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TheButterflyComposer

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Quite funny in a morbid way how the soviets keep trying to kill that girl, and in the exact same way too...
 

leon-dor

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Amazing AAR based on a awesome mod! Cant wait for the mext chaper and Anastasia's meeting with Wrangel
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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A dramatic rescue from the clutches of death -- but it seems as though Anastasia's happy home life is about to be uprooted forever.

To quote a famous Italian American: "Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in!"

That was truly a Bond chapter ;) i really loved the depiction of the common family life

Thanks! When you're a father in a small family, you end up writing common family life in your AARs.

Surprisingly, Leonid didn't go into seduction mode the moment he saved the damsel!

Well, considering her husband and two children were right there, that might have been a little awkward for all involved.

Though I have read flirting scenes in even more bizarre scenarios...

Quite funny in a morbid way how the soviets keep trying to kill that girl, and in the exact same way too...

Just imagine Stalin as Claw from Inspector Gadget.

"I'll get you next time, Nastenka... next time!"

Amazing AAR based on a awesome mod! Cant wait for the mext chaper and Anastasia's meeting with Wrangel

Thank you for your kind words, and glad you're enjoying it! I do agree, it's an underrated mod! I hope it's getting some traction thanks to this AAR.

Next chapter will definitely have Anastasia and Wrangel meeting, fear not.
 
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leon-dor

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I like to think of Wrangel in the mod as a conservative though moderate general loyal to the Romanovs who wished for a constitutional or semi constitutional monarchy, and who after the Whites victory, without any ROmanov alive, was out of his depth and being a good general but not a politician at all didnt know what to do. Anastasia's finding in my headcanon is his way out of the mess he finds himself in.
 

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Glad to see Anastasia rescued in the nick of time! I like to think that Wrangel and everyone within his staff is going to be left quite surprised when Anastasia arrives, as if they were looking at a ghost :p
 
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Nikolai

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Seems there will be some explaining to be done for the poor kids. Their lives will never be the same, that is certain...
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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I like to think of Wrangel in the mod as a conservative though moderate general loyal to the Romanovs who wished for a constitutional or semi constitutional monarchy, and who after the Whites victory, without any ROmanov alive, was out of his depth and being a good general but not a politician at all didnt know what to do. Anastasia's finding in my headcanon is his way out of the mess he finds himself in.

I imagine this AAR will anger a lot of people's head canons. I did have to fill in a few blanks in the mod, like the name of Anastasia's two children, while I also modified a few things for the sake of story, like dividing the in-game Bolsheviks into Trotskyist and Stalinist factions.

Glad to see Anastasia rescued in the nick of time! I like to think that Wrangel and everyone within his staff is going to be left quite surprised when Anastasia arrives, as if they were looking at a ghost :p

Plot twist: she is a ghost.

Or I could go the route of a certain movie that shall remain nameless, and have the AAR end with Anastasia waking up back in the execution room, and the whole AAR was just a big dream induced by the pain of her being shot, and she dies anyway.

But then people would kill me.

An interesting AAR, can't wait to find out what happens next.

Thanks! So happy to have you on board! I hope you continue to enjoy reading it. :)

Seems there will be some explaining to be done for the poor kids. Their lives will never be the same, that is certain...

Which reminds me of how feminists mock Aurora of Disney's Sleeping Beauty for crying after she's told she's a princess. C'mon, who wouldn't be emotional after being told, "Everything you've known for the past 16 years has been a lie."
 
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DensleyBlair

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I'd fallen behind with the last two updates but all caught up now. Man, I missed the action! A dramatic escape once again for Anastasia, and who knows what next for Russia. As has been said, a very exciting chapter counterposed with a lovely depiction of rural life.
 
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stnylan

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Somehow missed the update. How very exciting - and terrifying.

A person who has been a Princesses and a peasant, and seemingly made a success of both, is someone of uncommon will and adapatability. And is a survivor.

But if this is all a dream, who is to say it is not also true, somewhere, someplace, somewhen?
 
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cluelessplayer

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Hi! I was the flag designer for this mod. Just wanted to let you know that we've seen it and we love it - especially the banner! Keep up the good work!
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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Hi! I was the flag designer for this mod. Just wanted to let you know that we've seen it and we love it - especially the banner! Keep up the good work!

That's the best compliment I could imagine receiving!

Thank you for reading, your kind words, and thank you for all the hard work you placed into this mod!
 
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cluelessplayer

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That's the best compliment I could imagine receiving!

Thank you for reading, your kind words, and thank you for all the hard work you placed into this mod!
Oh, shucks. I don't do much, just make sure it all looks pretty.

Besides all that, I'm on the third chapter(?) - the one with the spies - and I'm loving it! I can't wait to see what the future holds. Keep up the great work!
 
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R0MMEL

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Hello,

I'm the lead developer for DWRV and I came up with the writing and lore for Russia in the mod (my team helped me with the later entries like Ukraine and Finland). I've got to say, this is absolutely fantastic. You've filled in a lot of the blanks I left (like the family's names) as I felt I couldn't really do some things justice through the medium of a HoI4 mod. It also seemed more tactful to not go into specifics about the husband, as being married to a peasant is a touchy thing for some modern Russian monarchists, and a large portion of the players are likely Russian. But even your description of how things go down at the execution was better than I had envisioned. In my mind, Anastasia's future husband was just the driver for the truck and he simply drives her to the nearest doctor rather than to the burial site. In my eyes, your prologue is the real canon. I also appreciate the attention to tiny details many probably didn't notice, like the truck parked outside to try and drown at the noise and even the Bolshevik bringing the chairs down for Alexei and his mother. Having done my own research I recognized those details immediately. Anyways, I'd love to upload the chapters onto our discord server for the mod, and maybe even integrate your prologue directly into the mod, if that's all okay with you. You should also swing by the server if you haven't already and dm me (I'm Mr.ShadeO in the server). I'd like to talk to you about even writing some other events for the mod and my other upcoming mods. Here's the server (all are welcome): https://discord.gg/zq5gw9A

Cheers
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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Hello,

I'm the lead developer for DWRV and I came up with the writing and lore for Russia in the mod (my team helped me with the later entries like Ukraine and Finland). I've got to say, this is absolutely fantastic. You've filled in a lot of the blanks I left (like the family's names) as I felt I couldn't really do some things justice through the medium of a HoI4 mod. It also seemed more tactful to not go into specifics about the husband, as being married to a peasant is a touchy thing for some modern Russian monarchists, and a large portion of the players are likely Russian. But even your description of how things go down at the execution was better than I had envisioned. In my mind, Anastasia's future husband was just the driver for the truck and he simply drives her to the nearest doctor rather than to the burial site. In my eyes, your prologue is the real canon. I also appreciate the attention to tiny details many probably didn't notice, like the truck parked outside to try and drown at the noise and even the Bolshevik bringing the chairs down for Alexei and his mother. Having done my own research I recognized those details immediately. Anyways, I'd love to upload the chapters onto our discord server for the mod, and maybe even integrate your prologue directly into the mod, if that's all okay with you. You should also swing by the server if you haven't already and dm me (I'm Mr.ShadeO in the server). I'd like to talk to you about even writing some other events for the mod and my other upcoming mods. Here's the server (all are welcome): https://discord.gg/GwVVhG

Cheers

Can I just say in all my many years of AAR writing, this is perhaps the best and most flattering response I've ever received? If the maker of a mod says he loves your AAR, that's a compliment enough. To be told my prologue is now canon is another! I certainly didn't intend to canonize anything, because everyone has their head-canon when it comes to the details of a mod or a what-if scenario, and as you said, going into specifics for a game like HoI4 is either unnecessary or won't do enough justice. However, if it's well liked enough or is decided to be helpful, I won't complain.

I will definitely swing by the server and DM you, although I can't promise it immediately at the time of this post. (I have some RL things to take care of, also I have an update I'm about to post after his one!) However, you should definitely get a message from me over the weekend. Also, you have my permission to upload chapters to the discord server, or share them however you see fit. (Or, if you want me to do it, I can do that as well.)

Also, I'm glad for anyone who catches the little historical details I throw in here. I mean them as little Easter eggs for those who have done their research or know the full story.
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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rBKVCB2.png

Chapter 7
Wrangel


December, 1936

“We must cease preventing to bring reform to the Russian government,” Kerensky said. He pounded his finger upon the long table in the middle of the room as he looked at all the men before him. “The Bolsheviks are on their deathbed. The people are struggling to uphold what little is left of the economy. If we don’t cease our attacks against labor unions and local organizations, or stop the retardation of liberal sentiments, then we shall only give reason for the Bolsheviks to rise again.”

A general across from Kerensky stood up, his brow furrowed. “Need I remind you, Kerensky, that it was your democratic government which permitted the Bolsheviks to come to power in the first place? And when the Civil War broke out, you did little more than run like a scared girl.”

The Trudoviks responded with jeers, while the other army officers clapped their approval. One Trudovik stood up and said, “You speak as if the Bolsheviks are a memory. It was you, the army, that failed to obliterate them. Now we have been at war for them for more than a decade!”

At this, the Trudoviks cheered and stamped their palms upon the table, while the generals cursed loudly. One stood up and said, “This is absurd! Why are we here? The military should take full control and obliterate all who oppose us! I’m starting to think this Hitler in Germany has the right kind of idea!” At this, there were now a showing of both support and firm opposition from all ranks, causing division within the already divided room.

Sitting near the end of the table, with his big, bushy beard topped by his great ecclesiastical hat, was Peter of Krutitsy. He was the current Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus', having been appointed after the death of Tikhon of Moscow in 1925. He was flanked by two deacons attending with him, though none of the men had said anything thus far. At this exchange between some of the generals and the Trudoviks, he merely turned to his deacons and shook his head. He muttered in a low voice, “I fear the only good to be done here is the prayer we did at the beginning…”

Wrangel sat stoically in his chair, staring at the scene. His head leaned against his knuckles, while his other hand rested limp on his crossed legs. This whole ordeal had been going on for hours, with one faction giving their wonderful plan to bring Russia back to normal, only to be insulted and shouted down, before another faction stood up to start the whole process over again. Nothing had been agreed upon. The only unity among the people attending, as hinted at by the metropolitan’s reaction, was that there was no unity. His hope had been to unite the leaders of Russia together to resolve their issues, but they were as divided as the general Russian populace.

An aide came over and whispered in Wrangel’s ear. “The Okhrana are here. They wish to see you.”

Wrangel peered back in silence. He had given strict orders not to be disturbed unless it was an absolute emergency… but he knew that the Okhrana would not try to summon him from this meeting unless it was, indeed, important. “What is it?”

“They have someone you need to meet. It’s the peasant girl the Bolsheviks were after. They say...” The aide paused. “They say that it’s Grand Duchess Anastasia.”

Wrangel’s eyes widened. Immediately he stood up. “Gentlemen. A matter of state emergency has come up. We must call this meeting short.”

“State emergency?” Kerensky asked. “What sort of state emergency?”

“One of the utmost importance. I’m sorry, but I must leave. We must postpone this meeting for another time.” As Wrangel turned, there were cries of anger and murmurings. “You can’t do this, Wrangel!” one voice cried. “What a waste of time!” shouted another. He ignored them all. They cared little. By the end of the night, all these men would cool their hot heads. In the meantime, he had something far more important waiting for him somewhere in the building.

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As he left the room and headed down the hall, he was suddenly flanked by Ludmila Denikin, who had appeared from another hall. Wrangel did not stop, and Ludmila did not stop him. Instead, she joined him at his pace. “She’s in the room at the end, on the left.”

“Is it really her?”

“For all intents and purposes, that’s what we can see. The Bolsheviks were trying to kill her when we found her, if that says anything.”

“How is she?”

“She seems healthy. She has a husband and two children, both of them in their older adolescence. We have them at a safe location.”

At the end of the hall were a few Russian soldiers, accompanied by Okhrana agents. The soldiers snapped to attention as Wrangel approached, while the agents stood tall. When Wrangel got to the door, he paused to face the soldiers. “We’re not to be disturbed. Understood?”

“Yes, general,” said the soldiers.

Wrangel nodded, then turned and opened the door. He entered in quickly, as if worried about letting anyone unwanted in. He turned around just as he saw a woman stand up from a nearby chair.

The Black Baron immediately froze. As the woman stood there, staring at him, he, with unblinking eyes, stared back. His mind simply could not fathom what it was he beheld before him. It simply could not be, and yet… no, yes, yes it was. It truly was her. That young girl, now a grown woman. He could see it in her eyes, for behind some of the wear from age and work, there was still that sparkle, just like the little squirrel who would dart about the palace causing mischief. That shape of the face was the same, and even some of her more subtle mannerisms as she looked at him reminded him of all those moments where had the honor of seeing the Grand Duchess when she was with her family. Yes indeed… it was her.

“Anastasia,” Wrangel said. “It’s you.”

Anastasia fidgeted with her fingers as she looked back. “Yes, it’s me. Hello, General Wrangel.”

“Hello.” He studied her a moment, as if she were the curious result of a science experiment. “Why have you been in hiding all this time?”

“I feared for my life, and, well, eventually the life of my family.” Anastasia forced a smile. “I have a husband. And two children.”

“Yes, so I’ve been told. I’m happy to see you, though I’m surprised you didn’t try to just move somewhere else.”

“I would have left the country, but it became difficult to leave Russia because of the situation.”

Wrangel frowned at that, but gave a nod accompanied with a sigh. “Yes. Things have decayed since your family’s murder. When we routed the Bolsheviks, I thought there was hope for our nation. Sadly, all we have done is preserve old problems and give birth to new ones. The economy is in ruins. The Bolsheviks are still a threat. The army does as it pleases, and corruption runs rampant. Our industry? It hasn’t grown since the turn of the century. I fear all it takes is a lit match, and the entire nation will go up in flames. Europe looks upon us as a joke: a dying relic of a foregone past. They see us in many ways the way they saw Turkey during the last war.”

Anastasia nodded. “It saddens me to see what has become of my father’s nation. It seems hopeless.”

Wrangel grinned. There was a glimmer in his eyes. “I said that all it takes a lit match to destroy our nation. However… that also means it just takes someone able enough to blow out the flame.”

“I am certain you will do it well, Wrangel. You are a noble and brave soldier.”

“Ah, but it’s not me who will do it, Anastasia.” Wrangel began to walk around the woman now. “It will be… you.”

Anastasia turned and gazed at Wrangel. Her eyes were as wide as saucers. “Me?!”

Wrangel was certain that Anastasia had to be feeling shock and awe at this suggestion. He could sense the tension and surprise that was coming from her, as if it were filling the room itself. And yet he had to convince her to overcome this. When he had first been told that the Bolsheviks were after an estranged peasant woman somewhere near the place of the royal family’s death, he had banked on it being a surviving member of the family. He had hoped and prayed on his knees about it. Now that his hope had proven true, now that his prayers had been answered, he could not permit it all to end here. He had to convince her that this was worth it. He had to convince her that this was the right pathway to go.

“You. The people need hope. They need someone who will provide them focus. Who better than the fabled daughter of the last Tsar? There have been rumors that you were alive, you know. An impostor or two even came forward claiming to be you. You’ve become something of a legend within Russia and even other parts of Europe. Imagine what news it would be if the true Anastasia came out of hiding, and took her father’s place? It would give the military someone to look up to. It would give the people a motherly figure to calm their nerves. It would give the world a symbol of hope in a desperate time.”

“But… I can’t, even if I wanted to.” Anastasia said. “The laws forbid women to inherit.”

“Yes, you mean the Pauline Laws. I will take care of that. They have been slightly modified throughout history, they can be modified again.” He paused his steps and turned to face Anastasia. “What do you say? Will you accept?”

There was a silence in the room. Some chatter, muffled and low, could be heard outside the door, as the agents and soldiers spoke, but that was all. Anastasia stared forward, her eyes clearly lost in thought. Then, a low sigh left her nostrils. Her gaze lowered to the ground. “Do I have a choice?”

No good, thought Wrangel. She was acting like a prisoner about to be taken to execution. He could not simply force this on her. Crowns could be picked up from the gutter by a sword, but it must be placed upon a monarch’s head by the hands of will and fortune. It had to be a decision she made, and which she made willingly. Yes, she might still be hesitant about the whole thing when the night is over. On the day she takes control, she may still be frightened, unsure, or have misgivings – but it must be done by her own free will, and not by the force of the army. A royal coerced to rule would have no passion or love for their position, and will gladly abscond with it or abandon it when the time comes. At this moment in Russian history, they did not need that.

“I will not force it on you, Anastasia. If you wish to reject it, you may reject it… but would you do it lightly? There is little choice left for Russia. I was just in a meeting with many of the top leaders in the country – just a few moments ago, before I walked in this room – and they cannot agree on anything. There is great chaos, and I fear another Civil War if we are not careful. We need a hero. Or, to be exact, a heroine. Someone to unite them all. The soldiers would love you for being a member of the Tsar’s family. The church would love you for a protector of the church and the true successor of Byzantium’s Caesar. The politicians would love you for being a symbol against murderous tyranny and oppression. They may hate each other, but under you, they would be united.” The Black Baron reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder. “You won’t be doing this alone. We can help you adjust, Anastasia. We will get you reacquainted with the life of the court. But if you reject this, and we let you go as you please… I cannot promise any further protection or assistance. I say that not as a threat, but as brutal honesty. Even if you were to flee all the way to America, the Bolsheviks would find you again. I promise you that much.”

Anastasia nodded. “I understand. I think you are right. If I were to accept… what of my husband and children? I can’t part with them.”

Wrangel chuckled. “Nor would I ask you too. Your daughter and son will be happy to find out they are now a grand duchess and tsarevich. As for your husband? I imagine he will be surprised to be a tsar. Or a tsarina’s husband, at least.”

Anastasia chuckled softly. “I suppose they would…” She swallowed. “I… I think I shall… accept.”

Wrangel smiled wide. He patted her on the shoulder a few more times. “Let me get the Pauline Laws edited. In the meantime… you and your family must prepare to reenter the life of royalty… with you as the first Empress of Russia since Catherine the Great.”

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mike the knight

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That's a crucial moment in the history of the world not just Russia , tbh i am glad Wrangel is depicted like this , would be even better if he could stick as an advisor ;)
 
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stnylan

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Well this will certainly spice things up in the Congress.
 
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