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TURN 9: Socotsu, Year 372—Roleplaying Contest begins

Discussion in 'Machiavel: Ambition' started by Ravana, Oct 1, 2011.

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  1. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Turn 9: Socotsu, Year 372

    THE EMPEROR IS DEAD!

    From the desk of the Lord Chancellor:

    “His Imperial Majesty Nikovar I, Tenth Emperor of the Second Imperium, died this 28th day of Secheri, in the 61st year of the Imperium (Year 372 O.S.), at the castle of Dorlingard in the former Duchy of Alstein, where he had remained since arriving at the bedside of Duchess Hlunegrid. He passed quietly in his sleep, attended by his closest advisers.

    “The Electors of the Empire are called upon to assemble at the Free City of Ilvrichsburg to determine the succession to the throne. It is greatly desired that they should complete their duty prior to the beginning of Midwinter Court, so that arrangements can be completed for the new Emperor to be crowned at that time. Those members of the other estates of the Empire who consider it their duty to consult with the Electors on the matter are likewise summoned to that City, to make their views known in timely fashion. Consonant with imperial law, any person may put forward any lawful candidate for the throne, for consideration by the Electors.

    “An Imperial Peace has been declared, extending from this day until the end of the upcoming Midwinter Court, to facilitate the above dispositions. No person journeying to Ilvrichsburg or to the Capitals on business connected with the Election may be hindered or molested in any way.

    “Done this 29th Day of Secheri, in the Year 61 of the Second Imperium, from the castle of Dorlingard, whereunto Rineyard of Grassmer sets her hand and Seal.” [Followed by several other notables who do the same, as witnesses.]

    -

    Other News (Assuming Anyone’s Paying Attention to Anything Else at this Point):

    The ongoing conflict in Aldenthau shows no sign of abating.

    The Archduke of Eszerthagn has threatened to break the river blockade on his lands by force if it is not lifted at once.

    Forces of Vahir-Dascu and Voydulescu have encountered each other repeatedly in small-scale actions, few of which were conclusive and none of which had the slightest chance of proving decisive.

    Unusual naval activity was once again sighted off the coast of Dundriksvegn near the end of the month, possibly sending reinforcements to the ongoing battle in the northern parts of Vaesthegnar. Only the flag of Lorthegnar was spotted, though at such a distance as to prevent solid intelligence in the matter.

    The Magistrate of Altgau has issued an injunction against carrying out the terms of the Duchess of Alstein’s will until further study of the document, and the laws involved, can be made.

    Prince Heverik has become the first prince royal to express his interest in being elected emperor–which is to say, none whatsoever. For a moment, courtiers were almost ready to take him seriously, before he added that the imperial regalia didn’t meet his wardrobe standards. Which convinced them… and at which point they returned to not taking him seriously. Many later audibly expressed their relief, though it’s not quite clear regarding what.

    -

    And of Course There Are Rumors (Ya Think?)

    Unsubstantiated reports claim Prince Tergiv has been murdered while in captivity in Hedan-Saxar.

    The emperor was poisoned. Or strangled. Or stabbed to death. By any of several promising candidates, ranging from his closest friends, to his brother’s men, to agents of Lorthegnar, to a flight of fanatical one-winged foxbats. Only the last of these possibilities seems worth taking seriously. Or maybe he just got sick riding in the rain.

    The emperor isn’t dead. He was seen riding away from Dorlingard in the presence of his closest friends… or his brother's men… et cetera. Or was never there in the first place, or at least hadn’t been for over a month. One rumor even has him being spirited away to Kereszney to live with his elder sister–astonishing in that it is at least barely plausible. Until one considers the character of the Lord Chancellor, that is, who would never permit a false message such as the one announcing his death to go out over her signature, and who would find ways to make anyone who forged it very uncomfortable for a minimum of his next four incarnations… all of which she would ensure were lengthy ones. No matter what arrangements she had to make.

    The forces of the King of Vaesthegnar are being hard-pressed as he faces treachery from several dissatisfied vassals. He is seeking out fanatical one-winged foxbat trainers. Or trainers of fanatical one-winged foxbats. Whichever.

    Everyone who is anyone wants to be emperor. Just ask anybody else. None of them are suitable for the position. Just ask anybody else. The weeks between now and Midwinter Court are going to be a veritable circus of politicking, influence peddling, special interest pressures, and personal vendettas. If you needed to ask anybody about that, you’re in the wrong business.

    ---

    …and with that, the Roleplaying Contest is underway.

    As previously mentioned, there will be sets of objectives for you to attempt to accomplish (some of them common to everybody, some personal), which should make their appearance tomorrow. But if you can't guess what at least one of these is likely to be… you're in the wrong business. ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    TURN 9, part 2:

    More News:

    Astounding word has come from Vaesthegnar: the second fleet recently sighted heading that direction has raised the flag of the Duke of Rek–and, in conjunction with a fleet from Sveig, has captured the fleet that transported the first invasion force! The naval units of Lorthegnar for the most part immediately accepted the Duke’s authority–he is Commodore of the West, and thus the superior commander of the majority of them anyway; the ships of Torsig and Rikiver resisted briefly but were overwhelmed; those of the minor jarls surrendered and offered ransom, which it is reported has been accepted. The forces that were left with the fleet, augmented by those newly arrived, have begun to move inland, engaging or (more often) absorbing the small units left behind for occupation. The army under King Alfyr is now effectively cut off from supply, apart from what his ally the Duke of Vygirsvegn can provide.

    Three of the Electors have arrived at Ilvrichsburg–or maybe four: it depends on who you talk to. Archduchess Manera, Duchess Milchiyeva and Princess Ilga are all present… as is Nestreza, Regent for her ten-year-old son, Prince- and Elector-Apparent Sazomir. Numerous nobles have objected to the other Electors, the Curia, and anybody else willing to listen, to the idea of a regent casting the line’s vote… and of course a minor can’t. Princess Ilga has come down firmly on the side of this protest, insisting that a legally competent Maritsa prince is the only person eligible to vote–and that if one isn’t produced, it will count as an abstention, and the vote will pass to the first substitute designated by imperial law.

    The Duke of Vahir-Dascu has sent a message to the effect that he will attend presently, but that he is involved in peace negotiations at the moment with nobles from Kereszney, to resolve the conflict in the southeast.

    No word has arrived from the Archduke of Eszerthagn or the Duke Palatine of Tyrvenhagn as to when they are likely to arrive or why they haven’t… apart from the obvious reasons of having, respectively, a small war taking place in his territories, or a large one taking place adjacent to them.

    The conflict in Aldenthau continues.

    As expected, there is no support from any quarter to the notion of having someone take the throne under regency… so Kaledy is out. Arguably, he was ineligible anyway, since imperial law requires that a noble be married before assuming title, which of course Kaledy isn’t. However, that law does not specify whether it applies to the emperor–or perhaps more relevantly, it does not specify whether it constrains the Electors to choose a married candidate. Given that the Electors generally resent and resist any constraints on their freedom to vote the candidate of their choice, they probably would not have considered this sufficient reason to disqualify a candidate by itself.

    Also as expected, Lord Chancellor Rineyard has declined nomination of election.

    Ishteven, Count of Decherezny and husband of Archduchess Chiriya, has arrived at Ilvrichsburg to “represent her interests in the election.” In addition to those mentioned above, the following candidates have arrived in Ilvrichsburg: Gerdinga and Ilunibel. The remainder have some representative or other present; whether or not they themselves arrive any time soon will probably depend on events taking place in or bordering their fiefs.

    With the exception of Prince Tergiv, that is. He appears to be incommunicado at this point.…

    -

    Rumor:

    Small forces from Lorthegnar have struck into the minor kingdoms of Torsig and Rikiver, in the absence of large portions of their soldiery currently engaged in the Vaesthegnar conflict.

    General Malenty, who may or may not be Lord Marshal, and Legate Berichart, were sighted leaving Dorlingard in one another’s company, heading northward. Considerable speculation revolves around whether they will be turning east or west, and whether they will both go the same direction.

    Several names have been mentioned in connection with marriage proposals from Teover, Duke of Rek… or to him.

    Minister of State Mazosyr has very quietly returned to the empire by one or more of the southern ports. "Or more," because it isn't clear whether he left again, or if he is still in the empire at this point. That, plus he would have had to have returned by several ports more or less simultaneously to account for all the reported sightings, a feat generally believed to be beyond his capabilities.

    -

    Commentary:

    It should be noted that “the first substitute designated by imperial law” in the event of an Elector either refusing to appear to cast his vote, or unable to appear due to circumstances beyond his control–such as being dead–is the Lord Chancellor.

    It should also be noted that the next substitutes are the Lord Treasurer, followed by the Lord Marshal… and it’s not quite clear who that is at this point. Prince Sebeschar still claims that title; while the emperor apparently did at least verbally appoint General Malenty to that position, the latter did not receive his warrant of office before the emperor died, and his appointment has not been ratified by any competent authority–since the only such “competent authority” is a living emperor. The odds of three Electors failing to show up are next to zero… but only “next to” it.

    It should further be noted that if a living Elector fails (refuses) to appear after adequate time for notification and travel, it is taken as an abdication, and by law the Electoral dignity is stripped from that person and bestowed elsewhere.

    It should finally be noted that if another Maritsa prince is appointed to cast the line’s vote, it could be interpreted as the dignity being passed permanently to that prince. No doubt this interpretation will be promoted by anyone finding it convenient for their own purposes.
     
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  3. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    2,012
    291
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    Turn 9, Part 3:

    News, Rumor, and Suchlike:

    Haligar, Duke of Varaborn, has formally communicated a request that his name be withdrawn from consideration for the imperial throne.

    It is now confirmed that the minor kingdoms of Torsig and Rikiver have indeed come under attack from forces from Lorthegnar, which are said to have made “good progress” against their weakened resistance.

    Rumors are beginning to emerge about sudden troop movements, and what is being described as “civil disturbance,” within Lorthegnar as well… though one must wonder where these troops might have been found, given the large numbers of them presently beyond the kingdom’s borders.

    Rumors have connected the Duke of Rek’s name, in the context of marriage proposals having either gone out from or been received by him, to the Duchess of Nieden-Saxar, or to that of Trebidascu: both are widows. Other rumors suggest such intriguing possibilities as Princess Eligret, the surviving sister of Emperor Nikovar, who also has the advantage of not being young enough to be one of the duke’s children, or Duchess-Apparent Elislet, who has the disadvantage of being young enough to be one of his grandchildren. An even less than normally reliable source hints at a possible alliance with Princess Deliya, daughter of the Hezubeg (whatever the hell that is) of Techarig (which, at least, is known to be in Kereszney). If being unmarried is a considered a hindrance to the duke’s potential candidacy for the imperial throne, her burden would have to be regarded as an even greater–since she is not.

    Mercenaries hired from within Kereszney have made an appearance in the ongoing conflict over Aldenthau, fighting under the banners of the Count of Dervingheim or his vassals–that is to say, against the troops from Neraldsfel. Unverified reports suggest many more such mercenaries gathering in the March of Sangor and the Principality of Herzerik, which flank the southern reaches of Eszerthagn, an area not yet involved in the conflict.

    Duke Teshevan of Vahir-Dascu has arrived at Ilvrichsburg, in triumph no less, bearing a peace agreement negotiated between himself and the Duchess of Voydulescu: the latter will annex the Viscounty of Apadroni to her existing lands, while Vahir-Dascu will receive the balance of “the historical county of Merchugonesti”–which happens to include the present county of Merchureadu, a former viscounty of that county which was elevated to its current status when it declared loyalty for the empire some years back… and which last year defected back to Kereszney. The treaty also acknowledges the “return” of the county of Trebovilje (which has an identical history, apart from changing “Merchureadu” to “Sighigonetsi”) to Vahir-Dascu. That this represents a substantial gain for the empire cannot be questioned. That the counties of Merchureadu and Trebovilje were never part of Vahir-Dascu in the first place might be objected by some: they were part of the March of Cantrescu. That the Marquis of Cantrescu had no say in the matter is a dead certainty; that the Duke of Vredyinestu had minimal input in having an entire county split between a neighboring duchy and a neighboring nation seems also to be highly likely. However, inasmuch as the Duchess of Voydulescu is a daughter of the queen of Kereszney, whereas the Duke of Vredyinestu is not, it seems probable the latter will be told to go lubricate the nearest convenient rigging line with his bodily secretions.

    The whereabouts of the count of Trebovilje, and thus his opinions on the matter, remain unknown… though the latter at least can be guessed at. The whereabouts of any heirs to the county of Merchureadu are likewise unknown… and their opinions are unlikely to be given any weight in any event.

    The Governor of the Eastmark isn’t available for consultation on the matter: that was the late Lord Marshal.
     
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  4. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    2,012
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    Turn 9, Part 4

    BREAKING NEWS: Troops under the command of the Duke Palatine of Tyrvenhagn have launched assaults all along his western border–into Vaesthegnar, catching in flank troops following the flags of King Alfyr and the Duke of Vygirsvegn! Moreover, they appear to have moved rapidly through the center of this region–the County of Heldenlach–with the collaboration of its count, whose brother-in-law is married to the daughter of the Duke of Rek; and it is being reported that the forces from Tyrvenhagn have made junction with the forces of that duke and those of the Duke of Varaborn, splitting the initial invasion force into three parts. It also appears that the Duchy of Argenstone, the link between the north and south of Vaesthegnar and a realm which has been ambivalent until late in supporting either side of the conflict, has now thrown its support behind these powers and is advancing into Mittelvald to link up with the others.

    Furthermore, King Alfyr of Lorthegnar is said to have been slain in battle… though given the situation, it’s not clear by whom. Nor, for that matter, when, exactly.
     
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