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Thread: InTveresting Times: An AfTver Action Report

  1. #301
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    That was an exquisitely wrought plan. Sculpted with care. Polished, even.

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  2. #302
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    Episode XXIX: No Country Tver Old Men

    The sudden, tragic death of Mikhael III shocked the Principality of Tver. The beloved monarch was gone, taken away by a badly erected statue, and the burden of leadership fell upon his son, Prince-Bishop Konstantin III.

    Konstantin was a studious and pious man, known for his great kindness, self-sacrifice and generosity. Propaganda is an amazing thing, as Konstantin was the cruellest bastard that anybody could wish upon a country. He lacked his father’s grace, his charisma, his knowledge and eagerness to learn and innovate. Narrowminded, inflexible, and completely ruthless, he rapidly established himself – amongst those who walked the corridors of power – as the most hated monarch in the Principality’s history.

    His sister, Aleksandra, was not only more popular, but evidently more capable as well. Both of these traits made her a thorn in the Prince’s side.



    Seamus Arkadiusz Dobczyński did not know what had happened to Prince Mikhael. He did, however, have a very strong suspicion. And that suspicion sat on the throne of Tver. Unable to prove his suspicions, though, he focused his efforts on ridding Tver of its border problems with the Steppe Hordes, notable thrashing the Kazakhs at the Battle of Pensa.



    He also negotiated a peace with the Nogai, pointing out that, if the Khan did not submit to his terms, he would – in his own words – ‘pure glass him, by the way’. As ever, DObczyński’s very particular brand of diplomacy was very successful.



    Unable to put off his return to Tver any longer, he rode through the city gates, and made for the palace. He placed his equipment in his quarters, and went to the Prince-Bishop’s chambers.

    He pulled opn the door. Before him, in an unnecessarily large chair, sat Konstantin III. The sunlight streaming through the stained-glass window reflected from his shaven head.

    ‘Ah. Dobczyński.’

    ‘It is. Sir.’ He replied, forcing himself to utter the last.

    ‘You have returned.’

    ‘You are as perceptive as ever, sir.’

    ‘You have retunred, when you are needed elsewhere!’

    Dobczyński looked at him. ‘Sir? The Nogai are defeated, and the Kazakhs are in retreat.’

    ‘They were in retreat, you skirt-wearing, cabbage-eating old idiot! The Kazaks have taken Perm!’



    ‘I was unaware of this, sir.’

    ‘You are always unaware, Dobczyński. That is your problem. A relic! A fake relic, in fact. Living off reputation when you are as much use to me as a glass hammer.’

    ‘I will rejoin the army, sir, and raise the siege.’

    ‘You will do no such thing! I will deal with them myself!’



    ‘While I am away, dealing with the problems that you created, I want this wing of the palace redesigned.’

    ‘I am no architect.’

    ‘My plans are simple, even simple enough for you. I want the old portrait gallery converted into a private chapel.’

    ‘You want a fifty metre-long private chapel?’

    ‘Yes! I am the Prince of Tver, Dobczyński, and this palace is mine! I want the west wing upper wall demolished and replaced with a huge stained- glass window celebrating my magnificence.’

    ‘The sun rises in the east, sir.’

    ‘And goes down in the west, fool! Get me my window!’



    With Konstantin at the rear – the official histories of the time say head – of the army, the city of Perm was rapidly retaken, the troops eager to finish the war with Kazakh so that they could get away from Konstantin as early as possible.



    Konstantin returned in triumph, striding into the great banquesting hal, and approached Dobczyński.

    ‘Dobczyński! I have had an idea.’

    ‘I quiver with anticipation, sir.’

    ‘My father was too lenient with the people. Gave them too much freedom. All his talk of humanism and liberty, it makes me sick! We are supposed to lead these people, not follow them!’

    ‘As...you say, sir.’

    ‘We need more discipline, give them more order and routine. Stamp out this nonsense.’



    ‘And your idea is, sir?’

    ‘Compulsory church attendance.’

    Dobczyński’s eyebrows disappeared into his hair, never to return.

    ‘Compulsory?’

    ‘Yes, compulsory. We will make lists, and registers, and anyone who does not attend will be severely punished.’



    ‘Punished?’

    ‘Commoners will be hanged. Nobility – who should set an example – will face worse.’

    ‘I suppose you’ll want to put their heads on pikes?’

    ‘What? Of course I don’t want to put their heads on pikes, don’t be ridiculous.’

    ‘My apologies sir.’

    ‘Is there a recession on? Put the whole damn body on a spike. Nothing less will do!’

    With Perm re-taken, peace with the Kazakhs was soon reached, the Steppe Hordes fearful of further Tverian advances into their territory.



    Hungary’s advances into Ukraine were causing further problems for the Principality. While the Ukrainians in Kiev and Podolia had generally accepted Tverian rule, the same could not be said of the Hungarians. Nationalist rebellions were frequent but, when they were defeated by the Hungarian army, they inevitably retreated into Tver’s territory and began causing trouble there. The Hungarians would need to be dealt with as soon as it was practical.



    With the Golden Horde’s acceptance of defeat, Tver was finally at peace once again.



    Problems arose in Ryazan, however, as the Duke of Tula, Valeriy Vsevolozhsky, declared Konstantin’s rule of the small country to be illegitimate. His father, said Vsevolozhsky, had been a wise and able ruler, but Konstantin was little more than an incompetent tyrant who would destroy what was left of Ryazan. He issued a call to all loyal Ryazanians to take up arms and march on the royal palace.



    His army, though, was defeated by Konstantin’s, and the Duke himself was pegged to the fortress walls of Tula with massive spikes.

    Returning in triumph (again – every return for the Prince-Bishop was a triumphant one, even when he had been gone for less than five minutes), Konstantin approached Dobczyński, a broad smile on his face.

    ‘Well, Dobczyński?’

    ‘Well, sir?’

    ‘What else is to be done?’

    ‘Immediately, sir, nothing. Although the Prime Minister believes that we should go to war with the North Americans.’



    ‘What nonsense. Russians and Americans will always be friends.’

    ‘I’m sure you’re right, sir.’

    ‘No, well, if that’s everything. Off you go.’

    Dobczyński headed for the door.

    ‘Oh, I don’t mean out the door, Dobczyński. I mean completely. Forever.’

    The soldier turned. ‘Sir?’

    ‘You’re fired, Dobczyński. Gone. I want you out of my way. You’re the last relic of my father’s rule. This is a new time, a new dynasty. I won’t have constant reminders of my father’s decadence and profligacy lingering in my corridors.’ He withdrew a piece of paper from his robes and handed it to Dobczyński.

    ‘Exile, Dobczyński. On pain of death. And pain. And painful death.’

    Dobczyński looked at the letter. He wasn’t sure what to think. Tver had been his family’s place of work, of life, for a century and a half. It was as good a time as any for him to leave: but to leave Tver without a Dobczyński? It would be like a hedgehog without spikes.

    But he could see that he had little choice. The snake had wrapped itself around the crown. He had no reason to stay. With Konstantin in charge, this would not be the country that he, and his ancestors, had grown to love.

    It was time.

    ‘Very well, sir. I will leave immediately.’

    Seamus Arkadiusz Dobczyński, Captain of the Guard, spun on his heel, and went to his chambers. Having collected his few possessions – and the little else that he cared for in this world – he walked out of the palace gates. He turned once, on the castle hill, to look upon the palace one last time. Then he turned, once more, and faded away into the sunset.



    Last edited by Fyregecko; 23-03-2012 at 19:09.
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  3. #303
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  4. #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyregecko View Post
    I want the west wing upper wall demolished and replaced with a huge stained- glass window celebrating my magnificence.’

    ....

    ‘What nonsense. Russians and Americans will always be friends.’

    ...

    so many gems in that update, but in a way Konstantin's stand out lunacy is so ... well so fitting.
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  5. #305
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    Konstantin is my favorite ruler so far, no question. Sorry to see Dobczyński go, but I know you'll find somebody just as good to keep the ruler in check.

    Wait, forget I said that. Let Konstantin run amok! The amok-ier the better!
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  6. #306
    <pours a 40 on the curb for Dobczynski>

    Your updates are usually high quality, Fyregecko, but this one was truly on another (more elevated) level. Well done.

  7. #307
    Is a change to Theocratic iminent? Sad to see a noble familty retainer treated in so cavalier a fashion. The son and descendants of Pusia will return to tear down this imposter. He's not the son of th King -just a dalliance between the Queen and her chaplin. The map is aesthetically displeasing.

  8. #308
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    That truly makes me sad! D:

    I hope one day a Dobczyński will return to claim rulership of all of Tver.

  9. #309
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    Konstantin is going to regret this.
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  10. #310
    Let me guess, Seamus is going to found a group of Polish Gallóglaigh to match his nationality, and lead a revoloution in favour of Aleksandra?

  11. #311
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    ‘My plans are simple, even simple enough for you. I want the old portrait gallery converted into a private chapel.’

    ‘You want a fifty metre-long private chapel?’

    ‘Yes! I am the Prince of Tver, Dobczyński, and this palace is mine! I want the west wing upper wall demolished and replaced with a huge stained- glass window celebrating my magnificence.’

    ‘The sun rises in the east, sir.’

    ‘And goes down in the west, fool! Get me my window!’
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  12. #312
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    @ PrawnStar: Aye, that's what happens when the Horde ploughs into east-central Europe and starts playing eenie-meenie-mynie-moe with the provinces :S

    @ loki100: I thought that it was about time I had a proper bastard in charge. The last time I had one lined up he fell out of a window onto a pike, so I'm hoping to get more mileage out of this one.

    @ Avindian: He does indeed have his own advisor, whom you shall meet soon

    @ Extreme Unction: Thanks Though you'll have to explain the expression to me. 40?

    @ Chief Ragusa: I have plans for how the narrative will turn out...and then the game tends to screw them up :S If I played more than one or two sections in advance of writing this would be less of a problem, but for the moment I prefer it that way. Even I don't usually know what will happen more than one or two episodes in advance.

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  13. #313
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    Konstantin is quickly proving himself a ruler just as incapable as any other Rurikovich. A ruler just as capable, that is. A pity to see Dobczyński fired after so many years of loyal service, especially with Pusia too, but I see he has a child with him. Hopefully this is not the last Tver has seen of the Dobczyński!
    Last edited by morningSIDEr; 23-03-2012 at 13:12.
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  14. #314
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    Heartbreaking.

    Konstantin is a heartless monster! And dear old pusia!
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  15. #315
    do i get that Tver has collonies in murrika?

  16. #316
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyregecko View Post
    @ Extreme Unction: Thanks Though you'll have to explain the expression to me. 40?
    "Pouring a 40 on the curb" is a slang phrase which originated with impoverished black urban youths here in America, and which has since gained wider currency among the culture at large due to movies about impoverished black urban youths. A "40" is a 40-oz bottle of Malt Liquor (which is, despite the name, just beer). Pouring a 40 on the curb is what one does in remembrance of friends who have died.

    True, Dobczynski isn't dead. But it still seemed appropriate since the picture of him walking into the sunset suggests a certain finality.

  17. #317
    Tver has never been more powerful nor looked more ridiculous.

  18. #318
    Quote Originally Posted by Extreme Unction View Post
    "
    True, Dobczynski isn't dead. But it still seemed appropriate since the picture of him walking into the sunset suggests a certain finality.
    I have a feeling that his and Pusia's son will return. And having tiger blood in his veins, he will be winning. A lot.

  19. #319
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    @ morningSIDEr: I'm not talking to you

    If I was talking to you, though, I'd say that your analysis is as shrewd as ever. Obviously I'm not going to give anything away, but I hope that you'll like what's coming up. All game dependant, of course.

    @ RGB: He is. Believe me, writing that update wasn't easy, but I couldn't see Konstantin keeping him on, especially considering what Konstantin's own advisors and favourites are like.

    @ Deus Eversor: Nope, not a single colony. Not sure why that happened, something to do with just discovering them perhaps... I'm not an expert on the intricacies of game mechanics.

    @ Extreme Unction: Aah, I was guessing it was something similar, but thank you for the clarification. Though Dobczyński, being Polish-Scots, would probably lament the waste of booze... (at least it wasn't whisky or vodka!)

    @ DeadeyeDave: I'll take that as a...compliment?

    @ panormo: We shall see I know how I want the story to progress. Game events may force me to change things, though...

    And thank you for your patience and analysis, all. Without it, I don't know that anyone reads the bloody thing
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  20. #320
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    Episode XXX: Inglorious BasTverds



    Konstantin III, Prince-Bishop of Tver, sat down at his gilded dining table. Dinner would be served within minutes , or there would be trouble. The Prince-Bishop was a sensitive soul, and could not bear to watch a man being beaten.

    Unless, that is, he was doing the beating himself.

    He felt relaxed, pleased with himself. He turned in his chair to see the man who lurked behind it. And smiled.

    ‘A fine day’s work, my friend.’

    His companion nodded his head, a fiendish grin splitting his features.

    ‘A verrrry fine day’s work, my Prince. Very fine, very fine, carrramba.’

    The man’s name – that he was known by in the court of Tver, that is – was Mysterious Don Pedro. He was small, angular and shifty. If the King of the Rats had been magically transformed into a human body, he would probably not have looked dissimilar to Mysterious Don Pedro. Having attached himself to the Prince several years previously, much in the way that a moth gravitates towards expensive woollen garments, he had become the young Bishop’s most trusted advisor. While Konstantin had been eager to dispose of the loyal Dobczyński’s services, it was Don Pedro who had encouraged him to make the final step. The Scots-Polish warrior was a mere soldier, a relic of a bygone era. His father may have decorated Tver, but he had been too liberal, failing to enrich its coffers or to enforce religious discipline. It was time for change.

    ‘It is wonderful to be free of them. My misguided father and his filthy lapdog.’

    ‘Truly, my Prrrrince, they were not worthy of your rrrradiant prrrresence.’

    ‘No...no they weren’t. I like that line. Reproduce it for my personal newsletter.’

    Carrrramba.’

    ‘So. The map. Oh, father, what a mess you have left me with.’



    ‘A mighty rrrrealm, my Prince.’

    ‘True, Don Pedro. My house has built this great nation. And it is time for me to make it even greater.’

    ‘A good start has been made, my Prince. The Goverrrrnor of Smoleńsk reports record agricultural prrrrroduction, population growth and tax income.’



    ‘Excellent. The people require bread and circuses. We have provided bread. Now for the circuses.’

    ‘Before that, my Prrrince, there is trrrrouble in Murrrrom.’



    ‘But we are at peace with Kazakh.’

    ‘Yes, my Prrrince, but the governor of Murom is not.’

    ‘Idiot. We will wait until we are at war with Kazakh again, and remove them from the map of Europe once and for all.’

    ‘Yes, my Prrrrince.’

    ‘Until then, have the governor of Murom burned at the stake.’

    ‘Cerrrrtainly, my prince. I have better news also, though. Admiral Rrrrrezhentnikov rrrreports an advance in naval technology.’



    ‘What can we do now?’

    ‘He spent time in Scotland, my Prrrrince, observing youths standing outside shops drinking alcohol. He believes that the same tactics can be utilised by a navy to enrich our treasury.’

    ‘A genius. Promote him.’

    ‘He is already an Admiral, my Prrrrince.’

    ‘Oh. Then have him executed. ‘

    ‘Burning?’

    ‘No, decapitation for a change. Can’t let success go to his head.’

    ‘At once, my Prrrrince. And dinner will be served in twenty minutes.’

    ‘I will go in five, and have the maid executed for tardiness. Keep the rest of them on their toes.’

    ‘Yes, my Prrrrince. More burning?’

    ‘For her? Certainly. Show her what a roast should look like.’ Konstantin stretched, leaning back in his chair. ‘Until then, I am satisfied. The Hordes are barely a threat to us. Our true rivals are the Hungarians and the Ottomans.’



    ‘Yes, my Prrrrince. But your armies are not ready to fight them yet.’

    ‘Oh, I think they are! With myself at their head, how can they fail?’

    ‘Never, my Prrrrince...but I still would advise caution.’

    ‘Nonsense, Don Pedro. Caution is not the way of the righteous! I am empowered, inspired with a righteous mission to remove these heathens and heretics from the rightful territory of Tver!’

    ‘Yyyes, sir?’

    ‘Excellent. I will begin drawing up plans for war with Hungary this evening. Oh, and Don Pedro?’

    ‘Yes, my Prrrince?’

    ‘Go to the Prime Minister of Ryazan. Tell him that I expect his pitiful realm to be fully integrated into Tver. I have had enough of waiting.’

    ‘I will ask him, sir.’

    ‘Convince him, Don Pedro. I will have him burned otherwise.’ Konstantin smiled a disturbing smile. ‘Any problem can be solved with fire, Don Pedro. My motto! Remember it!’

    ‘I will rrrremember, My Prince. I will rrrremember.’

    ‘Very well. I will dine now, then bathe. After you’ve seen the Ryazanians, have my worthless sister prepare my bath. Find a good use for her.’

    ‘Yes, sir. Aromatic?’

    ‘Oh, I think so Don Pedro. I’ve earned a little luxury.’

    ‘A hot roast and a hot bath, sir. Easily done.’

    ‘Good man, Don Pedro. See to it.’

    An hour later, well-dined, watered and de-staffed, the Prince-Bishop of Tver retired to the royal spa. The spa had been created during the reign of Aleksandr II for relaxation and exercise (though the bears – descendants of Aleksandr II’s wrestling partners - were neglected and malnourished: Konstantin had no love for animals), and constained numerous baths and saunas. Konstantin went over to his private bathtab in a side room, where on Pedro was waiting. His retainer handed hima towel, which Konstantin draped over the bath’s edge, and the Prince-Bishop slid himself into the bath. The water was thick and aromatic, the tub surrounded with burning candlesticks that provided light and extra heat.

    ‘This is the life, Don Pedro.’

    ‘Comfortable, my Prrrince?’

    ‘Hmm. When you’ve spent the whole day sorting out a country, Don Pedro...well, of course, service has its benefits! Reforming my father’s wasteful policies and patronages, guiding my dear people back to the path of righteousness...but after a long day, a hot bath is to die for.’

    ‘Excellent, my Prrrrince. And I can make your day even better.’

    ‘Oh? You spoke to the Prime Minister?’

    ‘Yes, my Prrrince. He agrrrrees with your assessment. He will dissolve the parliament of Rrrryazan, and its lands will be administered by Tverrrr.’

    ‘Wonderful!’

    ‘On one...minor condition.’

    Konstantin looked at his advisor. ‘A condition?’

    ‘Yes, my Prrrrince?’

    ‘The impudent...what was his condition.’

    ‘Well, my Prrrrince...on the condition that you resign as Prince.’

    What? Konstantin leapt to his feet, the thick, aromatic bathwater resisting the movement. ‘I will have him burned for this! Slowly! And painfully!’

    ‘I had thought, sir, that this would be your reaction.’

    ‘What did you expect?’

    Another voice spoke from outside the door.

    ‘I expect you to act for the good of Tver, Konni.’

    The Prince-Bishop turned towards the door as Princess Aleksandra entered. He rapidly sat down, splashing warm liquid onto the bathroom tiles.

    ‘Aleksandra! You shouldn’t be here, get out you stupid bitch!’

    ‘I won’t be long, Konni.’ She smiled.

    ‘I don’t care how long you will be, I wish to have my ba...’ He looked at her, curiosity momentarily overcoming his anger. ‘But what did you mean, for the good of Tver?’

    ‘The Ryazanians will fully integrate their country into Tver, Konni – if I replace you as Prince.’

    Konstantin laughed, harsh and cruel. ‘You? Replace me as Prince?’

    ‘Why not? I’m far more capable than you will ever be.’

    ‘Capable? I don’t care about your so-called capabilities, I don’t care what the Ryazanian bastards want, I am the Prince of Tver! I, Aleksandra, not you, and I swear that you will take my crown over my dead body.’

    ‘You’re learning, Konstantin. You’ve mastered feudal succession theory.’

    ‘Leave me alone, you treacherous harpy! Don Pedro, escort my sister out of here!’

    Don Pedro smiled. ‘Ah...a problem, my Prrrrince.’

    ‘What? What problem?’

    ‘Well, my Prrrrince...I agree with your sister.’

    Konstantin stared. ‘You agree...how dare you! I made you, you snivelling wretch!’

    ‘Ah, you did, my Prrrrince, and I thank you for it. But the Princess’ accession is for the good of your countrrrry.’

    'When did you start caring about the good of my country?'

    'I am but a humble servant of Tverrrr, my Prince.'

    ‘I do not give a fig for Tver! I am going to finish my bath, and then I am going to have both of you charged with treason! You dare try to undermine me, Don Pedro, you ungrateful swine! You should be preserving me!’

    ‘I am prrrreserving you, my Prrrrince. I have been prrrreserving you for the last ten minutes.’

    Konstantin arched an eyebrow. ‘What?’

    ‘The bath, my Prrrrince. You did not wonder at its...texture and arrrroma?’

    The Prince ran his hand through the water. Still thick, slow and sluggish.

    ‘What...what have you...’

    ‘A radical skin treatment, sir.’ Don Pedro grinned.

    Embalming fluid.’

    Konstantin stared at the liquid that surrounded him.

    ‘Why...why embalming fluid?’

    ‘It’s very versatile useful, Konni.’ Aleksandra walked forwards, Konstantin retreating further into the bath. ‘Good for embalming, but also...’ She grinned ‘very flammable.’

    The Princess picked up one of the candles. Don Pedro did the same. Realisation dawned.

    ‘No, you can’t...you mustn’t...you wouldn’t...’ Konstantin scrabbled back. ‘Guards! Guards! Dobczyńśki! DOBCZYŃSKI!’

    ‘Over the hills and far away, my Prrrrince.’ Don Pedro’s eyes sparkled with glee. ‘Why did you think I wanted rid of him?’

    ‘No, Don Pedro, you can’t...’

    ‘What is the Prince’s motto, Don Pedro?’ asked Aleksandra, playfully.

    ‘His motto, my Princess? Why yes. “Any problem can be solved with fire...”’
















    'What will they say of him, my Princess?'

    'Of Konstantin?' Aleksandra I Rurikovich, Prince of Tver, smiled once again. 'I think that history will remember my brother...warmly...'








    Last edited by Fyregecko; 26-03-2012 at 14:03.
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