The Hohenzollern Empire 5: Renewed Phoenix - A Roman Reich Megacampaign in New World Order

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CaptainAlvious

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So this is how Romanitas and Mertiocracy die, with thunderous applause. Since you called Bloody Tuesday your Red Wedding, I guess I can this the Hohenzollernverse Order 66, especially since you snuck in a Clone Wars reference with the “good soilders folllow orders” line.

I must say I never thought I’d see the day where Wilhelm Karl admits he’s not a good ruler and that Wilhelmina would be the better Kaiser. He’s had quite the redemption arc these past few years.

I hope this Sophie is trustworthy, otherwise Wilhelmina might be heading into a trap.

Given relatively recent events in OTL, it seems like Berkut can’t catch a break in any timeline. Also, with all those other cities being nuked, I’m pretty sure Babelsburg as an entertainment insitution is in shambles with how many celebrities are probably dead, even if the studio in Berlin is fine.

There is one thing here I got to mention, I’m pretty sure about the thing about Nero singing and ignoring the fire in Rome is a myth, as he wasn’t in the city when it broke out and he did put effort into stopping it or at least sent help to people affected by the fire when he was available. Just thought I’d clear up a misconception.

With the Augustian Code abolished and Elias’ enemies being hunted down, the Reich’s transformation into Gilead is almost completele. Let’s hope the X-Division crew and their families manage to defy fate and escape this nightmarish disaster.

Now I’m just wondering what Elias will end up calling his new regime, cause I imagine he’ll pick a different biblical name than Gilead.
 

zenphoenix

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Well, Elias has gone full-on like Markos Angelos. The question is if he will fall just like him?
Is it time for Cold War Divided Reich 2.0?:p
So this is how Romanitas and Mertiocracy die, with thunderous applause. Since you called Bloody Tuesday your Red Wedding, I guess I can this the Hohenzollernverse Order 66, especially since you snuck in a Clone Wars reference with the “good soilders folllow orders” line.
This is technically the second time I referenced Order 66 as I adapted dialogue from the original Battlefront 2 during the Anarchy.
I must say I never thought I’d see the day where Wilhelm Karl admits he’s not a good ruler and that Wilhelmina would be the better Kaiser. He’s had quite the redemption arc these past few years.
His redemption isn't done yet...
I hope this Sophie is trustworthy, otherwise Wilhelmina might be heading into a trap.
Hopefully.
Given relatively recent events in OTL, it seems like Berkut can’t catch a break in any timeline. Also, with all those other cities being nuked, I’m pretty sure Babelsburg as an entertainment insitution is in shambles with how many celebrities are probably dead, even if the studio in Berlin is fine.
I think you mean Beirut, not the Fire Emblem antagonist.:D

Babelsburg probably died years before this with all of the censorship and mandatory propagandizing the committee enforced. The film industry may never recover from this.
There is one thing here I got to mention, I’m pretty sure about the thing about Nero singing and ignoring the fire in Rome is a myth, as he wasn’t in the city when it broke out and he did put effort into stopping it or at least sent help to people affected by the fire when he was available. Just thought I’d clear up a misconception.
Yeah, I know that. And to be fair, Nero wasn't that bad of a ruler himself, it was mostly later historians who intentionally wrote bad things about him. I didn't find a good place to bring up that it's a misconception within the update as Wilhelm Karl reasonably wouldn't care too much about history to know that.
With the Augustian Code abolished and Elias’ enemies being hunted down, the Reich’s transformation into Gilead is almost completele. Let’s hope the X-Division crew and their families manage to defy fate and escape this nightmarish disaster.
This is only the beginning of the nightmare.
Now I’m just wondering what Elias will end up calling his new regime, cause I imagine he’ll pick a different biblical name than Gilead.
Definitely not Gilead. That would be way too derivative of Atwood's work.
 

TWR97

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God save the Reich, for nobody else could at this rate. Elias has finally dominated the entire system, the mad Regent has won. Now that I think about it, he's going down a not-so similar path as The New Order's Taboritsky, woe be to the Romans if Elias goes mad and starts purging non-Christians for some dead Hohenzollern claimant.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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The saddest part about Elias is how wrong he is about his sister; if she saw him now, I'm quite confident she'd be revolted.

Not to the same level, but there's some irony in Wilhelm Karl being the closest he's ever been to acting like a proper Kaiser, genuinely being worthy of the title, is as he prepares to hand it away. He took the title when he was the worst candidate possible, and tragedy has molded him into someone who could rule but doesn't want to.
 

CaptainAlvious

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This is technically the second time I referenced Order 66 as I adapted dialogue from the original Battlefront 2 during the Anarchy.
On this note, unless it’s a concidence, I assume that “Good soldiers follow orders” line means you’ve watched Clone Wars recently. If that’s the case, what do you think that show would be like here? Given all the changes you made to the prequels, particularly replacing the Clone Troopers with regular conscripted and voleenter soilders, I imagine it would be very different from OTL if it still exists.
I think you mean Beirut, not the Fire Emblem antagonist.:D
I did mean Beirut, but since we’re here…
Yeah, I know that. And to be fair, Nero wasn't that bad of a ruler himself, it was mostly later historians who intentionally wrote bad things about him. I didn't find a good place to bring up that it's a misconception within the update as Wilhelm Karl reasonably wouldn't care too much about history to know that.
In this case, I suppose you could say Wilhelm Karl is closer to Nero than he even realizes. Both emperors weren’t exactly madmen, but they both were very ambitious rulers who wanted to have absolute control of everything only to end up getting burned for it. I wonder if this comparison works.
Definitely not Gilead. That would be way too derivative of Atwood's work.
Fair enough. I imagine that if Elias could get away with it, he’d do away with the Roman name due to all the paganism and Christian persecution of the First Empire, maybe lean more towards a Kingdom of Jerusalem angle.
Not to the same level, but there's some irony in Wilhelm Karl being the closest he's ever been to acting like a proper Kaiser, genuinely being worthy of the title, is as he prepares to hand it away. He took the title when he was the worst candidate possible, and tragedy has molded him into someone who could rule but doesn't want to.
Quite ironic indeed. To be fair tho, even if he still wanted to rule, assuming Elias and his allies are overthrown, I don’t think he’d be accepted by the Romans anymore given all that has happened.

Given the homophobia of the Committee and many Romans nowadays, I guess they wouldn’t like trans and nonbinary people much either. For that matter, I’m not even sure asexuals and aromatics would be welcome in this Reich.
 

zenphoenix

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God save the Reich, for nobody else could at this rate. Elias has finally dominated the entire system, the mad Regent has won. Now that I think about it, he's going down a not-so similar path as The New Order's Taboritsky, woe be to the Romans if Elias goes mad and starts purging non-Christians for some dead Hohenzollern claimant.
Don’t rule anything out. As for the glory of the Kingdom of God, anything can be justified.
The saddest part about Elias is how wrong he is about his sister; if she saw him now, I'm quite confident she'd be revolted.
She would absolutely hate seeing her message of environmentalism twisted into such a hateful and murderous ideology.
Not to the same level, but there's some irony in Wilhelm Karl being the closest he's ever been to acting like a proper Kaiser, genuinely being worthy of the title, is as he prepares to hand it away. He took the title when he was the worst candidate possible, and tragedy has molded him into someone who could rule but doesn't want to.
As they say, those who are best suited to rule are those who don’t want to rule.
On this note, unless it’s a concidence, I assume that “Good soldiers follow orders” line means you’ve watched Clone Wars recently. If that’s the case, what do you think that show would be like here? Given all the changes you made to the prequels, particularly replacing the Clone Troopers with regular conscripted and voleenter soilders, I imagine it would be very different from OTL if it still exists.
Yeah, I watched Clone Wars (the 3D series at least) a few months ago. Since then I was thinking about what it would be like here, with the conclusion that by massively changing the prequels, I pretty much screwed this show over and made it almost unrecognizable. Maybe we can get away with Ahsoka’s arc being similar and Rex and Cody being brothers and the other major clones (like Fives and Echo) being regular people, but ironically the chips and “good soldiers follow orders” would have to go. Bad Batch would have to be completely different since Clone Force 99 can’t be clones and Omega needs a new background.

Funny enough, when we talked about this when I wrote the prequel updates, I basically described the (2D) Clone Wars series of 2003 even though I had no idea about its premise at the time.
I did mean Beirut, but since we’re here…
Evil harpsichord intensifies
In this case, I suppose you could say Wilhelm Karl is closer to Nero than he even realizes. Both emperors weren’t exactly madmen, but they both were very ambitious rulers who wanted to have absolute control of everything only to end up getting burned for it. I wonder if this comparison works.
And when all’s said and done, they’ll be blamed for everything that happened and go down in history as synonymous with tyranny.
Fair enough. I imagine that if Elias could get away with it, he’d do away with the Roman name due to all the paganism and Christian persecution of the First Empire, maybe lean more towards a Kingdom of Jerusalem angle.
Or he might see the idea of a Reich as tainted by the party cartel and inherently designed to prop it up. Thus to break the establishment’s grip on the nation for good, he must end the Reich itself. Though he would have to be very crazy to do that as the other committee members probably won’t be onboard with it.
Quite ironic indeed. To be fair tho, even if he still wanted to rule, assuming Elias and his allies are overthrown, I don’t think he’d be accepted by the Romans anymore given all that has happened.
Wilhelm Karl is still very much the public face of the committee. He was the one who issued the decrees which enforced martial law, established the committee, and nullified every single law up to the Augustinian Code himself. To the average person, the committee is working for the Kaiser and giving all power to him, which is exactly what Wilhelm Karl said in public addresses many years ago.
Given the homophobia of the Committee and many Romans nowadays, I guess they wouldn’t like trans and nonbinary people much either. For that matter, I’m not even sure asexuals and aromatics would be welcome in this Reich.
I should point out there are graphic violence warnings accompanying two upcoming updates. And I absolutely do no condone whatever made me put those warnings in.
 
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CaptainAlvious

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Yeah, I watched Clone Wars (the 3D series at least) a few months ago. Since then I was thinking about what it would be like here, with the conclusion that by massively changing the prequels, I pretty much screwed this show over and made it almost unrecognizable. Maybe we can get away with Ahsoka’s arc being similar and Rex and Cody being brothers and the other major clones (like Fives and Echo) being regular people, but ironically the chips and “good soldiers follow orders” would have to go. Bad Batch would have to be completely different since Clone Force 99 can’t be clones and Omega needs a new background.

Funny enough, when we talked about this when I wrote the prequel updates, I basically described the (2D) Clone Wars series of 2003 even though I had no idea about its premise at the time.
Fair enough, all the changes to the Prequels would make the Clone Wars very different, I suppose the Siege of Mandalore arc and the Clone Wars portrayal of Order 66 in Season 7 would have to be entirely different since there’s no Maul or inhibitor chips to use at that point. I guess we could get away with the 2D Clone Wars and Rebels being similar to OTL at least, even through I’ve never seen the latter. That said, I am wondering what the other Star Wars media loosely related to the 3D Clone Wars and Rebels, like Solo, Rouge One and the Mandalorian, would be like in that case? I also wonder if we could move the inhibitor chips and the “Good soilders follow orders” quote somewhere else, like this TTL’s sequel trilogy perhaps since Finn is now the protagonist instead of Rey. I can see that working when you consider that First Order stormtroopers in OTL canon were kidnapped from childhood and indoctrinatated into the First Order ideology, something the movies themselves in OTL didn’t really explore.
I should point out there are graphic violence warnings accompanying two upcoming updates. And I absolutely do no condone whatever made me put those warnings in.
Oh, I see. I’m guessing Elias’ new regime will be as brutal as Gilead is.:eek: Thanks for the heads up, I’ll be on the watch for these updates and brace for them.
 
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zenphoenix

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Fair enough, all the changes to the Prequels would make the Clone Wars very different, I suppose the Siege of Mandalore arc and the Clone Wars portrayal of Order 66 in Season 7 would have to be entirely different since there’s no Maul or inhibitor chips to use at that point. I guess we could get away with the 2D Clone Wars and Rebels being similar to OTL at least, even through I’ve never seen the latter. That said, I am wondering what the other Star Wars media loosely related to the 3D Clone Wars and Rebels, like Solo, Rouge One and the Mandalorian, would be like in that case? I also wonder if we could move the inhibitor chips and the “Good soilders follow orders” quote somewhere else, like this TTL’s sequel trilogy perhaps since Finn is now the protagonist instead of Rey. I can see that working when you consider that First Order stormtroopers in OTL canon were kidnapped from childhood and indoctrinatated into the First Order ideology, something the movies themselves in OTL didn’t really explore.
Rebels can survive almost intact, as there are some references to CW but it stands on its own and doesn't depend on clones or prequel concepts. The standalone movies and The Mandalorian could also be the same as I didn't change anything related to their backstories. Putting the inhibitor chips in the sequel trilogy might work as the First Order doesn't want the risk of its own soldiers rebelling again (which contributed to the Republic's downfall in the OT).
 

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I personally would choose The Sign as purge signal music. "I got a new life / You would hardly recognize me / I'm so glad / How could a person like me care for you?" Although, I suppose Ace of Base would be from Scandinavia in this world, so perhaps Elias would prefer a Roman-made song.
Operation "Get Wilhelmina On the Throne and Hope the General Public Still Respects the Monarchy" must be enacted swiftly, else Elias might purge everyone who doesn't actually support his state (or is at least apathetic).
 
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zenphoenix

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I personally would choose The Sign as purge signal music. "I got a new life / You would hardly recognize me / I'm so glad / How could a person like me care for you?" Although, I suppose Ace of Base would be from Scandinavia in this world, so perhaps Elias would prefer a Roman-made song.
Operation "Get Wilhelmina On the Throne and Hope the General Public Still Respects the Monarchy" must be enacted swiftly, else Elias might purge everyone who doesn't actually support his state (or is at least apathetic).
I chose that song because it was previously used in Bloody Tuesday and I wanted to use a cheerful and upbeat song with some minor religious references as a signal to carry out unspeakable atrocities in the name of religion.

I don’t think anyone is in any position to put her on the throne right now...
 

GhostRider124

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First of all let me just say that I like “THE FORUM (PART 1)” and its complement chapter. I also like the new characters so far and am looking forward to the rest of this arc.

Well Prince Horst was killed. I guess whether a group like Sentinel or Wilhelm is secretly killing potential rivals to the throne. Dang Otto just can't catch a break with family members dying can he? Reminds me of Kaiser Franz Joseph I right before the Weltkrieg.

Elias appears to be channeling his inner 'Fred' Waterford in this arc. Although I do agree that Elias might not have had Gertrude assassinated because I don’t think even the character he is based off of would do that. I do however think that both Fred and Elias are opportunists and would use that event for their benefit.

That really is horrible for Oskar to go through. Even if it is proven that he never did those things and he is cleared he will have most likely lost his teaching job and might never be able to be a teacher again. I also fear that people will still think that he did those things even if it is proven otherwise. I really hope you brought him back in some way. Maybe he could get a job at a Museum and be that person with a group of people talking about different artifacts or exhibits?

A bully claiming he is being bullied to a family member, and one group of people claiming another is stealing their jobs. The more things change the more they stay the same unfortunately. :(

I like the interaction between Wilhelm and Elias. However a part of me is wondering how much of Wilhelm’s statements are actually true as in is he truly being honest about his feelings or is he just saying things that he thinks Elias wants to hear?

A pillow came on the guy was going to go naturally soon anyway so just let the man die in peace. “peacefully in his sleep,” yea right. I’m not buying what you are selling Wilhelm. Due to that scene I am beginning to believe that he did kill Horst and Elizabeth. :mad:

A part of me wants Anders to reveal that Wilhelm killed Otto however I know how unlikely Anders would find any evidence.

It would be really ironic for Wilhelm to go out the same way his father did at the end of his reign.

Also that part about Helmut Kohl’s funeral was crazy and made me think “surely that couldn't have been real”. I looked it up and unfortunately it did happen. My question is why would someone do that? I mean I guess I can understand being obsessed with a celebrity or something but really a politician?

I have been wondering about this for a while but what is the status of English/Britannian in TTL? Is it like English in OTL or is it heavily Germanised like in Anglish which according to the Wikipedia article “Linguistic purism in English” is an attempt to get rid of the “foreign” influences in English as also explained in the Langfocus video “Anglish - What if English Were 100% Germanic?”? I know it has to be like OTL English especially for the characters (even though in universe the characters would speak their native languages) and for the AAR overall but I was just wondering.

Lastly I hope to get the Tianxia update on India done by tomorrow and I am starting work on the world map.
 

zenphoenix

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Well Prince Horst was killed. I guess whether a group like Sentinel or Wilhelm is secretly killing potential rivals to the throne. Dang Otto just can't catch a break with family members dying can he? Reminds me of Kaiser Franz Joseph I right before the Weltkrieg.
There are a lot of parallels to Franz Joseph. Even the direct descendant who should be heir (Wilhelmina/Franz Joseph’s daughters) is passed over and the throne goes to a brother or a descendant of a brother (WK/Franz Ferdinand’s line). And this is a coincidence as I didn’t intentionally do this, but Wilhelmina’s husband is named Franz and her son is Joseph.
Elias appears to be channeling his inner 'Fred' Waterford in this arc. Although I do agree that Elias might not have had Gertrude assassinated because I don’t think even the character he is based off of would do that. I do however think that both Fred and Elias are opportunists and would use that event for their benefit.
Fred certainly did not do it in the show, but he definitely spun the incident in his advantage. There, he was a former marketing executive, so he knew exactly how to spin it.
That really is horrible for Oskar to go through. Even if it is proven that he never did those things and he is cleared he will have most likely lost his teaching job and might never be able to be a teacher again. I also fear that people will still think that he did those things even if it is proven otherwise. I really hope you brought him back in some way. Maybe he could get a job at a Museum and be that person with a group of people talking about different artifacts or exhibits?
You’ll have to wait and see.
A bully claiming he is being bullied to a family member, and one group of people claiming another is stealing their jobs. The more things change the more they stay the same unfortunately. :(
It’s the same story, no matter the time, no matter the place.
I like the interaction between Wilhelm and Elias. However a part of me is wondering how much of Wilhelm’s statements are actually true as in is he truly being honest about his feelings or is he just saying things that he thinks Elias wants to hear?
I left it ambiguous. Although I wrote it from the point of view of being honest, he could just as easily have lied or portrayed himself in a better light.
A pillow came on the guy was going to go naturally soon anyway so just let the man die in peace. “peacefully in his sleep,” yea right. I’m not buying what you are selling Wilhelm. Due to that scene I am beginning to believe that he did kill Horst and Elizabeth. :mad:
Horst is a possibility, but he was nowhere near Elisabeth Alexandra and was incapable of touching her. Sentinel killed her to intimidate Otto into submission.
A part of me wants Anders to reveal that Wilhelm killed Otto however I know how unlikely Anders would find any evidence.
Well, there were no witnesses so...
It would be really ironic for Wilhelm to go out the same way his father did at the end of his reign.
Ironic indeed.
Also that part about Helmut Kohl’s funeral was crazy and made me think “surely that couldn't have been real”. I looked it up and unfortunately it did happen. My question is why would someone do that? I mean I guess I can understand being obsessed with a celebrity or something but really a politician?
I was also shocked when I looked up Kohl’s funeral and saw that mess.

I don’t know. People like to tie themselves to causes or people to get some sense of purpose and belonging, I guess. Or they’re just in it for the power and influence.
I have been wondering about this for a while but what is the status of English/Britannian in TTL? Is it like English in OTL or is it heavily Germanised like in Anglish which according to the Wikipedia article “Linguistic purism in English” is an attempt to get rid of the “foreign” influences in English as also explained in the Langfocus video “Anglish - What if English Were 100% Germanic?”? I know it has to be like OTL English especially for the characters (even though in universe the characters would speak their native languages) and for the AAR overall but I was just wondering.
I haven’t thought much about it. Last I remember, Anglo-Saxon was still dominant in England, but Norman was making inroads. So I could see a weird English developing with less French/Norman influences and more Germanic ones. It might be recognizable to us but much closer to the Germanic languages.

Yeah it would be hard to write the whole thing in German, especially since I don’t speak it and fewer people would understand it since this is an English speaking forum. I did my best to represent what they would be saying in a way where it is reasonable to assume they are speaking their native language but I translated it to English. Like I use German spellings and acronyms and try not to use certain vocabulary words or slang if they are based in something from French or English (“Roger that” became “Verstanden” and APB is translated into German). But a lot of idioms, acronyms, and slang still fall through and are used just for convenience. The UN still uses the English acronym because it’s more recognizable than VN. In later updates, I’m going to have non-German speakers use more words from their native languages instead of translating all the way. So Angelica might use some French/Norman words in her dialogue alongside the usual English to show she’s briefly lapsing into French.
 

zenphoenix

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A Long and Dark Night, Part 2

Thrace Imperial Guard Garrison, Constantinople

The Argus squads stood in the middle of the parade ground, watching the garrison assemble in front of them for what was officially an inspection. Josh felt bored out of his mind. He was promised action when his squad landed in Constantinople. Oh, the look on Alex’s stupid face when he would learn…

The last of the garrison arrived and lined up in formation. Kurt stepped forward.

“Step forward, Seventh Platoon,” Kurt ordered.

The thirty men of the Seventh Platoon stepped forward. Josh’s squad lined up opposite them.

“I accuse you of treason against His Majesty the Kaiser, his appointed committee, and God Himself,” Kurt said, “The sentence is death, and justice shall be delivered immediately.”

“Wait what do you—” one soldier began, but he was shot in the head.

Argus opened fire, wiping out the Seventh Platoon within seconds. Josh smiled as he gleefully mowed down the unsuspecting soldiers. Now this was what he signed up for. Gustav, in between reloading, looked over at Josh with a little worry before going back to his work. Once the job was done, the squad stepped back and shouldered their guns.

“The following soldiers, step forward,” Kurt said.

He listed off several men, who nervously stepped forward.

“I accuse you of treason against your gender,” he said, “The punishment is—”

Josh mowed them all down, not waiting for Kurt to finish.

“...rehabilitation,” Kurt finished, “But I guess this works too.”

Josh shouldered his rifle again and proudly saluted. “I’m doing my part!”

“The rest of you will be given a choice,” Kurt said, “You can redeem yourselves before God. Follow your orders and serve with distinction not as ordinary soldiers, but as blessed crusaders of Holy Christendom, divinely ordained angels of the Lord. Swear your loyalty and allegiance to the committee...or end up with the fate of traitors. You have a minute to choose.”

The seconds passed. Josh waited impatiently. He wanted them to make up their minds. He wanted them to choose poorly so he could empty the rest of his clip. After a minute, his wish was granted when most of the soldiers stepped forward.

“I see,” Kurt said, “Well?”

The squad handed guns to those who stepped forward and pointed at those who didn’t.

“You know what to do,” Kurt said.

“Woo!” Josh said, opening fire. “This is just like Halo!”


Brandenburg Palace

The TV channels were in complete chaos. No matter what channel Heinrich changed to, he still could barely understand anything. It was a mix of propaganda, desperate civilians, generals, and footage rolling from abandoned cameras on the street. Elias’ purge last night was still ongoing, and Heinrich could still hear the gunfire echoing outside the palace.

"So..." Wilhelm Karl said. "How bad is it?"

"From what I've gathered, the governors of Mittagsland, Hawaii, Sumatra, and Lower Saxony have stopped recognizing the committee as legitimate," Heinrich said, “Most of the surviving governors of Hibernia, Hispania, Mittelafrika, and Sudafrika have done the same.”

"Is this an act of rebellion then?" Wilhelm Karl said.

"Perhaps," Heinrich said, "But I doubt their chances. Many of them are fighting each other or consider each other illegitimate. Anhorn is consolidating his control over the military with Theodor's help, leaving the governors only law enforcement and Imperial Guard units."

"Can't you do something about that?" Francesca said.

"I'm trying," Heinrich said, "But I'm stretching his limits with all of the sneaking around I've been doing. We have the DNA samples from Ancyra, but…”

"We need access to the Potsdam tombs as well," Wilhelm Karl said.

"Easier said than done," Heinrich said, "The whole city is under armed guard and heavy Watchtower surveillance. We'd barely even get into Potsdam, let alone the tomb itself."

"Then what do we do?" Wilhelm Karl said. "Anhorn's going full Palpatine and we're just sitting around here letting him do this?"

"Sir, I'm more surprised you actually know that reference," Heinrich said.

"Let's not talk about it," Wilhelm Karl said.

"I say we bide our time with Potsdam and wait until an opportunity presents itself," Francesca said.

"That would be wise," Wilhelm Karl said, "But then what do we do in the meantime?"

"The other plan?" Francesca said. "The one you looped Colonel Wassermann in on?"

"Right," Wilhelm Karl said, "If all goes according to plan, she and her family should be on a train passing through Warsaw right now. The Scandinavian border is too predictable, so we'll have to settle for somewhere Anhorn will never suspect."

"I again reiterate my concerns," Heinrich said.

"And I completely understand," Wilhelm Karl said, "But I have faith she will be well protected with the contacts I've sent. There is still something we need to do on our end, though."

"What is it?" Francesca said.

There was a knock on the door.

"Were you expecting someone?" Heinrich said.

"No?" Wilhelm Karl said.

Heinrich cautiously approached the door. "Who is it?"

He opened the door, revealing Gertrude.

"Hello," Gertrude meekly said, no longer as confident as Heinrich remembered.

"Gertrude Anhorn?" Wilhelm Karl said.

"That witch?" Francesca said.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Heinrich said.

"Look, I'm here under a truce," Gertrude said, "So please hear me out."

"Why should we trust you, after everything you did to us?" Francesca said.

"After everything you did to ME?" Wilhelm Karl said.

"I know I did horrible things to you all," Gertrude said, "I know I put us all into this giant mess. But Elias turned on me. Like he did you, and Jacob, and everybody else he's used to get here. He's turned the laws I passed against me."

"Oh, cry me a river," Francesca said, "You brought this upon yourself. You knew exactly what you were doing with all those nullification acts. You naively thought you'd be protected by the law and not bound by it. Guess what? The leopard ate your face too, like it ate all of our faces."

"Look, I get it," Gertrude said, "I understand if you have no sympathy for me. I don't expect you to have it, after what I did. But if we are to survive, we need to work together and figure something out."

"You want an alliance?" Francesca said.

"Yes," Gertrude said, "All I want is to bring down my egotistical madman of a husband before he gets us all killed. I understand you two don't have the best view of Elias. And you, Megas Domestikos Dandolo? You never seemed fully onboard, like how Josiah and Theodor are."

"What do you want?" Heinrich said.

"I'm not going to ask for anything," Gertrude said, "But I can be useful. Even after the nullification acts, I still have access to Elias."

"Can you just kill him?" Francesca said.

"And let him get away with this in death?" Heinrich said. "At this rate, he'll only be replaced by Theodor or Josiah, and believe me, you do not want either of them in charge. No, what we need to do is bring him down from the inside, and then let the committee cannibalize itself."

"And how do we do that?" Wilhelm Karl said.

"The same way I got us into this mess," Gertrude said, "Getting leverage."

"Look, I hate to break it to you, but any leverage you get won't work, as long as he still has his leverage against me," Wilhelm Karl said, "We won't get anywhere."

"Then we just get around that," Gertrude said.

"Easier said than done," Wilhelm Karl said, "Potsdam is under lockdown."

"I may be able to pull some strings," Gertrude said.

"Really?" Wilhelm Karl said.

"I may not be on the committee anymore, but I'm still Elias' wife," Gertrude said, "I have some connections I can use."

"Wait, we're all just going to trust her now?" Francesca said. "We outright just told her we're going against Anhorn. What's stopping her from just going back to him?"

“This." Gertrude held up her phone, which had been recording the whole time.

"WHY YOU FRAKKING BI—" Francesca said, lunging forward.

Heinrich and Wilhelm Karl barely held her back. Gertrude remained calm, not even flinching as Francesca clawed in her direction and spewed profanities.

"If you don't accept my help, I'm just going to go back to Elias right now, with blatantly obvious proof of your treason," Gertrude said, "Don't bother trying to take this device, either. It's directly uploaded to the cloud."

"You never change, do you?" Wilhelm Karl said.

Heinrich sighed. "Okay, fine. What do you want?"

"I literally just told you," Gertrude said, “You know what I want. What we all want.”
 
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Fool Esquire

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It's uploaded directly to the cloud... oh dear... the cloud is not airtight security, especially against hackers backed by the resources of a large country...

I wonder who would step up if the entire committee were killed at once? Of course that's impossible; they'd just scatter and beef up security after the first member's death.
 

TWR97

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Bold move indeed, though I think uploading that to the cloud just might kill them all unfortunately, let's hope any would-be hacker actually has the conscience to not leak it, then again if they were anti-Roman......
 

CaptainAlvious

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It’s pretty ironic, albeit horrifying, that the Commitee talked a big game about military patriotism to justify the invasion of India, only to end up purging the Imperial Guard and likely other parts of the military. So much for supporting the troops.

A shame about those rebellions being crushed due to how weak and disorganized they are. If the Committee was distracted or didn’t care about them, I could see Mittagsland, Hawaii and Sumatra getting away from their control due to being Pacific and Oceanic islands very distant from Europe, but there’s nothing to stop the Committee from rolling out its navy to crush them sadly. Again, a large organized rebellion would be really neat at this point, but sadly that’s never gonna happen since the provinces are effectively powerless and the small Landers don’t have the resources for such a rebellion. I wonder what’s going on in Neurhomania since they are not rebelling like the other overseas provinces and parts of Africa have. Whatever the Committee have done there, it seems they’ve locked down Neurhomania tightly under their rule.

Gertrude helping the Hohenzollerns to stop Elias’ reign of terror is a pretty big surprise. About time she’s realized what a mess she’s made. She’s still untrustworthy, but Wilhelm Karl does admittedly need all the help he can get. Let’s just hope Gertrude uploading that recording to the cloud doesn’t bite everyone in the Arsch before the blackmail can be broken.
Oh, the look on Alex’s stupid face when he would learn…
Oh no, I don’t like where I think this is going. Look likes the future Diana saw cannot be avoided. Josh is truly crazy now.
"That witch?" Gertrude said.
I think you meant to have Francesca say this here. Makes way more sense that way.
 
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zenphoenix

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It's uploaded directly to the cloud... oh dear... the cloud is not airtight security, especially against hackers backed by the resources of a large country...
At least hackers aren't aware of this...for now.
I wonder who would step up if the entire committee were killed at once? Of course that's impossible; they'd just scatter and beef up security after the first member's death.
Nobody would step up because nobody would be left. All hell would break loose.
Bold move indeed, though I think uploading that to the cloud just might kill them all unfortunately, let's hope any would-be hacker actually has the conscience to not leak it, then again if they were anti-Roman......
when the Internet starts speaking Chinese/Mongol/(the main hacking-associated language of the day)
It’s pretty ironic, albeit horrifying, that the Commitee talked a big game about military patriotism to justify the invasion of India, only to end up purging the Imperial Guard and likely other parts of the military. So much for supporting the troops.
They just support the ideal of the troops, not the actual soldiers themselves. They are just a means to an end.
A shame about those rebellions being crushed due to how weak and disorganized they are. If the Committee was distracted or didn’t care about them, I could see Mittagsland, Hawaii and Sumatra getting away from their control due to being Pacific and Oceanic islands very distant from Europe, but there’s nothing to stop the Committee from rolling out its navy to crush them sadly. Again, a large organized rebellion would be really neat at this point, but sadly that’s never gonna happen since the provinces are effectively powerless and the small Landers don’t have the resources for such a rebellion. I wonder what’s going on in Neurhomania since they are not rebelling like the other overseas provinces and parts of Africa have. Whatever the Committee have done there, it seems they’ve locked down Neurhomania tightly under their rule.
Ironically, Otto's administrative reforms and creation of the Länder system fulfilled their original purpose, to prevent widespread organized rebellion. It worked exactly as designed.

In later updates, I explain how exactly the military divided between pro-committee and loyalist forces. A large part of the navy rebelled, especially the overseas fleets, while the air force remained overwhelmingly pro-committee (mirroring how the US Air Force is well-known as the most conservative/religious of all of the branches), and the army was evenly split.

As for Neurhomania...all I'll say is the committee doesn't have the resources to control Neurhomania...but neither does anyone else.
Gertrude helping the Hohenzollerns to stop Elias’ reign of terror is a pretty big surprise. About time she’s realized what a mess she’s made. She’s still untrustworthy, but Wilhelm Karl does admittedly need all the help he can get. Let’s just hope Gertrude uploading that recording to the cloud doesn’t bite everyone in the Arsch before the blackmail can be broken.
And yet she still resorts to her old tricks while teaming up with Wilhelm Karl. Can she truly be trusted?
Oh no, I don’t like where I think this is going. Look likes the future Diana saw cannot be avoided. Josh is truly crazy now.
It will only get worse.
I think you meant to have Francesca say this here. Makes way more sense that way.
Fixed it.
 

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This is my second update for Tianxia it focuses on the Indian sub-continent and the successor states of the Indian Empire.

Tianxia-Legacy of the Great War:
Indian Successor States

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Indian Empire = Purple
Nepal = Grey
Azad Hind/The Princely Federation = Green
People's Republic of India = Red
Indian Empire
In 1925 the syndicalist revolution in Europe precipitated the collapse of the Roman Reich, leading to the constituent parts of the Reich being forced to find their own way. In India, a combination of princes, rajahs, nationalists, imperialists, and syndicalists started to fight for the control of the sub-continent. The riots saw a number of Sikh regiments refuse to fight their own countrymen. The revolts quickly spread to the rest of India. The short-lived Sikh Confederacy fought among many other lands for independence during the chaos. The Sihks sought to negotiate a state of semi-autonomy with Delhi, but in December 1925 a group of Sikh fanatics closed themselves in the Sikh Holy City of Amritsar. Two days later, an Imperial soldier, one Abhinav Hale, a person of Roman (Britannian) and Indian heritage led a band of ninety soldiers armed with machine guns and mustard gas attempting to expel the rebels by force, breaking the negotiations. This attack was successful and the Dehlian forces captured the city of Amritsar, breaking the back of the Sikh rebellion.

Realizing the impossibility of these tumultuous events being resolved favorably for the Empire, the Emperor and his royal court in January 1926 chose to create a free nation in the northwest of India under his leadership in the hopes that someday the Royalists would be able to retake the sub-continent and restore the Empire. The move received harsh criticism from some, India as a united Empire was after all was still considered “the strongest member of the Central Powers”, but the Royalist government in Deli realized and accepted the necessity of the move in keeping a hold of the sub-continent.

This new state remained close with its African domain and with the surviving members of the Central Powers, and it was agreed that in order to appease the local population Muhammed Shuja Al-Mulk would become a royal advisor to the Emperor, who would also be advised by a mixed group of Imperial and Raja advisors. In the decade since its formation, Delhi has struggled to consolidate her position in India, clearing out several of the smaller regimes that had sprung up, and maintaining a strong front against the syndicalist forces in the south.

However, while Delhi remains strong against external threats, internal divisions are widening. Political clashes concerning national vs. regional power are resulting in a polarization of political life, manifesting in the Sanghavadi and Rashtravadi Parties. Unless action is taken this political infighting may end up tearing Delhi apart from within. The road ahead for Delhi looks difficult no matter what course it steers.

Nepal
After the violent withdrawal of Imperial forces throughout India after the Southern Revolt, Nepal found itself in an unstable situation. The Rana family, which had dominated Nepalese politics for generations, found itself coming under fire. Without the Imperial support they depended on, Prime Minister Chandra Shamsher was increasingly unable to assert his will over the teenage king Tribhuvana. At the same time, the young King of Nepal realized that now was the time to free himself from his childhood imprisonment and blackmail. So with the support of the Nepali Sena (Nepalese Army) – who had always supported the Shah Dynasty over the Ranas – several brigades of Gurkhas stormed the Narayanhiti Palace in central Kathmandu, capturing or killing all of the Rana family.

At the same time, raids in the early morning by the Nepali Sena all throughout the Kathmandu Valley and in Patan and Bhaktapur captured most of the fringes of the Rana family, who still retained loyalty to Chandra. In a swift move, one of his first as Absolute Monarch, King Tribhuvana ordered the execution of all the senior Rana family, Chandra included. The resulting chaos could have torn Nepal apart, but the military held it together, barely. Not long after the executions, the Nepali Sena expanded outward into the vacuum of India, occupying most of the Ganges-Yamuna basin. In 1936, the cabinet of Nepal is divided between Tribhuvana and his family, as well as disillusioned Indian politicians who had lost all faith in their Emperor. In addition, due to the Nepali Sena having secured Bhutan this has elevated Nepal to a sizeable power in post-united India.

Azad Hind/The Princely Federation
With revolutions in 1925 occurring in the Roman homeland, India was alone in the world. The fall in confidence in the Paramara Dynasty led to a power vacuum with many factions trying to fill. Manipur, a Princely State along the eastern border of India was vanquished as it's royal family was executed by Socialists in the region during the Red Summer of 1922 which worried the Princely Rulers about Socialist unrest in their states. To the Chinese this was a worrying development and so the various rulers of the region united under a federal state with Chinese protection. During the 1920’s, the Federation managed to emerge as a stable nation and one in which each of the local princes and rajahs had a say in government. Unsurprisingly, tensions have arisen among the lower classes of society about their exclusion from the political process in the Federation, and the rajahs along with their Chinese benefactors became increasingly worried that southern syndicalist influences are behind these cries of unrest.

By 1936 Princely Federation had asserted control peacefully and by force across the entire eastern part of the sub-continent, but expansion was hemmed in by the existence of the People's Republic and Indian Empire in the west and south. Despite this predicament the current situation helps the ruling princes as it prevents aggressive behavior where the status quo could collapse like a house of cards.

Perhaps the one exception to the deadlock, however, is the island of Ceylon, which is currently in Chinese hands. Many of the rajas feel that the island could all too easily act as a base for a new wave of Chinese colonial aggression into India, and this fear is not eased by the fact that China has already refused two offers by the Federation to buy the island. In 1936 the Princely Federation is, for the most part, an isolationist burgher republic, focused on promoting stability and trade in a troubled time.

People's Republic of India
Following the collapse of the Paramara war effort many groups began to compete for power. The syndicalists in the south of India were the first to act. Inspired by Albion and Gaul, the Princely states in Hyderabad, Mysore, and Travancore among others experienced their own revolutions in October 1925 followed by many other communities in the south. Despite many Paramara troops moving to the Northwest, many others attempted to resist the new state. By 1927 the revolutions were successful with the new revolutionary states uniting under a loose Confederation of People's Republics. Despite this victory the new revolutionary state would find itself surrounded on multiple sides with The Princely Federation and the Indian Empire in the northeastern/western parts of the sub-continent respectively. Due to this deadlock the southern government started looking inwards and attempted to root out supposed “enemies of the people’, along with repairing the damage brought on by the war. The CPR is also trying to not be too belligerent so that it does not gain the wrath of China, who is by no means pleased that another radical regime rose up. Much less one so close to its own borders. By the 1930’s the CPR started looking outward again but in a less direct way such as supporting revolution in neighboring countries, this new policy included changing its name to the People's Republic of India and forming a more unitary state. By 1936 there is evidence that this strategy has begun to bear fruit in Indo-china and Delhi, and the People's army stands ready to capitalize on the chaos which might ensue.
 
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zenphoenix

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This is my second update for Tianxia it focuses on the Indian sub-continent and the successor states of the Indian Empire.
Love the map so far! I've put my thoughts below.
Realizing the impossibility of these tumultuous events being resolved favorably for the Empire, the Emperor and his royal court in January 1926 chose to create a free nation in the northwest of India under his leadership in the hopes that someday the Royalists would be able to retake the sub-continent and restore the Empire. The move received harsh criticism from some, India as a united Empire was after all was still considered “the strongest member of the Central Powers”, but the Royalist government in Deli realized and accepted the necessity of the move in keeping a hold of the sub-continent.
I don't think they would go as far as to declare a new nation, just an "Indian Empire" rump state in the northwest.
This new state remained close with its African domain and with the surviving members of the Central Powers, and it was agreed that in order to appease the local population Muhammed Shuja Al-Mulk would become a royal advisor to the Emperor, who would also be advised by a mixed group of Imperial and Raja advisors. In the decade since its formation, Delhi has struggled to consolidate her position in India, clearing out several of the smaller regimes that had sprung up, and maintaining a strong front against the syndicalist forces in the south.
The Emperor is still Purandaradasa, right? He would be well over 100 by now, so maybe his death would set off a succession crisis between his children.
By 1936 Princely Federation had asserted control peacefully and by force across the entire eastern part of the sub-continent, but expansion was hemmed in by the existence of the Bharatiya Commune and Rajput Empire in the west and south. Despite this predicament the current situation helps the ruling princes as it prevents aggressive behavior where the status quo could collapse like a house of cards.
What's stopping the Princely Federation from just rejoining Delhi? That it's more aligned with China?
Bharatiya Commune
Following the collapse of the Paramara war effort many groups began to compete for power. The syndicalists in the south of India were the first to act. Inspired by Albion and Gaul, the Princely states in Hyderabad, Mysore, and Travancore among others experienced their own revolutions in October 1925 followed by many other communities in the south. Despite many Paramara troops moving to the Northwest, many others attempted to resist the new state. By 1927 the revolutions were successful with the new revolutionary states uniting under a loose Confederation of People's Republics. Despite this victory the new revolutionary state would find itself surrounded on multiple sides with Azad Hind and the Rajput Empire in the northeastern/western parts of the sub-continent respectively. Due to this deadlock the southern government started looking inwards and attempted to root out supposed “enemies of the people’, along with repairing the damage brought on by the war. The CPR is also trying to not be too belligerent so that it does not gain the wrath of China, who is by no means pleased that another radical regime rose up. Much less one so close to its own borders. By the 1930’s the CPR started looking outward again but in a less direct way such as supporting revolution in neighboring countries, this new policy included changing its name to the Bharatiya Commune and forming a more unitary state. By 1936 there is evidence that this strategy has begun to bear fruit in Indo-china and Delhi, and the People's army stands ready to capitalize on the chaos which might ensue.
While I'm okay with it, maybe try finding a name to replace Bharatiya Commune? In canon there is already precedent in the Union of India the Naxalites attempted to establish. Speaking of which, the Naxalites were a rural-based far left movement, so perhaps we could see some proto-Naxalites getting involved in the political process of this regime?

Otherwise this is a great start! I'll add it to the table of contents.