• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Captured Joe

The bullet is a fool...
39 Badges
Apr 22, 2017
1.890
49
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • March of the Eagles
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Semper Fi
Guderian should underestimate the Russians at his own peril.
 

Henry v. Keiper

Copyist
70 Badges
Dec 13, 2003
4.635
169
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
Writer's block is a pain.
The worst part was deciding which POV to write it from. Which caused me some dilemma.

In the word's of Guderian : "the time has passed when the Russians had no instinct for technology"
Guderian should underestimate the Russians at his own peril.
I think you misunderstand the quote. Guderian is saying that the Russians *shouldn't* be understimated, as the time that they misunderstood technology has passed.
Come now boys, Guderian's not even a character in the AAR.

Yet.
 

Henry v. Keiper

Copyist
70 Badges
Dec 13, 2003
4.635
169
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness

Chapter 11
Anastasia


19 May, 1937

The previous day, Anastasia had entered riding on a horse side-saddle. Every church bell in the city rang like mad, filling the air with their noise. As per tradition, a three day holiday had been called, and most of the city seemed to have shown up. Soldiers, armed with rifles, bayonets at the ready, lined the streets, while mounted escorts followed behind her. That had all happened the day before, and it ended quieter than Anastasia might have expected.

But now it was coronation day.

Already they had gone through much of it. Anastasia was very thankful she had managed to recite the Nicene Creed from memory, and now she was clothed in a purple robe. It felt heavier than she imagined over her shoulders, and for a moment she almost came to tears. She had remembered that her father, once upon a time, had worn these same robes. With the Patriarch’s hands on her shoulders, she listened to the first prayer of the coronation, and then the second:

“To Thee alone, King of mankind, has she to whom Thou hast entrusted the earthly kingdom bowed her neck with us. And we pray Thee, Lord of all, keep her under Thine own shadow; strengthen her kingdom; grant that she may do continually those things which are pleasing to Thee; make to arise in her days righteousness and abundance of peace; that in her tranquility we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. For Thou art the King of peace and the Saviour of our souls and bodies and to Thee we ascribe glory: to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”

Words of ritual that had been said many, many times before – of this, Anastasia was well aware. Yet two things struck her as she heard these words. First, all uses of “he” and “his” had been replaced with their female alternatives. This was something Wrangel had been eager to ensure happened, and while he was aware the church was still hesitant to have a woman crowned a monarch (arguing that some of the prayers, especially with ties to a male Christ, would make little sense), he reminded them that the Empress would be the biggest protector of the church against Bolshevik threats. Second, though these words had been prewritten long ago, they sounded as if they were written for this very time period. Strengthening the kingdom? Granting the Russian people tranquility and quiet? These were all things that Russians had been praying for since the end of the last war.

Next came the actual crown. As it rested on her dark hair, Anastasia was surprised by how heavy it actually felt. When she was handed the scepter and orb, it struck her again that, decades ago, her father had taken the same scepter and orb in his hands. What would he think if he were here? Would he have laughed? Perhaps he would have appreciated the irony, since when she was born, it had caused him stress from the demand for a son. Either way, as she stood there, clothed in purple, crowned on the head and beholding a scepter and orb, the symbols of her earthly power, a very important fact struck her:

She was now the most pious Autocrat and great Sovereign, Empress of All the Russias. Before this day, she was well aware that she would be, of course. It had been planned for months now, and every moment of planning reminded her of that reality. Yet never did the nature of that reality sink in – never did the emotions strike her – until now, as she stood there, before the Patriarch and metropolitans, as she was decked in the royal coronation gear. Even as she turned, and found her husband, Mikhail, knelt before her, ready to take part as tsar-consort, everything took on a surreal fashion. When she took off her crown, placed it on her husband’s, then returned it to her own head, she barely remembered doing a single second of it. Everything seemed out of place in her world. She didn’t even remember giving the oath or taking communion – it was like her senses sought to pull her away from what was happening.

It hadn’t been this surreal since… since the night when her family was murdered.

The Communists had desired to eliminate her family. To end the tsar’s line. Yet here she was. They had failed to kill the Tsar’s youngest daughter, and yet even that was utilized by the army. It was, in some ways, like the situation Russia was in: an utter mess, and yet with a small ray of hope. Wrangel had described it in similar terms when they first met, and now Anastasia realized just how right he was.

Where are you now, Lenin? came a bitter thought. You’re dead and rotting… while a crowned Romanov still draws breath.

Later that night, they had the special coronation banquet, although it was done differently than normal. Wrangel and others recognized that the institution of a formerly thought-to-be-dead Romanov to the throne was a major event for European politics, if not the world, and were permitting foreign dignitaries from around the world to attend. Most of them were ambassadors and foreign ministers, but they were all given seats in the dining room of the Granovitaya Palata. When Anastasia and Mikhail entered, the entire room stood and erupted in applause. Anastasia smiled passively to them all, intending to take note of who was present. There truly were representatives from all over the world, but she noticed most of all some dignitaries from neighboring countries. Namely, in one section stood representatives of the Pact of Petrograd: Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyl of Ukraine and his family, President Vasil Zacharka of Belarus and his family, and Roman von Ungern-Sternberg of Mongolia with a few of his staff.

Joseph Edward Davies, the American ambassador to Russia, stood with his wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post, beside him. He grinned wide, showing pearly white teeth as he watched the couple pass by. He leaned over to his wife and remarked, “Willickers, can you believe it? A royal, then a peasant girl, now an empress? I could get a script out of this and sell it to Hollywood for a million!”

Marjorie, however, seemed disinterested in Anastasia herself. She was holding up the fork that they had been given at the table, and was carefully examining the detail in the craftsmanship. Her attention was similar to that of a jeweler examining a diamond. “How much do you think these utensils would be worth?”

“Jeepers, I wouldn’t know, honey. Probably quite a bit.”

“Imagine what her dress must cost. Do they have dresses for sale, these royals? Some of them are dead now, as I recall.”

When the Empress and Tsar-Consort were seated at their special table, all of the guests sat back down and began their meals. At one table, Konstantin von Neurath, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, sat beside the German ambassador to Russia, Friedrich-Werner Graf von der Schulenburg. Schulenburg remarked to the foreign minister, “If she can get Russia off the ground, then mark my words, their industry will be something to speak of.”

“And their military?” Neurath asked.

“Virtually impossible to beat. And I don’t exaggerate on that, either.”

Neurath chuckled. “Hitler will not like to hear that. I know how he feels about Slavs.”

“I’m well aware of that. That’s why Hitler will need to hear that.”

Neurath shook his head. “If Hitler wants war with Russia, let alone anyone, then he’s a fool.”

Though food had been served before her, Anastasia kept her attention on the various guests. She took note of her two children, seated at different tables. She couldn’t help but notice a few young girls from the Bulgarian nobility were shooting glances towards Alexander, and continually giggling as they whispered to each other. Another young girl, from a table serving the Dutch royal family, seemed to be glancing Alexander’s way every now and then, as if intentionally trying to meet his glance, should he ever look their way. For his part, the poor boy was completely oblivious to the gawking, and seemed to be having some trouble holding his fork in the proper, polite way, despite his training under Brother Isaac. At another table, Olga was flanked by some young officers whom Anastasia was fairly certain hadn’t originally been seated there, and was talking excitedly about some subject while the men listened with unflinching attention.

The sight caused some brevity in her heart, but Anastasia still had a nervousness within her. There had been something on her heart, placed there a week ago. It had been firmly planted, and she had been unable to remove it despite her best attempts. If her old friend Rasputin had been alive, he might have said the Holy Spirit laid it there, and hence she should follow it. Either way, she knew that she would have to say it. Yet… fear remained. She wasn’t a commander like her father, and she didn’t have the strong personality that her mother had, let alone the strength her sister Masha had. She’d always been the silly little squirrel, running around the palace and sticking her tongue out at people she didn’t like. Here she was supposed to be strong, at a critical moment. And yet… where would she find that strength?

And then she remembered Mikhail sat beside her. Oh Lenin, you rotten bastard… not only did I bring my father’s throne back, but I took one of your soldiers with me! She continued to stare forward, looking into space, and held her peace there. At last, she whispered:

“I wish to speak.”

“Then speak,” said Mikhail.

“I will say things many will not like.”

“Speak anyway, Nastenka. Or you’ll never forgive yourself. You are the Empress now.”

Anastasia stared forward. “I am the Empress… but I’m still frightened.” She paused a moment, then added, “Promise me that you’ll never leave my side.”

Under the table, Anastasia could feel Mikhail’s fingers glide over her knuckles. Just like that time long ago, when he knelt by her in the British consulate, he clutched her hand. “I promise… I will always be here, inseparable from you.”

With that, Anastasia stood up. Already some of the party guests were turning their heads, noticing her movement. However, when she grasped her spoon and tapped it a few times on the glass before her, all discussion ceased, and all eyes turned to look at the Empress of Russia. Anastasia scanned the room to make sure all were truly paying attention to her, and then began:

“I thank you all for coming – many of you from quite a ways away. Before the night is through, I would like to give a word on what the future of Russia beholds.”

An officer leaned over to Wrangel and whispered, “Did you tell her to do this?”

Wrangel shook his head. “I’m not aware of this at all.”

“For the first time in almost two decades,” Anastasia continued, “a Romanov sits once again on the throne, thus putting an end to the chaos that has enveloped our nation for so long. From now on, Russia is once again an Empire. However, it cannot be only a name. We are not a paper tiger to be laughed at. No more will Russia be seen as a sick man of Europe. Therefore, it must act from here on as an empire, and not a robber barony. Henceforth, the army cannot do as it wishes. The illegal tolls and taxes shall end. Soldiers may no longer extort for money. Any who extort our people to pay them, shall in turn pay with their lives. There will be no clemency for this banditry! And any general who fails to carry out this justice, will in turn receive justice.”

Wrangel smirked and leaned back over to the officer. “I wish I’d thought of this…”

Anastasia continued. “Furthermore, we will eliminate all threats within our nation, and exterminate all which we hold dear. Our heritage, our church, our families… all those who wish to distort or eliminate such things will be toppled down and shattered to reveal them as the false idols that they are. Russia will be an empire and not a tyranny, but we will not forgive nor forget those who wish to do our nation harm. On this, we must stand, for how can a nation be strong without if it cannot be within.”

Aretas Akers-Douglas, the ambassador to Britain, turned and smirked to his colleagues. “A young empress with delusions of an empire. How quaint. Perhaps our prime minister will be more than happy to hand his over to her?”

Anastasia continued. “Yet we must be strong nonetheless. We must be united altogether – but how can this happen when Russia’s borders do not all contain her people? There is land that rightfully belongs to the Empire, and which has fallen outside of our borders. This must be fixed. From the borders of Germany to the borders of Japan, all which formerly belonged to the Empire shall return to her borders.”

Vasil frowned at that, and leaned over to the Hetmanate. “She is speaking of taking our land.”

“Oh? You think so?” Pavlo whispered back.

“Yes, of course. What else lies within that realm? Mark my words: she will come for our nations.”

“You’re exaggerating,” Roman retorted.

Vasil glared at the warlord. “That’s easy for you to say. Russia doesn’t see Mongolia as Russian land.”

Nearby, the Japanese minister of foreign affairs, Hachirou Arita, smirked and said to one of his staff members, “Will she be content with the Russian land in the east, I wonder? Once upon a time, Port Arthur was Russian land.”

Over the whispers and murmurs, Anastasia continued. “Regardless of how long this all may take, or how it may be carried out, I want to make one thing clear. I am a daughter of the Romanov tsars. Let those who have opposed us in the past know that, though our blood was shed, yet does it flow. I have taken my vow before Christ Himself to lead my people to prosperity, to tranquility, and to peace. Let all those who accept this do so as friends of all Rus – let all those who stand in this way, through hate or malice, know that Russia is weak no more. She is blessed by Christ, and headed by her Empress, who shall fight and die for her children. Amen!”

At that, Wrangel stood. God Save the Tsar came from his lips as soon as he was on his feet. Bit by bit, the other Russians in the room began to stand, and to join in the song. Those who were not Russian soon stood and, though not singing, showed their respect. Only Vasil did not stand.

As she looked about the room, Anastasia grinned, and thought to herself:

I am Empress...
 
  • 5Like
Reactions:

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
6.503
1.225
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Neurath shook his head. “If Hitler wants war with Russia, let alone anyone, then he’s a fool.”
Dangerous words to utter aloud in official company, surely? :eek:
There is land that rightfully belongs to the Empire, and which has fallen outside of our borders. This must be fixed. From the borders of Germany to the borders of Japan, all which formerly belonged to the Empire shall return to her borders.
Very revanchist sounding - will it shatter the Petrograd Pact? What of Finland too? Presumably eastern Poland, etc
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

Specialist290

Field Marshal
77 Badges
Feb 25, 2006
6.152
1.035
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris
  • Darkest Hour
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • BATTLETECH
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Supreme Ruler 2020
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Rome Gold
  • King Arthur II
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • 500k Club
There's a very strong -- almost tangible -- sensation of weight running throughout this chapter. The physical weight of the crown itself; the weight of the new mantle of responsibility that has fallen on Anastasia's shoulders; the weight of a thousand years of history, all leading seemingly inevitably to this one moment in time; and, last but not least, the weight of authority behind an Empress who, new and naive as she may be, has just drawn the proverbial line in the sand for the rest of the world.

I also can't help but find it significant that the only ones who are taking Anastasia and her words seriously at this occasion are her subjects and her potential enemies. Ah well, the rest of the world will undoubtedly learn soon enough...
 
  • 1
Reactions:

TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
50 Badges
Mar 4, 2016
4.840
880
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Semper Fi
...is she, actually, going to try to rebuild the massive Russian empire, held together by magic and momentum, from the late 19th c? Is that even doable? Still, she has spirit, which the british at least seem to think they lack.
 

Captured Joe

The bullet is a fool...
39 Badges
Apr 22, 2017
1.890
49
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • March of the Eagles
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Semper Fi
Got to get hold of the Russian military (and warlords) first, I would guess.
 

TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
50 Badges
Mar 4, 2016
4.840
880
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Semper Fi
Got to get hold of the Russian military (and warlords) first, I would guess.
Set your house in order before burning down your neighbours.
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator
38 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
8.972
560
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
That is quite the statement of purpose from the new tsarina. And incredibly bold to give it directly to all of Russia’s enemies. Maybe Herr Hitler has found his match sooner rather than later?

or, thinking about it, maybe we’re about to get Molotov–Ribbentrop by another name.
 
  • 1
Reactions:

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
119 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.582
2.492
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
They thought they had a little mouse. Timid, probably traumatised. A silly princess who stuck her tongue at and then a peasant, and then a hoped-for pawn.
Princess, peasant, pawn.

What they have gotten instead is ... a patriot. A passionate patriot. Naive - doubtless. Her own player in their game - most definitely.

Princess. Prisoner. Peasant. Pawn. Player. Patriot.

What other permutations shall we witness yet?
 
  • 2
Reactions:

Garrus Vakarian

Private
20 Badges
Sep 10, 2017
22
1
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II
Glad you were able to get through your writer's block!

Again, i love the style of writing you have, very easy to follow, simple yet amble in description. You really do convey as other's have pointed out, the weight of the situation and the crown.

Heh, tho Anastasia is afraid, it took serious stones to publicly repudiate the Russian military like that. Let's see how that part plays out. Many a Caesar have lived and died at the whims of their praetorians.
 

Henry v. Keiper

Copyist
70 Badges
Dec 13, 2003
4.635
169
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
Dangerous words to utter aloud in official company, surely? :eek:
From what I've read, Neurath and Schulenburg would have probably seen eye-to-eye on this. Neurath, for example, opposed Hitler's more aggressive foreign policy, which is why he was eventually replaced with Ribbentrop. Schulenburg, for his part, opposed any and all war with the Soviet Union, even right up to the point that German troops were crossing the border. I attempted to convey their sentiments in both cases through this little private discussion of theirs.

Very revanchist sounding - will it shatter the Petrograd Pact? What of Finland too? Presumably eastern Poland, etc
Future updates will tell.

There's a very strong -- almost tangible -- sensation of weight running throughout this chapter. The physical weight of the crown itself; the weight of the new mantle of responsibility that has fallen on Anastasia's shoulders; the weight of a thousand years of history, all leading seemingly inevitably to this one moment in time; and, last but not least, the weight of authority behind an Empress who, new and naive as she may be, has just drawn the proverbial line in the sand for the rest of the world.
I didn't even think about that when I wrote the parts about weights, but... so happy it works like that. We'll go with it. :cool:

...is she, actually, going to try to rebuild the massive Russian empire, held together by magic and momentum, from the late 19th c? Is that even doable? Still, she has spirit, which the british at least seem to think they lack.
Hey, it's Hearts of Iron 4. Anything's possible. Especially with event paths. Thankfully, this mod is rife with events that help Russia get back on their feet in various ways. (Shout out to the mod devs!)

Also, the crack by the British ambassador was a little nod to all my readers that have been commenting on the British AI making some... interesting choices with the British Empire.

Got to get hold of the Russian military (and warlords) first, I would guess.
Earlier Anastasia talked about how hard it was for her family to get around because of the patrols and makeshift toll booths. I guess we shouldn't be surprised she goes for that problem first. Plus, I see it as a nice way of reflecting, in-game, why the stability counter is now going up.

Set your house in order before burning down your neighbours.
Put this on a t-shirt!

That is quite the statement of purpose from the new tsarina. And incredibly bold to give it directly to all of Russia’s enemies. Maybe Herr Hitler has found his match sooner rather than later?
Admittedly the speech scene was based largely on the opening scene of Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible Part 1, where Ivan, upon being crowned, gives a speech on what his reign will look like, with various powers within Russia and around Europe in attendance. Small bits spoken by Anastasia are taken from there.

That being said, I figured this was a nice of making a single event in-game event come across as a lot more dramatic, as well as introducing the world outside of Russia and how they're evolving and taking the situation.

They thought they had a little mouse. Timid, probably traumatised. A silly princess who stuck her tongue at and then a peasant, and then a hoped-for pawn.
Princess, peasant, pawn.

What they have gotten instead is ... a patriot. A passionate patriot. Naive - doubtless. Her own player in their game - most definitely.

Princess. Prisoner. Peasant. Pawn. Player. Patriot.

What other permutations shall we witness yet?
A practically perfect princess purposing plenty of patriotic peasants preventing people... yeah I'm out.

And I always feel like I need to convey that Anastasia would need to do some growing here, if we're staying true to her historical personality. She really was a troublemaker who often had to have her older sister Maria get her out of trouble, but in this story, following the event paths in the mod, she's now bringing Russia back on her feet. There's a balance that has to be done.

Glad you were able to get through your writer's block!

Again, i love the style of writing you have, very easy to follow, simple yet amble in description. You really do convey as other's have pointed out, the weight of the situation and the crown.

Heh, tho Anastasia is afraid, it took serious stones to publicly repudiate the Russian military like that. Let's see how that part plays out. Many a Caesar have lived and died at the whims of their praetorians.
Thank you, and thank you! I enjoy writing characters and character-based plots, which is probably why I end up writing more of that in my AARs. I know some people don't like that style, and some prefer more the history book approach, which is fine. I just find I'm able to get into the events and details better when I do it this way. And people seem to like it, so... whatever keeps 'em coming back to the forums.

And Anastasia was probably betting on the fact that Wrangel would have liked her standing up to the more troublesome generals.
 
  • 1
Reactions:

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
6.503
1.225
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
From what I've read, Neurath and Schulenburg would have probably seen eye-to-eye on this. Neurath, for example, opposed Hitler's more aggressive foreign policy, which is why he was eventually replaced with Ribbentrop. Schulenburg, for his part, opposed any and all war with the Soviet Union, even right up to the point that German troops were crossing the border. I attempted to convey their sentiments in both cases through this little private discussion of theirs.
Good research there. I can see then why Hitler eventually replaced Neurath with that pompous lick-spittle Ribbentrop.
Admittedly the speech scene was based largely on the opening scene of Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible Part 1, where Ivan, upon being crowned, gives a speech on what his reign will look like, with various powers within Russia and around Europe in attendance. Small bits spoken by Anastasia are taken from there.
Nice historical allusion. :)
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

TWR97

Chief Chronicler of the Komnenoiverse
23 Badges
Sep 26, 2014
552
110
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Darkest Hour
I agree with that statement where there's a sort of weight Anastasia is carrying, the weight of her father's crown, the weight of the Romanov legacy, the weight of Russia's fate in her hands. Such a responsibility is immense. The Bolsheviks may have scarred this little sparrow but it seems that said Sparrow has grown bolder now. That bit on Hitler's plans being discussed by the German ambassadors is a rather worrying foreshadowing of what Germany has in store for the Empire. Anastasia's bold statements regarding lost Imperial territories would indeed be a concern for the other nations. I also like that bit on Anastasia musing on the fact that a Romanov, not just any Romanov, but a scion of the man Lenin had worked to overthrow was now the ruler of all of Russia while the leader of the Bolsheviks was dead and rotting. Lenin must be truly seething at how it was all for nothing.

Given as how old Kaiser Willy is still presumably alive at this point in time, I wonder what would be his reaction to this very interesting event, especially considering he was indirectly responsible for getting his Russian relatives killed.
 

TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
50 Badges
Mar 4, 2016
4.840
880
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Semper Fi
Given as how old Kaiser Willy is still presumably alive at this point in time, I wonder what would be his reaction to this very interesting event, especially considering he was indirectly responsible for getting his Russian relatives killed.
Hey, Russia can always try to put him or his heir back on the german throne. Maybe her mission aside from regaining the russian empire is to remake the world into absolute or at least stronger monarchal kingdoms and empires?
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

Henry v. Keiper

Copyist
70 Badges
Dec 13, 2003
4.635
169
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness

Chapter 12
Wrangel


June, 1937

The coronation was over, and now the actual reigning could begin. Empress Anastasia of the Russian Empire was there, sitting before him at the table in the meeting room of the palace. This was where they had done much planning before. In fact, they had met here so often that Wrangel was fairly certain he had memorized every crack in the corners and every dent in the wallpaper. Either way, it was no longer time to plan for making Anastasia empress, for now she was empress. And, as empress, she had to rule.


In order to rule, she had to be aware of any pressing situations around the world that might be of Russia’s interest – and at the moment, there was quite a bit. As she sat there at the table, awaiting Wrangel’s report, the Black Baron unrolled a map of Spain and laid it out with a stroke of his hands. Lines had been drawn showcasing the latest state of the frontlines between Republican and Nationalist forces. Like the other situations he was to speak on, Wrangel had been briefed by the Okhrana on this war, and was ready to deliver what he knew to the Empress.

“The situation in Spain continues with no end in sight,” Wrangel began. “The Nationalists have lost about 20,000 in the fight, while the Republicans have lost 40,000. Right now they seem to be at a stalemate, with hills and miles being taken and lost between the two sides. The larger concern of the Okhrana, of course, is that a large number of Communists have gathered in Spain. Some come from France, where the party has been banned, while others are expatriate Bolsheviks or Mensheviks. They seem to be rallying the Communists and Anarchists against the other Republican forces.”

“What do you think they intend to do?” Anastasia asked.

“They may be seeking to overthrow the Republican government and install their own people. We’re not certain. The Republicans have too strong a hold on the main government to be easily toppled.”

“We’ll have to keep an eye on that. Now what about Finland?”

Wrangel grabbed a map of Scandinavia and slid it over the map of Spain, covering up the latter.


“The situation in Scandinavia has been an interesting one, to say the least. Swedish forces are closing in on Gustav V’s capitol of Stockholm, but they have been having to fight tooth and nail for every inch of ground. Meanwhile, Gustav’s men are approaching Helsinki, and have managed to encircle some of Finland’s troops. At this current rate, he’s lost only 20,000 men, with Sweden and Finland losing about the same each. At this rate, Gustav may be in Helsinki by next month.”

“I see.” Anastasia stared at the map of Scandinavia a moment before letting out a sigh. “What do you think will happen after that?”

“From what we’ve heard, the royalists in Finland have a dream of uniting all of Scandinavia together. Finland and Sweden first, then Finland next. You can imagine, of course, what that might mean afterward.”

Wrangel could tell by the look in her eye that Anastasia knew full well what that would mean. It didn’t take a modern Clausewitz to understand what a united, stronger Scandinavia would mean for the region. This new kingdom would launch attacks against northwestern Russia, most likely with the hope of taking Petrograd and other areas they had lost since the days of Peter the Great. In a few years, after she had helped rebuild the military, she might be able to hold them off. If they were to unite now, however? It could be that they would be able to stand toe-to-toe with the Russians. Who knew how the war might go? “What about China?”

Wrangel slid the map of the far east over before her, then tilted it so she could better see it.

“The war in China has been… brutal, to say the least. Reportedly, the Chinese have already taken 60,000 casualties, while Japan and her allies altogether have lost just over a thousand. These numbers might be exaggerated but… from some of our contacts in the field, and what our troops on the border with Manchuria say, things are not looking good for China. Already Japanese troops are on the outskirts of Beijing.”


“Does Japan seem to have any interest in us?” Anastasia asked.

“Thankfully, no,” Wrangel said. “Most of their military is embroiled in the war with China. If anything, they seem more concerned about what we intend to do. As you can imagine, we do have concerns about the possibility of Japan overrunning China.”

“What do you imagine they want to do with it?”

“Taking over the entire nation will be impossible. And I have a feeling that even they know that. Chances are, they’ll want to take what they can along the coastline, and divide the nation up into independent puppet states like they did in the Manchuria area.”

Anastasia sighed. “There’s little we can do at the moment. In the meantime, should we move on to the next topic of discussion?”

“Ah yes,” Wrangel said with a smile. “The top of prime minister? I trust you have reviewed the information we sent?”

“Indeed, I did.” Anastasia stood. “All three names.” Her eyes studied the general a moment. “Listed among them was you.”

The Black Baron’s face looked visibly embarrassed. It had not been his choice, but, it had seemed almost natural to many that he would be included. Many were of the opinion he would keep a close tie with the military possible. Many others believed that maintaining him within the executive decisions of government would help with the transition of power. A modest smile crept over his lips and he lowered his face, either to bow out of respect or to avert his eyes from her. “I was chosen, not by my own bidding. I have ruled Russia long enough, your majesty, and I would be more than happy to abdicate the role to someone else for your purposes.”

“I thought you would have that sentiment. That is why I focused on the other two names on the list.” Anastasia turned, and began to walk around the table in a slow, steady rhythm. “Kerensky was one, and Tsereteli the other. Both men are well respected in their own circles, but either choice presents some problems. Tsereteli will ease the minds of those socialists who might be thinking turning to Trotsky or Stalin, whereas Kerensky will calm the moderates and conservatives.” She paused a moment. “But both men would upset the military somewhat – that’s what the report said, I believe? And Tsereteli even more so might upset some conservatives.”

“Indubitably, your majesty.”

“I thought as much.” Anastasia crossed her arms and sighed. “It was a tough decision, but in the end, I decided… Kerensky will be the prime minister.”


“Very good, your majesty.”

“Tsereteli will stay on, of course. He’s more than capable, from what I’ve read. He can be Kerensky’s deputy minister. That should still show the socialists that we are not going to begin a witch hunt.”

The Empress paused for a moment now. Her eyes were staring forward, her lips still. Yet with the glimmer in those eyes, Wrangel could tell that there was something else working within her. Something big was being worked within her mind, something which she was about to reveal, after she had given it some thought. “I wish to speak on another agenda. One we hadn’t planned?”

Wrangel tilted his head. “Oh? What is that?”

“Namely… we need to have some debts paid.”

“What do you mean, your majesty?”

“Have you heard the name of Yakov Yurovsky?”

A chill ran up Wrangel’s spine. Most people in the higher ranks knew the name. “Yes, I have. He was the one in charge of murdering your family.”

“I understand the Okhrana may have information of his whereabouts?”

“They may, yes.” They fully knew it – Wrangel was well aware of it. He had, after all, been somewhat instrumental in their discovering just where Anastasia was located.

The Empress turned her head towards him, and a chill ran up the Black Baron’s spine. There was a gleam in them he hadn’t seen in decades. Those eyes betrayed a sinister thought underlying them. It was the same look she got when she was mad at someone in the court, but couldn’t for fear of her mother’s retaliation. It was that little squirrel, ready to begin something. Something no one expected. And Wrangel knew he was right the minute she opened her mouth to speak.

“I want him arrested. Now.”
 
  • 4Like
Reactions:

TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
50 Badges
Mar 4, 2016
4.840
880
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Semper Fi
Strange to think of Russia as surrounded, but they essentially are hemmed in by quite strong threats at the moment...
 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
119 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.582
2.492
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
I can understand Anastasia's desire where Yurovsky is concerned, and I have no doubt will be viewed sympathetically in this matter, but it is a dangerously personal course to take.

The personal and the public - they are not separate anymore, and it is rarely good when the personal trumps the public in these sort of situations.

I also somehow imagine Wrangel won't entirely disappear off to his farm, so to speak.
 

TWR97

Chief Chronicler of the Komnenoiverse
23 Badges
Sep 26, 2014
552
110
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Darkest Hour
Oh boy here it comes, the confrontation between the now Tsaritsa and scion of the House of Romanov and the man that ordered her family's execution. How will Anastasia react to this I wonder.

So Kerensky eh? Not a bad choice, he'll be a useful middle ground indeed.