• 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
Introduction

HistoryDude

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We say that we did what we had to. We justified our deeds with the idea of "necessitas non habit legem" - "necessity holds no law". But does it? Could even necessity itself have a higher law? And who decides what is necessary? What costs can be justified? And, when everything comes down to everything, who will watch the watchers? We fight, and, all the while, the Ancients - they who reign above - watch and plot. It has begun... and, soon, it will be finished.



So, I've been holding off on doing a Stellaris AAR since Tides of Eternity failed. However, I've recently gotten an idea that I just had to write, so here's a Stellaris AAR! I'm in the mood for some dark stuff... so this won't be a happy AAR...
 

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Looking forward to it!
 
Part 1 - Hiraeth Introduction

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Hiraeth - Homesickness, esp. for a home that you can never return to or that never was.
 

volksmarschall

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Dark stuff is welcome! I'm always an avid reader of Tragedy!

Cheers!
 

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A Refugee Fleet

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The space between stars was dark. A fleet was fleeing destruction - no, ruins. Annihilation. These were refugees, and they needed somewhere to live. Their home was destroyed, and they had only barely survived.

These survivors were led by a man named Jack. Jack was a clean-shaven man with cream-colored skin and brown hair. He was relatively tall, as well. Once, Jack had been a noble in the great New Roman Empire. That was before that empire’s capital was burned. Before Nova Roma was utterly annihilated.

Admittedly, yes, Jack wanted revenge. Not yet, though. The survivors had to find a new planet to settle on, first. Once they had somewhere to live, then they could focus on revenge. They could focus on destroying the Feudal Empire of New Greece.

No, that wouldn’t be revenge… that would be justice. Justice for everyone killed in the sack of Nova Roma. Justice for everyone killed or enslaved during New Greece’s attacks on New Roman planets. And the gods forsook them as they had Nova Roma, then they would forsake the gods.

The great New Roman Empire had fallen, yes, but her people lived on. And, as long as the memory of Nova Roma was kept alive, the once glorious empire would live on… in the minds of mankind. Soon, the Empire would be reborn.

And Jack looked outside of his ship - which was the fleet’s flagship, the Aurora - he frowned. As he saw the dark abyss between stars, he wondered. How had it come to this?

Once, the New Roman Empire ruled whole star systems. Once, no one had dared to challenge them. Over time, however, it had grown complacent. Its nobles had begun to exploit their positions. Nobody wished to command new conquests. “It was into this decadent environment that I was born,” Jack thought. He’d never approved of the decadence - the laziness - of his fellow nobles, but there was nothing he could have done about it. But what could he have done about it? The nobles were so decadent that they’d almost completely forgotten about a time when the Empire actually did anything.

Jack knew that the nobles wouldn’t listen, but that didn’t mean that he couldn’t get through to some people. He’d decided to join the New Roman fleet. This allowed him to actually do something - and it allowed him to warn others about their coming destruction. Jack was charismatic, and he quickly rose up the ranks of the fleet. Using his position - and also his heritage - he commissioned a few large ships. After all, the Empire was on the verge of destruction. If he ever outright tried to tell people that, he’d be ridiculed, but he didn’t need to tell people - he needed to prepare for it.

He was 20 when New Greece attacked. Almost the entirety of the fleet was recalled to Nova Roma. Most of the nobles were there, and they primarily cared about their own safety above all else. However, Jack managed to ensure that he was put in command of the few ships that weren’t recalled.

Nova Roma wasn’t the entirety of the New Roman Empire, no matter what the nobles thought. For that matter, there were a few worlds in the Far Rim that hadn’t fallen, and that was where Jack was leading the survivors of the war now.

Jack figured that the decadence was probably what pissed off the gods. He knew, for a fact, that the gods were pissed off - they’d made that quite clear when they had aided the invading Feudal Empire. He hoped they weren’t pissed off at him, but you never knew with them. The gods were often cruel.

Anyways, New Greece was a state that ruled over most of the Middle Rim. Nova Roma was on the border between the Middle Rim and the Near Rim, and it, therefore, made a good target. The New Roman Empire was primarily located in the Near Rim - or, at least, it had been. Jack needed to stop thinking of the Empire as an extent state. He was homesick, of course, but he could never return to Nova Roma - it had been utterly annihilated.

The attack had been unexpected by most of the nobles, but Jack had seen it coming for years. Nova Roma had held out for 10 years, but, in the end. It had fallen. Jack hadn’t witnessed its fall. He had absolutely no desire to know what had happened in Nova Roma’s burning ruins.

Jack decided to look out the window. Now wasn’t the time to reminisce about the past. He didn’t see anything - hyperspace was a dark place. No one knew how it existed - only that it did. Jack figured that the Ancients were responsible. The gods were powerful, but they weren’t powerful enough to ignore the Laws of the Universe. On the other hand, legend said that the Ancients had created the universe.

Jack checked their course. Good. They were still en route to New Carthage - one of the ex-New Roman planets in the Far Rim. Hopefully, nothing similar to what legend said had happened in the original Rome and Carthage happened here. In all honesty, Jack should have known better than to tempt fate.
 

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Planning for the future, Part 1

HistoryDude

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New Carthage was located in a star system with a yellow sun, as Lost Terra’s had been, back in the days when mankind still inhabited Lost Terra. The planet itself was the fourth planet from its star. Jack figured that it was probably a good idea to contact the planetary authorities before landing. Things could go very wrong if he didn’t do that.

Getting the radio signal from the planet… well, a radio signal, at least… wasn’t that difficult. Jack decided that he would simply leave a short message, which should get the fleet in contact with the planetary authorities relatively quickly.

“This is the NRS Aurora, speaking for the Nova Roman refugee fleet,” Jack began. “We’d like to get in contact with the government of this planet.”

Jack figured that that message was short, but it got the message across. If the signal that the fleet had picked up belonged to the government, then that was fine. However, it instructed anybody receiving the signal that wasn’t part of the government on what to do. And so they waited for a response.

Aurora, this is the New Carthaginian Provisional Government,” a message from the planet said. “What do you want to talk about?”

“We’d like to request political asylum,” Jack said. “Nova Roma was destroyed a few weeks ago. By the Feudal Empire. The New Roman Empire’s dead.”

There was a long pause before New Carthage responded. “We’re sorry to hear that. Asylum granted. Please land at the interstellar spaceport.”

Jack blinked. That went… better than expected. He was expecting some sort of resistance from the New Carthaginian government. Of course, most of New Carthage’s inhabitants were descended from settlers from Nova Roma, so it was probable that they viewed this as returning the favor. If so, that was very good news.

He knew where the interstellar spaceport was, of course. He’d known that the refugees from the fall of Nova Roma would need places to stay on their way to finding a new home. After all, New Romans were an independent people - they would never tolerate being subservient to a state not ruled by their people for any significant length of time.

Jack commed his second-in-command, Marcus, and he relayed the instructions on where to land to him. Then, the fleet landed in the interplanetary spaceport, which covered most of a continent, so it could easily fit the refugee fleet.

Jack exited the Aurora, quickly, although he did leave a few people in the ship. He didn’t actually intend to stay at New Carthage permanently, but he figured that some of the refugees might. He desperately wanted revenge against the Feudal Empire, but he figured that not all of the New Roman refugees did, so he was going to give them a few choices on where to settle, one of which was New Carthage.

Jack sighed. He had requested asylum, so he needed to do further negotiating with the New Carthaginian Provisional Government. That hadn't actually been said yet, but it was implied in the conversation over the radio in space.

Jack decided to call the Provisional Government over radio (he’d had some of the more technically oriented people trace the signal) to make arrangements for that meeting. He scheduled it to occur in a few days, at the New Carthaginian capital of New Tyre. He decided it was also probably a good idea to invite his second. That way, he wasn’t single handedly deciding the entire destiny of a people - he had no wish to have that much responsibility.
 

Cromwell

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I fear that Jack is already solely responsible for the welfare and, in time, the destiny of his people. His wishes one way or the other can't change the facts.
 

HistoryDude

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I fear that Jack is already solely responsible for the welfare and, in time, the destiny of his people. His wishes one way or the other can't change the facts.
True enough. Doesn’t change his wishes.
 
Planning for the future, Part 2

HistoryDude

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Sorry for the long wait. I should be updating this more often, though, so that's a plus!




Jack sighed. He’d leave New Carthage soon enough. He looked around. Everything looked so calm. However, Jack knew that the calm often came before the storm. He wanted revenge, yes, but his revenge was not the only storm that, deep down, he felt was coming. Unbidden, an ancient saying appeared in his head. The End will start at dawn. Why was he thinking about that? But he knew that answer… something was coming. The problem was that Jack wasn’t sure what.

Jack decided not to think about that right now. He needed to be completely focused on negotiations with the New Carthaginian government. Thankfully, Marcus had agreed to come with, so he wasn’t deciding everything alone.

New Tyre was a large city. Jack saw numerous buildings, including a few that touched the sky. He and Marcus headed toward the city’s center. That was where the governmental buildings were.

The two men entered the Nova Roman Embassy when the sun was at its high point in the sky (local noon). Thankfully, a few New Carthaginian diplomats were already there, so they could start the negotiations immediately.

“So,” Jack began, “let’s get these negotiations started.”

“First of all, we need to know whether all of the fleet is requesting asylum,” one of the New Carthaginian diplomats said.

“Not permanently,” Jack answered. “Some of the refugees want to stay on New Carthage, but the entire fleet does need to resupply here.”

“I see,” the other New Carthaginian diplomat commented. “Will you be staying here? Or will your… companion?”

“I won’t,” Jack replied. “I’m not sure about whether or not my companion will. Marcus?”

“I’ll be staying here,” Marcus said. “I like this planet. And, yes, I have been here before.”
“Okay, then,” Jack commented. “I suppose that means that I should let you negotiate the permanent asylum situation, then?”

“That’d be preferable, yes,” the first New Carthaginian diplomat interjected. “However, we’d prefer if you were also present for this, as you could then tell some of your refugees our terms. Informing your people will go quicker if they’re being told by two people.”

Jack blinked. That was a logical point. However, there were some things that he wasn’t being told. However, he kept these thoughts to himself and agreed with a simple “okay”.

“Can we take a lunch break?” the first New Carthaginian diplomat asked. “Presumably, your time in space meant that you didn’t have much actual food, and we’re hungry.”

“Sure,” Jack agreed. After all, he was hungry, and the time not spent negotiating allowed him time to think over his situation right now.

Jack decided that he’d only interject his opinions if he had to. Marcus was more than capable of negotiating himself - and he was actually staying on New Carthage. Jack wondered where the New Carthaginian Provisional Government had space that refugees could live in. He wasn’t very familiar with this planet, so listening into the conversation would give him information. And information was always useful.

As Jack ate, he wondered how it had come to this, but he knew. Nova Roma had always been doomed. He had managed to do something about it, of course, but he still felt that he hadn’t done enough. He sighed. What was done was done. He couldn’t change the past - not even the Ancients could change the past, and they were almost omnipotent. He’d have to make sure that Nova Roma’s legacy survived.

He finished eating and re-entered the negotiating room. Now was the time to get information. He really hoped that the refugee fleet didn’t do anything to provoke the locals. Of course, he knew that that was extraordinarily unlikely, but one could never be too careful. He needed to account for all possibilities.

“So,” Marcus began. “First of all, where are the members of the fleet that are staying on this planet, well, staying?”

The two New Carthaginian shared a conspiratorial glance. Yep, they definitely knew something that Jack - and, likely, Marcus didn’t.

“We have a continent that is almost untouched by human presence,” the second New Carthaginian diplomat said. “The few buildings that were there directly belonged to the Nova Roman government, which is now destroyed - if what you say is accurate.”

“It is,” Marcus assured. “Nova Roma burned, and its empire died with it. But they didn’t get all of the Nova Romans - we still live. Hopefully, the gods have not - and will not - forsaken us as they did our decadent kin.”

“By the way, what are your names?” Jack asked while facepalming. He really should’ve asked that earlier. He should have asked that question when the meeting started but whatever. He also knew for a fact that he hadn’t introduced himself or Marcus. He’d been so busy with dealing with the refugee fleet that he had completely forgotten about introductions.

There was silence for a long while. “Oh,” the first New Carthaginian diplomat realized. “Nobody has introduced themselves here yet. Sorry. My name is Hannibal.”

“And I’m Hasdrubal,” the other New Carthaginian diplomat said. “What are your names?”

“My name is Jack,” Jack said. “My… companion over here is Marcus.”

“Oh,” Hannibal said. “Well, let’s get on with negotiations, shall we?”

“Yes,” Marcus responded. “Where is this continent you speak of? I’ve been to this planet before, but I’m not really familiar with it. Is it near the interstellar spaceport?”

“Only somewhat,” Hasdrubal commented. “The interstellar spaceport is on an extremely large island that is right next to the continent that we are offering you.”

“I see,” Marcus mused. “That sounds good, but what is this continent called? Given that I am staying here - even if Jack over here isn’t - I would like to know what the name of my new home is.”

“That’s perfectly reasonable,” Hannibal replied. “The continent is called New Sidon. It is a rather large continent, but we have enough land from the rest of the planet to live on, so we let the Nova Romans build their settlements there.”

“Of course,” Hasdrubal interjected. “They didn’t need much land, as you were pretty hands-off rulers, then.”

“That makes sense,” Marcus responded. “I don’t see any problems with this deal. Jack, do you?”

“No,” Jack replied.

“Great,” Hannibal said. “In that case, we can go get some dinner. We were negotiating here for a while, even if it didn’t seem like it.”
 

Cromwell

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What could the catch be? Violent local animals, high volcanic activity, nuclear waste dumping sites? All three? Nobody just gives away a continent... Very interesting.
 

HistoryDude

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What could the catch be? Violent local animals, high volcanic activity, nuclear waste dumping sites? All three? Nobody just gives away a continent... Very interesting.
Stay tuned! Of course, I haven’t said much about what this planet is like, so it’s possible that there’s, like, 50 continents or something.

I can assure you that there is a catch, though.
 

Cromwell

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Stay tuned! Of course, I haven’t said much about what this planet is like, so it’s possible that there’s, like, 50 continents or something.

I can assure you that there is a catch, though.
There always is, it's the way of the universe.
 
Planning for the future, Part 3

HistoryDude

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Jack quickly had dinner before he left for New Sidon. He would need to know how his refueling place was like somewhat - but he also had to make sure that anybody who stayed was in good hands. Marcus would be a good leader, yes, but nobody handed over a continent without a reason. There had to be a catch. The question was how deadly was the catch?

Unfortunately, it was getting dark. That meant that he was going to need to sleep sometime soon - and he was too tired to check out the land granted to the refugees. Well, it looked like he was going to sleep on the Aurora for now. Then, when morning came, he’d check out New Sidon.

He awoke at dawn. Quickly, he ordered his flagship - and the rest of the fleet - to land on New Sidon. If there were abandoned Nova Roman bases there, there had to be somewhere his ships could land.

His assumption was proven right. The Nova Roman city where the small spaceport was… wasn’t small, to say the least. Unfortunately, it appeared that this had been the capital of the Nova Roman administration on the planet. That meant that it was almost totally destroyed during the war against New Greece. The only structure actually fully existent was the spaceport, presumably because the attacking force needed an escape route from the planet. Surrounding the spaceport was nothing except utter ruins. Jack figured that even those might soon vanish.

That might have been part of the catch, but Jack feared that it wasn’t the entire catch. He decided to have a ship from the fleet scout the entire continent from above. He didn’t trust the New Carthaginians much - they were being far too generous.

While the ship was scouting, Jack decided that now was as good a time as any to begin the construction of the city for the actual refugees - the ones that were going to be staying on New Carthage. Admittedly, Jack was doing that so quickly because said city could also serve as a place to begin refueling - he wanted to find a safe home for the majority of the Nova Roman refugees.

Of course, that raised the question of who was going to lead the refugees that were going to stay behind. Jack mulled over this question for a short while before he got started on actually constructing the new city. However,his choice was never seriously in doubt. He knew that Marcus was staying behind on New Carthage, and he also knew that almost the entire fleet would follow the orders of his current second-in-command - Marcus was the natural choice to lead the people of New Sidon.

Jack decided to instruct some of the refugees to begin building the city. He figured that, if there was a catch on the ground of the ex-Nova Roman outpost, then it would be noticed during construction. However, he doubted that there would be. After all, the Nova Romans had had an outpost here for decades - perhaps even centuries. He highly doubted that it had been rebuilt multiple times without anyone being informed.

Thankfully, the construction went on without a problem. A small settlement quickly rose up. It wasn’t very large yet and wouldn’t be a good place to permanently settle in. Despite that, it was a good temporary settlement - although Jack would still have to wait a while for the area to be useful as a place to refuel.

Jack was fine with that. He could wait - he wanted revenge on New Greece, yes, but patience was a virtue. And refueling now could result in the fleet being stranded in space - that would be an unmitigated disaster. He knew that everything took time. That wasn’t a fact that he particularly liked - but it was one that he could accept.

Soon enough, the Nova Romans would have a home again, and that was all that mattered.
 

HistoryDude

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HistoryDude

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That's what the future updates are for! ;) :p

Wonderful irony, here, with Nova Roma and New Carthage!
Yes.

Hmm, the irony was unintentional, but I see it now. Space Carthage survives while Space Rome is destroyed...