mention a fourth on the way. But when the boy, obviously injured by the way he held his left arm, admitted who he was and how he was on the run from the Royal Guard, Enrico had no choice but to let him in. Grabbing a roll of parchment and a quill, he said, "Tell me everything that happened."

    "It was Huge," Julian began. "Christian Huge. I knew there was something strange about him, the way he looked at my father. I knew there was some disdain there. I tried to tell him," the boy continued, now beginning to tear up. Enrico handed him a patch of fabric and continued to write furiously, "but Father never listened. I knew I should've told someone. Minister Abbot, Lenore, Mother, someone, but I never did. And now, they're all dead. All dead, because of me."

    To be continued
     
  16. Blaze Injun

    Blaze Injun Night Radio KYSE

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    Hey,

    The 3rd Circle of the Court.

    Cannoneer Casus Jontuffen sat on the deck behind huge bails of cloth and straw mats washing his face from a bucket of seawater from the harbor. The salt intensified the pain of his burned cheek. He felt alive. Not since the action off the coast of the far away colony of Sinophiem had he felt so alive. His Captain, Hawkes Voss, had seen this rebellion coming and had crewed his ship with the most loyal men in the fleet. Not loyal to the king but to the Queen. The men were 3rd generation colonial noblity. This was not suprising as it was a known fact that the Queen's parents were such noblity. And that she had used her personal wealth to built the fleet. A fleet with the world's first ocean going, steam powered ship.

    "It might burn boys but you don't want them wounds to get infected." Captain Voss stepped around the main funnel with his major officers in tow. "Beautiful work today Mr. Jontuffen. Execellent work."

    The gun crew jumped to attention saluting the Captain and officers. Casus sat were he was, moving only to enough to salute. Then he said with the upmost respect."Thank you Captain Voss, sir."

    "The Freya will be here for a few hours recoaling." The Captain held out his hands. In one was put a spyglass and the other a 30LB power bag. "I believe you can have shore leave if you wish."

    Cannoneer Casus Jontuffen stood taking the spyglass & giving his crew orders. Monkey to carry the power. William would get the crew issued matchlock pistols and dirks. Yonshio to get a swivel gun and shot. "Anything I can do for you Captain?"

    "Yes. If you happen to see my wife tell her to get to the ship soon. The King is dead. Our Queen is missing. There is more deviltry here in this city then rebellion." He winked at Jontuffen. Then looked off over the city toward the small black object and then toward the wall of black clouds and rain. "And that storm seems to be headed our way and she doesn't like being out in the weather." He saluted, turned on heel and he and his officers disappeared the way they can.


    Blaze Injun

    Spoiler :
    I'm throwing a 3rd fraction into the mess. The Queens Loyalists. Colonial Nobles swearing loyalty to the Queen from the Fausten colony of Sinophiem. I'm assuming that such can be wrote in this NES.
     
  17. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Scourge of God

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    "I've never imagined anything like this," the major said in the officer's lounge. The room was crowded with the officers of the brigade, from a mustachioed major to goatee'd lieutenants. While their senior officers played politics in the center of the city the careerists, army officers who lacked political connections and had risen through merit, met in their barracks on the outskirts of the city.

    They'd in brought in to support the secret police and Royal, now Republican, Guard in keeping order throughout the city weeks before, when the Powers That Be realized that the riots were getting out of hand. Defeat in war was one thing, that was something on a far away border. But follow that with a harsh winter and a bankrupt government that couldn't afford to keep up food subsidies, and you had a revolution. And the soldiers, after seeing a year of bloody sacrifice thrown away, couldn't bring themselves to fire upon crowds of their starving countrymen.

    And then the monarchy had fallen.

    The stump that had been Albert Hauge's hand ached, as if it were about to rain. It was covered in a smooth cap of ebony wood, on which the division's crowned skull insignia had been etched. A memento, of what he'd given up five fingers for.

    "It's all going to hell. We've all said things about the King, some louder than others, but none of us wanted this," Captain Fredericks said. He had a little wisp of a moustache, one he kept trying to grow out, only to inevitably shave once he realized how absurd it looked. Right now he was very due for a trip to the barber.

    "And none of us wanted Huge!" Lieutenant Wulff shouted. His tunic was open and a glass of wine, not his first, was in his hand. He was normally reserved, stuffy, formal: not today, not tonight. He'd been rattled hard.

    There were many murmurs of agreement. Money could only grease so many hands before it became too greasy, and in a war-time men who purchased commissions for themselves and others became just as dangerous as the enemy.

    "We swore our oaths to the King, and the Kingdom," Albert said, holding aloft the stump of his hand so everyone could see the marking. "Huge doesn't get to become our new King, or President, by killing the old one. Nor can he buy our loyalty with all the bread and olive oil in the world."

    "What you're implying," Major Riehle said, the waxed ends of his moustache seeming to stand on edge, "is treason."

    "No," Captain Albert Hauge, of the 3rd Guards Infantry Division, said, "what I'm saying is revolution."

    A real revolution.
     
    Robert Can't likes this.
  18. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

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    "Captain Altraius Sir! Rioters are at the West Gate! Only two guardsmen were outside and the mob tore them apart!"

    The Captain bit his lip. He had no orders, no idea who his superior even was. He looked at his men and saw fear. Joining the Gendarmerie was supposed to be a cushy job, filled with sons of merchants and minor nobles. No fighting at the front lines, not even policing the rabble for the most part. The most dangerous duty most of them had ever faced was escorting home a particularly drunk nobleman.

    But if these men were scared....what of the denizens of the Grand District? Captain Altraius nodded. The Kingdom could not afford an outright rebellion, and if the mobs broke through here....then the palace would burn. And Altraius remembered his oath. Some Prince or Princess or Duke or Baroness would soon sit the throne. It was his obligation to make sure there was a throne to sit on, and a Kingdom, not a rabble, to rule.

    "Grab any automatic weapons that we have! Thadus and Rohl, take the machine gun. We're going to the West Gate!"

    The soldiers nodded. At least discipline held for now. At the very least they know that their crimson cloaks would guarantee their deaths if the rabble broke through.

    The medieval stone wall that was the West Gate had not served any military purpose in centuries. But standing above these protesters behind thick stone walls, Altraius was thankful they had not been torn down. He looked through and saw a near endless crowd. They were ramming into the gate. No time or reason to read the Riot Act.

    "Grenades!" called Altraius and the ground saw scattered explosions, soon deafened by screams.

    "They're not yet breaking!" shouted Altraius "Open fire!" The men unleashed a volley of bullets, gunning down the crowd without prejudice. Men, women, children, anyone who stood at the West Gate was to receive a summary execution.

    He had hoped that a few rounds would disperse the crowds, to let them know that the soldiers were serious. But they were insistent, and it took nearly ten minutes before the crowd dispersed, leaving behind over a hundred dead, and many more wounded.

    One of his men looked over to the Captain. "Sir....the bodies are going to stink pretty soon."

    "That they will. Would you like to volunteer for clean up duty?" The man shook his head "Then don't worry about it. It will be taken care of one way or another."

    Altraius looked out into the distance. Other parts of the city were burning now too. But 15 members of the Gendarmerie were not gonna help....it actually might hurt. "We will retreat for now" said Altraius "Let's move back to the station and wait for further orders"

    His men nodded, relieved they could retreat into the safety of the station at least for the moment. Altraius was more worried. Would they even get orders? What was going on at the palace? As they marched back through the Grand District the citizens were clapping and cheering. Of course they were. Their mansions were safe from looting after all. But were they looters, a common mob? A mob only seeking to loot would have broken after a few volleys. No treasure is worth your life. But they had stayed determined.

    He had only one question: why?
     
  19. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    I'm declaring the cut-off for Day 2 here. Reading all the new stories now. :)

    The update is in progress; should take me a few hours, more if I do a city sketch.
     
  20. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,477
    Location:
    In the desert
    DAY 2 - BLOOD LINES

    In which the first players make their moves, and lines are drawn in blood and stone.

    The Players So Far:

    Spoiler :
    General Christian Huge, self-declared "President of the Republic" and his followers, including Commander-in-Chief Van Klong Junker
    Brigadier General Klaus Van, commander of the elite 1st Fusiliers Division

    Captain Albert Hauge of the "Death's Head Crowns" 3rd Guards Infantry Division, and his fellow Guardsmen
    Captain Altraius of the Royal Gendarmes
    Captain Voss of HRMS Freya, and his mate Cannoneer Casus Jontuffen

    Agent "Ein" and Agent "Zwei" of the Secret Police
    Cuthbert, a young priest ministering to the rebellious trade unionists led by William Carter, leading several others including Amy
    Enrico, an immigrant printer sheltering a boy who claims to be the heir to the throne of Fausten, Crown Prince Julian
    Aeneas, a corrupt merchant and war profiteer

    The King's Ghost?

    The Kingdom of Fausten:

    Spoiler :
    Fausten is a coastal nation of moderate size and power inhabited by mostly Germanic-speaking cultures, with several sub-cultures that resemble Anglo-Saxons and High Germans and significant populations of immigrants. The capital, Faustenburg, is a bustling, ancient walled city of half a million people set 20 miles inland from the sea (but connected via broad rivers and canals such that oceangoing ships with shallow drafts can dock at the capital).

    The nation, while somewhat wealthy, has been torn by religious strife and peasant rebellion intermittently for centuries, and has never truly reconciled the conflicting desires of the monarchy, the nobility and the common people.


    ---

    Among the trade unionists, a man clad in a brown coat, dressed a worker like any other, pulls a pistol from his coat and fires a spray of bullets at the known leaders of the trade union rioters, whose advance pickets have begun to apply pressure to the gates of the Grand District, still manned by a skeleton force of Gendarmes who have still not managed to desert their posts in fear like their comrades.

    The bullets from his pistol strike Cuthbert in the neck and chest, and one grazes Carter's cheek. Neither men are killed, and the rioting unionists have taken their survival as a miracle, and as a sign that God favors their cause. Even so, Cuthbert himself struggles to continue giving sermons to inspire the workers from a stretcher.

    Radicalized by this attack the workers have dispersed many weapons from the destroyed arsenal, and have taken to wearing red and black armbands around their arms. The worker who fired the shots escaped.

    ---

    Christian Huge and a cabal of officers have declared a provisional Republic in Fausten, labeling the sailors of the Royal Navy and any remaining loyalists to be reactionaries and traitors to the new enlightened government.

    Huge's coup has taken the majority of the Grand District and the palace, but the city beyond lies in chaos. Rumors allege both the murder and survival of the Dowager Queen, mother of the murdered King, and of Crown Prince Julian. It is clear that royalist opposition could coalesce around either of these figures, or a pretender claiming to be them, if they emerge. Elements of the Royal Navy have already declared against Huge's coup, and there are rumors of dissent within the officer corps as well. The next several days will balance the fate of the capital on a knife's edge.

    What will be key is how Brigadier General Klaus Van reacts; Van had a notorious rivalry with Huge, but occasionally allied with him over similar ideological impulses. Van obviously knew of Huge's plot against the King, but did he participate in it? Whether he declares for or against Huge's republic could ensure a largely-unified army or a massive civil war.

    Klaus Van, whose troops have secured the Royal Progress and the Fountain of Bounteous Industry surrounded by the wealthy neighborhood of Zellei, has rallied his troops with impassioned speeches against the tyranny of monarchy. Whether this means he supports Huge's declaration is less clear. His followers are fewer in number than Huge but much more motivated.

    Many of the officers on the fence are waiting to see if Van supports or opposes Huge, or if another contender for leadership will emerge from the army units bivouaced right outside the capital. The so-called "Death's Head Crowns" are said to be the most organized and coherent of these.

    ---

    It is unclear where the loyalties of the Secret Police lie, and to whom they lie. It is unclear if they even still exist.

    ---

    Thousands of citizens have gathered near the Cathedral of St. Virgil in the northwestern district of the city. Approximately one third of them, led by the Archprelate of Faustenburg, began a public prayer for the soul of the King and those killed in the riots, but they were forced to flee the square into the Cathedral as bread rioters attacked them.

    The church is now besieged by thousands of angry citizens, calling for the Archprelate to disperse the cathedral's wealth to the crowds and declare for the Republic, General Van, the trade unionists, or some surviving royal. The mob here is still highly disorganized, and all that unites it factionally is hunger.

    ---

    The black observation balloon has moved with the winds, untethered from the palace grounds. It vanishes to the north of the city, but not before launching a firework with a contrail of red and black smoke.

    ---

    OOC: Good story nuke, but machine guns are too high tech. Primitive grenades are okay though. Map sketch and a story to come!

    Blaze, I have to reconcile your story with Thomas' that says the wife of the King was also killed. So, the Queen you support can be the mother of the recently-dead king.

    Shadowbound, I hope the name of your division is suitably badass.

    TO EVERYONE: Great work! I'm impressed with the response. Let's keep it up.
     

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