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Golden Dragon

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Wow, Germany is finally beginning the road to war. The question is, will Russia be ready for it?
 

Crimson Lionheart

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I don't like where this is going, especially since there's very little in the way to actually stop Hitler in terms of alliances. An early war would obliterate Russia, so making preparations seems like the only safe solution.
 

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Germany's plans are indeed very concerning, Russia is not yet ready, hopefully General Winter can step in and buy them all time if it comes to that.
 

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Wrangel dropped the report onto the table. “Germany just invaded Austria.”
As others have said ... :eek:
“What will happen next?”

“I’m not certain… but I fear he will not stop there…”

NG4FaKZ.png
It never stops until someone makes it stop. Does Russia want to make it stop? Or take advantage of it?
 

Henry v. Keiper

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I’d almost forgotten that we still have to worry about Germany amongst all of this. The war is going to be horrible for everyone unless Russia can sort its army out. Assuming it actually wants to fight the Nazis, of course…

It is a bit funny how in mods like this, one can become so enraptured with the alternative history that you almost forget, "Oh yeah, this is a World War II timeline." Part of me almost hoped Germany wouldn't be going this route, but well... inevitable history has been a staple of Paradox games since Europa Universalis.

Wow, Germany is finally beginning the road to war. The question is, will Russia be ready for it?

Time will tell!

I don't like where this is going, especially since there's very little in the way to actually stop Hitler in terms of alliances. An early war would obliterate Russia, so making preparations seems like the only safe solution.

What do you mean by alliances? There's still the Petrograd Pact, and the Allies are still around in-game.

Germany's plans are indeed very concerning, Russia is not yet ready, hopefully General Winter can step in and buy them all time if it comes to that.

Hopefully it won't have to wait on General Winter.

It never stops until someone makes it stop. Does Russia want to make it stop? Or take advantage of it?

Future updates will tell!
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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rBKVCB2.png

Chapter 21
Anastasia


24 August, 1938

The gentle, cooling temperatures that had made the city of Odessa a beloved city since its foundation were mixed that day with a lovely breeze that was gliding along the beaches. Anastasia could feel the wind gusting through her hair, which she had let loose for this moment. She wore a simple white dress with frills going down the front of her chest, and though she had removed her boots, she had dug her feet into the sand. This served two purposes: first, it helped her feet to relax; second, it hid her bunions, which had always embarrassed her, let alone had caused her pain. Michael swore up and down he didn’t find her feet repulsive, but she still often hid them under her skirts when she when she sat or laid down barefoot.

Out on the beach, Olga and Alexander were playing with the sons and daughters of other nobles vacationing in the areas. They were all dressed in dark swimming suits of modest apparel, almost like they used to wear at the turn of the century. Apparently they were reenacting the battle scene from The Nutcracker ballet, with Olga designated as Clara. The boy designated as the Nutcracker had gotten some spirit in him and raised Olga up on his shoulders. The girl was giggling a storm and cheering, raising her hands up high as the boy ran about. Alexander apparently was the Mouse King, and also seemed quite enthused in his role as he scampered about barking orders to his men. It did Anastasia’s heart good to see them all doing this, as it reminded her of simpler times. Namely, playing on the beaches with her sisters and brother, or causing trouble with the sons and daughters of Russia’s nobility. In a strange way, it made her feel that Russia was truly rebuilding itself.

There were more important matters, of course – such as a visit with Pavlo Skoropadskyl, the Hetman of Ukraine. That was why they were there. Anastasia sat in her chair, waiting patiently, flanked by Maksim and General Wrangel. Wrangel stood behind her, decked in his usual black uniform. Maksim sat in a chair nearby, learning back in such a way that his stomach stuck out in a somewhat comical fashion. He had been given a glass of some strong drink, which he was currently enjoying.

Pavlo finally arrived arrived an hour after she had gotten to the beach, accompanied by a small entourage of men dressed in traditional Cossack uniform. When he drew near, Anastasia arose from his chair, but he held up a hand and bowed. “Your majesty – it gives me honor to be invited to your company.”

“And likewise, Hetman,” Anastasia replied. “I believe the last we saw of each other was my coronation.”

“Yes, a remarkable day, that.” He motioned for an empty chair across from her. “May I have your permission to be seated?”

“Please, go right ahead.” As the two of them sat, Anastasia continued. “I believe you received the memo regarding our claims to Ukraine.”

“I did, yes. You are seeking negotiations regarding the return of Ukraine to the Empire?”

Anastasia nodded, but said nothing.

“Quite a lot of that happening in the world, it seems. Germany first asking for Austria, now the Sudetenland. Britain giving back Hong Kong, Gibraltar, and countless other territories. Mapmakers must be going to bed nervous that their day’s work won’t last into the next week! But believe me, I am not opposed to Ukraine rejoining the Empire. However, I think it would be far too easy to simply hand over the keys of the estate, no questions asked. So to speak.” Pavlo grinned wide. “That is why I wish to make an offer.”

“An offer?” Anastasia folded her hands over one another. “What is it?”

Pavlo looked over across the beach, and his eyes, like a hawk seeking its prey, fixated themselves on Olga. This action sent a chill up Anastasia’s spine, and filled her tummy with revulsion. “You have a daughter. Olga is her name, yes? She’s a young lady now – and, so I hear, is currently unspoken for. As it so happens, I have some sons. Danylo is the one I have in mind. He’s much older than your Olga, but I’m sure you’ve heard of how he’s distinguished himself. He’s helped me a good deal with quelling some of the hotheads around here. Some aren’t content with calling me a former German sympathizer – now they want to call me a Russian lapdog as well. He shuts them up, and keeps my allies in line. I probably would have lost my hold on this nation if it hadn’t been for him. He’ll make a good hetman one day.”

“What do you want with Olga?” Anastasia asked. Her tone was rather short.

“Ah, forgive me! Well, it’s quite simple: your Olga will marry my Danylo. This will make an alliance between the House of Romanov and the House of Skoropadsky.” Pavlo’s lips curled, and he held up his hands, fingers separated. He brought his hands together, the fingers interlocking with one another. “Then… our counties are united, peacefully and without a shot fired.”

Anastasia folded her hands across her lap. “A royal marriage, then.”

“Yes, very much so. I think it will be a benefit to us both, will it not? It will also solidify your hold over Ukraine – after all, Danylo’s son will have the blood of a Romanov in him.”

Anastasia nodded, but again, said nothing.

“Are my terms unpleasing?”

“Your terms will need to be considered. This adds certain dynamics to the original plan.” Anastasia to one of her attendants. “Hetman, would you like a drink or something to eat or…”

“Actually no. I suppose I should be going now – they are expecting me for some minor governmental matters back at my headquarters.” He stood again, then bowed. “As always and forever, a pleasure to see you, your majesty.”

The Hetman left with his entourage, departing up the beach. The Russian party waited until he was out of sight before anyone said a word. Wrangel was the first to speak. “The man’s arrogance! Can you believe it?” He leaned towards Anastasia. “Your majesty – as much as it would please many among the nobility, this is clearly a political ploy.”

“Yes, a very big one,” added Maksim. “He doesn’t really want a closer tie with Russia – he wants greater prestige for his own house. His son marries a Romanov, his house gains notoriety, and before you know it, he might be asking for greater autonomy in the region.”

Anastasia stared towards the shoreline, where the noble children played. Alexander was charging at Olga, the Mouse King pursuing Clara. Olga laughed and kicked water at her brother, a clear recreation of Clara tossing her shoe. Alexander broke script and pursued her still, only to be tackled by the boy playing the Nutcracker… and then a few other boys after him. “Olga is my daughter,” Anastasia began, “and a Grand Duchess of the Romanov House. She is not a courtesan to be granted to anybody in the court who wills for her.”

“It will be difficult to pursue Ukraine if we say no, however,” Wrangel continued. “As bitter as it might be…”

“There are… ahem… ways,” Maksim muttered. He glanced at Wrangel, then Anastasia, then tapped the side of his nose.

Anastasia studied Maksim for a few seconds, her expression blank. Finally, she turned to Wrangel. “General, please go and make sure our lunch will be prepared on time.”

Wrangel seemed confused, but bowed and left the scene. After he had gone some distance, Anastasia turned to Maksim. “Continue. What ways?”

“You heard the Hetman, your majesty. There are those who oppose him, who think he is a Russian sympathizer. Well…” Maksim cleared his throat. “Who was to say… those men would not finally seek to end the way things are in the Ukraine? Especially what with him being seen chatting with the Tsarina herself? That would… ruffle a few feathers and… get a few people mad…”

Anastasia nodded slowly. After a moment of thinking, she finally said, “Very well. You have my permission to… investigate it further.”

“Yes, your majesty.”

A few days later, Pavlo and Danylo were seen leaving the Verkhovna Rada building in Kiev. It was still under construction, though nearly completed. They were accompanied by their personal guard, who went with them out onto the front of the building. Cars drove by to and fro, while civilians passed harmlessly around them. As soon as they were outside, Pavlo paused outside the main gates to glance up. “It will be exciting when at last this place is completed.”

“But father,” Danylo began, “what purpose will it serve if we give this land over to Russia?”

“Regional government, my boy,” Pavlo remarked. He grinned wider. “You should see that Olga girl. She is a sight to see. She takes after some of her mother’s sisters, rather than her mother herself. Even has a bit of her grandmother in her.”

Danylo chuckled. “You think she will accept the marriage offer?”

“What more does she have?” Pavlo said. “Trust me, my boy – I have the Tsarina eating out of my hand.”

It was then that a loud screeching sound filled the air. Pavlo, Danylo, and their men turned towards the street. A car had come to a screeching halt, and men poured out. They carried submachine guns. Pavlo’s heart skipped a beat – assassins. His men placed themselves between Pavlo, Danylo, and the car, and drew their own guns.

Then Pavlo noticed some civilians nearby reaching into their jackets. He realized too late the car had been a distraction.

The guards were shot from the flanks. They toppled down onto the sidewalk. Pavlo and Danylo turned to run into the Verkhovna Rada, only to be gunned down by the men with submachine guns. Their clothes were ripped to shreds as bullets tore through their body. The Hetman of Ukraine and his son toppled forward, dead before they struck the ground.

gJKE85F.png

“Death to Russian sympathizers!” cried the men. The ones on the sidewalk ran towards the car and climbed through the doors. The first group of men joined them. With the screech of tires, the vehicle disappeared down the road.

Not too long after, Russian troops entered Ukraine to help stabilize the region, and the nation was annexed back into the Russian Empire. The Ukrainian army was placed under Russian command, and incorporated into the Imperial Army. Belarus lodged a protest, but few other nations took any true notice of it.

m2u2PhT.png
 
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TWR97

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Well that's one way to get Ukraine back into the folds of the Empire I suppose. At least that removes the Hetman out of the picture for good.
 

Crimson Lionheart

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Skoropadskyl's arrogance blinded him right until the very end. At ;east stability can return back to Ukraine now
 

TheButterflyComposer

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We must rebuild the russian empire, one of the largest ever, as peacefully and properly as we can.

However, we also have to do it quickly, because those damn fool germans seem to want to conquer the entire planet by themselves...
 

Captured Joe

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I wonder how Wrangel feels about this course of action.

Also, what's that "Intrigue will increase by 1" bit? Does the Tsarina have stats like in Crusader Kings?
 

Golden Dragon

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Also, what's that "Intrigue will increase by 1" bit? Does the Tsarina have stats like in Crusader Kings?
Basically in the mod, she can get an increase to 4 stats which directly have effects on this nation. The thing is these stats are extremely overpowered which can turn Russia into a superpower even with all of the debuffs.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Well that's one way to get Ukraine back into the folds of the Empire I suppose. At least that removes the Hetman out of the picture for good.

I could have gone one of the more peaceful routes available... but sometimes you have to switch things up a bit.

Skoropadskyl's arrogance blinded him right until the very end. At ;east stability can return back to Ukraine now

Russia did take a bit of a stability hit (as seen in the screenshot), but nothing too bad. At this point the stability is so high i can spare a decrease.

We must rebuild the russian empire, one of the largest ever, as peacefully and properly as we can.

However, we also have to do it quickly, because those damn fool germans seem to want to conquer the entire planet by themselves...

I did get a bit late in the reclaiming lost land game. That will come into play in future chapters.

I wonder how Wrangel feels about this course of action.

Also, what's that "Intrigue will increase by 1" bit? Does the Tsarina have stats like in Crusader Kings?

What the Black Baron don't know won't hurt him.

And as Golden Dragon said, you can increase stats for Anastasia, sort of like in Crusader Kings. It does give you special abilities, and also gives you a chance to give Anastasia a special title.
 
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Golden Dragon

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It appears even though this Tsarina is kind and benevolent she isn't afraid of getting dirty to get what she wants.
 

Crimson Lionheart

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It appears even though this Tsarina is kind and benevolent she isn't afraid of getting dirty to get what she wants.
Russia did take a bit of a stability hit (as seen in the screenshot), but nothing too bad. At this point the stability is so high i can spare a decrease.
Morally speaking, it seemed like the right thing to do, given the alternatives were far worse. Anastasia's a good mother
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Well, that was easy. I imagine Hitler will be taking notes at this point.

Somehow I don't see Hitler being keen on thinking he can learn from a Romanov.

It appears even though this Tsarina is kind and benevolent she isn't afraid of getting dirty to get what she wants.

Sometimes in the game of politics, you have to get a bit dirty. For example, Yurovsky could be forgiven since he was a nobody and it was more of a personal matter between her and him, but Stalin had to be killed to end the Communist insurgency and win over the Mensheviks.

Morally speaking, it seemed like the right thing to do, given the alternatives were far worse. Anastasia's a good mother

As the father of two daughters, I have to agree that if you think they're pieces of meat to be bought and sold at the market, you're gonna get shot.

Maybe not by Russians posing as Ukrainian nationalists, but...
 

Crimson Lionheart

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As the father of two daughters, I have to agree that if you think they're pieces of meat to be bought and sold at the market, you're gonna get shot.

Maybe not by Russians posing as Ukrainian nationalists, but...
Oh....OH! I must have worded it wrong, definitely didn't mean for it to come out like that! I apologise :eek: :(
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Henry v. Keiper

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Peaceful annexation is wonderful! You can stop bllody and stupid war between RI and Ukraine.

That's the hope. Last thing we need are random wars - especially with Europe already becoming a powder keg.